Editorial Writing

Author: Matthew Tidwell
Editor: Stephanie Nardei

Time: 4 - 5 Class Periods
1 hour
Materials: Depending on the teacher—copies of a local paper, recording of a local or national news broadcast, list of possible topics

This lesson serves as a final project for the students to show what they have learned about effective editorial writing by writing an editorial of their own.  Although the topic that the students write about may be up to the teacher, certain current events will be more accessible to the students.

Students will:

  1. Write an editorial about a current topic.
  2. Use the library to research their topic.
  3. Peer edit their colleagues work.

W-P2—Write a persuasive essay that contains effective introductory and summary statements; arranges the arguments effectively; and fully develops the ideas with convincing proof, details, facts, examples, and descriptions.

Teacher Background
The teacher can assign students a particular topic, or allow the students to pick one on their own. If the teacher decides to allow the student to choose their own topic, then a list of topics related to current events should be provided. The teacher may also want to consider not allowing more than one student to write about any particular topic.

Resource Websites

Writing Editorials http://www.k12albemarle.org/AlbemarleHS/ClassPages/shepard/WebQuest/WritingEditorials.htm
Journalism for Beginners http://weblogs.hcrhs.k12.nj.us/journalismfun/
Document Types http://www.cinahl.com/library/doctypes.htm
Writing a News Story http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/special_initiatives/toolkit_resources/tipsheets/writing_news_story.cfm
Analytical Writing http://www.collectionscanada.ca/education/008-3090-e.html
American Journal of Medicine Required Components for Submission http://www.elsevier.com/framework_products/promis_misc/ajmedit.pdf



1. Before the students begin their writing, some time should be spent discussing current events and what topics could be editorialized. This could be done in several ways: distributing copies of a local paper and allowing the students to read through them, watching a FOXNEWS or CNN news broadcast, or watching a local news broadcast.  During this time, if appropriate topics are identified, you may want to add some of these student ideas to the list for the ensuing activity. 

2. Give students the writing assignment

You will choose a current event and write an effective editorial that argues your point of view. Your editorial must follow the proper organization as discussed in class. Additionally, your editorial must be free from any spelling or mechanical errors.

3. Have students choose their topic. Students should choose a topic that they can be passionate about and be able to argue. Additionally, the topic should be one that the students could easily formulate arguments for.

4. The students should then be given time in the library to research their topic. Students should be looking for evidence to support their claims.

5. For the next step to this assignment, the students should be given time to write their editorials. The entire writing process should be followed—brainstorming/outlining, rough draft, peer review and editing, and final draft.

To wrap up this assignment, the students could share their editorials with the class.

If applicable

Embedded Assessment
The assessment for this assignment will be based on a rubric.


PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:

NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award


Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694

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Last update: March 7, 2007
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