In an opinion essay, the focus of attention is your own point of view, as opposed to an argumentative essay, for example, where you basically defend another person’s opinion. A good opinion essay should include your point of view, stated in the introductory paragraph, reasoning for your opinion, and, of course, a conclusion, where you sum up your argument. Remember to back up your reasoning with examples. Preferably, place each opinion in a separate paragraph. You can also add opposing or supporting opinions of experts or your peers, but you have to remember that any opinion should be clearly stated.
The most important part of this essay is to effectively prove your point of view. For that, you have to build a solid argument. Normally we distinguish between two main types of argument, inductive and deductive. Which one to use in your essay largely depends on your thesis statement. In this post, we will learn about the two types of reasoning and if an inductive argument is suitable for an opinion essay.
Types of Argument
An inductive argument basically means that your thesis statement is a projection of a more general statement, and your reasoning will increase or decrease the probability of your conclusion being true. The later depends on how strong or weak your reasoning is. For example, if your evidence is reliable, you have more chances to prove your point. This type of argument is more suited for presenting an opposing point of view, because it will give you room to refute.
In a deductive argument, the truth of the conclusion is logically derived from the reasoning: if…, then… For example, if it rains, then the road will certainly be wet; we cannot conclude that it rains because the road is wet, there can be other reasons for that. This is a good type of argument to defend your point of view. For you the conclusion is true, by default, and you only need to break it into elements that will prove your reasoning.
How to Support Your Opinion with Facts
To prove your point of view, you have to build a good argument that will explain how you have come to a certain conclusion. An essential part of this is to present your facts clearly and in an easy to understand manner, so that your audience is not left guessing.
It is important to understand that facts are verified pieces of information, not based on opinions. The effectiveness of your argument depends on the way you present data:
- define the point and present only the most valuable information; raw data is for you to analyze, not the reader.
- find a way to break up the text: pictures, charts, diagrams, even statistics will let the reader’s mind rest, but don’t overload your paper with graphics.
- if you have a boring topic, try to make it more fun with a writing style, or couple of fun facts.
The key to making the audience believe in your point of view is believing in it yourself.