How to write a great editorial: 10 steps

How to write a great editorial: 10 steps
How to write a great editorial: 10 steps

An editorial is a feature article that presents a group's opinion on a given issue. This is why this kind of article is generally not signed. An editorial writer acts like a lawyer. He writes his article around an already formulated argument and tries to convince the reader to accept certain positions on a hot topical issue. Basically, an editorial is an opinion piece that relates to a current issue.


Part 1 of 2: Know the basics

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Step 1. Choose a theme and point of view

The purpose of an editorial is to influence public opinion, promote critical thinking, and sometimes encourage people to take action on a particular issue. Your theme should be current, have a purpose, and be of interest to the reader. Generally, there are four types of editorials depending on their purpose.

  • Explanation or interpretation:

    this formula is used to explain in detail the position of a newspaper or periodical on a controversial issue.

  • Criticism:

    it is a question of criticizing actions or decisions emanating from a third party while proposing more advantageous solutions. The main purpose of this presentation is to make the reader aware of the importance and scope of a given question.

  • The persuasion:

    this type of text is used to induce the reader to act by presenting solutions to a given problem without going into the presentation of the problem itself.

  • Praise:

    this type of text is used to provide support to people or organizations that have rendered valuable service to the community.

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Step 2. Collect true facts

An editorial contains opinions and facts. The opinions expressed are not those of the author alone, but also belong to all staff. The facts you will discuss should include objective research and reporting.

To be excellent, an opinion piece should include at least one “clearing-house” that may correspond to a “recent and genuine observation”. Therefore, draw your facts from multiple sources to point out patterns, impending consequences, or flaws in an ongoing analysis

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Step 3. Be friendly

Usually an editorial reads quickly in one go. You really can't write pages and pages to dwell on the matter at hand or trick ordinary people into thinking they've missed something. Make sure your editorial is neither very long nor too complex.

  • The correct format is between 600 and 800 words. If your article is longer, you may bore the reader. A short, spirited and punchy editorial captures more attention than a wordy presentation.
  • Don't use jargon. By reading your article, your readers are looking to educate themselves and understand a certain issue. Thus, the use of technical terms or particular jargon may complicate your text and put it beyond the reach of the average reader. Always keep the lowest common denominator in mind.

Part 2 of 2: Write your editorial

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Step 1. Begin your editorial with a statement similar to a thesis statement

The introduction, which includes the first or first and second paragraph, should be structured to hold the reader's interest. You can start by touching on a hot question, referencing a quote, or summarizing the content of the editorial.

State your arguments clearly. The rest of your article will be devoted to substantiating your opinion. Be as impactful as possible. However, do not write in the first person “I”, as this diminishes the impact and credibility of your article which may seem familiar

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Step 2. Continue by clearly explaining the purpose of your editorial

The development of your article should objectively explain the issue being addressed, as any good journalist would. You must also demonstrate to your readership the importance of this problem.

Write your text to answer the following questions: who, what, where, when, why and how. Protect your rearguards and include quotes or facts from reliable sources. This allows the reader to have an undistorted knowledge of the question being dealt with

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Step 3. First state the contrary argument

Be sure to identify groups that will contradict you and also those involved in the debate when it gets more complicated. State their opinions objectively using specific quotes and facts. Never write slanderous comments.

  • It is acceptable to mention positive elements concerning the opposing party as long as these elements are factual. In this way, you will demonstrate your attachment to morals and to the balance of your positions in general. If you neglect to mount the constructive sides of your opponents, your editorial will be distorted and rely on incomplete information.
  • Present your opponents with a real and very solid argument. You don't win anything by pretending there is no problem. Be clear about the opposing party's point of view and what they are advocating.
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Step 4. State reasons and evidence that directly contradict the claims of your opponents

Begin this section with a transition that bridges the opposing argument and yours. Use facts and quotes from other people to support your thesis.

  • Start with a strong argument that you will reinforce even more in the rest of the article. Don't limit yourself to existing opinions and add your own too. Whatever your reasons, be sure to take a clear stand, because there is no room for doubt.
  • Literary allusions are very suitable for an editorial. It can boost your credibility and showcase your scholarship. Evoke eras or historical figures to better convince your readers.
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Step 5. Promote your solution

This part is different from arguing and producing evidence. If you are against a reduction in the defense budget, which budget will you propose to decrease instead? To properly deal with a problem, you must present an appropriate solution. If you don't come up with a suitable proposition, any solution will become better than what you advocate.

Your proposal must be clear, rational and achievable. Your gait cannot be developed in a vacuum. What more than that your solution must be convincing? Ideally, the information and answers you have given should prompt your readers to take action

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Step 6. Conclude your editorial with a punch line

A well-crafted statement will be forever etched in the minds of your readers. Use a quote or ask a question to get the reader to think seriously about the question being asked. For example, you can ask a question like this: If we don't take care of the environment, who will?

Think about readers who read your article absent-mindedly and conclude with a compelling summary. Generally speaking, your readers should be convinced by your article and feel ready to take concrete steps to move forward

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Step 7. Check your work

An interesting article loses its value if it is riddled with spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. Suggest that a member of your team proofread your work. It is obvious that four eyes see better than two.

If you work in a team, make sure that you have correctly reflected the views of the team members. Allow all or a majority of your comrades to review your work and make sure they agree with the content of the article before it is published. At the same time, everyone can present a question or idea that you forgot to address or that you simply glossed over


  • Avoid repetitions. Your arguments will appear very monotonous and will no longer be of interest to the reader. Keep your speech as alert and lively as possible.
  • Pick an attractive title. Several readers will rely on the few words of the title you choose to decide whether or not to read your article. The title should be short, but to the point.


  • Never plagiarize the work of others. Plagiarism is a crime severely punished by law.
  • Do not use vulgar or slanderous words. A defamatory writing constitutes serious contempt.
  • Don't accuse or blame people by name. Identify your opponent who can be either an idea or a group of people.
  • Never use the terms "I" or "me" because in an editorial you are not expressing your opinion only, but also that of your entire team.

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