Ruby writes from the Philippines. She teaches Campus Journalism and other courses in HEI. She enjoys reading and traveling as her pastimes.
Where to get topics or ideas to write for editorials
Finding your sources to write for your editorial can be a challenge. However, there are many ways to find topics for your editorial pieces. Reddick gives us several ideas and sources to draw from in order to write editorials, especially for a school paper:
1. Present events. Ex. recent news being printed in the daily newspapers either in the local, national, or international.
2. Individuals who deserve to be commended. Ex. Lives and services of persons retiring in school, etc.
3. Clubs and organizations worthy of support. Ex. Clubs doing a noteworthy activity.
4. Behavior of students. Ex. Absenteeism, coming to class late, low performance, etc.
5. Seasonal events, holidays, or anniversaries. Ex. Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year, etc.
6. Analysis of student problems and life. Ex. students' weakness is to just follow their classmates or friends in doing bad.
Before starting to write an editorial consider these steps
1. Plan your editorial well. Any type of writing requires some kind of planning. This includes your topic on what to write about.
2. Clarify first which type of editorial you are writing. You may review it here. Since there are many types of editorials, you need to set in your mind which editorial are you going to write. Do this by going back to your reason or [urpose for writing the editorial.
3. Gather the facts of your editorial. Remember that although an editorial is an opinion article, you need to base your opinion on some verified facts or information.
4. Do prewriting. This prewriting activity such as listing, clustering, etc., is important for you to get started. This is a good way to organize your thoughts before you begin to write anything.
5. Write the first draft of your editorial. Once you have made the necessary preparations above, you are now ready to begin writing.
Editorial writing is similar to writing persuasive essays or research papers. Like other types of writing, it contains three basic parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. Here are some helpful tips from Cruz 2010:
1. Make the editorial engaging enough for people to want to read it.
2. Arrange all of the information in logically sound arguments, with each of the arguments working their way toward the conclusion.
3. Explain all sides of a subject and clarify any confusing elements by using an analogy that most people can relate to.
4. Try to keep the length of your phrases and paragraphs to a minimum.
5. Make sure that your writing is straightforward, concise, and strong.
Other tips to learn in writing an editorial
1. Do research. Before writing, make sure you understand your topic, especially if it's difficult. Read newspaper stories, research publications, and historical books to comprehend the issue.
2. Determine your thesis. Your editorial's thesis statement is its basis. Take the time to write a clear, simple opening statement.
3. Provide supporting evidence for your thesis. Depending on your word count, choose 2–4 essential points to support your argument. Each point deserves a paragraph or two.
4. Acknowledge opposition. You can concede points or spend paragraph debunking counterarguments, but it's crucial to discuss various viewpoints to bolster your own.
5. End with a call-to-action or major point summary. If your editorial addresses an issue, suggest remedies. Provide links to sites or book titles to help readers discover more. Return to your thesis statement at the end of an editorial focusing on praise or criticism.
6. Write a final draft. Self-editing incorporates quality and clarity checks. Remove terms, clichés, and phrases that distract from your thesis. After checking for substantial mistakes, proofread for grammatical and typographical errors.
Cruz, C. J. (2010). Campus journalism and school paper advising. Sampaloc, Manila: Rex Bookstore, Inc.
Reddick, D.C. (1949). Journalism and the school paper. 4th ed. Boston: Harper.
_________(1990). Writers INC. 2nd ed. Burlington, WI: Write Source Educational Publishing House.
© 2022 Ruby Campos