BRAINSTORM FOR TOPICS What topics are you genuinely interested in? Are there two sides? Is the issue debatable? Choosing your topic wisely will lead to success!
RESEARCH YOUR TOPIC Tonight, research your topic online for interesting background information. Learning about the background of the topic will help you get started. Ask for opinions from peers, teachers and your family to gain insight on what people think about your topic. GET BOTH SIDES! Record opposing ideas as you research. Remember, your opinion must be supported by evidence in your editorial.
CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE Who is your audience? What does your audience currently believe about this issue? Why? How will your audience respond to you? Why? What can you do to persuade them to change their minds? How will using slanted language affect your credibility and persuasiveness with them?
WRITE A THESIS STATEMENT IN ONE SENTENCE, clearly state your position on this issue with a strongly worded reason for your position. Think of it this way: If you only had ten seconds to state your position with support/evidence, what would you say?
MAKE AN OUTLINE Write out your topic sentences and/or main ideas: This preparation will help you organize your thoughts as you draft your editorial. OUTLINE: 1 st paragraph – HOOK & thesis 2 nd paragraph – frame the topic; define the key terms; provide background information 3 rd paragraph– #2 supporting evidence 4 th paragraph- #1 supporting evidence 5 th paragraph– concessions and refutations; acknowledge opposing view and discredit/disprove/invalidate 6 th paragraph – Concluding paragraph to wrap it up and reiterate your point. Remember, this is a call to action.
REVISING YOUR DRAFT STRATEGIES TO ENSURE AN EFFECTIVE EDITORIAL
CHECK YOUR EVIDENCE Have you included enough evidence to convince someone who thinks differently than you? Is the evidence you provided relevant to your position on the issue? Is the connection between your evidence and your position crystal clear or do you need to revise your sentences?
CHECK YOUR RHETORIC Highlight words or phrases that are slanted. What words or phrases could you modify to “tone” down your voice in order to appeal to more people? Connotations are extremely important in an editorial. Circle at least 5 words in your rough draft that need revisions to be more effective and create stronger associations in the reader.
CHECK YOUR GRAMMAR & PUNCTUATION People will dismiss your ideas if you misspell or misuse words or phrases or demonstrate poor grammar skills. Are all paragraphs indented? Do you have a hook? Do your have a thesis statement? Is it the last sentence of paragraph #1? Only one rhetorical question may be used within your editorial. Eliminate the use of “I” or “me” or “my” or “you” in the thesis statement. Eliminate the use of “In this paper I will…” or “This editorial is about…” or “ The purpose of this editorial is...”
PEER EDITING PEER EDITING CHECKLIST: Are all proper nouns and the beginning of each sentence capitalized? Are some words unnecessarily capitalized? Revise abbreviations. For example, CHHS should be written: Colleyville Heritage High School. Eliminate contractions. For example, isn’t = is not; shouldn’t = should not; didn’t = did not Revise numbers. Spell out numbers that take one or two words to say. Write figures for numbers that take more than two words to say. For example: 9 = nine; 21 = twenty-one; 365=365
PEER EDITING ANNOTATION KEY Draw a star by the hook Highlight the thesis Draw a box around the two pieces of evidence supporting the writer’s position. If you cannot identify two clearly expressed statements of support, tell the writer. Support is critical in order for the editorial to be effective. Underline concessions. Double underline refutations. Read the last paragraph. Does the writer leave you “hanging” or does the writer wrap up the editorial by reiterating his/her position with a call to action? Circle spelling or grammar mistakes Draw an arrow to indicate that a paragraph needs to be indented. Eliminate the use of “I” or “me” or “my” or “you” in the thesis statement. Eliminate the use of “In this paper I will…” or “This editorial is about…” or “ The purpose of this editorial is...”