When you begin to write, always first assess the situation for which you are writing. Here is a brief list of questions to ask yourself in this step to help define your situation: News versus persuasive writing: Am I writing a news story, an editorial, a public relations piece, or advertising copy? For example, if your editor asks you to observe a protest march by fast-food workers demanding higher pay, and to write a piece for the evening news, you will be writing a news story.


For instance, let’s say that you are a community activist working for an organization advocating child adoption rights for gay and lesbian couples in the state of Missouri. You are writing a guest editorial to submit to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a large metro daily. You reason that this situation could be viewed as either positive or negative, depending on one’s involvement with the issue and their personal convictions.


Key players in your state include the governor, the state legislature, activists, religious leaders, and community members who have not yet made up their minds. Your arguments would likely include a mix of rational and emotional appeals, including the fact that every child deserves a family, or that people of all backgrounds can love one another and become functioning families.