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  • 40 Useful Words and Phrases for Top-Notch Essays

key words for opinion essays

To be truly brilliant, an essay needs to utilise the right language. You could make a great point, but if it’s not intelligently articulated, you almost needn’t have bothered.

Developing the language skills to build an argument and to write persuasively is crucial if you’re to write outstanding essays every time. In this article, we’re going to equip you with the words and phrases you need to write a top-notch essay, along with examples of how to utilise them.

It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and there will often be other ways of using the words and phrases we describe that we won’t have room to include, but there should be more than enough below to help you make an instant improvement to your essay-writing skills.

If you’re interested in developing your language and persuasive skills, Oxford Royale offers summer courses at its Oxford Summer School , Cambridge Summer School , London Summer School , San Francisco Summer School and Yale Summer School . You can study courses to learn english , prepare for careers in law , medicine , business , engineering and leadership.

General explaining

Let’s start by looking at language for general explanations of complex points.

1. In order to

Usage: “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument. Example: “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.”

2. In other words

Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasise or expand on a point. Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.”

3. To put it another way

Usage: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points, when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance. Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.”

4. That is to say

Usage: “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.”

5. To that end

Usage: Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”. Example: “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.”

Adding additional information to support a point

Students often make the mistake of using synonyms of “and” each time they want to add further information in support of a point they’re making, or to build an argument . Here are some cleverer ways of doing this.

6. Moreover

Usage: Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making. Example: “Moreover, the results of a recent piece of research provide compelling evidence in support of…”

7. Furthermore

Usage:This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information. Example: “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…”

8. What’s more

Usage: This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore”. Example: “What’s more, this isn’t the only evidence that supports this hypothesis.”

9. Likewise

Usage: Use “likewise” when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned. Example: “Scholar A believes X. Likewise, Scholar B argues compellingly in favour of this point of view.”

10. Similarly

Usage: Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise”. Example: “Audiences at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven’s new work, because it was very different to what they were used to. Similarly, we have a tendency to react with surprise to the unfamiliar.”

11. Another key thing to remember

Usage: Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”. Example: “As a Romantic, Blake was a proponent of a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another key point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a major impact on the world around him.”

12. As well as

Usage: Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”. Example: “Scholar A argued that this was due to X, as well as Y.”

13. Not only… but also

Usage: This wording is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information. Example: “Not only did Edmund Hillary have the honour of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, but he was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”

14. Coupled with

Usage: Used when considering two or more arguments at a time. Example: “Coupled with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling view of…”

15. Firstly, secondly, thirdly…

Usage: This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other. Example: “There are many points in support of this view. Firstly, X. Secondly, Y. And thirdly, Z.

16. Not to mention/to say nothing of

Usage: “Not to mention” and “to say nothing of” can be used to add extra information with a bit of emphasis. Example: “The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention its impact on the country’s economy.”

Words and phrases for demonstrating contrast

When you’re developing an argument, you will often need to present contrasting or opposing opinions or evidence – “it could show this, but it could also show this”, or “X says this, but Y disagrees”. This section covers words you can use instead of the “but” in these examples, to make your writing sound more intelligent and interesting.

17. However

Usage: Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said. Example: “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.”

18. On the other hand

Usage: Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion. Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.”

19. Having said that

Usage: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”. Example: “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story.”

20. By contrast/in comparison

Usage: Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence. Example: “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.”

21. Then again

Usage: Use this to cast doubt on an assertion. Example: “Writer A asserts that this was the reason for what happened. Then again, it’s possible that he was being paid to say this.”

22. That said

Usage: This is used in the same way as “then again”. Example: “The evidence ostensibly appears to point to this conclusion. That said, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.”

Usage: Use this when you want to introduce a contrasting idea. Example: “Much of scholarship has focused on this evidence. Yet not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.”

Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations

Sometimes, you may need to acknowledge a shortfalling in a piece of evidence, or add a proviso. Here are some ways of doing so.

24. Despite this

Usage: Use “despite this” or “in spite of this” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence. Example: “The sample size was small, but the results were important despite this.”

25. With this in mind

Usage: Use this when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else. Example: “We’ve seen that the methods used in the 19th century study did not always live up to the rigorous standards expected in scientific research today, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. With this in mind, let’s look at a more recent study to see how the results compare.”

26. Provided that

Usage: This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing. Example: “We may use this as evidence to support our argument, provided that we bear in mind the limitations of the methods used to obtain it.”

27. In view of/in light of

Usage: These phrases are used when something has shed light on something else. Example: “In light of the evidence from the 2013 study, we have a better understanding of…”

28. Nonetheless

Usage: This is similar to “despite this”. Example: “The study had its limitations, but it was nonetheless groundbreaking for its day.”

29. Nevertheless

Usage: This is the same as “nonetheless”. Example: “The study was flawed, but it was important nevertheless.”

30. Notwithstanding

Usage: This is another way of saying “nonetheless”. Example: “Notwithstanding the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in the development of how we view the workings of the human mind.”

Giving examples

Good essays always back up points with examples, but it’s going to get boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are a couple of other ways of saying the same thing.

31. For instance

Example: “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter climates. Swallows, for instance, leave the UK in early winter and fly south…”

32. To give an illustration

Example: “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…”

Signifying importance

When you want to demonstrate that a point is particularly important, there are several ways of highlighting it as such.

33. Significantly

Usage: Used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent. Example: “Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the kind of gossip prevalent in Suetonius’ accounts of the same period.”

34. Notably

Usage: This can be used to mean “significantly” (as above), and it can also be used interchangeably with “in particular” (the example below demonstrates the first of these ways of using it). Example: “Actual figures are notably absent from Scholar A’s analysis.”

35. Importantly

Usage: Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”. Example: “Importantly, Scholar A was being employed by X when he wrote this work, and was presumably therefore under pressure to portray the situation more favourably than he perhaps might otherwise have done.”


You’ve almost made it to the end of the essay, but your work isn’t over yet. You need to end by wrapping up everything you’ve talked about, showing that you’ve considered the arguments on both sides and reached the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases to help you.

36. In conclusion

Usage: Typically used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview. Example: “In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to Argument A.”

37. Above all

Usage: Used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay. Example: “Above all, it seems pertinent to remember that…”

38. Persuasive

Usage: This is a useful word to use when summarising which argument you find most convincing. Example: “Scholar A’s point – that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain – seems to me to be the most persuasive argument for her actions following Mozart’s death.”

39. Compelling

Usage: Use in the same way as “persuasive” above. Example: “The most compelling argument is presented by Scholar A.”

40. All things considered

Usage: This means “taking everything into account”. Example: “All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that…”

How many of these words and phrases will you get into your next essay? And are any of your favourite essay terms missing from our list? Let us know in the comments below, or get in touch here to find out more about courses that can help you with your essays.

At Oxford Royale Academy, we offer a number of  summer school courses for young people who are keen to improve their essay writing skills. Click here to apply for one of our courses today, including law , business , medicine  and engineering .

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Useful Vocabulary For An Opinion Essay: Top 40 Words And Phrases

Good word choice is a key ingredient of great essay writing. One should constantly work to expand and improve vocabulary so that ideas are more clearly expressed. Here are the top 40 words and phrases you should know to write great opinion essays:

  • “All things considered” – This is another way of simply saying “taking everything into account.”
  • “Persuasive” – This is a great term to use when you are providing a summary for the argument you found the most convincing in your writing.
  • “Above all” – Use this when you want to signify what is most important and what you wish to be the main takeaway from the writing.
  • “Importantly” – Use this word to introduce a loaded point with meaning that might not be easily known to the reader.
  • “Significantly” – This is used in the same way as “importantly” is described above.
  • “For instance” – This phrase is used when you want to include an example to clarify a point you have just made.
  • “Nevertheless” – This is used in the exact same way you would use the word “nonetheless.”
  • “Provided that” – This is used when you want to say something along the lines of “on the condition that.”
  • “Despite this” – This is most effectively used when you want to outline a point that stands even if there isn’t enough supporting evidence.
  • “That said” – Use this phrase when you need to cast some doubt on a point you’ve just made.
  • “In comparison/By contrast” – Either one of these phrases can be used when you are contrasting two or more pieces of evidence.
  • “On the other hand” – Use this appropriately to introduce a contrasting or opposing interpretation of the same piece of information or evidence.
  • “To say nothing of/Not to mention” – Use either one of these to add more information with some emphasis.
  • “Coupled with” – Use this phrase when you need to consider to or more arguments at the same time to express your idea.
  • “As well as” – This phrase can be used instead of words like “also” or “and” for variety.
  • “Similarly” – Use this word in the same way as “likewise” when you want to discuss something that is in agreement with what you have just mentioned.
  • “What’s more” – This phrase is used as an alternative to “furthermore” or “moreover.”
  • “Moreover” – This word can be used at the beginning of a sentence to add more supporting information to the point you are trying to make.
  • “That is to say” – This can be used when you need to be more precise or add further detail to an explanation.
  • “In other words” – Use this phrase if you need to simply something by explaining it in another way.
  • “Compelling” – This is usually used in the same way as “persuasive” as explained above.
  • “In conclusion” – This is usually used to introduce the concluding paragraph of an opinion or any other type of essay.
  • “Notably” – This is another way of saying “significantly” as explained above.
  • “To give illustration” – Use this when you are about to give an example to clarify a statement made prior.
  • “Notwithstanding” – This word can be used in a similar fashion as the phrase “despite this.”
  • “Nonetheless” – Use this the same way as “notwithstanding.”
  • “In light of/In view of” –You can use either one of these phrases when something written has shed some light on another idea.
  • “With this in mind” – Use this phrase whenever you want the reader to consider an argument within the knowledge of something else.
  • “Yet” – This word should be used whenever you need to introduce a contrasting idea to one that was made prior.
  • “Then again” – This is used in exactly the same way you would use “that said.”
  • “Having said that” – This phrase is used in the same way as one would write “but” or “on the other hand.”
  • “However” – This word is used to bring up a point that is in complete disagreement with what you’ve just mentioned.
  • “Firstly, secondly, thirdly” – These words can be used to appropriately structure an argument logically and sequentially.
  • “Not only… but also” – these words can be used to bring up an additional bit of information that is usually more surprising than the first.
  • “Another key thing to remember” – This can be used in a similar way as the word “also” to bring up additional facts.
  • “Likewise” – this word can be used when you are presenting something that is in agreement with what you have just mentioned.
  • “Furthermore” – this word can generally be used at the start of a sentence to introduce or add extra information.
  • “To that end” – this phrase can used to introduce an explanation behind an argument, similar to “in order to.”
  • “To put it another way” – this is similar to the phrase “in other words” and is used to explain complex ideas.
  • “In order to” – this phrase can be used to introduce an explanation behind the reason for an argument.

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key words for opinion essays

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How to Write an Opinion Essay (With Tips and Examples)

Are you struggling with how to write an opinion essay that effectively communicates your viewpoint on a particular topic while providing strong evidence to back it up? Fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of crafting a quality opinion essay, from understanding the purpose and structure to choosing engaging topics and employing effective writing techniques. Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Opinion essays are formal pieces of writing that express the author’s viewpoint on a given subject.
  • Crafting an effective thesis statement and outline, choosing engaging topics, using formal language and tone, addressing counterarguments and maintaining logical flow are essential for creating compelling opinion essays.
  • The revision process is key to producing polished opinion essays that effectively convey one’s opinions.

What is an Opinion Essay?

An opinion essay, also known as an opinion paper, is a formal piece of writing wherein the author expresses their viewpoint on a given subject and provides factual and anecdotal evidence to substantiate their opinion. The purpose of an opinion essay is to articulate a position in a clear and informative manner, following a proper opinion essay structure. Opinion essays are commonly found in newspapers and social media, allowing individuals to articulate their perspectives and opinions on a specific topic, striving to create a perfect opinion essay.

While the focus of an opinion essay should be on the writer’s own opinion concerning the issue, it necessitates more meticulous planning and effort than simply articulating one’s own thoughts on a particular topic. The arguments in an opinion essay should be grounded on well-researched data, making it crucial to consult pertinent information, including the definition, topics, opinion writing examples, and requirements, to write an opinion essay and transform novice writers into proficient writers.

Crafting the Perfect Thesis Statement

A strong thesis statement is the foundation of a great essay. It clearly expresses the writer’s opinion and sets the stage for the rest of the essay. To craft the perfect thesis statement, start by perusing the essay prompt multiple times to ensure you fully understand the question or topic you are being asked to discuss. Once you have a clear understanding of the topic, construct your opinion and conduct thorough research to locate evidence to corroborate your stance and examine counterarguments or contrasting perspectives.

Remember, your thesis statement should provide a succinct overview of the opinion essay and serve as a guide for the remainder of the paper. By crafting a strong thesis statement, you will be able to capture your reader’s attention and set the tone for a well-structured and persuasive essay.

Building a Solid Opinion Essay Outline

A well-structured opinion essay format is crucial for organizing your thoughts and ensuring that your entire essay flows smoothly from one point to the next. An opinion essay outline typically comprises an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion, following the standard five-paragraph essay structure.

Let’s delve deeper into each component of the outline. The introduction should provide a brief overview of the topic and your opinion on it. It should be.


The introduction of your opinion essay should hook the reader and provide an overview of the essay’s content. To achieve this, consider addressing the reader directly, introducing a quotation, posing thought-provoking or rhetorical questions, or referring to a remarkable or unconventional fact, concept, or scenario.

