1. Put your main point on top. You have no more than 10 seconds to hook a busy reader, which means you shouldn’t “clear your throat” with a witticism or historical aside. Just get to the point and convince the reader that it’s worth his or her valuable time to continue. 
2. Express your opinion, then base it on factual, researched or first-hand information. 
3. Be timely, controversial, but not outrageous. Be the voice of reason. 
4. Have a clear editorial viewpoint - come down hard on one side of the issue. Don’t equivocate.  Offer specific recommendations. 
5. Use short sentences and paragraphs. Look at some op-ed articles and count the number of words per sentence. You’ll probably find the sentences to be quite short. You should use the same style, relying mainly on simple declarative sentences. Cut long paragraphs into two or more shorter ones. 
6. Near the end, clearly re-state your position and issue a call to action. Don’t philosophize. 
7. Use clear, powerful, direct language. Don’t ramble or let your op-ed unfold slowly, as in an essay. Provide insight, understanding: educate your reader without being preachy. 
8. Use the active voice. Don’t write: “It is hoped that [or: One would hope that} the government will . . ." Instead, say "I hope the government will . . ." Active voice is nearly always better than passive voice. It's easier to read, and it leaves no doubt about who is doing the hoping, recommending or other action. 
9. Appeal to the average reader.  Avoid jargon. If a technical detail is not essential to your argument, don’t use it. When in doubt, leave it out. Simple language doesn’t mean simple thinking; it means you are being considerate of readers who lack your expertise and are sitting half-awake at their breakfast table or computer screen. 
10. Limit the article to 750 words. Shorter is even better. Some academic authors insist they need more room to explain their argument. Unfortunately, newspapers have limited space to offer, and editors generally won’t take the time to cut a long article down to size. 
- Our education system is in shambles.
- Meaningful education reform isn’t on our government’s radar.
- Our future as a nation depends on our citizens’ ability to complete in a global economy.
- A number of organizations exist with the purpose of reforming education, but they don’t adequately represent students and our voice
- The Student Voice movement intends to empower students everywhere by providing them with a platform to elevate their voices
- Students deserve a seat the table