6 Differences between Official and Unofficial Letters and Examples!

The difference between official and unofficial letters – Hello Sinaumed’s friends, have you ever received a letter? Who sent the letter? Do you know what a letter means? A letter is a written communication tool written by someone on behalf of a person or institution that is sent to another person or institution.

In the past, human interaction was not as easy as it is now. When digital technology was not yet developed, letters became the main bridge for carrying out communication activities on behalf of individuals and organizations.

Until now, letters are still used as a means of written communication for the community. But the packaging and tools used are very different. If previously it had to be written by hand, now letters can be written using the keyboard. The type of paper used is also plain white paper without lines, it looks more formal.

In fact, technology is always innovating to be able to write and send letters via digital media. The author and recipient just need to have the same platform to communicate with each other. With one click, relevant people can receive messages accurately and efficiently.

Letters are usually divided into two, namely official letters and unofficial letters (personal letters). Both in terms of function, format and content. For example, official letters are generally used for formal purposes, while informal letters are often more personal.

Letters are a means of communication. The person writing the letter indicates that this person is communicating. He contacted the person who would receive the letter. In the letter, people can express their feelings. Everything that is experienced and felt can be poured in a letter.

To find out more about the differences between official and unofficial letters, please refer to the following review. This is necessary if you frequently send a letter. Especially if your job involves correspondence, such as secretarial work. Come on Sinaumed’s , see the explanation!

Meaning of Letter

According to the Big Indonesian Dictionary, a letter is a piece of paper written with various contents. In fact, the events that occurred in the field revealed the nature of the letter more than that.

A letter is a communication tool written by someone for personal or organizational needs in order to convey information in a written and structured manner.

It must contain at least a few elements such as the name of the sender, the recipient of the message, the content or message to be sent, the address of the recipient and the channel. Elements other than those mentioned above can still be added, but the urgency is not as big as the one above.

As mentioned before, letters are divided into two categories, namely official letters and unofficial letters. The writing of the two types of letters lies in certain parts such as the style of writing and also the reason why the letter was written.

Recognizing Official Letters

Before knowing the difference between the two official letters and informal letters, you must have a clear understanding of each of them. As the name suggests, a formal letter is a letter that is used for situations where there is an official directory of several parties, be it several individuals, organizations, and institutions for official communication with each other.

Because it is used for formal situations, it is not uncommon for this letter to be written in a standard writing style and language rules or according to PUEBI. Therefore, the writer may not use oral images or rhymes that give the letter an excessive artistic element.

In terms of structure, official letters include several elements that are not necessarily present in official letters. In this category, the letterhead is the most distinctive and characteristic part. In addition, official letters also have a sender’s letter number to keep records of the sender and recipient.

Recognizing Unofficial Letters

Apart from that, you also have to understand another type of letter, namely an unofficial letter. An unofficial letter is a letter that is written for an unofficial situation or seems relaxed to be sent by the closest people or the wider community without a special designation.

An informal letter does not have the same strict rules as a formal letter, both in terms of style, language and structure. The author is free to create his own writing style and language used. However, both of them are still not allowed to contain things that offend SARA.

Some things that are required in an official letter also may not be included in an unofficial letter. This type is not required to have letterhead or letter number and does not require a stamp as a sign of legitimacy.

See also  difference between weave and knit

Difference between Official and Unofficial Letters

Based on the explanation between the two, following sinaumedia explains the difference between official and unofficial letters:

1. Language Spoken

We are sometimes asked to explain the difference between formal and informal letters. If so, you can tell if the letter is official by looking at its markings. This can be seen from the format of the letter or the language.

As an illustration, most official letters use formal and standard language. Whereas in informal letters, the style of language is more relaxed, both in the choice of words and the arrangement of sentences.

In addition, the official letter for delivery uses language that is short, concise, effective, and easy to understand. As for informal letters, the language is more relaxed. In fact, it can be made very long because there are no standard rules.

2. Letterhead

The difference between official and unofficial letters is the letterhead. In official correspondence, official letterhead is often used depending on the agency or company that issues it. Whereas in an unofficial letter, letterhead is usually not used. Thus, direct mail goes to the intended use.

In addition to letterhead, official letters often have a letter number. It’s not uncommon for people to also add other files as attachments. Whereas in an unofficial letter there is no such thing as a letter number and attachments. The letters are treated as is and are not subject to formal inquiries or other rules

3. Contents of Official and Unofficial Letters

So, what’s the difference between a formal and an informal letter? No need to be confused, the contents of the two types of messages are very different. Submissions often include formal questions, usually about the agency or business involved.

Meanwhile, an unofficial letter is not like that. The content of the letter is more personal. It can be said that the contents of the letter are more relaxed, so the language used tends to be more relaxed.

4. Function

The functions of official letters and informal letters are different. Official letters are often used as a means to notify or inform one party to another. In addition, official letters are written evidence in the form of letters whose contents must be accounted for and function as work guidelines in carrying out certain activities. In this case, official letters can include procedures or work steps that must be carried out.

While the function of an unofficial letter is more general, but personal. You can send messages or just have a friendly chat. The function of an informal letter is more unique than a formal letter because it has a different purpose and function.

Feelings of sympathy, empathy, and a sense of belonging represent the function of the informal letter itself. For example, when the writer misses his friends, family or even his girlfriend. Sometimes it is also used to criticize government activities or policies that are not in accordance with the conditions of society.

In addition to the official letter functions above, official letters can also be used as special evidence, work instructions, reminders. Especially for those involved in the letter.

