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 an apology letter is not only a necessity but a skill that you should be able to utilize at any point in life. In this article, we will take you through how to write an effective apology letter and give you some great examples of what it should look like.

An apology letter also called an atonement letter, is a letter that an offender writes to any individual or organization that may have been adversely affected by their action.

The letter is usually written in formal language that 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

Our templates offer several technical benefits, enabling you to save time and effort while ensuring a sincere and well-structured apology. The best part? You can download these templates for free, making them easily accessible to all.

Free Apology Letter for a Mistake Template

Free Apology Letter for a Bad Behavior sample

Free Apology Letter for Car Accident Template

Free Apology Letter for Customer Template

Free Apology Letter from Drug Addict Template

Free Apology Letter to Friend Template

Free Apology Letter for Girlfriend or Boyfriend Template

Free Apology Letter to Spouse Template

Free Apology Letter to Teachers Template

Free Apology Letter for Business Template

Free Apology Letter to Parents Template

    Why is it Hard to Write a Letter of Apology?

    Writing an apology letter can seem like a small thing. Still, it can be challenging for most people.

    The following are the several reasons why apologizing can be problematic include:

    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, an apology letter 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 Apology Letters

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

    Free Apology Letter from a Drug Addict Template

    Apology letter from a drug addict

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Free Apology Letter for Car Accident Template

    Apology letter for a car accident

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Free Apology Letter for Business Template

    Business Apology Letter

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Free Apology Letter for a Friend Template

    Apology letter to a friend

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Free Apology Letter for a Girl Friend Template

    Apology letter to girlfriend or boyfriend

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Free Apology Letter for Bad Behavior Template

    Apology letter for bad behavior

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Free Apology Letter for a Mistake Template

    Apology letter for the mistake

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Free Apology Letter for Customer Template

    Apology letter to customer

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Free Apology Letter for Teacher Template

    Apology letter to teacher

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

      How to Start an Apology 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 to cause more damage by sending an unprofessional apology 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. For example, if you are writing an apology letter for a corporate, it would be better to address it to the company rather than individual staff members. Contradictory, if you are writing an apology letter to a person, make sure to use their name if you know them. For example, if you write an apology 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, then whichever justification/explanation is necessary to support your apology.

      Describe what happened

      The next step when writing an apology letter 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 ask 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 an apology letter.

      How to End an Apology Letter?

      The last part of an apology 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 your apology letter should be where you can personally thank the person in question and demonstrate hope for the relationship to succeed.

      Sign off

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

      Note: How to 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

      Dear __________ (Recipient’s name),

      I’m writing to offer my sincere apologies for the _______________ that I did. This incident occurred on _______________ (DATE) and was caused by ___________ (THE REASON WHY).

      I’m sincerely sorry for my action and now assure you that this will not happen again. I understand this is not something that will easily be forgotten, and I’m willing to take the necessary steps to prevent it from happening again. You may contact me at _________________ or call me on ____________ (NUMBER) so we can talk about it or if you have any questions.

      Thank you for your time.



      (Your name)

      Apology Letter: Example 1

      Apology for making a mistake at work

      Dear Mrs. Jones, 

      I am sorry for my actions of 1-2-14 when I made an error with our financial journal report and submitted it to you without doing any of the necessary checks and balances. This led to much confusion and problems for you and the management.

      I should have double-checked my work before submitting it since I realized several errors. The report was sent back to me; a new one was made, and then finally, you could use it. You were not able to start anything new until the errors were fixed.

      If I had checked my work when I first realized errors, this would never have happened. I will be keener in the future, and I promise that I will do a better job. If you have queries or concerns, please call me at extension 54321.

      Eternally Grateful,

      Joe Smith

      Apology Letter: Example 2

      Apology for missing a deadline

      Dear Mrs. Williams,

      I am sorry for missing the deadline for our final report that was on 12th of February. Your instructions were evident, and we had enough time to complete the report by then, but I lost my notes on the fourth week of January due to some computer malfunction.

      I searched everywhere to try and find them but was unsuccessful. I thought I would recreate my notes, but that did not work out. Finally, on February 13, I was able to find them after going through the computer’s backup files. Our report is now complete, but the deadline has passed. I am sorry for this late extension; if it has inconvenienced you in any way, please let me know.

      If you have any concerns or queries, please call me at extension 44721.


      Eddie Franks

      Administrative Assistant

      Tips for Writing it Efficiently

      Here are some tips for you to follow when writing an apology 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 apology 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 an apology 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 apology 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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