Teaching Students About Opinion Writing

To put it simply, opinion writing is a formal piece that requires your opinion on a topic. Usually, opinion writing comes in an essay, articles, or informative reports, but opinion writing skills are featured across various writing styles. Opinion writing is defined by the ability to justify an opinion with reasons, facts, and resources that can legitimize the viewpoint.

What is Opinion Writing Structure?


Opinion Writing will often follow a compact structure that will reinforce the given viewpoint step by step. The form will always begin with a title. The title of an opinion piece should be used to convince readers to continue with the essay or article. An excellent way to do this is by using a question. For instance, “Are Pandas Worth Saving?” This question immediately divides the audience into for or against and encourages them to read on to gain more information.

Opening Statement

Next is your opening statement, which needs to be a punchy summation of your opinion. Your readers have started with their own opinion; let’s say they believe that pandas should be saved, and they will be looking to your opening sentence as a prompt to understand which side of the argument you fall on. For this example, the writer disagrees and believes pandas shouldn’t be saved. The reader will now be looking for you to justify this standpoint. The first paragraph elaborates on the first sentence, where you state the finer points of your view and add a little context to your motivation.


After this compelling opening, the opinion writing structure presents an argument. It’s all well and good to have an opinion that you’re passionate about, but to create an idea-based piece of writing, there needs to be a further argument. For example, why aren’t pandas worth saving? Is your statement about their declining numbers, difficulty keeping them in captivity, or poor diet choices? Or do you not like pandas and don’t care much if they go extinct? It’s essential to give transparent and honest arguments that back up your stated opinion, as this is an opportunity to start informing the reader or changing their mind.

Perhaps there’s a reason they haven’t thought of that you can give or a new piece of information they don’t know. Either way, it’s the first step in justifying why you think your opinion is correct.


Next up is the supporting evidence. This is the longest part of the opinion writing structure as it takes the most detail. There are loads of ways that you can bring supporting evidence into your opinion writing. For example, you can quote experts on your subject who agree with your point, giving you a sense of authority as you show you have informed your opinion. Visual aids are also great; graphs and charts quickly convey information supporting your ideas. The best thing about evidence is that it’s difficult to refute if you find a reputable source. This lowers the chances of a reader disagreeing with you.

Top Tip – You can repeat the argument and evidence stage as often. The more you do, the more authoritative your voice becomes.


Conclusions are the final piece of the opinion writing structure, echoing the opening. Your aim here isn’t to introduce people to your opinion but to sum everything up and remind them of what they have read. “Pandas shouldn’t be saved because they infrequently mate, eat bamboo with little nutritional value, and cost lots of money to keep.” It can be easy to provide a conclusion that states everything but the tricky part is making a powerful, lasting sentiment in the reader. Try using emotive language to reinforce your voice – “Pandas cannot be saved. They are terrible at reproducing to save their species; they feast on plants that give them no nutrition and bleed the pockets of zoos and conservatories world wide.” The same points are being made, but now the audience finishes your writing with an emotional response to your opinion.

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