The authors of Op-ed pieces present a problem and state how the problem has an impact on society. In order to strengthen their arguments, authors will use many rhetorical devices such as logical reasoning, statistical analysis, sound research, or expert quotes to support their claim. Then, the authors provide a clear analysis that explains how the evidence they have provided supports their argument. These authors will follow this procedure of evidence then analysis several times to support their claim. One of the Op-ed articles had an extensive autobiographical component and in doing so the author was able to achieve his credibility which is an effective method to convince the audience. To conclude their argument, these authors will restate the main points and deliver a possible solution to their targeted audience. The authors’ tone for this type of writing shows their commitment and passion for the specified problem.
The Op-ed is a genre that enables authors to present their ideas to a readership through the art of persuasion. It is a genre that allows for the use of rhetoric which is a very powerful and useful method to deliver a message to the reader. It is also a genre that has at its core an inherent bias based on the author’s perspective on a specific issue. It is in this sense that the reader should always be aware that within an Op-ed piece the goal of the author is to convince the audience of his or her perspective and to leave the audience with a sense of passion or intrigue toward the specific topic. As a norm, the Op-ed genre aims to convince the reader.
Since the Op-ed genre allows for an author to argue for a specific claim within an issue, I focused on an issue that I am passionate about – global climate change. I searched for Op-eds that were related to this issue and found a range of opinions and perspectives expressed surrounding this issue. I noticed that the Op-ed articles that I found within the global climate change umbrella had overall a sense of urgency and alarm. The solutions presented in each article varied and illustrated the interconnectedness of global climate change in all aspects of society. I realized that the articles I selected supported my stance on the topic I chose. I found that in this regard, Op-eds had an inherent bias. As the targeted audience, I didn’t read or use articles that denied global climate change. I selected articles that acknowledged and supported my view that global climate change is a very real and urgent problem.
I identified how rhetorical analysis was used within this genre and realized how I could implement the same type of analysis within my own writing. I was able to use this technique in a presentation for my Public Speaking class. I focused on Local Law 97 which is the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions for about 50,000 residential and commercial buildings throughout New York City. I used sources from several government departments to give my claim credibility. In doing so, I felt that my presentation persuaded my audience of the importance and necessity for the law to be followed. I ensured that I appealed to my audience’s emotions as I made clear the connection between current and future prosperity is dependent on ensuring that this law is properly followed.
I would like to continue my growth as a writer by taking more classes like English Composition I. Since English is my second language, I do not have as firm of a foundation in the mechanics and norms of English in comparison to native speakers. Despite this deficit, I truly enjoy learning English. I want to write grammatically correct and acquire the tools I need to express my thoughts and feelings on paper. I want to write in a way that my reader can clearly understand. I want to write more effectively as I have difficulty connecting ideas and sentences. Some challenges that I have are: coming up with unrelated ideas from brainstorming, failing to draw strong connections between ideas, and having weak or no transitions between paragraphs.
To become a better and more effective writer, I need to read more in English. I still read mainly in Korean and I realize how reading more in English I can start to learn the patterns in writing. I can also watch videos that explain specific writing techniques. I can participate in more writer’s workshops and share my ideas with others. I can also read different genres in English to learn new techniques and styles of writing.
I realized that by focusing on the Op-ed genre and learning about the way the genre functions was powerful. It directly impacted the way I was able to express my own ideas on an issue I was interested in.