A formal excuse letter is similar to an apology letter. Both letters represent attempts for one party to reach out and make amends to someone, organization or group, that they inconvenienced with their behavior. In this case, the individual needs to signal that they know they are at fault for missing an important event. But that’s not all, as there are some excuse letters which function to excuse someone from an event, such as excusing a child from recess as they have an injury. Either way, the goal is to convey a message explaining why you did, or are going to do, to a recipient.

We realize that writing this or any type of letter can be a confusing experience, especially when writing is not your forte. This is why we’ve compiled a basic guide designed to help you write and format your letter.

How to Write a Formal Excuse Letter


There are many reasons one may need a letter of excuse. Perhaps you missed an important school assignment, or missed an important family event, such as a reunion. Whatever the reason, writing a properly composed, letter of excuse can often soften the blow felt by others by your actions. Another form of excuse letter occurs when a parent or guardian needs to excuse a child from school. Reasons for this can involve anything from illness to attending a family trip. A formal letter of excuse provides proof that you have both integrity and good character.

  1. First Paragraph

    Here is where you state your case. The first sentence contains the reason for writing the letter, followed up by any other relevant data, such as the date the incident occurred, and any names involved:

    “This letter is in regards to my absence from the meeting on 4/27/2022…..”

  2. Second Paragraph

    Here, you are to apologize for inconveniencing them, and to give a reason for your absence, or whatever you need to be excused from. Please stay away from falsifying your reason. The only time it’s understandable, is if the issue was the result of private, family troubles, or anything which might harm the privacy and character of another person. But, in general be as transparent as possible. Attach documents, such as a doctor’s note if it will help.

    I fell on the ice on 4/25/2022. As such, I was unable to attend the meetings, having to have my ankle X-rayed. I’ve attached a copy of the doctor’s note for your convenience, as well as the name and contact information of the doctor. I am ready, willing and able to make up any work at home, via the computer. I’ve also notified my team of the issue and they’ve said they’ll be able to handle the workload until I return.

  3. Third Paragraph

    The final paragraph should be one of appreciation. Be gracious and thank those involved for taking the time to read your letter and place the matter under consideration. Also, thank them for their understanding. Include any contact information if applicable to the situation.

    Thank you for your kind attention to the above matter. I will be looking forward to your response. In the meantime, I’m attaching my contact information which you can use any time of the day or night. Thank you again, my best to you and yours.

    Mastering formal excuse letters is crucial, but improving your overall writing is equally vital. Clear writing is essential, whether for letters, emails, or reports. To enhance your skills, numerous free online writing courses are available, covering everything from grammar basics to advanced composition. These courses aid in better communication across various contexts. Click here for free courses to sharpen your writing and clarify your expression.

Formal Excuse Letter Format

Below is the structure you are to follow when composing your formal excuse letter. As a formal letter, it will have all the characteristics as a business letter. This means that all content is left justified, with each section single spaced, with a double space in between sections, as you can see by our following example.

The body of the letter is divided up into as many sections that you need. However, in general you only need 3 for a letter of excuse. The introduction states the reason for the letter, the second paragraph backs up the introduction by providing a brief but detailed account of the situation. The final section is the closing, where you thank the recipient for being gracious enough to read your letter. You then leave your contact information in case they wish to contact you for more information.

{Sender’s Name}

{Sender’s Street Address}

{Sender’s City, State, Zip}

{Sender’s Contact Information}

{Sender’s Company Name}


{Recipient’s Name}

{Recipient’s Company Name}

{Recipient’s Street Address}

{Recipient’s City, State, Zip}

{Recipient’s Contact Information}


{Dear Name},

{Introduction of the excuse letter. State the reason for your letter. If your organization or department has many employees, mention your name and date of the incident}

{The second section backs up the introduction. Here, you are to write the details of what happened. Be brief and to the point, do not go off topic. If documents are involved, such as a doctor’s note, then state that you have attached the documentation. Finally, mention that you will make up whatever needs to be done.}

{Here is where you thank the recipient for their kind attention to the matter at hand. You may also leave your contact information and invite them to call you at their convenience.}



{Sender’s Name}

Formal Excuse Letter Sample

Now that you are familiar with the basic format of an excuse letter, it’s time to try your hand at writing one. To get your motor going, we’ve presented you with a brief and basic formal excuse letter sample that you can use. Simply insert your own information, rewrite, proofread and edit, until you’ve got the letter that will serve your needs.

Randal Johnson

553 West Cherry Grove

New York, NY 32345

April 24, 2022

Mr. Dan Phillips

3245 Sens Drive

New York, NY 35432

RE: Missing the Monthly Meeting

Dear Mr. Phillips

This letter concerns my absence from the accounting department April 14, 2022 to April 17, 2022. I am truly sorry for missing these days, as we are in crunch time for our project for ACME Books.

On April 13th, I noticed I had the sniffles, and as we are going through a pandemic, made an appointment for my physician, Dr. Feingold. I immediately called the office, and left a note with you personal assistant, J. D. Peters. My physician could not accept me immediately, so suggested I stay in and come in the following morning.

Upon visiting my physician and taking a few tests, Corvid-19 was ruled out. It appears I had a simple allergy to my daughters new cat, which seems logical as we went to her home for dinner on April 13th, where she introduced us to Theo, her calico. Attached are the doctor’s notes, which should back up my statement.

Thank you for your kind attention to the above matter. I will have no problem making up any time on the project, especially as I kept up to date with the crew via Skype. If you have any need to contact me, please do so at your convenience: 555-555-2135.


