How To Write Your Op Ed Piece

How To Write Your Op Ed Piece



Op-ed articles, also known as​ opinion/editorial articles, are a​ great way for aspiring writers to​ publicize their work and, in​ exchange, receive an​ amazing amount of​ publicity for free. You can write an​ op-ed piece and get it​ publicized provided you follow these simple rules.

Before you begin to​ write, you need to​ target which newspaper you would like your article to​ appear in. You stand a​ greater chance of​ getting into your local paper than in​ a​ national publication like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or​ USA Today. Still, if​ one of​ the national publications appeals to​ you, then give it​ a​ try.

1. Follow the rules. Every newspaper has guidelines on what their specific requirements are. Familiarize yourself with these guidelines and stringently hold yourself to​ their requirements. Failure to​ do so will mean you will be rejected.

2. Write with precision. Newspapers do not like verbose writers, unless it​ is​ for a​ feature piece and it​ is​ for a​ high end publication, such as​ The Washington Post. Short, crisp, and to-the-point sentences are the order of​ the day.

3. Write with persuasion. Whatever your point of​ view, write persuasively. Do not muddy the waters by giving vague answers. if​ you are discussing a​ problem, count on offering the solution. Expect that your article may occupy one half of​ the op-ed page; the other half may feature a​ rebuttal or​ an​ opposite point of​ view.

4. Double space. as​ with any submitted writing, you must double space your text. Expect the editors to​ work their magic on your piece, including removing entire paragraphs to​ make everything fit.

5. Submit a​ cover letter. Yes, you more than likely will have to​ snail mail your letter, so send it​ off with a​ cover letter to​ the appropriate contact person.

6. Your contact information. Your name, address, city, state, country, zip, contact numbers, and email address are all needed. More than likely none of​ this will be included in​ the piece, but they do need a​ way to​ get back to​ you.

7. Resource box. Unlike ezine sites where you can write a​ lengthy discourse on who you are and have links to​ your site, it​ is​ likely that only a​ one or​ two word sentence about "who you are" will be included. So, consider writing your own resource box and hope that they like it. [You can count on it​ being changed if​ they do not.] it​ could be written something like this:
John Doe is​ a​ Detroit based freelance writer affiliated with Writer's Write.
Yes, that may be about all the information they want to​ share about you with their readers.

More than likely you will know within two weeks time if​ your piece will get published. Some papers will contact you to​ let you know if​ you have been approved/rejected, while others will simply publish your article. Do not hound them as​ you may want to​ become a​ regular contributor.

What is​ the next step?

1. if​ you are approved, you can expect letters to​ the editor -- from readers -- in​ response to​ your piece to​ begin appearing in​ subsequent editions of​ the newspaper. Do not be surprised if​ letters begin arriving in​ your home or​ place of​ business too. Expect phone calls from people who may want to​ discuss your point of​ view further, or​ invite you to​ speak in​ front of​ their group, etc.

2. if​ you are rejected, consider modifying and resubmitting your piece or​ forwarding it​ to​ another publication. Accept criticism about your writing style, if​ offered.

3. Op ed pieces are sometimes picked up by syndicators such as​ Reuters or​ Google News; your piece can have a​ life well beyond the local newspaper. if​ you hit the national press, you can count on your article having widespread coverage. Do a​ search on Google a​ few days after publication and you may discover how wide a​ net your piece has cast. if​ that is​ the case, good for you!

Above all, op-ed article can help shape local or​ national opinion, so think of​ the greater good you can do as​ well as​ the publicity you just may receive when crafting your article. Although newspaper circulation continues to​ drop, online versions of​ these same newspapers continue to​ grow, thereby giving you exposure far beyond the intended market.




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