Opinion Writing: a Guide to Writing a Successful Essay Easily
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?
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 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
- 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.
- 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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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.
🤔 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!
🗝️ 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
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
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.
🔗 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.
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.
- 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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How to Write an Opinion Essay: An Ultimate Guide + Examples
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 on any topic for 13.00 10.40/page
- 📑 Essay Outline
- 🏇 Introduction & Conclusion
- 💬 30 Basic Expressions
- ✅ Dos and Don’ts
- 👌 Essay Examples
🏁 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 .
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.
📑 Opinion Essay Outline
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.
🏇 Opinion Essay Format: Introduction & Conclusion
After you’ve finished the outline, you will have all of your facts organized. But how do you start an opinion essay? It’s time you learn how to develop an introduction.
The introduction paragraph is a kind of roadmap describing the path your paper will take. Its primary goal is to prepare your readers to dip into the text. An opinion essay introduction secret is to give your readers a hook, grab their attention, and make the rest of the writing irresistible. After hooking your audience, introduce the topic and briefly describe supporting reasons to expand on in body paragraphs.
Receive a plagiarism-free paper tailored to your instructions.
The opinion essay conclusion wraps up your paper. It’s a summary that broadly covers your ideas and allows your readers to understand your arguments.
Apply the following techniques to start and finish your opinion paper:
- Address the reader directly
- Start with a quote
- Use thought-provoking or rhetorical questions
- Refer to a striking or unusual fact, idea, or situation
💬 30 Sentence Starters for Your Opinion Essay
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.
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✅ Dos and Don’ts of Opinion Writing
Do you need more expert advice on how to write a great essay?
Basic Dos in Writing an Opinion Essay
- Use formal style . Write your assignment as if you are giving an important speech.
- Avoid slang and jargon .
- Introduce the topic clearly . Avoid unnecessary phrases and useless facts that do not relate directly to the topic.
- Outline the main ideas . Start each paragraph with a clear topic sentence.
- Use generalizations .
- Use the present tense when writing an opinion article.
- Properly cite your sources .
- Stay brief . Especially when writing conclusions. If you don’t feel like a professsional summary typer , use specialized tools.
- Be logical . Make sure that there is a logical sequence that allows your readers easy to follow.
Basic Don’ts in Writing an Opinion Essay
- Don’t use colloquial expressions . Even though the slang language is expressive and vivid, jargon words come and go quickly.
- Don’t use short forms . Replace the contractions with the non-contracted versions of the words.
- Don’t use over-generalizations . Stay very precise.
- Don’t use statistics without proper referencing .
- Don’t give personal examples . Stick to a formal writing style and mood.
- Don’t repeat arguments . If you have a few similar facts, group them as a single argument.
- Avoid unnecessary abbreviations . Your reader should understand what you’re writing about.
- Don’t overuse short and straightforward sentences . They are not typical for academic writing.
- Don’t use an imperative voice .
- Avoid exclamation marks, parentheses, dashes . Try to be discreet.
- Don’t address your readers as “you” .
- Don’t use emotive vocabulary .
👌 Opinion Essay Examples
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 .
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
An opinion essay, sometimes called “argumentative,” or “persuasive,” presents the author’s perception of a subject as well as supporting arguments. It is written in a standard essay format. In such essays, authors usually try to persuade the readers that their opinion is the correct one.
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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An opinion essay
Learn how to write an opinion essay.
Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.
Information will soon be so easy to find on the internet that people will not need to remember anything. Do you agree?
Nowadays all the information we could ever need is available online and some people say that means the end of having to learn anything.
It is true that these days everything you want to know is a few clicks away as long as you have internet access. However, not everyone has working internet all the time, for example in certain buildings or remote locations, so we do need to be able to remember information. Moreover, it takes time to look up everything you need to know online, whereas remembering something is immediate. The human memory is a much more efficient system.
Another problem is the quality of the information online. How do we know if it is accurate or reliable? We need to think about other facts we know and remember how to compare information from different websites. Knowing (and remembering) how to find certain information will be more important than knowing the information itself.
Finally, the internet is a good tool but it is not a useful replacement for our brains. If we did not remember anything, we would all spend even more time on our phones and computers than we already do, which is not good for society.
In conclusion, the internet offers us many things but it is still important to use our knowledge and memories. We need our memories to function without the internet and we also need to know how to use the internet properly.
- 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. Don't introduce new ideas at the end.
What do you think about the question? Would it be better or worse if we never learned anything and just used the internet instead?
I think the use of the internet is not only in conflict with learning, but It has made the speed of learning faster and more comfortable.
On the one hand, With the advent of the internet and access to data whenever we want, we were able to free our minds from memorizing a lot of unnecessary data. It caused that instead of spending our time to remember the formulas and data, we use our time for a deeper understanding of the concepts. Concentration on understanding was a big step in order to make us more clear about how to apply scientific concepts practically, and It made the evolutionary process of turning scientific concepts into experimental tests go faster. Going through this evolutionary process quickly, in turn, caused, firstly, the faster growth of modern technologies and, secondly, the creation of many new data, concepts, and sciences. And now the data volume is so much that not only you can never remember or learn them, but you have to choose the best one that works for you. Somehow, the internet has changed how to learn. It has focused on analyzing the options and choosing the best one to learn Instead of memorizing a bunch of content.
On the other hand, Theoretically speaking, One of the laws In the world is that everything can be useful or harmful in turn. This law also applies to the internet. In fact, how to use the internet determines whether it is useful or harmful. Like many other tools that have been invented such as smartphones, smartwatches, electric cars, and so on we have spent time learning how to use them. In order to get the best out of the internet and don't waste our time, we must take the time to learn how to search. The searching skill is the most important one that helps us find better results.
In conclusion, Given the two analyzed reasons above, I agree with the idea that easy access to Information makes people get rid of memorizing lots of data. But this has nothing to do with the quality or quantity of learning.
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I think it depends on the type of information. Some information are easier to remember, and hence it's more efficient to have them in memory instead of looking for them online. However, some complex information is offered online, and it will be impractical if we tried to remember it. Additionally, I believe that learning is not just about acquiring knowledge. It's about learning how to think with this knowledge available and solve problems efficiently. That's why the internet is considered a valuable tool to promote learning, not to replace it.
Nowadays we are witnesses how far technology has developed in a short time. A huge of information is backing up on internet and if you have access of surfing you can find any information that you are looking for. However, there are some relevant aspects that should be taking into account when we are talking about using always internet instead of learning. In this sense, the purpose of this essay will be to explain why it is not a good idea. Firstly, as you know, most of the information on internet is fake. For that reason, it is impossible the learning process can be replaced by internet use. If you are looking for reliable information you have to learn how it works. In other words you need of learning even if you want to use internet all the time because you have to discern what of all information is useful for you purpose. For example, if you are a student and want to write an essay about a specific topic you likely have to search for the best information if you want to get a job position or scholarship. Secondly, there is a high demand for professionals who have specific skills in the field that they are pretending to be involved. That’s why learning always is a must for satisfying the requirements of companies and institutions. For instance, in the education field, the main aim is the learning and knowledge which are essential on a daily life to be an expert in your field of action and these skills can’t be acquired through internet surfing. To sum up learning and knowledge are fundamentals in a current world that is demanding professionals highly qualified even in our daily live and the internet is far away of satisfying the required skills that you get every day through the practice, research and networking.
I think it become worse and dangerous for our society, we need to control it making rules. Without internet, many skills and knowledge could´nt be used.
I believe that, The internet become even more dangerous for young people who barely discovered the world around them, If they count on it for seeking information without parental supervision, it would be a disaster!
In nowadays,there are many ways to reach information.The Internet is just one of them but maybe most promising one.The Internet helps us to find information easily and efficently.
However there are some negative sides of Internet.For instance realibilty of information.There are no real control on Internet.I reckon there will not be soon.This reduces the trust in internet.This is why People will always need another source to be make sure and need to remember information.
It is also necesseray for objectivity. You can not just have one source and expect true and impartial information. It is against nature of science.This is not how science works.People must have and process the information.In this way we expand our knowledge.When we make brainstorm we always end up with another information. If we don’t have and process the information how Science works?
I suppose in the future People will never trust completely to Internet. They will always need another source and they will need to interrogate source of information.In conclusion Internet is by far most promising invention People have ever invented.However Internet is not beyond our brain and imagination.We will always need to posses and process the information.
It is about my hometown: My hometown is a beautiful, attractive and cool. N'beika is one of the most famous places in Mauritania where attractive views and economic capacities are in. It is located in Tagant which is in middle of the map. Therefore, It is one the biggest cities in the country. As there are interesting geographical features such as: high Mountains, nice valleys, light hills and wonderful pools. Historically, N'beika played an important role in culture, trade exchange and fighting colonialist. Also it has saved historical landmarks, for example: manuscripts, books and cities which the most important is Gasr Albarka. In the north, there have tourist views and in the East big mountains with lovely valleys like Matmata where there are some Alligators in and other attractive animals. As well as from the south and the west there are some fields, forests and farms. Moreover, people are interested in agriculture, trade, development and education. Furthermore, there are many schools and Mahidras and three colleges providing well-deserved education to students. What's more, mall shops is offering demands and created jobs for unemployment. There are different favourite for people , some of them are crazy about football as youth, and some people like doing agriculture and development. Moreover, there are entrepreneurs doing a small business like selling clothes, pitch, barbershop... etc. In conclusion, N'beika is a gift of Allah that has given to people to spend nice moments in order to feel happy and to invest for everything we want due to gain lots of money .
I believe it is amazing updated technology which has helped us a lot in our lives. In todays era everyone has access to internet over the globe. you can easily find all the information on internet that is required to you. Even though learn many new skills which aren't even taught you from the help of internet. it is good help for book writer like us where we can be part of book writing communities or book writing resources to enhance our skills and provides more guidance to others.
It would be unfortunate if we never learned anything at all. It is true that the Internet has become such a vital part of our social lives, and has made information accessible. However, Relying on the Internet all the time may hinders our growth as a person whereas, using our memory to remember things and recalled information can widen our horizons, broaden our perspective and harness our skills. Learning is a lifelong process that enables us to function effectively and brings out our full potentials.
Without learning the internet would not exit. There needs to be learning to develop skills and knowledge.
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Writing an Opinion Essay
- M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
- B.A., History, Armstrong State University
At any point, you may find yourself having to write an essay that is based on your personal opinion about a controversial topic . Depending on your objective, your composition could be any length—a short letter to the editor , a medium-sized speech , or even a long research paper . But every piece should contain some basic steps and elements. This is how to write an opinion essay.
Research Your Topic
To write an effective opinion essay, you have to understand your topic inside and out. Your personal opinion should be informed and fully developed, but it doesn't stop there. Research popular counterclaims as well—in order to truly understand what you are arguing for or against, it is imperative that you understand the opposing side.
Acknowledge Popular Arguments
It is likely that you will be writing about a controversial topic that has been debated before. Look at the arguments made in the past and see how they fit in with your own opinion. How is your point of view similar to or different from those articulated by previous debaters? Has something changed between now and the time others were writing about it? If not, what does the lack of change mean?
Consider an opinion essay on the topic of school uniforms:
Against Uniforms: “A common complaint among students is that uniforms restrict their rights to freedom of expression."
For Uniforms: “While some students feel that uniforms hinder self-expression, others believe that they ease the pressure to uphold certain standards of appearance by their peers.”
Use a Transition Statement
In an opinion paper, transition statements show how your individual opinion adds to the already-made arguments; they can also suggest that those previous statements are incomplete or faulty. Follow up with a statement that expresses your opinion:
Against Uniforms: "While I agree that the regulations do hamper my ability to express my individualism, I think the economic burden that uniforms bring about is a bigger concern."
For Uniforms: “There's concern about the financial pressure that requiring uniforms could bring about, but the administration has developed a program for students needing assistance.”
Watch Your Tone
"Many students come from low-income families, and they simply don't have the resources to buy new clothing to suit the headmaster's fashion whims."
This statement contains a sour note. You may be passionate about your opinion, but sarcastic, derisive language only weakens your argument by making you sound unprofessional. This says enough:
"Many students come from low-income families, and they simply don't have the resources to buy so much new clothing."
Use Supporting Evidence to Validate Your Position
Although the essay is about your opinion, you have to back up your claims—factual statements will always be more impactful than pure opinion or vague comments. As you research your topic, look for information that will act as sound evidence for why your position is "right." Then, sprinkle factoids throughout your opinion paper to reinforce your point of view.
Your supporting statements should match the type of composition you're writing, e.g. general observations for a letter to the editor and credible statistics for a research paper . Anecdotes from individuals involved in the issue can also provide a human aspect to your argument.
Against Uniforms: "The recent increase in fees has already led to a decrease in enrollment."
For Uniforms: "Some of my friends are excited by the prospect of uniforms because they won't have to worry about choosing an outfit every morning."
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The Ultimate Guide to Writing an Opinion Essay
04 November, 2020
14 minutes read
Author: Elizabeth Brown
Picture this. You're walking on a tightrope that's about 70ft in the air, with no protective gear and no expert to guide you. While this may seem like an extremely dramatic scenario that you'd never find yourself in, this is exactly what opinion essays seem like to many people. For a lot of people, especially students, writing an opinion essay can be very tricky. How do you strike a balance between stating your opinions and dishing out pure facts? How do you structure an opinion essay?
This guide will provide an answer to all the questions racing through your mind. Let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we?
What Is an Opinion Essay?
Just like the name implies, an opinion essay is a type of essay that outlines and reflects the writer’s point of view. However, it is important to point out that in writing an opinion essay, it isn’t enough to just present your opinions or point of view. You will also need to support them with sufficient logical reasoning and examples.
In most cases, you may outline or suggest an opposing viewpoint and then back it up with arguments that point out its flaws.
At this point, you’re probably asking one question that every essay writer has asked at some point in their lives: ‘isn’t an opinion essay the same as an argumentative essay? Absolutely not. In argumentative or persuasive essays, you have to explore the topic from different viewpoints while providing counterpoints at the same time.
On the other hand, opinion essays only require you to focus on your opinion about the topic.
Opinion Essay Outline
Looking to write an opinion essay? Relax and take a deep breath. Just before you get down to the main task of writing the essay, it’s important to draft an outline first.
With the right outline, writing an opinion essay would be as easy as passing a knife through butter.
The typical opinion essay format looks like this:
- The introduction
- The main body
- The conclusion or concluding statement
Not sure how to start an opinion essay? Well, start with the introduction. The introduction clearly presents the topic or issue and states your opinion as well. Here, you need to include a thesis statement which basically summarises the main point of your essay.
Writing an introduction seems pretty straightforward. However, there’s a slight catch to it. How do you keep your audience from rolling their eyes or giving your paper to their dogs before they’ve even read it?
It’s simple. Include a hook to get them engaged as soon as they start reading. This way, your audience will get interested and stay engaged throughout the reading process.
Your hook could be a rhetorical question. It could even be a quotation or a sentence from a popular book or play. All that matters is keeping your audience engaged.
The Main Body
The main body usually contains points that support your thesis statement. Here, you would need to write different paragraphs that address separate aspects of the topic. You would also need to support each paragraph with logical reasoning and facts.
Each paragraph in the main body of the essay should begin with a topic sentence. Subsequent sentences in the paragraph will then contain arguments or evidence that back up the topic sentence.
When it comes to writing the main body of an opinion essay or any essay at all, it is important to address one main idea in one paragraph. Do not begin a new paragraph only to continue talking about the previous idea.
Each new paragraph should introduce a new idea.
The conclusion or concluding statement basically restates your opinion in different words. An important point to note is that the conclusion isn’t an avenue for you to state new ideas that you forgot to address in the body.
