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Petition Format

A petition can be a potent civic weapon only when it is used properly. If the concerned authorities fail to act on a demand or issue then a formal petition with public support, in the form of signatures, is the way to make the concerned authority take notice and address the related problem.
Penlighten Staff
Last Updated: Mar 29, 2018
A petition is generally seen as a sterling way to communicate a dissent or complaint to a higher authority. What makes a petition powerful is that it is a widely accepted democratic tool. It is a document which intends to change the status quo by enlisting the signatures of a number of people, who are in favor of the change. In the conventional way of petitioning, or in the pre-Internet era, one had to write or type a petition and enlist supporting signatures. Now, in the age of Internet, you can also create petitions online, they are called e-petitions or internet petitions. There are many websites that let you register your petition for free and publicize it for people to start supporting and signing it right away. Websites like We the People,,, ipetitions, thePetitionSite, GoPetition, Facebook, etc., promote awareness among people that can bring about change, nationally or globally. A petition is not just a mode of protest, it is all about addressing and empowering people to stand up for what is right and to enlist support for the change they want to see or believe in. It also helps in creating a platform for all to address a problem by covering a wider audience, across the world.

Petitions could range from something simple like asking civic authorities to change a couple of rules in your locality, to serious or grievous petitions like having stronger gun control laws or ending the war on drugs. Either way, petitions are viewed as a powerful instrument to force a change and urge immediate action on the concerned problem. But petitions must be backed up with credible support in the form of signatures to grab the concerned authority's attention, immediately. When there is an overwhelming response to the cause, and a lot of people agree to sign on a document listing to deal with their common clutch of problems, then the cause gets enough mileage to succeed. Any right-minded recipient or concerned authority would know that the voice of a common man needs to be heard and addressed.

Points to Consider
  • In case of a conventional petition letter, all the details like address and signatures should be mentioned correctly and properly. It should be drafted in a professional manner.
  • Keep the format simple and to the point. A good command over the language is also necessary when drafting a petition letter.
  • Avoid using loud formatting and offensive language. Remember to mention the addressee or receiving authority to whom you are requesting a change.
  • The petition should be well-researched and backed up with adequate reasons for appealing.

Template Sample Petition To (Mention Your Problem) Addressed to
Date: mm/dd/yyyy

Petition Summary (Reasons for appealing and details about the petition)
We, the undersigned, would like to bring to your notice the problem regarding (XYZ) and suggest recommendations to improve the situation detailed below.

(Body of the Petition)

This petition is agreed upon by the following signatories:

Full Name Signature Address Comments (Optional) Date

Here is a printable petition template with a different format that may be used for future reference.

Sample Letter # 1 Petition to Stop Cruelty Against Animals in Factory Farms
The United States Senate
Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510


Summary: Increase regulations to ensure healthy animal welfare in factory farming.

We, the undersigned, would like the government to pass stricter federal law and regulation about the treatment of animals in factory farms, making cruelty a serious crime for any offender. We need strict laws in place to protect the animals, who are farmed for human consumption. Many times animals raised in such farms are treated and kept in inhuman and unhealthy conditions. For instance, livestock like pigs have their teeth and nails removed without pain killers and not given any veterinary care. The huge numbers being confined in very small, unhealthy places leads to outbreak of several diseases like BSE or 'mad cow' and foot and mouth diseases. As we very well know, such diseases not only affect humans working in these places but also those who consume this meat.

We urge the government to investigate the matter and set standards or strict regulation about handling and maintenance of livestock in factory farms. We also demand that offenders face harsher punishment of at least one year in prison.

This petition is agreed upon by the following signatories:

Full NameSignatureAddressComments (Optional)Date                                             

Sample Letter # 2 Petition to STOP Advertizing the Sale of Weapons at all Walmart Stores
Michael Terry Duke
President and CEO Walmart Inc.
702 SW 8th Street Bentonville
Arkansas, AR 72716


Summary: Stop advertizing of guns and munitions at all Walmart stores and online.

We, the undersigned, would like to bring to your notice, the disturbing advertisements on various sales and deals you have on assault weapons on your website and at your stores. Openly advertizing weapons that promote or ignite nothing but violence and making them easily available for sale is what caused/causes, so many gun-related deaths and unwanted risk or abuse in the US.

Let us try to STOP promoting violence through advertisements, that make guns or weapons look easy and appealing to purchase. We demand you stop all such ads that endorse the sale of these weapons, so directly or freely.

This petition is agreed upon by the following signatories:

Full NameSignatureAddressComments (Optional)Date                                             
Petitions can be a very popular and effective way of getting things done. They alert the concerned authorities about the existence of a problem, its nature, details. And when public support, in the form of signatures, is received then follow-ups and other necessary activities get carried out properly.

Disclaimer: The above mentioned content and examples are for educational and informative purposes only.