It is essential to introduce the topic clearly in the introduction to avoid superfluous phrases and inapplicable facts that are not pertinent to the topic. By crafting an engaging introduction, you will set the stage for a compelling and well-organized opinion essay.

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs of your good opinion essay should provide arguments and supporting examples to substantiate your opinion. Begin each paragraph with a distinct topic sentence and use credible sources to provide substantiation for your viewpoint with dependable data.

Addressing counterarguments in your body paragraphs can also enhance your essay by illustrating a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter and fortifying your stance.

Organize your body paragraphs in a coherent manner, ensuring that each argument and supporting example flows logically from one to the next. This will make it easier for your reader to follow your train of thought and strengthen the overall impact of your essay.

The conclusion of your opinion essay should summarize the main points and restate your opinion in a new manner, providing a sense of closure and completion to your argument. Keep your conclusion concise and avoid introducing new information or arguments at this stage. By effectively summarizing your main points and restating your opinion, you will leave a lasting impression on your reader and demonstrate the strength of your argument.

In addition to summarizing your main ideas, consider providing a final thought or call to action that will leave your reader pondering the implications of your essay. This can further reinforce the impact of your conclusion and leave a lasting impression on your reader.

Choosing Engaging Opinion Essay Topics

Selecting engaging topics for opinion essays is crucial for capturing the reader’s interest and encouraging critical thinking. While there are an abundance of potential questions or topics that could be utilized for an opinion essay, it is important to choose topics that are relevant, interesting, and thought-provoking.

To find inspiration for engaging opinion essay topics, consider browsing the Op-Ed sections of newspapers, exploring social media debates, or even reflecting on your own experiences and interests. Keep in mind that a well-chosen topic not only draws the reader’s attention, but also stimulates critical thinking and fosters insightful discussions.

Opinion Essay Writing Techniques

Effective opinion essay writing techniques include using formal language and tone, addressing counterarguments, and maintaining logical flow.

Let’s explore each of these techniques in more detail.

Formal Language and Tone

Using formal language and tone in your opinion essay is essential for conveying a sense of professionalism and credibility. This can be achieved by avoiding slang, jargon, and colloquial expressions, as well as short forms and over-generalizations. Moreover, expressing your opinion without utilizing the personal pronoun “I” can give your essay a seemingly more objective approach.

Remember that the recommended tense for composing an opinion essay is present tense. By maintaining a formal language and tone throughout your essay, you will demonstrate your expertise on the subject matter and instill confidence in your reader.

Addressing Counterarguments

Addressing counterarguments in your opinion essay is an effective way to demonstrate a well-rounded understanding of the topic and strengthen your position. To do this, introduce opposing viewpoints in a straightforward manner and provide evidence to counter them. This not only showcases your comprehension of the subject matter, but also bolsters your own argument by refuting potential objections.

By acknowledging and addressing counterarguments, you will create a more balanced and persuasive opinion essay that encourages critical thinking and engages your reader.

Maintaining Logical Flow

Ensuring your opinion essay maintains a logical flow is critical for enabling your reader to follow your arguments and evidence with ease. To achieve this, utilize precise and succinct words, compose legible sentences, and construct well-structured paragraphs. Incorporating transitional words and varied sentence structures can also enhance the flow of your essay.

By maintaining a logical flow throughout your opinion essay, you will create an organized and coherent piece of writing that effectively communicates your viewpoint and supporting arguments to your reader.

Analyzing Opinion Essay Examples

Analyzing opinion essay examples can help improve your understanding of the structure and style required for this type of writing. Numerous examples are available online as a source of reference, providing valuable insights into how other writers have approached similar topics and structured their essays.

By examining opinion essay examples, you will be better equipped to identify the elements of a successful essay and apply them to your own writing. This will not only enhance your understanding of opinion essay writing, but also inspire you to develop your own unique voice and style.

The Revision Process: Polishing Your Opinion Essay

The revision process is essential for polishing your opinion essay, ensuring clarity, logical flow, and proper grammar and punctuation. Start by rereading your first draft, making improvements as you progress and rectifying any grammar errors that may be observed. Having another individual review your writing, such as a family member or friend, can provide candid feedback, allowing you to refine your essay further.

The ultimate step in composing an opinion essay is proofreading. This final review will ensure that your essay is polished and free from errors, resulting in a well-crafted and persuasive piece of writing that effectively communicates your opinion on the topic at hand.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you start an opinion essay.

To start an opinion essay, begin by stating the subject of your essay and expressing your perspective on it. Follow up by using an interesting or provocative statement to capture the reader’s attention.

Introduce your essay by restating the question in your own words, making sure to make your opinion clear throughout your essay.

What is the structure of an opinion essay?

An opinion essay is typically structured with an introduction containing a thesis statement, body paragraphs providing arguments or reasons that support your view, and a conclusion.

Each section of the essay should be written in a formal tone to ensure clarity and effectiveness.

What is the format of an opinion paragraph?

An opinion paragraph typically begins with a clear statement of the opinion, followed by body sentences providing evidence and support for the opinion, before finally summarizing or restating the opinion in a concluding sentence.

It should be written in a formal tone.

What not to write in an opinion essay?

When writing an opinion essay, make sure to stay on topic, avoid slang and jargon, introduce the topic clearly and concisely, and do not include unnecessary facts that do not relate directly to the question.

Use a formal tone and keep your conclusion clear in the first sentence.

What is the purpose of an opinion essay?

The purpose of an opinion essay is to articulate a position in a clear and informative manner, providing evidence to support it.

This type of essay requires the writer to research the topic thoroughly and present their opinion in a logical and convincing way. They must also be able to back up their opinion with facts and evidence.

In conclusion, crafting a quality opinion essay requires a clear understanding of the purpose and structure of this type of writing, as well as the ability to choose engaging topics and employ effective writing techniques. By following the guidelines and tips provided in this guide, you will be well on your way to creating a compelling and persuasive opinion essay that effectively articulates your viewpoint and supporting arguments.

Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you write and revise, the more adept you will become at crafting insightful and impactful opinion essays. So, go forth and share your opinions with the world, backed by strong evidence and persuasive writing!

Opinion Writing: Everything You Need To Know (+ 8 Examples)

Everybody has opinions and the perfect medium to convey them is through opinion writing.

Learning how to convey your opinions to others by writing is an excellent way of voicing your ideas and suggestions and becoming more confident as a person and an articulate writer.

What is the purpose of opinion writing?

Opinion writing is a powerful type of writing that helps you convey your opinion to the audience in the most effective and compelling manner.

It has a specific format:

Thesis statement

  • Introduction

It also consists of structural elements such as

Let’s delve further into opinion writing, its types, and how to write an opinion piece in this guide.

What is opinion writing?

As its name implies, opinion writing is a type of writing in which the writer gives their opinion on a topic or subject matter.

The writer shares their perspective or stance on that topic and offers reasons and supporting arguments to support that opinion.

What must be included in opinion writing?

Here are some features that every piece of opinion writing should have.

  • Supporting reasons and evidence
  • Well-researched and well-presented arguments
  • A definite, well-organized structure
  • Quotes or experiences by credible authorities on the subject that lend credence to the writer’s opinion
  • Relevant and authentic facts and statistics
  • A reasonable conclusion summing up the main idea and reiterating the writer’s viewpoint

Importance of Opinion Writing: Why is opinion writing important for students?

Opinion writing is an essential kind of writing for a multitude of reasons. As a student, a writer, or a blogger, it helps you share your views and opinions on various subjects with your audience.

It also enables you to develop and further enhance your writing skills, and you learn how to effectively communicate your ideas and perspectives with the aid of authentic evidence. Moreover, it helps build confidence.

For readers, opinion pieces are a great source of knowledge, facts, and other opinions that may or may not be different from their own.

Knowing other opinions on various subjects is essential and allows one to broaden their perspective.

What are some types of opinion writing?

Opinion pieces can mainly be divided into columns, editorials, and op-eds. We’ll explore each type in detail below.

Writers who write columns are often referred to as columnists and write opinion pieces on various current events, political events, social issues, and other topics.

Columns are usually published in newspapers, magazines, and other literary publications.

Like columns, editorials are also published in newspapers and magazines and convey a specific opinion or stance on a particular subject matter.

Editorials are written by an editorial board member of a newspaper or magazine.

Op-eds are opinion pieces commonly featured in magazines and newspapers and written by guest contributors.

“Op-ed” is short for “opposite the editorial page,” where these pieces are mostly found.

What is the structure of opinion writing?

Every opinion piece should be well-structured, with different paragraphs dedicated to other parts of the arguments.

Typically, an opinion piece has the following structural elements: thesis sentence, introduction, body, and conclusion.

The body is the part where the bulk of the writer’s opinions, arguments, supporting evidence, and statistics go.

In the body part, ideas should be formulated using this order:

  • Examples/Evidence
  • In the next section, we’ll explore these structural elements in more detail.

Opinion writing format

While there is no strict format, every writer has to adhere to when penning opinion pieces, certain structural elements (that we’ve mentioned previously) must be present in every opinion piece.

Here are some of them:

The thesis statement gives the reader a quick overview of what the opinion piece is about and what the writer’s stance is.

Introduction Of Your Opinion

The introduction is an integral part of an opinion piece in which the writer gives some background about the topic and paves the way for their upcoming arguments.

The opening may also contain the writer’s name, publication details, etc.

Next comes the body. The body is where the bulk of the writer’s arguments, supporting reasons, facts, and statistics go.

It can contain multiple supporting arguments, examples, and references from credible sources. The body usually contains numerous paragraphs.

Opinion Conclusion

In the conclusion, the writer effectively wraps up their argument and reiterates their stance on the subject matter.

The conclusion is basically a summary of the whole opinion piece.

Besides the essential structural elements and necessary parts (supporting arguments, evidence, examples, etc.), there are other vital components that every opinion piece must have.

These include:

  • A bold, clear statement of the writer’s opinion or stance on the subject matter
  • Formal language and a polite and informative tone
  • Relevant and appropriate evidence
  • Varying sentence length and convincing word choice to inform the audience and keep them engaged

How do you start opinion writing?

The beginning of an opinion piece is important and must set the stage for the upcoming arguments.

The opinion piece should begin with a clear statement of the subject matter and hint at the writer’s stance on it.

In addition, your introduction should provide a smooth transition to the main body of the opinion piece.

Opinion writing topics: What is an example in opinion writing?

Here is a list of 8 excellent topics for writing opinion pieces.

  • Should organizations adopt a 4-day work week?
  • Should standardized testing be abolished?
  • Is homeschooling better than traditional schooling?
  • Are video games turning children violent?
  • What are some of the best electric cars you can buy?
  • Should every child receive awards for participating in school events instead of only those who win?
  • Is online education as effective as in-person education?
  • Is it wrong to put animals in cages?

Final thoughts

Opinion writing is a crucial type of writing and is something everybody should try their hand at. It helps you voice your opinions and empowers you to address an audience and speak your mind.

Since it is specialized writing, it has its own format, structural elements, and other essential components.

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key words for opinion essays

Opinion Writing: a Guide to Writing a Successful Essay Easily

key words for opinion essays

An opinion essay requires students to write their thoughts regarding a subject matter. Relevant examples and explanations back their point of view. Before starting an opinion paper, it is important to study the definition, topics, requirements, and structure. Referring to examples is also highly useful. Perhaps you need help with our admission essay writing service ? Take a look at this guide from our dissertation writing service to learn how to write an opinion essay like an expert.

What Is an Opinion Essay

A common question among students is: ‘What is an Opinion Essay?' It is an assignment that contains questions that allow students to share their point-of-view on a subject matter. Students should express their thoughts precisely while providing opinions on the issue related to the field within reasonable logic. Some opinion essays type require references to back the writer's claims.

Opinion writing involves using a student's personal point-of-view, which is segregated into a point. It is backed by examples and explanations. The paper addresses the audience directly by stating ‘Dear Readers' or the equivalent. The introduction involves a reference to a speech, book, or play. This is normally followed by a rhetorical question like ‘is the pope Catholic?' or something along those lines.

What Kind of Student Faces an Opinion Essay

Non-native English-speaking students enrolled in the International English Language Testing System by the British Council & Cambridge Assessment English are tasked with learning how to write the opinion essays. This can be high-school or college students. It is designed to enhance the level of English among students. It enables them to express their thoughts and opinions while writing good opinion essay in English.


We will write you a plagiarism-free opinion essay, with a title page, unlimited revisions, and bunch of other cool features included!

What Are the Requirements of an Opinion Essay?

What Are the Requirements of an Opinion Essay

Avoid Going Off-Topic: Always write an opinion essay within relevance to answer the assigned question. This is also known as ‘beating around the bush' and should not be included in any opinion paragraph as it may lower your grade.

Indent the First Paragraph: With most academic papers, opinion writing is not different. Therefore, it contains the rule of indenting the first line of the introduction.

A Well-Thought Thesis: The full thesis statement is a brief description of the opinion essay. It determines the rest of the paper. Include all the information that you wish to include in the body paragraphs

The Use of Formal Languages: Although it is okay to write informally, keep a wide range of professional and formal words. This includes: ‘Furthermore,' ‘As Stated By,' ‘However', & ‘Thus'.

Avoid Internet Slang: In the opinion paper, avoid writing using slang words. Don'tDon't include words like ‘LOL', ‘OMG', ‘LMAO', etc.

