How do you format a letter for mail?
Even in today's fast-paced world of text messages and instant communication, there are still plenty of reasons to send a traditional letter every once in a while. You can say "I love you" or apologize with pen instead of words. And if it's someone close by that you're writing to, you know they'll appreciate receiving their own special snail mail. But what exactly goes into formatting a handwritten note so that it looks nice enough to be mailed out? Here's how to write a perfectly formatted letter to make sure its appearance matches the rest of your correspondence.
What is your full mailing address?
First things first, let's get down to business -- what should your actual mailing address look like on any envelope you plan to use? If this is something you've never had to worry about before, don't fret! It really isn't difficult at all. All you need to do is take the following steps one at time:
1) Write the recipient's name on an envelope. The front flap will have two lines coming off from the top corner (one going up, one going down). On each side, these lines continue until they meet in the middle. This means that when folded over, the right line should go straight across the left line. When unfolded, the bottom part of both lines should point toward the center. The next step will help you figure out which direction those sides should face.
2) Fold the paper in half horizontally to find where the crease lies. Make a mark along this fold with a pencil. Now, take the other end of the sheet vertically and draw a diagonal line between the top corners opposite of where you made your initial mark. Then connect that new angle to the original crease using another vertical line. Do this for the second set of angles on either side of your previous crease. Your final result should look something like this: .
3) Take the piece of paper that has been marked with horizontal folds, unfold it, then lay it horizontally on top of itself. From here, place a ruler under the edges closest to you and measure them out. Mark on the page with where these lines intersect. Connect those points to create four triangles. Don't forget to also include the original creases. Once you've created four separate triangles (two per side), turn your paper 90 degrees clockwise and repeat Steps 1 through 3 again. Each of these triangles should form the shape of an individual square. With each side measured out, trace around all eight squares onto your paper. Once you've finished tracing around everything, cut away the extra bits of paper.
4) After cutting all of the pieces apart, you should now have 16 rectangles that match the dimensions of standard envelopes. These will serve as templates for creating your personalized addresses. To make life easier, we recommend placing one template on top of each other and matching the corners together. For instance, the upper left corner should align with the lower right corner. Next, simply fill in whatever information you want to appear on the outside of your envelope. Remember, always keep our guidelines in mind. In addition to the recipient's name, the correct spelling must follow proper grammar rules. Never put anything inside the body of your letter. That would defeat the purpose entirely!
Now that we've got those basics covered, let us show you some examples of common mistakes people often make when sending letters via snail mail.
What does your mailing address mean?
Have you ever seen a box with numbers scribbled inside of it? Or maybe you noticed a street number but no house name? Well, technically speaking, that's not supposed to happen. A mailing address consists of three parts: city, state, and zip code. However, sometimes certain states may omit the postal abbreviation after the ZIP code. Other times, a person might decide to only enter his/her home town rather than the whole area. Regardless of whether or not the post office allows it, there's absolutely nothing wrong with having just a city, state, or zip code. Just remember, the more specific you can be with your address, the better chance it has at getting delivered properly.
Here's a quick breakdown of the most important elements contained within a real mailing address. By knowing what each section means, you can easily craft one that suits your needs best:
City - Most cities consist of multiple neighborhoods. Therefore, if you live in Los Angeles and receive a letter addressed to Beverly Hills, who knows how long it took for it to arrive? Instead, try adding the neighborhood or even the exact street in question. So, your Beverly Hills address could become 4110 East Pico Street #2037.
State - Most countries list their states alphabetically based on regions. Since U.S. states aren't listed this way, you'll have to specify which particular region you're referring to. For example, Washington State is actually divided into several smaller sections called areas. One such area is called Whatcom County. Try putting Washingon Area Code 3606 followed by a dash and then Whatcom County.
