Opinion Essay Example, Guidelines and Outline: Get A+ in 2018 – 2019

Opinion essay example featured

Whether we voice them or not, we all have opinions about just about anything. How about expressing your opinion in formal writing? Usually, I provide my students at Homework Lab with opinion essay examples as such papers dramatically contrast with all the other academic writing tasksAfter college and high-school tutors train students to avoid first-person speech, use excessive citation and stick to academic language style, opinion essays entirely disrupt their writing habits.

At the end of this article, you will find my model examples with references — it was successfully used to teach yet 26 students to deal with opinion essays 👇. Before that, I will explain all the rules and tricks that make opinion essays special and provide some excellent topics that rock. Are you ready to book your A+ for your paper?

   Opinion Essay Example Guide

An opinion essay is a piece of formal writing that reflects the opinion of the author. Exactly, no surprise here.

Since this type of an essay actually requires you to voice and defend your own point of view, you can and should use the first person:

  • I think
  • I believe
  • In my opinion
  • In my point of view
  • My thought is
  • By my reckoning
  • I reckon
  • From my perspective
  • From my standpoint

Takeaway: in an opinion essay, express your own opinion and use the first person

However, the devil is in details — your sole beliefs are not enough to write an essay. I will show that matters in this type of paper next. References, structure, and thesis are as crucial as in other essay types. Nevertheless, they are implemented differently.

      How To: Opinion Essay

Right off the bat, let’s clear several things out about writing an opinion essay:

  • To write an opinion essay, you need to have an opinion on the chosen topic. If you don’t have your own standpoint on this issue, research it and determine what you think about it. This is, of course, easier to do when you’re interested in the topic you’re writing about. Further in the article, check my top 10 topics, on which you must already have an opinion and don’t need to research! 👇
  • You need evidence to support your beliefs. Any student who has ever written an opinion essay will tell you that the major pitfall of this process is the lack of evidence – facts and details that somehow back your opinion up. Whoever will be reading your opinion essay, will be asking, “Why do you think so?”, so your task is to provide killer evidence
  • It’s okay to have an unpopular opinion. If you can find enough evidence to support it, you’re golden.
  • Whenever you introduce a fact that supports or contradicts your opinion, make sure to explain why exactly your evidence is relevant. It should go something like this: “Numerous studies have proven that smoking has various negative health effects. This is why I think smoking is bad for health.”
  • For an opinion essay, use basic essay structure. Introduction, body paragraphs, and the conclusion are all you need. More details on opinion essay structure below! ⬇️

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      Opinion Essay Sample Structure

Defining opinion essay example structure is very important for writing success

It might seem like an opinion essay is difficult to nail because it is slightly different from your typical academic paper. Fear not! You can use the basic essay structure for an opinion essay.

What to include in each paragraph? Nothing fancy, just this:

1. Introduction – the first paragraph of an essay that should include:

2. Hook – the first sentence or two of an opinion essay introduction that will grab readers’ attention. We have a Foolproof guideline to creating a great hook — worth checking even for experienced writers. 👍

a) Some background on the issue – tell your readers what the essay is about, a brief overview of the topic
b) Thesis statement – basically your opinion on an issue. This is the main idea of your opinion essay that you’ll align all facts and findings to in the paper
c) Transitional hook – a sentence that concludes the introduction and hints on the content of the body paragraphs.

3. Body – the best part of an opinion essay that contains all the findings and arguments. Your readers ask you, “Why is this your opinion on the issue?” and here is where you explain why. Don’t forget to include:

a) Topic sentence – the first sentence of each body paragraph that contains the main idea of a paragraph, it’s a must
b) Conclusion and/or transition – summary of the paragraph and (if it’s appropriate) some hint on the content of the following section.

