So, they want you to write an opinion essay on a particular topic. What is that? What makes it different from other paper types? And, if this piece is so specific, how to structure it for a high grade?
Opinion papers have specifics. At schools or universities, educators assign them for students to learn how to build arguments and prove their position with logic and evidence. While its format resembles standard 5-paragraph academic papers, it’s critical to structure it with a particular tone and argument sequence.
In this blog post, we’ll tell you how to write an opinion essay. If you don’t have time to read or need practical help with writing, you can always ask our specialists for assistance.
What is an Opinion Essay?
An opinion essay is a writing piece that presents the author’s point of view on a particular topic backed by reasoning, evidence, and examples. It also shares an opposing viewpoint but suggests arguments as to why it’s inconsistent.
Why write opinion pieces?
The purpose is to articulate your position, demonstrating what you think on a topic (question) and why you think so. The whys behind your thoughts come in handy when you write reflective essays.
In academia, educators assign opinion essays to students so they learn how to express their views right. With these papers, teachers test students’ critical thinking, writing skills, ability to convey thoughts, and knowledge of a particular subject.
Opinions are also trendy online. (We all write social media posts expressing our thoughts on something.) You can also find them in personal blogs and Op-Ed sections of newspapers like the New York Times.
When structured and presented right, opinion papers can impact how people think about a particular question. Millions of online users read them, and opinions expose the audiences to a massive array of points! How do you understand which one to believe?
The opinion writing skill will help you recognize a solid argument that is logical, reasoning, and backed with substantial evidence.
How is it different from other essay types?
Some students confuse opinion pieces with other paper types. Thus, argumentative or persuasive essays also convey points supported by research and other evidence. How do you know when it’s an opinion essay?
All these essay types have different goals.
- Opinion essays are for sharing your views and explaining why you think so.
- Persuasive essays are for convincing readers to agree with your statement.
- Argumentative essays are for stating a fact and using even more arguments to back it up.
There’s also an expository essay where you explain a topic (not your point of view), providing the evidence but not trying to prove anything or convince anyone.
For an even deeper understanding of the opinion essay specifics, below are its criteria and guidelines to consider when writing it:
- Addresses a question from both sides;
- Provides a well-reasoned statement;
- Supports the opinion with arguments, evidence, and examples;
- Follows a logical structure;
- Incorporates writing instruments like power words, diverse language, and transition words to engage readers and motivate them to proceed.
Opinion Essay: How to Write (7 Steps)
- Choose a topic
- Outline your essay
- Write an opinion essay introduction
- Draft a 3-paragraph essay body
- Write a conclusion
Now, to practice:
Below are your seven steps on how to write an opinion essay. They aren’t tricky to follow but are a must to consider if you want your paper to sound argumentative, logical, and reasoning for readers to understand you.
1 – Choose a topic
In school or college life, a teacher assigns essay topics for students to cover. But if you don’t have a prompt and are free to choose a topic, your first step would be brainstorming:
Decide what you might want to cover in your opinion essay.
Important: Remember that your task is to form an opinion and back it up with reasoning and evidence. You’ll need to not only agree or disagree with an issue but explain why you think so.
Here are some topics for opinion essays to inspire you:
- Children watch too much television
- Sex education in the schools
- The acceptance of using animals in scientific research
- Parents are the best teachers. Yes or no?
- Children should grow up in the countryside than in a big city.
- Are women better parents than men?
- There are situations when it’s better to hide the truth
- The mass media shape and influence people’s ideas. Agree?
- Should rich countries forgive all the debts of poor ones?
- Schools should ask students to evaluate their teachers.
Once you have a topic, decide on your opinion and think of the arguments (and data) to support it. Investigate the topic and research sources you’ll use in an essay. Also, ensure to research counterarguments or alternative perspectives: You’ll need to present them in your paper and explain why they are inconsistent.
2 – Outline your essay
While researching the topic, do your best to develop an outline for your future paper. It’s a plan (structure of opinion essay) to place all the arguments where they make the most sense.
