How to Write About Social Issues

A social issue is a problem that impacts the wellbeing of people, groups or communities. Often involving harm, discrimination, exploitation or oppression, it can take many forms, including poverty, crime, mental health and substance abuse. The term is used broadly across the disciplines of sociology, psychology and economics to encompass everything from inequality and prejudice to depression, violence and hunger.

When writing about issues, it’s important to be able to back up your claims with evidence. This will not only help your argument but also make you appear more credible and scholarly. In addition, it’s best to avoid using personal experiences as examples unless you are a close friend or family member of the person affected. You should also focus on broad trends rather than the specifics of one individual case.

For example, if you’re writing about the impact of climate change on food production, you can use figures from the FAO or other sources to demonstrate the magnitude of the problem. Likewise, you can highlight how hunger is affecting the lives of people around the world in order to demonstrate how widespread this issue really is.

If you’re a blogger, it’s useful to track what’s currently dominating the news cycle so that you can link your article to an up-to-the-minute development (or even better, a major anniversary). A good place to start is by tracking the latest celebrity death or scandal, as this is sure to grab readers’ attention and provide a fresh news peg for your story.