Mastering the Art of Opinion Writing



Lynn Stuart Parramore

Senior Research Analyst, Institute for New Economic Thinking

Having been lucky enough to work with Allison for many years, I can attest to her rare combination of sharp instincts, broad knowledge, and high standards in writing. Her pitch-perfect sense of words and structure and insightful questions along the way make my pieces shine brighter every time she touches them.

If you want to make complex subjects accessible to the public and learn to craft high-impact op-eds, look no further.

Bonus: Working with her is a lot of fun!


William E. Pomeranz

Author of Law and the Russian State, Dep. Director, Kennan Institute for Russian Studies, Woodrow Wilson Center

Allison is is not only an expert editor, she is an outstanding mentor, who has the unique ability to coax the best article from an author Her natural inquisitiveness and professionalism made her a pleasure to work with.

I published over 20 articles with Allison at Reuters. Her instincts and judgments never led me astray. As a result, I was able to build a platform and reach a far larger audience. She created many opportunities for meand other Wilson Center scholarsto think beyond the ivory tower and become public intellectuals. 


Kathryn Cramer Brownell

Author of Showbiz Politics: Hollywood in American Political Life; Assistant Prof. of History, Purdue University

Allison has taught me analytical and writing strategies to translate my academic scholarship in American history into accessible pieces for the public.

She has shown me how to transform an academic chapter or a peer-reviewed journal article into a hard-hitting opinion piece that communicates historical nuance and complexity with vibrant and clear prose.

David M. Kennedy

Pulitzer Prize Winner;
Donald J. McLachlan Prof. of History, Emeritus, Stanford University

I have published opinion pieces in scores of publications and worked with dozens of editors over four decades. I can say without qualification that Allison Silver was the savviest and most skilled editor with whom I have ever collaborated.

She has a superb nose for both topic and take, and brings to bear a lifetime’s love affair with the excellencies of the English language.


Walter Russell Mead

Wall Street Journal Global Affairs Columnist; Author of Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World

Allison Silver is the editor who made me an opinion journalist. 

The lessons I learned from her about news hooks, structuring an op-ed, writing for intelligent lay readers instead of academics, and making your pieces punchy without dumbing them down gave me skills I still use today. As an editor and as a teacher, she is as good as it gets.


Daphne Eviatar

Senior Counsel, Human Rights First

Allison is that exceptional editor who improves your work while making you feel it's still your own and says just what you wanted to say--only far more effectively.

She taught me how to write about the law in ways that were not only informative, but engaging and accuratethree difficult things to combine in legal reporting. Allison understands complex subjects and why they're important. But she also knows what will matter to a general audience and how to engage readers while informing them.


Jeffrey S. Dukes

Director, Purdue Climate Change Research Center; Prof. Forestry & Natural Resources & Biological Sciences, Purdue University   

Allison’s op-ed boot-camp was transformative. First, she explained how to structure arguments most effectively. Then she sent us off to write. Day 2, she took our drafts and showed us what she meant, working with us individually to craft op-eds worthy of print. She works incredibly fast, so we learned a lot in a short time. The process of learning by doing helped bring the lessons home.

I wish I could have her on call 24-7. But at least I now have her voice in my head when I write for the public.


Elizabeth A. Cobbs

Author of American Umpire
Melbern Glasscock Chair in American History, Texas A&M University

For professors and writers wishing to influence policy or make a splash as “public intellectuals,” a quiver of op-eds is essential.

Allison has an eagle eye for what makes an arresting lead, a crucial ingredient in a strong op-ed, and she possesses unerring good judgment about how to structure an argument. There are iron rules that distinguish saleable op-eds from those that won't attract a nibble. Allison knows them all



Dir., Centers for Public Service, Shar School of Policy & Gov., George Mason University

Allison has more than just super-power editing skills, she has an exceptional ability to translate intellectual pieces for public consumption.

Op-eds are a key to influencing opinion and shaping policy. Given the current era of social media and alternative facts, knowing how to write an opinion-piece is critical for all scholars.  If afforded the opportunity to work with Allison, be sure to seize it.


Julian E. Zelizer

CNN, Columnist, Fierce Urgency of Now; Prof. of  History, Public Affairs, Princeton University

Allison Silver is a brilliant editor. Early in my career, I always tell colleagues, she really taught me how to transform my ideas from the academy into pieces for the press.

She had a major influence on my work and enabled me to become the public intellectual I am today. Her guidance still influences how I write my columns.

If you can work with Allisondon't miss the opportunity


Mary Kane

Associate Editor, Kiplinger Retirement Report

Allison is that rare editor who knows how to shape financial coverage. She’s skilled at helping economics writers find a timely news angleto gain urgency and a much wider audience. She helps writers avoid jargon and explain complicated and often dense topics in plain but compelling language.

Her typical edit helps readers to see what a policy change or financial trend means to themand why they should care.


Bill Schneider

Analyst, Al Jazeera
Professor, Schar School of Policy & Government, George Mason University

Allison Silver’s skills as an editor are peerless. She has a record of working with important thinkers who want to communicate with the larger world. Her talent is to rescue academic writers from turgid prose.

She has a gimlet eye for relevance. She follows 'the conversation' about important public issues in print and online. She knows what’s needed to move 'the conversation' forward, whether the subject is politics, science, art, world affairs or popular culture.