Knowing how to write an appeal letter, especially an effective one, isn’t easy. Many people struggle with knowing where to start, what to say, and how to make their case effectively. However, there are a few things that might help ease the appeal process. An effective appeal letter should be brief and to the point and should outline the facts about why you think the decision should be reconsidered.
In this article, we’ll prove you with appeal letter examples and tips that can help you with writing one. Students or visa applicants who take the time to write a well-crafted appeal letter tend to have a better chance of success. Your interpersonal skills will play a big part into making compelling arguments to turn your appeal case a successful one.
What Is an Appeal Letter?
An appeal letter is a formal letter sent to a higher authority asking for a change in a decision such as human resources, a financial aid office, or a higher-ranked officer. For example, you can write an appeal letter to request readmission to a school or college, or a visa appeal you think you’ve been wrongly denied or have new information that should be considered.
Some people also have reasons to write emotional appeals to plead their case based on special circumstances. This type of letter tends to be more personal and often includes information about why they feel the decision should be appealed. Unfortunately, appealing a decision can be a frustrating and challenging process.
What Are the 6 Elements of an Appeal Letter?
- A Demonstrated Understanding of the Company’s Appeal Policy. An appeal letter is more likely to succeed if well-written and tailored to the specific appeal policy. You cannot properly appeal something if you do not know how the process works. If you don’t know the specifics of the appeal policy, make sure you do your research.
- An Acknowledgement of the Recipient. You need to know to who you are specifically sending the letter. Not only will it simply be more professional, knowing who the recipient is will allow you to personalize it to them. This is also a good way of making sure you are sending it to the correct mailing address.
- A List of Arguments in Favor of the Appeal. In your letter of appeal, you need to explain to the original authority or the appeal processing body why you believe your case should be appealed. You can also provide new information that supports your case if you have any.
- A Request for the Review of the Decision. Now that you’ve given your arguments, you should ask the reviewer to reconsider their decision. You should make it abundantly clear that an appeal of their decision will be a positive thing for you and them.
- A Description of the Desired Outcome. In your appeal letter, you should specify your desired outcomes and explain why you feel this result is appropriate. Your appeal letter should be written politely and respectfully, while still being straightforward.
- A Follow-Up. Consider following up with the individual or company to whom the letter was addressed. Not only will this let you show them that you’re concerned about the appeals process, it’ll also help them keep your case in mind if their schedule is busy. In your follow-up, you can offer to clarify any questions or concerns they may have about your letter. Make sure to wait an appropriate amount of time before sending a follow-up.
How to Write an Appeal Letter: Beginning and Ending
When writing an appeal letter, there are a few common mistakes that can decrease your chances of success that you should keep in mind. Don’t forget that there is always a chance that the person who made the decision won’t change their mind. For a successful appeal, you want to provide a brief, evidence-based case. Here’s how to begin and end an appeal letter.
How to Begin an Appeal Letter
Begin your appeal letter by introducing yourself and providing your contact information, including your phone number, email address, and location. Following that, indicate the date of the rejection and the reasons behind it, then make your case using appropriate rhetorical devices.
Be careful with how your phrase your letter. Stick to concrete arguments and facts. The strength of your arguments along with the strength of your writing skills will determine your appeal’s outcome.
How to End an Appeal Letter
At the end of your appeal, acknowledge that this issue might take time to resolve and thank them for their time, but respectfully remind them that this matter is of great importance to you. At the end of the appeal letter, you indicate your availability for further conversation, then sign your name and include your printed name.
How to Write an Appeal Letter: 5 More Useful Tips
Be Prepared to Defend Your Case
An appeal letter is a written explanation of why you believe an unfavorable decision made by a higher authority should be overturned. You need to be prepared to explain in detail why you feel the judgment was unjust and offer strong evidence to back up your arguments. In addition, you should be ready to explain the impact that a successful appeal would have on you.
