Guide for Writing a Letter to the Editor
- Check the newspaper’s word limits for a letter to the editor. Most have a limit of 200-250 words.
- Look through past issues of the paper for any articles about the issue you’ll be writing about.
- Personalize the story and make it relevant to your community.
- Use sourced statistics if you can.
- End with a call to action for your fellow readers.
- 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: