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What Makes a Bad Letter?

Here are 10 easy ways to make a letter reader really mad:

  1. Ramble around the subject so it’s difficult to tell what the letter is trying to say

  2. Fail to answer any questions asked in a previous letter

  3. Spell the recipient’s name wrong; get the address scrambled; assume an incorrect title or gender; or be too “familiar”

  4. Sound demanding, selfish, or superior, or talk down to your reader

  5. Use cliché after cliché, with nothing original or personal

  6. Forget to send a reply card or return envelope when you request a quick answer

  7. Don’t provide a telephone number when you ask for a return call

  8. Use small-sized or faintly printed type, so your letter is a real strain to read

  9. Make your letter too long, with key points buried

  10. Neglect to have someone proofread your letter


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