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by Abigail Van Buren

Booklet Gives Easy Tutorial on How to Write a Letter

DEAR ABBY: I'm a freshman in college, blessed to have an internship in the office of a nonprofit organization. As time goes by, and as trust is built, I am being given more responsibilities. One of them is writing letters for various purposes -- thank-you letters, invitations, congratulatory letters, etc.

When I was in high school, I was never taught the format for how to write these kinds of letters. I get confused about spacing and how to address people with titles. It's a shame that technology has left my generation so clueless on how to do important stuff. Is there a resource for letter writing available from you? I need it because I feel awkward always having to ask other staff members. -- CLUELESS INTERN IN ALGONQUIN, ILL.

DEAR INTERN: Judging from the high volume of mail I receive, letter composition is something that many people besides you struggle with. I publish a booklet called "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," and among the topics it covers are how to address a senator, member of Congress, clergyperson, etc. It can be ordered by sending your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to Dear Abby Letters Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price. Keep it in your desk drawer and dip into it as needed. My letters booklet also contains helpful suggestions for writing letters of congratulations, and letters about difficult subjects to address, such as letters of condolence for the loss of a parent, spouse or child, as well as warm thank-you notes for birthday, shower, wedding and holiday gifts.

My letters booklet provides an assist for anyone who needs a quick and easy tutorial. It has also proven to be particularly helpful for parents to use as a way to easily teach children how to write using proper etiquette.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics