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How to Write a Letter of Appreciation

No matter the occasion, appreciation goes a long way. Whether you are writing to a colleague, mentor or employer, a letter of appreciation is the perfect way to express gratitude and lift someone else’s mood. Use the following steps to get started with your letter.

Organize Your Thoughts

Before you begin writing, make a list of what you would like to convey in your letter. Your appreciation letter doesn’t have to be long or convoluted. You should speak from your heart and be as sincere as possible. Think about what this person has done for you, so that your letter is as specific as possible.

Start With a Greeting

It’s best to start your appreciation letter with an appropriate greeting. If you are writing to a colleague or friend, a simple, casual greeting is best. Choose a more formal greeting for an employer, professor or mentor. In these instances, “Dear Ms./Mr.,” with the person’s last name is a common way of starting. Determining the formality of the greeting sets the tone for the rest of your letter.

Be Clear About Why You are Writing

It’s time to utilize your organized list from step one. The body of your letter should clearly state why you chose to write this person a letter and why you are appreciative of their actions. Keep your message short, but clear. Thank the person for their help or guidance and let them know the results of their actions. Did you get the job they recommended you for? Did you successfully complete a college course thanks to their tutoring skills? Let them know the positive outcome of their actions in the body of your letter.

It’s Time to Sign Off

End your letter with a closing statement. Say thank you again for the time they spent helping you and let them know you’ll be in touch with an update later on. Officially sign off with a professional farewell and your full name. In a more formal letter, end with “Sincerely” before your name. If you want to be slightly more casual, you can end with “Best regards,” or “Best.” “Thanks” and “Cheers” are also some casual ways to close.

Proofread Your Letter

Be sure to take time to proofread your letter before sending. Remove any grammatical errors and typos. Have a friend or family member review it with a fresh set of eyes before you sent it. They might be able to offer some suggestions, both in terms of content and simple errors. A poorly written letter will result in a less positive impression.


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How to ask someone to mentor you

Once you’ve thought through your choice, you’re ready to ask someone to mentor you. Here’s how to do it.

In your email:

Schedule an initial conversation. Ask your potential mentor if he or she can make time for an hour meeting with you. You don’t want to be rushed, and you want plenty of time for the other person to ask you questions about your goals, etc.

Clearly describe the guidance you’re seeking (The Ask). This is where that preliminary brainstorming on your part will help you articulate just what you have in mind. Describe what advice or guidance you are seeking and for what purpose. Is it to help you navigate your current department politics or are you seeking to apply to a different position? Are you thinking about going back to school and are not sure what area of study to focus on? Think about this and articulate up front what you are seeking.

Confirm your willingness to do the necessary work and follow-through. There’s nothing more frustrating than mentoring someone who doesn’t do the work necessary to take advantage of advice, so you want to make it clear to your potential mentor that you’re ready to commit the time, energy and effort to make the most of their counsel (and time).

Acknowledge and respect the individual’s time. Most people who are asked to become mentors are highly successful in their careers, which means they’re also very busy and much in demand. So it’s important for you to acknowledge that reality, and make it clear how much you appreciate their considering your request. This is also the way to provide a graceful “out,” letting the other person cite an overbooked schedule for declining your request. 

View an example of how to reach out to someone you already know.

If you’re reaching out to someone with whom you have no connection, go for an introduction along with any commonalities, specific interests or discussion points. Try to make a quick connection to hopefully pique his or her curiosity and spark interest in meeting with you. We advise you to ask to meet them for coffee or a brief meeting in their office first so you can both get to know each other. Aim for 30 minutes for your initial meeting.

Do not ask someone to be your mentor in your introductory email or in your first meeting. Like all relationships, building trust and rapport takes time. You may need to meet a few times and get to know them, learn about their current career and goals before asking them to be your mentor.

View an example of how to reach out to someone you don’t know (a referral, someone you have not spoken with or written to in the past).

Note: If you don’t hear from them, follow-up, but don’t hound him or her. Check in two to three weeks after your initial contact, but after that, you need to assume he or she doesn’t have the time to meet you right now. It is time to focus on the other two or more on your list of potential mentors. Try to maintain a relationship (even if it’s one way) by sending notes or articles that may interest him or her once every six months just to check-in.

Writing Mentor’s functionality can be reviewed here, but the application itself has been taken down for now. Please contact ETS R&D at [email protected] if you have any questions.

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writing to mentor

40 ways to say ‘thank you’ and show your appreciation for your mentor

Here are dozens of ways to say 'thank you' — whether short and sweet, funny, or sincere.

Muinat Zubair

January 25, 2023

Updated on 

If we could measure our lives, time would be the unit. It is the most valuable asset to humans. When a mentor invests time and effort into your success, gratitude is a small but meaningful way to appreciate them . 

This article will give mentees many examples of how to express gratitude to their mentors for their support and guidance in their lives and careers.

How much of an impact has your mentor had on you?

We can liken mentorship to standing on the shoulders of giants. We could argue that it is one of the best things that could happen to a person, career-wise. Great mentors significantly shape the professional life of their mentees by pointing them in the right direction. They help you avoid mistakes and make you a better person. 

Mentees can attest to getting promoted faster and acquiring life skills with the support of their mentors. There are so many things to gain from having a role model steering you on the right path. Through the guidance of a mentor, you attract opportunities that previously seemed out of your reach. 

How can you validate your mentor’s time and efforts? How do you show how valuable and timely their advice has been? Think back and ponder on the kind of life-changing impact your mentor had on you. Be it making the right decisions for your career or giving personal insights into some other aspect of your life. How they helped you avoid some pitfalls that could have impeded your progress. You would agree their experience, wisdom, and knowledge came in handy. 

What's the best way to express gratitude to your mentor?

In the following sections, we’re going to outline examples and quotes of ways to say thank you to your mentor. 

But first, we’ll provide three guiding principles for saying thank you.

Show genuine gratitude

Anyone can write a thank-you message. Your mentor probably gets tons of them from time to time. Make sure yours reflects genuine gratitude. If you treat it like a chore instead of a sincere show of appreciation, it will reflect in your message. Be sure to let your feelings shine through.

Mention the context

Take a moment to reflect on the ways your mentor has added value to your life. This will help you be specific in your message. Everyone appreciates a personalized message. Mention some of their good qualities and how it has been of help to you. 

Give examples of contributions you appreciate

You can throw in a specific example or event that you found impressive and benefited immensely from. This will show that you’re thoughtful and apply their recommendation. It’s also useful when you’re running a virtual mentorship and don’t get to meet physically as much.

Offering to help them with a project or some other engagements they have are also tangible ways to show your appreciation.

'Thank you' phrases to include in your thank-you letter to your mentor

Although words sometimes can’t convey how grateful we’re for our mentor's influence on our success. We should still go the extra mile to show our appreciation. 

Doing so shows a deep commitment and meaning to our actions towards our mentors. Below are some thank-you messages or quotes you can use in your appreciation letter to a good mentor. 

Thank you for changing the trajectory of my career for the better. I can never truly express how grateful I am.
Thank you for your commitment to my success, I couldn’t have done it without your support.
Thank you for your help in making my dreams a reality. Your guidance and shared experiences have been invaluable. 
Thank you for being a great leader, I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. You’re up there with the bests, you’re exceptionally talented and a born mentor.
Thank you for always inspiring me to put my best foot forward, even when I don’t feel like I belong. Your constant reassurance has helped me navigate tough times.
Thank you for your time, I don’t take it for granted. I appreciate your patience, insight and listening ears.
Thank you for your constant advice and recommendation. What did I do to deserve such a great mentor?! I am a better person because of those insightful sessions.
Thank you for going above and beyond for me. Your dedication amazes me and inspires me to put in the work. I hope to make you proud. 
Thank you for seeing my potential and helping me harness it. Your recommendations give me the zeal and confidence to excel. 
Thank you for being the perfect mentor for me! Even when we don’t agree on some things, you always support me in learning life lessons my way. I have found a role model for life.

