Letter Formats

What is Letter? Formal and Informal

Letters are the earliest form of long-distance communication. It is of two types- the informal letters and the formal letters. The informal letter is the one that you write to your friends, relatives, acquaintances, etc. while formal letters are the letters written to any person from an organization for a favour. With the arrival of mobile phones, internet, skype, email services, etc. the letter has lost the relevance. Informal letters are no longer a need. But still, formal letters find its use even today. Most of the organizations would like any message delivered formally in the form of an email or a letter. So, here we will discuss about the format, the types of letters and all the necessary details.

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Benefits of Letter

The advantage of a letter simply put is that letters are the formal medium of conversation. The general excepted norm to ask a favour is by letters. The advantage of a letter is that you can come straight to the subject. You don’t have to start with small talk. The letter itself will tell that you need a favour from the other person. No one writes a letter with a small talk, talk about unwanted things, or even exaggerate things or events. A letter will have only the essential details of the favour the person needs from the recipient.

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How to Write a Letter

A letter has some elements to be mentioned in a specified order. The elements are the address (from and to), the date, the subject, salutation, the body of the letter and the closing. It starts with the from-address where you mention your name and address and then comes the to-address where you mention the name of the person to whom you are writing the letter. It is followed by his/ her designation in the next line and the name of the company and the branch location in the next lines.

This is followed by the salutation and a one-line subject. Then the body of the letter starts with the opening part where you mention the reason why you are writing the letter. The second para of the body is the solution or the ways in which the recipient could help you out with the same. This is followed by a conclusion and then a complimentary closing that is usually “Yours sincerely/ faithfully”.

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There are many types of letters. The major two types are already discussed- formal and informal. As the informal letter is non-existent nowadays, let us focus on the types of formal letters. The types of formals letters depend on your requirement. It could be a letter to a bank manager, a letter to a police officer, a letter to the editor of a newspaper or a magazine, a letter for application of job, etc. The types of letters could be letter reporting a social nuisance or an issue to a newspaper editor to make awareness among people, a letter to the mayor or any higher authority asking for help for an issue faced by the people, letter for applying for a job, letter to a police officer making a complaint, letter to any personality inviting him/ her to be the guest of honour for a function, etc.

Where to get them

A letter to an authority is something that people will need on a daily basis. So, where to get them is never a problem. With the internet open up with a lot of resources, you could find tonnes of sites having sample letter for your needs. You can find samples for letter for application for a job, letter to the mayor, letter to the editor of a magazine, etc. All you need to do is search with the right words.


All the types of letters, the format, the elements to be included in a letter,where to get them, everything has been discussed here in the paragraph. All you need to do is to get the format right, get the pieces put together in their places. You can google the types of letters if you want any samples for your reference. You will observe the samples and the points given above and start writing a formal letter. The things you need to make sure are that you follow the format, you don’t miss any key elements, don’t beat around the bush and be polite throughout the letter.