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How to Write a Grade Appeal Letter


There are times when a student may feel that they have put all of their best work into an assignment and unfairly received a poor grade. Although the teacher has much of the authority when it comes to issues of grading, students do have the option of challenging a grade. By writing a professional and pleasant letter to their teacher or professor, students can put themselves one step closer to the grade they think they deserve.

Review your work, any instructions for the project, and the course syllabus to refresh your memory about your teacher's expectations. You should have a very strong foundation for your argument and a good understanding of what you want to communicate in your letter, before beginning to write.

Determine whether your school has an official format that they would like you to use for a grade appeal letter. Some schools have very specific requirements that you can use as a template for your letter. Other schools don't have any requirements. Look online or speak with an academic adviser to learn about your school's format requirements.

Include your full mailing address, the date on which you wrote the letter, the course number, your student ID number or social security number, and the address of the person you are sending the letter to. If you are writing your letter as an email, include a proper subject heading, such as "Grade Appeal." Having the correct information will help ensure that your letter is taken seriously. It also shows how much effort you are willing to put in to receive the grade you deserve.

Compose a professional sounding salutation. Don't just start out with "hey." Instead, think of a thoughtful, friendly and professional way to begin your letter. Some good examples include "Dear Dr. Smith," "Dr. Smith," or "Good afternoon."

Keep your letter to the point. It should be very concise, highlighting the facts. Try to keep emotional stories or other fluff out of the letter. Let the professor know your concerns as quickly as possible.

Request a meeting with your teacher or professor to further discuss your concerns with your grade. Ask politely and never make demands. Instead, simply suggest that you meet in person so that you can have a conversation about why you received the grade that you did.

Thank your professor or teacher for taking the time to review your grade appeal letter. Professors and teachers are extremely busy, and acknowledging that fact will let them know that you respect them and their opinion. Finish it off with another salutation, such as "Sincerely" or "Best," and sign your name.

About the Author

Kate Taylor is a professional writer based in Lafayette, Ind. She has served as an online copywriter in areas such as pet care, education and landscaping. Taylor is working toward her M.B.A. at Loyola University Chicago.

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