Request a Favor • Letter Templates and Guide

Guide

1Clearly explain your reason for requesting the favor, possibly indicating why the person is qualified to help you.
2If the favor is sensitive or extensive, give a persuasive and convincing explanation for the request.
3Express appreciation and willingness to reciprocate.

Tips

Avoid the temptation to apologize for your request. Let the person feel complimented that you would ask the favor and indicate why you came to him or her for help. Explain clearly and persuasively why you need the favor. Finally, make the request reasonable, expressing willingness to reciprocate the kindness.

Example Letter #1

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I wonder if you would mind helping me study for my GMAT? I need to score well to enter a graduate program at Doe University, but am having difficulty completing the math problems that require more than simple algebra.

Because you recently graduated with a degree in mathematics, you are naturally the most qualified person for me to turn to. I promise not to monopolize your time--just enough to help me remember some of the calculus that I have forgotten over the years.

I will really appreciate any help you can offer me and will be happy to return the favor when the opportunity arises.

Example Letter #2

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I am coordinator of local arrangements for the Daughters of Springfield biennial banquet this spring. As I considered initial preparations, I remembered the silver anniversary picnic that I helped organize last summer and the special decagonal tables that you used.

Our banquet will host twenty invited guests, and those special tables would be perfectly suited to our needs. Would you be good enough to let us use two of those tables at the Community Center, Thursday, May 8, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.? We can transport the tables, so that need not be a concern. I will call in a few days to see whether this is a possibility. Thank you.

Example Letter #3

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Could you do me a favor at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, May 11? I am taking a vacation with the family and need someone to teach my management class. I know it might take some preparation time, but the class members requested you, and I know you are the most qualified person for the job. Please let me know if you can help. I look forward to hearing from you and hope I can return the favor sometime.

Example Letter #4

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I attended the Rotary Club meeting last night where you performed your play on the Underground Railroad. I teach history at Springfield High School, and I believe your one-woman show would help bring the Civil War era alive for my students. Would you be willing to present your program at a special assembly on November 12 at 9:00 a.m.? Please call me at 555-5555 if you are available. I look forward to hearing from you and hope I will someday be in a position to return the favor.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step

1

Clearly explain your reason for requesting the favor, possibly indicating why the person is qualified to help you.

Example Sentences

Could you do me a favor? I am considering the purchase of a new car from the Doe Brothers, and I understand you have recently made such a purchase. We are turning to you for help in getting our son admitted to your preschool. It would be a tremendous favor if you would lend me your maps for my seminar next week. I would sincerely appreciate your influence in encouraging the committee to reconsider its decision. I am in a rather difficult situation at the moment because the paper has misquoted me, and will not correct it. It would be a great favor if you could set the record straight. Since I am leaving for France in the morning, I am wondering if you would inform the subcontractors that our meeting has been cancelled. I hope you will be able to give me some guidance regarding which schools I should apply to for my MA degree. I am turning to you to ask a favor because you are the most qualified person to give advice about scholarship opportunities in the humanities. At the suggestion of Mr. Doe, I am turning to you to ask a special favor. May I ask the favor of borrowing your copy of the text until the bookstore receives my order? May I use your name as a person who would be willing to give me a letter of reference? I would like to ask a special favor. You seem to be the best person to help. I would really appreciate your help in getting the tables set up at our company picnic. May I ask a favor? Could you give me the name of someone who might be able to help us with our public relations? The growth of our business has brought us to a point where we are prepared to extend our client base. Therefore, we are writing to our preferred customers to ask them for the names and phone numbers of persons they feel would like to know of our service.

Example Phrases

2

If the favor is sensitive or extensive, give a persuasive and convincing explanation for the request.

Example Sentences

Example Phrases