How to Address a Letter
A letter refers to a message which can be handwritten or printed on a paper. It is generally sent to the recipient through email address or post in an envelope. In other words, we can say that any message that is transferred through the post is a letter. It is a written conversation between the two parties.
Nowadays, Emails and messages and other such forms have become the way for communication, and the skills of letter writing have gradually decreased. However, in the current situation, a lot of conversation, specifically the formal kind, is done through letters. Whether it is a letter for a job or a letter from the financial institution, letters are still an important tool for communication.
Types of letters:
The letter can be divided into two types.
The formal letter refers to a letter which is written as per the formal rules and regulations of an organization. This type of letter always follows the guidelines and formalities of the office strictly. For example, business letter and Institutional letter.
The informal letter refers to a letter that doesn't follow the formal rule and includes personal information. It is also known as a personal letter. This type of letter is generally written to friends or families for sharing feelings, news, etc.
If you are going to send any personal or business letter, ensure you are addressing it correctly so that it arrives at its recipient location without any trouble. Addressing a letter is a straightforward process. You all need to do is focus on the address and your name. You also need to concentrate on the recipient's preferred title and your recipient's name and address.
Writing an Address on an Envelope:
Write your name and address:
On the left end of the envelope, write your name and address. Make sure you are putting your own address on the letter so that the post office can return it if it can't be delivered to the recipient. You need to use a black or blue ball pen to write your name in the top left corner of the envelope page. Write your street address or post office box under your name. Once you put your street address, put your city, state, and zip code just below your street address.
You can write your address like this:
701 First Ave
Sunnyvale, CA 95125
Write the name of the Recipients:
Once you write your name and address, you need to write your recipient's full name in the middle of the envelope. Your recipient's name includes a person's title, such as MR., MS. Then write their first and last name correctly with the first letter of each name in capital form.
If you are writing a letter to a family, you need to write the family name for a casual letter, such as "The Caria Family." "If you are sending a letter to a family formally, write the parent's name on the first line with titles, afterward write the name of the children below the parent's line. You may write, " Mr. Peter and Ms. Justin" on the first line and "Sophie, Alisha, and Ronan" on the second line.
Add the Company Name:
If you are going to write a business letter, you need to include the company name next to the name of the recipients. If you are writing a personal letter, you don't need to write the name of any organization or company. However, it may help your letter reach the right person at a business if you are writing a letter for work purposes. So, write the company name below the recipient's name.
You may write, "724 Solutions Inc." or "University of Oxford."
Write the street address or P.O box of Recipient's:
After now, you need to write the street number first, followed by the name of the street. Try to spell out the whole street name rather than an abbreviation, either you are writing a business letter or formal letter. Make sure you have used a capitalize form to the first letter of each word.
For example, you would write "ABBEY ROAD" rather than "ABBY Rd." in a formal or business letter.
If you are writing a personal letter, you may write "Liberty Ln."
Write the office number:
Put the apartment or office number on the address line or just below it if necessary. Some addresses may incorporate an office number or apartment address. You need to label an apartment as "apt." put office number if you are sending the latter to your workplace.
You may write: "Abbey Road Suite 55."
Add the City, State, and Zipcode:
Once you write the street address, you need to include the city, state, and zip code just below it. Write out the city name followed by a comma, afterward put the zip code. Make sure you have entered the city and state name in capital letters.
For example, you can write, "UK NW8."
Write the name of the country after the Address:
If you are going to write an International letter, you need to enter the country name. So, put the name of the country where your recipients live below their address. Make sure you have written the name or abbreviation of the country using all capital letters.
You may write "USA" or "INDIA" or "UK."
Put the Postage Stamp:
Once you put all the address details, you need to put a postage stamp in the top right corner on the envelope. Your letter won't deliver by the postal services unless you include postage. Affix a stamp to the top right corner of the envelope to ensure it reaches its destination.
If you are sending a letter internationally, you need to use the international stamp for correct postage.
Choose the Correct Title for your Recipient:
Refer to women as Ms.:
Addressing letters to any woman can be quite a difficult task because manner is evolving with gender roles. Ms. is a suitable title for all women and is the secure option when you are addressing women professionally. You need to always use Ms. as your title for women. While using Miss or Mrs. only if you know your recipient prefers it. For example, you can write to Ms. Brylee Johnson or Miss Aubrie Smith.
If you are writing a casual letter, you don't need to concern about using titles.
Refer to Men as Mr.:
Addressing letters to any man is quite an easy task because you can call men of all ages, Mr, no matter how old the recipient is. You don't need to use another title unless your recipient prefers an alternate title.
You can write, "Mr. John Oliver."
Exclude the title if gender is unknown:
Sometimes, you may not know someone's gender if you are sending a letter to apply for any job or for any work purposes. Similarly, you may be writing a letter to someone who is gender-neutral, in this case, the most suitable option to use their full name without a title. It is still considered as a formal letter if you write only the first and the last name of the recipients.
You may write, "Dear Annie Lilly."
Write your recipient's Professional title:
If you are addressing a letter to any professional people, you need to use their professional title if they have one. It is essential to respect their professional titles like Dr., Er. You should always put the most high-ranking title first if you are addressing a letter to a couple of recipients.
You may write, "Dr. Robert Thomas." Or "Honourable Henry Oscar."
