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The Ultimate Guide to Writing an Opinion Essay

November 4, 2020
Elizabeth Evans

Picture this. You’re walking on a tightrope that’s about 70ft in the air, with no protective gear and no expert to guide you. While this may seem like an extremely dramatic scenario that you’d never find yourself in, this is exactly what opinion essays seem like to many people.
For a lot of people, especially students, writing an opinion essay can be very tricky. How do you strike a balance between stating your opinions and dishing out pure facts? How do you structure an opinion essay?

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Opinion Essay

This guide will provide an answer to all the questions racing through your mind. Let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we?

What Is an Opinion Essay? 

Just like the name implies, an opinion essay is a type of essay that outlines and reflects the writer’s point of view. However, it is important to point out that in writing an opinion essay, it isn’t enough to just present your opinions or point of view. You will also need to support them with sufficient logical reasoning and examples. 

In most cases, you may outline or suggest an opposing viewpoint and then back it up with arguments that point out its flaws. 

At this point, you’re probably asking one question that every essay writer has asked at some point in their lives: ‘isn’t an opinion essay the same as an argumentative essay? Absolutely not. In argumentative or persuasive essays, you have to explore the topic from different viewpoints while providing counterpoints at the same time. 

On the other hand, opinion essays only require you to focus on your opinion about the topic. 

Opinion Essay Outline 

Looking to write an opinion essay? Relax and take a deep breath. Just before you get down to the main task of writing the essay, it’s important to draft an outline first. 

With the right outline, writing an opinion essay would be as easy as passing a knife through butter. 

The typical opinion essay format looks like this:

  1. The introduction
  2. The main body
  3. The conclusion or concluding statement

The Introduction 

Not sure how to start an opinion essay? Well, start with the introduction. The introduction clearly presents the topic or issue and states your opinion as well. Here, you need to include a thesis statement which basically summarises the main point of your essay. 

Writing an introduction seems pretty straightforward. However, there’s a slight catch to it. How do you keep your audience from rolling their eyes or giving your paper to their dogs before they’ve even read it? 

It’s simple. Include a hook to get them engaged as soon as they start reading. This way, your audience will get interested and stay engaged throughout the reading process.

Your hook could be a rhetorical question. It could even be a quotation or a sentence from a popular book or play. All that matters is keeping your audience engaged. 

The Main Body 

The main body usually contains points that support your thesis statement. Here, you would need to write different paragraphs that address separate aspects of the topic. You would also need to support each paragraph with logical reasoning and facts. 

Each paragraph in the main body of the essay should begin with a topic sentence. Subsequent sentences in the paragraph will then contain arguments or evidence that back up the topic sentence. 

When it comes to writing the main body of an opinion essay or any essay at all, it is important to address one main idea in one paragraph. Do not begin a new paragraph only to continue talking about the previous idea. 

Each new paragraph should introduce a new idea. 

The Conclusion 

The conclusion or concluding statement basically restates your opinion in different words. An important point to note is that the conclusion isn’t an avenue for you to state new ideas that you forgot to address in the body. 

You can only say: “Oh! And one more thing!” in real life conversations. It has no place in the concluding statement of an opinion statement. 

Instead, try ending your essay with a provocative question, recommendation or warning. 

Basic Expressions to Use

When it comes to writing an opinion essay, it is important to use the right phrases and expressions. This way, you can convey your thoughts and viewpoints succinctly. Here are some basic expressions you could use:

  1. I strongly believe that… 
  2. As far as I am concerned… 
  3. In my own opinion… 
  4. It seems to me that… 
  5. I think that… 
  6. It is popular knowledge that… 
  7. This proves that… 
  8. Despite the fact that…
  9. Studies have shown that… 
  10. This supports the… 

These expressions are quite basic and would help you link thoughts, facts and information perfectly. You could also create your own expressions. Just make sure you use the right nouns, adjectives, tenses and linking words. 

Opinion Essay Examples 

If you’re new to the world of opinion essays, you may still be unsure about how to write a perfect essay. In this case, it’s always best to draw inspiration from well-written opinion essay examples. 

Here are some excellent examples that could guide you:

https://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/skills/writing/intermediate-b1-writing/opinion-essay

https://www.kibin.com/essay-writing-blog/2-opinion-essay-examples/

http://ielts-academic.com/2012/06/24/ielts-writing-task-2-opinion-essay-with-sample-answer/

30 Opinion Essay Topics

Looking for the perfect topic for your opinion essay? Whether you’re sourcing for an assignment topic or you just need to keep your fingers busy by practicing, there are tons of opinion essay topics out there. 

In some cases, you may be required to come up with your own topic. If this is the case, there’s no need to panic or try guessing new topics with the “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” method. That almost never works – unless you’re a toddler, of course. 

