An issue is a matter of controversy, concern or interest. People use the word informally to describe someone’s problems: “He has anger issues,” for example. The word’s formal usage refers to a specific piece of news, such as the announcement of new stamps or coins.
In your article, you can talk about current events that push readers’ buttons, such as a celebrity death or the latest scandal on a reality TV show. You can also write about social issues, such as racial segregation, mental health in the LGBT community or the challenges of same-sex marriage. When writing about these topics, avoid announcing your own opinions. If you must comment, do so in a way that doesn’t make your readers angry or insult them.
You can also use the word issue to discuss a topic that’s currently circulating in the media: “The president weighed the pros and cons of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.”
As you research your article, pay close attention to the timing of your subject. Look at upcoming holidays or anniversary dates and consider how your topic will be influenced by those events. If you’re interested in writing about a particular hot-button issue, create a file folder for it and start collecting articles, statistics and names of key players. Then, write a one-sentence opinion about the issue that you think should be addressed. If you’re able to tie your opinion to the bigger picture, you have a more compelling argument and are more likely to be published in a newspaper or op-ed column.