Argumentative Essay Expressing Opinion

Title

Author’s Name

Paragraph One: Introduction

Three reasons for my opinion

Thesis statement

Paragraph Two: Develops the first reason by giving examples

Topic Sentence

Paragraph Three:

Topic Sentence

Develops the second reason, giving facts and statistics to support the statement.

Paragraph Four:

Topic sentence

Develops third reason, giving an example

Paragraph Five: Conclusion

Restatement of thesis

Summary of reasons

Why You Should Vaccinate Your Kids

sample essay for student use by Trudy Morgan-Cole

Since Edward Jenner introduced the first successful smallpox vaccine by injecting an eight-year-old boy with cowpox pus in 1796, vaccines have been an important part of public health care around the world (“Edward Jenner”). Yet today, many parents choose not to vaccinate their children. Because vaccines are widely supported by research, have few side effects, and have proven successful in halting the spread of disease, I believe it is important that all parents continue to vaccinate their children.

All major health organizations, including the Centres for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, recommend vaccination. The value of vaccination is supported by research from around the world, and researchers are constantly working to improve the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Epidemiologists, the scientists whose job is to study the outbreak of disease, all recommend vaccination.

Many parents worry about the safety of vaccines. While side effects do occur, they are usually minor, like redness or swelling around the site of an injection. In Canada, only about one in a million doses of vaccine leads to serious side effects (“Fact and Fiction”). The most famous study linking vaccines to autism, one which got many parents worried about vaccination, has been proven false and the doctor who conducted the study has had his medical license taken away (Triggle).

Around the world, increased vaccination leads to better public health. Diseases like smallpox and polio which once killed and disabled millions of people are virtually unknown today thanks to immunization programs. Yet in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan where the Taliban discourage immunization, rates of polio are on the rise again (Nordland).

If and when you have children, please get them vaccinated. The risks are minimal and you’ll not only be following the best advice of medical science and protecting your own child from disease; you’ll be helping in the fight to eradicate infectious diseases in your community and around the world.

Sources Cited

“Edward Jenner (1749-1823),” BBC History: Historic Figures. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/jenner_edward.shtml

“Immunization Fact and Fiction,” Public Health Agency of Canada. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/iyc-vve/fic

Nordland, Rod, “After Year of Decline, PolioCases in Afghanistan Triple in a Year.” The New York Times, Jan. 17, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/18/world/asia/after-years-of-decline-polio-cases-in-afghanistan-rise.html

Triggle, Nick, “MMR Doctor Struck from Register,” BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8695267.stm

This is a guest post by Sam Pealing. Make sure to visit his website EnglishForStudy.com for more academic English help!

I admire international students. Seriously. If you’re a non-native English speaker doing a degree or doctorate in English, then I take my hat off to you.

I get a lot of questions about writing essays, and I’ve taught hundreds of students how to write effective essays (which get good grades). One of the most common mistakes that I see is a lack of opinion.

Most of the time, students describe a situation, but they don’t give their opinion or stance. This can really damage your grade because lecturers are always looking for ‘critical thinking’. If you don’t give your opinion in your essays, your lecturers can’t see your critical thinking.

To put it simply: If you don’t put your opinion or stance in an essay, then you’ll probably lose marks.

In this article, you’ll learn 10 effective phrases that you can use to give your opinion in your essay. I’ve also created a free lesson pack which will help you to practice the phrases in this article. CLICK HERE to download it.

Introducing the Phrases

If you’re looking for a quick fix for your essay, these phrases should help you to start putting your own opinions in your essays.

But, before you rush over to your essays to start putting these phrases in, there’s something you need to know.

If you’re writing an academic essay, you will need to support your opinions with strong evidence. This is especially true if you are using some of the stronger phrases.

This evidence can be a journal article, a lecture, a textbook, or something else which is a trustworthy source of information.

In a more informal essay, like one in an IELTS or TOEFL language test, you don’t need to support your answers with strong evidence. Your experiences or opinions will be enough.

Quick note: I know! You’re ready to see the phrases.

This won’t take long and it’s really important.

1. For these phrases to be really effective, you’ll need to review your grammar. Shayna has some great videos on her Espresso English Youtube channel.

I recommend these:

2. If you want to know the structure of a good essay paragraph, check my post here.

Informal English Phrases

These phrases are suitable for language tests such as TOEFL or IELTS. In an academic essay, these phrases will probably be too informal because they are too personal.

“In my opinion, + [your sentence]”

  • In my opinion, a good education is more important than a good car.

“I believe that + [your sentence]”

  • I believe that schools should encourage students to walk or cycle to school rather than drive.

“In my mind, + [your sentence]”

  • In my mind, no-one should have to pay for medical care.”

More Formal Academic Phrases With ‘That’

These phrases are more suitable for academic essays. If you are unsure whether you should use an informal phrase or an academic phrase, use an academic one. If you think your writing might be informal, read this post to learn more.

The patterns here are quite straightforward. Just add your sentence after ‘that’.

“It would seem that + [your sentence]”

Use this when you support your opinion with evidence.

  • It would seem that children learn best when they are feeling comfortable.”

“It could be argued that + [your sentence]”

Use this when you want to challenge an existing opinion.

  • It could be argued that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks in this situation.”

“This suggests that + [your sentence]”

Use this when you don’t want to fully commit to an opinion. You’re giving yourself some distance.

  • The evidence suggests that people who speak more than one language have more job opportunities.”

“This proves that + [your sentence]”

Use this when you are confident with your opinion. This phrase is quite strong*

  • This proves that the best way to lose weight is through a controlled diet and a good exercise program.”

“This supports the idea that + [your sentence]”

Use this one when you are supporting an opinion that you have already made.

  • This new research supports the idea that successful English learners look for opportunities to use English.”

Other Ways to Express Opinion

“Although [idea you disagree with], [idea you agree with]”

Use this when you want make your opinion seem balanced.

  • Although reports suggest that cigarettes could help people to lose weight, there are too many serious health problems associated with smoking.”

Note: The ‘although’ pattern is very effective because it shows two sides of the argument. In the example, I support the idea that smoking is bad for your health –BUT- I recognise that it could have some benefits.

Structure your ‘although’ sentence like this: Although, [weaker argument you disagree with], [stronger argument you agree with].

Using Adverbs, Adjectives and Nouns

You can use adjectives to show your opinion.

  • “This research was poorly conducted with a lack of control.”

The adjective and nouns in the example are negative. You can get some good ideas from this video on Extreme Adjectives. Note: try not to use any emotional adjectives.

Make Your Own Phrases!

Of course, these phrases aren’t the only ones that you can use! You can find more –or– you can create your own by combining different patterns.

Here’s an example of #7, #9 and #10 used together.

“Although it is difficult for older adults to learn a second language, an important study by Smith (2014) proved that the elderly can successfully learn new languages.”

What Should You Do Now?

So now you should have a better idea of how to include more opinions in your essays. But that’s not all; there are probably some new words here that you don’t know.

So here’s what you should do:

  1. Choose three of the opinion expressions and phrases that you want to try.
  2. Practice writing sentences using them (if you don’t have a topic, try this: should students do homework? You can see examples of this in the lesson pack)
  3. Get the Lesson Pack for this lesson (which contains the vocabulary and the phrases from this lesson) CLICK HERE to download it.

 

About Sam Pealing

Sam Pealing is an English language coach who specialises in two important areas: 1. helping you to get great grades at university, and 2. helping you to become an effective and confident English user. If you’re feeling frustrated or confused with English, Sam has created the perfect email course for you! You can join his course here –or- you can read more by him on English For Study.

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