Ever received a negative response from an organization, fairly dismissed from a job, or have a sentence handed to you unfairly? You will no doubt have to lodge a complaint or formal appeal to that effect. To be able to do that, you will have to draft and send out an appeal letter.
We are here to help you out. In our discussions that follow, we shall take you through the steps necessary to be able to make a nice draft of this letter. Thereafter, we shall leave you with a sample to gaze and draw the necessary inspiration from.
This appeal letter is basically a formal communication that you draft to the relevant authority to have a prior decision which you deem unfair to be reconsidered. Below are the major purposes that the letter serves:
Highlight a perceived ill
For a start, the letter highlights a perceived ill. This basically means you tell the authority concerned that a specific decision, which that said authority entered into earlier, is not right or fair in your opinion. While at it, the letter explains the issue in its finest and precise details.
Explain why it was unfair
Next, it moves to explain why that decision was unfair. To be able to do that, you share your side of the story by typically furnishing the relevant pieces of evidence to that effect. You may also request for a direct audience with the stated authority to have a face-to-face interview.
Plead for redress or reconsideration
Lastly, the letter pleads for redress or the reconsideration of the stand that has been taken. Here, it basically asks the authority concerned to reverse its stand in favor of a more lenient and considerate alternative.
How to Write an Appeal Letter
It goes without saying that the appeal letter has to be well written. That is something apparently you can only achieve by you following some strict steps and due diligence. Below are some of the ‘must follow’ steps and tips:
Step I: Craft an opening statement
As with every other official letter, start this one out with an opening statement. The aim of this statement is to draw a connection between you the writer of the letter and the addresses. It also states the object of the letter in a nutshell. That way, it will be possible for your problem now to be easily understood and interpreted by the person who reads the letter.
Step II: Highlight the perceived ill
After opening the letter professionally, you now have to highlight the perceived ill. What exactly do you feel that the authority concerned did not or has not done well? Be sure to make this specific and accurate for the avoidance of doubt and to also allow for proper understanding thereafter.
Step III: Explain why you feel it was unfair
You have to go further and explain why exactly you feel the ill was unfair. Quote the exact laws, statutes, and other references that may back your allegations up. The purpose of this is to improve the comprehension of the letter and the understanding of the ill as being really bad.
Step IV: Plead for redress or reconsideration
Having explained why you feel that the act you highlighted was wrong, plead with the authority to redress or reconsider the earlier decision. Do not try and manipulate him as this will only jeopardize your chances of receiving a fair reconsideration. Also, ask if the authority can agree to a one-on-one interview.
Step V: Close the matter
Close the matter now by asking the authority to reach out to you in case there be any need for further clarification. Use a polite and respectful tone to close the issue to be able to up the chances of your appeal going through successfully. If it is typed on paper, sign, and date it.
What to Include in an Appeal Letter
Here below are some of the pieces of information that should never miss in an appeal letter:
- Sender’s address – Refers to your address as the sender of the letter to the relevant authority. This has to be the address of the place where you are based permanently.
- Recipient’s Address – Apart from your own address, you should also incorporate that of the recipient. The aim of this is to draw a connection with the reader while at the same time guaranteeing safe delivery.
- Date – Every letter has to bear a date when it was written. It is important that this date is stated clearly in the letter to acting as a future reference and for the sake of easy recordkeeping.
- Subject Line – The subject line provides a one-statement summary of the intent of the entire letter. It ought to be bold and succinct for the sake of driving the point home easily.
- Salutation – This is how you greet or refer to the recipient. Considering the gravity of a letter of this kind, the salutation you pick for the job has to be truly respectful and courteous.
- Main Body – It is in the main body segment that you exhaust the contents of the letter. The main body has to contain all the vital pieces of information we highlighted above.
- Supporting Affidavits – Just in case you have other documents that may support your course, do not hesitate to attach them here for further consideration and deliberations.
- Complimentary closing – A complimentary closing aims to round up the contents of the letter while at the same time wish for a speedy deliberation of the issues highlighted.
Appeal Letter (Format)
We now take a look at a format which you may follow to draft this letter well:
City, State Zip Code
Respected Mr. /Ms. Last Name,
RE: Appeal Letter
I am a ______ (reveal your designation e.g. student, employee, worker e.t.c.) I draft this communique to __________ (state the purpose of the letter) for which I would like you to reconsider.
Accompanying the letter is an attachment to several documents that aim to support my course. If possible, I plead that you ask me to come over for a one-on-one interview.
Kindly reach me on phone XXX-XXX-XXXX
Sample Letters & Examples
Wednesday, August 26, 20XX,
Prof. Winston B. Crisp,
Dean of Students,
The University of Southern California,
Los Angeles, CA 90007,
Dear Dean of Students
Subject: Appeal for reinstatement
Up until May 31st, 2020 I was your bona fide student in the Faculty of Engineering (student ID: QWR/29871/20). I was suspended by the University Senate for alleged involvement in a demonstration.
However, I was never even present at the university when all that was happening. I have attached a sworn affidavit to show course, that I indeed was in another part of town when all that was happening.
Kindly reconsider your decision to suspend me. In case of any further issues, reach me on phone
Writing Tips (Things to Look For)
To be able to draft a nice appeal letter, there are things you have to bear in mind. Below are some of them highlighted and explained:
Maintain some factuality
You are advised to maintain some factuality all the while. Incorporate only those pieces of information that are truthful, not mere exaggerations. You do not want to add fuel to the fire by exaggerating facts that may in turn land you in trouble ahead.
Attach the supporting affidavits
We can never overemphasize the need to attach supporting affidavits. How possible will it be for you to truly demonstrate your stand without providing the necessary independent documents? These affidavits if possible have to be certified.
Be straight and concise
While making such a serious plea, it is important that you be straight and concise. Leave out those details or pieces of information that are largely irrelevant to the subject at hand. Instead, dwell only on those that have a direct bearing on your course.
Refrain from being manipulative
There is usually the temptation to manipulate the reader or the relevant authority into accepting your plea. This should be avoided at all costs. Just state your plea and leave it to the mercy of the authority to take charge.
It is important that you be brief and concise as can be. Remember, the shorter your letter is, the more likely that it will be understood and given the necessary attention by the authority targeted. That is something that can only happen if the bare minimum details only are supplied.
Tone of the Appeal Letter
Being an official letter, the tone of this one should also be serious and polite. Avoid using slang or other kinds of dictions that may infer a lack of seriousness. To be on the safe side, take your time also review any policies of your company that might have a say in the drafting of a letter of this kind.
Include the name and address of the sender and recipient, the issue at hand, a plea for reconsideration and redress, and the summary of the letter altogether.
As short as possible! In fact, we recommend that it be no longer than 1 page (A4 format) or at most, 2 pages. Stick only to the bare minimum pieces of information that a letter of this kind has to possess.
Of course, YES! However, you have to communicate it to the relevant authority within the shortest realistic time possible to allow them to act promptly.
NOT necessary, especially in the initial stages of the appeal process. Wait until the appeal is dismissed first before taking the step now to invoke the assistance of a lawyer.
You may use a number of endings like:
• Yours truly
• Thanks again
We bring an end to our long and laborious look into writing an appeal letter here. Given that we have done all we might have to, we are now truly confident that you are truly prepared to make great writing. Why not move with speed now to do a great job?