A letter to an editor provides the common man with a forum to share his/her ideas, opinions and views on events in a city or worldwide. Local or national issues can be discussed and deliberated upon by the common man in a magazine or a newspaper. This benefits not only the person writing the letter, but also helps the readers in developing an opinion about the current happening around them. If you are writing the letter, there are certain instructions you should follow in order to ensure that your letter does not get rejected. Maintain the format and specify your points with a strong base that can make your letter stronger than the others. The letter to the editor is indeed an effective tool used to generate knowledge among common people who might be unsure of how to react to the developments that might have occurred recently. If your letter gets ignored once, don’t let down your hopes. Attempt again until it appears in the newspaper or the magazine. The bigger the fame of the publication you are writing to, the tougher is the competition you are going to face. Read through this article and develop your ideas on writing a more organized letter to the editor.
Writing A Letter To The Editor
Initially, take a topic that fascinates you and collect related information from all the available resources. Be informed of the latest happenings in the city and the country. You may also have a look at the magazines for the latest updates. Then, start reading articles or publications that appear in the editorial pages of various publications to get an idea of the language used. You will find letters from readers in fashion magazines, entertainment publications, science magazines etc. In some cases, instructions are provided in the first few pages of the publication as to how to write a letter to the editor. Read them carefully and use them to give a good shape to the letter.
It is a must to provide your full name, permanent address, email ID and your contact number at the beginning of the letter. This is required so that the editors can verify your identity before publishing your letter. Upon request, you can specifically mention not to publish your details in the paper, but it is mandatory to provide them in the first place. Mention specifically, outside the body of the letter, that you want to remain anonymous, if that’s what you want.
Be Specific & Precise
Phrase your sentences cleverly and with clarity; be focused on the issue that you are talking about. You might even have to write many drafts before actually writing the message in the letter. Also, your clarity and exact opinion must not be compromised on account of a clever piece.
A Short Letter
When you write a letter to the editor, it is expected to be short. Probably a letter of two to three paragraphs should be enough to raise your question or highlight your queries. In the first paragraph, introduce the problem and state your objection clearly towards the end of the same paragraph. It is here that you have to mention most of your points. In the second paragraph, mention sentences that support your viewpoint. Give a well framed end to the letter with a punchy line if possible, to add on more effect and shape to your letter.
The letter, after completion, must be thoroughly checked for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors to make it a sound read. Make sure that you read it more than once and ensure that it is devoid of all mistakes and is, in fact, the best you can do about the situation or query at hand.
Email The Letter
Nowadays, letters to the editor can be directly emailed to the email address provided in the editor’s column. It is much easier for the editors as well to just cut and paste the letter to post it. Otherwise, you can also fax or mail your letter to the address that has been provided to you.
Things To Remember:
- Mention the subject of the letter clearly.
- Do not deviate from the subject matter of the article! Also, too much information put together to emphasize the same point would also limit the letter’s impact.
- Support your point of view with other facts, along with figures, if necessary and make it strong.
- Attaching files along with the letter is not appropriate and is not appreciated.
- It is advised to maintain the word limit in the range 150 – 300 words.
- Use a polite language.
- You can even use your qualification if it provides a strong base to the point you are trying to state.
- It is better to save a copy of the letter you sent, in order to cross check the letter that has been published.
- Choose a topic that is recent as well as important so that your opinions is viewed and considered by the editor as well as the people.
- The editors receive thousands of letters based on different issues. Hence, make your letter stand out by making it factual and clear.
- Arrange your sentences in such a way that the letter is neither overcrowded with facts nor leave the reader wishing it had more mettle. Present it in an interesting manner.
- The length and the format of the letter to the editor vary from one newspaper to another. Check thoroughly before submitting the letter.
- Make another person also proofread your letter so that s/he may point out the mistakes—if any—that you might have missed.
- Once your letter has been approved and published, write again and keep up the confidence you derive from it.
The above article aims at providing you instructions and the way as to how to write a letter to editor. Hope that it served its intended purpose and did, in fact, give you a heads-up on how to articulate your viewpoint and put it across to the editors of the various newspapers and weeklies.