Activity 16

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Write an Opinion Essay

Students construction an “ACT-like” opinion essay related to a science topic presented on this site. The essay should be type-written for students with access to computers. For those without access, the essay must be neatly written. Refer to detailed instructions below.

Go To Subject Area to Select Essay Topic


This assignment should be timed and completed in a 40-minute session. Use Times New Roman font 12 with double-spacing. Also, see Technique 18 – “Write an Opinion Essay” to review essay writing strategies. Review grading criteria for this assignment.

  • Students should take several minutes to PLAN their essay before beginning to writing it.
  • Students are advised to have their thoughts firmly in mind prior to defending their opinion.
  • This activity suggests a “5-part” essay.
  • The five parts are (1) an introduction; (2) three main points/sections; (3) and a conclusion.

Some reminders and tips include:

  • Reword and summarize the “context” or background in the introduction.
  • Clearly state a thesis in the introduction.
  • Make the introduction absolutely clear to the reader “which side” is chosen for the essay.
  • Have three (3) solid supporting reasons WHY your side is the best/wisest/etc.
  • Use declarative sentences for the three supporting reasons “why.”
  • Use each declarative sentence to lead of the paragraphs in the body of the essay.
  • Include examples and/or reasoning to support each major point.

Additional tips

  • Make the essay organized. Avoid placing multiple points in one paragraph.
  • Discuss only one perspective in each of the body paragraphs.
  • Conclude with a summary or restatement of the original introduction.
  • In the conclusion – more firmly assert your choice – and include summarized versions of your three reasons in support of your thesis.
  • Aim for 400 total words or more. But, a well constructed 250 word essay is better than a poorly done 600 word jumble of words.

Reference Sources

ELA Standards for this activity

10.3.W.5 Students will use words, phrases, and clauses to connect claims, counterclaims, evidence, and commentary to create a cohesive argument and include a conclusion that follows logically from the information presented and supports the argument.

10.5.W.3 Students will practice their use of Standard American English, grammar, mechanics, and usage through writing, presentations, and/or other modes of communication to convey specific meanings and interests.

12.8.W Students will write independently over extended periods of time (e.g., time for research, reflection, and revision) and for shorter timeframes (e.g., a single sitting or a day or two), vary their modes of expression to suit audience and task, synthesize information across multiple sources, and articulate new perspectives.