When it comes to opinions, we all have one. Just think of sites like Yelp and CitySearch where people post their (unpaid and unsolicited) reviews. If you look at a week's worth of your Facebook statuses, you'd probably see somewhere that you posted an opinion (probably something like "Ezine is the best class ever!" Right? Right??)
But when it comes to writing a 600-word piece, it can seem difficult to find a good idea.
Here's what you need to think about when you're coming up with your idea: 1. Is it newsworthy in some way? Example: A student yesterday wanted to do a piece on gay marriage but felt it was overdone. But, once he searched Google News for "gay marriage," he found that there had been many developments with regard to how states were addressing the issue. Then, he felt he could write a piece about how Texas was still really far behind the curve. His idea now has the elements of proximity (most of his readers are here in the Lonestar State) and impact -- since most people will, at some point, get married and are therefore inherently interested in the topic.
2. Is it focused? It's easy to want to take on the world (e.g., "We should all shop local!") but it's hard to come up with specific reasons that back up your point. Here is a good example from last semester of a focused argument. The Vibe: Why we should use libraries for books rather than bookstores.
3. Can you find plenty of research to back up your opinion? Sorry, you're not the only expert source you can use. Sure, you can cite personal experience, but you'll need outside sources -- and credible ones at that -- to support your stance.
When brainstorming what kind of magazine you want to do, we have to get a couple of things in order first: Who is your target audience, what is your mission, and what kind of content can readers expect to see?
Current magazine have all of that together so they can target potential advertisers for their publication. Conde Nast is one of the largest media marketing companies in the world. Take some time to look at the media kits of some of the most famous magazines in existence.
In an effort to help you understand your classmates' interests and personalities, you'll each be creating a magazine cover. You'll also turn in an explanation of the elements you used and will give a brief description of it during class Thursday. Here's the assignment.
Need some inspiration? No problem.
Above, you can see the cover I made. Here's a link to my description of it.
Once you're ready to turn everything in, you can give me your cover and then email your description to me (as a Google doc or a Word doc -- it's up to you) at firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject should read: Name_Assignment_Class Period. So if I were in 1st/2nd block, my subject would read "Kendra Young_Magazine Cover_1.2."
Thanks, and I look forward to hearing about your magazines tomorrow in class!