As you may already know, letter writing is a medium that can be used to exchange printed notes. It is simply the act of handwriting your message on a piece of paper. Letter writing is considered to be divided into two categories: personal letters (exchanged between family members, friends, or lovers) and business letters (used in formal, nonverbal correspondence with colleagues and associates).
As outmoded as this may now seem in a generation completely eaten by virtual communication, there are simply some things that nothing but a good ole letter can properly say.
People may not realize it but letter writing has a big contribution in maintaining and protecting literacy. It keeps all of us, or at least those who still practice it, grounded on the same art that our ancestors have been so adept at. You may also see formal letters examples for students.
Letter writing helps us avoid being under the bondage of computers and machines who claim that they can do the thinking, writing, and sending for us. It makes every correspondence more personal because we took the time to do it ourselves. Letter writing also brings us back to simpler times when we didn’t need a special occasion or a business conveyance to send a handwritten letter. You may also like notice letter examples.
In itself, letter writing is an art. The simple act of seeing words carefully strewn together on one page is mesmerizing in a way that is difficult to explain. Unfortunately, after the birth of the telegraph and the telephone, people have started abandoning letter writing for means that are more convenient for them. You may also see business proposal letter examples.
Letter writing is also considered a social and business asset. It helps one develop his nonverbal communication skills which, if you haven’t learned yet, is just as important as verbal communication prowess. The skill to write a quality letter is just as important as the skill to hold a meaningful conversation. Whether in the corporate world or in someone’s social circle, constructing a well-made letter is something that you can be proud of. You may also like email cover letter examples.
Most people would dismiss letter writing as a waste of time, pen, and paper because why would you choose to write something if you can type it instead? To answer these flawed arguments only cynics would make, here is a short list of all the great things that this generation would miss out on if we completely let go of the innocent act of letter writing:
This is one of the great things about professional letters that no amount of printing digital messages can ever compete with. The sensation of holding a carefully folded handwritten letter on your lap gives the sweetly wonderful feeling of being important. Someone took the time to write that very thing you are holding. Someone thinks you are important enough that you deserve more than a few words typed on a computer.
No amount of long emails can ever rise up to that. Plus, letters are the perfect keepsake. You can simply keep one on a box under your closet and take it out every time you feel like reminiscing. That letter can embody the memories you share with a person. It will never fail to remind you that, at some point, you became so close to someone that he felt that you deserve nothing less than something personalized by him. You may also see complaint letter examples & samples.
This would mean that there is a smaller probability of you saying something you don’t mean. A great disadvantage of instant communication in the form of texts or chats is that you rarely have time to think about what you’re going to say. And in the middle of an emotional outbreak, this can lead to you saying things you want to take back but can’t. You may also like thank-you letter examples.
Letter writing will give you the chance to really think about what you want to say to a person. This may include a long apology, an expression of love, or even just asking how the other person is. You can reread your letter over and over until you become satisfied that the content expresses exactly what you feel. You may also check out offer letter examples.
Back in the days, the better your penmanship is, the cooler you are. Unfortunately, since keyboards have taken the place of pens, we may rarely have the chance to practice and better our handwriting. Letters can help solve this dilemma. Letters would, of course, need to be handwritten, which means that you can use writing letters to practice your penmanship as well. You might be interested in recommendation letter examples & samples.
If you’ve never tried rereading letters you have received from a long time ago, then you are missing out on so many things. There are a lot of memories that one single paper can hold. And it’s not even wholly about the sender of the letter or its purpose. You may also see employee reference letter samples.
Reading a letter, especially one that you’ve received from a long time ago, will remind you of the absurdities, all of it memorable, that you took part in. A letter is your own version of documentation. The only difference is that it is more personal and honest. Who wouldn’t want that?
This damned busy life seems to be keen on keeping everyone apart.
Letters can help you fight that. Although they take more time than a normal text would need, they are better at encapsulating your presence than digital communication ever will. And when it comes to long distance friendships and relationships, this is what you would want your message to accomplish: for it to hold so much of you that the person you sent the message to could feel your existence close to them. You may also like incident report letter examples.
