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How to Write a Letter October 29, 2008


    Sometimes you know you may need or want to send a letter to family member, friend or a business, but getting started or understanding the different components and aspects of writing a letter may not be clear to you.  Wikihow.com provides a great general summary of “How to write a letter”. 
    In the age of e-mail and cell phones, writing a letter may seem like an ancient ritual that is only practiced by those of earlier generations, but there are many personal and professional rewards to sitting down and expressing yourself with a written letter. Whether writing a quick note to a friend to say hello or composing a business letter to an authority figure, writing a letter shows effort, respect and care for others.  Wikihow.com provides a great general summary of “How to write a letter”
  1. Provide the context of the letter. Put all the information that the reader will want to know at the beginning of the letter, before you even begin to write the body. If you’re writing to a close friend, you won’t need much except the date, which will be good for if they save your letter and want to remember when they received it. If you’re writing a business letter, on the other hand, the reader may not even know who wrote the letter (if an assistant threw the envelopes away before passing along the letters). The arrangement of this information depends on what kind of letter you’re writing, but as long as you provide it neatly and completely, you should be fine:
    • Your address, sometimes including contact information; some people prefer to write this out at the bottom of the letter, under the signature and printed name. This can also go at the top as letterhead.
    • The recipient’s name, address, contact information; in business letters, this can be referred to as the “inside address”; if you don’t know the recipient’s title (Ms., Mrs., Mr., or Dr.) err on the side of caution–use Ms. or Dr. if you think it might apply;use your country’s address format; if the inside address is in a country other than yours, write their country’s name in capital letters as the last line.
    • The date
    • A subject line, usually beginning with “RE:” (e.g. RE: Graduation application #4487)
  2. Start with a proper greeting. The opening should begin at the left side of the page, not the middle or up against the right side of the sheet. The most common opening is “Dear” followed by the person’s first name and a comma. For a more casual greeting, you can write “Hello (name),” or “Hey (name),” but if the letter is more formal, use the recipient’s last name and a colon instead of a comma (e.g. “Dear Mr. Johnson:”. Sometimes, if you don’t know the recipient’s name, you can write “To Whom It May Concern:” If you don’t know the person’s gender, write out their full name (e.g. Dear Ashley Johnson:).
  3. Write an opening paragraph. Tailor your opening to the recipient. For example, if the letter is casual, you can begin with, “What’s up?” or “How’s it going?”. Otherwise, a simple “How are you?” is fine. If it is a business letter, go straight to explaining why you are writing the letter. Summarize your intentions and be sure to write clearly so the reader will understand you.
  4. Construct the body of the letter. This is the part that will really be unique to each letter. Most business letters should be no more than two pages long, but casual letters can be as long or as short as you want them to be. No matter who you’re writing to, try not to ramble. Keep each paragraph engaging.
  5. Use the closing paragraph to indicate the type of response you are seeking. If you would like a letter in return, you can write, “Please write when you have a chance” or, if you prefer a phone call/email, write “Call me soon.” or “Email me some time”.
  6. Include a closing such as “Love always” ,”Cheers”, “Sincerely”, “Talk soon”, or “Look forward to seeing you soon”. Again, choose your closing based on the recipient. The closing can be aligned on the left or the right side of the page. In business letters, stick with “Regards,” or “Respectfully,” and sign your name underneath. Then print your name under the signature.
  7. Address your envelope. Your address should be written on the front of the envelope in the upper left hand corner or on the back. The recipient’s address must be on the front of the envelope, right in the middle. Fold your letter in any way you would like, but just be sure that it will fit into the envelope. Put your letter in the envelope, seal it, stamp it and send it off.  <– iwiLetter.com will handle this part of it for you 😉
    Wikihow.com also provides specific information and instructions to follow when writing specific kinds of letters, whether they are Complaint Letters, Business Letters, Personal Letters, Job Resignation Letters, etc.  For example:
    Complaint Letters
    There is no reason for consumers to be unhappy with the goods and services they receive. A respectful and thoughtful, though forceful, Complaint Letter/letter of grievance can turn a lemon into lemonade. How to do it is covered here, covering things like:
    -Be polite! Being rude won’t get you anywhere.
    -Keep on point and get to the point fast.
    -State specifically what outcome or remedy you want.
    Job Resignation Letters
    One of the greatest secrets of career success is knowing when to move on. With the right resignation letter, you will do so with satisfaction and leave on good terms with your previous employer.  For example:
    -Say thank you. Resist the temptation to leave a piece of your mind.
    -Give proper notice. It is simple courtesy.Wikihow also gives Tips and Warnings to following when writing a Resignation Letter, for example:
    -Do not discuss your resignation with co-workers.
    -Keep any emotion out of the letter. Avoid the temptation to tell off your boss, spreading mistrust, etc. 
    Letters to Government Officials
    Wikihow.com even provides a  ‘How To’ guide on Writing a Letter to a Government Official.  How often have we been advised to ‘write our Congressmen’ when we’re up to our armpits in some sort of dilemma or challenge such as mammoth-sized pot-holes, funky school lunches, or runaway drug costs for senior citizens? So now you’ve decided to take action and ask for help from your Uncle Sam (or local Alderman). Good for you, let’s get started!
    Well, there’s some How, Why, and Who about writing and sending letters.  Let’s get started writing letters now!  iwLetter.com not only provides the quick and easy way to send a real letter online, we also provide Sample Letters to help you get started! http://iwiletter.com/loadsampleletter.html
    iwiLetter.com– send real letters, write online