Use a 5-paragraph essay structure (1): Your opinion paper will need an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Feel free to use this template:
The outline will save you tons of time in writing an essay. Once you have all the arguments, facts, and examples of where they should go, it will be easier (and faster!) to write a draft. All you’ll need to do is join them in a coherent text.
3 – Write an opinion essay introduction
Now, it’s time to start writing a draft. The introduction of your opinion essay is one paragraph with a hook, topic intro, and thesis statement explaining your point of view to readers.
How to write an introduction paragraph for an opinion essay?
- A writing hook — one sentence
- Stating the subject matter — one or two sentences
- Thesis statement and introducing your first argument — one or two sentences
Remember that opinion essays are about brevity and accuracy. Write a concise introduction, using a scholarly tone and introducing your subject (topic) with clarity.
How do you write a hook for an opinion essay? You can start with a statement, a question, surprising statistics, or an intriguing and rare quote related to your topic. A writing hook is an instrument to capture interest and motivate the audience to keep reading.
4 – Draft a 3-paragraph essay body
After the introduction, the essay body comes. A standard opinion essay consists of three body paragraphs, each with a claim, explanations with proofs and examples, and a transitional sentence to the next paragraph.
The first two paragraphs are for the arguments supporting your point of view. The third paragraph is for alternative opinions and your explanation of why they are inconsistent.
When writing, include references (quotes, examples, etc.) you’ve gathered when researching. Address the outline to ensure your points are reasoning and presented in a logical consequence.
5 – Write a conclusion
How to write a conclusion for an opinion essay?
- Summarize all points — one or two sentences
- Restate your thesis — one sentence
- Round up the subject — one sentence
The conclusion of an opinion essay is one final paragraph organizing all the information for readers to remember. It’s a summary repeating your opinion statement with the arguments you introduced to prove it’s valid. You can also provide another related fact, ask a rhetorical question, or leave readers with a call to action.
6 – Revise
Once your opinion essay draft is ready, it’s time to revise it. Reread it several times to check for logic, reasoning, and flow. Re-check the evidence you used to support your opinion, remove colloquial expressions and repetitions, and ensure it sounds scholarly and crystal clear.
7 – Proofread
The final stage before submitting an essay to a teacher or publishing it online is proofreading:
Reread your draft (yes, once again!) to “catch” all possible typos or slight grammar mistakes. A little trick can help here: Read the essay aloud! It allows you to “hear” how it sounds and notice tiny details you might miss when working on the draft.
Opinion Essay Examples
Any questions left on how to start an opinion essay, what is an opinion essay format, or how does it look when completed? The below samples will help. Seeing once is better than hearing twice, right?
Please note that the below opinion essay examples are for informative and educational purposes only. Do not copy them to submit to teachers.
A 500-word essay sample:
|The Ethical Dilemma of Using Animals in Scientific Research|
As a college student, I find myself torn between the moral imperative to advance scientific knowledge and the ethical dilemma surrounding the use of animals in scientific research. This complex issue has sparked passionate debates. While the use of animals in research has led to numerous medical breakthroughs and scientific discoveries, it also raises serious concerns about animal welfare and the need for alternative methods. In this essay, I will explore the multifaceted aspects of the acceptance of using animals in scientific research.
First and foremost, the use of animals in scientific research has undeniably contributed to significant advancements in medicine and various scientific fields. Animal testing has played a pivotal role in the development of vaccines, surgical techniques, and the understanding of diseases. Many life-saving medications and therapies would not exist without the insights gained from such research. Without animal testing, we would be left with a gaping hole in our knowledge and progress towards improving human health.
However, the ethical concerns surrounding animal testing cannot be dismissed. The use of animals in research raises questions about the moral responsibility we hold for these sentient beings. Animals subjected to experimentation often endure pain and suffering, and this raises moral questions about our treatment of them. We must ensure that we do not cause unnecessary harm to other species, and this ethical obligation sometimes conflicts with the pursuit of scientific knowledge. Moreover, the reliability and relevance of animal research to human conditions are also subjects of concern. Animals and humans differ significantly in physiology, genetics, and behavior. Consequently, what works in animal experiments may not translate directly to human applications. It raises the question of whether the suffering endured by animals in research is justifiable when the outcomes might not apply to human health.
