Over time I have noticed that most people don’t know how to write a letter properly. I don’t mean their writing quality or grammar. I don’t mean use of punctuation or sentence structure. What I mean is letter structure.
Write your intended recipient’s name, address and postcode clearly where the envelope window would be so it easily shows through. If your envelope doesn’t have a window then don’t bother writing the recipient’s details anywhere other than on the envelope.
Write your own name, address and postcode in the top right hand corner so it is easily visible incase someone needs to write back. If you wish to be written back to at a different address write it at the middle of the top of your page and mark it clearly, this will lead to less confusion for anyone attempting to write back including companies that may have important documents or forms to send you.
When you write the actual piece start by stating your intentions “Dear Auntie, I am writing to…”.
Any important information should be included in your writing right away so “…tell you that I need you to get me some milk…” is acceptable as a request but “…tell you that I’ve broke my leg so need you to get me some milk…” gives a little more detail and reveals your reason for needing the help, it shows vulnerability as the reason.
The story will come after the intention. The story would in this case be how, when and where you broke your leg. In the later section of your letter you can write whatever you want, write about goats or cheese or your newfound love of goats cheese. In the later section you include non essential detail so that the important stuff can be processed early on. Your Auntie may care enough to read into this stuff and you may make their day with this information but the priority is what really matters. A company that is reading it will probably have someone to sort through mail and understanding a customer’s intentions quickly will help them and as a consequence, you.
As you end your letter sign off with your clearly written name, which will let them know who has written if they don’t look at the address section. If you’re writing to a company then the name should be accompanied by a signature, just incase they have it on file.
Any photocopied documents, be it a picture of your cat or a passport should be clear and whole, not missing any corners and not too light or dark on the page.
I hope this helps anyone wanting to use the written form of communication as I know that many struggle with it. If there is anything that you feel needs to be added I invite you to the comment section below.