EDITORIALS Writer’s Craft Online Journalism Unit
What is an Editorial? a piece of writing used to express an opinion or reaction to timely news, an event, or an issue of concern
Purpose of an Editorial: to persuade the writer takes a firm stand on an issue/ problem and tries to influence readers to think the same way or to take specific action
Purpose of an Editorial: to inform the writer gives careful explanations about a complicated issue the writer interprets an issue and attempts to explain its meaning or significance
Purpose of an Editorial: to promote the writer supports a worthy activity and encourages the reader to get involved
Purpose of an Editorial: to entertain the writer entertains the reader about an important issue to praise the writer praises or gives tribute to a person or an event
Steps to Writing an Editorial: 1. Choose a topic ● what’s important? o choose something YOU are interested/ invested in ● what’s current? o deal with a current issue which is affecting many readers ● what’s possible? o limit the topic to something manageable
Steps to Writing an Editorial: 2. Collect information and research about your topic ● facts, evidence, written statements from sources or authorities in the subject, comparisons to similar situations, pictures or images, etc.
Steps to Writing an Editorial: 3. Write the editorial ● what’s the purpose of you editorial? o define how your topic is relevant to your readers o decide how you will appeal to your readers
Format: Lead o how will you get the reader’s attention?
Format: Introduction o explain the issue summarize the key points surrounding the issue state the problem and propose a tentative solution o state your opinion about the topic
Format: Body o concede the opposite viewpoint briefly discuss the strongest argument against your viewpoint, and recognize its validity o support your viewpoint develop your case using facts, details, examples, quotations, reasons, etc. consider organizing you supporting arguments weakest to strongest
Format: Conclusion o restate your opinion o end forcefully assess all evidence and offer a realistic solution to the problem/ a call to action/ a vision for the future/ ‘food for thought’, etc.
Audience: how do I decide who to write for? o consider communicating with people who have the power to do something with your information/ that care about your cause your audience controls what you write and how you write it o knowing your audience will impact the level of language, style, tone, sentence structure, vocabulary, and content of your writing
Tone: determined largely by … – purpose and audience can … – convey a mood, attitude, or emotion is my tone applicable? – be sure your tone is applicable to the topic and not unnecessarily mild or harsh
Tone: your title and first sentences are very important as they set up the tone for your entire piece; in fact, they will determine if a reader keeps reading or stops o the tone of your piece will determine if the piece is well-written or not; if the piece is appropriate or not; if the piece is successful or not
Voice: is the unique way you use … – language gives the reader a sense of … – the person behind the words is based on … – choices you make, your angle of vision, your word choice, the way you order ideas, the sound of the piece, etc.
Writing Tips: use specific vocabulary – don’t make false generalizations o be specific in saying exactly what you mean and choose your words carefully don’t use words such as always or never words such as seem, feel, believe, or should will often be used talk plainly o simplify expressions
Writing Tips: don’t use acronyms or abbreviations without explaining them be brief and direct o short structured paragraphs further the argument repeat key phrases to reinforce your main points
Writing Tips: limit the number of questions you ask; your task is to answer questions do not preach be honest and accurate