The Parts of an Editorial

Author: Matthew Tidwell
Editor: Stephanie Nardei

Time: 1 Class Period
Preparation of lecture material for students

Copies of editorials to use as references
Copy of editorial on an overhead transparency

In order for students to understand the composition of an editorial, they need to be presented with the elements of an editorial. This lesson is designed for students to explore the parts of an editorial.

The students will be able:

  1. To recognize the elements of an effective editorial.


Teacher Background
The information presented to students needs to be organized into a concise presentation. The teacher may want to have copies of editorials, especially one of each of the four different kinds of editorials on hand so students see an example of what is being taught.

Resource Websites
Adapted from www.k12albemarle.org




  1. Students should be prepared to take notes during this lesson.
  2. Go over the contents of an editorial:
    1. It typically deals with a current issue affecting many readers.
    2. Is persuasive by giving readers all of the facts and concerns.
    3. Gives suggestions to the readers.
    4. Has a balanced opinion, if offered, taking into account both sides of the debate.
  3. The teacher may want to reference an editorial at this point and connect the content information with an actual editorial.
  4. Go over the construction of an editorial:
    1. An editorial is an official view of the paper, so it is often thought out
    2. It is free from emotive terms.
    3. It is a balanced argument.
  5. Go over the must haves of an editorial:
    1. An editorial must have an introduction, a body, solution and conclusion.
    2. An editorial must have an objective explanation of the issue.
    3. Offers opinions from the opposing viewpoint.
    4. Good editorial engage issues, not personalities and refrain from name-calling or other petty tactics of persuasion.
    5. Offers solutions to the problems.
    6. A solid conclusion summarizes the writer’s opinion.
  6. Go over the four types of editorials:
    1. Editorials of argument and persuasion take a firm stand on a problem or condition. They attempt to persuade the reader to think the same way. This editorial often proposes a solution or advises taking some definite action.
    2. Editorial of information and interpretation attempt to explain the meaning or significance of a situation or news event. There is a wide variety of editorials in this category, ranging from those which provide background information to those which identify issues.
    3. Editorials of tribute, appreciation or commendation praise a person or an activity.
    4. Editorials of entertainment have two categories:
      • One is the short humorous treatment of a light topic.
      • The second is a slightly satirical treatment of a serious subject.
  1. The teacher may want to reference an editorial at this point.
  2. Go over the structure of an editorial:
    1. Editorials adhere to a strict formula:
      • Introductions state the problem
      • The body expresses an opinion
      • There is a solution to the problem
      • The conclusion emphasizes the main point
    1. The teacher at this point should put the transparency on the overhead. First read through the article with students. Copies of the editorial could be made available. Using colored transparency pens, the teacher should identify the structure elements in the editorial. Additionally, the students should identify the type of editorial the example is.

The closure for this lesson will take place during the following lesson when the students have more direct access with editorials.

If applicable

Embedded Assessment
The assessment for this lesson will be seen in the students ability to identify types of editorials.


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

1996-2007, The University of Arizona
Last update: March 7, 2007
  Page Content: Rachel Hughes
Web Master: Travis Biazo