Jackson Dorn

Excuse Letter for Being Absent from Work Due to an Emergency

Unforeseen circumstances can affect all of us. Most people understand that. However, in terms of work, you’ll need to explain just what happened to your manager. This shows you are a responsible adult, one who has good character and integrity. Always made certain to be clear, transparent and truthful. Attach any important documents to back up your claim.

Dear Ms. McCracken,

This letter is in regard to my absence from work on Monday, 4/27/2024. The absence was due to a family emergency which involved my daughter falling off of the couch and hitting her head on the end table.

I’m terribly sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you. Attached are the lab reports and doctor’s note along with his contact information. I’ve already contacted your personal admin, Ms. Banks and related the story to her, plus I contacted the accounting team, and they are well aware of the situation. I intend to make up any work I’ve missed due to this incident.

Thank you for your kind consideration in this matter. I’ll be able to return to work in 3 days. Please contact me at your convenience for any questions or concerns.


Jack Thompson

Accounting Manager

Excuse Letter for Being Absent from Work Due to Sickness

An illness is something we all deal with. However, when it comes to the workplace, it’s necessary for you to compose a thorough letter relating the situation. Be sure to mention any dates, and if a doctor’s visit was required, then attach the notes to your letter, if possible. If not, then provide the manager with your contact information.

Dear Mr. Goodman,

I hereby send you my apologies for missing work on 4/23/2023 to 4/28/2023. This was due to a sudden illness which involved sniffling and sneezing. I contacted your admin and was advised to stay home until a physician gave me the ok, due to the C19 virus.

I did as told and went to the doctor ASAP. After tests were run, I was cleared of C19. It seemed it was just a bout of hay fever. Still, I was advised to stay out of work just in case, until the allergy tests returned. I have no problem making up any work I missed during that time.

Thank you for your attention to my situation. I hope this clears everything up. If you’ve any more concerns and questions, please contact me whenever you have the time to do so.


Louis R. Connor

Excuse letter for Being Absent from Work Due to family Matters

This is a tough one, as many prefer to keep their family matters from work. If it’s due to an illness or accident, then it’s ok. However, if you have a situation where it’s a private matter, then it may be best to make a private consultation with your manager, in order to keep things undercover, and private.

Dear Mr. Timmons,

This letter is in reference to 4/27/2025. I called in to the office and reported that I would not be able to attend work that day. Your personal assistant, Ms. Kirby, took the call and wished me the best.

The incident in question involved a health scare, as my wife discovered she had a lump in her breast. We were both fraught with fear, so decided to take a trip to our doctor immediately, that morning. She was tested, and we are still waiting for the results of the tests. I am attaching the doctors note, along with his contact information.

Thank you so much for any consideration you can give my situation. I’m more than willing to make up any duties that I missed. My contact information is also attached for your convenience, in case you have any need of further input.


John Morgan

Formal Excuse Letters: Templates and Examples


As can be seen, formal excuse letters require a bit of time, you can’t just whip one out in an hour or two. Knowing this, we’ve decided to come up with a few professionally designed formal excuse letter templates and examples to help keep you on the right track. By using one of our templates, you’ll be able to keep on point with your letter and stay on point with the topic. Each and every one of our templates are compatible with MS Word and come in a variety of styles designed to fit your special need. Simply download the template, and enter your particulars, save and print!

Example of Formal Excuse Letter


Formal Excuse Letter for College Student

Excuse Letter for Being Absent


Formal Excuse Letter (Blank Format)


Formal Excuse Letter for not the Attending Meeting


Formal Excuse Letter (Sample)


Tips for Writing a Formal Excuse Letter


When writing an absent excuse letter, it’s crucial that you follow a certain, time tested format. After all, by being absent you’ve inconvenienced those involved, so making amends is critical, especially if you wish to maintain your good character and integrity. Below we’ve comprised a list of tips, designed to keep you on the right track. Once you’ve completed your letter, it may be of service to you, to use our list of writing tips as a sort of checklist, to ensure you didn’t miss anything.

  • Consider this an apology letter, where you’re apologizing to someone, organization or group.
  • If the absence involved work or school, state you realize your absence was an inconvenience to them and offer to make up any assignments or time you missed.
  • Be brief, there are few reasons to extend an excuse letter beyond one page.
  • Always attach documents to back up your claim, if possible, such as a doctor’s note or lab notes.
  • Use a block style format, where all content is left justified, and all sections are single spaced with double spacing between sections.
  • Always close with a statement of gratitude to the recipient for taking the time to consider your situation.
  • Leave your contact information in the letter’s final section and invite the recipient to contact you any time of the day or night.
  • Always tell the truth. Not only is it an embarrassment to be caught fibbing, but your character and integrity will suffer.
  • Be gracious, and always close the letter with appreciation for any consideration they can give to the matter in question.
  • Remember to sign your letter, and to make several copies for your own protection, and keep them at home, and to always proofread and edit your letter for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.

What is the correct format for a formal letter?

The correct format for a formal letter is called the block format. This means that all sections of the letter are left justified. Each section is single spaced, with a double space in between sections. As for the tone, the tone is professional and formal.

What is a legitimate excuse for missing work?

A legitimate excuse for missing would be an illness. If it was an extended illness, such as a flu, then it would be prudent to attach a doctor’s note.

Can you text your boss instead of writing a letter?

The answer to this is a complex one. The first thing we need to remember is the generation gap. The younger set accepts texting as a natural order of business. However, many older people do not. If your boss is younger, then it’s more likely you’d be able to. Secondly, check to see if your boss actually allows texting, especially if they never gave you their contact information. If they didn’t give it to you, then don’t ask around for it, send an interoffice email instead.

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