How To Write Opinion Piece Essay Outline

Composing An MLA Format Opinion Essay Easily


If your instructor asks you to compose an MLA format opinion essay, you have two tasks at hand. It would mean to write an opinion write-up and present it in MLA style.

Let us first learn what an opinion essay is. It is a piece of writing which should be written in formal language. In this type of writing you are required to give your opinion on the topic mentioned and support your views with logic, reason and examples. You must also mention the opposing views in the later part of your writing.

In short the structure of the writing should be like this:

  • Introduction-
  • in this part you should introduce the topic and also give your opinion. One paragraph would be enough for writing introduction.
  • Body-
  • this part in contain several paragraphs, each of which should touch different viewpoints with support of reasons and examples. You can have 3 to 5 paragraphs depending on the word limit.
  • Conclusion-
  • Summarise and write in support of your viewpoint. This part can have one paragraph.

MLA style is a particular way of presenting the writing. It would require you follow the following format settings:

  1. Use double spacing, font size 12 and have 1 inch margin on both sides.Use hanging indent paragraph format.
  2. There should not be extra spacing between the paragraphs. Usually Times New Roman font is preferred in this style.
  3. The line spacing should be at 2.0, but it can be varied at 1.9 and 2.1 also to meet the page requirements.
  4. You must give page header with page number and name on every sheet at the right upper corner.
  5. This style of formatting requires an informative title and information about your writing.
  6. Author and page number have to be written without comma. Full stop and comma should not be written in inline quotes.
  7. If you quote from other sources, the names of the sources have to be mentioned in a list in alphabetical order. Check if you are asked to have separate lists for different types of work cited. If yes, make different lists.
  8. If you refer from an article mention if it is from a periodical or a chapter and whether it is printed or electronic. If you cite the work from a book, mention if it is electronic or printed. In case the citing is from webpage write the name of the blog, or company website or, YouTube video. All the works cited can be mentioned together by filling a form.

By combining these two writings, you can write this easily.

  • 1

    Close strong. To round off your op-ed, you’ll need a solid final paragraph to reiterate your argument and bring your piece to a good conclusion that will remain with the reader after they have put down the paper.[9] For example:
    • Our town’s library is not only a house for the brilliant works of authors from around the world, it is also a place where the community can come together to learn, discuss, appreciate, and inspire. If the library closes as planned, our community will lose a beautiful testament to our town’s history, and a hub for the curious minds of our young and old alike.
  • 2

    Keep word count in mind. In general, keep your sentences and paragraphs short and sweet. In general, you will want to rely on short and simple declarative sentences to get your point across in your op-ed. Each newspaper is different, but most have a maximum word count of 750 that you cannot exceed in your op-ed.[10]
    • Newspapers will almost always edit, but will usually preserve the voice, style, and viewpoint of your piece. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can send a lengthy piece and count on them to cut it down to their liking. Papers will often skip over a piece that does not generally correspond to their specified word count.
  • 3

    Don’t spend your time worrying over your headline. Newspapers will create a headline for your op-ed, regardless of whether or not you send one along with your piece. Because of this, there is no need to spend much time worrying about your headline.

  • 4

    Check your facts. You should submit a short bio about yourself that links you to the topic you are writing about and builds your credibility. You should also add your phone number, email address, and mailing address.[11]
    • Example of brief bio related to library op-ed: John Smith is an avid reader with a PhD in Creative Writing and Political Science. He has lived in Library town, MA his entire life.
  • 5

    Offer up any graphics you might have. Historically, op-ed pages had very few pictures. Now, with newspapers turning into online publications, photos, videos, and other media that go along with your op-ed are widely accepted. In your initial email, mention that you have graphics that go along with your op-ed or scan them in and send them along with your piece.

  • 6

    Check with the newspaper for submission guidelines. Each newspaper will have their own requirements and guidelines for how to submit your work and what information you should send along with it. Check the newspaper’s website or, if you have a hard copy, look for submission information on the Opinions page. More often than not, you will submit your op-ed to an email address.[12]

  • 7

    Follow up. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back from the paper immediately. Make sure that you send a follow-up email or place a follow-up call within a week of sending off your piece. Editorial Page editors are notoriously busy and, if they received your letter at an inopportune time, they may have missed it. Calling or emailing also gives you the chance to establish contact with the editor, giving you a leg up on the competition.

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