How to Write an Opinion Essay

How to Write an Opinion Essay | Paper Writing Help

So, you want to know how to write an opinion essay? Besides, we all have plenty of those! Whether we express them or not, you need to use facts, real-world examples, or figures to support them. What’s more, opinion essays differ sharply from other forms of academic writing.

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Typically learning institutions train students to avoid first-person speech, use numerous citations, and obey academic writing rules. As a result, writing opinion essays disrupts students writing habits. But don’t let that daunt you, as in this guide will show you how to write an opinion essay. 

In past articles, we covered how to write argumentative and persuasive essays. In this piece, we discuss how to write opinion essays. Tips contained herein will help you reason critically, assess an opinion essay’s requirements, present, and defend your opinion. But first, we begin with the definition.

So, What is an Opinion Essay

An opinion essay is a formal piece of writing that presents a writer’s point of view. In it, you pick a point of view on a topic and support it using examples and reasoning. In contrast to argumentative, persuasive, and pros and cons essays, opinion essays focus on one point of view. And there are no counterarguments, counterpoints, or comparisons of advantages and disadvantages. At times, however, you can choose an opposing viewpoint and demonstrate its inconsistencies using arguments.

how to write an opinion essay

Most importantly, an opinion essay expresses the writer’s subjective viewpoint on the chosen topic. In most opinion essay assignments, you’ll either prove an idea or convince an audience of something. As such, knowing how to write an opinion essay is an opportunity to reveal and describe the relationships and causes of the topic from a personal perspective. 

Now that you know what an opinion essay is, I will show you how to write the perfect opinion essay.

Tips on Writing the Perfect Opinion Essay

Before beginning writing, gather vital research material to support a personal stance on the subject at hand. Then, ensure that all supportive statements and facts match the requirements of the opinion essay. You may have to vary your evidence in support of your position.  For instance, reliable statistics, exciting anecdotes, observations, and factual proofs. Integrating these elements in an essay demonstrates your in-depth understanding of the topic. Familiarizing yourself with opposing views is an excellent way of proving that you deeply understand the subject, however. 

Then again, don’t forget to acknowledge past arguments and opinions. This way, you comprehend how they fit into the framework of your present beliefs. Finally, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How similar or different is my stance on past opinions?
  • What has changed in my opinion?
  • How does a lack of changes affect my position?

how to write an opinion essay

While writing your essay, always include transition statements. Doing so allows one to develop a wholesome argument and pinpoint inconsistencies of past or present arguments. Always provide a statement that succinctly expresses your view, position, or opinion. However, avoid sarcasm when making your opinion known. Next, provide enough evidence to back up your stance. 

When writing opinions essays, maintain a professional tone, and avoid using an emotionally charged style or language. Only utilize factual claims supported by credible evidence. In developing your arguments, research opposing views to anticipate potential weaknesses and fallacies, in your opinion. 

And with that being so, let’s look at the outline of how to write an opinion essay.

So, How Does One Express an Opinion?

Perhaps you are tackling a highly controversial subject, for example, abortion rights of immigration policies. Then again, let’s assume it lacks a concrete solution. Often, controversial topics lack consensus because people perceive issues subjectively. Besides, individuals will always strive to convince others of the correctness of their view. As previously indicated, you must explicitly state your viewpoint before developing an argument. But without an understanding of the structure of an opinion essay, it is challenging to accomplish your goal. 

how to write an opinion essay

In the next section, we outline the structure of an opinion essay. 

Structure of an Opinion Essay

Typical opinion essays have five paragraphs. An introductory paragraph with a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph. Sometimes assignments might require essays of a more extended length. If that is true, then you will have more than three body paragraphs in an essay. Now let’s look at each element of the structure of an opinion essay.

How to Write an Opinion Essay: Introduction

An introduction that acts as the beginning of all types of academic essays. It provides the writer with an opportunity to capture the reader’s attention. Use it to give a brief background of the topic and its context. Use intros also to state the main subject under discussion as well as your opinion to an audience. 

