Op-ed is short for “opposite the editorial page.” It is an article that presents the writer’s opinion on a specific subject.
If you have an idea for an op-ed, please email the College’s media relations representative. We can work with you on editing and placing your article.
Examples of op-eds written by College of Liberal Arts faculty can be found on Life & Letters and Texas Perspectives, as well as in publications across the state, country and world.
A successful Op-ed is:
- Relevant and interesting. Answer the question: “So what?” Newsworthiness is based off five factors: timeliness, significance, proximity, prominence and human interest. So, make connections to current events, local references, popular culture or social issues whenever possible.
- Clear and Concise. Use active voice and keep it between 600 and 800 words. Don’t beat around the bush; lead with your argument. When defending your point, eliminate the jargon, and use examples the reader can relate to and understand.
- Specific. Make a single point or argument clearly and persuasively. If you cannot explain your message in one or two sentences, readjust your focus.
- Informed. Set the stage quickly, but provide enough background information to show the reader why and how the problem exists. Acknowledge opposing viewpoints.
- Forward-looking/Motivating. An op-ed is not a mere analysis. Offer specific recommendations and determine the best course of action to take to improve matters. Answer the question “where do we go from here?” and motivate readers with a call to action.
- Personal. Be yourself, and write in your own voice. Use conversational English and your own experiences to lead the reader through the discussion.