Zip Code - As mentioned earlier, the United States doesn't employ a zigzag system for sorting zip codes. Rather, it uses a series of numbers in order starting with 9999. If you live in Seattle, WA, and were given the zip code 98104, you'd refer to it as 98044. Also, the last digit of your zip code refers to the delivery service. For instance, if you lived in New York City and received a letter addressed to Chicago, IL, you wouldn't expect it to come back stamped NY 06922.
As you see above, there are many ways to correctly spell a mailing address without resorting to abbreviations. Although not necessary, keeping track of apartment listings online makes finding your destination much quicker. There are also apps available for tracking packages too. Of course, if you plan to drop your package off yourself, Google Maps is great for helping you locate nearby locations that accept mailboxes.
Mail boxes tend to be located near busy streets because they attract customers looking to pick up letters and parcels. Many people choose to install mailbox stands outside their homes for added convenience. Mailbox companies usually offer several different styles, including small metal containers, large plastic bins, and even mini ones designed specifically for pet owners. When choosing a type of mailbox stand, consider factors like size, durability and cost. Some larger models are expensive, but others are quite affordable. Whether you purchase a preassembled model or build one yourself, you shouldn't have trouble finding a design that fits your lifestyle.
Finally, although not strictly related to addressing a letter, there's a lot to learn about postage costs if you plan to handwrite your correspondence. The USPS charges flat rates for standard sized envelopes and flats, depending on weight and location. Postage prices vary greatly worldwide, however, so you should check local laws in advance. Lastly, if you intend to send a letter internationally, you should research customs fees beforehand. They can range anywhere from $5-$40!
What is a mailing address example?
So far, we've looked at various types of addresses that anyone can understand. But what happens if you're trying to mail something very unique, like a wedding invitation? Luckily, there is an easy solution. Let's assume you wanted to mail an invitation for a birthday party that was being held at Disneyland. Obviously, you won't be able to leave out any details. How else can you add detail to a generic greeting card? First, think of the basic components needed to describe the event. Things like date, location, guests' names, etc. should work well. Second, make room for additional information such as theme park tickets, reservations, gift registry links, contact phone numbers, directions, etc. Third, allow space for personal touches, such as signatures, RSVPs, or guest lists. Finally, since it's hard to fit all of this stuff on a regular envelope, you should probably break up the invitations among different sizes. Smaller cards should contain all of the essentials, whereas bigger ones could hold extras.
In case you missed it, here's a summary of everything discussed so far:
Your Full Address = recipient's name + physical address + phone number(s)
Mailing Addresses Are Rectangular Shapes Made Up of 4 Squares
A Postal Abbreviated Number Is Only Used During Shipping Purposes
Make Sure Your Envelope Dimensions Match Those of Invitations & Stationery
Don't Forget About Customs Fees
You Can Always Handwrite Your Own Letter if Necessary
Do Not Put Anything Inside the Body of Your Letter
The Best Way to Send Letters Is Via Snail Mail
If you enjoyed reading this article, please share it with friends!
This story originally appeared on Decorilla and is republished here with permission.
As great as email can be, sometimes it just doesn't cut it. If you're looking for something that combines power with finesse, then sending someone a handwritten note could not get much better than a hand-addressed envelope full of your very best wishes. If you really want to go all out, you might even throw some stamps on top! But how exactly does one put together such a beautiful package?
This article will teach you everything about writing addresses. It won't take long at all -- we'll cover only five basic rules here. Once you've mastered these, you'll have no problem producing letters that look like they came from a professional post office. And if you think back to when you were younger, maybe you remember getting envelopes addressed by Mom or Dad instead of a grown up postal worker. Well, now it's time to learn what makes them so special!
How do you write an address example?
The first thing I recommend doing before starting any kind of creative project is brainstorming. That way, my students always end up coming up with ideas that would never occur to me otherwise. So let's start off our exercise in creativity by tossing around various words related to "postal" until one hits home. The following list contains several good examples that may inspire you:
address - mailbox - stamp - postman, postwoman, post office
Now, after you come up with this list, try to imagine yourself standing outside of a house with nothing but those four items. What sort of image comes to mind? Is it helpful? Or confusing? Can you see people inside their homes waiting behind closed doors? Are they opening the door to greet visitors? How many floors are there in each building? Do the houses appear well kept? Does anything seem amiss? Now, compare that mental picture with what actually happens when someone writes an address on an envelope.
