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What is an editorial?

  • Editorials have

1. Introduction, body and conclusion

2. An objective explanation of the issue (Reminder: avoid use “I”, it sounds subjective)

3. An angle, remember to take a stand

4. Opinions from the opposing viewpoint that refute directly the same issues

5. The opinions delivered in a professional manner

6. Alternative solutions to the problem or issue being criticized (if you have one)

7. A solid and concise conclusion that powerfully summarizes your opinion

8. Last but not the least, remember to cite your source

Further Notes:

*500-1500 words editorials welcome, both English and Chinese welcome

*What is the "prize"? Spotlight committee will give feedback and suggestion, and high quality articles will be published at Spotlight.

  • Writing an Editorial:

Steps you need to follow

Actions you need to take

Step1. Pick a significant topic

Fill in your topic here:

_______________

Step2. State your opinion briefly

Write down your opinion:

1._____

2._____

Step 3. Collect information and facts

List articles/resources you will use:

1._____

2._____

…(the more, the better)

Step 4. State your evidence supporting your opinion above

Sort out your evidence:

1._____

2._____

Step 5. Give opposing viewpoint first, and refute the other side using facts, details, figures, quotations, etc. (if you have)

Give the opposite belief:

1.____

Give your reason for refuting this belief:

1.___

Step 6. Give a realistic solution(s) to the problem/issue you discuss

Forward a solution(s):

1.____

2.____

Step 7. Wrap it up in a concluding punch that re-emphasizes your opinion

Conclude your editorial:

_______________

  • A sample editorial:

When’s the last time you ate lunch at one of the local schools? Food is the fuel that drives our minds and bodies,[This is the topic--school lunch] yet our local school menu is based on heavily processed food filled with sugar. We expect students to do A-plus work, but we are feeding them C-minus food. Our communities and our schools can do better. [This is the opinion--food quality should be better]

The nutritional problems facing schools are just one symptom of an out-of-control food system. The fictional comic philosopher, Alfred E. Newman, sums up the situation well: “We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.”[This is evidence--food quality is low] The priorities are all wrong.

During my father’s lifetime, the United States food system has changed dramatically and in ways that damage our health and environment. The way we produce food has the power to alter the foundations of our lives. Farming chemicals like pesticides and weed-killer are permanently altering our soil and water. Long-distance transportation of food requires enormous amounts of fossil fuels which surround the earth and trap in heat, leading to global warming. [This is evidence--food system has been exacerbated]

If things can go so wrong in just one generation, then certainly we can take substantial steps to fix these problems before the next generation inherits something even worse.

Let’s start fixing our food system by starting with schools. Science tells us that nutrition has a direct relation to a student's ability and willingness to learn. As of now, school lunches are not providing the nutrition that students need to become healthy, happy, and productive learners. [This is evidence--school lunch's quality is low] Part of the problem is that school lunches rely on heavily processed food with little nutritional content. We need school lunches that will provide all of the necessary vitamins, proteins, minerals and Omega- 3 fatty acids which are critical to brain function and which are often deficient in Americans’ diets.

Schools across the country have succeeded in establishing extremely healthy meals for students within existing school budgets. Several schools have introduced salad bars with fresh, whole foods from local farmers. In Colorado, for example, schools have tested organic foods and farm-to-school programs which have both improved nutritional intake, and dropped the cost of food as much as 30% due to decreased transportation and processing costs. Not only are these programs wildly popular with students, but they have also been greeted enthusiastically by schoolteachers, counselors and administrators who see the immediate benefits. Everyone agrees: nurturing the future means more than filling our heads with knowledge.[This is evidence--some schools have been implementing changes] It also requires filling our bodies with the fuel we need to process that knowledge. We can’t do only one part of this equation and get the desired results. Adults need to step up to the plate and organize our food system in such a way that good nutrition in schools is the norm, not the exception.

On behalf of my generation and generations to come, I am asking adults to get control of the runaway food system, and begin to pay attention to the long-term consequences of food production decisions made today. [This is the conclusion--we need to act now] If not now, when?

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