A letter to the editor is not meant for the editor, really. The editor is just a medium between you and the readers. Generally there are two kinds of readers – the public and the concerned authorities.
- The sender’s address DOES NOT begin with name. Usually 2 lines. House number/office, street, town, country, PIN code.
- A line-break
- Date – Best format : 12 March, 2015
- A line-break
- The receiver’s address WITH designations like, “The Editor…”
- A line-break
- Subject in the noun form. Do not prefer a question for subject. Correct – Poverty in cities. Incorrect – Are there the poor in Cities?
- Salutation like:
- Sir or Madam are the best but Dear Sir or Respected Sir and Dear madam or Respected madam are not appropriate.
- Do not forget FCC – Facts, Causes, Consequences.
- Facts include all supporting information to convince your reader that there is really a crisis, say, child labour.
- Causes include all related causes of the issue, say, child labour. The reader is further convinced.
- Consequences include the results of the issue. This section leaves a shock or pain or wound in the reader’s mind.
- You can have all the FCC in a single paragraph or have them ripped into three short paragraphs.
- Do not mix FCC. First enumerate facts and figures, then causes and finally the consequences.
Paragraph 1.1 – Introduction
Begin with an appealing style. “Through the columns of your esteemed daily” is an old cliché but you can copy that. Here are a few different styles:
- I am an avid reader of your news paper for the last seven years. Having drawn inspiration from the recent headlines, I would like to write this letter for all the readers.
- Through the columns of your daily, I would like to call the public’s attention to a new trend of mess that is slowly making its devastating presence in the city…
- I would like to draw the immediate attention of the concerned authorities/the public..
- May I draw the public’s attention to a matter of utmost concern that deserves immediate redress…
- Speaking flatly, the authorities cannot pretend to be unaware of the recent murders that stirred peace in South London…
- This is an open answer to Miss Rachana Chaudhary’s remarks on gender discrepancies in India…
- Who said the nation can no longer trust politicians like Narender Modi and Arvind Kejriwal?
Paragraph 1.2 – Facts
Facts include information with which you can attract the reader/the editor. This information include the following:
- Survey reports
- Recent studies
- Recent news
Paragraph 2 – Causes & Consequences
- How is this happening
- Why is this happening
- Who are responsible
- Dereliction of duty,
- Poor enforcement of laws
- Corruption, etc
- Over population, poverty, unemployment, crime, etc.
- Health problems, diseases, immature death, an unhealthy society, etc.
Paragraph 3.1 – Solutions/Suggestions
How can the government get involved
- Imposing fines/taxes
- Executing law
- Dismissing corrupt officials
- Spreading awareness over media such as radio, television, newspaper, etc.
How can the public get involved
- Parents can be the best teachers
- NGOs and People can volunteer
How can schools and colleges get involved
- Syllabus can include corrective measures
- Students can demonstrate street programs
Paragraph 3.2 – Closing
- Closing statements.
- Closing with Yours Sincerely/truly, etc.
- Name of the writer
- I hope this letter would help open the eyes of the authorities and they would swing into action at the earliest.
- It is high time the government had taken immediate measures to bring such incidents under control.
- Authorities can no longer pretend to be asleep – they have to implement necessary regulations in this matter.
Note – No commas/full-stops at the end of addresses, date, salutation, closing, etc. Avoid the use of “you and we.”
4/12, Shiv Pur,
Bhopal – MP – 223344
12 January 2015
The Times of India
Bhopal – MP – 223323
Subject – Alarming rate of Population in India
Through the columns of your daily, I would like to draw the attention of the public and the concerned authorities to a burning issue that deserves utmost attention immediately. India has now the second largest population in the world, slightly less than the population of China that is three times bigger than India. With a gigantic 1.35 billion people, India’s population growth is slowly but surely overtaking China’s population while the same is falling in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
One of the most important causes of population rise is illiteracy. People in villages and slums believe that ‘more children means more earning.’ Another cause of rising population, sad to say, is religious beliefs. People are encouraged to have more children to achieve religious superiority in villages and cities alike. Another unfortunate cause of population explosion is unrefined political practices. In India politicians do nothing to bring down population with a view to swell their vote banks.
When the developing countries feel proud of the growth their safety, security, comfort, luxury and happiness, India can boast of its prime position in terms of population, the biggest army, the biggest economy, the biggest provider of laborers, etc. It is a matter of shame that 20% of India’s population is working as well trained slaves in the Middle East, Europe and America. Although they bring foreign money and build bungalows with that money, it is the fruit of slavery. The world looks at India as the biggest producer of cheap labor.
The need of the hour is collective action. We cannot explode the cities to bring down population, nor can the governments impose laws in a democratic country like India. All we can do is spreading awareness in villages, slums, suburban areas and in cities. Instead of spending millions of rupees on elections and international sports events, India should spend its money collected from the poor tax payers for the improvement of living-standards.
Near Grimpen Mire, Dartmoor
13 March 1871
Rue Xalon – 34
Subject : Presence of Bloodhound spreading terror in the countryside
I would like to draw the attention of the authorities and of the local peasantry and foreign visitors to a grim matter of vital importance. I hope the readers will not take it as a work of fiction and ignore my warnings but the matter will be taken very seriously and the needful will be done.
On the fifth of December last year many peasants and some foreign tourists spotted an enormous dog of the bloodhound breed. It was reported by a local reporter that the hound was enormously large and could eat a calf. It was rumoured by the peasants that the hound had terrible features and a pair of glittering eyes. After a week, a team of zoologists who happened to pass by the Grimpen Mire three miles from the Hall said that they spotted a calf-sized hound in the moor.
Though the hound’s presence is still not proved by authorities, the terror is alarmingly on the rise. Majority of the inhabitants being unlettered peasants, rumours are spreading with added details rendering life a nightmare here.
Foreign visitors should immediately be asked to avoid the roads touching Dartmoor before any confirmation of the presence of the hound is made. Peasants are the immediate victims of fear so they should be warned within no time. The most important measure to bring the situation under control is to make a thorough investigation to spill the bean and get the hound – if such is real – caught.