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GPLL12 - From Scholarly Research to Crafting an Op-Ed

Although academic journals and other scholarly outlets are valuable, their impact outside of academia is questionable as scholarly publications often sit in digital repositories where they are rarely read by non-academics.

Given that graduate students investigate some of the most pressing issues in society, we must find ways to ensure that our work reaches the broader public. One way of doing this is to engage in op-ed writing.

Op-eds are opinion pieces written on a newsworthy topic by someone that is unaffiliated with the newspaper. They enable you to bring your voice, expertise and authority on important issues to the greater public, in real-time.

In this 2-hour workshop we outline the key elements and strategies that contribute to writing powerful op-eds that journal editors will want to publish. First, we present the theory behind writing op-eds, including: what is an op-ed, what are news cycles, and how do the two fit together; the benefits of writing an op-ed; and analyze the components, structure, and style of an op-ed. During the second half of the session, participants will practice writing a news ‘lede’ and ‘hook’ (e.g., the key introductory components of an op-ed) that is relevant to their research field.

Learning Objectives

After attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

1. Understand the importance of writing op-eds as a grad student;
2. Identify when and how to join a news conversation;
3. Identify the key components of an op-ed and understand their functions;
4. Understand and evaluate journalistic writing styles;
5. Write an impactful news ‘lede’ and ‘hook’;
6. Apply appropriate strategies to effectively pitch an editor.

Leaders Information

This workshop is led by Nura Jabagi and Younes Medkour, Doctoral Candidates and Public Scholars for the 2018-2019 cohort.

Nura Jabagi is a doctoral candidate in Business Technology Management at the John Molson School of Business. She holds a BA (Hon.) in Economics from Queen’s University, a Graduate Diploma in Marketing from McGill University, and an MBA from JMSB. As a practitioner-turned-academic, Nura believes strongly in the importance of engaged scholarship and bridging connections between academia and ‘the real world’. She has been published in and interviewed by local and national news outlets including: The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, the Montreal Gazette, Montreal's La Presse, the CBC, and Global News.

Younes Medkour received his Bachelor's degree in Biology from Concordia University. He is now a doctoral candidate studying aging in Dr. Vladimir Titorenko’s laboratory. He co-leads a research project that resulted in the discovery of the most potent anti-aging pharmacological intervention. He is currently working on unveiling the mechanisms by which this extract extends longevity and delays the onset of diseases related to old age, such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

This workshop is not scheduled at this time.
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