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Ultimate guide to writing an opinion essay: 50 inspiring examples and topics, carla johnson.

  • 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.

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 theissue.

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 Inspiring 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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good example of opinion essay

Opinion Writing: a Guide to Writing a Successful Essay Easily

good example of opinion essay

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.

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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

Introduction

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.

Introduction:

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.

Conclusion:

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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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.

Introduction

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!

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write an Opinion Essay + Examples

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write an Opinion Essay + Examples

A personal opinion essay is an essential part of an educational process. Wherever you study, you will surely come across this kind of work. And if you’re stuck with finding ideas, you have come to the right place. In this article, you will learn all the intricacies of writing and get some good opinion essay topics.

Let’s start!

🤔 What Is an Opinion Essay?

🖊️ how to write an opinion essay.

  • 🔗 Linkers and Transition Words

💡 Opinion Essay Ideas

👨‍🎓 opinion essay examples.

An opinion essay is a type of work that involves the expression of one’s own opinion, which has become the product of processing facts and arguments. However, this does not mean there should be no argumentation in the essay. It will be a big plus if you have a couple of examples from your own life or the lives of historical figures, illustrating some facts in your stock. Writing an opinion essay requires the author to clearly state his thoughts on any occasion, without excessive water and long reasoning.

Among other things, it should be remembered that, technically, an opinion essay is a formal type of work that many graduates write at the end of their studies. And this means it has its structure and specific writing rules that must be adhered to. To fully understand the meaning of this type of work, try reading a couple of our free essay samples .

🎯 The Purpose of an Opinion Essay

An opinion essay is an excellent tool for teaching students how to express their position correctly. And also to test the depth of their knowledge and thinking. An opinion essay can help you to boost your skills:

  • Ability to convey your thoughts . Regardless of the topic of the essay, the teacher wants to see that his wards, leaving the educational institution, will be independent individuals. Therefore, the student needs to show the ability to convey their thoughts on any occasion.
  • Competent writing skills . Even in the modern world, writing skills do not lose their relevance. This type of work allows you to form it as efficiently as possible. So if you want to impress your boss, remember to pay attention to grammar and punctuation.
  • Topic knowledge . Unfortunately, there is no error-free way to test a student’s ability. However, opinion essays allow the teacher to examine everyone and ensure that the topic has been mastered. This is especially true for subjects such as history and literature.

And, of course, you should understand that the purpose of any text is to be read. So just be creative, and you will have a fantastic essay!

Features of opinion essay.

🗝️ Key Features of an Opinion Essay

Like any other type of writing, an opinion essay has characteristics that make it unique. And, of course, to compose a competent text, you need to know about them.

  • Focus on the author’s clear and well-reasoned subjective opinion . All proofs, as well as the conclusion, are based on it.
  • Logical-based structure . Moreover, it entirely depends on the intentions of the writer.
  • Examples and arguments come primarily from personal experience . However, an author may use history and social life quotes and examples of literary heroes to prove their position.
  • Speech instruments used . As an author, you will benefit significantly from using a variety of speech constructs . They can help you influence other people. Connecting constructs and clear speech will keep the reader interested and get the most out of the reader.

You just need to get used to all the features to get a little practice. You will succeed!

⚖️ Argumentative, Opinion or Persuasive Essay: the Difference

Before proceeding directly to writing the text, it is worth learning one more important thing. Even towards the end of high school, many people confuse opinion and persuasive essays. These papers look similar.

To help you distinguish the argumentative, opinion, and persuasive essays, we prepare a table of comparisons where you can easily indicate the difference between these papers:

Now let’s move on to which sections the essay consists of and how it should be written. You can safely use this information as a synopsis when completing the assignment.

So, the first one!

📃 Opinion Essay Format

As mentioned earlier, a specific opinion essay structure must be followed. Therefore, before you prepare writing, make up a small outline, which will contain all the components of the text and your ideas for their content. So, how to start an opinion essay?

Opinion essay introduction.

Opinion Essay Introduction

Of course, any text starts with a short opening. This section should summarize the essence of the problem you are writing about. The main task of the introduction is to entice the audience and familiarize them with the paper’s main topic. Therefore, by the first paragraph, a person will build an impression of your talents.

Moreover, remember that the introduction should be catchy. How to write a hook for an opinion essay? In simple words, this is a proposal that should interest the reader and draw his attention. It should be subject-related and relatively accurate. All you have to do is show the reader that the topic of the essay will be critical and even touch it.

Let’s take a look at some opinion essay introduction examples from our authors, in which you can see all the listed components:

  • As Ronald Reagan said in one of his speeches, everyone who advocates abortion has been born. The topic of abortion is very controversial, and people still cannot come to a standard solution. That is why, in this abortion opinion essay, I will try to sort out my thoughts and answer whether abortion is a panacea or a hidden evil.
  • Global warming is a global problem. As Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez aptly put it, we cannot sit back while our planet is on fire. But can one person influence the fate of all humanity? I think so, and in this essay, I will try to explain my position

Of course, these examples are conditional, and you can change them as you need to achieve a quality result.

Opinion Essay: Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the final sentence of an introduction . It is an integral part of the entire text. And if your essay will be evaluated, then the absence of the thesis will significantly underestimate the point. So how do you write the last sentence competently so that the reader will like it?

At its core, in the thesis, you should summarize everything that you indicated in the introduction and, in a nutshell, make it clear what will be discussed. You are expected to state your position on the issue clearly. And then, the entire text should be directed precisely to reinforce your words.

For example, take this essay topic: “ Is globalization a positive phenomenon? ” In this case, a good thesis would be “ In my opinion, globalization has many more advantages than disadvantages. ”

See how one small phrase can dramatically improve your overall performance score. Therefore, pay due attention to it!

Opinion essay body paragraphs.

Opinion Essay: Body Paragraphs

Finally, you come to the main body of your essay, namely the argumentation. The body paragraphs of an opinion essay are aimed at correctly explaining the author’s position to the audience. Here you are expected to have good arguments and examples that will become your assistants in proving your case.

Body paragraphs have two parts: an argument and an example supporting what you said. For example, you might say that the lack of responsibility for actions leads to the corruption of the mind and soul. And as an explanation to these words, briefly support your statement with the story of the protagonist of the novel by Jack London, “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”

Moreover, no one limits the number of these same arguments, and often it depends on the maximum volume of the text itself. The standard case is two good arguments, supported by examples from life or literature. Then you can be sure that the reader will correctly understand your idea.

Opinion essay conclusion.

🔗 Linkers and Transitional Words for Opinion Essay

Connecting structures are an invisible companion for the reader throughout the entire essay. They are also called linkers or transitional words . At their core, these two concepts mean the exact phrases. Their task is to make the text more readable and smoothly translate the reader from one idea to another. Moreover, all these constructions are divided into subgroups depending on their purpose. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of good transition words for an opinion essay:

  • In my opinion…
  • It is clear that…, etc.
  • It is widely known that…
  • It is a well-known fact that…
  • Research has shown that…
  • There are definitely…
  • It is a fact that…, etc.

There are also brilliant linkers for opinion essays on these themes:

  • In spite of…
  • However, etc.
  • To conclude…
  • In conclusion…, etc.

Using these constructions, you will significantly increase the consistency of your text and help the reader to perceive it better.

How to write an opinion essay.

Now that you have a basic understanding of writing an essay, let’s look at some good opinion essay topics. Feel free to use them for your creative work and get good points.

💡 30 Opinion Essay Prompts

So, our team has selected 30 excellent opinion essay topics for you. Look for what resonates in your soul and get to work!

  • Opinion essay: success in life depends on being successful at school. Many of us were assured that it is impossible to reach heights without a good performance at school. What do you think about it?
  • Mobile phone addiction is the scourge of the 21st century. Give arguments from your life and tell about personal experiences.
  • Opinion essay about GMO : pros and cons. For many, this topic remains a secret. It’s time to dispel all inaccuracies and find out the whole truth.
  • Should university study be free? What is your position?
  • Opinion essay about technologies in our life . What impact do they have?
  • Compulsory vaccination : pros and cons. If you have any personal experience with this topic, feel free to share it.
  • Opinion on abortion essay: do people have the right to choose?
  • US neutrality in World War II : what would have gone differently?
  • Opinion essay about video games . Is it an addiction or just leisure ? What do you think?
  • Does the motivation from famous people have an effect, or is it a dummy? Do you have an opinion on this matter?
  • Essay opinion on junk food : how dangerous it is. Everyone was warned that junk food and junk food kill the body, but maybe it’s all about the quantity?
  • Parenting is the foundation of a child’s success. Do you think that the parents are responsible for the future education and work of their child?
  • Opinion essay: buy nothing day or Black Friday sales. What do you choose and why?
  • The advantages of living in a metropolis and a small town . Which would you choose?
  • Essay: opinion about global warming . Do you think this is a real threat, or is it just a panic among people?
  • Homemade food or dining out in restaurants? What do you and your family prefer?
  • Social media impact opinion essay. Billions of people spend their time on social media . What consequences can this have for humanity?
  • Consequences of increasing the budget for road construction. How will this affect our cities?
  • Opinion essay: television promotes violence through broadcasting abusive behavior. Do you agree with this thesis?
  • Humanity is destroying the ecosystem and making the earth uninhabitable. What arguments can be for and against?
  • Opinion essay about homework : is this system outdated? How do you feel about this from a student’s point of view?
  • Artists and internet bloggers make vast amounts of money. Do you support this?
  • Opinion essay about racism in modern life. What are the dangers of this behavior? Tell us about your personal experience or give an example from the community’s life.
  • Some people dream of changing their place of residence. Do you think that moving to another country will help you in self-realization?
  • The best profession to choose opinion essay. What are your thoughts? Where would you like to be after finishing your studies?
  • People prefer online communication over live communication. How do you feel about this trend?
  • Opinion essay about same-sex marriages. For some people, this is unacceptable. What do you think about it?
  • How can movies and television affect human behavior ? Do you think certain viewing films should be limited for people with a weak mentality?
  • Opinion essay about immigration . Should the state provide maximum assistance to everyone who wants to get into it?
  • Should people be allowed to carry weapons with them? What restrictions can be used, in your opinion?

These themes are ideal for getting good results.

Now let’s look at some small sample essays from our authors. You can see all the listed components and highlight some interesting ideas for yourself!

Climate change opinion essay, truth or fiction? (250 words)

Climate change has been heading the news for decades. Almost everyone is puzzled by this problem in the modern world, but is there any reason to believe that this is just exaggerated media panic? I think not, and in this essay, I will try to explain my position. The first thing worth paying attention to is the changes that we can see every day. But nature is changing, and this is noticeable with the naked eye. For example, you can look at how the temperature regime has changed over the past decades. In my region, real winter began in the last days of November. Then the temperature dropped to zero, and there was already snow outside the window. However, I would be thrilled to see snowfall this year, at least at Christmas. This raises questions about the veracity of statements from the media and various organizations. You should also look at the publicly available facts. International organizations conduct ongoing research, which clearly shows that the climate is changing, and it is difficult to fix it. One of the most respected teams, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), regularly issues climate change reports. And in them, you can see what reasons for this and what it can lead to. This is excellent and detailed work that deserves everyone’s attention. In summary, we can say that climate change can be seen with the naked eye. This problem affects all people on the planet, and to ignore it is to expose yourself to great danger. Humanity is destroying our world, and can we deny it?

Opinion on death penalty essay, is it moral? (300 words)

Many international treaties have long banned the death penalty, but this does not prevent several countries from regularly using it against criminals. I think this is a terrible practice that has no place in our civilized world. The argument for this may be the simple idea that every creature has a right to life. And this right cannot be taken away under any condition because you can take a dangerous path by creating an incident. One Russian scientist Andrei Sakharov spoke very accurately about this: “The existence of the institution of the death penalty dehumanizes society. I spoke out and am opposed to the death penalty also because this punishment provides for the presence of a constantly terrible apparatus of executors, the whole institution of the death penalty ”. I fully support his words because there is no reason not to kill the second after killing once. It should also be understood that people sentenced to death are not always, in fact, guilty. There is a miscarriage of justice, and no one can be insured against it. The most resonant was the story from 1949. Timothy Evans was hanged on charges of murdering his pregnant wife and two-year-old daughter. Four years later, it wasn’t until serial killer John Christie, who had testified in court against Evans, confessed to the murder. He was hanged, and Timothy Evans was posthumously rehabilitated. The Timothy Evans case is one of the most remarkable stories in the death penalty dispute. To summarize, I can say that there are many reasons for the absolute ban on the death penalty in the world. This is not only inhuman but can lead to unnecessary deaths. Fighting crime in this way, the people who defend the law themselves break it.

Opinion essay on smoking: should the state intervene? (300 words)

Smoking is a global problem. Experts predict that in the coming decades, the number of smokers will reach one billion people worldwide. In my opinion, governments should take strict measures to limit nicotine use among the population. Firstly, smoking poses enormous hardships for addicts. All this can increase the number of cancer patients and people suffering from heart and lung diseases. At the same time, it can be tough to give up cigarettes on your own. We all understand that nicotine in quantities that a person receives from cigarettes is not characteristic of the body. Therefore, our body can react in an extraordinary way to its appearance. An example may well be my family, suffering from heart problems for several generations. All men, from my great-grandfather to my father, visit doctors all the time. And they all have one reason – excessive smoking. At the same time, they cannot quit smoking on their own due to a banal addiction. Secondly, smokers can damage the health of other people nearby. It is a well-known fact that secondhand smoke is no less harmful than the regular use of nicotine. And unfortunately, non-smokers, in most cases, have no choice. You can see it yourself in everyday life. People who are forced to breathe smoke while sitting at bus stops or in public places simply cannot do anything about it. The only way to help them is to introduce more and more restrictions from the state. So, in conclusion, we can say that smoking is not only a problem for the person addicted to cigarettes. Everyone suffers from this, from his family to strangers around him. Unfortunately, these difficulties cannot be resolved on their own. But is the state and society doing enough to help people with addiction?

❓ What Are the Characteristics of an Opinion?

The opinion is an entirely subjective position formed due to the influence of certain factors on the mind. It can be characterized as a personal judgment, point of view, and not an exact fact. However, an opinion can be valid only if it is supported by actual knowledge. Otherwise, it can be called more of a guess.

❓ How Many Paragraphs is an Opinion Essay?

The standard structure consists of four main parts: an introduction, two body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Nevertheless, if it is not specified in the assignment, it can deviate slightly from such a system. It is pretty standard practice to write three or more body paragraphs. Conversely, if one section fully covers the topic, then the need for other explanations may disappear.

❓ What Is the Structure of an Opinion Essay?

An essay structure is a precise sequence of your thoughts, which will help the reader to understand the topic better. The standard system consists of an introduction, two arguments, and a conclusion. In addition, there are less visible components like a hook, thesis statement, and linkers words. You can expand the structure by adding more argument parts. However, the sequence must remain the same.

❓ What Is a Supported Opinion Essay?

An essay based on a person’s personal opinion implies a clear statement of the author’s thoughts on a specific topic. However, to show understanding of the problem, one should rely on facts, research, or examples from life. A supported opinion essay is precisely when the author’s opinion is based on objective factors.

📎 References

  • Basic Essay Structure. Port. Ac
  • An opinion essay. British Council
  • How to Write an Opinion Based Essay. UCT Language Centre
  • Recognizing Transitions. MPC.Edu
  • Writing Your Paper: Transitions. EWU.Edu
  • Transition Sentences. The College of Saint Rose
  • Writing Effective Conclusions. Richmond University
  • Conclusion – How to write an essay. University of Newcastle
  • Writing a thesis statement. IELTS Buddy
  • CCSS Argument versus Opinion Writing
  • Essay Structure. Harvard College Writing Centre
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Opinion Essay

Last updated on: Jun 9, 2023

How to Write an Opinion Essay - Structure, Topics & Examples

By: Cordon J.

Reviewed By: Rylee W.

Published on: Nov 2, 2021

Opinion essay

The opinion essay is a type of persuasive writing that reflects the writer's point of view. It shows what the writer thinks or how they feel about a specific subject.

Moreover, such an essay requires good writing skills as well as an understanding of its format. Continue reading to know more about how to write a good opinion essay in no time. Also, find below the examples and topics for better guidance.

Opinion essay

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What is an Opinion Essay?

An opinion essay is a formal piece of writing in which the writer expresses their viewpoints on a specific issue. It is done to persuade or convince readers.

To do this successfully, you need to present your opinions and reasoning with logical examples for both sides of the argument. The opposing viewpoint is also presented.

Similarly, an opinion essay is also known as agree or disagree essay. Writing an opinion essay is similar to writing a persuasive essay. It requires you to explain why your viewpoint is right, but it's more like the conclusion of a research paper. Here, the writer defends rather than trying to convince someone else about what they should think or do about the topic.

Consider the following points while writing a good opinion paper.

  • Always support your opinion by using a strong piece of evidence from credible sources.
  • Write all sentences in a proper sequence.
  • Avoid using copied content from the internet and state your own opinion.
  • Write formally and avoid using slang words.
  • Ensure that the essay is free from any grammatical and spelling mistakes.

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Opinion Essay Structure

Writing any type of essay requires proper format and structure. The same is the case with an opinion essay that follows a standard five-paragraph structure.

Let us have a look at the detailed opinion essay format structure given below.

Introduction

  • Grab the audience’s interest with a hook statement
  • Present your opinion
  • Introduce the main topic
  • State the thesis statement

Body Paragraph 1

  • Write a topic sentence with the first reason
  • Supporting evidence
  • Facts/ Examples

Body Paragraph 2

  • Write a topic sentence with the second reason

Body Paragraph 3

  • Write a topic sentence with the third reason
  • Summarize your opinion
  • Restate the thesis statement

How to Write an Opinion Essay?

Writing an opinion essay requires proper planning and preparation. Here are some important steps that you should follow to write a perfect essay in no time.

1. Prewriting Stage

Before you start writing your opinion essay, collect evidence to support your viewpoint. Make sure that the information collected is relevant in order for it to be considered a good argument.

After you start brainstorming, consider answering these questions to get more ideas.

  • What are the central arguments being conveyed in the essay?
  • What did the audiences want to know?
  • Is my opinion relevant to the main theme?
  • How can I improve my opinion?

Look at this list for ideas and organize their answers in a detailed opinion essay outline.

2. Begin Writing the Essay

There are three major sections included in an opinion essay. These comprise an introduction paragraph, main body, and a conclusion. The following is a detailed description of these sections.

  • Introduction -  It is the first section that discusses the subject and states your opinion about it. Always start this paragraph with an attention-grabbing hook statement and present the thesis statement at the end.
  • Body Paragraphs -  These paragraphs contain all the relevant information to support the main thesis. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence and use present tense while writing this essay. Never use phrasal verbs and idioms and add in-text citations properly. Lastly, make sure to use transitions for a logical flow of ideas. The opposing side who disagrees with the statement should also be represented in your writing.
  • Conclusion -  This section is as important as the introduction. It should not only be restating the thesis statement but also present the central arguments. However, you should avoid introducing any new ideas.

3. Proofreading and Editing

The final step to your essay is proofreading. Make sure that the grammar, vocabulary, and spellings are all correct before submitting the final draft. Check for plagiarism, as this will also help protect you from being accused of cheating.

Don't forget about the essay’s structure. Make sure there is a clear introduction followed by well-developed body paragraphs and a conclusion.

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Opinion Essay Examples

Examples are a great way to get a detailed idea of writing any type of essay. Below we have attached some samples for you to get a comprehensive understanding of the writing process.

OPINION ESSAY SAMPLE

OPINION ESSAY ABOUT COVID 19

OPINION ESSAY ABOUT FAST FOOD

Opinion Essay Topics

Here is a list of topics for an opinion essay that you can select for writing your own paper.

  • Is social media damaging to our personal relationships?
  • Does traveling benefit young people?
  • Are high school dress codes biased against female students?
  • Should primary schools still teach handwriting?
  • Should public transportation be free for city residents?
  • Should college and university be free?
  • Should doping be allowed in competitive sports?
  • Are professional sports players’ salaries too high?
  • Should physical education be mandatory in high school?
  • Should hormonal birth control be sold over the counter?

The comprehensive guide mentioned above will help you write a perfect opinion essay in no time. However, if you still need help with the writing process, contact a professional  essay writing service  like  5StarEssays.com .

Tired of the tedious research and writing that goes into every paper you write?

Our expert essay writers have what it takes to make your work stand out from everyone else's. With years of experience, they know how to get things done in no time at all!

Just tell them exactly what you need help with - whether that be a simple high school essay or an advanced dissertation, we'll take care of everything for you. Call us now and place your  order  to get an impressive opinion essay at affordable rates.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an opinion essay called.

An opinion essay is also known as an argumentative, persuasive, or position essay.

What is the purpose of an opinion essay?

An opinion essay aims to explain something from a subjective position of a writer. It is also used to convince someone of anything by proving the stance.

What are the features of opinion writing?

Some of the main features of opinion writing include:

  • Concrete details
  • Language and content-specific words
  • Relationships between and among ideas
  • Linking reasons and evidence to the opinion

How do you introduce an opinion in writing?

An opinion is mainly introduced by stating the topic and providing reasons that are supported by facts and details drawn from credible sources.

What is a supported opinion essay?

Supported opinion essays are a great way to show your opinion on the subject and back it up with sound evidence. The goal of this essay isn't just convincing readers that you're right but also letting them see how well-researched all aspects were for their own learning.

Can you use I in an opinion essay?

It's not true that there is such a rule as, never use (I) in an opinion essay . It depends on the circumstances, but these kinds of expressions should be used when you think it will help your writing and thematics to get across to the readers.

Cordon J.

College Admission Essay, Law

Cordon. is a published author and writing specialist. He has worked in the publishing industry for many years, providing writing services and digital content. His own writing career began with a focus on literature and linguistics, which he continues to pursue. Cordon is an engaging and professional individual, always looking to help others achieve their goals.

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Opinion Essay

Caleb S.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Write an Effective Opinion Essay

17 min read

Published on: Feb 28, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 31, 2024

opinion essay

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Are you looking to express your opinion in a clear and convincing way? Crafting an effective opinion essay is the key to making your thoughts heard.

With this simple guide, you can easily do just that.

Here, we'll take you step-by-step through the process of writing a compelling opinion essay. So you can be confident when putting your thoughts into words.

Let's get started!

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What Exactly is an Opinion Essay?

An opinion essay is a piece of writing that presents and defends an opinion or viewpoint on a particular topic. To make your argument convincing, you must back it up with facts, evidence, and logical reasoning.

What Makes an Opinion Essay Different from Other Types of Essays?

Opinion essays differ from other types of essays, such as argumentative or persuasive essays. It requires the writer to express their own opinion on a given topic.

Here's a table that compares the three types of essays:

How to Structure an Opinion Essay?

When crafting an opinion essay, it’s important to follow a specific essay structure. The basic opinion essay structure is as follows:

  • Introduction: An opinion essay introduction should introduce the topic and provide a clear statement of the author’s opinion. It should also include any background information necessary to understand the argument.
  • Body Paragraphs: Each body paragraph should present a point or argument in favor of the writer’s opinion. It would be followed by evidence or examples to support it. Counter-arguments against the opinion can also be presented and discussed in this section. Although, they should not detract from the main points being made.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion should summarize the main points and arguments made throughout the essay. Also, restate the author’s opinion in a clear, concise way. It may also point out any potential implications of accepting or rejecting their viewpoint.

Struggling to write an opinion essay? Check out this video for some helpful pointers!

Opinion Essay Outline

An opinion essay is a formal piece of writing that presents an argument or point of view on a particular topic. An outline will help organize your thoughts and provide structure for your essay.

Here is an example of what an outline for a great essay might look like:

Here is another example for opinion essay ielts - structure:

By following this basic outline, you can ensure that your opinion essay will be well-structured and organized.

What to Include in an Opinion Essay

To craft a compelling opinion essay, it is important to include the following elements:

Logical Reasoning: Use logical reasoning to connect your evidence to your opinion. Clearly explain how the evidence supports your viewpoint and address any potential counterarguments. Ensure that your reasoning is clear, coherent, and easy for the reader to follow.

Personal Reflection: Share your personal experiences or observations that have influenced your opinion. This adds depth and authenticity to your essay and helps the reader understand the perspective from which you're approaching the topic.

Counter Arguments: Anticipate and address counterarguments to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the issue. Present counterarguments objectively and refute them with well-reasoned responses. This shows that you have considered alternative viewpoints and strengthens your position.

Clear Structure: Organize your essay with a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Each paragraph should focus on a single point or supporting argument. Use topic sentences to introduce each paragraph and provide smooth transitions between ideas.

Use of Persuasive Techniques: Employ persuasive techniques such as rhetorical questions, analogies, or emotional appeals to engage and persuade your readers. However, be cautious not to rely solely on emotional appeals without logical reasoning.

Proper Citations: If you use external sources or references, ensure proper citations and adhere to the appropriate citation style (e.g., MLA, APA). This demonstrates integrity and strengthens the credibility of your essay.

What not To Include

While writing an opinion essay, it is important to be mindful of certain elements that should be avoided. Here are some things you should not include in an opinion essay:

Personal Bias: Avoid basing your arguments solely on personal beliefs or biases. Instead, support your opinion with objective evidence and logical reasoning.

Emotional Appeals without Reasoning: While it is acceptable to evoke emotions in your readers, do not rely solely on emotional appeals without providing solid reasoning and evidence. Emotions should supplement your arguments, not substitute for them.

Sweeping Generalizations: Avoid making broad generalizations without sufficient evidence or support. Ensure that your claims are backed by credible sources and specific examples.

Lack of Counterarguments: Failing to acknowledge or address opposing viewpoints weakens your essay. Engage with counterarguments and provide counter-evidence to demonstrate your ability to consider different perspectives.

Informal Language: Maintain a formal tone throughout your essay. Avoid slang, colloquialisms, or overly casual language. Use appropriate academic language and vocabulary.

How to Write an Opinion Essay?

Writing an opinion essay requires careful organization and evidence in order to make your point convincingly.

Here are the necessary steps to write an opinion essay:

Choose a Topic

The first step is to decide on a topic that appeals to you and that you can research easily. Make sure you are familiar with the subject matter. It would help you to write about it from an informed perspective.

Organize Your Thoughts

Before beginning to write, take some time to organize your thoughts and opinions on the topic. Jot down notes or draw diagrams to visualize how each of your points relates to the main argument.

Find Evidence to Support Your Point of View

After you have taken the time to organize your thoughts, it is important to find evidence that supports your opinion. Research reputable sources and collect quotes, facts, or other information relevant to each point you are making.

Write Essay Conclusion

End with a conclusion that summarizes your main points and reiterates your main argument. Give a final thought about your chosen topic. Keep in mind how it has impacted you and how it could be used to make a difference.

Be sure to reference the evidence that you have gathered throughout your essay as well.

Finally, proofread and edit your work for clarity and accuracy. Reviewing what you have written can help ensure that everything flows logically. Check grammar, punctuation, and spelling while you’re at it!

Do's and Don't of Writing an Opinion Essay 

When it comes to writing an opinion essay, there are certain guidelines that should be followed.

Here are some essential do’s and don’ts of writing an opinion essay:

  • Evidence: In order to make a convincing argument, your essay should include evidence that supports your point of view.
  • Relevant facts and statistics: Use facts and statistics from reliable sources to back up your arguments.
  • Logical flow: Make sure the points you are making logically follow one another in a clear and cohesive manner.
  • Counter-arguments: Address any counter-arguments against your opinion by providing evidence that disproves them.
  • Clear conclusion: The conclusion should restate your opinion clearly. It summarizes the main points made throughout the essay.
  • Unsupportive evidence: Make sure to avoid any irrelevant evidence in your essay that isn’t valid. Do not make claims that you cannot back up with facts or examples.
  • Unrelated information: Stick to the topic at hand and avoid introducing any irrelevant ideas or tangents into your essay.
  • Too much opinion: Although an opinion essay is based on personal beliefs, it should still be supported by evidence-based arguments.
  • Weak conclusion: Avoid summarizing the main points without restating your opinion or taking a stand on the issue you are discussing.
  • Poor grammar and punctuation: Make sure to review your work for any spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes before submitting it.

Examples of Opinion Essays

An opinion essay can be written on any topic that has two or more sides to it.

Here are these opinion essay examples:

Learn how to write with these potential opinion essay examples:

Opinion Essay PDF Example

Opinion 3 Paragraph Essay Example

Short Opinion Essay Examples PDF

Opinion Essay IELTS Example

Opinion Essay IELTS Band 9 Example

Opinion Essay About Internet Example

Opinion Essay Topics 5th Grade

5-paragraph Opinion Essay Examples

Abortion Opinion Essay Example

Climate Change Opinion Essay Example

Opinion Essay Topics

Looking for opinion essay topics? Opinion essays are a great way to express your beliefs and thoughts on various subjects.

Here are some topics to consider when writing an opinion essay:

  • Social media sites create more harm than good, Agree or Disagree?
  • Should the legal drinking age be lowered?
  • Is animal testing necessary?
  • Should the voting age be lowered?
  • Are video games beneficial or harmful to children’s development?
  • Should the death penalty be abolished?
  • Are beauty pageants beneficial to society?
  • Is it important to consume organic foods?
  • Should nuclear energy be used in place of fossil fuels?
  • What are the positive and negative effects of technology on our lives?

Here are some more opinion essays topics - IELTS:

  • Should governments ban smoking in public places?
  • Should the government fund space exploration?
  • Should students be required to wear school uniforms?
  • Is social media a positive or negative influence on society?
  • Should the voting age be lowered to 16?

If you're looking for advice on expressing your beliefs in an opinion essay without sounding too "preachy". Read this blog for more useful tips!

Opinion Essay Template

Check out the opinion essay template below to help you get started:

Transition Words for an Opinion Essay

Transition words are an essential part of any opinion essay. These words help to link your ideas and provide a logical flow for your paper.

Here are some examples of opinion essay phrases :

  • In my opinion
  • On the whole
  • I strongly believe
  • Besides that
  • To conclude
  • For this reason
  • Most importantly
  • Nevertheless
  • Accordingly
  • As a result
  • In conclusion
  • Without doubt
  • Likewise/similarly
  • On the contrary

Using transition words effectively can help make your opinion essay easier to read and understand.

Tips for Writing an Effective Opinion Essay

Writing an effective opinion essay requires good research skills and an understanding of how to present your argument clearly.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

  • Research: Before writing an opinion essay it is important to do research. Familiarize yourself with different arguments surrounding the topic.
  • Organizing Your Thoughts: Take some time to think about your main points and organize them into a logical order.
  • Gathering Evidence: Find evidence or examples to support each of your points. 
  • Structuring Your Work: Organize the evidence into a clear and logical structure. Make sure each body paragraph is focused on one main point and develops this idea in detail. 
  • Writing the Introduction: Provide a brief overview of the topic and state your opinion clearly. 
  • Writing the Conclusion: Summarize the main points made throughout the essay and restate your opinion. 

Need help with structuring your essay conclusion? Check out this Read and learn how to write an impactful conclusion for any essay!

Follow these tips to make sure your opinion paper is well-written, organized, and persuasive!

To wrap it all up,

Writing an opinion essay is a great way to express your thoughts and opinions on any given topic. With some research, organization, and structure, you can easily convey your point of view. By following the steps outlined in this blog, you can write an effective opinion essay and make a strong argument.

Do you need help with essay writing? We provide essay writing help online for your academic writing needs. Our team of professionals ensures that every essay is written to perfection and meets the highest academic standards.

You can also trust our essay writer  to deliver quality papers to you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 3 parts of the opinion paragraph.

The 3 parts of the opinion paragraph includes:

  • Introduction: It should provide the reader with an overview.
  • Body Paragraphs: The paragraphs should present information to support your arguments.
  • Conclusion: It should summarize your main points and restate your thesis statement.

What are some examples of opinion writing?

Examples of opinion writing include opinion articles, persuasive essays, editorial pieces, and reviews.

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Caleb S. has extensive experience in writing and holds a Masters from Oxford University. He takes great satisfaction in helping students exceed their academic goals. Caleb always puts the needs of his clients first and is dedicated to providing quality service.

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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!

Our specialists will write a custom essay specially for you!

  • 🔤 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.

Just in 1 hour! We will write you a plagiarism-free paper in hardly more than 1 hour

📑 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.

✏️ Opinion Essay FAQ

Just like any other paper, an opinion essay starts with an introduction, has several points in the body part, and concludes with a high-level overview of the presented ideas. There are countless topics for opinion essays, and many examples available online as a source of inspiration.

This type of essay presents your personal ideas on a given subject. However, students often try to start their essays without using “I.” Try to compose an introduction that gives a high-level overview of the topic. Just state the problem you are going to write about later on.

It is advisable to state your opinion without using “I.” In a persuasive essay, you run the risk of overusing “I” as you describe your own viewpoint. Thus, adapt a seemingly more objective approach. For ideas of appropriate constructions, check exam preparation books (e.g., IELTS).

  • 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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  • How to write an argumentative essay | Examples & tips

How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement . The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.

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Table of contents

When do you write an argumentative essay, approaches to argumentative essays, introducing your argument, the body: developing your argument, concluding your argument, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about argumentative essays.

You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.” It will frequently take the form of a question.

The prompt may also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you could make.

Argumentative writing at college level

At university, the vast majority of essays or papers you write will involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts.

In this context, you won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing, and this should be your default approach unless you’re told otherwise.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts

At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response.

Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

  • Don’t just list all the effects you can think of.
  • Do develop a focused argument about the overall effect and why it matters, backed up by evidence from sources.
  • Don’t just provide a selection of data on the measures’ effectiveness.
  • Do build up your own argument about which kinds of measures have been most or least effective, and why.
  • Don’t just analyze a random selection of doppelgänger characters.
  • Do form an argument about specific texts, comparing and contrasting how they express their thematic concerns through doppelgänger characters.

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An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion.

There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

Toulmin arguments

The Toulmin model consists of four steps, which may be repeated as many times as necessary for the argument:

  • Make a claim
  • Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim
  • Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim)
  • Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives

The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don’t have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.

Say you’re making an argument about the effectiveness of workplace anti-discrimination measures. You might:

  • Claim that unconscious bias training does not have the desired results, and resources would be better spent on other approaches
  • Cite data to support your claim
  • Explain how the data indicates that the method is ineffective
  • Anticipate objections to your claim based on other data, indicating whether these objections are valid, and if not, why not.

Rogerian arguments

The Rogerian model also consists of four steps you might repeat throughout your essay:

  • Discuss what the opposing position gets right and why people might hold this position
  • Highlight the problems with this position
  • Present your own position , showing how it addresses these problems
  • Suggest a possible compromise —what elements of your position would proponents of the opposing position benefit from adopting?

This model builds up a clear picture of both sides of an argument and seeks a compromise. It is particularly useful when people tend to disagree strongly on the issue discussed, allowing you to approach opposing arguments in good faith.

Say you want to argue that the internet has had a positive impact on education. You might:

  • Acknowledge that students rely too much on websites like Wikipedia
  • Argue that teachers view Wikipedia as more unreliable than it really is
  • Suggest that Wikipedia’s system of citations can actually teach students about referencing
  • Suggest critical engagement with Wikipedia as a possible assignment for teachers who are skeptical of its usefulness.

You don’t necessarily have to pick one of these models—you may even use elements of both in different parts of your essay—but it’s worth considering them if you struggle to structure your arguments.

Regardless of which approach you take, your essay should always be structured using an introduction , a body , and a conclusion .

Like other academic essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction . The introduction serves to capture the reader’s interest, provide background information, present your thesis statement , and (in longer essays) to summarize the structure of the body.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in detail. Here you’ll present evidence, analysis, and reasoning to convince the reader that your thesis statement is true.

In the standard five-paragraph format for short essays, the body takes up three of your five paragraphs. In longer essays, it will be more paragraphs, and might be divided into sections with headings.

Each paragraph covers its own topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Each of these topics must contribute to your overall argument; don’t include irrelevant information.

This example paragraph takes a Rogerian approach: It first acknowledges the merits of the opposing position and then highlights problems with that position.

Hover over different parts of the example to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

An argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the arguments made in the body.

No new arguments or evidence appear here, but in longer essays you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and suggest topics for future research. In all conclusions, you should stress the relevance and importance of your argument.

