How To Write an Opinion Editorial (Op-Ed)
An opinion editorial can be written by anybody! It’s literally an article that expresses an opinion. If you have an opinion, you can write an editorial. But it’s important to follow a few rules and know how to get the op-ed placed for publication.
- Editors are most interested in something newsworthy locally or nationally.
- Make your point concisely: the ideal length for an op-ed is typically 700 words or less.
- We recommend following the TACT guidelines:
- T: Thesis — What point are you making?
- A: Address misperceptions — Are you debunking any misperceptions that stand in readers’ way on this topic?
- C: Citations — Are you citing factual material from trusted sources to back up your point? Are you providing links to this material?
- T: Target audience — Are you considering a target audience and using the right language and tone to reach them?
- Submit for publication:
- Generally a newspaper or magazine will list the way to submit your opinion editorial to the paper (it’s usually a general email address). Some larger papers employ “opinion editors” who decide what editorials the publication will accept and print but generally these editors receive submissions through a separate email address which is usually listed on the paper’s masthead. If it’s a small town newspaper, you might know the owner or editor. Definitely use your personal connections to help ascertain the best way to submit your article.