letter to government official – why conversion therapy is an issue and what you
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letter to government official – why conversion therapy is an issue and what you would like your governmental official to do in response.
please ensure that what you are asking to be done can actually be changed. You do not, want to say, “People should give up their homophobic views”; although this is a statement
with which most would agree, it is not something that can be changed so easily by a government official.
1) Divide up your letter into four paragraphs: one introduction paragraph, one paragraph
that addresses the negative aspects of conversion therapy, one paragraph that offers a proposed solution, and one paragraph to conclude (see example letter).
2) Since this is a personal letter to your governmental official, you are required to use the first person (e.g., “I,” “my,” etc.).
3) You have to contextualize and introduce at least two academic, peer-reviewed articles to back up your claims.
4) This letter will NOT be in APA formatting (your government official is not interested in APA formatting). Instead, just ensure that you make clear who said the quote, where it
comes from, and how it connects to your argument. Therefore, please do not format this letter with APA formatting. (No cover page, no headers, no page number, parenthetical
citations, and no reference page.)
¨ The first sentence of your introductory paragraph should sufficiently introduce who you
are and where you study
¨ Your intro should BRIEFLY explain what you are writing about (see example letter)
¨ Different from your introductory paragraph, each body paragraph should have clear topic
sentences that tell your reader exactly what each paragraph is about (that is, the first topic
sentence needs to explicitly argue why conversion therapy is harmful, and the second
topic sentence needs to make clear what solution you are proposing)—ask yourself: Will
the government official have a clear idea what this paragraph is about, if he/she/they is to
read only my topic sentence?
¨ Each paragraph is about one idea—do not include several main ideas in each paragraph,
only one main idea—ask yourself: How many main ideas are in this paragraph?
¨ Each paragraph has at least five sentences
¨ Sentences connect in idea, that is, your paragraphs flow from one sentence to the next,
and sentences build from one to the next—read your sentences aloud, and ask yourself:
Does each sentence connect to the next sentence in a logical, clear way?
¨ Paragraphs do not end with new information; instead, the last sentence ends by wrapping
up the paragraph—ask yourself: Does this last sentence introduce a new idea, or does this
sentence wrap up the paragraph in a clear, logical way?
¨ All quotations are contextualized and introduced properly
¨ No paragraph has a quotation in its topic sentence
¨ No paragraph ends with a quotation
¨ Assignment does not have any of the banned words/phrases discussed in class (e.g.,
“interesting[ly],” “society,” “stuff,” “thing[s],” “to get” [or conjugations thereof], “in
conclusion,” “in sum,” “true,” “truly,” “in truth,” “in fact,” etc.)
¨ “This”/“That”/“These”/“Those” have a noun directly following them
¨ No absolute language (e.g., “never,” “always,” “forever,” “perfect,” “everyone,” “for
certain,” “will,” “for sure,” etc.)
¨ No contractions
¨ Do not end a sentence with a preposition
¨ Do not use the imperative tense, that is, do not command your reader (e.g., “Imagine you
are walking through a room”)
¨ Do not use hedgers (e.g., “kind of,” “maybe,” “sort of,” etc.) or intensifiers (e.g., “very,”
“really,” “so,” etc.)
¨ Numbers under 100 are to be written out (e.g., you must say “eighty,” not “80”)
¨ Do not use vague phrases (e.g., “this quote,” “this idea,” “this concept,” “this topic,” “this
phrase,” etc.) and, instead, be specific
¨ Be cautious out for words like “also,” “lastly,” “next,” “first,” “second,” “third”—they
can sound listy
¨ No clichés or colloquial phrases
¨ No run-on sentences (remember to punctuate properly if you are joining independent
clauses [complete sentences] together with conjoining words like “and,” “but,” and/or
¨ No comma splices (remember: if a sentence ends, put a period/full stop at the end of it,
not a comma)
¨ No sentence fragments (make sure your sentences are complete and can stand on their
¨ Apostrophes are properly used to signal possession (not to pluralize)
¨ You have edited your work out loud