Comm. 100W Writing a Convincing Editorial slides

Comm. 100W Writing a Convincing Editorial slides - "Writing...

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“Writing a Convincing Editorial” by Robert W. Trancinski ( ) 1. Focus on a central theme. The single greatest error made by beginning writers is trying to say too much. The error comes from the belief that, in order to be convincing, an argument must be utterly comprehensive, addressing every possible issue that relates to it. However, no argument is effective unless it can be absorbed ands remembered by the reader. An effective editorial must be essentialized, focusing only on the most important issues and integrating them into on graspable whole. Note: A typical editorial is between 700-800 words.
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2. Know the viewpoint you have to refute. Although your emphasis should always be on the positive point you are trying to convey, every editorial is also trying to answer or refute a commonly held position. You are usually trying to answer 2 positions: the liberal and the conservative, subjectivism and intrinsicism, collectivism and individualism, etc. It’s important to understand what those potions are, so that you can provide the evidence that will be most convincing to your audience. The basic principle is that, to convince your reader, you must provide him/her with the necessary information to correct what you think are existing errors. (On a personal note, in order to promote your credibility and good will toward your readers, you should acknowledge the merits of opposing arguments rather than simply dismissing them.)
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3. Make inductive arguments. Your conclusion will be more persuasive if it’s based on probability not dogmatic certainty. A lot of public policies are based on inductive scientific observations. Specific instances lead to a probable, general conclusion. The weakness of a deductive argument based on certainty is the assumption that the reader already accepts the certainty of your specific conclusion. In other words, deductivity assumes the reader understands your basic opinions/principles in the same way you do. Thus, your basic premise might come off as arrogant or condescending.
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Inductive, continued…. Example: A deductive argument against affirmative action might look like this: “Racism, we know, is evil. Racism is defined as judging people and dispensing rewards and punishment on the basis of race rather than individual merit. But affirmative action is just such a policy of racial preferences. Therefore, affirmative action is evil.” Thus, some readers might say, “I don’t agree with your definition of racism. I think racism means the oppression of people of color by a white majority.” Or another person might say, “You are oversimplifying. The government should repair the historical wrongs of past policies by giving
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course COMM 100W at San Jose State University .

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Comm. 100W Writing a Convincing Editorial slides - "Writing...

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