Opinion writing is basically a type of writing that represents the strong, informed, and focused opinion of the writer on an issue of relevance to a targeted audience. There are different styles of writing opinion pieces. In this article, we are presenting one typical style that first-time writers can follow.
This is the topic of the opinion piece which represents what the opinion piece is all about. Example,”Gender inequality in Nepal.” Sometimes, a title can cover both the defined point and point of view along with what the author wants to convey. Example, “Gender inequality in Nepal and what should be done to narrow the gap.” Title can be in a question form or a statement or in metaphor. Example, “Gender Inequality: Why are women still not equal to men in Nepal?”
Opening is the first-line or first paragraph of the opinion writing. You can follow any of the following options:
Option 1: Quotes. A relevant quote that sums up your whole point.
Option 2: Fictional Story. A fictional story to begin with to give a clue on which direction the article heading towards.
Option 3: Context. A latest story or incident to give the direction to the argument.
First paragraph (Definition and history)
Cover the literal definition on the defined point of your opinion writing. For example, if it is about gender inequality, write about the standard definition of “gender” “inequality,” a definition provided by reputed organisation like the UN, etc. You can as well talk about etymology and history. In the first paragraph, also give important historical references to educate your readers on the background of the subject, before you lead them to your argument.
Second paragraph (Numbers and data)
In this section, bring data and numbers to create a base for your argument validating your point of view. You can as well bring real stories and incidents to support the claim.
Third paragraph (observation and others views)
In this section, express your observation-based knowledge and understanding in and around your defined point. Also paraphrase others views, like that of a book author or columnist or blogger. Until this point, don’t jump to the core argument. Remember, you are still building a base for your argument.End the paragraph with something satirical or humorous or ironic facts or context that you know connecting to your topic.
This section is the spot where you cover your defined point and point of view – what you have been feeling and thinking, why you felt like talking or writing about, what is bothering you, etc. You can include public opinion and other relevant statements to give the impression that you are not the only one saying or thinking so.
This is the continuation of the fourth paragraph where you put forth your reasoning and logic and critical thinking. Also, try bringing established theories and concepts to validate your reasoning and thinking. You can bring a few more stories and context and relevant information to validate your point of view.
This paragraph generally covers recommendations or solutions or constructive feedback or statements to encourage readers or targeted audiences to act for or against. Sometimes, it can be in a form of subtle persuasion or thought-provoking style without prescribing anything directly.
This is the section that echoes or answers the introduction; has the last and often most memorable detail, contains a final epiphany or calls the reader to action. You can end the sentence with a quote or open ending question or something that gives a punch or strike to the reader.
Hope this article helps you get the basic understanding of one of the styles in opinion writing. This article is to serve as a framework for those who are new to opinion writing but do not know how to segment their thoughts and knowledge while presenting their argument. As said above, it is one of the styles and not necessarily a hard-and-fast rule that fits all. You can create your own style. As long as your opinion writing is doing the job of persuasion or making an argument, you are doing it right.
All the best.
This article is a training material designed for participants of KMAG Online Writing Workshop.
What’s Special Today: November 10
Historically native to the Indian states of Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand and the southern part of Nepal, Chhath is one of those festivals that transcends the caste system that exists in the society. According to the Hindu calendar, it is celebrated on the sixth day of the lunar month of Kartik. The Chhath Puja is a 4-day long ritual specially offered to the solar deity, Surya, to show thankfulness for good health, good life and to request the granting of some certain wishes.
Day 1: On the first day, the devotees after bathing clean their house and eat the food that is offered to the god to protect the mind from the vengeful tendency.
Day 2: On the second day, the devotees are not allowed to drink even a single drop of water but, in the evening, they eat kheer made up of jaggery, fruits.
Day 3: The evening of the third day which is also known as sandhya ‘arghya’ day where a bamboo basket is decorated with various puja materials, fruits, thekuwa, and laddus which are offered as an ‘argya’ to the Sun. Also, the Chhathi Maiya is worshipped.
Day 4: On the last day of Chhath puja again an arghya is offered to the Sun God but this time in the morning. The devotees go to the riverbank to offer arghya to the rising sun and break their fast and conclude their four-day long worship.
Happy Chhath to everyone! Don’t forget to enjoy some thekuwas!!
World Keratoconus Day:
Every year on November 10, World Keratoconus Day is celebrated to focus global attention on keratoconus and ectatic corneal disorders. The day was first celebrated by National Keratoconus Foundation.
Keratoconus is a disease that causes the cornea to become weak, leading to the thinning and stretching of the cornea, which may result in the loss of vision. Keratoconus is degeneration of the structure of the cornea. The shape of the cornea slowly changes from the normal round shape to a cone shape which affects the vision. The keratoconus mainly develops in teenagers and young adults and the disease keeps on growing, if not diagnosed in time.
The disease has no prevention and no treatment. With early diagnosis, the disease can be managed and further damage can be protected. In Nepal, the prevalence of Keratoconus is 1 in 2000 according to the recent journal. So, this world keratoconus day, make a commitment to visit an eye doctor once a year for the early diagnosis of keratoconus as well as other eye diseases.
KMAG Online Writing Workshop reading materials
Covers communication and types of writing. Please check the following articles.
Also, check out: How miscommunication happens (and how to avoid it)
Covers content management system/WordPress, and how to introduce yourself. Please check the following articles.
Covers the basics of expository writing and CV writing.
Covers persuasive writing.Please check the following articles.
Covers how to write research-based opinion writing.
Personal journal writing (my diary)
Figure of speech and rhetoric.
How to frame questions.
