How To Write a Letter of Instruction in 6 Steps (Plus Example)
Updated July 24, 2023
A manager might write a letter of instruction to provide the employees they oversee with steps to complete a project or task. These documents are valuable for giving employees a clear outline to help them perform their duties. If you're in a leadership position at your place of employment, then it might benefit you to learn how to write a helpful letter of instruction.
In this article, we discuss how to write a letter of instruction by explaining what they are and why you might write one, along with providing a template and example of these documents.
What is a letter of instruction?
A letter of instruction is a document that provides employees with steps that the sender is asking them to complete. The content of the letter could be steps for a project, task or presentation. Typically, letters of instruction are clear and brief. Their main purpose is to instruct the recipient to complete a task. A manager could also write a letter of instruction while they're out of the office. This gives employees clear instructions while their manager is away.
Why write a letter of instruction?
You could write a letter of instruction to outline steps for other employees. This ensures that the people you manage correctly perform a task or complete a project. Sometimes people prefer written instructions over verbal instructions because it helps them remember the content. Having a physical letter also allows the reader to refer to the document in the future. You can also write a letter of instruction to inform employees about a policy change or new procedures.
Related: Business Letter Format and Example
How to write a letter of instruction
Here are six steps to write a letter of instruction:
1. Create a header
Before you write the content of the letter, create a header at the top left-hand corner of the document. Headers have the date and the name and contact information of the recipient. This includes their address, email and phone number. Adding their contact information establishes who you're addressing in the letter. This helps make sure that the letter gets to the correct person. If you're sending the same letter to multiple employees, then you can omit this information.
2. Address the reader
Underneath the header, address the reader by adding a greeting. You might say "Dear (first and last name)" if you're sending the letter to one person. Alternatively, you might write "Dear valued employees" if you're addressing multiple people at once. Once you greet the recipient, you can begin the letter by introducing yourself. Letters of instruction can vary in formality. If you're close to the reader, then you can include a more casual introduction. Likewise, you might make your introduction more formal if the letter has a higher degree of importance or if you're unfamiliar with the recipient.
3. Explain the project or task
In your first main paragraph, briefly explain the project or task. This gives the readers context about the instructions. It's important that they know what the task is so they understand what you're referring to in each step. Try to include relevant details about the project, such as its deadline or goals. It might be helpful to add the contact information of who's leading the project. If you're writing about a policy or procedure, try to include what it's about and its start date.
4. List each step
Next, make a numbered or bulleted list of steps. Try to make these steps readable and concise so that they're easy to understand. Each item should clearly outline a task with specific procedures. This can help the readers comprehend the process easily. When applicable, add relevant information to help the readers complete their duties. For example, you might include the contact information of someone who the employees can ask questions about certain steps of the project. Try to use short and plain language to increase the readability of the steps.
5. Conclude your letter
After you list your steps, you can conclude the letter. This is typically a brief paragraph that repeats any important information from the document. In your conclusion, you might thank the readers or tell them you look forward to working with them in the future. The conclusion might vary depending on the content of the letter and to whom you're sending it. Close the letter by writing "Sincerely" or "Best wishes" followed by your first and last name.
6. Revise the document
Before you send the letter, read and revise the document. Editing your letter ensures that there are no mistakes in it. This helps you seem professional and responsible. Check for grammar, spelling or punctuation errors. You can also make sure that all the information you put in the letter, such as names or dates, is correct. Consider reading your letter of instruction out loud to hear any mistakes that you missed otherwise. If preferred, try asking a coworker or friend to read your letter to see if they find any errors that you didn't identify.
Letter of instruction template
Here's a letter of instruction template that you can use as a reference when writing your own:
[Recipient's first and last name]
Dear [Recipient’s name],
[In a couple of sentences, state the task or project with a brief explanation. Include any relevant details about the project to provide context to the recipient. If preferred, introduce the following list of steps using a colon.]
[Step plus duties]
[Step plus duties]
[Step plus duties]
[Step plus duties]
[Step plus duties]
[In your conclusion, repeat any important information and thank the recipient for their time.]
To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.
Letter of instruction example
Consider this letter of instruction example when you create your own letter:
October 3, 2021
Dear Matthew Davis,
This letter entails detailed steps that I'd like you to finish by the end of the month. These tasks are a part of the company's new product release in the summer of 2022. If you have any questions or concerns about these steps, please contact our lead project manager, Emma Newport. Your duties are as follows:
Collaborate with sales and marketing teams to conduct market and consumer research.
Create a product roadmap for the item and distribute it to all team members.
Meet with the design team to approve drafts of the new product.
Meet with stakeholders to inform them of product development.
Create a report that summarizes your tasks and the research you conducted.
Remember to complete these tasks by the end of the month. If you have questions, contact Emma Newport. Thank you for your hard work and dedication.
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