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WT 138 Writing Opinion Letters

Teacher Tips and Answers

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WT 138

Page 138

Writing Opinion Letters

The world is full of problems, but you can help create solutions. One of the best ways is to write an opinion letter. Your letter can explain a problem and suggest a solution. If your reader agrees with the solution, you can change your world for the better.

Taking Care of Business

An opinion letter is a type of business letter. It has a specific form: a heading, an inside address, a greeting, a body, and a closing. Your letter should be clear, thoughtful, and polite. A well-written letter can get things done!

Guy Mailing Letter in Building
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WT 139

Page 139

Understanding the Problem

Think about a problem you would like to solve. A collection sheet can help you understand the problem.

Sample Collection Sheet

Collection Sheet
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WT 140

Page 140

Kid Mailing
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Parts of a Business Letter

Business letters have six main parts. Match up the descriptions below with the parts on page 141.

    1. The heading provides your address and the date.

    2.The inside address is the name and address of your reader. If the person has a special title, add a comma and the title after the name.

    Mr. Ryan Dexter, Principal

    3. The salutation is a greeting. Write “Dear” followed by the person’s title (or Mr. or Ms.) and the last name.

    Dear Principal Dexter:

    4. The body is the main part of the letter. This is where you explain the problem and argue for your the solution.

    5. The closing is a way of saying good-bye. Use Sincerely or Truly. Place a comma after the closing.

    6. Skip four lines and type your full name. Then write your signature between the closing and your name.

WT 141

Page 141

Sample Opinion Letter

This opinion letter is from a student who is trying to make the cafeteria less noisy.

Opinion Letter
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WT 142

Page 142

Writing an Opinion Letter

Prewriting

Select a Problem 🟪 Think of a problem in your school. Maybe there is a problem with recess or the cafeteria. Or think of a problem in your neighborhood. Maybe sidewalks need to be fixed.

Collect Details 🟪 Learn as much as you can about your problem. Use a collection sheet to help you. (See page 139.)

Writing a Draft

Write the Body of Your Letter 🟪 Give your name and state your opinion. Then explain the problem and a possible solution. Be sure to use short paragraphs to make your letter easy to read.

Create the Other Parts 🟪 Include a heading, an inside address, a salutation, a closing, and a signature. See pages 140–141 for the business-letter format to use.

WT 143

Page 143

Revising

Review Your Ideas 🟪 Did you clearly explain the problem? Did you offer one or more solutions? Is your letter convincing?

Improve Your Letter 🟪 Add, cut, rewrite, and rearrange details until the letter gets your point across.

Editing & Proofreading

Fix Errors 🟪 Correct any problems with capitalization, punctuation, and usage. Make sure that you have spelled names correctly.

Check the Form 🟪 Does your letter follow the format shown on page 141?

Tip

On the next page, you can see how to address an envelope and fold a letter.

Pencil Landscape
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WT 144

Page 144

Sending Your Letter

Get the approval of your parent or guardian before sending a letter.

Addressing the Envelope
    🟪 Place your address in the top-left corner of the envelope. Put a stamp in the top-right corner.
    🟪 In the center, write the name and address of the reader. Use the two-letter state abbreviation and ZIP.
    🟪 The U.S. Postal Service suggests you use all capital letters and no punctuation marks.

Envelop
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Folding Your Letter
    🟪 Fold your letter into three equal parts.
    🟪 Crease the folds firmly.
    🟪 Put your letter into the envelope and place it in a mail box!

Folding a Letter
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WT 145

Page 145

Writing an Opinion Email

You can also send your persuasive letter as an opinion email. Here is the sample letter turned into an email.

Persuasive Email
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Teacher Support:

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Lesson Plan Resources:

Here you'll find a full list of resources found in this lesson plan.

Vocabulary List:
  • opinion letter: letter that argues for the writer's belief or feeling about a topic

Vocabulary List:
  • heading: your address and date at the top of the letter

  • inside address: name and address of the reader, after the heading

  • salutation: polite greeting, often with Dear and the person's name

  • body: the main part of the letter, which presents the opinion and argues for it

  • closing: polite good-bye, often with Sincerely followed by a comma

  • signature: the writer's name written under the closing

Downloads:
Vocabulary List:
  • opinion email: opinion letter sent over the Internet

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