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Practical Writing
Notes of Apology

A note of apology is like a short letter with only one or two paragraphs. It is usually handwritten. Its tone may be either formal or informal depending upon the people and the situation. If it is formal it should address the recipient with a correct title and some words of respect. Then it should clearly state the reason for the apology and promise to remedy the situation, and conclude with a suitable closing phrase.

Sample One
Monday, March 15
Dear Professor Martin,
I enjoy your class very much. But I'm very sorry that I had to miss your class last Thursday. Unfortunately my roommate became ill and I had to take him to the hospital. Please let me know what I can do to make up the class. I know you prefer for us to let you know in advance when we will be absent, but there was no time to do so. I hope you'll accept my sincere apology.                                                        Your student,
                                                       Lin Shantao


Sample Two
The following is a very informal version of the same apology:
Prof. Martin-- I had to miss your class last Thursday, March 11. My roommate was ill and I took him to the hospital. I hope that's OK. Your student, Lin Shantao.

1. Compose a note of apology based on the information given below.

Suppose you had to miss your English class last week because you represented the university in a debating contest. Write your teacher a note of apology. You decide whether a formal or informal note is better.


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