Due: Monday, April 1

Op-Ed/Opinion Essay for City Tech Students

In the first part of this semester, we devoted our time to thinking about discourse communities, and wrote in Project 1 about how we belong to them. During this portion of the semester, we are exploring the genre of the op-ed (also referred to as an opinion essay in The New York Times and elsewhere) to consider how these authors present their opinions and arguments persuasively with support of experience, evidence, and credible sources.

For Project 2, you will write an op-ed/opinion essay for City Tech students that could appear in a (real or imagined) student publication at our college. For your op-ed/opinion essay, you will choose and take a position on an issue that is relevant to your peers here at City Tech. As you write, be sure to think about venue, audience, tone, diction, etc. Your op-ed/opinion essay will follow the conventions of the genre, including

  • writing approximately 750 words
  • including a thesis statement
  • using research to support your position
  • quoting from at least two or three of your sources
  • making reference to at least one counterargument you anticipate an other side making
  • using the appeals of logos, ethos, and pathos to develop a persuasive argument. 

In your op-ed/opinion essay, use in-text citations OR linking (not both), and include an bibliography (note: the bibliography is not part of the 750-word count minimum). For each entry in your bibliography, include a short explanation of what the source is, what information it provides, and how you used it in your op-ed/opinion essay.

To prepare for this project, I ask that you also write a proposal post (instructions to follow) so that you share a topic and plan. You will present your proposal to the class to get feedback and suggestions. We will meet one-on-one to discuss your project before it is due. When you submit your project, I will ask you to submit a cover letter in which you reflect on and evaluate your work (questions to follow).

Important preview: For Project 3, you will use what you learned from your research and writing in Project 2 to create a multimodal text. That means you’ll be working with your topic for most of the rest of the semester. Please choose something you’ll want to continue working on!

Here are the grading criteria/checklist items for this project:

Your op-ed/opinion essay…

  • has a clear thesis. 
  • uses sources, evidence, and details to back up your thesis.
  • quotes directly from your sources at least two or three times, integrating the quotations into your work, and uses in-text citations or linking to give credit to your sources.
  • includes a counterargument.
  • uses logos, ethos, and/or pathos (the three appeals) effectively.
  • uses tone, language, grammar, and sentence structure appropriate for your genre, audience, and purpose.
  • includes a bibliography.
  • uses the citation and bibliography style relevant to your major (MLA, APA, etc).
  • meets the required length in the essay, approximately 750 words.
  • has been carefully proofread.


Proposals due: Wednesday, March 13

Presentation of proposals: Wednesday, March 13, and Monday, March 18

First draft due for review in class: Wednesday, March 20

Developed draft due for review in class: Wednesday, March 27

Finished draft due: Wednesday, April 3

Finished project due: Friday, April 5

Photo Credit:

Opinions For Sale” by Still the Oldie via Flickr under the license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Deed.

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