Project #12688 - Abortion the most tragic form of birth control

Its style and use of sources must be consistent with the norm of the news source you select. You are expected to make use of appropriate data to support your assertions, as well as to counter what you perceive to be leading contrary points of view. For example, you might want to frame your observations in terms of well-respected documents: “According to the US Report, Healthy People 2010, there will be …” Content must be accurate and current. For many topics, if you limit yourself to material published five years ago, your letter will be out of date. And remember the importance of appropriate citations. Anyone found to have plagiarized will fail the class.

 

Appropriate content for writing of this sort will start with a brief statement of the problem. Discuss why the problem is important/relevant to you. Review issues linked to the problem. Present your point of view. Anticipate criticisms by showing how your perspective responds to other points of view. Give a concise conclusion. Papers are expected to be approximately 1 page, single spaced.

 

Some things to consider when crafting your letter:

1) Use statistics – but sparingly. They can get confusing and overwhelming very quickly.

2) Mention an article already printed by the paper. This dramatically increases the chances that your letter will be run.

3) Remember your audience. In most cases you're trying to sway the public, not an adversary. Therefore, you should take pains to seem moderate and fair. This doesn't mean you should be bland. But you should write with the average person in mind, and use phrases and arguments that resonate with them. You don't want John Q. Public to be turned off your rhetoric and think, "Well, both sides are extremists"

4) A catchy first line is helpful. Instead of "I'm writing to respond to the Star Tribune editorial of August 3rd," try "As a gun owner, the August 3rd editorial left me wondering if Star Tribune editorial writers live in the real world."

The best content will be under-appreciated if it is not presented in an organized manner. For that reason, it is critical that you prepare a letter that has clear and logical development to its arguments. This is not a long letter. Extraneous discussion must be kept to a minimum (if not totally eliminated). Focus your prose on the problem which you identify, and be sure that its orderly development contributes to the letter's overall strength. Lastly, your letter will be examined in terms of the quality of its writing. If you do not take the time to edit your work, your letter will be compromised. Good writing is not only the provision of clear, well-crafted sentences. It also includes prose that is properly spelled; grammatically correct; and punctuated appropriately.

 

Your letters should including: content and organization.

 

How to Write Letters to the Editor by Richard Rider

Short, concise letters are always more likely to be published than long, meandering ones; try to keep them under 150 words. The longer letters are also more likely to be edited. It's better that you do your own editing.

 

WHAT TO WRITE? Unlike single-issue or special-interest groups, libertarians can select from an enormous range of subjects. Replying to editorials, agree or disagree, is very effective.

 

Here are some stylistic considerations:

1. State the argument you're rebutting or responding to, as briefly as possible, in the letter's introduction. Don't do a lengthy rehash; it's a waste of valuable space and boring to boot.

2. Stick to a single subject. Deal with one issue per letter.

3. Don't be shrill or abusive. Editors tend to discard letters containing personal attacks. Even though you're dying to call Jesse Jackson a preachy parasite, stifle the urge.

4. Your letter should be logically organized. First a brief recitation of the argument you are opposing, followed by a statement of your own position. Then present your evidence. Close with a short restatement of your position or a pithy comment

("Jimmy Breslin says possession of firearms should be limited to law enforcement officers. I say when only the police have guns, the police state is just around the corner.").

5. Use facts, figures and expert testimony whenever possible. This raises your letters above the "sez you, sez me" category. For instance: "Anthony Lewis calls for taxing the rich as a way to balance the budget. 

Readers respect the opinions of people with special knowledge or expertise. Use expert testimony to bolster your case ("George Will claims we need to draft to defend America. But General Edward C. Meyer, Army Chief of Staff, recently stated . . .").

6. Proofread your letter carefully for errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar. 

 

Appropriate content for writing of this sort will start with a brief statement of the problem. Discuss why the problem is important/relevant to you. Review issues linked to the problem. Present your point of view. Anticipate criticisms by showing how your perspective responds to other points of view. Give a concise conclusion. Papers are expected to be approximately 1 page, single spaced.

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