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  1. Brevity and focus. Cover your topic in the fewest possible words. Get to your main point quickly. Stay focused on your key points.
  2. Readability. Readers are attracted to short sentences. Avoid using too many numbers and prepositional phrases. Avoid cliches. Follow common rules of punctuation, grammar and spelling.
  3. Timeliness. Send your letter while the topic is timely, but not so quickly that you don't review what you have written before sending the letter.
  4. Fairness. Make your points on the merits rather than emotion. Avoid disparaging a group of people based solely on the actions of one member of that group.


  1. Poetry or rhyme in any form.
  2. Most consumer complaints.
  3. Form letters or generic Web site letters.
  4. Most "thank you" letters.
  5. "Open" letters to government officials.
  6. Letters written for a class assignment or as part of an organized letter-writing campaign.
  7. Most sports-related letters. (Send these to The Oklahoman's sports editor.)
  8. Letters that have been published elsewhere or letters submitted to other publications.
  9. Letters written in an overly informal style.


  1. Full name, address, and email. (Your address and e-mail are needed for verification. They will not be published.)
  2. Maximum length of 250 words.
  3. Authors limited to one letter every 28-42 days, depending on volume.
  4. When referring to a news story or previous letter published, cite the headline or letter writer's name and the date of publication.


Editing is done for the benefit of our readers. We make every attempt to preserve the writer's essential meaning. Editing for length allows us to accept a greater number of letters. Letters most likely to be edited are those that are twice as long as needed to make a point and those that try to make too many points.

Your Views

  • Oklahoma tax talk

    Published: Fri, Oct 2, 2015

    David Boren wants a 1-cent tax for education. Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel wants a 1-cent tax for a new jail. Everybody wants a new tax for something. The fact is regular citizens pay plenty of taxes, which the government in this state gives back to oil companies and the wealthiest...

  • Playing the percentages on state education spending

    Published: Fri, Oct 2, 2015

    Regarding “Enough is enough” (News, Sept. 25): OU President David Boren and others always say that the share of support from the state has decreased as a percentage. While that may be true, that's not looking at the true picture. I challenge The Oklahoman to provide a chart of how much money...

  • A travesty at Eastern Oklahoma State College

    Published: Fri, Oct 2, 2015

    Eastern Oklahoma State College at Wilburton has for more than 100 years provided access to higher education to generations of students for whom this would otherwise have been denied. In an effort to extend this opportunity to a wider range of students, the school has been offering several...

  • Stay away from Westboro Baptist Church protesters at OU

    Published: Fri, Oct 2, 2015

    The Westboro Baptist Church is staging a picket on the University of Oklahoma campus next week. I'm urging people to make a statement to the WBC — by not showing up. The WBC thrives on negative attention. They're not here to reason with people, they're not even here to recruit people. They...

  • Pope Francis’ visit leaves lasting impression

    Published: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    At a moment in American history when secularization of the culture is putting religious faith and spirituality on the defensive, Pope Francis' visit was a breath of fresh air, breathing life into the soul of our nation. All need not embrace his Catholicism. All need not agree with his every...

  • George Will misses the boat with column on pope

    Published: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    In “The pope's fact-free flamboyance” (Commentary, Sept. 20), George Will uses the technique of attacking the messenger (Pope Francis) to discredit the pope's message. It takes only a careful reading of either the apostolic exhortation “Joy of the Gospel” or the encyclical “Praise to You (O...

  • Increase in tobacco taxes would be prudent

    Published: Sat, Sep 26, 2015

    Considering that many of our state's Medicaid problems are caused by tobacco use, an increase of tobacco taxes would be prudent. The average state tax on a pack of cigarettes is $1.60, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Oklahoma's is $1.03 per pack, 33rd in the nation. Raising the...

  • Avoiding vaccinations threatens kids’ health

    Published: Sat, Sep 26, 2015

    Regarding “Senate inoculated on vaccine debate” (Capitol Box Score, Sept. 20): Education of parents is critical as it applies to all things involving their children. Oregon requires parental completion of a state vaccine education program in order to file an immunization exemption. The Oklahoma...