Opinion Essays

1 What are your views on the question, "Should people convicted of minor crimes do community service rather than go to prison?"

2 Bl Read the viewpoints and reasons mentioned in the table below, then listen to the cassette and match each of the viewpoints with the appropriate reason. Then, identify which aspects of the Discussion Clock on p. 59 the points relate to. Finally, using the notes, give a one-minute talk on the subject, using words from the following list.

I firmly believe The reason for this In addition

For example ¡instance




1 Community service saves taxpayers money

2 Benefits other members of the community directly

3 Prison turns minor offenders into hardened criminals

4 Minor offenders doing community service remain part of normal societ}'

Punishment includes providing care for the aged, maintaining parks, etc

They keep their jobs, live at home with their families, etc

Prisons are expensive to run, while community service costs little

To survive prison life, they must beiome like other prisoners

Paragraph 1

state the topic and yo opinion clearly

/f* An opinioi i opinion essay is a formal piece of writing. It requires your opinion on a topic, which J must be stated clearly, giving various viewpoints on the topic supported by reasons and/or examples. You should also include the opposing viewpoint in another paragraph.

A successful opinion essay should have:

a) an introductory paragraph in which you state the topic and your opinion.

a main body which consists of several paragraphs, each presenting a separate viewpoint supported by reasons. You also include a paragraph presenting the opposing viewpoint and reason why you think it is an unconvincing viewpoint: and a conclusion in which you restate your opinion using different words.

Points to consider

Decide whether you agree or disagree with the subject of the topic, then make a list of your viewpoints and reasons.

Write well-developed paragraphs, joining the sentences with appropriate linking words and phrases. Do not forget to start each paragraph with a topic sentence which summarises what the paragraph is about.

Linking words and phrases should also be used to join one paragraph with the other. Apply techniques presented on p. 56 to begin and end your essay.


Paragraph 1

state the topic and yo opinion clearly

Main Body

Paragraph 2

viewpoint 1 & reason, example

Paragraph 3

viewpoint 2 & reason, example

Paragraph 4

viewpoint 3 & reason/ example*

Paragraph 5

opposing viewpoint & reason/example*


Final Paragraph summarise/restate opii

* You may include more 1 points, and thus more j graphs in the main bod

3 Read (he model below and complete the paragraph plan on the right, identifying the topic of each paragraph. Has the opposing viewpoint been included, and if so, in which paragraph? Then, replace the linking words or phrases in bold type with other synonymous ones.

Throughout this century, the role of women within society has changed, and the maionty ot people feel that this change is for the better. More women work than ever before, and it is accepted in Western culture that many women now have careers. Nonetheless, in my opinion there is still a great deal of sexual discrimination against women within society, and the belief that sexual equality has been achieved is not altogether accurate.

To begin with, many women find it very difficult to return to work after having children. The main reason for this is that there are rarely any provisions made for childcare in the workplace and, in these cases, women are forced to find someone to look after the children while they are at work. Obviously, this can prove to be a time-consuming and expensive process, yet it must be done if mothers are to be able to resume their careers. Secondly, the traditional views of the position ol women within society are so deeply ingrained that they have introduction -

summary of the topic ■ clear statement of opinion

Main Body -

freally changed. For instance, not only is the view that women should stay at and look after their family still widely held, but it is reinforced through images seen on television programmes and advertisements. An example ol this is that few men are ever seen doing housework on television, since this is traditionally thought of as "a woman's job".

Thirdly, since families often need two incomes in order to enjoy a good standard of living, a woman finds herself doing two jobs: one at home and one at the office. So. it could be said that a woman's position has. in fact, deteriorated rather than improved, with the result that women carry the burdens of I equality but get none of the benefits

In contrast there are some people who claim that the problem ot sexual discrimination no longer exists. They pant out that women do. after all. have legal rights intended to protect them from discnmi-natlon. In addition, a few women are now beginnrg to reach top positions as judges, business leaders and politicians, while a number of other previously all-male professions are opening their ranks | to women. Nonetheless, these examples are not the norm and discrimination is still very much with us.

Taking these points into consideration. I would say that the position of women has improved only slightly. While rules and laws have changed, it is the deep-rooted opinions of people within society which are taking a longer time to evolve. Needless to say until these attitudes have changed, sexual discrimination will remain a problem which we all need to face and fight against.

Useful Expressions for Giving Opinions:

It is my (firm) belief/opinion/view/conviction (that) ...

In my opinion/view... I (firmly) believe... I am (not) convinced that... I (do not) agree that/with ... It strikes me that...

My opinion is that, I (definitely) feel/think that... I am inclined to believe that.. It seems/appears to me ... As far as I am concerned, ...

4 Look at the following skeleton sentences and decide whether you agree or disagree with each statement. Then, give your opinion on each, using expressions from the above table and expanding the sentences.

1 television / have / negative effect / society

2 carry out experiments / animals / be / morally wrong

3 wildlife parks, if / be / managed properly, / can help / protection / certain endangered species

4 real problem / be / lack / public awareness / and / not / lack / recycling facilities

5 more responsibility / one / have / less freedom one / enjoy

6 only alternative / some poor people / be / steal

5 "It is important to follow fashion." Do you agree?

Identify whether the arguments listed below are in favour of (F) or against (A) the statement in the essay title above. Then put a tick (/) against each argument which you feel is convincing, and suggest a suitable justification or example. Finally, add any further arguments of your own.

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  • jeffrey
    How to write a giving opinion composition?
    8 years ago

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