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There are many reasons why one would want to write an application. Some of the most common examples include:

  • Admission into an institution of learning
  • Making inquiry on a matter
  • Asking for a favour, etc.

Basically, an application request letter is one which is written to ask for information, a favour or to obtain permission concerning a particular matter. It is an official document written by an individual who seeks to request for assistance, details of any sort, permission, or even a document for one purpose or another.

An application request is usually best for conveying a message from the writer to the reader, concerning certain demands that the writer expects the reader to meet. It helps the writer express himself to the reader in a formal (or official) but polite manner.

And as you may have guessed at this point, is usually addressed directly to the relevant authorities meant to carry out whatever demands as requested by the writer in the letter. It is also important to remember that an application request is an official document and is usually properly documented for reference purposes.

Now let’s take a look at the steps involved in writing an application request.


Rack Your Brain

In order to write a good application request, this first step is to rack your brain on what you want the letter to achieve, that is, your purpose for sending the letter. You must have a clearly defined reason in your mind on why you want to write the letter.

This will help guide you through the brainstorming and composing processes. If possible, you can even get to writing down, in no particular order, the things you would want to talk about in the letter. You could also star tiny details you wouldn’t want to forget.

Who is the Recipient?

After the above, you can start by thinking of your request from the mind of the recipient. How can this recipient be of help to you? What business does he or she actually have with your application request?

Is this person to fully grant your request or is it a protocol prequel to something else? Is he or she enlightened on the topic you’re writing about? These are some of the questions to guide your hand when you start writing the application request. The tone with which you address the recipient, and your use of technical terms depend on what kind of letter it is and the level of knowledge they have with the topic.

Arrange Your Thoughts

Next, it is advisable that you start to re-arrange your thoughts in a logical or chronological order. Determine which of your points constitute the main points and get them together first. Then get to work attaching supporting points, analogies and possibly citations to each of the main points. This will give your letter more weight and hold attention better.



This is the part where you actually get to work. You can start by writing your letter in the proper format. One of the most common formats used for application requests is a business letter format. That is, your address, date and address of the recipient all on the top left of the paper.

What Should Your Introduction Be?

Your introductory paragraph should compromise of a brief introduction of yourself to the reader and the purpose of the letter. You do not want to lose the reader’s interest at this point. So it is important to make this part of the letter as engaging and brief as possible.

Try to establish any previous connections or past interactions you’ve had with the recipient as this may also serve to fan up his or her interest. An example of this kind of connection is “I am a beneficiary of your scholarship foundation” or “I attended the seminar you organized in March last year”.

Give Details in the Body

Now after the introduction comes the body of your letter. You already gave the reader a hint of what you want. But now you really get to explain yourself to them and give them reasons why you would want them, or why they should want to grant your request.

Be as clear as possible with what you want so that the reader does not have any confusion as to what it is you want from them. Also remember to be very courteous and address the reader in a tone that gives him the respect due to him.

When writing, your statements should be more factual than personal. Try not to pour out too much emotion to your paper, lest the reader thinks you’re being too sentimental.

Now the Conclusion

Next up comes the conclusion. In this part of the letter, you will need to express gratitude to the recipient for considering your letter. If applicable, you can also inform them of any deadlines restricting whatever it is you’ve just applied for.

For example, if you’re requesting for an interview with someone that must be done before a certain date, it is important you add that to the letter. That way, proper attention can be given to it within the specified time frame.

If there are any enclosed materials or documents within the letter, you are required to inform the reader at this point in the letter. You could either specify what each enclosure contains or simply state the number of enclosures accompanying the letter. Then comes the complementary close, e.g. “Yours in service” or “Yours faithfully”, or even “Sincerely”. After this, your signature (for official purposes) and your full name follows.


Give Your Draft Some Time

After writing your letter, set it aside for a while. Get busy and do something else. When writing, we tend to do so on the spur of the moment.

Leaving your letter for a while will enable you see it from another angle when you come back to it. This allows for better editing and correction of spelling errors or tones.

Make Corrections

When you come back to your letter, you are advised to read it again and again, and more carefully each time to ensure there are no missing words, wrong tenses or spellings, etc.

Look out for redundancy and edit until the letter is as simple and clear as possible. Above all, ensure the letter is passing the right message you want it to pass.

Lay Emphasis on the Main Points

Just to emphasize on the importance of reviewing your work, it is also advised that you get someone to read your work and give you feedback on possible errors you could have missed. After this, package and send your letter to the appropriate authorities.



Write professionally. Your language should be as formal as possible without being rude. Do not make use of slangs or unnecessary abbreviated words. This will sell you as a serious-minded person to the recipient.


When writing, sound confident but not proud. Do not seek to manipulate your reader using emotional speeches, empty or non-feasible promises or even threats of any sort. This things have a much higher chance of annoying your reader than persuading them. It could also present you as a manipulator and reduce your chances of gaining any favors.

Spelling & Grammatical Errors

The importance of completely eliminating spelling and grammatical errors can simply not be overemphasized. These errors can, if found to be recurring, can mar a generally good letter. Hence it is important to carry out rigorous line editing in order not to ruin your own letter.


As much as you are advised to be very clear and very detailed when explaining what you want to the reader, it is also important to not that there is a downside to it.

Too much of detail, or clusters of unnecessary information can cause you to digress, and hence, become a sort of distraction for the reader. This could get confusing and eventually make the reader lose interest in your article. Always review and if possible, get another person to edit your work. This can prove very useful.


It is advisable that you make your own request easier to meet. For example, if you are requesting for an official statement of result from a former institution, it could prove helpful to also submit a proof that you were a student (like an ID card) and an unofficial copy of the requested result to help them locate it more easily.

Or if you are requesting for a letter of recommendation, it could also help to attach your resume. Things like this shows the recipient how serious you are about the request and motivate them to attend to you.


It is common practice to at the end of the letter, express gratitude to the reader. If for nothing else, the time taken by the reader to go through your letter is worth the thanks. It is courteous and as well, gives your letter a pleasant tone at the end.


An application request is generally written by someone seeking to obtain something from another person or an institution.

This ‘thing’ could range from favors, opportunities, references, interviews, etc. Owing to this, a letter written to obtain any of the following should be carefully organized and should contain elements of professionalism, courtesy, formality, intellect, politeness, etc.

Such a letter should contain:

  • Facts instead of sentiments
  • Clear details of what you want, instead of unnecessary ones
  • Requests instead of demands
  • Possibly principles that support your request

Finally, when writing an application request, always make your request politely without trying to appeal to emotions. Be confident in your writing, but let it not slip into pride. Attach necessary documents and keep the letter as brief and concise as possible.

Do you have more questions? Leave your thoughts in the comment box and we’ll be glad to get back to you.

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