#TuesdayTips – Writing opinion pieces with Evan Burley

Evan Burley ’22

Writing opinion articles are quite fun–you have significantly more creative control with your writing, as opposed to covering hard news or feature stories.

However, journalists writing opinion pieces are still held to a standard of professionalism, and certain lines should not be crossed.

Evan Burley, senior Opinion Editor for The Simpsonian, has a few tips for how student journalists can write opinion articles in an organized and ethical way.

Have a Game Plan

“Structure is key; without it, you might be ranting rather than writing an opinion piece,” Burley said.

Use Evidence

“If you’re arguing a point, properly back yourself up,” Burley said. “Lots of people have opinions, but the ones worth reading are the ones with substance.”

Always Proof-read

“Get other sets of eyes on your work. It could be a roommate, a friend, your editor, or even reading it aloud to yourself,” Burley said. “Not everything that sounds great in your head translates well on paper.”

Fact-Check

“Much like gathering plenty of evidence, make sure any research or articles you include is accurate and in context,” Burley said. “Remember, other people are going to read what you write, and there’s nothing worse than being loud and wrong.”

Write with a Purpose

“Ask yourself whether this is something to be published or better in your journal,” Burley said. “That might sound harsh, but it’s important to ask yourself why you’re writing what you are, why it needs to be seen by others and what kind of impact it might have.”

You can read opinion articles published in The Simpsonian in the link below:

https://thesimpsonian.com/category/opinion/

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