Instead of panicking, here are some excellent topics you could either use or draw inspiration from:

  1. Do students in the 21st century rely too much on technology? 
  2. Should the Internet and social media platforms be censored? 
  3. Social media limits the depth of human relationships. Do you agree? 
  4. Is cyberbullying as bad as physical bullying? Which should parents be more concerned about? 
  5. Is it right for parents to go through their kids’ phones to protect them from cyberbullies?
  6. Global warming doesn’t exist. Support your response with reasons and examples. 
  7. Is there sufficient ecology education in high schools? 
  8. Medical marijuana should be illegal. 
  9. Should children be able to decide in critical medical situations? 
  10. Homeschooling has immense psychological benefits for children. 
  11. Can reading help PTSD students heal? 
  12. Paper books have no place in today’s technological world. 
  13. Can science fiction help to advance technology? 
  14. Do games have cognitive effects on adults like they do on children? 
  15. People believe that face-to-face interaction is superior to other indirect forms of communication. Do you agree? 
  16. Salary teachers should be paid depending on how much their students and pupils learn.
  17. Is personal experience the optimal way to learn or gain knowledge about life? 
  18. Change in one’s clothing or mode of dressing can alter the person’s behaviour. Do you agree? Support your position with factual statements. 
  19. Reading novels and other forms of literature has a larger cognitive effect on children than watching movies. 
  20. Should uniforms be mandatory in schools or should students be able to wear what they want?
  21. Companies should screen potential employees for mental and psychological issues. 
  22. In some cases, when students move to new schools, they encounter problems like bullying. How can schools help to solve these problems? 
  23. Borrowing money from friends can put a long-term strain on the friendship. Do you agree? 
  24. Has social media changed the way we view people and the world at large? 
  25. The Internet has a role to play in the rising rate of eating disorders. 
  26. Small town life helps to foster long-lasting human relationships. 
  27. Are e-books damaging the reading culture among students and teenagers? 
  28. Parental communication is vital in building trust within families. 
  29. Social media has spiralled intentional plagiarism out of control. 
  30. Why war crimes should be punished. 

Writing Tips for an Opinion Essay 

At some point in your life, you’d most likely be required to write an opinion essay on a specific topic. Whether you’re a  college or  a high school student, there are several things to keep in mind when embarking on this journey. 

Fortunately, we have outlined a few tips that would help you write the perfect essay. 

Here are some of them:

Carry out Research on Your Topic 

Before you start writing an extensive opinion essay, it is important to research the topic first. Here’s why: it’s almost impossible to have a solid opinion about a topic you know nothing about. Carrying out research on a particular topic would help you understand all aspects and nooks of the topic.

For instance, if you had to write an opinion essay on “The importance of reading games in learning exercises”, you would need to find out what reading games are. You would also need to research previous studies on the psychological and cognitive effects of reading games on children. 

 This way, you will be able to form your own opinion about the topic. 

Cite and Acknowledge Popular Arguments Related to the Topic

In most cases, you would be writing on a topic that has been debated or argued about in the past. As such, it is important to explore popular arguments that have been made before. See how they fit into your own point of view or opinion. 

If there are any similarities or differences, explore them in your writing. 

Let’s consider our previous sample topic which addresses the importance of reading games. When writing an opinion essay on this topic, you could acknowledge popular arguments this way:

Although many parents believe that reading games are a distraction, others believe that it makes the learning process easier and more fun.

Watch Your Tone

 Let’s admit it: it’s easy to get carried away when you’re writing an opinion essay. However, even though you’re really passionate about airing your opinions, you also need to be mindful of your tone. 

Avoid using derisive language to convey your thoughts. 

For instance, do not say:

Reading games are not teaching-focused and as such, are an excuse for lazy teachers who don’t want to do their jobs“. 

Instead, you could say:

 “Reading games are not teaching-focused. Instead, they could create an avenue where children get distracted and play without actually learning anything“. 

This way, you can communicate your opinions and thoughts without sounding unprofessional. Remember that your audience is made up of people that come from different backgrounds and walks of life. You definitely don’t want to offend them in the process of airing your opinion. 

Use Evidence and Facts to Back up Your Claims 

Even though you’re writing all about your opinion, it is important to back up your claims with evidence and facts.

While researching your topic, search for evidence and factual statements to reinforce your position. Typically, factual statements have more impact than emotional or subjective statements. As such, it is advisable to fill your supporting sentences with facts and evidence. 

For instance, you could say something like: 

Studies have shown that children are 60% more likely to learn faster when a game is introduced into the learning process“. 

With a statement like this, you would have successfully given more credibility to your point of view. 

Make Use of Transition Statements 

When writing an opinion essay, transition statements help to link your personal opinions to already existing arguments. They could also portray the flaws in those arguments. 

For a clearer picture, take a look at this statement:

Although there are concerns that reading games may distract children, I think it is particularly useful in making the learning process more enjoyable, especially for children who struggle with reading“. 

Use Formal Language 

When writing an opinion essay, it is important to use formal language throughout. Even though you can decide to use informal language, keep various professional and formal words such as: “furthermore”, “thus”, “moreover” and so on. 

In the same vein, avoid the use of Internet slang words like “OMG”, “LMAO,” etc. 

Write an Opinion Essay with HandmadeWriting

Not sure how to write an opinion essay? We’re here to help! At HandmadeWriting, we create perfectly written essays to suit your needs. Our team of seasoned writers can imitate your desired writing style and churn out an excellent paper even before the deadline. 

Ready? Contact us today! 

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