"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." Buddha

"At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." Albert Schweitzer


Christopher Peterson suggests in his Primer in Positive Psychology textbook that writing a letter of gratitude to someone that made a difference in your life is one of the ways that can bring the strongest positive emotions to both you and the recipient. This actions fills the cup on both levels. Using business terminolgy to describe this would be a win-win and borrowing the title used by the U Penn Psycholgy Department, this is Authentic Happiness.


To Do:

Each of you will be writing a 3 paragraph letter of thanks (similar in format to our Cover and Thank you Letter assignments). With the purpose of this letter is to recognize someone that has made a positive impact in your life and in our CSB way, provide specific examples of that impact.


Format (Here's what to include):



Greeting - In most of the writings we will do in CSB we would write formally but in this letter, this is not a requirement. It is probably more appropriate to be casual in your greeting - Hi ______ or Hey ________. Choose what you feel is appropriate.

Intention - No secret about what the letter will be about - you can tell them right away what the letter is for. Name the thing the recipient helped you with/did for you.

Body - Although it’s fine to express general gratitude from time to time (“Thanks for always being willing to lend a hand when I need you”), referring to a specific event, action or activity is more effective (“Thanks for putting in extra time to make our presentation a success.”).

Give a few specific details. You could include things that the person did that were especially useful, or give an example of how the person went above and beyond. Details show the person you’re corresponding with that you were paying attention to their efforts and it was these efforts that were most significant to you. (

Discuss yourself for a bit as it applies to your life and this person. Being able to share your story will really make a difference to the reader as well.

Closing - Finish off your letter with a positive statement of thanks and appreciation. Leave your reader with an idea of your feelings.

Closure - Signature

End the letter with closure (Thanks again, Warmest regards, etc.) and then sign your name

After your name - write out your address


Spell Check - Grammar Check - Print it out - Once you are done, address an envelope correctly and we will mail for you.