Letter of thanks

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A letter of thanks from Richard Nixon to Elvis Presley

A letter of thanks or thank-you letter is a letter that is used when one person/party wishes to express appreciation to another. Personal thank-you letters are sometimes hand-written in cases in which the addressee is a friend, acquaintance or relative. Thank-you letters are also sometimes referred to as letters of gratitude. These types of thank-you letters are usually written as formal business letters.

Some psychological research indicates that expressing gratitude by writing such letters can have emotional benefits,[1] but this does not apply to all circumstances.[2] News media have covered the tradition of handwritten letters of thanks from a cultural perspective, suggesting in particular that the extra effort represented by handwriting (as opposed to text messaging, for example) makes these letters more emotionally significant for sender and recipient alike.[3][4]

Good thank you letters can benefit from using a recognized format.[5][6]


  1. ^ Toepfer, Steven M.; Cichy, Kelly; Peters, Patti (2011-04-07). "Letters of Gratitude: Further Evidence for Author Benefits". Journal of Happiness Studies. 13 (1): 187–201. doi:10.1007/s10902-011-9257-7. ISSN 1389-4978.
  2. ^ Sansone, Randy A.; Sansone, Lori A. (November 2010). "Gratitude and Well Being". Psychiatry (Edgmont). 7 (11): 18–22. ISSN 1550-5952. PMC 3010965. PMID 21191529.
  3. ^ Trebay, Guy (4 April 2014), "The Found Art of Thank-You Notes", The New York Times
  4. ^ "Perfect Thank You Notes: Heartfelt And Handwritten". NPR. 2010-12-22. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  5. ^ Field, Jeanne (September 8, 2016). "How to write a thank-you note How to write a thank-you note". Hallmark Cards. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  6. ^ "thank you cards". 2020. Archived from the original on 2019-10-23.

Further reading[edit]

  • Clark, Hewitt B.; Northrop, James T.; Barkshire, Charles T. (1988). "The Effects of Contingent Thank-You Notes on Case Managers' Visiting Residential Clients". Education and Treatment of Children. 11 (1): 45–51. JSTOR 42899049.
  • Kralik, John (January 27, 2011). 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life. Penguin, Random House Australia.