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How To Write A Strong And Sound Opinion Article

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An opinion article, as the name suggests, is an article where you express your opinion on an issue. It is different from an essay in that it deals usually with issues being reported in the news and is written in your own unique tone. Unlike the research paper variant of the essay, it also is briefer and has a clear point of view.

Sure, social media allows us to express opinions like never before, but if you are looking for a larger audience, an opinion article is the solution you are looking for. But this solution also comes with its requirements. Not all opinion articles get noticed or influence other people. If you are looking to write one, it helps to have some tools in hand, especially if you are just beginning to write. Here then are some easy steps to guide you through writing an opinion article:

1. Be Short And Specific

If you check the length of an article before deciding to read it, you know what I am talking about. With reducing attention spans, you have to be careful about the space you use and what you do with it.

It makes sense in an opinion article to make those one or two arguments that you can persuasively put forward, and deal with them at length. Making a specific argument isn’t limited to finding a specific logic though. It can also include things like a specific location or identity. If you are in an inter-religious relationship, what you have to say about ‘love-jihad’ is important when the subject is being debated.

2. Find New Arguments

Even in an opinion article, you must try to offer something new. If you are going to tell people that ‘violence is bad’, there is little incentive for anybody to read on. This is because they have heard this argument earlier, and quite a few times too.

Such new arguments and opinions can range from ‘If you look at these numbers, you will get a new perspective on violence’, to ‘I don’t think surgical strikes can end terrorism’. The former makes a new argument through overlooked data, while the latter brings an opinion that is not intuitive.

Similarly, you can look for a specific incident, nuggets from history, and so on. The lesser known or discussed an opinion or argument is, the more likely it is to interest a potential reader.

3. Get To The Point Fast

A reader decides to read the article after reading a title. If you want them to read beyond that, you must make them care about what you have to say. The opening paragraphs or the introduction is one area where you perform this manoeuvre.

For example, do you know of a way in which the issue you are discussing will affect a potential reader? You can draw the attention of the reader to that outcome to make them care about your article. Is there an anecdote relevant to a debate that few people will know? It’s good to put it up front.

You also need to tell the reader what new perspective you are bringing to the table early on. It is a good practice to introduce your reader to the specific argument you are going to make in the introduction or immediately after it.

4. Structure Your Argument

Whether it is an emotional argument or a factual one, it becomes convincing only when you explain it. Repeating a statement will only convince those who already believe in it. I structure my arguments usually by first stating what my argument is, then following it up with my reasons. And finally, if possible, I give an example to demonstrate my argument.


5. Offer Solutions

You are not writing a news report showing the existence of a problem. The article is your opinion on the issue. So feel free to offer recommendations or solutions that can solve the problem that you are highlighting.

6. Use Active Voice And Avoid Jargon

Everybody has an opinion once a debate starts. If you have distinguished your opinion by following the above steps, it is important that you also convey your opinion to every reader effectively. So avoid jargon.

It is okay for the Delhi High Court to say: “Any provision of Territorial Army Act barring recruitment of women is ultra vires the Constitution.” You are probably better off saying: “Any provision of Territorial Army Act that bars the recruitment of women is unconstitutional.”

Using active voice is another way in which you can reduce strain for the reader. Here’s an example:

Passive voice: Students were arrested by the police immediately afterwards.
Active voice: The police arrested the students immediately afterwards.

7. Give A Winning Conclusion

If you are offering solutions to a problem at the end of your article, you are already close to summing up what you have argued throughout the article. If you can finish this off with a polished small paragraph that sticks in the mind of the reader, you will have made an impression on them. There are no fixed ways of doing this, but if you can distil everything you have said in the article in as few words as possible, we can say that you have succeeded.

There will always be that opinion article that breaks these rules. But if you are just beginning to write, write routinely, or are writing on a tight deadline, these tools should be useful. Happy writing!

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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