The Lost Art of Letter Writing

letter-949921_1920Letter writing used to be a very important part of our culture. A part of what we study when we study history and literature is personal correspondence. Would your personal correspondence be anything posterity could learn from? If your answer is no, you are not alone. Fewer and fewer people are writing personal letters today. Even fewer are writing handwritten letters. You may recall that Jekyll and Hyde was largely told through letters (referred to as epistolary narration). Personal letters, which have long been important in our culture, are declining in use.


This may be the first time you have heard of this, but it is not a new concern. Below, I have some links to articles about the decline of personal correspondence.



From Huffington Post: Exploring the Lost Art of Letter Writing”

A poem from The New Yorker: “The Lost Art of Letter Writing”

an article in The Guardian: “The Lost Art of Letter Writing”


Below is your extra credit opportunity for the fifth six weeks:

thank-907793_1920As part of the Donors Choose program who funded our ability to read The Bridge of San Luis Rey, students are encouraged to write thank you letters to the donors. One of your donors, named David, was particularly interested in hearing how reading this novel has impacted you.

Write a letter telling what the most significant parts of the novel have been to you. Address the letter “Dear David.” Be sincere and specific. Hand write your letter in your best handwriting. Do not use any type of card stock or greeting card. You may use a colored typing paper or even plain printer paper or notebook paper. The important thing is to tell your donors that you appreciated that they believed enough in you and this project to help fund it.

When you sign your letter, do not include your last name.

It is important that you follow all of the instructions because the package I am to send to Donors Choose gave very specific instructions which must be followed. I have passed the part of the instructions relevant to these letters on to you.

The last possible date to turn this in for credit is March 8, 2016.

Why am I giving you Extra Credit for this?

Formal, personal letter writing is becoming a lost art. We practice essays and summaries and analyses, but I believe it is important for you to practice expressing yourselves in writing for this different purpose as well. Express yourselves sincerely, but remember that you are still writing for English class, so proofread fro grammar and mechanics.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s