I'm a student writing a letter of apology to a dean at my school. I've written up the apology letter, now all I have left is to send it. But I'm a bit unsure of what to put in the body of the email itself. Do I repeat what I said but in a condensed manner? Saying how sorry I am again but in a different way?. If not, what should I put in the body? I would really appreciate some guidance because this is the first time I've had to write something like this.

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    This question may be a better fit on Academia StackExchange – MikeQ Oct 31 '19 at 15:15
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    This is probably better places on Academia SE for future reference, but why is the apology letter not the body of the email? This is generally an acceptable form. Else you can just write "Dear Dean, Please see the attached letter of apology. Kind Regards L to the V" – Gamora Oct 31 '19 at 15:15
  • @Bee I think that is a short but proper answer – user180146 Oct 31 '19 at 15:47
  • @user180146 you're right, I don't know why I didn't! – Gamora Oct 31 '19 at 15:53
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    There's probably a case for actually taking the letter to the Dean's office, rather than sending it as an email... – PeteCon Oct 31 '19 at 16:06

There is no reason not to add the apology email as the body of the email, rather than just an attachment. That's generally pretty acceptable as an "apology letter" (emails being the modern letter).

If you did want to send the letter as an attachment, keep it simple:

"Dear Dean,

Please see the attached letter of apology.

Kind Regards L to the V"

In my answer, I have assumed you have been asked to submit this letter of apology. If not I think it makes even more sense to go with the first option, since the email itself will need to explain why you are writing to the Dean.

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    It occured to me that you might want to add what you are apologising for if you think your Dean will not immediately know. If it is obvious than there is no need to – user180146 Oct 31 '19 at 16:03
  • You're right, I've added an update – Gamora Oct 31 '19 at 16:05
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    OP: Whatever you do, be sure to use a formal salutation. Like in Bee's answer "Dear Dean Smith." Err on the side of formality. I mention this because a work colleague received an email from student to her and another doctor "Hey you two..." That was not good, and he was not in the circumstance that he was writing a formal letter of apology to the Dean, – Damila Oct 31 '19 at 19:34

The recipe for a good apology is pretty much the same whether it's to the Dean, your Mom, or your partner. The person receiving the apology wants to know that you understand why what you did was wrong, and wants to have confidence that you won't repeat the mistake. Explain in your own words:

  • how you hurt the other person (in this case, how your actions harmed the school or student body, or could have caused harm)

  • what you intend doing differently in the future

  • how you plan to avoid making the same mistake again

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    This is useful information for the actual apology letter but I think the OP is looking to not repeat themselves in the email they're going to attach the apology letter to. – BSMP Oct 31 '19 at 18:52
  • @BSMP you're right, I misunderstood the original post. – mhwombat Oct 31 '19 at 18:54

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