How To Write A Letter To An Editor? (Perfect Examples)

A letter to an editor responds to something in the publication that you disagree with, agree with, or want to inform the editor about a particular issue or topic.

This letter can be written in response to any type of publication, such as a newspaper, magazine, blog post, etc. A letter to the editor is a popular way to do this if you are passionate about a particular subject and want to share your opinions, feelings, and information with the public. The letter is published at the beginning of the publication or in the editorial section and will typically be no more than 300 words. You can submit the letter anytime you want to share something of public significance. You can also send a series of letters to ensure you reach the target audience.

Some of the reasons people write these letters are:

  • Start conversations within the community
  • Educate the general public on a particular subject
  • Advocate for causes, or rather create awareness,  like climate change, animal rights, or socio-economic issues
  • Stimulate interest from the public or direct their attention toward a particular matter
  • Maintain the public and media’s attention on certain topics
  • Persuade action from policymakers and elected officials such as members of Congress

In this article, you will learn how to improve your chances of getting your letter noticed by the editor of a newspaper, magazine, or any other publication.

Free Templates

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    Layout of the Letter to Editor

    You’ve made the decision to write a letter to the editor, and now that you are aware of the rationale behind it, you need to know how to structure it.

    As will be discussed below, the layout of the letter is simple and follows a standard format:


    The heading provides your details, the date, and the recipient’s details. You should include your return address (street address, city, state, and zip code) and contact details, such as a valid email address and functional phone number. You should then include the exact details of the recipient, including name, job title (editor), organization’s name, and mailing address. The letter should be dated. Skip a line after your contact details and insert the appropriate date. The date is meant to identify when the letter was sent.

    For example;

    Michael Schneider
    123 Herrington Drive,
    Pretoria City, GA 0489
    June 4, 2022

    Note: By including a note to the editor requesting anonymity, you can ask the publisher to publish your letter anonymously.

    If your request for being anonymous is granted, the publisher will not publish your personal details, such as your name or city. However, even if you want the letter to be published anonymously, you still have to provide your name and contact details for your letter to be verified. Also, most newspapers will not publish the letter anonymously unless it discusses a provocative subject.

    Subject line

    The subject line should be specific and concise. It is used to convey the purpose of the letter to the editor.


    Subject: The Reduced Birth rates crisis

    Subject: Increased Homelessness In First-World Countries


    Start the letter with a salutation. The most common salutation is “To the editor” or “Dear,” followed by the name of the editor. Keep it simple and professional.

    Body of the letter

    The subject of the letter must always relate to the issues discussed in the publication. The body of the letter should reference the article you are responding to (if any) or state your opinion about an important topic. It should give supporting arguments and recommend what should be done. Use strong and persuasive words in your letter to convey your point to the audience.

    Complimentary ending

    The complimentary closing is used to express appreciation. Some common complementary endings are “Respectfully” or “Sincerely.” 


    You should conclude the letter by providing your signature and your name. You can also include details of any organization you may be affiliated with.

    For example;

    Millie Veratti
    Managing Director
    BRIX Technologies

    Things to Consider for Writing a Letter to the Editor

    Make sure your letter effectively communicates your stance on the specific topic. There are a few things you should think about before writing a letter if you want to write a good one.

    Here are a few tips about what you need to know before writing your own letter:

    Decide on the topic and the publication 

    You need to choose a topic that you are passionate about, so you can write it with zeal and passion. You can respond to an article or a pressing or emerging issue. The majority of letters that are chosen for publication usually react to content created by the editor’s organization. Also, write to the local newspaper if you will be discussing a community issue or event.

    Read other similar letters 

    To have a better chance of publication, review other letters sent to the specific editor or media house and identify specific characteristics of those letters. It will help you understand your audience and what topics interest them. This can help you learn how to structure the letter properly, what tone to use, its length, and other formatting guidelines the organization prefers.

    Consult the guidelines for submitting the letter

    The organization will have set guidelines for submitting a letter to the editor and the types of letters they can publish. Familiarize yourself with the applicable policies to ensure your letter gets chosen. Some publications will prohibit contributors from endorsing politicians and limit the number of letters an individual can submit for publication. Also, make sure you follow the conventions for the sender and recipient’s names, contact details, and other guidelines.

    How Do You Draft a Letter to the Editor?

    The ease of drafting a letter to the editor depends on your creativity and the subject matter. The key is to follow the correct format and structure your thoughts comprehensively and within the allotted word limit.

    Below is a procedure on how to effectively write the letter:

    Give details of the article you are responding to

    If the letter relates to a specific article, then mention it. Introduce the topic and your points of view, and briefly explain why you are writing the letter. You can cite specific phrases and provide an example of the descriptive language used by the writer.

    Describe your stance 

    This is the most significant part of your letter. You must express your opinion by using strong and persuasive language. For example, you can say,

    “I agree with the author’s opinion” or “I disagree with the author’s opinion.”

