Writing Opinion Editorials Presentation by Amy Schalet, PhD
Handouts from Presentation
Places to Submit Op-Eds
- The Op-Ed Project: Submission Information for 126 Top Online and Print Publications in the United States
- The Academic Minute: Submission Guidelines
- The Conversation: Submission Guidelines, Further Information about The Conversation
Examples of Op-Eds
- "Caring, Romantic American Boys" by Amy Schalet, April 6, 2012
- "What Causes Girls to Enter Puberty Early" by Louise Greenspan and Julianna Deardorff, February 5, 2015
Tips from the New York Times
- "Tips for Aspiring Op Ed Writers" by Bret Stephens, August 25, 2017
Tips from PEP's Op-Ed Panel
- Consult the The Op-Ed Project, an excellent resource on writing an submitting op-eds
- Write in a jargon-free manner, and use teaching skills for non-academic audiences.
- Check on the space limit (typically 600-800 words).
- Be willing to work and rework your piece to get it under the word cut-off.
- It is difficult to place a piece in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, but it is not as difficult in the major regional newspapers, especially with research expertise.
- Submit a cover letter that explains to the editors why your op-ed is worth printing.
- Explain how you contribute to an existing debate.
- One structure that you might follow is the following:
Make one main point.
Provide three examples.
Return to main point.
Additional Tips for Writing and Placing Op-Eds
by Bill McKibben, scholar-in-residence, Environmental Studies Program, Middlebury College
- Keep it current: Be sure your topic is relevant to current news.
- Be straightforward: There’s no room for subtlety in an op-ed piece.
- Keep it short: 600-750 is the word limit; also, use short sentences and short paragraphs, with each one of your paragraphs offering evidence to support your point.
- Make your point: Preferably in the first paragraph.
- Provide answers: Consider the questions readers are likely to have, and answer them.
- Offer anecdotes: Personal stories can help make your point.
- Present Solutions: Wrap up by recommending fixes for problems you identify.
- Get it done while the news is fresh: Give yourself one day only to complete your piece.
- You know best: Use your own area of expertise to hook into the current news topic.
- Different is good: Humorous asides, unexpected perspectives, quirky approaches are welcome.