Everyday we write letters, the modern digital age requires us to write dozens of messages and emails to keep in touch with friends and family, communicate with business partners in the business correspondence and so on. Some letters we write mark the special events in our life and the others come just as the part of routines, thus, the letters expressing out sympathy or sending the congratulations, offering condolences will be different in form, content and structure.
Informal letters are used for personal communication and their content, structure and narration is not strictly standardized so that you are free to use informal language such as slang and colloquial terms and idioms.
Formal letters writing is very similar to official documents writing, when impersonal tone is used. A formal letter is a letter using formal language constructions of a specific format, formal letters are also called business or official letters. Such type is appropriate for the professional communication. The most common and widespread formal letters are: inquiry letters, letters of complaint, cover letters, letters of interest, recommendation, letters of interest, reference and resignation letters, application and sales.
Real Difference between Formal and Informal Writing
Sure, there’s the set of rules and templates for the formal writing, considering each type of formal letter that doesn’t apply for the informal ones, as as they’re free for the improvisations. However, the main difference distinguishing formal and informal writing is still in the delivery of information, in other words your writing style.
There are writing tips that can be applied both to formal and informal letter writing, however, theres an underlining universal rule, characterizing every good letter writing regardless of type or purpose and here you can see the example:
Universal Writing Tips
- The greeting, appropriate to the type of the letter (formal or informal)
- An introduction, including the purpose of writing
- A main body section. In this part the main subject is described in full details
- A final paragraph. Here comes the summarizing and/or suggesting the possible action needed to be taken
Clear and concise ending f. g “Yours/Best wishes”, or “Yours sincerely, Yours faithfully”, etc.
Tips for formal letters
- Formal letters begin with: a) “Dear Sir/Madam” and end with “Yours faithfully” + full name b) “Dear Mr/Mrs” + surname
- End with “Yours” sincerely or faithfully + full name
- Remember, that there’s also a slight difference between American and English business letter writing that can be followed during writing
- In formal letters never use slang and excessive details, try to express your ideas in the most laconic form, the shorter the message the better understanding
Tips for informal letters
- In informal (also known as friendly letters) start with “Dear” or use the first name of the recipient
- The ending is usually sounding like “Love/Yours/Best wishes” + first name or “Yours sincerely and full name”
- If it’s a semi-formal letter it also can begin with “Dear Mr/Mrs” and surname, ending with “Yours sincerely” or “Best wishes/Yours” + first name or full name
Academic and employee reference letters are the most common. In both types the intent is to apply for a job or academic position. In the academic reference letter the essentials include: your academic strengths highlights and focusing on the reasoning why you are the best candidate. Such letters contribute to the better uncovering of strains and personal features, help to evaluate experience. For a reference letter it is important to focus not only in the right format but also make sure to focus on giving the specific examples about your work.
The resignation letter is a short letter formally explaining your employer you are leaving the job, this kind of letter helps to maintain good relationships with your former employer and keep a positive tone while leaving the job procedure.
Business letter is written with the format in mind and there’s a great variety of business letter types. It is important to remember what is the intent of the letter and to whom it is addressed to. Because of the effort put into writing a business letter, some professionals opt to use professional letter writing services in order to save time and effort. Business letter format is sometimes a tricky subject, because there’s a great variety of business letters known. So the matter of course, the variety of options and styles are available for formatting.
A letter of compliant formally describes the compliant content in the written form with an intention to get the situation or problem solved. Complaint letters should be short, laconic and concise to sound professional.
A cover letter is a letter that is usually submitted in pair with a CV during the job application process. The aim of cover letter is to provide more personal introduction, express your interest in the particular position and highlight why your skills and knowledge can be the great asset for the company, in some cases your vision of the ways of how the business can be improved. The cover letter body lets the employer understanding what position you are applying for and why you should be invited to the interview.
A letter of interest is made to demonstrate your interest in any particular sphere of business or area. In the majority of cases a letter of interest takes place in job application, when the position hasn’t been officially announced but the applicant wants to express an interest in it beforehand in order to be hired. The case can extend on different areas, f.g with possession that is not on sale but is of great interest for someone.
A letter of recommendation is a reference document the key aim of which is to deliver the assesses and qualities, main characteristics, and talents of the candidate applying to perform a certain function. When the recommendation letter is being written it is important to mention of how the author personally collaborated with the person, the subject of the recommendation letter. Don’t forget to include the strengths and merits, good examples from the past experience. The strong features of personality should correspond to those, required by the position.
There are some kinds of application letters: College application letter, Application letter of internship, Leave application letter, Job application letter and Loan application letter. All those applied to the educational institutions and for the job are intended to show the best sides of your past academic or job career and your future determinacy to contribute to the field of future studying or organization you’re applying to. A leave application letter is an explanation writing to provide the absence reason for certain period. Loan application letter is written to ask for money credit or some kind of other loan.
A sales letter is a letter written with a purpose to give more personal advertisement of the product or service. In order for the sales letter to be effective, each one should include features, benefits and details to convince the potential client.
A thank you letter is the piece of content that has the purpose to provide respect and gratitude to your business partner who helped you in some kind of deal or to provide personal thanks to those business colleagues or partners who attended your event.
It’s the letter which is written with an intention to introduce one party to another, for instance: person to the company, company to the future partner or person to acquaintances in the informal letters.
Formal letter writing format is used widely for the business letters and for the academic purposes, whereas informal letters are casual and that’s why are not required to correspond to the certain writing standards. If you’re writing a formal letter it is important to keep in mind the purpose of writing, the recipient and the style of the letter, keep it clear and consistent without mixing the informal and formal writing approaches, that’s when your letter turns out just well.