FW: Letters to the Editor
From: Larry Whittington [mailto:larry.whittington@...]
Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 8:01 AM
Cc: Genie Hayes
Subject: Letters to the Editor
Tips about Letters to the Editor - and letters to anybody else
- Always sign your letter - with your name, city and state. Include your phone number. That makes it easy for the editors to call and verify that you really did write the letter. Most editors won't print anything without that verification. Include your email address even if your letter is mailed or faxed.
- Be polite. Not many editors will print rants or raves. Nobody wants to hear about how much you hate anything. Express dismay if it fits. Expressing your points as a positive is better.
- Speak in a conversational tone. Write like you were talking to a friend.
- Do not phrase things in the first person. "I believe …" does not work well. "It seems …" or "It is obvious …" are better.
- Toss in the occasional big word. Make sure you use it correctly. Keep a dictionary handy. Editors like smart people.
- Humor works. Editors like something that makes them smile. Make sure it really is funny. Don't make fun of anyone else.
- Accentuate the positive. Phrase your remarks to emphasize the benefits of Fair Tax. Mention the negatives of other tax systems only as a prelude to building your case for the positives of Fair Tax.
- Don't plagiarize but don't hesitate to take a good idea from someone else and promote it. Mention your source when it's appropriate. Sometimes the source can lend credibility to your argument.
- Figure out the points you want to make and drive them home. Limit your remarks to those points. Don't lose impact by spreading your argument over too many points. Don't try to sell all the benefits of Fair Tax at once.
- Be methodical. State your premise, back it up with reasonable arguments then wrap it up with a closing remark.
- Bullet points work.
- Check the word count. Editors have limited space allocated for letters. A letter too big, no matter how good it is, probably won't make it to print. Find out what's the limit for the publication you're writing to. Stay under the limit.
- Expect to be edited. Hope the editor is a kind person.
- Send a copy of your letter to Genie.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead