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I support these three main ideas with data from my research or examples.Then I write an introduction that grabs the reader enough that he or she wants to continue reading.
I begin each day with the idea that I will find something to write about.
I read widely every morning to stimulate my thinking and to find national ideas that link to my research.
Once your idea is on paper, there are other issues that you need to think about.
You must be brief: Most media outlets don’t want opinion pieces longer than 800 words, especially The New York Times.
When I tell most faculty members and educators that they should write op-ed or opinion pieces, the first response is “I can’t dumb down my work.” My response?
If your work is not written in an inclusive, accessible way, how can it influence anyone?Pick up a copy of either On Writing Well by William Zinsser or Stylish Academic Writing by Helen Sword. programs would teach students how to write in a vibrant way along with how to conduct research, as the best research can’t do much unless it’s communicated effectively.Good writing is clear writing that is inclusive, not exclusionary. When writing opinion pieces, you don’t want to be detached and emotionless as so many academics are taught to be in their doctoral programs.Your intellect and passion for your topic should show, but you must support everything with data.If you want to write opinion pieces, you must become comfortable taking a stand on controversial issues. Select a prompt and respond in the front of your independent reading journal.As educators, we often think of ourselves as instilling ideas and learning in others through our teaching and research.Finally, I write a conclusion that takes a stand on the issue and pushes people to think differently.You have to be brave if you want to write opinion pieces.I know you might be wondering how you can fit your brilliant thoughts into 800 words or less, but, believe me, you can, and your writing will be much tighter and more brilliant as a result. If you see a hot topic being discussed in the media, notice a controversy brewing, are fired up about something, or have been asked by a media outlet to write an essay, you have to turn it around quickly. Most academics work slowly, and this is a hindrance if you want to write opinion pieces.You have to learn to be nimble and avoid perfection; it’s the difference between pressing your pencil hard on a piece of paper and gliding your pencil across the page to make a beautiful line.