Letter Writing Tips

Here are some letter writing tips to help you produce effective business letters. 

You landed here, hoping to read a list of letter writing tips to make your letter writing very easy.  You can find some helpful advice here.  But you should also review all the pages on this site for a collection of helpful advice.

A good business writing plan will include a focus on writing a business letter and techniques for improving your writing.


Some common letter writing tips

Some common tips for letters

Keep the letter itself to one page.   If you have lots of information to add, provide the short one-page letter as a "cover letter" for all the other information which you will attach.

Make the letter attractive.  Provide a suitable “frame” round the edges with a proper margin.  Leave one-inch margins all round to give you that pleasant appearance.

Use appropriate white space. Leave one blank line between paragraphs.

Use Times New Roman 12-point font.  This font provides an executive appearance.

Write the date in words - not the confusing numbers.  Always write for your reader.

Learn to measure your pagesPosition the letter parts appropriately on the page.

  • A sheet of letter paper is 8 ½ inches by 11 inches.
  • Using Times New Roman 12-point font, one vertical inch is equivalent to 6 typed lines. 
  • Do not type in the top inch (the margin) or the bottom inch (the margin).  
  • With the top margin of one inch, your first typed line would be no higher than Line 7.
  • With a one-inch margin top and bottom, if you fill up your page, you can have only 54 lines of type on the page.  
  • Avoid a crammed appearance for your document.


Business Letter parts should include -

  • Return Address or business letterhead
  • Date
  • Inside Address (the address that will appear on the envelope)
  • The Salutation (Dear Mr. Smith:)
  • The body with 3 short paragraphs minimum
  • The Complimentary Closing (Yours truly,)
  • The Typed Signature
  • The position/title



********************





********************

Position your letter effectively and attractively

  • Place the Date on Line 12 - 2 inches from the top of the page.

           How can you do that?

  • Start counting your lines from the first typed line at the top of the page.  

(If you have a top margin of one inch, there will be 6 blank lines.  The first typed line would be Line 7.)  So, start counting your lines from the first typed line – Line 7 - so that you can place your Date correctly on Line 12.  

  • Position the cursor at the top of the page (with that top margin, that first line is Line 7. )

Then press Enter to Line 8.  Press Enter to Line 9.  Press Enter again to Line 10.  Press Enter again to Line 11.  And press Enter one more time to Line 12.

  • Place the Date on Line 12. 

(The Return Address would go above the Date.)

  • Leave 4 to 8 blank lines after the Date before the Inside Address.

From this point on (after the Inside Address), leave one blank line between letter parts.

  • Leave one blank line between paragraphs.
  • Leave 4 to 6 blank lines for the handwritten signature – between the Complimentary Closing and the Typed Signature.

See the sample below for letter writing tips to produce a well-placed letter of one page in length.

  • The blank space at the top and bottom is called the "margin."  In the sample below, the top and bottom margins are roughly equal - about one inch or 6 blank lines using Times New Roman 12-point font.
  • The blank space at the left and right sides of the page are also roughly equal - about one inch.   That format provides a professional "frame" round your document.

Follow the format below for additional letter writing tips:

What to note about the above letter sample:

  • The line numbers are shown in red, but - of course - you would not copy the line numbers into the body of your letter. 
  • The red font shows comments to help you position your letter.
  • The Return Address appears above the Date.  Leave one blank line between the Return Address and the Date.
  • The Date is positioned on Line 12 (2 inches from the top of the page).
  • The space after the Date before the Inside Address can be used to adjust the overall position of the letter.  Leave 4 to 8 blank lines generally after the Date.
  • Your goal is to have the top and bottom margins roughly equal - so that the presentation looks like a nicely framed work of art.
  • The space for the handwritten signature can also be used to adjust the overall position of the letter.  Leave 4 to 6 blank lines generally here.
  • Leave one-inch margins all round for a very good frame.
  • The side margins could also be a little larger, perhaps 1.25 inches.  Sometimes Word allows the default of 1.25 inch margins on left and right.
  • For a longer letter - Consider the one-inch side margins to allow more text to fit onto the page and still look attractive and not crammed.  (Do not make the margins less than one inch.)
  • For a shorter letter - Consider the 1.25-inch side margins to allow the text to fit comfortably onto the page.

Use the Print Preview when the letter is complete to make final adjustments to the overall position.

With this letter format and these letter writing tips, you'll soon be quite adept at writing a business letter.  People will notice that you understand the importance of excellent communication in business!

Focus on success!


LINK - Click this link to find an excellent course in business writing.


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