I just drafted a new handout on writing editorials. I couldn’t find anything online pitched at the proper level, so I had to write it myself. (I’ll probably be able to use a version of this in my freshman comp class too.)
Presume that your opponent has good reasons for disagreeing with
you. Talk to people on the other side, and include some of their
eloquent, well-argued points. Carefully and respectfully explain why
your position is nevertheless more accurate (or ethical, or practical,
or inspirational, or whatever).
- Avoid trying to make your
opinion seem stronger by distorting the other side, either through
exaggeration (“Animal rights groups would rather millions of people
from cancer than have one animal die during a scientific experiment”)
or by using unflattering labels (“nicotine addicts who oppose my right
to breathe fresh air…” “reactionary tea-baggers whose pathetic
world-view is threatened by Obama’s heroic economic vision…” ).
“the other side” look evil or stupid may fool people who don’t know
what you are talking about, but people who do know something about the
subject can (and will) write a letter to the editor correcting your