The art of letter writing, in the age of e-mail and texting, is no longer prevalent with the lure of instant messages. There is no incentive, with immediate communication, to write a long narrative. However, writing an informal letter to a friend or relative is a memory creating experience both for the recipient and the writer. An informal letter, if you know the format, is easy to write and will be cherished in future years.
Get standard 8-inch by 11-inch writing paper and a pen. You can use plain paper or stationery with designs. Be sure to get envelopes that will hold the finished letter. Buy stamps. Make sure that you have the correct postage to mail the letter.
Write the date at the top and right hand side of the paper. You do not need to write your address if you are sending the letter to friends or relatives who already have this information.You will write the address on the envelope.
Write the salutation on the left of the paper. Start with "Dear (fill in the blank)," and then skip a space. Start with "Hi!" if you feel this greeting sounds too formal. Use the more formal "Dear" when writing to parents, grandparents or others who are older than you. Use the informal greeting when you intend to send the letter to a friend or sibling.
Write the body of the letter. Begin with a thesis statement that tells the reader the main idea of your letter. An example would be a child writing home from summer camp. For example, "Dear Mom and Dad, I am enjoying summer camp at the lake." Add specific information concerning the initial paragraph such as, again for example, "I kayaked with my best friends from last summer, I went hiking in the woods with them and we made friendship bracelets." Keep the tone of the manuscript light and leave out unpleasant details. Summarise the letter's main points such as "I am having a good time and I can't wait until next year's camp."
Proofread the letter. Write an appropriate conclusion such as "Love," "Miss you," "See you soon," etc., depending on who you are writing the letter to and how you are related. Sign your name or nickname with this same consideration in mind. Address the envelope with the recipient's address in the middle of the envelope and your return address in the envelope's upper left corner. Stamp the letter and mail it.
Use a computer and print the letter if you have difficulty holding a pen or pencil.
Tips and warnings
- Use a computer and print the letter if you have difficulty holding a pen or pencil.