SPSSI's 2019 Policy Workshop
Make Your Voice Heard, Increase the Impact of Your Research: Learn the Craft of Op-ed Writing
About the Policy Workshop
Each year, SPSSI's Policy Committee convenes a Policy Workshop that takes place one day before the start of the SPSSI Summer Conference. The goal of the workshop was to introduce policy-relevant perspectives and skills to SPSSI members at various career stages and to build capacity in areas typically overlooked in traditional academic settings. The 2019 Policy Workshop focused on the increasingly important craft of writing op-eds (opinion editorials).
Dr. Linda Silka, SPSSI Policy Committee Co-Chair and SPSSI Council Member, and Sarah Mancoll, SPSSI Policy Director, have spearheaded the design efforts for the 2019 Policy Workshop in collaboration with other members of SPSSI's Policy Committee, SPSSI's Communications Director, and members of SPSSI's Communications and Graduate Student Committees.
Policy Workshop Details
SPSSI brought in experts from outside of the organization to facilitate the "skill-building" portion of the workshop. In this hands-on deep-dive into op-ed writing, participants learned the following skills:
How to structure an op-ed from start to finish
How to write a good lede (i.e., opening sentence or paragraph)
How to identify one's key message
How to "hook" an op-ed to timely news
How to identify appropriate media outlets for one's op-ed
How to pitch an op-ed to a media outlet
Outside of the skill-building portion of the workshop, SPSSI members and staff led activities that challenge participants to think about what they—through experience, knowledge, and/or expertise—bring to the "opinion pages" that is unique to them. Participants heard from SPSSI members who have successfully written, pitched, and placed op-eds. Participants also engaged in conversations on why it is so important for scholars, researchers, and students—including especially people from underrepresented backgrounds—to contribute to the opinion pages.
Policy Workshop participants had time during the workshop to begin outlining and drafting an op-ed of their own. SPSSI staff will also be available in the weeks and months after the workshop to provide requested feedback and/or guidance.
Questions? Have a great idea for next year's Policy Workshop?
Please contact SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll.