For anyone who couldn’t make or stay for the whole Literary Arts Festival, here is a recording of it. The first part consists of stellar student readings (including fellow student Farouk Fares sharing his artwork) and the second half is the amazing Staceyann Chin performing her brilliant material. Lots of food for thought as you work on your OpEd assignment.
By this time, you should have posted your OpEd topic. Now read some articles in the New York Times and elsewhere for research, so that you can write a draft of your OpEd by next week (3 or more paragraphs).
Here’s a great sample OpEd on Folks Who Are Hesitant to Get a Vaccine.
Note how the two authors get to their point quickly, then address the reasons people feel they do not need to get vaccinated. It’s opinionated and informative — in just a few paragraphs.
Here’s a good tip sheet for writing your OpEd piece:
Op-eds are most commonly published in daily newspapers. They are typically 600–700 words, but can be shorter. Some op-eds are written by newspaper staff or syndicated writers. Many are submitted by the publication’s readers.
Writing an Op-Ed
Start with a sentence. Try to sum up your opinion in a single sentence to begin, then think about facts and anecdotes to support your initial point.
Forget objectivity. An op-ed is about your opinion and perspective. Think of it like a legal brief; no need for objectivity. Put your argument forward in a persuasive, authoritative manner. Don’t be afraid to be passionate in arguing your point.
Be informal. Write as if you are debating with a friend. Use simple, every day language that is easy to understand. Keep in mind you are writing for a general audience that may not be as familiar with your subject as you are.
Keep it short and simple. State your opinion clearly and quickly, back it up with facts and examples, then finish up. If your op-ed is longer than 700 words, editors likely will not consider using it. The News Office can help you revise, rewrite or edit your manuscript.
The Basic Op-Ed Format
Lead paragraph: Try to grab readers right away with your first sentence; make them want to read more. Start with an interesting story or example that encapsulates your point.
Supporting paragraph(s): Now that you’ve stated your point and grabbed readers’ attention, build on your lead with facts, statistics and anecdotes.
Wrap it up: In the concluding paragraph, take your argument a step further and leave readers with information about what needs to be done next. If you’re trying to move people to action, be sure to answer the question, “What can I do?” Make the final sentence as compelling as the first one. If you started with an example, bring the story full circle by referencing your original point.
Submitting an Op-Ed
Turn to the op-ed page in the publication of your choice and submit your piece using the e-mail address listed there. Be certain to include your name, the title or affiliation that substantiates your expertise on the issue and a daytime telephone number.
Here is another, more detailed tip sheet:
Again, please also sign up for the New York Times App (free for City Tech Students) to follow news stories: New York Times account
Here’s an excellent model of an OpEd that just appeared in the NYTimes.
You could also choose to focus on an issue raised by Staceyann Chin, our LAF guest. Here are some of her poems:
Here’s an excellent article on motherhood she wrote that some of you might find of interest.