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EGL 220 - Critical Thinking

What is an "opinion piece" and how can you identify it?

  • Opinion pieces in newspapers or magazines express an opinion and look to persuade their audiences. A good opinion piece will rely on research, and will  interpret the information from a point of view.
  • Opinion pieces may be called "opinion" "op-ed," "editorial," "commentary," or may not be identified at all. News articles are usually not identified as news, which can make it harder to tell the difference between news and opinion articles.
  • You can look for clues, such as a writer's bio that identifies them as an opinion writer, or a bio that identifies another organization (for an op-ed).

Where to look for opinion pieces

Physical newspapers and magazines often identify opinion writing, or have a specific section devoted to opinion. Some newspaper and magazine websites have an opinion section as well; you can browse or search specifically among the opinion pieces. Some databases allow you to limit your articles by type, so you can focus on opinion. In additional to the library resources listed below, you can look at the website of any newspaper or magazine, and try to identify the opinion pieces.

California State University Maritime Academy

Cal Maritime Library
200 Maritime Academy Drive
Vallejo, CA 94590 
707-654-1090

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