Writing an Editorial
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Annandale High School
Annandale, VA 22312
CHARACTERISTICS OF EDITORIAL WRITING
An editorial is an article that presents the newspaper's opinion on an issue. It reflects the majority vote of the editorial board, the governing body of the newspaper made up of editors and business managers. It is usually unsigned. Much in the same manner of a lawyer, editorial writers build on an argument and try to persuade readers to think the same way they do. Editorials are meant to influence public opinion, promote critical thinking, and sometimes cause people to take action on an issue. In essence, an editorial is an opinionated news story.
1. Introduction, body and conclusion like other news stories
2. An objective explanation of the issue, especially complex issues
3. A timely news angle
4. Opinions from the opposing viewpoint that refute directly the same issues the writer addresses
5. The opinions of the writer delivered in a professional manner. Good editorials engage issues, not personalities and refrain from name-calling or other petty tactics of persuasion.
6. Alternative solutions to the problem or issue being criticized. Anyone can gripe about a problem, but a good editorial should take a pro-active approach to making the situation better by using constructive criticism and giving solutions.
7. A solid and concise conclusion that powerfully summarizes the writer's opinion. Give it some punch.
Four Types of Editorials Will:
1. Explain or interpret: Editors often use these editorials to explain the way the newspaper covered a sensitive or controversial subject. School newspapers may explain new school rules or a particular student-body effort like a food drive.
2. Criticize: These editorials constructively criticize actions, decisions or situations while providing solutions to the problem identified. Immediate purpose is to get readers to see the problem, not the solution.
3. Persuade: Editorials of persuasion aim to immediately see the solution, not the problem. From the first paragraph, readers will be encouraged to take a specific, positive action. Political endorsements are good examples of editorials of persuasion.
4. Praise: These editorials commend people and organizations for something done well. They are not as common as the other three.
Writing an Editorial
1. Pick a significant topic that has a current news angle and would interest readers.
2. Collect information and facts; include objective reporting; do research
3. State your opinion briefly in the fashion of a thesis statement
4. Explain the issue objectively as a reporter would and tell why this situation is important
5. Give opposing viewpoint first with its quotations and facts
6. Refute (reject) the other side and develop your case using facts, details, figures, quotations. Pick apart the other side's logic.
7. Concede a point of the opposition — they must have some good points you can acknowledge that would make you look rational.
8. Repeat key phrases to reinforce an idea into the reader's minds.
9. Give a realistic solution(s) to the problem that goes beyond common knowledge. Encourage critical thinking and pro-active reaction.
10. Wrap it up in a concluding punch that restates your opening remark (thesis statement).
11. Keep it to 500 words; make every work count; never use "I"
A Sample Structure
I. Lead with an Objective Explanation of the Issue/Controversy.
Include the five W's and the H. (Members of Congress, in effort to reduce the budget, are looking to cut funding from public television. Hearings were held …)
- Pull in facts and quotations from the sources which are relevant.
- Additional research may be necessary.
II. Present Your Opposition First.
As the writer you disagree with these viewpoints. Identify the people (specifically who oppose you. (Republicans feel that these cuts are necessary; other cable stations can pick them; only the rich watch public television.)
- Use facts and quotations to state objectively their opinions.
- Give a strong position of the opposition. You gain nothing in refuting a weak position.
III. Directly Refute The Opposition's Beliefs.
You can begin your article with transition. (Republicans believe public televison is a "sandbox for the rich." However, statistics show most people who watch public television make less than $40,000 per year.)
- Pull in other facts and quotations from people who support your position.
- Concede a valid point of the opposition which will make you appear rational, one who has considered all the options (fiscal times are tough, and we can cut some of the funding for the arts; however, …).
IV. Give Other, Original Reasons/Analogies
In defense of your position, give reasons from strong to strongest order. (Taking money away from public television is robbing children of their education …)
- Use a literary or cultural allusion that lends to your credibility and perceived intelligence (We should render unto Caesar that which belongs to him …)
V. Conclude With Some Punch.
Give solutions to the problem or challenge the reader to be informed. (Congress should look to where real wastes exist — perhaps in defense and entitlements — to find ways to save money. Digging into public television's pocket hurts us all.)
- A quotation can be effective, especially if from a respected source
- A rhetorical question can be an effective concluder as well (If the government doesn't defend the interests of children, who will?)
Go to the library or any computer lab and complete the “webquest” located at
You may wonder how to write an editorial worth of reader's appreciation. We have collected the stages involved in the process of developing a newspaper article to help you with your first trial.
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What Is Editorial Essay?
Many young authors ask, "What is an editorial essay?" One must understand what editorial stands for: it is a newspaper article that tends to contain and explain author's ideas. This piece of writing can be on any topic. It usually deals with social issues. Just like in your research paper, you have to provide enough credible evidence to support your opinion.
Detailed research has to be conducted ahead to discover a particular point of view an author wishes to argue. An editorial must contain both problems description and possible solutions to it. When writing about the issue associated with obese population, the writer should end up giving specific recommendations on how to deal with this problem. He can develop a message for both those who suffer from this disorder and healthcare professionals who should handle it.
The authors speak to the local governments hoping to motivate them to act. As you can see, writing an editorial has a lot in common with writing an essay or research paper. So, in case you were good at writing in your school, college, or university papers, it would make no problem for you to come up with any writing piece, including an interesting editorial.
How to Write an Editorial Essay of Different Types?
Editorials have uncommon classification; instead of being classified by their nature, they are classified by their purposes. There is no way to obtain an answer to the question "What is editorial writing?" without learning the basics of each type. When you work on your piece, mind that you can either:
- Explain/describe/interpret the topic
Explain how the chosen newspaper article covers the specific topic. An argument should be sensitive, debatable, and controversial to attract the readers. Example: You're a high school newspaper editor who decides to interpret the recently established writing standards to your peers.
Critical thinking is what every good writer needs to create a meaningful writing piece which covers a significant problem. A good editorial criticizes specific actions or cases while providing solutions to the existing issue. The main goal is to allow the audience see the problem instead of the solution.
- Persuade the readers of the truth of the editorial's main argument
In contrast to the pieces which criticize, persuasive pieces focus on the suggested solutions without going into the problem's details. From the opening paragraph (introduction), the author should motivate his readers to take a specific action to implement the solution. Political endorsements are great examples of persuasive editorials.
Editorials of this type appreciate people or organizations that have done something special and beneficial.
Read the tips from experts below to better understand what is an editorial essay.
Tips on Writing Persuasive Editorial Essay
In the age of advanced social media and harsh competition in the writing industry, people wonder how to write a editorial for a newspaper. Hopefully, these tips and advice from the industry's expert will help young authors to master the art.
- Choose a credible newspaper which edition is no less than 100,000 copies. Try to pick newspapers read by millions of people. They tend to discuss the most relevant topics as well as provide the most recent facts and possible solutions to current problems.
- Work with controversial topics. Controversial topics are debatable, and it is a time-tested way to get readers engaged in the discussion by continuing with their own research or asking additional questions.
- Writing an editorial is about making decisions. A writer cannot take both sides of the controversial topic; pick one which you believe is correct according to your experience and knowledge.
- There are many ways to explain how to write an editorial piece. Young authors should do the same; they must offer many different solutions to keep in mind to provide people with choices. It is important to test the effectiveness of every solution before offering it.
Read the expert advice which will help to understand how to write an editorial and what makes this type of paper so special.
"To make your argument sound stronger, come up with several analogies. The author has a right to decide between cultural, social, and political analogies because people tend to trust these fields. Example: Your research problem is the effectiveness of mobile spying applications. Research similar cases in other technologically advanced countries where the majority of the population uses such tools to guarantee family's safety. Writing an editorial always includes finding solutions. Discover how other countries solved the problem."
Minyvonne Burke, Daily News, US
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How to Write an Editorial for a Newspaper?
No matter what type of editorial you choose, the newspaper article has specific features every editor should keep in mind.
- Introduction paragraph, several body paragraphs, and impressive conclusion. The structure is the same most academic essays have.
- An objective interpretation of the problem or question with the help of facts, statistics, figures, etc. Complex issues deserve more attention than simple topics.
