The basic five-paragraph essay structure, which you have possibly used for many times, works extremely well for opinion essays. Be ready to warm up your thinking by evaluating various opinions and reasons to determine which are strong and which are weak to support your point of view.
To write a successful opinion essay, make sure to follow these stages: pre-writing, writing and proofreading.
Before starting to write your essay, you need to gather information to support your opinion. Make sure the evidence you collect matches your stated point of view. While brainstorming and looking for arguments, try to answer these questions to get more ideas:
- What question should I answer in this assignment?
- What are those things my audience want to know?
- What main points should be conveyed in my essay?
- Are any of the points inconsistent or contradictory?
- Can I improve any of my arguments?
Look at the list of your ideas and organize them the way you will use in your composition. Decide which ideas are perfect to be mentioned at the beginning, in the main part and at the end of your essay.
Your opinion essay should have an introduction, main body and conclusion.
Step 1 - Introduction
In the introductory paragraph, you need to present your subject and state your opinion clearly. Make sure it contains a thesis statement – a sentence that summarizes the main point of your paper.
There are several techniques to begin your essay, so you can:
- address the reader directly;
- include a quotation, direct speech, a sentence from a book or play;
- ask a rhetorical question.
Step 2 - Main Body
In the body of your essay, you need to support your thesis statement. Write several paragraphs, each presenting a separate point of view supported by reasons. Start every paragraph with a topic sentence – the main idea you will back up with arguments. Make sure you don't begin a new paragraph because the one you are writing right now is too long. Begin a new paragraph only when you want to discuss a new idea.
While writing, pay special attention to:
- Tense – normally you should use present tenses in this type of essay.
- Linking words – use different expressions for giving reasons (one reason for ... is / many people believe that... / since... / due to...), expressions opinions (to my mind... / I am convinced that... / from my point of view...), adding ideas (first of all.../ secondly... / what is more, …/ finally... ), etc.
- Formal vocabulary – do not use idioms, phrasal verbs or colloquial expressions.
- Formal punctuation – do not use exclamation marks, parentheses and contractions.
- Citing sources where necessary.
Step 3 - Conclusion
To conclude your opinion essay, write a paragraph where you restate your opinion using different words. You should avoid introducing a new idea or apologizing for your views. However, to make your essay more engaging, you can end with a warning, ask a provocative question or suggest consequences.
When you complete your essay, evaluate different aspects to make sure that your work is just excellent:
- Grammar – make sure you use the same tense throughout the essay.
- Vocabulary – check whether you use linking words and avoid slang.
- Spelling and capitalization – check if all the words are written correctly.
In addition, make sure you do not present your ideas using the lists. After all, this is an opinion essay, not a shopping list.
Done right, your opinion essay will be an outstanding piece of writing. Follow the tips above and take your essay writing to the new heights!