Let's practice writing a petition. First thing you should note is that there is no set format for a petition other than it look professional and convincing to the audience/potential signators. Your message should be clear, and your delivery needs to be polite and friendly. When you bring this all together, it will help you get the signatures you need to effect change, no matter how great or small your goal.First, Develop your argument. Before you start your petition, put some time into researching your topic thoroughly. Look at websites and literature about your cause. Get an idea of not only what you want to change, but what the counterpoints to your arguments might be.
Second, Verify the jurisdiction for the petition. Think about who will have to implement the petition. Will it be a school, your office, your local government, or a national body? Contact administrative offices or check out the organization's website to make sure that they are the correct body for your petition.
Third, Find out how many signatures you need. Most government bodies and many other organizations have guidelines regarding the number of signatures required for a petition to be considered. Confirm this number with the group or agency where your petition will be submitted.Fourth, Develop a clear and specific statement of your goal. Once you know what is required of your petition, write a statement that frames your goals. It should be precise, concise, and informative. It doesn't need to contain every target or point for your cause, but it should give potential signers a strong idea of your cause.
Fifth, Add a brief summary of your cause. Under your goal statement, include a paragraph or two that briefly describes the nature of the issue, a statement about why the issue matters to the petition audience, and a proposed change or call to action to address the issue. You want to describe the issue in a way that makes sense to someone even if they know nothing about the cause.
Sixth, Prepare references for your statements. Some people will want to know where you are getting your information so that they can make sure it is valid. Prepare an additional sheet that you can keep behind your petition that cites the references you consulted. Be sure to include the title and author of the reference, where you found it (like a book title or URL, if applicable), and the date you accessed it.
Seventh step is to edit your petition for spelling and grammar errors. If errors litter your petition, it is very unlikely you will be taken seriously. Use spell check and proofread your petition for obvious mistakes. Read it out loud to determine if it flows and makes sense.
Step 8 Make a call to action. Your opening statement may touch on what you want to see done about the issue, but you should also include a brief paragraph explaining the desired result. Let people know what will happen if your petition is fulfilled. Be concise, but specific. Let people know what you want to happen, who can make it happen, and when it should happen.
Step 9 Let people know what else they can do to support the cause. If applicable, you can choose to include a paragraph at the bottom of your petition letting people know if there are other things they can do to support your cause. If it would help to have people calling local political offices or setting up meetings with company heads, let people know who they should be talking to and how to get in touch with them.
Step 10 Create a signer's form on a separate sheet for paper petitions. The signer's form is the actual action you want from people, and you need a designated space for that. Put the petition title on top of the form. Then, use a spreadsheet or word processor to create signature and demographic lines. Depending on your cause and the requirements for a petition in your area, you may want to include email addresses, phone numbers, and zip codes along with names and signatures.
Design and turn in your petition to this assignment folder. While this is the end of this assignment, it is certainly not where petitions end. This is the beginning of a petitioners work. The fun of gathering signatures and promoting the petition is followed. Petitioners go where they can speak with large numbers of people concerned about the issue or open to information about it, such as public places in areas where your target audience likes to congregate or hang out to start collecting signatures. They spread the word about their petition through in offices, schools, and other social groups, and hand out signature forms to friends who may also want to get involved. For this assignment, only complete steps 1-10. There is no need to collect signatures.
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