This opinion writing packet was created for students to complete as the brainstorming and first draft of an opinion writing piece. Upon completion of this packet, students will have a 5-paragraph opinion essay ready to revise & edit.
After students are given a topic or select one of their own, they begin the process of writing their essays by completing a Pro/Con list (attached). This allows students to look at both sides of a persuasive/opinion argument, which will come in handy as they are identifying opposing viewpoints. Following the completion of their pro/con lists, students select their position (what they are arguing).
Now that they have a topic selected, their pro/con lists completed, and a position chosen, students begin their brainstorming/planning by completing the Opinion Writing graphic organizer (attached). This is a visual way for students to see their piece develop into a 5-paragraph essay. This organizer can be easily adapted to a 3-paragraph essay if desired.
At the top of the graphic organizer, students write their topic and position statement. In each of the rectangular boxes, students select and write the three main reasons that support their position from their pro/con list, which will become the topics of the three body paragraphs. Next to each rectangular box, the circles will be filled with the detail sentences supporting each reason. The triangle at the bottom of each rectangular box is a place for students to write the opposing viewpoint for each argument, along with its counterargument.
Once the graphic organizer is complete, students are ready to begin their first draft. This scaffolded first draft template walks students through the process, giving them suggestions and asking them questions in order to write a detailed, comprehensive, 5-paragraph opinion piece. When their packet is complete, students will simply have to revise and edit, then write a final draft.
This packet has been so successful that it was added to the curriculum documents provided for teachers in my school district. Many teachers have seen wonderful success with this way of writing opinion pieces. Let me know if you have any questions!