Doing so requires that you craft a compelling and attention-grabbing hook. For this reason, developing a good introduction sets the mood, purpose, and tone of the entire essay.  More on that later. Also, embed the thesis statement at the end of the introductory paragraph.

Your intros should compel the reader to continue reading. So, be fresh and original in your intros. Frequently, most students begin with a definition; however, avoid doing so! Although an intro is not always necessary in an opinion essay, we recommend that you always have one. 

Here are a few tips for creating riveting hook:

First, begin with an attention-grabbing hook. But you might ask, how do I write a great hook? Also, what are the five types of hooks? 

  • The Intriguing Question Hook: use this technique to pose a hypothetical scenario to your target audience. In this way, you invite the audience to imagine and relate their experiences to an essay’s content. 

Why is this Hook Effective?

Humans are naturally curious. So, whenever we encounter a question, we want to know the answer. 

  • Statistics or Fun Facts Hook: Everybody loves trivia. So, provide facts and statistics in the intro to impress an audience with your grasp of the topic or subject. However, remember to evaluate the credibility of your sources. 

Why is this Hook Effective?

People tend to remember unusual events, facts, or phenomena better than mundane or ordinary things. Plus, it’s a natural extension of humans’ survival instincts. Why? We tend to fixate on unusual events, thoughts, or occurrences as they have the potential to harm or alter our experiences. 

  • Classical Narrative/Story Hook: in this technique, you begin an intro with a short narrative related to the topic under consideration. 

Why is this hook effective?

For millennia, stories fulfill an innate entertainment need and survival need as well. Nowadays, technology and knowledge continue to provide some of the most entertaining forms of entertainment known to man.

  • Strong Declaration/Statement Hook: this technique makes an assertive claim about a topic, which connects to an essay’s thesis. In this way, it demonstrates the importance of an issue to an audience. What is more, it is not even necessary for an audience to agree or disagree with a declaration you make.

Why is this Hook Effective?

It is an excellent way of supporting your opinion and sets the stage for your arguments. Regardless of the position you take, readers are curious to learn what you have to say. Plus, you enjoy the flexibility of establishing a definitive or contradictory stance on contentious issues whenever you want. 

  • Simile/Metaphor Hook: this hook compels your readers to think about an issue differently. By comparing an issue with an unrelated idea, thing, or event, you leave the audience wondering what your intentions are. 

Why is this Hook Effective?

Metaphors directly compare things with each other, whereas similes connect items using as or like. With this hook, you can reframe issues your readers are familiar with in a unique manner. As a result, you leave the interpretation of the hook’s meaning open to the reader. 

How to Write an Opinion Essay: Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs are the second component of all academic essays. The length, number, and order of an opinion essay’s body paragraphs depending on the particular assignment you are writing. All the same, all body paragraphs should be:

  • Coherent: contain clearly connected and logically organized sentences
  • Relevant: support an essay’s theme and purpose
  • Unified: have sentences that relate to an essay’s thesis

In this section, we provide a few tips to help you write strong body paragraphs. Pay attention, as we at My Homework Writers use them to develop and structure body paragraphs. Hold tight as here we go!

Writing Strong Body Paragraphs

An essential requirement for writing strong body paragraphs is structure. So, always structure your paragraphs before writing. Here at My Homework Writers, we utilize the Point, Information, Explanation (P.I.E) model, as explained below:

  • Point: each paragraph should have a topic sentence (point, claim, or purpose)
  • Information: contain evidence (data, facts, or experiences) that supports the topic 
  • Explanation: your evaluation, interpretation, analysis, and elaboration of a topic and supporting evidence that connects topic sentences with the essay’s thesis

Next, follow these steps to write effective body paragraphs. 

Step #1: Pick a Topic for Each Paragraph

First, understand what you are writing about. To do so, evaluate the assignment or writing prompt. Take note of repetitive phrases or key terms, as you will need them in your response. Next, research and do some additional reading to get a better idea of what you need to do. 

Step # 2: Create a Topic Sentence

Think of a topic sentence as well as what you want to say about an issue. Often, opinion essay prompts have a central idea. For this reason, your topic sentence should explicitly state an essay’s main idea. But what comprises a good topic sentence? Good topic sentences have a main subject and direction.

