Sample Political Science Paper on Writing an editorial piece: Supreme Court cases

Your assignment is to write an editorial as if you were the editor of a newspaper or magazine (online or otherwise). You are to write on a local topic that has national implications or, vice versa, a national topic that has local implications. Within your editorial, you need to mention how your topic relates to some government or constitutional idea we have covered this semester (eg. Checks and balances, powers of each branch, elections, amendments, Supreme Court cases, rights, etc.). The connection between the two needs to be spelled out (obvious) in the editorial.

Writing an editorial piece

An editorial is a newspaper article written by or on behalf of an editor that gives an opinion on a topical issue. They can take a position for or against an issue, or simply inform, or both. They tend to convince readers by combining emotions and facts. Editorials tend to be well researched and fairly lengthy but “tight” in their flow and argument.

Grab the reader’s attention.

Your opening sentence/paragraph is very important. It should tell readers what you’re writing about, and make them want to read more.

Don’t make the general public wait to find out what you want to say. Tell them your key point at the beginning.

Explain why the issue is important.

If you are motivated enough to write an editorial, the importance of your topic may seem clear to you. Remember, though, that the general public probably doesn’t share your background or the interest. Explain the issue and its importance thoroughly but accessibly.

Give evidence for any praise or criticism.

If you are writing a letter discussing a past or pending action, be clear in showing why this will have good or bad results. If you say this “is good” or that “is bad”, give evidence (and cite).

State your opinion about what should be done.

You can write a letter to support or criticize a certain action or policy, but you may also have suggestions about what could be done to improve the situation. If so, be sure to add these as well. Be specific. And the more good reasons you can give to back up your suggestions, the better.

Check your letter to make sure it’s clear, to the point, and factual.

In this sense, an editorial would not normally necessarily cite information (or they might). Make sure this editorial is well researched as you mix personal opinion and researched facts.