How to Write a Letter

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Whether you are writing a business letter or a friendly letter, these tips will guide you.

Step 1: Start with the date
Start by including the date. It should go in the top-right corner if you’re writing a personal letter, and in the top-left corner if you’re writing a business letter. With a business letter, continue by writing the recipient’s name two lines below the date, and their address one line below their name.

Step 2: Greet the recipient
Dear” is appropriate for either a business or personal letter. If you don’t know the recipient, use “To Whom it May Concern.” For informal letters, use “Hello,” or “Hi,” followed by a comma and the person’s first name.

Step 3: Write first paragraph
State the purpose of the letter in the first paragraph.

Step 4: Write the body
Write the body of the letter clearly and logically so the reader knows why you are writing.

Step 5: End the letter
Close the letter with a paragraph describing the action you expect the recipient to take.

Step 6: Add a closing
Choose an informal or formal closing based on the recipient. “Sincerely,” or “Regards,” works in nearly every situation. Write your name and sign the letter.

If you have typed the letter, type your name four lines below the closing so you can handwrite your signature in that space.

Step 7: Prepare the envelope
Write your address in the upper-left corner of the envelope. Write the recipient’s address in the middle. Seal the letter in the envelope, place a stamp in the top-right corner, and mail it.

Did You Know?
Did you know? The U.S. Postal service delivers to more than 149 million residences, businesses, and post office boxes.