What is a LETTER TO THE EDITOR?
Letters to the Editor are found in newspapers. They are written by members of the public, as opposed to newspaper staff, and give somebody’s opinion about a current issue. Letters to the Editor have a similar structure to other persuasive forms of writing, like an essay. Salutation Opening Statement Opinion/Hypothesis Argument Argument Argument Conclusion Personal Details 1. Letters to the Editor start with a SALUTATION, usually ‘Dear Editor’ or ‘Dear Sir/Madam’. 2. Letters to the Editor are usually written in a response to a previous letter, or in response to a current issue. In the OPENING STATEMENT, the writer gives the details of what they’re referring to. For example, “In response to Wayne Smith’s letter ‘Nurseries are to blame for rainforest weeds’ (Cairns Post, 3rd February, 2005), I wish to say that I agree with him.” 3. Following the OPENING STATEMENT, the writer gives their OPINION. For example, “Until there are stricter regulations on the sale of weeds, the Wet Tropics is doomed to deteriorate.” 4. Following the OPINION, the writer gives their ARGUMENTS. These arguments must be supported by evidence. Have another look at the Types of Evidence and try to include at least two different points of evidence for each of your paragraphs. 5. Finally, your CONCLUSION should re-state your OPINION as well as summarising your arguments. Also, your conclusion also gives you the opportunity to call for action. For example, “People of Cairns, it’s time you remove exotic weeds from your gardens!” 6. Include your PERSONAL DETAILS, such as your full name, address and phone number. Most newspapers won’t print a letter unless the writer provides their personal details. Hints • It’s okay in a letter to the editor to use the personal pronoun ‘I’ eg. “I am sure…” • Your expression should be emotive. If you use strong language there is greater likelihood that you’ll impress upon the reader. eg. “I was absolutely appalled that…” • It’s okay to...
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