Dear CM, How Do I Write a Thank You Note?

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Have you ever been at a loss of words when writing a thank you letter? Well, now you don’t have to because here are some tips on how to write one:

Handwrite the Note

Although it may be quicker and easier to type out an email on your computer, a handwritten note better illustrates your appreciation and effort. So bust out your pen and paper (or quill pen, inkwell and parchment paper if that’s your style) and start making your mark. Don’t forget that you’ll receive plus points for writing legibly.

Be Specific!

It’s impersonal and insincere to write a vague note that simply says, “Thank you.” Not to mention it’s also a waste of paper to only write two words as the body. Consider the cause of your gratitude—did someone go out of their way to help you obtain a job? Did you especially enjoy a gift someone thoughtfully purchased for you? Whatever it was, remember to state explicitly what you are thanking the person for.

Elaborate on Why You Are Grateful

Now that you’ve pinpointed precisely what you’re thankful for, it’s time to explain the reason as to why you’re appreciative. Is it the fact that the person selflessly put aside time to assist you? Is it the effort or the thought that you’re acknowledging? By clarifying your intention for writing the thank you note, your gratitude will shine through.

Quality Trumps Quantity

A purposeful and genuine note is superior to a lengthy one that fails to convey sincerity. In most cases, about three to five sentences would suffice as a commendable thank you note.

Close With Your Signature

Without your John Hancock, how else will your note recipient know that you wrote it? Moreover, your signature punctuates the note with authenticity. You may also consider closing with, “Thanks again” followed by a comma and then your signature underneath.


Here’s an example to demonstrate all these points:


Dear Mom,

Thank you for the incredible Thanksgiving meal. I appreciate the time and love you invested into preparing a delectable feast for our family and me.

I especially enjoyed the mashed potatoes because you always perfect the potato to butter ratio. I’m lucky to have such a caring and skilled mother like you to ensure that my tummy is full.


Thanks again,

[Insert Signature Here]





Sophomore > Writing for Film and Television > Emerson College

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