You can only say: “Oh! And one more thing!” in real life conversations. It has no place in the concluding statement of an opinion statement.
Instead, try ending your essay with a provocative question, recommendation or warning.
Basic Expressions to Use
When it comes to writing an opinion essay, it is important to use the right phrases and expressions. This way, you can convey your thoughts and viewpoints succinctly. Here are some basic expressions you could use:
- I strongly believe that…
- As far as I am concerned…
- In my own opinion…
- It seems to me that…
- I think that…
- It is popular knowledge that…
- This proves that…
- Despite the fact that…
- Studies have shown that…
- This supports the…
These expressions are quite basic and would help you link thoughts, facts and information perfectly. You could also create your own expressions. Just make sure you use the right nouns, adjectives, tenses and linking words.
Opinion Essay Examples
If you’re new to the world of opinion essays, you may still be unsure about how to write a perfect essay. In this case, it’s always best to draw inspiration from well-written opinion essay examples.
Here are some excellent examples that could guide you:
30 Opinion Essay Topics
Looking for the perfect topic for your opinion essay? Whether you’re sourcing for an assignment topic or you just need to keep your fingers busy by practicing, there are tons of opinion essay topics out there.
In some cases, you may be required to come up with your own topic. If this is the case, there’s no need to panic or try guessing new topics with the “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” method. That almost never works – unless you’re a toddler, of course.
Instead of panicking, here are some excellent topics you could either use or draw inspiration from:
- Do students in the 21st century rely too much on technology?
- Should the Internet and social media platforms be censored?
- Social media limits the depth of human relationships. Do you agree?
- Is cyberbullying as bad as physical bullying? Which should parents be more concerned about?
- Is it right for parents to go through their kids’ phones to protect them from cyberbullies?
- Global warming doesn’t exist. Support your response with reasons and examples.
- Is there sufficient ecology education in high schools?
- Medical marijuana should be illegal.
- Should children be able to decide in critical medical situations?
- Homeschooling has immense psychological benefits for children.
- Can reading help PTSD students heal?
- Paper books have no place in today’s technological world.
- Can science fiction help to advance technology?
- Do games have cognitive effects on adults like they do on children?
- People believe that face-to-face interaction is superior to other indirect forms of communication. Do you agree?
- Salary teachers should be paid depending on how much their students and pupils learn.
- Is personal experience the optimal way to learn or gain knowledge about life?
- Change in one’s clothing or mode of dressing can alter the person’s behaviour. Do you agree? Support your position with factual statements.
- Reading novels and other forms of literature has a larger cognitive effect on children than watching movies.
- Should uniforms be mandatory in schools or should students be able to wear what they want?
- Companies should screen potential employees for mental and psychological issues.
- In some cases, when students move to new schools, they encounter problems like bullying. How can schools help to solve these problems?
- Borrowing money from friends can put a long-term strain on the friendship. Do you agree?
- Has social media changed the way we view people and the world at large?
- The Internet has a role to play in the rising rate of eating disorders.
- Small town life helps to foster long-lasting human relationships.
- Are e-books damaging the reading culture among students and teenagers?
- Parental communication is vital in building trust within families.
- Social media has spiralled intentional plagiarism out of control.
- Why war crimes should be punished.
Writing Tips for an Opinion Essay
At some point in your life, you’d most likely be required to write an opinion essay on a specific topic. Whether you’re a college or a high school student, there are several things to keep in mind when embarking on this journey.
Fortunately, we have outlined a few tips that would help you write the perfect essay.
Here are some of them:
Carry out Research on Your Topic
Before you start writing an extensive opinion essay, it is important to research the topic first. Here’s why: it’s almost impossible to have a solid opinion about a topic you know nothing about. Carrying out research on a particular topic would help you understand all aspects and nooks of the topic.
For instance, if you had to write an opinion essay on “The importance of reading games in learning exercises”, you would need to find out what reading games are. You would also need to research previous studies on the psychological and cognitive effects of reading games on children.
This way, you will be able to form your own opinion about the topic.
Cite and Acknowledge Popular Arguments Related to the Topic
In most cases, you would be writing on a topic that has been debated or argued about in the past. As such, it is important to explore popular arguments that have been made before. See how they fit into your own point of view or opinion.
If there are any similarities or differences, explore them in your writing.
Let’s consider our previous sample topic which addresses the importance of reading games. When writing an opinion essay on this topic, you could acknowledge popular arguments this way:
“ Although many parents believe that reading games are a distraction, others believe that it makes the learning process easier and more fun. “
Watch Your Tone
Let’s admit it: it’s easy to get carried away when you’re writing an opinion essay. However, even though you’re really passionate about airing your opinions, you also need to be mindful of your tone.
Avoid using derisive language to convey your thoughts.
For instance, do not say:
“ Reading games are not teaching-focused and as such, are an excuse for lazy teachers who don’t want to do their jobs “.
Instead, you could say:
“ Reading games are not teaching-focused. Instead, they could create an avenue where children get distracted and play without actually learning anything “.
This way, you can communicate your opinions and thoughts without sounding unprofessional. Remember that your audience is made up of people that come from different backgrounds and walks of life. You definitely don’t want to offend them in the process of airing your opinion.
Use Evidence and Facts to Back up Your Claims
Even though you’re writing all about your opinion, it is important to back up your claims with evidence and facts.
While researching your topic, search for evidence and factual statements to reinforce your position. Typically, factual statements have more impact than emotional or subjective statements. As such, it is advisable to fill your supporting sentences with facts and evidence.
For instance, you could say something like:
“ Studies have shown that children are 60% more likely to learn faster when a game is introduced into the learning process “.
With a statement like this, you would have successfully given more credibility to your point of view.
Make Use of Transition Statements
When writing an opinion essay, transition statements help to link your personal opinions to already existing arguments. They could also portray the flaws in those arguments.
For a clearer picture, take a look at this statement:
“ Although there are concerns that reading games may distract children, I think it is particularly useful in making the learning process more enjoyable, especially for children who struggle with reading “.
Use Formal Language
When writing an opinion essay, it is important to use formal language throughout. Even though you can decide to use informal language, keep various professional and formal words such as: “furthermore”, “thus”, “moreover” and so on.
In the same vein, avoid the use of Internet slang words like “OMG”, “LMAO,” etc.
Write an Opinion Essay with HandmadeWriting
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A Step-by-Step Guide to Write an Effective Opinion Essay
17 min read
Published on: Feb 28, 2023
Last updated on: Jul 21, 2023
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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, itâs 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 authorâs 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 writerâs 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 authorâs 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 youâre 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 doâs and donâts 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 isnât 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 childrenâs 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
- As a result
- In conclusion
- Without doubt
- 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.
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With our essay writer, you can be sure your paper will meet all the requirements set by your professor.
Our team of professionals ensures that every essay is written to perfection and meets the highest academic standards.
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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 - Structure, Topics & Examples
By: Cordon J.
Reviewed By: Rylee W.
Published on: Nov 2, 2021
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.
On this Page
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.
- 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!
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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.
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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An opinion essay.
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A Detailed Opinion Essay Writing Guide for Students
Published on: Jan 5, 2023
Last updated on: Jan 5, 2023
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Writing an opinion essay is a chance to reflect your opinion about something. However, a great opinion essay requires good writing and in-depth research skills.
Students everywhere are tasked with writing essays for various purposes. Whether it be an essay about their favorite book or a persuasive essay to convince their audience of something, having guidelines on writing is always useful.
Therefore, when you feel struggle writing this type of essay. Continue reading this blog and get a complete understanding of how to create a well-written essay.
What is an Opinion Essay?
An opinion essay is a type of essay in which the writer presents their perspective on a specific subject. Also, they supported their opinion by reasoning and examples. However, you can also discuss the opposing viewpoint with arguments that show its inconsistency.
The main purpose of the opinion essay is to:
- Prove some ideas.
- Give your opinion on a specific topic.
- Explain something from the subjective position of a writer.
- Describe the causes and relationship of something from the writer’s perspective.
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Moreover, an opinion essay allows you to express and argue your opinion with logical reasoning. Therefore, you should state your opinion clearly.
However, make sure that you collect enough facts and arguments to support your opinion about a particular subject. The information that you collect fits with the points that you present in the essay.
Opinion Essay Structure
Like all other essays, an opinion essay also followed a proper structure. Without using the proper format or structure, your essay is a waste.
Therefore, take a look at the below-mentioned structure of the essay and write a good one.
- Start the essay with a hook statement.
- Provide a general overview of the topic.
- Include the thesis statement that clearly states your point of view
- Paragraph 1: (Argument 1 in favor- along with examples, facts, etc.)
- Paragraph 2: (Argument 2 in favor- along with examples, facts, etc.)
- Paragraph 3: (Argument 3 against- along with examples, facts, etc.)
- Mention all the main points of the essay.
- Free of any new information.
- Restate the thesis statement.
- Leave the reader with a strong final impression.
How to Write an Opinion Essay?
To write a successful essay, you should follow some steps. Therefore, for your help, we compiled some steps that guide you in writing the perfect essay.
Before starting to write the essay, you need to collect information that supports your opinion. However, make sure the information that you collect is relevant and matches your opinion.
Also, in the prewriting phase, you should examine your opinion relevant to the topic. If not, then you should improve it and make it according to your audience’s interest.
2. Create Opinion Essay Outline
With the right essay outline , you will easily create the essay without forgetting the main points. It is like a roadmap that describes the path of the essay that you take. However, for the essay outline, follow the proper format. The opinion essay outline contains:
An introduction is the opening paragraph of the essay, and it should be attention-grabbing. The primary goal of the introduction is to prepare your readers to dip into the text.
After giving the hook statement, introduce the topic and provide some background information about the topic. However, it doesn't explain the essay topic in detail.
Also, conclude the essay with a strong thesis statement that covers the main purpose of the essay.
In the essay body, you need to support your thesis statement. Address the readers directly while expressing your concerns about the given statement.
Also, start every paragraph with a topic sentence and give solid reasons that support your opinion. Moreover, start a new paragraph only when you want to discuss the new idea.
The conclusion is the last but important part of the essay. In this section, restate the main points of the essay and thesis statement. Also, try to avoid writing new ideas or information.
However, make sure that your essay conclusion is more engaging and ends with a warning, ask a provocative question, or suggest consequences.
3. Finalize your Opinion Essay
When you complete writing your essay, start the editing and proofreading step. At this stage, remove grammar, vocabulary, and spelling mistakes. Make sure that your essay format is correct and meets all your requirements.
Also, in this step, check your essay with a plagiarism checker and make sure that your essay is free from plagiarism. Before submitting or publishing the essay, you must proofread or edit your essay.
Have a look at the following file to understand the complete format of this essay.
Opinion Essay Format
Opinion Essay Examples
The examples give you a better idea and help you to learn how to write a great essay. Here are some examples for your ease.
Opinion Essay About Fast Food
Opinion Essay About Internet
Opinion Essay on Online Classes
Opinion Essay Space Exploration
Opinion Essay Sample
GMO Opinion Essay
Opinion Essay Topics
A good essay is incomplete without a great topic. Therefore, for your help, we gathered some essay topics that you will use for your essay.
- Should potentially dangerous medical information be made available?
- The public transportation system is inconvenient in most parts of the U.S.
- Are standardized tests a good measure of intelligence and ability?
- Do you prefer spending money as you earn or saving it for future use?
- Children are often punished for bad grades and rewarded for good ones. Is this practice effective?
- Should I learn English from the British council?
- Why do we like celebrities, and who is your favorite celebrity, if any?
- Would it be wise to raise the legal drinking age further?
- Artists and musicians are as important as technology experts and scientists.
- What do you think about bad language in modern music?
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Tips for Writing the Opinion Essay
The following are the tips that you should follow and write a great opinion essay.
- Before writing, develop your view on the topic.
- Use an active voice.
- Choose an interesting and engaging topic.
- Start with an attention-grabbing hook statement.
- Never title your essay with a question.
- Use supporting evidence to validate your position.
- Use transition words between or within the sentences.
- Research on the topic in-depth and understand them well.
- Write in a logical sequence that is easy to follow.
- Keep your writing style formal.
- Start with a strong argument.
- Understand the audience’s interest.
- Create the essay outline first and then start writing the essay.
- Conclude the essay properly without introducing new ideas or information.
Therefore, follow these tips and create a well-written essay without any mistakes or errors.
Now, you get a complete guide on writing the opinion essay. However, if you are still not sure about writing an essay like professional writers, consult FreeEssayWriter.net .
Our essay writer will guide you in writing the essay, research paper, term paper, thesis, or other academic assignments like experts.
Reach out to us now and get a high-quality essay at affordable rates.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a supported opinion essay.
A supported opinion essay is a way to express your own view on a controversial problem. The first goal of the essay should be to convince readers that your opinion is correct.
Barbara P. (Literature, Marketing)
Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.
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- The four main types of essay | Quick guide with examples
The Four Main Types of Essay | Quick Guide with Examples
Published on September 4, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.
An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays.
Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and descriptive essays are about exercising creativity and writing in an interesting way. At university level, argumentative essays are the most common type.
In high school and college, you will also often have to write textual analysis essays, which test your skills in close reading and interpretation.
Table of contents
Argumentative essays, expository essays, narrative essays, descriptive essays, textual analysis essays, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about types of essays.
An argumentative essay presents an extended, evidence-based argument. It requires a strong thesis statement —a clearly defined stance on your topic. Your aim is to convince the reader of your thesis using evidence (such as quotations ) and analysis.
Argumentative essays test your ability to research and present your own position on a topic. This is the most common type of essay at college level—most papers you write will involve some kind of argumentation.
The essay is divided into an introduction, body, and conclusion:
- The introduction provides your topic and thesis statement
- The body presents your evidence and arguments
- The conclusion summarizes your argument and emphasizes its importance
The example below is a paragraph from the body of an argumentative essay about the effects of the internet on education. Mouse over it to learn more.
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.
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An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a topic. It doesn’t require an original argument, just a balanced and well-organized view of the topic.
Expository essays test your familiarity with a topic and your ability to organize and convey information. They are commonly assigned at high school or in exam questions at college level.
The introduction of an expository essay states your topic and provides some general background, the body presents the details, and the conclusion summarizes the information presented.
A typical body paragraph from an expository essay about the invention of the printing press is shown below. Mouse over it to learn more.
The invention of the printing press in 1440 changed this situation dramatically. Johannes Gutenberg, who had worked as a goldsmith, used his knowledge of metals in the design of the press. He made his type from an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony, whose durability allowed for the reliable production of high-quality books. This new technology allowed texts to be reproduced and disseminated on a much larger scale than was previously possible. The Gutenberg Bible appeared in the 1450s, and a large number of printing presses sprang up across the continent in the following decades. Gutenberg’s invention rapidly transformed cultural production in Europe; among other things, it would lead to the Protestant Reformation.
A narrative essay is one that tells a story. This is usually a story about a personal experience you had, but it may also be an imaginative exploration of something you have not experienced.
Narrative essays test your ability to build up a narrative in an engaging, well-structured way. They are much more personal and creative than other kinds of academic writing . Writing a personal statement for an application requires the same skills as a narrative essay.
A narrative essay isn’t strictly divided into introduction, body, and conclusion, but it should still begin by setting up the narrative and finish by expressing the point of the story—what you learned from your experience, or why it made an impression on you.
Mouse over the example below, a short narrative essay responding to the prompt “Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself,” to explore its structure.
Since elementary school, I have always favored subjects like science and math over the humanities. My instinct was always to think of these subjects as more solid and serious than classes like English. If there was no right answer, I thought, why bother? But recently I had an experience that taught me my academic interests are more flexible than I had thought: I took my first philosophy class.
