How to Write a Letter: Letter Writing Types and Examples

12 minute read
How to Write a Letter

Whether for an exam or important communication on the professional front, letter writing is both scoring as well as a paramount need in your everyday life. A letter of recommendation a resignation letter or even a relieving letter – all three require good letter-writing skills! Sometimes, writing a simple, informal letter can also be confusing. There can never be sufficient information on how to write the perfect letter along with the right font, spacing, and formatting! So here is a step-by-step guide to help you write or improve your letter-writing skills, for any important day or exam of your life.

What is Letter Writing?

A letter is a type of written communication that can be written by hand or printed on paper. Although it is not required, it is frequently conveyed to the receiver via mail or post in an envelope. A letter, or a written discussion between two parties, is any such message that is sent through the mail.

The art of letter writing has taken a backseat now that E-mails (Advantages and Disadvantages), SMS, and other means of communication have become the norm. However, letters are still used for a lot of our communication, especially official communication. Letters are still a crucial means of communication, whether it’s a cover letter for a job, a bank reminder, or a college acceptance letter. This is why we must understand the nuances of letter writing.

Also Read: Letter of Explanation

Why is it Important to Know How to Write a Letter?

Everyone needs to know how to write a letter, whether it’s for professional or personal reasons. These letters may be short, informal emails at times. They’ll be well-polished for corporate correspondence at other times. Today, printed letters are commonly used for professional or commercial communications, therefore knowing how to compose a letter for professional purposes is essential. It’s especially vital to write a letter appropriately if you’re sending a printed copy to the recipient rather than an email.

Also Read: How to Write a Motivation Letter with Examples & Samples

How to Write a Letter?: Step-by-Step Guide

The following are the general guidelines for writing a letter:

Choose the Right Type of Paper

You should type and print your letter on plain white paper. You may wish to print on nice resume paper depending on the circumstances for example if you’re sending a letter of reference or a cover letter with your resume. If you’re writing a business letter on behalf of your company, it’s a good idea to use company letterhead.

Use the Font and Format

Your letter should be typed and printed on plain white paper. Depending on the circumstances—for example, if you’re sending a letter of reference or a cover letter with your resume—you might want to print on excellent resume paper. It’s a good idea to utilize company letterhead when sending a business letter on behalf of your company.

Write Sender’s Address 

To begin, write your complete address in the upper left-hand corner, including your entire name, street address, city, state, and zip code. Learn how to write an address properly if you’re not comfortable with it.

Specify Dateline 

Specify the date by skipping a line. Use the date you’re writing the letter.

Come to Recipient’s address 

Place the recipient’s entire address after skipping a line. The firm name, the recipient’s name and title, and the postal address must all be included in a professional letter. There’s no reason to mention the firm name or job position in an informal, personal letter.

Insert Greeting/Salutation 

To put the welcome, skip one more line. This is referred to as salutation. In a formal letter, you say “Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. Last Name:” After the greeting, formal letters require a colon, whereas informal ones demand a comma. It’s acceptable to use the recipient’s first name followed by a comma in an informal letter.

Body of Letter  

Start the letter by skipping a line. Separate your thoughts into paragraphs in the body of your letter. You should never write a large block of text in one sitting. Begin a new paragraph for each new collection of thoughts or ideas. Between paragraphs, leave a blank line.

Include Complimentary Close 

To incorporate a complimentary close, skip one of your final lines. “Sincerely,” “Yours truly,” “Regards,” or something similar can be used as a closure. Whether the letter is official or casual, a comma should always follow the word or phrase you choose to close it.

Signature Text 

Skip three lines (where your handwritten signature will be inserted) and input your entire name. On the next line of a formal letter, you should also add your job title.


Skip one more line and type “Enclosure” if you’re including any attachments with your letter. If there are multiple attachments, use parentheses to indicate how many there are, as in “Enclosures (4).”

Also Read: How to Write a Letter of Resignation

Types of Letter

Here are the different types of letters:

  • Chain letter
  • Letters patent
  • Audio letter
  • Cover letter
  • Recommendation Letter and the closely related employment reference letter
  • Letter of credence
  • Crossed letter
  • Informal letter
  • Poison pen letter
  • Hate mail
  • Business letter
  • Form letter
  • Letter of intent
  • Hybrid mail (semi-electronic delivery)
  • Letter of thanks
  • Dear John letter
  • Love letter
  • Letter of interest
  • Cease and desist letter
  • Complaint letter
  • Query letter
  • Letter of resignation
  • Letter to the editor
  • National Letter of Intent
  • Open letter
  • Letter of introduction
  • Letter of marque
  • Epistle

What Type of Letter Should You Write?

