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Letter Writing Etiquette

A letter that is well written is becoming harder and harder to find. Slang, computer email-lingo and bad grammar have moved in and become second nature in our way of writing. Always remember that when writing a letter your words cannot be taken back once sent. People often say or do things on impulse based on emotion and letter writing is no different. Just as one may walk away from an argument to cool down or think things over before responding, one needs to also put a letter down and wait before sending it. Make sure you take the time to read over what has been written before actually putting it in the mail.

Letter writing etiquette is one of the most valuable lessons a person can learn in their lives. You may say it’s just a bunch of words on paper…well, when a letter arrives at its destination it may be the only impression the reader gets of you. As with anything else, it’s important to give the reader a good picture of who you are through your writing. This is why letter writing etiquette is really an essential tool for everyone to know.

No matter what kind of letter you are writing, whether it’s a personal or a business letter, letter writing etiquette applies to both kinds. The first thing you want to do is to give thought to your writing. Consider carefully how you want to come across to the recipient of your letter. Use proper wording to express your thoughts or feelings. Many times a letter can be brought back out at a later date, as proof of your character and it may actually be a result of writing under duress or extreme emotion. Not a reflection of who you truly are. So, before writing, jot down ideas and thoughts then develop them into sentences and paragraphs. Once you’ve done this, put it aside and read it again after a few hours or days before you actually send it in the mail.

In order to make your writing easy for the reader to follow, letter writing etiquette suggests writing in a certain order. Begin at the beginning of your story or problem and go forward from there. Don’t jump around from the present to past and back again. This confuses your readers and throws them off of what you are trying to tell them. Make your presentation clear and easy to understand. Stay with shorter sentences and use descriptive words to convey your meaning. Following good letter writing etiquette will keep you from sounding long-winded and dull. It will keep the reader interested and reading quickly through the paper to find out the ending.

Another part of letter writing etiquette that cannot be ignored is grammar. When you allow grammatical errors to fill a page, you’ll distract the reader. Every time they read across something that is grammatically wrong, their brain will stop and focus on the thing that just looks wrong. Mentally their brain will note this error and it takes them away from the actual point that you may be trying to get across in your letter. If a letter is full of grammatical errors then you run the risk of losing your reader completely. They may stop reading before they ever get to the end where you may have some important conclusion statements for them.

Letter writing etiquette is something that everyone should make time to learn. Sending letters is an extension of showing whom we are and bad grammar and writing will only show the readers that you are one that doesn’t need to be taken seriously. Not only that, but a letter sent in anger full of insults and threats will only serve to show you in a negative light that can be used against you at anytime. Take the time to learn good letter writing etiquette. You’ll find that it will come in handy many times in your life.

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