A well-crafted letter of appeal is more than just a plea for reconsideration, it is an opportunity to present compelling arguments, supported by relevant evidence, that can potentially change the course of a decision in your favour.
At some point in our lives, we may find ourselves facing a situation where we believe a decision or judgment has been made against us unfairly. It might be a denied scholarship, a rejected job application, a denied insurance claim, or even an unfavourable academic decision, the feeling of disappointment can be overwhelming. In fact, A four-year degree at a public college can range from an average of nearly $38,000 for in-state students and nearly $96,000 for out-of-state students, according to the College Board. However, there is a chance that you can still turn the decision in your favour by writing a letter of appeal.
In this blog post, we will guide you through the essential steps of crafting an impactful letter of appeal. From understanding the purpose of the letter to using persuasive language and structuring your arguments coherently, we will help you with the necessary tools to confidently articulate your case. But before then let’s discuss what we mean by a letter of appeal.
What is an appeal letter?
An appeal letter is like a heartfelt message written by someone who feels that a decision made about them wasn’t quite right. It’s like an opportunity to kindly ask for a second chance or a reconsideration. People use appeal letters when they believe that something important, like a job, a school application, or a benefit, was denied or didn’t turn out the way they hoped for.
Imagine it as a letter filled with emotions, genuine concerns, and reasons why they think the decision should be looked at again. It’s a way for people to explain their situation, share their thoughts, and humbly ask the decision-makers to think it over once more. Just like when we talk to someone face-to-face, the appeal letter tries to connect with the reader’s heart and hope that they’ll see things from the writer’s perspective.
How to write a letter of appeal
When faced with the need to file an appeal within our organization or to any organization, it is important to stick to the specific form designed for it. However, if you need to write a formal letter of appeal, you can create an effective one by following these steps.
Step 1: Understand the Appeal Process
Before you dive into writing a letter of appeal, take a moment to understand how things work. Check out the organization’s or institution’s guidelines for appeals. Look for who you should address the letter to, what documents you might need to include, and most importantly, the deadlines. Trust me, knowing the rules can give you an edge in your appeal process and might overturn things sooner than you think.
Step 2: Format and Structure
Let’s talk about the format and structure. Remember this is an official letter not just a letter to your mum or family members. So it strictly needs to be professional. So, I will suggest you start with your contact details up top and then add the date. Next, jot down the name, title, and address of the person you’re sending the letter to. If you don’t know the person’s name, you can do a little research on their website to find out who the person is and address them accordingly. Personalization has proven to work magic when it comes to email engagement. Make sure to include a warm salutation at the beginning and a friendly closing at the end. And don’t forget your signature.
Step 3: State Why You Are Writing
An appeal letter is your chance as an employee or applicant to tell your side of the story. Do you know how sometimes you have to cut to the chase? Well, do that right from the beginning. Just say why you’re writing the letter, and what decision you’re not happy about, and maybe throw in some reference numbers or IDs related to your case. Be crystal clear about the decision you’re appealing. It’s like setting the stage for what’s to come.
Step 4: Explain Why You Think They Made the Wrong Call
Now comes the heart of the matter. This is where you share your side of the story with clarity and all transparency. Talk about why you think the decision was mistaken or unfair. Back up your points with specific details and any evidence you have. This is your chance to make them see things from your perspective, so be sincere and straightforward.
Step 5: Express your gratitude
Remember that the people you are appealing to are also busy people who have loads of work piled up and still need to walk their dogs. So showing appreciation for their time can significantly impact how they perceive you, leading to a more favourable judgment due to their positive impression of you. A straightforward method to cultivate goodwill with the recipient of your appeal letter is by explicitly expressing gratitude for their time in reconsidering the decision at hand. Such a positive impression could be the decisive factor if your employer or university is on the fence between different options and can influence whether your appeal is accepted or rejected.
Step 6: Proofread
Before you say you send your letter, give it a thorough read. Check for any spelling or grammar mistakes. You want your letter to be as polished as possible and avoid the recipient not being able to understand you clearly due to some grammatical errors
Step 7: Acknowledge any attachments
If you are going to be sending attachments in the form of documents to back up your claims, you need to address them in the letter. Make sure that the format is something that your recipient is able to view. When including attachments with your letter, include a note after your signature acknowledging that you have provided additional documents. If your files didn’t attach to an email or if physical documents that you sent separated before your employer reads the letter, including this note lets the recipient know that there should be further information available to them.
Step 8: Follow up
Having mailed your professional appeal letter slightly over a week ago without receiving any response from your supervisor or the University admissions team, it is acceptable to follow up with a friendly and casual email or phone call.
APPEAL LETTER FORMAT
A formal appeal letter typically follows a specific format to ensure that things are clear and presented in an orderly manner. Below is a standard format that you can use as a guideline:
1. Basic Information(Yours)
- Your Full Name
- Your Address
- City, State, Zip Code
- Your Email Address
- Your Phone Number
- Write the date on which you are submitting the letter.
2. Recipient’s Information
- Name of the Recipient (if known)
- Title/Position of the Recipient (if known)
- Name of the Organization
- Address of the Organization
- City, State, Zip Code
After the address, comes a formal greeting such as “Dear [Recipient’s Name],” if you know the name. If you don’t know the name, you can use “Dear Sir/Madam,” or as appropriate.
Start the letter by stating the purpose of the appeal and providing a brief overview of the decision or issue you are appealing.
Use paragraphs to present your case clearly and logically. Provide relevant details, facts, and any supporting evidence to bolster your appeal. Be concise and focused while maintaining a respectful and professional tone throughout the letter.
5. Conclusion and closing
Summarize your main points and restate your request for a reconsideration of the decision. Express gratitude for the recipient’s time and consideration. Use a formal closing, such as “Sincerely,” or “Thank you,” followed by your full name.
6. Attachments (if applicable)
If you are including any additional documents with your appeal letter, mention them in the closing and list them by name.
Letter of Appeal Samples
Sample 1:When You’ve Been Denied a Raise
Here is a template you can use when you’ve been denied a raise. This template will help you write your appeal letter. Be sure to revise the sample to fit your particular situation.
[Your Full Name] [Your Job Title/Department] [Your Email Address] [Your Phone Number] [Date] [Recipient's Name (if known)] [Title/Position of the Recipient (if known)] [Company/Organization Name] [Address of the Company/Organization] [City, State, Zip Code] Dear [Recipient's Name], I am writing to respectfully appeal the recent decision regarding my raise request. Over my tenure at [Company/Organization Name], I have consistently exceeded expectations, received positive feedback, and taken on additional responsibilities. Considering my contributions, I believe my current compensation does not reflect my value to the company. Industry benchmarks support my requested raise, and I am confident it would lead to increased productivity and motivation. I understand budget constraints but request your reconsideration, given my track record and dedication to the organization. Attached are supporting documents for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration. I am available for a meeting to discuss further. Sincerely, [Your Full Name] [Your Job Title/Department].
Here’s a word document you can edit to suit your needs: When you’ve been denied a raise
Sample 2: Letter of Appeal After Being Denied Admission from A University
Here is another template you can replicate when you need to make an appeal after being rejected by a university.
[Your Full Name] [Your Address] [City, State, Zip Code] [Your Email Address] [Your Phone Number] [Date] Admissions Committee [University Name] [Address of the University] [City, State, Zip Code] Dear Admissions Committee, I am writing to appeal the decision to deny my admittance to [University Name] for the [Semester/Year] term. Despite facing unforeseen challenges during the application period, I have since shown significant improvement in my academic records. I am passionate about the [specific program/major] and believe [University Name] is the ideal place for my academic growth. I have attached updated transcripts and additional recommendation letters to showcase my dedication to excellence and community service activities. I kindly request your reconsideration, as I am confident that I will thrive and contribute positively to [University Name]. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, [Your Full Name]
Here’s a word document you can edit to suit your needs: Letter of Appeal After Being Denied Admission from A University
Sample 3: Appeal Letter After a Rejected Job Application
[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State, Zip Code] [Your Email Address] [Your Phone Number] [Date] [Employer's Name] [Company Name] [Company Address] [City, State, Zip Code] Dear [Employer's Name], I am writing to appeal the decision to reject my job application for the [Job Position] at [Company Name]. My qualifications and passion for the role make me believe I can add significant value to your organization. I kindly request you to reconsider my application and invite me for an interview to discuss my candidacy further. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, [Your Full Name]
Here’s a word document you can edit to suit your needs: Appeal Letter After a Rejected Job Application
Writing a compelling letter of appeal is a powerful tool that can help you present your case effectively and potentially overturn a decision that didn’t go in your favour. Whether you are seeking an academic, financial, or legal appeal, following a well-structured and persuasive approach is essential. By following the above guidelines and presenting a strong, well-reasoned case, you increase your chances of a successful outcome. Good luck with your appeal, and may it lead you to a fair and just resolution.