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Informal Letter Writing

Informal Letter Writing

It is important to know the accurate etiquette even for informal letter writing. The article below will enlists some steps to follow when writing an informal letter.
Ratnashri Dutta
"To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart." ― Phyllis Theroux

As of the modern era, people depend smartphones and the internet for communication; very sad, but true. Given the quick impatience of people today, you would be surprised to find that there are still some loyalists who prefer the art of informal letter writing. Unfortunately, many are unaware of the actual technique of informal letter writing, and face a difficult time writing one. The article below addresses some related pointers that will clear all your confusion.

The Basics

Formal Letter

One writes a formal letter to someone who they do not know well, who is not family or friend. For instance, letters written to the school authorities, letters written to your boss, office-related letters, etc.

Informal Letters

These letters are meant for family, friends, or anyone whom you know really well. For instance, letters written to your parents, friends, family, acquaintances, etc.

Informal Letter Format

Date and Address:

The writer should mention their own address in the letter they are writing. It should be written on the right hand corner of the page. Writing this address is optional, because one may feel that the recipient knows you well enough, so perhaps there is no necessity to wrote the address. However, it's not necessary that the recipient will remember your address always. So, it's better that you write the address. If both the receiver and sender are from the same country, then there is no need to write your country's name. But if both belong to separate countries, then the sender should also write down the name of their country. After the address, leave a line and write the date. The date shows when the letter was written (obviously).

Greetings or Salutation:

The most common way to start off an informal letter is with a 'Dear'. Since this letter is meant for your friends or family, there is no need to greet them as 'Sir' or 'Madam'. Write the name after that and then, add a comma. Fr example, 'Dear Mike,'.

If the receiver if very close to you, such as your best friend or your sibling, then instead of a 'Dear', you could probably start off with a 'Hey!' or 'Hi!'. Keep in mind that this is for people who belong to the same age group as you do. Don't write 'Hey Dad!' (Unless of course you are very very close to him).

Text or Body:

While writing the main content of the letter, keep the following in mind:
  • Paragraphs should be indented.
  • While writing the letter be as friendly as possible. But, don't go overboard. Do keep in mind to whom you are writing the letter. Don't write, 'Hey dude! What's up?' to your father. At the same time, don't make the letter boring.
  • Punctuations, spellings, and grammar errors should be avoided at all costs. Wrong use of punctuations can change the entire meaning of what you are trying to convey. Things such as 'How are you hope you enjoyed your holidays. Mike going to New York yesterday' makes so sense. It will only confuse the reader. So, be careful while writing your letter.
  • Use active voice; it makes your letter sound more conversational and makes it more interesting to read. It seems like the person is conversing with you, face to face.
  • Questions in your letter act as a good base on which you can write your letter on. Also, it motivates the reader to reply.
Close with a Compliment:

After writing the letter, sign off in a friendly manner such as 'Love,' or 'Missing you loads', 'Love you forever,', etc. Don't forget to add a comma after the compliment. Add your name after that.

Post script (PS):

Sometimes, while in a hurry, we often forget to include something in the letter. You can put that in the post script, at the bottom of the letter as P.S.: I ranked first in class last week.

Sample Letter

Letter to a friend inviting him for your birthday party.

12 XYZ Lane,
PO Box: 1234,
Washington DC

13th June 2010

Dear Joy,

How are you my friend? It has been some time since we met. How was your trip to Africa? Hope you enjoyed all the Safari trips? I received all the postcards, which you had sent me from there. Thanks a bunch! I loved each of them.

Hey! Guess what? My Aunt Letty has organized an early birthday party for me, and she has asked me to invite all my friends. You know very well that no party of mine is complete without you. So, please be at my place this Sunday. The party doesn't start till 4, but do come early so then we can go fishing at the lake. Bring Andy along with you too. Don't be late.

Hope you parents are all right? Give them my regards. And, wish you all the best for your baseball match today. Miss you loads pal. See you this Sunday.

Take care,

P.S.: Do get your spare fishing rod when you come. I seem to have lost mine.

Well, now that you know all about informal letter writing, and the informal letter format and style, go put aside that phone or that Internet and write a letter to your friend in your own handwriting. I assure you, there is nothing more touching, more memorable, than receiving a letter from your loved ones, written in their own hands.

What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters. You can't reread a phone call.Liz Carpenter