There are several types of essays that students regularly encounter in college. You probably know about argumentative essays, descriptive essays, and expository essays. This is because these are the most common types of essays.
While opinion essays are not very common, they are also not very rare. Often, one of your professors will ask you to write an opinion essay. The opinion essays are written as per the basic five-paragraph essay structure, which you are probably knowledgeable of by now. In these essays, the expectation is that you will evaluate various opinions and reasons then determine the strongest and weakest before supporting your point of view.
In this post, we are going to share with you all you need to know about opinion essays. By the time you are done reading this guide, you will be ready to write an excellent opinion essay. Of course, if you need an opinion essay ASAP, you can simply order one from us right now.
An opinion essay is a formal writing task or assignment requiring you to share your thoughts, point-of-view, or beliefs about a particular subject or topic using examples, facts, and reasoning. You are also expected to feature the opposing perspectives but substantiate their inconsistency or weakness through arguments and well-backed claims.
An opinion essay or opinion writing involves:
When writing opinion, you must express your thoughts and beliefs coherently to increase the essay's readability and make it easy to understand.
While the typical opinion essay is almost entirely based on the writer's opinion (subjective views), it will most likely have a few references. This is because while the writer is expected to share their views, they will most likely use examples and provide explanations. And these things typically require citations and references.
An opinion essay is unlike an argumentative or persuasive essay, where you pick a side and defend it then write counterarguments to your main argument. When writing an opinion paper, you focus on your opinion or perspective about an issue. Explaining the opposing view balances your essay and shows you are a critical thinker.
"Why do I have to write an opinion essay?" you may ask. Well, you get assigned to write an opinion essay for many reasons.
When a professor asks you to write an opinion essay, they teach you to articulate your position clearly. They are also looking at the depth of your knowledge and your thinking. This is why it is important to look at the feedback you get. It will tell you what you need to improve to write and under things better.
You also learn and practice writing opinion essays to improve your writing skills significantly. You will particularly improve your ability to articulate your ideas. This will be helpful to you when writing other types of essays and even when communicating with your peers.
Writing opinion essays also allows you to explore critical and current topics. While opinion essays are primarily focused on your thoughts and ideas, you need to read more to take and support a point of view. So, every time you get assigned an opinion essay in your course, you will be researching and reading more, which will help you understand different issues better.
You could be wondering how an opinion essay is different from a persuasive or argumentative essay. although we have already touched on that when defining an opinion essay, let's further delve into a deeper comparison.
A formal piece of writing where you take a stance and support it with reasons, evidence, and examples.
A formal writing task where you express your opinion, and support it with reasons and appeals to influence the support of the readers. It entails using logic and reason to show that one idea is more legitimate than the other.
An essay where you pick a point of view or take a stance on an issue to make your readers to understand and issue and support your point of view through evidence and reason.
Provides an opinion about a controversial topic
Influences the audience to pick a side or do something
Proves a point
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This section will share all the steps to write a good opinion essay. All the steps in this section will help you write an engaging essay that can earn you the maximum points.
The prewriting stage is the preparations phase, where you get the specifics about your opinion essay, envision the end as you start, and plan how to achieve the end.
Before you write an opinion essay, you should know what an opinion essay means. An opinion essay is an essay that requires you to share your thoughts and beliefs. This assignment requires you to talk about a topic from your point of view.
And even if it requires your point of view, you still must present facts and evidence to support or defend your position. So, don't write about a topic without actually doing research as you would typically do when writing a standard or ordinary essay.
As part of your pre-writing process, read and comprehend the information about the essay. Professors assign essays through essay prompts. An opinion essay prompt will have the formatting, topic, and style instructions.
Reading the instructions lets you understand the scope of the essay, the types of evidence to use, the number of resources, the direction of the essay, and the main points or arguments to feature in your opinion essay. This step is also essential for you to brainstorm ideas to include in your essay before researching.
As you read the instructions, ask yourself:
You can then brainstorm around the answers to these questions to develop ideas that you can use to select a topic or shape the scope of your opinion essay.
As part of the pre-writing process, selecting a reasonable, controversial, and manageable topic is imperative. Although, in some instances, your instructor might be gracious enough to give you a topic or a list of opinion essay topics, some instructors prefer that you choose one for yourself.
Select a debatable topic and one that you are passionate about. You do not want to choose a topic that will consume your time and space. Also, select a topic relatable to the public so you can give information they don't know.
