How to Write a Political Report

Political reports are a tricky business. You must accurately represent both sides of the issue without putting words in anyone's mouth or offending anyone. The political reporter has to deal not only with the facts surrounding the issue, but with the various viewpoints surrounding the issue. You most likely have an opinion or two of your own that you would like to include in the report. Although it is often impossible to be impartial, it is important to avoid silencing the voice of a side that you disagree with.

Define the issue at hand. What is the disagreement between the two political parties? Is there any agreement?

Investigate the facts surrounding the issue. There are two types of "facts": those which are agreed upon and those which are disputed. Find the common facts first, and then figure out where the two parties disagree. If you want to go more in depth, you can discuss research, reports, or evidence supporting one set of facts versus another.

Investigate the conflicts of morality surrounding the issue. Even when faced with the same facts, different groups with different cultures and mentality will come to different conclusions. Investigate these differences and the historical reasons behind them.

Investigate the conflicts of interest surrounding the issue. If one group sees its members as more important than the other group, they will often fight over resources. No one likes to admit that they believe they are more important than others, so conflicts of interest will often result in both sides distorting the facts to make their actions and attitudes more acceptable. Figure out which groups are in conflict, as well as how these two groups came to identify with each other.

Define all terms you are using very carefully. In politics, vague terms such as "liberal" take on many different meanings. It is up to you to clarify exactly what you mean by such a word.

Assume that the person who is reading your essay knows nothing about the particular topic you are writing about. It is better to err on the side of giving too much information than too little.

Use personal experience only if it directly relates to the topic at hand.