Hover over the following example to see the typical elements of a conclusion.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

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How to Plan & Write IELTS Opinion Essays

IELTS opinion essays, also known as ‘agree or disagree’ essays, come up frequently in the writing exam. In this lesson, I’m going to show you how to plan and write them step-by-step.

Here’s what we’ll be covering:

  • 3 Common mistakes
  • Essay structure
  • How to plan
  • How to write an introduction
  • How to write main body paragraphs
  • How to write a conclusion

Click the links to see lessons on each of these Task 2 essay writing topics. 

Once you understand the process, practice on past questions. Take your time at first and gradually speed up until you can plan and write an essay of at least 250 words in the 40 minutes allowed in the exam.

The Question

The first part of the question for an IELTS opinion essay will be a statement. You will then be asked to give your own opinion about the statement. Here is some typical wording that might be used:

  • What is your opinion?
  • Do you agree or disagree?
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Want  to watch and listen to this lesson?

Click on this video.

Here's a question from a past test paper.

A big salary is much more important than job satisfaction.  

Do you agree or disagree?  

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

I’ll be using this question to guide you through the process of planning and writing an IELTS opinion essay.

3 Common Mistakes

These three errors are common in IELTS opinion essays.

  • Not stating an opinion.
  • Giving arguments for both views.
  • Not supporting your opinion with clear reasons.

The most common mistake that students make is not giving an opinion. The question will clearly state that you must choose one side of the argument. If you fail to do this, you will get a low score for task achievement.

It doesn’t matter which side of the argument you take or even, that you agree with it. Choose the one you can develop the best argument for.

Make sure that you don’t change your opinion part way through the essay, and don’t give reasons for the opposing view.

Essay Structure

Now let’s look at a simple structure you can use to write opinion essays. It’s not the only possible structure but it’s the one I recommend because it’s easy to learn and will enable you to quickly plan and write a high-level essay.

1)  Introduction

  • Paraphrase the question
  • Give your opinion
  • State two supporting reasons

2)  Main body paragraph 1

  • Topic sentence – outline 1st reason for supporting this view
  • Explanation – explain this idea
  • Example – give an example  or expand the idea

3)  Main body paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence – outline 2nd reason for supporting this view
  • Example – give an example or expand the idea

4)  Conclusion

  • Summarise opinion and key reasons

This structure will give us a well-balanced essay with 4 paragraphs.

We now need some ideas to add into the structure and we’ll have everything we need for our essay.

How To Plan IELTS Opinion Essays

# 1  decide on your opinion.

The question I've chosen to work on is quite straightforward and easy to understand so we don’t need to spend time analysing it. The first task, then, is to decide on our opinion.

Here’s the question again:

A big salary is much more important than job satisfaction.

Do you agree or disagree?  

For this essay, I’m going to disagree with the statement and argue that job satisfaction is more important than a big salary.

# 2  Generate ideas

The second task is to generate some ideas to write about.

Since I‘m going to argue that job satisfaction is more important than a large salary, I need ideas to support this view.

There are several different ways to think up ideas. I cover them fully on the  IELTS Essay Planning  page.

With this particular question, I immediately thought of a couple of examples of situations where job satisfaction did prove to be more important than a high salary, so I’m going to use the ‘example method’ of generating ideas.

Once you’ve thought of an example or two, ideas to include in your essay should come to you easily.

You might want to try this yourself before reading on for my ideas.

Here are my examples and some ideas they generated.

Both the examples are partly true but I've adapted them to better fit the essay. It's fine to do this as the examiner won't check your facts.

  • Uncle Barry – boasted about high salary but hated his job. Nervous breakdown – lost job & can’t work.
  • Me – gave up teaching. Now enjoy my work and am much more relaxed and happy even though I earn much less money.
  • High-salary jobs are generally more stressful
  • Stress leads to ill health, both mental and physical
  • 40 hours a week at work – a third of the day
  • Money doesn’t bring happiness
  • Better quality of life
  • Sense of fulfilment
  • Less stressed – healthier and happier

I’ve got more ideas here than I need so I’m going to pick two to develop in the essay – one for each of the main body paragraphs.

Idea 1 – High-salary jobs are generally more stressful and can lead to ill health.

Idea 2 – Job satisfaction gives a sense of fulfilment.

We’re almost ready to start writing our IELTS opinion essay but first, we have one other small task to do.

# 3  Vocabulary

In an IELTS essay, it’s important to be able to say the same things in different ways, either by paraphrasing and/or using synonyms. During the planning stage, quickly jot down a few synonyms of key words you could use to save you having to stop and think of the right language while you’re writing.

For example:

satisfaction – fulfilment, achievement, sense of accomplishment, content, sense of well-being

salary – income, wages, pay, earnings

important – significant, valued, has more meaning

job – work, employment, position

With that done, we can focus on the first paragraph of the essay – the introduction.

How To Write an Introduction

A good introduction has a simple 3 part structure:

1)  Paraphrased question

2)  Thesis statement

3)  outline statement.

An introduction should:

  • Have 2-3 sentences
  • Be 40-60 words long
  • Take 5 minutes to write

1)  Paraphrase the question

Start your introduction by paraphrasing the question.

     Question:  A big salary is much more important than job satisfaction.

                       Do you agree or disagree?  

Paraphrased question:  

It is argued that earning lots of money has more significance to people than being content in their work.

Note that I’ve used some of the synonyms I listed, although it’s fine to repeat one or two words if you need to. Above all, your language must sound natural.

In IELTS opinion essays, the thesis statement is where you state your opinion. For example,

    Thesis statement:  

    This essay totally disagrees with that statement.

That’s all you need to say.

If you decided to agree with the statement, you would write:

'This essay completely agrees with that statement.'

Finally in the introduction, you must outline the two main points (ideas 1 and 2 above) that you’ll cover in the rest of the essay. Do it in one sentence, or you can add them onto the end of the thesis statement if appropriate.

Outl ine statement:  

I believe that people are increasingly concerned about the risk of stress-related ill-health frequently experienced by people in highly paid positions and they care more about feeling fulfilled at work.

So, let’s bring the three elements of our introduction together.

     Introduction

good example of opinion essay

This introduction achieves three important functions:

  • It shows the examiner that you understand the question.
  • It acts as a guide to the examiner as to what your essay is about.
  • It also helps to keep you focused and on track as you write.

The two ideas in your introduction will become your two main body paragraphs.

Main body paragraph 1  – concerns about the risk of stress-related ill-health

Main body paragraph 2  – a sense of fulfilment at work

How To Write Main Body Paragraphs

The structure of a good main body paragraph has 3 parts:

  • Topic sentence
  • Explanation

If you can’t think of an example, you can add further supporting ideas but we already have our two examples so that’s not an issue here.

A common problem when writing main body paragraphs for IELTS opinion essays is having too many ideas. Again, we have already chosen the two ideas we are going to develop, so we are all set to start writing.

You can see how important the planning stage is and how it makes the actual writing of the essay far quicker and easier.

Main Body Paragraph 1

The  topic sentence  summarises the main idea of the paragraph. That’s all it needs to do so it doesn’t have to be complicated.

It plays an important role in ensuring that your ideas flow logically from one to another. It does this by acting as a signpost for what is to come next, that is, what the paragraph will be about.

If you maintain a clear development of ideas throughout your essay, you will get high marks for task achievement and cohesion and coherence.

We’ll now take the idea for our first main body paragraph and create our topic sentence.

Main idea 1  – concerns about the risk of stress-related ill-health

Topic sentence:  

Employees earning a large income are generally under significant mental and emotional pressure to perform well and achieve targets.

Next, we must write an  explanation sentence . This explains to the examiner what we mean. It expands on our first idea.

Explanation sentence: 

This causes many individuals to suffer high levels of stress which can result in both mental and physical health problems.

Finally, we add an  example  to support our main point. I thought of this in the planning stage so I have it ready to use.

If you can’t think of a real example, it’s fine to make one up, as long as it’s believable. The examiner isn’t going to check your facts.

Example sentence:

This happened to my uncle. He used to boast about his huge salary but the boss kept increasing his sales targets and in the end, the stress became too great and he had a nervous breakdown. Now he regrets being driven by the money.

That’s the 3 parts of our first main body paragraph complete. Here’s the finished paragraph.

good example of opinion essay

We now follow the same process for our second main body paragraph.

Main Body Paragraph 2

Main idea 2  – Job satisfaction gives a sense of fulfilment.

First, we write the  topic sentence  to summarise the main idea.

Topic sentence:

Having a job that they enjoy doing, and in which they feel valued, is a major concern for most of the modern workforce.

Now for the  explanation sentence  to explain this idea.

Explanation sentence:

A significant number of people are giving up well-paid positions to do jobs which pay less but that they find more enjoyable and less stressful.

Finally, an  example  to support our main point. As before, I thought of this in the planning stage so just need to form it into a couple of sentences.

I am an example of this myself. A year ago I left the teaching profession because the workload had become too great and I am now a gardener. I feel really fulfilled in this work and I am much more relaxed and happy even though I earn far less money.

That’s the 3 parts of our second main body paragraph complete. Here’s the finished paragraph.

good example of opinion essay

Now we need a conclusion and our IELTS opinion essay is done.

How To Write a Conclusion

Conclusions to IELTS opinion essays should do two things:

  • Summarise the main points
  • State your opinion

This can generally be done in a single sentence.

If you are below the minimum 250 words after you’ve written your conclusion, you can add an additional prediction or recommendation statement.

Our essay currently has 233 words so we’re on target and don’t need this extra sentence but you can learn more about how to write a prediction or recommendation statement for IELTS opinion essays on the Task 2 Conclusions page.

The conclusion is the easiest sentence in the essay to write but one of the most important.

A good conclusion will:

  • Neatly end the essay
  • Link all your ideas together
  • Sum up your argument or opinion
  • Answer the question

If you achieve this, you’ll improve your score for both task achievement and cohesion and coherence which together make up 50% of the overall marks. Without a conclusion, you’ll score below band 6 for task achievement.

You can start almost any final paragraph of an IELTS opinion essay with the words:

  • In conclusion

        or

  • To conclude

Now all you need to do is briefly summarise the main ideas into one sentence.

Here’s a top tip . Go back and read the introduction to the essay because this is also a summary of the essay. It outlines what you are going to write about.

To create a great conclusion, you simply have to paraphrase the introduction. Let’s give it a go.

Introduction:

good example of opinion essay

Here is the same information formed into a conclusion:

good example of opinion essay

That’s it. We’ve completed our essay. Here it is with the 4 paragraphs put together.

    Question:

   A big salary is much more important than job satisfaction.

   Do you agree or disagree?

Finished IELTS opinion essay.

good example of opinion essay

Go through this lesson as many times as you need to in order to fully understand it and put in lots of practice writing IELTS opinion essays from past exam questions. Practice is the only way to improve your skills.

5 More Model IELTS Opinion Essays

good example of opinion essay

This pack contains another step-by-step lesson and  model essay. P lus 4 additional opinion essay questions with model answers.

Carefully created to help you achieve 7+ in your Writing test.

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More help with ielts opinion essays & other task 2 essays.

IELTS Writing Task 2  – T he format, the 5 question types, the 5 step essay writing strategy & sample questions. All the key information you need to know.

The 5 Types of Task 2 Essay   – How to recognise the 5 different types of Task 2 essays. 15 sample questions to study and a simple planning structure for each essay type.

Understanding Task 2 Questions  – How to quickly and easily analyse and understand IELTS Writing Task 2 questions.

How To Plan a Task 2 Essay  – Discover why essay planning is essential & learn a simple 4 step strategy, the 4 part essay structure & 4 methods of generating ideas.

How To Write a Task 2 Introduction  – Find out why a good introduction is essential. Learn how to write one using a simple 3 part strategy & discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.

How To Write Task 2 Main Body Paragraphs  – Learn the simple 3 part structure for writing great main body paragraphs and also, 3 common mistakes to avoid. 

How To Write Task 2 Conclusions  – Learn the easy way to write the perfect conclusion for a Task 2 essay. Also discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.

Task 2 Marking Criteria  – Find out how to meet the marking criteria in Task 2. See examples of good and poor answers & learn some common mistakes to avoid.

The 5 Task 2 Essay Types:

Step-by-step instructions on how to plan & write high-level essays. Model answers & common mistakes to avoid.

