Write A Good Letter: Essential 8 Tips + FREE TEMPLATE
The truth is, many people do not think about writing a letter since we live in a time of social networks, instant messaging, and emails.
There is no longer a profound need to write a message on the paper and wait for a few days for the other person to receive it. And just as much to get an answer.
Yet we all have to write a formal letter – business, recommendation, cover, or similar at some point.
And sometimes we have a need to put pen to paper and express our feelings and/or current events to a friend or loved one.
Because letters remain forever and truly are an invaluable addition to one relationship.
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Here are eight essential tips for writing a good letter:
TIP #1 – Write the context of the letter
At the beginning of the letter write down all the necessary information that the recipient will want to know before writing the contents of the letter.
If you are writing an informal letter, to a close friend, for example, you will not need much other than to write a date so your friend knows when the letter was written.
On the other hand, if you are writing a formal letter the recipient may not know who wrote the letter (if the assistant threw the envelopes before distributing the letters). The layout of this information depends on the type of letter, but as long as you write neatly and completely accurately, there will be no problem. The context of the letter consists of:
- Your address, sometimes including contact information. Some people prefer to write it at the bottom of the letter under the signature and typed name. This can also be written as a letter header.
- The subject line of the letter, which usually begins with “Re:”
- Recipient name, address, contact information. In formal letters, this is called ‘internal address’; if you do not know the recipient’s name use “Dear Mr. XX” or “Dear Ms. XX”.
TIP #2 – Start with a proper greeting
The greeting should be on the left side, not the center or right side of the paper. The most common greeting is “Dear” followed by that person’s name and comma. If you are writing an informal letter you can write “Hello (name)” or “Hi (name)”, but if the letter is formal, use the recipient’s surname and comma (e.g. “Dear Mr. Cooper,). Sometimes, if you do not know the recipient’s name, you can write “Dear Sir,” or “Dear Madam,”. If you do not know the gender of the person, write his or her full name to avoid using “Mr.” or “Miss” (e.g. “Dear Sheldon Cooper,”). Moreover, if you are not sure wheater is one or more recipients use “Dear All,”.
TIP #3 – The language used in the letter
Be careful of the language you use and make sure you reach the purity of expression. If it is a formal letter use formal and polite vocabulary. If you are writing to a friend, you can be informal and use abbreviations and slang. Remember: you’re always expecting an answer.
TIP #4 – Divide your content into more paragraphs
This makes it easier for the recipient to read, and many just scan the content without reading each line. This is especially true for formal letters. No matter who the recipient is, try not to jump from one topic to another. Let every paragraph make sense.
TIP #5 – Write a final paragraph
In the final paragraph, you’re stating what type of answer you are looking for. If you would like a return letter, you can write, “Please write to me when you arrive” or “Send me a letter sometimes”. You can also write “Call me soon” if you prefer a phone call.
TIP #6 – The length of the letter
When it comes to an informal letter the length of the letter is totally up to you. With a formal letter, however, you need to be short and concrete [the A4 format is an adequate one].
TIP #7 – Choose a suitable greeting at the end of the letter
This depends on the recipient and the level of formalities. The greeting can be written on the left or right side of the page. An informal letter includes a greeting such as “Love”, “Ciao”, “Talk to you soon” or “Looking forward to seeing you soon”. In formal letters, stick to greetings such as “Greetings”, “Regards” and sign below. Then write your full name under the signature.
TIP #8 – Write the address on the envelope
Your address should be in the upper left corner of the envelope on the front or back. The recipient’s address must be on the front of the envelope in the middle. Fold the letter however you want, it must fit into the envelope. Put a letter in an envelope, paste it, put a stamp, and send it.
If you haven’t written a letter to your friend already, try it. It’s really fun! There are many benefits to writing letters and expressing your thoughts on a piece of paper. If you need some motivation read these 15 inspirational letter writing quotes.
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