Letter Writing

Letter Writing is simply 'The way or method of writing a Letter'. Letter Writing is an Art, one, which not all of us are proficient in or appropriate as per conventional wisdom. Before, we focus our attention to Letter Writing, let us understand what a Letter is? A Letter is a written message, request for assistance or employment or admission to a school. Letters have played and are still playing an important role in communication throughout the world. Paper Letters have been in existence from the time of ancient India, ancient Egypt and Sumer, through Rome, Greece and China, up to the modern times. Paper letters were once the most and at times the only reliable means of communication between two people in different locations. Its format and importance has changed with evolution of technology, especially with advent of email.

Despite the advances in the technology, Paper Letters are still written and in remote places, they are still the only means of communication. No matter, what the medium, letters play an important role in our society which is based on interaction. If letters play an important role in the world then the skill to write it, becomes a necessity in all walks of life. Letter writing is not just a simple way of writing; it is a specialised form of writing. It has certain rules which vary according to the type of letter being written. To be able to know what to write and how to write a letter is an 'Ace up one's sleeve'. It is mastery just like writing poems and though one may not become a celebrity but one does get applauded and even paid for such unique skills. The revolutionised age of communication has reduced the value of Traditional Letter Writing as SMS's, Twitter, Blogs & their counterparts have taken over. But when it comes to Official or Formal Setups, there is a protocol as to how a message is to be conveyed and presented. Such and other varied environment have to a large extent saved the rare and unique art of letter writing.

Types of Letters

There are various kinds of letters like Address Change Letter, Business Letter, Cover Letter, Farewell Letter, Get Well Letter and so on. These different types of letters are different in their subject, occasion and purpose. They have various criteria like format, length, vocabulary, language and other essentials which need to be followed.

The most widely acceptable types of letters are:

Formal Letters

Formal letters are those letters which follow certain styles of writing a letter. They are known as formal letters because they are written in accordance with certain established practices. Such letters are mostly used in working environments like various offices and businesses and have very meagre emotional language. Formal letters are mostly written by officials and businessmen.

Informal Letters

Informal letters are those letters which are written with minimalistic rules, thus the term informal letters. Informal letters are personal correspondences and that is why they do not require as much of a rule observance as compared to the formal letters. Informal letters are mostly written by relatives, friends, peers etc. of the recipient. The purpose of writing informal letters is socialisation and information exchange.

Informal and Formal Letters are further subdivided into various categories which further may have their own subcategories

Formal Letters

Informal Letters

Acceptance Letter

Address Change Letter

Address Change Letter

Announcement Letter

Adjustment Letter

Acknowledgement Letter

Announcement Letter

Cancellation Letter

Acknowledgement Letter

Condolence Letter

Business Letter

Confirmation Letter

Cancellation Letter

Farewell Letter

Complaint Letter

Friendly Letter

Condolence Letter

Holiday Letter

Confirmation Letter

Invitation Letter

Cover Letter

  • Cover Letter for Visa

Love Letter

Inquiry Letter

Thanks Letter

Invitation Letter


Leave Letter

  • Maternity Leave Letter


Persuasive Letter


Petition Letter


Refusal Letter


Request Letter


Reference Letter


Resignation Letter


Resolution Letter


Retirement Letter


Recommendation Letter


Sales Letter


Termination Letter


Thanks Letter


As is evident from the above mentioned, certain letters have been categorised under both informal and formal types of letters. This is because certain letters have informal ingredients even when they are written within the parameters of formal letters. The above categorisation is just to show a division and not to strictly confine a letter to just one category only. Certain letters are strictly formal as they have to follow certain regulations and their use is restricted to just the official environment. And some formal letters when written to express emotions within a working environment use informal language as without using the informal language the letters wouldn’t be able to properly express the emotions they want to.

Differences between Formal and Informal Letters

Formal Letters

Informal Letters

Formal letters follow fixed pattern of styles

Informal letters have varied patterns of styles

Formal letters are mostly used in working environments like offices

Informal letters have very limited usage in working environments

The language of the letter in formal letters is by and large impersonal or work related

The language of the letter in informal letters is by and large personal or related to social aspects

Formal letters can have informal tone whilst writing under certain circumstances

Informal letters do not have a formal tone as they are meant to express emotions and social communication

Informal words like ‘Gonna’, ‘Wanna’, ‘Dude’, ‘Bro’ etc. cannot be used in formal letters

Informal letters are not restricted in language. Slang words and non conventional terminology is acceptable in these letters

A lot of care is taken to write the appropriate Salutations in formal letters

2-3 types of salutations are acceptable for informal letters as there is not much need of formality

Length of the letter is very important and it shouldn’t be too long

Length of the informal letters varies depending upon the subject matter

Closing or Complimentary gestures vary in formal letters

Closing or Complimentary gestures don’t vary as much in informal letters

Letter Head is a conventional practice in formal letters

Letter Head is not a conventional practice in informal letters


Letters can also be categorised as per their purposes. Since most of the letters are written for academic, business, personal and reference purposes they can be categorised in a similar manner

The most common purposes for which letters are written divide them into:

  • Academic Letters – Letters concerned with academic affairs of various academic institutions or pertaining to academics under various capacities are known as academic letters.

