So, you want to write an op-ed?

In 2004, I wrote a document called ‘a few tips for opinion piece writers’, and posted them on my website. I gave a talk today to an ANU masterclass on op-ed writing, organised by NYU’s Brooke Kroeger. This afternoon, I sat down and updated the tipsheet, the new version of which can be found here.

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6 Responses to So, you want to write an op-ed?

  1. Sinclair Davidson says:

    In Australia, ideas magazines such as the Monthly, the Quarterly Essay, and the Diplomat are quite good.

    Not to mention Policy and Review. (Should I disclose I have published in both these magazines?) :)

  2. Good advice. Though aimed at amateurs, the points about professionalism are important. Editors like writers who reliably turn in copy that needs little work: the right word length, clear structure, tight sentences, correct spelling, etc.

    (Sinclair – Though even for magazines like Policy, the proportion of unsolicited articles from previously unknown contributors that get published is very low.)

  3. Sinclair Davidson says:

    Andrew N – I’m sure that’s true for most publications. Indeed I would hope so. The very excellent editors of these fine publications should have a working knowledge of most potential contributors, but of course may be pleasantly surprised from time to time.

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  6. Corin says:

    I think it is good advice. On the big picture of the quality of Op Eds in Australia, my own view is that they are are generally too editorialised – i.e. they can make false arguments.

    Whereas what is known as a feature article is generally better informed and argued.

    I would say the best feature writing is in the Fleet Street press like the Financial Times, Guargian and the Times and for magazines I like the Economist for its concise style.

    I would say the difference is that a feature has a focus on a subject rather than a a focus on an argument.

    Why not have two Features an one Op Ed each day. It would be a far better press service.

    By the way I think both Andrew and even Sinclair write in the feature style, Sinclair less so … as his values are rarely left at the door.

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