Before I entered the classroom, I was skeptical. I waited outside with the other students and wondered what exactly philosophy would involve—I really had no idea. I imagined something pretty abstract: long, stilted conversations pondering the meaning of life. But what I got was something quite different.
A young man in jeans, Mr. Jones—“but you can call me Rob”—was far from the white-haired, buttoned-up old man I had half-expected. And rather than pulling us into pedantic arguments about obscure philosophical points, Rob engaged us on our level. To talk free will, we looked at our own choices. To talk ethics, we looked at dilemmas we had faced ourselves. By the end of class, I’d discovered that questions with no right answer can turn out to be the most interesting ones.
The experience has taught me to look at things a little more “philosophically”—and not just because it was a philosophy class! I learned that if I let go of my preconceptions, I can actually get a lot out of subjects I was previously dismissive of. The class taught me—in more ways than one—to look at things with an open mind.
A descriptive essay provides a detailed sensory description of something. Like narrative essays, they allow you to be more creative than most academic writing, but they are more tightly focused than narrative essays. You might describe a specific place or object, rather than telling a whole story.
Descriptive essays test your ability to use language creatively, making striking word choices to convey a memorable picture of what you’re describing.
A descriptive essay can be quite loosely structured, though it should usually begin by introducing the object of your description and end by drawing an overall picture of it. The important thing is to use careful word choices and figurative language to create an original description of your object.
Mouse over the example below, a response to the prompt “Describe a place you love to spend time in,” to learn more about descriptive essays.
On Sunday afternoons I like to spend my time in the garden behind my house. The garden is narrow but long, a corridor of green extending from the back of the house, and I sit on a lawn chair at the far end to read and relax. I am in my small peaceful paradise: the shade of the tree, the feel of the grass on my feet, the gentle activity of the fish in the pond beside me.
My cat crosses the garden nimbly and leaps onto the fence to survey it from above. From his perch he can watch over his little kingdom and keep an eye on the neighbours. He does this until the barking of next door’s dog scares him from his post and he bolts for the cat flap to govern from the safety of the kitchen.
With that, I am left alone with the fish, whose whole world is the pond by my feet. The fish explore the pond every day as if for the first time, prodding and inspecting every stone. I sometimes feel the same about sitting here in the garden; I know the place better than anyone, but whenever I return I still feel compelled to pay attention to all its details and novelties—a new bird perched in the tree, the growth of the grass, and the movement of the insects it shelters…
Sitting out in the garden, I feel serene. I feel at home. And yet I always feel there is more to discover. The bounds of my garden may be small, but there is a whole world contained within it, and it is one I will never get tired of inhabiting.
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Though every essay type tests your writing skills, some essays also test your ability to read carefully and critically. In a textual analysis essay, you don’t just present information on a topic, but closely analyze a text to explain how it achieves certain effects.
A rhetorical analysis looks at a persuasive text (e.g. a speech, an essay, a political cartoon) in terms of the rhetorical devices it uses, and evaluates their effectiveness.
The goal is not to state whether you agree with the author’s argument but to look at how they have constructed it.
The introduction of a rhetorical analysis presents the text, some background information, and your thesis statement; the body comprises the analysis itself; and the conclusion wraps up your analysis of the text, emphasizing its relevance to broader concerns.
The example below is from a rhetorical analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech . Mouse over it to learn more.
King’s speech is infused with prophetic language throughout. Even before the famous “dream” part of the speech, King’s language consistently strikes a prophetic tone. He refers to the Lincoln Memorial as a “hallowed spot” and speaks of rising “from the dark and desolate valley of segregation” to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” The assumption of this prophetic voice constitutes the text’s strongest ethical appeal; after linking himself with political figures like Lincoln and the Founding Fathers, King’s ethos adopts a distinctly religious tone, recalling Biblical prophets and preachers of change from across history. This adds significant force to his words; standing before an audience of hundreds of thousands, he states not just what the future should be, but what it will be: “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” This warning is almost apocalyptic in tone, though it concludes with the positive image of the “bright day of justice.” The power of King’s rhetoric thus stems not only from the pathos of his vision of a brighter future, but from the ethos of the prophetic voice he adopts in expressing this vision.
A literary analysis essay presents a close reading of a work of literature—e.g. a poem or novel—to explore the choices made by the author and how they help to convey the text’s theme. It is not simply a book report or a review, but an in-depth interpretation of the text.
Literary analysis looks at things like setting, characters, themes, and figurative language. The goal is to closely analyze what the author conveys and how.
The introduction of a literary analysis essay presents the text and background, and provides your thesis statement; the body consists of close readings of the text with quotations and analysis in support of your argument; and the conclusion emphasizes what your approach tells us about the text.
Mouse over the example below, the introduction to a literary analysis essay on Frankenstein , to learn more.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, protagonist Victor Frankenstein is a stable representation of the callous ambition of modern science throughout the novel. This essay, however, argues that far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as. This essay begins by exploring the positive portrayal of Frankenstein in the first volume, then moves on to the creature’s perception of him, and finally discusses the third volume’s narrative shift toward viewing Frankenstein as the creature views him.
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At high school and in composition classes at university, you’ll often be told to write a specific type of essay , but you might also just be given prompts.
Look for keywords in these prompts that suggest a certain approach: The word “explain” suggests you should write an expository essay , while the word “describe” implies a descriptive essay . An argumentative essay might be prompted with the word “assess” or “argue.”
The vast majority of essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Almost all academic writing involves building up an argument, though other types of essay might be assigned in composition classes.
Essays can present arguments about all kinds of different topics. For example:
- In a literary analysis essay, you might make an argument for a specific interpretation of a text
- In a history essay, you might present an argument for the importance of a particular event
- In a politics essay, you might argue for the validity of a certain political theory
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.
The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.
Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.
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10 Personal Statement Essay Examples That Worked
What’s covered:, what is a personal statement.
- Essay 1: Summer Program
- Essay 2: Being Bangladeshi-American
- Essay 3: Why Medicine
- Essay 4: Love of Writing
- Essay 5: Starting a Fire
- Essay 6: Dedicating a Track
- Essay 7: Body Image and Eating Disorders
- Essay 8: Becoming a Coach
- Essay 9: Eritrea
- Essay 10: Journaling
- Is Your Personal Statement Strong Enough?
Your personal statement is any essay that you must write for your main application, such as the Common App Essay , University of California Essays , or Coalition Application Essay . This type of essay focuses on your unique experiences, ideas, or beliefs that may not be discussed throughout the rest of your application. This essay should be an opportunity for the admissions officers to get to know you better and give them a glimpse into who you really are.
In this post, we will share 10 different personal statements that were all written by real students. We will also provide commentary on what each essay did well and where there is room for improvement, so you can make your personal statement as strong as possible!
Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized.
Personal Statement Examples
Essay example #1: exchange program.
The twisting roads, ornate mosaics, and fragrant scent of freshly ground spices had been so foreign at first. Now in my fifth week of the SNYI-L summer exchange program in Morocco, I felt more comfortable in the city. With a bag full of pastries from the market, I navigated to a bus stop, paid the fare, and began the trip back to my host family’s house. It was hard to believe that only a few years earlier my mom was worried about letting me travel around my home city on my own, let alone a place that I had only lived in for a few weeks. While I had been on a journey towards self-sufficiency and independence for a few years now, it was Morocco that pushed me to become the confident, self-reflective person that I am today.
As a child, my parents pressured me to achieve perfect grades, master my swim strokes, and discover interesting hobbies like playing the oboe and learning to pick locks. I felt compelled to live my life according to their wishes. Of course, this pressure was not a wholly negative factor in my life –– you might even call it support. However, the constant presence of my parents’ hopes for me overcame my own sense of desire and led me to become quite dependent on them. I pushed myself to get straight A’s, complied with years of oboe lessons, and dutifully attended hours of swim practice after school. Despite all these achievements, I felt like I had no sense of self beyond my drive for success. I had always been expected to succeed on the path they had defined. However, this path was interrupted seven years after my parents’ divorce when my dad moved across the country to Oregon.
I missed my dad’s close presence, but I loved my new sense of freedom. My parents’ separation allowed me the space to explore my own strengths and interests as each of them became individually busier. As early as middle school, I was riding the light rail train by myself, reading maps to get myself home, and applying to special academic programs without urging from my parents. Even as I took more initiatives on my own, my parents both continued to see me as somewhat immature. All of that changed three years ago, when I applied and was accepted to the SNYI-L summer exchange program in Morocco. I would be studying Arabic and learning my way around the city of Marrakesh. Although I think my parents were a little surprised when I told them my news, the addition of a fully-funded scholarship convinced them to let me go.
I lived with a host family in Marrakesh and learned that they, too, had high expectations for me. I didn’t know a word of Arabic, and although my host parents and one brother spoke good English, they knew I was there to learn. If I messed up, they patiently corrected me but refused to let me fall into the easy pattern of speaking English just as I did at home. Just as I had when I was younger, I felt pressured and stressed about meeting their expectations. However, one day, as I strolled through the bustling market square after successfully bargaining with one of the street vendors, I realized my mistake. My host family wasn’t being unfair by making me fumble through Arabic. I had applied for this trip, and I had committed to the intensive language study. My host family’s rules about speaking Arabic at home had not been to fulfill their expectations for me, but to help me fulfill my expectations for myself. Similarly, the pressure my parents had put on me as a child had come out of love and their hopes for me, not out of a desire to crush my individuality.
As my bus drove through the still-bustling market square and past the medieval Ben-Youssef madrasa, I realized that becoming independent was a process, not an event. I thought that my parents’ separation when I was ten had been the one experience that would transform me into a self-motivated and autonomous person. It did, but that didn’t mean that I didn’t still have room to grow. Now, although I am even more self-sufficient than I was three years ago, I try to approach every experience with the expectation that it will change me. It’s still difficult, but I understand that just because growth can be uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s not important.
What the Essay Did Well
This is a nice essay because it delves into particular character trait of the student and how it has been shaped and matured over time. Although it doesn’t focus the essay around a specific anecdote, the essay is still successful because it is centered around this student’s independence. This is a nice approach for a personal statement: highlight a particular trait of yours and explore how it has grown with you.
The ideas in this essay are universal to growing up—living up to parents’ expectations, yearning for freedom, and coming to terms with reality—but it feels unique to the student because of the inclusion of details specific to them. Including their oboe lessons, the experience of riding the light rail by themselves, and the negotiations with a street vendor helps show the reader what these common tropes of growing up looked like for them personally.
Another strength of the essay is the level of self-reflection included throughout the piece. Since there is no central anecdote tying everything together, an essay about a character trait is only successful when you deeply reflect on how you felt, where you made mistakes, and how that trait impacts your life. The author includes reflection in sentences like “ I felt like I had no sense of self beyond my drive for success, ” and “ I understand that just because growth can be uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s not important. ” These sentences help us see how the student was impacted and what their point of view is.
What Could Be Improved
The largest change this essay would benefit from is to show not tell. The platitude you have heard a million times no doubt, but for good reason. This essay heavily relies on telling the reader what occurred, making us less engaged as the entire reading experience feels more passive. If the student had shown us what happens though, it keeps the reader tied to the action and makes them feel like they are there with the student, making it much more enjoyable to read.
For example, they tell us about the pressure to succeed their parents placed on them: “ I pushed myself to get straight A’s, complied with years of oboe lessons, and dutifully attended hours of swim practice after school.” They could have shown us what that pressure looked like with a sentence like this: “ My stomach turned somersaults as my rattling knee thumped against the desk before every test, scared to get anything less than a 95. For five years the painful squawk of the oboe only reminded me of my parents’ claps and whistles at my concerts. I mastered the butterfly, backstroke, and freestyle, fighting against the anchor of their expectations threatening to pull me down.”
If the student had gone through their essay and applied this exercise of bringing more detail and colorful language to sentences that tell the reader what happened, the essay would be really great.
Table of Contents
Essay Example #2: Being Bangladeshi-American
Life before was good: verdant forests, sumptuous curries, and a devoted family.
Then, my family abandoned our comfortable life in Bangladesh for a chance at the American dream in Los Angeles. Within our first year, my father was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He lost his battle three weeks before my sixth birthday. Facing a new country without the steady presence of my father, we were vulnerable — prisoners of hardship in the land of the free. We resettled in the Bronx, in my uncle’s renovated basement. It was meant to be our refuge, but I felt more displaced than ever. Gone were the high-rise condos of West L.A.; instead, government projects towered over the neighborhood. Pedestrians no longer smiled and greeted me; the atmosphere was hostile, even toxic. Schoolkids were quick to pick on those they saw as weak or foreign, hurling harsh words I’d never heard before.
Meanwhile, my family began integrating into the local Bangladeshi community. I struggled to understand those who shared my heritage. Bangladeshi mothers stayed home while fathers drove cabs and sold fruit by the roadside — painful societal positions. Riding on crosstown buses or walking home from school, I began to internalize these disparities. During my fleeting encounters with affluent Upper East Siders, I saw kids my age with nannies, parents who wore suits to work, and luxurious apartments with spectacular views. Most took cabs to their destinations: cabs that Bangladeshis drove. I watched the mundane moments of their lives with longing, aching to plant myself in their shoes. Shame prickled down my spine. I distanced myself from my heritage, rejecting the traditional panjabis worn on Eid and refusing the torkari we ate for dinner every day.
As I grappled with my relationship with the Bangladeshi community, I turned my attention to helping my Bronx community by pursuing an internship with Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda. I handled desk work and took calls, spending the bulk of my time actively listening to the hardships constituents faced — everything from a veteran stripped of his benefits to a grandmother unable to support her bedridden grandchild.
I’d never exposed myself to stories like these, and now I was the first to hear them. As an intern, I could only assist in what felt like the small ways — pointing out local job offerings, printing information on free ESL classes, reaching out to non-profits. But to a community facing an onslaught of intense struggles, I realized that something as small as these actions could have vast impacts. Seeing the immediate consequences of my actions inspired me. Throughout that summer, I internalized my community’s daily challenges in a new light. I began to stop seeing the prevalent underemployment and cramped living quarters less as sources of shame. Instead, I saw them as realities that had to be acknowledged, but could ultimately be remedied. I also realized the benefits of the Bangladeshi culture I had been so ashamed of. My Bangla language skills were an asset to the office, and my understanding of Bangladeshi etiquette allowed for smooth communication between office staff and its constituents. As I helped my neighbors navigate city services, I saw my heritage with pride — a perspective I never expected to have.
I can now appreciate the value of my unique culture and background, and of living with less. This perspective offers room for progress, community integration, and a future worth fighting for. My time with Assemblyman Sepulveda’s office taught me that I can be a change agent in enabling this progression. Far from being ashamed of my community, I want to someday return to local politics in the Bronx to continue helping others access the American Dream. I hope to help my community appreciate the opportunity to make progress together. By embracing reality, I learned to live it. Along the way, I discovered one thing: life is good, but we can make it better.
This student’s passion for social justice and civic duty shines through in this essay because of how honest it is. Sharing their personal experience with immigrating, moving around, being an outsider, and finding a community allows us to see the hardships this student has faced and builds empathy towards their situation. However, what really makes it strong is that they go beyond describing the difficulties they faced and explain the mental impact it had on them as a child: Shame prickled down my spine. I distanced myself from my heritage, rejecting the traditional panjabis worn on Eid and refusing the torkari we ate for dinner every day.
The rejection of their culture presented at the beginning of the essay creates a nice juxtaposition with the student’s view in the latter half of the essay and helps demonstrate how they have matured. They use their experience interning as a way to delve into a change in their thought process about their culture and show how their passion for social justice began. Using this experience as a mechanism to explore their thoughts and feelings is an excellent example of how items that are included elsewhere on your application should be incorporated into your essay.