This tip might seem obvious, but it is not. When many students are told to write an opinion essay, they write their opinion on the topic. Yes, this might seem far-fetched, but it is not. Of course, writing an opinion essay requires you to provide your opinion. However, your opinion must be supported by evidence, data, or facts.
In other words, it is essential to research before writing an opinion essay. This will make your opinion essay academic and thoroughly engaging. Remember, an opinion essay is meant to assess the depth of your knowledge and writing skills. So do not forget to do research to demonstrate knowledge and how you understand things. And as you research, organize your research based on your preferred angle.
After doing research on your topic of choice, it is expected that you are now knowledgeable about the scope and direction of your essay. Therefore, you need to consider what you will write about before starting.
In other words, you need to decide your opinion or view. After deciding on your position, you need to write an outline. Make sure your outline is focused and clear. This will make your essay focused and clear.
Take your time to understand the issue, consider the available evidence, and brainstorm about what you want the final essay to look like. It is your chance to create a roadmap for your opinion essay.
Never skip the outlining part because it helps you organize your paragraphs to ensure cohesiveness and flow of ideas. You can develop ideas based on their importance without skipping any details.
Immediately after you finish the outline, you can break to shell out the monotony or boredom. You can now begin to draft your opinion essay in the second stage. You will most likely write more than one draft until you perfect the essay. For your opinion essay, you will start writing and developing the body paragraphs, introduction, and conclusion.
After researching and writing an outline, you must write an attention-grabbing opening. You can do this using an anecdote, an interesting fact, a rhetorical question, or a statistic. If you do not grab attention from the get-go, your essay will not be attractive to the reader. So, take your time to write an attention-grabbing opening.
It is the light that shines to beckon your readers. Remember, the introduction of an essay is where the magic all happens - you can either interest or scare away your readers.
Introducing a hook sentence captures your readers' attention, keeps them motivated to read, and makes them anticipate your next points until the end of your opinion essay.
Professors typically want to find the writer's opinion in the introduction when reading opinion essays. This allows them to follow, understand, and assess the essays better.
So, make sure you share your opinion in the first paragraph of your essay. Include it in the thesis statement of your essay. This will not only help readers but also help you to structure your article nicely.
So, a quick one: you should highlight the intent of your essay and its significance in the introduction. The thesis statement should be the last line or two of your introduction paragraphs for the opinion essay. This is your main argument or controlling idea you are giving an opinion about.
The body paragraphs come after the first paragraph. Each body paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that summarizes the main idea in the paragraph. The body paragraphs present the arguments on the thesis statement or your stance on an issue or topic. Your outline should make the process of writing easy.
So, refer to it and fill in the words to make it count. There is no limit to the number of arguments to use in an opinion essay. However, ensure that you stick to one idea in each body paragraph. Consider each paragraph a mini-essay with a topic sentence, evidence, and concluding sentence.
You should follow the topic sentence with reasons, evidence, and explanations to support the main claim or thesis statement. Provide sufficient evidence for your opinions to convince your readers. Ensure that your different points are supported by facts from literature written by other scholars on the topic.
Finally, conclude the paragraph using a concluding sentence that transitions your reader to the next paragraph. Writing paragraphs is like closing a loop before transitioning to the next for an ideal flow of ideas.
The conclusion of your essay should summarize your entire essay. You should ensure that it completes the loop for the entire essay. Here, you must rephrase and restate the thesis statement. You have to inform your readers about your stance and summarize your reasons. Close the loop by writing a final sentence that calls to action or leaves your readers thinking about your essay.
The post-writing activities come after you are done with the drafting process. It entails checking and assessing your essays to ascertain that everything is okay before you can hand in your essay for marking. After completing the first draft, take a break and only revise and edit when you have had enough rest.
Go through the entire opinion essay as though you are the marker. Read it out loud to yourself to determine the areas that need tweaking. Make the necessary amendments and ensure a good flow of ideas. Here is where you lengthen your essay, cut it short, or truncate some words. You can also make changes, some involving changing the vocabulary.
The final step before submitting your opinion essay is to edit and proofread your essay. you can use either Grammarly, Ginger, Hemingway Editor, or Prowritingaid for this stage. These editors enable you to spot mistakes in your writing. You can identify run-on sentences, ambiguous vocabulary, poorly developed ideas, spelling and grammatical errors, and many issues that arise when writing.
The structure of an opinion essay is the same structure used to write the standard 5-paragraph essay. And if you are a college student in the US, you indeed have written several standard 5-paragraph essays.
Below is a 5-paragraph structure you can use to write a well-balanced opinion essay.