In this game, there are no hard and fast rules. You’ll want to employ a different letter-writing structure depending on who you’re writing to. The greatest choice is usually a casual discussion with a friend or close relative. Many different types of letters can be written for a close family or acquaintance. Here are a few examples:

  • Handwritten letters
  • Emailed letters
  • Typed social media messages

In this game, there are no hard and fast rules. You’ll want to employ a different letter-writing structure depending on who you’re writing to. The greatest choice is usually a casual discussion with a friend or close relative. Many different types of letters can be written for a close family or acquaintance. Here are a few examples:

  • Cover letters
  • Letters of intent
  • Value proposition letters
  • Business memorandum letters
  • Promotion letters
  • Reference letters
  • Resignation letters
  • Thank-you letters

Also Read: Reference Letter vs Letter of Recommendation

What is a Formal and Informal Letter?

Let us have a look at some significant differences between formal and informal types of letters: 

It is written for professional or business purposesIt is usually drafted for personal purposes
A completely formal writing tone is used A casual and emotional writing style is common in this type of letter-writing
It should be precise and to the pointInformal letters can be lengthy
Examples– Clients, College or Institute Examples– Relatives or Friends

Types of Letter Writing

Let us talk about the different types of Letter Writing in a broader spectrum of formal and informal letters. Let us check some of the types of letter writing other than formal and informal letters:

  • Business Letter: This letter is written for business purposes and contains information like quotations, orders, claims, complaints, letters for collection, etc. These letters are extremely formal and follow a proper structure
  • Official Letter: This letter is written to inform offices, branches, and subordinates. These are for official information like rules, regulations, events, procedures, etc
  • Social Letter: A social letter is a personal letter written on the occasion of a special event. This includes invitations, congratulatory letters, condolence letters, etc
  • Circular Letter: A circular letter announces information to a large number of people. The letter is circulated to a large group to share information on change of address, change in management, the retirement of a partner etc.
  • Employment Letter: It is the type of letter that is written for the employment process like a joining letter, promotion letter, application letter, etc

Must Read: How to Write a Joining Letter?

Formal Letter Writing

While writing a formal letter, it is mandatory to stick to the format and follow a subtle and professional tone as these letters are written for official purposes and contain a professional issue to talk about. Following is a format of formal letter writing: 

  • Sender’s Address: Mention the complete and accurate sender’s address in the top left section.
  • Date: It is mandatory to put in the date just below the address.
  • Reciever’s Address: The appropriate address of the receiver has to be mentioned in a similar order to the sender’s with the exact designation of the concerned person.
  • Subject: The subject is a one-line summary of the issue that is mentioned in the letter. It should be written very briefly within one line.
  • Greetings: Keeping in mind that it is a formal letter, the salutation must be formal and respectful. You can use Sir or Madam in this case. 
  • Letter Body: It is the most important part of the letter. You can divide the content into two or three paragraphs as per the details. It should be formal and to the point.
  • Signature: While closing the letter, you can use ‘Yours Faithfully’ and then mention your name at the end. 

Also Read: Formal Letter Format, Types, Samples, and Writing Tips

Write a Letter to the Editor

To clear all your letter-writing doubts, given below is a sample of how to craft an impeccable formal letter to the editor: 

Letter to the Editor

Application for Leave in Office

Here is a sample Leave Letter for working professionals:

Leave Letter in Office

Also Read: Leave Application Format for Office, School & College

Exploring Letter Writing for English? Don’t forget to go through Message Writing: Examples, Format & Samples

Source: SAZ education on YT

Informal Letter Writing

As such, there is no strict format for writing an informal letter but it is advised to follow the usual pattern. As mentioned above, an informal letter is written to friends, relatives, classmates, etc. If you want to learn and score well in your English exam, here is a general pattern of informal letter writing that you can follow:

  • Address: Begin the letter by writing your address on the left-hand side of the sheet. It is mandatory to mention the address so that the receiver can reply and it is written on the top left.
  • Date: Immediately after the address, the date has to be written. It is compulsory to write and it should be in an expanded format.
  • Salutation: Be it informal or formal letter writing, you should greet the person you are writing the letter to. For example, if you are writing a letter to your friend then, you can use ‘Dear Kaysha’
  • First Paragraph: Since it is the introductory paragraph, you can start by asking about their well-being in a lighter and casual tone.
  • Second Paragraph: This is the main body where you can state your affairs. You can use a friendly tone for friends but if you are writing to an elderly relative, the tone should be polite and subtle.
  • Third Paragraph: It is the last paragraph where you have to summarise the message you want to convey through the letter. Conclude it with a goodbye message followed by a short statement mentioning that you await the reply.
  • Signature: While signing off, you can use a phrase like Best, Kindly, Lots of Love, etc.


