Letter writing is the main means of communication being used during the ancient period. It is important back then to have a reliable messenger or message carrier who would send the letter to the person it is intended for and then back to the person who sent it to confirm its receipt and hand in the reply of the other person. Imagine the struggle a messenger has to go through just to be able to deliver the letters.
As time passed, people have found ways to make sending and receiving letters easier and faster. The process of writing and sending letters has evolved from the messengers used during ancient times, to sending letters through post and presently by sending emails via the Internet. Even with the technological advancement that we are experiencing now, we still write letters. A lot of people still prefer writing letters.
Letter writing has not come to an end and is nowhere near getting extinct. For some reason, it is still being used in a lot of industries and companies when making business letters or marketing proposals. Individuals also still make application letters to help them apply for a job. In this article are letter samples in different varieties that you can view and download to help you with writing your own letter. Also discussed are the basics that you need to know about letters.
There are seven different parts of a letter, namely the heading, date, address, salutation, body, complimentary close, and the signature. Each part is equally important and must be present at all times in a letter. Having knowledge about the different parts of a letter will help you write different kinds of letters easily.
The heading in a letter is usually positioned on top of the letter bearing the company or entity’s name address and contact information. It is very important that the sender’s name and contact details be added in the heading. A lot of companies use their own company heading or logo in every letter that they make. Some individuals also use headings in their letters, but some prefer not to.
The date that should be written in a letter is the date when it will be sent and not necessarily the date when it was written. In writing the date in a letter, the full name of the month should be used and the year should have all four digits in it. The format used usually starts with the month, followed by the day, and then the year.
This refers to the address of the person to whom the letter will be sent to. The address part includes the name of the person, their designation, the name of the company they work in (if it is a company-related letter), the address of the company, and their contact details. Below is an example.
Mrs. Jane Doe, Marketing Director
456 Huntington Street, Newark, NJ 07101
The most common salutation or greeting that you can see in a letter, regardless if it is a business letter or a thank-you letter, starts with “Dear.” However, this is only used if you know the name of the person to whom you are writing to or if you know their designation. You can say, “Dear Mrs. Doe” or “Dear Marketing Director.” If in case you do not know the name of the person to whom you are sending the letter, you can use “To Whom It May Concern” punctuated with a colon at the end and not a comma. This is how you would usually write in a job application letter if the name of the person to be addressed is not indicated in the vacant post.
The body of the letter is the longest part of the letter which consists of three parts, namely, the introduction paragraph, the main content paragraph, and the summary paragraph. The body of the letter makes up a huge part of your letter as this is where you will be telling a lot of things to the recipient depending on the purpose of your letter.
In a letter, it is a short phrase equivalent to saying goodbye. When you are done with the summary and you need to end your letter, it is a must that you add a complimentary close. Examples would be, “Sincerely yours” and “Yours truly.” The complimentary close you will be using in your letter would depend on what kind of letter you are writing. If it is a formal letter, it is a must that you use a formal complimentary close just like the samples provided above. If it is a personal or informal letter, you can use friendly greetings or phrases, like “Best regards” and “Hugs, kisses, and all the best wishes.”
Written letters have the signature of the sender on top of their printed names. This is a must in formal letters. Letters that are sent via email, the complete name of the sender would be sufficient, but with the advancement of technology, actual signatures can now be added in emails or digital documents with the use of a digital pen.
Now that you know about the seven different parts of a letter, it is just the right time that you learn about the different types of letters and their uses. Honestly, there are many different types of letters and to enumerate all of them would seem to be an endless case. So what we are going to share with you are the commonly used types of letters.
Writing a letter is only difficult at first and even more difficult if you do not have basic knowledge about letter writing. Practice makes perfect, and if you constantly practice writing letters—any type of letter—you will definitely become good at it and soon write wonderful letters. For starters, here are easy to follow steps to help you write a letter.
There are many different types of letters that you can write. If you just want to practice, then you can practice writing thank-you letters as they are one of the easiest letters to write. Even little children who have just started to learn writing on paper can make them. If you already know what kind of letter you want to write, then focus on that type of letter. Gather samples that can help you or where you can get ideas on what to put in your letter.
Information like the address of the recipient is very important. If you do not know it, then you will need to ask someone who does or ask the recipient himself. If it’s a formal letter you are trying to write, then you will need the name of the recipient, their position or designation, their address, and contact details.
Deciding what to use in writing your letter is essential. This is because not all types of paper are acceptable. For example, a friendly letter can be written using ordinary sheets or stationery, but this is not acceptable when writing formal letters. One should be mindful of this as it matters a lot to the person who will be receiving it.
Your letter should have all of the seven parts of the letter. This makes a complete letter and you are sure to make one that is effective and useful. If you are not sure yet, try writing one on a scratch paper and revsie or change it as you please or until you are satisfied.
There are recommended layouts and formatting for different kinds of letter, and it is a must that they should be followed. Doing this will make the recipient of your letter feel important and will also give your letter a professional feel to it.
You don’t want to get embarrassed because of the wrong spelling and the grammar error in your letter just because you did not make sure to check it. Spelling and grammatical errors are a big no-no, especially in a formal letter. In case of an application letter, it is considered a total failure. You definitely won’t like that.
Once you are done proofreading and if you are satisfied with your work, fold it neatly and put it in a clean envelope with the recipient’s address clearly written on it. Bring it to the nearest post office and have it sent. You will then have the feeling of ultimate success.