Op-ed piece
Overview
An op-ed (abbreviated from opposite the editorial page) is a
newspaper article that expresses the informed opinions of writer who is usually
unaffiliated with the newspaper’s editorial board. These are different from
editorials, which are usually written by the newspaper’s editorial board
members. It is also different from a “Letter to the Editor” which consists of
readers responding to a previously-written article.
This assignment is to demonstrate your political competence by
educating the public about the issue, in order to influence public opinion and
ultimately policy. Consider possible newspaper outlets where it could be
submitted, and review the submission policies of that newspaper (usually have
length limits of 500-750 words – no more than 1000 words for this paper). These
op-ed pieces are written for the general lay public, so avoid complex or
medical jargon. You may choose to write about the health policy that you have
previously analyzed OR you may choose to write about an area in which your expertise
and passion can be used to help educate the public. Keep your writing clear and
concise (you do not need to cite references in the body of the piece but can
include 3-4 references at the end of the piece.
Include the following sections in your op-ed piece:
Identification of the topic
Identification of the media outlet you will use and its
editorial policies (not included in the body of the paper and is not
included in the word count)
Scope of the problem (how it impacts the public; personal
stories if appropriate; data/stats to provide evidence it is a problem)
Specific policy-based solutions based on evidence (be
specific; describe the pros and cons of the solutions; identify ethical or
cultural or access concerns; describe actions the reader can take; predict
what will happen if problem is not fixed)
Submit to one peer in the class for editing, and incorporate
their edits if appropriate prior to submission (identify peer and
suggestions in conclusion paragraph)

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