Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor or Elected or Other Official

(20 points)

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Due Thursday, April 21, 2016 (last day of class)


After a semester of learning about key issues affecting society, it is time to express your opinion about what could and should be changed! Your assignment is to write a letter to the editor of a newspaper or an elected or other official on some topic covered in class that you feel strongly about. Think about all the topics covered in class, readings, lectures, films, guest speakers, and assignments. Although you are not required to actually submit your article or letter, you are encouraged to do so.

Option 1: A letter to the editor is a briefly stated opinion generally written in response to a current issue or previously published article. It is typically very short—250-300 words. The purpose is to raise awareness of an issue, persuade people to think differently and/or take action, or criticize or support some kind of legislation, action, or behavior. Give the editorial a catchy title, state your position, and then give concise arguments to support your case. Indicate what newspaper you would consider sending your editorial to. Be sure your letter is in agreement with what the newspaper’s requirements are.

Option 2: A letter to an elected or other official (local, state, or national representative, or university administrator) is a concise, one-page letter addressed to one’s own representative or the official responsible for some type of legislation or policy. You can state your support or opposition to a particular piece of legislation/policy or ask him or her to support or introduce legislation/policy on some topic. Be sure to address the letter correctly to the official (names of Congresspeople and other elected officials and their addresses are found online).

You will be graded on overall readability and the strength of your arguments. Arguments should be based on current knowledge, not merely personal opinion without grounding in research or fact. Furthermore, do not merely vent or complain about something.

While you are encouraged to look at other editorials or letters for examples, it is expected that the writing will be your own work. Any copying of previously published editorials or letter will result in 0 points and be in violation of class and university policies on academic integrity.

Tips for completing this assignment will be posted on Carmen.

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