Communication comes in many forms: through conversations, sign language, symbols, gestures, and so on. Almost everything that we do and encounter communicates with us. Writing letters has become one of the most prevalent and indispensable forms of communication known to humankind. And it has become a crucial skill of any adult who works in formal settings.
There are many types of letters. They can be classified under two general types of letters: the informal and the formal type. They differ in many aspects, most notably the formality of language used and the information needed in either. The one that has left many people scratching their head would be the formal type. Its daunting nature, however, can be easily overcome through study. Check out our free downloadable Sample Letters to find out more.
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Parts of a Letter
The informal (also known as personal) letter and the formal (or business) letter, although very different, share the same basic parts:
- Heading. Includes your address, contact information, and the date.
- Greeting or Salutation. Addresses the recipient with “Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs./Mx./Sir/Ma’am [Name]” followed by a comma (informal) or colon (formal).
- Body. This is where you state why you are writing the letter.
- Closing or Complimentary close. A brief, polite remark to end your letter. Examples include “Respectfully yours,” “Sincerely yours,” or “Yours truly” followed by a comma.
- Signature. Your name with your signature.
Business letters are rather formal in the use of language as it is also somewhat meant to gauge your educational attainment. There are many types of business letters, the most common of which would be application letters, resignation letters, and business proposal letters. Some other kinds of formal letters include the Sample Letters of Reference and Sample Letters of Employment Verification, which you can download for free in Word (.doc) formats.
- Job Application Cover Letter. Lets you explain your skills and experiences that would make you perfect for a job. Check out our 9+ Sample Cover Letter for Job to know more.
- Letter of Resignation. Written for when you want to notify your employers that you want to leave your job while also leaving a positive note. Visit our 8+ Sample Job Resignation Letters and use them as your guide.
- Business Proposal Letter. To inform other companies of your services and what you can offer them.
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It is necessary that your letters are well written because in many instances, you’re writing a letter since you are in need of something that only the recipient(s) can fulfill. In which case, you have to convince them only through writing, and if your letter is subpar, you may not get what you need. Sometimes, letters are your only way to introduce and “sell” yourself. To make sure your letters are excellent, follow these tips:
- be clear in your intentions and write plainly, with an easy-to-understand language;
- avoid crass language;
- make sure you have all the information needed before writing;
- in cases when you must write about grievances, like a complaint letter, maintain a respectful tone; and
- avoid mistakes in grammar and spelling, but most importantly your facts.
Download our sample letter templates for free and use them as your guide in writing letters. Our sample letters in Word (.doc) format cover many kinds of business letters for different types of purposes. Check out our Sample Letters of Recommendations for more.
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