17+ Letter Format Examples – PDF

During the number of years you have been on this Earth, you have certainly experienced writing a letter. No, not the character in the alphabet; a letter made up of letters forming a word, a word forming sentences and sentences expressing a complete or maybe an incomplete thought. Letter writing has been a part of our lives for centuries counting up to more than your age. It has been a significant part of communication before up to now. There is no denying that writing letters has greatly impacted our history, culture, traditions, and basically everything else in between.

letter format example

History of Letter Writing

Where would we be if it were not for letters? Writing letters may seem mundane to you, but it has helped shape our history and has greatly affected the present. Before the invention of the telegraph in 19th century, the only means of long-distance communication was through writing letters. Whatever you may like to think, but if it weren’t for the tireless letter writing of St. Paul, there wouldn’t have been a New Testament. In addition, through writing letters the first ever considered novel in the 18th century entitled “Pamela” written by Samuel Richardson; this novel consisted entirely of letters of a daughter to her parents. You may also see application letter examples & samples.

Aside from all of this, formal letters were only once used by the government, militaries and kings. In the 6th century BC, the Persian Empire (now Iran), developed a relay system of delivering mail since sending messengers alone were either robbed or killed on the way hindering the mail from ever reaching its supposed receiver. The relay system went up to 100 miles and when the horses got tired it is replaced with a new one.

With the Greeks, they employed athlete runners to deliver their mail. The pigeon carriers were used by the Arabs. And the Persians had the same system, too, with point houses that can be used for resting and trading horses. But after thee collapse of the Roman empire, the unique system of relaying mail collapsed and so did the organised communication throughout Europe. You may also like business proposal letter examples.

Employment Cover Letter Template Example

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Letter writing has been modernized through the invention of the printing press, the increasing availability of books, a change in the outlook of religions, and rising literacy rates. In the 18th Century when the Lutheran Church ordered that everyone must be able to read the Bible, Sweden went ahead an achieved 100% in their literacy rate. This has then started a ripple effect that led England from achieving 95% literacy rate for both men and women. You may alsoc ehck out appointment letter examples & samples.

In Australia, in order to lessen the crime rate, the government required compulsory education on everyone to combat ignorance. Until this point, it was assumed that only men wrote letters until on the 18th Century when the gender gender division of letter writing was question publicly. In 1763, the Ladies Complete Letter Writer was published. When the post office was invented in 1860, it was when letter writing and delivering mail really took off. You might be interested in offer letter examples.

Internship Cover Letter Example

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College Application Letter Example

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Purpose of Writing a Letter

There can be many reasons to write a letter and in order to fully understand why there is a need to write letter aside form the general reason of “communicating,” a list of reasons why write a letter is presented below. This is of course with the exception of email writing, the reasons presented are solely about handwritten letters and their purposes.

1. Get a deal

For example, some companies don’t sell their coupons unless you personally ask for them through writing. Writing a letter is good way of getting deals that will help you like coupons and gift cards. Adding a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) will make it easier for them, too. You may also see business reference letter examples.

2. Express yourself

See something written that you don’t like for example in a newspaper or simple billboard? You can directly send a letter to the editor to let them know how you feel about it, who knows it may also be published in the “Letters to the Editor” column in the newspaper.

3. Make some change

Aside from writing letters demanding amendments from your politicians, you can also write letter to adjust or change pertinent published information about yourself through letters. The most common example for this is correcting a misspelling and changing the printed number grade on report cards. You may also like complaint letter examples & samples.

4. Cause a ripple

Writing a letter for every homeowners or businesses in your area or whoever you want to communicate with is a great way of getting your point across and finding people who agree with your cause.

5. Display class

Nothing displays class and gracefulness like a hand written letter. Instead of sending an email, write a letter to your recipient about your intentions while feeling like a posh.

6. Add a personal touch

It is not required to send in a personal letter to someone to get to know him/her better, but a letter will make sure the recipient knows the words that you mean to say and it is also a way of introducing yourself personally minus the face-to-face interaction. In addition, this adds a positive remark on your behalf.

7. Get offline

This is a great way and a good opportunity to get offline. Let your laptop get a breather and write handwritten letters to the people you want to get in touch with. Besides, people still appreciate receiving snail mails from time to time.

8. Send your voice even farther

Although the Internet provides this opportunity, not everyone is connected to it. In order to reach out to people without an Internet connection, write them a letter, or you can also get a pen pal and commence a friendship.

9. Preserve memories

As you may know, letters are a great way of keeping memories. Letters provide an avenue to state everything in a permanent record. If you have kids, they may want to know and remember things from the past and writing letters to them a good way to do that. You might be interested in simple resignation letter examples.

