Issues are ideas or topics on which people have different views and opinions. When writing an article about an issue, your goal is to present a balanced argument based on logical reasoning and research (and, of course, your own careful observations and reflections). A writer’s perspective can change the outcome of the issue.
To “issue” something is to put it out into the public domain, as with a statement by a celebrity or a new issue of a stamp. Another sense of the word is that of a topic that needs to be discussed or debated, such as politics, religion or the latest controversy on a reality TV show. Politicians often say they want to talk about the issues and not their personal lives, and many journalists focus on the “issues” when writing stories.
One of the best ways to write a compelling article about an issue is to start by tracking what’s going on in the real world. This can be as simple as monitoring the news to see what’s hot, or it may involve a more extensive research project such as researching archival documents. In either case, your article should be timely and focused on the latest developments, as this will attract readers and give op-ed editors a fresh news peg to grab onto.
An alternative to the traditional “literature review” in a dissertation is the creation of a theoretical framework, which is more than just a summary of what has been written about your subject; it is a guide for the reader through gaps in knowledge that your paper fills. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the topic and your ability to apply the theory you have learned to the real world.