WR 121 Fierman Letter Genre: Public Genres

Choose 2 genres

This page and the next page, Finding Evidence, are meant to help you with your Letter 3 assignment. Find guidance on how to write open letters and op-eds on this page as well as sources to help you get topic ideas. See links to your assignment and a list of examples below. 

Both of these resources are also listed on your class D2L site:

How to: Open Letter

An open letter is one written to a specific individual or group, but that is published and intended to be read by a wider audience. Two of the most famous open letters are Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1963 letter from a Birmingham jail and Emile Zola's 1898 letter to the president of the French Republic accusing the government of antisemitism. 

Here's another example of an open letter, from the Western States Center to the White House, urging action on hate-fueled violence.

The Art of the Open Letter explains how an open letter works, gives tips for what it should contain, and includes a couple of unusual examples.

This website also talks about the art of the open letter. It starts with interesting examples and gives a few tips at the end.

Open Letters to People or Entities Who Are Unlikely to Respond. This is from McSweeny's which is a humorous publication, and while these letters do mostly incorporate a kind of tongue in cheek kind of humor, they're also good examples of open letters on a wide variety of topics. 

How to and examples: Editorials/opinion