The Use of First Person Language (Optional): For the reason of providing personal thought, it is acceptable to write your personal opinion essay in the first person.

Avoid Informal Punctuation: Although the requirements allow custom essay for the first-person language, they do not permit informal punctuation. This includes dashes, exclamation marks, and emojis.

Avoid Including Contradictions: Always make sure all spelling and grammar is correct.

We also recommend reading about types of sentences with examples .

Opinion Essay Topics

Before learning about the structure, choosing from a wide range of opinion essay topics is important. Picking an essay theme is something that can be done very simply. Choosing an excellent opinion essay topic that you are interested in or have a passion for is advisable. Otherwise, you may find the writing process boring. This also ensures that your paper will be both effective and well-written.

  • Do sports differ from ordinary board games?
  • Is using animals in circus performances immoral?
  • Why should we be honest with our peers?
  • Should all humans be entitled to a 4-day workweek?
  • Should all humans become vegetarians?
  • Does a CEO earn too much?
  • Should teens be barred from having sleepovers?
  • Should everyone vote for their leader?
  • The Pros & Cons of Day-Light Saving Hours.
  • What are the most energy-efficient and safest cars of X year?

Opinion Essay Structure

When it comes to opinion paragraphs, students may struggle with the opinion essay format. The standard five-paragraph-essay structure usually works well for opinion essays. Figuring out what one is supposed to include in each section may be difficult for beginners. This is why following the opinion essay structure is something all beginners should do, for their own revision before writing the entire essay.

You might also be interested in getting more information about: 5 PARAGRAPH ESSAY

Opinion Essay Structure

Opinion essay introduction

  • Address the audience directly, and state the subject matter.
  • Reference a speech, poem, book, or play.
  • Include the author's name and date of publication in brackets.
  • 1 or 2 sentences to make up a short description.
  • 1 or 2 summarizing sentences of the entire paper.
  • 1 sentence that links to the first body paragraph.

Body Paragraph 1

  • Supporting arguments
  • Explanation
  • A linking sentence to the second body paragraph.

Body Paragraph 2

  • Supporting argument
  • A linking sentence to the third body paragraph.

Body Paragraph 3

  • A linking sentence to the conclusion.

Conclusion paragraph

  • Summary of the entire paper
  • A conclusive sentence (the bigger picture in conclusion)

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Opinion Essay Examples

Do you need something for reference? Reading opinion essay examples can expand your knowledge of this style of writing, as you get to see exactly how this form of an essay is written. Take a look at our samples to get an insight into this form of academic writing.

Over the past, American popular culture has been strong in creating racial stereotypes. Images displayed through television, music, and the internet have an impact on how individuals behave and what individuals believe. People find their identities and belief systems from popular culture. Evidently, I believe that American pop culture has created racial stereotypes that predominantly affect other ethnic minorities. Analyzing the history of America reveals that African Americans have always had a problem defining themselves as Americans ever since the era of slavery. AfricanAmericans have always had a hard time being integrated into American culture. The result is that African Americans have been subjected to ridicule and shame. American pop culture has compounded the problem by enhancing the negative stereotypes ofAfrican American. In theatre, film, and music, African Americans have been associated with vices such as murder, theft, and violence.
The family systems theory has a significant revelation on family relations. I firmly agree that to understand a particular family or a member, they should be around other family members. The emotional connection among different family members may create functional or dysfunctional coexistence, which is not easy to identify when an individual is further from the other members. Taking an example of the extended family, the relationship between the mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law may be tense, but once they are outside the family, they can pretend to have a good relationship. Therefore, I agree with the theory that the existing emotional attachment and developed culture in the family is distinctively understood when the family is together.

Opinion writing is a form of academic paper that asks students to include their thoughts on a particular topic. This is then backed by a logical explanation and examples. Becoming more knowledgeable is a practical way to successfully learn how to write an opinion paper. Before writing anything, it is essential to refer to important information. That includes the definition, topics, opinion writing examples, and requirements. This is what turns amateur writers into master writers.

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Opinion Essays – Step-by-Step Instructions

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How to Write an Opinion Essay


What makes an opinion essay truly compelling? Why do some essays resonate while others fall flat? The art of opinion writing is not just about sharing your thoughts; it is about persuading, informing, and engaging your readers. Today, we will learn all about crafting an impactful opinion essay.

So, how do you transform your opinions into powerful words that leave a lasting impression? Let us dive in and discover the keys to success in opinion writing.

What Is an Opinion Essay?

An opinion essay is a written work where an author expresses their viewpoint on a particular topic or issue. Unlike other essays that primarily rely on factual information and objective analysis, an opinion essay is inherently subjective, emphasizing the writer's beliefs, feelings, and perspectives.

Opinion essays are prevalent in various contexts, from academic assignments and journalism to blogs and editorials. They serve as a platform for individuals to express themselves, share their unique perspectives, and contribute to meaningful discussions on various subjects.

What Kind of Student Faces an Opinion Essay?

Let us explore the characteristics and educational contexts where opinion essays are commonly encountered:

1. High School Students:

High school students are frequently introduced to opinion essays as part of their English or language arts curriculum. These essay help students develop fundamental writing skills and the ability to express their viewpoints coherently. Opinion essays at this level often revolve around personal experiences, literary analysis, or current events, fostering critical thinking and communication skills.

2. College and University Students:

College and university students encounter opinion essays across various disciplines, from humanities and social sciences to natural sciences and engineering. In college, opinion essays become more sophisticated, requiring students to delve into scholarly research, cite academic sources, and formulate well-supported arguments. These essays are instrumental in promoting research skills, academic writing proficiency, and the ability to synthesize complex information.

3. Graduates and Postgraduates:

Graduate and postgraduate students frequently engage in opinion essays as part of their coursework and research activities. At this level, opinion essays may take the form of thesis proposals, research position papers, or responses to academic debates. These essays serve as essential paraphrasing tool for contributing to the scholarly discourse within their fields.

4. Law Students:

Law students encounter opinion essays in the form of legal memoranda, case briefs, or persuasive arguments. These essays hone their legal writing and argumentative essay topics skills.

In the legal profession, constructing well-reasoned opinions is vital, as lawyers often need to advocate for their clients' positions.

5. Journalism and Communication Students:

Students pursuing journalism or communication degrees frequently write opinion pieces, such as editorials and op-eds. Opinion essays in this context train students to effectively convey their thoughts to a broader audience while adhering to ethical and journalistic standards.

6. Political Science and Philosophy Students:

Political science or philosophy students delve into opinion essays as they explore complex political ideologies, ethical dilemmas, and philosophical debates. Opinion essays in these disciplines require students to analyze and critically evaluate different perspectives, fostering a deep understanding of complex issues.

7. MBA and Business Students:

MBA and business students encounter opinion essays in business ethics, strategic management, and decision-making courses. These essays sharpen their ability to make informed, ethical business judgments and communicate their rationale effectively.

8. ESL and Non-Native English Speakers:

Students learning English as a second language (ESL) or non-native English speakers may face opinion essays to enhance their language proficiency. Opinion essays help ESL students develop language skills while expressing their thoughts on diverse essay topics .

What Are the Requirements of an Opinion Essay?

Here are the key elements that should be present in an opinion essay:

1. Clear and Concise Thesis Statement:

Every opinion essay should start with a well-defined thesis statement. This statement is the heart of your essay, succinctly summarizing your main argument or viewpoint. It should be placed in the introduction, typically towards the end of that section.

 2. Introduction:

  • The introduction serves as the opening of your essay, capturing the reader's attention and providing essential context for the topic.
  • Begin with a compelling hook, which can be a thought-provoking question, an interesting fact, a relevant quote, or a brief anecdote.
  • Clearly present your thesis statement, outlining your opinion on the issue.
  • Provide a brief overview of the points you intend to discuss in the essay's body, setting the reader's expectations.

3. Well-Structured Body Paragraphs:

  • The body of your opinion essay should consist of several well-organized paragraphs, each dedicated to a specific aspect or supporting point related to your thesis.
  • Start each paragraph with a clear topic sentence directly connecting to your thesis statement.
  • Offer substantial evidence, examples, statistics, or personal experiences to support your viewpoint. Ensure the evidence is relevant and convincing.
  • Maintain a logical flow between paragraphs, using transitional words and phrases to guide the reader seamlessly through your arguments.

4. Acknowledgment of Counterarguments:

  • A robust opinion essay acknowledges opposing viewpoints or counterarguments. This demonstrates your ability to consider alternative perspectives and strengthens your own argument.
  • Counterarguments can be addressed within the body paragraphs or in a dedicated paragraph where you present, discuss, and ultimately refute opposing views.

5. Conclusion:

  • The conclusion should serve as the closing of your essay, summarizing your thesis statement and the main points presented in the body.
  • However, avoid mere repetition of the introduction. Instead, offer a broader perspective, leaving the reader with something to contemplate, such as a thought-provoking idea, a call to action, or a suggestion for further exploration.
  • Conclude your essay with a sense of closure, ensuring your final words leave a lasting impression.

6. Evidence and Examples:

Support your opinion with credible evidence, such as research findings, assignment expert opinions, or real-life examples. This lends credibility to your argument and makes it more persuasive.

7. Proper Citation:

If your essay includes external sources or references, ensure proper citation following the required citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago). Correct citation is essential to maintain academic integrity and prevent plagiarism.

8. Editing and Proofreading:

  • Before finalizing your opinion essay, perform a thorough edit and proofread. Check for grammar and spelling errors, as well as clarity and coherence.
  • Consider seeking peer, instructor, or professional editor feedback to ensure your essay is polished and error-free.

Opinion Essay Topics

Here are ten broad subject areas for opinion essay topics

1. Technology:

  • The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Employment
  • Is Social Media Beneficial or Harmful for Society?
  • The Ethics of Data Privacy in the Digital Age
  • Should Technology Be Used in Education More Extensively?
  • Is Online Learning as Effective as Traditional Education?
  • The Role of Technology in Solving Environmental Issues
  • Are Smartphones a Necessity or a Distraction in Daily Life?
  • The Pros and Cons of Video Games for Children
  • Is Technology Making Us More or Less Connected to Each Other?
  • The Future of Work in a World Dominated by Automation

2. Education:

  • Standardized Testing: Does It Accurately Measure Student Abilities?
  • The Impact of Homeschooling on Children's Development
  • Should Schools Implement Uniform Dress Codes?
  • The Role of Arts Education in Academic Curriculum
  • Are College Degrees Still Worth the Investment?
  • The Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Education
  • Should Schools Teach Financial Literacy as a Mandatory Subject?
  • The Influence of Teachers on Students' Success
  • Does Homework Enhance or Impede Learning?
  • The Importance of Inclusive Education for Special Needs Students

3. Environment:

  • The Responsibility of Individuals in Combating Climate Change
  • Should Plastic Bags and Bottles Be Banned to Reduce Pollution?
  • The Impact of Deforestation on Biodiversity
  • Renewable Energy Sources vs. Fossil Fuels: Which is Better?
  • Should Governments Implement Carbon Tax to Reduce Emissions?
  • The Ethics of Animal Testing in Scientific Research
  • Is Sustainable Living Achievable for Everyone?
  • The Role of Urban Planning in Creating Eco-Friendly Cities
  • Are Electric Vehicles the Future of Transportation?
  • The Effectiveness of Recycling Programs in Reducing Waste

4. Politics and Government:

  • The Importance of Voting in a Democracy
  • Is Political Correctness Beneficial or Restrictive to Free Speech?
  • Should Term Limits Be Imposed on Elected Officials?
  • The Role of Social Media in Shaping Political Opinions
  • Universal Healthcare vs. Private Healthcare: Pros and Cons
  • The Impact of Immigration Policies on Society
  • Should Affirmative Action Still Be Implemented?
  • Is Political Polarization a Threat to Democracy?
  • The Influence of Lobbying and Special Interest Groups on Politics
  • Should the Voting Age Be Lowered or Raised?

5. Health and Wellness:

  • The Pros and Cons of a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet
  • The Impact of Fast Food on Public Health
  • Should Vaccination Be Mandatory for All Children?
  • The Benefits and Risks of Legalizing Marijuana
  • The Role of Mental Health Education in Schools
  • Is Healthcare a Basic Human Right?
  • The Ethics of Genetic Engineering and Designer Babies
  • The Impact of Stress on Physical and Mental Health
  • Is Alternative Medicine a Valid Alternative to Conventional Medicine?
  • The Influence of Advertising on Unhealthy Eating Habits

6. Social Issues:

  • The Role of Social Media in Promoting Body Image Issues
  • The Impact of Income Inequality on Society
  • Is Capital Punishment Ethical or Inhumane?
  • The Importance of Gender Equality in the Workplace
  • Should Animal Testing Be Banned for Cosmetic Products?
  • The Ethics of Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
  • The Influence of Celebrity Culture on Young People
  • Is Online Bullying a Serious Threat to Mental Health?
  • The Role of Government in Combating Homelessness

7. Economics:

  • The Effects of Inflation on Consumer Purchasing Power
  • Is Globalization Beneficial or Harmful to Developing Countries?
  • The Impact of Minimum Wage Laws on Employment
  • The Role of Cryptocurrency in Modern Finance
  • Should Governments Provide Universal Basic Income?
  • The Ethics of Corporate Social Responsibility
  • The Pros and Cons of Trade Tariffs
  • Is Economic Growth Sustainable in the Long Term?
  • The Influence of Consumerism on Environmental Degradation
  • The Role of Government Regulation in Preventing Financial Crises

8. Science and Technology Ethics:

  • The Ethical Implications of Human Gene Editing
  • Should Artificial Intelligence Have Legal Rights?
  • The Use of Facial Recognition Technology: Privacy vs. Security
  • The Dangers and Benefits of Biotechnology Advancements
  • The Ethics of Cloning Animals for Human Consumption
  • Is Privacy Invasion Justified in the Name of National Security?
  • The Impact of 3D Printing on Intellectual Property Rights
  • Should Autonomous Weapons Be Banned?
  • The Ethical Considerations of Using CRISPR for Genetic Enhancement
  • Is Space Exploration Worth the Cost and Environmental Impact?