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Write a Letter to your Friend

Here is a sample for a letter to a friend:

Letter to a Friend

Know All About Acing English for Competitive Exams!

Tips on How to Write a Letter

A well-written letter can ensure that you pass the right information to people. For every letter, the method changes. But there are a few things you must know about:

  • You must identify the type of letter you are writing
  • Ensure that the letter has a proper introduction and conclusion
  • Establish the intent of the letter
  • Be conscious of the language you use. It changes as per the type of letter you write
  • The length of the letter should be optimal. Not too long for the reader to get bored or too short that you are unable to share the information itself

Sending a Letter

The most difficult portion is over once you’ve determined that the envelope is the correct type. Now all you have to do is mail it. (You can always deliver it yourself if it’s a personal letter.) Simply write the intended recipient’s name on the outside of the envelope in this scenario. Write your name and address in the top left-hand corner or use a mailing label. Carefully write the recipient’s address in the centre of the envelope. International letters should include the country for both the destination and return address, in addition to the state abbreviation and zip code. The cost of postage varies. For current pricing, see the USPS website, or use a forever stamp for US destinations. 

Make sure everything on the outside of the envelope is right. If that’s the case, fold your letter and neatly insert it inside. Seal it only after you’ve double-checked that you’ve included all of the pages you want to send. Isn’t it satisfying to send a letter that you know has been meticulously prepared? A well-written letter, without a doubt, has the best chance of succeeding.

Also, Read: How to Write a Motivation Letter for PhD Programs?

What’s P.S.?

The abbreviation P.S. stands for postscript. It’s something you add after the letter is finished at the last minute. In most cases, postscripts aren’t used in formal letters; if you need to add something, you’ll have to rewrite the entire text to include the new information.

The Envelope

A first-class letter can only be 3.5 ounces in weight in the United States. If your letter is longer than three pages or is printed on thick paper, you’ll need to weigh it to ensure it fulfils the standards. The envelope’s size and shape are also important. It must be rectangular and less than 611 inches in length, or it will be returned to you by the post office.

More Topics Under Writing

You can check out the writing formats by clicking on additional topics below.


Isn’t it satisfying to send a nicely crafted letter? A well-written letter, without a doubt, has the best chance of succeeding. To ensure that your letter truly shines, it must be error-free and create the appropriate tone. Use any writing assistance to detect spelling and grammatical errors, and provide formatting tips and guidance to help you produce clear, easy-to-follow emails that keep your recipient’s attention. Write the perfect letter and stand out for your amazing choice of words and structure.

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Q1. What is the best way to begin drafting a letter?

Ans. To start writing a letter, you will have to know who you are writing to and the reason behind the letter. With that in mind, you can start drafting your letter with the Sender’s address on the left-hand side of the paper at the beginning, followed by the date.

Q2 What are the different types of letters?

Ans. Formal Letters and Informal Letters are the two basic styles of letter writing. Informal letters are written for whatever you wish to tell your friends or family, whereas formal letters are prepared for official purposes.

Q3. What are the various components of a letter?

Ans. A letter can be divided into six halves. The sender’s address and date, the receiver’s address and date, the salutation, the body of the letter, the complimentary close, and the signature are all included.

Q4. What are the 5 steps of writing a letter?

Ans. The five steps of writing a letter are – writing the name, contact information, and date, writing the receiver’s name and information, writing the greeting and main body of the letter, writing complimentary closure, your name, and signature, and sending the letter.

Q5. What are the 3 types of letters?

Ans. The three types of letters are formal letters, semi-formal letters, and informal letters.

Thus, letter writing is an art in which one can excel with sufficient practice. If you are clueless about how to proceed after class 12th, then take the assistance of the professionals at Leverage Edu who will not only guide you in choosing the right university but will also help in completing the admission-related formalities!

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