Writing a letter is one of the oldest forms of communication that while technology has made most things automated these days, a lot of people still turn to it to send different messages to different people, whether it’s personal or for business.

  1. The basics of writing a letter

Here are some of the basic parts of a typical formal letter:

  • On the upper left-hand corner of the paper, place your full name, street address, city, state and zip code. Below that, skip a line and put the date.

  • Skip another line and place the recipient’s name and title, company name and full mailing address.

  • Skip another line and place the greeting or salutation. Depending on the type of letter that you’re writing, you can either use the generic salutations like “To whom it may concern:” or personalized greetings like “Dear Ms. Smith:.” Remember that salutations for formal letters should have a colon but informal letters should use a comma.

  • After skipping another line, you can begin the body of the letter. To make sure that your recipient understands your letter, it’s best to separate each new thought or idea into a new paragraph. Never write one long paragraph of text because it will only make your letter hard to digest.

  • Skip one line after the body of the letter and write a complimentary close. Depending on who you’re writing the letter to, you can choose from different closings like “Your truly,” “Sincerely yours,” or “With regards.” All closing statements should end with a comma.

  • Skip three lines to give space for your handwritten signature and place your full name and title if needed.

  • If you’re including some attachments with your letter, you can skip another line and put “Enclosure” and the number of attachments to let your recipient know that you’ve included additional documents in the letter.

  1. The different types of letters

Now that you know the basic steps in writing a letter, let’s get to know the different types of letters:

Business letters

Being a professional form of communication, business letters should follow the formal type of writing with proper salutations and punctuations. Business letters should also be written in a professional tone.

Employee letters

Although emails are now used more often as a form of correspondence within offices, more serious concerns call for a formal employee letter including an apology or an explanation. You’d also want to use a more professional tone and format with this type of letter.

Informal letters

This type of letter can be written to family, friends, colleagues and other people who you don’t do business with. Written in a less formal and more relaxed tone, informal letters can talk about anything, from simple congratulations to discussions about personal things.

Informational letters

The most common type of informational letter is a name change announcement where you would want to let people know that you changed your maiden name after you got married. You can also use informational letters to inform people of other changes in your personal or business life including a new address or office location.

Job search letters

These letters involve anything that has to do with looking for a job or hiring someone if you’re the employer. They should be written in a formal manner and the body needs to contain all the information needed for the purpose of that letter. The most common types of job search letters include application letters, networking letters, job application letters, inquiry letters and cover letters.

Thank you letters

Appreciation, thank you and congratulatory letters are a way to show your gratitude to someone who helped you in one way or another. It could also be a form of informational letter where you congratulate someone of a promotion. Thank you letters are written in a less formal manner although proper formats still need to be followed.

Resignation or retirement letters

It’s part of proper business etiquette to inform your employer if you wish to resign from your job. This is when you should write a formal resignation letter stating your reason for leaving, the date when your resignation will take effect and some words of thanks to your employer for the opportunity to work in the company.

On the other hand, a retirement letter is simply one that you can send to an employer, some clients and your colleagues to let them know that you’re retiring from the job.

  1. Postscripts and envelopes

If you’re wondering what P.S. means in letter writing, it simply stands for postscript and it’s a way to add some information after you’ve already written the letter.

As a general rule, you should not add postscripts to formal letters to follow proper formats. If you need to make changes, you should revise the entire document with the new information.

When sending a letter, you have to know that 3.5 ounces is the maximum weight for a first-class letter in the United States. You should also use a rectangular envelope that measures approximately 6×11 inches. Anything heavier or bigger may be flagged by the post office and returned to you.

  1. Sending a letter

If you’re ready to send your letter, you should put the right information on the envelope to make sure it gets to the right recipient. Write your name and address or attach a mailing label at the upper left-hand corner of the envelope.

On the center, write the name and address of your recipient. If you’re sending the letter internationally, you need to include the country from both the destination and return address. Make sure that all the information is correct on the outside of the envelope before folding your letter and sealing it.

The takeaway 

Writing letter will never go out of style. Whether you’re doing it for business, for a job or for a loved one, it’s very important to make sure that your letters are written well and they follow proper formats so you can get the right message across to your recipients.

How do I write a handwritten letter?

The Art of a Handwritten Letter
  1. Write the date.
  2. Start with an opening salutation.
  3. Write the body of the letter, switching periodically from telling the recipient about your life to asking the recipient about his or her life.
  4. End with a closing.
  5. Sign your name.
  6. Add a postscript if necessary.

What is a good way to start a letter?

For a letter that is more casual in tone, consider beginning it with “Hi, [name]” or “Hello, [name].” This greeting is appropriate for a friend or relative, but don’t begin a business letter this way; it’s a bit too casual. Write a more personal greeting for someone with whom you are intimate, or want to be.

What is formal letter example?

Formal Letter: A formal letter is one written in an orderly and conventional language and follows a specific stipulated format. An example of a formal letter is writing a resignation letter to the manager of the company, stating the reason for resignation in the same letter.

What is standard letter format?

The most common layout of a business letter is known as block format. Using this format, the entire letter is left justified and single spaced except for a double space between paragraphs. Modified Block. Another widely utilized format is known as modified block format.

What are the 3 types of letter?

What are the 3 types of letter?
  • Formal Letters.
  • Informal Letters.
  • Semi-formal Letters.

How report is written?

Essentially, a report is a short, sharp, concise document which is written for a particular purpose and audience. It generally sets outs and analyses a situation or problem, often making recommendations for future action. It is a factual paper, and needs to be clear and well-structured.

What is block letters example?

When referring to typing or writing, block letters refers to writing or typing that is printed and not written in cursive or with any joined letters. The picture is an example of block letters compared to cursive letters.

What is full block letter format?

Full block format is used for formal business letters. This format is. characterized by the fact that every line starts at the left margin. None of. the lines of type are centered, or on the right.

How do you write blocks?

In block format, the entire text is left aligned and single spaced. The exception to the single spacing is a double space between paragraphs (instead of indents for paragraphs).

How do you type in block letters?

To begin, open a new Word document. Click on the “Insert” menu and choose “Word Art.” Select the basic outlined letter style, which works perfectly for block letters that can be cut out by hand.

What is block letters name?

(also block capitals) a style of writing in which each letter of a word is written separately and clearly using the capital letters of the alphabet: Please print your name and address in block letters. More examples.

What is a simplified letter style?

Simplifiedstyle business letters contain all the same elements as the full-block and semi-block letters. Letters written in the simplified format have fewer internal sections, such as the body, salutation and date line.

What is the difference between block letters and capital letters?

Strictly speaking, “block letters” just means to write with the letters all separated (that is, it’s the opposite of cursive). Writing in all-caps is called “block capitals“, though these days “block letters” is becoming a synonym of it.

What is block capital example?

a style of writing in which each letter of a word is written separately and clearly using the capital letters of the alphabet: The letters were hand-written in block capitals. His attention was drawn to a red circle which had been drawn in the Business Section with the name JUDAS scrawled in large block capitals.

Does print mean capital letters?

PRINT NAME is simply defined as writing your name in CAPITAL LETTERS! Unlike Signatures that are mostly written in cursive or scribbles, thus making them hard to read, PRINT NAME simply demands that you write very clearly and without connecting the letters, So your writing looks like Printed Text!

Are block letters always capital?

Block letters are disconnected letters written to look like printed type (usually, but not always, uppercase). This is in opposition to letters that are connected in a curvy style that is often called cursive.