Opinion Writing

Opinion writers use their own experiences to offer insight, historical information, factual information and, or, a specific point of view.

Before you start out think about whether what you have say will resonate with other people. Who cares?

  1. Your lede should clearly state the point.
  2. The rest of the opinion piece should back up your claim.
  3. You need more than opinion. You need facts.
  4. Statistics and links to studies help.
  5. Write 500 to 700 words.

Here’s what The New York Times says about submitting an opinion piece.

The New York Times accepts opinion essays on any topic for both the daily print page and online section as well as the Sunday Review, the International edition (which is edited out of London and Hong Kong), and other themed series. Published pieces typically run from 400 to 1,200 words, but drafts of any length within the bounds of reason will be considered.

We ask that everyone include a one-sentence author ID at the top or bottom of the submission. Please do not assume we are going to know who you are. Also, be sure to include annotations for all assertions and attributions made in your essay.

All submissions must be original, exclusive to The Times and, as a matter of security, embedded in the text of an email, not as an attachment.

Submissions may be sent to opinion@nytimes.com

Due to the large volume of messages we receive, we have to pass on much material of value and interest. If you do not hear from us within three business days, you should feel free to offer it elsewhere.

What, exactly, is an Op-Ed?

As Trish Hall, the former Op-Ed and Sunday Review editor has written, “Anything can be an Op-Ed.” Personal or explanatory essays, commentary on news events, reflections on cultural trends and more are all welcome. We’re interested in anything well-written with a fact-based viewpoint we believe readers will find worthwhile.

Examples of good opinion writing.


I Met a Taliban Leader and Lost Hope for My Country

By Farahnaz Forotan

Ms. Forotan is an Afghan journalist who fled her country after her life was threatened.

  • April 21, 2021

As men continue to bicker over the future and control of Afghanistan, I have already lost my home and my country. I worked in Kabul as a television journalist for 12 years, and finally left in November after threats to my life.

I know how the Taliban plan to shape the future of my country, and their vision of my country has no space for me.

For what turned out to be one of my last assignments, I traveled from Kabul to Doha, Qatar, in October to report on the negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Like many Afghans, I was somewhat hopeful that the talks might help end the long, pitiless war in our country.

In Doha, I had the opportunity to interview members of the Taliban negotiating team at the conference hall where the talks were being held. The experience reinforced my sense that postwar Afghanistan, dominated by the Taliban, was bound to be a bleak place for Afghan women.

Read more.

Fixing policing is a long, hard slog


The conviction of Derek Chauvin for the cold, calculated murder of George Floyd was about as simple and straightforward as a court case of its kind could be. But of course the case was about more than just one killing.

We’ll know true change has arrived when it doesn’t take the protest of more than 15 million people to get justice in a case with a damning video showing credible witnesses begging a cop — in vain — not to wantonly kill a subdued, handcuffed and obviously incapacitated man.

Read more.

Ramadan in the age of COVID: A personal snapshot


I set my alarm for 3:30 a.m. My alarm never misses a beat. My husband and I leap out of bed. Got to get a meal ready, eat, savor that steaming cup of latte, all before the call to prayer at 4:40 a.m.

We bump into one another in our narrow kitchen. He heats the tawwa (hot plate) over the stove flipping the frozen parathas.Ever had a paratha? It’s a flat bread, oily and flaky, and as yummy as it sounds. I microwave the chicken curry, chopping cilantro for garnish. If you haven’t had the experience of fresh chopped cilantro, you haven’t done justice to your nostrils. Tear off a piece of paratha, scoop up the curry, and take that aroma-filled bite.

After meals, I curl up with the Koran and my cup of coffee. Knowing that this will be my only cup for the next 24 hours makes me savor every freshly ground frothy sip. This Koran was a wedding gift from my grandfather. It is 12 x 16, hardcover and heavy. The script of black on pale gold invites me to caress the page. I recite the Koran in Arabic and hope to complete it in its entirety by the end of Ramadan. It is dark outside, with just a few checkered boxes of light in the buildings around. The streets below are quiet and empty. It is still. After coffee, I make myself drink water, lots of it. Can’t get dehydrated.

Read more.

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