Examples of Personal and Service Letters and Their Functional Differences

Examples of Personal and Official Letters – Letters are one of the media used to communicate in writing. There are many types of letters that can be grouped based on their respective types of importance. According to the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), a letter is defined as written paper and so on (various kinds of contents) or a piece of paper and so on as a sign or statement; card. Letters are also interpreted as something written; written; writing.

Nurdjan (2016) in a book entitled Indonesian for Higher Education states that letters are a means of communication to convey written information by one party to another with the aim of informing the intent of the message from the sender. The information provided in the letter is in the form of an introduction, notification, assignment, request, agreement, order, order, report and decision.

Letters can be used for various purposes, namely:

  • As a representative of the author or agency as the sender with the aim of communicating with other individuals, groups or organizations.
  • As a basis and guidance in work.
  • As written evidence that is authentic and clear, and has legal force.
  • As a backup reminder or archive for certain purposes.
  • As an important historical document in the past or a carrier of information about the development and changes of an organization.
  • As a security guarantee for an activity.

Yustinah and Ahmad Iskak in a book entitled Indonesian Language (2006) write that letters are divided into four types, namely personal letters, government letters, commercial letters, and social letters. In addition, letters can also contain warnings, reprimands, and awards. Its function includes five things, namely a means of notification, request, thoughts, and ideas; written evidence; reminder tools; historical evidence; and work guidelines.

In general, postage and envelopes are needed as a means of paying for mail delivery services. The farther the destination of the letter is, the greater the value listed on the postage. However, along with its development, now letters do not only use paper media, but can also be delivered electronically, one of which is electronic mail (e-mail).

However, what will be discussed specifically in this paper are personal letters and official letters. This article will discuss the differences between official letters and personal letters, as well as the differences in their functions.

Letters in Indonesia

Correspondence in Indonesia has started since the days of the Kingdoms of Majapahit, Sriwijaya, and Tarumanegara in written form or correspondence. The script used is Pallawa. At that time, letters circulating among the monks and aristocrats were made using stone, wood, or paper along with the arrival of Hinduism and Buddhism in Indonesia. Paper here refers to materials such as thinly sliced ​​bamboo skin and using palm leaves.

The arrival of the Dutch in Indonesia then also influenced the development of correspondence in Indonesia. In 1596, came Cornelis de Houtman who brought letters to the kings in Jakarta and Banten. At that time, the letters in circulation were only intended for official officials and did not contain news about the company in Indonesia. The existing postal services also had not yet reached a regular stage, even though they were quite advanced at that time. This was because the mail service still depended on company ships that sailed from island to island.

Finally, on August 26, 1746, Governor General GW Baron van Inhoff built the first official post office in Jakarta. The purpose of establishing this post office is to facilitate and guarantee the safety of letters sent, especially for those outside Java Island.

During the reign of Daendels, the Anyer-Panarukan postal highway was built in 1809 which was completed within one year. This road stretches along the North Coast of West Java to East Java. This construction was inspired by the construction of a postal road from the Roman Empire under the name Cursus Publicus. Along the way, there have been various minor developments, such as the existence of tariffs for posts that cross the sea.

During the Japanese government, the Postal Savings Service was also known in the world of correspondence to mobilize money for the needs of the Japanese military. After Indonesia’s independence, there was a takeover of the Telegraph and Telephone Post Office (PTT) from Japanese hands on December 27, 1945. That day was later commemorated as Postel Service Day. Since then, there have been many reforms to the existing postal system, including regional expansions to cover hard-to-reach areas.

Types of Letters

In general, letters are divided into two types, namely letters that are reviewed in terms of form, content, and language (personal letters, official letters, and commercial letters), and letters that are reviewed based on their usage (personal letters, official letters, and official letters). . In the case of submitting an application to leave the position being held, it is also known as a letter of resignation.

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1. Personal Letters

Personal letters are letters that are used for personal gain. This letter can be correspondence between friends or family. The characteristics of a personal letter include:

  • Do not use letterhead.
  • No mail number.
  • Opening and closing greetings vary.
  • The use of language is free, according to the wishes of the author.
  • Free letter format.

2. Official Letter

Official letter is a letter that is used for official purposes, both individuals, agencies, and organizations. examples of this letter are invitations, circulars, and notification letters. The characteristics of an official letter include:

  • Use letterhead if issued by the organization.
  • There is a letter number, attachments, and subject.
  • Use the usual opening and closing greetings.
  • Use of various official languages.
  • Include a stamp or stamp from an official institution.
  • There are standard format rules.

Official letter parts include:

  • The head or letterhead includes the name of the agency or institution written in capital letters, the address of the agency or institution written in upper and lower case letters, and the logo of the agency or institution.
  • Letter number, namely the order in which the letters are sent.
  • Attachments, namely other sheets that are included besides the letter.
  • It, namely the outline of the contents of the letter.
  • Date of letter (writing on the right parallel to the letter number).
  • Address(es) (don’t use the word “to”).
  • Opening or greeting (ending with a comma).
  • The contents of the letter include a description of the day, date, time, place and so on which are written in lower case, except for writing based on enhanced spelling (EYD) which must be adjusted.
  • The closing letter includes closing greetings, title, signature, and name (usually accompanied by the employee identification number or NIP).
  • Copy of the letter, namely inclusion or notification to superiors about the existence of an activity.

3. Commercial Paper

Commercial letters are used by bodies that carry out commercial business activities such as industry and service businesses. This letter is very useful in building relationships with outsiders, so it must be prepared properly. Commercial papers consist of buying and selling, receipts and trade letters; and can be divided into internal commercial letters and external commercial letters. One example of a commercial letter is an offer letter and a billing letter.

