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To whom it may

concern:
It gives us the greatest pleasure to enlighten your brains
with the fundamentals of the art of writing LETTERS!
We have worked diligently to make this presentation,
and we hope you consider us worthy of your time.
Please sit back and enjoy!
Sincerely,
Noah Hamlen,
Rebecca
McBrayer, Mark
Osella,
Stephanie Palis,
and Danica Woo
Letters
And the art of writing
them
HOW WOULD YOU
DEFINE THIS
GENRE?
A letter is a readable
communication between two or
more parties
Personal direct
communication
A traditional letter typically
includes a:
Heading
Salutation http://expense-report.org/wp-
content/uploads/2016/09/example-of-personal-letter- (Trimbur 161)
THE HISTORY OF A LETTER

Standard paper

Telegraph

Internet
(Jones) (Methods of
Discussion Question

Given the four examples of a letter (Elvis, Obama, and


formal correspondence), what are the differences you
notice between them?

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eOmOMA
ww-TQP0e96fzTttX1ZURghsXNDWCKh44BPc4s/edit
?usp=sharing
WHAT TYPES OF LETTERS ARE THERE?

The genre of letters can be divided into four sub-genres:

Informal Formal
Informal Formal
Corresponden Corresponden
Persuasive Persuasive
ce ce
INFORMAL CORRESPONDENCE

Informal voice
Written to personal contacts
Family
Friends
Acquaintances
Written for:
Conversation
Affection http://thesocialmediamonthly.com/wp-
Special occasions content/uploads/2014/07/friends.png
INFORMAL PERSUASIVE

Informal voice
Written to personal contacts
Annoying neighbors
Roommates
Social network friends
Written for:
Changing annoying habits
Changing political views
Changing minds
Personal
Traditional
letter
Relaxed
grammar and
spelling
Intimate
EXAMPLE OF A PERSONAL
LETTER
I want to hear much oftener from you than I do. March 8 was the last date of any that I
have yet had. -- You inquire of whether I am making Salt peter. I have not yet attempted
it, but after Soap making believe I shall make the experiment. I find as much as I can do
to manufacture cloathing for my family who would else be Naked. I know of but one
person in this part of the Town who has made any, that is Mr. Tertias Bass as he is calld
who has got very near an hundred weight which has been found to be very good. I have
heard of some others in the other parishes. Mr. Reed of Weymouth has been applied to, to
go to Andover to the mills which are now at work, and has gone. I have lately seen a
small Manuscrip describing the proportions for the various sorts of powder, such as for
cannon, small arms and pistols. If it would be of any Service your way I will get it
transcribed and send it to you. -- Every one of your Friends send their Regards, and all the
little ones. Your Brothers youngest child lies bad with convulsion fitts. Adieu. I need not
say how much I am Your ever faithfull Friend.

(Adams)
TEXTS AND
SOCIAL MEDIA
Structure
Short, choppy
answers
Slang and
abbreviations
Casual grammar
Informal, laid back
tone
Multimodal elements
EXAMPLE OF SOCIAL
MEDIA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1AhrEhQ0mg
TIPS FOR WRITING A PERSONAL
LETTER

Identify why you Keep your


are writing audience and
Consider if purpose in mind
multimodal Appropriate
elements are grammar,
appropriate structure,
tone

(Trimbur 191-195)
FORMAL CORRESPONDENCE

Written to a Written for: Formal voice


professional Networki
contact
Employer ng
Former teacher
Coworker
(Linkedin
)

Commun
icating
(memos)
http://www.fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk/memo/images/Memo_logo_lg.png
BUSINESS LETTER
Structure
Similar to a traditional letter
Organized, proper grammar
Tone
Formal, professional

https://www.thebalance.com/sample-cover-letter-for-a-human-resources-generalist-j
EXAMPLE AND HOW TO

Letterhead (If
available)

Date.
Addressee info

Greeting

Message.

Closing.

Signature)

https://image.slidesharecdn.com/331d2c6e-9476-419f-ac59-7fc10461b318-160301190215/95/acceptance-letter-of-northeastern-university-1-638.jpg?
cb=1456858944
TIPS
Maintain perfect grammar

Poor grammar, even if minor, reflects poorly on the


author in a professional setting

Proofreading and peer-revision is helpful

Use clean formatting

No matter the quality of the writing, messy


formatting will ruin the message

Letterheads instantly improve the aesthetic of a


professional letter
(Trimbur 191-195)
FORMAL PERSUASIVE

Formal voice Written to


professional
Written for:
contacts:
Requests
Employers
Job
Political
recommendations
representatives
Cover letters
Business owners

