National Etiquette Week: How To Properly Write A Letter
With all different forms of communicating these days, we have lost simple etiquette in letter writing along the way! We have gathered tips an tricks to help you write proper letter from beginning to end.
Personal letters should be handwritten on white, ivory or cream paper; more modern styles may be in unusual colors.
All personal correspondence should have the date written out in full, for example 1st December 2009, not 1/12/09.
For more personal correspondence, letters can begin with something informal such as ‘Dear John’; sign-off such as ‘With love’, ‘Best wishes’ or ‘Love from’ are usual.
Putting it all together
- PROOF READ: Always print out a copy of your letter and read it before signing and mailing. Look that the margins and format are pleasing to the eye. Read the letter for spelling, grammar, and correct contact.
- FOLDING: One of my biggest frustrations in receiving a letter is how sloppy and incorrectly it is folded. A crookedly folded letter communicates a lack of care, interest, and professionalism. Letters typed on standard 8.5 x 11 paper, mailed in a standard #10 business sized envelope should be folded in thirds, leaving the top flap just slightly short of meeting a perfect one-third fold. Leaving a little flap allows the receiver to open the letter more easily. If you are using a smaller envelope, fold the paper first in half lengthwise, then in thirds horizontally.
- INSERTING: Place the folded letter into the envelope with the top flap in front and upright in the envelope. When the person opens the envelope he or she can easily pull the letter out, open it, and read it. Inserting it any other way makes it more difficult to open and read.
Addressing the Envelope
Sending personal letters was replaced by emails years ago, at least for the most part. Business letters are still being sent and therefore there is still a need to know how to properly address an envelope. Addressing an envelope properly helps get your letter to the correct destination on time.
Step-by-step instructions here!