How to Write "Thank You" Acknowledgments

An acknowledgment letter confirms an event or agreement and thanks the recipient.

Thank You acknowledgments are correspondence that has several functions. It can document receipt of goods, appreciation of an opportunity to interview for a job or college placement, summarize a business proposal or other agreement, and as well, always thanks the letter's recipient. The correspondence should be timely and succinct to show respect for the addressee. Thank You acknowledgments can be personal or business-related. The tone of the letter may vary slightly, depending on the specific audience and situation, but it is always appreciative and courteous to some degree.

Identify the specific audience and purpose of the Thank You acknowledgment. This will help determine the tone of the letter: formal and business-like or more casual and personable. In either case, the letter will be courteous and polite.

Type the name and address of the letter writer in the upper left-hand corner of the page, followed by the date. Double space and type the recipient’s name and address. Double space again and type a salutation. If the recipient is an individual, use his or her formal title and name: Dear Mr. Johnson. If the recipient is a committee or company, To Whom It May Concern is acceptable.

Re-introduce yourself in the first paragraph and thank the recipient in advance for reading the letter. Remind him or her briefly of your previous interaction, referring to specific dates and times, for example, an interview, a business proposal, or receipt of goods or services. Summarize any agreements reached at that time.

Add any new information, in the second paragraph, that might be helpful in furthering the goal of the letter. Clarify and expand on information already exchanged. Use this opportunity to engage the reader in the discussion, rekindling his interest.

Thank the reader, in the third paragraph, for the opportunity to work together. Express interest in continuing the business relationship or scheduling another interview. Offer to follow-up with more information or references if desired, and conclude with a strong statement of interest or commitment.

Double space and type, Sincerely Yours followed by a comma. Sign your name below that, then double space again and type your full name below your signature.

Anna Story has written professionally since 1974. Her poetry appears in "Black Fly Review" and "Kentucky Poetry Review," among others. Her essays are included in "Resilience," "Students’ Encyclopedia of American Literary Characters" and "The Southern Quarterly." She holds a M.A. in English from the University of North Carolina.