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Writing Tips

Be factual: Include details of the case and relevant international agreements or obligations. Avoid opinions or emotional language.


Be brief: Make your letter brief and to the point. Letters should not be more than one printed page.


Be polite: Assume the person you are writing to is reasonable. Use the appropriate salutations for their position.


Be specific: Begin by stating your main concern. Use the name of the victim and repeat the name throughout the letter.


Provide background: Assume the person you are writing to is unfamiliar with the case. Include the relevant details and background of the case.


Be constructive: Provide solutions or actions that can be taken to support human rights standards.


Cite laws or international agreements: Cite relevant international human rights agreements or national laws protecting human and civil rights which are being violated.


Use outside sources: Refer to the findings of reputable organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Southern Poverty Law Center to support your position.


Write clearly and in English: Ensure your writing is easily understood and free of errors. Write only in English, unless you are fluent in the appropriate target language.

Ms. Elizabeth Gartley | Daniel F. Mahoney Middle School | 240 Ocean Street | South Portland, Maine | 04106 | Tel: 207-799-7386