What part of the instruction “write a letter” prompts the question, “Should I start ‘Dear . . . ‘?”?

How do you usually start a letter?

Or would I rather not know?

5 thoughts on “First professorial whine of the term

  1. They may not ever have written a real letter–seriously. And the form of writing a letter may not be one of the "higher-order concepts" that the K-12 establishment is keen on these days.

  2. I have to consciously remind myself to begin emails with any sort of salutation, and I have never found a satisfactory form of formal address for letters or emails – 'Dear so-and-so' feels too personal – they're NOT dear to me, or I'd have forgone formal salutations entirely!So yes, your student may be unfamiliar with letter-writing, or dithering between "Dear Bob", "To Bob", "Hi Bob', etc.

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