Writing an Op-Ed
Submitting an op-ed to your favorite publication can be a great way to educate more on the needs of millions of Americans living with arthritis. Learn some tips and tricks here.
An op-ed is published opposite the editorial page and is a way for you to provide your opinion on current events in greater detail. Anyone can submit an op-ed and doing so allows you to teach your community about issues that are important to you and shape public opinion. This document provides a list of suggestions to keep in mind as you write your op-ed.
Do your homework
Check the publication’s website for guidelines on letters to the editor so you can make sure your letter meets their requirements. This information is usually located under the opinion section on the publication’s website.
Include your name, address and phone number
Provide your name, address, email address and phone number, and include what makes you an expert on the topic. If you have any relevant academic degrees, include those as well so the media is aware of your qualifications.
Keep it concise
Focus on one or two major concepts or ideas and limit it to 500 to 800 words.
Keep it simple
Remember, not everyone will have a thorough understanding of your topic. keep your writing simple and avoid acronyms and complicated language.
Make it relatable
Choose a topic that relates to current events and explain how this topic impacts your community. Use your op-ed to tell your personal story and engage your audience.
Avoid making personal attacks
Instead of emphasizing that a reporter, editor, expert or other individual was wrong, use your letter as an opportunity to educate the community on the facts that support your position.
Make a specific call to action
Close your piece by encouraging your readers to call their elected officials and ask them to vote “yes” or “no” on a specific piece of legislation or policy.
Have someone review your writing
Make sure your writing is clear and effective. If your op-ed is published, send a copy to your elected official’s office.
SEND YOUR QUESTIONS TO ADVOCACY@ARTHRITIS.ORG
Advocate for What's Right
As an Arthritis Advocate, you’ll feel good about taking action to make health care more accessible. Help shift the policy and public perception that affects those living with arthritis.