Publish My Opinion
Easy forumula for a letter to the editor
By Jonathan Imbody, used with permission from Christian Medical Assn. All rights reserved.
C-H-A-S-E formula for letters to the editor:
A. Citation - reference and summarize the targeted article or editorial
B. Headline - state your main point
C. Arguments - present logic, statistics, quotes
D. Solution - present your alternative, call for action if appropriate
E. Exit - end with a memorable parting shot
Tips on Writing Letters to the Editor
- Keep it short - Newspapers don't have the space to print letters that are more than 150-250 words so keep it short and get to your point quickly. Check online for your newspaper's specific guidelines for letters.
- Only hit one or two main points - Since letters to the editor have to be so short, it's important to only highlight one or two main points. See the talking points below.
- Make it personal- Write about how legislation or a regulation affects you personally. Show why it will affect a program or business in your local community.
- Reference the article you are commenting about - Usually letters to the editor are in response to a particular article or editorial that ran in the newspaper. Cite that article (headline, date, section of the newspaper--e.g., Editorial, Nation, etc.) in the beginning of your letter.
- Give the reader some type of actionable item - make sure to tell them they can help keep their doctors in business by appealing to President Obama and their Members of Congress to keep the conscience clause in place. Direct readers to take action at the web site Freedom2Care.org.
Talking Points on Conscience Protections
- Without conscience protections, healthcare access for hundreds of thousands of patients nationwide will be threatened and healthcare costs will rise as conscientious professionals and institutions leave medicine.
- The conscience clause is a necessary regulation to preserve the exclusive patient-physician relationship. Without it, the government will be able to effectively limit where patients can go for care.
- No physician should lose his or her job or be denied a promotion for following conscience and ethical standards such as the patient-protecting Hippocratic Oath.
- Americans support the conscience clause. A nationwide survey conducted by The Polling Company, Inc. and completed in April 2009 revealed that 63% support the conscience protection regulation.