What is the difference between formal and informal writing? In order to write a letter you have to determine whether it is a personal letter or business one. The type of letter will determine the format and tone of the content.
It will also determine what type of paper and envelope the letter is sent in. All of the steps taken to create the letter reflect on you and must be considered when writing.
All letters should have an opening addressing who you are sending the letter to, a body in which you inform the person as to your reason for writing and a closing which tells the recipient who you are.
Formal Letter Writing
A business letter should be created on neutral colored paper such as beige or white. Use a standard letter-size of 8 ½ X 11 inch paper.
The envelope should match the color of the paper. Do not use bright patterns or colors. If writing from one business to another then it is acceptable to use your company logo or letterhead.
Before your opening address you should write your return address at the top, right-hand corner of the paper.
The mailing address of the recipient should be written just under this but to the far left-side of the paper.
For the body of a business letter, skip two lines from the address and write the date in long form.
No abbreviations should take place in a business letter. Skip two more lines before writing Sir or Madam or the correct name of the person you are writing to.
Skip two lines and state your purpose for writing the letter. Follow up the purpose by using the body of the letter to back up your statement.
Express the action you want the recipient to take in your closing paragraph. Stick with “Yours Sincerely” or simply “Yours Faithfully” if you do not know the recipient in the business letter.
Informal Letter Writing
A personal letter is much more informal. It normally includes “Dear so and so” or simply the recipient’s name.
Putting the date on the upper right hand corner may help the both of you remember when it was written.
The body is simply what you have to say to the recipient and does not need to follow any specific pattern.
It can contain a specific purpose for writing or simply an accounting of what has been going on in your life.
The closing of a letter contains things like “Yours Truly”, “Love”, “Best Wishes”, or even “God Bless”. You will never confuse on the type of letter after learning the difference between formal and informal writing.
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