1. FOCUS your column on one topic ifpossible. You can begin discussion of oneissue to invite reactions, so make sure yourreaders are clear about what they should bereacting to.2. Choose a topic that you think willINTEREST your readers. Current issuesusually work best.
3. Do your RESEARCH. A good op-edcolumn presents a well thought out andresearched, informed point of view.4. Use UNIQUE ways of expressing yourself.Present your piece creatively and in a waythat will make your readers want to at leastconsider your stance and keep reading.
5. Grab your readers’ ATTENTION. Op-edcolumns do not need to follow standardjournalistic guidelines. Open with ananecdote, a quote, an example—somethingthat will get your readers interested in whatyou have to say.6. Opening with a story is great, but be surethat at the heart of that story is yourARGUMENT and that your stated opinion isclear and follows logical flow.
7. You will need to EDIT and REWRITE yourcolumn for CLARITY, STRUCTURE andGRAMMAR. Your article should make sense toreaders other than yourself so do not be afraidto rewrite as necessary. cd
More tips1. Write with conviction: Put forward your opinion as something you truly believe in. Argue your case with conviction. Come down hard on one side of an issue. Be unequivocal. Don’t sound like a fence sitter.2. Maintain your focus: As much as possible stick to one topic or issue. That’s one way to make a strong impression on your readers and convince them that your point of view is worth considering.
3. Understand opposing viewpoints: Bemindful of arguments from all sides. Anticipateobjections to your views and deal with them withsound reasoning. If you’re not familiar with theopposing views, you will not be able to argueyour points well.4. Refer to facts: Your arguments, no matterhow logical, will not carry much weight unlessthey are backed up by facts that support yourposition. Don’t overdo this by dumping too manystatistics on your readers. Use facts from reliablesources.
5. Use analogies: These are useful for illustrating apoint, especially when the topic you are writingabout is complicated or technical. Simple analogiesfrom everyday life make the issue moreunderstandable and relevant to the reader.6. Be critical: People like reading columnists whodare to criticize people and events in real life – notnameless concepts and policies. Name names aslong as you do not libel anyone and don’t gooverboard. This works well to make your column anexciting read.
7. Do reporting: It’s possible to write columnswithout doing any reporting but the best columnsinvolve some form of reporting. When you report,you show that you were ―there‖ and that you havea good grasp of what’s on the ground. When youwrite from an ivory tower, it shows.8. Localize and personalize: Localize your storywhenever possible. Link it to some personalexperience – yours or that of someone you know.This makes the topic more real, relevant andmemorable to the reader.
9. Be passionate: Generally, readers don’t likecolumns with a soft or passive voice. Come onstrong. People want passion. They want to feelenergized. If the issue doesn’t seem to excite you,the writer, it is certainly not going to excite thereader.10. Provide solutions: Don’t just raise an issue.Offer solutions—yours or from others. Columnsthat criticize policies but offer no solutions leavereaders hanging. People read columns becausethey want to gain insight and, perhaps, findanswers. U.I.O.G.D(From various sources and personal experiences)