Letter Writing: Letters of Apperciation

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Getting mail is a ton of fun, but in an increasingly digital world, writing it can sometimes be hard. This blog post series about Letter Writing aims to make it easier. 


Sailors reading mail onboard JOSEPH CONRADThink of an letter  of appreciation  a bit like a cross between a thank you letter for nothing-in-particular (or everything in particular, more accurately), and a platonic love letter.  You aren't necessarily thanking  the letter recipient for any one thing or act, but are thanking the recipient for your relationship. Like love letters express your affection for a romantic partner, a letter of appreciation has a goal of telling other people- friends, family members, colleagues- how much you appreciate them.

Too often, we take the world- and people- around us for granted. An appreciation letter reminds those in your life about the difference they make, so get writing! Below are several tips to make your letters of appreciation best convey what you feel:

  • Even before you begin writing, choose nice stationary, and remember a handwritten note will convey more sincere gratitude than a typed one will. 
  • After the date and greeting, start right in with what you mean to say. Remember, you do not need to say "I am writing to tell you..." because they already know you are writing; the evidence is in the reader's hands. Instead start along the lines of "Bob, in the twenty-five years I've worked at X company you have been a supportive boss to me, one I could be candid and open about both with the successes of our department and with any problems that arose." Or "Susie, you have been a great friend to me, always listening patiently, and dispensing good advice tactfully to me."
  • Remember, if you are writing to a colleague ,or if you are writing this letter representing your place of employment to a person or group  that has helped you recently, your tone will likely be more formal. If the person is an intimate, let your words reflect that. No matter who your audience is though, your writing style should sound natural, almost as if you were talking to the person. 
  • You can tell the recipient what qualities you have most appreciated in them, especially if the relationship is personal. People don't always realize what an effect they have on others, and sometimes can't see the good qualities in themselves so obvious to everyone else. Let them know what makes them great! 
  •  If they did -or regularly do- something that brightens your days  feel free to tell them how it affected you and/or your company or event.
  • They and not you should be the focus of the writing. Keep personal news for a more casual correspondence. 
  • You can also reminisce  a little bit about your past with the person. Happy memories can be fun for both you and the letter-reader. 
  •  Though you could probably write a book about how great your friend is, less is more when it comes to sincerity in writing. 
  • Your closing words will vary but "Sincerely" or "With much appreciation  are always good benedictions to close with.

If you want to know more about writing Letters of Appreciation, read these articles:

How to Write and Appreciation Letter
How to Write a Letter of Appreciation 


LETTER WRITING SERIES: THANK YOU NOTES | PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE | LOVE LETTERS | SYMPATHY LETTERS | CONGRATULATORY LETTERS | POSTCARDS | LETTERS OF APPRECIATION | CORRESPONDENCE CHESS | GET WELL CARDS | LETTERS TO SICK CHILDREN | INVITATIONS | HOLIDAY LETTERS | LETTERS TO SANTA| LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | CIRCLE LETTERS | LETTERS TO POLITICIANS | WRITING TO ADVICE COLUMNS | THE LETTER WRITING GAME | PENPAL LETTERS | LETTER OF COMPLAINT | COVER LETTERS | LETTERS TO PRISONERS | OPEN LETTERS | LETTERS TO FUTURE YOURSELF | LETTERS OF APOLOGY | "OPEN WHEN" LETTERS | FAN MAIL | GOOD BYE LETTER |

14 comments

  1. This inspired me to do just that. I recently got a pen pal and love it! I need to do more of this :)

    The Nautical Owl
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    1. Oh, a penpal! How fun! How did you two decide to start writing one another?

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  2. Wow, what a lovely idea and a lovely post! I found you in the modcloth style gallery and your blog is definitely one to follow :). Great outfits, too!

    -Emma from littlemotley.blogspot.com (my own very very new style blog, if you decide to take a peek)

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  3. Oh, what a great idea! Letter writing really is a lost art. I definitely need to do more of it! There's nothing like getting a letter in the mail :).
    -Annie

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  4. I love the title of "Letter of Appreciation", I try to write just such letters, notes, and cards often to those I care about. Glad also that I am not the only one who does this (sometimes I feel like I am).
    ~Mrs. Lopez of lovinglifeinpink.blogspot.com

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    1. Mrs. Lopez,

      That is so awesome that you write such notes! People need to be told they are appreciated and loved more often, so it is encouraging to hear of people doing just that!

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  5. I love that you have all these tips on letter writing. This is something I loved to do even in the early 2000's and besides thank you cards I don't do it much any more but would like to start!

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    1. It is great that you've been into letter writing. honestly, these posts are sometimes encouragements to myself to remember to write more. Hope you get back into letter writing more again!

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  6. I have to say again that I really appreciate this series so much. I think the power of language-specifically in written form has sadly become more and more obsolete and it is a shame. Your tips are spot on and how nice it would be to receive one of these in the mail!

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    1. When I coached speech a student did a speech just on that topic- the idea that the written word is decaying (mind you, her arguments had to do with typos in books and the rise of texting, which is not quite what you are talking about. I agree with you, but felt in the case of this speech that she missed the point that languages change).

      I'm glad you are enjoying these! Gives me encouragement to keep this series up!

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  7. love the letter tips! and just the encouragement to do them :)

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    1. Of course, now I need your new address!

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  8. i always love these posts, such good reminders to send letters more & this one was esp helpful since everyone needs to be appreciate more often : )also i like your reminder to not be repetitive in the intro.

    http://dusanabotswana.com/

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    1. I agree, I think people need to be told they are appreciated more often.

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