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).


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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 Writing about a topic that is outdated will reduce the chances of your letter being published.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

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