   Opinion Essays

   Discussion Essays

  Problem Solution Essays

  Advantages & Disadvantages Essays

  Double Question Essays

Other Related Pages

IELTS Writing Test  – Understand the format & marking criteria, know what skills are assessed & learn the difference between the Academic & General writing tests.

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49 Opinion Writing Prompts for Students

  • Lesson Plans
  • Grading Students for Assessment
  • Becoming A Teacher
  • Assessments & Tests
  • Elementary Education
  • Special Education
  • Homeschooling

good example of opinion essay

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?
  • Writing Prompts for 5th Grade
  • Engaging Writing Prompts for 3rd Graders
  • 4th Grade Writing Prompts
  • Writing Prompts for 7th Grade
  • Writing Prompts for Elementary School Students
  • First Grade Writing Prompts
  • Second Grade Writing Prompts
  • January Writing Prompts
  • Writing Prompt (Composition)
  • How to Write a Persuasive Essay
  • Fun March Writing Prompts for Journaling
  • 24 Journal Prompts for Creative Writing in the Elementary Classroom
  • 100 Persuasive Essay Topics
  • October Writing Prompts
  • May Writing Prompts
  • September Writing Prompts

PrepScholar

Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 177 college essay examples for 11 schools + expert analysis.

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College Admissions , College Essays

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The personal statement might just be the hardest part of your college application. Mostly this is because it has the least guidance and is the most open-ended. One way to understand what colleges are looking for when they ask you to write an essay is to check out the essays of students who already got in—college essays that actually worked. After all, they must be among the most successful of this weird literary genre.

In this article, I'll go through general guidelines for what makes great college essays great. I've also compiled an enormous list of 100+ actual sample college essays from 11 different schools. Finally, I'll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work. With links to 177 full essays and essay excerpts , this article is a great resource for learning how to craft your own personal college admissions essay!

What Excellent College Essays Have in Common

Even though in many ways these sample college essays are very different from one other, they do share some traits you should try to emulate as you write your own essay.

Visible Signs of Planning

Building out from a narrow, concrete focus. You'll see a similar structure in many of the essays. The author starts with a very detailed story of an event or description of a person or place. After this sense-heavy imagery, the essay expands out to make a broader point about the author, and connects this very memorable experience to the author's present situation, state of mind, newfound understanding, or maturity level.

Knowing how to tell a story. Some of the experiences in these essays are one-of-a-kind. But most deal with the stuff of everyday life. What sets them apart is the way the author approaches the topic: analyzing it for drama and humor, for its moving qualities, for what it says about the author's world, and for how it connects to the author's emotional life.

Stellar Execution

A killer first sentence. You've heard it before, and you'll hear it again: you have to suck the reader in, and the best place to do that is the first sentence. Great first sentences are punchy. They are like cliffhangers, setting up an exciting scene or an unusual situation with an unclear conclusion, in order to make the reader want to know more. Don't take my word for it—check out these 22 first sentences from Stanford applicants and tell me you don't want to read the rest of those essays to find out what happens!

A lively, individual voice. Writing is for readers. In this case, your reader is an admissions officer who has read thousands of essays before yours and will read thousands after. Your goal? Don't bore your reader. Use interesting descriptions, stay away from clichés, include your own offbeat observations—anything that makes this essay sounds like you and not like anyone else.

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Technical correctness. No spelling mistakes, no grammar weirdness, no syntax issues, no punctuation snafus—each of these sample college essays has been formatted and proofread perfectly. If this kind of exactness is not your strong suit, you're in luck! All colleges advise applicants to have their essays looked over several times by parents, teachers, mentors, and anyone else who can spot a comma splice. Your essay must be your own work, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting help polishing it.

And if you need more guidance, connect with PrepScholar's expert admissions consultants . These expert writers know exactly what college admissions committees look for in an admissions essay and chan help you craft an essay that boosts your chances of getting into your dream school.

Check out PrepScholar's Essay Editing and Coaching progra m for more details!

Want to write the perfect college application essay?   We can help.   Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will help you craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay to proudly submit to colleges.   Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

Links to Full College Essay Examples

Some colleges publish a selection of their favorite accepted college essays that worked, and I've put together a selection of over 100 of these.

Common App Essay Samples

Please note that some of these college essay examples may be responding to prompts that are no longer in use. The current Common App prompts are as follows:

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. 2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? 3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? 4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you? 5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. 6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Now, let's get to the good stuff: the list of 177 college essay examples responding to current and past Common App essay prompts. 

Connecticut college.

  • 12 Common Application essays from the classes of 2022-2025

Hamilton College

  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2026
  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2022
  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2018
  • 8 Common Application essays from the class of 2012
  • 8 Common Application essays from the class of 2007

Johns Hopkins

These essays are answers to past prompts from either the Common Application or the Coalition Application (which Johns Hopkins used to accept).

  • 1 Common Application or Coalition Application essay from the class of 2026
  • 6 Common Application or Coalition Application essays from the class of 2025
  • 6 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2024
  • 6 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2023
  • 7 Common Application of Universal Application essays from the class of 2022
  • 5 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2021
  • 7 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2020

Essay Examples Published by Other Websites

  • 2 Common Application essays ( 1st essay , 2nd essay ) from applicants admitted to Columbia

Other Sample College Essays

Here is a collection of essays that are college-specific.

Babson College

  • 4 essays (and 1 video response) on "Why Babson" from the class of 2020

Emory University

  • 5 essay examples ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ) from the class of 2020 along with analysis from Emory admissions staff on why the essays were exceptional
  • 5 more recent essay examples ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ) along with analysis from Emory admissions staff on what made these essays stand out

University of Georgia

  • 1 “strong essay” sample from 2019
  • 1 “strong essay” sample from 2018
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2023
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2022
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2021
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2020
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2019
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2018
  • 6 essays from admitted MIT students

Smith College

  • 6 "best gift" essays from the class of 2018

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Books of College Essays

If you're looking for even more sample college essays, consider purchasing a college essay book. The best of these include dozens of essays that worked and feedback from real admissions officers.

College Essays That Made a Difference —This detailed guide from Princeton Review includes not only successful essays, but also interviews with admissions officers and full student profiles.

50 Successful Harvard Application Essays by the Staff of the Harvard Crimson—A must for anyone aspiring to Harvard .

50 Successful Ivy League Application Essays and 50 Successful Stanford Application Essays by Gen and Kelly Tanabe—For essays from other top schools, check out this venerated series, which is regularly updated with new essays.

Heavenly Essays by Janine W. Robinson—This collection from the popular blogger behind Essay Hell includes a wider range of schools, as well as helpful tips on honing your own essay.

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Analyzing Great Common App Essays That Worked

I've picked two essays from the examples collected above to examine in more depth so that you can see exactly what makes a successful college essay work. Full credit for these essays goes to the original authors and the schools that published them.

Example 1: "Breaking Into Cars," by Stephen, Johns Hopkins Class of '19 (Common App Essay, 636 words long)

I had never broken into a car before.

We were in Laredo, having just finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site. The Hotchkiss volunteers had already left, off to enjoy some Texas BBQ, leaving me behind with the college kids to clean up. Not until we were stranded did we realize we were locked out of the van.

Someone picked a coat hanger out of the dumpster, handed it to me, and took a few steps back.

"Can you do that thing with a coat hanger to unlock it?"

"Why me?" I thought.

More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame. Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. (I actually succeeded in springing it.) The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation.

My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally. My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of water. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed. "The water's on fire! Clear a hole!" he shouted, tossing me in the lake without warning. While I'm still unconvinced about that particular lesson's practicality, my Dad's overarching message is unequivocally true: much of life is unexpected, and you have to deal with the twists and turns.

Living in my family, days rarely unfolded as planned. A bit overlooked, a little pushed around, I learned to roll with reality, negotiate a quick deal, and give the improbable a try. I don't sweat the small stuff, and I definitely don't expect perfect fairness. So what if our dining room table only has six chairs for seven people? Someone learns the importance of punctuality every night.

But more than punctuality and a special affinity for musical chairs, my family life has taught me to thrive in situations over which I have no power. Growing up, I never controlled my older siblings, but I learned how to thwart their attempts to control me. I forged alliances, and realigned them as necessary. Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient elder. Different things to different people, as the situation demanded. I learned to adapt.

Back then, these techniques were merely reactions undertaken to ensure my survival. But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose?"

The question caught me off guard, much like the question posed to me in Laredo. Then, I realized I knew the answer. I knew why the coat hanger had been handed to me.

Growing up as the middle child in my family, I was a vital participant in a thing I did not govern, in the company of people I did not choose. It's family. It's society. And often, it's chaos. You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the unexpected with confidence, optimism, and preparedness. My family experience taught me to face a serendipitous world with confidence.

What Makes This Essay Tick?

It's very helpful to take writing apart in order to see just how it accomplishes its objectives. Stephen's essay is very effective. Let's find out why!

An Opening Line That Draws You In

In just eight words, we get: scene-setting (he is standing next to a car about to break in), the idea of crossing a boundary (he is maybe about to do an illegal thing for the first time), and a cliffhanger (we are thinking: is he going to get caught? Is he headed for a life of crime? Is he about to be scared straight?).

Great, Detailed Opening Story

More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame.

It's the details that really make this small experience come alive. Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. The volunteers aren't going to get food or dinner; they're going for "Texas BBQ." The coat hanger comes from "a dumpster." Stephen doesn't just move the coat hanger—he "jiggles" it.

Details also help us visualize the emotions of the people in the scene. The person who hands Stephen the coat hanger isn't just uncomfortable or nervous; he "takes a few steps back"—a description of movement that conveys feelings. Finally, the detail of actual speech makes the scene pop. Instead of writing that the other guy asked him to unlock the van, Stephen has the guy actually say his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking.

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Turning a Specific Incident Into a Deeper Insight

Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. (I actually succeeded in springing it.) The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation.

Stephen makes the locked car experience a meaningful illustration of how he has learned to be resourceful and ready for anything, and he also makes this turn from the specific to the broad through an elegant play on the two meanings of the word "click."

Using Concrete Examples When Making Abstract Claims

My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally.

"Unpredictability and chaos" are very abstract, not easily visualized concepts. They could also mean any number of things—violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability. By instantly following up with highly finite and unambiguous illustrations like "family of seven" and "siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing," Stephen grounds the abstraction in something that is easy to picture: a large, noisy family.

Using Small Bits of Humor and Casual Word Choice

My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of water. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed.

Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not high on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by bringing up a situation that is clearly over-the-top: "in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed."

The humor also feels relaxed. Part of this is because he introduces it with the colloquial phrase "you know," so it sounds like he is talking to us in person. This approach also diffuses the potential discomfort of the reader with his father's strictness—since he is making jokes about it, clearly he is OK. Notice, though, that this doesn't occur very much in the essay. This helps keep the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant.

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An Ending That Stretches the Insight Into the Future

But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose?"

The ending of the essay reveals that Stephen's life has been one long preparation for the future. He has emerged from chaos and his dad's approach to parenting as a person who can thrive in a world that he can't control.

This connection of past experience to current maturity and self-knowledge is a key element in all successful personal essays. Colleges are very much looking for mature, self-aware applicants. These are the qualities of successful college students, who will be able to navigate the independence college classes require and the responsibility and quasi-adulthood of college life.

What Could This Essay Do Even Better?

Even the best essays aren't perfect, and even the world's greatest writers will tell you that writing is never "finished"—just "due." So what would we tweak in this essay if we could?

Replace some of the clichéd language. Stephen uses handy phrases like "twists and turns" and "don't sweat the small stuff" as a kind of shorthand for explaining his relationship to chaos and unpredictability. But using too many of these ready-made expressions runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring.

Use another example from recent life. Stephen's first example (breaking into the van in Laredo) is a great illustration of being resourceful in an unexpected situation. But his essay also emphasizes that he "learned to adapt" by being "different things to different people." It would be great to see how this plays out outside his family, either in the situation in Laredo or another context.

