The Presentation of the Letter
The presentation of the letter can be hand-written for less formal letters that are addressed to friends and family members, especially thank-you letters. In the case that you have illegible handwriting, you may want to consider typing the letters. Formal letters which are written on behalf of businesses to or professional contacts should remain typewritten and grammatical and spelling error free. These types of letters should be legible and professional and therefore typing the letter is one of the most effective ways to ensure that the letter demonstrates a professional appearance through the entire course of the letter, thereby creating a positive impression on the recipient of the letter.
As well as outward presentation, it is important to determine the tone which will be written in the letter, including a professional tone or a tone that will be taken with friends or family members in a more informal setting. Read through the letter once it has been completed to ensure that the tone remains the same. The tone can be adjusted based on the language which is used through the letter.
Parts of the Letter:
At the top of your letter, you will put your address, so the reader will know where to send their reply to.
Put the date on which the letter was written in the format Month Day Year i.e. June, 15, 2009.
The inside address is only required for a business letter and will include the address of the person you are writing to along with the name of the recipient, their title and company name. If you are not sure who the letter should be addressed to either leave it blank or try to put in a title, i.e. “Director of Human Resources”.
The greeting will address the individual that the letter is being sent to. This is usually completed in the form of “Dear Anne” or “Hey Anne”, for less formal letters.
The Introductory Paragraph
The first paragraph and will generally outline the purpose for the letter and the reason that the letter is being sent. This can address any issues that are outstanding and is used to set the tone for the entire rest of the letter. In this first paragraph, the summary of the letter can be found and the intentions which will be displayed through the rest of the letter should be outlined. From the first paragraph of the letter, the introductory paragraph, the individual should be able to note the tone of the letter.
The body of the letter will expand upon the introductory paragraph and the individual can extend their thoughts and feelings further when it comes to the letter. The body of the letter can be anywhere from multiple pages for personal letters, to one page or two pages for most business letters and other types of proposals.
In the closing of the letter, the individual will close the letter and finish any thoughts that have been mentioned. The closing of the letter comes in various forms from yours truly, for those individuals that are familiar with one another, to a traditional sincerely which is a versatile closing that can be used in a variety of letters detailing many situations.
|333, YY Road
June 29, 2009
The XXX Co. of India Ltd.
21, XXX Road
I shall be obliged if you will send me the following books by VPP at your earliest convenience:
1. The Morning of the World, by Graham Cooper – 2 copies
2. In Search of Peace, by Neil Richards – 3 copies
3. The Ape and You, by Brian Darwin – 1 copy
My dear Margaret,
Here it is summertime, and the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming and the bees making honey, and we haven’t been fishing yet. Well, there is only one more month till July, and then we will go, and no mistake. I thought you might write and tell me about the high water round Pittsburgh sometime ago, and whether it came up to where you live or not…
I would like very much to hear from you oftener; it has been more than a month now since you wrote. Write soon and tell me how you are, and when school will be out, for we want plenty of holidays in July, so we can have a good time. I am going to send you something nice the last day of this week. What do you guess it will be?
(This is a letter written by American short story writer O. Henry to his daughter Margaret.)
My dear Fanny,
I had a slight return of fever last night, which terminated favorably, and I am now tolerably well, though week from the small quantity of food to which I am obliged to confine myself: I am sure a mouse would starve upon it. Mrs. Wylie came yesterday. I have a very pleasant room for a sick person. A sofa bed is made up for me in the front parlor which looks on to the grass plot. How much more comfortable than a dull room upstairs, where one gets tired of the pattern of the bed curtains! Besides I see all that passes – for instance now, this morning – if I had been in my own room I should not have seen the coals brought in. On Sunday between the hours of twelve and one I descried a Pot boy. Then goes by a fellow with a wooden clock under his arm that strikes a hundred and more. Then comes the old French emigrant with his hands joined behind on his hips, and his face full of political schemes. Then passes Mr David Lewis, a very good natured, good-looking old gentleman, who has been very kind to Tom and George and me. As for those fellows the Brick makers they are always passing to and fro. I must not forget the two old maiden Ladies in Well Walk who have a Lap dog between them that they are very anxious about. It is a corpulent little beast whom it is necessary to coax along with an ivory-tipp’d cane. Carlo our neighbor Mrs. Brawn’s dog and it meet sometimes. Lappy thinks Carlo a devil of a fellow and so do his mistresses. You shall hear from me again the day after tomorrow.
This is a letter written by famous English poet John Keats to Fanny Brawne whom he wanted to marry but could not due to his illness.
XXX of yy
June 29, 2014
My dear Mummy and Daddy
Many thanks for your letter which arrived this morning. Sorry, I have not been writing as regularly as I should.