    Similarly, you can say,

    “I don’t agree with the writer, but I appreciate their efforts.”

    Therefore, it must be clear how your opinion relates to the article.

    Highlight your main argument

    You should then provide details in your analysis of your main argument. Each letter will typically be focused on a specific key idea, concept, or topic. Ensure the editor understands your point of contention. You should be as thorough and objective as possible.  

    Provide evidence for your argument

    The letter should express any praise and criticism, your stance, and your main argument to the editor. However, you should use factual information and supporting statistics to support your arguments.

    Also, give examples of the author’s errors and inaccuracies so that the reader understands the incomplete or incorrect information in the original article. You should also give sources that you have cited, such as previous articles, and explain why these sources are relevant to the issue being addressed by the letter.

    Give your suggestions for improvement 

    This part of the letter is important to demonstrate your knowledge and service to the community. Discuss any possible solutions and suggestions for improvement. To avoid receiving a negative response from readers, exercise caution when communicating your ideas by avoiding accusatory language or being overbearing.

    You can do so in different ways as:

    • Firstly, you can indicate the actions that readers need to take to be involved in addressing the issue.
    • Secondly, you can direct them to an organization or website to assist them in actively seeking the solution. Also, you can advise the readers on how to access more information on the issue.
    • Lastly, you can provide the readers with direct instructions on what you want them to do; for example, volunteer for a program, recycle, vote on a particular issue, or contact their local mayor. 

    Mention names for whom the letter is intended

    If the intention of your letter is to seek the attention of local authorities or influential people, then you must directly address them in your letter. They can be anyone prominent in the local community, a legislator, a corporation, or an individual within a corporation. This is because influential individuals, policymakers, and corporations are always responsive to any mentions from all media sources.

    Include your organizational affiliation

    Include your position and organizational affiliation, if any. Start with your name, followed by your position and the name of the organization. You should also include your official designation (professional expertise) if it is relevant to the subject of the article.

    If you are writing the letter in a personal capacity, you can still include your professional expertise if it is related to the subject matter of the letter while excluding your company name. This information, in some cases, improves the effectiveness of your letter and increases its credibility.

    For example;

    Macy Steinfield
    Research Scientist
    J Hopkins General Hospital
    Manhattan, NY
    Ph.D. William Craig
    Forest Hills, NC

    How To Appropriately Submit a Letter to the Editor?

    It is good to verify the print publication’s submission guidelines. Each publication can have unique submission methods. However, email and electronic submissions are the most preferred methods. This is because of its convenience. Since print media will have to be printed and thus stored on a computer, email makes it easy for most publications to receive the letter and store it under their “letters” section, where they are reviewed before being printed.

    However, other papers may still prefer readers send hard copies of the letter to the editor. However, this method is inconvenient because the letter has to be printed and mailed, which increases the workload.

    Sample Letters

    Below are two sample letters you can use as a guide before you write your letter to the editor:

    Sample 1

    Harrison Belford
    123 Green Bay Avenue
    Princeton, State 2840
    5555 3464 0003

    June 4, 20XX

    The Editor
    The Daily Bird’s View
    37 Shelby Drive
    City A, State 0644

    Subject: Misappropriation of Public Funds

    Dear Editor,

    This letter is to highlight the issues related to the construction of the Hampton Community College Library in Princeton. As a community member and certified accountant, like most locals, I have questions regarding the budget for the project published in your paper on April 10, 2022, on behalf of Hampton Community College.

    I do not agree with the allocations mentioned in the budget report because, based on different construction contractors’ estimates, the accuracy of these figures is questionable. Based on extensive research and rigorous auditing, the final budget amount appears to be inflated by 18%.

    While I applaud the institution’s management for finally constructing the establishment that was much needed for our community, as a local member of the community, I believe further clarity needs to be provided. Members of the community have raised their concerns through various media outlets. Based on their concerns, I believe most people are of the same opinion as myself. I have tried to contact the institution to comment on this issue to no avail.

    The project cost an estimated $1 million (The Hampton Community College Library Budget Report), but experts have cited that such a project would cost anywhere between $700,000 and $800,000. The published report was thus unsatisfactory. We hope that Hampton Community College can comment on this.

    I believe it is the people’s right to learn how state-funded construction projects have been managed, which thus obligates the mentioned party to disclose how the funds were utilized for this project.

    Thank You.

    Harrison Belford
    Senior Accountant
    Semtex Consultancy
    Princeton, State

    Sample 2

    Lily Jones
    33 Crimson Avenue
    City A, State 0644
    ( 555-55-55-55 (office) 5555-555-5454 (cell)

    May 24, 20XX

    The Editor
    The People’s Daily
    Brighton Street
    City A, State 0644

    Subject: The dangers of depression

    Dear Editor,

    Depression is a dangerous mental illness that has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and most countries worldwide. It wreaks havoc on an individual’s life, as they seem to be in a state of despair when suffering from it.

