Today I participated in a day-long seminar by The OpEd Project - Write to Change the World.
The OpEd Project aims to increase the diversity of voices and ideas represented by training people to write effective op-eds that get published, particularly women and people from underrepresented backgrounds.
Currently 80-90% of key commentary forums - op-eds, experts on TV political talk shows, producers, and more - are led by men. The OpEd Project envisions a world where the best ideas - regardless of where they come from - should have a chance to be heard and to shape society and change the world.
What is an op-ed?
Tbh, I really didn’t know much about op-eds going into this workshop. Now I know it’s a piece of commentary by an individual author unaffiliated with the paper that presents an opinion and stands opposite of the editorial page.
Why write an op-ed?
That’s what I was wondering, too. Especially in getting Propeller Collective off the ground, do I really have time to devote to something like this? YES. It’s all about the audience you’re able to reach through your piece. Decision-makers, policy-makers, philanthropists, donors, students, publishers, conferences, and more. By advancing my opinion and myself, I create more opportunities to change the world.
How to write an op-ed?
We discussed key op-ed elements like credibility, persuasion, being right vs. being effective, being intentional about our bigger picture, and how to think of our op-eds in terms of “How might I be of service to others?” We also worked through an outline of how to effectively structure an op-ed:
Lede catch attention with a news hook
Thesis why are you here?
Argument evidence 1, evidence 2, evidence 3
“To be sure” paragraph to allay your haters
Conclusion where you circle back to your lede and bring it home