4. Conclusion – the cherry on top of your opinion essay where you include:

a) Summary of the key findings – no need to repeat them word-for-word, just briefly review them
b) Thesis restatement – reformulate your main idea of paying attention to your findings

Remember: don’t introduce any new facts or revelations in your conclusion – that’s what body paragraphs are for! Now you know what to include in each part of the opinion essay! Let’s take a look at a sample outline of an opinion essay below!

Do want to make some strong statement in your essay, but your tutor warned to avoid weak allegations? With our Four Types of Claims Guide, every statement in your essay will be as hard as a rock.

      Opinion Essay Outline Example

An outline is an excellent tool for any student. Think about it a list of ingredients you make to cook an awesome dinner. To give you an idea of how an opinion essay can be structured, let’s take a look at an opinion essay outline sample.

Marriages are outdated and unnecessary to create a happy family

1. Introduction:

a. Groucho Marx: “Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?”
b. Thesis statement: In my opinion, successful marriage results from love, friendship, and companionship, not a legal marriage. We need to redefine marriage

2. Body:

a. History of marriage and how it came to be so important in our society. Marriage and religion
b. Health benefits from marriage – do they really exist?
c. Marriage is what society expects couples to do; it has more symbolic value than real life value
d. Divorce rates are very high – marriage doesn’t guarantee the ‘happily ever after’

3. Conclusion:

a. Summary of the main points
b. I think we need to redefine marriage as a society

As you can see, opinion essay outline provides you with a perfect idea of what the paper is about.

   Opinion Essay Topics You Are Able to Start With Immediately

Opinion essay topics may be troubling, but we have some examples

Below, you can find 10 brilliant opinion essay topics that aren’t conventional but will resonate with your readers because they are 100% controversial:

  1. Should beauty contests be banned?
  2. Is body positivity movement just a cover for fat acceptance and celebrating obesity? Is there such a thing as ‘health at every size’?
  3. Illegal immigration: should countries allow refugees in or stop illegal immigration at any cost?
  4. Ideal female body image: should it exist or not?
  5. Tattoos: do they influence people’s perceptions and attitude?
  6. War on terror: was it necessary to begin with? Did the end justify the means?
  7. American militarism: how much does it shape the U.S. foreign policy?
  8. Is it worth becoming a student-athlete?
  9. Do we need stricter laws to combat cyberbullying?
  10. Biotechnology and GMO: where do we draw the line? How do we define what’s ethical and unethical?

How to pick the best topic for an opinion essay? On the one hand, make sure that:

  • The topic is controversial — if a topic can stir a debate, it’ll be interesting to write and read about
  • There’s enough info about it — you’ll need to get evidence from somewhere
  • People care about the topic — it means it’s interesting

On the other hand, skip topics that:

  • Are settled — the majority of people has made up their minds about it, and nobody’s interested in it anymore
  • Lack of information — even with the best arguments in your mind, you still need some sources to support your opinion and provide substantial academic research
  • You are passionate about – if you have a firm opinion about the topic, you might be unwilling to consider various arguments about it, which can harm the quality of your research

Choosing a great topic is the first step to success while writing an opinion essay. If your topic is interesting, controversial, AND unconventional – consider half of the job is done! Below, you will find my essay example with comments — use it as a reference to guide your writing 👇.

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   Opinion Essay Example: See My Guide in Practice

Now it’s time to see a great opinion essay that was made with an outline!

Marriage is outdated and needs to be redefined

Example of opinion essay on marriage

“Will you marry me?” Isn’t it the question that so many people expect to ask or answer while starting new relationships? Groucho Marx once said, “Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?” We seem to focus much more on the symbolic value of marriage than real life value and potential to improve people’s happiness and well-being. In my opinion, marriage has become antiquated the way it is and the way we know it. Surely, it doesn’t mean that marriage as an institution doesn’t work anymore for anyone. Rather, it’s time for us to come to terms with the fact that our society has changed a lot and marriage did, as well.

Note: the introduction starts with a question – it is to grab readers’ attention and intrigue them. Thesis statement starts with “In my opinion” and reflects the main idea

The history of the concept of marriage in human society has been transforming alongside social and cultural environment over hundreds of years. In fact, the history of marriage is closely connected to the history of the family (Everitt, 2012). However, while the family can exist without marriage or matrimony, marriage is an institution rather than a step in family development. Over the years, the concept of marriage has become synonymous with the concept of family and associated with the same values, such as partnership, support, and security. That being said, the family remains a building block of the society and inseparable part of human life, while marriage, from my perspective, can hardly be considered a “one size fits all” solution anymore.

Note: in body paragraphs, evidence from credible sources is used and discussed to back the main idea up

Today, the role of marriage is changing rapidly because society is redefining values and transforming views about various aspects of life. Being married used to mean being more successful, financially stable, and reliable. In my opinion, a lot of stereotypes about marriage derive from religion and church promoting marriage as “divine matrimony.” All six major religions promote and support marriage, while religious people are more likely to get married than nonreligious (Gordon, 2018). From my point of view, this finding suggests that people seek not to fulfil their own needs and achieve happiness but to conform to society’s expectations. In addition, if people get divorced, they are still scorned upon (Wygant, 2017). Thus, the institution of marriage can ultimately result in pressure that pushes people to compromise their own happiness in order to avoid being judged for their life choices.

Finally, it is important to note that people pursue marriage chasing the elusive values that are found to be not true, such as happiness, health benefits, and the “happily ever after.” Indeed, happy marriage can provide a lot of benefits, such as social and emotional support, financial resource boost, and social control, but so does happy cohabitation (Perelli-Harris et al., 2018). Marriage also isn’t found to be associated with better health and healthier BMI (Mata, Richter, Schneider, & Hertwig, 2018). In my opinion, the most crucial aspect to note is that half of all marriages end up in divorce and even more marriages turn out to be unhappy over the years (Kennedy & Ruggles, 2014). This finding means that people aren’t content with their choice of partner and suffer from it. In addition, divorce causes severe stress, which detracts from people’s ability to live a fulfilling life. On the contrary, making a decision to stay in a bad marriage means living in torture and compromising one’s own well-being to avoid social stigma around divorce and being single. Therefore, the concept of marriage can no longer qualify as a valid solution for everyone. Our society has changed drastically and it’s time to promote and support freedom in intimate relationships because there is more than one way to build a happy family.

Note: no new facts are introduced in the conclusion – it is a summary of previous findings and discussion and restatement of the main idea

In conclusion, I would like to note that marriage doesn’t mean what it used to mean even two decades ago. While we know that no relationship can be perfect, we also need to realize that marriage isn’t the ultimate recipe for happiness. In my opinion, our society needs to redefine marriage and encourage everyone to decide who they are and what kind of relationship works for them.

(Press to Open): References

   More Opinion Essay Samples to Your Inspiration

Also, there are more exciting examples of opinion essays for you. I asked Geeks to re-check them before linking here — you may be sure that they reflect the best practice.

  • Abortion opinion essay example shows a unique view on the extraordinarily topical and controversial issue of abortions from a medical specialist’s perspective. This opinion essay example stands out because includes a variety of arguments about the issue of abortions, both pros and cons. This is a great approach to opinion essay writing if you want to impress your tutor.
  • Study of Female Nude Bending on Hands and Knees essay example provides a detailed review of the amazing drawing by Adolph Hirémy-Hirschl. When it comes to art, most often you’ll come across reviews that use dry technical language that describes artist’s technique. In this opinion essay example, you’ll see how a piece of art can be the focus of an opinion essay and learn how to use elements of an opinion essay.
  • Social Equality opinion essay example is a great example of how the topic of social equality can be discussed in an opinion essay using film as an example. This opinion essay sample investigates racism in the perspective of the movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and will help you master voicing your opinion. Using this example, you’ll be able to learn how to express and defend your opinion, which will earn you the highest grade from your tutor.

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