Substituting Artificial Sweeteners Persuasive OpEd Guidelines
Guidelines for this assignment:
Create an opinion piece or editorial (ìop-edî) appropriate for an educated lay audience (i.e., non-nutrition experts with a high school diploma or college degree) appropriate for publication by a lay media outlet. (Examples: USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Time Magazine, The Hill, The Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Times, Washington Post, Arizona Daily Star, The Medium)
Opening Paragraph – should include your opening ‘hook’ and overall thesis, or point of your paper
Opening Statement (built around a news ‘hook’) May include aspects like:
Use the news and don’t be afraid to get personal
Tell a dramatic anecdote or reference pop culture
Use an anniversary or cite a new study
Thesis (Statement of argument ñ what is your position? ñ either explicit or implied)
Substituting Artificial Sweeteners Persuasive OpEd
Argument section: These should be three separate reasons, or points, for your argument rather than three ways of supporting the same ‘reason’. Based on evidence (such as stats, news, reports from credible organizations, expert quotes, scholarship, history, first-hand experience) organized around three main paragraphs:
1st Point (evidence, evidence, conclusion)
2nd Point (evidence, evidence, conclusion)
3rd Point (evidence, evidence, conclusion)
[Note: In a simple, declarative op-ed (ìpolicy X is bad; hereís whyî), this may be straightforward. In a more complex commentary, the 3rd point may expand on the bigger pictureóhistorical context, global/geographic picture, mythological underpinnings, etc.óor may offer an explanation for a mystery that underpins the argumentñ eg., why a bad policy continues, in spite of its failures.]
ìTo Be Sureî paragraph (in which you pre-empt your potential critics by acknowledging any flaws in your argument, and address any obvious counter-arguments.)
Conclusion (often circling back to your opening statement)
Modified from the Op-Ed Project: http://www.theopedproject.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=68&Itemid=80
Tips for Op-Ed Writing
- Own your expertise
Know what you are an expert in and why – but donít limit yourself. Consider the metaphors that your experience and knowledge suggest.
- Stay current
Follow the news ñ both general and specific to your areas of specialty. If you write about Haiti, read the Haitian press. If you write about pop culture, read the media that cover it.
- Cultivate a flexible mind
Remember that a good idea may have more than one news hook, indeed if the idea is important enough it can have many. So keep an eye out for surprising connections and new news hooks ñ the opportunity may come around again.
- Use plain language
Jargon serves a purpose, but it is rarely useful in public debate, and can confuse your argument. Speak to your reader in straight talk.
- Respect your reader
Never underestimate your readerís intelligence, or overestimate their level of information. Recognize that your average reader is not an expert in your topic, and that it is your responsibility to capture their attention.