Blog vs Op-ed
A blog is typically an informal informational piece, written on a variety of topics, and does not explicitly state an opinion. Blogs are also not published in newspapers or publications but are posted on websites that align with the potential reader’s interests. Blogs are important for boosting search engine optimization (SEO) by positioning our website as a relevant source for answers to questions that prospective students are asking.
Blog posts should have a clear introduction that informs the reader on what the post is about. Similar to op-eds, blog paragraphs should be short and not written in academic jargon or include technical terms. Blogs are often written in an informal tone and are easy for the reader to skim and understand.
For examples of Pepperdine Graziadio blogs, visit bschool.pepperdine.edu/blog/.
An op-ed is an opinion piece, often written by a subject matter expert or notable person with the qualifications to have an opinion. Op-eds must have a strong, informed, clear, and focused opinion grounded in solid research on an issue relevant to a targeted audience. Op-eds are concise articles and are between 700-800 words. The word count depends on the outlet with trade outlets usually allowing more words.
Before writing an op-ed, be familiar with who the target audience is -- who will be reading the article or find the article interesting/helpful (e.g. CEOs, HR managers). Op-eds must have an interesting hook that is relevant to one issue, idea, or argument. In addition, the opinion must be backed up with evidence and support in the form of research, data, statistics. The data and research do not have to be your own. Avoid writing in academic jargon and technical terms -- the op-ed should be clear and written in everyday language to not lose the reader. Most importantly, op-eds must be timely to trends, news, or an issue that is currently occurring.
The basic template for an op-ed:
- Intro paragraph: a strong hook that grabs readers’ attention and is related to the topic of the op-ed.
- Issue paragraph: state the issue, what people need to know, and why people should share. This paragraph is meant to add color to why you are writing the opinion piece and offering expertise.
- Supporting point 1: if you are writing about a problem the piece, should propose ways to fix it. The first supporting point should be the strongest. This paragraph should address what your audience needs to know. Include facts, statistics, and anecdotes.
- Supporting point 2: similar to supporting point 1, this paragraph has your second supporting point on what the audience needs to know. Include facts, statistics, and anecdotes.
- Supporting point 2: similar to supporting points 1 and 2, this paragraph has your third supporting point on what the audience needs to know. Include facts, statistics, and anecdotes.
- Concluding paragraph: leave your audience with a call to action that summarizes your supporting points. Bring your op-ed full circle by referencing your original point and reinforcing your message.
- An op-ed is not a news story that describes a situation.
- An op-ed is not a blog with a rolling collection of thoughts—blogs are often personal and informal whereas op-eds are more professionally done.
- An op-ed is not a journal article that lacks the personal voice.
- An op-ed is not a summary of published academic research.
- An op-ed must have an opinion and should advocate persuasively for something—remember you are the industry thought leader that readers are seeking advice and information from.
- An op-ed must be written using an active voice and in the first or second person.
- Use short sentences and paragraphs—use simple declarative sentences.
For consultations to discuss ideas or support, please reach out to Hillary Doran, associate director of marketing and communications.