Tibbs: Welcome to the opinion section


Kennedy DeRaedt/Iowa State Daily

Opinion Editor Ashley Tibbs breaks down the opinion section and explains the differences between columns, editorials and letters. 

Ashley Tibbs

Every member of the Iowa State community should have an opportunity for their voice to be heard. 

That’s the idea behind the opinion section of the Iowa State Daily. We encourage civil public discourse between students, faculty, staff and other members of the community through columns, editorials and letters to the editor. 

Whether or not you agree with the content of an opinion piece, there’s no denying that these often spark conversations and debates. If you have something to say, now is the time to say it! 


Is there a topic you feel strongly about? Do you want to share your opinions with the rest of the Iowa State community? Columns are a great way to present your opinion, supported by research, facts and a well-rounded argument. 

Iowa State Daily columnists write columns on a weekly or biweekly basis. These are 400+ word opinion pieces, each with its own unique tone. Columnists have the chance to present their opinion in front of the entire university, and writing a column on a regular basis helps columnists hone their writing and research skills. 

Columnists choose their own topics and ideas based on what they want to share with the community. Some columnists may focus on a specific area, such as politics, while others write about anything and everything. 


Editorials are a bit more complex and can present a unique opportunity for writers. These are written by the Iowa State Daily Editorial Board, made up of students across campus that come together to write about local, national and international issues. 

Editorials are generally a specific argument regarding the issue at large, supported by research and evidence. The board will come together to discuss the issue before assigning the editorial to a writer. While only one or two people will actually do the writing, the editorial itself is representative of the views of all members (including those who disagree with the majority). 

The point of the Editorial Board is to come to a consensus regarding a relevant issue and present it to the community to spark conversation, discussion and further ideas. Topics are chosen based on relevancy and interest of the board members. 

Working with other members to present an argument can be a useful experience for your time at Iowa State and beyond. It allows you to practice debating with respect and refuting arguments with research-based rebuttals. 

Guest Columns and Letters

Guest columns and letters are both submissions from members of the Iowa State community. Guest columns are similar to regular columns in that they are research-based and must be 400+ words. These columns can be about any topic deemed relevant to today and of interest to the Iowa State community. 

Sending in a guest column does not guarantee its publication. All guest columns must have a name and email attached (no anonymous submissions or pseudonyms are accepted). 

Letters to the editor are shorter pieces submitted by members of the community. Unlike columns and editorials, letters generally have more campus- and community-specific content. 

Read more about our opinion policies here

If you are interested in writing for opinion or have any questions, please reach out to me at my email: [email protected]. You have a voice, and we provide a way for you to use it.