For a different type of writing assignment, I sometimes ask students to compose an op-ed essay that succinctly communicates their point of view for readers of a general publication. “Op-ed” usually refers to a signed opinion essay by an outside contributor that appears “opposite the editorial page” of unsigned opinions by the publication’s staff. Trinity students and faculty have submitted op-ed essays to local news publications, such as the The Hartford Courant (see submission guidelines, the recent op-ed page, and search for “Fresh Talk” op-eds by writers younger than 30 years of age) and the CT Mirror “Commons” section.
See helpful advice from these guides to writing effective op-ed essays:
- Advocates for Youth, “Writing an Op-Ed”
- Duke University, “How to Write an Op-Ed Article”
- Fairleigh Dickinson University, “Want to Write an Op-Ed Piece?”
When preparing an op-ed essay for a course writing assignment, I require students to cite sources (for internal fact-checking only; remove them before submitting to a newspaper) and usually require a 1,000-word essay (to be shortened to an appropriate length before submitting to a publication).