Opinion Essays

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Opinion Essays1 Nivel Avanzado

DefinitionA formal piece of writing showing an opinion on a topic, which must be stated clearly, giving various viewpoints on the topic, supported by reasons and / or examples. It is usually found in the form of an article in newspapers, magazines, etc.

StructureEnglish and Math are more important subjects than Art and Music Isnt it unfortunate that in todays society there are so many people who cannot read, write or even do arithmetic? I strongly believe that, although subjects such as Art and Music are important, English and Math are the most fundamental part of our education. In the first place, when you know how to read, write and do simple calculations, you have the tools required in order to deal with everyday matters. For example, being able to read and write can help you communicate and express yourself clearly. Moreover, you need basic math for such daily chores as doing your shopping, paying your bills and managing your money.

Furthermore, it is essential to have a good knowledge of English and Math in order to find even the simplest job. Reading, writing and mathematical skills are the minimum requirements that most employers demand.On the other hand, it can be argued that Art and Music are just as significant as English and Math. For instance, learning how to draw or play an instrument can introduce a child to a whole new world. In addition to this, subjects such as Arts and Music can provide children with a well-rounded education rather than just basic skills. All things considered, though, it seems to me that English and Math are vital subjects. Without learning to read, write or do arithmetic, people may have difficulties coping with even the simplest tasks in daily life.

StructureIntroduction. Main Body. Conclusion.

Structure: Introduction

Introducing the topic. Stating your opinion clearly.

Traditional values are irrelevant to modern society. Do you agree? Has modern society changed so much that the values of the past no longer have any place? In my view, society will always need values, and the society we live in today would function better if traditional values were retained.

Structure: Introduction. Tips

Make reference to an unusual or striking idea, scene or situation.Is Television killing physical communication among individuals? Imagine millions of people coming home from school or work everyday to sit staring at a wall for four hours.

Address the reader directly.Have you ever wondered what the world would be like without cars?

Start with a quotation or a thought-provoking statement.Is Television killing physical communication among individuals? Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldnt have in your home, David Frost once said.

Structure: Main BodyIt consists of several paragraphs. Each paragraph

Presents a separate viewpoint supported by reasons. Starts with a topic sentence. Clear statement of the main idea of the paragraph.

Gives appropriate supporting sentences. Justification of the main idea with(out) examples.

The last paragraph Presents the opposing viewpoint. Reasons why you think that viewpoint is unconvincing.

Structure: Conclusion

A paragraph that restates your opinion using different words.Traditional values are irrelevant to modern society. Do you agree? To sum up, I strongly believe that, whatever changes may occur in society, we must fight to maintain our traditional sense of right and wrong. As Pope Paul VI said: We must see to it that enthusiasm for the future does not give rise to contempt for the past.

Structure: Conclusion. TipsFinish with a quotation. Ask a rhetorical question. Give the reader something to consider.Perhaps then people will rediscover what it is like to actually communicate with each other.

Structure. A final outline

Introduction. Main Body.

Paragraph 1. Topic and your opinion is clearly stated.Paragraph 2. Paragraph 3. Paragraph 4. Paragraph 5. example. Viewpoint 1 and reason / example. Viewpoint 2 and reason / example. Viewpoint 3 and reason / example. Opposing viewpoint and reason /


Paragraph 6. Summarise / restate your opinion with different words.

Structure. Exercise #11.

Read an extract from an opinion essay and answer the following questions:On the other hand, there are certain disadvantages to having your own car. Firstly, cars have to be maintained and repaired on a regular basis. Therefore, you need to spend a considerable amount of money to keep the car in good condition. Moreover, driving can sometimes be extremely stressful. For example, being caught in a traffic jam is not only irritating but also time-consuming.

a. What is the main idea of the paragraph? b. Which sentence is in it? c. What supporting sentences does the writer give?

Structure. Exercise #22.

Read the main body of the opinion essay on the topic: State benefits should be available to all. Then, discuss with your partner the most suitable beginning and ending.

Structure. Exercise #33.

Read the opinion essay on the topic: Although the position of women in society today has improved, there is still a great deal of sexual discrimination. Then, complete the paragraph plan on the right, identifying the main topic of each paragraph.

Dos and DontsFormal style. Topic is clearly stated in the Introduction. Clear topic sentences. Well-developed paragraphs. Linking words and phrases. Generalization. Quotation. Examples.

Dos and Donts

Informal style: colloquial expressions and short forms. Topic is not clearly stated in the Introduction. Unclear / irrelevant topic sentences. Emotive vocabulary. Over-generalizations. Blind use of statistics. Personal examples. Use of clichd expressions.

Formal StylePassive voice and impersonal constructions.

Short forms except when these are part of a quotation.Im; Its

It is argued that; It is a common belief


Advanced vocabulary. heated debate concerning the

Colloquial expressions, phrasal verbs and idioms.

controversial issue

lots of; put up with; be over the moon


Anyone seen in class!

Formal linking words or phrases.Furthermore; However; Nonetheless

Simplistic vocabulary.Experts say they think this is bad.

Complex sentences with a variety of links, dependent clauses, etc.Although it is widely accepted that

A series of short sentences.Many people think so. They are wrong.

Simple linking words except for variety.and; but; so.

compulsory military service, which provide an army with abundant manpower, is beneficial to a countrys ability to defend itself, closer analysis of military efficiency suggests that it is advanced weaponry which plays a crucial role in

Personal examples.That happened to me once. I was

Inversion, especially in conditionals.Were this true, we would Never has this been more obvious

Dos and Donts. Exercise #41.

Read the two opinion essays on the topic: The mass media have an adverse effect on moral standards. Spot the Dos and the Donts.

Useful language

To my mind / To my way of thinking It is my (firm) belief / opinion / view / conviction (that) In my opinion / view I (firmly / strongly) believe I am (not) convinced that I (do not) agree that / with; I (completely) agree that / with; I (strongly) disagree that / with It strikes me that My opinion is that I (definitely) feel / think that I am inclined to believe that It seems / appears to me (that) As far as I am concerned, The way I see it, I am (totally) against I couldnt (dis)agree more that / with

Useful language. Exercise #51.

Complete the table with the following expressions.

In the first place, also, for example, to sum up, moreover, firstly, although, to begin with, all things considered, such as, therefore, on the other hand, however, apart form this, in other words, in particular, for instance, in addition, because, taking everything into account, furthermore, for one thing, since, lastly, secondly, nonetheless, while.To add more pointsTo introduce opposing viewpoints To introduce examples / reasons

To list points

To conclude

Useful language. Exercise #5To list pointsIn

To add more pointsAlso. Moreover. Apart

To introduce opposing viewpointsAlthough. On

To introduce examples / reasonsFor

To concludeTo

the first place. Firstly. To begin with. For one thing. Lastly. Secondly.

this. In addition. Furthermore.


the other hand. However. Nonetheless. While.

example. Such as. In other words. In particular. For instance. Because. Since.

sum up. All things considered. Therefore. Taking everything into account.

Useful language. Exercise #62.

Read the following sentences as some students wrote them. Use the appropriate words or expressions to give your opinion as in the example below.a. A part-time job is the best option for someone who is a working parent.

I completely agree that a part-time job is the best option for someone who is a working parent.

Useful language. Exercise #6b. c.



Package holidays are ideal for people who do not like to travel alone. Becoming more aware of environmental concerns is the only way to help save our planet. Educational standards in private schools are usually higher than those in state schools. Boxing is an extremely violent sport and should be banned.

Writing StrategyPlanning your writing in advance will help you organise your ideas in the most logical way and save you t