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an example of parallel structure

Common Writing Challenges

Thank You

Formal thank-you notes should be handwritten. Not everyone will have the required notepaper and envelope on hand for that purpose, but these seeming relics of the pre-digital age may be a wise investment because receiving a handwritten note always impresses with its suggestion of true appreciation and interest in the recipient.

Thank-you letters or notes are usually not more than two paragraphs, and frequently one paragraph will suffice. Informal thank-you notes are shorter than those that you might send to a friend to express appreciation for a wedding gift or to a relative who pays for your college tuition.


• Martine and I sincerely appreciate your thinking of us during the recent unhappy event in our lives. Your note was heartwarming and loving. It means so much to us.

• I want to let you know how grateful I am for the party you threw in my honor last weekend.

• Thanks for introducing me to Josephine last winter. Yes, that was some time ago, but I now know her as my fiancée after getting a "yes" to my proposal to her Tuesday evening. I am now looking forward to life with my love, thanks to you.

• This is just a brief note to thank you for your visit and for the flowers and chocolates while I was in the hospital recently. You made my stay in that unpleasant place much more bearable. I am happy to say that I am fully recovered now.

• Thank you for the membership gift to the Children's Museum. We made our first visit yesterday afternoon, and today the children have already been begging me to take them again. What a thoughtful and educational gift.

Letters and Notes


Dear ———,

This is just a brief note to thank you for your kind help and consideration after my mother passed away. It would not have been possible for me to see that all the necessary funeral arrangements were completed without your help and counsel.


Then you went further and coordinated the catering for the gathering we had after the funeral at my home and provided two delicious dishes of your own. You were so generous and kind to me.




Dear ———,

My third grade class and I want to thank you for visiting us on Monday afternoon with your interesting presentation about the book you authored on cranes. The signed book that you gave us is now on display in our school library.

The children were a little shy about asking questions after your talk, but after you left, I think everyone had something to say during our subsequent class discussion about birds and cranes. You contributed so much to stimulate their interest in this topic for our biology class.

This kind of talk by an expert in the field has much more meaning than descriptions online. Please let us know when your next book is published. We hope you will visit us again.

With appreciation,



Dear ———,

Thank you for coming to our fiftieth wedding anniversary last week. Your presence pleased us so much because Jerry and I had such fond memories of your participation at our wedding.




Dear ———,

Thank you for your letter offering me a position as a computer network specialist. Working for PostWorks would be a great opportunity.

I have just the other day accepted a position with InConnection, however; because of this commitment, I am not in a position to be able to accept your offer.

I was so delighted to receive your letter, and it is not easy for me to turn your offer down.

Thank you again,



Dear ———,

Thank you for inviting Jane and me to your wedding. I am so happy to hear the good news and we wish the best to you and your fiancé.

We would be so delighted to come, and we are honored by your invitation. However, Jane and I have a long-standing commitment to present a paper to the Russian Society of Cold Temperature Physics in Novosibirsk on the day before your wedding, and that, unfortunately, will have us miss your exciting event.

With love and best wishes,



Dear ———,

Just a short note to thank you for being my adviser and mentor during the last two years of my BA program. I'll be attending the graduation ceremony on Monday, and I will be thinking of you and all the help and advice you have given me.


I truly believe I would not be graduating if it had not been for your confidence-building encouragement.

Thank you,



Dear ———,

I'm writing to let you know that I won the scholarship for which you wrote a reference letter for my application. I am so happy.

I begin the program on August 28, and I will be thinking of you on that day. Thank you for helping me achieve my goal.

With great appreciation,



Dear ———,

We arrived back from your cabin late last night. I was going to call you to thank you and tell you about the great time we had there, but my wife insisted we be a little more formal and write you this note.

Everything was great. We enjoyed perfect weather the whole week—though you may not be responsible for that. Our two city-children also enjoyed the experience very much. Everything was new for them: the woods, the lakes, and pulling in a northern from the lake and observing the northern lights was something they will never forget. The stay at your cabin will be great memories.

Thanks again,