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One of the simplest yet purest forms of communicating is through personal letters. It’s an easy form of letter writing because all it takes is conveying the desired message. But if you wonder why it is the purest form, it is because you are free to speak what you intend to.
Imagine you get a simple folded paper with a few words written.
Wishing you a Happy Birthday! Keep in good health, and stay the way you are…
Reading the above lines, your first impression would be that the person cares about you.
Well, this is the beauty of personal letters.
Now, there are many formats and ways of writing a personal letter, which you may not have known. So, let us explore them today!
Continue reading this blog to find a broader guideline on personal letter writing –
If you look at today’s time, a personal letter holds significant value in personal and corporate partnerships as well.
A classic example can be a ‘welcome note’ from a star hotel for hosting a sportsperson.
Usually, the purposes for personal letters are –
Personal letters, diaries and autobiographies were namely the standard form of written personal communication from the 18th century until just a few decades ago.
It took off at that time due to the widespread availability of mass-produced paper, a significant increase in literacy rates, the introduction of organised message delivery, and the creation of the postal system. The earliest written records are from the ancient Persians and date around 500 BCE.
From the aspects of literature, Samuel Richardson’s “Pamela,” published in 1740, was one of the earliest collections of writing to be referred to as a novel; nevertheless, other works of fiction have adopted that style since then.
Following are the types of personal letters –
In personal letters, put your address in the top right corner of the page.
The date should be underneath your address on the right-hand side of the page in this format:
June 24, 2023
After skipping a line, enter the whole address of the addressee.
Dear Mr Smith – this is a salutation and how you start the letter.
The formats for salutations are listed below:
Remember that you just need to use the surname alone without the first name to address the recipient of the letter.
You must decide how to proceed based on your relationship with the subject.
The body of the letter is like a main course. Starting from the intentions of the letter to the detailing, you must include them all in the body.
To get a detailed idea of each segment of the body of a letter, check below –
A personal letter’s opening sentence or introduction is often friendly and upbeat. You can try introducing yourself in detail with a tint of joke, or make a season-related comment in the first few words.
You can introduce the letter with interrogative phrases like “How are you doing?” or “How have you been?” to make conversation.
After you have addressed the basic details, it’s time to throw light on the purpose. Write down the issue or the cause in a polite manner.
For example –
‘Luna, I am excited to share that I am shifting to New York where I shall continue my work. So, it would be great if you could help me in my project with your innovative ideas….’
In this sentence, the sender shares the next big career step and keeps it straightforward. The letter further addresses a friendly collaboration.
Personal Anecdotes or Stories
Anecdotes relating to past history, memorable moments, and childhood nostalgia can only enhance your letter.
Describe the events in your life in your writing. Note that the message you send will be read and appreciated no matter what it says. But if it’s more transparent, the reader will feel much more connected to you, and the letter will thus be more powerful.
Questions or Inquiries
A personal letter is similar to a conversation. So, when two people speak, there certainly is an exchange of questions. When you address a question, you show equal interest to the one you are writing for.
For example, you can ask, “Did you join any new sports?” or “Are you planning to pursue your higher studies abroad as you planned earlier?”
Expressing Emotions or Feelings
The point of a personal letter is to let emotion reflect through words. Hence, when you begin writing, don’t be shy about saying what you feel.
Here is an example –
“It’s been a long time since we met. After graduation, time flew by, and we all got busy with our careers. No matter what, you are my best friend, and it would be a lie if I said I don’t miss you. In fact, I am so grateful that you shared your notes with me when I was sick before my final exams. Thank you so much! Please visit me soon. My mother always asks about you. So why not visit us this summer? I will be waiting for your next letter…”
In the above paragraph, you see a friendly emotion shared by a friend who misses her best friend. The letter also shares certain nostalgic emotions and hope for reuniting.
The final paragraph normally has a softer tone than the body, but it still needs to fit the letter as a whole. Plus, you also need to summarise the letter’s purpose again.
Say you have written a letter to invite your friend. In that case, you can write “I hope you can come!”
