The role of opinion columns

The Op/Ed pages are of course filled with opinions.

When people sit down to write an opinion column, they often think they can just rant about something that angers them. A rant and an opinion are two very different things.

Not that you shouldn’t write about something you’re angry about. You should. But you shouldn’t rant and rave. Don’t let your anger get the best of you.

When somebody writes an opinion column, it should have some greater purpose to it. It shouldn’t be “I’m mad as hell about this, so I’m going to tell everybody.” It should be “I’m mad about this, and here are a few reasons why.”

When you write an opinion column, you are trying to persuade your readers. You want to convince them to change their minds about something.

You can’t let your emotions guide your writing. You have to do research; research that shows both sides of your argument. You can’t disprove an idea unless you know what it’s based upon. Give your claims some legitimacy. Back them up with facts.

That being said, try to avoid words like “stupid.” Others won’t take your words seriously if you name-call.

– Haley Zblewski

Image courtesy of Jeopopolis

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