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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