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The Opinion Piece: Writing Task for the OSSLT

Contrary to what some people think, your opinion does matter, especially if you take the time to express it clearly and persuasively.

On the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, the opinion piece has been a required writing task since the test was first piloted in October 2000. Writing a series of paragraphs expressing an opinion is a complex task for students, because it requires them to form a clear opinion and organize their thoughts in a cohesive, structured way.

The opinion piece has these features:

  • it introduces a topic, question or issue

  • it expresses a clear point of view (agrees or disagrees) about the topic

  • it often uses the word “I” (I think …)

  • it may try to tell others what to do

  • it often tries to convince and persuade readers to agree with the point of view it presents

  • it provides supporting details -- reasons, proof, examples, evidence
Students should remember, too, that a good opinion piece has an introduction and conclusion and introduces a main idea that is supported with reasons and examples.

This short video summarizes and provides tips about how to write an opinion piece.