Rhetoric & Composition I: Winter Quarter 2013 Rotating Header Image

Op-Ed Project

Genre: Op-Ed piece for the New York Times
: Your choice (primary, secondary, and tertiary audiences)
Learning OutcomesRhetorical Knowledge; Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing; Knowledge of Conventions; Processes
Length: 1250-1500 words
Due Dates

  • Thursday 2/7: Statement of Purpose
  • Tuesday 2/12: First Draft
  • Thursday 2/14: Second Draft and Peer Editing Feedback; Workshop Participation
  • Thursday 2/21: Final Draft

Your choice of projects:

Take a position on a debatable issue that we’ve encountered in the NYT so far, or that you’ve come across yourself:


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”)

Your St. Martin’s e-Handbook is very strong in this area, and we’ll be using it at every point along the way in the planning, drafting, revising, and proofreading stages of your project’s development:

Rhetorical Situations

3a: Your rhetorical situation
3b: Deciding to write
3c: The topic or problem
3d: The assignment
Exploring, Planning, and Drafting
5a: Exploring a topic
5b: Narrowing a topic
5c: Drafting a working thesis
5d: Gathering information
5e: Organizing verbal and visual information
5f: Planning
5g: Drafting
5h: Your writing process
Constructing Arguments
11a: The purposes of argument
11b: Determining whether a statement can be argued
11c: Formulating a working thesis
11d: Finding good reasons
11e: Ethical appeals
11f: Logical appeals
11g: Emotional appeals
11h: Using sources in an argument
11i: Organizing an argument
11j: Designing an argument
11k: A student argument essay