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How to Write a Thank You Letter

A letter of thanks is a way of expressing your gratitude towards someone, who has benefited you in a significant manner. It is a polite gesture that makes people feel appreciated. To make this act of gratitude effective one has to know the basics of writing a thank you letter. Here are a few tips that will help you write such a letter with absolute ease.
Penlighten Staff
Last Updated: May 31, 2018
"No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude." ~ Alfred North Whitehead

A letter of thanks often earns you intangible benefits, which, someday, culminate into greater feats. A thank you letter is written in many circumstances, but with a single purpose. So, if you have the clarity of the circumstance, the letter can be accurately worded. A well written letter becomes a token of appreciation, which is cherished for a long time to come.

Components of a Letter of Thanks

Address: The addresses are the most important parts of a letter. There are two addresses written in any type of a letter. The return address is written in the right corner of the letter and the recipient's address is written in the left corner (a line below the return address).

Subject: The subject of the letter is written in one line after the address is written. The subject line is the gist of the letter, which gets the reader's attention to the main topic in question.

Salutation: 'Respected Madam or Sir', is the salutation of the letter, which is written after the subject line in formal letters. However, informal letters can use salutations such as 'Dear'.

Main Body: The main body of the letter consists of three to four paragraphs, which introduce the subject, explain it, and the last paragraph of the letter which holds the vote of thanks.

Complimentary Close: The letter ends with a complimentary close and your signature. 'Yours Sincerely' or 'Yours Truly' are some professional closings.

For Whom to Write a Thank You Letter

Business Letter of Thanks
Such a letter of thanks follows a formal style of writing. The letter has to be type written on a letter head or on a blank paper. Address this letter directly to the person you've dealt with. You may use an informal salutation in this case, such as, 'Dear (name)'. Keep the language formal in totality, with a slight breezy note. Thank the recipient for his/her time and effort. Keep the letter as short, clear, and correct as possible, as professionals always prefer brevity.

After a Successful Interview
It's always a nice idea to thank your interviewer after an interview. This can probably get you the job too! Sending a thank you e-mail to your interviewer is the perfect way to write such a letter. Such a letter can have an informal tone. Emphasize on the key point of the interview, and appreciate their punctuality and courtesy. Acknowledging the slightest detail with a positive tone, will definitely make a good impression on the interviewer.

For Receiving Donations
Donors are bighearted people who undoubtedly deserve your gratitude. A letter of gratitude to donors has to be personalized. If you could take all the effort to find the donor, then you sure can walk the extra mile, to make the letter personalized. Tell them how much their effort meant to your organization and how the donations are going to be utilized. Personally sign this letter, to make a greater impact on the reader.

For Receiving a Scholarship
When a college or an institution grants a scholarship, it is because, it realizes your talent. Hence, a show of gratitude will go down well. A letter of thanks for a scholarship, should be written concisely, showing your enthusiasm towards the following academic course. Mention the fact about how the scholarship has helped you to achieve your dreams and goals.

Thanking a Teacher
Teachers are your references for life. They help you learn valuable lessons in life. Writing such a letter to a teacher requires some deliberation of thought and sentiment. Your letter must mention the efforts of the teacher, the time spent, the lessons you've learned and how has she helped you shape your mind and your future.

These were some suggestions for writing a letter of thanks to someone. Do check your letter for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes before you send them.