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Writing Opinion Articles.ppt

Writing Opinion Articles.ppt

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Tips on Writing Great Opinion Articles
Tips on Writing Great Opinion Articles

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Published by: African Centre for Media Excellence on Apr 09, 2013
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08/02/2013

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Writing Opinion Articles

ACME, 11 October 2012

Definition
• An opinion is a writer’s point of view. ---- Examples  Commentaries  Letters  Editorials  Cartoons/satire  Blogs  Tweets

Definition (1)
• Opinion articles are commentaries written either by newspaper/news agency staff writers, including regular columnists, or guest writers who have something compelling to say. • Sometimes referred to as “op-ed” articles.” • 750 words average length + photo + bio + address

Introduction
• Solicited opinions/commentaries (experts) • Unsolicited opinions (published for topicality, originality, power of argument, expertise/authority, style, wit …)

• Good opinions highlight problems, showcase progress, explain, and/or propose solutions.

Questions for Opinion Writers
a) b) c) d) e) Why should we readers trust you? (Expertise) Can you back up what you say? (Evidence) What is new? (Different, original, compelling) So what? (Why anyone sh’d care/significance) Do you consider opposing viewpoints? (Empathy, changing minds) f) How will your ideas and arguments contribute to the conversation? (Value)

Tips for Opinion Writing
 Own your expertise (know what you’re expert in but don’t limit yourself)  Stay current (follow the news)  The perfect is the enemy of the good  Flexibility of mind (beware of connections)  Use plain language (words matter)  Respect your reader

Basic Opinion Article Structure
• Lede/introduction (built around news hook) • Thesis (statement of argument – explicit or implied) • Argument (based on evidence – stats, news, history, reports, experience) • “To Be Sure” paragraph (pre-empt critics, acknowledge any flaws) • Conclusion

Ledes/intros and News Hooks
• • • • • • • • Use the news Tell a dramatic anecdote Reference popular culture (wolokoso/swagg) Turn conventional wisdom on end Use wit & irony Use an anniversary Cite a major new study Get personal

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