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DMC Opinion Writing for Perdana Leadership
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DMC Opinion Writing for Perdana Leadership

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  • 1. OPINION WRITING
    • Strengthening & Developing Your Opinion Writing
    (c) DC Publications Sdn Bhd
  • 2. WHAT IS OPINION WRITING?
    • associated with column writing
    • Oxford Dictionary: ‘ Opinion’
        • “ a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge”
    • but with opinion writing, the basis of your opinion is on a fact / allegation of fact – or a set of facts / allegation of facts
    • for example – Citizen Nades’ column (30/08/2010) “No place for racists and racism” is an opinion based on the issue of non-Muslim societies at the Klang High School
    • writing an opinion is always a privilege
    (c) DC Publications Sdn Bhd
  • 3. WHERE TO START?
    • You can write an opinion anywhere
    • Popularly in newspapers: for example, Citizen Nades, Terence Fernandez, Oon Yeoh, Shireen Muhiudeen’s Governance Matters , Jacqueline Surin’s Shape of a Pocket
    • Nowadays, we can write our opinions on blogs: the Huffington Post, Mashable, Global Voices, Conversations for a Better World, Malaysia Today
    • Bloggers: Jeff Ooi, Kenny Sia, Rocky’s Bru, Kickdefella, Marina Mahathir, Gawker, Perez Hilton, Copy Blogger
    • Newsletters etc.
    (c) DC Publications Sdn Bhd
  • 4. WHAT YOU NEED? 1
    • a strong personal viewpoint – your identity in print:
      • “ Yes, racism and racists have no place in our society. The majority of us accept that, but what about the minority who continue to spew messages of hatred and poison the minds of others?” Citizen Nades’ column (30/08/2010) “No place for racists and racism”
    • objectivity not needed, personal bias allowed
    • but support with facts
    • like being a lawyer  understand opposing viewpoints but convince readers your viewpoint is right
    • original viewpoint – Robin Givhan in The Washington Post
    (c) DC Publications Sdn Bhd
  • 5. WHAT YOU NEED? 2
    • Voice – not to be confused with personal viewpoint
    • Voice is writing style – your personality in print
    • Most people have the same writing and speaking voice – some don’t
    • Citizen Nades, Tony Pua, Raja Petra K, Art Buchwald ( Washington Post )
    • To get good  practise, so write!
    • Read your work out loud
    • Get others to read it / get feedback
    (c) DC Publications Sdn Bhd
  • 6. WHAT YOU NEED? 3
    • Language
    • Ability to self edit
    • Ability to keep to the word count
    • Focus
    • Refer to facts – research, interviews, read!
    • Be critical
    • Personalize  anecdotes
    • Be passionate
    • Provide solutions
    (c) DC Publications Sdn Bhd
  • 7. THE STRUCTURE OF AN OPINION 1
    • Beginning - well-crafted, attention grabbing (the nut graph), engage your readers to want to know more
    • The story – how well can you sustain your readers’ attention?
      • The central conflict and smaller conflicts
      • What is your purpose?
      • How do you want the reader to feel?
      • What do you want the reader to remember the most?
    • Who what when where how why?
    • Make every word count
    (c) DC Publications Sdn Bhd
  • 8. THE STRUCTURE OF AN OPINION 2
    • The ending – predictable?
    • “ Law of the jungle” 15 Oct 2008 (p 12)
        • “ The most recent on the Penans is a blockade staged against Interhill in Middle Baram, ostensibly to prevent the destruction of their last remaining rainforests.
        • Perhaps, this is the only reason for the blockade. Or just possibly (for I am known to be whimsical), it might be also to protect their women from further indignities.”
    (c) DC Publications Sdn Bhd
  • 9. WHAT ELSE?
    • It’s not about you
      • shared experiences should point to larger issues
      • self-revelation works if it involves the readers
      • no venting
      • not a confessional
    • Handle criticism well
    • Failure is only delayed success
    (c) DC Publications Sdn Bhd
  • 10. THANK YOU - THE END Daniel Chandranayagam [email_address] (c) DC Publications Sdn Bhd

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