WRD 103: Composition & Rhetoric I: Autumn Quarter 2014 Rotating Header Image

Op-Ed Essay Project

Project: compose a persuasive essay on a debatable issue that we’ve encountered in the NYT so far, or that you’ve come across yourself, or that keeps you up at night because it’s a burning issue for you, drawing on your sense of the issue’s stasis and exigency.

Genre: Op-Ed piece for the New York Times
Audience: Educated, aware, curious readers, some of whom may be skeptical critical thinkers
Learning OutcomesRhetorical Knowledge; Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing; Knowledge of Conventions; Processes
Length: 1000-1250 words

Due Dates:

  • Tuesday, 10/14: Preview
  • Thursday, 10/21Statement of Purpose
  • Thursday, 10/23: First Draft
  • Tuesday, 10/28:  Draft #2 made available to Peer Reviewer 
  • Thursday, 10/30: Peer Editing Feedback 
  • Tuesday, 11/4: Final Draft

Some possibilities — note how framing them as inquiry questions helps to narrow your issue to something that is persuasively answerable:


The New York Times lays it out nicely: “we look for timeliness, ingenuity, strength of argument, freshness of opinion, clear writing and newsworthiness.” (“And Now a Word From Op-Ed”)