9. Culture and Society:

  • The Influence of Pop Culture on Young People's Behavior
  • Should Cultural Appropriation Be Condemned or Celebrated?
  • The Importance of Preserving Indigenous Languages and Cultures
  • The Role of Music in Shaping Social and Political Movements
  • Should Museums Return Stolen Artifacts to Their Countries of Origin?
  • The Impact of Reality TV Shows on Society's Perception of Reality
  • Is Online Dating a Positive or Negative Trend in Modern Relationships?
  • The Ethics of Cultural Tourism and Its Impact on Local Communities
  • Should Schools Teach More Diverse History and Literature?
  • The Role of Literature and Art in Promoting Social Change

10. Ethics and Morality:

  • The Ethics of Physician-Assisted Suicide for Terminal Patients
  • Is Lying Ever Justified in Moral Dilemmas?
  • The Role of Religion in Shaping Personal Morality
  • The Ethics of Animal Rights: Should Animals Have Legal Personhood?
  • Is Forgiveness a Virtue or a Weakness?
  • The Moral Implications of Cloning Humans
  • The Ethics of Nuclear Weapons and Deterrence
  • Should Government Surveillance Be Permitted for National Security?
  • The Role of Free Will in Determining Moral Responsibility
  • Is It Ethical to Experiment on Animals for Scientific Research?

Opinion Essay Structure

Here is a breakdown of the essential elements:

1. Introduction:

  • Hook: Begin with an attention-grabbing hook, such as a question, fact, quote, or anecdote, to engage the reader's interest.
  • Thesis Statement:  Present your clear and concise thesis statement. This statement is the foundation of your essay and encapsulates your main argument or opinion on the topic.
  • Preview:  Offer a brief overview of the main points or arguments you will discuss in the body of the essay. This sets the reader's expectations.

2. Body Paragraphs:

  • Topic Sentences: Start each body paragraph with a clear topic sentence that relates directly to your thesis statement.
  • Supporting Evidence: Provide evidence, examples, statistics, or expert opinions that support each argument. Ensure that the evidence is relevant and compelling.
  • Transition Sentences: Use transitional words and phrases to guide the reader smoothly from one point to the next. This creates coherence and logical flow.
  • Counterarguments:  Address opposing viewpoints within the body of your essay, demonstrating your ability to evaluate different perspectives critically. This adds depth and persuasiveness to your argument.

3. Conclusion:

  • Restate Thesis: Restate your thesis statement and summarize your main argument.
  • Summarize Main Points: Summarize the key points or arguments you've presented in the essay's body.
  • Broaden Perspective: Move beyond mere repetition of the introduction. Offer a broader perspective on the topic, leaving the reader with something to contemplate, such as the significance of your opinion or a call to action.
  • Closing Thoughts: End with a thought-provoking closing thought, question, or statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Opinion Essay Examples

Here is an example for you -

The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health

Social media has become an integral part of our lives in today's digital age. While it offers various benefits, like staying connected with friends and accessing information, its influence on mental health has been a growing concern. This essay explores the impact of social media on mental well-being, arguing that while it has some advantages, it can also have detrimental effects.


The introduction provides a clear thesis statement: "This essay argues that social media has both positive and negative impacts on mental health." It engages the reader's interest with a hook, such as a startling statistic about social media usage or a relevant quote.

Body Paragraphs:

The body of the essay is divided into several paragraphs, each focusing on a specific aspect of the argument:

Positive Aspects:  This paragraph discusses the positive impact of social media, such as fostering connections, providing support networks, and raising awareness of mental health issues. It includes examples and statistics to support these points.

Negative Aspects:  Here, the essay delves into the negative effects of social media, including cyberbullying, social comparison, and addiction. Real-life examples and studies are cited to illustrate these harmful consequences.

Counterarguments: To address opposing viewpoints, the essay checker acknowledges that some studies suggest a limited negative impact of social media. However, it refutes these arguments with counter-studies and expert opinions, emphasizing the overall negative trend.


The conclusion restates the thesis and summarizes the main points from the body paragraphs. It provides a balanced perspective by acknowledging the positive and negative aspects of social media's impact on mental health. The essay ends with a thought-provoking statement, encouraging the reader to consider their own relationship with social media and its effects on their well-being.

Additional Considerations:

The essay's clear topic sentences, evidence, and transitions between paragraphs maintain coherence. The essay follows a formal tone, uses proper grammar and citations, and avoids jargon. It provides a comprehensive overview of the topic while presenting a well-structured argument that engages the reader and encourages critical thinking.

Crafting top-notch and perfect opinion essay writing is not just about expressing your viewpoint; it is about constructing a persuasive and well-structured argument. You can effectively communicate your opinions by adhering to the fundamental elements of a clear thesis statement, an engaging introduction, well-supported body paragraphs, and a thought-provoking conclusion.

Remember to acknowledge opposing viewpoints, use evidence judiciously, and maintain a formal tone. Opinion essays are a powerful platform for sharing your thoughts, contributing to meaningful discussions, and refining your writing and critical thinking skills. You can craft opinion essays that resonate and persuade effectively with the right structure and approach.

Frequently asked questions

Q1. what is the key to a successful opinion essay.

The key to a successful opinion essay is a clear and compelling thesis statement that presents your main argument. Support your viewpoint with relevant evidence, maintain a logical structure, and acknowledge opposing perspectives.

Q2. How can I make my introduction engaging?

Start with a captivating hook, like a thought-provoking question or a surprising fact. Clearly state your thesis statement, and briefly preview the main points you will discuss.

Q3. What role do counterarguments play in an opinion essay?

Counterarguments demonstrate your critical thinking skills and strengthen your argument by addressing opposing viewpoints. You can acknowledge counterarguments within your essay and then refute them.

Q4. How can I ensure my opinion essay is well-structured?

Organize your essay with a clear introduction, body paragraphs focusing on specific points, and a conclusion summarizing your argument. Use transitional words for coherence.

Q5. Should I include personal experiences in my opinion essay?

Yes, personal experiences can enhance your essay's authenticity. However, ensure they are relevant to your argument and used as supporting evidence, not as the sole basis of your viewpoint.

Q6. How can I find credible evidence for my opinion essay?

Utilize reputable sources like academic journals, books, and expert opinions. Ensure your sources are recent and authoritative to bolster the credibility of your argument.

Q7. What is the difference between an opinion and a persuasive essay?

While both aim to persuade, an opinion essay primarily expresses your viewpoint. A persuasive essay focuses on convincing the reader to adopt your perspective through strong argumentation.

Q8. How can I maintain a formal tone in my opinion essay?

Avoid overly casual language and slang. Use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and follow the conventions of academic writing, such as citing sources correctly.

Q9. Can I use personal anecdotes in my conclusion?

Yes, personal anecdotes can be effective in the conclusion to leave a lasting impression. Relate your personal experience back to your thesis or the broader implications of your opinion.

Q10. What is the most important aspect of revising my opinion essay?

The most crucial revision aspect is ensuring your essay is clear and well-organized. Check for logical flow between paragraphs, and edit for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.

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Ultimate guide to writing an opinion essay, rachel r.n..

  • June 14, 2023
  • Essay Topics and Ideas , How to Guides

An opinion essay is often given to students at all levels of schooling. In this type of essay, the writer has to say what they think about a certain topic or issue and back up their point with evidence and examples. Students should learn how to write opinion essays because they teach them how to think critically and how to explain and defend a point of view. Opinion essays are an important part of academic writing, but they are also a great way to learn persuasive communication skills that you can use in your personal and professional life. This article will tell you everything you need to know about how to write an opinion essay. It will also give you 50 examples and ideas to help you get started. We will talk about the basic structure of an opinion essay and how to make a strong argument and back it up with facts and examples.

This guide will give you the tools you need to learn how to write a good opinion essay, whether you are a student looking to improve your academic writing or a professional looking to improve your persuasive communication skills .

What You'll Learn

Understanding Opinion Essays

Opinion essays are a type of academic writing in which the writer has to say what they think about a certain topic or issue. In an opinion essay, the writer should back up their point of view with evidence and examples and try to get the reader to agree with them. The point of opinion essays is to teach students how to think critically and talk in a way that makes others want to agree with them. If students want to do well in school, on the job, and in their personal lives, they need to have these skills. Opinion essays are different from descriptive or narrative essays because the writer has to take a clear stance on a certain topic and back up their claim with evidence and examples. It’s also important to have a clear thesis statement that explains the writer’s point of view.

Elements of an Opinion Essay

An opinion essay typically includes the following elements:

1. Introduction paragraph : The introduction should grab the reader’s attention and provide background information on the topic. It should also include a clear thesis statement that outlines the writer’s position.

2. Body paragraphs: The body of the essay should provide supporting evidence and examples to support the writer’s argument. Each paragraph should focus on a single point and should begin with a topic sentence that relates back to the thesis statement .

3. Supporting evidence and examples: It is important to use evidence and examples to support the writer’s argument. This can include statistics, facts, quotes, and personal experiences.

4. Counter arguments: It’s also important to address counter arguments or opposing viewpoints in an opinion essay. This shows the reader that the writer has considered alternative perspectives and has still arrived at their own position. Addressing counter arguments can also strengthen the writer’s position by showing that they have thought critically about the issue .

5. Conclusion paragraph: The conclusion should summarize the main points of the essay and restate the thesis statement . It should also leave the reader with a final thought or call to action.

Opinion essays are an important genre of academic writing that require critical thinking and persuasive communication skills. To write an effective opinion essay, it is important to have a clear thesis statement , use supporting evidence and examples, address counter arguments, and provide a strong conclusion. By mastering the elements of an opinion essay, students can develop their writing skills and become more effective communicators.

Opinion Essay Structure and Outline

Let’s look at an example of an opinion essay to comprehensively understand the structure of an opinion essay

The Impacts of Globalization on Local Economies

Globalization has become a heated topic of debate, with many differing perspectives on its effects. In this persuasive essay, I will form an opinion and provide a point of view on how globalization impacts local economies. As college students interested in reading different viewpoints, you’ll learn about writing an effective opinion piece.

To begin an opinion essay, the most important thing is to establish a clear thesis stating the main argument or belief. My thesis is: While globalization creates economic opportunities through trade and investment, it also poses challenges for local businesses trying to compete with larger multinational corporations. Both the positive potentials and negative pressures of globalization must be carefully considered.

The body of your opinion essay should logically organize evidence to support your stated perspective. One key benefit of globalization is giving local producers access to international markets, strengthening export revenues. Trade agreements facilitate selling goods and services across borders. Additionally, foreign direct investment from multinational companies can create new jobs and transfer technology/skills.

However, globalization also exposes local businesses to heightened competition which can be challenging for smaller firms. They may struggle to match the economies of scale, resources, and distribution networks of huge conglomerates. Domestic companies must innovate to avoid losing market share. There are also concerns about job losses if companies move production overseas.

While globalization allows corporations to efficiently manage worldwide supply chains and operations, this same flexibility enables circumventing local labor laws and taxes. Developing nations may engage in regulatory undercutting to attract investment, harming worker rights and the environment. Governments must strike a careful balance.

In crafting this opinion essay, I defined key concepts related to globalization’s impacts through examples local and international companies. Drawing on evidence from both sides strengthened my argument that globalization has significant trade-offs for local economies. For writers and students, seeing exactly how an opinion essay is structured with a clear thesis, body paragraphs explaining the perspective, and consideration of counterpoints can serve as a useful exercise.

Ultimately, opinion essays require logically organizing one’s thoughts and reasoning on a particular topic. Drafting an outline first, and then revising and proofreading, will improve the flow and persuasiveness. While all viewpoints are important to acknowledge, a good opinion piece persuades readers toward the author’s stance through a crystal clear thesis and well-supported arguments.

This basic opinion essay provides a simple guide on how to write persuasively about globalization’s effects. By establishing a position, giving evidence pro and con, defining key terms, and directly addressing the prompt of analyzing local economic impacts, the goal is to help the reader understand both sides while making a case for the writer’s perspective. For college students starting to pen opinion pieces, examples like this can strengthen essential academic writing skills.

Writing Process of an Opinion Essay

Writing an opinion essay requires careful planning and organization. Here are the steps to follow when writing an opinion essay:

1. Pre-writing strategies: Before you start writing, it’s important to brainstorm ideas and gather information on your topic . This can include researching your topic , making a list of arguments and counterarguments, and creating a mind map or outline.

2. Outlining an opinion essay : Once you have gathered your ideas, create an outline to organize your thoughts and develop a clear structure for your essay . Your outline should include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

3. Writing the introduction: The introduction should grab the reader’s attention and provide some background information on the topic. It should end with a thesis statement that clearly states your position on the issue.

