Text types – conventions.
Letter to the editor
|The Letters to the Editor (LTE) section is the most widely read section of the newspaper after the front page. LTEs are published at the discretion of the paper’s editors. LTEs are usually written in response to a published article, an opinion piece, or current news. As a result, letters must be timely. Be sure to remember these “C’s” when composing an LTE.
· Current – Do not wait more than one day after the publication of the article to write a letter to the editor. Better still, e-mail or fax the letter the same day as the article appeared. (Call to find out whether the newspaper prefers e-mail or fax.)
· Concise – Make sure to keep the letter short (under 250 words) and to the point.
· Controversial – Question another’s position but avoid personal attacks.
· Finally, include Contact information. The newspaper may need verification or more information before it will publish your letter.
1. Outlet Policies
3. Proper Reference
4. To the Point
5. Know Your Facts
6. Control Outrage
7. Write in Good Times and Bad
8. Write More Than One Letter
9. Many Angles
10. Follow Up
Sample Letter to the Editor
To the Editor,
Friday’s article, “Sex Encouraged with Comprehensive Education,” questioned the effect of comprehensive sex education on sexual activity. Many people worry that giving youth accurate information about sexual health will encourage them to have sex, but this isn’t so.
Studies have proven that those of us who receive comprehensive sex education are more likely to delay sexual activity and to use contraceptives when we do become sexually active. Even the Surgeon General has declared that it is “imperative and clear that [youth need] accurate information about contraceptives.” Yet, the current administration chooses ideology over science and spends millions of dollars on ineffective and inaccurate abstinence-only programs.
The Responsible Education about Life (REAL) Act would provide states with funding to implement school-based sex education that includes information about both abstinence and also contraception. It is imperative that we urge Congress to support the REAL Act.