Each student should write one Op-ed that they have an interest in, and that speaks to at least one theme, or several themes, as they relate to Justice, Truth, and Reconciliation. The Op-ed is each students chance to voice his or her opinion (backed up by facts and academic literature) on a topic of substantive importance.
So what is an Op-ed? An Op-ed is an opinion piece written in the first person on a topic of newsworthy importance and debate. Traditionally Op-eds have appeared in newspapers as a way to inform and stimulate public debate with the goal of shaping public policy. Most op-eds are short, between 600-700 words. However, for this assignment, the word limit is 1,000 words (approximately 2 pages, exclusive of references).
Topic: pick a substantive topic with policy importance and relevance
Address: an Op-ed should be appropriately addressed
Length: 1,000 words (approx. two pages outside of references, which will be an additional page)
Page numbers: the paper should be numbered and centered at the bottom of the page.
Citation style: Please use Chicago Manual of Style
Citations: It is expected that you will make sure that your op-ed is well grounded in fact as your credibility is important. There should be a mix of academic articles, books, policy briefs, possibly UN reports, and other news articles as needed.
1) Make a single point well.
2) Put your main point on top.
3) Tell readers why they should care.
4) Offer specific recommendations.
5) Showing is better than discussing.
6) Embrace your personal voice.
7) Play up your personal connection to the readers.
8) Use short sentences and paragraphs.
9) Avoid jargon.
10) Use the active voice.
11) Avoid tedious rebuttals.
12) Acknowledge the other side.
13) Make your ending a winner.
14) Relax and have fun.
15) Dont worry about the headline.
16) Offer graphics.
These tips are common advice on Op-ed writing. More information can be gleaned from several websites. Some sites include:
Writing Successful Op-Eds and Letters To The Editor, (DePaul University) http://newsroomold.depaul.edu/FacultyResources/OPEDTips/index.html
Want to write an op-ed piece? (Farleigh Dickinson University)
How to Write an Op-Ed and Letter to the Editor,
Writing an Op-Ed (Advocates for Youth)