Do you enjoy reading Op-eds? Have you ever thought about writing one? Writing them is not as easy as it may seem, and to get them accepted for print is competitive business. Why? The Op-ed pages of major newspapers are read by businesspeople, scholars and those at the highest levels of government. They can sway public opinion. They attract all kinds of media, including television, radio, print and digital. If your Op-ed appears, you can become part of a local, regional or even national debate!
There are many ways to structure an Op-ed.
All however, have these parts:
1. A lead in “hook.” This is the event, the happening, situation or issue that introduces the subject matter. It can be a news story, a major new study, or relate to popular trends. The hook can also be a moving anecdote, point out a contradiction, or even be something personal that connects to something happening at a local, regional, national or global level.
2. Your opinion, or “thesis.” The term “thesis” is used loosely here. It is that statement that makes clear your argument, or the opinion you are putting forth.
3. Evidence to back up your argument or thesis. This can include things like statistics, research study results, reports from credible organizations, history or even your first hand experience.
4. A nod to the opposition. This is a part that in some way says “the other side has a point.” However, then it needs to be followed by a point with the theme “but what is more important is…” which leads back you back to your main opinion.
5. A conclusion that re-emphasizes your thesis.
As you get the hang of it, the help of editorial services can assist you in refining your Op-ed. Writing them means getting to write about what you care about. If done well, an Op-ed frames an issue to make points effectively, persuades readers, and can be part of changing public opinion, which can be part of the wave of social change. It is a way to empower people to find their voice and make a difference in the world.
If you have written them and have tips, let’s hear ’em!
Updated January 6, 2017