Inspiring 'thank you'' messages to send to your mentor

The ultimate reward you can give your mentor is to apply their teaching to your life and career. They get a feeling of fulfilment from seeing you thrive well. 

You can make them feel even better by writing inspiring thank-you messages. Here are some examples of lovely appreciation for their inspiring mentorships.  

You showed up in my life when I needed guidance the most. Thank you for showing me what true work ethic and work-life balance are. You have been the best role model anyone could ask for.
I can’t think of a better way to describe your gentle but firm support through my career changes. All the counselling outside of our sessions has made me a better person. I am so fortunate to have you.
Even when I didn’t make the best decisions, you stood by me and guided me back to the right path. Now that all our hard work is paying off, I hope you’re as proud as I am because it is in large part thanks to you.
I am a force to reckon with in our work because of your dedication. All the opportunities and skills you sent my way made me who I am. Thank you to my friend and mentor. I’m glad to have you in my corner.
If we were to make consistency into a medal, you deserve it. You have been a constant through all my trials. A rock you have been, thank you for sticking by when you didn’t have to.
Thank you for showing me the ropes of the business, You have not only given me the fish to eat, but you also taught me how to fish.
Without your help, I wouldn’t be exposed to so many opportunities. You always introduce me to the right people whenever I need them. Your experience has favoured me beyond my wildest imagination. Thank you for being a loving and dedicated mentor in every way.
I have an entirely new perspective on things, all thanks for your guidance. I am more open to trying new things and sharing my ideas because you inspire me. You’re an amazing human and mentor.
Thank you for upholding such high standards and being an excellent mentor. Your direction and insightful comments have made me a better professional. I don’t think I can ever thank you enough.
Accept my most sincere appreciation to you, for being a mentor and a friend. Thank you for listening to my rants and being the voice of reason when I make impulsive decisions. 

Funny ways to show appreciation to your mentor

You don’t have to be serious all the time. Having a good mentor is like having a friend at work or a career coach . Infuse a little humor into how you show your appreciation to your mentor. 

Below are some examples of how to show gratitude in a funny way. 

I don’t understand why people say, “I don't know how to thank you,” as if they’re not familiar with money.
Thanks to you, I can’t stop smiling like a cheshire cat.
I want to thank you for your support and show off my impeccable manners.
If I had a dollar for every time I expressed my gratitude, I’d be rolling in money now.
Thank you for being my unpaid therapist.
I appreciate that we’re still friends despite my habit of spilling every vulgar and embarrassing detail about my life.
Thanks for your continued support. Just so you know, I always do a little dance after our sessions.
I appreciate you for everything and nothing.
I am tempted to say, “my mentor is amazing,” every time I talk to people.

Short and sweet 'thank you' quotes for your mentor

If you think brevity does it, or you know your mentor will value shorter words of appreciation, find your inspiration from the short and sweet “thank you” below. 

You can always adapt to fit your intentions as well.

Choosing you as my mentor is the best decision I have ever made.
When I count my blessings, you come to mind first.
Thank you for your words of encouragement and bringing out the best in me.
Thank you for taking me under your wing.
I am a better person because you’re my mentor, thank you.
Thank you for being a mentor of great impact.
I am a good leader and team member because of you. Thank you.
Thank you for challenging me to reach my full potential.
Thank you for being a wonderful influence and a great mentor.
Thank you for being my guide and support in my lowest periods.

Need specific examples, you can model long appreciation messages after, and check out how to write a meaningful thank you note. 

Learn how to build a meaningful mentoring relationship

Now that you have plenty of inspiration to write the right thank-you message, go ahead and write. 

Besides sending gratitude notes, You can continue learning about how to build a successful mentor relationship by reading our blog post on the topic.

