How To

How To Send A Letter


How To Send A Letter

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How To Send A Letter

How To Send A Letter

How to Send a Letter in Standard American English

Correspondence remains an important part of professional and personal communication, and the ability to craft and send a well-written letter is a valuable skill. This comprehensive guide will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to send a letter in Standard American English, ensuring that your message is clear, concise, and effective.

Materials You’ll Need

  • Paper: Use plain white or cream-colored paper of good quality. Avoid using scented or textured paper.
  • Pen or Typewriter: Choose a pen with black or blue ink or use a typewriter to ensure legibility.
  • Envelope: Select an envelope that is slightly larger than the paper you are using.

Step 1: Determine the Letter Format

The format of your letter will vary depending on the purpose and formality of the correspondence. Here are the two primary letter formats:

  • Block Format: All lines are left justified, with no indentation. This format is commonly used for business letters and professional communications.
  • Indented Format: The first line of each paragraph is indented five spaces, with the remainder of the lines left justified. This format is often used for personal letters and informal communications.

Step 2: Compose the Letter


  • Your Address: Write your complete address in the top right corner of the paper, including your street address, city, state, and zip code.
  • Date: Place the date on the line below your address, aligned with the right margin. Use the numerical day, month, and year.

Inside Address

  • Recipient’s Address: Write the recipient’s name and address below the date, aligned with the left margin. If you are addressing an individual, include their title and full name. If you are addressing an organization, include the organization’s name and street address.
  • Salutation: The salutation is a polite greeting that follows the recipient’s address. For formal letters, use "Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name." For informal letters, use "Dear First Name."

Body Paragraphs

  • Opening Paragraph: Begin with a brief introduction and a clear statement of your purpose for writing.
  • Supporting Paragraphs: Develop your main points by providing evidence, examples, or explanations. Use clear and concise language, and keep paragraphs to a reasonable length.
  • Closing Paragraph: Summarize your main points, restate your purpose (if necessary), and make a call to action or express an intention.


  • Closing Salutation: End the letter with a polite closing, such as "Sincerely," "Best Regards," or "Thank you."
  • Signature: Sign your full name in the space below the closing salutation. If you are typing the letter, leave ample space for your handwritten signature.

Step 3: Fold and Insert the Letter

  • Fold the Letter: If the envelope is longer than the letter, fold the bottom of the letter up approximately one-third of the way. Then, fold the top of the letter down to meet the bottom fold.
  • Insert the Letter: Place the letter inside the envelope with the right edges aligned. The letter should be facing up and the top of the letter should be at the bottom of the envelope.

Step 4: Address the Envelope

  • Return Address: Write your return address in the top left corner of the envelope.
  • Recipient’s Address: Write the recipient’s address in the center of the envelope, with the first line aligned with the left margin.
  • Postage: Affix the appropriate amount of postage to the top right corner of the envelope.

Step 5: Mail the Letter

  • Choose a Mailbox: Deposit the letter in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox or at the post office.
  • Tracking: If desired, purchase a tracking number or use a certified mail service to track the delivery of the letter.

Additional Tips

  • Use clear and concise language.
  • Proofread your letter carefully before sending it.
  • Consider the purpose and formality of the correspondence when choosing the appropriate tone and format.
  • Be respectful and professional, even if you are writing to express a complaint.
  • Keep a copy of the letter for your records.


Q: What is the proper way to address an envelope to a business?
A: Write the business name on the first line, followed by the street address on the second line, city, state, and zip code on the third line.

Q: How do I handle an address with a suite number?
A: Write the suite number on a separate line, immediately after the street address.

Q: What is the correct salutation for a letter to an unknown recipient?
A: "Dear Sir or Madam"

Q: Can I use abbreviations in a business letter?
A: Avoid using abbreviations unless they are commonly accepted, such as "Mr.," "Ms.," and "Dr."

Q: Is it acceptable to write a letter by hand?
A: Handwritten letters are generally acceptable for informal correspondence, but it is important to ensure that your handwriting is legible.


By following these steps and incorporating the best practices outlined in this guide, you can create and send a professional and effective letter in Standard American English. Remember to proofread your letter carefully, choose the appropriate format, and maintain a respectful and professional tone throughout. With practice, you will master the art of letter writing and enhance your written communication skills.