Digital communication highlights the chance to edit. Although this is a positive trait, it can also discourage the free flow of words which is essential in letting creativity out unhindered. (In fact, writing without pausing to edit is a literary writing style known as stream of consciousness that highlights the importance of letting words out without the slightest inhibition.) You may also check out acknowledgement letter examples & samples.
Also, the act of letter writing will make you want to use words that are more than the normal ones you use every day because you are trying to say something important and special to someone who is worth just as much.
Every individual has a writing style, whether or not they have discovered it already. They have a way of saying things that is distinctive to them. This is an attribute that can only be made visible in writing. Sure, professional emails and texts are also considered writing, but people commonly use jargon in them which just defeats the purpose of allowing your personal touch in your writing to stir. If you want to discover your personal writing style, write a letter.
1. A letter can provide physical proof, without the need for printing, that a communication did take place. Plus, letters are usually signed by the sender. This makes it a more valuable and a more believable form of evidence, should the need arise, in comparison to emails that are so easy to fake or duplicate. You may also see complaint letter examples.
2. A letter expresses sincerity more effectively. It can send the message that the sender genuinely wants to create a mutualistic professional relationship with the receiver. This is very helpful in creating ties with other people in the business world. It can help you avoid seeming distant and aloof, which is how people automatically view corporate men, since letters are very personal. You may also like official resignation letter examples.
Letters also represent your company. This will also give your business a good image without trying too hard.
3. Other documents can also be enclosed along with your letter. This is an additional advantage you can make use of especially when you are trying to send confidential papers that are not meant for anybody else’s eyes. Yes, simply attaching the document you want to your email is easier but you can’t just trust the Internet with everything. You may also check out business proposal cover letter examples.
With all its advantages and help, the Internet is still a big world full of strangers who may or may not have any malicious motives. Avoid all of that by sticking to the traditional and the safe.
4. Letters are also better at keeping secrets more than a computer ever will. Even if you put a password for every button to be clicked, your computer privacy is always, always going to be in danger of being trespassed.
A letter, on the other hand, would need more effort than it would take to hack into someone else’s computer because, firstly, the fact that someone has sent a letter can be easier to keep private. And if you can’t get through that, what are your chances to get a hold of the letter? You might be interested in complaint letter to service provider examples.
5. The ideas written on a letter are more clear and defined than those written on emails. Because letters take longer to make, it gives the sender of it a longer chance to construct the message and make sure that there are no vague ideas stated. Plus, letters take longer than formal emails to reach the receiver. Why would anyone write someone a letter and not express his message in detail knowing that it would just be a waste of time?
6. Letters are cheap. Let’s face it. Your monthly fee for Internet connection could already buy a lot of pens and papers that could give you more than a month of vigorous letter writing. These are not only secure and personal, they are also very cost effective. And for startup businesses and small firms, you need to save every penny you can. This is a fact that USA and UK have discovered first.
An idea that the rest of the world has started to embrace as well. This popularity brought about the emergence of different styles of writing business letters which have made letter writing as a medium in corporate correspondence more widely accepted.
7. Corresponding through letters is one of the most versatile form of communication. There will always come a time in your business’s life where you will be faced with an issue that needs to be discussed in person. When you both don’t have the time to meet, you can use a letter to express the important aspects of the issue. For sensitive matters, virtual communication may not prove itself the man for the job. You may also see how not to write a business letter.
In cases like this, you can rely on the traditional to hold your most confidential messages without seeming inappropriate.
The creator of the letter is, of course, considered the correspondent. He is the initiator of the communication, which means that he is responsible for making the message come through successfully and effectively. A correspondent, especially in writing business letters, has certain responsibilities. These include
The letter that a correspondent creates is meant to communicate to a receiver. Which means that the letter is drafted with the nature of the receiver in mind. He is the reason why a letter has been created, which means that the content must appeal enough so he will want to read the message thoroughly. In comparison to the sender and his responsibilities, the receiver is not obligated to do anything after reading and receiving a letter. You may also check out simple cover letter examples.
