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Take a Stand / Op-Ed Essay

Purpose: The purpose of commentary is not simply to report things but to give readers a way to make sense of them. A commentary will help you write critically about a topic and will help you analyze this topic within a larger societal context. This should be an issue that connects to your idea of social justice: People should _____________ because ________________.

Audience: Your audience for this paper should be your classmates at JWU; fellow citizens of RI.

Genre: For this paper, your genre is in the form of a commentary.

Stance: Your stance should emulate the various tones and approaches we’ll seen over the last three weeks in the different The New York Times / NPR / Colbert Report pieces.

Media/Design: This paper should be typed and take the form of an essay: 3 pages, double spaced, Times New Roman, with creative title.

  • Give readers something to react to, think about or use to make sense of topic.
  • You will not use an objective tone or take a neutral stance; you have a perspective.
  • You are attempting to analyze and explain what is going on around you.
  • You are asking your readers to consider one possible way of making sense of what has happened in the past and what is going on in the present.
  • Your readers want a satisfying account of our shared experience and to find patterns of meaning that can make the world make more sense.
  • Approach your readers as co-thinkers, you are asking them to look at the world from your perspective (whether they ultimately agree with you or not). Even through your perspective, you must negotiate differences fairly.
  • While doing these things, refer to the Classical model and the Rogerian model – analyzing, classifying, and perhaps defining.

Finally, carefully consider voice (Sentence variety, parallelism, figurative language, and sound techniques) and be sure you have employed three of the techniques we’ve discussed.

Write with passion and your readers will feel it.


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