Op-Ed Policy

Missouri State University is home to numerous experts and scholars who can address topics affecting the world, the nation and our regional and local communities. If the public is talking and our experts can contribute to the dialogue, an op-ed is a viable avenue to explore.

Writing an op-ed piece is a way for experts and scholars to share their position on current affairs and timely issues with thousands of readers. One of the primary goals of the Office of Strategic Communication is to showcase our experts by expanding the University’s reach across the state and throughout the nation. This presentation of our experts can ultimately benefit departments, colleges and the University as a whole.

A properly written and well-developed op-ed has the potential to shape public opinion and, in fitting with the public affairs mission of Missouri State University, should serve to advance public discussion.

Strategic communication can provide editorial resources to help fashion, edit and place an op-ed piece in the proper market.

Although strategic communication encourages free discourse, we reserve the right to deny editorial and/or distribution assistance to the op-ed if we determine the piece does not meet Missouri State University’s standards. In such a case, or in the case of a letter to the editor, we can supply media contact information, but will not distribute the piece on university letterhead.

Please feel free to contact Strategic Communication at 417-836-6397 for more information.

Op-Ed writing tips

  1. Submissions should be between 600-700 words.
  2. Make your point at the beginning of the article. A catchy headline and lead sentence can help catch an editor’s eye.
  3. Don’t try to cover too much ground. Make one point, and make it well.
  4. Write with an active voice. Show. Don’t tell.
  5. No jargon. Write what people will understand.
  6. Act fast in response to breaking news, or pick a topic that will be in the news cycle for several days or weeks.
  7. Utilize pertinent facts and statistics to strengthen your argument.
  8. Avoid ad hominem attacks.
  9. Be accurate!
  10. It’s your opinion. You don’t have to analyze all sides (unless you’re specifically asked to do so.)
  11. End strong.