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Writing an Opinion Essay


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You may be required to write an essay that is based on your own personal opinion about a controversial topic. Depending on your objective, your composition could be any length, from a short letter to the editor, to a medium-sized speech, or a long research paper. But every piece should contain some basic steps and elements.

1. Collect research to support your opinion. Make sure that your supporting statements match the type of composition you are writing. For example, your evidence will vary from observations (for a letter to the editor) to trustworthy statistics (for a research paper).

2. Acknowledge the previous opinions or arguments that have been made.

"Many students have complained that the dress code implemented by our new headmaster restricts their rights to freedom of expression."

3. Use a transition statement that shows how your opinion adds to the argument or suggests those previous statements and arguments are incomplete or faulty.

Follow up with a statement that expresses your opinion.

"While I agree that the regulations do hamper my ability to express my individualism, I think the economic burden that the new code brings about is a bigger concern."

4. Be careful not to be too sarcastic:

"Many students come from low-income families and they simply don't have the resources to buy new clothing to suit the headmaster's fashion whims."

This statement contains a bit of a sour note. It would only make your argument less professional-sounding. This statement says enough:

"Many students come from low-income families and they simply don't have the resources to buy new clothing on short notice."

5. Next, list supporting evidence to back up your position.

  • "The recent increase in fees has already led to a decrease in enrollment."
  • "Some of my friends are struggling to purchase necessities, due to the rising costs."

It is important to keep the tone of your essay professional, by avoiding emotional language and any language that expresses an accusation. Use factual statements that are supported by sound evidence.

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