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Writing with Mentors: How to Reach Every Writer in the Room Using Current, Engaging Mentor Texts

  • Paperback $33.74 - $37.50 24 Used from $9.91 5 New from $33.51

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" Writing With Mentors is one of the best books I've read on harnessing the power of mentor texts to spur authentic student writing." --Kelly Gallagher, author of Write Like This

"Writing With Mentors has transformed the way I think about using exemplar pieces." --Christopher Lehman, coauthor of Falling in Love with Close Reading

"I am certain Don [Graves] would have celebrated these wise, kind, and fearless advocates for young writers." --Penny Kittle, author of Write Beside Them

In Writing with Mentors , high school teachers Allison Marchetti and Rebekah O'Dell prove that the key to cultivating productive, resourceful writers-writers who can see value and purpose for writing beyond school-is using dynamic, hot-off-the-press mentor texts. In this practical guide, they provide savvy strategies for:

--finding and storing fresh new mentor texts, from trusted traditional sources to the social mediums of the day --grouping mentor texts in clusters that show a diverse range of topics, styles, and approaches --teaching with lessons that demonstrate the enormous potential of mentor texts at every stage of the writing process.

In chapters that follow the scaffolded instruction Allison and Rebekah use in their own classrooms, you'll discover how using mentor texts can unfold across the year, from inspiration and planning to drafting, revising, and "going public" in final publication. Along the way, you'll find yourself reaching every writer in the room, whatever their needs. "Our hope in this book," they write, "is to show you a way mentors can help you teach anything you need or want to teach in writing. A way that is grounded in the work of real writers and the real reading you do every day. A way that is sustainable and fresh, and will serve your students long after they leave your classroom."

  • ISBN-10 032507450X
  • ISBN-13 978-0325074504
  • Publisher Heinemann
  • Publication date September 16, 2015
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 7.4 x 0.43 x 9.2 inches
  • Print length 224 pages
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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Heinemann (September 16, 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 032507450X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0325074504
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 - 17 years
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  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 13.6 ounces
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About the authors

Rebekah o'dell.

Rebekah O'Dell believes in the power of choice, authenticity, and students' voices in the reading and writing classroom.

Traveling the country to work with teachers and students provides constant inspiration as she helps educators do the hard-and-tranformative work of teaching real writing. In both public and independent schools, she taught middle and high school students at all levels -- from inclusion to AP and IB classes.

She is a co-founder of Moving Writers and the authors of Writing With Mentors (Heinemann 2015) and Beyond Literary Analysis (Heinemann, January 2018).

Allison Marchetti

Allison Marchetti believes in the power of choice, authenticity, and students’ voices in the reading and writing classroom.

Traveling the country to work with teachers and students provides constant inspiration as she helps educators do the hard-and-transformative work of teaching real writing. In both public and independent schools, she has taught middle and high school students at all levels — from inclusion to AP classes.

She is the co-founder of Moving Writers, a blog for secondary writing teachers, and co-author of Writing With Mentors (Heinemann 2015) and Beyond Literary Analysis (Heinemann, January 2018) with Rebekah O'Dell.

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Scientist Sees Squirrel

Seldom original. often wrong. occasionally interesting..

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How to talk with your mentor about writing (and why)

All of us write, and all of us learn to write; but virtually none of us do so alone. Which is a good thing, both for the doing and the learning! For that latter part: there’s an early-career phase in which you work closely with a mentor. Most often, that mentor will be an honours or graduate supervisor, and you’ll be working together while you write a thesis, or perhaps a manuscript for publication derived from a thesis. This kind of close collaboration can be extremely helpful as you learn the craft of scientific writing; but it can also be frustrating for both parties.

Before going further, it’s worth acknowledging just how much can be involved – on both sides. For the developing writer: writing the thesis is an enormous project that consumes many months (if not years). For most, it’s also a time of rapid learning. And the stakes are high, because the entire graduate program culminates in the thesis, and the first few publications have outsize weight on an early career CV. For the mentor, it’s also a big deal and extremely time-consuming. A mentor might read and comment on three or four drafts, or maybe a dozen, of each of your thesis chapters – and they aren’t likely to have a single mentee, so you can multiply that by the population of a lab.