4. Service Letter

Official letters are used for formal work purposes such as official agencies and office assignments. This letter is important in administrative management within an agency. The function of an official letter is as a document of written evidence, a reminder tool related to its function with archives, historical evidence on the development of agencies, and work guidelines in the form of decrees and instructions. The characteristics of official letters include:

  • Using letterhead and the agency or agency concerned.
  • Use the letter number, attachments, and subject.
  • Use standard opening and closing greetings.
  • Use standard language or official variety.
  • Use the stamp or stamp of the letter-making office.
  • Has a certain letter format.

Difference between Personal and Service Letters

1. Personal Letters

Personal letters are letters written for personal matters. In writing personal letters, it is not uncommon for a writer to refer to himself with the word “I”. Because of their friendly and relaxed nature, personal letters usually use casual or informal language. Meanwhile, quoted from a book entitled Be Smart Bahasa Indonesia (2008) written by Ismail Kusmayadi, personal letters are very dependent on the purpose of the letter to be sent.

However, based on its content, personal letters can be divided into two types, namely private letters that are private and private letters whose contents are official. Private letters that are private means letters sent to friends, family members, acquaintances, and so on. Meanwhile, an official personal letter is a letter sent to an official of an agency or to an organization, for example a job application letter.

It is also mentioned in a book entitled Indonesian Language Textbooks and Scientific Writing compiled by Sarmadan and La Alu (2015) that personal letters are a form of correspondence written by a person as a person and not related to officialdom. In general, personal letters are informal and contain personal matters.

2. Service Letter

According to Soedjito and Solchan, official letters are letters sent by government or private offices to government or private offices and vice versa. This letter must use standard language, language that conforms to the rules of the Indonesian language regarding spelling, choice of words, and sentences.

Official letters are also commonly referred to as official letters, which are sent for official purposes or for government administrative purposes. Official letters usually contain official or government matters. This letter is only made by government agencies and can be sent to all parties who have a relationship with the agency, for example meeting invitation letters and notification letters.

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As reported from the website of the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia , official letters are written communication tools that have a legal and formal character. This letter becomes official evidence that has legal force. In addition, official letters within the organization can also be used as historical evidence and remind the activities carried out by the institution.

Based on the provisions, official letters must be written following the standard provisions. The letter must also be made using the correct preparation technique, such as letterhead, attachment number and subject matter, date of letter, writing address, and paying attention to the form of writing the letter. In addition, the contents of the letter must also be stated concisely, clearly and explicitly.

The language used in official letters is also formal or standard according to the rules for using good and correct Indonesian. Official letters must be written effectively. That is, a language that can precisely achieve its goals. Effective language must fulfill the elements of simple, reasonable, concise, clear, polite and interesting.

Quoted from a book entitled A Practical Guide to Writing Official Letters written by Muhammad Hamzah and Andi Neneng (2017), the definition of an official letter is a type of essay or composition aimed at conveying the intent to be conveyed.

Official correspondence is a very important activity to support the implementation of the main tasks and functions of the organization. In addition, official letters also have several functions, namely as authentic evidence, reminders, historical evidence, work guidelines, and ambassadors or co-authors.

Unlike the case with official letters, quoted from a book entitled Definitely Can Complete Discussion of Indonesian Language Competence written by Agus Trianto (2007), personal letters are letters addressed to other people as individuals, not as representatives or envoys related to institutional/official/ official. Generally, personal letters contain invitations, requests and requests for explanations, acceptance and rejection, or expressions of one’s feelings that one wants to convey to others.

The difference between official letters and personal letters lies in the title of the sender, personally or institutionally. In addition, when writing an official official letter, you should use an interesting format, not too long, and use clear, concise, and concise language, while the rules of language when writing personal letters are not given too much attention.

Examples of Personal and Service Letters

After knowing the differences between official letters and personal letters, here are examples of each letter that you can use as reference material to make them.

1. Personal Letters

Example 1

Example 2

Jakarta, 28 April 2020

Defandra Ramadhan
Jl. Friendship No. 63
Dago Atas, Bandung, West Java

Hello Defan, how are you? I hope you are all well and always happy, even though you haven’t seen each other for a long time. I’m also here healthy and always happy, although some time ago I had a little chill. However, I have recovered and can play as usual again, really! Hehehe …

Oh yeah, have you heard the good news? After finishing this high school, I have plans to continue studying in Bandung! It’s great fun, we’ll be able to keep playing and see each other every day, just like we used to when we were little. I can’t wait! You also learn enthusiastically and more actively! Wait for me to catch up with you! Ha ha ha …

It’s been a while, Def, I’m waiting for a reply from you, okay! Don’t forget to eat and don’t play PS too much, your mother will scold you later, you know. Hahaha … Greetings to your mother and father, yes!

From Defan’s Beloved Friend


Alea Riviana

2. Service Letter

Example 1

Bogor, 08 April 2028

No : 08/OSIS/UND EX/V/28
Lamp : –
Subject : Invitation to PORSENI (Sports and Arts Week)

To the Dear
Student Council

With respect,
In connection with the end of the 2027/2028 academic year, we, as administrators of SMA Negeri 8 Bojonggede request the presence of school representatives to take part in various sports and arts competitions which will be held on:

Day/Date : Monday/28 April 2028
Time : 08.00 – Finish
Place : Field of SMA Negeri 6 Bojonggede

Due to the importance of the event, we expect the school representatives to be present on time.

the Head of Student Council of SMA Negeri 8 Bojonggede

Henry Ramadhan

You can use this explanation of the differences and examples between personal and official letters as a guide for compiling and writing letters that are needed. Hope it is useful!