In a world where we stay in touch online through social media and email, it can be nice to receive a good, old-fashioned letter from a friend or family member that we haven’t seen in a while. Writing a friendly letter is pretty simple, but there is a certain format you should follow when creating one.
A friendly letter is used to update acquaintances with what has been happening in your life, as well as asking them how they have been doing. There are 5 main parts that should be in a friendly letter.
Your letter should begin with a heading. This should start with your address, and it should be placed in the top right corner of the letter. Beneath this should be the date and can either be written out or abbreviated, for example, “June 3, 2020” or 06/03/2020.
The next part of your letter is the greeting or salutation. Your greeting will depend on the relationship you have with the person you are writing to, for example, “Dear Jane” for a more formal style, or “Hello, John” for a more casual style. Using “Dear” as a salutation is suitable for both old acquaintances and new ones. Using “Hello” is suitable for good friends and relatives. If the person you are writing to is someone you are on more intimate terms with, you can use greetings such as “Dearest”, “Sweet”, and “my”, followed by the recipient’s name. There should also be a comma after the greeting before you begin the body of your letter.
The body of the letter should be indented. You can begin with some pleasantries in the first paragraph of your letter’s body. The first paragraph is used to set the tone of your letter. A good way to begin this paragraph is by asking them how they have been. You can ask more personal questions, such as asking about their spouse, children, or other family members.
Your next paragraph explains the purpose of writing your letter, such as wanting to get back in touch with someone, thanking them for something they have done, or inviting them out at some point in the future to catch up.
Your next paragraph can include details about what has been happening in your life, such as big events, updates on plans, and what you are doing in the near future. You may also want to speak about topics that are relevant to the person you are writing to, such as their interests and events they have attended. You can also share information that you feel your friend would be interested in, such as the latest book you’ve read or an event you think they would enjoy.
Final Paragraph and Closing
Your final paragraph is closing, where you wish your friend well. This should have a lighter tone to the body of your letter. You can also repeat your reason for writing. For example, if you invited them to visit, you would include something like, “I look forward to seeing you”. You should also encourage them to write back to you.
The closing that you use for your letter will be determined by the tone and relationship you have with the recipient. For example, you would use “ Best Wishes”, “Sincerely”, or “Warmly” for a more formal closing. A more casual tone would use “Take Care”, or “Yours”, and a more intimate letter would close with “Love”, or “Thinking of you”.
Signature and Postscript
Your signature should be placed directly under your closing. You may also wish to add a postscript, which can often be found in friendly letters. This is used for any information that would like to share, but that wasn’t important enough to have its own paragraph, such as a joke.
Free Templates & Samples
Example of a Friendly Letter
123 Blue Street
Brooklyn, New York 11237
June 30, 2020
I hope this letter finds you well. How are your parents doing? Have you gotten your letter from University yet?
I wanted to tell you about how my summer has been. I’ve gotten a lot accomplished with the boat I have been building, and those renovations on the attic that I have been helping my Dad with. Since we are nearly done, I wanted to invite you to visit sometime soon.
The summer hasn’t been all work and no play, though. I met up with a few of our old friends, Jim, Anne, and Tom. We saw a really good movie that I think you will like. It’s about time travel and right up your alley. Next week, I am taking a break and heading down to the beach for a few days.
Anyway, I hope you have been enjoying your summer, and I hope you can come and visit soon. It would be great to catch up before we go back to school.
Remember, your letter can be as short or as long as you like. Following the guidelines above, think about the structure for your letter and include the right information for each paragraph of your letter so that it flows well.