Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 1
Letters can be long or short,
serious or not-so-serious;
Letters can explain an idea, tell a
story, ask a favor, or extend a
Letter-writing is like riding a bike –
at first you will feel shaky, but
soon, if you practice, you’ll be
traveling along by yourself!
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 2
Topics of Discussion
Letters for when you want to help, saying
thank you, when you’re sorry, when you
want to complain; and
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 3
Friendly letters are the kind you
write to someone you know well,
such as a friend or relative. They
are a great way to stay in touch
with friends who have moved or
with family members who live far
away. The tone of a friendly letter
is usually informal.
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 4
Business letters look and sound different
from friendly letters. They are more
serious, and are often written to
companies, organizations, or individuals
to ask for information, to complain, or to
praise a job well done. You should keep
copies of the business letters you send
so that you can remember what you said
in the letter, and you can send another
copy if your letter gets lost.
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 5
Postcards cost less to send than letters
in some countries. If you are sending
many correspondences at one time, you
could save some money.
Although the tone used in postcards is
usually quite informal, it is important not
to write anything on a postcard that you
would not put on a billboard – the
content of the correspondence is not
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 6
Invitations are correspondences
that you send when you’re asking
someone (or a group, such as a
family) to an event of some kind.
The tone of some invitations is
formal; other invitations are written
very informally – it usually depends
on the event.
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 7
Memos bring attention to problems and
They inform the reader about new
information in hopes that the reader will
take some kind of action;
The tone of a memo can be formal or
Memos are most effective when sent to
small or moderate groups of people.
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 8
“When You Want to
Some people send sympathy cards to
survivors when someone dies; however,
After someone dies – a relative, a friend
of the family, even a pet – a letter of
condolence, sharing another person’s
sorrow, can be a great comfort.
The tone can be formal or informal – it
depends on your relationship to
whomever you are writing.
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 9
“Thank You” Letters
Thank you letters, in particular, seem to
be a lost art. They don’t take long to
write, and the recipient of the letter will
think highly of you for having taken the
time to write it.
You may write a thank you letter to thank
someone for a gift; however, you can
also write to thank someone for a
kindness of some kind. For example,
“Thank you for standing up for me like
that. I’ll never forget what you did.”
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 10
An apology letter can help you say
you’re sorry, and that you care about the
person you have hurt by your actions or
words, even if it was something you
Although the tone of an apology letter
can be very formal or quite informal, it is
important to keep the tone serious so
that the recipient of your letter will know
that you are sincere.
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 11
Letter of Complaint
Letters of complaint are usually formal
Stick to the facts. State what your
expectations were before the complaint,
state what went wrong, and then state
what your expectations are – what will it
take to resolve the problem.
Be polite – choose your words and tone
carefully. Resist the urge to use
sarcasm or harsh language.
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 12
Let’s Have Fun With
I am going to give each of you a fictitious scenario. Do
not write on these, please do not bend or fold them.
Copy this scenario, word for word, on a piece of paper
and keep it in your language arts notebook. You will
refer to it later. Write down the number on the scenario
in your notebook also.
Remember to SINGLE SPACE everything and ALL
LINES are to be even with the left margin. This is called
BLOCK FORMAT. Use a standard 12 point font.
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 13
The date is used to indicate the
date the letter is being written.
You may wish to use the European
format (12 June 2010) or the
American format (June 12, 2010).
The date should be at the left
margin, about two inches from the
top of the page.
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 14
Inside Address, Part 1
It is always best to write to a specific
individual at the place to which you are
writing. If you do not have the person’s
name, do some research by calling the
company or speaking with employees
from the company. Include a personal
title, such as Dr., Mrs., Ms., Mr. If you
are unsure of a woman’s personal title,
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 15
Inside Address, Part 2
ON THE SAME LINE AS THE
SENDER’S NAME –
Place a comma after the name and
then his or her title.
Here’s an example:
Mrs. Susan Munnier, Teacher
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 16
Inside Address, Part 3
Directly below the recipient’s name and
title, put the name of the company.
Then, directly beneath that, put his or her
street address, and on the line directly
beneath the street address, put the city,
state, and zip code.
Here’s an example:
Mr. Ernie English, Manager
1234 Writing Lab Lane
Write City, IN 12345
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 17
Sometimes local zip codes
(particularly those within your
county) can be found in phone
http://zipcode.com is also a quick
and easy way to find the zip code
you’re looking for.
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 18
“Salutation” means a greeting of
The salutation is one space below
recipient’s address, at the left
You will need to use the recipient’s
title and last name, then a colon.
Example: Dear Mr. Green:
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 19
State your name and relationship to the
Example: My name is Susie Singleton,
and my daughter Erin currently plays for
Craven’s Crazy Softball League.
Use a sentence or two to explain your
purpose, but do not go into detail.
Example: My husband and I are
unhappy about a situation we have
encountered in your softball league.
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 20
State the supporting details to explain
why you are writing the letter. Keep it
brief, keep it factual, and keep it polite.
Erin plays first base and pitcher for
Crazy Craven. She returned from
yesterday’s game with her jersey number
tattooed on her pitching arm. We believe
this is inappropriate and extends beyond
the barriers of a coach/player
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 21
Briefly explain what the recipient can do
to make the situation right.
Example: We believe that Craven’s
Crazy Softball League should pay for the
cosmetic surgery to remove the tattooed
jersey number from our daughter’s arm,
as well as travel and lodging expenses
associated with this procedure. We
hope to hear from you within a week
regarding this matter.
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 22
Since you are writing a formal business
letter, you will put a formal closing. Note
that a comma follows the closing and
only the first word of the closing is
Very truly yours,
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 23
After the closing, leave four lines.
Then you will type or write the
sender’s name for a signature.
The reason you are leaving so
many lines is to leave space for the
writer of the letter to sign his or her
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 24
After the signature…
After your typewritten name, return to the
left margin, and type your street address.
Return to the left margin again and type
in your city, state, and zip code. It
should look like this:
115 Bentley Road
Vincennes, IN 47591
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 25
An enclosure is something you include in
the envelope with the letter. For
example, if you are writing to Craven’s
Crazy Softball league about your
daughter’s having come home with a
tattoo, you might enclose a picture of the
tattoo. If you are sending an enclosure,
you indicate this by typing Enclosure one
line below the closing.
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 26
Addressing an Envelope
Write your return address in the upper
left-hand corner of the envelope;
Center the person’s name in the center
of the envelope.
Below the recipient’s name, center
his/her street address.
Below the street address, add the city,
state, and zip code.
Put a stamp in the upper right-hand
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 27
Thanks for your
Literature 8 -- Mrs. Munnier 28