Editorial writing is a style that can be hard to explain as it is usually a unique mixture of fact and opinion. Viewing editorial examples is one of the most helpful ways to learn what the style should look like. Click on the document images to open and download the two examples of editorials provided here. Find troubleshooting tips and tricks in the guide for Adobe Printables.
Charter Schools = Choices
At under 450 words, this 'Charter Schools = Choices' piece is an example of a fairly short editorial written in favor of a particular subject. The sample uses a serious tone in taking a stance in favor of public charter schools.
Reality T.V. Creates an Alternate Reality
Some editorials, like 'Reality T.V. Creates an Alternate Reality,' use humor and sarcasm mixed with facts to get a point across. With around 600 words, this example is a bit longer and takes a stand against reality television.
Editorial Writing Tips
Writing an editorial can be challenging and intimidating. Editorials can have tremendous impacts on local issues and political campaigns. They can be written in a serious tone, filled with sarcasm, or infused with humor. Understanding the basics of editorial writing can help you create a smart, purposeful piece.
Definition of an Editorial
The subject matter of an editorial commonly concerns a current issue. Unlike other parts of a news publication an editorial is meant to be biased, somewhat insightful, and often includes persuasive writing techniques. Publishers utilize the editorial section of their publications as a forum to express their views and try to influence the opinions of the readership.
Regardless of the point of view or length of the editorial, there is a preferred structure for writing one.
- Introduction: State your topic up front, explain its history, and affirm why it is relevant and who is affected by it. Clearly word your opinion and the main reason you have embraced it.
- Body: Support your position with another reason. Acknowledge counter-arguments and opinions. Present relevant facts and statistics and include ethical or moral reasons for your stand. Give an example of what you think would be the best approach to or outcome of the situation.
- Conclusion: Make an emotional or passionate statement regarding why your opinion or proposed solution is better than others. Tie up the piece by clearly restating your stance.
To ensure the piece stays professional and powerful, keep some guidelines in mind while writing.
- Cite positions and quotes from community, business, or political leaders to present informed arguments.
- Avoid using first person syntax. Using the word 'I' can weaken the impact of your statements.
- Keep on topic and avoid rambling.
- Make sure the views expressed are yours and not 'borrowed' from examples used for inspiration.
- Check the guidelines for content and word count limitations to be sure a submission is not rejected for technical reasons.
More Editorial Writing Examples
Editorials generally appear in newspapers and other media publications. In several instances, such pieces have won Pulitzer Prizes for their excellence in writing and outstanding presentations of varying opinions, views, and outlooks.
- Additional editorial examples can be found on websites for most major publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe.
- See TheOpEdProject.org for a list of additional publications that include editorial sections, along with their submission guidelines.
Everyone has an opinion and a right to express it. Even those who are not publication editors can still state views in most 'Letters to the Editor' sections. Sharing opinions with a factual basis can inspire others to take action on issues of greater societal concern.