Be Prepared for Questions
There are a wide variety of reasons you may be writing an appeal letter. Whether it’s because you feel you’ve been treated unjustly or that your rights have been infringed in certain circumstances, or whether you’re requesting an exception to a policy or rule, you need to be prepared to answer any questions the reviewing committee may have.
By being direct, you are demonstrating that you take the problem seriously and understand the gravity of the situation. It’ll also allow the reader to quickly and easily understand your arguments while helping prevent any misunderstandings. Keep in mind that being direct does not mean being rude or impolite.
Ask Someone to Review Your Letter
Appeal letter are formal documents. It’s essential that you format and word it correctly. Getting a second opinion on your appeal letter can give you a fresh perspective on what you’ve written and increase your chances of having your request granted. Make sure to double-check your spelling, grammar, and syntax. Not only will this make your letter look more professional, it’ll also prevent any confusion on the part of the reader.
Make Sure You Can Prove Your Arguments
An appeal letter must contain facts and strong reasoning to back up your request for a review. Because an appeal letter is used to prove that a decision was unfair or incorrect, facts will help strengthen your case for a review and increase your chances of having your appeal approved.
Appeal Letter Examples to Help You Succeed
An appeal letter needs to be well-written and concise. It is essential to lay out the case’s facts to help you achieve your desired outcome. The sample appeal letters below will hopefully help you better understand the tone and content that is required in an appeal letter.
Appeal Letter Example 1: Financial Aid Appeal Letter/Emotional Appeals
Dear Financial Aid Representative,
I’m writing to appeal the decision not to grant me financial aid. I understand that your office is limited in the amount of financial aid it can award, but I believe that my situation deserves reconsideration.
I’m a hardworking student, and I come from a low-income family. My parents are both unemployed, and I’m the only one in my family currently enrolled in college. I have been working part-time to help support my family and have also been taking out a private student loan to pay for my education. As proof, I have attached my bank account statement in regards to my loan, a letter of employment for my part-time job, and proof of my parent’s unemployment.
Despite my best efforts, I’m struggling to pay for my tuition. Although I have been accepted to several colleges, I cannot afford to attend any of them without additional financial aid. Consequently, I ask you to reconsider your decision and help me continue my education. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Appeal Letter Example 2: Visa Appeal
Dear Visa Officer,
I’m writing to appeal the visa application refusal that my family and I recently received. We are very disappointed in the decision and have strong reasons to believe that you should reconsider your decision.
First, my family has strong ties to the United States. We have lived in the country for many years because my past work and have close family members who are American citizens. We have always complied with the laws and regulations of the United States and have no criminal record here nor anywhere else.
Second, we have a demonstrated need to travel to the US. My father is very ill, and we would like to visit him in the US. Most importantly, we believe that we meet all of the requirements for a visa and should be granted approval to travel to the US.
We would be happy to provide additional information or documentation to support the case, including social security and marriage certificate. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
We look forward to hearing from you soon,
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Appeal Letter Examples to Write Your Own
You can use the above appeal letter examples to help you write your own. Avoid making personal attacks against the person who made the original decision as this will only hinder your chances of success. If the appeal is unsuccessful, their decision letter should explain the next steps you can take, if any.
How to Write an Appeal Letter FAQ
According to Purdue, the three types of effective appeals are logos, ethos and pathos. Logos are most effective when the argument is based on reason and evidence. Ethos is most effective when the idea is based on the credibility or character of the writer, and pathos is most effective when the argument is based on any emotional appeals.
The grounds of appeal are the arguments given by an appellant as to why a decision made by a court or other decision-making authority should be reversed. There are several grounds for appeal including incorrect, unfair, or careless judgments.
No, there is no formal process for appealing a US visa refusal. However, you may be able to reapply for a visa if you have new information or documentation that addresses the reasons for the denial. There are reasons for ineligibility to appeal for a visa, such as having a criminal record.
Yes, you may appeal for an unemployment benefits hearing. This is usually done when a person was denied unemployment benefits but believes they are entitled to them.
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