Chapter V - Letter Writing

  • 1. Business letters.
  • 2. The heading.
  • 3. Forms.
  • 4. The greeting.
  • 5. Body of letter.
  • 6. Ending a letter.
  • 7. Materials.
  • 8. Letters of introduction, etc.

What has been said about deeds and mortgages applies not only to the farmer, but also to every owner of a building lot. The same may be said of wills. They have a business interest for the town as well as for the country dweller.


The purpose of this book being "strictly business," no attempt will be made to instruct the reader in anything not connected with the subject under consideration.

Social, friendly, and such letters are matters for individual time and taste, and no rule can be laid down for their writing, but the business letter is a different matter, and one which deserves special consideration from every man or woman who receives an order by mail, or who sends one.

To write a good business letter is no mean accomplishment, and although a gift with some, it can be acquired by all.

A letter is, in a way, a testimonial of the character and ability of the writer.

The purpose of a business letter is to express just what you want and no more.

Any man with a good common school education, and a little patient practice, can soon learn to write as good a business letter as the college graduate.

Correct spelling may not be general, but it is certainly desirable.

Letter writing, as in the preparation of other papers, has its own well-recognized forms, and these may be easily learned.

Every properly constructed business letter should consist of the following parts:

1. Where written from. 2. When written. 3. To whom written. 4. Address. 5. Salutation. 6. Introduction. 7. Purpose of letter. 8. Complimentary ending. 9. Signature.


The letter should begin by giving the address of the writer, followed by the date on which it was written. This will enable the recipient to direct his reply.

If from a city, the street and number should be given.

If many letters are written it will be convenient to have the permanent address of the writer printed.

The writing should be plain, and there should be no doubt in the mind of the reader as to the proper spelling of the address and signature.

Avoid the hieroglyphics which some vain men adopt in signing their names. It may be fanciful, but it does not imply consideration for the time and patience of strangers.

The following forms will serve to illustrate the type of heading used in ordinary business letters:


124 Smith St., Brownsville, Mass. September 4, 1910. Mr. John Smith, Doylestown, Penna. Dear Sir:

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