What Are Issues?

If something is the issue, it is an important topic that people are discussing. People may disagree about what the issues are, but everyone agrees that they are important. Politicians often talk about “the issues” when they mean what is currently being debated in the country or state. A person’s personal problems can also be called issues. For example, you might say that a coworker has “issues” that need to be worked out with him.

To issue something is to put it into circulation or public view. This can be a product, like new stamps or coins, or it could be information, such as a report or a newspaper article. It can also refer to a person: He is always complaining and having his issues.

The word issue can also be used to describe an event or a controversy: There is a big issue going on in our city right now. An issue can be a topic for an essay, such as one about women’s rights or the reasons for war.

To write an effective article, you need to know your audience. Some readers want simple, clear explanations of complex topics. Others want more detailed, exciting articles. Still others want a mixture of the two: They are willing to accept technical details, but they also appreciate stories that make them laugh or cry. It’s especially important to give readers an effective opening — a short anecdote that zooms in on the subject of the article. And to make sure you’re accurate, interview enough sources and read enough source material.