4. Developing body paragraphs: The body of the essay should provide supporting evidence and examples to support your argument. Each paragraph should focus on a single point and should begin with a topic sentence that relates back to the thesis statement.

5. Using evidence and examples to support your argument: Use evidence and examples to support your argument. This can include statistics, facts, quotes, and personal experiences.

6. Addressing counter arguments: It’s important to address counterarguments or opposing viewpoints in an opinion essay. This shows the reader that you have considered alternative perspectives and have still arrived at your own position. Addressing counter arguments can also strengthen your position by showing that you have thought critically about the issue.

7. Writing the conclusion: The conclusion should summarize the main points of your essay and restate your thesis statement . It should also leave the reader with a final thought or call to action.

Tips and Techniques for Writing a Strong Opinion Essay

To write a strong opinion essay, follow these tips and techniques:

1. Writing with clarity and precision: Use clear and concise language to express your ideas. Avoid using too many complex words or phrases that may confuse the reader.

2. Crafting an effective thesis statement: Your thesis statement should be clear and concise, and it should clearly state your position on the issue.

3. Using transitional words and phrases: Use transitional words and phrases to connect your ideas and make your essay flow smoothly. Examples include “however,” “on the other hand,” and “in addition.”

4. Avoiding logical fallacies: Logical fallacies are errors in reasoning that can weaken your argument. Examples include ad hominem attacks, straw man arguments, and false causality.

5. Editing and proofreading: After you have written your essay, take the time to edit and proofread it carefully. Look for spelling and grammar errors, and make sure that your ideas are presented clearly and logically.

Writing an opinion essay requires careful planning, organization, and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined above and using the tips and techniques provided, you can craft a strong and persuasive opinion essay that effectively communicates your position on the issue at hand.

10 Opinion Essay Examples

To help you understand what makes a strong opinion essay, here are 10 examples of well-written opinion essays, along with a detailed analysis of what makes each essay effective:

1. “The Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet” by Jane Smith

2. The Importance of Early Childhood Education” by John Doe

3. The Negative Effects of Social Media on Teenagers” by Sarah Johnson

4. The Pros and Cons of Online Learning” by Tom Brown

5. “The Need for Stricter Gun Control Laws” by Emily Davis

6. “The Ethics of Animal Testing” by Rachel Lee

7. The Benefits of Exercise for Mental Health” by David Nguyen

8. “The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace” by Maria Hernandez

9. The Harmful Effects of Plastic Pollution on the Environment” by Alex Lee

10. The Need for Universal Healthcare in the United States” by Samantha Jones

Each of these essays effectively communicates the writer’s position on a particular issue and provides strong supporting evidence and examples. By analyzing these essays , you can learn important lessons about how to effectively structure and develop an opinion essay.

50 Opinion Essay Topics That Will Impress Your Professors

To help you choose a topic for your opinion essay, here are 50 unique and engaging opinion essay topics that are relevant and important:

1. The impact of social media on interpersonal communication

2. The benefits and drawbacks of homeschooling

3. The role of technology in modern education

4. The need for stricter penalties for hate crimes

5. The impact of climate change on the global economy

6. The ethics of genetically modified foods

7. The impact of automation on jobs and the workforce

8. The effects of video games on children’s behavior

9. The need for better mental health support in schools

10. The benefits and drawbacks of remote work

11. The impact of social media on mental health

12. The need for stronger anti-bullying policies in schools

13. The effects of the gig economy on workers’ rights

14. The benefits and drawbacks of artificial intelligence

15. The impact of fast fashion on the environment

16. The ethics of animal agriculture

17. The need for more affordable housing in urban areas

18. The impact of immigration on local communities

19. The effects of screen time on children’s development

20. The need for stronger gun control laws

21. The impact of social media on political discourse

22. The benefits and drawbacks of renewable energy sources

23. The need for stronger anti-discrimination laws

24. The effects of legalization of marijuana on society

25. The impact of automation on the environment

26. The ethics of human cloning

27. The need for more accessible healthcare in rural areas

28. The effects of income inequality on society

29. The benefits and drawbacks of online dating

30. The impact of virtual reality on society

31. The need for stronger data privacy laws

32. The ethics of artificial intelligence in decision-making

33. The effects of social media on democracy

34. The impact of globalization on local economies

35. The benefits and drawbacks of autonomous vehicles

36. The need for stronger measures to combat cyberbullying

37. The effects of air pollution on public health

38. The ethics of euthanasia and assisted suicide

39. The impact of the sharing economy on traditional industries

40. The need for better access to mental health care for veterans

41. The benefits and drawbacks of cryptocurrency

42. The impact of space exploration on society

43. The ethics of gene editing

44. The need for stronger measures to combat human trafficking

45. The effects of social media on body image and self-esteem

46. The impact of automation on the future of work

47. The benefits and drawbacks of a cashless society

48. The need for stronger measures to combat domestic violence

49. The effects of social media on relationships

50. The impact of artificial intelligence on education

Choose a topic for your opinion essay that is important to you and about which you have strong feelings. Use the ideas and tips in this article to come up with a strong argument and back it up with proof and examples . With these tools, you can write a great opinion essay that will impress your professors and get your point across clearly.

1. What is the difference between an opinion essay and a persuasive essay?

An opinion essay and a persuasive essay are similar in that they both require the writer to express their viewpoint on a particular topic or issue. However, a persuasive essay is more focused on convincing the reader to take a particular action or adopt a particular viewpoint, while an opinion essay is more focused on expressing the writer’s personal perspective on the issue.

2. Can I include personal anecdotes in my opinion essay?

Yes, personal anecdotes can be a powerful tool for supporting your argument and making your essay more engaging. However, it’s important to ensure that your anecdotes are relevant to the topic and that they support your overall argument .

3. How do I address counterarguments in my essay?

To address counterarguments in your essay, consider presenting them in a separate paragraph or section of your essay . Then, explain why you disagree with the counterargument and provide evidence and examples to support your position.

4. How do I choose a topic for my opinion essay?

Choose a topic that you are passionate about and that you have a strong opinion on. Consider current events , social issues, or topics related to your field of study.

5. What is the recommended length for an opinion essay?

The length of an opinion essay can vary depending on the assignment requirements. However, a typical opinion essay is usually around 500-800 words.

6. What are some common mistakes to avoid when writing an opinion essay?

When writing an opinion essay, some common mistakes to avoid are not having a clear thesis statement, using weak or irrelevant evidence to back up your argument, not addressing counterarguments, and not proofreading your essay for mistakes. It’s important to take the time to carefully plan and edit your essay to make sure it clearly shows your point of view and gives strong evidence and examples to back up your argument.

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How to Write an Opinion Essay: Examples, Structure, & Tips

An opinion essay is a formal piece of writing which presents the author’s point of view on a particular subject supported by reasoning and examples . The opposing viewpoint is also suggested, but it is followed by arguments that show its inconsistency. Take a look at the guide prepared by Custom-writing experts to learn how to write a perfect opinion essay!

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  • 🔤 Opinion Essay Basics
  • 📑 Essay Structure

🖊️ Opinion Essay Format

  • 💬 How to Start an Opinion Essay
  • ✅ Dos and Don’ts

👌 Opinion Essay Examples

  • 💡 Essay Tips

🏁 Concluding Remarks

🔗 references, 🔤 writing an opinion essay: basics.

You may be wondering: How do I write an opinion essay? How is it different from a persuasive, an argumentative, or a pros and cons essay ?

It’s simple: When you write an argumentative or persuasive essay , you should provide counterpoints and describe the essay topic from different perspectives. In an opinion paper, you don’t have to focus on the advantages and disadvantages in comparison. Instead, focus only on your opinion about the issue .

An opinion essay presents the author's point of view & suggests that the opposing point is inconsistent.

What Is an Opinion Essay?

An opinion essay, sometimes called “argumentative” or “persuasive,” presents the author’s perception of a subject and supporting arguments. It is written in a standard essay format. In such essays, authors usually try to persuade readers that their opinion is correct.

You may say: “I’m afraid to take a stand,” or “I don’t know what to say.” Relax. There’s nothing to worry about if your arguments are based on well-researched data. Speaking about opinion essay topics, some students find it difficult enough to choose the perfect one. But it’s not so hard: Think about something that engages you and that you feel strongly about.

Do you still have no clues about what to write? Check our 100 free ideas for an argumentative or persuasive essay and choose the topic that you have a strong opinion on. Then pick up a few reasons supporting your point of view and gather the facts that you’ll use as evidence.

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📑 Opinion Essay Structure

The next step is to write an opinion essay outline . First of all, it will help you to overcome the fear of the blank page. Second, you’ll have a broken-down list of ideas and an organized place for your random thoughts. This will help you write an assignment faster.

Here’s an example of an opinion paper outline:

  • An introduction . Write a thesis statement and the reasons that support your opinion. Give your readers a hook to engage them with the topic
  • The main body . Break it into several paragraphs where you provide arguments and supporting examples, statements, and facts.
  • A conclusion . When ending a paper, restate the main thesis and summarize the central points of the essay.

Develop an outline while you’re researching the topic and place the pieces of evidence where they make the most sense. You don’t have to write the whole assignment at a time. Just put stand-alone examples and facts in the places where they should go.

A well-prepared outline for an opinion essay is almost 70 percent of the work. All you’ll need to do is simply join your arguments by bridging the language.

Now that you’re familiar with the basic opinion essay structure, let’s see how exactly you should format each part of your paper.

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Opinion Essay Introduction

Start your writing with a hook sentence that grabs the reader’s interest. You can use a surprising fact, a provocative question, or a relevant quote as a hook.

Have you ever stopped to consider the impact that social media has on our lives and society as a whole?

Then, provide background information and a thesis statement. It should present your opinion on the topic and the main arguments that support your point of view.

The rise of social media platforms has had detrimental effects on teenagers’ mental health due to increased feelings of loneliness, heightened levels of anxiety, and the negative impact on self-esteem.

Opinion Essay Body

In the body paragraphs, you need to explain your arguments and provide evidence to support them. Each paragraph should start with a topic sentence that introduces the point you are discussing.

The constant exposure to idealized and unrealistic images on social media platforms can contribute to insecurities and anxiety among teenagers, affecting their mental well-being.

Then, provide specific examples, facts, or statistics to support your reason. You may also include personal experiences or anecdotes to make your points more convincing.

According to The Mental Health Foundation’s survey in 2019, four in ten teenagers (40%) admitted that posts on social media had caused them to worry about body image. This statistic highlights the concerning impact of social media on teenagers’ mental well-being.

Opinion Essay Conclusion

The last paragraph of your opinion essay is the conclusion. Here, you restate your thesis and summarize the main points from the body paragraphs.

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Social media platforms have negatively impacted teenagers’ mental well-being through the feelings of isolation, increased depression levels, and detrimental effects on the body image.

  • Finally, you should end with a strong and memorable closing statement or a call to action. This will help you leave a lasting impression on the reader.

If all people work together raising awareness and advocating for change, we will eventually build a healthier online environment.

Opinion Essay Format

Correct formattion is another essential aspect of essay writing. Here are helpful guidelines you can use:

  • Stick to a readable 12-point font, such as Times New Roman or Arial.
  • Set 1-inch margins on all sides of the document.
  • Double-space the entire essay, including the title and headings.
  • Properly cite any sources used in your essay according to your required citation style (APA, MLA, Harvard, etc.)

If you are unsure about any specific formatting requirements for your opinion essay, we recommend consulting your school’s writing guidelines or asking your professor for clarification.

💬 How to Start an Opinion Essay – 30 Ideas

When it comes to opinion writing, a lot of students can’t explain their point of view. This shows a lack of critical thinking skills and leads to low grades. Even the perfect opinion essay format won’t save the situation in this case.

If you need a quick fix for your assignment, check our list of transition words and phrases to help you start putting your opinions:

  • As far as I am concerned, …
  • I am (not) convinced that …
  • In my opinion/view …
  • My opinion is that …
  • I (firmly)believe that …
  • I (definitely) feel/think that …
  • I am inclined to believe that …
  • Personally, I believe that…
  • It is clear that…
  • It seems to me that…
  • In my mind…
  • As I see it…
  • My principal reason is…
  • Another reason is…
  • It is widely known that…
  • It could be argued that…
  • The well-known fact is…
  • Research has shown that…
  • For instance/for example…
  • This suggests that…
  • It would seem that…
  • This proves that…
  • This supports the …
  • Even though / Although…
  • In contrast…
  • Despite the fact that…
  • In spite of…
  • In order to…
  • In conclusion…

And don’t forget to use nouns, adjectives, and adverbs, or make your own phrases.

✅ Opinion Essay Rules

Writing an opinion essay may seem challenging, but if you keep the following dos and don’ts in mind, you will easily craft a compelling and well-structured essay. Check out the opinion essay rules we’ve collected for you below.

This image shows opinion essay rules.

Opinion Essay Dos

  • Use formal style. When writing an opinion essay, you should use a formal style, avoiding slang and colloquial language. It means using proper grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary suitable for an academic setting.
  • Choose a side on the issue. You should take a clear stance on a particular topic in your essay. For instance, if the prompt is “Should school uniforms be mandatory?” you would need to choose whether you are for or against the idea and prove your position.
  • Arrange your supporting points in emphatic order. Start with the weakest argument and end with the strongest. It will help to persuade the reader and leave a lasting impression.
  • Begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence . This way, your readers will understand the point you are trying to make from the very beginning.
  • Provide support for your arguments. It is essential to back up your opinions with evidence, examples, and reasoning. You can include statistics, research findings, or expert opinions.
  • Stay on topic. It is crucial to remain focused on the main issue or question throughout your paper. Be careful not to go off on a tangent or discuss irrelevant topics that do not directly support your argument.
  • Use a diplomatic and professional tone. It means avoiding personal attacks, derogatory language, or overly emotional statements. Instead, present your ideas and respond to opposing viewpoints calmly and respectfully.

