Expressing our individuality, and voicing opinions is key to staying true to oneself in this world, where often people merely piggyback onto others’ judgments without so much as a forethought. An ‘Op Ed’ is one of the most powerful instruments in interaction and socialization without contact; a chance to bring others to your side of the wall. So what exactly is an “Op-Ed Meaning And How To Write One?”
What Is An Op-Ed?
An editorial is an article that also includes the opinions and stances of the editors or publishers. An Op-Ed is a biased essay or article that gives us the author’s point of view on the chosen topic. Op-Ed stands for ‘opposite the editorial page’, or just ‘opposite editorial’, based on its initial format of printing.
Where Do We Come Across Op-Eds?
For every editorial published in a newspaper, its corresponding Op-Ed was printed on the page across that. The op-ed is usually published when it has a viewpoint that differs from the original editorial. However, in recent times, we do come across instances when an op-ed is printed independently, unaccompanied by the editorial. In this case, It gives us the opportunity to understand the perspective of someone well-versed in the chosen topic.
How Are Op Eds Useful?
Op-Eds help us put forth a perspective that is either uncommon, in which case it can help build a case for it to make it more popular, or if it is in fact a fairly supported angle, it creates more buzz and can assist in converting people to your side via valid argument and facts. Therefore, we can use Op-Eds in a variety of different fields, to promote businesses, or control the competition. Eg: to support local small businesses as opposed to large power-hungry corporations, or to run successful political campaigns
How To Write An Op-Ed?
To write an Op-Ed, one must be primed and briefed on the topic of the editorial, and be inclined to write an article that explains their stance with brevity and clarity on that subject. They must have a firm outlook, and portray it with maximum clarity, in a simple way that is to the point, and yet is perfectly sensible, without any malicious language, content, or misinformation.
Here is your step-by-step guide to writing the perfect Op-Ed for every concern in 10 comprehensive steps.
Make sure you have a firm grasp of the language in which the article is going to be published. There are inevitable differences in writing and speaking the same language, as well as accounting for slang ingrained in your daily usage; ensuring you have professional proficiency in the language will increase your chances of being published.
Once you know the theme of the editorial, decide your opinion and the side you are advocating. Eg: if you are talking about any new law or legislature that is being passed, choose a firm stance for or against that law. Assertively and unmistakably stating your personal opinion and belief is key to writing a successful Op-Ed.
Research well. Every argument you make, as to why you are for or against the notion, must have proof and substantial evidentiary support to make your point valid. Never write a statement that can be mistaken for a fact, for if disproven, it will negatively affect your credibility.
Organize the structure of your editorial. You can’t mention all the facts in bullet points and then begin elaborating on each one individually. There needs to be interconnectivity and flow between all parts of your editorial that makes the piece cohesive.
Know your audience and demographic. Depending on the theme, and where your Op-Ed might be published, the language, anecdotes, humor, and references you use need to cater to your readers. If the piece only pertains to senior citizens, do not try to use gen z references of tik-toks or memes; this will only take up word space in your essay, and will not deliver.
Every paragraph should highlight a different part and the reason for your take on it. Begin each one with a hard-hitting line that cannot be ignored, and can appeal to the masses of your target demographic.
Follow the ABCs of writing a gripping and engaging article. Hold their attention by modulating your tone.
Use your essay as though it is a billboard. Utilize the prime real estate of your pages, the main body to present facts in ways that connect the situation to a large variety of readers; relatability leads to empathy and more trust and belief in the piece.
Provide context to your audience. Understanding the background and related history is imperative to make a stance, and the purpose of the Op-Ed is to ensure that the majority of the readers take a stand favorable to that of the thought piece itself.
Some things to keep in mind while writing the essay are:
- Analyze your theme and determine the usage of relevant statistics, and anecdotes, and know if and when to use humor.
- Do not generalize any information and proof, write with simplicity and clarity.
- Make certain that your ending and conclusion are as strong as your beginning, and do not gradually begin falling flat to your readers.
- Address the opposition stance and justify why the counterarguments one might make are negligible, or not as valid in comparison.
Review your essay at the end of each paragraph individually, and finally, once you have written the first draft. Ensure you have not used slang or derogatory language that will insult any category of readers. Taking a stand for or against a controversial topic does not give you the liberty of being callous with your words, especially on sensitive topics such as political outlooks or on laws about to be amended.
After writing the first draft, read through it thrice-
Once for reviewing the validity of all facts, the lucidity of the overall article, and the vocabulary used;
The second time to review grammar and sentence structures;
Lastly as a final read-through for the draft, with a set of fresh eyes and a blank slate, read it as though you are for the first time, and as someone who is a layman for that subject matter.
An Op-Ed can help make or break campaigns, help resuscitate a business that’s close to shutting down, and simply help spread awareness about certain important topics of discussion. Writing a well-researched, powerful Op-Ed is a skill that can help in your professional life even outside of the publishing world; it can help you present your standpoint respectably and sensibly, by making a legitimate case for it. Using the aforementioned brief steps, you too can write Op-Eds that make an impact.
Q. How long can an Op-Ed be?
Ans. An Op-Ed cannot be too long; it has to be brief to guarantee reader engagement till the end, and it usually ranges from 200 to 750 words.
Q. Can I include stories?
Ans. It depends on the theme. Anecdotes would be a preferred method. Rather than the entire Op-Ed being a story, use anecdotes that help in maintaining the integrity of the article.
Q. How to do a final check before submitting?
Ans. 1. Check for any grammatical errors
2. Make sure you check your article for plagiarism
3. Make a final check of whether your point has been made
4. Check the word count and any formatting requirements necessary.
Q. Should I add references?
Ans. Yes, for any factual evidence, provide other hyperlinks that give more information about the topic; this ensures you don’t plagiarize any content or other copyright issues.