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Letter_to_the_Editor_Assignment - Health 231 Health and...

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Health 231 Health and Social Policy Assignment: Writing a Letter to the Editor or a Letter to a Government Official Writing a letter can be a powerful advocacy tool. With a letter to the editor, your opinions and passions can reach tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of readers. As politicians keenly track the attitudes of voters, the media strongly influences legislative decisions and government administrators. A direct letter to a government official can also indicate how important an issue is to constituents, especially if more than one person writes about the same issue. Your job is to develop a concise (under 500 words), and targeted letter to the editor of a local newspaper or to a local policymaker. This letter is highly structured and requires skillful writing to get your point across persuasively. For letter to the editor : Know and understand the types of letters published in the paper you are aiming for Letters to the editor that refer to recent stories or editorials usually have a better chance of publication. Letters need to be very timely—ideally e-mail it the day or the following day after the story you are commenting on. Ask your friends to write letters on the same topic as well. The more letters submitted, the more likely any one will be published. Publishers generally publish one letter if they get five on one issue. For letter to a government official : Determine who you will be writing to and target the letter to that person. If there is extra material you want them to read, enclose it with your letter and refer to it in the body. An enclosure might be a letter, essay, or statistical information that relates specifically to the topic. Add a last paragraph that tells the reader how to contact you by phone or email. Close politely. Always say, “Thank you for your time and attention.” and use “Sincerely yours” as the closing. 1
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Steps to write your letter : 1) Decide if you want to write a letter to the editor or a letter to a legislator. 2) Read sample letters and analyze them for content and flow. (We will do some of this together in class). Look in the newspapers or on-line. 2) Determine what issue you want to write about. Pick something you have a passion for (for example, education equity, housing, gender rights, immigration) Please check with the instructor if you have any questions as to what works as a topic. 3) Note that the letter does not have to be a complaint. You may choose to praise a recent campaign, or individual working to alleviate the issue you chose. 4) In the first paragraph, identify yourself, state facts or tell a story and explain your point. 5) In subsequent paragraphs, give support for your stand on the issue. You may use a combination of personal anecdotes and facts. 6) Write one closing paragraph and describe a call to action. What do you want readers to do or
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Letter_to_the_Editor_Assignment - Health 231 Health and...

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