Letter writing

Letter Writing

Are you wondering if letter writing is still relevant in today’s world? Read on to find the answers you seek.

Letter Writing

There is indeed evolution in everything about life and what makes it easy. In the olden days, they used pigeons to send messages, some with hawks, ravens, and human messengers. When civilization started kicking in, evolution surged, though it crept. 

Evolution caused the migration to using the post offices to send letters. The post office became the most effective means as there was no other option. Change, they say, is constant. This is why today, sending letters via the postal offices is not the most essential or the most effective means.

Since the discovery of the internet, letters are sent through several means. Some of them are; electronic mail (e-mail), telegram, social media, and the post office. I received my book from the United States through the post office; that proves that it still works.

In letter writing, there are two known formats – formal and informal letters. These formats are taught in schools irrespective of the level one attains because they are essential in life as one might want to send a letter to a friend, close one, family, or an employer. It is therefore very important to know what letter writing is and how it works effectively.

Is letter writing important?

This question is asked mainly by students who are yet to move into the labour market as they often ponder the need. Letter writing is relevant because it serves as a mode of communication between firms, industries, government institutions, individuals, etc. Without an application letter, for example, one might not stand a chance of landing a job. A letter can also serve to terminate an appointment, pass judgment, give directions, execute commands, make requests, and many more.

How to write a letter

A letter is simply a written message (handwritten or printed), which usually is sent via mail or posted. A letter is tucked into an envelope for official purposes. Writing a letter is not as easy as there are rules guiding it, just like every other writing format or genre.

A typical letter contains the following:

  • The address, including the date
  • Salutation
  • Title (optional for the type of letter)
  • Body of the letter
  • Closure
  • Signature

The above is the known format used in letter writing, both formal and informal letters. It has been the most effective since its inception, and it is not obsolete. Below are the two types of letter writing.

The formal letter 

This type of letter is for official purposes, therefore, they are strictly professional. The writer of this type of letter does not gallivant around the letter or make gestures, rather, he goes straight to the point.

In formal letter writing, the first thing is the address written in two places. 

The first is in the top right corner of the letter – this is the sender’s address. The address must contain the residence and the date the letter was written. 

The second address is the receiver’s address, therefore must contain the title of the receiver. I have given an example underneath this explanation. 

The next thing a formal letter contains after the address is the salutation (look out for the example given below).

Right under the salutation is the title of the letter

NB: The title can be underlined if it is written in lowercase. When in uppercase, it should be left alone.

Right after the title is the body of the letter. The body of the letter is the main letter content. This is where the writer bares his mind to state the reason behind the letter. After this, the closure and signature to declare the end of the writing journey.

A typical formal letter format:

37 Ozumba Mbadiwe Street

Off Oladopo Lane

Adeyemi close, Lagos

Bolaji.bidemi@gmail.com

20th August 2022.

Jide Adedoyin

Manager

Amala Limited

21 Johnson Avenue

Adeyemi Close, Lagos

Dear Mr. Adedoyin,

APPLICATION LETTER

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Closure

Signature & name

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Informal letter 

In this type of letter, the writer initiates a friendly tone. This type of letter is usually personal, and there are no rules. The writer can apply pleasantries and be humorous if he chooses to. The only rule is that it must contain the same format mentioned above. The only difference is in the address – the address in an informal letter is only one – that of the sender. It is assumed that the receiver already knows who is writing him.

The sender can explain himself in the body of the letter if the receiver is may be confused about the identity.

A typical informal letter format:

37 Ozumba Mbadiwe Street

Off Oladopo Lane

Adeyemi close, Lagos

Bolaji.bidemi@gmail.com

20th August 2022.

Dear mum,

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Closure

Yours sincerely,

Bidemi Fafiade

Conclusion

These are not all that there is to know about letter writing. This introduces the two forms of letter writing. It shows all you need to know about informal letters. There is more about formal letters, and we will discuss them more elaborately in the future. The examples given are typical of the two known letter formats. Letter writing has proven to be the most effective form of formal or professional means of communication. 

Author: Izuchukwu Ugwu            

Reviewer & Editor: Chinyere Nwosu 

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