If you have opinions about anything, why not learn to put your views persuasively on paper? Editorials express an opinion about any current topic or issue with an element of persuasion. The author of an editorial expresses a bias, with the intention of persuasion. If no opinion exists, then an article remains an expository text. Factual information is also needed to support an editorial’s topic sentence. An editorial supported only by opinions lacks authority and would not be highly persuasive to a reader.
The main parts of an editorial are the following:
- Editorial topic:
- Intended audience:
- The purpose of editorial:
- Topic sentence:
- Supporting details (facts, opinions, analogies/examples, statistic data, etc.)
Here’s how to write an editorial in five easy steps!
1. Choose your topic carefully
For an effective editorial, choose a subject that is currently making the headlines. For example, focus on a political topic if the Presidential elections are around the corner. Also, be specific and narrow down your choice of interest with as much precision as possible. Research the selected topic further using the Internet, books, magazines, newspapers, etc. to confirm, develop, and clarify your reasons to support the topic further.
2. Declare your opinion outright
Editorials express an opinion about any current topic or issue. If no opinion exists, then the article remains an expository text. Therefore, define your agenda in clear terms right at the very beginning. Ensure that you state your opinion coherently. Remember the research papers and thesis that you wrote in college? It is time to revive your memory and draw from your thesis statement writing skills. The structure of a thesis statement in an editorial remains the same, only that the language is more informal and journalistic.
3. Build your argument
A good editorial may express your point of view, but a great one will successfully persuade others. An editorial is a kind of persuasive writing. In order to persuade people, you need to support a position using a sound argument based on sound reasoning, facts, and analogies, not diatribe or vitriol. Once you have stated your opinion, acknowledge opposing opinions and explicitly explain why you disagree with them. Make use of facts, statistics, and explanations to criticize your opponents’ views. Outright rejection without explanation is unprofessional and rude.
To build an infallible argument, not only will you require solid content, but you’ll also need to structure it articulately. You’ll need to create a balance between content and style.
4. Reinforce your argument with analogies
Nothing beats using social, cultural, or political analogies. For example, if you’re writing about controversial issues such as secret surveillance, look for similar cases in other countries and how the problem was tackled. Use such analogy to your advantage by highlighting both their similarities and differences. This will be a good time to include the consequences of a law/policy if concerned agencies do not take an appropriate action.
5. Provide possible solutions
You may have made a case for your views and disarmed your opponents’ claims. The journey still doesn’t end there. An editorial is primarily meant for constructive criticism i.e. even though it critiques a point of view; it should provide a possible alternative. For instance, if your editorial criticized the steps taken by the government to stop domestic violence in an area, you may conclude your piece by discussing other possible options. And then, build an argument and discuss why the proposed steps are better than the ones in place.
Finally, proofread and evaluate your editorial. Check to see whether the editorial displayed successful persuasive writing. Is it persuasive? Why or why not? Revise and strengthen the writing where necessary.