Questions for Op-Ed Writers
1. Why should we readers trust you? Are you authoritative on your topic? Are you accountable to what you say you know? Can you provide evidence of your expertise? You don’t need to have a famous name, a big title, or a fancy degree – but you do need to be well positioned to speak on your topic, and able to convey it.
2. Can you back up what you say? Is your argument based on evidence – solid material and logical building blocks that will be acknowledged as credible even by those who may disagree with your interpretation?
3. What’s new? Is your argument different, particularly original in the way it is delivered, or is it backed up by substantially new information or reporting? What is compelling about its contribution to the conversation?
4. So what? Why should everyone else – including those of us who are not experts in your area – care?
5. What’s the difference between being “right” and being “effective”? Does your language tend to write off the people who would disagree with you, or do you employ empathy and respect in the pursuit of changing minds?
6. How will your ideas and arguments contribute to the conversation, and be helpful to your audience? Do you see your knowledge and experience in terms of its potential value to others?
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