For example, effective leadership requires abilities that anyone can cultivate. This topic sentence has a topic and a central idea.

Step # 3: Provide Evidence

After stating a topic sentence, provide evidence that clarifies, demonstrates, or proves your point. Potential sources of evidence to use in a paragraph include:

  • Examples, reasons, facts, and details
  • Course readings or class discussions
  • Short quotes or paraphrases
  • Polls, statistics, research data, and percentages
  • Subjective narratives or experiences

TIP: Sprinkle transition and introductory phrases to help guide readers. Plus, be sure you are quoting sources correctly.  

Step # 4: Interpret and Explain Your Evidence

After providing evidence, it’s time to demonstrate how it supports your viewpoint. So, connect your evidence to the thesis, view, or argument. Then, prove the significance, meaning, or importance of evidence to the topic sentence. 

Step # 5: Conclude

After fleshing out your points, it’s time to end your body paragraph. To do so, write a concluding sentence that ties together points elaborated in a paragraph.  For long essays, include bridging sentences to introduce the next paragraph or essay section. In some cases, you can use a rhetorical question to bridge between paragraphs. Even so, use this device sparingly. Otherwise, ending each paragraph with a question is repetitive, cumbersome, and boring to your readers.

Ideally, all paragraphs should have a concluding sentence. However, use your discretion to decide whether one is appropriate. In academic writing, concluding sentences have two critical roles, namely:

One, aggregate information presented in a paragraph when expounding the main idea by:

  • Summarizing the links between presented points and a paragraph’s primary purpose.
  • Repeat phrases or words from topic sentences
  • Utilize linking words that indicate the drawing of conclusions to the reader. For example, thus, briefly, subsequently, consequently, therefore, or resulting

Two, link a preceding paragraph to the next. So, use it to signal the topic sentence of the next section. But you might ask, how do I create good concluding sentences? 

  • Introduce phrases, words or concepts which will appear in the topic sentence of the upcoming paragraph
  • Use words or phrases such as another, other or the following to direct the reader’s attention to what is coming next

Step # 6: Proofread the Whole Paragraph

Finally, after developing a paragraph fully, proofread, and revise accordingly. Proofreading focuses on correcting, spelling, grammatical, and typographical errors. Besides, it lets you spot and rectify logic errors in a paragraph.

Here are several tips on how to proofread your paragraph:

    • Although spell checkers are useful tools, avoid relying on them solely. Why? Some flag words not in their dictionaries as spelling errors. Others fail to catch spelling errors that form legitimate words. For example, “too” instead of “to,” “their” instead of “there,” and “you’re” instead of “your.” 
    • how to write an opinion essaySimilarly, be wary of grammar checkers too. Most have limited grammar rules, which reduce their ability to identify errors in your writing. Besides, grammar checkers fail to provide adequate clarifications on why a sentence needs revision. Though they are powerful tools for identifying passivity or run-on sentences, always evaluate the feedback you receive.
    • Proofread your paragraph one error at a time. By identifying and revising multiple errors at a go, you risk losing focus. Your proofreading also becomes less effective. Plus, various proofreading techniques work well with specific mistakes. 
    • Then, read slowly through a paragraph, ensuring that you read every word and every sentence. Force yourself to read each word aloud to understand how words and sentences flow, sound, and connect. Avoid reading your paragraphs silently. Otherwise, you are bound to skip errors or make unconscious corrections. 
    • Divide your text into individual sentences to improve your ability to proofread paragraphs carefully. Hit the Return/Enter key after a full stop to have every sentence begin on a separate line. Then, read every line separately to identify spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes. If you are proofreading using a hard copy, use a ruler or piece of folded paper to divide sentences. 
    • Punctuation : For punctuation, circle every mark and consider whether it is appropriate.
  • Finally, reading your paragraph backward is the most helpful technique for spell checking. Begin with the last sentence of the paragraph and read each word distinctly. As the focus is on spelling, grammar, content, and punctuation won’t distract you. 

