How do you write a letter?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by John Kilduff, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

    Oct 27, 2001
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    I know it's a ludicrous question to ask, but I haven't written that many snail-mail letters. I recently (a few months ago) signed up with, and I want to write some famous people letters.

    I have forgotten how to do so, so could somebody show me:

    -Proper formatting?

    -Examples of openings and closings?

    -A sample letter?


    John Kilduff...

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

    Aug 16, 1999
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    What word processor are you using ? MS Word has typical letter formatting that should make it a breeze.

    As for content, what type of celebraties are you contacting ? I'd certainly use a different tone with Ms Janet Jackson and Mr Timberlake vs. Warren Buffett....
  3. Andrew W

    Andrew W Supporting Actor

    Jun 19, 2001
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    The definitive reference:

    W. Strunk Jr. and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. MacMillan Publishing Co., 1973
  4. MikeSerrano

    MikeSerrano Second Unit

    Dec 7, 1999
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    Yeah, what Andrew said. [​IMG]

    The Elements of Style is the most succinct writing reference I have ever had the pleasure to read. Weighing in a just over 100 pages, there is a wealth of information within its covers. Highly recommended to anyone who needs to write anything longer than an Instant Message.

    I also recommend Writers Inc by Patrick Sebranek, et al. It's aimed at High School level students, but this writing reference/handbook is useful to everyone in all stages of education. This book is much larger than Elements of Style, and for good reason. Writers Inc contains just about everything you wanted to know about writing, addressing topics like "Why write?", finding reference books, finding research materials, writing responsibly, and how to properly format source citations or business letters (among other things). Additionally, all of this content can be quickly referenced by using the book's exhaustively complete index.

  5. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

    Aug 19, 2002
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    I second The Elements of Style and would like to sugggest The Little-Brown Handbook . These two books got this Engineering major through all the stupid "core" English courses with never less than a 'B'. Matter of fact, I had a few English profs ask me to switch majors, simply because I learned how to 1) State your premise 2) Detail your proof/reasoning a paragraph at a time 3) Restate your premise 4) End on a sentence that kisses the prof's butt and appeals to their decidedly left-leaning politics.

    (that last one is not in either book, but changed a lot of 'B's into 'A's!)

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