Building the next generation of leaders for marriage, family, and sexual integrity

How to Write Effectively

Consider beginning a conversation with the school or community by writing an article and submitting it to the campus paper.

Press releases are another great way to get publicity through newspapers, but without the advertising costs.

Even when writing on the topics of marriage, family, or sexual integrity for a large online journal, campus newspaper, or class essay may not be possible,  writing remains an invaluable teaching tool. Writing for an already existing blog, or creating one of your own, is a great way to practice articulating the positions that you hold in a cohesive way and with an accessible tone.

Tips for Writing Effectively

  1. Pick a narrow, focused topic for an article or op-ed; e.g. not “marriage,” but the social science on why moms and dads are both necessary to children.
  2. Use simple, clear, everyday language that people removed from these issues would understand. Avoid jargon.
  3. Be uncompromisingly fair, but don’t spend time celebrating your own civility. Don’t apologize for your views. Always start on offense and stay positive.
  4. Use humor, sass, and personality where appropriate.
  5. Show your reader he shares your moral principles. This is the the best way to defend moral principles needed for your argument, e.g. most people believe adultery is immoral, so you can use that to draw a link to fornication.
  6. Respond forcefully and quickly to high-profile criticism.
  7. Move beyond criticism. Put other groups on the defensive, in a civil and intellectually honest, respectful way. Expose contradictions and invite responses.
  8. Proofread everything extremely carefully yourself. Even small typos or grammatically errors give your reader the impression that they have reason to doubt the rigor of your argument. Have at least two others look over anything you write as well, preferably someone who agrees with you, and someone who does not (but who likes you).
  9. Refer to the tips for effective speech — the same principles surrounding personal testimony, double standards, playing the victim, and more apply.

Interested in learning more? Email Brittany Crippen at bcrippen@loveandfidelity.org to request a copy of the Love and Fidelity Network’s student manual.

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The Love and Fidelity Network is the principal program of the Collegiate Cultural Foundation