Op-ed Articles

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Op-ed Articles

Commentaries about news events or public concerns run on the page facing the editorial page



Op-ed Articles

Commentaries about news events or public concerns run on the page facing the editorial page. They are written by a variety of people who have one thing in common: They are perceived as having expertise or special insight regarding the subject being discussed.

The op-ed piece may be a rebuttal to a previouslt published editorial or just a reaction to a series of news events reported by the newspaper.

Corporate executives can get high visibility with op-ed pieces. Think tanks and universities also use them to get recognition for their outstanding scholars.

Op-ed is a newspaper term, but the concept also applies to trade and professional publications. Many companies have an active program of encouraging their engineers and research scientists to write commentaries for specialized publications serving a particular industry.

Writing and placing an "op-ed" article in a newspaper is one of the easiest and fastest ways a writer can get into print.

Op-ed is journalese for the page opposite the editorial page in newspapers. The concept was made famous when begun by the New York Times editorial page editor many years ago. The objective was to present views that differed from those of the paper's editorial writers.

Now most newspapers of note run such articles in order to present a variety of points of view.

Getting an article published as an op-ed piece is simple if you know how - and here are some tips.


An op-ed article should concentrate on presenting one main idea. The style and complexity of the writing should match the readership of that particular newspaper. A good rule is to keep it simple and avoid the use of jargon.

Because national newspapers receive many more unsolicited articles than they can use, the subject matter and the point of view should be somewhat unique.

A must for such articles, as in almost any kind of writing, is a good strong lead. The first few sentences have to capture the reader's (and the editor's) attention. The piece should not only be written in a lively and interesting manner, but it also should be informative and educational.

Daily newspapers generally prefer articles of about 700-750 words in length, which is about three typewritten, double-spaced pages. Sunday editorial page sections can use longer articles - about 1,000 to 1,500 words.


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