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 Writing Tips

The Letters to the Editor sections of newspapers and magazines have the potential to have a big impact and are a good place to voice your opinion.
Most publications accept electronic letters, so check their website and look for any requirements.

Most will have a strict word limit. Be brief and keep to the point. Editors cut from the bottom, so ensure all your important information is in the first paragraph.

Successful letters will be well-written, timely and contain a considered analysis about a particular subject. It often helps if you write in direct response to an article published by that publication. Letters that are aggressive or poorly-written are less likely to be published.

1. If writing a hard-copy letter, it is better to type it than to hand write it.

2. Be concise and to the point

Your first paragraph should identify the issue and the second paragraph should be about what you would like to be done about the issue. The last paragraph can summarise these points and highlight your reason for writing. Always thank the reader for their time. It is acceptable to open your letter with ‘Dear’ as a standard form of address, while ‘Kind regards’ or ‘Yours sincerely’ are suitable for concluding your letter/email if the recipient’s name is known. If you have addressed the letter ‘Dear sir’ or ‘Dear madam’, then ‘Yours faithfully’ is the correct choice of sign off.

3. Write in a plain format

Do not use any visual embellishment such as smiley faces or emoticons.

4. Be objective and professional

Avoid personal attacks or insults. Your concerns will be taken far more seriously if you keep it polite.

5. Be factual and well-researched with accurate spelling and grammar

Avoid personal attacks or insults. Your concerns will be taken far more seriously if you keep it polite.

6. Provide a two-way method of contact

Always include your name, address/email address and phone number to encourage people to respond directly. If using a hardcopy format, sign your name and then print it underneath.


We are currently encouraging the public to write letters to the editor in response to the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry.

Please see the RSPCA's recommendations toward the welfare issues currently affecting poultry in Australia, which may help you form your letter.

Please let us know if your letter does get published by emailing us the link here.