An appeal letter is written to a decision-making authority to try and persuade them to reconsider the decision they have made about you.
For example, the letter’s recipient can be an employer, a university or college admissions committee, a school administrator, a hiring committee, etc. When writing an appeal letter, you’re expected to state your case and give valid reasons for your appeal using logical arguments. You should also be able to demonstrate how the decision is likely to affect you and any other parties involved.
This article will provide you with a complete guide to writing an effective appeal letter, including the pre-considerations to keep in mind before writing the letter, essential details to include, and tips to help you craft a written action that will get you the results you need.
What is an Appeal Letter?
An appeal letter is a formal written correspondence used to present a case to a party with decision-making power. The letter’s primary objective is to request a particular action or decision to be overturned or changed.
For example, if you feel that you have been unfairly or unjustly treated, you may need to write an appeal letter. These include circumstances where you have been unfairly denied a salary raise at the workplace, demoted with no valid explanations or reasons, or when your employment is unjustly terminated.
You may also need to write this letter to appeal a rejected admittance decision to a university, particularly if you feel that the decision is based on unjust circumstances.
Template and Examples
Format of an Appeal Letter
The structure of an appeal letter is the same as that of a formal business letter. This section discusses the formatting guidelines for a standard appeal letter:
Sender’s contact information
The first item that should appear in your letter is the sender’s contact information. This will include the name, address, email address, and phone number of the person writing the appeal letter.
After providing your identifying details and contact information, including the date, you are writing the letter.
Recipient’s contact information
The recipient’s contact information is next. This should include the name, title, address, and email address of the person who will be responding to your appeal letter.
The letter’s subject line should be brief, highlighting the letter’s purpose or reason for appealing.
The letter’s salutation should be personalized to the recipient using their correct name and title to establish rapport. However, there are cases where the letter’s recipient may be unknown. In such situations, using a general salutation such as “dear sir/madam” or “to whom it may concern is acceptable.”
This section introduces the main idea and establishes the tone for the rest of the letter. Your introduction should explain why you are writing the letter and what you are trying to achieve.
The body of the appeal letter will contain all the details of your appeal. These details should be written in a logical, organized manner.
The last thing to do before signing off an appeal letter is to express gratitude to the concerned committee for taking the time to review your appeal and consider your request. Afterward, include a complimentary close or sign-off such as “yours respectfully,” “sincerely,” etc.
Finally, end the letter by providing your signature underneath your written name.
It would be best to keep in mind the following pre-considerations before you begin writing your appeal letter:
Check the company policy
Before writing an appeal letter, first, check on the company website or employee handbook whether or not the concerned institution has any policy for writing such letters. Most companies and organizations have issued a formal policy stating their stance on accepting such appeals and how they will be handled. Consulting the company’s HR representative is also advisable as they will guide you on how to go about with your appeal process.
Verify the appeal process
In addition to checking the company’s policy on writing and presenting appeals, you must also know the exact process and procedure for appealing. It would help if you asked the concerned authority to give you information regarding the time limits for making appeals, formal provisions, or guidelines on how to appeal, and the specific details to include to ensure that you present your case effectively.
Know where to send the letter
It is also vital that you have a clear idea of where the appeal letter will be sent and how it will reach the person supposed to respond to the appeal. This will ensure that the letter reaches its intended audience, but it will also ensure that the resolution you are hoping to get is not delayed.
Writing an Appeal Letter in 8 Steps
An appeal letter should include all the details and information that will help you convince the person making a final decision regarding your appeal to consider your request and change their decision accordingly.
To ensure that you write a fantastic appeal letter, consider including the following essential details:
1. Introduce yourself
Begin the letter by introducing yourself to the recipient. This is mainly in the case where you have not provided your personal information in the header of the appeal letter or where you are sending the correspondence via email. This should include your full name, title, position, institution/organization’s name, and the relevant department. Providing this information allows the recipient to identify the sender quickly.
2. State the purpose of the letter
Write a statement that clearly explains why you are writing the letter. This will help the reader better understand your objective in writing the letter and how it relates to them.
