Writing Good Formal and Informal Letters

Contrary to popular belief, letter writing isn’t a thing of the past. People need letter writing for personal, professional and academic purposes. Letter writing formal and informal, can come in many forms, from digital to hard copy.

Difference Between Formal and Informal Letter

Letter writing Formal and informal letters

Formal letters address someone in a professional capacity. Meanwhile, informal ones are personal.

An example of a formal letter is one which is written to communicate complaints, requests, inquiries, proposals, invitations and other official matters. These are for business entities, establishments, and private and government institutions.

The recipients of such letters are private and government officials, authorities, seniors, colleagues and business partners. Application letters, inquiry letters, order letters and complaint letters are all formal letters.

The replies from the recipients to all these letters are formal letters.

An informal letter is one written in a non-official capacity. We write these to our friends, or family. These letters are personal letters. There could be many reasons for which we write these personal letters to our family and friends.

We tend to write informal letters when we want those who know us to know something important has happened in our life. Because of all the technologies we have to communicate , it’s rare to write informal letters these days.

Some more differences

Formal letters need to be vetted for proper formatting, grammar and spelling checks. Because these letters are often addressed to officials or authorities they very rarely contain errors. They are also kept brief and to-the-point as well as divided into distinct paragraphs to make them more readable.

Meanwhile, informal letters use casual language and don’t have a specific format. Letters written to close contacts are typically written using any writing pattern or tone that suits the writer.

How to Write a Formal Letter?

Depending on why it was written, a formal letter can have many elements. However, these are the most common parts: -The addresses of both the sender and recipient -Date -Correct titles of the recipient, -A subject or topic line, -Body (preferably with distinct and organized paragraphs), -A complementary close -The writer’s signature

Don’t forget to proofread your letter. Now that you’ve completed the first draft of your letter, read if over from start to finish and check for any errors contained within.

purple flowers on paper
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

How to Write Informal Letter?

  • Date and day
  • Salutation
  • Body
  • An intimate or complimentary closing

There are no hard and fast rules for informal letters. Once the person you are sending it to can understand its contents, the letter is acceptable.

To Wrap Up

Letter writing formal and informal letters is a necessary skill. When you were school-aged, you were able to write these formal and informal letters quite easily.

But once you started working, and you had deadlines to meet, it was a hassle to write formal and informal letters. However, that isn’t a problem, use the advice listed above, and they should help you with your letter-writing.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

Writing a Formal Letter for Leave Application

Looking to write a formal letter for leave application? That’s not surprising. What is a Leave Application? Allowing for a…

May 19, 2022

When to Use a Formal Warning Letter

Are you wondering when to write a formal warning letter? What is a Formal Warning Letter? A warning letter is…

May 19, 2022

Writing a Subject Line in Formal Letters

Writing a subject in a formal letter is not as complex as you imagined. What is the Subject Line in…

May 19, 2022

Writing a Cover Letter for a Report

Are you looking to write a cover letter for formal report? You’re in luck — this article explores the detail.…

May 19, 2022

A Guide to Salutation of a Formal Letter

Salutation of a formal letter can exist in various forms. What Is a Salutation? A salutation is the greeting used…

May 19, 2022

Learn to Cite Formal Letter Enclosure

For people who send business letters on a regular basis, knowing how to cite a formal letter enclosure is essential.…

May 19, 2022