Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey

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Write A Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor are an effective way to reach a broad group of people in your community. Not only do your neighbors read them, but your elected officials do as well.

1. Every paper has different rules for submitting letters to the editor. Some restrict the number of letters per month, others the length of the letter. Make effective use of your time by following the newspaper's own guidelines.

2. Remember that you are writing to persuade or inform. Be polite and never refer to those who disagree with you in a derogatory way.

3. Letters to the Editor should be timely. Letters that address an issue in the current news are most likely to be printed.

4. Try not to write in direct response to another letter to the editor. Your letter will be more effective if you make the points you want to make about the issue, rather than responding to someone else's opinion.

5. Make your letter direct and to the point. Many newspapers limit the number of words in a letter. They may reject your letter if it is too long, or they may edit it. If you want your opinion to be clear, do your own editing.

6. Don't forget your local free weekly. For many communities this is the best source for "local happenings" and they are well read.

7. Letters from individuals are most likely to be printed. If you belong to a group that shares your opinion, each of you should send in a thoughtful letter, don't all sign one letter. Many papers will not print letters signed by multiple people.

8. Always include your name, address and a phone number where the paper can contact you to confirm that you sent the letter. The newspaper will show your name and town at the bottom of the letter.

Click here for a partial list of local newspaper contacts.