Appeal Letter: Types, Steps and How to Write

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If you’ve been subject to unwanted decisions at your job, education, or reception of benefits and you think you deserve a second chance, it’s time to appeal the decision.

As you grow up and enter your professional life, you may be unlucky enough to get reprimanded wrongly, rusticated, get a warning, be demoted, laid off, or the possible worst: fired. An appeal letter comes in handy right then.

What is an Appeal Letter?

An appeal letter is the letter you write when something unfair, discriminatory or harsh has happened to you and you want the decision to be reconsidered, and later overturned. This is where you state the situation, explain why it was unjust, and state your hopes about the new probable outcome.

Types of Appeal Letters

Appeal letters can be broadly classified into 2 categories:

Personal Appeal Letters: Such letters include:

  1. Health insurance appeal letter
  2. Student appeal letter
  3. Parking fine appeal letter
  4. Appealing letter to Judge, etc.


Personal Appeal Letter Sample

Business Appeal Letters: Examples of such letters are:

  1. Letter appealing raise denial
  2. Dismissal appeal letter
  3. Financial appeal letter
  4. Grievance appeal letter
  5. Property tax appeal letter
  6. Disciplinary appeal letter
  7. Unemployment appeal letter, etc.


Steps on How to Write An Appeal Letter

Before you start writing the letter, know that positive outcomes will come only if the matter was unfair and the facts are on your side. If you’re planning to insult the party, to remind them of their previous fault, to make emotional pleas, this is not what you be doing.

First things first, you should be aware of the appeal process. Collect information on whom to write to. Check the website of the company, or try to contact the person who had sent you the letter. Failing to document important facts and not appealing in time might result in direct failure before you get to have your say.

Here I will show the formats and contents of a personal and a business appeal letter.

Personal Appeal Letter

  1. Start with the details of the sender, that is your name, address, mailing address, and contact no. After leaving a little space, add the date. After that add the details of the recipient. Say, a student is appealing a teacher for the retake of an exam. In that case, in the recipient’s details section, including the teacher’s name, his post, name of the school/college/university and mailing address.
  2. Add a proper subject line and a fitting salutation. Know when you’re supposed to write Dr. and Mr./Mrs./Ms.
  3. In the first paragraph, introduce yourself. Here, name, the ID number, batch number, and course code are important details to help the teacher recognize you. In the same para, state why you are writing.
  4. Follow this with the next paragraph saying why you missed out on the exam and justify with attached documents to add value and serve as evidence(s).
  5. In the final paragraph, state what you would like the recipient to do and thank them for taking the time to consider your appeal. You can call for them to contact you here.
  6. Sign and end.

Business Appeal Letter

  1. If you are not required to fill out forms for the appeal, use the block or semi-block format.
  2. Start with your details, date and the recipient’s details. If you are appealing against your wrongful termination, you have to appeal to your employer. If you are made subject to disrespect or misconduct violating the company policies on employee rights, write to the head of HR. Addressing it to the wrong person will only delay your resolution.
  3. After the subject and salutation, move on to the first paragraph, where after a courteous, formal greeting, write why you are appealing. The opening statement shall explain to you and the scope of your letter.
  4. This should be followed by the decision that is being appealed. In detail, of course. But don’t go overboard with the extraneous details and flashbacks. Write within the standard disciplinary procedure to lower the risk. Next, identify and point out credible grounds for your appeal to see the light. You can add new substantial pieces of evidence that can make your side of the scale heavier and totally change the decision. If there is an instance of favoritism or other controversial occurrences that may have put you into this situation and that you hadn’t mentioned until lately, now’s the time. Maintain the chronology and the relevance of events.
  5. In the last paragraph, state what you’d hope the outcome to be and end maintaining goodwill.
  6. Don't forget to sign.

Tips to Remember:

  1. Don’t vent out your anger in the letter. Even if you are dissatisfied, maintain a formal, polite tone in business letters. Persuasion, not aggression.
  2. If you’ve made a mistake, and have been suspended or faced consequences because of that, acknowledge it and show what you’ve learned from experience. Then you may appeal.consequences
  3. Be clear about what you want to be done.
  4. Don’t drift from the topic.
  5. If you don't hear back, don’t hesitate to follow up.
  6. Don't justify your misconduct.
  7. Make sure the letter is error-free.
  8. Be polite in writing.

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