Bonus Tip

Treat proofreading as a learning process. Not only are you looking for errors, but you are learning how to recognize and correct them whenever they occur. At times, however, it is not clear what you need to do. For example, whether you need a comma between two words or use that or which? If uncertain about something, look it up!

Consider creating a systematic proofreading strategy to improve your efficiency. Having a plan helps you identify areas that need improvement. Also, this approach enables you to develop your paragraphs appropriately during drafting.

When to Begin A New Paragraph

how to write an opinion essay

Knowing when to begin a new paragraph is relatively simple. But most writers, especially beginners, find it daunting. What’s more, breaking down your writing into paragraphs is essential for structuring an opinion essay. But no one will ever teach you the basic rules. Therefore, most writers just muddle through making the rules as they go.

Typically, new paragraphs break up an essay into manageable chunks. Besides, paragraphs inform readers of a change of place, time, speakers, and topic. For this reason, we prepared a few rules, which you can bend and stretch to your liking. 

Occasions When You Must Begin A New Paragraph

In writing, a paragraph consists of a collection of related sentences addressing a single idea, topic, or concept. Knowing when to start a new paragraph helps writers remain focused when drafting or revising an essay. Plus, paragraphs improve the reader’s ability to follow your piece’s reasoning, arguments, and logic. 

Here we present a few guidelines:

Paragraphing Basic Rule

A basic paragraphing rule is that every paragraph should have one idea only. So, it would help if you start a new paragraph when you:

  • Begin a new idea or topic. Always start new ideas, arguments, or issues in a new paragraph. If an idea spans multiple sections, assign each point a new paragraph. 
  • Need to contrast information or ideas. Use separate paragraphs to compare viewpoints in an argument, debate, or any other difference.
  • Need readers to pause. Breaking an essay into paragraphs gives readers a “break.” Plus, it improves the readability of your text. Also, break long or complicated material into paragraphs. 
  • Beginning intros or conclusions. An essay’s introduction and conclusion should always start in a new paragraph. Often, intros and conclusions contain multiple paragraphs based on essay length, content, and purpose. 
  • Need to emphasize a point. Typically, writers use one or two sentence paragraphs to highlight a significant statement or idea.
  • Need to transit between essay sections. Sometimes you might use short paragraphs to transition between a paper’s section.
  • Need to vary paragraph lengths. Vary paragraph lengths to keep readers interested in your piece. So, create a new paragraph for emphasis or to indicate minor idea shifts. Likewise, you may join shorter paragraphs to form longer ones. 

If you find it challenging paragraphing an opinion essay, try outlining a paper before you begin. Then, assign each significant step in the outline a new paragraph. Also, use transitions and signposts to help you paragraph suitably. Signposts are sentences that summarize what that a piece discussed, whereas transitions are one or more sentences that indicate a changeover of one idea to the next. Use transitions at the end of paragraphs to guide readers to the following paragraphs. 

Bonus Tip

In practice, you don’t have to paragraph your text as soon as you begin writing. Either you can paragraph as you go or afterward. Preferably, it would help if you paragraphed an essay as you develop it. However, not many of us can do it straight away. 

How to Write an Opinion Essay; Conclusion

Similar to introductions, conclusions are challenging to compose. But investing time in them is worthy, as they influence the reader’s interaction with your opinion essay. Additionally, conclusions help readers transition back to daily life. A valid conclusion summarizes your analysis, letting audiences grasp points that matter. 

How to Write an Effective Conclusion

Use the tips below to create effective conclusions.how to write an opinion essay

Tip # 1: Synthesize don’t summarize

An opinion essay’s conclusion is necessary. It might share similarities with your intro. Even so, you should know how to reframe your content instead of making a summary. For example, you could rephrase your thesis as well as some supporting points. Doing so enables you to aggregate ideas together and write convincingly.

Tip # 2: Propose a course of action, solution or questions for further research

To help your readers better understand the topic, recommend some course of action. Encourage them to read better stuff, do more profound analysis, or ask a question that leaves them yearning for more.