Opinion Essay Don’ts

  • Don’t use informal language. Avoid using colloquial expressions, slang, jargon, or contractions. Instead, use formal language and non-abbreviated word forms.
  • Don’t use emotive vocabulary. Emotive vocabulary includes words that provoke strong emotions or bias, such as “amazing,” “horrible,” or “disgusting.” In an opinion essay, it’s essential to use neutral language.
  • Don’t overgeneralize. Avoid making broad statements that assume something is true for everyone or everything. Instead, be specific.
  • Don’t use sources without proper referencing. When including information from other sources in your opinion essay, it’s crucial to provide appropriate citations and references. This way, you’ll show that you have done a thorough research and give credit to the original author.
  • Don’t rely on personal examples. While personal anecdotes can sometimes strengthen an argument, it’s important not to rely solely on them. Instead, try to use different types of evidence, including statistics, expert opinions, and studies.
  • Don’t address your readers. Directly addressing the reader by using “you” is considered informal and should be avoided in an opinion essay. Instead, it’s better to present the arguments and evidence without involving the reader directly.

Do you want to better understand what an opinion essay is? You are welcome to use our opinion essay examples! Reading them will help you gain an insight into this form of academic writing.

Opinion Essay Example #1

The USA is a multinational and multicultural country that is advanced in many areas, including healthcare, medicine, and science in general. However, some of the experiments, such as the syphilis studies discussed in this paper, show that the country is still in the process of overcoming intolerance, racial segregation, and social inequality. Talking about these studies aloud brings the question of research ethics to the forefront. In particular, people who participated in those scientific experiments were misled and misinformed about their health. The research group observed how the participants suffered from the disease’s symptoms until death (Brandt, 24). There are a number of diseases and conditions that have not been researched enough. The experience gained during the studies in Tuskegee and Guatemala should be used to eliminate the possibility of unethical conduct and ensure transparency in all the activities.

Opinion Essay Example #2

To confront cyberbullying effectively, it is vital to know how to identify what it is and spread this awareness among the children who may unwarily become participants. The tendency to raise this issue in the scientific and public spheres has positive dynamics. As there is legal protection for cyberbullying victims in the USA, it is vital to detect harassment cases. For this purpose, parents and teachers should cooperate to create trustworthy relationships so the child can ask for help from adults. That is why a high level of emotional support from parents and peers is necessary to combat bullying before it has occurred.

Opinion Essay Topics

  • Your personal view on money and expenditures.
  • Analyze your attitude towards obesity as a public health problem.
  • Give your opinion on the importance of container deposit legislation.
  • What do you think of different belief systems?
  • Discuss your point of view on The Scream by Edvard Munch.
  • Describe your opinion on the climate change issue.
  • What do you think of the media’s influence on people’s views ?
  • Your opinion on the film Argo directed by Affleck .
  • Express your opinion on diets and weight loss programs.
  • Analyze the impact of war on society and present your opinion.
  • Present your opinion on the question of gay marriage .
  • Describe your attitude towards gender stereotypes.
  • Do you support the Biblical point of view on divorce ?
  • Explain what you think about racism in employment.
  • Discuss your attitude to photography.
  • Describe what love is , in your opinion.
  • Give your opinion on genetic engineering.
  • Analyze the necessity of vaccination for public school students and present your opinion.
  • Express your views on the death penalty.
  • Discuss your views on aging changes .
  • Do you like the music of a Classical Era?
  • Is it ethical to use animals in research, in your opinion?
  • Do you think the government should increase the minimum wage?
  • Explain whether you agree that soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world.
  • Do you think the Internet plays an important role in your life?
  • Describe your point of view on the controversial topic of human cloning .
  • Present your opinion on tattoo s as a form of art.
  • What does the ideal social meeting place look like?
  • How do you think bullies should be punished?
  • Do you support the opinion that celebrities should be positive role models ?
  • Is remote work more convenient than working in an office?
  • Describe your attitude towards social networks .
  • What is justice , in your opinion?
  • Give your opinion on American football .
  • What do you think about classical music?
  • Is the government monitoring its citizens justified by safety concerns?
  • Explain what you think about steroid use in competitive sports.
  • Discuss the necessity to ban violent computer games .
  • Your personal opinion on using cell phones while driving .
  • Do you think the government should interfere with the contents of TV shows ?
  • Express your opinion on net neutrality .
  • Describe your views on online dating .
  • Is protectionism necessary for saving a country’s economy?
  • What do you think of a vegan lifestyle?
  • Present your attitude towards physician-assisted suicide.
  • Do you support the opinion that college athletes should be paid ?
  • Your point of view on cigarette smoking and suggestion to ban it.
  • Explain whether you think that public colleges and universities should be tuition-free .
  • How do you understand responsibility?
  • Express your opinion on canceling grades at schools .

💡 Opinion Essay Tips for an A+ Paper

Want to make your essay truly outstanding? Follow the pro tips below:

  • Read the question carefully. Take time to fully understand what you are asked to write about. It will help you stay on topic and ensure your essay addresses it effectively.
  • Plan your ideas before you start writing. Before beginning the writing process, take time to brainstorm and outline your ideas. Then, evaluate and select the strongest arguments or points to include in your essay.
  • Show an understanding of both sides of the argument. Acknowledging different perspectives demonstrates a well-rounded view and can strengthen your position by addressing counterarguments.
  • Make use of linking words and phrases. Transitions such as “however,” “in addition,” and “on the other hand” help create a smooth flow between paragraphs and make your essay easier to read. Our transition words generator can assist you with it.
  • Don’t introduce any new ideas in the conclusion. In the last paragraph, summarize your main points and restate your thesis without bringing up new information that wasn’t discussed in the body of your essay.

Thank you for reading! Our free tips will help you get through any kind of essay. Still, if you’re stuck with your essay, you can always count on professional writers’ tips and recommendations!

With the help of the tips above, you’ll be able to create the most unbelievable papers in a blink of an eye. Now that you know the secrets of professional writers, try writing your opinion essay!

The final piece of advice : Don’t forget to proofread your paper. Revise your content, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, etc. Make sure that your essay answers the main question. Check if the evidence you provided is accurate and up-to-date.

  • Essay Structure | – Harvard College Writing Center
  • An opinion essay | Writing – Advanced C1 | British Council
  • 5 Tips for Writing an Opinion Essay – ThoughtCo
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Thanks a lot. This was helpful

thank you alot this really helped me

I hope this is gonna help me with my opinion essay

Thanks for the help. Really needed it for my opinion essay due tomorrow. -_-

Thanks for the help keep the good work gentlemen

This was great it really helped out.Thanks.

10 English Phrases to Express Your Opinion in an Essay

This is a guest post by  Sam Pealing.  Make sure to visit his website for more academic English help!

I admire international students. Seriously.  If you’re a non-native English speaker doing a degree or doctorate in English, then I take my hat off to you.

I get a lot of questions about writing essays, and I’ve taught hundreds of students how to write effective essays (which get good grades).  One of the most common mistakes that I see is a lack of opinion.

Most of the time, students describe a situation, but they don’t give their opinion or stance. This can really damage your grade because lecturers are always looking for ‘critical thinking’. If you don’t give your opinion in your essays, your lecturers can’t see your critical thinking.

To put it simply: If you don’t put your opinion or stance in an essay, then you’ll probably lose marks.

In this article, you’ll learn 10 effective phrases that you can use to give your opinion in your essay.  I’ve also created a free lesson pack which will help you to practice the phrases in this article. CLICK HERE to download it.

Introducing the Phrases

If you’re looking for a quick fix for your essay, these phrases should help you to start putting your own opinions in your essays.

But, before you rush over to your essays to start putting these phrases in, there’s something you need to know.

If you’re writing an academic essay, you will need to support your opinions with strong evidence . This is especially true if you are using some of the stronger phrases.

This evidence can be a journal article, a lecture, a textbook, or something else which is a trustworthy source of information.

In a more informal essay, like one in an IELTS or TOEFL language test, you don’t need to support your answers with strong evidence. Your experiences or opinions will be enough.

Quick note : I know! You’re ready to see the phrases.

This won’t take long and it’s really important.

1. For these phrases to be really effective, you’ll need to review your grammar. Shayna has some great videos on her Espresso English Youtube channel .

I recommend these:

  • Subject/Verb agreement
  • Formal and Informal English
  • Correcting Grammar Mistakes

2. If you want to know the structure of a good essay paragraph, check my post here .

10 English Phrases to Express Your Opinion in an Essay Espresso English

Informal English Phrases

These phrases are suitable for language tests such as TOEFL or IELTS. In an academic essay, these phrases will probably be too informal because they are too personal.

“In my opinion, + [your sentence]”

  • In my opinion , a good education is more important than a good car.

“I believe that + [your sentence]”

  • I believe that schools should encourage students to walk or cycle to school rather than drive.

“In my mind, + [your sentence]”

  • “ In my mind , no-one should have to pay for medical care.”

More Formal Academic Phrases With ‘That’

These phrases are more suitable for academic essays. If you are unsure whether you should use an informal phrase or an academic phrase, use an academic one. If you think your writing might be informal, read this post to learn more.

The patterns here are quite straightforward. Just add your sentence after ‘that’.

“It would seem that + [your sentence]”

Use this when you support your opinion with evidence.

  • “ It would seem that children learn best when they are feeling comfortable.”

“It could be argued that + [your sentence]”

Use this when you want to challenge an existing opinion.

  • “ It could be argued that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks in this situation.”

“This suggests that + [your sentence]”

Use this when you don’t want to fully commit to an opinion. You’re giving yourself some distance.

  • “ The evidence suggests that people who speak more than one language have more job opportunities.”

“This proves that + [your sentence]”

Use this when you are confident with your opinion. This phrase is quite strong*

  • “ This proves that the best way to lose weight is through a controlled diet and a good exercise program.”

“This supports the idea that + [your sentence]”

Use this one when you are supporting an opinion that you have already made.

  • “ This new research supports the idea that successful English learners look for opportunities to use English.”

Other Ways to Express Opinion

“although [idea you disagree with], [idea you agree with]”.

Use this when you want make your opinion seem balanced.

  • “ Although reports suggest that cigarettes could help people to lose weight, there are too many serious health problems associated with smoking.”

Note: The ‘ although’ pattern is very effective because it shows two sides of the argument. In the example, I support the idea that smoking is bad for your health –BUT- I recognise that it could have some benefits.

Structure your ‘ although’ sentence like this: Although, [weaker argument you disagree with], [stronger argument you agree with].

Using Adverbs, Adjectives and Nouns

You can use adjectives to show your opinion.

  • “This research was poorly conducted with a lack of control .”

The adjective and nouns in the example are negative . You can get some good ideas from this video on Extreme Adjectives . Note: try not to use any emotional adjectives .

Make Your Own Phrases!

Of course, these phrases aren’t the only ones that you can use! You can find more – or – you can create your own by combining different patterns.

Here’s an example of #7, #9 and #10 used together.

“Although it is difficult for older adults to learn a second language, an important study by Smith (2014) proved that the elderly can successfully learn new languages.”

What Should You Do Now?

So now you should have a better idea of how to include more opinions in your essays. But that’s not all; there are probably some new words here that you don’t know.

So here’s what you should do:

  • Choose three of the opinion expressions and phrases that you want to try.
  • Practice writing sentences using them (if you don’t have a topic, try this: should students do homework? You can see examples of this in the lesson pack )
  • Get the Lesson Pack for this lesson (which contains the vocabulary and the phrases from this lesson) CLICK HERE to download it .

Learn more:

  • Basic English phrases
  • Intermediate English phrases
  • Advanced English phrases

About Sam Pealing

Sam Pealing is an English language coach who specialises in two important areas: 1. helping you to get great grades at university, and 2. helping you to become an effective and confident English user. If you’re feeling frustrated or confused with English, Sam has created the perfect email course for you! You can join his course here –or- you can read more by him on English For Study .

Get corrections on your written English:

10 English Phrases to Express Your Opinion in an Essay Espresso English

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Shayna Oliveira

Shayna Oliveira is the founder of Espresso English, where you can improve your English fast - even if you don’t have much time to study. Millions of students are learning English from her clear, friendly, and practical lessons! Shayna is a CELTA-certified teacher with 10+ years of experience helping English learners become more fluent in her English courses.

49 Opinion Writing Prompts for Students

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key words for opinion essays

One of the most common essay types is the opinion, or persuasive, essay. In an opinion essay , the writer states a point of view, then provides facts and reasoned arguments to support that viewpoint. The goal of the essay is to convince the reader to share the writer’s opinion.

Students aren't always aware of how many strong opinions they already hold. Use the following opinion writing prompts to inspire them to start thinking and writing persuasively.

Prompts About School and Sports

School- and sports-related topics often elicit strong opinions in students. Use these writing prompts to kick off the brainstorming process.