5. Stamp or Cap

The difference between official letters and unofficial letters is in stamps and stamps. Most letters put a stamp or stamp on the paper. Even if there isn’t one, there is usually some device or signature to use as amplification. Whereas on an unofficial letter there is no stamp. Most of the time, only the sender’s real name is required. That too is not certain.

6. Structure and Writing Style

An official letter with an author’s structure must be sequential and complete from beginning to end. While an unofficial letter contains at least the name of the sender, recipient and destination address.

The following is the structure of official and unofficial letters:

Official Letter Writing Structure

Sinaumed’s friends , we have arrived at a discussion about how to make an official letter. The following discussion refers to the parts that must be included in a formal letter.

a. Letterhead or Letterhead

Letterhead or letterhead is usually at the top of the letter. The letterhead showing the identity of the person writing the letter is usually marked with the logo of the sending organization, the name of the organization, the address of the organization, mobile number, zip code, e-mail, website address, fax number and line of business.

b. Letter date

The date of the requested letter is information about when the letter was written. Usually the date of the letter is listed in the upper right corner, just below the title. Alternatively, you can also write down where the letter was written, although many people don’t do that because it’s already on the letterhead.

c. Reference number

The letter number is usually on the left side of the page and aligned with the date of the letter. The format of the letter number depends on the regulations of the institution that makes it. In general, the letter number format is in the form of alphabetic numbers, the month the letter was made, the year, and several other codes.

See also  difference between pure substance and mixture
d. Attachment

Attachments are the documents contained in the message. Usually making attachments is filled with the number of documents attached. However, if there are no documents to attach, this section can be left blank.

e. Matter

In this section, the letter writer can write a brief purpose of the letter. This question or topic should also be relevant to the body of the letter. For example, if the letter is an invitation, this part could be written as “ Invitation” .

f. Recipient’s Name and Address

This section usually begins with the word “Dear” or “Dear” in front of the recipient’s name. Then write the recipient’s address, but in a more concise way.

g. Greetings

The greeting most commonly used in official letters is the word “With respect” because it is seen as more formal. However, you can always use another appropriate address for who is receiving the letter.

h. Fill

The contents of the letter do not need to be too much or just get to the point. Write one or two introductory sentences before communicating your intent and purpose in writing the letter. In the last paragraph, you can also add a short closing sentence.

i. Closing

If the letter was previously opened with a salutation, it must also end with a salutation. You can write a thank you note or hope that what you send is acted upon.

j. Sender’s Signature

If the letter is written by an agency, the signing is usually done by the head or head of the agency. However, if there is none, it can be represented by officials below it. You can also add a wet stamp to make the letter look more formal.

k. Copy

A copy must be optional. Usually, this section must be included if the letter is also sent to other parties. It is located at the bottom left and usually uses a smaller font size.

Unofficial Letter Writing Structure

Unofficial letters are not part of official letters or official letters. However, the writing still has certain parts. Well, the structure or part of an informal letter includes:

  • Place or address and date of writing, usually the author includes the city where and the date the author wrote the letter.
  • Greetings can be written, such as hello, hi, best wishes, sweet wishes, nostalgic greetings.
  • The opening paragraph or sentence of the letter usually contains a special greeting that the author often uses to the recipient of the letter.
  • The body of the letter contains the message or information conveyed by the author, which is the core of the letter.
  • The closing paragraph is usually written as a closing salutation to end the letter.
  • Closing.
  • Sender’s name and signature.

Examples of Official Letters and Unofficial Letters

So, so that Sinaumed’s friends don’t get confused, let’s look at examples of official and unofficial letters. Here’s the description.

Example of Official Letter

Indonesian Literature Student Association at the National University

Jl. Sunday Market Number 17, South Jakarta

Tel (021) 4467984, fax (021) 4437658

email: [email protected]

================================================== ======================

Jakarta, 2 January 2022

Number : 078/HIMASINA/XI/2022

Attachments : 1 (one)

Subject: Member Expenditure Letter

The person concerned explains that:

Name : Satrio Anggoro

NPM : 192001516023

Position : Member of Business Fund

This order was made based on the AD/ART of the Association of Indonesian Literature Students which aims to expel our members, for the reason that there is no firmness and accountability from those concerned.

Hereby certify that those mentioned above have been released from their positions (left) from the management members of the Indonesian Literature Student Association, based on mutual considerations and provisions.

Thus we make this statement letter truthfully, for your attention we thank you.

Best regards,

Head of Human Resources and Organization

Ziaggi Fadhil Zahran

Example of an Unofficial Letter

Jakarta, 2 January 2022

For Dina Noviana

In Tangerang

Hi my life friend,

How are you? I’m fine, even though you haven’t asked how I’m doing haha, btw happy new year Dina!!!! Hopefully this year is better. Sorry I haven’t updated you for a long time, because I was very busy in Jakarta.

But I didn’t forget to write a letter to you dina, even though it took me a long time to reply hehehe.

Like yesterday, we went through difficult times together to graduate high school, studied together, did homework together, even chose the same major, even though we were in different campuses 🙁

This is the 4th year we are both struggling on our respective campuses and for the last two years we have had to study from home because of the pandemic.

Oh yes, next month I will have my final exam, please pray for me, I hope it goes smoothly until the trial, and I get the best score.

I hope the letter reaches you as soon as possible, I’m also looking forward to hearing from you dina and I’m sorry I can’t see your message haha, because I’m really busy right now. Have a nice day, Dina, I’m really waiting for feedback from you. Have a nice day Dina, see you soon!

Greetings from the sweetest,

Ziaggi Fadhil Zahran


This is a review of the differences between official letters and unofficial letters. For Sinaumed’s who want to know more about other types of letters, you can visit sinaumedia.com to get related books.