Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Friday, June 23, 2006

How to Write a Letter

Writing a letter may seem like an ancient ritual that is only practiced by those of earlier generations, but there are many rewards to sitting down and expressing yourself on paper. Whether writing a quick note to a friend to say hello or composing a lengthy update to a relative, writing a letter shows effort, respect and care for others. It is a cheap, effective way to communicate with a personal touch.

  1. Find a comfortable place to set up. A desk or table is always perfect for letter writing but may not create the mood necessary to compose your letter. Be adventurous, go to the park with a blanket and stretch out. Just be sure to bring something to lean on while you write.

  2. Once comfortable, begin writing. Start with a proper opening, such as "Dear...", at the top left of the page. Include the date on the same line at the right.

  3. Write an opening paragraph. Tailor your opening to the recipient. For example, if the letter is casual, you can begin with, "What's up?" or "How's it going". Otherwise, a simple "How are you?" is fine. Also, answer this question for yourself so your reader knows why you are writing. For instance, "I'm doing fine." or "I'm writing to you because..."

  4. In the following paragraphs, include all of the information you would like and be sure to write clearly so the reader will understand you.

  5. For the closing paragraph, make a point to write the type of response you are seeking. If you would like a letter in return you can write, "Please write when you have a chance" or, if you prefer a phone call/email, write "Call me soon." or "Email me some time".

  6. Once the body of your letter is complete, include a closing such as "Love always" or "Sincerely". Again, choose your closing based on the recipient.

  7. Address your envelope. Your address should be written on the front of the envelope in the upper left hand corner or on the back. The recipient's address must be on the front of the envelope, right in the middle.

  8. Put your letter in the envelope, seal it, stamp it (add stickers to the back if you would like to add some decoration), and send it off. Congratulations, you have just written a letter and have shown the people in your life how much you care about them!

Remember who you are writing to. If it is a formal letter, such as an official complaint, use formal and polite language. If you are just writing to a friend, feel free to be informal or use abbreviations and slang.

Mailing the Letter

Now that you've written your letter, how about mailing it? Do you know the correct format of what goes where on the envelope? has created a lesson and quiz on Envelope Reading, click this link to learn more.

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