Give General Advice | Letter-Writing Guide


When asked for advice, respond quickly. Give advice only on the subject you have been asked about. Keep your advice simple and to the point. Make it easy for the reader to respond if he or she wants to discuss it at greater length. Keep the tone of your letter constructive.


1. Explain why you are writing. If needed, summarize the problem your advice will address.

  • You asked me what I thought of your possible career choices.
  • I was flattered when I received your letter asking for my advice on the career decision you are considering.
  • I have given the situation you described in your letter a lot of thought, and offer the following suggestions.
  • I am flattered that you asked for my advice on choosing which college to attend.
  • Ever since you asked for my opinion about a new Doe line, I've been thinking about the situation. I have tried to weigh the obvious benefits against the sizable costs.
  • a possible solution to
  • after reviewing your
  • asked what I thought of your
  • asked for my advice on
  • asked me about
  • asked for my opinion about
  • based on our experience
  • ever since you asked
  • from personal experience
  • have given careful consideration to
  • have given the situation
  • have given this a lot of thought
  • have been thinking about
  • raise some interesting points
  • share your concerns about
  • that you asked my advice
  • the situation you described
  • to the concerns you raised
  • want to thank you
  • want to let you know
  • was flattered that you should
  • your upcoming decision

2. Give your advice, including what action you feel the reader should take.

  • I really can't answer your questions. A better resource might be John Doe. He is knowledgeable about schools in that area.
  • I would advise you to stay where you are unless you find a very good reason for moving.
  • You might consider taking the job on a trial basis.
  • In my opinion you should consider hiring an accountant.
  • I believe it would be a very bad idea to take out the home equity loan that you are considering. I strongly advise you not to do it. A safer course would be to borrow against your paid-up life insurance policy.
  • a safer course would be to
  • approach this from a different perspective
  • before you make a final decision
  • believe it would be wiser to
  • consider the following strategy
  • happy to recommend
  • is an excellent time to
  • it appears to me that
  • know very little about
  • may I suggest that
  • might want to consider
  • might be a better resource
  • my recommendation is
  • one tactic might be to
  • really can't advise you
  • should probably focus on
  • strongly advise you to
  • suggest that you consider
  • think that you should
  • urge you to review
  • would be a good idea to
  • would be a bad idea to
  • your best approach seems to be to

3. Give reasons for the course of action you recommend.

  • I know from talking with your parents that you are interested in attending an eastern university. Here is my list of top universities for you to consider.
  • If you are content with your current position, I see no reason to uproot your family. Write down the pros and cons of accepting the position in Boston as well as staying where you are. You have been with the same company for several years, and you already have a successful career.
  • Doing so would eliminate much of the record keeping I know you dislike and would make tax time a more pleasant experience.
  • This would present a much smaller risk and would give you enough available funds for your current needs. As I see it, the biggest problem with home equity loans is that interest can add up and you may put ownership of your home in jeopardy.
  • Although the loan would give you more immediate cash, it would end up costing you several thousand dollars in the future.
  • although it would give you
  • considering the risks involved
  • considering the pros and cons
  • considering where your interests lie
  • doing so would almost certainly
  • farther down the road
  • for your current needs
  • from personal experience
  • have no doubt that
  • if you are content with
  • in addition to
  • in the long term
  • most beneficial to you
  • see no reason to
  • show substantial improvement
  • the advantages of this course of action
  • the biggest advantage of
  • the reason for my suggestion is
  • the biggest problem with
  • will pay off in the end
  • would send the message that
  • would end up costing you
  • would eliminate much of
  • would be to your advantage to
  • would be in your best interests to
  • would present a much smaller risk
  • your commitment to

4. If needed, include a disclaimer.

  • This is only my opinion.
  • You must of course use your own judgment in this matter.
  • This is just something for you to consider.
  • I may be completely wrong, but I thought it would at least give you something to consider.
  • Without being in your shoes, I cannot know for sure.
  • I really can only guess what it is like in your situation.
  • Before you make a final decision, perhaps you should look into John's idea.
  • am not really qualified to
  • based on my experience
  • before you make a decision
  • before you make a final decision
  • can never be certain
  • cannot know the entire situation
  • cannot promise immediate
  • don't feel bad if
  • feel free to
  • for you to consider
  • give you something to think about
  • if you don't agree
  • is only a suggestion
  • it's perfectly all right
  • know very little about
  • may prefer to
  • may be completely wrong
  • my feelings will not be hurt if
  • no matter what happens
  • please look into the possible
  • please keep me informed
  • remember that this is only an opinion
  • so far as I know
  • this may solve your problem, but
  • to weigh all the possibilities
  • use your own judgment

5. End with encouragement for the reader. Make responding easy.

  • I hope you find this advice helpful.
  • If you would like to discuss this further before making a final decision, let's do it over lunch some time this week. I'm happy to be of help. Call me (555-5555), and we'll set a time.
  • Let me hear from you. I would like to know what you decide to do and how it goes.
  • I am confident that whatever decision you make will be the right one for you. Let me know what you finally decide.
  • I hope this advice fits your needs.
  • Before you make a final decision, I'd like to meet with you to see if we can find a better long-term solution.
  • am confident that you will
  • am sure that you will
  • are on the right track
  • be happy to be of any help
  • deserve much credit for
  • get input from others
  • have confidence in your ability to
  • have a good sense of
  • hope that you will
  • hope you find this advice helpful
  • if I can help further
  • if there is anything else I can do
  • let me hear from you
  • that you will follow through
  • that everything will turn out fine
  • the end result will be good
  • to discuss this further
  • what you finally decide
  • whatever you decide
  • whatever decision you make
  • will do the right thing
  • will follow through with
  • will do a great job
  • will do your best
  • will do whatever is necessary
  • will make a wise decision
  • will undoubtedly succeed
  • will support you in your choice
  • will make the right choice
  • will be the right choice for you
  • will be fine
  • wish you success
  • would like to know

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