W H A T   I S   A N   E D I T O R I A L ?

AND HOW CAN I WRITE ONE?

Hello everyone,

 

I’m Graham Robbins, a freshman at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. I’m an editor for a high school magazine and write editorials for newspapers, so I saw Kia and Lauren’s blog as the perfect opportunity to put my strengths to good use during this pandemic. Blogging is an ideal hobby because it allows you to put your thoughts on paper which has many socio-emotional benefits. As a result, however, blog posts often end up being about an individual’s feelings, rather than those of a community. Editorials are a great way to keep your community in mind while still absorbing your feelings, and they’re not as daunting as they might seem.

The first step to writing your editorial for COVID-TV is selecting an issue that has arisen from the Coronavirus. The Community Projects tab of the site is a great place to start if you want to choose from personal protective equipment shortages (PPE), food shortages, or increased unemployment. You may also consider writing about abortion clinics being deemed unessential during quarantines, protesters not practicing social distancing, or governors trying to reopen their states prematurely. I listed these issues because they have not yet been written about, but that list is not exclusive; any issue that you think is important can and should be written about. After you have selected an issue, explain in your own words what is wrong. You need to be persuasive to get your readers to take your side. This entails taking risks in your writing and being direct when getting your point across while remaining polite and refraining from letting your personal views dominate the writing. Essentially, pick a side but make sure to back it up with statistics or other information to remain objective. Next, offer possible solutions to the issue by giving the logistical information and why that solution is indeed logical. Lastly, acknowledge the groups who are tackling this issue: local politicians, charities, non-profits, etc. There is no word limit, but a good rule of thumb is staying under 450 words for each issue you address. If you want to write about food shortages and unemployment then allow yourself 900 words to do so.

Once you’ve written your editorial, please email it to me at ​grobbins@ucls.uchicago.edu​, and if it’s a google doc make sure I have viewing access. I’ll give it a quick read, provide you with a few suggestions and feedback points, and finally upload it to COVID-TV with your name, age, location, and school (if you are comfortable). Reach out to me with any questions via my email.

Thanks, Graham

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