- A timely news angle.
- Arguments provided by the opposing side aimed to prove the information is 100% objective, unbiased, and complete.
- Author's points of view written in a formal language (excellent editorials do not focus on personalities when trying to persuade the reader).
- Other possible solutions to the discussed cases obtained with the help of constructive criticism and professionalism.
- A summary which encloses with the powerful Call to Action (CTA).
Check the instructor's guidelines (word count limitations, content, and formatting) before start writing the introduction. The rest of the text provides a specific answer to the question, "How to write an editorial essay?"
Editorial Essay Topics
We would like to share top essay topics with the most interesting research problems and possible solutions to them.
- Charter Schools Are About Making Choices
Example:"Public charter schools belong to the public schooling system. It means that they follow the accepted teaching standards. These institutions must demonstrate the effectiveness of their established methods. Otherwise, public charter schools risk being closing for inability to present high achievements. It is the responsibility of local staff to educate the students in accordance with all standards of American school system."
- Reality Television Shows Develop and Alternate Reality
Example:"TV shows categorized as reality make people lose the sense of reality. Directors force the audience to believe that all challenges tackled by the players every day take place in real life, and the consequences are sometimes adverse. Studies by Dr. Gibson from Michigan University prove excessive viewing of TV shows belonging to this category result into a higher level of aggression among the general population of the United States. These shows should have different rankings to prevent adolescents from watching them."
- The Benefits of Higher Education in the U.S.
- Subprime Crisis: Causes and Consequences
- Opinion on Marijuana Legalization: Does Marijuana Help to Relax or It’s Another Harm to Human Brain?
- Problem with Banning Cigarettes
- NBA Season Summary: Preparation, Primary Goals, Expectations, Best Players, Forecasts, Results, and Discussions
- Facts That Prove Gambling Is Illegal
- Proper Treatment for Diabetes
- Why Should Government Allow Capital Punishment?
You can find more great essay examples along with powerful research papers on the professional academic writing services. Now, learn how to write a newspaper editorial step-by-step.
STEP 1. DECIDING ON YOUR TOPIC
The best idea is to select a debatable social opinion and discuss it from all possible aspects. Readers are always encouraged to read an editorial from cover to cover when it has a loud and provoking title; it's another thing to consider. Writing down all good ideas after the process of brainstorming is a must.
The topic must be up-to-date and relevant to the frequently discussed issues within one community. An interesting subject guarantees that a reader will read your newspaper editorial from cover to cover. Use only the most recent sources to grab necessary evidence from them.
The following link contains a long list of argumentative essay topics of all times which might be helpful when composing your piece.
STEP 2. STATING YOUR OPINION
Developing an editorial is pretty much developing an argumentative essay. You have to pick a debatable, recently discussed, or contradictive topic and highlight your position towards this issue using powerful evidence. A controversial subject should describe both sides of the coin. Don't lose your piece of mind and become subjective as it is unprofessional.
In the case of any difficulties, you may also count on professional writing and editing service, which will help to develop and continue the main idea of your article.
STEP 3. WRITING AN OUTLINE
Remember doing an outline for your term or research paper? Working on a newspaper article involves this stage which is done to stick to the point when new ideas appear in the text. Besides, your opinions will be organized and structured.
STEP 4. WRITING AN EDITORIAL ITSELF
Build an argument around your problem; then, select a headline that draws reader's attention automatically. You can include an exclamation mark to attract more attention. You can also put a question mark at the end. When you come to your main argument, make sure to support it with various examples or analogies. You might be interested in pointing to negative and positive aspects of the same issue.
- Apply statistics and facts taken from the primary sources you found online or in the library to assist in proving your argument.
- The most persuasive argument should be left for the end.
- Don't be passive in the rest of less powerful arguments; otherwise, your audience will lose interest to your editorial.
STEP 5. CONCLUSION, OR POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
The process of developing an editorial should end up with the conclusion. Make sure your editorial indulges in constructive criticism. When there is one point of view, there always should be another one: let's say you are talking about government's regulations aimed to reduce the number of tobacco usage. Discuss why these steps might be more effective than some others, and propose alternative regulations.
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