So You Need A Column Topic? 2.0

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With applications for The Hoya’s fall 2016 columnists just released, 4E is here to help you get a little inspiration by giving you some examples of excellent column topics from the past.

First, here are some tips from last semester’s guide!

  • Write about a topic you’re familiar with. The best columns are those that focus on something about which the writer has genuine curiosity. Just look at Hoya Historian!
  • Make sure your topic is broad enough to span the entire semester, but not so broad that it can become scattered.
  • Be CREATIVE! There are some columns that cover topics such as identity or politics that are always good subjects to write about, but sometimes the great column ideas develop from seemingly simple ideas, like this one in the Guide about sandwiches. Try to think of a unique idea or have a different take on a topic we’ve already published.
  • If you have an idea you’re passionate about, run with it and see where it goes. The sky’s the limit!

The Guide

The Guide, which publishes once weekly, is looking for columnists to write every issue or every other issue. The wide scope of the Guide, which focuses on art, culture, lifestyle and entertainment, allows for a lot of creative freedom when coming up with column ideas. Just look at the variety among these sample columns about Kanye West, a columnist’s summer job and dating in college.

“What Yeezy Taught Me About Failure” – Daniel Smith

“The Woes of Summer Serving” – Nicole Jarvis

“Opting into the Dating Game” – The Cereal Dater

Opinion

An integral part of every issue, our opinion pages feature columns of an argument-based nature. Past themes have included identity, advice from seniors, neuroscience, foreign policy in the Middle East and politics. There is a multitude of ways through which the column can analyze an issue, including from a social, political, historical, statistical, educational or cultural point of view. Here are a few successful columns from last semester.

“It’s Good To Be Busy” – Rahul Desai

“The Buzz About ‘Lemonade’ “ – Femi Sobowale

“The Convoluted Kurdish Question” – Matthew Gregory

Sports

Sports columnists have the opportunity to delve into deeper analyses of team strategy, unpack the rivalries and controversies within the worlds of both professional and collegiate athletics, make predictions on future trades and match ups and comment on the relationship between sports and popular culture. Check out these excellent examples.

“Contracts Create Disputes” – Michael Ippolito

“Saunders Impacts Players” – Paolo Santamaria

“Sports Figures Overrepresented On Campuses” – Jimmy McLaughlin

We hope these examples help! The Hoya is always looking for innovative and talented writers like you, so please apply here by 11:59 p.m., August 27th!

Images: giphy.com

Apply To Be A Columnist For The Hoya: Summer 2016

Apps Summer Columnist

Feeling a little bored already now that you have been away from the Hilltop for only two weeks? Do you miss all things Georgetown? Need something to fill up that old resume? Luckily, 4E has the solution for you! The Hoya will be taking applications for summer columnists and we want YOU to help us out! Why wouldn’t you want to take this opportunity to join such a prestigious publication?

We’re really classy.

The best part is that there are so many different sections to share your story on The Hoya. You can write for the the Opinion section, the Sports section, or the Guide, our arts and lifestyle section! Need some examples to get you feeling inspired? Luckily, 4E has those for you too!

We’re also just really excited.

The Guide: 

“There’s More Than the Glass Ceiling” By Kim Bussing

“Indoctrinated in Individualism” By Katherine Cienkus

Opinion: 

“Jinwoo: Party of Four” By Jinwoo Chong

Sports: 

“Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry Has Faded From the Spotlight” By Carolyn Maguire

“Pedro Martinez Was One of the Greatest Ever” By Jake Foote

Feeling motivated? Inspired? We thought so.  Please apply to be a summer columnist now for The Hoya and share your story. Articles will run from June through August.

P.S. 4E suggests you get to it as soon as possible! Apps are due by May 27th at midnight.

So You Need A Column Topic?

Are you not quite sure what you want to write your column about yet? Well, you’re in luck! Here are some great column topics to draw inspiration from! (Spring 2016 columnist applications for The Hoya are now available here, and due by 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 12.)

Some General Tips:

  • Write about a topic you’re familiar with. The best columns are those that focus on something about which the writer has genuine curiosity. Just look at Hoya Historian!
  • Make sure your topic is broad enough to span the entire semester, but not so broad that it can become scattered.
  • Be CREATIVE! There are some columns that cover topics such as identity or politics that are always good subjects to write about, but sometimes the great column ideas develop from seemingly simplistic ideas, like this one in the Guide about sandwiches. Try to think of a unique idea or have a different take on a topic we’ve already published.
  • If you have an idea you’re passionate about, run with it and see where it goes. The sky’s the limit!

For Opinion:

Past themes include identity, advice from seniors, history, medicine and technology, comedy and politics. Other column ideas for this semester could include the upcoming presidential election or looking at President Obama’s last year in office. There are also a ton of ways to analyze topics; the column could review issues from a social, political, historical, statistical, educational or cultural point of view.

For Sports:

Past themes include fantasy football, professional soccer, D.C. area professional sports and men’s college basketball. Sports columnists have the opportunity to delve into deeper analyses of team strategy, unpack the rivalries and controversies within the worlds of both professional and collegiate athletics, make predictions on future trades and match ups and comment on the relationship between sports and popular/social culture.

For Guide:

Past themes include music, art, love and dating, studying abroad and the intersection of food and politics. The wide scope of the Guide, which focuses on lifestyle, art, entertainment, music and food, allows for a lot of creative freedom when coming up with column ideas. Other column ideas that will be considered include a creative writing column that features a continuous short story or other creative writing forms. With the online platform, columns that feature weekly music, photography or multimedia will be considered as well.

*Columns in the Guide should aim to tell stories over philosophizing about or analyzing a topic. Stories can be personal, cultural or historical.

For Business and Tech:

Past themes include global economic issues and statistics. Future theme ideas could focus on new technologies, advertising and marketing, developing countries or financial markets. Columns should not focus solely on MSB-related news.

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com, imgur.com, gifrific.com  

The 5 Stages of Writing an Essay at the Last Minute

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It’s 9 p.m., you have a 10-page paper due tomorrow and you’re feeling good: you have the whole night (and morning) ahead of you. What could possibly get between you and completing this paper? Sure, you should’ve started it earlier, but you were waaaaaay too busy to even think about it and, besides, there’s no looking back now. All you can do is forge bravely ahead into the vortex of procrastination and self-pity that you are inevitably doomed to enter, with its various stages listed below. See you on the other side.

Stage 1:  Blissful Oblivion

“If I start writing now and don’t stop, I can probably be done by 11:00pm and get, like, 10 hours of sleep,” you tell yourself wishfully with a wholehearted, adorable belief in your own lies. You imagine yourself typing the final sentence of your groundbreaking essay and glancing confidently at the time, impressed with your agility. You’re honestly the best. Now, all you have to do is actually start writing. *Open Microsoft Word document*

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Stage 2: Unavoidable Distraction

Hey, remember that TV show you used to watch in 9th grade and were completely obsessed with? You don’t, until the moment you have to start writing this paper. But, how can you start writing when you don’t even know what those actors are doing with their lives these days? This is critical information. While mindlessly IMDB stalking these strangers and searching for old episodes on YouTube, you might as well check your newsfeed, text a killer one-liner into the group chat and play around with Snapchat filters. While you’re at it, you might as well Facebook stalk that kid who used to sit in front of you in AP Biology. All of a sudden, this information seems totally relevant and interesting. Besides, what’s the difference between starting at 9 p.m. versus starting at 10 p.m.?

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Stage 3: Shameless Self-Indulgence

It’s currently 12:30 a.m. even though you could’ve sworn in was 10 p.m. five minutes ago. How did this happen? It’s seriously time to get to work. But, wait, how can you work when you’re starving? You absolutely need to get food immediately, and then you can definitely churn out an amazing essay in no time. “If I write three paragraphs now, I’ll reward myself with something highly caloric and temporarily fulfilling,” you tell yourself in a blatant act of bribery. You force yourself to write three paragraphs and then treat yourself to the most convenient food item you can find. Normally, you’d be able to finish out this paper now, but you can’t ignore the fact that you’re exhausted. Eventually, you’re able to get your hands on some caffeine, and continue forging ahead.

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Stage 4:  Frantic Desperation

Congrats! You’re five pages in. That’s great except for the fact that you’re only halfway done (sorry). It’s also 2:30 a.m. and suddenly you’re feeling weirdly reflective and philosophical. “What even is an essay?” you ask yourself after rereading your most recent paragraph so many times that half the words don’t look English anymore. At this point, you’re growing increasingly hopeless and start analyzing your life choices. In a brief moment of desperation and lunacy, you wonder what would have to happen to you in order to not be required to turn in this essay tomorrow. You promise to never put yourself in this situation again. You’re great at keeping promises to yourself so this shouldn’t be a problem.

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Stage 5:  Relieved Acceptance 

Realistically, if you just keep writing, you should be finished by 4 a.m. and be able to call it a night morning. This single thread of hope is enough to sustain you, and allows you to complete your sixth, seventh, eighth and, eventually, ninth page. A rush of relief washes over you as you begin the tenth page. You’ve made it to the finish line. Life is beautiful.

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Moral of the story: You should 100% procrastinate as much as possible. See ya at Midnight.

Photos/Gifs: tumblr.com, giphy.com