Letter writing is an important skill to develop. Written communication in both the formal and personal matters is crucial and so it is necessary to develop a skill for letter writing. Here we will focus on how to effectively write informal letters, and tips to improve our efforts. Let us get started.
Informal letters are written to close acquaintances of the writer, their friends, family, relatives, etc. Since they are written to close relations the letters have an informal and personal tone. Casual language is used while writing informal letters. And sometimes the letters may even have an emotional undertone.
Informal letters are mainly used for personal communication. So they do not have to follow any specific pattern, format or conventions. They can be written as per the writer’s wishes and the requirement of the situation. So the letter is written in a personal fashion in casual unassuming language.
(An Example of an Informal Letter)
Format of Informal Letter
As we discussed earlier there is no set format when writing an informal letter. But there is a general pattern, some conventions that people usually follow. We will be looking at this pattern and certain tips on how to write effective and attractive informal letters. These can act as guidelines when you are drafting a letter, they are not hard and fast rules. Let us begin.
The first thing to write is your address, i.e. the address of the writer. We usually write the address on the left-hand side of the page at the very top. The address should be accurate and complete. Even when writing to close friends or relatives the address must be written, so they can reply back to the letter with ease. If the recipient of the letter is in another country, do not forget to write your country as well in the address.
Next just below the address we write the date. This allows the reader to have a reference as to when the address was written. He can then relate better to the contents of the letter.
Now since you know the person you are writing to, the greeting can be informal as well. If it is a friend or someone close to your age you can greet them by their first name, like “Dear Alex”. If you are writing to your relative like your mother/father/aunt/uncle etc, you may greet them as such, for example, “Dear Mom”. And if you are writing to an elder person, someone you respect greatly you can address them as Mr or Mrs. Like say for example you were writing a congratulatory letter to your teacher, it can be addressed as “Dear Mrs. Alex”.
And now we begin writing the actual letter. The introductory paragraph sets the tone for the whole letter. You might begin by asking the recipient about their well being. Or you may say that you hope the letter finds them in good health and great spirits. The opening of informal letters should be casual and comforting. It must not be formal and direct as in business letters.
Learn how to write amazing stories from this Story Writing Guide.
Body of the Letter
The letter overall should maintain a friendly tone. But you have to adjust the language and the wordings according to who you are writing to. With a friend, you can afford to be very casual and flippant even. But if you are writing to an elder relative, you must be extremely respectful and considerate.
One way to determine the tonality of your letter is to remember how you talk to the person in a conversation. And then apply the same syntax and sentiments to the letter.
In the conclusive paragraph sum up the reason for writing the letter, i.e. summarize the letter. Say a meaningful and affectionate goodbye to the reader. And do not forget to invite the reader to write back or reply to your letter. It shows an intention to keep the conversation going.
There is no one way to sign off informal letters. Since they do not follow a strict format, you may sign off as you please. Some commonly used phrases are
- Lots of Love
- Best Wishes,
- Kind Regards,
Pick the one that best suits the occasion and then simply sign your name below the greeting.
Writing a Formal Letter? Learn the correct format of formal letter here.
Solved Example for You
Q: Hannah had stayed at a friend’s house for a week, but she left a briefcase there, which had several important documents in it. In a letter to her friend, Jeremy Simmons, she asks him to send her the briefcase as soon as possible. Which of the following would be a suitable closure for the letter?
- Yours Faithfully
- Yours Sincerely
- Warm Regards
- All of the above
Ans: The correct answer is C. When writing a letter to a friend, we end it with a closing that expresses the friendly nature of your relationship. Hence “Warm Regards” is the correct option as it does so. The other two options lack the emotional connect and are strictly professional. They are better suited to formal letters.