The fact is I have started cooking my own food here. It is much cheaper than the Hostel food and sometimes even better. There is a kitchenette next to my room. Breakfast – porridge, eggs and coffee – can be prepared in about 10 minutes and there is always some bread and cheese and fruit to go with it. Lunch takes about the same time. And the most it takes to prepare a good dinner is less than an hour. And part of the time you can be watching TV in the next room. So it is no trouble at all. Moreover, I have teamed up with a friend of mine, so we share the work, which makes it much easier.
Do send some recipes – for frying fish, cutlets and so on. We can get real good minced meat here and all the spices and very fine rice. So we can make anything we want.
There are lots of Indians at the International House this year. The latest to come is one from Bangalore who is working for his Doctorate in Geophysics. During the Xmas-New Year break we were invited by several Indian families here. So we went out and ate a lot. And we called all the Indian families over. I cooked Kheema for forty people. And it was perfectly edible. You don’t believe it? Well …
How is everybody at home? Ask Tina to write to me unless she is too busy cutting up corpses in the Medical College.
Your Affectionate son
|Formal Letters||Informal Letters|
|Formal letters follow fixed pattern of styles||Informal letters have varied patterns of styles|
|Formal letters are mostly used in working environments like offices||Informal letters have very limited usage in working environments|
|The language of the letter in formal letters is by and large impersonal or work related||The language of the letter in informal letters is by and large personal or related to social aspects|
|Formal letters can have informal tone whilst writing under certain circumstances||Informal letters do not have a formal tone as they are meant to express emotions and social communication|
|Informal words like ‘Gonna’, ‘Wanna’, ‘Dude’, ‘Bro’ etc. cannot be used in formal letters||Informal letters are not restricted in language. Slang words and non conventional terminology is acceptable in these letters|
|A lot of care is taken to write the appropriate Salutations in formal letters||2-3 types of salutations are acceptable for informal letters as there is not much need of formality|
|Length of the letter is very important and it shouldn’t be too long||Length of the informal letters varies depending upon the subject matter|
|Closing or Complimentary gestures vary in formal letters||Closing or Complimentary gestures don’t vary as much in informal letters|
|Letter Head is a conventional practice in formal letters||Letter Head is not a conventional practice in informal letters|
Letters can also be categorised as per their purposes. Since most of the letters are written for academic, business, personal and reference purposes they can be categorised in a similar manner
The most common purposes for which letters are written divide them into:
- Academic Letters – Letters concerned with academic affairs of various academic institutions or pertaining to academics under various capacities are known as academic letters.
Some of the types of academic letters
- Announcement Letter
- Application Letter
- Leave Letter
- Recommendation Letter
- Business Letters – Letters written for purpose related to business and its’ relative processes are known as business letters.
Some of the types of business letters
- Acceptance Letter
- Acknowledgement Letter
- Adjustment Letter
- Request Letter
- Resolution Letter
- Sales Letter
- Personal Letters – Letters written for sharing personal information, views, opinions etc. are known as personal letters. They are akin to Informal Letters.
Some of the types of personal letters
- Cancellation Letter
- Condolence Letter
- Farewell Letter
- Friendly Letter
- Get Well Letter
- Holiday Letter
- Love Letter
- Reference Letters – Letters written by an authoritative person for an acquaintance, to introduce the acquaintance to the concerned for employment, admission and/or other objectives. These letters are similar to formal letters.
Some of the types of reference letters
- Adoption Reference Letter
- Business Reference Letter
- Character Reference Letter
- Employer Reference Letter / Job Reference Letter
- Scholarship Reference Letter
- Teacher Reference Letter
There are many types of letter writing but most of the english grammar letter writing deals with the following given categories:-
Informal Letter Writing
These types of letter are written to relatives or friends. These can also include invitations etc. Such kinds of letter are also known as Personal or Social Letters.
Business Letter Writing
These letters are used as a communicative tool in the business and are usually written by the traders, firms and companies etc for business purposes. These kind of letter fall under the category of formal letters.
Official Letter Writing
These include letter of application, letter to government officials and letter to Newspapers etc. These letters are used for the official communication of the information from one department to another. Ex:- Termination letter, Recommendation letter, Reference letter, job letter etc
Irrespective of the type of letter there is certain matter of forms which are applicable all and have to be taken care of while writing any kind of letter to make it impressive and purposeful.
Letter Writing Rules
Main six Points that has to be taken care of while writing a letter are:-
- The Salutation or Courteous Greetings
- The Body of the letter -Communication or the Message-.
- The Subscription -Courteous Leave-taking, or Conclusion-.
- The Signature -Name of the writer-
- The Address
1. Heading of a letter basically consists of Two Parts:
- address of the writer followed by
- the date on which the letter was written by him.
