Request Government Service or Action | Letter-Writing Guide


Public officials have a great deal of power to make things happen in the community. A letter that touches on the right issues can tap into that power.


1. State the problem very briefly and request the action you seek.

  • I am having some trouble obtaining information from a Federal agency and I wonder if you can help.
  • I am not happy with the recent reassessment of my property and would like to schedule a hearing to discuss the matter.
  • For some reason my Social Security checks suddenly stopped coming two months ago. When I called the Social Security Division I was informed that I was dead! I know it sounds absurd, but I can't convince them that I am alive and in need of my checks.
  • My daughter had her passport stolen in Poland last week and is having difficulty getting another one issued.
  • After serving for four years in the Air Force, my son expected to receive financial assistance for his college studies, but is having difficulty getting response from the veterans' office.
  • a tangle of red tape
  • am having some difficulty
  • am unable to
  • am convinced that
  • am turning to you for
  • am very unhappy with
  • could you please inform me whether
  • does not accurately reflect
  • have been unable to
  • have informed me that
  • have received correspondence from you
  • have done everything in my power to
  • in spite of the ruling that
  • please advise me as to the procedure
  • put me on the waiting list for
  • received your notification
  • request a hearing to
  • request an extension of
  • request your assistance in
  • request a review of
  • understand that I am entitled to
  • urge you to investigate
  • will you please work with me to
  • wish to appeal
  • wonder if you can help
  • would like to meet with you

2. Provide necessary facts and details pertinent to the case.

  • I have attached documents to verify the figures mentioned above.
  • As I understand the facts in this case, here is what happened:
  • I had my property professionally appraised by two reputable firms whose reports are attached. I would be pleased to sell my house for what you say it is worth, but the professionals say your numbers simply are not realistic.
  • It seems that she has the same name as another person who has given immigration authorities difficulty in the past, and someone in the embassy is deliberately blocking her request.
  • My son paid a part of every check for his first year in the Service into an account that guaranteed financial assistance after his discharge. Now, no one seems to be aware of his participation in such a plan. I have included his personal information below.
  • according to my records
  • am convinced that this claim is valid
  • as I understand the situation
  • based on the average cost of
  • convinced that an inspection will prove my point
  • could greatly alleviate
  • did not take into consideration
  • enclosed is a certified copy of
  • for the following reasons
  • has become a hazardous
  • has been in the works for some time
  • have failed to act upon
  • have discovered that
  • have attached documents to verify
  • is based on unwarranted assumptions about
  • outraged that my tax dollars are
  • proposed the following changes
  • situation is clearly dangerous
  • to avoid unnecessary paperwork
  • to support this appeal
  • understand that this will conform to
  • upon further investigation
  • will make it possible for us to

3. Express appreciation and confidence that the reader will comply with your request.

  • I appreciate your help in this matter. It is surprising how smoothly things operate when the right people are in charge.
  • I will appreciate anything you can do.
  • Thanks in advance for your help in this matter. The situation is getting increasingly desperate.
  • You can rest assured that we will support your bid for reelection.
  • We will appreciate your looking into this frustrating matter so our daughter can continue on her trip.
  • I expect this is a simple misunderstanding, but it apparently requires someone on your level to get it resolved. Thank you for your help.
  • appreciate your help
  • as soon as possible
  • direct this matter to the attention of
  • if you need any more information
  • in this matter
  • make the necessary adjustments
  • please use your resources to
  • please let me know
  • should you require further documentation
  • thank you for
  • thanks for your help
  • to straighten out this matter
  • will appreciate anything you can do
  • would appreciate your
  • would be very grateful if
  • your cooperation in
  • your looking into the matter
  • your time and consideration
  • your help in this regard
  • your timely assistance
  • your consideration of
  • your prompt attention to

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