Op-Eds and blogs are a way to communicate to the lay public about important issues. They can be an important public health tool to raise awareness about an issue and advocate for action. Although they are opinion pieces, you do need to use evidence/data and arguments to support your opinion. The tone or language should be appropriate to inform a lay audience about evidence and there should be a call for community action.
PICK SOME ASPECT OF THE U.S. HEALTHCARE SYSTEM (specifically issues that impact Seattle, WA) as the topic for your op-ed or blog. You should include:
o Your opinion – Take a side and persuade the reader to join you. Can you link to personal story or passion?
o Clear impact of the issue – describes health impacts. Why should they care?
o Base arguments on evidence – Include use of data or evidence to support your argument and make logical transitions when connecting call for action to the health impact. Include the references to support the evidence.
o A call to action – Convince the reader that a specific action needs to be taken.
o Your voice – Be authentic and believable. Use “I/me/we” statements when necessary. Why should the reader trust you?
o Specifics – Don’t speak in generalities or abstractions. Instead, pick specific impacts on a community or individual.
o Conciseness – Use between 600 and 650 words – keep in mind that most published op-eds are short. It is more difficult to compose a thoughtful, concise piece (than a longer piece).
o References – Use AMA or APA and include a list of references.
Format: 11 pt font, double-spaced, Calibri text
Audience: The lay public
Voice: informal, engaging
All writings should be in complete sentences with correct grammar and punctuation. There should be a logical flow to thoughts and transitions between content. Use AMA or APA format for references.