How to Write an Op-Ed Piece

An op-ed piece can be written for many newspapers both large and small, magazines, newsletters and websites. Op-ed means opinion editorial, and it is a written piece where a writer expresses an opinion, often about something currently in the news. It's not hard journalistic reporting, but it can give readers things to think about or another way of looking at a particular situation or event. To write an op-ed piece, you do need to know quite a bit about your topic.

Instructions

    • 1

      Read the publication you want to submit the work to, and after choosing a topic, research it fully.

    • 2

      Write your main point first. This should be the beginning of your op-ed piece and it should be interesting enough that it catches the attention of your readers. Because an op ed piece is opinion-based, you can use first person and lead with things like witty remarks or observations.

    • 3

      Show your reader why the subject is worth caring about. Demonstrate with examples and statistics that support the point you're making. Each paragraph should include some piece of information that shows the reader why the subject is important.

    • 4

      Include reasons why the issue needs to be dealt with or changed. This is generally the basis of an op-ed piece. It is not an analysis or discussion, but rather concrete ideas about why what's happening is wrong and what needs to be done about it.

    • 5

      Discuss the other side of your argument briefly. Ignoring the other side will make you lose credibility with your readers, but talking about it a little will help your argument appear stronger.

    • 6

      Summarize your opinion and argument in the last paragraph. This paragraph should leave readers with a full understanding of everything that was discussed.

    • 7

      Format your op-ed piece. You should also use the active voice whenever possible, and avoid all technical jargon that readers are not likely to understand.

Tips & Warnings

  • An op-ed piece should not be more than 750 words, but it can be much shorter than this.
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References

  • Photo Credit Rayes/Photodisc/Getty Images

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