Letters to the Editor: A Crazy Pastime
Published on August 22, 2014 by Karen Newmeyer
Are you crazy? According to the editors of Utah’s three largest newspapers, Broadview Orem’s Professional Communication students are not.
Learning to communicate in writing may seem like a dying art, but in Sean Nobmann’s Professional Communications class at Broadview University-Orem it is a necessary skill. This quarter, his students have been putting their communication skills to the test by writing letters to the editors of the Deseret News, Daily Herald and the Salt Lake Tribune.
As part of learning how to write an effective letter to the editor, instructor Sean Nobmann teaches his students to include an “I’m-not-crazy” sentence in each of their letters. This sentence is where the letter writer demonstrates that, notwithstanding his or her strong feelings on the particular topic, he or she can see the other side of the issue and understands that there are valid, contrary opinions.
After the “I’m not crazy” sentence, the letter writer then goes on to explain why, in spite of these concerns, their own particular viewpoint or resolution is still the more favorable option. The chosen topics are personal to the students and cover many of the lesser known issues affecting Utah citizens.
Approximately 17 of Mr. Nobmann’s students submitted letters to the editors, and to date, over 15 have been published, or are in the process of being published. Many of the students have been published in more than one paper, and a few were published in all three Utah papers.
Links to the printed letters are available below. Can you find the “I’m-not-crazy” sentence in each?
- Ryan McMullen: Court leniency
- Tessa Searle: Server’s wages
- Zach Straw: Protect Police
- Ariel Higgs: Mental treatments
- Alicia Monterroso: Cancer and questions
- Kendra Fleming: Fences and new homes
- Sheila Wood: Welfare reform
- Mia Snow: Some students need more help
- Kerynn Fullmer: Keep your dog on a leash in public places
- Erica Sanchez: Recycling
- Cynthia Day: Veterinary care
- Karinsa Hatton: Background checks on adoptive parents
- Alexis Wise: Police, Firefights deserve better
Written by Amanda Black, administrative assistant
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