Write a letter to the editor arguing your own position on the matter.

Write a letter to the editor arguing your own position on the matter. Note the suggestions for this assignment below.

1. Find a controversy that interests you in the newspaper or on social media. This should be an article or video representing an idea or opinion about some topic. Choose reputable sources—The New York Times, Salon, The Root, Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Montgomery Advertiser, The Wall Street Journal, etc.

2. Write a letter to the editor arguing your position for or against the writer’s or writers’position.

3. What are the counterarguments? Why do you think the writer is wrong? What has the writer not noticed or misinterpreted or taken into account?

4. Proofread your letter carefully, making sure you have freed your “letter” from logical fallacies or weak arguments. Look for errors in grammar and mechanics. Support your point of view with specifics where you can. You do not have to do secondary research. You should choose something with which you are very familiar and feel passionate about. Remember: If you are responding to someone else’s argument, make sure you refer to or refute their points.

5. Length is about 300 to 500 words.

Please pay special attention to the following two matters:

Development and Support—Use numerous examples to support your argument. These examples may come from history, personal experience, the experiences of others, things you’ve read, things you’ve seen on television, etc. Don’t just offer one or two examples. Make sure you explain how the example connects to your point. Don’t just throw out an example, and then move on. Make the connection.

Grammar and Mechanics/Format— Make sure you proofread carefully to ensure your sentences make sense, that nothing has been left out, and that you have followed the conventions of grammar, particularly regarding subject/verb agreement, congruity issues, word choice, and verb endings or tense. Watch for run-on sentences, comma splices and fragments. If you need help, please go to the writing center if you are in town or you may call me for clarification if you are not near the writing center.


1. Here’s an article in The Root. You could write a letter to the editor arguing for the removal of the monuments or against their removal.


2. Do you believe Angela Rye’s assessment of Joe Walsh as a bigot (or some of her other arguments) is accurate?


3. Do you think President Trump was justified in ordering an airstrike against Syria?

Article 1 from the New York Times:

Article 2 from The New Yorker:


Article 3 from CNN:


Your letter will be graded looking at four major components :

Focus/Strength of Argument

Development and Support (How do the examples support your position)

Coherence and Organization

Grammar and Mechanics/Format

*It might be a good idea to look up some letters sent to editors as examples to follow.

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