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Developing an Opinion Statement

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Developing an Opinion Statement

High school male cheering

An effective argument starts with a clear opinion statement, also known as a claim or proposition. If you can state your opinion in a single, clear sentence, your readers will easily grasp your main argument.

Use this simple formula to craft your opinion statement. Remember that the statement will serve as the thesis for your writing.

Debatable Topic (Who or what am I writing about?)

+ Focus (What specific feeling or belief do I have about my topic?)

_________________________________

= Opinion Statement

Opinion statements fall into three categories: statements of truth, statements of value, and statements of policy.

  • Statements of truth claim that something is or is not the case. 

Despite what you might think, most hunters (topic) are friends of the environment (focus).

  • Statements of value claim that something does or does not have worth.

Podcasts (topic) have become the media of consequence in the 21st century (focus).

  • Statements of policy claim that something should or should not be done.

What we need most of all isn't mourning but action (focus) to lower the toll of guns in America (topic).

A qualifier turns an "all-or-nothing" statement into an opinion that is easier to support. Note the difference between these two statements:

Despite what you might think, hunters are friends of the environment.

Despite what you think, most hunters are friends of the environment.

Your Turn Follow the steps to develop strong opinion statements.

  1. Beside each general subject below, write a specific topic.
    • Sports safety
    • School policies
    • Immigration
    • Trends in fashion or popular culture
    • A literary character
  2. Select a specific topic and use it to create an opinion statement of fact.
  3. Select a different topic and use it to create an opinion statement of value.
  4. Select a third topic and use it to create an opinion statement of policy.
  5. Choose one opinion statement and add a qualifying word to make it easier to support. (See the table for suggested qualifiers.)
almost usually maybe probably
often some most in most cases

From 190 in Write for College

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