September 1, 2021

how to write an opinion essay

This is the complete guide on how to write an opinion essay the right way.

An opinion essay is where you share your views on a specific subject matter. Therefore, you should be able to express your thoughts in a structured manner and, at the same time, provide your opinion on the issue within reasonable logic.

You will most likely require references to back up your claims.

Writing an opinion piece requires you to use your point of view, which is structured into a point. And you need to be able to back up your point of view with explanations and examples.

Your paper should address the readers directly and needs to state ‘Dear Readers.’

Start your essay with a catchy introduction. It can start with reference to a play, book, or speech. You can then follow up with a rhetorical question just to pique the interest of the reader and make them want to read more.

How to Write an Opinion Essay in College, Step-by-Step

With that said, here is a complete guide on how you can write an opinion essay, step by step. 

1. Brainstorming Ideas 

Your topic needs to be of interest to you as this will enable you to go the whole hog in writing your essay. You could choose a topic in the current news or something from memorable life experience.

After you choose your topic, you will need to write a thesis or even a statement of opinion about that topic.

A thesis statement is the main idea you will be talking about and appears after your introduction paragraph(s). It provides the reader with a direction about where your essay is going.

After finding your ideas, you will know what your opinion is all about more clearly and the reasons why you have it.

You may, for instance, want to write about the fact that teaching religion in school is a good thing. The next thing you need to do is to give the reasons why.

If you get here, you are moving in the right direction as far as your reasons for writing are concerned. Here are some of the things you want to remember when choosing a topic for your opinion essay.

2. Select a Good Topic to Write an Opinion Essay On 

As this assignment is an opinion based essay, your aim is to give a strong position on a particular matter. To achieve this, you need to have a genuinely strong feeling for a topic. 

Therefore: 

Pick an issue you have knowledge about

How well you understand an issue will be apparent in your essay. Now, no one wants to be seen as a poorly informed writer.

This is why it’s important to choose an article you can explain properly.

Choose a puzzling topic

It won’t help you or your marks by writing a boring article that will bore your readers.

This is a sure way to get low grades. You need to pick a controversial topic, for instance, why people shouldn’t go to school on Mondays.

A topic like this is sure to capture the mind of the reader. You just need to make sure that you have enough facts to back up your thought.

3. Pre-write Your Opinion Essay

Having settled on a topic, the next time is to write your article, right?

Not so fast:

You need to write down the ideas you have to give you an easier time in writing. In this section, you will be discussing yourself.

Ask yourself: What do I think about the article? Write this in freestyle as there is no need that it must be in perfect grammar. Also, don’t be judgmental about how bad or good the ideas are.

Maintain your momentum by writing down any idea without minding whether it is good or bad. This pre-writing part is just for you and no one will mark it.

The pre-writing stage is important because it helps make your ideas clearer. This also enables you to make your ideas more subtle to the reader.

Remember that you are like a teacher in this section. Even if the reader doesn’t agree completely with you, they will appreciate your proper understanding of the subject.

Other questions you need to ask yourself include:

  • What are the questions that I need to answer in the assignment?
  • What are the things my readers are most interested in?
  • Can my arguments be improved?
  • Are any of my points contradictory or inconsistent?


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4. Create an Outline for Your Opinion Essay

To write an excellent opinion essay, you will need to stick to the laid-down structure.

Adhering to the stated format is important whether you write an essay for a newspaper competition or for your IELTS.

Structuring your essay appropriately will make it flow smoothly throughout. Here are the main parts of a standard opinion essay:

5. Learn What to Write in the 5 Paragraphs of an Opinion Essay 

This assignment is a 5-pargraph essay, which must explain the following: 

The Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement contains the main idea you are going to talk about and it should be in one or two sentences at the most.

The thesis statement needs to give the reader a background on the matter you want to talk about in your essay.

Introduction

Your introduction serves as your chance to hook in the reader and make them interested to read further into your essay.

For this reason, you need to think of a catchy way to introduce your topic.

You may also need to provide a general but brief background to your article to explain the context for your essay.

Use the introduction to bring in the audience to your topic and let them know what’s ahead for them in the essay. Supply compelling examples and evidence where necessary.

Body

The body of the article is where you will be discussing your idea. You should focus on it and give your best shot as it is the meat of the essay.

The length or the number of paragraphs of the body will depend on the instructions from your professor.

Here are some of the tips to keep at the back of your mind:

  1. 1
    Give it a personal feel: as this is an opinion piece, you need to write it from a personal point of view. Make the essay personal by providing personal examples in support of your claims.
  2. 2
    Avoid using passive voice and instead, use active voice.
  3. 3
    You also don’t want to use jargon or difficult words. Be your natural self and explain things in easy-to-understand language.
  4. 4
    Stick to the word count: Always ensure you write to the number of words required. If you have to exceed the word count, don’t do that by more than 50 words.
  5. 5
    Appreciate contradicting opinions: Respecting and appreciating opposing opinions will lend more credence to your essay. This also makes your work more appealing and relatable.
  6. 6
    Offer a solution: One of the hallmarks of a properly written opinion essay is that it offers a solution(s) at the end.


6. Write a Conclusion That Ties Up Your Opinions Together 

You must wrap up your essay opinion and reaffirm your position on a particular subject matter.

If you follow all the other parts well, you will find that writing the conclusion is extremely easy.

Restate your previous opinion in a clever way and summarize the main arguments of your essay. You may even pose a question to the reader and offer suggestions.

Give your essay an effective ending so the reader remembers it

Tips for Writing a Good Opinion Essay

  1. 1
    Create an outline for your opinion essay before you begin writing. This is also the time to remove any ineffective reasoning leaving only strong points.
  2. 2
    Research your topic at length as this will help to strengthen your views. Reading more widely can help you to even change your mind.
  3. 3
    Use only sources that are credible and reputable. The best sources are scholarly ones written by experts in a field. Most universities allow students to access academic sources free of charge. This is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss.
  4. 4
    Proofread your work thoroughly. The best tactic is to take a day or two days’ break to have a clear mind when you are revising your work. In the heat of writing, it is possible to make some obvious errors but when you do have an opportunity to fix these. Typos can not only be annoying but also make your work look unprofessional.
  5. 5
    Adhere to the format. Using an unfamiliar format may distract the reader. If you are unsure of the format to follow, ask your instructor.
  6. 6
    Cite your work properly. Even if it is an opinion piece, the fact remains that it is still an academic work and therefore must be cited properly.

About the author 

Antony W

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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