In recent years, there has been growing emphasis on the development and adoption of alternative research methods that do not involve animals. In-vitro studies, computer modeling, and organ-on-a-chip technologies are emerging as promising alternatives to traditional animal testing. These methods not only offer a more humane approach to research but also hold the potential to provide more accurate results tailored to human physiology. Advocates for animal welfare argue that we should invest more in these alternative methods, emphasizing their potential to reduce or replace animal testing while enhancing the validity of research.
In conclusion, the acceptance of using animals in scientific research is a deeply nuanced and divisive issue. While animal testing has undoubtedly led to significant scientific progress and medical breakthroughs, it comes with ethical and practical concerns that should not be ignored. We must continue to question the necessity of animal research, promote the development of alternative methods, and establish stringent ethical guidelines to ensure the welfare of animals. Balancing scientific advancement with compassion for animals is a challenge we must confront head-on to progress ethically and responsibly.
A 300 words essay sample:
|The Moral Imperative of Debt Forgiveness for Poor Countries|
Whether rich countries should forgive the debts of poor ones is a complex issue with moral, economic, and geopolitical dimensions. I believe debt forgiveness is both a moral duty and a practical step to alleviate the suffering of impoverished nations and promote a more equitable global economy.
First, debt forgiveness is an ethical obligation. Many needy countries are trapped in a cycle of debt, making it difficult to provide essential services like healthcare and education. It is unjust for wealthy nations to demand repayment when these countries are facing dire humanitarian crises. Forgiving these debts is a matter of upholding justice and human dignity.
Debt relief also contributes to global economic stability. Heavy debt burdens force countries to cut vital public services and hinder economic growth. This instability can lead to political crises and insecurity, which have far-reaching consequences, including increased migration and regional conflicts. In the long run, such instability is detrimental to rich countries’ interests as well.
Additionally, we can view debt forgiveness as reparations for historical injustices. Colonialism and exploitative economic practices have left a legacy of underdevelopment and inequality. By forgiving debts, wealthy nations can acknowledge their role in perpetuating poverty and take a step toward rectifying historical wrongs. Critics argue that debt forgiveness might encourage reckless financial management by debtor countries. While this concern is valid, it should not overshadow the immediate need to address humanitarian crises. Debt relief can be coupled with financial oversight and accountability measures to ensure responsible resource use.
In conclusion, forgiving the debts of needy countries is a moral duty and a practical means to alleviate suffering, foster economic stability, and address historical injustices. Wealthy nations can contribute to a more just and equitable global economy while demonstrating their commitment to the well-being of all people. It is time for a collective effort to address this issue and pave the way for a more compassionate world.
Dos and Don’ts of Writing an Opinion Essay
We’ve asked our writers to share practical tips on writing an A-worthy opinion essay. Here come their dos and don’ts of crafting this type of academic paper:
Bonus! Opinion Words and Phrases
They allow your writing to flow, linking the points together to ensure a logical sequence and help readers follow your train of thought. In opinion writing, these words are introductory phrases, transitions, and opinion clues to explain your view and make the audience understand how your ideas relate.
|As far as I am concerned, …||I (firmly) believe that …|
|In my opinion/view …||My principal reason is…|
|As I see it…||In my mind…|
|My opinion is that …||It seems to me that…|
|I (definitely) feel/think that …||It seems to me that…|
|I am (not) convinced that …||Personally, I believe that…|
For those wondering how to write an opinion essay without using I, the phrases could be as follows:
|Another reason is…||In order to…|
|The well-known fact is…||Even though / Although…|
|Research has shown that…||In contrast…|
|For instance/for example…||This proves that…|
|This suggests that…||Despite the fact that…|
|It is widely known that…||In spite of…|
|It would seem that…||To sum up…|
|This supports the …||In conclusion…|
Sure enough, they work for standard first-person opinion essays, too.
That is it! Opinion essay writing is not that challenging to master:
Be concise, use a clear thesis, support it with arguments and references, and ensure its logical consequence.
Any doubts or questions left on how to write an opinion essay? Don’t hesitate to ask: Our professional academic writers are here to help!