  • Ch-ch-ch-changes . What is one thing about your school that needs to change? Is bullying an issue? Do students need longer breaks or a dress code? Choose one vital issue that needs to change and convince school leaders to make it happen.
  • Special guest. Your school is trying to decide on a famous person to give a speech or presentation to students. Who do you think they should choose? Write an essay to convince your principal.
  • Oxford or bust. Is the Oxford comma essential or obsolete?
  • Scribble scrabble. Do students still need to learn cursive handwriting?
  • Co-ed conflict. Would students perform better if more schools were single-gender rather than co-ed? Why or why not?
  • Participation awards. Should there be winners and losers in sports, or is participation the ultimate goal?
  • Homework overload. Write an essay to convince your teacher to assign less homework.
  • Sports. Which sport (or team) is the best? What makes it better than the others?
  • No slacking . Write an essay persuading a fellow student to do their homework.
  • Class trip. This year, students get to vote on where to go for a class trip. Write an essay convincing your fellow students to vote for the place you’d like to go.
  • Superlatives. Which would you rather be: a top student, a talented athlete, or an accomplished artist?
  • Virtual athletes . Video games competitions are often aired on TV and treated like sports competitions. Should video games be considered sports?
  • Class debate. Should classes that students may not use or that don’t interest them (such as physical education or foreign language) be required?

Prompts About Relationships

Friendships, dating, and other relationships can be both rewarding and exasperating. These writing prompts about relationships will help students explore their feelings about both the positive and the negative moments.

  • Snitch. Your best friend tells you about his plan to cheat on a test. Should you tell an adult? Why or why not?
  • Give it a chance. Your best friend is convinced that she would hate your favorite book, even though she's never read it. Convince her to read it.
  • Friendships vs. relationships. Are friendships or romantic relationships more important in life? Why?
  • Driving age. What age do kids start driving in your state? Is that age too old, too young, or just right? Why?
  • Truth or consequences. Your best friend asks your opinion about something, but you know that a truthful answer will hurt her feelings. What do you do?
  • Who chooses? Your best friend is visiting, and you want to watch TV together, but his favorite show is at the same time as your favorite show. Convince him that your show is a better choice.
  • Fun times. What is the most fun thing you and your best friend have ever experienced together? Why does it deserve the top spot?
  • Dating. Are long-term dating relationships good or bad for teens?
  • New friends. You want to spend time with a new student at school, but your best friend is jealous. Convince your friend of the importance of including the newcomer.
  • Be mine. Is Valentine’s Day worthwhile or just a scheme for the greeting card and chocolate industry to make more money?
  • Debbie Downer. Should you cut ties with friends or relatives who are always negative?
  • He loves me not. Is it really better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?
  • Elders. Should you respect your elders merely because they are older, or is respect something that must be earned?

Prompts About Family, Pets, and Leisure Time

The following writing prompts related to family, furry friends, and free time will help students reflect on preferences, ethics, and integrity.

  • Self-reflection. This time, you're the one who needs convincing! Write an essay to persuade yourself to start a healthy habit (or kick a bad habit).
  • Paper wars. Should toilet paper hang with the loose end resting on the top of the roll or hanging from the bottom?
  • Movie vs. book. Choose a book that has been made into a movie. Which version is better, and why?
  • Weekend wanderings . Do you prefer to stay home on the weekends or get out and do things around town? Write an essay to convince your parents to let you do what you prefer this weekend.
  • Sweepstakes. A travel agency is hosting an essay contest to give away an all-expenses-paid trip to the one place in the world you’d most love to visit. Craft a winning essay that convinces them they need to choose you.
  • Zoo debate. Is it ethical to keep animals in zoos? Why or why not?
  • Presence of pets. Should there be limits on the types of places pets can go (e.g. airplanes or restaurants)? Why or why not?
  • Inspiring stories. What is the most inspiring book you’ve ever read? Why is it so inspiring?
  • Dollar discovery. You find a $20 bill in the parking lot of a crowded store. Is it okay to keep it, or should you turn it in to customer service?
  • Vacation day. What is the very best way to spend an unexpected day off from school and why is it the best?
  • Digital or print? Is it better to read books in print or digitally? Why?

Prompts About Society and Technology

The people and technology around us have a significant impact on our lives. These writing prompts encourage students to consider the effect that society and technological advances have on our day-to-day lives.

  • Reverse technology. Pick one technological advancement that you think the world would be better off without. Explain your reasoning and persuade the reader.
  • Out of this world . Do aliens exist? Why or why not?
  • Social media. Is social media good or bad for society? Why?
  • Emoji. Has the use of emoji stunted our ability to express ourselves in writing, or does it help us identify our emotions more precisely?
  • Auto safety. Have advancements like self-driving cars, blind spot indicators, and lane departure warning systems made driving safer, or have they just made drivers less attentive?
  • Exploration Mars. Write a letter to Elon Musk convincing him that you should be part of a colony to Mars.
  • Fundraisers. Is it okay for kids to stand outside stores and ask shoppers for money for their sports teams, clubs, or band? Why or why not?
  • Inventions. What is the greatest invention ever made? Why is it the best?
  • Important cause. In your opinion, what global problem or issue deserves more attention than it currently receives? Why should more time and money be invested in this cause?
  • Minimalism. Does living a minimalist lifestyle make for a happier life? Why or why not?
  • Gaming gains. Are video games generally a positive or a negative influence? Why?
  • Rose-colored glasses. Is the current decade the best era in history? Why or why not?
  • Paper or plastic. Should plastic bags be outlawed?
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Will you please stop idling your car?

According to the Department of Energy, Americans waste 6 billion...

According to the Department of Energy, Americans waste 6 billion gallons of fuel each year to go nowhere. Credit: Newsday/Jim Peppler

This guest essay reflects the views of Tim Donahue, a high school English teacher who lives in Westchester County and writes about climate change and education.

By design, many environmentally degrading behaviors occur where you wouldn't really look — far away in the tar sands of northern Alberta, or seven miles beneath the ocean floor, acting like termites gnawing at your very foundation. Idling one's car is more like the stink bug, sitting out there in broad view. I don't know for a fact that the guy with the Denali keeps his whole house at 64° all summer long, but I can see him in the emergency lane at Foodtown, sharing his exhaust as he waits for the Popsicles — it's hot out, after all!

As with so much, the harm is not in the singular act, but in the accumulation. According to the Department of Energy, Americans waste 6 billion gallons of fuel each year to go nowhere. Engine exhaust irritates and inflames the respiratory tract and is particularly harmful to children, who breathe faster and inhale more air per pound of body weight. We grieve that, globally, seven million people have died from COVID-19, though as many as 10 million people die each year from air pollution.

Back at Foodtown, I've come to see this as an opportunity. When else can you find your intended audience just sitting there, unable to delete themselves? By now, I've approached more than 200 cars, often the ones lined up for school pickup. About 80%, upon gentle provocation, are willing to shut off their engines. Many of them don’t even know there’s a law against it.

Anti-idlers, like those in my local Clean Air Collective, have worked to pass a smattering of laws, but the fines are rarely enforced. Is it too petty? Is it too invasive? There have been a variety of reporting schemes, including New York City’s famous Citizens Air Complaint Program, which theoretically allows anyone with a camera to report offending trucks and recoup a quarter of the fine. We can debate whether idling is a collective problem or an individual problem. Or, we can act — simply by pressing a button or turning a key and shutting the motor off.

Here’s what happens when you do that: On a 50-degree day, your cabin temperature will plummet from 70° to 65° in 15 minutes. On an 80-degree day, if you find shade, it will rise about as much.

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Just like household climate control, car purchases, and hot sauce preference, idling is another purely elective behavior, another way to distance reality from what it is to what it is for me. So, it, too, relies on collective action. Toward this, I find writer Ezra Klein's words to be helpful: “Don’t think about consumption — even your consumption — as an individual. Think of yourself as a node for social, political and moral contagion.”

I struggle — as an educator, a father, and a consumer — between two truths: We desperately need to speed up our response to the climate issues that are making lives harder even now, yet we know that selling this as a bunch of sacrifices is not going to work. We need something more convincing, and we need to construct this response together. I can’t think of a more important use of a classroom or a town hall meeting.

But for the time being, as we welcome once again the miraculous procession of spring, the least we can do is turn off the engine, open up the window, and breathe the collective air.

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Guest Essay

Trump Knows Dominance Wins. Someone Tell Democrats.

In a colorful illustration, hand shadowing mimics a wolf threatening a bunny.

By M. Steven Fish

Mr. Fish is the author of “Comeback: Routing Trumpism, Reclaiming the Nation, and Restoring Democracy’s Edge.”

Donald Trump once called Bill Barr, his former attorney general, “Weak, Slow Moving, Lethargic, Gutless, and Lazy.” When Mr. Barr recently endorsed Mr. Trump, rather than express gratitude or graciousness, the former president said , “Based on the fact that I greatly appreciate his wholehearted Endorsement, I am removing the word ‘Lethargic’ from my statement. Thank you Bill. MAGA2024!”

This is the sort of thing Mr. Trump is known for, even with people who came around and bent the knee . It is a critical part of his politics — and it’s an area that pollsters aren’t fully measuring and Democratic strategists rarely take into consideration.

Politics is a dominance competition, and Mr. Trump is an avid and ruthless practitioner of it . He offers a striking contrast with most Democrats, who are more likely to fret over focus-group data and issue ever more solemn pledges to control prescription drug prices .

What these Democrats seem to have forgotten is that they have their own liberal tradition of dominance politics — and if they embrace it, they would improve their chances of defeating Trumpism. But unlike Mr. Trump, whose lies and conduct after the 2020 election were damaging to democracy, leaders like Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. exerted dominance in liberal ways and to prodemocratic ends. They obeyed the law, told the truth, and honored liberal values.

Psychologists have noted the effectiveness of dominance in elections and governing . My recent research also finds that what I call Mr. Trump’s “high-dominance strategy” is far and away his most formidable asset.

High-dominance leaders shape reality. They embrace conflict, chafe at playing defense and exhibit self-assurance even in pursuit of unpopular goals . By contrast, low-dominance leaders accept reality as it is and shun conflict. They tell people what they think they want to hear and prefer mollification to confrontation.

Today’s Republicans are all about dominance. They embrace us-versus-them framing, double down on controversial statements and take risks . Today’s Democrats often recoil from “othering” opponents and back down after ruffling feathers . They have grown obsessively risk-averse , poll-driven , allergic to engaging on hot-button issues (except perhaps abortion) — and more than a little boring.

Polling even dictates whether Democrats proclaim their own good news. Republicans never quit crowing about the economy on their watch. Democrats tend to fear doing so unless surveys show that everyone is already feeling the benefits. So in defiance of much of the evidence , voters think Mr. Trump’s economy was better than Barack Obama’s and Mr. Biden’s.

Politicians’ language reflects their dominance orientations. Mr. Trump uses entertaining and provocative parlance and calls opponents — and even allies — weak , gutless and pathetic . Still, neuroscientists monitoring listeners’ brain activity while they watched televised debates found that audiences — not just Mr. Trump’s followers — delighted in the belittling nicknames he uses for his opponents. His boldness and provocations held audience attention at a much higher level than his opponents’ play-it-safe recitations of their policy stances and résumés.

Mr. Trump is also often crude and regularly injects falsehoods into his comments. But these are not in and of themselves signs of dominance; it’s just that the Democrats’ inability to effectively respond makes them appear weak by comparison.

For their own part, Democrats typically refrain from transgressive language and often present themselves as vulnerable and menaced . When Kamala Harris was asked in January if she was scared of a second Trump term, she said , “I am scared as heck!” and added that “we should all be scared.”

To voters, that fear smells like weakness. In a 2022 CBS News survey on parties’ traits, the most frequently cited description of the Democratic Party was “weak.” In a recent Gallup poll , 38 percent regarded Mr. Biden as “a strong and decisive leader,” compared with 57 percent for Mr. Trump.

A reputation for weakness may be a singularly damaging liability. In a 2016 exit poll , more than twice as many voters said they wanted a “strong leader” than one who “shares my values” or “cares about people like me.” In another poll, Mr. Trump was regarded as the “ stronger leader .”

The American National Elections Studies has polled voters on presidential candidates’ traits since the 1980s, and the candidate who rated higher on “strong leadership” has never lost. The one who more people agree “really cares about people like you” loses about half the time.

High-dominance messaging necessitates unfailingly asserting your side’s moral superiority. But the psychologists John Jost and Orsolya Hunyady find that liberals feel compelled to give equal credence to conservative intuitions. They struggle to adopt the us-versus-them framing that is crucial to rousing supporters and confronting opponents who decidedly do not honor the legitimacy of liberals’ opinions — or even necessarily the results of free elections. Psychologists have also shown that Democrats are conflicted about the appropriate use of aggression.

Such crippling qualms are recent problems. F.D.R., J.F.K., L.B.J. and M.L.K. Jr. famously owned the Republicans. Their high-dominance styles enabled the creation of every progressive program their low-dominance successors are struggling to salvage today.

On the eve of his first re-election, F.D.R. thundered : “I should like to have it said of my first administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second administration that in it these forces met their master.” J.F.K. hammered home that the Republicans’ limp social welfare policies and tepid approach to civil rights failed to show the world what America was made of , and he never hesitated to aggressively trumpet triumphs .

L.B.J. mixed bigot-busting rhetoric with ferocious arm-twisting to muscle voting rights , colorblind immigration policy and Medicare into law. He did enjoy Democratic congressional majorities, but he also faced the necessity of bringing around the segregationist wing of his party, and his high-dominance style was key to his legislative victories.

