Publish Your Opinion, with Laird Harrison, July 15 (via Zoom)

THURSDAYS, JULY 15 — 22 |  Your opinion matters. You have taken the time to research an issue and think it through. Now how can you get the word out to the people who need to hear it? Newspapers, magazines, and websites are looking for well-reasoned essays. But their criteria are very different from the ones your college English professor used. In this three-hour course, you will learn the basics of writing an essay or op-ed for publication. You will write your own opinion piece, then submit it for critique by the instructor and peers so you can polish it for publication.

Students will write an essay of about 700 words suitable for publication on a newspaper or news website. They will critique each other’s essays.

On the first day, over the course of 90 minutes, you’ll learn how to organize your thoughts cogently and persuasively. Studying recent examples of published work, you will analyze their strengths and weaknesses. As homework, you will apply these lessons in writing your own 700-1000-word essay. In a second 90-minute session the next week, you will receive comments from the instructor and classmates for revising your essay.

This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.


Laird Harrison has published opinion pieces in Salon, The Nation, and the San Francisco Chronicle among other publications. His journalism has appeared in TimeReuters and Smithsonian. He has taught writing at San Francisco State University, U.C. Berkeley Extension, Mediabistro and Bhutan’s Royal Thimphu College. He is the author of the novel Fallen Lake.


Number of sessions: 2

Dates: Thursdays, July 15, 22

Time: 5:30 – 7:00pm Pacific Time

Course fee: $90

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