What is an example of a address?
A typical street name consists of two parts: the name itself (e.g., Main Street) followed by numbers (either sequential ones, like 1 Main St., or directional ones, like Main St.). Directional numbers indicate which direction streets run. A number alone indicates a specific location within the road network, although in some cases they may also accompany names (like 1234 N. Maple Ave.).
Street numbers begin with a zero because the numbering system was designed to make sorting mail easier. Before zip codes became commonplace, cities used other methods for classifying destinations. For instance, Los Angeles residents wrote L.A. rather than 21387, indicating that the destination lay west of downtown Los Angeles. Later, New York City began using E. 42nd St. over 4th Avenue, since 42nd was closer to lower Manhattan than 4th. As a result, most Americans know how to locate themselves based upon street numbers.
But what about city directories? They usually include both street numbers and names, along with directions. This helps readers find businesses quickly without having to memorize complicated routes. In fact, street directory entries often consist of more information than actual addresses printed on mailing labels. You might notice that directories use different formatting techniques depending on whether they contain residential listings or business locations. Some directory publishers even add extra details such as floorplans to help customers visualize where buildings stand relative to one another.
So why bother learning how to write addresses? Because a lot of things depend on it. Let's say you live in a town called Cedarville, Iowa, United States. According to the 2013 Census Bureau data, its population totals 15,868. Most of us wouldn't consider this small enough to warrant driving everywhere, especially given that roughly 75 percent of U.S. households own cars. However, if you had lived somewhere else, perhaps in a larger metropolis, you'd probably drive quite frequently. After all, traffic jams aren't uncommon during rush hour.
How should an address be written?
In addition to being able to read it, you need to be able to understand how it works. By taking advantage of the principles mentioned earlier, you'll ensure that your audience has a clear idea of where you're located. Here's a quick rundown of what goes into putting together a standard street address:
First, figure out which part of the street name identifies your property. Then decide how far away that place lies from the recipient's residence. To determine that distance, subtract one block length unit from another. For instance, if your street runs east/west and you live on the corner of Fifth and Sixth Avenues, then the next nearest intersection is First and Second Streets. Subtract 200 feet from 500 feet to arrive at 300 feet away.
Next, use the correct terminology to describe the exact location of your home. When talking about direction, it's important to keep in mind that the terms north and south refer to geographic orientation and not cardinal points. North is toward the rising sun, and South is toward the setting sun. East is parallel to Earth's axis, and West faces perpendicular to those lines. Finally, don't forget to use proper grammar and punctuation. Spelling mistakes can cause confusion for anyone who reads your message later.
Just as the U.S. Postal Service uses standardized language throughout its operations, so too must you follow suit when crafting your correspondence. Be sure to check out our complete guide to American spelling and punctuation.
For the sake of simplicity, let's assume that you're going to write an address that includes the same type of directional elements found in a street directory entry. Next, take a look at the following examples:
Your street is named Cedar Lane. Your friend lives across the street. Although his house isn't labeled, he knows that it's the second dwelling down from yours. He figures that you live on the third floor of the three story family residence. Therefore, his guess that you reside in apartment 2B.
You live on the top floor of a four-story apartment complex. Your neighbor below you likes to play loud music late at night. Since you love peace and quiet, you move downstairs whenever possible. Unfortunately, your new neighbors are pretty rowdy and tend to hang out near your windows. On occasion, you hear them yelling at one another, breaking glass, etc. Sometimes, they leave beer cans on the lawn overnight. Their dog barks incessantly, making it difficult to sleep through the wee hours of the morning. Every day, you complain to management, hoping that they will somehow fix the situation. Alas, they haven't yet been able to resolve the issue.