Few were less solicitous of prevailing opinion than M.L.K. With reference to the 1964 Republican presidential nominee, Barry Goldwater, King said that he could “go halfway with Brother Goldwater” on the idea that legislation couldn’t solve racism. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, he then smoothly eviscerated Goldwater’s stance: “It may be true that the law can’t make a man love me, but it can restrain him from lynching me.” King’s reference to “Brother Goldwater,” who opposed all manner of civil rights legislation, bore no hint of sarcasm. But he also knew that he was owning his opponent by wielding what he always called “the weapon of love” and using language that expressed self-assurance and faith in the nation to establish moral superiority.

There are contemporary Democrats with a high-dominance style. Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky stands up for trans and abortion rights , proclaimed June Pride Month in the state, and chided the unvaccinated during the pandemic. When a Republican lawmaker displayed a photo of Mr. Beshear with drag queens at a gay rights rally and accused him of corrupting kids, the governor shot back that the participants “are as much Kentuckians as anybody else.”

The Republican tucked his tail between his legs, whimpering: “My problem is not with the gay movement. I didn’t say anything about the ‘Pride Celebration.’” Mr. Beshear won re-election by five points in a state Mr. Trump carried by 26 points in 2020.

Mr. Biden’s Republican-owning 2024 State of the Union address and the briny language he uses to describe Mr. Trump in private delighted the Democrats — and won rare kudos from Republican strategists. But these are just flashes of dominance — and flashes aren’t nearly enough.

A dominance advantage is no guarantee of victory, as Mr. Trump’s 2020 loss to Mr. Biden showed. What’s more, Mr. Trump may sometimes pay a price for his extreme dominance style, whether it’s by turning off some voters or incurring the wrath of impatient judges in his seemingly endless court cases.

Still, Mr. Trump’s high-dominance style remains the most formidable tool in his arsenal. Taking on Mr. Trump’s party in its area of greatest strength would leave it beatable in national elections.

Mr. Biden could even counter the perception that his age has rendered him feeble by taking a page from his higher-dominance predecessors, the mighty leaders who mobilized dominance to promote freedom, equality and progress.

M. Steven Fish, a political scientist at Berkeley, is the author of “Comeback: Routing Trumpism, Reclaiming the Nation, and Restoring Democracy’s Edge.”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

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Opinion The special counsel made a dangerous argument about Trump immunity

The Supreme Court pitch would make the presidency answerable to the Justice Department. Need criminal immunity? Just ask your attorney general in advance.

James Burnham, an attorney, is a former Justice Department and White House official and clerk to Justice Neil M. Gorsuch.

One aspect of special counsel Jack Smith’s arguments to the Supreme Court last week in Trump v. United States has not gotten enough attention: his claim that the Justice Department has independent power to confer immunity on the president. Adopting this argument would be a disaster for the presidency.

Smith was represented at the Supreme Court by Michael R. Dreeben , who served as a deputy solicitor general in the Justice Department for 24 years. In that role, Dreeben had primary responsibility for overseeing the department’s criminal docket before the Supreme Court. Dreeben thus spent nearly a quarter-century as the top advocate at the Supreme Court for federal prosecutorial interests.

Perhaps influenced by that experience, Dreeben last week advanced a view of the presidency that in effect makes the president answerable to the Justice Department. He claimed that although presidents lack absolute immunity from criminal prosecution, they can obtain it by checking with the attorney general before doing anything that could be illegal.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. asked Dreeben, “If the president gets advice from the attorney general that something is lawful, is that an absolute defense?” Dreeben said yes, under the principle of “entrapment by estoppel.” In Dreeben’s words, if “an authorized government representative” (the attorney general) “tells you” (the president) “that what you are about to do is lawful, it would be a root violation of due process to prosecute you for that.”

In other words, should the president do as the attorney general directs, the president gets to retire in peace. But if the president defies the attorney general, the president then risks future Jack Smiths stalking him or her through the years.

That’s an extraordinary claim. The Constitution did not create the Justice Department. It vested in the president the power to ensure that laws are “faithfully executed,” which includes all law enforcement functions. Congress created the Justice Department after the Civil War to help enforce the postwar civil rights laws in the South.

Then and now, the Justice Department has been fully accountable to the president. It wields power delegated from him as chief executive. That’s why the president always has the authority to overrule his attorney general.

Excellent lawyers work in the White House as well as the Justice Department, and the president is entitled to favor the advice of his White House counsel if he chooses. Presidents have done so throughout history, such as when President Barack Obama sided with his White House counsel over the Justice Department concerning his authority to engage in hostilities in Libya. In Dreeben’s view, did Obama’s rejection of the department’s legal view that he lacked authority to continue U.S. military participation in Libya without congressional authorization make him more vulnerable to future prosecution for those actions?

Of course not. The “estoppel” rule Dreeben invoked arises when the Justice Department gives legal advice to a private party or a government official working outside the department. When Justice lawyers advise corporations or officials elsewhere in the government that a course of conduct is legal, future lawyers in the department cannot prosecute those who relied on that advice.

In those circumstances, the department provides the executive branch’s official position on legal questions and thereby constrains the executive branch’s future range of action. But it does so as the president’s designee . The attorney general serves as an “authorized government representative” because the president selected him for that role. The president can always rescind that authorization, invest it in someone else or claim it for himself.

Because the attorney general wields delegated presidential power, it makes no sense for the attorney general to have independent authority to immunize the president. If that were so, then the president could simply immunize himself by judging his own actions lawful.

And consider how Dreeben’s rule would operate in practice. If the Justice Department could confer immunity by blessing a proposed act, it could equally withhold immunity. This would give future attorneys general a partial veto over the presidents they serve.

Future Justice Departments would inevitably exploit this immunity-conferral power to advance the department’s priorities at the expense of the president’s and to further untether the department’s substantial powers from presidential supervision. Alternatively, as Alito suggested in his response to Dreeben, presidents might react by choosing compliant stooges to head the Justice Department and thereby replicate the same absolute immunity that Dreeben decries today.

In any normal case, a proposal that could reshape the presidency like this would require careful review throughout the executive branch — including by the Office of Legal Counsel , the attorney general, the White House counsel and probably the president — before being presented to the Supreme Court.

But special counsels, jealous of their independence, are freed from the normal rules that govern executive branch lawyers. The only official outside the special counsel’s office that Dreeben said he consulted is the solicitor general — a litigator with no official policymaking role.

Dreeben’s argument that attorneys general can immunize presidents appears to have been designed to persuade the justices to rule against immunity here by showing how future presidents could easily obtain its equivalent by consulting the Justice Department. It was an argument designed to win this case, not to safeguard the constitutional order.

Count this constitutional misfire as another strike against special counsels, who are too quick to elevate their own narrow prosecutorial interests above those of the executive branch they serve.

About guest opinion submissions

The Washington Post accepts opinion articles on any topic. We welcome submissions on local, national and international issues. We publish work that varies in length and format, including multimedia. Submit a guest opinion or read our guide to writing an opinion article .

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File photo of Uddhav Thackeray addressing Dussehra rally in Dadar, Mumbai | ANI

W hen Uddhav Thackeray took the dais and began his speech, the ground was enveloped in a hushed silence. The  janta  straightened in their chairs and listened to him with rapt attention and earnest seriousness. The crowd roared when he talked about the ‘ Maharashtrachi asmita’ , or the pride of Maharashtra; they hooted, whistled, and clapped when he thundered against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There was fire in his belly, animation in his speech, and eloquence in his Marathi as he pointed out the wrong from the ‘politically right’.

On 30 April, I saw a Uddhav at the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) rally in Pune on the eve of Maharashtra Day, who did not seem like the Shiv Sena (UBT) leader I had read about in newspapers or seen on television. From afar, you and I saw a lacklustre politician — a subdued, gentle soul who was expected to take charge with the same tenacity and political rigidness as his father, Bal Thackeray, the supremo of Maharashtra politics.

In 2012, when Uddhav Thackeray took over the Shiv Sena after the death of his father, he did not seem equipped to handle the political manoeuvring required for greatness. He appeared a misfit to navigate and rise to the challenges and ugliness of the new age politics. An affable personality, with the demeanour of a shy schoolboy, his charm was seen as politically incorrect. Uddhav was assumed to carry the ‘bow and arrow’ along the path set by Bal Thackeray. But he was ruled out, cut into pieces, and caged in the same bracket as Rahul Gandhi: a reluctant politician, an oddball to the tenacious legacy.

The debacle of Maharashtra 2022 gave rise to a new Uddhav Thackeray—he has now dropped the ‘charm’ and gone full-throttle offensive.

Roaring pride

During the MVA rally in Pune, I saw Uddhav become the spirited and precocious neta (politician). Sharing the stage with the maharishi of Indian politics, Sharad Pawar, Uddhav’s aura was as invincible as Pawar’s. Neither the heat of the sun nor that of politics had affected him. He didn’t seem tired. With the same affable demeanour intact, Uddhav exuded confidence, being jhakaas  (awesome) with his political rhetoric and  bindaas (carefree) despite the soaring political heat.

Uddhav was the last speaker of the evening, and the crowd stayed until the very end to listen to him. Young boys and girls, office-going men, and mothers sat through dinnertime, all just to listen to him. Eloquently thundering in Marathi, Uddhav said all the right things. He took a dig at Modi over his  ‘ bhatakti aatma ’  (wandering soul) remark against Sharad Pawar—he called the Prime Minister a dissatisfied soul. He used all the right elements, the right words to jeer at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Modi to entertain the crowd and compel them to think.

The last time I saw such emotion among the  janta , an organic, genuine desire to listen to a neta, was in 2014 when Modi forayed into national politics. Contrary to the opinions of the political intelligentsia and the drawing-room journalists, the support I observed for Uddhav on the ground, in his rallies, wasn’t ‘sympathy support’ for mashaal (the flaming torch election symbol of Shiv Sena-UBT). Rather, it is Uddhav’s political rhetoric, his daring attitude, and his politically rapturous personality that has made inroads into the minds and consciences of the Maharashtrians, just like Modi did in 2014.

It has been positively proven that personality matters in politics.

Many Shiv Sena critics and political naysayers had predicted the end of the party after Bal Thackeray’s death. But Uddhav Thackeray managed to hold the party together and led its transformation into a mature political outfit from its earlier avatar as a party of street fighters. Similar predictions floated after 2022 when Eknath Shinde got control of the name and symbol of Shiv Sena and also became the chief minister. But Uddhav has proved everybody wrong. After weathering the political storm that engulfed him, he has become an authoritative, powerful leader. And in the ongoing elections, he is riding the political wind with astute brilliance.

Uddhav has not changed his personality to resemble the angry young man, nor has his tone or  basha  (language) become cruel. But you can sense the hurt, the  dhoka  (betrayal), which has made him a spirited politician, crowd puller, and a firebrand on whose wind the MVA is gaining crescendo. And the 63-year-old Uddhav too seems to be enjoying himself, for he looks more relaxed, freer. He is brimming with confidence, which is neither haughty nor arrogant.

In this election, Uddhav Thackeray has shown his political mettle, the transcendent quality, that he too is a political warrior. He has figured out the art of political combat, showing zeal for the causes he believes in, and stepping out of the shadows which once obscured his political astuteness. He is painting his own legacy, holding the  mashaal , leading the  morcha  (movement), and reconnecting with the people, and not relying on sympathy.

Also read: `Country will rise’ if Constitution is changed: Uddhav Thackeray

Cashing on local politics

Maharashtra has always been a progressive state that prides itself on its culture. Bordering Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, and serving as a gateway to the South, the state has become a crossroads of cultures and tongues, crushed between the sea and mountains and soaked in harsh sunlight and heat. Here, the Maratha culture and pride intertwine intricately with haute cuisine, modern art, and fashion. With the rise of an ambitious new generation from outside Maharashtra alongside its own, the region has become a hotbed for new politics to rise.

In 2019, the BJP managed to overpower the Shiv Sena by  winning 23 seats , while the latter won 18. In the ongoing 2024 Lok Sabha election, however, all dynamics have changed. Maharashtra has become a challenging state for Modi’s BJP. After broken parties and families and the takeover of old cadres by new leaders, a vacuum for a seductive campaign rooted in local politics emerged. It’s a void that Uddhav is brilliantly cashing on.

He has become a reminder – the  mashaal of the powerful social dynamics at work – of the stirring of anxiety, hate, and conspiracy, the deep-seated strain of reactionary nationalism, which threaten to outpace the ‘Maharashtrachi asmita’. Uddhav is telling the people that he understands them and their woes. He is reminding them that an outsider with a “fake” educational certificate  is calling their Shiv Sena “ nakli ” (fake).

In North India, there has been the rise of an ‘angry Hanuman’ and aggressive Hindutva, where Modi’s politics is propelling the politics of opposition to adopt hardcore Hindutva; in Maharashtra, though, Uddhav is going beyond the ideological labels of his father. He wants his Shiv Sena to not only be a staunch Hindu party, but also an inclusive one.

Regardless of the outcome on 4 June, the 2024 polls will be remembered as the election of Uddhav Thackeray. The drama of 2022 has galvanised him and he is writing a new story for himself and Maharashtra. Uddhav has found his political voice and prowess, and is creating his own cult and distinct legacy while maintaining his affable qualities.

Shruti Vyas is a journalist based in New Delhi. She writes on politics, international relations and current affairs. Views are personal.

(Edited by Ratan Priya)

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