How to write a letter to the editor

How to write a letter to the editor

Letters to the editor are an effective way to let people know what you think and reach a large audience at the same time. Often, readers of newspapers write a letter to the editor to comment on an article. A letter to the editor can agree or disagree with the author of the original text, or simply inform others of your thoughts. Often it is an important topic that people want to speak about. Usually letters to the editor are short and no longer than 200-300 words.

Before writing

What’s your reason to write a letter to the editor?
Influence the public’s opinion
Give a large audience your point of view on the topic
Educational purposes
Inform others of your purpose and attract attention
Advocate your cause

Note down important points and facts from the text you are reacting to.
Think about other ideas to the topic that will come in handy.

While writing

Start with Sir, Madam or to the editor.
Concentrate on the point you are trying to make, give your key point and leave out unnecessary politenesses.
At the beginning, give the name of the article you are referring to.
Explain the reason you are writing this letter (decide beforehand).
Grab the reader’s attention at the beginning and make them want to read more.

Main Part
Stick to the most important point(s) and be quick and concise.
Follow a clear line of argumentation.
Mention some aspects of the article and discuss these.
Show the problem and consequences.
If possible, make a relevant connection to the present.

Give your own argument that supports your opinion.
Support your arguments with examples and evidence.
Use plain and formal language that is easy to understand.

End with a final statement.
Summarize your opinion and hope for the future.
Sign the letter with your full name.
State your place of residence.

After writing

Re-read and check if you followed the rules from above.
Did you only focus on the essential points and made it short?
Check your text for mistakes.

Language support:

Starting the letter: I am writing to you in response to the article…
Main Body: I personally doubt that…, I could not have put it better myself…
Ending: All in all, there can be no doubt…, In the end, what matters is that…

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