We call them Op-Eds, because they are printed to the right of the Editorial. Usually, they are not paid for, but give you wonderful practice in getting an article published, and also getting your by-line out toi the public. Here’s what makes it publishable:
THE CHOICE OF TOPIC: It must be relevant to the readers. Give careful attention to the subject matter.
BE RELEVANT: It should be a topic that touches on a larger issue .It’s not just responding to some decision you’ve read about – that’s for a Letter to the Editor. Address the larger issue – maybe personal freedom versus a desire to protect children, if the decision was to prevent children accessing pornographic sites. Address the issues behind the news, if you want to increase your chances of having your Op-Ed published.
BE UNIQUE AND TIMELY: You must address the events of the world around you through your unique perspective. Address your topic as only you can. Are you an attorney? Give the legal perspective. Are you a parent? Look at the issue through a parent’s eyes.
LETTER OR OP-ED/ One characteristic that distinguishes a letter to the editor from an op-ed is, that while a letter can be filled with angry rhetoric, an op-ed must present a reasoned argument. If you want to get published, you must learn to filter out emotion without losing passion. Remove anger and irrationality, but leave in the passion for your subject that caused you to write it in the first5 place.
BE CONSTRUCTIVE: Make sure you are not just being critical. Try to offer a solution. Try to avoid writing in the first person singular, and eliminate “I think”, “in my opinion”. An op-ed does offer your opinion, but if it’s written in the first person, it may be rejected. Overt-use of “I. Use the third person or first-person plural. gives the piece a “know-it-all” tone.
WORD COUNT: Usually, it is between 500 – 800 words, so learn to focus. Don’t forget to document references or quotes. Be able to back up statements you attribute to others.
Writing Op-Eds is a wonderful way to express an opinion in a powerful forum.
Happy writing. I am always happy to hear your comments and to help you (free) with any writing problems. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org My latest novel is “Searching for Sarah” and my own favorite of my 14 books is “Esther- a Jerusalem Love Story” which was out-of-print for many years, but is now available on Amazon or from my Israeli publisher, Chaim Mazo.
One thought on “WRITING AN OPINION PIECE”
Thank you Dora…I’ll pass this on to some budding writers I know. Greetings from Canada. Hope you are well,