This essay prioritizes emotions and personal views over specific anecdotes. Although there are details and certain moments incorporated throughout to emphasize the author’s points, the main focus remains on the student and how they grapple with their culture and identity.
One area for improvement is the conclusion. Although the forward-looking approach is a nice way to end an essay focused on social justice, it would be nice to include more details and imagery in the conclusion. How does the student want to help their community? What government position do they see themselves holding one day?
A more impactful ending might look like the student walking into their office at the New York City Housing Authority in 15 years and looking at the plans to build a new development in the Bronx just blocks away from where the grew up that would provide quality housing to people in their Bangladeshi community. They would smile while thinking about how far they have come from that young kid who used to be ashamed of their culture.
Essay Example #3: Why Medicine
I took my first trip to China to visit my cousin Anna in July of 2014. Distance had kept us apart, but when we were together, we fell into all of our old inside jokes and caught up on each other’s lives. Her sparkling personality and optimistic attitude always brought a smile to my face. This time, however, my heart broke when I saw the effects of her brain cancer; she had suffered from a stroke that paralyzed her left side. She was still herself in many ways, but I could see that the damage to her brain made things difficult for her. I stayed by her every day, providing the support she needed, whether assisting her with eating and drinking, reading to her, or just watching “Friends.” During my flight back home, sorrow and helplessness overwhelmed me. Would I ever see Anna again? Could I have done more to make Anna comfortable? I wished I could stay in China longer to care for her. As I deplaned, I wondered if I could transform my grief to help other children and teenagers in the US who suffered as Anna did.
The day after I got home, as jet lag dragged me awake a few minutes after midnight, I remembered hearing about the Family Reach Foundation (FRF) and its work with children going through treatments at the local hospital and their families. I began volunteering in the FRF’s Children’s Activity Room, where I play with children battling cancer. Volunteering has both made me appreciate my own health and also cherish the new relationships I build with the children and families. We play sports, make figures out of playdoh, and dress up. When they take on the roles of firefighters or fairies, we all get caught up in the game; for that time, they forget the sanitized, stark, impersonal walls of the pediatric oncology ward. Building close relationships with them and seeing them giggle and laugh is so rewarding — I love watching them grow and get better throughout their course of treatment.
Hearing from the parents about their children’s condition and seeing the children recover inspired me to consider medical research. To get started, I enrolled in a summer collegelevel course in Abnormal Psychology. There I worked with Catelyn, a rising college senior, on a data analysis project regarding Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Together, we examined the neurological etiology of DID by studying four fMRI and PET cases. I fell in love with gathering data and analyzing the results and was amazed by our final product: several stunning brain images showcasing the areas of hyper and hypoactivity in brains affected by DID. Desire quickly followed my amazement — I want to continue this project and study more brains. Their complexity, delicacy, and importance to every aspect of life fascinate me. Successfully completing this research project gave me a sense of hope; I know I am capable of participating in a large scale research project and potentially making a difference in someone else’s life through my research.
Anna’s diagnosis inspired me to begin volunteering at FRF; from there, I discovered my desire to help people further by contributing to medical research. As my research interest blossomed, I realized that it’s no coincidence that I want to study brains—after all, Anna suffered from brain cancer. Reflecting on these experiences this past year and a half, I see that everything I’ve done is connected. Sadly, a few months after I returned from China, Anna passed away. I am still sad, but as I run a toy truck across the floor and watch one of the little patients’ eyes light up, I imagine that she would be proud of my commitment to pursue medicine and study the brain.
This essay has a very strong emotional core that tugs at the heart strings and makes the reader feel invested. Writing about sickness can be difficult and doesn’t always belong in a personal statement, but in this case it works well because the focus is on how this student cared for her cousin and dealt with the grief and emotions surrounding her condition. Writing about the compassion she showed and the doubts and concerns that filled her mind keeps the focus on the author and her personality.
This continues when she again discusses the activities she did with the kids at FRF and the personal reflection this experience allowed her to have. For example, she writes: Volunteering has both made me appreciate my own health and also cherish the new relationships I build with the children and families. We play sports, make figures out of playdoh, and dress up.
Concluding the essay with the sad story of her cousin’s passing brings the essay full circle and returns to the emotional heart of the piece to once again build a connection with the reader. However, it finishes on a hopeful note and demonstrates how this student has been able to turn a tragic experience into a source of lifelong inspiration.
One thing this essay should be cognizant of is that personal statements should not read as summaries of your extracurricular resume. Although this essay doesn’t fully fall into that trap, it does describe two key extracurriculars the student participated in. However, the inclusion of such a strong emotional core running throughout the essay helps keep the focus on the student and her thoughts and feelings during these activities.
To avoid making this mistake, make sure you have a common thread running through your essay and the extracurriculars provide support to the story you are trying to tell, rather than crafting a story around your activities. And, as this essay does, make sure there is lots of personal reflection and feelings weaved throughout to focus attention to you rather than your extracurriculars.
Essay Example #4: Love of Writing
“I want to be a writer.” This had been my answer to every youthful discussion with the adults in my life about what I would do when I grew up. As early as elementary school, I remember reading my writing pieces aloud to an audience at “Author of the Month” ceremonies. Bearing this goal in mind, and hoping to gain some valuable experience, I signed up for a journalism class during my freshman year. Despite my love for writing, I initially found myself uninterested in the subject and I struggled to enjoy the class. When I thought of writing, I imagined lyrical prose, profound poetry, and thrilling plot lines. Journalism required a laconic style and orderly structure, and I found my teacher’s assignments formulaic and dull. That class shook my confidence as a writer. I was uncertain if I should continue in it for the rest of my high school career.
Despite my misgivings, I decided that I couldn’t make a final decision on whether to quit journalism until I had some experience working for a paper outside of the classroom. The following year, I applied to be a staff reporter on our school newspaper. I hoped this would help me become more self-driven and creative, rather than merely writing articles that my teacher assigned. To my surprise, my time on staff was worlds away from what I experienced in the journalism class. Although I was unaccustomed to working in a fast-paced environment and initially found it burdensome to research and complete high-quality stories in a relatively short amount of time, I also found it exciting. I enjoyed learning more about topics and events on campus that I did not know much about; some of my stories that I covered in my first semester concerned a chess tournament, a food drive, and a Spanish immersion party. I relished in the freedom I had to explore and learn, and to write more independently than I could in a classroom.
Although I enjoyed many aspects of working for the paper immediately, reporting also pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I am a shy person, and speaking with people I did not know intimidated me. During my first interview, I met with the basketball coach to prepare for a story about the team’s winning streak. As I approached his office, I felt everything from my toes to my tongue freeze into a solid block, and I could hardly get out my opening questions. Fortunately, the coach was very kind and helped me through the conversation. Encouraged, I prepared for my next interview with more confidence. After a few weeks of practice, I even started to look forward to interviewing people on campus. That first journalism class may have bored me, but even if journalism in practice was challenging, it was anything but tedious.
Over the course of that year, I grew to love writing for our school newspaper. Reporting made me aware of my surroundings, and made me want to know more about current events on campus and in the town where I grew up. By interacting with people all over campus, I came to understand the breadth of individuals and communities that make up my high school. I felt far more connected to diverse parts of my school through my work as a journalist, and I realized that journalism gave me a window into seeing beyond my own experiences. The style of news writing may be different from what I used to think “writing” meant, but I learned that I can still derive exciting plots from events that may have gone unnoticed if not for my stories. I no longer struggle to approach others, and truly enjoy getting to know people and recognizing their accomplishments through my writing. Becoming a writer may be a difficult path, but it is as rewarding as I hoped when I was young.
This essay is clearly structured in a manner that makes it flow very nicely and contributes to its success. It starts with a quote to draw in the reader and show this student’s life-long passion for writing. Then it addresses the challenges of facing new, unfamiliar territory and how this student overcame it. Finally, it concludes by reflecting on this eye-opening experience and a nod to their younger self from the introduction. Having a well-thought out and sequential structure with clear transitions makes it extremely easy for the reader to follow along and take away the main idea.
Another positive aspect of the essay is the use of strong and expressive language. Sentences like “ When I thought of writing, I imagined lyrical prose, profound poetry, and thrilling plot lines ” stand out because of the intentional use of words like “lyrical”, “profound”, and “thrilling” to convey the student’s love of writing. The author also uses an active voice to capture the readers’ attention and keep us engaged. They rely on their language and diction to reveal details to the reader, for instance saying “ I felt everything from my toes to my tongue freeze into a solid block ” to describe feeling nervous.
This essay is already very strong, so there isn’t much that needs to be changed. One thing that could take the essay from great to outstanding would be to throw in more quotes, internal dialogue, and sensory descriptors.
It would be nice to see the nerves they felt interviewing the coach by including dialogue like “ Um…I want to interview you about…uh…”. They could have shown their original distaste for journalism by narrating the thoughts running through their head. The fast-paced environment of their newspaper could have come to life with descriptions about the clacking of keyboards and the whirl of people running around laying out articles.
Essay Example #5: Starting a Fire
Was I no longer the beloved daughter of nature, whisperer of trees? Knee-high rubber boots, camouflage, bug spray—I wore the garb and perfume of a proud wild woman, yet there I was, hunched over the pathetic pile of stubborn sticks, utterly stumped, on the verge of tears. As a child, I had considered myself a kind of rustic princess, a cradler of spiders and centipedes, who was serenaded by mourning doves and chickadees, who could glide through tick-infested meadows and emerge Lyme-free. I knew the cracks of the earth like the scars on my own rough palms. Yet here I was, ten years later, incapable of performing the most fundamental outdoor task: I could not, for the life of me, start a fire.
Furiously I rubbed the twigs together—rubbed and rubbed until shreds of skin flaked from my fingers. No smoke. The twigs were too young, too sticky-green; I tossed them away with a shower of curses, and began tearing through the underbrush in search of a more flammable collection. My efforts were fruitless. Livid, I bit a rejected twig, determined to prove that the forest had spurned me, offering only young, wet bones that would never burn. But the wood cracked like carrots between my teeth—old, brittle, and bitter. Roaring and nursing my aching palms, I retreated to the tent, where I sulked and awaited the jeers of my family.
Rattling their empty worm cans and reeking of fat fish, my brother and cousins swaggered into the campsite. Immediately, they noticed the minor stick massacre by the fire pit and called to me, their deep voices already sharp with contempt.
“Where’s the fire, Princess Clara?” they taunted. “Having some trouble?” They prodded me with the ends of the chewed branches and, with a few effortless scrapes of wood on rock, sparked a red and roaring flame. My face burned long after I left the fire pit. The camp stank of salmon and shame.
In the tent, I pondered my failure. Was I so dainty? Was I that incapable? I thought of my hands, how calloused and capable they had been, how tender and smooth they had become. It had been years since I’d kneaded mud between my fingers; instead of scaling a white pine, I’d practiced scales on my piano, my hands softening into those of a musician—fleshy and sensitive. And I’d gotten glasses, having grown horrifically nearsighted; long nights of dim lighting and thick books had done this. I couldn’t remember the last time I had lain down on a hill, barefaced, and seen the stars without having to squint. Crawling along the edge of the tent, a spider confirmed my transformation—he disgusted me, and I felt an overwhelming urge to squash him.
Yet, I realized I hadn’t really changed—I had only shifted perspective. I still eagerly explored new worlds, but through poems and prose rather than pastures and puddles. I’d grown to prefer the boom of a bass over that of a bullfrog, learned to coax a different kind of fire from wood, having developed a burn for writing rhymes and scrawling hypotheses.
That night, I stayed up late with my journal and wrote about the spider I had decided not to kill. I had tolerated him just barely, only shrieking when he jumped—it helped to watch him decorate the corners of the tent with his delicate webs, knowing that he couldn’t start fires, either. When the night grew cold and the embers died, my words still smoked—my hands burned from all that scrawling—and even when I fell asleep, the ideas kept sparking—I was on fire, always on fire.
This student is an excellent writer, which allows a simple story to be outstandingly compelling. The author articulates her points beautifully and creatively through her immense use of details and figurative language. Lines like “a rustic princess, a cradler of spiders and centipedes, who was serenaded by mourning doves and chickadees,” and “rubbed and rubbed until shreds of skin flaked from my fingers,” create vivid images that draw the reader in.
The flowery and descriptive prose also contributes to the nice juxtaposition between the old Clara and the new Clara. The latter half of the essay contrasts elements of nature with music and writing to demonstrate how natural these interests are for her now. This sentence perfectly encapsulates the contrast she is trying to build: “It had been years since I’d kneaded mud between my fingers; instead of scaling a white pine, I’d practiced scales on my piano, my hands softening into those of a musician—fleshy and sensitive.”
In addition to being well-written, this essay is thematically cohesive. It begins with the simple introduction “Fire!” and ends with the following image: “When the night grew cold and the embers died, my words still smoked—my hands burned from all that scrawling—and even when I fell asleep, the ideas kept sparking—I was on fire, always on fire.” This full-circle approach leaves readers satisfied and impressed.
There is very little this essay should change, however one thing to be cautious about is having an essay that is overly-descriptive. We know from the essay that this student likes to read and write, and depending on other elements of her application, it might make total sense to have such a flowery and ornate writing style. However, your personal statement needs to reflect your voice as well as your personality. If you would never use language like this in conversation or your writing, don’t put it in your personal statement. Make sure there is a balance between eloquence and your personal voice.
Essay Example #6: Dedicating a Track
“Getting beat is one thing – it’s part of competing – but I want no part in losing.” Coach Rob Stark’s motto never fails to remind me of his encouragement on early-morning bus rides to track meets around the state. I’ve always appreciated the phrase, but an experience last June helped me understand its more profound, universal meaning.
Stark, as we affectionately call him, has coached track at my high school for 25 years. His care, dedication, and emphasis on developing good character has left an enduring impact on me and hundreds of other students. Not only did he help me discover my talent and love for running, but he also taught me the importance of commitment and discipline and to approach every endeavor with the passion and intensity that I bring to running. When I learned a neighboring high school had dedicated their track to a longtime coach, I felt that Stark deserved similar honors.
Our school district’s board of education indicated they would only dedicate our track to Stark if I could demonstrate that he was extraordinary. I took charge and mobilized my teammates to distribute petitions, reach out to alumni, and compile statistics on the many team and individual champions Stark had coached over the years. We received astounding support, collecting almost 3,000 signatures and pages of endorsements from across the community. With help from my teammates, I presented this evidence to the board.
They didn’t bite.
Most members argued that dedicating the track was a low priority. Knowing that we had to act quickly to convince them of its importance, I called a team meeting where we drafted a rebuttal for the next board meeting. To my surprise, they chose me to deliver it. I was far from the best public speaker in the group, and I felt nervous about going before the unsympathetic board again. However, at that second meeting, I discovered that I enjoy articulating and arguing for something that I’m passionate about.
Public speaking resembles a cross country race. Walking to the starting line, you have to trust your training and quell your last minute doubts. When the gun fires, you can’t think too hard about anything; your performance has to be instinctual, natural, even relaxed. At the next board meeting, the podium was my starting line. As I walked up to it, familiar butterflies fluttered in my stomach. Instead of the track stretching out in front of me, I faced the vast audience of teachers, board members, and my teammates. I felt my adrenaline build, and reassured myself: I’ve put in the work, my argument is powerful and sound. As the board president told me to introduce myself, I heard, “runners set” in the back of my mind. She finished speaking, and Bang! The brief silence was the gunshot for me to begin.
The next few minutes blurred together, but when the dust settled, I knew from the board members’ expressions and the audience’s thunderous approval that I had run quite a race. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough; the board voted down our proposal. I was disappointed, but proud of myself, my team, and our collaboration off the track. We stood up for a cause we believed in, and I overcame my worries about being a leader. Although I discovered that changing the status quo through an elected body can be a painstakingly difficult process and requires perseverance, I learned that I enjoy the challenges this effort offers. Last month, one of the school board members joked that I had become a “regular” – I now often show up to meetings to advocate for a variety of causes, including better environmental practices in cafeterias and safer equipment for athletes.
Just as Stark taught me, I worked passionately to achieve my goal. I may have been beaten when I appealed to the board, but I certainly didn’t lose, and that would have made Stark proud.
This essay effectively conveys this student’s compassion for others, initiative, and determination—all great qualities to exemplify in a personal statement!
Although they rely on telling us a lot of what happened up until the board meeting, the use of running a race (their passion) as a metaphor for public speaking provides a lot of insight into the fear that this student overcame to work towards something bigger than themself. Comparing a podium to the starting line, the audience to the track, and silence to the gunshot is a nice way of demonstrating this student’s passion for cross country running without making that the focus of the story.
The essay does a nice job of coming full circle at the end by explaining what the quote from the beginning meant to them after this experience. Without explicitly saying “ I now know that what Stark actually meant is…” they rely on the strength of their argument above to make it obvious to the reader what it means to get beat but not lose.
One of the biggest areas of improvement in the intro, however, is how the essay tells us Stark’s impact rather than showing us: His care, dedication, and emphasis on developing good character has left an enduring impact on me and hundreds of other students. Not only did he help me discover my talent and love for running, but he also taught me the importance of commitment and discipline and to approach every endeavor with the passion and intensity that I bring to running.
The writer could’ve helped us feel a stronger emotional connection to Stark if they had included examples of Stark’s qualities, rather than explicitly stating them. For example, they could’ve written something like: Stark was the kind of person who would give you gas money if you told him your parents couldn’t afford to pick you up from practice. And he actually did that—several times. At track meets, alumni regularly would come talk to him and tell him how he’d changed their lives. Before Stark, I was ambivalent about running and was on the JV team, but his encouragement motivated me to run longer and harder and eventually make varsity. Because of him, I approach every endeavor with the passion and intensity that I bring to running.
Essay Example #7: Body Image and Eating Disorders
I press the “discover” button on my Instagram app, hoping to find enticing pictures to satisfy my boredom. Scrolling through, I see funny videos and mouth-watering pictures of food. However, one image stops me immediately. A fit teenage girl with a “perfect body” relaxes in a bikini on a beach. Beneath it, I see a slew of flattering comments. I shake with disapproval over the image’s unrealistic quality. However, part of me still wants to have a body like hers so that others will make similar comments to me.
I would like to resolve a silent issue that harms many teenagers and adults: negative self image and low self-esteem in a world where social media shapes how people view each other. When people see the façades others wear to create an “ideal” image, they can develop poor thought patterns rooted in negative self-talk. The constant comparisons to “perfect” others make people feel small. In this new digital age, it is hard to distinguish authentic from artificial representations.
When I was 11, I developed anorexia nervosa. Though I was already thin, I wanted to be skinny like the models that I saw on the magazine covers on the grocery store stands. Little did I know that those models probably also suffered from disorders, and that photoshop erased their flaws. I preferred being underweight to being healthy. No matter how little I ate or how thin I was, I always thought that I was too fat. I became obsessed with the number on the scale and would try to eat the least that I could without my parents urging me to take more. Fortunately, I stopped engaging in anorexic behaviors before middle school. However, my underlying mental habits did not change. The images that had provoked my disorder in the first place were still a constant presence in my life.
By age 15, I was in recovery from anorexia, but suffered from depression. While I used to only compare myself to models, the growth of social media meant I also compared myself to my friends and acquaintances. I felt left out when I saw my friends’ excitement about lake trips they had taken without me. As I scrolled past endless photos of my flawless, thin classmates with hundreds of likes and affirming comments, I felt my jealousy spiral. I wanted to be admired and loved by other people too. However, I felt that I could never be enough. I began to hate the way that I looked, and felt nothing in my life was good enough. I wanted to be called “perfect” and “body goals,” so I tried to only post at certain times of day to maximize my “likes.” When that didn’t work, I started to feel too anxious to post anything at all.
Body image insecurities and social media comparisons affect thousands of people – men, women, children, and adults – every day. I am lucky – after a few months of my destructive social media habits, I came across a video that pointed out the illusory nature of social media; many Instagram posts only show off good things while people hide their flaws. I began going to therapy, and recovered from my depression. To address the problem of self-image and social media, we can all focus on what matters on the inside and not what is on the surface. As an effort to become healthy internally, I started a club at my school to promote clean eating and radiating beauty from within. It has helped me grow in my confidence, and today I’m not afraid to show others my struggles by sharing my experience with eating disorders. Someday, I hope to make this club a national organization to help teenagers and adults across the country. I support the idea of body positivity and embracing difference, not “perfection.” After all, how can we be ourselves if we all look the same?
This essay covers the difficult topics of eating disorders and mental health. If you’re thinking about covering similar topics in your essay, we recommend reading our post Should You Talk About Mental Health in College Essays?
The short answer is that, yes, you can talk about mental health, but it can be risky. If you do go that route, it’s important to focus on what you learned from the experience.
The strength of this essay is the student’s vulnerability, in excerpts such as this: I wanted to be admired and loved by other people too. However, I felt that I could never be enough. I began to hate the way that I looked, and felt nothing in my life was good enough. I wanted to be called “perfect” and “body goals,” so I tried to only post at certain times of day to maximize my “likes.”
The student goes on to share how they recovered from their depression through an eye-opening video and therapy sessions, and they’re now helping others find their self-worth as well. It’s great that this essay looks towards the future and shares the writer’s goals of making their club a national organization; we can see their ambition and compassion.
The main weakness of this essay is that it doesn’t focus enough on their recovery process, which is arguably the most important part. They could’ve told us more about the video they watched or the process of starting their club and the interactions they’ve had with other members. Especially when sharing such a vulnerable topic, there should be vulnerability in the recovery process too. That way, the reader can fully appreciate all that this student has overcome.
Essay Example #8: Becoming a Coach
”Advanced females ages 13 to 14 please proceed to staging with your coaches at this time.” Skittering around the room, eyes wide and pleading, I frantically explained my situation to nearby coaches. The seconds ticked away in my head; every polite refusal increased my desperation.
Despair weighed me down. I sank to my knees as a stream of competitors, coaches, and officials flowed around me. My dojang had no coach, and the tournament rules prohibited me from competing without one.
Although I wanted to remain strong, doubts began to cloud my mind. I could not help wondering: what was the point of perfecting my skills if I would never even compete? The other members of my team, who had found coaches minutes earlier, attempted to comfort me, but I barely heard their words. They couldn’t understand my despair at being left on the outside, and I never wanted them to understand.
Since my first lesson 12 years ago, the members of my dojang have become family. I have watched them grow up, finding my own happiness in theirs. Together, we have honed our kicks, blocks, and strikes. We have pushed one another to aim higher and become better martial artists. Although my dojang had searched for a reliable coach for years, we had not found one. When we attended competitions in the past, my teammates and I had always gotten lucky and found a sympathetic coach. Now, I knew this practice was unsustainable. It would devastate me to see the other members of my dojang in my situation, unable to compete and losing hope as a result. My dojang needed a coach, and I decided it was up to me to find one.
I first approached the adults in the dojang – both instructors and members’ parents. However, these attempts only reacquainted me with polite refusals. Everyone I asked told me they couldn’t devote multiple weekends per year to competitions. I soon realized that I would have become the coach myself.
At first, the inner workings of tournaments were a mystery to me. To prepare myself for success as a coach, I spent the next year as an official and took coaching classes on the side. I learned everything from motivational strategies to technical, behind-the-scenes components of Taekwondo competitions. Though I emerged with new knowledge and confidence in my capabilities, others did not share this faith.
Parents threw me disbelieving looks when they learned that their children’s coach was only a child herself. My self-confidence was my armor, deflecting their surly glances. Every armor is penetrable, however, and as the relentless barrage of doubts pounded my resilience, it began to wear down. I grew unsure of my own abilities.
Despite the attack, I refused to give up. When I saw the shining eyes of the youngest students preparing for their first competition, I knew I couldn’t let them down. To quit would be to set them up to be barred from competing like I was. The knowledge that I could solve my dojang’s longtime problem motivated me to overcome my apprehension.
Now that my dojang flourishes at competitions, the attacks on me have weakened, but not ended. I may never win the approval of every parent; at times, I am still tormented by doubts, but I find solace in the fact that members of my dojang now only worry about competing to the best of their abilities.
Now, as I arrive at a tournament with my students, I close my eyes and remember the past. I visualize the frantic search for a coach and the chaos amongst my teammates as we competed with one another to find coaches before the staging calls for our respective divisions. I open my eyes to the exact opposite scene. Lacking a coach hurt my ability to compete, but I am proud to know that no member of my dojang will have to face that problem again.
This essay begins with an in-the-moment narrative that really illustrates the chaos of looking for a coach last-minute. We feel the writer’s emotions, particularly her dejectedness, at not being able to compete. Starting an essay in media res is a great way to capture the attention of your readers and build anticipation for what comes next.
Through this essay, we can see how gutsy and determined the student is in deciding to become a coach themselves. She shows us these characteristics through their actions, rather than explicitly telling us: To prepare myself for success as a coach, I spent the next year as an official and took coaching classes on the side. Also, by discussing the opposition she faced and how it affected her, the student is open and vulnerable about the reality of the situation.
The essay comes full circle as the author recalls the frantic situations in seeking out a coach, but this is no longer a concern for them and their team. Overall, this essay is extremely effective in painting this student as mature, bold, and compassionate.
The biggest thing this essay needs to work on is showing not telling. Throughout the essay, the student tells us that she “emerged with new knowledge and confidence,” she “grew unsure of her own abilities,” and she “refused to give up”. What we really want to know is what this looks like.
Instead of saying she “emerged with new knowledge and confidence” she should have shared how she taught a new move to a fellow team-member without hesitation. Rather than telling us she “grew unsure of her own abilities” she should have shown what that looked like by including her internal dialogue and rhetorical questions that ran through her mind. She could have demonstrated what “refusing to give up” looks like by explaining how she kept learning coaching techniques on her own, turned to a mentor for advice, or devised a plan to win over the trust of parents.
Essay Example #9: Eritrea
No one knows where Eritrea is.
On the first day of school, for the past nine years, I would pensively stand in front of a class, a teacher, a stranger waiting for the inevitable question: Where are you from?
I smile politely, my dimples accentuating my ambiguous features. “Eritrea,” I answer promptly and proudly. But I am always prepared. Before their expression can deepen into confusion, ready to ask “where is that,” I elaborate, perhaps with a fleeting hint of exasperation, “East Africa, near Ethiopia.”
Sometimes, I single out the key-shaped hermit nation on a map, stunning teachers who have “never had a student from there!” Grinning, I resist the urge to remark, “You didn’t even know it existed until two minutes ago!”
Eritrea is to the East of Ethiopia, its arid coastline clutches the lucrative Red Sea. Battle scars litter the ancient streets – the colonial Italian architecture lathered with bullet holes, the mosques mangled with mortar shells. Originally part of the world’s first Christian kingdom, Eritrea passed through the hands of colonial Italy, Britain, and Ethiopia for over a century, until a bloody thirty year war of Independence liberated us.
But these are facts that anyone can know with a quick Google search. These are facts that I have memorised and compounded, first from my Grandmother and now from pristine books borrowed from the library.
No historical narrative, however, can adequately capture what Eritrea is. No one knows the aroma of bushels of potatoes, tomatoes, and garlic – still covered in dirt – that leads you to the open-air market. No one knows the poignant scent of spices, arranged in orange piles reminiscent of compacted dunes. No one knows how to haggle stubborn herders for sheep and roosters for Christmas celebrations as deliberately as my mother. No one can replicate the perfect balance of spices in dorho and tsebhi as well as my grandmother, her gnarly hands stirring the pot with ancient precision (chastising my clumsy knife work with the potatoes). It’s impossible to learn when the injera is ready – the exact moment you have to lift the lid of the mogogo. Do it too early (or too late) and the flatbread becomes mangled and gross. It is a sixth sense passed through matriarchal lineages.
There are no sources that catalogue the scent of incense that wafts through the sunlit porch on St. Michael’s; no films that can capture the luminescence of hundreds of flaming bonfires that fluoresce the sidewalks on Kudus Yohannes, as excited children chant Ge’ez proverbs whose origin has been lost to time. You cannot learn the familiarity of walking beneath the towering Gothic figure of the Enda Mariam Cathedral, the crowds undulating to the ringing of the archaic bells. I have memorized the sound of the rains hounding the metal roof during kiremti , the heat of the sun pounding against the Toyota’s window as we sped down towards Ghinda , the opulent brilliance of the stars twinkling in a sky untainted by light pollution, the scent of warm rolls of bani wafting through the streets at precisely 6 o’clock each day…
I fill my flimsy sketchbook with pictures from my memory. My hand remembers the shapes of the hibiscus drifting in the wind, the outline of my grandmother (affectionately nicknamed a’abaye ) leaning over the garden, the bizarre architecture of the Fiat Tagliero . I dice the vegetables with movements handed down from generations. My nose remembers the scent of frying garlic, the sourness of the warm tayta , the sharpness of the mit’mt’a …
This knowledge is intrinsic. “I am Eritrean,” I repeat. “I am proud.” Within me is an encyclopedia of history, culture, and idealism.
Eritrea is the coffee made from scratch, the spices drying in the sun, the priests and nuns. Eritrea is wise, filled with ambition, and unseen potential. Eritrea isn’t a place, it’s an identity.
This is an exceptional essay that provides a window into this student’s culture that really makes their love for their country and heritage leap off the page. The sheer level of details and sensory descriptors this student is able to fit in this space makes the essay stand out. From the smells, to the traditions, sounds, and sights, the author encapsulates all the glory of Eritrea for the reader.
The vivid images this student is able to create for the reader, whether it is having the tedious conversation with every teacher or cooking in their grandmother’s kitchen, transports us into the story and makes us feel like we are there in the moment with the student. This is a prime example of an essay that shows , not tells.
Besides the amazing imagery, the use of shorter paragraphs also contributes to how engaging this essay is. Employing this tactic helps break up the text to make it more readable and it isolates ideas so they stick out more than if they were enveloped in a large paragraph.
Overall, this is a really strong essay that brings to life this student’s heritage through its use of vivid imagery. This essay exemplifies what it means to show not tell in your writing, and it is a great example of how you can write an intimate personal statement without making yourself the primary focus of your essay.
There is very little this essay should improve upon, but one thing the student might consider would be to inject more personal reflection into their response. Although we can clearly take away their deep love and passion for their homeland and culture, the essay would be a bit more personal if they included the emotions and feelings they associate with the various aspects of Eritrea. For example, the way their heart swells with pride when their grandmother praises their ability to cook a flatbread or the feeling of serenity when they hear the bells ring out from the cathedral. Including personal details as well as sensory ones would create a wonderful balance of imagery and reflection.
Essay Example #10: Journaling
Flipping past dozens of colorful entries in my journal, I arrive at the final blank sheet. I press my pen lightly to the page, barely scratching its surface to create a series of loops stringing together into sentences. Emotions spill out, and with their release, I feel lightness in my chest. The stream of thoughts slows as I reach the bottom of the page, and I gently close the cover of the worn book: another journal finished.
I add the journal to the stack of eleven books on my nightstand. Struck by the bittersweet sensation of closing a chapter of my life, I grab the notebook at the bottom of the pile to reminisce.
“I want to make a flying mushen to fly in space and your in it” – October 2008
Pulling back the cover of my first Tinkerbell-themed diary, the prompt “My Hopes and Dreams” captures my attention. Though “machine” is misspelled in my scribbled response, I see the beginnings of my past obsession with outer space. At the age of five, I tore through novels about the solar system, experimented with rockets built from plastic straws, and rented Space Shuttle films from Blockbuster to satisfy my curiosities. While I chased down answers to questions as limitless as the universe, I fell in love with learning. Eight journals later, the same relentless curiosity brought me to an airplane descending on San Francisco Bay.
“I wish I had infinite sunsets” – July 2019
I reach for the charcoal notepad near the top of the pile and open to the first page: my flight to the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes. While I was excited to explore bioengineering, anxiety twisted in my stomach as I imagined my destination, unsure of whether I could overcome my shyness and connect with others.
With each new conversation, the sweat on my palms became less noticeable, and I met students from 23 different countries. Many of the moments where I challenged myself socially revolved around the third story deck of the Jerry house. A strange medley of English, Arabic, and Mandarin filled the summer air as my friends and I gathered there every evening, and dialogues at sunset soon became moments of bliss. In our conversations about cultural differences, the possibility of an afterlife, and the plausibility of far-fetched conspiracy theories, I learned to voice my opinion. As I was introduced to different viewpoints, these moments challenged my understanding of the world around me. In my final entries from California, I find excitement to learn from others and increased confidence, a tool that would later allow me to impact my community.
“The beauty in a tower of cans” – June 2020
Returning my gaze to the stack of journals, I stretch to take the floral-patterned book sitting on top. I flip through, eventually finding the beginnings of the organization I created during the outbreak of COVID-19. Since then, Door-to-Door Deliveries has woven its way through my entries and into reality, allowing me to aid high-risk populations through free grocery delivery.
With the confidence I gained the summer before, I took action when seeing others in need rather than letting my shyness hold me back. I reached out to local churches and senior centers to spread word of our services and interacted with customers through our website and social media pages. To further expand our impact, we held two food drives, and I mustered the courage to ask for donations door-to-door. In a tower of canned donations, I saw the value of reaching out to help others and realized my own potential to impact the world around me.
I delicately close the journal in my hands, smiling softly as the memories reappear, one after another. Reaching under my bed, I pull out a fresh notebook and open to its first sheet. I lightly press my pen to the page, “And so begins the next chapter…”
The structuring of this essay makes it easy and enjoyable to read. The student effectively organizes their various life experiences around their tower of journals, which centers the reader and makes the different stories easy to follow. Additionally, the student engages quotes from their journals—and unique formatting of the quotes—to signal that they are moving in time and show us which memory we should follow them to.
Thematically, the student uses the idea of shyness to connect the different memories they draw out of their journals. As the student describes their experiences overcoming shyness at the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes and Door-to-Door Deliveries, this essay can be read as an Overcoming Obstacles essay.
At the end of this essay, readers are fully convinced that this student is dedicated (they have committed to journaling every day), thoughtful (journaling is a thoughtful process and, in the essay, the student reflects thoughtfully on the past), and motivated (they flew across the country for a summer program and started a business). These are definitely qualities admissions officers are looking for in applicants!
Although this essay is already exceptionally strong as it’s written, the first journal entry feels out of place compared to the other two entries that discuss the author’s shyness and determination. It works well for the essay to have an entry from when the student was younger to add some humor (with misspelled words) and nostalgia, but if the student had either connected the quote they chose to the idea of overcoming a fear present in the other two anecdotes or if they had picked a different quote all together related to their shyness, it would have made the entire essay feel more cohesive.
Where to Get Your Personal Statement Edited
Do you want feedback on your personal statement? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.
If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!
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How to Write a Stellar Extracurricular Activity College Essay
4 Tips for Writing a Diversity College Essay
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How To Write An Opinion Essay? Definition, Tips, And Examples.
Writing an opinion essay doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In fact, it can be quite enjoyable. An opinion essay is relatively easy to write, as you simply state your opinion on a topic and provide reasons and examples to support it.
People love sharing their opinions, even if they are not asked for them! This natural tendency makes writing an opinion essay a breeze. However, there are still a few things you should keep in mind to make sure your essay is successful.
Opinion essay definition and its components
Choosing an opinion essay topic, how to support your arguments with evidence, opinion essay outline, common mistakes students make when writing opinion essays, examples of opinion essay topics, opinion essay examples.
An opinion essay is a type of formal writing in which the author states and supports their opinion on a topic . The main goal of an opinion essay is to share your opinion with a reader. You should write in your own words and use supporting arguments and examples to back up your opinion.
You can achieve this by providing your opinion in a clear, logical way.
Opinion paper and persuasive essay difference
The main difference is that an opinion essay requires the author to share his personal opinion on a topic , whereas a persuasive paper seeks to convince the reader to adopt the same opinion .
Both types of essays are similar in that they both require you to state and support your opinion. However, a persuasive paper will go one step further and also try to persuade the reader to adopt your opinion.
In order to do this, you will need to use even stronger evidence and more convincing language.
The secret of choosing a good opinion essay topic is quite simple:
You need to find a topic that you are passionate about and one that you have strong feelings about during the pre-writing phase.
The best way to find such a topic is to brainstorm with someone else – a friend or family member, for example. Such topics are usually related to politics, religion, morality, ethics, or controversial social issues .
Once you have come up with a list of potential topics, take some time to think about which one you would most like to write about. Try to narrow down your list to a single, specific topic.
It is essential to support your opinion with evidence when writing an opinion essay. This could be in the form of statistics, expert opinions, or real-life examples.
The evidence you use should be credible and relevant , and it should be used to back up your argument in a logical way. Remember to reference any sources you use so that the reader can check them for themselves.
If you don’t know where to find evidence to support your argument, try doing a quick internet search or looking through newspapers and academic journals.
Another great way to find evidence is to ask people you know for their opinions on the topic . This could be friends, family, or even people you meet in the street.
The opinion essay structure is similar to the structure of any other college essay. It consists of three major components. Here is an opinion paper outline you can use to write a great essay:
The introduction , in which you state your opinion and provide an overview of the reasons and examples you will use to support it.
The main body , in which you develop your argument and provide evidence to support it.
The conclusion , in which you restate your opinion and sum up the main points of your argument.
Now let’s take a closer look at each of these components.
The opinion essay introduction is where you state your opinion and provide an overview of the reasons and examples you will use to support it . It is essential to make sure that your introduction is clear and concise and that it sets the tone for the rest of your essay.
Your introduction should begin with a “hook” that will grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more. This could be a question, a statistic, or a famous quote. Check out our essay hook examples to see how you can do this.
After the hook, you should provide a brief overview of the main points of your argument . This will give your reader an idea of what to expect from the rest of your essay.
Finally, you should end your opinion essay introduction with a “thesis statement” that states your opinion on the topic. This should be a clear, concise sentence that states your opinion in a confident way.
This is where you develop your argument and provide evidence to support it. Each paragraph should focus on a single point , and you should provide evidence for each point you make. It is recommended to use 2-3 body paragraphs in your essay.
The first body paragraph should focus on your strongest point , while subsequent paragraphs can focus on weaker points.
A good way to structure your body paragraphs is to use the “point, example, explanation” method. First, you state your point with a topic sentence. Second, you provide an example that supports your point. Finally, you explain how this example supports your argument.
It is essential to make sure that your points are relevant to your thesis statement and that they are presented logically. Provide enough evidence to support each point.
If you don’t know what else to say, try adding more examples or expanding on the ones you have already used. Link your points back to the introduction so that your essay flows smoothly.
The conclusion paragraph is the right place to restate your opinion and sum up the main points of your argument . Make your opinion essay conclusion clear and concise.
Your concluding paragraph should begin with a “summary statement” that sums up the main points of your argument. You should repeat arguments in your opinion essay conclusion. This will remind the reader of your opinion and the reasons you have provided to support it.
After the summary statement, you should restate your opinion in a different way . This will help to reinforce your argument and leave the reader with a lasting impression.
Finally, you should end your concluding paragraph with a “call to action” that encourages the reader to do something or learn more about the topic and suggest consequences if the problem is not addressed properly.
How many pages should an opinion essay be?
An average opinion essay is usually between 1-3 pages but can be longer if necessary. The length of your opinion essay will depend on the complexity of your argument and the number of examples you provide.
If you are writing a longer opinion essay, you can include more than three body paragraphs. However, it is important to make sure that each paragraph has a and that paragraphs are written in a logical sequence.
Opinion writing is a common task that students are asked to do in school or college. However, there are some widespread mistakes that students make when writing opinion essays.
Not reading the prompt carefully
Make sure you understand what the opinion essay prompt is asking before you start writing your essay.
Not having a clear opinion
Your opinion should be stated clearly in your thesis statement. If you are unsure of your opinion, your essay will lack direction and focus. Avoid writing in a “wishy-washy” way. For example, instead of saying, “I think nuclear energy is both good and bad,” try to take a more definitive stance such as “I believe that nuclear energy is a necessary evil.”
Not providing enough evidence
Make sure you provide enough evidence to support each point you make in your essay. Without evidence, your argument will not be convincing.
Using slang and colloquial expressions
Avoid using slang or colloquial expressions in your essay. Use formal language throughout your essay. Try to write in a formal style.
Using formal punctuation
Punctuation is important in opinion writing. Make sure you use correct punctuation throughout your essay. Do not use exclamation marks or contractions (short forms).
Including irrelevant information
Your opinion essay should include only relevant information to your topic. Including irrelevant information will only make your essay weaker.
Failing to edit and proofread
Make sure you edit and proofread your opinion essay before you submit it. Failing to do so may result in a lower grade.
Opinion essays can be written on a variety of topics. Here are some examples of topics you could write an opinion essay about:
1. Should the use of animals for scientific research be banned?
2. Technology has made our lives easier or more difficult?
3. Has globalization had more positive or negative effects on the society?
4. The rise of the sharing economy (such as Airbnb, Uber, etc.) is good or bad for society?
5. Is it better to grow up in a small town or a big city?
6. Should the government do more to protect the environment?
7. Are zoos cruel or necessary?
8. Should schools start later in the morning?
9. Are exams a good way to measure students’ knowledge?
10. Is cheating always wrong?
Let’s have a closer look at opinion essay examples.
Personal opinion essay example for schools
“Is it morally wrong to eat meat?” Many people believe that it is morally wrong to eat meat because they think that taking the life of an animal for the purpose of consuming its flesh is cruel and barbaric. However, I do not agree with this perspective. I believe that eating meat is not only morally acceptable but also healthy and nutritious. The primary reason why people believe that it is wrong to eat meat is because they think that it is cruel and barbaric to take the life of an animal for the purpose of consuming its flesh. However, this perspective is biased as animals are naturally designed to be eaten. For example, cows are grass-eating animals, and chickens are meant to eat insects and other small creatures. In fact, when chickens are allowed to roam free in a yard, they will peck at the ground and eat bugs. This is what they are supposed to do. In addition, most people who argue against eating meat do not consider the fact that raising livestock for consumption is actually much more humane than allowing them to live in the wild. Cows and pigs that are raised for meat are typically given plenty of food and water, and they are allowed to roam around in open pastures. In contrast, wild cows and pigs have to compete for food and water, and they are often subjected to harsh weather conditions. Furthermore, many people who argue against eating meat claim that consuming animal flesh leads to health problems. However, this claim is not based on scientific evidence. In fact, numerous studies have shown that consuming meat is actually healthy and nutritious. Meat provides our bodies with essential nutrients like protein, iron, and zinc, which are necessary for maintaining good health. In conclusion, I believe that it is morally acceptable to eat meat. I think that those who argue against eating meat do not have a strong case based on facts and logic. Meat provides our bodies with essential nutrients like protein, iron, and zinc, which are necessary for maintaining good health. In addition, raising livestock for meat is actually much more humane than allowing them to live in the wild. Therefore, I believe that eating meat is both morally acceptable and healthy.
As you can see, this personal opinion paper follows a simple opinion essay format. Introduction, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. The introduction provides the main idea and introduces the essay’s topic.
Each body paragraph provides supporting the author’s opinion. Furthermore, the author uses transition words , such as “Furthermore,” “In Addition,” and “In Conclusion.”
This opinion essay also presents an opposing viewpoint to the author’s opinion. However, the author refutes this viewpoint with logic and facts.
If you are writing a personal opinion paper, you can use personal examples and first-person pronouns , as you can see in the example above. However, if you are writing an opinion paper for academic purposes, you will need to avoid using them.
Less formal writing is acceptable in schools . However, college students should try to find a balance between academic writing style and expression of their personal opinion. Make your opinion essay look like a research paper, supported by facts and evidence from scholarly sources.
Opinion essay example for colleges
“Are humans responsible for global warming?” It is a commonly accepted idea that humans are the cause of global warming. The Earth has been going through natural cycles of cooling and warming for centuries, but with the industrial revolution and the increase in greenhouse gases from human activity, it has begun to warm rapidly. Scientific findings have shown that the Earth is going through its fastest warming period in recorded history, which can have a devastating effect on the planet. There is overwhelming evidence that human activity is the main driver of global warming. The scientific evidence indicates that CO2 concentration has increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, and it is now at its highest level in 650,000 years ( Sacks et al., 2014 ). The majority of this increase is from farming and burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil. When fossil fuels are burned, various greenhouse gases like CO2 and methane are released into the atmosphere. They are trapping the sun’s heat, causing the Earth’s temperature to rise. Scientists have determined that the Earth is going through a rapid and large warming trend, and they attribute this almost entirely to human activity. A study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is made up of hundreds of the world’s top climate scientists, found that it is “extremely likely” that human activity is the main cause of global warming ( Smith et al., 2009 ). The study also found that natural factors like the sun and volcanoes have had a small cooling effect on the Earth’s temperature over the past century. There is also evidence that the Earth is going through its warmest period in millennia. Scientists have found that the Earth has been gradually warming since the Little Ice Age, which ended around 1850 ( Zhang et al., 2006 ). However, the rate of warming has accelerated in the past few decades, and it is now happening at an unprecedented rate. So, if humans are causing global warming, what can mankind do about it? The most important thing that can be done is to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases. One of the possible solutions is to switch to green energy such as solar and wind power and by using more efficient technologies. Emissions can also be reduced by planting trees, which take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen back into it. While there is still some debate over whether humans are causing global warming, the evidence is overwhelming that human beings are the major reason. Global warming is a real and serious problem needed to be addressed to prevent the devastating consequences to Earth. References: Sacks, A. D., Teague, R., Provenza, F., Itzkan, S., & Laurie, J. (2014). Restoring atmospheric carbon dioxide to pre-industrial levels: Re-establishing the evolutionary grassland-grazer relationship. Geotherapy , 155-194. Smith, J. B., Schneider, S. H., Oppenheimer, M., Yohe, G. W., Hare, W., Mastrandrea, M. D., … & van Ypersele, J. P. (2009). Assessing dangerous climate change through an update of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “reasons for concern.” Proceedings of the national Academy of Sciences , 106 (11), 4133-4137. Zhang, Y., Chen, W., & Riseborough, D. W. (2006). Temporal and spatial changes of permafrost in Canada since the end of the Little Ice Age. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres , 111 (D22).
As you can see, this opinion piece is more formal . This is a supported opinion essay, and the entire paper is written in an academic writing style. The author’s point is supported with proper referencing, and all the main ideas are provided in a clear and concise manner.
