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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 They will not be published.)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

  • Children need to be our long-term investment

    Published: Sun, May 17, 2015

    Oklahoma is $600 million in the hole due to missteps and misguided policies from the Legislature. How did we get here? By relying on expected income from oil and gas, and unnecessary state subsidies. How should the state fix this? By encouraging diversification of the economy and investment in...

  • Gov. Fallin's veto of gun bill disappointing

    Published: Sun, May 17, 2015

    I was very disappointed when I read that Gov. Mary Fallin had vetoed Senate Bill 41, to prohibit events from banning guns. In a time when personal freedoms are eroding at a rapid pace, it sends a clear message to me that the governor’s office is more interested in dollars than personal rights...

  • Congratulations in order for veto

    Published: Sun, May 17, 2015

    Regarding “Fallin vetoes gun bill” (News, May 12): Congratulations to Gov. Mary Fallin for vetoing Senate Bill 41 and to our legislators for reconsidering the bill because of the potential unintended consequences. Credit also is due to those who recognized and brought attention to the possible...

  • Stop the corruption of international slavery

    Updated: Fri, May 15, 2015

    “Will eating meat be the next to go?” (Commentary, May 8) implies that as humanity evolves, we may someday feast on substitutes for meat and look with disdain on “humans in the past having killed animals for food.” But will we look back on our current dependence on international human slavery as...

  • Potential nonissue in Shawnee

    Updated: Fri, May 15, 2015

    In “Pottawatomie tribe, city of Shawnee enmeshed in struggle for services” (News, May 10), a city commissioner was quoted as saying, “What’s going to happen is every citizen of Shawnee is going to have to pay more on the water bill.” This statement was made as fact, though the city attorney has...

  • We might want our water back

    Updated: Fri, May 15, 2015

    The Oklahoman’s Page 1 photo on May 10 of water flowing over the Lake Overholser dam was very exciting, but it left me wondering why this excess water wasn’t being pumped up the canal into Lake Hefner, which I hear is still 17 percent below capacity.

  • Turn off your sprinklers

    Updated: Fri, May 15, 2015

    Recent torrential rains in Oklahoma City saturated the drought-stricken soil. So, why were lawns still being watered by their automatic sprinkler systems during these storms? Lubbock, Texas, requires landscaping irrigation systems to have rain sensors that render irrigation inoperative at...

  • Treatment is cheaper than incarceration

    Published: Fri, May 15, 2015

    Regarding “Momentum building for justice reform” (Point of View, May 9): J.C. Watts recommends “shortening prison sentences for nonviolent offenders — or diverting people from prison altogether" to reduce prison costs. What he doesn’t say: Nonviolent offenders are drug users supporting their...