Write a Letter Requesting a Favor
There are many instances in your life when you may need to write a formal request letter. Accordingly, learning the proper format and tone of making an official request is a necessary life skill. Fortunately, request letters usually follow a definite template. Once you learn the proper technique, writing request letters will be no problem.
Preparing to Write a Request Letter
- Identify the proper person for the request. Many times, part of making a request is finding out who the right person to contact is. Generally, you should ask the person most qualified to fulfill your request, and it may take some work to find out who that is.
- If you are writing to ask a favor of a company, then you might need to call the company secretary to identify the appropriate person. Get this person’s full name, address, phone number and title.
- You might need to write a different request letter to ask someone who you should write to. In this case, still follow these steps for writing a request letter.
- Learn the format for a business letter. Your request letter should use the proper business letter format, as it is likely a formal request. This applies whether you're sending an email or a hard copy letter.
Become familiar with the following format and be sure to use it when writing your letter.
- Place your name, title, and address on the top left of the paper.
- Place the date below this.
- Put the person's name, title, and address below this.
- Address the person appropriately. Start with "Dear Mr." or "Dear Mrs."
- Have 1-inch margins around the paper and use single spacing. Don't indent, just use a double space in between paragraphs.
- Use an easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman or Arial, in 12-point font.
- End with "Sincerely," then leave 4 lines so you can manually sign your name. Below this, type your name and title.
- Leave enough time for the request. Keep in mind that whoever you're writing to probably has other tasks to complete, so your request may take some time to get to. If your request is time-sensitive, be sure to give the recipient a enough advance notice to process it. Generally, allowing a week for requests is a good guideline, though bigger tasks could very well take longer.
- For example, you wouldn't ask for a letter of recommendation from a teacher 2 days before it's due. That is an unreasonable request. If you'd planned ahead, you'd know that such requests usually require 2 weeks to fulfill.
Writing Your Letter
- Use a proper greeting. The recipient of the letter should be greeted and addressed properly.
- "Dear" is the accepted opening for this style of letter. Openings like "Hi" or "Hello" are inappropriate and unprofessional for a business letter.
- Use Mr., Mrs., and Ms. as appropriate. Never use only someone's first name.
- If you're unsure of a person's gender, use the full name in the greeting instead of Mr. or Mrs. For example, "Dear Casey Smith."
- Introduce yourself. If this is an unsolicited request, the recipient will need to know who's making the request. Make a brief introduction of yourself, such as your job/position or affiliated organization. This will help your reader understand who is making the request.
- Your introduction can only be a sentence or two. You don't need to provide a biography, you just need to give the recipient an idea of who you are.
- Introducing yourself has two advantages. First, it's polite. Remember, whoever you're writing to probably doesn't have to grant your request, so good manners will show that you've put thought and effort into contacting him or her. Second, identifying yourself will help the recipient understand who you are and better process your request.
- If you've met the person before, it might help to remind him or her. For example, you might write: “We met last week at the sports banquet. I was pleased to make your acquaintance.”
- State the favor you're asking. After introducing yourself, start a second paragraph. Politely, but clearly, state the favor you need. Also fill in any necessary details the recipient will need to meet your request, like dates and times.
- Keep it simple. Don't go crazy with detail. You should be able to make your request in a few sentences. What's most important is that what you need is clearly stated.
- Tell your recipient why the favor is important. In certain cases, you might need to convince the recipient that he or she should grant your request. This should also go in the second paragraph. Have all your supporting evidence ready and briefly state why this request is important, and why granting it would help the recipient.
- For example, you might be requesting that a company sponsor an event you're putting on. You could stress that the company will receive good exposure by doing this. You could say: "If you were to provide the necessary funding, we will announce your company at the event as an official sponsor. This will give you exposure to the community and identify your company with a good cause."
- Offer to provide assistance to the recipient. Always demonstrate your willingness to work with the recipient. A simple statement like "Please let me know if you need any more information" can show the recipient that you're willing to work together and be as much help as you can be.
- Close the letter politely. When you've stated your request and provided all the necessary information the recipient may need, then close on a polite note. Thank the recipient for considering your request, and say that you look forward to hearing back. Then end with a proper salutation like "Sincerely."
- For example: "Thank you very much for your time in considering this request. I look forward to hearing back from you on this matter. Sincerely, John Smith."
- Proofread your letter before sending it. Never send a letter without proofreading, especially a formal business letter. Any spelling or grammar errors will make your letter look unprofessional, and could decrease your chances of having your request granted.
- Read your letter at least two more times before sending. That way, you can catch any mistakes you might've made.
- Just because you're typing your letter doesn't mean that your spelling and grammar check will catch everything. Never rely exclusively on these programs. You still need to proofread the old fashioned way.
Doc:Letter Asking for Favor,Template Letter for Personal Favor,Template Letter for Business Favor
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