So if the collaboration can be either helpful or frustrating, it’s very much worth trying to push the needle towards the former and away from the latter. Here are some ways you can do that.

First, when you hand a draft to your mentor for comments and advice, make it easy for them to give you the kind of feedback you need:

  • Allow plenty of time for feedback. Sure, your manuscript is only 10 pages long; but your mentor may have six other students handing them drafts, plus everything else they’ve got going. Two to three weeks is a reasonable expectation.
  • Offer them a choice of formats – Word, PDF, paper, etc.Yes, even paper – some of us old fogies still find it useful to wield a physical pen instead of a digital one.
  • Number your pages and number your lines. This sounds obvious and trivial, I know, but it’s astonishing how often I see documents lacking these aids. They’re a huge timesaver. They let your mentor write “what you say at line 422 seems inconsistent with your argument at 127-129” rather than having to spend time either counting lines down the page, or quoting sections of text. Less time bothering with that sort of thing means more time for careful thought, and that’s how you get comments that help!
  • Direct their attention to specific aspects of the writing. Let them know, for example, that you’d particularly like feedback on flow in the Introduction, the content of the Discussion, paragraph structure, or whatever you’re currently bedevilled by. If aspects of your draft are deliberately unpolished, tell them that too. It’s perfectly reasonable that you haven’t worried about sentence structure before figuring out the content – but tell your mentor that’s your approach, so they don’t waste time and effort marking up aspects that are deliberately unready.
  • If you’re handing them a second (or further!) draft of something they’ve seen before, let them know what’s changed – and even more, what you haven’t , and why. You can use marginal comments, Word’s Track Changes, or an informal “Response to Reviews” document. [You can read about constructing one of those in Chapter 24 of The Scientist’s Guide to Writin g .]

Second, when you get comments back, think carefully about what kind of interaction you and your mentor are having. Grad school (and perhaps a year or two on either side) is a time of transition for a developing writer. As an undergraduate, you were mostly writing assignments to be graded, and possibly (but not always) corrected. Because of that experience, it’s easy to slip into the belief that there’s one right way to write a manuscript; and that your mentor will see if you’ve found it, and if not, tell you what it is. But that’s not what’s going on. Think instead about a discussion, and about how that discussion serves not just the writing of the document in front of you, but your future writing too. And think about evolving from a student whose work is being graded to a coauthor and valued collaborator. So:

  • Think globally, not locally, about edits or suggestions. If “comma splice” is marked at lines 11 and 23, you’re not simply being asked to correct two mistakes. Instead, you’re being alerted that errors of this kind occur in your writing. Very likely, your mentor didn’t see it as their job to mark every one, so check the rest of your draft for similar errors.
  • Along similar lines: keep a list of errors (or dubious style choices) you make often, and add to it each time you receive a marked-up draft. Then check your next piece of writing for these personal bugbears before anyone else sees it. We all have that list (mine includes excessive use of parentheses, and look what I’m doing right now…) There’s nothing more frustrating for a mentor than pointing out the same mistakes in the fourth thesis chapter as they pointed out in the first.
  • Recognize that there are different kinds of things a mentor may mark on your draft. Some marks really do correct errors – perhaps you’ve misspelled a word or made a grammatical mistake. Others may be strong suggestions about writing conventions in the discipline – perhaps your language is rather informal, and you should consider whether there’s a good reason for pushing the boundaries of convention in the particular passage you’re writing. Still others will be matters of personal preference – authorial voice, if you will . I’ll admit that mentors often don’t communicate these distinctions clearly. Some may not even have figured out yet that these distinctions exist . Just as it takes many years to learn the craft of writing, it takes many years to learn the craft of mentoring writing.
  • If you don’t agree with a suggestion, push back – with a good argument, and recognizing that you might or might not be right. You might say “you recommended doing X here, but I’m not sure that’s best. I had done Y because of <reasons>. Can you explain further?” A good supervisor will be happy to see you make an argument (when it’s supported by reasoning, of course); they’ll be ecstatic the first time you win one.

