Knowing how to write a letter is a fundamental skill you'll use in business, school, and personal relationships to communicate information, goodwill, or just affection. Here's a basic guide on how to put your thoughts to paper in the correct format.
11.Decide how formal your letter needs to be. How you write the letter will depend on your relationship with the recipient.
2.Decide whether you'll send a handwritten letter or an email. The way you choose to send your letter also indicates a degree of formality.
3.Use letterhead, or write your address at the top of the letter (formal only). If you're writing a business letter and company letterhead is available, make use of it. Or, if you simply want your letter to look more professional, you can design a letterhead on a word processing program. Otherwise, simply write or type your full home address at the top of the letter, justified to the left. Write your street address on the first line, and your city, state and ZIP code on the second line.
4.Write the date (all letters). If you've written your address first, make a two hard returns or leave a few spaces, then write the date. Otherwise, start with the date first, justified to the left.
5.Write the name, title and address of the person you're writing to (formal only). Make two hard returns after the date, or leave a few spaces, and write out the full name and title of the person you're writing to. On the second line, write the name of the company or organization (if applicable). Write the street address on the third line, and the city, state and ZIP code on the fourth line.
7.Write the recipient's name after the salutation.
8.Start the letter. Do two hard returns after the salutation if your'e typing the letter, or simply move to the next line if you're writing it by hand.
9.Ask yourself what needs to be communicated. The primary purpose of a letter is communication. As you write, ask yourself what information the recipient should have, and put that into the letter. Do you need to talk about the new rates on your product, how much you miss the other person, or thank him or her for the birthday gift? Whatever it is, sharing information should be the focus of the letter.
10.Proofread your letter. Before you send the letter, read over it a few times to make sure it conveys what you wanted to say, and that it's free of spelling or grammatical errors. Use the spellcheck feature on your word processor or email client, or have a friend read it over for you. Make any necessary changes.
11.Use a complimentary close. A complimentary close ends your letter on a good note and establishes a connection with the recipient. Make two hard returns after the last paragraph of the letter, then write the complimentary close.
12.Sign your name. How you sign your name will depend on the nature of your letter.
13.Fold the letter (optional). If you're sending a letter through the post, fold it into thirds. Bring the bottom of the sheet up so that it's two-thirds of the way up the page, and crease. Then fold down the top portion so that the crease matches up with the bottom of the paper. Folding the letter this way ensures that it will fit into most envelopes.
14.Address the envelope (optional). Find the center of the envelope, both lengthwise and widthwise. This is where you'll write the full address of the recipient, like so:
15.Write your return address on the envelope (optional). If the US Postal Service cannot deliver your letter for any reason, it will send the letter back to the return address at no extra charge. Write it as you would the address of the recipient (listed above); the only change is that you might wish to simply list your last name instead of your full name.