How to Write an Opinion Article for College
In this article, we will look at tips on how to write an opinion piece for college. When talking about assessment for college, what comes to mind at first ranges from term papers to final year project. Indeed, they are some of the most demanded works by teachers, so that students get involved with research in their area of expertise and offer contributions to society and the academic community.
But there is another format that can also be requested which is the opinion piece. The major difference between these two is that the scientific article is based on data already published by researchers, while the intent with the opinion article is aimed at encouraging constructive debate on various topics.
A good opinion piece is topical and related to recent happenings, and it is relevant to the public discourse that is taking place in the community. Also, keep these questions in mind; why should you write about this topic? Do you have a different experience from the others, maybe this is your area of expertise, or do you have a different point of view that has not been heard so far in the discourse? This line of thought will help you focus and find originality and novelty.
Definition of an opinion piece
An opinion is an argumentative text that presents a point of view on a certain subject. It has been quite common in journalistic products, especially in magazines and because of this relevance the chosen themes must be relevant in society so that the final objective of the opinion article is fulfilled.
It is different from a scientific article, and from other productions, such as dissertation, argumentative text, journalistic news, letters and so on. Its intention is to convince the reader with impactful, convincing, and factual arguments.
An opinion article is only done in Humanities faculties, such as Journalism and History, students are encouraged to produce academic work so that they can develop communication skills, in addition to their knowledge base from their chosen career.
An opinion article is useful in many careers, a good example is a law student whose career path includes working as a lawyer and needs to learn the power of persuasion and argumentation later his career routine or a psychology student who would need training in writing this type of article, sharpen the skill of constructive persuasion and how to approach a debate, by using factual data.
In addition, opinion articles are required even before entering college, this is so because some entrance exams demand this type of article in the writing, with the aim of testing knowledge both about the structure and current events, while taking the opportunity to check the candidate’s ability to argue.
Features of an Opinion
Here are some approaches an opinion could take.
Provocative or controversial title
The writer’s creativity must come to bare here mainly because the title makes the first impression that determines if the reader would read the article or not. If the reader finds it generic or uninteresting, they may decide it’s not worth the time and you lose an audience, which is far from the goal for an Opinion. So, employ some attractive even controversial, and appealing titles. If you want to write an article that will go viral and gain popularity, write what tens of thousands think, in a way that only one in ten thousand is able to write. Invest in a statement that is strong, original, and clear, a witty and unique style, and you will see that it works.
Your article should have one idea. There may be another sub-idea, but no more than that. It is important that you know exactly what you want to say – formulate the idea before writing the article, at least in the beginning it is better that you do it in your own handwriting. It is important that you be consistent about this idea throughout the article, and do not hide yourself.
Express your opinion. At the same time, this does not mean that it is permissible to distort facts or use double standards. A degree of objectivity combined with assertiveness, and careful adherence to facts, are the characteristics of any good opinion piece. Also, an opinion piece often appears in the present tense and while being assertive in your diction, make sure to avoid overuse of connectives, which helps make your text more powerful.
Standard cultured language
It is imperative to keep in mind that the article is directed at the academic community. Which indicates that you can range from your fresh out of high school classmate to the most experienced professor in college. By default, it is ideal to stick to formal language to ensure a clear understanding of ideas.
Avoid the use of slangs as it may cause some of your audience not to understand the context, so be careful to avoid them, but don’t be tempted to just insert too much jargon and note that what fills the reader’s eyes is your argumentation.
Have a plan
As you are probably already used to writing for entrance exams, you know that every good text starts with planning. It’s not enough to simply start writing without a well-defined purpose and directions which increases the risk of shifting the focus and making the article uninteresting.
Keep the purpose of this work in mind and know how an opinion piece works. Try not to run over the information and try to build a narrative in this text, to facilitate the understanding of your message.
The structure of your article
Here are some basic guidelines that must be taken into consideration when putting together your Opinion article.
Introduction: You should start with a personal tone, raise an intriguing question. Treat this paragraph like a teaser. The reader should be interested in what is written in the first paragraph, otherwise he will close the article and not continue reading. The idea is to present the theme and the thesis. Let’s take a simple example from Journalism, with the point of view that the degree is essential for the editorial production of newspapers and magazines, even if it is not necessary in practice. You could present this information and introduce what you think.
Develop the body: it is important that the reader must learn something new from the body of the article. These could be new facts or their combination, say a new survey. It could also be a new analysis, a different summary. This is a strong point in the article, something that will be remembered later, so it is best to end with a crushing sentence that sums up your arguments, or to end with a rhetorical question.
How should I summarize the article? in the arguments here. State why you think the degree is important. Give examples that the reader will understand, bring research and studies, among other materials that follow your thesis and proves your opinion.
Conclusion: make a brief summary and resume some positions to close the text.
Know what to avoid
In addition to any kind of tribalism, other language vices need to be left out of the opinion article for it to be effective. Do not be ambiguous with your words. Rather be precise and concise as this would help you avoid displeasing the reader.
Style and Proofread
Short and understandable sentences are best. The sentences are connected to each other with the help of the internal logic of the text. Do not be tempted to multiply introductory words such as “therefore”. Writing an interesting and engaging text, with adequate language and convincing arguments would be meaningless if the article ridden with typographical or spelling errors. Especially when a lot of effort has been exerted on making the topic catchy. Do not get carried away with developing the story and in the process forget to take out grammatical errors that could potentially make the whole idea if the article lost.
Therefore, the ideal thing is to review your writing with a fresh eye after a few minutes if writing it. Or better still ask a friend to help identify possible errors as well as syntax errors in the sentences and paragraphing, which could hinder perfect understand of the main idea. Also make sure that your production complies with the specific norms of the institution and faculty you are writing to get into, the article will be adjudged based on these existing standards.
The next step is to start exercising your newly acquired skills, which will not only improve your written communication skills, but also your argumentation. This competency will be useful during college, in submitting papers, and in the professional environment.