Basic Tips on how to Write a Friendly Letter
A friendly letter is also known as an informal letter. It serves as a means of communication between two or more people who are often well acquainted. Knowing how to write a friendly letter is important because it has numerous uses. On top of this, a friendly letter covers a wide range of topics at a personal level. This kind of letter can either be hand-written or printed.
Compared to the business letter, a friendly letter is less formal. The first paragraph usually consists of an introduction which gives the reader an idea of why the letter was written to them as well as a short summary regarding the main topic of the letter.
In instances when you do not know who you are writing to, it is ideal to introduce yourself in the introduction paragraph. Often, the next couple of paragraphs consist the message you intend to pass along with the details you might be interested in conveying.
The last paragraph is the conclusion, where you sum things up and thank the reader for their time as well as wish them well or ask questions if you have any. An ideal example of a well written and thought out friendly letter can be found at letterwritingguide.com. Have a look at the sample to get a general feel of how to write a friendly letter.
Guidelines on how to write a friendly letter
The following is a step by step guideline that will show you how to write a friendly letter.
Beginning the letter
Dating the letter
If you have taken the trouble to write your letter by hand, make sure you add a date at the top left hand of the paper. Majority of people keep letters for years and they would like to see the day and year a letter was written. You can write the date as May 10, 2014 or alternatively abbreviate e it by use of numbers to indicate the day, year and month.
Write the salutation
The start of the letter, whether it is typed or hand written should have a salutation. This is where you address the recipient of the letter by their name for instance “Dear Kelly” or Hello, Tom”. While writing the salutation, the one thing you need to think of is the kind of relationship you have with the recipient of the letter and your own preferences.
- If you have the tendency of a formal style use of “Dear” is an ideal choice. While it sounds typical, it is actually sweet and an indication you care about the person you are writing to.
- For a tone that is more casual, start with “Hi (name)” or “Hello (name)”
- Be certain to end the salutation with a comma.
Writing the body
Begin with pleasantries
Knowing how to write a friendly letter demands that the first paragraph should be lighthearted and warm. It is an ideal way to set a tone for the rest of the letter and it tells the recipient whether it is a friendly letter. You can use the first couple of lines to either share a joke, extend your hello or reference the period.
- Common ways to start a friendly letter include “how have you been?” or “how are you doing?” Posing a question will make it feel like the conversation will be longer. In order to get a reply, pepper the rest of the letter with questions.
- The first paragraph can be used to make inquiries about what is going on in the life of the recipient. For instance, “Is little Annie enjoying kindergarten? I cannot believe she has grown up already!
- Another ideal way of opening a friendly letter is by referencing what time of year it is. It is an ideal way to make small talk before you get deeper into conversation. For instance, “I hope the fall has proven to be wonderful. More than ever, trees within my neighborhood are brilliant though I think we are in for a very cold winter”.
Share personal details and news
Now, you are ready to delve into the meat of your friendly letter and the reason you wrote it. Part of knowing how to write a friendly letter is bearing in mind that you need to be open, forthright and able to communicate your intended message in an effective manner.
- Talk about happenings in your life. Regardless of what you say, it is likely the letter will be appreciated but the reader will feel closer and more intimate with you if you reveal more. Express some of the emotions you have felt, events that have taken place and future plans.
- Do not create an airbrushed image regarding your life since it beats the purpose of writing a friendly letter. Do not settle for a holiday style newsletter as your reader will skim to the bottom if you decide to list all you have accomplished from the last letter. You do not want to delve deep into your predicaments as well though you should try to project your life in a manner that is realistic
Reference topics your friend can identify with
Take into consideration what your recipient was up when you last talked. Were they on the verge of a breakup? Or were they dealing with a difficult season? You should follow up by asking questions and making references in order to show them you are interested in what has been happening to them.
- Discuss topics that of mutual interest. Share some of your thoughts on current events, art or other subjects you would discuss in person.
- You can also suggest movies you have seen which you believe your friend will like or books you have read. In friendly letters, sharing such information is a welcome idea always.
Close the letter
Write the final paragraph by sending best wishes to your loved one or friend. As you get to know how to write a friendly letter, you will note that the tone of the last paragraph is lighter than the rest of the body. However, you are supposed to make sure it matches the general feel of your letter. You should be able to leave the recipient with great feelings:
- Reiterate purpose of the letter-For instance, if you invited them to a part, write, “I hope you will come”
- Encourage the recipient to write back to you by writing, “Please be sure to write back” or Hope I will hear from you very soon”
Another great friendly sample letter can be found at letters.org. It is short, concise and goes straight to the heart of the matter. This is a perfect example of how to write a friendly letter.
Write the closing
The kind of closing you write should as well be in line with the feel of the rest of the letter. Just as was the case with the salutation, it is determined by the kind of relationship you have with the reader. The closing should be followed by your name.
- For a closing that is more formal, consider “warmly”, “sincerely” or best wishes”
- For a tone that is more casual, settle for “yours”, “cheers” or “take care”
- For a closing that is more intimate, use “thinking of you”, “much love” or “love”
Consider the inclusion of a postscript
A postscript, commonly known as PS is included in friendly letters. It is a way of adding information that is not so important to merit having its own paragraph. You could add a playful joke or alternatively leave it out. Whichever the case, make sure it leaves the recipient with the kind of feeling you want them to have.
You can also find more samples of friendly letters at template.net. By reading these samples, it becomes easier for you to know how to write a friendly letter. Knowing what to include and what to leave out is in essence, the key to writing great friendly letters that leave your recipient happy.
From the above guidelines, you should now know how to write a friendly letter with ease.
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