Sometimes, you are not sure about someone's title; it is alright to refer them by a higher title. For example, let's consider you are writing a letter to a professor; you are not sure that they have a doctorate, but it's alright to use "Dr."
Add a job title:
If the recipients are unclear, you need to use a job title or " To Whom It May Concern." When you are sending a business letter, there is a possibility; you may not know who your recipient is. If you find any case like this, but the name of the job position of your recipients that you are addressing. If you do not know exactly the job title, you may use "To Whom It May Concern" as a blank title."
You may write, "Dear HR Manager" if you are writing a letter for a job. If you do not ensure there is an HR manager or not, you can write, "To Whom It May Concern."
If you are not sure about the recipient's name or their job title, you may also use the department name.
Format of a Formal Letter
Write your First and Last Name:
If you are going to write a formal letter, you need to write your first and last name in the upper left corner of the letter. You can use the full, unabbreviated form of your name when you are writing a formal or professional letter. Sometimes, it may happen you have a common name, or you might think there is a probability that you may be confused with someone else; in that particular case, you can also include a middle name or another distinguishing feature.
If you are addressing a casual letter to your loved one or friends, you may use a shortened form of your given name or a nickname, for example, " Ava" or "Oliva."
Some types of business letters require the sender's name to go in the signature option located at the bottom of the letter. Both the given format are acceptable. You can go with whatever one you prefer.
You are free to put your format title before your first name if you are an engineer, doctor, or any class one officer. In this case, you would write, " Dr. Davis paul" instead of just, " Davis Paul.
Write the name of your Company:
If you are going to write a business letter, you need to provide the name of your company in the next line. If you are sending a letter as a part of your job, the name of your employer should go on the line just below your name. That is the way; your recipient will know instantly whom you represent and why you might be writing.
You can also write your official position on a separate line under your employer's name if you think it would be helpful to your recipient.
Write the street address:
Once you write the company name, list your street address on the line just below your name or company name. You need to start with the street number, afterward, put the name of the street. Make sure you have entered the full name of the street in your address line. You can write, "Gin lane 1751," not, "Jin Ln."
Don't forget to add the name of your apartment or office number after your street address. You can write, "1751, Gin lane, Apt. 8D."
Your address line makes your recipient easy to find where you are writing from and also gives them a brief location to which they can address a letter if they want to retrieve you back.
Write your city, pin code, and state:
Once you write the street address, put your city, pin code, and state name under it. Here, you need to write your city name first, followed by a comma. After the comma, write the name of your state and pin code, make sure you have entered both your city and state name correctly and in capitalized form.
Enter your Email address or Phone Number:
If you are writing a letter that is related to work, you need to include your phone number or Email address. It is best for you to provide an email address or phone number so that your recipient has another means to communicate with you. If you are going to put both the information, list your phone number first, afterward write your email address on the next line.
If you are going to provide both your work and phone number, write it on a new line and use the prefixes, " Cell," and " Work" to make it clear for your recipients.
There is no need to give your contact details or email address if you are writing a letter, and you don't expect to get a reply to, for example, a complaint letter, and letter to the editor.
Write a Date:
Once you write your address, you need to skip a line and write the date you are writing your letter. Write the full name of the month, then a numerical day and year. For example, you can write "MAY. 8, 2020" as against "MAY. 8, 2020" or" 08-05-2020."
If you wrote your letter in the course of multiple days, you need to use the particular date on which you finished it. Although it is not necessary, adding the date places your letter within a specific time frame that can be helpful if it consists of particular time information.
Write the name of the Recipients:
After now, put the name of your recipients on a new line located below the date. If you don't know the full name of the recipient, it's alright to use their last name, with a title, for example, "Mr." "Dr." you can also include your recipient's title in addition to their full name. For example, "Mr. William Jack."
If you are writing a letter to a female and doesn't have a title, use her preferred mode of address ("Ms." "Mrs," " Miss") to avoid appearing rude.
You need to check the spelling of the person's name twice or thrice to ensure you get it right. Misspelling someone's name may lead to serious consequences.
Specify the job title of your Recipients:
If you are writing a business letter, you need to specify your recipient's job title. Once you write the name of the recipients, use the next line to recognize the position of the recipients, department, and office. You will find the title line on the name line.
You should keep in mind that you will only need to include a title line only if your reason for writing a letter has something to do with your recipient's position.
If you are writing a business letter and don't know the person's title, you can simply add the name of the department in which they work.
Add the name of the company:
If you are writing a business letter, you need to include the name of the company or organization in which your participants work. On the line below the recipient's title, Put the full name of their employer entity that they represent. It helps direct your letter to a particular person in the specific department. It also shows that your letter is a formal letter.
This line is not assigned particularly for the name of the companies/organizations and businesses. It can also be used for institutions, for example, Nottingham University."
Write the full address of the recipients:
In the next two lines, you need to write the full address of the recipients. If you are writing a business letter, you need to use the recipient's work address, whereas, in a personal letter, you will simply use their private or home address. Make sure you have entered the city, state, and pin code correctly and on a separate line below the street address.
Before mailing your letter, you need to look back over your address and make sure you have entered the correct address. If you have entered anything wrong such as street name, postal code, or recipient's name, your letter may not reach where it needs to go.
When you are going to address an International letter, make sure you have entered the correct country name and Zip code.