How to write opinion essays

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When talking about academic writing, essay writing cannot be left out of the loop. It’s one of the most common types of writing exercises for university admissions, international exams, etc. As promised in our earlier article, today we’ll be talking about an opinion essay.
So, we’ll look at; The structure of writing an “Opinion essay”Sample essaysUseful language to use in the essaysTipsAn opinion essay is there to show your viewpoint on a particular topic, to prove your ideas. The structure is the following:Paragraph 1_Introduction – a good introduction starts with the thesis statement (what the essay is going to be about), it should clearly state your opinion instead of leaving your readers in the dark. It should also include 3 reasons to back your viewpoint and highlight why you think the statement of the essay is true/false.Read more in this article.Paragraph 2,3,4_Body – this is where you expand on the reasons you had mentioned in the introduction, provide reasons and examples to support them by giving as many valid details and facts as possible. Each paragraph matches 1 reason (3 reasons = 3 body paragraphs)Paragraph 5_Conclusion – here you summarize your argument by restating the reasons mentioned in the essay. You can end the essay by a “call for action” phrase challenging the readers to take some action and reconsider their opinion if they differ from yours. Read more in this article. This is what the simplest version looks like. However, depending on the level of language competency of your students you can choose to have 2 reasons.
In the input session, when presenting the structure of the essay, it’s best to work on sample essays to reinforce assimilation while learning on-job. I have been using the one here and it has been quite helpful for the students. Working on sample essays gives the students a chance to grasp the general point and not to get confused when working on the hometask. It is a good idea to write a short sample essay in class as well, on a topic of your choice, so that you can monitor and see how confident the students feel about the new material. In my classroom the students are always writing the first piece in pairs to help each other and generate ideas for speculation. When doing so, bear in mind that it’s best if you have similar ability students working together, as the stronger one will always take over the writing leaving the weaker one unclear on both the task and the workflow. The recent topic I’ve used has been: “Nowadays, food has become easier to prepare. Has this change improved the way people live? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.”Sample essaysBelow, we’re going to look at a couple essays my students have come up with together with the feedback they’ve received. The sample you’ll see were the first drafts of the essay.
The task:Write an Opinion essay on the following topic: “Nowadays, food has become easier to prepare. Has this change improved the way people live? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer”Use specific reasons and examples to support your viewpoint.
Word count 200-250
Sample 1
You can see the feedback below.
The basic idea in providing feedback here is to try to guide the student to correct their mistakes themselves rather than provide them with the answers. It helps them to better assimilate the material.
As you can see from the essay above, the student had some issues with applying the correct structure together with some language errors. The next step is to work on the second draft and try to improve it following the comments and referring to the background information presented during the class.Sample 2You can see the feedback below: As you can see, this essay was much better formulated (this is a much stronger student), most of the comments have to do with word choice and formulation. The task for the second draft is the same – improve it based on the comments.
Useful language To be really brilliant, one should know to use the right language to reach that effect. Apart from a correct structure, the essay should also be rich in linking devices, phrases and expressions that help the speech sound more sophisticated, well thought, cohesive and coherent. Below are some phrases that I’ve been using with my students to make their writing more connected and fluent.
Supporting your argument Expressing opinion Expression counter-arguments vDisagreeing with the others’ opinion Summarizing
For more phrases, I’ve been using the resource here. Finally, let’s look at some tips I’ve been sharing with my students as a summary of what they should/shouldn’t do when writing an opinion essay.
✓ Introduce each paragraph with a topic sentence, outlining the main ideas.
✓ Write in formal style. Avoid abbreviations and short forms.
✓ Use active voice. An opinion essay is about your opinion. This message won’t get to the reader if you use passive, impersonal structures.
✓ Vary your sentence structure. Change between long and short sentences, use multiple claus structures on one hand and simple sentences on the other. This will keep the reader’s interest.
✓ Use consistent tenses. Use present tenses most of the time besides when talking about past actions (research done, etc.) Do not write about advantages or disadvantages or points for or against.This is another style. Don’t use colloquial expressions and/or emotive vocabulary. Keep it professional and formal/semi-formal. Don’t use archaic terms. “Thus” and “alas” are not terms utilized in common English and hence, should not appear in the academic paper as well. It will sound very bookish and prosaic. Don’t use clichés. They are easy to use. For example, “too little, too late”, “better late than never”, etc. It is considered vague in an academic paper. Don’t be redundant. Be careful not to repeat the same ideas. This sometimes happens when you paraphrase the same idea and put it down differently with another wording. Last but not the list. To make sure the students come up with the perfect piece of writing they need guidelines to follow apart from the background input session. Here is a checklist my students are using to make sure everything is as it is supposed to be. Let us know how your opinion essay writing sessions go and what other tips do you have to share with your international colleagues :). An opinion essay is a formal piece of writing which presents the author’s point of view on a particular subject supported by reasoning and examples. The opposing viewpoint is also suggested, but it is followed by arguments that show its inconsistency. Take a look at the guide prepared by Custom-writing experts to learn how to write a perfect opinion essay! You may be wondering: How do I write an opinion essay? How is it different from a persuasive, an argumentative, or a pros and cons essay?
