Letter of complaint with reflection



Your task is to write a one-page letter of complaint. Think of your letter as a sort of problem/solution argument. Explain the problem in such a way that the reader has all the pertinent background information, and then suggest a solution to the problem you want solved. To do this well, you need to make sure your problem is one that has a reasonable solution, that your reader is someone who can solve your problem, and that you make a persuasive argument that encourages the reader to do as you ask.

Choose ONE of these scenarios ONLY:

Write to a restaurant manager asking that a server receive additional training regarding his/her duties
Write to a store manager asking that an employee receive additional training regarding their duties or interaction toward customers
Write to a supervisor or boss asking that a policy or practice be changed at your job
Write to a group or organization leader (coach, pastor, city administrator, professor, etc.) asking that a specific policy or practice be changed
If you want to choose a different scenario, contact me about your topic before writing your letter.

The reader needs to know (a) your overall complaint / reason you are writing, (b) basic details, (c) your suggestions for a solution, and (d) how to contact you. You need to include these elements in distinct, well-organized paragraphs with strong topic sentences. Similar to an essay, your letter will have a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.


The key factor to remember with letters of complaint is tone. You are attempting to solve a problem. Although you may be upset, this letter offers you the opportunity to communicate in a mature and educated manner. It teaches you how to use your rhetorical skills to achieve a goal. You may not get ALL that you want, but you can—through the correct tone and rhetoric—persuade the reader to see the issue from your point of view. As such, be courteous and professional.


The first element the reader will look at is the format; it showcases your credibility. Therefore, you will be graded on how you follow the business format outlined in the sample. You can make up the reader’s name, address, etc., but DO NOT skip these elements. You are “pretending” to write a letter of complaint, but this assignment is teaching you how to communicate effectively. You may (probably) need to write a real letter of complaint one day. Hone your skills with this assignment and ensure you are following the guidelines.

There is a (Sample opens in new window) Letter of Complaint in the “Unit 2” folder. This letter is to be used as reference material only. Please be cognizant of plagiarism. You can mimic the format of your letter, but it should not be used verbatim or borrow words and/or phrases. You may also look up resources, but borrowing wording from these resources also constitutes plagiarism.


In a SEPARATE one-page document, discuss your unique Writing Process for your Letter of Complaint. You need to have at least 4 distinct paragraphs that detail what you did for each stage: INVENTION, DRAFTING, REVISING, and EDITING. For example:

Did you take any notes or make a mind map for the Invention Stage? Give examples of what you did in your Invention Stage.
Did you create a handwritten or typed draft for the Drafting Stage? Give examples and reflect.
During the Revising Stage, did you rearrange your paragraphs and add new supporting details? Reflect on how focusing on Large Order Concerns helped you create a persuasive letter.
Did you correct spelling and formatting issues in the Editing Stage? How did focusing on Small Order Concerns help your reader better understand your complaint?
There is a (Sample opens in new window) Letter Reflection in the “Unit 1” folder

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