Practice Op-Ed: Facial Recognition

You, Columnist.

Op-Eds are worth studying and emulating not because they appear in newspapers but because they’re persuasive and responsive to the writing of other authors. Every skill required to write a good Op-Ed will serve you well in academic writing.

For this practice Op-Ed, I’ve chosen your topic. Starting next week, you’ll select your own topics from articles anywhere in our textbook and locate sources to support a thesis you’ve also identified and refined. That process will begin with the preparation of a Writing Plan. But more on that next week.

Like most Op-Eds, yours will respond to a current situation and to articles by other authors. In addition to being timely and responsive, your essay will reference at least three sources to demonstrate the many ways you’ve researched your topic to earn that authoritative voice you’ll use when you make your clear and direct claims. I’ve provided you many sources to begin that process. You may restrict yourself to those sources or read more widely to find your own.

When I say reference, I don’t mean quote. You may quote of course, but you may also simply summarize the argument of another author or point us with a link in the direction of someone else’s research. One way or another, though, you will mention and make use of three sources.


1. Write an essay in the Op-Ed style with a very specific thesis on the broad topic of Facial Recognition.

Your Op-Ed will adopt the tone and formality level of the opinion columns published every day in the New York Times. Because Op-Eds are understood to be the opinion of a single person, unlike Editorials, they may use first person singular. (You may refer to yourself as “I.”)

3. Your Op-Ed will draw support from 3 or more sources. You’re not required to quote them, but you must refer to their content in your essay and provide hyperlinks to the originals whether you quote them, paraphrase them, or summarize them.

Op-Ed writers are paid to be opinionated. They do not get published by stating the obvious or reflecting common knowledge. Their essays do much more than simply state facts. Their claims are either controversial or uncommon or surprising. For example, they don’t say, “Facial Recognition is something to be concerned about.” Instead, they say, “We’re ten years away from living in a police state.”

Post your Practice Op-Ed to the blog by WED OCT 23 at midnight.

Title your essay: Practice Op-Ed—Your Name.

Post your essay to the Practice Op-Ed category and your Username category.

8. Early Feedback
As always, if you post early and I have the time, I will provide early feedback you can use to improve your draft before receiving your first grade. I cannot promise I’ll have time, but when I do, I heartily enjoy helping any way I can.


  • DUE WED OCT 23 at midnight.
  • There will be no rewrite for this Non-Portfolio assignment.
  • An official Op-Ed assignment for your Portfolio will follow in two weeks.

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