How to Write an Effective Appeal Letter

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If you have been unfairly dismissed at work, overcharged by your electricity company, betrayed by the government or have had anything else happen to you that you wish to fight, then it is time to write a letter of appeal. An effective letter of appeal will be structured and straightforward. You want the reader to understand your intent without confusion. While it can be an emotional time, it is important to not let a letter turn into a rant, otherwise you risk it being thrown straight into the trash.

1 Begin writing

Begin writing using a business letter format. Write your address at the top left of the page, the date below that, the recipient's full name and address below the date, then your salutation- Dear (full name) or Sir/Madam.

2 State

State the subject of the appeal as a title heading before you continue with the main flesh of the letter. Immediately the reader will know generally what the letter is about. If the appeal is also a matter of urgency, it will serve well to make this known as early as possible.

3 Introduce yourself and your reason for writing the letter of appeal

In the first paragraph introduce yourself and your reason for writing the letter of appeal. This is an important time to demonstrate your objectivity without becoming emotionally distraught. Stick to the facts. Be polite and concise.

4 Narrate

In the second paragraph narrate the sequence of events that have ultimately culminated in the writing of this letter. Be factual and unemotional; refer to policies and laws. Use bullet-points for emphasis. After legitimizing your case, refer to the testimonial support backing the appeal.

5 Summarise the letter

Summarise the letter, iterating the bones of the appeal. Restate how urgently a response is needed, but don't order anyone to respond. Include contact details where you can be reached, and always end the letter thanking the reader for their time.

Nicholas Fix has been writing professionally since 2008. He reviews cultural events and other happenings in the city of London for the "LondonWord" magazine. Fix holds a diploma in creative writing from Oxford University and a Bachelor of Arts in German from Queen Mary University, London.