Write a two to three-page double-spaced (minimum of 550-750 words) letter to the editor, proposing a solution to a current local problem.List the newspaper to which you would be sending this to at the top of your paper.Begin the letter with: “Dear Editor,” Throughout the paper, be as specific as you possibly can in terms of:1) Defining/describing the problem and who it affects2) Describing your solution3) Defending your solution as the best means of dealing with this problem.4) As you’re writing this letter, also do keep in mind your audience.
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As your textbook explains, “Proposals are vital to a democracy.” Every country, every state,
and every community has its share of problems. In order to solve these problems, citizens
must help do their share. Part of what we all can do is use our brains. We can think about
the problem, consider possible solutions, and finally propose a solution that we think best
solves the problem and ask others to consider it.
In your letter to the editor, you will be proposing a solution to a current local problem. But
what problem? And how can it best be solved?
Here are some things to consider before you begin drafting:
One of the best ways to get started in drafting this paper is to make a list of current local
problems. What problems does your community face? If you don’t know, how can you find
out? (One way to find out is to check out a local newspaper, particularly the editorial
sections. Here you’ll find that a great number of people are already engaged in a
conversation about current local problems.)
Once you’ve made a list of problems, you’ll want to chose one to actually focus on in your
letter. I recommend you choose the problem that most affects you or those you care about,
something that you actually have a stake in. Any writing is always better when the author
cares about his or her subject.
Next, you’ll want to define the exact nature of the problem. Is this really a problem? How
so? Who does the problem affect? (If it doesn’t affect anyone–or if the cost of the solution
would outweight the benefits, you’ll want to choose a different topic.) How long has this
problem existed? What are the causes of this problem? Who is responsible for this
problem? What are some specific examples of the effects of this problem?
Once you’ve determined the exact nature of the problem, you’ll want to start thinking about
possible solutions. What solutions have been tried so far? What solutions have others
proposed? What solutions have been successfully (or unsuccessfully) used to deal with
similar problems? How can the causes of the problem be dealt with? How can the harms (or
negative effects) of the problem be alleviated? What kinds of solutions are actually feasible
Next, you’ll want to choose the best solution. You’ll want to choose a solution that could
actually be employed, and one in which the benefits outweigh the costs. You’ll also want to
think about how you can deal with the typical opposing responses (such as “Things are
fine,” “It’s not that big of a problem,” “People won’t do it,” “We can’t afford it,” etc.).
Finally, spend a little time thinking about your audience, the readers of your local
newspaper. You’ll want ask yourself questions such as: What do they already know about
the problem? Do they already consider this a significant problem? Are they aware of some
of the solutions that have been discussed? What kinds of biases might they have about this
issue? How can I best reach these people and minimize opposition to my solution?
Once you’ve thoroughly worked through the above issues and questions, writing the letter
should be a piece of cake. As you’re drafting, keep in mind the following:
1.) The opening paragraph is important. How can you get your reader’s attention and respect
in the very first paragraph?
2.) The problem should be clearly defined (or described) before you propose your
solution. The harms (or negative effects) of the problem and who specifically suffers from
these negative effects should be clear.
3.) The solution should be a detailed as possible. Consider all of the steps that would have to
be taken. Consider all of the costs. Consider all of the benefits. Be as specific as you possibly
can. Be prepared to explain why this solution is better than other alternative solutions.
Sample Letter to the Editor
To: Junction City Daily Union
There is a robbery in progress! The students of USD 475 are being robbed! The
suspects include the State Budget Cuts, but all evidence points to the Board of Education and
the administrators in this district. The money that should be used to benefit the students is in
the greedy hands of the administration instead.
Clearly, Unified School District #475 is going to be affected by the Kansas State
Budget cuts, along with the rest of the districts in the state. I’m not sure about the other
districts, but USD 475 may have a simple solution: Reallocation of the budget and a new set of
administrators and school board members who value children’s education rather than
nepotism and administrative salaries.
Junction City’s school district isn’t known for its bright decisions regarding
funds. A few recent endeavors include the purchase of a brand-new Ford Expedition a
year or two ago, the move to a different Administrative Building that happens to be in a
much more lavish location, and the decision to build an enclosed walkway for students
between the high school and the former Administrative Building, which is to be used for more
classrooms. These decisions, however foolish, are still not the main cause for a budget problem.
The administrative costs are to blame. When compared to districts of similar size, USD 475
uses dramatically more money simply for administration. Even
disregarding the percentages, although USD 475 has a smaller budget than 305 (Salina) and
383 (Manhattan), it allocates more money for administration (Salina spends
$3,843,180 of their $68,267,944 budget; Manhattan $3,043,885 of their $47,298,811
budget, and Junction City $4,142,284 of their $45,743,233 budget). During the 20002001 school year, USD 475 used 9 of the total budget for administrative costs, while
Manhattan and Salina seemed to be able to get by with only 6 of their budget being
used for that reason. They were able to use 50-51 of the total budget for actual
instruction, while USD 475 was only able to allot 46. This is an outrageous allocation of
the budget, but the issue doesn’t end there. Both Salina and Manhattan school districts are
comparable in size to Junction City’s, but it is very difficult to understand why Manhattan can
get along with 3 central administrators, Salina has 1.2, and Junction City claims to require 7.5.
It’s no wonder the administrative monetary “needs” are so high, I won’t even touch on the
issue of a single family dominating the entire district.
It may appear that the 3 differences in money allotted for administration isn’t all
that significant. However, when it is put into monetary terms, if the administrative costs
were cut by 1/3, which puts the percentage of the budget for administration at 6 like
Salina and Manhattan, there is an additional $1.4 million dollars that could be better
allocated. That is a large sum of money that would be better spent on children’s
education, not on the inflated salaries of a large number of administrators.
As stated earlier, the school district’s budget problems, on the surface, seem to be the
result of budget cuts and lack of money. The true problem, however, is the
misallocation of money and the absurd number of administrators in this particular
district. By simply eliminating the unessential administrators (and in my opinion
replacing the chief administrators with people that have true devotion to the students
and the community) and reallocation of the budget, the deficiency of money won’t be
such a tough issue. Who knows, with the right people writing the budget, we might even be
able to allot at least 50 of the money for instruction, like everyone else does. Some people
may argue that it isn’t the misallocation of the money that proves to be the problem, that it is
the lack of money altogether. I still believe that with the appropriate cutbacks in specific areas,
particularly administrative costs, the students will be better off. The School District is supposed
to be teaching the children; let’s put some money towards that for a change. All of the
information that has been presented can be found on the internet on the Kansas State
Department of Education webpage. Don’t take my word for it; look at the statistics and budget
information for yourself. I’m sure it will shock and disturb you as much as it did me.
Letter to the Editor
How many times have we heard someone complaining about something happening in our
communities–but offering no solutions for the problem? This assignment is designed to develop
your problem-solving skills and engage you in a substantive conversation concerning a current
local issue. This assignment will also encourage you to begin seriously considering your audience
as a writer. When you are writing a letter such as this, you’ll want to consider who will be reading
it, particularly in terms of what words, examples, facts, or appeals might best convince this
IMPORTANT NOTE: Papers on the following topics will not be accepted:
* capital punishment
For the Letter to the Editor, you should also be choosing a topic that is far more specific and
local than any of these broad controversial issues.
Write a two to three-page double-spaced (minimum of 550-750 words) letter to the editor,
proposing a solution to a current local problem.
List the newspaper to which you would be sending this to at the top of your paper.
Begin the letter with: “Dear Editor,” Throughout the paper, be as specific as you possibly can in
1) Defining/describing the problem and who it affects
2) Describing your solution
3) Defending your solution as the best means of dealing with this problem.
4) As you’re writing this letter, also do keep in mind your audience.
Click the picture it has audio you have to listen
To: The Daily Mail
Piles of illegitimate waste that are building up on streets! These areas are non-designated
for the dumping of wastes. Such trends are on the rise across the citys streets and are hindering
the efforts of the authorities in ensuring that the environment remains clean. The increase in wastes
has brought grave impacts on our habitats and wildlife that I feel should be emphasized to increase
awareness of the dangers of illegal dumping. Illegal dumping should be dealt with to avoid the
adverse effects it has on our habitat and wildlife among other aspects of life. State and federal laws
have made illegal dumping a crime for the negative effects it has on the populations and
environment. Illegal dumping should be avoided at all costs since there are areas that have
formally been designated for dumping and these areas have integrated adequate systems for
managing wastes. Therefore, these areas should be used for dumping, and the practice of illegal
dumping should be avoided by all stakeholders in society at all costs. In this regard, I would also
propose that the state and federal authorities should define and incorporate legislation to ensure
that illegal dumping does not go unpunished.
The piles of waste that are ever-present on the streets arise owing to the high levels of waste
production, the desire to avoid paying disposal fees and failure to comprehend the need for
recycling wastes. Higher levels of waste products are correlated to the increased illegal waste
dumping and the rise in illegal dumping areas. Increases in waste production are in turn
experienced as rapid changes take place in peoples preferences and population growth as people
become consumer oriented that they were in the past. In the past, the populations heavily depended
on creative and novel ways of using their old stuff, but currently, people seek better products
instead of recycling their old stuff. For example, instead of reusing or recycling products like
clothes, electronics, and home appliances, the populations seek new appliances that are more
advanced. Thus, these people end up dumping their old appliances leading to increased unlawful
waste dumping. More so, illegal dumping in recent times has increased owing to the avoidance
that people have sought for avoiding paying fees for the disposal of wastes to the waste
management companies. People that avoid paying waste disposal fees argue they are exorbitant
and therefore end up disposing wastes inappropriately in remote areas. For example, an increase
in the television sets and computer monitors that are found in illegal dump sites owing to the high
costs that are associated with their high dumping costs and restrictions. More so, third-party waste
collectors have also been reported to indulge in the illegal dumping of wastes as they seek to avoid
the high dumping costs that are imposed on their activities. Further, the need for waste recycling
requires being communicated to everybody by informing them the dangers experienced through
The activities of illegal dumping bring damage to the environment through pollution of the
air, land and water masses found within the neighborhood. These resources are damaged by the
non-bio degradable materials and the chemicals that are emitted from the illegal wastes. Illegal
dumping also gives rise to fire hazards, diminish property value and also affect tourism within the
state. The land that has been turned into an illegal dump site is also an area where criminal activities
take place since these areas are hidden. Toxic substances and other dangerous objects that are
found exposed in illegal dumping sites pose safety and health risks to children that may come to
play, pick or even consume these wastes. For instance, children that come to play with old
refrigerators in illegal dumping sites could easily get stuck inside and get suffocated thereby
showing the danger that illegal dumping poses on the safety and health of children and others in
society. Illegal dumping is adverse for society because it costs a lot of the taxpayers money to
clean up these areas and to repair infrastructure that has been damaged by the illegal dumping
To ease these negative effects, there are various measures that the state and federal
authorities should adopt. For instance, they should advocate collective responsibility and
cooperation in making reports concerning illegal dumping activities. More so, law enforcement
should prosecute people that have been caught or reported to engage in illegal dumping and people
should be educated, or their awareness of the dangers of illegal dumping increased. Lastly, lower
disposal fees and higher fines for people engaging in illegal dumping should be established and
the practices of recycling, reusing and reducing should be advocated.
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