It’s simple: When you write an argumentative or persuasive essay, you should provide counterpoints and describe the essay topic from different perspectives. In an opinion paper, you don’t have to focus on the advantages and disadvantages in comparison. Instead, focus only on your opinion about the issue.
You may say: “I’m afraid to take a stand,” or “I don’t know what to say.”
Relax. There’s nothing to worry about if your arguments are based on well-researched data. Speaking about opinion essay topics, some students find it difficult enough to choose the perfect one. But it’s not so hard: Think about something that engages you and that you feel strongly about.
Do you still have no clues about what to write? Check our 100 free ideas for an argumentative or persuasive essay and choose the topic that you have a strong opinion on. Then pick up a few reasons supporting your point of view and gather the facts that you’ll use as evidence.
The next step is to write an opinion essay outline. First of all, it will help you to overcome the fear of the blank page. Second, you’ll have a broken-down list of ideas and an organized place for your random thoughts. This will help you write an assignment faster. Develop an outline while you’re researching the topic and place the pieces of evidence where they make the most sense. You don’t have to write the whole assignment at a time. Just put stand-alone examples and facts in the places where they should go.
A well-prepared outline for an opinion essay is almost 70 percent of the work. All you’ll need to do is simply join your arguments by bridging the language. After you’ve finished the outline, you will have all of your facts organized. It’s time to develop an introduction to your opinion paper. The primary goal of the introduction is to prepare your readers to dip into the text.
The opening paragraph is a kind of a roadmap describing the path your paper will take. An opinion essay introduction secret is to give your readers a hook, grab their attention, and make the rest of the writing irresistible. After giving a hook to your audience, introduce the topic, and briefly describe supporting reasons to expand on in body paragraphs. he opinion essay conclusion wraps up your paper. It’s a summary that broadly covers your ideas and allows your readers to understand your arguments.
Apply the following techniques to start and finish your opinion paper:
Address the reader directly
Start with a quote
Use thought-provoking or rhetorical questions
Refer to a striking or unusual fact, idea, or situationA common question among students is: “What is an Opinion Essay?” It is an assignment which contains questions that allow students to share their point-of-view on a subject matter. Students should express their thoughts in a precise manner while providing opinions on the issue related to the field within reasonable logic. Some assignments of this type require references to back the writer’s claims.
Opinion writing involves the use of a student’s point-of-view which is segregated into a point. It is backed by examples and explanations. The paper addresses the audience directly by stating “Dear Readers” or the equivalent. The introduction involves a reference to a speech, book, or play. This is normally followed by a rhetorical question like “is the pope Catholic?” or something along those lines. on-native English speaking students who are enrolled in the International English Language Testing System, by the British Council & Cambridge Assessment English, are faced with the task of learning how to write an opinion piece. This can be high-school or college students. It is designed to enhance the level of English among students . It enables them to express their thoughts and opinions while writing in the English language. Avoid Going Off-Topic: Always write within relevance to the assigned question. This is also known as “beating around the bush”, and should not be included in any opinion paragraph as it may lower your grade.
Indent the First Paragraph: With most academic papers, opinion writing is not different. It contains the rule of indenting the first line of the introduction.
A Well-Thought Thesis: The thesis is a brief description of the opinion essay. It determines the rest of the paper. Include all the information that you wish to include in the body paragraphs
The Use of Formal Language: Although it is okay to write in an informal manner, keep a wide range of professional and formal words. This includes: “Furthermore,” “As Stated By,” “However,” & “Thus.”
Avoid Internet Slang: In the opinion paper, avoid writing using slang words. Don’t include words like “LOL,” “OMG,” “LMAO,” etc.
The Use of First Person Language (Optional): For the reason of providing personal thought, it is acceptable to write your opinion essay in the first person.
Avoid Informal Punctuation: Although the requirements allow for the first-person language, they do not permit informal punctuation. This includes dashes, exclamation marks, and emojis. Before learning about the structure, it is important to choose from a wide range of opinion essay topics. Picking an essay theme is something which can be done very simply. It is advisable to choose an opinion topic which you are interested in or have a passion for. Otherwise, you may find the writing process boring. This also ensures that your paper will be both effective and well-written.
Do sports differ from ordinary board games?
Is using animals in circus performances immoral?
Why should we be honest with our peers?
Should all humans be entitled to a 4 day work week?
Should all humans become vegetarians?
Does a CEO earn too much?
Should teens be barred from having sleepovers?
Should everyone vote for their leader?
The Pros & Cons of Day-Light Saving Hours.
What are the most energy efficient and safest cars of 2019?
Opinion Essay Structure
When it comes to opinion paragraphs, students may struggle with the format of the entire paper. The standard five-paragraph-essay structure usually works well for opinion essays. Figuring out what one is supposed to include in each section may be difficult for beginners. This is why following the opinion essay structure is something all beginners should do, for their own revision before writing.
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