How to Write a Letter to an Editor

How to write a letter to a editor

A Letter to an Editor: Learn how to craft a compelling letter to the editor for your IB English B class. This guide provides step-by-step instructions, tips, and examples to help you effectively express your opinions and ideas in a clear and persuasive manner

  • Time

    60 -80 minutes

  • Main Skill


  • Theme and topic

    Sharing the Planet- How to Write a Letter to an Editor

  • Download Available

    Listening Exercise (Multiple-Choice and Short Answer Questions)

Warm up
Exercise 1
Exercise 2
Exam Practice

Read this text and answer the questions that follow.

Mr William Clark
39 London Road
Wimbledon, SW19 3RQ
16 April, 2024

Daily News
1 Oxford Road

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my frustration with the article "Who cares?" that was published in your newspaper. The article argues against the effectiveness of encouraging students to avoid purchasing single-use plastic, particularly water bottles. While I understand the article's perspective, I believe it overlooks the larger-scale issue of plastic pollution and the significant impact that reducing single-use plastic can have on our environment.

The article suggests that individual actions, such as students choosing not to buy water bottles, will not make a difference in the grand scheme. However, every small action counts, and encouraging individuals to make sustainable choices can significantly reduce plastic waste over time. We have seen the success of campaigns promoting reusable shopping bags or straws and how individual choices can contribute to reducing plastic waste.

Furthermore, the article needs to acknowledge the broader context of the plastic pollution crisis. Single-use plastic, including water bottles, contributes significantly to the pollution of our oceans and harm to marine life. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, if current trends continue, there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. This crisis requires urgent action at all levels, from individuals to governments.

One of the possible solutions to reduce single-use plastic waste is implementing a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles. This system would require consumers to pay a small deposit when purchasing a plastic bottle, which they would receive back when they return the bottle for recycling. Deposit return schemes have been successful in several countries, significantly increasing the plastic bottle recycling rate. For instance, Norway has had a deposit return scheme in place since the early 1990s and has achieved a recycling rate of 97%.

Local politicians are crucial in implementing policies that can reduce plastic waste. They can introduce legislation to ban or tax single-use plastics, promote alternatives such as reusable bottles, and support initiatives like deposit return schemes. By working with local businesses and communities, politicians can create a more sustainable environment and reduce the impact of plastic pollution.

In conclusion, while individual actions may seem insignificant, every small step towards reducing single-use plastic is in the right direction. Encouraging students and the wider community to make sustainable choices can have a meaningful impact on our environment. I urge local politicians to take action and implement policies that will help us move towards a future with less plastic waste. We have seen that deposit return schemes can be successful, and it is time for our community and government to take similar steps towards a cleaner and safer environment.


William Clark

You will hear an interview on a podcast about single-use plastic. Choose the correct answer for each question, either A, B, or C.


Use an appropriate text type from the options below the task choose. Write 450 to 600 words.


1. You recently read an article entitled "Who Cares?" published in the local newspaper. The article argued that encouraging students to avoid purchasing single-use plastic, particularly water bottles, is unlikely to have much impact on plastic pollution. Write a text in which you describe your frustration with the larger-scale waste of water bottles, outline a possible solution, and explain how local politicians can affect change at a government level.


Letter to the editor


2. You notice that many languages in the world are in danger of disappearing and feel that the international community is not doing enough to save them. You want to raise awareness of this and urge the world to take action. Write a text in which you describe the causes of the languages’ disappearance, explain why preserving them is important, and suggest what world leaders should do.


Letter to the editor
News report
Set of guidelines


3. You are increasingly frustrated by the world’s apparent inability to address climate change challenges. You want to engage the wider community's attention. Write a text in which you describe your frustration, outline a possible plan for action, and explain why it is important to take action now.

Letter to the Editor

Useful list of words and phrases used in the activities in the exercises.

  • campaigns
  • deposit return scheme
  • editor
  • frustration
  • governments
  • individual actions
  • perspective
  • plastic pollution crisis
  • politicians
  • recycling
  • single-use plastic
  • sustainable environment

IB English B Language Skills

  • Listening & Speaking

    Skills to communicate both professionally and socially.

  • Reading

    Skills to stimulates imagination memory and recall information

  • Writing

    Skills to foster the ability to explain and refine ideas.

IB English B Themes

  • Experiences

    Opportunities to consider how events which take place impact an individual's life.

  • Human Ingenuity

    Opportunities to explore the sciences, technology and creativity.

  • Identities

    Opportunities to discover interests, values, belief and culture.

  • Sharing The Planet

    Opportunities to look at the challenges faced by individuals and communities in the modern world.

  • Social Organization

    Opportunities to explore the way in which groups of people organise themselves through common systems or interests.

Course Categories

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