How to Write a
Letter to the Editor
Where and How to Send: Check the editorial page for e-mailing or regular mail addresses. Most editors prefer letters by e-mail. Check on the editorial page for the number of words you are limited to, anywhere from 125 to 250 words. Briefer is better! All letters must include full name, address and daytime phone number. Street addresses and phone numbers will not be published. Letters may be edited by the editor for length and clarity.
Writing the Letter
Content of the Letter: The best letters to the editor describe symptoms. These letters alert the public who have not yet heard of chloramine that there may be health effects from chloramine that they too are experiencing. This is the best way to spread the word! Most of the people who have contacted CCAC do so in response to a letter or an article about health effects.

If you are responding to an article in the paper, be sure to read the article carefully and pick out a few of the most important points. Decide which point or points you want to address your comments to. Decide also what side of the issue you want to build your comments or arguments on.

Begin by stating what article or letter to the editor you are addressing, the date and the author. Ex. "Thank you Renee Batti for your May 17th article, "How's your tap water?" which describes the health effects I have been experiencing from chloramine in the water for the last two years."

Start your next statement with an attention grabbing statement, or background information. Ex. "I have been suffering from rashes, blisters and welts on my skin that doctors are unable to treat or diagnose."

Continue by building onto the statement to develop your point by describing the hardships for example, "I tried every lotion plus expensive medications prescribed by my doctors but to no avail. I learned from the article that the water could be the problem. I started using bottled spring water as advised and lo and behold my symptoms went away!"

Pose your comments and arguments (rhetoric) next using strong words. Ex. "I can't believe that the water agency chose to contaminate the water--water that is so necessary and vital to life!" Add a few more sentences to develop this line of thinking.

End with a conclusion in the form of an action, solution, a summary, etc. to clinch your comments, argument or line of thinking. Ex. "I believe that no disinfectant should be placed in the water without the proper health studies. We the suffering public demand those studies now!"

Hints: Brainstorm and write as much as you can at first. Let it sit for a while. Go back and edit, cut back, re-edit, rewrite, until you are satisfied. Send! Remember to be brief but to the point!

Whatever you do or however you write your letter, it's up to you to use your style of writing and thinking. Enjoy the process and get the word out!