Each student will write a letter to a local, state, or national publication. The letter should be approximately 250-words, on a single issue, and clearly state the student’s opinion on the issue (see Appendix D for more information on writing a good letter to the editor).
Appendix E: Tips for Writing a Letter to the Editor
Your letter should be relevant: Focus your letter on a story or other editorial in the paper recently, or on a recent event.
Read the letter to the editor’s page: This will give you a good understanding of the types of letters published, and the appropriate style of writing for this type of communication.
Review the paper’s guidelines for letters to the editor: Most papers require letters to the editor to be brief – usually under 250 words. Following the guidelines greatly increases the chance of your letter being published.
Make a local connection: Explain how this issue affects your community, state, and/or economy.
Be timely: Publications and their readers are looking for information that is current and relevant. Writing about a topic that is outdated will reduce the chances of your letter being published.
Don’t make personal attacks: Papers are less likely to publish letters that include these, and they tend to take attention away from your main point.
Stick to the topic: You don’t have a lot of space to write, you want to be focused on your topic and not be distracted. Also, stick to just one topic.
Be specific: If you are writing about a specific bill, reference that bill directly. If you are writing in response to a statement by an elected official, name that official.
Provide a solution: If you are writing about a specific problem, offer a potential solution and explain how your proposal would solve the issue most effectively.
Some examples of publications for your letter:
The Oklahoman – HYPERLINK “http://www.newsok.com” www.newsok.comSome examples of publications for your letter:
The Oklahoman – HYPERLINK “http://www.newsok.com” www.newsok.com
|Appropriate Publication Selected||Student clearly selected the appropriate publication for their letter. This is based on the local, state, or national nature of the issue, or that the student is responding to a story or editorial in that specific publication.|
|Use of Personal Experience, Community Events, or Knowledge||The student incorporates personal experience, an event in the community (local, state, or nation), or knowledge about the issue they have gained into their letter to support their argument.|
|Articulate Position on Issue||Student clearly identifies problem being addressed and provides information to support their position|