Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!

Did you know?

We also have Bitesize study guides covering many subjects at National 4 and National 5 on our Knowledge & Learning BETA website.

English

Letter

  • Page
  • 1
  • 2
Back

Although letters can be on any topic and have a range of purposes they generally fall into two categories.

Personal letter

Let's look at two key features of personal letter - layout and content

Layout

Although there is more than one correct way to write a letter there are some universal rules.

  • even in friendly informal personal letters you must put your address top right
  • date should always be under address
  • opening greeting can use first name only, for example. 'Dear Mum' or Dear Polly'
  • ending can be informal, for example 'Best wishes' or 'Much love', and be followed by your first name only

Content

The content of a personal letter will depend very much on the purpose of the task.

You may be asked to write a letter to -

  • describe an event, place
  • ask for information or a favour
  • persuade someone to do something
  • pass on details or instructions to someone

Whatever the purpose there are some general rules about a personal letter.

  • always remember that you (probably) are supposed to know the person to whom you are writing
  • keep that person in mind and don't tell them things they will already know about you
  • add a few bits of personal chat, usually at the start of the letter, to make it seem genuine
  • make sure main part of letter relates to task and that you use appropriate tone. Don't be bright and cheerful if writing to pass onbad news.
  • Page
  • 1
  • 2
Back

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.