As you learn about nuclear weapons, you will no doubt form some opinions about what needs to be done to eliminate them. You shouldn’t keep these opinions to yourself! Why not write a letter to the editor of a newspaper or magazine? This is one of many ways to make your views known to the public. Below are some letter-writing tips.
- Read a variety of newspapers and magazines to see if they’re covering nuclear issues. Pick out any news stories, opinion pieces or other letters to the editor you find interesting.
- Is there anything about them that you disagree with? Is there any aspect of an issue, or any particular point of view, that isn’t being adequately covered?
- Do some research, if necessary, and then start drafting a letter in response. It’s a good idea to refer to the particular article at the beginning of your letter.
- Be sure that all of your sentences make sense and are easy to read. Short, snappy sentences work well. Read and re-read your letter until it’s perfect. It should be fewer than 250 words.
- Ask yourself: Why would an editor choose to publish this letter and not the dozens of others he or she receives on any given day? Try to make your letter stand out.
- Submit your letter to the paper or magazine. Be sure to include your full name, address and a contact phone number so the editor can verify that you’re the author.
- If it doesn’t get published, try to improve the letter and then send it off again or send it to another publication. Be persistent!
I agree fully with your dire warning of the continuing danger posed by more than 17,000 nuclear weapons (editorial, date). However, I reject your prediction that nuclear weapons won’t be abolished in our lifetime. Governments have already outlawed chemical weapons, biological weapons and anti-personnel landmines. Surely they can muster the will to abolish the worst weapons of all?
- Write an article for your school newsletter: The article could include your opinion about nuclear weapons and information on how you’re working for a world without them.
- Comment on online news stories: Many people today read newspapers online rather than in print. Most online papers allow you to post comments. Make your voice heard!