GMO related op-ed persuade people to believe GMO is bad.

GMO related op-ed

GMO related op-ed persuade people to believe GMO is bad.

Advocacy writing is a critical tool for environmental policy-making, public education and effective activism. One of the purposes of this class is to encourage

students to develop and frame arguments about technical issues in language appropriate to policy settings and public venues outside of academia.

This assignment entails writing a concise and compelling op-ed piece (no more than 750 words) that advances an argument for action on any issue in the field of

environmental health and development with a technical or scientific component. In addition to handing in your op-ed piece and any newspaper stories related to it, you

are required to identify a media outlet and encouraged to submit your piece for publication. Possible venues include, online publications, blogs, national and local

newspapers, and even radio commentaries.

Traditionally op-ed pieces have been written by people who are not staff members of a newspaper to present an argument or perspective on current issues. Op-eds are

different from the columns by staff writers that also appear on the editorial pages, but are found on the page opposite the editorials (hence the term op-ed).

Your piece should focus on one identifiable issue or question and advocate that a specific course of action be taken. Part of your argument should be based on

technical or scientific information. You should look at op-ed pieces in current newspapers or other online publications to see examples of this form of writing. You

may select any topic related to environmental health. This includes any of the topics we have discussed in class or a topic of interest to you or that’s relevant to

your work. In selecting your topic, you need to define a question or issue that has a policy or advocacy solution. Your piece should identify the policy issue of

concern, discuss the technical or scientific findings that illuminate the topic and support your position, and present an argument for action that should be taken to

address the issue or question.

Tips for writing good op-eds:

1) Op-eds are NOT short term papers—instead hammer home a single idea. Unlike your term paper assignment, the op-ed requires you write like an advocate for a diverse

audience that may not have any knowledge about your topic. In other words, get to the point quickly, don’t cite, and immediately tell people what you think they

should do. The key to a successful op-ed is to clearly explain what you are addressing and why people should care about it. Although you’ll have to make several

points along the way to show readers you’re both knowledgeable and credible, those points should all support one opinion that you want readers to understand when

they’re done reading. If you can’t state your op-ed’s main thesis in one clear, declarative sentence, stop writing and focus your energy here.

2) Be specific: In making an argument about a policy action, be specific about who should take the recommended action. In general, it is better to say that Congress

should pass a law, or the governor should issue an order, or that residents of Berkeley should alter their behavior than to say that “society” should care about or

address something. Specifics and details make writing compelling and interesting.

3) Be interesting first: (And remember: facts are not inherently interesting, so use them strategically and sparingly). You’ll need facts and data to back up your

argument, but readers need to be interested before they will fully engage. Therefore, tell a story, ask a question, use a common phrase, or make it personal to draw in

your reader. If you can introduce real people into your op-ed, do so before you dive into the data. Use accessible language and select arguments and evidence that are

likely to be most persuasive to the readers of the newspaper that you would send the piece to. Neither jargon, nor abbreviations, nor technical terminology are

appropriate for op-eds.

4) Know your audience: If you write for the New York Times, or Huffington Post, you have a national audience.

5) Make it sound good: Like good speeches, op-eds should sound good when read aloud. They should have a cadence, intermingling short sentences with longer ones. If

your piece reads smart but sounds boring, it is probably the latter. Say your piece and get off the stage. The longer and more complex your op-ed, the harder it will

be to understand. Leave out anything that isn’t completely necessary. Less is more. Always.

6) Use a catchy title to capture readers’ attention.

7) Avoid acronyms and jargon. To really understand why this is important, read the David Tuller’s The Jargon Trap which is located in the op-ed assignment folder.

Read the op-eds in their entirety, but look closely at how the authors open their pieces (i.e. do they pose a question, make a shocking statement, make it personal, or

use a blunt approach?). Look also at how they conclude their op-eds. These endings tend to be short and to the point. In many of these pieces you can read the

title, introduction and concluding paragraph and know what the piece says without having to read the whole thing. You should strive for that objective in your pieces

as well.

find the cost of your paper