Religion and Public Life Spring 2020: Essay Final

A. You will write an Op-Ed piece for your local newspaper on an issue of your choice
that discusses the intersection of Religion and Public Policy. The one limitation on the
choice of your topic is that you cannot chose the same public policy issue that you were
assigned to facilitate the discussion on religion and public policy (you may choose one of
the topics that someone else served as the discussion leader or it can be a topic not on the
list of ones considered). Your Op-Ed essay should be at least 750 words (about 3 pages)
but no more than 1000 words (4 pages). Include with it as well a bibliography of sources
consulted. Op-Eds are opinion pieces so they need to have a strong thesis statement.
Thesis statements are assertions that readers may agree or disagree with, but that you try
to persuade them of the claims that you make with evidence. You need to state an opinion
in an Op-Ed essay! For some advice on writing good Op-Eds, here are a couple of links
from Harvard
new_seglin_how_to_write_an_oped_1_25_17_7.pdf and the New York Times (Ive
downloaded the Harvard PDF as well and placed it in Brightspace). If you would find it
helpful to assume the voice of a particular policy advocacy group (e.g., Focus on the
Family a more theologically and politically conservative group – or Sojourners an
evangelical group committed to social justice issues to give two examples along the
theological and political spectrum) when you write, feel free to adopt such a perspective.