Canadian politics Op-ed

Canadian politics Op-ed. Make sure you have a thesis. This is not a descriptive piece.
• Craft a clear message, focus tightly on one idea or argument and tell readers, high
up in the piece, why they should care.
• Write in strong, lively language – but don’t rant.
• Make it timely. Tie your piece to the strongest possible news peg – a high-profile
Supreme Court ruling or major space-exploration launch, for example — and deliver
it several days ahead of that event, if possible.
• Keep sentences and paragraphs short and simple. Editors love punchy copy. So do
• Choose a strong title for your piece
• Weave in relevant facts and statistics to bolster your case, but try to avoid using too
many of them.
• Anecdotes and examples may help illustrate points and add colour to the piece.
• If you have a good graphic to drive home a point, offer it.
• Steer clear of academic jargon and technical terms; if readers (and editors) have to
labour to figure out what you’re saying, you’ve lost them.
• Consider working in a “to be sure” paragraph, to anticipate and pre-empt objections.
• If you’re focusing on a problem, propose ways to fix it.
• Finish on a note that reinforces your message.
Other resources:
Thomas L. Friedman, a New York Times Op-ed columnist, on writing an Op-ed:
Short video on the structure of an Op-ed:
For a more detailed discussion on Op-ed writing, see: