For this assignment you must write an opinion article ( approximately 600 words) about a contemporary political/policy issue. You MUST pick an issue where you can have an opinion. Your task is to write an opinion article in which you try to convince a reader of your position. In your article you must:

Take a position on (makes an argument for) a position regarding a social, political, educational, or cultural issue. Op-eds are not reporting or reviews of facts. Please consult example Op-Ed I’ve posted on Canvas in the Modules section and read a few newspaper op-ed sections for examples and more background.

Address why your idea hasn’t already been enacted.

  • If it’s a good idea (which is your argument), then why hasn’t it already been done?
  • Cite at least one academic article/research in your OpEd. You will need to describe the article and what it tell us, but the description of the results of the article will be brief

Cite at least one non-academic article (i.e. newspaper, magazine, etc.) that provided you with information for the article.

  • Helpful(?) Hints
  • Think of a topic based on what interests you.
  • Make sure you have a thesis. I strongly encourage you to have a sentence in your essay that reads: “In this essay I argue that [insert your opinion/argument].”

Ground your opinion in social science, i.e., back your opinion up with evidence!

Connect your OpEd to something that has happened in the world recently. The connection should be about something very recent; it should not be too difficult to find one if you expand your standards to include news events all over the globe, relatively more local and more national in nature.

  • Sample Topics:
  • If you need ideas I would suggest you look at articles or opinion columns in the New York Times, The Economist, Washington Post or publications from think tanks such as Brookings, Cato Institute, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the American Enterprise Institute or other similar organizations.
  • Here are some sample topics from which you choose from.
  • Federal legalization of recreational use of marijuana

Federal re-enactment of the assault weapons ban


Tax reform: increasing taxes on wealthy earners, implementing a Universal Basic Income, cutting corporate tax rates, etc.

Federal/State support for higher education

Grading criteria (30 points total)

Does the topic address politics/policy? (5 pts)

  1. Did you express your opinion? (5 pts)
  2. How well did you justify your opinion? The following two components will contribute to this part of the grade. ( 15 pts)
  3. Logical consistency of the argument
  4. Empirical support for the conclusions/claims
  5. You need to address why your proposed idea hasn’t already been implemented.


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