Effective arguments written for publication in the popular press communicate ideas clearly in terms that can be understood by the general public or an audience unfamiliar with the field.
- Grab the audience’s attention with a “hook” at the beginning of the introduction and connect the topic to something they find interesting or relevant.
- Make the argument easy to follow by stating your thesis explicitly at some point and by signposting where the argument is headed next.
- Use words and concepts with which the audience is familiar to describe ideas that are new to the audience.
- Support claims with evidence from several disciplines.
- Acknowledge counterarguments.
- End with something memorable.
- Ask yourself, what would the nonacademic audience find interesting?
- What format does your article need to take to suit the publication and entice the nonacademic audience to read your piece?
- Why should the general public read or care about your argument?