editorial that makes an argument about a specific topic.
In this essay, you will write an editorial that makes an argument about a specific topic. You will write to
an audience of your choosing and try to convince them of your argument.
To choose a topic, think about the headlines, local or national, that grabbed your attention recently.
Think about the media – things that get hype, or things that you think should. Your argument should
be on a topic that is relatively current, like should states allow mail in or internet voting for all voters,
and it must have a sense of timeliness for today. For example, if you choose a relatively broad topic
like racism, you should approach it from today’s perspective as we look toward the future, which may
mean you make an argument about the level of diversity in our police forces and take into account the
events happening in current news.
We will read examples of editorial-style and opinion-based persuasive essays together to get a feel for
the many approaches – successful and unsuccessful – that are available for this type of persuasive
For the editorial genre, an intelligent but conversational tone is the most typical; however, this doesn’t
mean that your essay can’t also be humorous or satirical, or passionate yet respectful. Ultimately, you
should choose a tone that will engage your selected audience.
As an opinion-based editorial, this essay expresses your personal views, but it has to have a clear
argument and you have to persuade your audience that your opinions are probably correct, or that
your concerns are valid. Instead of relying mainly upon pathos (emotional sympathies) and ethos
(author credibility and character), as you did in your last essay, in this essay, you will also have to rely
upon logos (facts). You will need to establish your credibility and move your audience to consider your
view by appealing to the audience’s emotions, but you will also need to use factual information to
persuade your audience.
Whatever you choose to write about, you will have to support your argument with factual information
about the situation in question. This is NOT a research essay, but your credibility depends upon
knowing what you’re talking about. If you believe that your local elementary school needs more
funding, then you might conduct interviews, research district budgets, or find out about last year’s test
scores, and so on. We will get our feet wet with practical research via the internet and discover the ins
and outs of responsible persuasive writing with research.
You must use no more than three outside sources in this essay, which means your essay will include a
Works Cited Page and in-text citations. Your outside sources should not overwhelm your paper; this is
your editorial, and your voice must come through. This also means that you need to write your
editorial on a topic that you know something about (either because you watch the news or you have
personal experience with it).
A 4-5 page editorial that:
Addresses a subject that is timely and relevant
Captures the audience’s attention immediately in the opening
Includes specific details that support the opinion
Follows an organizational plan that attracts the audience’s attention
Shows evidence of proofreading
Uses MLA format
Length and Format
4-5 double-spaced pages and 12-point Times New Roman font and includes a works cited page and
in-text citations following MLA format. This assignment should not exceed five complete pages.
Check the Editorial Grading Rubric under Content, Essay Prompts for specifics.