If you want your letters to be properly understood, you have to treat them with the same attention you gave to your papers back in school. That means, drafting the letter and reviewing them later to make sure it says exactly what you intend to mean.
Here are some things to remember when editing your letters:
- Skip proofreading. An English writing software can do that for you, so manually going through for that just eats up time.
- Don’t forget your name and relevant information. In haste, people sometimes forget to include their information in letters. It may sound silly, but it happens, so check for it.
- Avoid sounding contrived in your opening. A lot of people who have read poorly-written letters use them as basis for opening sentences. Skip that. You don’t need contrived nonsense. If you can write something engaging, do so. Otherwise, just be earnest.
- Avoid cliched language. Similar to the above, avoid all the cliched language people use in letters, especially ones that relate to business and school. Cliches diminish the impact of any meaning you want to convey.
- Speak in concrete terms. Only legal letters and rejection letters are allowed to be obtuse. For the former, it’s sometimes necessary to make sure wording complies with existing laws and rulings; for the latter, they don’t want to hurt feelings too much.
- Write in shorter paragraphs. People tend to write block-long paragraphs in letters for some reason. Just like with other pieces of writing, doing so makes reading a lot more painful than it has to be.