Tips for Writing Opinion Editorials

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Download Tips for Writing Opinion Editorials (PDF)

Are you interested in writing an opinion piece to submit to a newspaper, magazine, or online publication? Here’s what you need to know to get started.

  • Focus on one main idea or a single theme in your opinion editorial.
  • Timeliness is crucial. One day can mean the difference between acceptance and rejection. Be timely, and even controversial in your opinion. Look for opportunities to wed your specific area of expertise or interest with news developments.
  • The first line of an opinion editorial is crucial. The opening “hook” may grab the reader’s attention with a strong claim, a surprising fact, a metaphor, or a counter-intuitive observation that entices the reader into reading more. The opening also briefly lays the foundation for your argument.
  • Don’t ramble or deviate from your principal points. An opinion editorial is neither a history lesson nor an essay that slowly builds to a point. The point must be made in paragraph one.
  • Always write for the lay reader. Be clear and straightforward. Use simple words, short sentences, and short paragraphs.
  • Take pains to educate the reader with your special insight but take care not to condescend or preach. Keep the tone of your piece on high ground.
  • Express a strong call to action. Write with verve and “fire in your gut."
  • Every good column or opinion editorial needs a strong ending which echoes or answers the introduction and has been foreshadowed by preceding thematic statements.



Contact information for opinion editors at top-tier media outlets:


The Globe and Mail

Adrian Lee, Content Editor  

Natasha Hassan, Opinion Editor 

Ethan Lou, Business Editor 


Toronto Star

Scott Colby, Opinion Editor 


National Post

Comments Editor 


The New York Times 


The Washington Post 


Los Angeles Times 


The Guardian (UK)