Writing Social Letters
Social letters and notes, which follow the same forma as friendly letters, should be written in a good quality, unlined paper in blue or black ink. A letter should be centered on the page, leaving an almost equal margin at the top, bottom, and sides. A short letter may be written on a note card. You should write in your very best handwriting, avoiding smudges, inkblots, and crossed-out words.
Writing Thank-You Letters
One kind of social letter is a thank-you letter, expressing your appreciation for a gift or special favor. A letter written to thank a host for an overnight or a longer visit is often called a bread-and-butter letter. Thank-you letters should be written as soon as possible after you have received a gift or returned from a visit. To make your letter seem more personal, mention specific reasons why you like the gift or enjoyed the visit. Write a bread-and-butter letter to the adults who were most responsible for your visit. For example, if the parents of your friend cooked your meals and drove you to the movies, write the letter to your friend's parents.
Writing Letters of Invitation
Another kind of social letter is a letter of invitation. Although printed invitation forms are widely used today, there may be times when you want to write a letter instead. If you invite a guest of honor, an older person, or a person who will have to make a great effort to attend, a letter
shows special thoughtfulness.
A letter of invitation should have information about the occasion, the date, time, and place, and it should make the person being invited feel that you really want him or her to attend. In addition, you may need to include special information about directions to your house or apartment, activities that require special dress, and the guest of honor.
Writing an Answer
After you receive an invitation, a letter or note of response should be sent as soon as possible. If you accept repeat the information about the time, date, and place to be certain it is correct. You should also express thanks for the invitation.
If you decline an invitation, do so courteously. Express your regret and, if possible, give specific reasons why you cannot attend.