GOOD

How To: Get Your Op-Ed Published

Did you know that over 80 percent of the nation's op-eds are written by men? Open any newspaper from the Wall Street Journal to The New York Times and it's clear who's dominating the national conversation. The nonprofit Op-ed Project wants to change that by getting more women and minorities to weigh in on debates that matter. We teamed up with them to learn more about how to diversify the bylines in our nation's newspapers.

1) Write what you know. Whether you're a teacher espousing edible school gardens or a small business owner debating a new tax, own your expertise. Leverage your experience to offer a unique vantage point on a current event or to raise an overlooked issue.


2) Know what you want to say. The foundation of your argument is your thesis. What are you really trying to say? Your thesis can be explicit or implied, but be sure you are clear from the outset on your fundamental point. Your thesis should be supported by your argument, which should include primary sources and first-hand evidence. Try to have at least three points to support your argument and have evidence and a conclusion for each point. And don't forget the power of a compelling introduction and conclusion, which leads us to our next point.

3) Use ledes and hooks to grab your reader's attention. A lede is what will get your reader's attention and the hook is the timely, "newsworthy" component that makes your argument relevant. Be audacious but be sure you have compelling evidence to support your argument. The Op-ed Projects offers these tips for creating a good lede: use the news, tell a dramatic anecdote, turn conventional wisdom on end, use wit and irony to point out a contradiction, use an anniversary, use a major new study, and don't be afraid to get personal.

4) Pitch it. Pitching an article can be intimidating. Break down the process and it will be less so. First, answer these questions: Why is this story relevant right now? Why should people care in the first place? And why are you the best person to write this piece? Once you're clear on those questions, take the time to map out a brief pitch that outlines your fundamental idea and relevant credentials along with the text of the article in the body of an email. Be sure to follow up. Even if the editor says no, it could be the beginning of a conversation that leads to yes.

Photo (cc) by Flickr user kruemi

This post originally appeared on www.refresheverything.com, as part of GOOD's collaboration with the Pepsi Refresh Project, a catalyst for world-changing ideas. Find out more about the Refresh campaign, or submit your own idea today.


Articles
Screenshot via Sweden.se/Twitter (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

Greta Thunberg has been dubbed the "Joan of Arc of climate change" for good reason. The 16-year-old activist embodies the courage and conviction of the unlikely underdog heroine, as well as the seemingly innate ability to lead a movement.

Thunberg has dedicated her young life to waking up the world to the climate crisis we face and cutting the crap that gets in the way of fixing it. Her speeches are a unique blend of calm rationality and no-holds-barred bluntness. She speaks truth to power, dispassionately and unflinchingly, and it is glorious.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
Science

The disappearance of 40-year-old mortgage broker William Earl Moldt remained a mystery for 22 years because the technology used to find him hadn't been developed yet.

Moldt was reported missing on November 8, 1997. He had left a nightclub around 11 p.m. where he had been drinking. He wasn't known as a heavy drinker and witnesses at the bar said he didn't seem intoxicated when he left.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Gage Skidmore

The common stereotypes about liberals and conservatives are that liberals are bleeding hearts and conservatives are cold-hearted.

It makes sense, conservatives want limited government and to cut social programs that help the more vulnerable members of society. Whereas liberals don't mind paying a few more dollars in taxes to help the unfortunate.

A recent study out of Belgium scientifically supports the notion that people who scored lower on emotional ability tests tend to have right-wing and racist views.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics