Opinion Paragraph

The opinion paragraph starts with a clear and original view point or attitude about a topic. Never use expressions such as “In my opinion” or “I think”. You should directly start on with your opinion as it is a truth. Instead of saying, “In my opinion life is worth living fully.” just write, “Life is worth living fully.” This stage should be heavily concentrated upon because you need to give lucid contentions that support and justify the authenticity and validity of the opinion.
Convincing as well as persuasive styles should be the most common throughout the whole paragraph. An opinion without clear and vigorous arguments that support and sustain it is not at all inspiring for the reader. You should also bear in mind that arguments are not new opinions, but only an attempt to support the opinion with the most appropriate evidence. Therefore you should be careful about the way the topic sentence is managed and reinforced through logical, resistant and easy to assimilate supporting details, here arguments. The arguments must be so comprehensible that in this stage you have to avoid using assumptions or theories but you must use only facts. Examples are the most helpful tools to clarify and back up your arguments; however they should neither be volatile nor vague ones. They should be positive statements aiming at bringing about the reader’s involvement and understanding.
The concluding sentence, on the other hand, should not raise a new opinion or present an open statement. It should be cautiously dealt with in order to echo the whole paragraph or at least to paraphrase the topic sentence. The concluding shift is crucial because it is the last thing the reader will keep in mind. The minimum deviation from the opinion stated above or the pace and logic of the paragraph will engender a deadly effect. ( Retrieved from: http://abdessalami.bravehost.com/opinion.html)

Tips for Good Opinion Paragraphs

You will need to be well prepared in order to write a good opinion paragraph. Here are the steps to take before you even start writing:

Pick a controversial issue - something people clearly agree or disagree with it strongly.

Decide which side you will take - do you agree or disagree with it? This will be your opinion.

Get as much information as you can in order to defend your point of view - you will need facts to support your point, examples of why your opinion is the correct one.

Find out as much as you can about opinions that are different from yours - get as much information about the other side as you can.

Be ready to change your main idea if your research shows you that your thoughts were not correct to begin with!
Now you are ready to start writing!

Make sure your main idea - your opinion about the subject - is clear and well stated. For example:

Classes that start at or before 8 o'clock in the morning are not scheduled at the best time to benefit the majority of the students who have to take them.

Transition into the body of the paragraph - For example:

There are many, many reasons for this.

Give your second strongest reason to support this idea. For example:

Most of the students are pretty young and stay up until late at night working or socializing. They don't know how to manage their time well enough yet.

Give a specific example or statistics to support this statement. For example:

Look at statistics from college campus studies on this subject - say something similar to this - A study done by _, from the _ reports that University of freshman students work_ hours in the evenings, and then socialize for _ hours. They only get an average of hours of sleep.

Give your weakest reason to support this idea. For example:

People have a difficult time getting up too early in the morning.

Give an example to support this statement too. For example:

describe how difficult it is for someone you know to get up and be ready in time. (look around your classroom, at the students in the cafeteria - how many look tired and not ready for the day's work yet?)

Give your strongest reason to support this idea. For example:

People learn best when they have rested long enough, and are awake and ready to learn.

Explain and give an example of someone you know, or statistics you have found to support this thought. For example:

The study conducted by concluded that _% of the students who had not rested long enough, or well enough, fail their courses which are scheduled early in the morning, and the average grades from early courses are lower than grades fro the same course scheduled for later in the day.

Give the strongest reason that others who do not agree with you have. For example:

Some people think that it is important to get your classes done and over with early in the morning, so there is time for other activities during the day.

Refute this argument - prove that it is not really the correct view. For example:

This is true, early courses do free the people up for other activities later, but what is the point of sacrificing learning, hurting chances for success, in order to be able to play during a longer period of the day?

Finish with a good concluding sentence. For example:

Even though early courses are good for a few people who are at their best in the early morning, they are not helpful to the majority of the students.

Now you are ready for the usual editing part of your writing. Make sure:
  • you have a main idea
  • your supporting points are directly related to the main idea
  • your transitions are good and logical
  • your sentences are in the correct order
  • you mentioned the other side,
  • you refuted the argument from the other side
  • your sentences are well written, with as few errors as possible
Wait a few days and edit this again. You will be glad you did.

(Retrieved from: http://web.clark.edu/martpe/opinion%20paragraphs.htm)

Sample Opinion Paragraph:
A policy that requires public school students to wear uniforms would be a bad idea for several reasons. First of all, no style of clothing looks good on everyone. In their pre-teen and teen years, students are especially sensitive about their appearance, and having to wear clothing that doesn’t fit them well will do little to help their fragile self-esteems. In addition, uniforms are expensive. Students would need to have at least two complete sets of uniforms to allow for laundering, which could be very costly for parents. Of course, since most students aren’t likely to wear their uniforms after school, parents also have to purchase everyday clothes like jeans, shirts, and skirts, adding significantly to the amount they must spend on clothes. Furthermore, during the school year students may outgrow their uniforms or other clothing, increasing the cost for some families. Finally, a uniform policy ignores families’ rights and freedom to make clothing decisions that are best for them. Certainly schools should be able to restrict clothing that features obscene or objectionable slogans or that exposes too much skin. However, making all students dress the same says that individuality is less important than conformity. To conclude, the world already has too many followers, so public schools should allow students the freedom to express their unique personalities through their clothing.
(Retrieved from: http://learnlab.hfcc.edu/sites/learnlab.hfcc.edu/files/sample_opinion_paragraph.pdf)

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