5-Paragraph Opinion Essay Structure
What to Include
Rewrite the topic in your own words
Share your opinion
Briefly state your supporting arguments
1st body paragraph
State strongest supporting argument
Explain the argument using evidence
Link to the topic
2nd body paragraph
State the second strongest supporting argument
Explain the argument using evidence
Link to the topic
3rd body paragraph
State the second strongest supporting argument
Explain the argument using evidence
Link to the topic
Summarize your opinion
Restate key supporting arguments
Share final thoughts
In this section, you will discover how to write an opinion essay using the 5-paragraph structure shared in the above section. The structure has three distinct parts - the introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs, and the conclusion paragraph.
Find out what to include in the paragraphs in the three steps below.
The introduction paragraph of an opinion essay must include three elements - an exciting rewrite or paraphrasing of the topic, a thesis statement, and your opinion or position on the topic. You need to find a way to include all these three things in your introduction paragraph. At the same time, you must make sure your introduction paragraph makes the audience want to learn more about your opinion. An excellent way to start your opinion essay is to include an excellent hook or attention-grabber that engages your readers immediately.
If, for example, you are asked to write an opinion essay on whether sanctions will help to stop Russia's aggression in Ukraine, here is how you could include the three elements above Russia is the aggressor. The world is shocked, surprised, and very concerned about Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The United States and the Western World is responding with tough economic sanctions. Will the sanctions work? I think so, and I will share with you three reasons why.
If you are writing a standard five-paragraph essay, you will need three body paragraphs. Your goal when writing the body paragraphs is to support your opinion fully. After reading the body paragraphs of your essay, the audience must easily and see why you had the opinion you made in the introduction paragraph. You can use paragraph organization strategies such as PEEL formatting.
You should begin each body paragraph with a supporting argument for your main opinion. You should then expand on the supporting argument. Data, evidence, or examples should then follow this. You should then write a small conclusion linking the supporting argument to your thesis / main opinion. You should write all the body paragraphs in this manner.
After writing the four paragraphs above (introduction and body paragraphs), you need to end your opinion essay with a conclusion paragraph. The conclusion paragraph is probably the easiest to write. It wraps up your paper and closes the loop of your essay.
The paragraph should begin with you summarizing your main argument or opinion and then linking or connecting key supporting arguments.
You should never introduce new facts or arguments in the conclusion. After restating key supporting arguments, you should share a message concluding your writing. Try to make the last line memorable or thought-provoking.
Here is a good example of a concluding thought-provoking message: The sanctions imposed will negatively affect the Russian economy and push the Russian leadership to respond. However, how soon the Russian leadership responds and its exact response remains to be seen.
Having an essay outline cuts down the otherwise lengthy research process by half because you know what to focus on. You will focus on specific sources to get evidence to back your claims.
Having a great outline for your essay gets you at 75% of the work ahead of students who fail to plan ahead. You also think ahead and overcome writer's block because you will join the major arguments using transition words.
Here are some basic things you should check when writing your opinion essay.
Phrasing your essay title as a question will not benefit you. This is because it will make the reader think about and answer the question before they start reading your opinion. If their answer is not the side you support in your essay, it is improbable that the reader will agree.
Remember, while sharing your opinion in an opinion essay, you must convince the reader why you are right. And making them disagree with you before they start reading is not the way to do this.
Most academic assignments usually involve writing in a passive voice. While this is okay for research papers, academic papers, and many essays, it is not for opinions. Your opinion about a topic is best expressed in active voice constructions so use active voice.
After sharing your opinion in the introductory paragraph, you must share your supporting arguments in the following body paragraphs. Make sure your strongest supporting argument is in the first body paragraph and the second strongest is in the second body paragraph. This will help you to convince your readers better.
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Generally, there are some dos and don'ts when writing an opinion essay. Below are some things to consider.
Writing an opinion essay entails explaining your perspective on an issue and defending it using references and examples. You can achieve a balance when writing by including specific words and phrases that make you sound genius.
If you are in the process of opinion writing and would use some more words to revamp your essay or make it score better, these phrases and transition words can cut it:
When writing, couple these words with adverbs, nouns, adjectives, and verbs to improve the tone of your essay. Check out more linking words to include in the essay.
Below are some topics and ideas you can write your opinion essay about.
As is it evident in this work, writing an opinion essay is a somewhat easy thing to do once you know what an opinion essay is, its structure, and the steps to writing one. You now know everything important you need to know about opinion essays. You also know all the tips you need to know to make your opinion essay a work of art.
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