Instruction Letter

Letters are commonly used to provide instructions. Because letters are best-kept short and concise, they are typically employed by those who need to convey only brief instructions. More complex operations are best described in a PDF report, over the phone, or via a PowerPoint presentation. Instructions on how to repair or operate machinery or equipment are best conveyed via a dedicated instruction manual.

Format: typed via typewriter or word processor on letterhead.


Starting to Write


Begin the letter by briefly describing who the instructions are for and why they’re needed.


List the instructions concisely, using bullets.


List all problems and solutions clearly using a consistent format.


Underscore the importance of resolving the problem and ask the recipient for their full cooperation.


Tell them what to do should they run into problems.

Sample Letters

Instruction Letter Sample

March, 6th, 2013

Mr. Clyde Davis

Head of Operations

Integrity Shipping

34919 Canada St.

Archdale, Washington

Dear Mr. Davis,

I am here by providing you with a written copy of the instructions that I provided to your employee, Mark Williams, regarding shipment DSD-197323.  Please divert this order, originally shipped by your sister company Sterling Shipping, to 3212 Palace Ridge Rd, Stormont, Virginia, 27232. I apologize for the incontinence. Please apprise me of any additional cost that this diversion causes.


Mark Huckabee,

Palace House Casinos

Always write instructions in the active voice. For instance, instead of writing, “The generator should be turned on,” write, “Turn the generator on.”
Emphasize warnings in bold. Italics are insufficient. You can also place warnings in a box to make them stand out more.
Emphasize the importance of following the instructions, especially in the case where harm could result otherwise. Most people will not pay much attention to instructions by default.
Provide contact info to the reader should they have questions.