Again, if the letter is a holiday wish, you can conclude by saying, “Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!” or something similar.
Closing and Signature
The closure of a personal letter must match the tone of the message and should be based on your relationship with the receiver. When you’re finished, sign your name.
For example, for a formal closing, try using “Sincerely,” “Warmly,” or “Best wishes.”
A more informal salutation could be “Yours,” “Take care,” or “Cheers.”
Templates for Personal Letters
Below are templates of some of the preferred personal letters. Have a look –
Informal Personal Letter Template
12 San Benito Rd.
Brisbane, CA 23008
June 21, 2023
It’s been too long since our last visit, and I’m writing to see how everything is. So, how are you doing? How’s your family? Maggie is just about to start kindergarten, right? That must be so full of excitement; she was always such a bright girl after all! And what grade is Jeff going into – 7th or 8th? He’s growing up so fast. Indeed, they both are.
My kids are getting ready for the school year as well. Max mentioned you guys the other day while we were at the park. He remembered how Maggie was throwing the pebbles last time and asked when he’d get to play with her again. I hope to tell him you’ll all be visiting soon. You guys should plan for a weekend out with us. There’s a new restaurant in town, and you’d like it; it’s very simple and cosy.
We all miss you very much. I hope all is well with everyone. Talk to you soon.
Closing and signature
May 20, 2021
236 Peachtree Lane
Atlanta, GA 39019
Mrs Anne Norris
561 Main Street
Sterrett, GA 39019
Dear Mrs Norris,
I hope this letter finds you well. I can’t believe it has been so long since we met. I hoped to visit you when I came home for Christmas, but my work schedule limited my time. I plan to be in the area later this month. We can spend some time together then. I can’t wait to tell you more about everything that’s going on in my life.
I’m so glad you encouraged me to move to the big city and follow my dream of working as a journalist. Things are going well, and I thoroughly enjoy what I’m doing for the first time in a long time. Your words of wisdom were instrumental in making my decision to finally take the plunge, and your background in the business gave me such insight into what I was getting into. I might never have taken this step without your support and confidence in me.
I sincerely appreciate all your calls and letters and, most importantly, your continued encouragement. I credit much of my success to you. Once again, I share my gratitude to you for believing in me and helping me to believe in myself.
Closing and signature
It always feels something new when I think about you. Sometimes it’s funny, but often it makes it difficult for me to express how I deeply feel for you. In fact, in this short span of 2 years, it already feels like I have known you long before, yet I miss you so much!
Sometimes I wonder what my life would be without you! We have travelled and experienced so many new things in such a short time. This makes me so thrilled; all this is possible because of you. In fact, Neil, you have shown me that life is beautiful and there is so much happiness, even in the little things. I don’t know what I would be if you weren’t there. But now that you are with me, I feel so complete.
Remember when we visited the library every weekend, and you used to pack sandwiches for me? That’s the best sandwich I have ever had. In fact, even this weekend, I carried a cheese sandwich, but sadly it doesn’t taste like yours! That makes me miss you more!
Today, it’s almost 6 months since you shifted to New York, but life here in LA has not changed much. But some of your tricks have saved my struggle! I have learnt to drive properly and can confidently go to college alone! In fact, when you visit LA next time, I will take you on a long drive to our favourite beach for a picnic. But here’s the surprise – I plan to visit New York next month for a project. So, get ready, as we will have a lot of enjoyment as well!
I hope to see you soon. Till then, love you.
Dear Mr Jonathan,
I offer my deepest condolences for the loss of your partner. While I only met Ava a handful of times, I know how warm and kind she was.
She had a charisma to make you feel as if you had known each other for years, even if you had only just met. I want to let you know that I am thinking of you and your family during this crisis.
I still remember the afternoon of Christmas Eve in 2019 when you invited us to your housewarming party. That day, Ava hosted such a great dinner, and her knitted gloves are still the ones I wear every winter. Unfortunately, I have no other way but to write it inThat rose gold is going to match at least half my wardrobe this way.
