Guide for Writing a Letter to the Editor

  1. Check the newspaper’s word limits for a letter to the editor. Most have a limit of 200-250 words.
  2. Look through past issues of the paper for any articles about the issue you’ll be writing about.
  3. Personalize the story and make it relevant to your community.
  4. Use sourced statistics if you can.
  5. End with a call to action for your fellow readers.
  6. Sign the letter with your contact information (address, phone number) so the publication can authenticate the letter.


[Instructions in parenthesis, things you should specify in italics]

 Begin by citing the paper’s relevant past article if there is one. 

Re: “Article Title,” date

(In the first paragraph, respond to the past article or introduce your topic. For example:)

I was happy to read about the community coming together in response to issue X, which affects people throughout geographic area. In these times, when the federal government is anti-progress / so opposed to this issue it must be well understood that promoting legislation on a state and city level is necessary to preserve our civil society.

(In the second paragraph, bring in specifics about the issue. For example:)

My State Senator NAME is doing nothing to help with issue X. He or she is ignoring the far-reaching benefits of Bill X. The bill would help us in this district by … descriptions of how your community would be affected, and sourced statistics. In addition, the bill would help with fiscal responsibility and business-friendly practices, by … more examples.

In the third paragraph, put the call to action:)

If we are to make progress on issue X, then we need a State Senate that will pass this important bill. I encourage Senator NAME to deliver real assistance to us, his or her constituents, and materially improve our lives. And I urge everyone to pay more attention to their local politics to ensure that their representatives truly represent our values.

Real World Example:




Phone Number

Email Address