Writing Punchy Op-eds

Writing Punchy Op-eds

How to write short, sharp opinion pieces that persuade

Opinion pieces, or op-eds, can be a powerful tool to shift the debate, get your message across to a large audience and establish yourself as a thought-leader. But only if you take a strong stand, keep your focus and write convincingly.


This workshop will give you practical tips on how to write clear, succinct and punchy op-eds that grab readers quickly and don’t let them go. It is based on practice, not theory so we’ll look at lots of examples of good, bad and ugly op-eds and analyse what makes them work or not. And we’ll get you writing op-eds and give constructive feedback on them. Please note: this course is best done in two sessions to allow time for practice.



Day one

  • Finding an original angle and hook for your story.
  • How to write convincingly: having strong, clear messages and using evidence to back them up.
  • Structuring your op-ed: state your position, set out the problem, provide a solution.
  • How to grab readers quickly: writing catchy headlines and punchy leads.
  • Op-ed storytelling tools that work: making it personal, adding colour, acting as an eyewitness.
  • Using rhetorical devices to persuade: repetition, contrast, metaphors.
  • Learning what makes an op-ed different from a blog, feature, analysis piece or position paper.
  • Pitching your op-ed to the media/publishing it online.

Day two (optional)

  • One-on-one feedback: Line-by-line analysis of participants’ op-eds and suggestions for improving them. 30-45 minutes per person, depending on numbers.


What our participants say

"Hats off for upgrading the team’s skills! The recent op-eds by my colleagues were great. You really brought out their talents."Heather Grabbe, Director, Open Society European Policy Institute
"It was great. I got good tips on how to improve my writing style. And coming from an experienced journalist really brought added-value."Amanda Paul, Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre
"Very insightful, I learned a lot. Great takeaway: You don’t need to be a native speaker to write good op-eds."Pauline Constant, Senior Comms Officer, BEUC


Get in touch for a quote