The art of letter writing is fast becoming a lost art, at least handwritten letters.
However, it is certainly a skill I think we should all learn. I remember my Nana teaching me how to write a letter; where everything should go and where to put the stamp on an envelope and where and how the address should be written.
Things are much quicker these days, there’s email!
Email is great, as I said it’s quicker; it’s easy and it saves paper. There are certain circumstances when you have to write a letter though, be that typed or handwritten, there are certain occasions that call for it.
If you’re going with handwritten it is imperative that your handwriting is legible, nobody wants a scruffy letter that looks like it’s covered in Doctor’s signatures. Also, your spelling and grammar skills need to be strong, if they aren’t it’s probably best to use Word (other document creating things are available). I always make a draft copy of everything I’m doing because I’m pedantic and slightly mad.
As annoying as that little paper clip use to be on Word he had some pretty good ideas, “It looks like you’re writing a letter…” he would say, then space it out for you, tell you where things go, it wasn’t as nice as when my Nana showed me how to do it but it was helpful.
Obviously, if you choose to use email instead of the awesome, old fashioned letter writing you won’t need to have the address in the top right-hand corner. Most other details apply though; such as how to address the respondent and how to sign off.
I think that the rules of letter writing are much more relaxed than they used to be and nobody is really going to mind if you sign your letter ‘Yours sincerely’ instead of ‘Yours faithfully’. As long as it’s neat, tidy, polite and you’ve checked your spelling I’m sure you’ll be fine.
A few points to remember…
- If handwritten make sure you can read it. If you can’t understand it how do you expect them to?
- Use the correct layout.
- Check your speling spelling.
- Check your grammar!
- Have you used the correct greeting?
- Have you used the correct sign off?
- Have you put your address in the right place?
- Have you dated the letter?
- Please don’t use slang, yo.