Ever read a news story or editorial and disagreed with the point-of-view it expresses? Or heard your Congressman or Senator on the news and felt he or she was misinformed?
When this frustrating situation occurs, there is something you can do: write a letter to the newspaper. Letters printed in newspapers educate thousands, sometimes millions, of readers.
Some letters, of course, are more effective than others. The following are some tips for writing effective letters.
- Be succinct. Develop one or two points to make in your letter and limit yourself to those points, and make them well.
- Be brief. Short letters are much more likely to be printed than long letters. Keep your letter less than 300 words in length. Some newspapers have word limits.
- Be timely. Write about issues that are in the news. A letter about the an issue is more likely to be printed during a time when Congress is debating that issue than it is a week later.
- Sign your letters. Letters to the Editor must be signed, with an address and day telephone number to verify authenticity. Use your professional title only if your position is related to the subject matter at hand.
- Type or print. If the editor cant read your letter, he cant and wont print it.
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