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Opinion Essay

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Anamarija Štulina

on 8 November 2013

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Transcript of Opinion Essay

Opinion Essay
Introduction
State the topic of the essay.
You can have one or two sentences.
Paragraph 1
Write the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph. The topic sentence introduces the argument which supports your opinion expressed in the introduction.

Paragraph 2
Write the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph.
Paragraph 3
Conclusion
In the conclusion you need to restate the points you've made. Start from your notes again, this way you will use different wording for the same arguments.
Task: Should students be required to write public exams?
Step 1
Brainstorm on the essay topic.
give students equal opportunities
MAKE A PLAN
decide which arguments you would like to present in your essay (are you for or against the topic?) and put them in a list
an opposing viewpoint
force teachers to teach up to a standard
force students to take exams seriously
an opposing viewpoint
give students equal opportunities
force teachers to teach up to a standard
Public exams
an opposing viewpoint
Step 2
Make a plan!
Tip
Don't just copy the task here. Use your own words to say what the topic of the essay is.
Step 3
Write complete sentences from your notes.
These will be your topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph.
an opposing viewpoint
give students equal opportunities
force teachers to teach up to a standard
Public exams create a level playing field.
Public exams helped me as a teacher because they showed me that my students were achieving at the same level as students all over the province
sth sth sth
Step 4
Write the introduction to the essay.
Write the thesis statement.
This is the sentence which clearly expresses your point of view.
Many students hate public exams in their Level 3 courses and wonder why they have to write them.
Although some students experience test anxiety and find it hard to prepare, I believe public exams are a good thing.
Public exams create a level playing field.
give students equal opportunities
Write supporting sentences to further develop the argument from the topic sentence. Explain the idea, and/or give examples.
What if a teacher dislikes a particular student or doesn't grade them fairly? In their Level 3 course, 50% of the grade comes from the public exam, so even if there's a personality conflict between the teacher and the student, the student gets half their grade from an unbiased source. This means everyone gets the same treatment.
Step 5
Organise the main body of your essay. Develop your arguments in support of your opinion.
force teachers to teach up to a standard.
Public exams helped me as a teacher because they showed me that my students were achieving at the same level as students all over the province.
Write the supporting sentences.
During my teaching years, I often wondered whether I was doing as good a job as other teachers in the province. I hoped that my students were learning the same material others were learning. When they did well on public exams, I knew that what I was teaching was meeting the provincial standard.
Tip
Don't forget to use linking words to introduce your arguments, and to organise your ideas within the paragraph.
Public exams create a level playing field.
To start with,
What if a teacher dislikes a particular student or doesn't grade them fairly? In their Level 3 course, 50% of the grade comes from the public exam, so even if there's a personality conflict between the teacher and the student, the student gets half their grade from an unbiased source. Public exams assure everyone gets the same treatment.
Public exams helped me as a teacher because they showed me that my students were achieving at the same level as students all over the province.
Furthermore, another reason why I believe public exam are beneficial.
During my teaching years, I often wondered whether I was doing as good a job as other teachers in the province. I hoped that my students were learning the same material others were learning. When they did well on public exams, I knew that what I was teaching was meeting the provincial standard.
Again, you need to start with the topic sentence.
an opposing viewpoint
On the other hand, a group of educational organizations and civil rights groups in the US argue that public schools through public exams unfairly advantage white and Asian students and disadvantage the rest.
And further develop this argument with the supporting sentences and/or some examples.
They recently filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education pointing out that black and Latino students in New York score below whites and Asians so consistently that although they are almost 70% of the overall student body, they are only 11% of students enrolled at elite public schools. As a result, the complaint argues that New York City is in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act because schools rely on a test that advantages one racial group over another.
These groups of people belive that instead of setting different educational benchmarks for groups based on race or income, it may simply be the time to stop relying on public exams to begin with.

An opposing viewpoint topic sentence.
Tip
Once again, don't forget the linking words. Especially since in this paragraph you are expressing a contrasting viewpoint so you need to stress that.
An opposing viewpoint supporting sentences and examples.
On the other hand, there are also several disadvantages of the public exams.
Tip
Common mistake students make is that after topic sentence they tend to include examples immediately to illustrate the argument.
A better solution is to include the topic sentence first, explain the idea in more detail AND then illustrate this with an example. Don't focus only on examples. Examples should only be additional information.
In this way you are going from the general idea towards more specific.
Step 6
Add an opposing viewpoint.
Here is where you include the opposing viewpoint, an argument which is the opposite of your own opinion.
The purpose of this part is to keep the objectivity????
Step 7
Finally conclude your essay by summarising the main points you've included in your essay.
an opposing viewpoint
give students equal opportunities
force teachers to teach up to a standard
Conclusion is the place where you make your final point, you need to summarise your points and finish with expressing your opinion again.
While students will probably always feel exams are unfair and too hard, as a teacher I have to say I'm totally in favour of them. I like the fact that they make teachers teach better, and give everyone a chance to be judged in a fair and unbiased way. I have taught in other provinces without public exams, and I hope public exams continue to be part of our education system here in Newfoundland.
To conclude with,
Opinion essay summary
Steps review
Step 1 - brainstorm

Step 2 - make a plan

Step 3 - turn notes into topic sentences

Step 4 - write the introduction (topic+thesis)

Step 5 - organise the main body

Step 6 - conclude by summarising

Cohesion: linking words and phrases
You can use words or short phrases which help to guide your reader through your writing, and to link sentences, paragraphs and sections both forwards and backwards. Good use will make what you have written easy to follow; bad use might mean your style is disjointed, probably with too many short sentences, and consequently difficult to follow. Your mark could be affected either way.

The best way to "get a feel" for these words is through your reading. Most textbooks and articles are well-written and will probably include a lot of these cohesive devices. Note how they are used and try to emulate what you have read. Do make sure though that you fully understand their meaning: incorrect use could change completely what you're trying to say. Try to use a variety of expressions, particularly in longer pieces of writing.

Don't forget "AND"! Two short sentences are often best connected together with this little word.

There follows a list of words and phrases that can be used. The list is not exhaustive, and BE CAREFUL: although grouped together, none is totally synonymous. Their position in the sentence can also vary; this is where your reading and dictionary come in.
Listing

first, second, third
first, furthermore, finally
to begin, to conclude
next
Giving examples

for example
for instance
as follows:
on the whole
next
that is
in this case
namely
in other words
Generalising

in general
generally
on the whole
as a rule
for the most part
in most cases
usually
Result/consequence
so
therefore
as a result/consequence
accordingly
consequently
because of this/that
thus
hence
for this/that reason
so that
in that case
under these circumstances

Deduction
then
in other words
in that case
otherwise
this implies that ...
if so/not

Similarity
equally
likewise
similarly
correspondingly
in the same way

Highlighting
in particular
particularly
especially
mainly

Reformulation
in other words
rather
to put it more simply

Expressing an alternative
alternatively
rather
on the other hand
the alternative is
another possibility would be

Contrast
instead
conversely
on the contrary
in contrast
in comparison

Transition to new point
now,
as far as x is concerned
with regard/reference to
as for ...
it follows that
turning to
Summary
in conclusion
to conclude
in brief
to summarise
overall
therefore

Stating the obvious
obviously
clearly
naturally
of course
as can be expected
surely
after all

Concession
(sth unexpected)
however
even though
however much
nevertheless
still
yet

Reinforcement
also
furthermore
moreover
what is more
in addition
besides
above all
as well (as)
in the same way
not only ... but also

Cohesion: linking words and phrases
Full transcript