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Opinion Essays

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Academic Writing

Opinion Essays

An opinion essay is a formal piece of writing. It requires your opinion on a topic, which must be stated clearly, giving various viewpoints on the topic supported by reasons and/or examples. You should also include the opposing viewpoint in another paragraph.

A successful opinion essay should have:
a) an introductory paragraph in which you state the topic and your opinion.
b) a main body which consists of several paragraphs, each presenting a separate viewpoint supported by reasons. You also include a paragraph presenting the opposing viewpoint and reason why you think it is an unconvincing viewpoint; and a
c) conclusion in which you restate your opinion using different words.

Paragraph 1
state the topic and your opinion clearly

Main Body*
Paragraph 2
viewpoint 1 & reason, example
Paragraph 3
viewpoint 2 & reason, example
Paragraph 4
viewpoint 3 & reason/ example*
Paragraph 5
opposing viewpoint & reason/example*

Final paragraph
summarise/restate opinion

*You may include more viewpoints, and thus more paragraphs in the main body.

Points to consider
• Decide whether you agree or disagree with the subject of the topic, then make a list of your viewpoints and reasons.
• Write well-developed paragraphs, joining the sentences with appropriate linking words and phrases. Do not forget to start each paragraph with a topic sentence which summarises what the paragraph is about.
• Linking words and phrases should also be used to join one paragraph with the other.

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