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How to write your best request

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in Workplace Communication

It's a common communication in the business world, but it’s often not very polished: the request letter.

Here’s how to write a request with brevity and grace to get what you want:

1. Begin with a clear statement of your request. Example: “Ms. Smith asked me to request a copy of the report passed out at your last meeting.” Avoid an apologetic tone: “I’m sorry to bother you with this … .”

2. Indent a list of items, so the reader can easily see what you want:

“Please send me your brochures for:

  • Model 75-74
  • Model 774-23
  • Model 610-66
  • Model 15-2.”

3. Detail when and how you’d prefer the response. “Ms. Smith will appreciate receiving a copy of the report by mail or fax by the 15th.”

4. Tell the reader why he or she may be interested in responding. Example: “We will let you know our purchasing decision by April 20.”

5. Conclude with a statement of appreciation. “I look forward to receiving the material.”


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