How to Write an Editorial

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 1155
  • Published : March 12, 2007
Open Document
Text Preview
At one time the term editorial indicated that the editorial=s message was indeed a message from the editor. Today the editorial in professional journals also serves other functions. Many editorials are concise critical reviews of scientific topics, particularly topics that represent recent developments. The editorial may also be used for comment on an original paper published in the same issue. The commentary may critically assess the paper for its scientific validity, may disagree with the interpretation of the data reported, may put the paper=s contribution into perspective with other very recently reported findings that could not be taken into account when the paper was written, or may speculate on implications of the paper for future concepts or practice. Some editorials take political positions; with the citation of documentary evidence, they may have features of the review article.

Structure of the Editorial

Writing an editorial is in some ways more demanding than writing a research paper. The well-known conventional format for research papers is a relatively easy model into which to fit data and interpretations; at first glance the editorial has no format. The research paper usually runs to more than two printed pages, and an occasional slackening in it s thought process may not be noticed; the editorial is short, and flawed ideas and sequence stand out. So the task is to fit into a tight space content with a clear and logical sequence.

The task is easier if the steps of critical argument are kept in mind. The editorialist has to: - Pick an issue, a problem, a question
- Pose one or more possible answers;
- Weight the evidence supporting possible answers;
- Assess counter-evidence; and
- Conclude with an answer. The answer might seem to e that there is no answer and that more information is needed, but that is itself an answer! Even such an answer is reached in a well-reasoned editorial through critical argument.

Table 3...
tracking img