How to Write A Complaint Letter


In the complaint letter you should have three paragraphs that do the following:


(Paragraph 1) explicitly state your complaint/request,


(Paragraph 2) describe a brief history/context of the situation and support your position with carefully chosen evidence, and

(Paragraph 3) offer a call for specific acion.


What you should NOT do in this letter:


Do NOT begin your letter with “My name is . . . “

Do NOT begin your letter “I am writing this letter to inform you . . . ”  (or any form of this type of “hedging” opening; see writing criteria for an explanation of hedging phrases).


Process for Composing a Complaint Letter

Step 1:  Identify a problem at John Jay.

Step 2.  Articulate that problem in the first paragraph, explicitly stating the overall problem. Open your letter by specifically stating the issue you want to address (think: who/what/where/when/how/why?).

Step 3:  In your second paragraph, cite a specific example of this problem and the implications it has for students.

Step 4:  In the third paragraph, explicitly state how you would like the John Jay administrator to resolve the problem.  Offer a solution if appropriate.