Writing an opinion essay involves taking an arguable stance on an issue, known as a thesis, and supporting it with research to make your position as convincing as possible. For this reason, this genre of writing is also known as an argumentative essay, since it stands for one side of an imagined argument about a controversial topic.

Opinion Essay Highlights

  • Choose one side of an issue - an issue has at least two sides, and your thesis should clearly reflect one of these sides. Even though the essay should focus on supporting the thesis, you can also mention opposing views and use the opportunity to provide a counterargument for them in order to make your position stronger.

  • Provide clear support for the thesis - present your research clearly with well-formed paragraphs to make your essay as persuasive as possible.

  • Imagine your reader - when writing an argumentative essay, it's important to imagine who will be reading it: will they agree or disagree with the thesis? When including opposing views, be make sure to present the strongest possible forms of these arguments, so opponents will not dismiss your argument.

Essay Structure

In the same way that a well-formed paragraph starts with an introduction, finishes with a conclusion, and contains supporting sentences in the middle, essays follow a three-part structure of intro, body and conclusion.


A good introduction paragraph includes:

  • Hook - start your intro paragraph with a remarkable statement that simultaneously introduces the issue and grabs the reader's attention.

  • Background/definition of terms - it is also important to provide the reader with some general information about the issue, by discussing its significance to society, defining key words and highlighting the two or more views.

  • Thesis statement - a declarative sentence that clearly explains your position on the issue, and may also refer to some or all of the supporting ideas.


Effective body paragraphs should present:

  • Argument - two or three well-formed paragraphs: each paragraph should be a little argument of its own, with supporting ideas that present your research on the topic and support each topic sentence, and each topic sentence supporting your thesis.

  • A discussion of opposing views - at least one paragraph should be devoted to a discussion of your opponent's views, and your own counter-arguments to them.


Even though this may seem repetitive, an effective conclusion includes:

  • a Restatement of the thesis, and a summary of the supporting ideas

  • a Concluding Remark which underlines the importance of the issue and your perspective on it. This often includes predictions, recommendations to authorities or policy-makers and even warnings.

Opinion Essay or Persuasive Essay

This video is on how to write a successful persuasive, opinion-based academic essay in English. Students will learn how to structure and organize an opinion essay and will be given tips to make their essays successful.


Please open the exercise to continue.