10. Remind yourself of the present

This may sound so cliché, but it is a great way to preserve a remember who you are at present. Hearing your own voice through your writing will surely be a great reminder of how far you have come as a person. Through this you can also measure and identify your growth as son/daughter, sibling, friend, etc. You may also see thank-you letter examples.

11. Speak to the future

Time capsules are surely a thing of the past, but it won’t surely hurt you to make one for yourself. They preserve an era that has been forgotten. You can make a time capsule for your kids or grandchildren by writing letters for them that they can read 10 to 20 years from now. You may also like acknowledgement letter examples & samples.

12. Say your thanks

Sending in a letter expressing your gratefulness is surely not overrated. Let people know you appreciate their efforts through a personal handwritten letter, this way you can also reach out and touch other people’s hearts.

13. Support the troops

Despite the constant debate about the deployment of troops to other countries, it it important to make them feel like they are appreciated. These soldiers risk their lives for you to be able to comfortably live, therefore, it is just write to send them letters of encouragement and appreciation for their sacrifices. You may also check out email cover letter examples.

14. Communicate with the elderly

As you may know, some of the elderly lose their abilities type and read small printed letters. Writing letters is great way for them to still keep in touch with the people they love and a written letter in response is always much more appreciated. Besides, letters have been their thing in the past, it’s a great reminder for them of their past experiences. You might be interested in appointment letter format examples.

15. Ask for help

Although there are countless of hotlines and methods of contacting costumer service, a written letter still gets a high rate of response. Sure it may take more time than just calling in or sending an email, but the action or response you get is much more efficient.

16. Document your concerns

If you have been sending in quite a few number of letters to a certain individual or company you have concerns with, keep them as evidence. This will surely help you should it come to point of taking legal action.

17. Express admiration

People of high authority or are supposed role models like politicians, actors, businessmen, athletes, etc. still appreciate receiving letters. Let them know their influence on your life and how much you appreciate them through letters. Although most of the time celebrities forget to write back, they still appreciate every small thing that comes in their way (letters included). You may also see resignation letter examples.

18. Offer long-lasting encouragement

Just like how easy it is to say encouraging words, it is also easily forgotten. Letters provide the opportunity of permanently recording these words so that your recipient will have something to read and reread when they need some words to encourage them.

19. Give sympathy

Letters expressing condolences to the bereaved family can give the family some sort of comfort. As losing someone you love is hard to process, the letter can be read by the family. You can also include some of your own personal memories of the deceased and let them imagine and remember his/her life through your letter. You may also like employee reference letter samples.

20. Get a job

Cover letters and application letters, what more is there to say? These letters present all the information an employer needs to know about you. These letters market and sell your qualified skills and knowledge so that you can get that job that you really want. You need to be clear and specific with these and express your enthusiasm in meeting them and being a part of the team/company. You may also check out recommendation letter examples & samples.

21. Leave a legacy

Leaving a legacy is not only applicable to those influential people. you can also leave a legacy on your own. You can write a letter to be read after your death just so people remember as the person you once were. A legacy does not mean a big movement or advocacy, it can just be how you have positively impacted people’s lives. You might be interested in immediate resignation letter examples.

22. Make a child’s day

Lastly, kids always find it exciting when they receive letters. Make a kid happy by writing them cute and colorful letters just to say “Hi!”, “Happy Birthday!”, or “Congratulations!”.

Recommendation Letter Example

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Inquiry Letter Example

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Complaint Letter Example

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Sales Letter Example

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Reminder Letter Example

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Different Types of Letters

A letter is an important symbol of human civilization. It has been used to exchange information, share personal sentiments, self-expression, etc. In general, letters can be divided into two (2) categories: formal and informal.

Formal Letters

These letters are written in accordance to certain rules and structures. These letters always maintain formalities and must uphold regulations of a certain organization. Institutional and business letters fall in this category.

  1. Business Letter
  2. Official Letter
  3. Semi-official Letter
  4. Social Letter
  5. Report Letter
  6. Notice Letter

Informal Letters

These letters are also known as personal letters. These letters do not follow any rules and regulations and contains personal information and whatnot. These letters are commonly written for family, friends and acquaintances. Their main use is for exchanging personal information, keeping in touch and asking for favors. These letters when examined, display the personal relationships between the sender and the receiver. You may also see writing a heartfelt resignation letters.

