How to Write a Letter

The most important element of writing a good letter is your ability to identify and write to your audience. If you are writing a letter to your love interest, it will be crafted in an entirely different manner than if you are writing a letter to the human resources department of a large corporation. Learning to write a good letter also takes practice, knowledge about proper form and the ability to put into words your feelings, thoughts, and/or ideas. If you learn the basic parts of a letter, it will help you to create letters for a variety of audiences and occasions.

The Presentation of the Letter
The presentation of the letter can be hand-written for informal letters (friendly letters) that are addressed to friends and family members, especially thank-you letters.

Formal letters which are written on behalf of businesses or to professional contacts (business letters) should always be typed. The letter should also be free of grammatical and spelling errors, so proofreading it after it is written is of the utmost importance.

Parts of the Letter:
If writing an email, Your Address, Date, and Inside Address should be ommited.

Your Address
At the top of your letter, you will put your address, so the reader will know where to send their reply to.

Put the date on which the letter was written in the format Month Day Year i.e. June, 7, 2014.

Inside Address
The inside address is only required for a paper business letter and will include the address of the person you are writing to along with the name of the recipient, their title and company name. If you are not sure who the letter should be addressed to either leave it blank or try to put in a title, i.e. "Director of Human Resources".

The Greeting
The greeting will address the recipient that the letter is being sent to. This is usually completed in the form of "Dear Anne" or "Hey Anne", for less formal letters.

The Introductory Paragraph
The first paragraph and will generally outline the purpose for the letter and the reason that the letter is being sent. This can address any issues that are outstanding and is used to set the tone for the entire rest of the letter. In this first paragraph, the summary of the letter can be found and the intentions which will be displayed through the rest of the letter should be outlined. From the first paragraph of the letter, the recipient should be able to note the tone of the letter.

The Body
The body of the letter will expand upon the introductory paragraph and you can extend your thoughts and feelings further when it comes to the letter. The body of the letter will usually be just a few paragraphs for most letters.

The Closing Paragraph
In the closing paragraph of the letter, you will close the letter and finish any thoughts that have been mentioned.

The Complimentary Close
The complimentary close of the letter comes in various forms from yours truly, if you are familiar with the recipient, to a traditional sincerely which is a versatile closing that can be used in a variety of letters detailing many situations.

◁ Letter Writing Guide Home

Resources: Free Letter Samples | Test Taking Tips

Copyright ©2004

Privacy Policy