Issues are the topics that a writer focuses on when writing an article. They are the underlying questions that a piece of research, a descriptive essay, or a news story seeks to answer. While many articles are written for a general audience, the underlying goal is to make a point and provide an opinion about that point. This means that an issue must be focused enough that it can be easily understood by a reader. For example, an article about the environmental impact of human activity would not be as effective if it covered everything from global climate change to the cost of oil.
The word issue is also used as a synonym for problem: A politician who is criticized for his lack of honesty has issues, a company with financial problems might be said to have issues, and someone who picks fights often has anger management issues. This use of the word is sometimes viewed as imprecise or euphemistic, but it has gained popularity and usage.
When choosing an issue for an article, it is important to choose one that will interest the audience and provoke a strong reaction. It is also important to remember that an article about a sociological problem should aim to answer the core question of the problem, not simply describe the problem itself. For example, an article about a social problem involving obesity should answer the question, “What should be done to address the problem?” rather than simply describing the size of people’s bellies.