One evening, you walk past a group of people gathered outside of your building. One person shouts, "Hey Jimbo!" Another replies, "Yeah?" Still others laugh and joke amongst themselves. At times, you overhear snippets of conversation relating to work, money, or relationships. Later, you realize that the group included your upstairs neighbors. Despite living directly above you, they rarely acknowledge you. Occasionally, you catch glimpses of them walking dogs in the backyard or playing Frisbee with their kids. Even worse, you suspect that they smoke pot. Needless to say, you avoid socializing with them ever again.
These scenarios represent common problems associated with living in apartments. Whether you rent or buy, you likely face similar situations on a daily basis. Fortunately, you have the option to opt out of dealing with rude roommates, noisy neighbors, or annoying landlords. Simply contact your local government housing authority and ask for assistance finding reputable real estate agents.
How do you write an address in English example?
To recap, an address typically begins with the name of the street followed by the sequence of numbered avenues. Depending on where you live, you may encounter additional components such as side roads, parks, schools, hospitals, shopping districts, and police stations. Also, some neighborhoods feature multiple sets of alphabetical streets arranged according to a grid pattern. In either case, it's crucial that you pay attention to detail. Take a look at the following example:
Address: 123 Main Street, Apartment 3C, San Francisco, CA 94110
Let's break it down line by line.
123 Main Street - This refers to the physical street where your recipients' residences lie. Note that if the street is numbered, you use this number instead of the word "street."
Apartment 3C - This denotes where your recipient resides. Don't worry if you don't know the precise room designation. Just pick whichever one seems appropriate.
San Francisco, California - This specifies where you live, i.e., the country, state, province, region, municipality, county, district, ward, borough, neighborhood, etc.
94110 - This signifies the ZIP code assigned to your area. Please note that unlike telephone exchanges, ZIPs cannot simply incrementally increase in size due to growth. Instead, new areas receive unique identifiers. Hence, the first digit represents the numeric zone identifier, whereas the final 10 digits denote individual addresses within the designated geographical region.
Whether it's to your mom or grandpa, sending letters has been around since long before e-mail became popular. And even though we may live in a more technologically advanced age, sending a handwritten note by snail mail isn't going away any time soon. Here's everything you need to know about how to properly fill out a U.S. Postal Service Form 1040A.
First off, let's talk about why people continue to use postal service over digital methods of communication. As The New York Times points out, "the act of writing on paper can convey emotions that simply cannot be done with words typed on screens." In other words, sometimes written correspondence really does say something. A lot of times, what's being said might just be a quick request — like someone asking if they can borrow some eggs from you while they're visiting their grandparents this summer. But other times, especially when you have to write down important information such as phone numbers or addresses, handwriting allows us to communicate better than typing ever could.
But regardless of whether you're using the USPS because you want to save money (a $1 stamp costs less per transaction than buying postage online) or because you think electronic correspondence doesn't make much sense (handwritten notes require thoughtfulness), everyone who uses postal services probably wants to get things right. So here's our guide to formatting a letter so that it will actually arrive at its destination without getting lost in transit.
What should be filled in mailing address?
The first thing you'll want to consider about filling out your Form 1040A is where exactly your physical street address is located within the city limits of your state. If you live outside of these boundaries, then obviously the form won't work correctly. Luckily, most states' division maps lay this out pretty clearly, so finding out which one is yours shouldn't take too long. For instance, in California, residents living inside Los Angeles County should put "Los Angeles" under section 1, whereas those living in San Bernardino County should enter "San Bernardino," etc. You'll find similar instructions all over the country on various government websites.
Once you've got the correct county, you can move onto figuring out your actual street number. Generally speaking, this field only needs to contain three digits, but keep in mind that ZIP codes aren't required by law, so don't worry about entering them either unless you live in certain areas. Finally, if you'd like to include additional cities, towns, or streets, go ahead and list them below your home address. Just remember that each entry must begin with a capitalized P.
