Op/Eds Writing Editorials and Columns
An effective opinion has two requirements: a position and a passion.  <ul><li>Columns:  individual viewpoints or arguments...
Some things to remember   <ul><li>Op/eds MUST have a  thesis . Reduce your idea to one statement. </li></ul><ul><li>A good...
Some things to remember <ul><li>Don't be afraid to let your  personality  show in your article. Remember that your piece i...
The importance of  reporting :  <ul><li>&quot;The beginning of all journalism is getting out into the world and seeing liv...
The importance of  reporting : <ul><li>&quot;A lot of editorial writers try to get by on their writing or their outrage, a...
Using  chronology  for  clarity :   <ul><li>&quot;Write in a way that people could understand the intricate doings at the ...
One story , one theme:   <ul><li>&quot;You need to have a point and you need to get to it immediately. Editorials should h...
Voice   <ul><li>&quot;I like writers who maintain an independent voice, regardless of what they're writing. They may be wr...
The power of the  paragraph :   <ul><li>&quot;The paragraph is a thought. It's a pause. It's a pause to move on to another...
Endings  matter:  <ul><li>&quot;It can't just end — it needs the kind of finality that a good short story has. … The endin...
Fact-checking :  <ul><li>&quot;I don't take anybody's word for a fact. I learned early on, never trust a secondary source ...
Focusing Questions   <ul><li>To whom will this be written? Are we writing for power elites? Average readers? Or are we jus...
The Seven Questions <ul><li>3. What, exactly, are we trying to accomplish? An official response? A public change of attitu...
The Seven Questions <ul><li>4. What are we contributing to the debate? What's the added value here? Just our opinion? New ...
The Seven Questions <ul><li>5. Do we have something new to say about this? Are we advancing the conversation or just dishi...
The Seven Questions <ul><li>6. Have we fiercely attacked our own premise? Does our position survive the scrutiny? What wou...
The Seven Questions <ul><li>7. Are we stirring up a &quot;three-bowler?&quot; That borrowed phrase refers to the possibili...
Think <ul><li>“ Are we, by our imagination, our open-mindedness and our conviction, adding something to the public discuss...
What are  your  opinions?
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Opinion writing

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Opinion writing

  1. 1. Op/Eds Writing Editorials and Columns
  2. 2. An effective opinion has two requirements: a position and a passion. <ul><li>Columns: individual viewpoints or arguments, whether those held by staff writers or selected contributors </li></ul><ul><li>Editorials: a collective viewpoint. Editorials are meant to &quot;express a newspaper's convictions and to help readers synthesize the wealth of information and argument they encounter.“ </li></ul>
  3. 3. Some things to remember <ul><li>Op/eds MUST have a thesis . Reduce your idea to one statement. </li></ul><ul><li>A good op/ed will offer proof that supports the opinion. Proof can be introduced in the form of statistics, expert testimony, or personal experience. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Some things to remember <ul><li>Don't be afraid to let your personality show in your article. Remember that your piece isn't just words on a page; people will read the article if they feel they are hearing from a real person they can identify with. </li></ul><ul><li>Come up with a good last line . Come to some sort of conclusion, even if the conclusion is that the outcome of an issue will be uncertain. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The importance of reporting : <ul><li>&quot;The beginning of all journalism is getting out into the world and seeing live people dealing with real life. It's the beginning of all philosophy and it's the beginning of all journalism. It's the starting point for everything.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>--N. Don Wycliff, Chicago Tribune </li></ul>
  6. 6. The importance of reporting : <ul><li>&quot;A lot of editorial writers try to get by on their writing or their outrage, and not on their reporting. That just doesn't work. You've got to have facts. In an article, you use them to inform. In an editorial, you use facts to persuade.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>-- Michael Gartner, Ames Daily Tribune </li></ul>
  7. 7. Using chronology for clarity : <ul><li>&quot;Write in a way that people could understand the intricate doings at the International Monetary Fund. What you try to do is throw out all the junk, get down to the essential facts, and then organize them, usually in a time sequence, so you can see what flows from what.“ </li></ul><ul><li>-- Michael Gartner </li></ul>
  8. 8. One story , one theme: <ul><li>&quot;You need to have a point and you need to get to it immediately. Editorials should have one subject, and there's no need to beat it to death. … An editorial should be a 300-word essay.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>-- Mike Jacobs, Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald </li></ul>
  9. 9. Voice <ul><li>&quot;I like writers who maintain an independent voice, regardless of what they're writing. They may be writing the institution's point of view, but they are still writing as one journalist to the audience. They're not trying to say, &quot;Here I am, a group of six people. Listen to us.&quot; … I think a lot of readers are turned off by that sort of all-knowing, corporate-type voice.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>-- Bailey Thomson, Mobile (Ala.) Register </li></ul>
  10. 10. The power of the paragraph : <ul><li>&quot;The paragraph is a thought. It's a pause. It's a pause to move on to another point of another line of argument. Running thoughts together is the sign of disorganized thinking. … The paragraph is a place where, if you are reading it, you will pause, take a breath, and then move on. … The cadence is marked by paragraphs.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>-- Mike Jacobs </li></ul>
  11. 11. Endings matter: <ul><li>&quot;It can't just end — it needs the kind of finality that a good short story has. … The ending is the punctuation —What this ending does is put the last punctuation mark on your opinion, on what you think and why, and it leaves the reader with the feeling that this is intelligent, this is correct. And sometimes that requires an emotional sort of ending … it requires some passion </li></ul><ul><li>-- Dianne Donovan, Chicago Tribune </li></ul>
  12. 12. Fact-checking : <ul><li>&quot;I don't take anybody's word for a fact. I learned early on, never trust a secondary source when the primary source is available. I always live in fear I'm going to have a fact wrong. When you have a fact wrong, it diminishes the credibility of everything.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>-- Michael Gartner </li></ul>
  13. 13. Focusing Questions <ul><li>To whom will this be written? Are we writing for power elites? Average readers? Or are we just writing for ourselves? </li></ul><ul><li>What's our attitude? Are we angry? Pleased? Perplexed? Befuddled? What tone will we project? </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Seven Questions <ul><li>3. What, exactly, are we trying to accomplish? An official response? A public change of attitude? An explanation? Entertainment? </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Seven Questions <ul><li>4. What are we contributing to the debate? What's the added value here? Just our opinion? New facts? New arguments, contexts, or dimensions to consider? The best opinion is reported opinion. The power of your voice comes from the strength of your facts and the reasoning that drives your arguments. </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Seven Questions <ul><li>5. Do we have something new to say about this? Are we advancing the conversation or just dishing up warmed-over wisdom from the editorial board? Yes, we have a topic and an opinion. But do we have a solution in mind? </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Seven Questions <ul><li>6. Have we fiercely attacked our own premise? Does our position survive the scrutiny? What would be our opponents' most compelling arguments against our position?   </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Seven Questions <ul><li>7. Are we stirring up a &quot;three-bowler?&quot; That borrowed phrase refers to the possibility a reader will be so bored by the unrelenting earnestness of a newspaper article as he sits at breakfast that his face flops into his cereal bowl once, twice or, if the article is especially boring, three times. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Think <ul><li>“ Are we, by our imagination, our open-mindedness and our conviction, adding something to the public discussion? Will our mastery of those attributes today draw readers back to our editorial page tomorrow? Or, by our predictability, our self-satisfaction and our arrogance, are we short-changing our best arguments and driving our readers away?&quot; </li></ul>
  20. 20. What are your opinions?
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