Nakhon Sawan Rajabhat University - On-Line Course
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A step by step approach on how to gather information on current events and stories and be able to write opinions and express personal points of view


Ajarn Willard Van De Bogart - TESOL Certificate May 2003-SIT


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Chapter nine:

How to write an opinion

Important considerations in developing your personal voice

  1. You must review your background research, and you must seek the other side of the story. You are most likely to embarrass yourself when you write an impassioned opinion about a subject only to discover that you completely misunderstood the facts of the case.
  2. Recognize that you just might be wrong in your opinion, and anticipate the objections.
  3. Always support all critical comments. The most common weakness in opinion writing is the lack of illustrative examples. An opinion is hollow and worthless without support. You are still a reporter; you have a responsibility to be objective in your analysis of the subject, though your response (your opinion) will be your own.
  4. Keep the focus on commentary; have a unified, focused organization and use compelling, stylistically consistent language. The more concrete your language, the better the article. Avoid clichˇs
  5. Not all opinion pieces have to attack something. Opinions can be positive as well as negative. But even positive opinions have to be supported.
  6. Don't ramble. Organize and focus your opinion. Keep it relatively short--300 words. Remember, an opinion piece is essentially an analytical essay, and it should have the unity that we expect of an analytical essay.
  7. Understand that the worst thing you can do is overstate your case. You have a lot of power but if you abuse that power you are responsible in front of a large readership.
  8. Recognize that this is your opportunity to develop your personal voice in this class. So much of our writing has emphasized the need for objective, standard style; this is the assignment in which you can let your own style shine. Of course, you still have to be grammatical, and you have to remember that your object is to involve your audience, not indulge yourself. You still have to follow the principles of good style.
  9. Don't just say you liked or didn't like something; support and defend the opinion with specifics.
  10. If you've got a gift for satire or humor, consider using it. I'll allow you to write a humor piece to satisfy this assignment, and I can't really give you many rules on how to write satire or humor.

    Stating an opinion:




    The following phrases may help you:




    Assignment: I'm asking you to write an opinion....300 words

    Related links:

    Lets have some fun............

    Children's opinion web site
    - Mrs Hull's Kindergarten class.

    Adult's opinion web site
    ThinkCentreAsia - An all action think tank based in Bangkok.

    Chapter eight | Chapter ten

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