Want to build the best possible college application?   We can help.   PrepScholar Admissions combines world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've guided thousands of students to get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit and are driven to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in:

Example 2: By Renner Kwittken, Tufts Class of '23 (Common App Essay, 645 words long)

My first dream job was to be a pickle truck driver. I saw it in my favorite book, Richard Scarry's "Cars and Trucks and Things That Go," and for some reason, I was absolutely obsessed with the idea of driving a giant pickle. Much to the discontent of my younger sister, I insisted that my parents read us that book as many nights as possible so we could find goldbug, a small little golden bug, on every page. I would imagine the wonderful life I would have: being a pig driving a giant pickle truck across the country, chasing and finding goldbug. I then moved on to wanting to be a Lego Master. Then an architect. Then a surgeon.

Then I discovered a real goldbug: gold nanoparticles that can reprogram macrophages to assist in killing tumors, produce clear images of them without sacrificing the subject, and heat them to obliteration.

Suddenly the destination of my pickle was clear.

I quickly became enveloped by the world of nanomedicine; I scoured articles about liposomes, polymeric micelles, dendrimers, targeting ligands, and self-assembling nanoparticles, all conquering cancer in some exotic way. Completely absorbed, I set out to find a mentor to dive even deeper into these topics. After several rejections, I was immensely grateful to receive an invitation to work alongside Dr. Sangeeta Ray at Johns Hopkins.

In the lab, Dr. Ray encouraged a great amount of autonomy to design and implement my own procedures. I chose to attack a problem that affects the entire field of nanomedicine: nanoparticles consistently fail to translate from animal studies into clinical trials. Jumping off recent literature, I set out to see if a pre-dose of a common chemotherapeutic could enhance nanoparticle delivery in aggressive prostate cancer, creating three novel constructs based on three different linear polymers, each using fluorescent dye (although no gold, sorry goldbug!). Though using radioactive isotopes like Gallium and Yttrium would have been incredible, as a 17-year-old, I unfortunately wasn't allowed in the same room as these radioactive materials (even though I took a Geiger counter to a pair of shoes and found them to be slightly dangerous).

I hadn't expected my hypothesis to work, as the research project would have ideally been led across two full years. Yet while there are still many optimizations and revisions to be done, I was thrilled to find -- with completely new nanoparticles that may one day mean future trials will use particles with the initials "RK-1" -- thatcyclophosphamide did indeed increase nanoparticle delivery to the tumor in a statistically significant way.

A secondary, unexpected research project was living alone in Baltimore, a new city to me, surrounded by people much older than I. Even with moving frequently between hotels, AirBnB's, and students' apartments, I strangely reveled in the freedom I had to enjoy my surroundings and form new friendships with graduate school students from the lab. We explored The Inner Harbor at night, attended a concert together one weekend, and even got to watch the Orioles lose (to nobody's surprise). Ironically, it's through these new friendships I discovered something unexpected: what I truly love is sharing research. Whether in a presentation or in a casual conversation, making others interested in science is perhaps more exciting to me than the research itself. This solidified a new pursuit to angle my love for writing towards illuminating science in ways people can understand, adding value to a society that can certainly benefit from more scientific literacy.

It seems fitting that my goals are still transforming: in Scarry's book, there is not just one goldbug, there is one on every page. With each new experience, I'm learning that it isn't the goldbug itself, but rather the act of searching for the goldbugs that will encourage, shape, and refine my ever-evolving passions. Regardless of the goldbug I seek -- I know my pickle truck has just begun its journey.

Renner takes a somewhat different approach than Stephen, but their essay is just as detailed and engaging. Let's go through some of the strengths of this essay.

One Clear Governing Metaphor

This essay is ultimately about two things: Renner’s dreams and future career goals, and Renner’s philosophy on goal-setting and achieving one’s dreams.

But instead of listing off all the amazing things they’ve done to pursue their dream of working in nanomedicine, Renner tells a powerful, unique story instead. To set up the narrative, Renner opens the essay by connecting their experiences with goal-setting and dream-chasing all the way back to a memorable childhood experience:

This lighthearted–but relevant!--story about the moment when Renner first developed a passion for a specific career (“finding the goldbug”) provides an anchor point for the rest of the essay. As Renner pivots to describing their current dreams and goals–working in nanomedicine–the metaphor of “finding the goldbug” is reflected in Renner’s experiments, rejections, and new discoveries.

Though Renner tells multiple stories about their quest to “find the goldbug,” or, in other words, pursue their passion, each story is connected by a unifying theme; namely, that as we search and grow over time, our goals will transform…and that’s okay! By the end of the essay, Renner uses the metaphor of “finding the goldbug” to reiterate the relevance of the opening story:

While the earlier parts of the essay convey Renner’s core message by showing, the final, concluding paragraph sums up Renner’s insights by telling. By briefly and clearly stating the relevance of the goldbug metaphor to their own philosophy on goals and dreams, Renner demonstrates their creativity, insight, and eagerness to grow and evolve as the journey continues into college.

body_fixers

An Engaging, Individual Voice

This essay uses many techniques that make Renner sound genuine and make the reader feel like we already know them.

Technique #1: humor. Notice Renner's gentle and relaxed humor that lightly mocks their younger self's grand ambitions (this is different from the more sarcastic kind of humor used by Stephen in the first essay—you could never mistake one writer for the other).

My first dream job was to be a pickle truck driver.

I would imagine the wonderful life I would have: being a pig driving a giant pickle truck across the country, chasing and finding goldbug. I then moved on to wanting to be a Lego Master. Then an architect. Then a surgeon.

Renner gives a great example of how to use humor to your advantage in college essays. You don’t want to come off as too self-deprecating or sarcastic, but telling a lightheartedly humorous story about your younger self that also showcases how you’ve grown and changed over time can set the right tone for your entire essay.

Technique #2: intentional, eye-catching structure. The second technique is the way Renner uses a unique structure to bolster the tone and themes of their essay . The structure of your essay can have a major impact on how your ideas come across…so it’s important to give it just as much thought as the content of your essay!

For instance, Renner does a great job of using one-line paragraphs to create dramatic emphasis and to make clear transitions from one phase of the story to the next:

Suddenly the destination of my pickle car was clear.

Not only does the one-liner above signal that Renner is moving into a new phase of the narrative (their nanoparticle research experiences), it also tells the reader that this is a big moment in Renner’s story. It’s clear that Renner made a major discovery that changed the course of their goal pursuit and dream-chasing. Through structure, Renner conveys excitement and entices the reader to keep pushing forward to the next part of the story.

Technique #3: playing with syntax. The third technique is to use sentences of varying length, syntax, and structure. Most of the essay's written in standard English and uses grammatically correct sentences. However, at key moments, Renner emphasizes that the reader needs to sit up and pay attention by switching to short, colloquial, differently punctuated, and sometimes fragmented sentences.

Even with moving frequently between hotels, AirBnB's, and students' apartments, I strangely reveled in the freedom I had to enjoy my surroundings and form new friendships with graduate school students from the lab. We explored The Inner Harbor at night, attended a concert together one weekend, and even got to watch the Orioles lose (to nobody's surprise). Ironically, it's through these new friendships I discovered something unexpected: what I truly love is sharing research.

In the examples above, Renner switches adeptly between long, flowing sentences and quippy, telegraphic ones. At the same time, Renner uses these different sentence lengths intentionally. As they describe their experiences in new places, they use longer sentences to immerse the reader in the sights, smells, and sounds of those experiences. And when it’s time to get a big, key idea across, Renner switches to a short, punchy sentence to stop the reader in their tracks.

The varying syntax and sentence lengths pull the reader into the narrative and set up crucial “aha” moments when it’s most important…which is a surefire way to make any college essay stand out.

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Renner's essay is very strong, but there are still a few little things that could be improved.

Connecting the research experiences to the theme of “finding the goldbug.”  The essay begins and ends with Renner’s connection to the idea of “finding the goldbug.” And while this metaphor is deftly tied into the essay’s intro and conclusion, it isn’t entirely clear what Renner’s big findings were during the research experiences that are described in the middle of the essay. It would be great to add a sentence or two stating what Renner’s big takeaways (or “goldbugs”) were from these experiences, which add more cohesion to the essay as a whole.

Give more details about discovering the world of nanomedicine. It makes sense that Renner wants to get into the details of their big research experiences as quickly as possible. After all, these are the details that show Renner’s dedication to nanomedicine! But a smoother transition from the opening pickle car/goldbug story to Renner’s “real goldbug” of nanoparticles would help the reader understand why nanoparticles became Renner’s goldbug. Finding out why Renner is so motivated to study nanomedicine–and perhaps what put them on to this field of study–would help readers fully understand why Renner chose this path in the first place.

4 Essential Tips for Writing Your Own Essay

How can you use this discussion to better your own college essay? Here are some suggestions for ways to use this resource effectively.

#1: Get Help From the Experts

Getting your college applications together takes a lot of work and can be pretty intimidatin g. Essays are even more important than ever now that admissions processes are changing and schools are going test-optional and removing diversity standards thanks to new Supreme Court rulings .  If you want certified expert help that really makes a difference, get started with  PrepScholar’s Essay Editing and Coaching program. Our program can help you put together an incredible essay from idea to completion so that your application stands out from the crowd. We've helped students get into the best colleges in the United States, including Harvard, Stanford, and Yale.  If you're ready to take the next step and boost your odds of getting into your dream school, connect with our experts today .

#2: Read Other Essays to Get Ideas for Your Own

As you go through the essays we've compiled for you above, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you explain to yourself (or someone else!) why the opening sentence works well?
  • Look for the essay's detailed personal anecdote. What senses is the author describing? Can you easily picture the scene in your mind's eye?
  • Find the place where this anecdote bridges into a larger insight about the author. How does the essay connect the two? How does the anecdote work as an example of the author's characteristic, trait, or skill?
  • Check out the essay's tone. If it's funny, can you find the places where the humor comes from? If it's sad and moving, can you find the imagery and description of feelings that make you moved? If it's serious, can you see how word choice adds to this tone?

Make a note whenever you find an essay or part of an essay that you think was particularly well-written, and think about what you like about it . Is it funny? Does it help you really get to know the writer? Does it show what makes the writer unique? Once you have your list, keep it next to you while writing your essay to remind yourself to try and use those same techniques in your own essay.

body-gears-cogs-puzzle-cc0

#3: Find Your "A-Ha!" Moment

All of these essays rely on connecting with the reader through a heartfelt, highly descriptive scene from the author's life. It can either be very dramatic (did you survive a plane crash?) or it can be completely mundane (did you finally beat your dad at Scrabble?). Either way, it should be personal and revealing about you, your personality, and the way you are now that you are entering the adult world.

Check out essays by authors like John Jeremiah Sullivan , Leslie Jamison , Hanif Abdurraqib , and Esmé Weijun Wang to get more examples of how to craft a compelling personal narrative.

#4: Start Early, Revise Often

Let me level with you: the best writing isn't writing at all. It's rewriting. And in order to have time to rewrite, you have to start way before the application deadline. My advice is to write your first draft at least two months before your applications are due.

Let it sit for a few days untouched. Then come back to it with fresh eyes and think critically about what you've written. What's extra? What's missing? What is in the wrong place? What doesn't make sense? Don't be afraid to take it apart and rearrange sections. Do this several times over, and your essay will be much better for it!

For more editing tips, check out a style guide like Dreyer's English or Eats, Shoots & Leaves .

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What's Next?

Still not sure which colleges you want to apply to? Our experts will show you how to make a college list that will help you choose a college that's right for you.

Interested in learning more about college essays? Check out our detailed breakdown of exactly how personal statements work in an application , some suggestions on what to avoid when writing your essay , and our guide to writing about your extracurricular activities .

Working on the rest of your application? Read what admissions officers wish applicants knew before applying .

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points?   We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download them for free now:

The recommendations in this post are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links PrepScholar may receive a commission.

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Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education.

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NPR defends its journalism after senior editor says it has lost the public's trust

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David Folkenflik

good example of opinion essay

NPR is defending its journalism and integrity after a senior editor wrote an essay accusing it of losing the public's trust. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

NPR is defending its journalism and integrity after a senior editor wrote an essay accusing it of losing the public's trust.

NPR's top news executive defended its journalism and its commitment to reflecting a diverse array of views on Tuesday after a senior NPR editor wrote a broad critique of how the network has covered some of the most important stories of the age.

"An open-minded spirit no longer exists within NPR, and now, predictably, we don't have an audience that reflects America," writes Uri Berliner.

