How to Write an Op-Ed for Your University Newspaper

Figure out the nuts and bolts of your school newspaper:

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Read your school newspaper’s op-ed section.
Get a feel for the stories and style of writing they publish.

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Email the editor a short pitch.
Find their email address online or in the paper. Tell the editor what you want to write, why your perspective is unique, and why their newspaper is the right outlet.

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Write your piece!
If they accept, they’ll give you a word count—typically not more than 700 words—and a deadline. Stick to their requirements.

Once you get the green light, use these tips to write your editorial:

1) Identify your one main point.
Don’t get distracted by tangents. The reader will quickly get confused and stop reading, so focus on one strong argument.

2) Make the issue of gun violence personal to your reader.
How does it affect them now? Could it affect them in the future? Help them understand that this issue touches everyone.

3) Explain why you are a credible source on this issue.
Tell your audience why they should take your argument seriously. Are you in a unique position to understand it differently than others?

4) Offer a balanced perspective. 
Identify a point where you might agree with people who feel differently on this issue. For instance, everyone is concerned with improving campus safety.

For inspiration, review Sword of the Spirit articles written by college students, pastors, and faith leaders here.

Consider these questions as you write.
What Scripture supports your answers?

• What is a greater presence in your life: faith or fear?

• Should Christians be prepared to kill?

• What does it mean to be pro-life?

• What does the Bible say about self-protection?

• What does Jesus say about how we are to treat our neighbor—and our enemies? What would that look like in today’s world?

Related Scripture

• “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7)

• “And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.’” (Matthew 26:51-53)



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