In traditional Letters to the Editor, there are ten components that create a strong letter to allow it to be printed or published. Without some or all of these components, it is most likely that the letter will not reach the eyes of the public. The first component is the citation. This is where the name and author of the article being responded to is put. The given letter to the editor displays this citation when it states that it is in response to Emily Reuman’s September 01 article, “Fracking to End the Recession.” The fact that the letter begins with this gives the reader a clear understanding of what the topic of the letter is.
Within the first sentence of the letter, the words self-serving, rife, and inaccuracies are used. These are important as they act as the objection of the piece, though the words do not hold their own sentence separate from the citation. The tone of the words convey to the reader that there is disagreement. It also intrigues and ropes in those who hold the same opinion and disagree with fracking. People love to have their opinion heard on a larger platform, so this component is placed right in the beginning to make the writer’s stance clear.
The clarification is where one important detail is dropped in to show that there is credibility and that the writer of the letter has taken time to research and learn more about the subject of fracking. This can be seen when the letter communicates that, “[fracking] will also foul the water of millions who gain no immediate benefit from drilling for gas beneath their aquifers; and when the jobs are gone, the water will be irretrievably useless forever.” It not only shows that the writer knows the ins and outs of what they’re explaining, but it further supports the objection and shows the long term effects. The clarification in this letter embodies both support of the disagreeing side and valid facts.
A letter to the editor would not mean anything without credentials connected to the subject at hand. The letter provides an organization that the writer is a part of at Rowan University. Their involvement and studies with the organization show that they have a purpose in this argument and that there is much background knowledge on the topic. They also state that while studying, they learned all about the irreversible environmental effects that would be caused by injecting hundreds of these chemicals under pressure into groundwater, which is a major negative to the idea of fracking and adds to the overall argument.
The premise is brought up next in this letter. The writer brings up their own argument by incorporating what they’ve researched, witnessed, and the opinions they developed from those elements. The letter states the premise as, “energy companies are notorious for exploiting the cheapest, easiest, most accessible energy sources to maximize profits no matter how it savages our beloved planet.” By placing this sentence in the letter, the writer exposes the wall that stands in the way of correcting the overall issue. Now, there is someone or something more specific to target in the readers standpoint.
The support is a brief fact about the argument, but it should stay as simple as possible, yet compelling. The letter does this by mentioning an event that involved the problem. In this case, the writer chose to talk about how people in Pennsylvania cannot drink the water from their own land because the ground waters are so contaminated. They go even further with this statement to say that some wells are flammable because of fracking. Overall, this states facts and evidence to explain how dangerous fracking is to the well being of humans.
The truth is the conclusion and should act as the headline. The writer makes it clear that the energy industry and elected officials just want to make a quick buck off of this. This shows that this is all a way to get even more money in the billionaires pockets. There are no regards to the planet from these people who are in charge of the fracking idea. Though this is a true fact, there really is not much of a conclusion. The truth component does not give the template of “if this continues” or anything about this issue for the future. In that respect, the truth could be rewritten to come across to the reader better and allow them to ponder about future possibilities if this continues.
Leading after the truth is the hopeful proposal. Now that people are concerned, the letter shines light on the subject by giving hope. It conveys that as Americans, there still is the power to vote and hold the government accountable for their actions. By saying this, it motivates those on the same side as the writer to think that they can make a change. This is something that is won in numbers if the entire community comes together.
The rhetorical flourish and call to action are both located in the same sentence when the letter reads, “But if we send a clear message that their jobs are at stake, for example by signing the petition to ban fracking in New Jersey, we might still secure a healthy and sustainable future for our children.” The call to action is acting on the issue and signing a petition to get power in numbers. By participating in the call to action, it would be securing a stable future for the generations to come, which is the rhetorical flourish to tug on the heartstrings of the readers.
Overall, this letter contained all ten components and executed them fairly well. If the truth was rewritten to mention what the future holds if fracking continues, the letter would most likely be published.