Opinion Writing: 3 Reliable Tips To Learn Today

Posted on Feb 6, 2024

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Written by Sarah Rexford

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While you may primarily associate opinion writing with journalists, you can write strong, helpful opinion pieces for kids as well. In fact, opinion writing for kids acts as a fantastic way to teach critical thinking skills and even empathy. 

Whether you just realized your work-in-progress is an opinion piece or want to learn how to add nuance into your opinion writing for kids, this article is for you. 

Opinion Writing: What’s Covered 

What Is Opinion Writing?

Opinion writing uses a variety of writing styles to share a specific, subjective angle on a particular topic. 

For example, when you learn how to write a book, you choose a particular character as your protagonist. Often, you choose this character because you want to share their opinion with your readers. 

Imagine if Harper Lee had made Bob Ewell the protagonist instead of Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird. The story’s viewpoint would have changed drastically. 

When you choose to embark on opinion writing, you write from your personal viewpoint, bias, or experience. However, the format your opinion writing takes depends on your audience. 

What Is Opinion Writing: For Kids

Opinion writing for kids aims to teach smaller lessons that fit the developmental level of the child. 

Let’s say you want to layer opinion writing into your children’s book. A puppy is your protagonist and this puppy, let’s call him Frank, is friends with a kitten named Kitty (original, right?). 

Frank, the puppy, says, “I love when it rains. I can jump in the puddles.” 
Kitty says, “Rain is awful. I don’t like my fur getting wet.” 

Both of these statements are opinions. However, showing these two viewpoints reveals to young readers that different characters can feel different emotions about the same experience. 

What Is Opinion Writing: For Journalists 

For journalists, opinion writing layers in different forms of research and is often an appeal to logos, or logic. In some cases, it is also called op-ed writing.

Quick aside: The term op-ed is an abbreviation for "opposite editorial." In traditional newspapers, often there would be the editorial curated pieces on one side, with the opinion pieces from various writers (not associated with the newspaper) on the other side.

Because journalists write for adult readers, they provide further nuance and strong examples. A journalist uses this type of writing to state what they believe about a particular topic as well as provide compelling evidence as to why they believe it.

Journalists could use opinion writing to cover a myriad of topics, including: 

  • Current events
  • The impact of historical moments/events
  • Reviews of restaurants, films, and other cultural pieces
  • Why a particular book was written well or poorly

Opinion pieces encompass a large range of topics and therefore, emotions. They can be lighthearted or add to decades of heated conversation.

This article shows you where you can get paid to write op-ed pieces.

What Is The Goal Of Opinion Writing? Kids Vs. Journalists

A writer’s specific goal varies based on their audience, their personal background, and what they hope their writing will achieve. That said, opinion writing covers two key aspects of communication.

This type of writing: 

  • Shares what the author believes 
  • Reveals why they believe it 

Rather than simply stating an opinion, opinion writing creates a much higher ability to impact readers.

If someone on the street corner approached you and said, “Black coffee is the only type of coffee to drink” you would likely brush off the comment. 

However, if they went on to state their personal opinion as to why black coffee is best (switching from mochas to black coffee changed their life, their health, their focus, etc.), their ability to influence you would rise.

They piqued your curiosity, appealed to your emotions (pathos), or caught your attention in another way. 

Practically then, what is the goal of opinion writing for kids versus journalists? Opinion writing follows a three-part strategy: introduction, body, conclusion. 

Introduction: Articulate An Opinion 

Let’s say a journalist wants to state the importance self-publishing plays in today’s publishing world and how it’s better than traditional publishing. They may start with the following line: 

Self-publishing is the best publishing option for aspiring authors. 

A children’s book writer will focus on smaller opinions that fit the mental capacities of their audience. For example, they may want to describe how going to bed on time makes life more enjoyable. To do so in a way that engages their readers, they may start with their protagonist stating the opposite opinion:

Frank didn’t want to go to bed. The sun was still shining. It was a perfect time to play. 

Body: Share Personal Reasoning 

In the body of your copy, you can incorporate different literary devices to share your reasoning. For instance, if you write about a heavier topic, consider incorporating situational irony to lighten the mood. 

Journalists use facts, personal experience, and well-grounded research to present their opinion. For example, consider the following: 

I attempted to land a traditional publishing contract for four years. It wasn’t until I decided to take matters into my own hands and self-publish that I saw results: higher royalty rates and full creative control. 

While children’s writers can also incorporate facts and personal experience, it looks quite a bit different. Let’s continue with the example above: 

“Bedtime in twenty minutes,” Momma dog said. Frank wanted to keep playing with his friends. The sun began to set and his friends scampered home. “It’s no fun playing without my friends,” Frank said. 

Notice how the person in the first example writes a compelling argument for fellow writers. The second example walks young readers through the protagonist’s slowly changing mindset. Frank doesn’t want to go to bed, but as his friends leave to go to their own homes, he gets lonely. 

Conclusion: Inspire Change 

A final appeal to ethos, pathos, or logos can help you create a significant impact on your readers.

For the publishing example above, if a writer’s goal is to make money, it may make more sense to self-publish. (See our article on that topic of traditional vs self publishing, specifically.)

If you were writing the children’s book, by the end of the story, Frank can learn that going to bed on time will give him energy to play with his friends during the daytime. Ideally, this encourages children to go to bed on time as well! 

What Is The Oreo Method For Opinion Writing?

Lastly, use the Oreo Method to help you lay a strong foundation for opinion writing: 

  • Opinion: share your personal belief 
  • Reason: explain why you believe it
  • Explanation: articulate the importance of your belief 
  • Opinion restated: summarize by reiterating your opinion 

Don’t forget to ask the following before publishing your piece: 

  • Is my argument enticing to my audience? 
  • Have I covered the most crucial points?
  • Have I proofread my piece?

If you can answer an affirmative yes to each question, well done. You can now publish your piece! 

Take Your Next Step Today

If you haven’t written an opinion piece yet, use these book writing strategies to map your way to completing your first draft. 

Additionally, it’s difficult to overstate just how important it is to understand your audience. Do the research necessary so you can write your best for your intended readers. 

A simple way to think about it is that writing for kids is similar to communicating a simple elevator pitch: Frank learns to go to bed on time. 

Writing for adults resembles more of a detailed synopsis, complete with examples and sources. 

For personalized help, book a free call with a team member today. Simply fill out the form below and our team can help point you in the right direction, whether you’re a freelance writer or a children’s book writer!

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