How to Write a Proper Thank-You Note for All Occasions

Good manners and proper etiquette never go out of style. When a gift or gesture of kindness is bestowed upon you, a properly written thank-you note is the appropriate response. To write a proper thank-you note for all occasions, the author need only remember three key factors.

1. A proper thank-you note should always be specific. While a thank-you is always appreciated, a thank-you note that does not detail why the writer is thankful can be frustrating to receive. In business or personal correspondence, a thank-you note needs to state clearly its purpose. In addition, include how you may use the gift or the gift's appropriateness.

A business thank you may read, "Thank you for choosing XYZ Company as your supplier. We appreciate your business and look forward to continuing to serve your needs."

A personal thank you will be less formal: "Thank you for the housewarming gift. The muffins were delicious, and it was so nice not to have to cook breakfast our first morning after the move-in."

2. A proper thank-you note should always be sincere. People enjoy receiving thank-you notes, because it is a reminder that warmth and sincerity still exist in what can be a very cool and abrupt world. A sincere thank-you note never includes negative statements. Combining a complaint with a thank you is considered poor etiquette for both business and personal correspondence. When asking a favor, refrain from including the thanks for that specific favor in your note.

Avoid writing notes in the following manner: "Please send the completed files to my office by the end of the quarter. Thank you."

While it is appropriate to express your appreciation for a job done in a timely manner, you can express this thought in a more sincere way: "I would greatly appreciate if you would send the completed files to my office by the end of the quarter."

3. A proper thank-you note should be short. Brevity does not indicate rudeness or a lack of sincerity. A basic thank-you note really needs little more than "Thank you for XYZ. I truly appreciated it." A lengthy thank-you letter, especially in business, will be regarded as a sales pitch -- which negates the thanks. A brief, specific thank you is the best way to emphasize your sincere appreciation: "My most heartfelt thanks to the members of the Appletree Church for their prayers and support during my recent illness."

Children receiving gifts, especially gifts received by mail, should write a proper thank-you note, too. Gift givers want to know that the gift they selected has been received. Not acknowledging a gift received via shipping is a lapse in good manners. A child should be encouraged to create a thank-you card, draw a picture or write a short thank-you note to express appreciation for the gift. For example:

"Dear Aunt Mary,

I love my new doll! She is so pretty! Thank you for sending her to live with me.

Love, Shelby"

Writing a proper thank-you note for all occasions does not have to be time-consuming or difficult. You do not need to be a good writer, either. Keep in mind the three simple factors: Be specific, be sincere and keep it brief. Using those guidelines, anyone can create an ideal thank-you note perfect for any occasion.

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If you are wondering how to write a thank you note, focus on the timing. People generally expect a thank-you note after giving a gift, and, if a thank-you note is not received, the recipient is considered rude.

It's easy to learn about the etiquette of writing thank you notes to express your gratitude to someone. Whether you are thanking someone for a wedding present or for doing you a great service, a thank you note is sure to make the giver feel appreciated and shows what a gracious recipient you are.

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