3. Explain the situation or event
Next, explain the situation or event that compelled you to write the letter. Be as clear and specific as possible while doing so. However, do not write this part of the letter in a manner that is too emotional or disrespectful to the committee’s decision-making ability.
4. Explain why it is wrong or unjust
Include a paragraph that clearly explains why you feel the committee’s decision was wrong or unjust. This should be written from an objective point of view and should include details of your argument in a manner that is easy to read and understand. Remember that you are trying to convince the recipient to change their mind about your case, so make sure you have all your facts right and present your arguments persuasively and convincingly.
5. Admit mistakes (if any)
It is crucial to note that appealing against a given decision does not mean that you are entirely innocent in the situation. You may have knowingly or unknowingly committed a mistake that resulted in the committee making a decision that does not favor you. If this is the case, taking responsibility for your errors and admitting it in the appeal letter will further strengthen your appeal letter.
This will enable the committee to understand that you have learned from your mistakes, and you are not asking them to grant you immunity from the consequences of your actions but rather a reconsideration of their otherwise harsh or unfair decision against you.
6. State the facts
You need to present all the facts that support your appeal concisely and objectively. It would be best if you do not try to exaggerate or mislead the committee by presenting information that is not realistic or backed by concrete evidence.
7. Describe what you would like to happen
After stating your facts, ask for a specific action you would like the recipient to take in response to your appeal. This helps to keep the focus of the letter sharp and direct. Including the resolution you hope to get from making your request also eases the committee’s decision-making process as it helps them determine the best course of action to take.
8. A courteous thank you
At the end of the letter, write a brief and polite closing statement that reiterates your request for reconsideration and includes a courteous thank you to the recipient for taking the time to consider your appeal request. You should also include your contact information such that the committee can follow up with you.
Lastly, include an appropriate sign-off such as yours sincerely, yours respectfully, etc., then provide your name and signature.
Appeal Letter Template
Sender’s contact information]
Institution’s address and contact information]
[Dear [recipient’s last name],
I am writing this letter to appeal [describe the situation/decision/issue]
The essential reason for my appeal is that [briefly explain why you think a reconsideration of the concerned authority’s decision is necessary and justifiable, basing your arguments on facts and verifiable evidence to back up your case]
Having reviewed the matter more carefully, I believe that the committee’s decision was not on solid grounds. I therefore humbly request that you please reconsider your decision.
Thank you for being so considerate.
[sender’s printed name]
Appeal Letter Sample 01
789 fourth street New York
April 13, 2022
Human Resource Director
ABC limited company
123 CBD New York
Ref: Demotion Appeal Letter
Dear Mr. Courtney,
I am writing to appeal my recent demotion from my position as a Customer Service Manager in ABC limited Company.
I joined the ABC Limited company in 2020 and have worked as a customer service manager for the past two years. Last month, I was unexpectedly informed by my supervisor that I had been demoted to the position of assistant Customer Service Manager. This is against all norms of ABC limited, where I believe promotion is based on merit and not a person’s standing in the company.
This demotion came as a complete surprise and was unjustified by my performance. I have been the victim of arbitrary demotion and unjust treatment, and this decision has deeply impacted me, my family, and my future career prospects. I want to appeal this decision and request reinstatement as a Customer Service Manager with the same responsibilities and job title. Over the past two years, I believe my performance has been exceptionally high and deserves reward rather than punishment.
For more details, don’t hesitate to contact me at 956-236-7584 or email@example.com. I’d be happy to meet you at your convenience and address any questions or concerns you may have. Again, I appreciate your consideration of this matter.
Appeal Letter Sample 02
445 Forest Way
Trenton, NJ 08642
April 13, 2022
Chief Executive Officer
440 Lexington St.
New York, NY 10104
Subject: Salary Raise Denial Appeal Letter
Dear Mr. Doe,
This written action is to appeal the decision of the Annual Salary Review Committee that I have recently been informed about. I feel that the committee’s decision is unjust and unfair, mainly because my contributions to Weston Corp have been precious over the last five years. Therefore, I would like you to consider offering me a salary raise of four percent as an incentive for giving Weston Corp an overall excellent performance and very significant contributions.
