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Curriculum
Op-Ed Page
Grade: 3-12
Subject(s): Writing
Required products: Tool Factory Word Processor
Materials
  • Tool Factory Word Processor
  • Background material about chosen topic from various sources (e.g., newspapers, magazines, Internet, books, etc.)
    Overview
    Student compose persuasive articles about a selected topic and combine views from all sides of the issue in an opinion-editorial page of the school newspaper.
    Instructions
    1) Students research a current social, political, local, or school issue and compose a persuasive essay in Tool Factory Word Processor. Remind students to edit, spell check, and save their draft.
    2) Students open the "Op-Ed" template to view an example of a short persuasive essay on a current issue. This template may be used for the student's own essay (simply delete the example graphics and text) or a it may be used as a model for the student's own page.
    3) At least two different views on a particular issue should be presented in the Op-Ed section of the newspaper. For examples of opinion pieces, students may go to the web links given, or to the Op-Ed section of their local newspaper.
    4) Remind students to address their piece to a specific audience and to predict counter-arguments as they compose their essay.
    5) Graphics may be added from the clip art bank or from the hard drive.
    6) More than one page may be needed to give adequate space to various arguments.
    7) Remind students to save their work.
    Printable Worksheets
    Mac users: To download, ctrl-click on the worksheet and choose "save link to disk"
  • Op-Ed Page Template
    Downloadable Worksheets
    Mac users: To download, ctrl-click on the worksheet and choose "save link to disk"
  • Op-Ed Page Template
    Weblinks
  • New York Times Op-Ed
  • Boston Globe Op-Ed
    Correlation
    Choose your standard:
    McREL Writing Standard 1, Level 3, # 10: The student writes persuasive compositions (e.g. engages the reader by establishing a context, creating a persona, and otherwise developing reader interest; develops a controlling idea that conveys a judgment; creates and organizes a structure appropriate to the needs and interests of a specific audience; arranges details, reasons, examples, and/or anecdotes persuasively; excludes information and arguments that are irrelevant; anticipates and addresses reader concerns and counter arguments; supports arguments with detailed evidence, citing sources of information as appropriate).

    Writing Standard 1, Level 4, #9: The student writes persuasive compositions that address problems/solutions or causes/effects (e.g. articulates a position through a thesis statement; anticipates and addresses counter arguments; back up assertions using specific rhetorical devices [ appeals to logic, appeals to emotion, uses personal anecdotes]; develops arguments using a variety of methods such as examples and details, commonly accepted beliefs, expert opinion, cause-and-effect reasoning, comparison-contrast reasoning).