Hardship letters are documents which can either be formal or informal in nature. The former case includes documents which detail hardships of an individual, or a community, like lack of civic amenities, and are directed to certain authoritarian bodies like the corporation, the judiciary, and the police. These letters of hardship are formal in tone and they must follow the strict guidelines of a formal letter.
They must be crisp, concise, to the point and direct. The problem must be clearly stated, with all the relevant details, and help must be sought in a tone of humility and courtesy. Such letters must be submitted to the concerned authority before action is taken to solve the problem of hardship that the individual or community faces.
In the second case, hardship letters may be written by an individual to another individual soliciting help, but in an informal manner. These letters are personal letters and they concern an individual’s plea for help in case of a specific hardship, like loss of money, or health. These letters must be written in an intimate and urgent tone to impress upon the reader, the immediacy of the problem and the necessity of a solution. However, even these letters must follow some rules in order to have maximum impact.