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English Reading Bank

This resource is a repository of links to texts that are available at no cost to Wichita State students.

Opinion Editorials

Many of the articles in this reading bank are opinion articles, also known as op-eds. Many assume "op-ed" is short for Notebook and penopinion-editorial, but it  actually stands for opposite-editorial because op-eds in newspapers were printed on the page opposite from the editorial page. We have included some information below to provide context for the op-eds in this reading bank.

Q: What is an op-ed?

A: An op-ed, or opinion piece, is a written expression of an individual’s or group’s opinion on a matter of public interest. Op-eds bring local, national and world events into perspective for readers and commonly offer a recommendation or solution to a controversy or problem. Op-eds appear opposite the editorial page in most newspapers and can be serious, satirical or light-hearted. Generally about 600-900 words, op-eds present a single, clear point of view, not objective discussion of both sides of an issue. Op-eds are written to grab the attention of various groups — such as legislators, opinion leaders, business owners, or the community-at-large — and urge them to consider or take action on an issue. Newspaper editors select opinion pieces for publication based on interest to readers, quality of writing, originality of thought, timeliness, and freshness of viewpoint. Additionally, consideration is given to the number of articles already published on the topic, the strength of the argument and the writer’s expertise on the issue. Magazines and radio stations/networks also offer opportunities for commentary. These editorial pieces usually require a longer lead time than newspaper op-eds.

Q: Why write an op-ed?

A: The primary purpose of writing an op-ed is to draw the public’s attention to an important issue that requires action. But there are additional benefits, such as:

  • Establishing the writer as an expert on a particular topic.
  • Gaining national media recognition for the writer’s organization. Op-eds written by Syracuse University faculty and staff help demonstrate this institution’s active participation and interest in national issues.
  • Capturing the attention of local and national opinion leaders, academic colleagues, print and broadcast media, family and friends.
  • Presenting new research or information or promoting an upcoming book.

Questions and Answers borrowed from Resource Library: Op-Eds page by Syracuse University News Services

Image credit: created by Vadim Solomakhin from Noun Project

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