Writing and Public Speaking

Writing a Friendly Letter
By:David Urmann

A friendly letter may be informal or casual, but it is still a letter. And as a general rule, letters should be clear, readable and organized. Otherwise, the recipient will have a hard time deciphering your message.

A readable letter can be scanned quickly to get the gist of the message. It has simple and direct sentences organized into several concise paragraphs. Like business letters, a friendly letter is also divided into seven parts: heading, salutation, introduction, body, conclusion, closing and signature. Some people deviate from this format, and that is okay with informal letters.

The heading usually consists of three lines. The first two lines bear the complete address of the recipient. The third line indicates the date the letter was written. Salutations are opening greetings. The most often used salutation is "Dear." But with informal and personal notes, salutations can take many forms. Sometimes people write "Dearest" or "Ever dearest."

The introduction gives an overview of the topic at hand. This section of the friendly letter is normally written in paragraph form.

The body is the bulk of the letter, consisting of several paragraphs. All paragraphs should be coherent to one another, all leading to the main message of the letter.

The conclusion sums up the topics offered on the body of the letter.

Closing is often made of one or two words like, "lovingly yours" or "sincerely yours." The first letter of the first word of the phrase must be written in capital letter.

Signature bears the name of the letter sender.

However, since this is an informal letter, a writer is allowed free verse. And the format is just suggestive but not strict. It can be altered at any point in time to make the personal letter more intimate and unique. Perhaps the only restriction imaginable is to keep the letter friendly. After all, there are still basic writing etiquette. Even in informal letters, we frown on expletives and derogatory remarks. Bad jokes are also not tolerated.

Below is a sample friendly letter. The name of each part is written in parenthesis before the significant sections of the friendly letter.

2527 CC Figueroa Street
Pasay City
December 3, 1969

(Salutation / greeting)
Dear Jade,

How are you Jade? It's been a long time since we got away from each other due to our studies. Indeed, I miss you so much, my friend. However, the Christmas vacation is coming so we will have some time to see each other.

In fact, I am planning to spend my Christmas vacation there. I am looking forward for that vacation because I am so excited to be with you again even for just a short period of time. I am just excited to share with you my beautiful experiences here.

Above all, I am really yearning for your companionship. I am missing all the things that we shared together before I got here for my study.

So see you soon Jade! I hope you will be looking forward for that, too. Until then. God bless Jade and take care always!

Lovingly yours

(Signature and printed name)

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