Pay attention that this opinion essay is written in the present tense and doesn’t use imperative voice.
No matter either you are writing an opinion essay for your school or college, make sure to follow our tips to write a successful essay.
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Opinion Essay Examples 2021 See Structure And Writing Guide
Opinion Essay Examples: You may be wondering how to write an opinion essay? How is it different from a persuasive, argumentative essays? However, it’s simple. In an opinion essay, you don’t have to focus on advantages and disadvantages/comparison. But only in your opinion about the issue.
You shall learn about what opinion essay is in this article. Also, some opinion essay examples will be given here to guide you. Before then, let’s understand what is opinion essay.
Before looking at some opinion essay examples , note. An opinion essay is sometimes called an “ argumentative ,” or “persuasive” essay . Also, it presents the author’s perception of a subject as well as supporting arguments.
Additionally, it is written in a standard essay format. also, in such essays , authors usually try to persuade the readers that their opinion is the correct one. Furthermore, this type of essay presents your personal ideas on a given subject.
Just like any other paper, an opinion essay starts with an introduction. And it has several points in the body part. Additionally, it concludes with a high-level overview of the presented ideas.
Basic Don’ts in Writing an Opinion Essay
Before looking at some opinion essay examples , note. Please observe the following:
- Don’t use colloquial expressions. Even though slang language is expressive and vivid, jargon words come and go quickly.
- Also, don’t use short forms. Replace the contractions with the non-contracted versions of the words.
- Also, don’t use over-generalizations.
- Furthermore, don’t use statistics without proper referencing.
- Also, don’t give personal examples.
- Additionally, don’t repeat arguments. If you have few similar facts, group them as a single argument.
- Also, avoid abbreviations.
- Furthermore, don’t overuse simple and short sentences.
- Also, don’t use imperative voice.
- Additionally, avoid exclamation marks, parentheses and dashes.
- Also, don’t address your readers as “you”.
- Lastly, don’t use emotive vocabulary
Basic Do’s in Writing an Opinion Essay
Before looking at some opinion essay examples, note. Please observe the following
- Write in a formal style. Write your assignment as if you are giving an important speech.
- Also, avoid slang and jargon.
- Furthermore, introduce the topic clearly. And avoid unnecessary phrases and useless facts that do not relate directly to the topic.
- Also, start each paragraph with clear topic sentences; outline the main ideas.
- Additionally, use generalizations.
- Also, use present tense when writing an opinion article.
- Furthermore, cite your sources in a proper way.
- Also, stay brief
- Lastly, make sure that there is a logical sequence that allows your readers easy to follow.
Opinion Essay Structure
Before looking at some opinion essay examples, note. Below is the structure of the opinion essay:
- Address the audience directly, and state the subject matter.
- Also, reference a speech, poem, book or play.
- Additionally, include the author’s name, date of publication in brackets.
- Write 1 or 2 sentences to make up a small description.
- Also, write 1 or 2 summarizing sentences of the entire paper.
- Additionally, write 1 sentence that links to the first body paragraph.
Body Paragraph 1
- Give a supporting argument.
- Also, give an example.
- Furthermore, give an explanation.
- Also, give a linking sentence to the second body paragraph.
Body Paragraph 2
- Again, give an example.
- Also, give an explanation.
- Also, give a linking sentence to the third body paragraph.
Body Paragraph 3
- Again a supporting argument.
- Additionally, give a linking sentence to the conclusion.
- Summary of the entire paper.
- Also, give a conclusive sentence (the bigger picture).
Opinion Essay Examples
Below are some opinion essay examples :
Prompt: Some people think that some types of criminals should not go to prison. Instead they should do unpaid work in the community. To what extent do you agree?
Owing to the great variety of crimes that can be punishable by prison, some people argue that not all criminals are the same and it would therefore be more appropriate to give certain criminals community service instead.
I agree that in some cases, prison may not be the best solution and community service would probably have more benefits. One justification given for prisons is to keep society safe by removing criminals from the outside world.
So the first thing to consider is if someone who has broken the law is a danger to other people. In the case of violent crime, there is an argument to keep the perpetrator away from society.
However, burglary or possession of drugs, for example, does not involve violence against other people so the criminal does not present a direct danger to anyone in the community.
Keeping these types of criminals in prison is expensive for the taxpayer and does not appear to be an effective punishment as they often commit the same crime again when they come out of prison.
Personally, I also believe punishments should reform people so they do not reoffend. A further reason not to put these people in prison is that they may mix with more dangerous and violent criminals, potentially committing a worse crime when they are released
By keeping them in the community, helping others, they not only learn new skills, but they could also develop more empathy and care towards others. If this occurs, society can only benefit.
Critics of this more rehabilitative approach to crime believe that justice should be harsh in order to deter people from committing similar crimes and that community service could be less likely to have that effect.
However, there is very little evidence to suggest that long prison sentences deter criminals.
In conclusion, putting criminals who are not a danger to society in prison is expensive and, in my opinion, ineffective, both as a deterrent and as a form of rehabilitation. Community service for non-violent crimes benefits both society and the offender.
That said, it would be useful to have more data to work out whether community service or prison is more likely to stop someone reoffending. I strongly believe that decisions on how best to deal with criminals should be based on evidence of what actually works.
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Following the above information will guide you on writing a good opinion essay.
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Crafting a lot of Personal Opinion papers is an inherent part of present-day studying, be it in high-school, college, or university. If you can do that unassisted, that's just awesome; yet, other students might not be that skilled, as Personal Opinion writing can be quite troublesome. The directory of free sample Personal Opinion papers exhibited below was formed in order to help embattled learners rise up to the challenge.
On the one hand, Personal Opinion essays we publish here clearly demonstrate how a really remarkable academic piece of writing should be developed. On the other hand, upon your demand and for a fair cost, a professional essay helper with the relevant academic experience can put together a high-quality paper model on Personal Opinion from scratch.
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Paragraph 1: Prewriting
In my personal opinion, both nature and nurture influence the way we become. My opinion is informed by:
Objective and subjective observations of my own characteristics and abilities.
Objective and subjective observations made on friends and relatives.
Reading and research on the nature versus nurture debate.
Paragraph 2: Body
In regard to nature, some of my behavioral characteristics are shared by other members of my family despite the absence of the influence of nurture.
Nurture on the other hand is depicted by changes in my personality from being an introvert to an extrovert ever since I started dating my overly extrovert boyfriend.
Paragraph 3: Body
275 words = 1 page double-spaced
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Opinion: Nothing has prepared me for the antisemitism I see on college campuses now
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I am a 70-year-old Jewish man, but never in my life have I seen or felt the antisemitism of the last few weeks. I have heard antisemitic things from time to time through my life. I remember as a child being called a “dirty Jew,” and my friends and I being called “Christ killers” as we walked to Hebrew school. I recall a college girlfriend’s parents telling her that she should not go out with me because “Jews are different.” I had an incident in a class I was teaching about the ethics of negotiations, where a student matter of factly said, “the other side will try to Jew you down,” without the slightest sense of how that was a slur.
But none of this prepared me for the last few weeks. On Friday, someone in my school posted on Instagram a picture of me with the caption, “Erwin Chemerinsky has taken an indefinite sabbatical from Berkeley Law to join the I.D.F.” Two weeks ago, at a town hall, a student told me that what would make her feel safe in the law school would be “to get rid of the Zionists.” I have heard several times that I have been called “part of a Zionist conspiracy,” which echoes of antisemitic tropes that have been expressed for centuries.
I was stunned when students across the country, including mine, immediately celebrated the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel on Oct. 7. Students for Justice in Palestine called the terror attack a “historic win” for the “Palestinian resistance.” A Columbia professor called the Hamas massacre “awesome” and a “stunning victory.” A Yale professor tweeted , “It’s been such an extraordinary day!” while calling Israel a “murderous, genocidal settler state.” A Chicago art professor posted a note reading, “Israelis are pigs. Savages. Very very bad people. Irredeemable excrement…. May they all rot in hell.” A UC Davis professor tweeted , “Zionist journalists … have houses w addresses, kids in school,” adding “they can fear their bosses, but they should fear us more.” There are, sadly, countless other examples.
Opinion: Let students speak for themselves on Israel and Hamas. We don’t need outside groups to doxx or threaten anyone
No college student should be made to feel unsafe on campus. Most genuinely care about all civilians affected by the terror attack on Israel and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
Oct. 19, 2023
How can anyone celebrate the killing of 260 people attending a music festival, or the brutal massacre of more than 100 people in a kibbutz, or the pulling of people from their houses to take as hostages? If this happened to people who were not Jews would there be such celebrations?
I have heard few campus administrators speak out publicly about the antisemitism that has become prevalent this month. They want to seem neutral or not be perceived as Islamophobic. I understand. I, too, refrained from speaking out against those who defended Hamas’ terrorist attack.
But when do we stop being silent and when do we say the antisemitism must be condemned and it is not acceptable on our campuses? I believe this must be that time.
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Oct. 17, 2023
To be clear, I — and I hope all of us — mourn the loss of life in Israel and in Gaza. There is surely room in our hearts to feel compassion for all who are in danger and all who have lost loved ones. But it is simply wrong to confuse condemning antisemitism with ignoring the plight of the Palestinians.
Of course, criticism of the Israeli government is not antisemitism, any more than criticizing the policies of the United States government is anti-American. I strongly oppose the policies of the Netanyahu government, favor full rights for Palestinians, and believe that there must be a two-state solution. But if you listen to what is being said on college campuses now, some of the loudest voices are not advocating for a change in Israeli policies, but are calling for an end to Israel. Students regularly chant, “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “We don’t want no two states, we want all of 48,” referring to going back to 1948 before Israel existed.
An oft-repeated mantra among some is that Israel is a settler colonialist country and should be forced to give the land back to the Palestinians. I have no idea how it would be determined who is rightly entitled to what land, but I do know that calling for the total elimination of Israel is antisemitic.
There has been enough silence and enough tolerance of antisemitism on college campuses. I call on my fellow university administrators to speak out and denounce the celebrations of Hamas and the blatant antisemitism that is being voiced.
Students have the right to say very offensive and even hateful things, but school administrators — deans, presidents and chancellors — have free speech rights too. They must exercise them and take a stand even if it will offend some and subject them to criticism.
It is a very difficult time on campuses across the country. Many of our students and faculty members have family and friends in Israel or in Gaza. Many care deeply about the suffering we are seeing, and yet there is no bridge between those who seek the elimination of Israel and those who believe it is essential to have a Jewish state. I hope there will be a time when campus officials can find ways to bring their communities together. But it is not realistic now. This makes it all the more important that they show moral leadership and speak out against the antisemitism that is rampant now, as they would condemn all other forms of racism and hate on campus.
Erwin Chemerinsky is a contributing writer to Opinion and the dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law. His latest book is “ Worse Than Nothing : The Dangerous Fallacy of Originalism.”
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Don Sundquist’s final guest essay: We need more Howard Bakers to lead or America will fail
A dysfunctional american democracy is the most dangerous thing in an increasingly dangerous world. we can do better. we have done better..
Don Sundquist served as governor of Tennessee from 1995-2003.
Editor’s note: The late former Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist authored this article prior to his death on August 27, 2023, and it is being published posthumously with his family’s permission.
In the summer of 1979, Sen. Howard Baker asked me to fly from Memphis to Washington with him. There was something on his mind.
Having been elected to his third term in the Senate, and now serving as Republican leader, Howard told me he was thinking of running for President in 1980, and he asked me to consider going to Washington and spending a few months opening his presidential campaign office.
I knew he would be a great president, and I knew America was in need of true bipartisan leadership, and I felt honored that he’d ask me to help him. I heard myself saying that I would check with my family and my business partner for their support. With that support, I could spend the time organizing his campaign.
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We underestimated the strength of Ronald Reagan
As America under President Carter’s leadership seemed to be drifting – with difficult economic conditions at home, growing challenges abroad, and what even the president acknowledged as a crisis of spirit among our people – I knew our country needed a leader like Howard Baker, who could bring us together and give us a new sense of direction, purpose and confidence.
There was no shortage of outstanding Republicans gearing up for that 1980 presidential campaign. In addition to Senator Baker, there was Sen. Bob Dole, Ambassador George H. W. Bush, Congressman John Anderson, former Gov. and Treasury Secretary John Connally – and former Gov. Ronald Reagan.
We all underestimated the strength of Ronald Reagan as he won the nomination and the presidency. One of his greatest strengths was his focus was always on what was best for the country and not just the party.
Recognizing the formidable challenge we faced against such competition in the Republican primaries – to say nothing of trying to defeat an incumbent president – I spent approximately six months in Washington organizing Baker’s campaign. During this time, I had the opportunity to discuss political philosophy with him.
Howard Baker's legacy: Incivility in American politics today has reached a level of hatred we've never seen
Bipartisan consensus moves the country forward
At the core of his philosophy was a profound belief that building a true bipartisan consensus around a few critical issues was the best way to move our country forward. A strong defense and incentives to grow our economy and create jobs lay at the core of Howard Baker’s mission of public service, along with a commitment to civil discourse and what he called “a decent respect for differing points of view.”
As things turned out, Reagan won the nomination and the presidential election in 1980, and for the next four years he and (by then) Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker pursued just these policies, with tremendous success.
And this success was rewarded with a 49-state landslide victory in 1984 by an electorate that responded enthusiastically to real leadership, genuine accomplishment, and a willingness to reach across the partisan aisle to get big things done for our country.
We’re a long way from that now, and we’re in trouble. The political parties are unwilling to work together, and the American people are simply fed up with the lack of meaningful action in Washington.
Approval ratings for President Joe Biden and for Congress are disappointingly low, yet no one seems willing or able to break the cycle of partisan rancor that defeats every effort to achieve something good for our country.
Howard Baker did this time after time, reaching across the partisan aisle to find solutions to issues ranging from voting rights to environmental protection to Social Security reform to foreign policy. Where are the Howard Bakers of today? If they’re there, they’re hard to see.
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It’s possible for Americans to work together and we have no choice
Following Senator Baker’s philosophy, I was fortunate to be elected twice as governor of Tennessee and to accomplish some big things – welfare reform, government efficiency, improved children’s services, widespread internet connection, and more – without ever having a majority of my party in the state legislature for eight years in the 1990s.
Bipartisanship can work. It does work. It produces results that last. And that’s what the American people want more than anything else from their government, as poll after poll confirms.
Sometime in the next few years, a new generation of national leaders will rise to meet the challenges of the 21 st century. I don’t know who they are, but I know what they must do if they are to be successful. They must find common ground on a few fundamental issues, on which we can all stand proudly together and move confidently into the future.
A dysfunctional American democracy is the most dangerous thing in an increasingly dangerous world. We can do better. We have done better. We simply must do better if we are to make the 21 st century another American century.
That’s not guaranteed, and the prospect of our failure tempts tyrants around the world and haunts freedom-loving people everywhere.
Where is the next Howard Baker? I hope we find him or her very soon.
Read our research on: Israel | Internet & Technology | Family & Relationships
Regions & Countries
Comparing Views of the U.S. and China in 24 Countries
In recent years, views of the United States and China have changed a lot. This year, the U.S. is largely viewed positively in the 24 countries we surveyed. At the same time, China is seen much more negatively – especially in high-income countries. But favorability does not tell the whole story. Both countries are seen positively in some ways and negatively in others.
Based on surveys conducted in 24 countries, we examine how the U.S. and China stack up to one another on more than 10 different measures, spanning from confidence in their leaders to views of their universities and technological achievements. We focus on the difference in how people see the two superpowers.
