How to Write a Petition

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Writing a petition allows activists and conscientious citizens to collect signatures and mobilize people for a cause. Write a petition according to local guidelines and in language everyone can understand with advice from a writing specialist in this free video on technical writing.

Part of the Video Series: Technical Writing Skills
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Video Transcript

Hi this is Laura Turner. And today I'm going to talk with you about how to write a petition. First of all what are you petitioning for? And how many signatures are you going to need on your petition in order to enact whatever you're trying to enact. Get guidelines for this from your local government. They're going to tell you how many signatures you're going to need in order to enforce this thing into action. Whether you want to prevent a mall from being right next to your house. To whatever. You might as well go to the government and actually let them know that that's what you're going to do, you're going to make a petition and you need to know the guidelines for going about that, and the right procedure. And also what you might want to do is write the reason for the petition on signs as you go around. Because I know that often when I'm asked to write on a petition I never really; I don't really know what they're asking for. Even if there; it's written on the petition itself which is something that you can also do. It's, it's sort of like taking so much time out of your day when you have to stop and look at a petition, try to figure out what people are trying to do with it. So if you can make it very blatantly known what you're trying to do, you're probably going to get more people to come and sign up especially if it's a cause that's going to affect the community negatively and everybody will probably want to sign it anyway. So really get your word out there with signs. And then finally formatting your petition you're going to actually make a columned page for the name, the contact and the e-mail or address. Some people are not comfortable giving out their addresses so e-mails will probably be best and then the signature of the person. And then make sure that you don't lose the sheets. And I would even go so far as to make some copies, they're probably going to need the originals. O.k., so good luck with your petition.

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