A strategic emphasis on diversity and inclusion on the basis of race, ethnicity and sexual orientation, promoted by NPR's former CEO, John Lansing, has fed "the absence of viewpoint diversity," Berliner writes.

NPR's chief news executive, Edith Chapin, wrote in a memo to staff Tuesday afternoon that she and the news leadership team strongly reject Berliner's assessment.

"We're proud to stand behind the exceptional work that our desks and shows do to cover a wide range of challenging stories," she wrote. "We believe that inclusion — among our staff, with our sourcing, and in our overall coverage — is critical to telling the nuanced stories of this country and our world."

NPR names tech executive Katherine Maher to lead in turbulent era

NPR names tech executive Katherine Maher to lead in turbulent era

She added, "None of our work is above scrutiny or critique. We must have vigorous discussions in the newsroom about how we serve the public as a whole."

A spokesperson for NPR said Chapin, who also serves as the network's chief content officer, would have no further comment.

Praised by NPR's critics

Berliner is a senior editor on NPR's Business Desk. (Disclosure: I, too, am part of the Business Desk, and Berliner has edited many of my past stories. He did not see any version of this article or participate in its preparation before it was posted publicly.)

Berliner's essay , titled "I've Been at NPR for 25 years. Here's How We Lost America's Trust," was published by The Free Press, a website that has welcomed journalists who have concluded that mainstream news outlets have become reflexively liberal.

Berliner writes that as a Subaru-driving, Sarah Lawrence College graduate who "was raised by a lesbian peace activist mother ," he fits the mold of a loyal NPR fan.

Yet Berliner says NPR's news coverage has fallen short on some of the most controversial stories of recent years, from the question of whether former President Donald Trump colluded with Russia in the 2016 election, to the origins of the virus that causes COVID-19, to the significance and provenance of emails leaked from a laptop owned by Hunter Biden weeks before the 2020 election. In addition, he blasted NPR's coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

On each of these stories, Berliner asserts, NPR has suffered from groupthink due to too little diversity of viewpoints in the newsroom.

The essay ricocheted Tuesday around conservative media , with some labeling Berliner a whistleblower . Others picked it up on social media, including Elon Musk, who has lambasted NPR for leaving his social media site, X. (Musk emailed another NPR reporter a link to Berliner's article with a gibe that the reporter was a "quisling" — a World War II reference to someone who collaborates with the enemy.)

When asked for further comment late Tuesday, Berliner declined, saying the essay spoke for itself.

The arguments he raises — and counters — have percolated across U.S. newsrooms in recent years. The #MeToo sexual harassment scandals of 2016 and 2017 forced newsrooms to listen to and heed more junior colleagues. The social justice movement prompted by the killing of George Floyd in 2020 inspired a reckoning in many places. Newsroom leaders often appeared to stand on shaky ground.

Leaders at many newsrooms, including top editors at The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times , lost their jobs. Legendary Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron wrote in his memoir that he feared his bonds with the staff were "frayed beyond repair," especially over the degree of self-expression his journalists expected to exert on social media, before he decided to step down in early 2021.

Since then, Baron and others — including leaders of some of these newsrooms — have suggested that the pendulum has swung too far.

Legendary editor Marty Baron describes his 'Collision of Power' with Trump and Bezos

Author Interviews

Legendary editor marty baron describes his 'collision of power' with trump and bezos.

New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger warned last year against journalists embracing a stance of what he calls "one-side-ism": "where journalists are demonstrating that they're on the side of the righteous."

"I really think that that can create blind spots and echo chambers," he said.

Internal arguments at The Times over the strength of its reporting on accusations that Hamas engaged in sexual assaults as part of a strategy for its Oct. 7 attack on Israel erupted publicly . The paper conducted an investigation to determine the source of a leak over a planned episode of the paper's podcast The Daily on the subject, which months later has not been released. The newsroom guild accused the paper of "targeted interrogation" of journalists of Middle Eastern descent.

Heated pushback in NPR's newsroom

Given Berliner's account of private conversations, several NPR journalists question whether they can now trust him with unguarded assessments about stories in real time. Others express frustration that he had not sought out comment in advance of publication. Berliner acknowledged to me that for this story, he did not seek NPR's approval to publish the piece, nor did he give the network advance notice.

Some of Berliner's NPR colleagues are responding heatedly. Fernando Alfonso, a senior supervising editor for digital news, wrote that he wholeheartedly rejected Berliner's critique of the coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict, for which NPR's journalists, like their peers, periodically put themselves at risk.

Alfonso also took issue with Berliner's concern over the focus on diversity at NPR.

"As a person of color who has often worked in newsrooms with little to no people who look like me, the efforts NPR has made to diversify its workforce and its sources are unique and appropriate given the news industry's long-standing lack of diversity," Alfonso says. "These efforts should be celebrated and not denigrated as Uri has done."

After this story was first published, Berliner contested Alfonso's characterization, saying his criticism of NPR is about the lack of diversity of viewpoints, not its diversity itself.

"I never criticized NPR's priority of achieving a more diverse workforce in terms of race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. I have not 'denigrated' NPR's newsroom diversity goals," Berliner said. "That's wrong."

Questions of diversity

Under former CEO John Lansing, NPR made increasing diversity, both of its staff and its audience, its "North Star" mission. Berliner says in the essay that NPR failed to consider broader diversity of viewpoint, noting, "In D.C., where NPR is headquartered and many of us live, I found 87 registered Democrats working in editorial positions and zero Republicans."

Berliner cited audience estimates that suggested a concurrent falloff in listening by Republicans. (The number of people listening to NPR broadcasts and terrestrial radio broadly has declined since the start of the pandemic.)

Former NPR vice president for news and ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin tweeted , "I know Uri. He's not wrong."

Others questioned Berliner's logic. "This probably gets causality somewhat backward," tweeted Semafor Washington editor Jordan Weissmann . "I'd guess that a lot of NPR listeners who voted for [Mitt] Romney have changed how they identify politically."

Similarly, Nieman Lab founder Joshua Benton suggested the rise of Trump alienated many NPR-appreciating Republicans from the GOP.

In recent years, NPR has greatly enhanced the percentage of people of color in its workforce and its executive ranks. Four out of 10 staffers are people of color; nearly half of NPR's leadership team identifies as Black, Asian or Latino.

"The philosophy is: Do you want to serve all of America and make sure it sounds like all of America, or not?" Lansing, who stepped down last month, says in response to Berliner's piece. "I'd welcome the argument against that."

"On radio, we were really lagging in our representation of an audience that makes us look like what America looks like today," Lansing says. The U.S. looks and sounds a lot different than it did in 1971, when NPR's first show was broadcast, Lansing says.

A network spokesperson says new NPR CEO Katherine Maher supports Chapin and her response to Berliner's critique.

The spokesperson says that Maher "believes that it's a healthy thing for a public service newsroom to engage in rigorous consideration of the needs of our audiences, including where we serve our mission well and where we can serve it better."

Disclosure: This story was reported and written by NPR Media Correspondent David Folkenflik and edited by Deputy Business Editor Emily Kopp and Managing Editor Gerry Holmes. Under NPR's protocol for reporting on itself, no NPR corporate official or news executive reviewed this story before it was posted publicly.

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The blocky, modernist headquarters of NPR in Washington DC.

Senior NPR editor claims public broadcaster lacks ‘viewpoint diversity’

Uri Berliner said in a letter that Americans no longer trusted broadcaster because of its ‘distilled worldview’ and liberal bent

A debate about media bias has broken out at National Public Radio after a longtime employee published a scathing letter accusing the broadcaster of a “distilled worldview of a very small segment of the US population” and “telling people how to think”, prompting an impassioned defense of the station from its editor-in-chief.

In the letter published on Free Press , NPR’s senior business editor Uri Berliner claimed Americans no longer trust NPR – which is partly publicly funded – because of its lack of “viewpoint diversity” and its embrace of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

Berliner wrote that “an open-minded spirit no longer exists within NPR , and now, predictably, we don’t have an audience that reflects America”. He acknowledged that NPR’s audience had always tilted left, but was now no longer able to make any claim to ideological neutrality.

In the piece on Free Press, a site run by Bari Weiss, a former opinion editor at the New York Times, Berliner noted that in 2011 the public broadcaster’s audience identified as 26% conservative, 23% as middle of the road and 37% liberal. Last year it identified as 11% very or somewhat conservative, 21% as middle of the road, and 67% very or somewhat liberal.

“We weren’t just losing conservatives; we were also losing moderates and traditional liberals,” Berliner wrote, and described a new listener stereotype: “EV-driving, Wordle-playing, tote bag–carrying coastal elite.”

This would not be a problem, he said, if the radio broadcaster was an “openly polemical news outlet serving a niche audience”, but for a public broadcaster, “which purports to consider all things, it’s devastating both for its journalism and its business model”.

“I’ve become a visible wrong-thinker at a place I love,” he wrote.

The letter, which mirrors a recent critique of the New York Times by former editor James Bennet in the Economist and aspects of a recent lecture by the paper’s publisher, AG Sulzberger , has provoked a fierce backlash from NPR editorial staff.

NPR’s editor-in-chief, Edith Chapin, wrote in a memo to staff that she “strongly disagreed” with Berliner’s assessment, stood behind the outlet’s “exceptional work” and said she believed that “inclusion – among our staff, with our sourcing, and in our overall coverage – is critical to telling the nuanced stories of this country and our world”.

Chapin added that the radio broadcasters’ work was not above scrutiny or critique. “We must have vigorous discussions in the newsroom about how we serve the public as a whole, fostering a culture of conversation that breaks down the silos that we sometimes end up retreating to,” she said.

Chapin was appointed editor last year after a period of turbulence at NPR over what it acknowledged were clashes between its news and programming divisions over “priorities, resources and need to innovate”.

“We all aim every day to serve our audience with information and moments of joy that are useful and relevant,” Chapin said at the time.

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Berliner identified the station’s coverage of the Covid-19 lab leak theory, Hunter Biden’s laptop and allegations that Donald Trump colluded with Russia in the 2016 election as all examples of how “politics were blotting out the curiosity and independence that ought to have been driving our work”.

He also identified DEI and use of language advanced by affiliated groups as evidence that “people at every level of NPR have comfortably coalesced around the progressive worldview”. Berliner said that when he brought up his survey of newsroom political voter registration at a 2021 all-staff meeting, showing there were no Republicans, he claimed he was met with “profound indifference”.

“The messages were of the ‘Oh wow, that’s weird’ variety, as if the lopsided tally was a random anomaly rather than a critical failure of our diversity North Star,” he wrote.

Berliner later told the NewsNation host Chris Cuomo that he was not surprised by the negative response he had received from NPR editorial management, saying, “they’re certainly entitled to their perspective.”

But, he added, “I’ve had a lot of support from colleagues, and many of them unexpected, who say they agree with me. Some of them say this confidentially, but I think there’s been a lot of response saying, look, these are things that need to be addressed.”

In her letter to staff, Chapin wrote that NPR’s efforts to expand the diversity of perspectives and subjects now included tracking sources. “We have these internal debates, enforce strong editorial standards, and engage in processes that measure our work precisely because we recognize that nobody has the ‘view from nowhere.’”

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Guest Essay

Where Is America’s ‘Rules-Based Order’ Now?

A photograph of a desk at the U.N. headquarters, with a nameplate reading “United States.”

By Spencer Ackerman

Mr. Ackerman is a foreign-policy columnist for The Nation and the author of “Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump.”

No sooner had a nearly unanimous United Nations Security Council passed a resolution demanding an “immediate cease-fire” in Gaza last month than the United States and Israel acted as if it were a meaningless piece of paper. Israel, unwilling to accept a U.N. mandate, continued bombing the overcrowded southern city of Rafah and besieging Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Shortly after the vote, Biden administration officials called the resolution, No. 2728, “nonbinding,” in what appeared to be an attempt to deny its status as international law.

It was a confounding approach from an administration that allowed the resolution to go through with an abstention after vetoing three earlier ones. It also triggered a predictable bout of hand-wringing over the value of international law. At the State Department press briefing after the resolution passed, the department’s spokesman, Matthew Miller, said the measure would neither result in an immediate cease-fire nor affect thorny hostage-release negotiations. One reporter asked , “If that’s the case, what the hell is the point of the U.N. or the U.N. Security Council?”

