Request Letter : Definition, Kinds and Steps

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A request letter is typically written to draw the attention of the reader concerned to some particular demands or claims of the writer. It still remains one of the most standard and useful types of letters written in a business workplace. There are different kinds of request letters:

  1. Request Letter for Driving Records
  2. Request Letter for Signature on Waiver of Process
  3. Request Letter for Copy of Right to Sue
  4. Request Letter for Relocation
  5. Request Letter of Academic Records
  6. Request of Attorney’s Fees Letter
  7. Request Letter for Contact Details
  8. Request Letter for Documents
  9. Request Letter for Deposition
  10. Request Letter to Waive Bank Fee
  11. Request Letter for Price List
  12. Request Letter Asking for Information
  13. Request Letter for Transcript
  14. Request Letter to Fill a Survey
  15. Request Refusal Letter
  16. Request Letter for Salary Increment
  17. Request Refund Letter
  18. Request Letter for Allowance
  19. Request Letter for Quote
  20. Change of Address Request Letter
  21. Requesting Credit Limit Increase Letter
  22. Request for a Cheque Book Letter
  23. Request for Issue of Voting Card
  24. Request Letter for Changes in Contract

A request letter may be written for several other purposes, but generally, these are the most common requests made. In this article, we demonstrate how to write a basic letter of request step by step.

The Planning before the Writing:

Instead of commencing the drafting process right away, there are a few boxes that need to be ticked:

  1. The writer must first identify the right person to make the request to. Because from the reader’s perspective, it would rather come as a nuisance if they found a letter in their mailbox that does not even remotely concern them. For instance, you do not want to be writing a letter to your marketing executive requesting information which is confidential or only at the disposal of the HR department.
  2. You must be very cautious in putting together all the information. A request letter is usually very factual and specific. So make sure to get all your facts right.
  3. Leave enough room and time for the request. Do not willingly put pressure on the reader by forcing response in an inconveniently short notice. So, send the letter beforehand, giving the reader the required space to respond. Also, refrain from sending it at a time when the reader is the busiest or has other commitments.

Steps in writing a Request Letter:

  1. Request letters are professional letters written in the business letter format. Therefore, the letterhead should contain the names, company names, designations and contact information of both the writer and the recipient, along with the date of sending the letter in between. In other words, it should be layered as follows:

[Writer’s information]

Date:

[Recipient’s information]

  1. The subject line should be written as “Request for an interview/promotion/raise etc.”.
  1. Start with a proper salutation or greeting.
  1. The opening paragraph should communicate the request to the reader right away, so the reader knows what the request or favor is about. Provide a brief context or short reasoning as to why you need what you are looking for. If you are writing to a third party to write a letter on your behalf, make sure to mention how you know each other.
  1. The second paragraph should provide the details of the request. For example, if you asked for product information in the first paragraph, expand on what particular kind of information you would desire in this paragraph. You may also make further requests in this paragraph to support or complement the original request.
  1. Close the letter by expressing that you would be grateful if the reader chose to comply with your requests. If the request is an urgent one, you may politely demand a quick response or follow up.
  1. Give the closing salutations and write your name at the bottom along with your signature (sign with a pen).

A few tips to remember:

  1. Request letters are usually very formal, so the tone should be an amalgam of formality, politeness, and gratitude.
  1. Keep the letter specific, relevant and to the point. No one wishes to be bothered with long verbose requests amidst their busy schedules. So do not stall yours or the reader’s time by going over the top.
  1. Requests are often asking to be reciprocated. There is always the possibility that your requests might be turned down. Keeping in mind all the counterpoints the reader might make to suggest the request is harmful or pointless, you may imply a mutual benefit in your offer as temptation.
  1. Do not try to manipulate the reader in an attempt to persuade him. Be factual and convey only precise information, as it’s meant to be.
  1. Facilitate the response.

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