WJEA

02 editorial writing

:: Category 02: Editorial Writing ::

HOW IT WORKS

You will either listen to a presentation of no more than 30 minutes followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer period, or you will be given several pieces of information to read on a controversial topic. You are to write an editorial according to the instructions given by the moderator. Write as if the editorial were being published in a school newspaper. You will have 70 minutes to write, rewrite and complete the final entry. The final copy should not exceed 350 words.

WHAT THE JUDGES WANT TO SEE

Leads that come quickly to an assertion; focus on a single, manageable proposition; editorial format for lead, body and conclusion; opposing arguments weighed carefully and refuted; facts to support assertion in the lead; arguments fully developed; strong conclusion; accuracy; completeness; elimination of extraneous material; elimination of libelous or privacy-invading statements; use of AP style; skills in areas of grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, etc.

Remember that this should be written in the style of a staff editorial — not as a personal column. For more guidance on this, please see WJEA’s “Editorial Writing Guidelines,” posted on wjea.org.

MATERIALS WJEA WILL PROVIDE

Fact sheets, assignment sheet, rule sheet, final copy cover sheet, writing paper, paper clips or stapler.

MATERIALS YOU, THE CONTESTANT, SHOULD BRING

Writing utensils (pencil or blue or black pen). Optional: scratch paper, print dictionary/thesaurus, print AP Stylebook, WJEA’s “AP Style Cheat Sheet,” available on WJEA.org.

NOTE: We regret that no electronics may be used in this contest, including phones, tablets or laptops.

REMEMBER: Stay in the room during the contest. If anyone leaves the room before his/her entry is submitted to the contest moderator, the entry may be disqualified. No contestant will be given additional time, regardless of the state the work is in at that time.

DO…

  • write your contestant number on each page of your entry;
  • write legibly and correct errors VERY neatly and clearly;
  • clearly indicate paragraph indentations;
  • use AP journalistic style for copy editing, grammar, capitalization, etc.;
  • prepare entries according to fact sheet and instructions given by the moderator;
  • ask the moderator any questions;
  • turn off phones.

DO NOT

  • write your name or your school’s name on your entry;
  • leave the room until you have turned in your entry;
  • use electronics;
  • bring or use writing samples;
  • consume food or drink;
  • talk to other contestants.
The official site of the Washington Journalism Education Association
02 editorial writing