Whether You're Complaining or Praising, Just Be Nice!

| 3 Comments

"Avoid simply listing complaints or attacking a silent opponent with a series of aggressive questions that you have no intention of researching" (Jerz, Editorials).

I have seen that before!! It is amazing how some news writers use their sections of the newspaper to either like or dislike something - especially restaurants. The paper is supposed to be un-biased, but it seems to convey a left or right message sometimes. The list that Dr. Jerz posted is very useful, but very true.

First, I think that "writing it tight" is a key element because people do not want to read a long boring editorial. There is a need to only write the words that are necessary and to not write just because it will fill space.

Secondly, "interviewing sources yourself" is a very promising approach because of how much more truth is involved. If you simply say, as Dr. Jerz stated, "Research said," then you are simply using something that someone else has already said. So, why even say it? If you get quotes from several people and incorporate them into the news article, then the piece has more personality and truth behind it instead of information that is already published somewhere.

Finally, the one that I enjoyed reading the most was about "writing for a reason and not just complaining." The example that Dr. Jerz listed was extremely helpful because of how it shows the negativity behind the topic. The food cost has risen and the editorial is complaining. This would probably lower the amount of money that the cafeteria makes because people will agree or disagree and attend or not attend. Put in some quotes from people who work in management or even supervisors and ask questions that prompt answers about this price increase and why. By simply writing a negative editorial, then you are showing your audience that you are complaining. When you write an editorial with facts and quotes, then you are showing the audience information and not your opinion.

Greta wrote a very interesting blog entitled Be Careful What You Wish For and composed a chart that listed comparisons about editorials and academic essays. There are so many comparisons between the two that make them both so similar. An editorial is like writing an academic essay because you do not want to convey your opinion in the paper, but only through quotes and worthy information.

So, is an editorial another way of writing a short academic essay?

OR

Is an editorial a small column that presents useful information about a useful topic?

Click here for the course web page devoted to Editorial.

3 Comments

While an editorial is a small column that presents useful information, it also shares some characteristics with an academic essay in that it argues for a certain idea in a (hopefully) thoughtful manner. I think this is what can become challenging about writing editorials; in an academic paper, you normally have several pages to develop your thesis, but a column can only be a certain amount of words long. I think that's why you sometimes see people write editorials that don't fully consider the other side or are sloppy in the way they present research. People don't have a lot of room, so they sometimes resort to pat statements against the other side that won't really convince someone who doesn't already agree with them. Like all newswriting, you have to juggle space constraints with being accurate and writing in an appealing way. It's definitely tough.

Good point, Matt. The lack of room would naturally contribute to less support, but I think this is something that needs to be combatted. There's just not as much room to lead up to the startling revelation (To paraphrase Dr. Jerz, there's no space to say "Many truths are known about X, and because of this, Y's role in Z is sometimes discarded..."). We just have to say what we're getting at, not get at what we're saying.

While there are similarities between academic essays and editorials, I don't think an editorial is necessarily just a shorter version of an academic essay. I think it's more along the lines of the second option you gave. It seems they do provide information on useful topics just like all news articles do. It seems the main difference between editorials and other news articles is that the author can include his or her own opinion.

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This page contains a single entry by Derek Tickle published on October 11, 2009 7:58 PM.

The Offical Q & A Session was the previous entry in this blog.

Reflection #9: The Spread of Information: Purpose and Meaning is the next entry in this blog.

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