Does all this sound like extra work? In the short term, maybe. Perhaps it’s easier to hand in a draft, get it back with some Track Changes, and hit “accept all”. But the goal isn’t to make this document good enough; it’s for your mentor to help you practise – and one day, master – the craft of scientific writing. You can make that mentoring easier and receive it more thoughtfully, and in the long run, both you and your mentor will be a lot happier.

© Stephen Heard  April 5, 2022

Image: © Phoebe via CC BY-SA 3.0

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1 thought on “ How to talk with your mentor about writing (and why) ”

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This is really great to read! I’m a college writing teacher and also a writing advisor in a lab and I’m madly taking notes and saving this post to share. Thanks! Amanda Lynn

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  1. Letter To Mentor Request

    writing to mentor

  2. 12 Thank You Letters to Mentor to Download for Free

    writing to mentor

  3. How to ask someone to mentor you

    writing to mentor

  4. Thank You Letter To Your Mentor: How To, Templates & Examples

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  5. Mentor text concept stock image. Image of leadership

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  6. Thank You Letter To Mentor

    writing to mentor


  1. How to Write a Letter of Appreciation

    No matter the occasion, appreciation goes a long way. Whether you are writing to a colleague, mentor or employer, a letter of appreciation is the perfect way to express gratitude and lift someone else’s mood. Use the following steps to get ...

  2. What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Mentoring?

    Some advantages of mentoring a new employee in the workplace are that the mentee receives guidance from a more experienced employee on how to perform his new job functions and the employee makes less mistakes in assigned projects.

  3. Why Was Aristotle Famous?

    Aristotle was one of the most important ancient Greek philosophers, best known for his writings that cover a wide variety of subjects, such as metaphysics, music, politics and poetry. Aristotle was a student of Plato and the mentor of Alexa...

  4. How To Write a Thank You Letter to Your Mentor (With Examples)

    How To Write a Thank You Letter to Your Mentor (With Examples) · Start with a greeting. · Share your gratitude with specific examples. · Include

  5. How To Write A Thank-You Message For A Mentor (With Samples)

    To have you as a mentor has changed my life completely, and for the better. I truly appreciate everything you have done for me so far and hope

  6. How to ask someone to mentor you

    someone you have not spoken with or written to in the past).

  7. The Writing Mentor® is an Easy-to-Use Reflection and Revision Tool

    ETS's Writing Mentor® helps you to develop your academic writing skill.

  8. 40 ways to say 'thank you' and show your appreciation for your mentor

    Anyone can write a thank-you message. Your mentor probably gets tons of them from time to time. Make sure yours reflects genuine gratitude.

  9. How to Find and Choose a Writing Mentor

    A writing mentor is an experienced writer who shares their wisdom with a new writer as they begin their career. The mentor provides support

  10. Find a Writing Mentor for Hire Online

    A writing mentor refers to an experienced writer who shares their knowledge and skills to teach another writer, usually at the early stages of their career.

  11. Writing Mentors

    academic writing; referencing; time management. Availability. Check the current timetable and follow the links below to drop-in with a Writing Mentor

  12. How do you show appreciation to your writing mentor?

    A writing mentor is someone who guides you, inspires you, and challenges you to improve your writing skills and achieve your goals.

  13. Writing with Mentors: How to Reach Every Writer in Writing with Mentors: How to Reach Every Writer in the Room Using Current, Engaging Mentor Texts: 9780325074504: Marchetti, Allison, O'Dell

  14. How to talk with your mentor about writing (and why)

    Most often, that mentor will be an honours or graduate supervisor, and you'll be working together while you write a thesis, or perhaps a