How to Write an Apology Letter (Start to End) with Examples

In life, at one point, we faced the need to apologize. When your actions have hurt or embarrassed someone else, you will be required to atone for your actions. Sometimes you will be required to apologize to your victim in person; other times, a letter of apology may suffice for the offense. Knowing how to compose this letter is not only a necessity but a skill that you should be able to utilize at any point in your life. In this article, we will take you through how to write an effective letter and give you some great examples of what it should look like.

When your actions cause harm to another person or organization, you send them an apology letter, also known as an atonement letter.

The letter is usually written in formal language and typically consists of an apology, an explanation of why you did what you did, what you intend to do about it, and how you plan to avoid it happening again. The letter helps to show that you are genuinely sorry for your actions, take responsibility for what happened, and are willing to amend the situation.

Templates and Examples

Free Customizable Apology Letter for a Mistake Sample for Word File

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Free Customizable Apology Letter to Teacher Sample for Word File

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Free Customizable Apology Letter to Parents Sample for Word File

    Why is It Hard to Write a Letter of Apology?

    Writing this letter can seem like a small thing. Still, it can be challenging for most people. The following are several reasons why apologizing can be problematic:

    1. You may be a person who does not like confrontation or saying sorry.
    2. The person you need to apologize to might be a very close friend or family member, making it uncomfortable to say sorry, even if warranted.
    3. You may feel you are being punished for nothing wrong; therefore, it will make you admit to something untrue or unfair.
    4. Admitting that you did something wrong and owning it can be difficult for some people.
    5. You may be embarrassed about what you have done and want to avoid going into detail.

    Different Types of Letter

    There are many different apology letters, but here are some that you might find helpful:

    Professional Downloadable Drug Addict Apology Letter Example for Word Document

    Drug Addict Apology Letter Example

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Professional Downloadable Car Accident Apology Letter Example for Word Document

    Car Accident Apology Letter Example

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Professional Downloadable Business Apology Letter Example for Word Document

    Business Apology Letter Example

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Professional Downloadable Friend Apology Letter Example for Word Document

    Friend Apology Letter Example

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Professional Downloadable Spouse Apology Letter Example for Word Document

    Spouse Apology Letter Example

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Professional Downloadable Bad Behavior Apology Letter Example for Word Document

    Bad Behavior Apology Letter Example

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Professional Downloadable Mistaken Cause Apology Letter Example for Word Document

    Mistaken Cause Apology Letter Example

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Professional Downloadable Customer Apology Letter Example for Word Document

    Customer Apology Letter Example

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Professional Downloadable Student Apology Letter Example for Word Document

    Student Apology Letter Example

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

      How to Start a Letter?

      Apologizing to someone you have wronged can be a challenging thing to do. However, it is something that you must do if you want to move on and rebuild the relationship you once had with them. When apologizing, the last thing you want to do is cause more damage by sending an unprofessional letter with lots of mistakes.

      To ensure that your letter becomes as effective as possible, here are some of the things that you should incorporate in your letter:


      There are numerous different ways to greet someone you are going to apologize to. For example, if you are writing a letter for a corporation, it would be better to address it to the company rather than individual staff members. Contradictory, if you are writing it to a person, make sure to use their name if you know them. For example, if you write a letter to your employer, you may use their title followed by their first or last name. Additionally, if you write a letter to your customer or someone you know very well, you may consider starting with “Dear” followed by their first or last name.

      Acknowledge the mistake

      The next step is to acknowledge the mistake. This can help you build rapport and give the person a chance to forgive you. To do this, start by writing a proper introduction that shows your sincere apology without compromising your initial position or stance. You can do this by starting with “I apologize,” followed by a description of what you are sorry about in a straightforward sentence, and then whichever justification/explanation is necessary to support your stance.

      Describe what happened

      The next step is perhaps the most challenging, as it requires you to be very serious and genuine. To apologize effectively, tell your recipient what happened and what you could’ve done to achieve a better result from that particular situation. Be honest and tell them precisely how you were at fault in the situation. To do this, you may want to include the situation’s date, time, and details to ensure that everything is clear to your recipient.

      Say sorry/apologize sincerely

      Express your remorse by stating that you’ve done something wrong and asking them to forgive you. Be sincere with your apology and maintain a neutral tone to show compassion for your recipient. This will also help you in the long run because it will keep you from being too hard on yourself when penning the letter.

      How to End the Letter?

      The last part of the letter is the actual closing. This part should offer the recipient a way to forgive you and maintain their relationship with you. Here are some of the things that you should add to the closing of your apology letter:

      Share your plan to fix the problem

      Tell the recipient what measures you will take to ensure that it does not happen again and how you will prevent it from happening. Even though the plan may be specifically for them, you can use this as an opportunity to improve yourself by learning from your mistakes and showing that you are not willing to repeat the same mistakes in the future.

