Writing a Supported Opinion Essay
A Five-Step Guide
In the writing assessment for the RPN program you will be asked to write a five-paragraph essay expressing your opinion on a given topic. In this essay you need to develop your ideas and support them with clear examples or other proof. To be successful, follow the practices of good writing which involves applying the following three major strategies:
• Unity – how each paragraph/sentence is related to the next • Coherence – how each idea progresses smoothly and logically • Emphasis/Expression – how clearly each idea stands out
Following are five steps to help you express your opinion clearly and coherently, with confidence. Use the practice question on the website to become familiar with this process before the assessment date.
1. Before Writing:
Read the instructions over twice – do not begin to write as soon as you have read the question. Instead, brainstorm your ideas first, and then sort them into categories. You will then need to draft your opinion into a five-paragraph essay format, consisting of an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.
2. Introductory Paragraph:
Present your opinion (controlling idea/thesis) clearly in an introductory paragraph. Do not start explaining your proof in the introduction, but indicate how you will be supporting your opinion.
3. Body Paragraphs (3):
Use a clear topic sentence for each body paragraph – make sure that it connects directly with the controlling idea (your opinion). Each paragraph should deal with only one aspect of your opinion. Develop your ideas in a logical progression (order of importance, chronology/sequence, process, etc.). Support your opinion clearly with evidence, proof or an example, and then finish each paragraph with a summarizing statement.
4. Concluding Paragraph:
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