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Opinion essay.

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An opinion essay expresses your personal point of view on some controversial problem in writing. The main aim of an opinion essay is to persuade your audience that your position is correct. To produce a successful opinion essay, you should carefully choose the theme and conduct proper research on the debatable problem. Opinion papers should be interesting and well balanced to read. Both, your point of view and the opposing position must be introduced to guarantee the pluralism of idea. The opposing point of view presented in an opinion paper must reflect the common view of the readers on the selected topic.

There are five main steps. 

Step 1: Read the task

Read the task. Decide what kind of essay it is - opinion, compare/contrast, problem and solution, cause and effect, or a mixture. The type of question will decide the layout and your ideas.

Step 2: Underline

Underline key vocabulary in the task and write words with the same or related meaning. This will really save you a lot of time later on. It will also help to avoid repetition of words, and will show that you understand the question.

Step 3: Get Ideas

Decide if you are for or against the idea. Usually it is best to give both sides  (for and against - one paragraph each) and then to give your opinion in the conclusion.

Step 4: Decide Layout

You should decide on a layout. The easiest is 3-7-7-3. That means four paragraphs:

1) introduction  (3 sentences). Introduction obligatory includes a thesis in the 3-d sentence 

2) one side (7 sentences)

3) the other side (7 sentences) 

4) conclusion (3 sentences). Conclusion summarizes the main ideas and gives your opinion

Step 5: Write

After you have written your plan, write your essay. Write the introduction, body, and conclusion. Check for fragments, run-ons and comma splices.

Useful Vocabulary

Give the other side

  • Some people think that…  
  • Although many people feel that…  
  • It is claimed that…  
  • Some people feel that…  


One sentence (While, although)

  • While it is true that… … I believe…
  • Despite the fact that millions of people die every year from lung cancer, many people think it is cool to smoke.
  • Although many people think that…., I feel that
  • Although it is often said that…, in fact the opposite is true


Two sentences

  • It is undoubtedly true that… …However…
  • It is often argued that… However, it is
  • Some people say that… They claim… However, I feel…
  • Supporters of this viewpoint say that… However, it is


One sentence (While, although)

  • While it is true that… … I believe
  • Despite the fact that millions of people die every year from lung cancer, many people think it is cool to smoke.
  • Although many people think that…., I feel that
  • Although it is often said that…, in fact the opposite is true

Example:

Animal testing may be necessary, but we need to be be merciful

Every year, millions of animals undergo painful suffering or death as a result of scientific research into the effects of drugs, food additives, cosmetics and other chemical products. While most people think animal testing is necessary, others are upset by what they see as needless suffering. This essay looks at some of the positive and negative aspects of animal testing.

Many medical treatments and procedures have been developed from experiments on animals. Since animals share many features with humans, scientists use animals to test the safety and effectiveness of newly developed drugs before pilot testing on small groups of patients. Medical teams practice new operating techniques such as transplants on animals. Without animal testing, many procedures or new drugs would be extremely unsafe.

However, many people are concerned that animals are suffering unnecessarily and cruelly. They do not believe that every new drug needs to be tested on animals, especially with the huge database of knowledge and modern computer models. They also are worried that many animal tests are ineffective, pointing out that any drugs have had to be withdrawn from the market despite extensive testing. They particularly feel that animal testing should not be used for non-essential products such as cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, and cleaning products. Furthermore, some campaigners would like to see certain tests replaced and more humane methods used.

We need to make sure that the millions of animals who are used for testing new products are treated with the minimum of suffering. Although some animal testing may be unavoidable at present, treating our fellow creatures as mercifully as possible will demonstrate our humanity.

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