Appeal letter sample? An appeal letter should outline the facts of the case. Learn how to draft an appeal letter that can help you achieve your goal.
What is an Appeal Letter?
An appeal letter is a typed or handwritten document produced by a person who believes they have been treated unfairly and demands that a government agency or educational institution reconsider a decision that affects their rights.
You usually have several weeks or months to appeal a decision that you disagree with.
You get what you want if you agree with the original judgment and admit an error or misconduct, or if you oppose the decision by introducing fresh facts, witness testimonies, and affidavits.
If you still believe your rights have been infringed, you can prepare for legal action by filing an appeal or complaint.
How to Write an Appeal Letter
If you believe you’ve been treated unfairly at work and want someone to reconsider a decision they’ve made about you, you should compose an appeal letter. You may need to create an appeal letter for a variety of reasons.
Maybe you believe you were wrongfully warned, demoted, laid off, or fired. Perhaps you’ve been passed over for a promotion when you believe you deserve it.
If this is the case, a well-written appeal letter may be able to assist you get back on track.
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Tips for Writing an Appeal Letter
1. Check Company Policy. Before you write your letter, check company policy for information on how grievances and employee issues are handled.
2. Know Where to Send Your Letter. Think carefully about whom to send your letter to. If you are trying to appeal a wrongful termination, for example, send the letter directly to your employer.
3. You don’t want your letter to have to pass through a number of hands—this will only delay a resolution to your issue.
5. Use a Polite Tone. Try to avoid any anger or judgment in your writing. While you might be very upset about the issue, you don’t want to convey this feeling in your letter.
6. Be confident and persuasive, but not aggressive. Consider asking a friend to read through the letter to make sure the tone is appropriate.
7. Admit Any Mistakes. If you did something wrong, acknowledge it. State specifically what you did wrong, and what you have learned from that experience.
8. State What You Would Like to Happen. In your letter, explicitly state what you hope will happen. Do you want the reader to reverse a decision he or she made?
9. Do you want your employer to review a particular issue before making a decision? Be clear about what you want.
Stick to the Facts. Include any facts that help support your case. If there are policies that have been overlooked, state those policies. If you have documents that will help your case, include them.
Avoid emotional pleas, and stick to actualities.
10. Keep it Brief. Keep your letter short. Focus on the facts, stating what the situation is, why you think it is wrong, and what next steps you request.
11. Carefully Edit Your Letter. Because this is a professional letter, thoroughly proofread your letter before submitting it.
12. Follow up. If you do not hear anything back in a week or so, follow up with the letter recipient with an email or a second letter. If time is of the essence, follow up sooner.
Example of an Appeal Letter
‣ Your Contact Information
‣ Your Name
‣ Your Address
‣ Your City, State Zip Code
‣ Your Phone Number
‣ Your Email Address
‣ Employer Contact Information
‣ City, State Zip Code
‣ Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,
Introduce yourself, and explain that you are writing an appeal letter. State the particular decision or situation you are appealing to.
State your side of the story. Were facts overlooked? If so, provide those facts. State whether or not you have attached any relevant documents.
State the outcome that you want: Do you want your employer to overturn a decision? Do you want something to be added to a decision? Also, state when you need an answer if there is a deadline.
Conclude with a courteous “thank you” for the person’s time. Include the necessary contact information so they can follow up with you. If you are going to follow up, state how and when you will do so.
Handwritten Signature (for a hard copy letter)
What to include in an Appeal Letter: Step-by-Step
While you may discover that your organization requires the use of a specific form to file an appeal, you may need to write an appeals letter. Follow these steps to write an effective appeal letter.
Step 1: Use a Professional Tone
Maintain the utmost professionalism and courteousness throughout the letter. If you achieve clarity and maintain a high level of respect, you’ll be well on your way to a moving appeal letter.
Step 2: Explain the Situation or Event
Clearly explain the situation that has occurred, focusing on the facts of what has taken place that you wish to appeal. It’s important that you’re clear and get right to the point.
If you did something wrong, acknowledge it and indicate what you’ve learned from your mistake. Then, return to the facts surrounding how you were wronged so you can begin to wrap up with your desired outcome.
Step 3: Demonstrate why it’s wrong or unjust
Explain why this situation seems wrong or unjust to you. The goal of this section is to make an effective persuasive argument focused on convincing the decision-maker to grant your request.
If you can cite an appropriate policy of the organization, now’s the time. Include negative impacts to you, others, and/or the organization that has or is likely to result as a result of the situation.
If you have supporting evidence or documentation, be sure to indicate it and attach it to your letter.
Step 4: Request a Specific Action
Once you have explained the situation and made your case for why you feel it should be corrected, the next step is to focus on what you are asking the person who reads your letter to do.
Clearly state the outcome you are seeking so there is no confusion as to what your actual request really is.
Step 5: Proofread the Letter Carefully
Proofread your letter carefully, editing it to ensure that it’s error-free and effectively communicates your request in a persuasive manner.
With a clear head, a concise outline of the facts, and a respectful call to action, know that you’ve made a solid effort to achieve your desired outcome.
Step 6: Get a Second Opinion
Before you submit your letter, ask a trusted friend or colleague to review it. This will help ensure grammatical accuracy and objectivity.
That objectivity may be the thing that prevents you from sending a highly emotional letter, which will do you no good.
What not to include in an Appeal Letter
Do not include obvious emotional appeals. Appealing to emotions offers no guarantee of success. A clear-minded, concise outline of the facts, along with supporting evidence, however, may move the needle.
Also, don’t include any exaggerations or mistruths. Think like a lawyer. You need to avoid any hints of anger or judgment. This is your opportunity to be persuasive, not aggressive.
Appeal Letter Types
Below you can find the most commonly used Appeal Letters – with their help, you can challenge decisions that affect your academic and professional life and career.
1. Unemployment Appeal Letter Template
Prepare this statement if you disagree with the decision of the office or department of employment security to deny you benefits or discontinue them for whatever reason.
2. Suspension Appeal Letter Template
Whether you have been suspended for alleged misconduct or you have not met the college’s grade standards, you can argue the evaluation of the educational institution that led to your suspension.
3. College Appeal Letter Template.
Candidates and students alike can dispute the judgment of the college if they were not admitted to it in the first place or if the college rejected their request for financial aid.
4. SAP Appeal Letter Template
In case you failed to qualify for financial assistance because you did not meet the standards of the Satisfactory
Academic Progress (SAP), you can ask the evaluation committee to overturn their decision if you can prove mitigating circumstances that hindered your studies.
5. Academic Appeal Letter Template
If you disagree with any decision reached by the educational institution you attend, for instance, you were expelled or received unsatisfactory grades.
You can complete this document to express your point of view and ask the appropriate department to reverse their decision.
Frequently Asked Questions