General Letter Examples

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General letters represent a piece of writing that is written in response to an invitation or to send a formal/informal invitation. While telephonic conversations and face to face meetings are good for fulfilling informal and semi-formal purposes, letters work best to keep the written record for both semi-formal, and mainly formal commitments. 

In various walks of life, you will most likely have to draft a letter or two. Therefore, you must know how to compose a letter that fulfills your purpose and gets your point across effectively. 

What is a general letter? 

A general letter is an all-purpose, universal written document that is useful in numerous situations such as when applying for a job, writing a complaint, or making a request. Usually, it serves as a form of communication when in-person meetings are not possible or when written documentation is more appropriate. 

Types of general letters

There are several types of general letters. The two basic types include: 

  • Formal
  • Informal 

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  • Formal letters 

    A formal letter is written ceremonially and follows a particular stipulated format. Such letters are mainly written for official purposes to establishments, authorities, seniors, dignitaries, etc. 

    Formal letters are useful when applying for a job, writing to a senior official, requesting information from a company, writing a complaint about a particular product or service, or making an offer or suggestion. 

    Formal letters are often written to someone with official authority that you do not know personally. It is best to start it off with ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ and mention your reason for writing the letter in the first paragraph. 

    When writing a formal letter, be direct and specific and preferably avoid writing unnecessary information. The shorter and effectively-written your letter is, the higher the chances are of you getting a positive reply. 

    Formal letters are mostly ended on a proper, somewhat serious note, without any pleasantries you may mention when writing to a loved one. Ideally, end it with either ‘regards’ or ‘yours faithfully.’

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  • Informal letters

    An informal letter is one written to a family member, friend, or a well-known acquaintance. It can include several details, such as pleasantries, trivial details relating to an incident, or anything you would like your recipient to know. 

    Start your informal letter with the recipient’s name, e.g., ‘Hi first name’. In the first paragraph, you may talk about your writing purpose or simply ask about another family member or some other secondary matter. 

    In the next paragraph, discuss your primary cause in detail. You may also add other unrelated information. An informal letter is similar to a conversation with a friend or family member. Therefore, write what you are comfortable with. 

    End your letter with ‘warm wishes’ or ‘best regards.’

    Semi-formal letters

    In between formal and informal letters, there is a grey area that is called ‘semi-formal letters’.

    A semi-formal letter is written to someone you are familiar with; whose last name you know. You may be associated with them through business or a professional relationship, such as a teacher or landlord.  A semi-formal letter’s body is similar to a formal letter’s body; however, the tone is slightly friendly and more conversational. A semi-formal letter can be signed off with phrases such as ‘yours sincerely.’ 

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