OP/ED COURSE SYLLABUS
AN EIGHT-WEEK COURSE SYLLABUS IDEAL FOR STUDENTS MAJORING IN PUBLIC RELATIONS, JOURNALISM, COMMUNICATIONS OR ENGLISH
Teaching students how to write op/eds that have the potential to be published is a very effective way to teach them the "Five Essential Elements of Effective Writing." This eight week syllabus is designed to have students utilize a variety of journalistic and grammatical skills that will serve them well no matter the profession they ultimately choose. The course will walk students through the steps and skills that are necessary to write an op/ed that will eventually be considered for publication. Each week the syllabus will focus on one or more of the ten different aspects of op/eds as described by the New York Times. The goal of the course is to have each student write an op/ed that has the potential to be published by their local or regional newspaper, or perhaps by a national media outlet. Seeing their names in print or online as the author of the piece will be a very rewarding experience for each of the students, and it can be the jump start to their writing portfolio.
* The "Writing Effective Op/Eds" Course Syllabus -- The syllabus will include course schedule, description, objectives, required student resources, evaluation procedures and grading criteria.
* The "Five Essential Elements of Effective Writing" -- Widely considered to be at the center of good writing, these five elements should be incorporated into the student's op/eds.
* The Op/Ed Writing Rubric for College Students -- A scoring rubric guide to assist professors with evaluating a student's op/ed based on a number of widely accepted journalistic and grammatical skills.
* The Elements of an Effective Op/Ed Checklist along with What Editors Look for in an Op/Ed Checklist -- Two checklist grading grids to be used by students in order to evaluate the quality of various op/eds.
* The “OP/ED POWER” PowerPoint -- This PowerPoint presentation outlines the exact elements that are needed in order to write an effective op/ed, and one that may get noticed by the national or regional media.
* The Op/Ed Narrative Report -- Straight from the mouths of op/ed editors, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, this 9-page report will describe in detail the methodology that should be followed when writing an op/ed. Op/ed editors discuss what they look for in a viable op/ed, and what they expect from the author in terms of writing style.
* Op/Ed Editors Contact information -- You will receive an extensive email list of over 100 op/ed editors throughout the country, the word count they prefer and submission guidelines which can be distributed to students.
* The Op/Ed Fog Index -- The Fog Index is a readability test designed to show how easy or difficult a text is to read. It is a very valuable tool to consider when writing op/eds.