Writing the Basic Request Letter
The body of the very simplest request letter is usually only
one or two paragraphs. This is especially true if there is some incentive for
the receiving party to respond to your request in a positive way. An example
of this would be in a letter where you are requesting additional information
that might lead to a purchase of merchandise from the company.
In more complex request letters where there is no incentive
for the receiver of your letter to grant your request, your letter will need
to include some persuasive writing. Often the sales letter format,
discussed later, is used for the most complex request letters, such as when
you are asking for monetary donations.
Request letter format
- Opening paragraph: introduce yourself and make your request.
This is usually only one or two sentences.
- In the opening paragraph--or
with more complex request letters this is the second paragraph. After you make your request, give any necessary details to help
the receiver of your letter fully understand what you are asking for. This
is often part of the opening paragraph in the simplest request letters. In more
complex request letters--especially when you are inserting a couple
persuasive sentences--this could be a paragraph by itself. If you are asking
for more than three items or pieces of information consider using bullets to
clarify your needs.
- Closing paragraph: your "CALL FOR ACTION." Restate your request
giving a date by which you need a response. Make sure you state why you need
the response by this date. If you are making a payment in conjunction with
the request, state the details of the payment in this paragraph.