How to Write a Thank You Note

by eHow Culture & Society Editor

You can fill even short thank you notes with appreciation, sincerity and meaning. A handwritten note of thanks should be sent via mail (not electronic mail) for gifts received, in appreciation of a favor, following a job interview. And although thank you notes should be sent promptly, "better late than never" does apply as the recipient will always enjoy your thanks.

Begin with a fresh sheet of note paper and a smooth pen. Thank-you notes are traditionally written in cursive, and are headed by the date and a salutation: "Dear Aunt Ruth," followed by a comma.

Thank the recipient for the gift, favor or entertainment given.

Write about the appropriateness of the gift or favor: "Your baby-sitting for my children has truly been a lifesaver in these difficult times." (You can describe a gift that didn't quite suit your taste as "a conversation piece" or "unique.")

Tie the appropriateness of the gift to the person who gave it to you: "You've always understood my taste in clothes."

Write about how you plan to use the gift (or substitute this step for step 3): "I have a picture of my parents that will look perfect in your frame." If you received a gift of money, mention how you will spend it.

Add a line to update the giver about your life: "I have completely recovered from my cold and plan to hit the slopes again as soon as I can."

Sign your thank-you note: "With thanks, Billy."

Tips

  • Consider sending a token of appreciation along with your note if you're thanking someone for a good deed. Possibilities include flowers, chocolate or an invitation to lunch (your treat).
  • Many people consider it unnecessary to write thank-you notes for gifts given in person, with the exception of wedding gifts, as long as you thank the giver verbally. But when in doubt, a written note is always a good idea.

Items you will need

  • Stationary
  • A good pen