A letter to the editor can be a powerful outlet for voicing opinion on health issues. Your letter should be 500 words in length. The objective of a letter to the editor is to increase understanding of an urgent public health problem, foster a dialogue around a specific issue involving the author and the community, and provide direction for future action on the issue. For this assignment, select a recent public health policy action at the local, state, or federal level. Prepare a response to the policy action in the form of a letter to the editor. Use the “Guidelines for Preparing a Letter to the Editor” resource and the following criteria to prepare your letter to the editor. Consider your audience for the public health problem. Think about news outlets that you would like to write to, instead of writing to your instructor.
- Clearly state your position. Articulate whether you agree or disagree with the chosen policy action (or inaction). Highlight the uniqueness of your opinion so that it is not simply restating the position or opinion in the chosen policy action (or inaction).
- Critique the merits of the action. Describe the impact the action will have on health outcomes. Comment on what you would do differently (if you disagree with the action) or highlight why the course of action was appropriate (if you agree with the action). Critique whether the authors have used compelling data to support the action or challenge the action if you disagree. Describe whether the authors have identified criteria to measure the policy action or recommend what you would use as criteria.
- Provide recommendations. Propose specific steps that should be taken to strengthen efforts. Offer one or two suggestions, maximum. Avoid statements such as “more funding needed” or “more research needed.”
- Use appropriate tone. Use professional language that focuses on the merits of the positions. Do not include language that is disparaging or condescending, or content that is irrelevant to the argument.
- Cite references. Include a minimum of five references.
You are required to cite five sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years and appropriate for the assignment criteria and public health content.
While APA style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using APA formatting guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.