Writing it Right

How to Write an Opinion Column for a Daily Newspaper

Pen and paper

Writing an opinion piece or an op-ed (opposite the editorial page) is a challenge, however, with research and a flair to write, you can end up writing a fact-based and opinion-oriented article for a daily newspaper. Given below are a few important steps that you will find useful when writing an opinion piece. These tips are relevant for both print media writers and bloggers.

1.  You must have a flair to write to begin with

  • You should have a flair for writing and the passion to express your thoughts in words.
  • To develop the flair for writing, you should create and maintain a habit of reading books, novels, magazines, and newspapers.

2. Your article will have more value if you possess a good vocabulary

  • While reading books and print publications, you should also read a thesaurus to learn new words.
  • Keep a notebook with yourself to jot down new and difficult words you come across and write its similar meaning words. This will help you retain in mind words in the diary to use in your article.

3. Keep an eye on national and international events

  • Writing opinion pieces for daily newspapers requires you to know important national and international happenings, especially and specifically the ones that have occured in the last 7 to 14 days.
  • An opinion piece is about you presenting your opinion over an event of national or international importance, including and involving diplomatic affairs, bilateral relations, conflict resolution, security affairs, signing of an MoU between two countries, political tension giving way to a war-like situation or issues and concerns between two or more countries involving their foreign policy narratives and diplomatic missions.The best way to keep yourself updated with such events, moments and occurrences is to read the newspaper, both national and foreign, in print or online; read news via Google and by watching national and international news channels.

4. Conduct comprehensive research before writing

  • Researching upon the topic of your choice will give you enough facts to add in the article and present your opinion related to each fact.
  • Your sources for research will be the Internet, newspapers and news channels.

5. Write the article based on what you want to read

  • Keep the opinion piece interesting by adding in it all relevant facts that you as a reader would enjoy reading.
  • Make sure all facts and opinions are relevant and appropriate.

6. Do not induce your opinion but inform the readers with it

  • Good opinion columnists do not assert or induce their opinion over the readers but do inform it by backing with facts and figures
  • Try to keep a formal yet conversational tone while writing

7. Use direct and indirect quotes of key people having national and international importance

  • To add value to your article, do add direct and indirect quotes of key people having national and international importance who were part of the news. This will bring credibility to your article
  • These key people can be anyone from the government, politics, ministry, military or the bureaucracy who may be the decision makers, opposing the occurrence or having an influential importance.

8. Edit and proofread it thoroughly

  • There must be no error in spelling or in the mentioning of a fact in your article
    Edit it thoroughly while checking the rechecking spellings of all proper nouns and especially the accuracy of direct/indirect quotes, spelling of the name of people who said them and the sources from where you picked these quotes.

This article has also appeared at: www.wikihow.com/Write-an-Opinion-Column-for-a-Daily-Newspaper