      Ask for forgiveness

      Pleading and begging for forgiveness is not good, as it puts both parties negatively. However, this is important because if you get the right amount of forgiveness and goodwill, you will continue moving forward and start building new relationships instead of having problems because of bad experiences in the past. Therefore, don’t forget to ask forgiveness sincerely, and don’t overdo it.

      Closing remarks

      End your letter with a message that offers the recipient an opportunity to continue building a relationship with you. The end of the letter should be where you can personally thank the person in question and demonstrate hope that the relationship will succeed.

      Sign off

      The best way to end the letter is by signing off with a formal closing statement. For example, if you are writing a corporate letter, then it would be better if you closed it with something along the lines of “Regards,” “Yours Sincerely,” or “Yours Faithfully.” On the other hand, if it is a letter to a person, then you may consider ending your letter by saying “Thank You,” “Thank You Very Much,” or “Very Sincerely.”


      How do I deliver the letter? If you write a formal letter, you must send it by certified mail with proof of delivery (delivery receipt, etc.) This way, you’ll have a record of when it was sent and received. However, if it is a personal letter, you may send it via email or hand-deliver the letter to your recipient.

      Apology Letter Template

      [Your Name]

      [Your Position]

      [Your Company/Organization]

      [Company Address]

      [City, State, Zip Code]

      [Phone Number]

      [Email Address]


      [Recipient’s Name]

      [Recipient’s Position]

      [Recipient’s Company/Organization]

      [Company Address]

      [City, State, Zip Code]

      Dear [Recipient’s Name],

      I am writing to you today to express my sincere apologies for [briefly describe the issue, mistake, or situation that occurred]. As [your position] at [your company/organization], I take full responsibility for [what happened/the mistake made] and deeply regret any inconvenience or distress it may have caused you and your team.

      Upon reviewing the situation, I realize that [describe the mistake or issue and why it happened, if applicable]. This is not the standard of professionalism and excellence we strive to uphold at [your company/organization], and I am committed to ensuring it does not happen again.

      To address the issue and prevent future occurrences, we have taken the following steps:

      [List the actions you or your company have taken to rectify the situation and ensure it doesn’t happen again.]

      I understand the importance of [mention the affected aspect, e.g., timely delivery, accurate information, maintaining trust, etc.] in our professional relationship, and I assure you that we are dedicated to restoring your confidence in our services/products.

      Please let me know if there is any further action you believe we should take to remedy this situation or to better meet your expectations moving forward. Your feedback is invaluable to us, and we are eager to make things right.

      Once again, I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. We value your business and look forward to continuing to serve you with the highest standards.

      Thank you for your understanding and patience regarding this matter.


      [Your Name]

      [Your Signature, if sending a hard copy]

      [Your Position]

      [Your Company/Organization]

      Example 1

      Dear Alice Johnson,

      I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to extend my sincerest apologies for the oversight in the project report submitted to your team on February 10, 20XX. As the Project Manager responsible for overseeing the accuracy and timeliness of project documentation, I recognize the significance of this error and the potential confusion it may have caused.

      The mistake occurred due to a miscommunication in our data analysis team, resulting in the inclusion of outdated figures in the final report. This oversight does not reflect the high standards of quality and precision that we at Innovative Solutions Tech strive to maintain in all our work. I take full responsibility for not catching this error during my final review.

      To rectify the situation and prevent similar issues in the future, we have implemented the following measures:

      • Conducted a thorough review and correction of the report, ensuring all data now accurately reflects the current status of the project.
      • Introduced additional checks and balances in our report generation process, including a secondary review by a senior analyst.
      • Scheduled mandatory training for the project team on data management and report accuracy to reinforce the importance of our quality standards.

      I have attached the revised project report with this letter and assure you that we have taken every step to ensure its accuracy. We understand the importance of reliable information in your operational planning and decision-making processes, and we are committed to upholding the trust you have placed in us.

      Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience this mistake may have caused you and your team. I value our partnership and am dedicated to enhancing our procedures to better serve your needs in the future.

      Should you have any further concerns or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. Thank you for your understanding and for allowing us the opportunity to correct this mistake.


      Jordan Matthews

      Project Manager

      Innovative Solutions Tech

      Example 2

      Dear Marcus,

      I am writing to formally apologize for not meeting the deadline for the branding project assigned to me, which was due on February 10, 20XX. I understand the importance of adhering to project timelines and the critical role they play in the success of our operations and client satisfaction. Missing this deadline not only affected the project’s progress but also potentially impacted our client’s trust and confidence in our team.

      Upon reflection, I recognize that my time management and prioritization were not as effective as they should have been. Despite my efforts to juggle multiple tasks, I underestimated the time required to complete the project to the high standard we aim for at Creative Design Solutions. I take full responsibility for this oversight and sincerely regret any inconvenience it has caused to the team and our client.

      To rectify this situation and mitigate the impact of the missed deadline, I have taken the following steps:

      • I have reallocated my work hours, including working over the weekend, to ensure the project is completed at the earliest possible time. The project is now on track to be finalized by February 15, 20XX.
      • I have scheduled a meeting with our client to personally apologize and discuss the project’s new timeline. I will also reassure them of our commitment to delivering high-quality work.
      • To prevent similar occurrences in the future, I am implementing a more robust project management and time tracking tool. This will help me better manage my workload and deadlines.

      I deeply value the opportunity to work for Creative Design Solutions and am committed to maintaining the high standards of excellence expected of me. I am determined to learn from this mistake and to improve my time management and organizational skills to ensure it does not happen again.

      Please accept my sincerest apologies for any stress or inconvenience my oversight may have caused. I am ready to discuss any further steps that need to be taken to address this issue or to restore confidence in my ability to manage future projects effectively.

      Thank you for your understanding and support. I am looking forward to moving past this and continuing to contribute positively to our team’s success.


      Natalie Chen

      Graphic Designer

      Creative Design Solutions

      Key Takeaways

      These two apology letters, addressing different professional mistakes, share key elements that contribute to their effectiveness:

      Acknowledgment of the Mistake: Both letters open by clearly acknowledging the specific errors made, demonstrating accountability and a willingness to address the issue head-on.

      Explanation Without Excuses: The writers provide explanations for how the errors occurred, focusing on facts rather than making excuses, which helps to maintain professionalism and credibility.

      Immediate and Future Corrective Actions: Each letter outlines concrete steps taken to rectify the mistake and prevent similar issues in the future, showcasing a proactive approach to problem-solving and improvement.

      Commitment to High Standards: The writers express a commitment to upholding high standards of work and a determination to learn from their mistakes, reinforcing their dedication to professional growth and excellence.

      Sincerity and Humility: The tone of the letters is sincere and humble, reflecting genuine regret for the inconvenience caused and a strong desire to make amends.

      Openness to Further Discussion: Both letters conclude by offering to discuss the matter further if necessary, indicating openness to communication and further action to fully resolve the issue.

      By combining these elements, the letters effectively communicate the writers’ apologies, taking responsibility for their actions while demonstrating a commitment to maintaining professional relationships and trust.

      Tips for Writing It Efficiently

      Here are some tips for you to follow when writing this letter:

      • Be sincere: Saying that you are sorry does not only mean that you confess your fault or admit guilt. Saying sorry means owning your mistakes, acknowledging the problems they might have caused, and finding ways to rectify them. Your tone should not be defensive, sarcastic, or condescending.
      • Be selfless: When writing a professional letter, you should not think about yourself only; this is a letter written for another person’s benefit. Therefore, make sure to put yourself in the other person’s shoes when writing it. Take note of your feelings and emotions about the situation at hand and how you would feel if this happened to you.
      • Be concise: To avoid any complications and confusion, your message should be as clear and concise as possible. The words should be carefully chosen to make the message comprehensible for the recipient.


      Writing an apology letter may not be easy, but it is necessary if you want to put yourself in the right light. To do that, you should not just write the letter but also make sure you follow through and amend your errors. Thus, before sending out your letter to your recipient, please take a moment to think about everything you want or need to include.

      Take time to think about how you want to say it, and make sure you can convey all the necessary information and facts so your recipient can easily understand what you are offering.

      Remember, if it is a letter to a person, then use their name in the letter and ensure that you end your letter with a closing statement that is as polite as possible. Lastly, proofread your letter to ensure no grammar or spelling mistakes.

      About This Article

      William Lehr
      Authored by:
      Human Resources Specialist, MS Office Expert
      William Lehr combines a profound understanding of human resources with a certified expertise in Microsoft Office, making him a dual asset in any professional setting. With a keen insight into the intricacies of HR, William adeptly manages talent acquisition, employee relations, and organizational development. His Microsoft Office proficiency further amplifies his effectiveness, allowing him to design and implement seamless workflows, reports, and analytical tools. Whether it's optimizing HR processes or crafting efficient MS Office solutions, William's comprehensive skill set ensures that organizational objectives are met with precision and excellence.

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