The word issue originally meant “to put out” or “send forth,” as in a celebrity issuing a statement, the post office issuing new stamps, or a politician saying, “I want to talk about the issues, not your personal problems.” Nowadays, the term more generally refers to a topical controversy or hot-button item that people are concerned about and/or debate over.
When writing an article about an issue, it is important to present a balanced story so that readers will have all the facts they need in order to make an informed decision. Thorough research is key, but be sure to cite your sources carefully so that you don’t accidentally mislead readers. Also, keep in mind that readers are often impatient when they encounter long articles, so use visuals and short paragraphs to convey your points.
A well-written issue article can have a lasting impact on the reader. It can help shape opinions, spark discussion, and provide a fresh perspective on a controversial subject.
Identify what issues are pushing your audience’s buttons and what you think of them. Then create a file folder and start collecting articles, statistics, and names of players involved in the controversy or debate. Once you have enough material, begin drafting your opinion on the matter. Be sure to structure your article to support a one-sentence opinion, and use concrete examples and facts to back up your claim.
Use the word issue sparingly, and avoid using it in conjunction with personal attacks. Instead, say something like, “This is a difficult issue to tackle, but I believe that we need to take a common-sense approach.” If you are able to avoid demeaning the person behind the issue, your article will be far more likely to be read and appreciated.