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Opinion Essay

An opinion essay is nothing more than an essay that focuses on a single opinion. You pick a point of view that you're either in support of or against, and that's all you focus on. Your supporting information will all contribute to that one point of view.

In contrast to an argumentative essay, a persuasive essay, or a pros and cons essay, the opinion essay focuses on one opinion. There's no counterpoints. There's no contrasting points of view. There's no comparison of advantages and disadvantages.

How to Write an Opinion Essay

The basic five-paragraph essay structure, which you have probably used many times by this point, works extremely well for an opinion essay. It's a starting point, and when you get to university your profs will expect a more complex approach to essay writing. If you feel confident about your essay-writing skills, you can certainly branch out into longer and more complex essays. But this basic five-paragraph outline is a good starting point, especially if you feel uncertain of your ability.

An opinion essay exists to prove your main point - your thesis. This should be clearly stated in your opening paragraph. Don't leave the reader to guess what your position is on the issue - make a clear stand!

Next, develop your argument in the body of your essay. Each paragraph should contain a single, clear idea that support your point of view. You can use examples and illustration, cause-and-effect reasoning, comparison/contrast or other methods of development to support your argument.

Research: Any statements you make that would cause a reader to say, "Wait, how do you know that's true?" need to be backed up with documentation from outside sources ("I saw something on TV about it one time" would not be considered adequate documentation). Refer to the handout "What is Research?" for further details.

Remember that a paragraph is three to five sentences that develop a single, clear idea. A good paragraph often begins with a topic sentence that sums up your main idea.

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