Heading can be written on the Right or Left (keep on changing with time-presently we follow the convention of writing Heading in the left corner) corner of the first page of the letter.
Examples of a Heading are:-
|63, Geeta Colony
June 12, 2010
12th June, 2010
2. The Salutation in the letter will depend upon the depth of relationship of the writer with the person to whom the letter is being written thus vary from letter to letter.
Salutation is written at the left hand of the page, at a lower level the Heading. The first and last word of the salutation are always started in Capital Alphabets.
|Examples of the Salutation are:|
|In Informal Letters
To Blood Relations
My dear Father,
My dear Mother,
My dear Kavita,
My dear Ajay,
Note: – Dear Friend or My dear Friend is never used as Salutations
|In Business Letters
|In Official Letters
3. The Body itself is considered as the life of the letter and the style in which it is written will depend upon the kind of letter one wishes to write. Like, the style of the letter to be written to a friend will be entirely different from the style of the letter to be written to an official and so on. But few points that one has to keep in mind irrespective of the style while writing the body of the letter are:-
- Divide the letter into paragraphs, to mark changes of subject-matter etc.
- Use simple and direct language in short sentences. It will make the message clear and to the point
- Always try to be complete. For this think out what you want to say before the beginning of writing of letter; and put down all the point in logical manner.
- Write neatly to avoid inconvenience to the reader because of your bad penmanship.
- Take care of the punctuation and be consistent with it. Incorrect punctuation may alter the whole meaning of the sentence.
Besides letter can be make impressive to leave an indelible mark on the reader we can use following given starting and ending to the various kind of letters:-
|Informal Letter Writing Format|
I got your letter yesterday.
I am in receipt of your letter.
I am glad to receive your letter.
It gives me pleasure to inform you.
It is long since I heard from you.
I cannot understand your long silence.
It has made me very anxious.
I am sorry I could not write to you earlier.
With Kind regards,
With best wishes,
Convey my best regard to your dear parents,
With love to your brother and sister,
Well, good bye for now,
Hoping to hear from you very soon,
With love from all of us.
With sincere sympathy in your distress
Wishing you still better luck.
Please remember me to all at home
|Business Letter Writing Format|
I shall be obliged, if you kindly…
I shall be glad, if you send me…
Would you be kind enough to send me the following articles…
May I draw your kind attention to…
Thanking you in anticipation,
Hoping to be favoured with an early reply.
|Official Letter and Applications Writing Format|
I beg to submit…
I beg to state…
I have the honour to report…
I have the honour, to bring to your kind notice…
With reference to your advertisement in the ‘Times of India’…
4. The Subscription of the letter ie the end should be according to the staring of the letter. A letter must not end abruptly as this would look rude. So certain forms of polite leave taking are prescribed That should be written after the last words of the letter on the left hand side corner of the lines after the body. It should start with a Capital letter and end with a comma. Some examples of the subscription of the letter of various kinds are:-
- To Blood Relations: Yours affectionately,
- To Friends: Yours Sincerely,
- To Principal/Headmaster/Teacher etc: Yours Obediently,
- To Officials/Businessmen: Yours faithfully,
- To Strangers: Yours truly,
Note:- Never use apostrophe(‘) with yours in the subscription.
5. The Signature of the writer of the letter should be below the subscription. In a letter to the stranger, the signature should be clearly written so that he could know whom to address in reply.
Note:-A women should prefix to the name Miss or Mrs. or Ms in brackets before her name like
(Miss) Preetinder Kaur
6. The Address is written on the envelop of the post card very clearly with pin code.
- Always proofread your letter after writing it, check for sentence structure, grammar, spelling mistakes…
- Proofread your letter again (and again) after you have revised it.
- Keep the recipient in mind, and write in a way that he/she can easily understand the letter.
- Don’t use abbreviated dates, e.g. use November 19, 2004, and not 11/19/04
- Be respectful when you write, even if you are writing a letter of complaint.
- Business letter writing tips
- Be concise and keep to the point, but don’t leave out any important information.
- Try to keep your letter short enough so that it fits on one page.
- If your letter is more than a page long, use another page, don’t use the back of the page.
- If you have access to company (or personal) stationary with a letterhead on it, use that instead of regular paper.
12th March 2012
Dave Couriers Inc.
Plymouth, 60 Paraite Road
+64 6 755 1120
Rotorua, Sala Street
+64 7 850 2011
Dear Matt Nicklson
I take this opportunity to inform you that our firm ‘Dave Couriers Inc.’ has moved to a new location.
Our New Address is :
Dave Couriers Inc.
Plymouth, 60 Paraite Road
+64 6 755 1120
Our Old Address was:
Dave Couriers Inc.
Level 22, Cranberry House,
157 Lambton Quay
Please take not of it and if necessary strike out the old one, so that you remember. In any case the one mentioned at the topmost will remind you of our new address. I request you to forward all correspondence to this address with immediate effect.
