How to write opinion essays Opinion essays are essays in which we present our personal opinion on a particular topic. Our opinion must be stated clearly and supported by justifications. We should also present the opposing viewpoints in a separate paragraph. An opinion essay consists of: An introduction in which we introduce the subject and state our opinion clearly. A main body, consisting of two or more paragraphs (each presenting a separate viewpoint supported by reasons/ examples), including a paragraph giving the opposing viewpoint supported by reasons/ examples. A conclusion in which we restate our opinion using different words. We normally use present tenses in this type of writing. Opinion essays are normally written in a formal style, therefore we should avoid using colloquial expressions, short forms or personal references. We can find this type of writing in the form of an article in newspapers, magazines, etc. To begin/ end an opinion essay, we can: Address the reader directly. You’d be surprised how many people enrol for online courses these days. You know the feeling – you are sitting an important exam and your mind suddenly goes blank. Ask a rhetorical question. Have you ever thought of taking a gap year between school and university? What can be done to make lessons more exciting for young learners? Include a quotation. Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. John Dewey, philosopher and educational reformer. Uniforms seem to be solving problems. Luis Rodarte, middle school student, Long Beach, Califirnia. Plan Introduction (para 1) state the topic and your opinion Main Body (para 2) first viewpoint and reason/ example (para 3) second viewpoint and reason/ example (para 4) opposing viewpoint and reason/ example Conclusion (para 5) restate opinion Useful language Giving opinions I believe/ think/ feel (that)… I strongly believe… In my opinion/ view, … The way I see it, … It seems/ appears to me (that) … To my mind, … I (do not) agree that/ with… My opinion is that … As far as I am concerned, … I (completely) agree that/ with… I (strongly) disagree that/ with… I am totally against … I couldn’t agree/ disagree more that/ with… Some people believe that… To me… Firstly,… Moreover, it is … In addition, doing/ having/ learning, etc On the other hand, some people say that… All in all, I believe that… Linking words To list viewpoints: to start with, firstly, in the first place, secondly, in addiction, besides, furthermore, moreover, also, lastly, etc. To introduce supporting points (reasons): for this reason, this is because, as, since, in this way, etc. To introduce supporting points (examples): for example, for instance, in particular, such as/like, etc To introduce opposing ideas: on the other hand, however, nevertheless, etc To conclude: all in all, taking everything into account, to sum up, all things considered, etc. Example Schools uniforms should be compulsory «Uniforms do not make our schools better», concluded American sociologist David Brunsma after a decade of researching the topic. 1) However, it seems to me that he is not entirely right. The compulsory wearing of school uniforms can be beneficial in a number of ways. 2) Firstly, wearing a uniform helps students concentrate on their studies. Children do not have to worry about competing with their peers to look fashionable. 3) As a result, they are more likely to pay attention to what is being taught rather than what is being worn. 4) Secondly, uniforms improve school security. If everyone in the school grounds is dressed the same, this makes it much easier to identify people who do not belong to the school. 5) Some people argue that school uniforms rob children of their individuality, as they cannot wear what they please. 6) However, children can always choose their own clothes after school hours. 7) In conclusion, I believe making students wear uniforms is acceptable. After all, who wouldn’t want to be part of a focused and safe learning environment?