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How to Write an Apology Letter

Apology letters 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 to great.

Begin rebuilding trust by promising sincerely that the offense won't happen again.

Handwrite your apology on a piece of stationery. Typed letters are too stiff and too impersonal for your heartfelt apology.

Sample Personal Apology Letter

Sample Formal Apology Letter

For suggestions on writing apologies click here