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Apology letter vary greatly in significance and weight. If you have gravely offended someone or done something you seriously regret, the best course of action is to first apologize in person and then send an apology letter as a follow-up. Of course, the format and formality of the letter will depend on the action or event for which you are apologizing, as well as the nature of your relationship with the person to whom you are apologizing. Above all else, simply be sincere.

Some general rules that may help you get started:

Address the person by name (formally, if necessary).

Apologize…at the beginning. This is one instance where it does not pay to embellish your words. Be clear and humble and say you are sorry.

Briefly state what you did wrong. This is the only way to truly acknowledge your wrongdoing. If you avoid the subject, it can come across as insulting to the person to whom you are apologizing.

Send the letter as soon as possible. This can often repair damage and even save relationships before the damage becomes too great.

Begin rebuilding trust by promising sincerely that the offense will not happen again.

Hand-write your apology on a piece of personal stationery. Typed letters are too stiff and impersonal for your heartfelt apology.

Sample Personal Apology Letter

Dear Jack,

I am truly sorry for misplacing the ski gloves you so graciously loaned me. I hope the pair I sent are the correct size…if not, please let me know so I can properly replace them.

I promise I’m not usually that absent-minded and I hope you will not hesitate to trust me in the future!

So sorry again!

Sample Formal Apology Letter

February 25, 2008

Katherine Simpson
President, Joyful Toy Co.
345 Bluejay Lane
Denver, CO

Dear Ms. Simpson:

I’m writing to sincerely apologize for the delay in your order. According to our records, you ordered 500 parts of item # 156 on December 12, 2007. Due to a processing error, the shipment of that order was delayed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and your business. We have reimbursed you for the cost of shipping and the enclosed coupon will deduct 20% off your next order with us. Again, I apologize for the trouble.


Morgan Cosick
Manager, Parts ‘R’ Us

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