Having touched upon the issue of what makes a good editorial topic in previous comment threads, i was already planning on posting some of the guidelines i got when i first started. I still think this is relevant. Clipped verbatim from the mass e-mail Cate sent out in late August (and also found on the Sophian's guidelines for writers website):
The purpose of an editorial is to express some sort of viewpoint. The manner in which the writer chooses to do this is up to her. In other words, most anything goes. Some things to remember, however:
**The writer must choose a topic that is somewhat timely or of relevance to the student body. Writing about your favorite type of underwear is unacceptable. However, a piece reflecting a writer's opinions on the underwear industry is completely acceptable.
**Shows skillful use of the English language. If an editor cannot follow the argument, she has the authority not to print the piece.
**Makes a point. Probably the most important thing to remember is to argue the point well. Do not be wishy washy for fear of offending someone. Choose an argument and stick with it.
There are a variety of types of editorial pieces beyond those that criticize and offer solutions. Other purposes of editorials are to: praise, commemorate, clarify, reflect, and amuse. Although these editorials serve a different function, they should still fulfill the basic editorial criteria.