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How to Write an Opinion Essay - Follow the Guide

Let's begin with the precise definition of the opinion essay. So, opinion essay is one of the most typical types of essay any student would have to write over the course of his or her academic study. This type of essay can also be called an argumentative essay or a persuasive essay. In order for your essay to be called an argumentative one, the professor would have to assign to you, or you would have to choose by yourself, a controversial topic (the topic upon which there is no consensus) and then express your personal opinion about this particular topic in a written form while adhering to all standards of academic writing and formatting. By expressing an opinion, we mean that you would have to a) defend your standpoint on the topic and b) support it with various credible arguments. Therefore, your primary purpose when writing an opinion essay is to persuade the reader (that is why it is also called a persuasive essay) that your arguments and your overall opinion about the given topic are valid.

Before we begin describing all formal elements of the opinion essay, such as structuring and formatting, allow us to give you a few useful tips on how to write a quality opinion essay.

  1. Take a strong standpoint. In other words, develop a clear and definite position and don't change it over the course of writing the paper. Your essay should describe only your position on a certain topic, not anyone else's.
  2. Present strong arguments. The number of those arguments doesn't really matter, as long as there is more than one. What is more important is that your arguments are clear and convincing.
  3. Connect your ideas properly. The reader shouldn't be guessing how you've developed certain conclusion or build the logical connections between the paragraphs. It is your task as the writer to make sure that your ideas are structured well and ensure the flawless reading experience.
  4. Think about the reader. Remember that you are not trying to persuade yourself but a person who will be reading your opinion essay. If you know exactly who will read the paper (for instance, your university professor), try to develop the arguments that are more likely to convince that particular person. I would be better if you knew their exact standpoint on the topic at hand. This way, it would be easier for you to develop the counter-arguments.

Opinion essay structure tips

Before getting down to the actual writing, you would have to think about how to structure your opinion essay. In essence, the structure of an opinion essay is basic: it has an introductory part, the main body, which consists of paragraphs, and the concluding part. Usually, the opinion essay consists of five paragraphs. In each of these paragraphs, you will have to elaborate on a specific separate argument.

Here is how an opinion essay should be structured:

Introduction

This is considered as the first paragraph of your argumentative essay. If you are not sure how to start an opinion essay, the best way would be to begin it with the so-called hook sentence. The main purpose of this sentence is to introduce the topic, on which you will present the argument further on in the paper, and grab the reader's attention. The introductory paragraph may also include some background information about the topic so that the reader could understand the importance of this paper and the reason why this particular topic is considered to be controversial.

The introductory paragraph should also include perhaps the most important couple of sentences of your essay which are called the thesis statement. In the opinion essay, your thesis statement must include your opinion on the given subject, formulated in a clear and comprehensible way.

After writing a good thesis statement, you will have to support your position by providing compelling arguments in the main body of your opinion essay.

The main body

As we have mentioned earlier, the main body of the opinion essay is divided into five paragraphs, but you can write as many paragraphs as you need, or as it is required by your assignment, as long as you cover the topic and present the full range of solid arguments. The main condition for writing good and persuasive paragraphs is that each paragraph must state reasons and details that support your opinion. In order to present a strong argument, you will need to support it with at least three good reasons. Otherwise, your argument may be considered as a weak one. The follow-up details are needed to fully explain the point that you're trying to convey. The main body of the opinion essay must also include the counter-arguments which you would have to refute. Once you have presented your arguments, reasons and refuted the counter-arguments, you can move on to concluding your essay.

Conclusion

Many students don't know how to conclude the opinion essay in a proper way which may result in getting lower grades. One thing that you shouldn't do in the concluding paragraph is present new information or new arguments. You have to restate and paraphrase your thesis statement, summarize your arguments, and end your opinion essay with a strong statement. That way, you will leave a positive and lasting impression of your academic writing.

Opinion essay format tips

Writing an opinion essay is not only about presenting a set of strong arguments. In order to get the maximum score, you have to format it correctly. There are several formatting styles, and each of them has its own nuances. These formatting styles are:

  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago/Turabian
  • Harvard

Each of these formatting styles has its own requirements regarding margins, spacing, and quoting. You may get yourself acquainted with these formatting styles on the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) or other similar websites.

Opinion essay outline example

Depending on the formatting style of your essay, you may have to compose an outline for your paper. If you are not sure how to do it, we would like to offer some help writing an opinion essay outline by providing a short example of this particular part of the academic paper.

  1. Introduction
    • What is green energy
    • Why green energy can save the planet
  2. Body
    • How the coal and oil-based energy systems destroy the environment
    • The benefits of green energy
    • The way to introduce green energy projects on the global level.
  3. Conclusion
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