To Whom It May
Concern

Often read by
(To Whom It May Concern Letter Format)
http://www.sampleletterpro.com/may-concern-letter-format.html
EXAMPLE AND HOW
TO

Heading

Authors contact
information

Date

To Whom It May
Concern

Introduction of
self/state purpose of
letter
http://www.sampleletterpro.com/may-concern-letter-format.html (Heathfield)
OPEN LETTER

Purpose Tone

To communicate or Conversati
connect with larger onal,
audience
Structure passionate,
Can be whatever author wants sincere
Persuade, protest,
Whichever is the most effective way to Can be
react or call to
communicate thoughts or ideas
action very
personal
and direct,
EXAMPLE AND TIPS
http://opnlttr.com/letter/open-letter-man-i-cheated
In Class
Exercise
Write an Open Letter (10 min)

Can be formal or informal

Can be to whoever or whatever

Keep the styles and rules that were


talked about in the presentation in
mind
WHY WRITE A LETTER?

Cathartic
Frequently used as a therapeutic technique
Margaretta Jolly - Therapeutic letter writing has
been viewed by psychologists as a powerful form
of creative writing in health care settings.

Archival
Leaves ephemera for future generations
Every kind of letter is archival
Liz Stanley - Although seemingly ephemeral,
digital communications are actually more durable
than their material predecessors, for while
messages may be deleted, this does not mean
they are necessarily obliterated or destroyed.

(Stanley) (Jolly)
MULTIMODAL
ELEMENTS

Physical Elements
Accompanying
literature
Printed pictures
Digital Elements
Attachments
Images
Gifs!
Links
Audio
http://giphy.com/gifs/filmeditor-classic-film-writing-
3ohA2MOrFgV6qHCpm8

(Trimbur 167)
?
HOW WOULD YOU
CITE YOUR
SOURCES?

Informal Formal
letters letters use
typically standard
forgo citations
citations
KAHOOT! QUIZ

https://play.kahoo
t.it/#/k/00bcffea-
9a10-42bf-93ad-b56
3d720c831
WORKS CITED

Adams, Abigail. To John Adams. 5 April, 1776.


"Celebrities Read Mean Tweets #9." YouTube. N.p., 16 Dec. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.
Heathfield, Susan M. "Sample Cover Letter for a Human Resources Generalist Job." The Balance. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.
Jolly, Margaretta. "What I Never Wanted To Tell You: Therapeutic Letter Writing In Cultural Context." Journal Of Medical
Humanities 32.1 (2011): 47-59. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection. Web. 21 Feb. 2017.
Jones, Malcolm. "The History and Lost Art of Letter Writing." Newsweek. Newsweek LLC, 03
June 2010. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.
"Methods of Communication That Have Threatened Letter Writing." Smithsonian National
Postal Museum. Smithsonian Institution, n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.
"Open Letter To: The Man I Cheated On." Opnlttr. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.
Stanley, Liz. "The Death of the Letter? Epistolary Intent, Letterness and the Many Ends of Letter-Writing." Cultural
Sociology 9.2
(2015): 240-55. SAGE. Web. 2017.
"To Whom It May Concern Letter Format." Sample Letter. N.p., 07 June 2016. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.
Trimbur, John. The Call to Write: Brief. 6th ed. United States: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2014. Print.
"University Acceptance and Denial Letters." The Washington Post. N.p., n.d. Web.
PICTURES CITED

Digital image. Expense Report. N.p., n.d. Web.


<http://expense-report.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/example-of-personal-letter-5letter-jpg.jpg>.
Digital image. Giphy. Pro. N.p., n.d. Web.
<http://giphy.com/gifs/filmeditor-classic-film-writing-3ohA2MOrFgV6qHCpm8>.
Digital image. Sample Letter. Pro. N.p., n.d. Web.
<http://www.sampleletterpro.com/may-concern-letter-format.html>.
Digital image. Slide Share. N.p., n.d. Web.
<https://image.slidesharecdn.com/331d2c6e-9476-419f-ac59-7fc10461b318-160301190215/95/acceptance-letter-of-north
astern-university-1-638.jpg?cb=1456858944>.
Digital image. The Social Media Monthly. N.p., n.d. Web.
<http://thesocialmediamonthly.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/friends.png>.
Digital image. Trust Centre for Neuroimaging. N.p., n.d. Web.
<http://www.fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk/memo/images/Memo_logo_lg.png>.
Digital image. The Balance. N.p., n.d. Web.
<https://www.thebalance.com/sample-cover-letter-for-a-human-resources-generalist-job-1918520>.