Editorials and Columns
An Editorial is usually
written by the editor or one of the writers on his or her behalf
and it represents the views of the newspaper.
Also in editorial section, you will find other peoples
opinions on the same subject or others. They are known as columns.
Editorial stories have:
- Introduction, body, solution and conclusion like other news
- An objective explanation of the issue, especially complex
- A timely news angle.
- Opinions from the opposing viewpoint that refute directly
the same issues the writer addresses.
- Good editorials engage issues, not personalities and refrain
from name-calling or other petty tactics of persuasion.
- Alternative solutions to the problem or issue being criticized.
Anyone can gripe about a problem, but a good editorial should
take a proactive approach to making the situation better by using
constructive criticism and giving solutions.
- A solid and concise conclusion that powerfully summarizes
the writer's opinion. Give it some punch.
Types of Editorials
- Editorials of argument and persuasion take a firm stand on
a problem or condition. They attempt to persuade the reader to
think the same way. This editorial often proposes a solution
or advises taking some definite action.
- Editorials of informaiton and interpretation attempt to explain
the meaning or significance of a situation or news event. There
is a wide variety of editorials in this category, ranging from
those which provide background information to those which identify
- Editorials of tribute, appreciation or commendation praise
a person or an activity.
- Editorials of entertainment have two categories. One is the
short humourous treatment of a light topic. The second is a slightly
satirical treatment of a serious subject. (Satire is the use
of sarcasm or keen wit to denounce abuses or follies. While it
ridicules or makes fun of a subject with the intent of improving
of an Editorial
Editorials are written according to a well-established formula.
- Introduction - state the problem
- Body - expresses an opinion
- Solution - offers a solution to the problem
- Conclusion - emphasizes the main issue
Here are some additional tips on structuring your opinion
- Lead with an Objective Explanation of the Issue/Controversy.
Include the five W's and the H. Pull in facts and quotations
from sources which are relevant.
- Present Your Opposition First. As the writer you disagree
with these viewpoints. Identify the people (specifically who
oppose you). Use facts and quotations to state objectively their
opinions. Give a strong position of the opposition. You gain
nothing in refuting a weak position.
- Directly Refute The Opposition's Beliefs. You can
begin your article with transition. Pull in other facts and
quotations from people who support your position. Concede a valid
point of the opposition which will make you appear rational,
one who has considered all the options.
- Give Other, Original Reasons/Analogies. In defense
of your position, give reasons from strong to strongest order.
Use a literary or cultural allusion that lends to your credibility
and perceived intelligence.
- Conclude With Some Punch.Give solutions to the problem
or challenge the reader to be informed.
quotation can be effective, especially if from a respected source.
A rhetorical question can be an effective concluder as well.
While it ridicules or makes fun of a subject with the intent
of improving it.
write an opinion piece
Think of an opinion
piece as a persuasive essay:
the writer has an opinion or a point of view on an
issue and he or she wants to convince the reader to agree. This
is not as easy as it may seem.
- You must research your topic and
find out whats happening and what went on in the past.
- You must know the facts and be able
to refer to them in your argument.
Pretend you are a lawyer and you are making a case before
a jury. You will want to convince the members of the jury to
believe that your client is right . Therefore you need to present
as much evidence as you can that proves the point.
You can do the same when you write a column or editorial.
Heres an example:
Lets say you want to write an editorial supporting capital
punishment. You want to convince your readers that someone who
commits murder should receive a death sentence.
The first thing you have to do is start collecting the facts.
- When did Canada put an
end to capital punishment? What were the arguments used to do
- When did people start
talking about re-introducing the death penalty?
- What cases have prompted
debate on this issue? What examples can they find to support
their argument for capital punishment?
You must also consider the other side of the argument.
- What would people who
oppose the death penalty say?
- How would they respond
to their points?
- start with a basic premise or theme.
- use facts and details to back up
your opinion and help you make your case.
- Leave your readers with a lasting
impression -- a strong point that will make them consider your
point of view.
- Dont need to preach to the
reader. A good editorial will make readers take notice of the
situation and form their own opinions on the issue.
The possible topics for editorials and columns are almost
endless because everyone has an opinion on everything! They could
- legal or political issues such as
gun control or Canadas economy, minority rights or international
- issues facing people in your own
community such as a decision to demolish a historic building
or the controversy surrounding a new law against skateboarding.
LOOK through stories in your daily paper or in monthly editions
own opinions. Opinions are
based on what you have read and what you already know or believe.
Then you can put
those views down in an editorial or column of your own!