Sending a response, if he deems it necessary, is completely up to him.
The main point of sending a letter is to express a message. This message can either be long or short, urgent or not, formal or informal. The message that the letter will hold should influence how the letter is written. This is a letter’s main purpose for being created, which means that the message should be expressed properly to give justice to the letter’s aim. You might be interested in termination letter examples & samples.
Here is a detailed process of how a letter will reach the receiver:
Depending on how far the recipient is from the sender, a letter can take about 3 to 4 weeks to be delivered. International mails will follow a little different mailing process because the letters will have to be transported by trains and planes. You may also check out job application letter examples.
Writing a personal letter to loved ones or friends does not need to follow any specific format or hold any particular detail. You simply state what you want and be as playful and casual with it. Business letters, on the other hand, should be written with more care since these are a more formal type of communication with more official recipients. Doing otherwise might make you seem like you are not taking the correspondence seriously.
So the next time you write a business letter, here are the important parts you must never forget to include:
Let’s start with the topmost part of your letter. The heading is made up of the letter’s return address. It is usually made up of two or three lines with the date stated on the last line. However, it is not always necessary to state a return address especially if you have expressed it already on the envelope’s cover. You may also see appointment letter examples & samples.
This will include the address of the letter’s recipient. The details written here should be clear and complete. If you know the exact name of your recipient, it is best to specify in your inside address.
You can’t skip into the message right ahead. Of course you will have to express your greetings to the receiver of your letter. This usually comes in the form of the word Dear followed by the last name of the person.
However, if you are not sure if the recipient is male or female, just use the person’s complete name to be sure. (Even names can be ambiguous. Think about the name Leslie. That can easily be a boy’s.) The greeting should always end with a colon in business letters. You may also like writing a touching farewell letter to colleagues.
This will hold the most important part of the letter. So state your message in clear, printed letters. The body of a business letter should never be handwritten.
This is a polite greeting to end your letter. The most commonly used complimentary close are “Respectfully yours,” “Sincerely,” “Regards,” “Cordially,” and “Yours truly.”
This is the sender’s complete name usually followed by another line that states his position in the company.
Your business letter should never include a postscript. (Those are only for love letters written by lovers who just can’t be content in finishing a letter without a “P.S. I love you.) You should never forget to maintain a margin of at least one inch on all edges. Your stationery used should be an 8 1/2″ × 11” unlined stationery. You may also check out verification letter examples.
Formats are important to give your letter a more dignified sense of unity and order. You can’t simply throw the paragraphs haphazardly. They need to be systematically aligned through the entire letter. There are three letter writing formats you can choose from when writing a business letter:
This is the most common type of business letter format because it’s both simple and classy. Your letter is sure to look easily formal with this format. Block format is characterized by using left justified throughout the whole letter. The content will be single spaced except for the spaces between paragraphs which will should be double spaced.
This is the second most used type of format because it’s almost just as simple as the block format. In the modified block, the sender and receiver’s addresses and the body of the letter will be left justified. The date and the closing, on the other hand, will start from the center point of the letter to the left. You may also see simple appointment letter examples.
This is the least used format for business letter writing because it’s a little more tedious to follow. Each paragraph in your letter should be indented instead of left justified like the block format and the modified block.
It is important to have your business letter printed since it would be informal to do otherwise. The font you should use is the generally accepted font Times New Roman, size 12. (Arial may also be used although TNR is most commonly the first choice.) Fonts can make the difference between looking crisp and formal, and playful and fun. For business letters, you want the former. You may also like resignation letter examples.
If you are addressing a more conservative company, it is better to follow the suggested font and not experiment with the others. However, if you know that your recipient is a little more liberal, then maybe you can be as wild with your fonts and with your whole letter in general. You may also check out how to write a relocation resignation letter.
Letters, as outdated as they may seem to a lot of people, are still an important commodity our generation, or the generation after us, couldn’t live without. The aesthetic feel that simple letters can offer is simply irreplaceable. The old ways have survived for so many centuries because every generation that came before us deemed it useful still. Let’s keep this art alive because it will keep us rooted to the old and the beautiful.