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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 They will not be published.)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

  • Political food fight

    Published: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    Angie Tagtow, a self-styled “environmental nutrition consultant,” was recently appointed executive director of the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. One of her first major projects will be overseeing the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), whose work can be seen...

  • Let's get back to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic

    Published: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    Regarding “Barresi says new standards will take some time, study” (News, July 18): I guess I’m an old dinosaur, but it seems to me we had a pretty good education system during the first 60-odd years of the 20th century. After all, those graduates went on to create and develop the richest,...

  • Discrimination for other immigrants?

    Published: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    Asians, Africans and Indians must go through lots of hoops and bureaucratic paperwork, and years on a waiting list, to get permission to live in the U.S.

  • Still awaiting justice for other airliners shot down

    Published: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    The tragedy of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 brings to mind similar previous incidents of passenger airliners shot down. The Dec. 21, 1988, bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, effectively marked the end of that iconic airline; it folded three years later. The death toll was 270...

  • It still happens

    Published: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    Crystal Mapes (Your Views, July 16) questioned Don Walkup’s view (Your Views, July 11) that everyone should buy his or her own contraceptives. I agree. Mapes seems to believe that the government providing everyone with all type of contraception or possibly sterilization will somehow prevent...

  • A country of freedom and justice

    Published: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    The influx of minors from Central America challenges us to control our borders while upholding basic ideals. We should consider the following: A 2008 anti-trafficking law states that minors can’t be turned away at the border without a hearing to determine if they’re in need of aid. This...

  • Our leaders need to show same bravery as Founders

    Published: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    An atheist was allowed to open a town council meeting in Greece, N.Y., on July 15. This would be humorous if not so serious. The atheist concluded his remarks by urging the town board “to honor the enlightened wisdom and the profound courage of those 56 brave men,” referring (I assume) to...

  • A win-win suggestion on immigration reform

    Published: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    According to the Obama administration, an estimated 60,000 unaccompanied alien children will illegally cross the southern U.S. border this year, up from about 6,000 in 2011. To put this figure in perspective, OSU’s Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater has a seating capacity of 60,218. Perhaps...