Taught by Louise Uffelman and Chris Gavaler

February 27, 2017 

50 Ways-Rockbridge members are doing a great job getting the word out, but we need to keep it up and spread the word! Here are tips from the Op-Ed writing workshop last month:

  1. Know your audience
  2. Be timely–the topic should have something to do with current events
  3. Tell a story
  4. Back it up with facts
  5. Have others read it before you send it
    1. No typos
    2. Fact check
  6. Decide on which newspapers could print it
    1. Lynchburg shares Ben Cline
    2. Harrisonburg shares Goodlatte
  7. Check your bias
    1. Allsides.com
    2. MediaBiasFactCheck.com
  8. Decide your audience
    1. Preaching to the choir
      1. Tell them what you want them to do
      2. Urge them to take action
      3. You can use more extreme language
    2. Writing to the skeptics
      1. Build a bridge and bring them over
      2. Start by showing that you already agree about something
        For example, “This is not a democrat or republican issue, it’s an American issue.”
      3. Assume skepticism in your audience
  9. Find quotes and use them in your argument. (For example, look on politicians’ websites and if there are contradictions between what they say and what they do, point them out.)
  10. Voice
    1. Use your natural speech pattern—don’t use words you wouldn’t normally use.
    2. Try saying your thoughts out loud, and then write what you said in a letter
    3. Always read what you’ve written out loud to check how it sounds
  11. A suggestion for how to structure the letter—3 Questions
    1. What? What is the issue?
    2. So what? Why your audience should care about the issue
    3. Now what? Give your audience follow-up actions about the issue
  12. Another suggestion: Go to Goodlattes’s page and post your comments
    1. Columns
    2. News
    3. Add your comments
  13. Op-Ed resource: op-edproject.org