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How to write a petition and get it out there

Is there an issue bugging you? Do you want to see more being done about it? Can you come up with a change that would help the issue? Do you think others will agree? If you answered yes to these questions, then writing and circulating a petition sounds like the ideal action for you.

Submitted 5/4/2006 By Jules Views 42542 Comments 0 Updated 5/4/2009


Photographer : Coco @ flickr


Writing a petition is not difficult, but before you begin it is important that you follow a few simple rules to ensure that you get your point across as effectively as possible!

Background research

The Internet is a pretty good research tool because it offers updated information concerning your topic. It is important that your information is valid and correct as it directs your argument. Your research shows that you know what you are talking about and that you are serious about the issue in the petition. Also keep in mind that it is a good idea to research the right person to whom to send the petition. You need to make sure this person is relevant to the issue and is capable of getting the ball rolling on the changes that you want to see.

How to start writing your petition

Once you have all the information you need, and you are clear about the purpose of the petition, you will need to write it in the most persuasive and clear way possible. This section should generally be around half a page, but no longer than a page in length. You want a lot of people to read it so the shorter and more to-the-point the better! Also include blank pages that are lined for the signatures you want to start collecting!

A petition should generally begin with a request. In the request you should:

Describe the situation

Have a clear understanding of what your major goal is? What is the point you are trying to get across with the petition.

Suggest what is needed

Offer a proposal for change. This means that you should give an example of what you want to see done to fix the issue. For example if you want to see more tree planting in your area, propose a primary school initiative for replanting trees instead of just disagreeing with the lack of replanting in your area.

Explain why it is needed

Here you can give specific examples that you have found in your research. This will help to emphasize your point. For example scientific research shows trees and vegetation decrease the amount of carbon dioxide and increase oxygen. Therefore it is important to plant more trees for healthy air.

Gathering support for your petition

The more names and signatures you have the greater your chances are of achieving the outcomes in the petition. A good place to begin is with your family and friends. Ask them to read and sign the petition. Other great places are your school or university. Try approaching people who you think would agree with the issue you’re putting forward.

The power of the internet

Another great way to reach people is using email. You can reach millions of contacts interstate and overseas through this medium. Emails are cheap, easy, and work quickly. Place your petition online or on a social networking site to recieve maximum attention and signatures. Discussion groups and blogs are other easy and effective ways to advertise your petition.

Petition ready? Who do you send it to?

Once you have got all your signatures your petition is ready to send. Who you send it to will depend on what your issue is. It is important to research who the most effective person is. For example if it is an issue about your canteen food at school, the best person would be your principal. Alternatively if it is a larger community issue, maybe you should send to your local member of parliament?

You can mail the petition or deliver it in person, again research the most effective avenue to take.

Good luck!


This page was updated by Laura318.