    Some of the types of academic letters

    • Announcement Letter
    • Application Letter
    • Leave Letter
    • Recommendation Letter
  • Business Letters – Letters written for purpose related to business and its’ relative processes are known as business letters.

    Some of the types of business letters

    • Acceptance Letter
    • Acknowledgement Letter
    • Adjustment Letter
    • Request Letter
    • Resolution Letter
    • Sales Letter
  • Personal Letters – Letters written for sharing personal information, views, opinions etc. are known as personal letters. They are akin to Informal Letters.

    Some of the types of personal letters

    • Cancellation Letter
    • Condolence Letter
    • Farewell Letter
    • Friendly Letter
    • Get Well Letter
    • Holiday Letter
    • Love Letter
  • Reference Letters - Letters written by an authoritative person for an acquaintance, to introduce the acquaintance to the concerned for employment, admission and/or other objectives. These letters are similar to formal letters.

    Some of the types of reference letters

    • Adoption Reference Letter
    • Business Reference Letter
    • Character Reference Letter
    • Employer Reference Letter / Job Reference Letter
    • Scholarship Reference Letter
    • Teacher Reference Letter
Letters Types
Cover Letter for Job Application
Cover Letter for Job Networking
Business Invitation Letter
Wedding Invitation Letter
Job Acceptance Letter
Wedding Acceptance Letter
Address Change Letter to Bank
Company Address Change Letter
Adjustment Letter for Refund of Damaged Goods
Adjustment Refusal Letter
Sales Announcement Letter
Wedding Announcement Letter
Acknowledgement for the receipt of Goods
Donation Acknowledgement Letter
Payment Acknowledgement Letter
Personal Acknowledgment Letter
Application Letter for any Position
Scholarship Application Letter
Business Information Request Letter
Business Sales Letter
Insurance Cancellation Letter
Wedding Cancelation Letter
Customer Complaint Letter
Product Complaint Letter
Balance Confirmation Letter
Meeting Confirmation Letter
Farewell Letter to a Co-worker
Farewell Letter to Employee
Goodbye Letter - Maternity Example
Best Friend Letter
Friendly Letter to Teacher
Fund Inquiry Letter
Inquiry Letter for Possible Job Openings
Maternity Leave Letter to Colleagues
Maternity Leave Letter to Employer
Romantic Love Letter
Short Love Letter
Persuasive Claim Letter
Persuasive Letter to Principal
Academic Petition letter
Petition Letter against a Person
Payment Request Letter
Vacation Request Letter
Personal Reference Letter
Professional Reference Letter
Credit Refusal Letter
Job Refusal Letter
Short Resignation Letter
Work Resignation Letter
Board Resolution Letter to Open a Bank Account
Resolution to Open Bank Account
Retirement Letter (Formal)
Retirement Letter (Informal)
Recommendation Letter for Student
Recommendation Letter from Employer
Introductory Sales Letter
Sales Promotion Letter
Contract Termination Letter
Job Termination Letter
Business Thank You Letter for Recommendation
Personal Thank You Letter for Gift
Thank You Letter after Interview
Cover Letter for IT Job
Cover Letter for Prospective Job
Invitation letter to visit Canada for parents
Business Condolence Letter
Military Condolence Letter
Leave of Absence Letter to Employer
Get Well Letter - Cancer
Get Well Letter to Boss
Holiday Letter to Client
Holiday Letter to Soldiers
Customer Apology Letter
Personal Apology Letter


All the information provided on letters.targetstudy.com has been derived from reliable sources available in the public domain. Though the basics of letter writing are almost the same worldwide, certain practices do vary from state to state and country to country, especially when it comes to legal correspondence. Thus the information provided on the site is for guidance and reference only. While every care has been taken to present the information in most comprehensive, accurate and updated form during compilation, yet letters.targetstudy.com does not take any kind of responsibility regarding the content. However if you have found any inappropriate or wrong information/data on the site, inform us by clicking at (report error tab) on the extreme right of the screen for rectification/deletion/updation of the same.

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