Personal Letter Layout Example

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Reference Letter Example

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Adjustment Letter Example

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Sections of a Letter

Despite the different types of letters, they must have similar sections. Some sections of a formal letter may not be necessary in an informal letter but all the sections an informal letter should be in a formal letter. Nonetheless, listed below are the common sections of a letter:

1. Return Address

The return address contains the address and contact information such as phone number, fax number, e-mail address, etc. of the sender of the letter. You may also see reference letter examples.

2. Date

Sometimes, people get confused as to what date to write in the letter. Is it the date when the letter was written or the date when the letter is expected to be received? The date should accurately indicate when the sender has written the letter.

3. Inside Address

The inside address is the receiver’s information such as name, designation or position, and their personal or company address. Always include the title when addressing the recipient (i.e. Mr., Ms., Mrs., Engr., Atty., Dr., etc.).

4. Salutation or Greeting

The greeting in a formal letter should always be professional. You can start your letter with a formal salutation like “Dear (Name of receiver).” On the other hand, for informal letters, you can use whatever salutation you like. You may also like examples of employee termination letter template.

5. The Body

The body of your letter contains the most important information about your letter. It must clearly present the purpose as to why you are writing. In a formal letter, you must be able to present your key points and provide additional details that support your key point. On the other hand, you can say whatever you want to say since it is just a personal correspondence between you and your family or friends; there are no formal structures to follow. You may also check out job application letter examples.

Make sure that before you end you formal letter, you can sum up the points you have made so far and add encouraging or enthusiastic words like “Looking forward to speaking with you.” This is most relevant in letters like cover letters and application letters.

6. Complimentary Close

The complimentary close of your letter are those one or two words you write before signing off. These words display politeness and respect. The most commonly used closings are Sincerely, Respectfully, Truly Yours, Yours, Faithfully, etc. 

7. Signature Line

The signature line contains your printed name and affixed signature. If your contact information was not included in the return address, you can include them below you printed name. In addition, also indicate your designation or position in the company if you are writing a business letter. Remember that there are no such need for these formalities in your personal or informal letter. You might be interested in how to write a personal letter with examples.

Appointment Letter Example

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Resignation Letter Example

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Thank You Letter Example

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Qualities of a Good Letter

In order to write an effective letter, you must first understand your purpose and audience. After the fact, you can then check if your letter is of good quality and effective. To hep you with that, here is a list of characteristics of a good letter:

1. Clear content

  • Using complete, sentences to express a thought.
  • Separating ideas into short paragraphs.
  • Using transitional phrases to help guide the reader.
  • Using an active voice.

You may also see reference letter examples.

2. A tone of goodwill

  • Giving off a positive feeling to the reader.
  • Presenting ideas and thoughts from reader’s perspective.
  • Emphasizing the benefits of the reader.
  • Displaying sensitivity in gender, race, age, bias, disability, etc.
  • Framing ideas positively.

3. Correct format

  • Following the correct required format.
  • Appearance reflects writer’s carefulness and experience.
  • Always be professional.
  • Make a good impression.

You may also like termination letter examples & samples.

Business Proposal Cover Letter Example

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Claim Letter Example

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Collection Letter Example

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Immigration Application Letter Example

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How to Format a Letter

Depending on the format, the return address can be flushed left of right but must be written at the top most corner of the paper. Provide a single space after the address for the date. After the date, provide another single space of the inside address. The inside address is placed on the left side of the paper regardless of format. After the inside address, skip another line of the greeting or salutation. You may also see business letter examples.

The salutation should be aligned with the inside address. In a business or forma letter, after the name included in the salutation a colon (:) is used, while a comma (,) is used for personal or informal letters. After this, skip a line for the introduction of the body of your letter.

The first word of every paragraph in a business or  formal letter need not to be indented as opposed to that of an informal letter. The body of your letter must clearly explain your purpose, must present the facts and give the supporting details. After all of these, when you write the conclusion of your letter, you must be able to effectively sum up all the point you have made and mention that there are attachments to the letter. You may also like incident report letter examples.

To wrap up your letter, use the appropriate complimentary close. When writing a formal letter, always use professional closings; when writing an informal letter you can use an amiable closing or no closing, it’s up to you. Lastly, your signature line must indicate your name as the sender and you must affix your signature especially in business and formal letters. This is because the letter you send are kept on a permanent record under your name, it authenticates the nature of the letter and certifies that the letter it is in fact from you. You may also check out simple two week notice letter.

Conclusion

Letters are a great way of communicating with people you have personal and professional relationships with. Although they are not instant like that of an email, it still effectively gets the point across and is still efficient in providing data. Despite its traditional ways, letter writing is still helpful not only in communicating but also in proving your qualities in a clear and effective manner. You might be interested in how to email a resume and cover letter.

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