An editorial is an opinion piece based on facts, presented as the viewpoint of an entire publication—‘the editor’s view’—unless it is an invited piece, which will carry a disclaimer such as: ‘This article doesn’t represent the opinion of …’. Blog posts are often ‘editorial’ in style; they showcase your opinion.
Choose your topic
Your editorial topic is of utmost importance; write about topics that are timely and relevant. Timeliness can be measured by several factors. For example, look at current events in the nation, or ‘what’s on’ in your locality. If your editorial is for a special interest magazine or publication, focus on events happening in their field, discipline, or industry.
Know the facts
Once you have a topic, the next important step is to determine the facts behind the story. Known or provable ‘facts’ are the principal difference separating an editorial from a simple column or commentary. Thus, you construct an editorial article by laying out an argument or point of view which you can support with evidence. The ‘opinion’ part of your editorial is the conclusions you infer from the evidence you present.
Your opinion will have weight with the readers because it is supported by the facts you have presented to make your case. Naturally, ‘making a good case’ requires that you do some in-depth research before you begin writing.
Once you’ve decided which facts support the story you want to write, you can create an outline. This is a practice many writers follow, because it makes the subsequent writing easier.
Some writers don’t outline because they think writing ‘off the top of their head’ gives a better result. Usually, this doesn’t work out well. Mind-maps enable you to write flexibly while ensuring you don’t miss an important point that could advance your argument.
Have an opinion
Editorials contain clearly expressed opinion, whereas news stories do not. Make sure you express a definite opinion based on the facts you have described. Unless you show a clear opinion, your argument is not editorial, simply a summary.
When concluding, ensure your opinions flow logically from the facts you’ve used. Focus on one thread of argument; this strategy will highlight your opinion. A pause before publishing is good practice. A day or two’s reflection may bring new insight. And always proofread!
Reproduced for Educational Purposes.