Addressing the envelope: letter writing tips

Posted by Manjusha Filed in Business English

When you address the envelope, follow the style you used in the letter. If you typed the letter, type the address on the envelope. The style should match. If you wrote the letter by hand, write the envelope by hand. Be sure your writing is legible. Here are a few more guidelines:

On the envelope, put the first name before the surname. People usually write a title (Mr, Mrs etc) before the name. You can write the first name in full (Mrs Susan Fernandez) or you can write one or more initials (Mrs S Fernandez). British people now usually write addresses, titles, initials, dates and opening and closing formula without commas or full stops. American usage is different. In American English, commas are sometimes used at the ends of lines in addresses; full stops may be used at the ends of addresses.

Center the recipient’s name and address in the lower middle quadrant. Don't use Mr, Mrs, or Ms when you write your own name on the return address. Use only standard abbreviations for streets, states, and countries. To insure speedy delivery or return, include the zip code in both the recipient's address and your return address.

Sections in this article

Address and date
Body of the letter
Subscription or leave-taking
The Tone and Language of a Letter
Personal Letter Writing Tips
Example of formal letter and envelope
Formal Letter Sample 2
Example of informal letter and envelope
Informal Letter Sample 2
Informal Letter Sample 3
Informal Letter Sample 4

See Also
Email writing tips
Resume writing


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