How to Address an Envelope

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How to Address a Letter....5

Addressing an envelope requires writing the return address in the upper left corner, writing the recipient's address in the very center of the envelope and placing the correct postage stamp in the upper right corner. Legibly address a letter, typing the address for a more formal correspondence, with information from a standardized test prep instructor in this free video on education.

Part of the Video Series: Education: English, Math & Teaching
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Video Transcript

Let's talk about how to address a letter. So here's our sample letter. So in the upper-right hand corner, you're going to put your stamp. You want to make sure that you have the right amount of postage on it so it doesn't get returned to you. You also want to make sure that sometimes the post office will deliver it if it has the wrong amount, but there'll be a postage due. And if it's like a formal letter -- you're sending out a resume or a proposal or something like that -- you certainly don't want to have postage due. That wouldn't be the first impression you want to make. And the upper-left hand corner's going to be your name. So this is the return address. So this is your name and your address. And it can be a little smaller in the upper-left hand corner. In the middle of the envelope, you're going to have the name of the person you're sending it to and their address. And you want to make sure that it's not right at the bottom. You want to leave a little room at the bottom because that's where the post office is going to put their bar code. So you want to make sure there's a little room at the bottom for the post office bar code, which they use to scan the letter and make sure it gets to where it's supposed to go. Generally, they say that if your letter is typewritten -- you know, if this is a formal letter to...again, for a resume or something -- they say if the letter is typewritten, you know, is typed, that the envelope, ideally, should be typed as well. If the letter is handwritten, the envelope should be handwritten. I...that's the formality of it. I think sometimes that's something nice you can play with yourself. Sometimes it's actually nice to have a handwritten envelope. It just looks more personal. It doesn't look like junk mail. So you can, you know, look that up on the Internet, see what you think, and allow it to reflect your own personal, you know, feeling on that or what you're trying to express or who it's going to. You can make that judgment call. If you're not sure, like I say, just do some research on the Internet. But the formal way, if you want to be safe, is handwritten, handwritten, typewritten letter, typewritten envelope.

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