- Clearly state who you are or what company or organization you represent.
- Identify the purpose of your letter: clearly state what it is that you hope to accomplish by sending the letter, whether it be to suggest a change or addition to legislation or to express gratitude for dedicated service, etc.
- If you are writing about a particular bill, law, act, etc., mention it by name or number, and clearly identify whether you are for or against it and why.
- Identify how the legislation directly affects you or the community in which you live, if applicable, and state any professional or personal experience you have relating to the subject. Identify the benefits of your proposed new legislation or change in policy, etc., if applicable.
- Indicate what action you want the reader to take in response to your letter.
- If you want to advocate change or new legislation, clearly support your position. Do your research and make your arguments logical and include pertinent facts and cases, etc., so that your letter will be as persuasive as possible. Include information that refutes any arguments against your stance.
- If you are writing to oppose a bill, act, or other legislation, consider suggesting an alternative.
- You may want to request a direct response to your letter, or you may want to follow up with a phone call.
- Close your letter by thanking the recipient for the work that he/she does or by making a renewed appeal.
To indicate appreciation, congratulations, praise, or regret in a government letter:
- Identify yourself or your organization.
- Identify the individual, entity, or department to whom your letter is directed.
- Extend the statement of appreciation, congratulations, praise, or regret.
- Indicate the reasons for your praise or expression of appreciation, etc.
- Express your support and hope for continued success or offer best wishes for the future.
Government Letter Tips
- Carefully consider the appropriate audience before beginning your letter. For example, if you are writing to request a change or addition to public policy then it is a good idea to begin by addressing your local and state representatives, whom you helped to elect.
- Keep your letter clear and concise. As a general rule, your letter should be no longer than one page.
- Type or handwrite your letter, depending on whether you want to give a more personal or businesslike feel to your letter.
- Be polite. Even if you are complaining or advocating change, remain courteous and respectful.
- If you are writing as a representative of a business or organization, identify it and your position within (or relationship to) the organization or company.
- If you are writing about proposed legislation or other timely topics, don’t procrastinate sending your letter.
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