The question is valid, but it’s also misdirected. U.N. resolutions that are written without enforcement measures obviously cannot force Israel to stop what its leadership insists is a justified war necessary to remove Hamas and prevent another Oct. 7 massacre. But it’s just as obvious what entity can make Israel stop and isn’t doing so: the United States.

Whatever the Biden administration might have thought it was doing by permitting the resolution to pass and then undermining it, the maneuver exposed the continuing damage Israel’s war in Gaza is doing to the United States’ longstanding justification for being a superpower: guaranteeing what U.S. administrations like to call the international rules-based order.

The concept operates as an asterisk placed on international law by the dominant global superpower. It makes the United States one of the reasons international law remains weak, since a rules-based order that exempts the United States and its allies fundamentally undermines the concept of international law.

American policymakers tend to invoke the concept to demonstrate the benefits of U.S. global leadership. It sounds, on the surface, a lot like international law: a stable global order, involving the panoply of international aid and financial institutions, in which the rules of acceptable behavior reflect liberal values. And when U.S. prerogatives coincide with international law, the United States describes the two synonymously. On the eve of Russia’s illegal 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned of a “moment of peril” for “the foundation of the United Nations Charter and the rules-based international order that preserves stability worldwide.”

But when U.S. prerogatives diverge from international law, America apparently has no problem violating it — all while declaring its violations to ultimately benefit global stability. The indelible example is the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, which the George W. Bush administration cynically justified as a means of enforcing U.N. disarmament mandates. Iraq, the supposed violator, endured military occupation, while Washington’s unmatched military and economic power ensured that America faced little consequence for an invasion without U.N. authorization. Shortly before invading, the United States passed a law vowing to use “ all means ” necessary to release Americans detained by the International Criminal Court.

A cohort of American academics and once and future U.S. officials at Princeton later advocated what they called in a 2006 paper “ a world of liberty under law .” They framed it as addressing the weaknesses of international law, suggesting that when international institutions didn’t produce the outcomes favored by the “world of liberty,” there be an “alternative forum for liberal democracies to authorize collective action.” In practice, that forum has often been the White House. During the 2011 Libyan uprising, the United States and its allies used Security Council authorization of a no-fly zone to help overthrow Muammar Qaddafi — whose regime killed far fewer opponents than Israel has killed in Gaza since Oct. 7. American troops have now operated in eastern Syria for more than eight years, long enough for everyone to forget that there is no basis in international law for their presence.

That American-exceptionalist asterisk has been on display after each U.S. veto of cease-fire resolutions at the U.N. With Gaza’s enormous death toll and imminent famine , people can be forgiven for wondering about the point of the United States’ rules-based international order.

International law is unambiguously against what Israel is doing in Gaza. Two months before resolution No. 2728, the International Court of Justice ruled that the continuing Israeli campaign could plausibly be considered genocidal and ordered Israel to take measures to prevent genocide from unfolding. Ahead of 2728’s passage, the Canadian Parliament approved a motion, however porous , to stop new arms transfers to Israel. And the day the Security Council approved the resolution, the U.N.’s special rapporteur for the occupied territories, Francesca Albanese, recommended that member states should “immediately” embargo weapon shipments to Israel, since Israel “appears to have failed to comply with the binding measures ordered” by the international court.

But after 2728 passed, the White House national security spokesman, John Kirby, clarified that U.S. weapon sales and transfers to Israel would be unaffected. To the astonishment of some Senate Democrats , the State Department averred that Israel was not violating a Biden administration policy that recipients of American weaponry comply with international law. Last week, the White House reiterated that it had not seen “any incidents where the Israelis have violated international humanitarian law” after the Israel Defense Forces repeatedly bombed a convoy of aid workers from the World Central Kitchen who had informed the Israelis of their movements, killing seven.

The reality is that Washington is now arming a combatant that the United Nations Security Council has ordered to stop fighting, an uncomfortable position that helps explain why the United States insists 2728 isn’t binding.

And that reality isn’t lost on the rest of the world. The slaughter in Gaza has disinclined some foreign officials and groups to listen to U.S. officials about other issues. Annelle Sheline, a State Department human-rights officer who recently resigned over Gaza , told The Washington Post that some activist groups in North Africa simply stopped meeting with her and her colleagues. “Trying to advocate for human rights just became impossible” while the United States aids Israel, she said.

It’s a dynamic that sounds awfully reminiscent of what happened outside Europe when U.S. diplomats fanned out globally to rally support for Ukraine two years ago. They encountered “a very clear negative reaction to the American propensity for defining the global order and forcing countries to take sides,” as Fiona Hill, a Brookings Institution scholar, observed in a speech last year.

If the United States was frustrated by that negative reaction, imagine the reaction, post-Gaza, that awaits Washington the next time it seeks global support for the target of an adversary. The dead-on-arrival passage of resolution 2728 may very well be remembered as an inflection point in the decline of the rules-based international order — which is to say the world that the United States seeks to build and maintain.

Rising powers will be happy to cite U.S. precedent as they assert their own exceptions to international law. For as Gaza shows in a horrific manner, a world with exceptions to international law is one in which the least powerful suffer the most.

Spencer Ackerman is a foreign-policy columnist for The Nation and the author of “Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump.”

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] .

Follow the New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Instagram , TikTok , WhatsApp , X and Threads .

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  2. Example Of Supported Opinion Paragraph

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  3. 004 Essay Example Opinion Samples ~ Thatsnotus

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  5. (9) Sample Opinion Essay Pjj (1)

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VIDEO

  1. Expressing Opinions in English: Key Phrases for Speaking & Listening

  2. Opinion Essay/IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Academic/ Essay Structure/ Essay Templates

  3. How to express opinion in IELTS correctly... #ielts #ieltsspeaking #ieltspreparation

  4. Opinion Essay Writing

  5. Opinion Essay (Agree or disagree)

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write an Opinion Essay in 6 Steps

    Paragraph 1: Introduction. Capture your reader's attention with a good hook. Present the prompt and state your opinion. Some tips for a good opinion essay hook: Use a surprising statistic. Profess an unpopular opinion. Ask a rhetorical question. Share an anecdote.

  2. Ultimate Guide To Writing An Opinion Essay: 50 Inspiring Examples And

    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.

  3. How to Write an Opinion Essay: Structure, Examples

    Body Paragraph 3. Supporting argument. Example. Explanation. A linking sentence to the conclusion. Conclusion paragraph. Summary of the entire paper. A conclusive sentence (the bigger picture in conclusion) If you need some help, leave us a message ' write my essay cheap ' and we'll help.

  4. An opinion essay

    Introduce your essay by restating the question in your own words. If the essay asks you to what extent do you agree?, make your opinion clear throughout. You can either agree, partially agree or disagree with the statement, explaining and justifying your opinion. The structure should be: Introduction.

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

    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.

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

    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 ...

  7. An opinion essay

    Read the question carefully. Respond to all ideas in it or all parts of it. Plan your ideas first and then choose the best ones. Introduce your essay by restating the question in your own words. Show understanding of both sides of the argument. Use linking words to connect your ideas. Draw your conclusion from the main ideas in your essay.

  8. Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write an Opinion Essay + Examples

    An essay based on a person's personal opinion implies a clear statement of the author's thoughts on a specific topic. However, to show understanding of the problem, one should rely on facts, research, or examples from life. A supported opinion essay is precisely when the author's opinion is based on objective factors.

  9. Opinion Essay Writing

    Let us have a look at the detailed opinion essay format structure given below. Introduction. Grab the audience's interest with a hook statement. Present your opinion. Introduce the main topic. State the thesis statement. Body Paragraph 1. Write a topic sentence with the first reason. Supporting evidence.

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

    4. Include your thesis statement. As you're writing an opinion essay, it's essential to use the researched information to create your thesis and support your argument, rather than simply quoting information from other sources. Your thesis comprises your position or claim on the selected topic and indicates to the reader what your essay is about.

  11. Writing an Engaging Opinion Essay: Examples & Tips

    Topic sentence: Introduce the first reason why you hold this opinion. Supporting details: Provide evidence and examples to support your argument. Counterargument: Address a possible counterargument and explain why it is not valid. Concluding sentence: Summarize the main points of the paragraph.

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

    Here's an example of an opinion paper outline: Example: 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.

  13. Writing an opinion essay

    An opinion essay has three parts: Introduction; Arguments or reasons that support your view. Conclusion; Introduction. Paragraph 1. Introduce the topic and give your opinion. Say whether you agree or disagree with the statement or question. It can be a good idea to use a question to grab the reader's attention. Check the two examples below:

  14. An opinion essay

    Opinion essay First of all I think play videogames is a good think to pas the time doing somethink. Is very fun play videogames, I love it and you can play the same game with your friends online. You can convine play videogames with do sport because when you play videogames you are sitting in a chair.

  15. 2 Opinion Essay Examples That Get to the Point

    Susan says: *[5] Here, the writer effectively uses an example from a source to support the opinion that older adults simply don't take younger people seriously. Take note: This paragraph mentions a source but forgets a proper in-text citation. Read more about proper citation styles in The Stress-Free Guide to APA Essay Format and The Stress-Free Guide to MLA Essay Format (8th Edition).

  16. PDF An opinion essay

    Task 1. Write a number (1-5) to put the essay paragraphs in order. Main point - the advantages of using memory over searching online. Main point - the negative social effects of internet use. Introduction - an explanation of the essay question in other words. Conclusion - the internet cannot replace memory.

  17. 3 Strong Argumentative Essay Examples, Analyzed

    By reading good argumentative essay examples, you can learn how to develop your essay and provide enough support to make readers agree with your opinion. When writing your essay, remember to always make your thesis clear, show where the other side is weak, and back up your opinion with data and evidence.

  18. Example of a Great Essay

    This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people's social and cultural lives.

  19. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    Examples of argumentative essay prompts. At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response. Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

  20. IELTS Opinion Essays

    See examples of good and poor answers & learn some common mistakes to avoid. The 5 Task 2 Essay Types: Step-by-step instructions on how to plan & write high-level essays. Model answers & common mistakes to avoid. Opinion Essays Discussion Essays Problem Solution Essays Advantages & Disadvantages Essays Double Question Essays

  21. 49 Opinion Writing Prompts for Students

    49 Opinion Writing Prompts for Students. 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.

  22. PDF B2 First for Schools Writing Part 1 (An opinion essay) Summary

    Paragraph 1 Introduce the topic using a general statement and give your opinion. Say whether you agree or disagree with the statement. Paragraph 2 Give the first reason to support your opinion. Provide specific justifications for your opinion, using examples if necessary. Paragraph 3 Give the second reason to support your opinion.

  23. 177 College Essay Examples for 11 Schools + Expert Analysis

    Technique #1: humor. Notice Renner's gentle and relaxed humor that lightly mocks their younger self's grand ambitions (this is different from the more sarcastic kind of humor used by Stephen in the first essay—you could never mistake one writer for the other). My first dream job was to be a pickle truck driver.

  24. Opinion

    In the Supreme Court's Bostock v. Clayton County decision in 2020, which outlawed workplace discrimination against gay and transgender people, Justice Neil Gorsuch used "sex," not "sex ...

  25. Opinion

    1948. By J. D. Vance. Mr. Vance, a Republican, is the junior senator from Ohio. President Biden wants the world to believe that the biggest obstacle facing Ukraine is Republicans and our lack of ...

  26. NPR responds after editor says it has 'lost America's trust' : NPR

    Berliner says in the essay that NPR failed to consider broader diversity of viewpoint, noting, "In D.C., where NPR is headquartered and many of us live, I found 87 registered Democrats working in ...

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    Old habits, coffee-related and otherwise, are gathering dust in the cabinets of my life. But in the space created by their absence, new life comes streaming in — more of it every instant. Peter ...

  28. Senior NPR editor claims public broadcaster lacks 'viewpoint diversity

    In the piece on Free Press, a site run by Bari Weiss, a former opinion editor at the New York Times, Berliner noted that in 2011 the public broadcaster's audience identified as 26% conservative ...

  29. Opinion

    Where Is America's 'Rules-Based Order' Now? Mr. Ackerman is a foreign-policy columnist for The Nation and the author of "Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced ...

  30. NPR faces right-wing revolt and calls for defunding after editor ...

    A day after NPR senior business editor Uri Berliner penned a scathing piece for Bari Weiss' Free Press, the network finds itself under siege.