Our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience caused to you.
Request Letter is a letter which is written when you need certain information, permission, favour, service or any other matter which requires a polite and humble request.
A requesting letter is written for various purposes, these purposes can be related to:
- Banking purposes
Certain examples of Request:
- A fresh graduate needs to request a job interview
- Aan employee wants to request a promotion
- Aa student might need to request for information from a college or university
A request is often found in various other types of letters . An announcement letter is a request letter when it requires your presence for a certain event. Invitation letters and persuasive letters are also types of requests . A cover letter is also a type of request as it is asking to be considered for a post or asking for information about a job. Similarly a cancellation letter , maternity leave letter , friendly letter , love letter, petition letter etc. have requesting tones .
Request letter can be formal or informal in writing. A formal request letter is written in a formal writing style, complete with your full details, and the full details of the recipient. A time comes when we all need to ask about something from someone and if we know how to do that then we can easily accomplish what we intend to. Depending upon the objective or motive request letters can be lengthy or short. But they are always specific and direct in their approach. One of the importances of a request letter is that it reduces the pressure on the recipient and saves the sender from embarrassment. The recipient gets enough time to work out his answer and the sender can take a written ‘No’ easily than a verbal one. In fact it works both ways for both the recipient and the sender.
Vacation Request Letter
Mr. Jack Caines
Sparta Sports Ltd.
110 First Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21200
Subject – Request for Vacation
Respected Sir ,
I would request you to grant me leave from 21 st March to 29 th March, 2012. I require leave on the mentioned dates as I am looking forward to go on a vacation. I have not availed any leaves for the past 6 months. I do not have any work pending from my side and will hand over my responsibilities to the concerned colleague/authority to handle, in my absence.
I once again request you to sanction the leave.
Yours Sincerely ,
Payment Request Letter
Cambridge CB3 9DR
1 st March 2012
Mr. Douglas Davis
Blue Jay High School
15 Main St.
Cambridge CB2 1TL
Ref : Outstanding Invoice #321
Dear Mr. Davis :
Our records show that you have an outstanding balance dating back to November, 2011-. Your January invoice was for $500.00 and we have yet to receive this payment. Please find a copy of the invoice enclosed.
If this amount has already been paid, please disregard this notice. Otherwise, please forward us the amount owed in full by March 21st, 2012. As our contract indicates, we begin charging 5% interest for any outstanding balances after 30 days.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We hope to continue doing business with you in the future.
Enclosure : Invoice #321
Failing to personalize:
Avoid saying, “Dear Sir or Madam” and take the initiative to find out the appropriate contact name.
Starting off weak:
Your opening paragraph should capture the reader’s attention. So, rather than simply saying, “I am applying for the receptionist position posted at AnytownPaper.com,” follow up with, “Your need for an experienced professional is a good match for my five years of experience in publishing and extensive background as a receptionist. “If you’ve been referred to the hiring manager, be sure to point out the mutual contact in your lead. This may encourage the person to read further.
Making it too short/long:
E-mailed cover letters should be included within the body of the e-mail and be limited to two paragraphs, while those faxed or mailed should be three to five paragraphs.
Don’t send the same cover letter to all companies. Take the time to do some basic research of prospective employers so you can customize them.
Rehashing the resume:
Instead, focus on aspects of your background that relate directly to the job opportunity and note any relevant accomplishments, training, classes or certifications. The cover letter also allows you to explain anything that might be unclear or questionable on your resume, such as a gap in employment or change in career paths.
Underselling your talents:
Give hiring managers a compelling reason to call you in for an interview. Instead of saying you have strong communication skills, provide examples: “I recently led a training session on a new database application and received significant praise for my ability to relay complex information to a non-tech-oriented audience.”
Trying to be witty or humorous:
This can backfire, so it’s best to stick with a business letter format, even with e-mailed cover letters. A professional yet conversational tone and salutations such as “Mr.” and “Ms.” will help you be taken seriously.
Focusing too much on yourself:
While you want to sell your qualifications, don’t forget to explain how you would add value to the company. If your cover letter is dominated with “I,” chances are you need to focus more of your content on the prospective employer.
Omitting contact information:
It’s easy for cover letters and resumes to become separated, so make sure hiring managers can reach you should they only have your cover letter. Close your letter by mentioning that you’ll call the individual soon to follow up and include a current phone number and e-mail address where you can be reached should the person want to contact you first.
Failing to proofread:
As qualified as you may be for the opening, you’re likely to fall out of contention if your cover letter is full of typos, misspellings and grammatical errors.
Writing too much
Donot write toomuch as if you are writing your autobiography.One page is quite enough if it contains all the details needed.