    The highest suicide rates in the world have been reported in developed countries such as the U.S. Conversely, developing countries have recorded the lowest suicide rates. Studies show that abrupt changes in the economic environment, social status, and life events are some factors that can trigger depression among people (WHO report, 2021). If left untreated, depression can lead to suicide. As such, it is a leading cause of death among young adults aged between 15 and 24 years and 30-45 years (WHO Report, 2021). A shocking 40% of people diagnosed with depression have committed suicide. Depression can be treated with medication or behavioral therapy, but if left untreated, it can deeply affect a person’s quality of life. 

    People who are suffering from depression are advised to seek professional assistance to help them overcome the illness. A major hindrance to people receiving treatment for depression is the lack of awareness about mental health problems in society. People tend to stigmatize and dismiss those suffering from mental disorders, and thus they avoid seeking treatment for their illness because they are ashamed and afraid of others’ opinions about them. Therefore, in every country, it is important to create awareness about depression among people.

    I would encourage the community to be open to discussions about this disease. In addition, local and national governments should create awareness campaigns, air TV commercials, and encourage schools to create awareness among children.

    Fighting depression requires dedicated efforts to raise awareness, and I believe we can curb the severity of this disease through our collective efforts.

    Thank you.

    Lily Jones
    St Mary’s General Hospital

    How Can You Ensure That the Editor Accepts Your Letter

    The idea behind a letter to the editor is to make an opinion known to the editors of a publication and hopefully to the community or target audience as well. This means the letter has to be approved for publication first.

    Below are various tips on how to craft your letter so that your chances of selection are high:

    1. Keep it brief

    Publications have limited space to include “letters to the editor,” and as such, they will have strict limits on word count. You should thus focus on relaying your points as briefly as possible. Typically, the word limit for most selected letters is 300 words.

    2. Be original

    The editor selects letters based on their content. Make sure you are original in your choice of words and approach. Reiterating someone else’s views may not be well received by the editors, and you risk using repetitive and similar language in your letter. Original letters are more likely to be chosen.

    3. Make it legible

    Make sure your letter is legible and easy for the editor to read. This can be done in various ways, such as using a standard font and size, proper spacing, etc.

    4. Be respectful and professional in tone

    The letter should be respectful towards the editors, their work, the publication, and the target audiences, even if you disagree with their opinions. Do not use provocative or vulgar language. Do not use language that may be considered offensive to others in your community. This includes language that would incite racial or religious conflict in your community, as well as profanity, hate speech, accusatory remarks, and other such expressions.

    5. Write for your audience’s level

    Make sure the letter is written in a way that the editors and readers will understand clearly. Use simple English and avoid using jargon, abbreviations, acronyms, and words or expressions that only the elite class may be familiar with.

    6. Focus on one major point

    A letter to the editor should focus on one major point. Do not introduce so many arguments that the editors get confused. 

    7. Ensure that your letter is timely

    After reading the editor’s publication, write a letter as soon as you identify the issue or have an idea. This can be two or three days after the article was published and before the subsequent publication. This is so that the topic will still be fresh in the editor’s mind and relevant.  

    8. Send letters to weekly community newspapers

    Determine the newspaper’s print schedule. The shorter your deadline, the better your chances of having your letter published. Weekly publications, however, can also be appropriate, particularly because they give you time to write a letter that is more in-depth.

    9. Proofread

    Ensure your letter is free of errors and typographical mistakes, as that may not make a good impression on the editors. Make sure all relevant information is included in the letter, including the contact information. Therefore, proofread your letter before sending it.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the best way to write a conclusion to an editorial letter?

    Unfortunately, there is no correct way to write a conclusion, as every editor has his or her own preferences. Some editors may want you to restate your main point in one short sentence.

    How does the editor choose which letters to publish?

    The editor may choose to print your letter based on the topic, persuasiveness, information presented, or extraordinary nature of your arguments. It is purely based on their discretion. Most editors choose letters if they believe yours highlights something significant.

    Is there a word limit for such letters?

    There is no standardized or strict word limit for a letter to the editor. Most publications will decide their own word limits, which can be found in their guidelines.

    Can I write a letter about the press?

    Yes. You can write a letter to the editor about the issues affecting the press, such as censorship and public relations, and how to improve the publication’s content quality. Remember to keep it professional and respectful.

    About This Article

    Susan Cain
    Authored by:
    Writing Authority | Research Specialist | Public Relations Graduate
    Boasting a decade-long career in the content creation arena, Susan Cain has carved a niche for herself as a leading expert in the field. A graduate in public relations, her writing acumen is complemented by her rigorous research skills, making her a dual asset in both content generation and data-backed storytelling. With a keen eye for detail and an academic background in public relations, Susan seamlessly blends persuasive narrative with factual depth, providing content that is both engaging and enlightening. Her multifaceted expertise not only establishes her as a prominent content writer but also as a thought leader in leveraging the symbiotic relationship between effective communication and substantive research.

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