I firmly believe that my hard work has been noticed in Weston Corp. I have worked tirelessly over the past five years to accomplish the company’s goals, even going beyond what is usually expected of me. As a result, our financial records show that we have had success during the last financial year, achieving sales above $3 million. This is due to my collaboration with other Weston Corp employees, who are also very productive individuals. We have achieved these unprecedented sales figures by working together, sharing our ideas and constructive criticism, which helped us to take proper steps and achieve our goals.
I would like you to consider increasing my salary to show your appreciation for my efforts in making Weston Corp’s future as bright as possible. Of course, I understand that the company may be going through financial difficulties. Besides, I believe I have some valuable ideas and insights into how Weston Corp can generate more revenue in the coming years.
I would be willing to meet with you to discuss my ideas and negotiate a salary raise of four percent for myself. Thank you for your understanding of this matter and consideration of my appeal request.
Do’s and Don’ts of Appeal Letters
While writing an appeal letter, there are certain things that you should keep in mind and things you should avoid ensuring that the final document effectively meets its primary purpose.
This section provides a list of things that you should keep in mind while writing an appeal letter:
- Grab the reader’s attention: It is advisable to begin your letter with a brief and engaging introductory paragraph that grabs the reader’s attention. This will help ensure that the reader is invested in your situation, and they will read through the rest of your letter.
- Use business letter format: An appeal letter is an official correspondence. Therefore it should be written following the standard business letter format. This will help the recipient follow what you are trying to say and make your appeal easier for the reader to read and comprehend.
- Be polite: This is a fundamental rule that needs to be followed by all applicants. Be polite, respectful, and courteous while writing the appeal letter, and do not come across as arrogant or rude.
- Be factual: Your appeal letter must be factual and objective in content. Remember that the appeal letter is not the place to express your emotions or feelings. Instead, it is your opportunity to present facts and logical arguments that support your case.
- Collect hard evidence: When drafting your appeal letter, you need to collect hard evidence as possible. This will help prove the points you are making in the appeal letter. Including hard evidence in the appeal letters also helps support your arguments, enabling the committee to reach a favorable decision more quickly.
- Keep it brief: Keep your appeal letter concise without excessive verbiage. Only present the essential points of the case appealingly.
- Edit your letter: Proofread your letter before you send it to ensure no spelling or grammatical mistakes and that the content is written accurately.
- Have a third party read the letter: It is good to have a third party, who is not personally involved in the appeal process, read your letter before sending it. The objective person can help you assess if you have any missing points and help you determine if the entire content of the letter is explicit and easy to understand.
- Follow up: Make sure that you follow up on your appeal letter with a phone call, email, another letter, or visit the concerned authority in person. This will help emphasize the importance of your appeal request and make it clear that you want them to reconsider their decision.
Some of the things to avoid while writing an appeal letter include:
- Don’t be emotional: While writing the letter, you should avoid coming across as being emotional. Instead, try to be objective and present your facts and arguments using a firm but polite and respectful tone.
- Avoid exaggeration: Do not exaggerate your case unnecessarily, and do not write anything that is not supported by evidence and facts.
- Do not be judgmental: Avoid belittling the committee by making negative remarks about their decision. Instead, maintain professionalism throughout the letter and demonstrate your respect for the committee’s decisions.
- Do not be aggressive: Do not be aggressive in tone when writing the appeal letter. Your tone should be humble and polite while making your case.
Frequently Asked Questions
An appeal letter is a formal business correspondence. Therefore, should be restricted to a single page. However, if your appeal case involves a lot of documentation and facts, a two-page-long appeal letter is also acceptable.
The biggest mistake is being unprofessional and overly emotional while writing an appeal letter. A clear writing style with a concise outline of the situation or facts, supporting evidence, and objectivity go a long way in persuading the concerned authority to reconsider their decision and give you the resolution you are hoping to get.