An appeal letter is a formal letter you write when you feel you’ve been treated unjustly in some way, and you want someone to reconsider an earlier decision made about you.
This letter of appeal covers appeals against a disciplinary decision, a dismissal, a redundancy or other discriminating decisions against you, i.e an unfair refusal to your flexible working request.
There are a lot of circumstances that might warrant you writing an appeal letter. Perhaps you feel you’ve been unfairly treated, demoted, laid off, warned, fired or given a bad grade in school. If you fall under any of the above-stated categories, then you should consider writing a letter of appeal.
Importantly, when writing a letter of appeal, it’s an opportunity for you to change an opinion about your person. It’s not an avenue to throw insults or emotional pleas without evidence that is likely to bring about your desired outcome.
When Should I Write An Appeal Letter?
You can write an appeal letter when any of the following decisions are taken against your person.
- To appeal against a first or final written warning
- Unfair dismissal from a job or program
- Appeal against being made redundant
- Denial of a refund
- Appeal a school grade
- An appeal against other employer decisions, eg refusal of a flexible working request.
What to Include in an Appeal Letter
In writing an appeal letter, you need to state the situation or event, explain why you think it was wrong or unjust. State also what you hope the new outcome will be. Remember, this letter is an avenue for you to share your side of the story.
The goal of an appeal letter is to have a decision reconsidered, and hopefully overturned. If your letter is courteous and clear, this is possible. We’ve provided a guide on how to write an effective appeal letter below. Also, you can use the sample template below to write your own appeal letter.
How to Write an Appeal Letter
Know Where to Send Your Letter
Think carefully about whom to send your letter to. If you are trying to appeal a wrongful termination, send the letter directly to your employer. You don’t want your letter to have to pass through a number of hands—this will only delay a resolution to your issue.
Use Business Letter Format
It is an official letter, so be sure to use the proper business letter format. If you send your appeal via email, the format is slightly different.
Use a Polite Tone
Try to avoid any anger or judgment in your writing. While you might be very upset about the issue, you don’t want to convey this feeling in your letter. Be confident and persuasive, but not aggressive. Consider asking a friend to read through the letter to make sure the tone is appropriate.
Admit Any Mistakes
If you did something wrong, acknowledge it. State specifically what you did wrong, and what you have learned from that experience.
State What You Would Like to Happen
In your letter, explicitly state what you hope will happen. Do you want the reader to reverse a decision he or she made? Do you want your employer to review a particular issue before making a decision? Be clear about what you want.
Stick to the Facts
Include any facts that help support your case. If there are policies that have been overlooked, state those policies. If you have documents that will help your case, include them. Avoid emotional pleas, and stick to actualities.
Keep it Brief
Keep your letter brief. Focus on the facts, stating what the situation is, why you think it is wrong, and what next steps you request.
Carefully Edit Your Letter
Because this is a professional letter, thoroughly proofread your letter before submitting it.
If you do not hear anything back in a week or so, follow up with the letter recipient with an email or second letter. If time is of the essence, follow up sooner.
Sample Appeal Letter
67 Main Street, Accra
June 1, 2021
12 Barracks Rd.
Dear Mr Mason,
[Explain the situation] I hope you are doing well. I am writing to appeal your decision not to grant my annual pay raise, which we discussed last Tuesday at our annual review meeting.
[State why it is wrong/unjust] As you stated in our meeting, you believed I had been late to work too many times this year to warrant a pay raise. According to my records (which I received from Human Resources), I have not been late more than two times this year. I have attached the Human Resources document marking my tardies.
[Briefly outline what you hope the new outcome will be] In light of these facts, I request that you reconsider your decision about my pay raise.
I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read this and the attached document. I am happy to meet with you any time to discuss this further.
(signature hard copy letter)