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.