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How to Write Letters to The Editor

Introduction

Writing letters to the editors is one of many important emerging hobbies for non-writers. A letter to the editor in a newspaper or a magazine catches the attention of readers related to any current issue or trending topic in the world. The section on letters to the editor is usually found under the Editorial or Op-Ed column of the newspaper or a magazine.

A letter to the editor is an important aspect even to the publication and its editors. It brings out the common reader’s perspective of global affairs and also catches the attention of the people associated with those issues through the letters. Example a win in a football match, a movie review, etc.

The letters to the editor are usually published daily in newspapers except on Sundays. The letters thus are published to understand the reader’s pulse from a local perspective. This article discusses ways to write a letter to the editor by the common readers of any newspaper/publication.

Choose a Topic

Choose the best topic to write to the editor. The topic should be relevant to the day’s happenings. Selecting a topic to write to the editor is an easy exercise as there is a wide variety of issues currently trending in global affairs.

Some of the common topics to choose from are listed below-

Arts and Culture

Books

Business

Careers

Communication

Culture

Current Affairs

Economy

Education

Entertainment

Food

Games

Healthcare

Hobbies

Jobs

International Affairs

Lifestyle

Literature

Local issues

Movies

Music

Politics

Reading

Science

Sports

Technology

Tourism

Transportation

Urban Living

Wildlife

Stay Updated With The Topic

When you choose a topic to write the letter to the editor, it is essential to stay updated with the topic. Research necessary information from relevant sources such as Google and prepare the topic based on your understanding of the topic.

If you are writing a letter with reference to any source, do not forget to mention the source in the letter. It will help the editorial team to track the source of information in an easy manner and quote the same when necessary.

No Plagiarism

Letters to the editor seek the opinion of the readers in an honest and best possible manner. Hence when writing a letter to the editor do not indulge in plagiarism in a bid to get noticed.

Plagiarism will anyways be tackled by the respective editorial team who always check for the same along with the quality of articles.

It is thus essential to be true to oneself when writing letters to the editor.

Proofread

Proof reading in a letter is an important task to be carried out by the reader. Proofreading for spelling and grammar helps to improve the quality of a letter to the editor and gains a positive impression with the publishing agency, as the letter comes with a fine quality check.

You may use online tools to do a spell check and edit the same before sending the letter to the editor.

Keep It Short

Keep the letter to the editor short. Short letters are easy to edit from a publisher’s perspective and short letters have a better chance to get published in the newspaper/magazine.

A short letter to the editor with the description of the topic you have chosen will help the publisher identify the topic and its relevance in a quick manner and thus stand a chance to get published.

Express Your Opinion

When writing a letter to the editor on a topic, always express your opinion through a balanced approach. Never indulge in severe criticism for it may not hold good for publication and may be rejected.

Try to be original when expressing your views in a letter to the editor. The same will also reflect your calm personality the others get to see when your letter is published.

How To Send Letters To The Editor?

Most of the publications usually accept letters to the editor through an officially designated email address. As also the option to send the letters through snail mail is provided to the readers. It is obvious to send the letters to the editor through email to ensure faster delivery and access to the publishers of a newspaper/publication.

  • An email to the letter to the editor should mention the subject line only with ‘Letters To The Editor’ as a caption. Do not send the letter, unless specified, with any other caption- as it may stand a chance to get rejected by the mail server.

  • When sending an email, be clearly informed of the recipients' email addresses, usually one specific email address. Do not send the email to multiple recipients of the same publication, unless specified, as it may lead to rejection.

  • As discussed earlier, keep the body of the text message in the email letter short and simple. A short email to the editor will attract the attention of the publisher and will be easy to stay noticed to get the letter published in the publication.

  • Use Carbon Copy (CC) option judiciously and only when necessary. Do not use the Cc option to send to any other publications. It may lead to rejection owing to a lack of originality in the content of the letters to the editor as shared with the publication.

  • Do not use the Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) option when sending letters to the editors of many publications. It may lead to rejection owing to duplication of the content to several publications and as such lack originality of the content sent by the reader.

  • End the email with a proper salutation as you wish to see when printed. The ending note should clearly mention your first name and the last name along with the place/your location. Sending an email without proper information related to oneself will eventually lead to rejection, as publications do not usually accept anonymous letters to the editor.

  • The last section of the email should clearly mention the sender's postal address and telephone number. The sender's details are important to a publisher to determine the authenticity of the reader. It also helps the publisher to get in touch with the reader to seek any clarification, if necessary.

  • Do not share any attachments other than the body of the letter with the publication. Attachments usually result in spam mail and thus may lead to the rejection of your email from the recipients' email server.

  • Share necessary links and sources on which your viewpoint in the letter to the editor is presented. Sharing links and sources will help the publishers to retain the authenticity of the letter.

Conclusion

Letters to the editor is an important section in an editorial/ op-ed section of the newspaper/magazine in a publication. The letters by the readers help a publication to understand the reader’s pulse in a volatile world and publish the letters to let the other readers know about various perspectives.

Letters to the editor may also be taken up as a hobby by the readers. The section may help the readers to stay abreast of the current activities and understand the nuances of a volatile global environment.

Letters To The Editor

Comments

Varun Dambal (author) from Bangalore on January 02, 2021:

Thank you

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 02, 2021:

This is a well explained article, with regard to, Letters to the editor. I have done it many times, and it was a good feeling to see my opinion published in the newspaper.

You have provided a good step wise guide, for doing it. It’s important to read the editorial columns regularly, and keep ourselves updated with the news, before writing it. The message has to short and to the point.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful and helpful information.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on January 02, 2021:

This is an informative article.

I have on occasion written one to our local newspaper.

Nice job writing this up.

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