Throughout history, editorials have inspired legislation, revealed scandals, and prompted social movements. In short, they have the power to change the course of history.
That said, writing an influential editorial is no easy feat. Your voice needs to rise above the noise to express a point of view that resonates with the reader. Good editorials inform, persuade, and even inspire.
But how do you write an editorial that makes a real impact? It’s actually relatively simple when you break it down. Continue reading to learn how to write a powerful editorial in just seven steps.
At its core, an editorial is a piece of writing that expresses an opinion on a topical issue. Editorials cover an enormous range of topics, but they all have the same goal: to encourage the reader to consider their stance and change their opinion. Therefore, the writer’s position must be vigorously and persuasively argued, based on both principle and fact.
While editorials benefit from using evidence to support their opinions, editorials should analyze evidence rather than produce it. Moreover, they should go beyond analysis to present a refreshing perspective that is contemporary yet balanced. According to Ajai Singh and Shakuntala Singh, editorials are written in a literary style where “thought is well clothed in language.”
Editorials usually appear in newspapers or magazines. However, they can also appear on TV, the radio, and the internet. Publications such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Washington Post are renowned for writing influential editorials. Editorials are very different from news articles and research papers, so they are usually placed in their own special section in most newspapers.
Editorials cover today’s most pressing social, political, legal, and economic issues. Trying to provide a contemporary perspective on a complex subject can be challenging, especially since editorials require a unique standpoint that is both eloquent and persuasive.
If you feel like writing one is a daunting task, you’re not alone!
But don’t let editorial writing intimidate you. With these seven easy steps, you’ll be ready to write a remarkable piece that will blow your reader away.
Let’s get started.
If you aren’t yet familiar with the four basic types of editorials, this is a great place to start your writing process.
Understanding the different types of editorial writing will help you know which format to choose for your article.
The four main types of editorial writing are:
News interpretation: This type of editorial exists to present a fresh take on breaking news. News interpretation editorials can also contextualize the event concerning broader concepts.
Praise: Praise editorials are a tribute to a person or organization for their involvement in an issue. Praise editorials can also be a tribute to an activity or work of art.
Critical: Critical editorials exist to explore a problem and all of its potential causes. The critical editorial must suggest a solution to this problem that entices the reader.
Persuasive: The persuasive format focuses on appealing to the reader and getting them to agree with the proposed thesis statement or argument. The author spends most of the piece presenting their point of view rather than discussing the topic.
Before you jump into a longform editorial, you might want to consider selecting an easy topic for your first attempt.
Choosing a topic you’re familiar with and interested in is wise. This will allow you to go deeper with your writing, and your passion is more likely to shine through.
When choosing a topic, you also want to think about how you can approach it in a new and fresh way. Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo—as long as you have the points to back it up!
The most essential part of writing an editorial is presenting your opinion. There is no place for news reporting in this piece!
While you can provide context and background information to support your thoughts and arguments, you should avoid writing an informative piece. An editorial should not be objective or neutral. The reader is there to hear your opinion, so give them exactly that!
Remember these points to ensure you center your standpoint throughout your editorial.
One of the most important things to do while conducting research for your editorial is to focus on the topic and arguments. This will help you produce a stronger editorial.
Here are some tips to help you conduct better research:
Creating a basic outline is a fantastic way to organize your thoughts to help you write a clear and coherent editorial.
Editorials commonly include the following sections:
You can use this structure to organize your editorial by jotting down the main arguments and points you want to get across under each. Go through your points and make sure they are ordered in a way that will be logical to a reader. Another tip is to use subheadings throughout your editorial to ensure all main points fit together.
Here’s another pro tip: Copy.ai can help streamline your outline process to level up your writing! Using Copy.ai’s “Essay Outline” tool, you can generate a functional outline for your editorial in seconds, giving you much more time to focus on writing an awesome editorial!
Now that you have completed your outline, let’s get to the fun part: writing your editorial!
Your editorial will be stronger if you use a pattern of organization to guide your writing. Patterns of organization show the relationship between the supporting details. They break down the structure of your editorial into digestible parts so it’s easier for the reader to understand and remember.
There are several different types of patterns of organization that can help you write your editorial. Some of the most common patterns of organization are:
Cause and effect: This pattern explores an event that is caused by another event or action. For example, suppose you are writing an editorial about mental health. In that case, you could use a cause-and-effect pattern: “The rise in specific mental health issues such as depression is linked to an increase in social media use.”
Compare and contrast: This pattern analyzes two or more subjects by examining their differences and parallels. Let’s say you’re writing an editorial on various parenting styles. You could use a compare-and-contrast pattern to explore the effects of authoritarian parenting vs. permissive parenting, ultimately making a unique argument on the topic.
Problem-solution: After presenting a significant problem, this pattern proposes a well-thought-out solution. For example, if you are writing an editorial about global warming, you could explain how energy consumption significantly contributes to this problem. Then you could propose governments subsidize green roofs as a solution.
You’re almost at the finish line! All that’s left is the title.
The best way to get someone to read your article is with a catchy title that teases your argument.
To create a strong title, first think about your main argument. Is there a way you can capture this point in one snappy sentence?
Have a brainstorming session and jot down all of your ideas. Remember that your title should be brief, straightforward, and easy to understand. Think of a way to make it memorable and enticing!
Want to know an insider secret? Copy.ai’s “Hook Generator” tool can take the stress out of coming up with a clever title by helping you brainstorm ideas that pique interest and make the reader want to know more.
Here are some examples of good editorial titles to inspire you:
The Guardian: “The Guardian view on Earth-friendly diets: cooking animals is cooking the planet”
This clever play on words is a surefire way to capture a reader’s attention. It could make even the most dedicated meat lover want to read on.
The Washington Post: “Why women should coach boys’ sports”
It’s human nature: Our brains want to fill in the blanks. This title is clever because it makes us want to know the answer to the why they present.
The Washington Journal: “Income Equality, Not Inequality, Is the Problem”
We’ve all heard of income inequality. This title is clever because it flips our understanding of the problem and teases a new perspective.
Great editorials have the power to change the world. They’re influential pieces of writing that compel thought and action. That’s why writing an editorial is as intimidating as it is rewarding!
By following this guide, you’ll be on your way to writing comprehensive, clear, and persuasive editorials that engage and inspire. Whatever topic you choose, we know you will enthrall the reader!
Don’t forget to check out Copy.ai’s free content-generating tools. From helping you write catchy email subject lines, and effective hooks, to brainstorming for articles, Copy.ai can help take your content to the next level.We also have tutorials on how to write many different formats and styles for a plethora of functions and purposes From essays to resignation letters, we have tutorials that help you become successful with writing.
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