The Personal Opinion Essay

The Personal Opinion Essay
When people are asked a question concerning what they like or dislike, or when they are asked to state what they think about a given topic, the answer will be their opinion. An opinion is their view or impression, their thoughts, feelings or conclusions on a particular topic. An opinion does not deal with the idea of right and wrong, correct or incorrect; rather, it deals with people's reasons for thinking that way and how they came to their conclusions. Hence, the name: personal opinion essay.
As the writer, you are looking for agreement from the reader, and the reader is looking for something with which to agree. This is not a research paper based on scientific evidence and statistical facts. It is a relationship built between the author and reader, based on personal understanding.

Desired Outcome

The desired outcome is that you develop your ability to write clearly and make your opinions understood. You are also expected to reach a certain standard of quality in your writing. Your goal is to express yourself effectively and within the accepted parameters of the English language. This personal opinion essay is the first type of essay you need to master in writing; after all, the word essay embodies the concept behind personal expression.

This type of essay allows you to develop your writing skills without stress. Furthermore, it introduces you to the disciplines of organized writing. It provides you with an excellent model from which you can put your thoughts down in an organized way.

Structure

The model used here is the standard five paragraph essay used on provincial exams in Canada and on high school diploma exams in America. Moreover, most TOEFL (Test of English Foreign Language) and LPI (Language Proficiency Index) students will use this same model.

The Opinion Essay Structural Guideline provides the fundamental structure of the opinion essay. At a glance, you can see all the components. If you include all the components, you will likely succeed in persuading your reader to agree with your point of view.

Naturally, the placement of the thesis in your introductory paragraph will vary according to the topic and purpose of your essay; however, the direct approach is very effective.

Opinion Essay Structural Guideline

I. Introductory Paragraph

Elements:

1. Thesis Statement
2. Reason 1
3. Reason 2
4. Reason 3
5. Concluding Sentence

II. Body Paragraph

Elements:

A. Topic Sentence (based on Reason 1)

6. Supporting Example 1
7. Supporting Example 2
8. Supporting Example 3
9. Concluding Sentence

B. Topic Sentence (based on Reason 2)

10. Supporting Example 1
11. Supporting Example 2
12. Supporting Example 3
13. Concluding Sentence

C. Topic Sentence (based on Reason 3)

14. Supporting Example 1
15. Supporting Example 2
16. Supporting Example 3
17. Concluding Sentence

III. Concluding Paragraph

18. Summary of main points (three topic sentences - A, B, and C)
19. Comment or suggestion about your thesis statement
20. Concluding Sentence

Summary

You can refer to the structural guideline when you are writing your essay. Insert the information about your topic into the guideline template and watch how your essay develops. Everything will connect together like magic and provide the reader with the ingredients necessary to form an honest evaluation of your opinion. You will achieve your goal, and reach your desired outcome and your readers.

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