Take one aspect of foreign policy as an example. In Greece, 93% say the U.S. interferes in the affairs of other countries, compared with 56% who say the same for China, for a difference of 37 percentage points. The Greek flag is therefore plotted farther to the left, closer to the U.S. end of the scale, at 37.
Australians, though, see little difference between the superpowers and consider both the U.S. (79%) and China (77%) to be interventionist powers. The Australian flag is therefore plotted at 2, close to the midpoint, which represents no difference in ratings of the two countries on this measure.
Across all 24 countries surveyed, we see that while majorities in most countries see both the U.S. and China as prone to interfering in the affairs of other countries, the U.S. is almost always more likely to be described this way. All of the flags are thus generally to the left of the midpoint and closer to the U.S. end. These metrics can be viewed for each country by hovering over that country’s flag.
Ratings of whether the U.S. and China take each country’s interests into account paints a somewhat different picture. Most flags are still to the left of the midpoint – and closer to the U.S. end – because more people across countries say the U.S. accounts for their country’s interests than China. But the flags are more spread out across the scale because publics feel quite differently from one another about this.
We can also see differences between middle- and high-income countries. 1 Selecting middle-income countries on the bottom right of the graphic shows that middle-income countries are mostly clustered together around the midpoint of the scale and that they evaluate the U.S. and China similarly.
Conversely, selecting high-income countries shows that they are clustered together on the left, giving higher ratings to the U.S. than China when it comes to accounting for other countries’ interests.
The U.S. also gets higher marks for contributing to global peace and stability than China does, and the differences in evaluations are often 30 points or more. The difference is greatest in Japan, where 79% say the U.S. contributes at least a fair amount to international stability and just 14% say the same of China – a difference of 65 points. While still large in many countries, differences are smaller in many middle-income countries. And in Indonesia and Hungary, U.S. and Chinese contributions to global peace and stability are seen in a similar light.
For more on international views of the U.S., read “ International Views of Biden and U.S. Largely Positive ,” and for more on international views of China, read “ China’s Approach to Foreign Policy Gets Largely Negative Reviews in 24-Country Survey .”
As the charts above show, views of China and the U.S. vary a lot among the 24 countries surveyed. Besides foreign policy, you can compare views of China and the U.S. on a few other measures. To see charts and analysis for those topics, keep scrolling or select a topic from the list below.
COMPARE U.S. AND CHINA BY:
Favorable views of the u.s. and china.
Difference in shares who say they have favorable views of the U.S. and China
On balance, views of the U.S. are much more positive than views of China, and increasingly so .
Opinion skews toward the U.S. most heavily in the high-income countries surveyed, with differences of 50 percentage points or more in favor of the U.S. in Poland, Japan and South Korea. In all three countries, more than seven-in-ten offer positive ratings of the U.S., and fewer than three-in-ten have favorable opinions of China.
In most middle-income countries surveyed, views of both powers are generally positive, leading to a smaller difference in views. Nigeria is the lone public surveyed with warmer opinions of China than of the U.S., though both the U.S. and China receive positive ratings from large majorities of Nigerians.
Hungary – notably the only country where positive ratings of the U.S. are the minority opinion – and Kenya stand out for having near equal shares of adults who rate the U.S. and China favorably. Just under half offer positive ratings of each superpower in Hungary, and roughly seven-in-ten Kenyans see the U.S. and China favorably.
Is favorability of the U.S. and China zero-sum?
An alternate way to think about favorability is to look at whether individuals in a given country hold positive views of one superpower and not the other – essentially a “zero-sum” mindset.
In nine countries, this seems to be the case: A majority or plurality has favorable views of the U.S. but not China. In both Japan and Poland, 63% of adults have a favorable view of the U.S. and an unfavorable view of China.
Particularly in middle-income countries, though, pluralities of a third or more have favorable views of both world powers. This includes majorities in both Nigeria and Kenya. No more than a fifth of adults in any country surveyed have a favorable opinion of China and an unfavorable opinion of the U.S.
Leading economic power
Difference in shares who say the U.S. and China are the world’s leading economic power
The U.S. economy is larger than China’s but has tended to grow less per year, at least until recently . Still, the U.S. is considered by most surveyed publics to be the world’s leading economic power . And, in many countries, this sense is growing. In Sweden, for example, 51% now say that the U.S. is the leading economy, compared with 39% in 2020, when they were more likely to give the title to China.
South Koreans are especially likely to see the U.S. as the world’s top economy, with 83% giving the title to the U.S. compared with just 8% to China. Sizable differences of around 40 percentage points in favor of the U.S. are also seen in Japan, Poland, Israel and India.
Still, five countries – most of which are in Europe – see China as the leading economy. This includes Italy, which is the only country where a majority considers China the world’s leading economy.
Investment from the U.S. and China
In Australia, Indonesia, Kenya and South Africa, similar shares see investments from both superpowers as having helped their country’s economy at least a fair amount. Conversely, Argentines are equally likely to see Chinese and U.S. investment as having not benefited their country’s economy.
For those in Israel, Poland, India, Brazil and Mexico, U.S. investment is seen as more beneficial.
Only in Hungary and Nigeria is Chinese investment seen more favorably than U.S. investment. Even then, 74% of Nigerians say investment from the U.S. has benefited their country at least a fair amount.
Ratings of American and Chinese technology
Difference in shares who say U.S. and Chinese technology is above average or the best compared with other wealthy nations
The U.S. and China are both widely seen as technological powerhouses. For example, together they dominate the global digital market . Between Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, American companies have the vast majority of the mobile operating system market share worldwide . Yet China leads the charge toward 5G and global network coverage.
Across the 24 countries surveyed, a median of 72% describe U.S. technology as the best or above average and 69% say the same of Chinese technology. And evaluations of the two superpowers’ technological prowess differ little in seven countries. For example, 83% of Spaniards say American technology is above average or the best, compared with 82% who say the same for China.
Seven publics give U.S. technology more positive ratings. Among them, Israelis and South Koreans stand out for their favorable evaluations of American technology relative to Chinese technology; this is driven by Israelis’ high ratings of American technology and South Koreans’ low ratings of Chinese technology.
China’s technology is seen more positively in 10 countries, including in the U.S. Technological achievements are the only measure where Americans see China outpacing the U.S. About two-thirds of American adults (66%) say China’s technology is above average or the best, compared with 56% who say the same about their own country.
There is little distinction between middle- and high-income countries’ ratings of either country’s technology, but some regional patterns do emerge. China’s technological achievements are rated more positively in the Latin American countries surveyed, while the Asian countries included give the U.S. more positive marks.
Quality of American and Chinese technology products
Respondents in 12 countries further evaluated technology from the U.S. and China on their quality and other attributes.
Roughly three-quarters or more in each country surveyed say American products are well-made, including 94% in Nigeria and 92% in Israel. China’s technology gets more variable ratings , with 82% in Nigeria saying it’s well-made compared with just 36% in Israel. Israel is the lone country to have a majority say China’s technological products are poorly made.
Respondents were also asked about the price of technology products from either country. A 12-country median of 77% call American products expensive, while 42% say the same of Chinese products.
With regards to data security, views are mixed. On balance, people are more likely to say technology produced by American companies protects personal data than to say the same of Chinese companies.
Still, the shares who say American technology protects personal data range from 81% in Nigeria to 25% in Hungary. China’s technology garners similarly varied opinion, with 78% in Nigeria saying it protects users’ personal data but just 15% of Australians saying the same.
Earlier this year, as TikTok faced a potential ban in the U.S., most Americans were similarly distrusting when asked about data privacy and the behavior of Chinese social media companies.
Ratings of American and Chinese militaries
Difference in shares who say the U.S. and Chinese militaries are above average or the best compared with other wealthy nations
The U.S. and China are home to two of the world’s largest militaries. China’s active forces are nearly double the size of the United States’, though the U.S. outspends China on defense.
Majorities in every country surveyed say the American military is above average or the best, while the same is only true for China in about half of the countries surveyed.
In most countries surveyed, the U.S. military receives significantly higher ratings than China’s. There are three exceptions: In Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, all NATO allies of the U.S., the United States’ and China’s militaries are about equally likely to be considered above average or the best. However, the U.S. military gets more recognition than China’s when considering only those who say each is the best .
Israelis stand out for their near unanimous positive ratings of the U.S. forces. While a majority of Israelis rate China’s military highly, the 39-point gap in ratings is the largest of any country surveyed.
Unlike other measures of hard and soft power, there is little difference in ratings of the American and Chinese militaries between middle- and high-income countries.
American and Chinese entertainment
Difference in shares who say U.S. and Chinese entertainment is above average or the best compared with other wealthy nations
In 2020, China replaced the U.S. as the world’s largest film market after a number of successful local productions, and its government released a five-year improvement plan for its film industry a year later. Most of the top 10 highest grossing films globally were nonetheless still American productions in 2022.
Global views of entertainment from each country parallel these trends. U.S. entertainment – including its music, movies and television – is more than four times more likely to be seen as the best or above average than China’s (a 24-country median of 71% vs. 17%, respectively).
High-income countries view American entertainment more favorably than middle-income countries. Entertainment ratings skew toward the U.S. most heavily in Israel, where adults are 71 percentage points more likely to call American entertainment, rather than Chinese, above average or the best. Differences greater than 60 points in favor of the U.S. are also seen among the Dutch, Italians, Poles and Swedes.
The sub-Saharan African publics surveyed offer the highest praise for Chinese entertainment, especially in Nigeria, where 67% say it is the best or above average. Even so, each public gives U.S. entertainment higher ratings.
American and Chinese universities
Difference in shares who say U.S. and Chinese universities are above average or the best compared with other wealthy nations
In May 2023, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced plans for bolstering China’s education system to spread its global influence and create a “‘Study in China’ brand.” Currently, out of the top 100 universities in the world , as rated by the Times Higher Education, only seven are in China, whereas 34 are in the U.S.
This disparity is reflected in views of the two countries’ universities. Across the 24 countries surveyed, a median of 68% say U.S. universities are above average or the best, while just 35% say the same of China’s.
Universities in the U.S. receive significantly more positive ratings than universities in China in all countries surveyed. Middle-income countries give both countries’ universities some of the most favorable evaluations, but the gap in the ratings of the two are similar to the gaps seen in high-income countries.
Europe is home to some of the largest differences as well as the smallest. Poles, Greeks and Hungarians are at least 40 points more likely to say American universities are above average or the best than Chinese universities. The differences are much smaller – in large part due to less positive outlooks on American universities – in the Netherlands, Germany and the UK.
Notably, the U.S. has one of the least positive perceptions of American universities, along with several other advanced economies. About half in each saying American universities are the best or above average.
American and Chinese standards of living
Difference in shares who say U.S. and Chinese standards of living are above average or the best compared with other wealthy nations
As of 2021, both the U.S. and China fall above the world average on the United Nations’ Human Development Index , but the U.S. is considered a very high human development country while China is labeled a high human development country. The difference is reflected in international ratings of the two countries’ standards of living. Though ratings of both vary greatly, greater shares say the standard of living in the U.S. is above average or the best in every country surveyed.
Israelis and Poles stand out for holding particularly skewed views of each country’s standard of living, in favor of the U.S. In Israel and Poland, roughly eight-in-ten regard the standard of living in the U.S. in high regard, while 9% and 19% say the same of China, respectively.
In several high-income countries, ratings of the standard of living are low for both the U.S. and China. For example, just 16% of Germans see the standard of living in the U.S. as above average or the best and 8% say the same of China. In comparison, middle-income countries offer some of the most positive evaluations of the standards of living in the two economic powerhouses.
Respect for personal freedoms
Difference in shares who say the U.S. and China respect the personal freedoms of their people
The U.S. is generally considered by experts to be more democratic than China. Among other organizations, Freedom House describes the U.S. as “free” and China as “not free,” and International IDEA labels the U.S. a “democracy” versus China’s “authoritarian regime.”
Public opinion follows the same pattern. In a survey of 17 high-income publics in 2021, the U.S. government was far more likely than the Chinese government to be seen as respecting its people’s personal freedoms, and previous surveys of both high- and middle-income countries have recorded similar findings. The U.S. government was seen as more respectful of its people’s personal freedoms than China’s even as it received increasingly negative ratings between 2013 and 2018.
In 2021, the differences between ratings of the United States’ and China’s treatment of personal freedoms were especially pronounced in South Korea and Taiwan. In both, roughly three-quarters said the U.S. respects its people’s personal freedoms compared with only about one-in-ten who said the same for China. Differences of about 50 percentage points or more were also measured across most of Europe. Conversely, Singapore stood out for having the smallest difference and being the most likely to consider China respectful of its people’s personal freedoms.
Confidence in the American and Chinese presidents
Difference in shares who say they have confidence in U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping to do the right thing regarding world affairs
When it comes to leaders, global publics are nearly three times more likely to have confidence in U.S. President Joe Biden than in Chinese President Xi Jinping (medians across 23 countries, not including the U.S., of 54% and 19%, respectively). Each country surveyed is more likely to have confidence in Biden than Xi, but this has not always been the case for ratings of the U.S. president.
The gap in confidence ratings of the U.S. president and the Chinese president has shifted greatly in the last 10 years with each American leader. Views of the two leaders were most similar in several countries when former President Donald Trump held office.
Views of Biden and Xi differ across high- and middle-income countries. Those in middle-income countries are more likely to rate Biden and Xi similarly. For example, 71% of Nigerians have confidence in Biden, while 62% say the same of Xi – a 9-point difference.
In high-income countries, the gap tends to be much larger – especially in parts of Europe, including Poland and Sweden.
In many places, though, respondents are less likely to offer an opinion on Xi than Biden. For example, in Hungary, 24% of respondents said they did not know the answer or declined to answer when asked about their confidence in Xi, while only 6% responded similarly when asked about Biden.
About this essay
This Pew Research Center essay was made possible by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew Research Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. This essay is a collaborative effort based on the input and analysis of a number of individuals and experts at the Center. The results presented in this data essay are drawn from nationally representative surveys conducted across 24 publics in 2023 and 17 publics in 2021. The methodology for each survey is publicly available. This analysis was designed to compare current views of the United States with views of China. Country classifications by income level reflect 2022 World Bank income groupings. For further explanation of international opinion in 2023 and how views have changed over time, see “ International Views of Biden and U.S. Largely Positive ” and “ China’s Approach to Foreign Policy Gets Largely Negative Reviews in 24-Country Survey .”
This essay was written by Laura Silver, Associate Director of Global Attitudes research, Christine Huang, Research Associate, Laura Clancy, Research Analyst, and Nam Lam, former Pew Research Center intern. Shannon Greenwood, Senior Digital Producer, produced the essay. John Carlo Mandapat, Information Graphics Designer, and Peter Bell, Associate Director of Design and Production, produced graphics. Christopher Baronavski, Senior Web Developer, contributed to web development. Moira Fagan, Research Associate, Sarah Austin, Research Assistant, Sneha Gubbala, Research Assistant, and Jordan Lippert, Research Assistant, checked the essay and Janakee Chavda, Assistant Digital Producer, copy edited it. Editorial guidance was provided by Richard Wike, Director of Global Attitudes research, Hannah Klein, Senior Communications Manager, Gar Meng Leong, Communications Manager, and Kelly Browning, User Experience Manager.
- Income groups are determined by the World Bank , and includes both lower- and upper-middle income countries. Lower-middle income countries are those with a gross national income (GNI) per capita between $1,136 and $4,465, and upper-middle income economies are those with a GNI per capita between $4,466 and $13,845. High-income countries are those with a GNI per capita of $13,846 or more. ↩
- The question was asked in 12 countries where surveys were conducted face-to-face or via the web. ↩
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About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .