FAQs about writing letters

Letter writing FAQs

What carries more weight: email, a printed letter, or a phone call?
The most effective form of communication is a handwritten letter. However, email and phone calls are also perfectly acceptable.

Are form letters just as effective as personalized letters?
No. Most legislators would need to receive hundreds of copies of a form letter in order to take notice; personalized letters are much more effective.

How should I address my email?
Write "Dear Representative ____:" or "Dear Senator ____:"

Is it okay to write one letter addressing several bills?
Yes.

How long should my letter be?
Two or three paragraphs. The longer the letter, the less likely it will be read.

What should my letter say?
Identify yourself by name, occupation, and/or other relevant affiliation(s). State whether you support or oppose the bill in question, and why. If you oppose the bill, describe an alternative point of view.

Do I need to be an expert in the area I'm writing about?
No, but make sure that any information you include is accurate.

Where can I get more information about effective communication with legislators?
See the Hoosier Environmental Council's "How-To Guide to Effective Citizen Lobbying