You can take a break from your work and we shall manage all your projects. Do let us know if we can do anything else. In Ava’s honour, we will donate to her favourite orphan charity in her name.
With caring condolences,
My dear friend Sara,
Thank you for the gorgeous watch you sent me for my birthday! You know me so well. This shade of rose gold will perfectly match at least half my wardrobe!”
It’s been 5 years since we met in that fateful Maths 101 class and I couldn’t be more grateful for your friendship.
Once again, thank you so much for making my birthday more special. I’ll send you a pic when I wear it to work next week!
I also want to share that I still have those fairy tale stickers pasted on my diary. It reminds me of our Disney movie days.
I hope to see you soon someday.
Use the appropriate language and tone
A personal letter should always have a warm, caring and pleasant tone. Even if it is an informal letter writing style, do not exceed the limit of writing anything that can dishearten the reader.
Be concise and focused
For any topic on personal letters, ensure not to be too lengthy. Keep it 1 and a half pages maximum or within 3 paragraphs. Your aim here should be to keep your point straightforward.
Include personal details and memories
A personal letter is empty without any personal details from your end, which can connect the reader. So, whatever the cause of writing the letter, do not skip to add some additional personal details. This shows that you are taking a step closer towards that person.
Proofread and edit the letter
If your reader finds at the beginning of the letter that you have misspelt their favourite food, you might not be on their favourite list! Hence, always proofread before sending, even if it’s a personal letter.
Consider the recipient’s preferences
The recipient’s preference can be anything about their likeness or choices. So, try to make them special by adding some lines where you prefer choosing their food, movies etc. and talk about how you enjoyed it. This will show your openness and acceptance of their preferences.
Use pen and paper for a handwritten touch
A personal letter can never provide a personal touch unless it’s handwritten. So, instead of typing it or sending an email, try writing with an ink pen on paper and folding it inside a pastel shade envelope. See the magic when your reader receives it on the other end!
Consider using embellishments or decorations
Lastly, make your letter more special by adding details like calligraphy on the envelope, attaching a favourite picture of your friend circle, sending some dried flowers or plant seeds along with the letter. You can also wrap the entire letter in a cardboard box with a ribbon.
Writing a personal letter is old school, but it still gives the same excitement when you receive or send one. In today’s era of digital chaos, most prefer auto typing or AI tools for instant letters. So, why not try the original method of writing personal letters?
For that, you have this blog for all the tips that you need.
Ans: A normal personal letter follows a simple format. Here you have to add –
Ans: Each personal letter has some basic parts. And you need to add content to these parts depending on the context. They are –
Practice writing using these parts from now on to craft excellent personal letters.
Ans: Writing personal letters doesn’t have any specific rule, so one can start it just with a greeting, and after that come to the point. A personal letter is all about sending your own feelings and emotions. Also, here you will get a chance at storytelling. So, you can write a personal letter in the friendliest way.
Ans: The major difference between a personal and an official letter is that the first is informal, and the second is formal. It means one can address someone personal way in a personal letter, and it doesn’t have any specific format. But you need to follow a lot of etiquette while writing an official or professional letter.
Ans: There is no hard and fast rule for writing personal letters. You can write as much as you want, but it will be great if you try to concise your thoughts and just use one A4 size page to write your personal letter.
Ans: Ending a personal letter is very easy. You can end your personal letter by summarising what you have said throughout the letter. You can wish the recipient good luck and health and then add your signing off para.
Ans: People write personal letters to inform some events, or share some thoughts, or to stay in touch. All you need to remember is that personal letters must be easy to read and comprehend. You can use a conversational and casual tone in your letter.
Ans: There are normally eight types of personal letters that one can send others, such as –
Ans: Cover letters can’t be under personal letters because cover letters are focused on your job, but personal letters are focused on yourself. You send personal letters to your friends and families, but you have to send cover letters to your employers.
Ans: You can write a personal letter related to your personal matters or the recipients. But it’s not just an invitation note. One can write a personal letter about what’s happening in their life. It’s just a casual type letter.