Types of Figure of Speech with examples (Part 1)
Accumulation is a figure of speech, in which the points made previously are presented again in a compact, forceful manner. It often employs the use of climax in the summation of a speech.
- We learned communication, we learned types of writing, we learned rhetoric, we learned figure of speech. In all this, we made new friends, we spent hours together.
- He founded Nepal; fought for unification, fought for diversity. Leaving wife and child home, he set to occupy the land of people, land of flowers and trees. And he built a country that we call Nepal.
- Your organization, your vigilance, your devotion to duty, your zeal for the cause must be raised to the highest intensity.” Winston Churchill, Speech, 14 July 1941. (This sentence comes after a lengthy passage in which Churchill warns the public that their courage and effort are still needed to defeat the enemy).
A figure of speech that refers to the repetition of words with the same root word.
- I will be somewhere, someday, settled with somebody in some place.
- I am nobody, reaching no where in this no man’s land.
- In the vastness of universe, I am vastly clueless.
A literary stylistic device, where a series of words in a row have the same first consonant sound.
- Nepalese never nag about Nepal not nationalising.
- Looks like lion likes licking lizard.
- Come count my comb.
A figure of speech in the form of hyperbole taken to such extreme lengths as to insinuate a complete impossibility.
- I will meet you when sun rises from west.
- Before I finish the work, I will grow a horn.
- Stone will talk but she won’t.
Derives from the Greek word anakolouthon, literally means “lacking sequence”, is a figure of speech which consists in the abrupt disruption in syntax. Opens in new window resulting from two non-parallel grammatical constructions.
- I am hungry – have you never played football?
- I miss the burgher at – did you see my daughter?
- Never in my life – what’s in your mind?
The repetition of the last word of a preceding clause. The word is used at the end of a sentence and then used again at the beginning of the next sentence..
- It’s midnight. Midnight with stars. Stars with the moon. Moon looking at my window. Window hiding me.
- “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
- “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”
A rhetorical device that consists of repeating a sequence of words at the beginnings of neighboring clauses, thereby lending them emphasis.
- When you felt like giving up, when you felt like crying, when you felt like hitting the wall, just do it.
- It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way
- “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state, sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.
A figure of speech in which the normal word order of the subject, the verb, and the object is changed.
- Instead of I like Nepal, “Nepal I like.”
- World I want to change.
- I, her will keep loving till the end
It is when a specific point, expectations are raised, everything is built-up and then suddenly something boring or disappointing happens.
- He killed the king, freed the people, and took the sword and killed himself.
- People, pets, batteries, … all are dead.
- He loved her so much …he killed her.
is the usage of a word in a new grammatical form, most often the usage of a noun as a verb.
- Can you please google to find out the meaning of “anthimeria”? (google is actually noun)
- The thunder would not peace at my bidding.
- Let’s do some eating. (verb being used as noun)
the repetition of words in successive clauses, but in transposed order.
- Eat to live, not live to eat
- All crime is vulgar, just as all vulgarity is crime.
- Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
The repetition of the same word or words at the end of successive phrases, clauses or sentences.
- There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem.
- When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
- Nepal is beautiful. Nepalese are beautiful. Her style is beautiful. Her heart is beautiful.
is used in writing or speech either as a proposition that contrasts with or reverses some previously mentioned proposition, or when two opposites are introduced together for contrasting effect.
- I am rich man who longs for a poverty.
- When in war, we long for peace; when in peace, we long for war.
- Let’s play with the fire to feel the rain.
It often appears in the form of a rhetorical question which is meant to imply a difference between the present thing being discussed and the general notion of the subject. Statement that calls into question the definition of a word.
- You eat meat and you call yourself animal lover?.
- How can you call this country a peaceful country when everywhere is chaos?.
- How am I even a writer with this kind of writing?
A figure of speech wherein a sentence is deliberately broken off and left unfinished, the ending to be supplied by the imagination, giving an impression of unwillingness or inability to continue.
- Please leave my home or else – !.
- I want to go home now. If not.
- And she left with. I don’t even want to share.
Apposition is a grammatical construction in which two elements, normally noun phrases, are placed side by side and so one element identifies the other in a different way.
- Nepal, my home, is where I want to die.
- My brother, Mr. Suresh, is joining me.
- Mr. Oli, a famous politician, is giving a speech.
Repetition of vowel sounds
- Reave, please leave.
- Hire and fire.
- Write so bright that it will frighten right.
ASTEISMUS (not needed but know it anyway)
he rhetorical term for achieving polite or soft mockery whereby the replier catches a sensitive word and redirects it back to the interlocutor with an unexpected twist. Example:
- Judge: You’re charged with vagrancy. Are you guilty or not guilty?
Ollie: Not guilty, Your Highness.
Judge: On what grounds?
Stan: We weren’t on the grounds. We were sleeping on the park bench.
A literary scheme in which one or several conjunctions are deliberately omitted from a series of related clauses.
- He ran, he climbed, he conquered .
- I wanted to participate, i made it.
- Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
Co-reference of one expression with another expression which follows it, in which the latter defines the first.
- If you want to eat something, there is pizza in the freeze.
- If you want her, she is Ms. Lisa.
- He is an idiot. He is a douche. He is lazy. He is my friend, Nishant.
a figure of speech in which words, phrases, or clauses are arranged in order of increasing importance. Or say, a figure of speech in which successive words, phrases, clauses, or sentences are arranged in ascending order of importance, as in “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!”
- When there is job, when there is peace, and when there is love, happiness occurs.
- We want freedom, liberty and democracy.
- Men and women are equal, but above, it’s the responsibility.