To write a congratulations note, start with good wishes, mention the occasion being celebrated and express happiness for the news. Keep a pleasant and positive tone throughout the note, and use congratulatory words in the body of the writing.
The first part of the congratulations note should be a greeting to the recipient. Follow this with congratulations for the event. Next, mention best wishes for the person or the event. For instance, if the note is congratulating someone on completing his college education, mention the hard work that went into the endeavor and the importance of successfully completing it. If appropriate, reflect on the person's qualities as relating to the achievements. Going back to the college example, reference the persistence that went into the accomplishment. At the end of the note, congratulate the person again before signing off.
Use words such as "accomplishment," "pleased," "achievement," "applaud" and "success" to convey a positive tone throughout the note. For warmer wishes, include emotive words such as "inspiring," "sensational," "proud," "thrilling" and "honor."
To keep the note gracious, avoid expressing surprise or comparing the accomplishment to one of your own. Likewise, don't compare the recipient's situation to your own, for instance by hoping you, too, can be promoted one day. If the event is something not approved of, either keep it out of the congratulations note or omit sending one altogether.