I'm on the traffic appeals committee, and I was noticing the lack of creativity in the appeals. I listen as we drone over the many appeals, none of which stand out right now because we meet only once a month and I cannot remember. I admit that I am party of the latter group of humans Einstein talks so eloquently about. I am here to give you tips before writing to us. I want to see your ticket appealed. Last meeting there were 20 denied, two waived and one is pending. I see that in the general populace, there is lacking in the skill of BS. I figure with rigorous training in high school; the art of BS would be alive and kicking like a new born baby, ready to apply learned traits from it's mother.
Remember that an appeal is like a persuasive speech, except it is written and someone else speaks it for you. Appeal to our ethos, pathos, and logos. In terms of ethos tell us that you are a hardworking honor student, with the drive to succeed like Dr. Dre. Then do not forget to mention that you are on the student government and your mom is a faculty member. If you aren't in student government and your mom is a faculty member, tell us anyway (Sun Tzu's "Art of BS," it's in the library, seriously). Sell us the image that you do not deserve to pay the ticket. Now you are a credible appealer.
Now I must consider Pathos. Tell us you can't afford the ticket, your mom has gone bankrupt, and you are now selling ground Smarties to crack heads in order to stay in school. That will appeal to our emotion of pity. Or, consider maybe cracking a joke. Tell us why police officers always smell... because they are always on duty (I'm sorry if my joke telling is somewhat lame, but example purposes that I must make use of what God has given me). Do not take this overboard though. Remember that we are human too and if you appeal to our emotions and cause one of us to feel an ounce of pity or a little bit of joy you may find yourself with an extra twenty-five dollars in your pocket.
Finally, there is logos. Logos is the use of evidence and reasoning to accomplish the act of persuading. There are two types of reasoning: Inductive and deductive. Inductive reasoning starts with small conclusion to big conclusions. Deductive starts with a broad conclusion to a specific conclusion.
How you could possibly use this in your appeal, I have no idea. I quote from Giovanni Boccaccio in his Decameron, "I'm about as smart as salt is sweet."
Now I must tell you what not to do. Do not show us that you are stupid. One hint of stupidity and you will be denied! If you make an excuse for your stupidity, you will be denied! And if you call us stupid or the police officers giving you the ticket... you will be denied!
Keep opinions about ticketing procedures to yourself. We are not there to listen to how cruel and mean the ticketing Nazis are. We are only there to deny your appeal and for no reason other than that. So keep that in mind.
I also make one final plea. Do not involve your parents. I recently remember getting a threat from a student telling us their parents were going to come and talk to us. The committee members and I leaned back in our seats, as if threatened, and laughed. This isn't high school anymore. One of the first things my drill sergeant told us in boot camp was that our moms were no longer there for us. If you involve your parents, you will be denied!
Write to Malcolm at email@example.com.