Top Five Reasons... This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Why opinion pieces only serve to aggravate the reader:

1. Define “fact.” It is hard to believe what some people think is a fact. Maybe you believe in it so much you think that it is concrete, but I can firmly believe my older brother is a goat … nope, he’s still human. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but come on.

2. Contrary to popular belief, the more you write about something, the less we care. Drawing on the psychology of soccer moms, if continued exposure to “Grand Theft Auto” will turn you into a thief, then continued exposure to rants and raves about the war, or Republicans saving the world, will either turn us into terrorists or Democrats.

3. There are some opinions that really don’t need to be shared (unless you’d like to be mercilessly mocked for the rest of your days). If you have a strong opinion on something mundane, I really don’t care. If you are pro-school uniforms, just keep your mouth shut. If you feel the need for gender-specific schools, seek psychiatric help.

4. Perhaps religion and politics should still be taboo topics. Democrats versus Republicans and desperate appeals to “Find Jesus” probably are just going to end up as lining for a hamster cage. I’m not going to change my religious affiliation or my political party simply because some over-enthusiastic zealot tells me to. And quite frankly, anyone who would probably isn’t the best addition to your cause.

5. It’s good to rock the boat, but don’t tip it over. While having an opinion in an editorial is crucial, there really is no need for name-calling or blatantly offensive phrasing. You can and should be strong in your convictions, and it’s okay to obliterate your opponent, but make sure it’s just their ideas you’re insulting. I’m sick of reading opinion pieces that degrade and demean groups or those who believe something. It’s the idea you have a problem with, not the specific person. If I wanted to hear abuse, cruelty, or offensive language, I’d turn on MTV.

Now if we just followed these five rules, we wouldn’t have to read infuriating opinion articles. In fact, we wouldn’t have opinion pieces at all. If no one claimed something as fact, we couldn’t be sure about anything. If no one wrote more than one piece on a topic, we’d probably never hear about it. Crazy and unorthodox opinions have changed the world – why would we stop sharing them now? If we couldn’t debate about religion or politics, what could we talk about? And sometimes, to get your point across, it’s necessary for everyone to get a little wet – or completely soaked. If a fall from a boat is necessary to accomplish that, well then, so be it.

So, the point I’m trying to make is this: Opinion sections are supposed to make you mad. They are designed to make your blood boil and a vein in your forehead stand out. One glance at the hapless arguments and vicious disagreements in the newspaper is supposed to ruin your entire morning. That’s the way it has to be. Anything and everything is, and should be, open to debate and interpretation. We should exercise that right by writing and defending what we believe in, regardless of science, logic, peer pressure, or top-five lists.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

Kati H. said...
Feb. 16, 2009 at 2:00 am
That was awesome. The thing about your brother being a goat made my night, it was really funny and unexpected. I enjoyed your article a whole lot.
naina bobana said...
Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:04 pm
i totally agree ive seen so many comments and articles that really aggravate me because they are only based on opinion.
ShaiHulud said...
Dec. 10, 2008 at 2:47 am
That was great! Though I must confess that while reading the third 'rule' I became very aggravated and rated the article with one star. But really, I should have finished reading the article before rating and given it it's deserved five stars.
Joy said...
Oct. 19, 2008 at 10:03 pm
This was extrememly well-written, and it had a sense of humor throughout. Good job.
JustMe said...
Sept. 13, 2008 at 10:39 pm
Well, I've published things on this web site under opinion. I'm sure somebody who read it agreed with me. And you said, I’m sick of reading opinion pieces that degrade and demean groups or those who believe something." Well, I just read something you believe in. If you loathe opinion articles sooo much, why'd you write one? And the point of writing is to get your feelings out. AND...if we never expressed opinions, we'd all eventually explode from keeping them in. So in other words, y... (more »)
dee_dee said...
Sept. 9, 2008 at 9:17 pm
this is rele a good piece i understand every word of it
deepbutlaughing said...
Aug. 20, 2008 at 9:14 pm
What a good piece! Funny and smart. Nice job Kaylee C, you are absolutely right.
faceless said...
Aug. 5, 2008 at 11:02 pm
best article in this whole section. thanks for being fresh.
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