Our new website is up and running! The URL is sites.newpaltz.edu/ticktalk and the link for the admin page is sites.newpaltz.edu/ticktalk/wp-admin. You can login with your New Paltz student ID. Please have a look around and make your final changes.

For our next and final class:

* Email me your pitch for an op-ed or letter to the editor. I’ll get back to you with edits. Once you get the go-ahead, please send your pitch out to 2-3 publications and start writing the op-ed (see below for tips)

* Write the 200-300 word op-ed/letter to the editor for next class (see below for tips)

* If you need to update your story page, please do so on the new URL. The new site will be live (and the old one dead) by Friday April 25

* Please join in on the live tweeting of the Mohonk Lyme conference on Sunday April 27 from 3 pm to 6 pm. Annie, John, Laura and Katie will be there tweeting at #TickTalkNP. Katie will be creating a Storify piece on the event for the website. The more interaction we have on Twitter, the better.

Tips for your pitch:

Graf 1: Start with a sentence introducing yourself and why readers should listen to what you have to say. Follow that with a sentence giving your news hook; i.e. why what you have to say is timely. The third sentence should be a clear, bold statement of your (supportable) opinion.

Graf 2: Describe why you hold the opinion above, with 2-3 pieces of concise, persuasive evidence.

Graf 3: One or two sentences on what you are offering (a 300 word op ed or letter to the editor)

Tips for your 300-word op-ed

Graf #1: Your news hook. Start with a specific piece of news that occurred on a specific (recent) date

Graf #2: Statement of your opinion. Be bold. This is not the time to waffle. If you have to simplify, do so.

Graf #3: Your evidence in support of your opinion. Similar to the graf #2 of the pitch.

Graf #4: Counterevidence–why people may not agree with you–and why that’s a mistake

Graf #5: Conclusion. What should people’s response to your opinion be? Be as specific as possible.