A formal letter is a letter written to a business personnel, your employer, teammate or official of any other department either private or government. People use to write these types of letters to inform officials regarding a situation or presenting your problems you have with the organization or a business. You also write a formal letter to ask about the products or services of a business and their prices or just to let them know about your products new or existing. A formal letter is a highly official letter which doesn’t allow you to make a mistake even a tiny one. This type of letter has to be very professional because it presents yourself before the recipient and gives a first impression of your abilities to communicate.
An informal letter is a letter which is written to family, friends, relatives or loved ones. These types of letters are often written inside the family and outside social community to let them know that you are okay and to make sure that they are doing fine. Another key purpose of an informal letter is to apologize or say thanks to someone or to congratulate them on their achievement. It’s also a way to invite family members to an occasion which is going to happen soon inside the family which needs everyone to be present there. This can be a first birthday of your child, or a party to celebrate the graduation of your child or mostly a wedding ceremony.
Now a days it is very easy to find out ready made letters to edit and fit into your purpose. There are several sits that offer free sample letters to help newbie writers effectively.
As it is now been clear that there is a huge difference between a formal and informal letter but to make it more clear, here is a detailed explanation of both types so that even an immature can understand it easily .
1. Purpose of sending the letter:
This is the first milestone where you decide whether you want to write a formal or informal letter. Both ways it’s different and involves totally separate procedures and elements to add. At this point you come up with whether you want to write the letter to a superior, your employer, a government official or to a friend, family member or your spouse.
2. Whether to use letterhead or not:
If you are going to write a formal letter, it’s necessary to use company letterhead or incase that is not available, use a blank paper and put your company name, logo and address at the top. But if this is an informal letter, there is absolutely no need to use a letterhead or add inside address at the top.
Adding date in the letter is necessary whether you are writing a formal letter or informal one. Formal letters are official way to communicate with officials so it needs to be send out with date to eliminate any future misunderstanding or error but informal letters also need to be send with date just to make sure that there won’t be any conflict in the future.
4. Write the name of the recipient:
When you are writing a formal letter it’s very important to put the name of the person you are writing the letter to. You write the name on the first line, his designation and company name on the second line, street address on the third line and city name and ZIP code on the fourth line. When it comes to an informal letter, there is no need to do that. You don’t have to put the name of your friend of spouse bellow the date because it’s just a formal part.
Salutation is a greeting you start your letter with. In case you are writing a formal letter to George, you use “Dear George” or “Mr. George”. On the other hand, when you create an informal letter you just write the name like “Denial” or “Sarah” and sometimes you just use a word like “Hi” or “Hello”.
6. Start the letter:
Now you start the letter i.e. create it’s body where you actually discuss the main theme or the key purpose of the letter. In case you are communicating with a formal person, you don’t waste time and discuss the actual problem without further due because of the short consideration time. Where on the other hand, when you write an informal letter, you use sentences like “Hope you are doing great” or “How’s it going”. In informal letters you can make it lengthy and discuss everything thing that is happening in your life. Unlike a formal letter there is no need to be precise in an informal letter.
7. Proofread your letter:
Now you have to proofread the letter either its formal or informal because no one wants to consider a letter with childish mistakes of grammar and spellings. If it’s a formal letter, proofread it twice or better let a friend do it for you. But in case of an informal letter, there is no need to be that careful but after all it has to be mistake proof.
8. Complementary close:
This is the part where you finish your letter with good bye greetings like “Sincerely yours” or “Best wishes” when it’s a formal letter. When it’s an informal letter, use “Love” or “Affectionately”.
9. Your name:
Now it’s time to put your name and signature at the end of the letter. It’s totally up to you whether you choose to put your full name or just first name and after that you write your signature. But in case of an informal letter, there is no need to do that i.e. put your name or signature because it’s just an official part of a formal letter.