iwiLetter.com can be your personal Santa’s Helper! December 22, 2007

Christmas is almost upon us once again, and you know what that means.  It’s a chance to see family again; a chance to catch up with the friends that you keep telling “this year we’ll make it a point to talk more often”; it’s a chance to reflect on the year that’s just passed, and think about the one ahead; a chance to take some much needed down time and relax by a fire; it’s a chance to sleep in just a little for once; and it’s a chance to give and receive some great gifts. 

Christmas may also bring with it some things that you’re not really looking forward to.  It may mean you’ll get stuck in traffic as last minute shoppers rush to complete their shopping lists; it can mean you’ll have to cram into stores with way too many people to buy that one gift that you just have to get; it means you’ll have to wait in line just for the opportunity of paying a marked up price knowing that it’ll be much cheaper if you only wait until the week after Christmas; it can mean you’ll likely have to wait on a delayed flight and fight through some stormy weather to get home; it may mean you’ll struggle with that inability to just “shut off” from work and relax; and it means that you’ll have to eat way too many little dolled up candy creations of all sorts that people create and force you to eat (wait, is that a bad thing?!). 

When Christmas is all done and you’re sitting back with some eggnog looking at all the nice gifts you’ve received, you’re almost at the point of peace because all is perfect in your little world.  But then you’ll come to the dreaded realization that you promised yourself that you’d write Thank You Notes this year……NOOOOOOO!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don’t worry, we can help!  Look at iwiLetter as your personal little Santa’s Helper of sorts.  You know that you don’t even have any stamps or envelopes lying around to send your Thank You Notes.  You probably have no idea what to write in each Thank You Note, and even if you did, writing and re-writing each Thank You Note will take hours.  You know that even once you do write them, nobody will be able to read your handwriting. 

iwiLetter can help with all of these things!  Just visit iwiLetter.com and type your Thank You Note or Letter, and we’ll handle the rest.  We’ll print, stuff, stamp, and mail your Thank You Letters anywhere in the US.  We even have some sample Thank You Notes/Letters that you can start with and edit to your liking – http://iwiletter.com/loadsampleletter.html .  After you send your first letter, it’s saved right in your account and you’ll be able to easily tweak it to individualize your next Thank You Note.  You can even write your Thank You Letters on your laptop now before Christmas while waiting at the airport, and pick the date that you want it sent! 

You see, Christmas is a great time of year, and a great Holiday.  But it can also bring a lot of hard work.  Let us help you with this small yet tedious and time consuming part of it.  Heck, you might even save enough time to get started on your New Year’s resolutions!  So remember to visit us at www.iwiLetter.com this holiday season.

www.iwiLetter.com – send real letters, write online