Tip # 3: Highlight the broader implications of a topic

Use this technique to link your points to real-world situations. In a Civil Rights Movement opinion essay, you could point to the impact of the Greensboro sit-ins on the Civil Rights Movement.  

Tip # 4: Write Your Conclusion Logically

  • Link the last paragraph to the first
  • Use one-syllable words to create an effect of understated drama
  • Just use compound or parallel sentences to establish order or balance especially at the finale of complex discussions
  • Use quotations or primary or secondary sources to amplify main points or highlight different perspectives
  • Redefine an argument’s key terms

What to Avoid

  • Don’t use phrases like in conclusion, in closing, or in summary. Though these might work in speeches, in academic writing, they sound stale and overused. 
  • Stating your thesis in the conclusion for the first time
  • Introducing news concepts or ideas
  • Rephrasing a thesis testament with no significant changes
  • Using contextually misplaced appeals to your reader’s emotions or sentiments
  • Including supporting evidence (quotations, statistics, facts or examples) in the conclusion

Now that you know how to write an opinion essay let’s explore where to get professional essay writing assistance. 

Sample: Is Space Exploration A Waste of Money?

Today, nations across the globe decry the wastage of both monetary and natural resources. Moreover, economic disparities between developed, developing, and underdeveloped countries confound the ability of governments to address problems such as high population growth rates, malnutrition, starvation, disease and pressure on natural resources. A well-known fact is that rich countries continue to spend billions on space exploration, while citizens of developing countries suffer from acute starvation, malnutrition, and disease. As a result, a hotly contested debate rages as to whether the high cost of space exploration is a waste of resources or a benefit to humanity. However, I believe that nations should allocate significant resources to the issues discussed in the following sections.

First, countries should focus on solving humanmade problems which precipitate the wastage of public resources. For example, societies struggle against vices like smoking, alcoholism, and drug abuse. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco is the leading cause of death among smokers, killing 8 million people worldwide each year (World Health Organization, 2019). A sizable number of smokers die from lung and throat cancer. Second, food and water shortages regularly occur in developing countries further worsening the impact of malnutrition, hunger, and starvation leading to the deaths of millions of people. Third, the lack of educational facilities, medical centers, and sanitation facilities are issues that plague most developing and underdeveloped nations. As a result, a massive chasm exists between the living conditions found in poor and rich countries, which leads most people to consider space exploration a waste of limited resources. 

In some countries, people suffer from unceasing hunger and starvation, whereas, in others, residents are overfed and obese. Similarly, some states have enough energy sources while others do not. Although humanity takes pride in its technological achievements, a significant portion of humanity have no access to essential services. These disparities point to the inability of societies, communities, and governments to prioritize the apportionment of resources to the most pressing issues confronting humanity. Instead, space exploration continues to gobble up massive amounts of funds, while millions of people exist in substandard conditions. On the other hand, not all space exploration efforts are fruitless as the drive to explore the unknown is an inherently unique human trait. 

Despite countries investing heavily in space travel, communication satellites, and planetary exploration, it is equally critical that governments extend sufficient resources, effort, and input to uplift the living conditions of millions of their citizens. Otherwise, a failure to distribute resources based on priorities will lead to an increase in mass social and political unrest, unwanted deaths, and depreciated living conditions. By spending 10% of the global space exploration budget on programs that uplift the living standards of the poor, the unemployed, and the homeless, nations can decrease disease, hunger and starvation. In turn, the elimination of these challenges will reduce demand for medical services. Furthermore, economies benefit from the input of healthy populations resulting in more revenues for funding space exploration.  Though investing in space exploration is not futile, it is more beneficial investing these resources in programs that expand access to medical services, education, agricultural research and housing to a larger percentage of the global population.

Various problems confront humanity and will continue to do so unless nations arrive at a formula for allocating finite resources. For this reason, it is essential to analyze and comprehend the dire situation existing today and establish appropriate mechanisms for addressing present disparities. Even so, this does not mean that we should desist from space exploration, instead nations need to limit the number of resources allocated to space programs. Doing so will free up funds for use elsewhere as detailed in this discussion. 

References

World Health Organization. (2019, July 12). Tobacco. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tobacco

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