How To Write
A Friendly Letter
Friendly letters are becoming a thing of the past now that we are surrounded by e-mail and instant messaging.
Nevertheless, for those who still like to communicate the old-fashioned way, a sincere friendly letter is a nice personal touch.
For the receiver; it's definitely a lot more pleasant to receive a traditional friendly letter than it will ever be to receive an e-mail or a throw away instant message. One tends to take a real letter a lot more seriously than a quickie e-mail or text message.
For the sender; writing a real letter clearly demonstrates that they really care since they have gone to the trouble of actually writing an actual letter.
The classic friendly letter has five parts as follows:
1. Address Block
Includes your return address and the date of writing the letter. This block is usually right-justified.
2. Opening Salutation
This is the opening greeting; typically "Dear John". These days, in a letter to a close friend such informal greetings as "Hey John," are also acceptable. Left-justify this block.
3. Body Block
This is your actual letter content. It can be anywhere from a few paragraphs in length up to multiple pages. There is no hard or fast rule for the length of a friendly letter. Make it as long as you like, or as long as you think your friend would find acceptable to read. The body paragraphs should be left justified.
4. Closing Salutation
This is where you say goodbye. Typically, closing salutations for friendly letters include such phrases as: "Yours truly,", "Your friend,", "All the best,", Take care,". These days, more informal closing salutations are also acceptable, such as: "See you soon,", "Don't be a stranger,", etc. Left-justify the closing salutation.
5. Signature Block
Since it is a friendly letter to someone who knows you reasonably well, just sign your first name. Also left-justify this block.
Traditionally, a friendly letter would he hand-written and then sent by regular snail mail. This is something I still recommend when possible, because it really gives it a personal touch.
However, in these days of software word processors, friendly letters are often created in typed form and appended to an e-mail as an as an attachment. This is acceptable, considering it is still more "personal" than a typical impersonal e-mail.
Here's a link to a typical friendly letter created on a word processor.
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