How to write a column       

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How to write a column       

Positioning yourself as an expert on a specific subject allows you to stand out. The exercise of writing a column requires a good handling of the argument and a clear formulation of your opinion by explaining and illustrating it. This argument in defense of a thesis is also a powerful communication tool that has not lost its allure in centuries of journalism history. Here are some tips on how to write a column.

1)     When you write a column: be aware of everything

Take advantage of an opportunity. Your column should address a current issue, a trend or an opinion expressed by someone else. Your editor will be much more interested in a story about a current issue or a recent event, rather than one that is a few months old.

2)     Don’t get technical

When you write a column, you are giving your expert opinion, however you are not only addressing specialists. It is better to use a general vocabulary, because your targets must understand the subject! Think of integrating anecdotes and examples to illustrate and facilitate the understanding of the message. You can also organize your column like an interview, especially if you are writing a portrait. Sometimes less time consuming to read, it is an ideal format for an article because it is more dynamic than a block text.

3)     When you write a column: problematize

The column answers a question, a problem, to which it tries to provide a solution or possible solutions through argumentation and reflection. You will therefore have to launch an idea that you will then support with different arguments. To do this, keep two questions in mind: What do you want to show? Then, problematize the idea you wish to present.

4)     Finish strong

Just as the first lines are crucial, the conclusion must end on a brilliant note. Like the icing on the cake, it is what makes the biggest impression and wins over the audience. It can be a quote, a pun, whatever you feel adequate when you write a column.

If you are lucky enough and have the necessary skills, when you write a column it could be an effective way to participate in public debate on a topic, and even to contribute to policy development at local, national or even global levels.