How to Create a Sample Petition

By Louise Balle

A petition is a written document stating a position regarding an issue, which usually contains a call to action. For instance, the call to action might ask a government official to pass legislation or demand that a company stop participating in a potentially harmful activity. The number of signatures a petition gets is a measure of the importance of the issue. The right to petition is covered under the First Amendment. If you plan to write a series of petitions on various matters, create a petition template.

Step 1

Type in a sample headline at the top of your petition -- it can be an actual petition you plan to right or just an example for you to follow for future petitions. A bold, eye-catching, relevant title is key to a successful petition. This is especially true if you're going to post the petition online -- choose keywords that people interested in that issue will probably search for online.

Step 2

Type in a paragraph describing your plea. Start off by identifying the issue, then discuss why the issue is important, then explain what the organization is or isn't doing that's causing the issue to persist. Place fill in blanks where information will change with each new petition. So for instance, "The ABC Organization is filing this petition, this _____ day of ____ in _____ regarding the issue of _____. The issue of ____ is important because ____________. It directly affects you by __________. Because of the actions of the __(name of company or person you're petitioning against)________ this issue continues to plague our community." You can also draw up a petition to get signatures for a candidate by rewording the last part to promote the person in a positive way.

Step 3

Enter another paragraph (preferably one to two lines long) describing the action you want the organization or individual to talk to resolve the issue. For instance, allow the candidate on the ballot or stop a company from violating a noise ordinance. Again, provide blanks where you can simply fill in the text with information specific to the case. "ABC Organization demands that _______(name of company or person you're petitioning against)_______ stop this activity immediately in the interest of the _______ community."

Step 4

Ask the petition viewer to sign the petition in support of the cause at the bottom of the petition template. Remember to leave a fill in the blank for the cause name or description Repeat how the situation affects him and his community to encourage signing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Fill in the blanks if you want and underline the changeable information as another alternative when setting up your sample petition.