What is a valid mailing address?
As mentioned earlier, it's best to stick with standard house numbering systems. This means no fancy floor plans or room designations. Your street name should also be followed up by two blocks, including the direction you face (e.g., north 12345 Street). Lastly, always try to follow cardinal directions whenever possible. For example, instead of listing east 2nd Avenue, you should type East Second Avenue. Not doing so would result in an incorrect route calculation and potentially cause delays in delivery.
In terms of acceptable post office locations, USPS guidelines recommend avoiding driveways, parking lots, and curbside boxes. Additionally, avoid using PO Boxes as your primary mailing address. These are typically reserved for businesses, and if you end up moving to another location, you could lose access to your mailbox altogether. Similarly, if you happen to own a private residence with a business suite attached, you wouldn't want to choose that particular option for your main mailing address. Instead, opt to select Post Office / Mailing Center, which provides options for both residences and commercial buildings.
If you already own a physical building that houses multiple tenants, check with your local postmaster to see if he/she recommends changing the mailing address associated with your property. Otherwise, it's generally recommended that you leave your old mailing address intact until you sell or close on your new place.
It's worth noting that although many of these recommendations focus strictly on residential properties, the same rules apply when choosing a business postal box. It's just easier to update business records later after making changes rather than trying to figure out an optimal layout during the initial setup phase.
Also, don't forget to pay attention to details! There's absolutely nothing worse than receiving a package addressed incorrectly. Always double-check that your return address matches the recipient's address precisely and look through your previous shipments to ensure consistency.
What is an example of a mailing address?
Now that you understand the basics behind USPS requirements, it's easy to pick apart examples of proper and improper mailing addresses alike. Let's start with the latter. Below is an incomplete mailing address found in circulation.
1234 Main St., Anytown, CA 99999
Here, several parts of the address are missing entirely, which makes it difficult for computers to determine the intended destination. That's why the second element ("Anytown") was added, but the subsequent elements were left blank. Also, the last line seems completely unnecessary given that the zip code itself includes all necessary information.
Next, let's examine an example of a perfectly formatted mailing address that conforms to USPS standards.
123 4th Ave., Unit 12, NY 10020
This looks very similar to the above scenario, except for the fact that the road designation follows a different naming convention. According to USPS regulations, roads should be named alphabetically starting with the largest major thoroughfare first, followed by smaller ones. Therefore, "4th Avenue" comes first, followed by "3rd Street."
Finally, let's discuss common mistakes made when addressing packages. First, never assume that a person will automatically recognize your ZIP Code. Some individuals might mistake Long Island City, Queens for LI, or vice versa. Even if they realize that it's wrong, they'll likely input the incorrect data anyway. To prevent this problem, it's crucial to provide full ZIP Codes whenever possible. Secondly, it's also smart to add area landmarks near your address. Doing so gives recipients a general idea of where you're situated, thus reducing confusion.
Lastly, if you're shipping anything fragile, make sure to mark it accordingly. Whether you plan to ship flowers or a birthday cake, you'll want to indicate whether it requires extra care. When adding this label, remember that the United States Postal Regulatory Commission mandates that you only print enough space for four characters. Anything beyond that point goes into parentheses.
Why is my mailing address not valid?
Sometimes, it's hard to tell whether USPS employees receive adequate training when handling incoming letters. However, even if you've fulfilled the minimum criteria laid out by the USPS, it doesn't necessarily mean that your letter will reach its final destination successfully.
There are numerous factors that can affect how quickly your document travels across the country. Obviously, weather conditions play a large role in determining transportation delays. Likewise, if you're planning to drop off documents via UPS, FedEx, or DHL, be aware that each company handles deliveries differently. In some cases, you might notice tracking labels included with your shipment showing that it arrived safely. Other companies, however, often fail to attach them due to lack of resources.