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Welcome to my World:. Writing an opinion column.

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welcome to my world

Welcome to my World:

Writing an opinion column


In this activity, you will develop an opinion column suitable for publication in the school newspaper, which is read by students, parents and teachers. Your purpose is to persuade the reader to your point of view about your chosen topic. You will write at least 350 words.

Your topic should address a current issue that affects you personally to give the readers insight into what currently affects teenagers and the world they live in. It can be small and close to home (like wanting to abolish school uniforms) or a much wider issue (like promoting renewable sources of energy in New Zealand). It could either be something that is really positive, that you are persuading the reader to do too (such as promoting football as the best sport ever), or something negative, that you are persuading the reader to try and change (such as stopping cyber-bullying). You will be given more guidance on selecting a topic in class.


Your Opinion Column


  • Have an introduction, conclusion and three main paragraphs
  • Use evidence/examples to support your ideas
  • Use conventional stylistic features of an opinion column


  • Have thoughtful links between paragraphs
  • Structure its ideas around a main idea/argument
  • Use a controlled style, suitable for the audience


  • Show flair and originality of ideas
  • Use linguistic techniques to command attention
  • Use stylistic features effectively to persuade the reader

You will be assessed on:

  • how well you express and develop your ideas
  • your ability to use a writing style that is appropriate to the task
  • how well you structure your writing
  • your accuracy in spelling, grammar, punctuation and paragraphing.
quick response opinion writing
Quick Response: Opinion Writing

Pick one of the topics below. In the next 5 minutes, write your initial reaction to the statement. You will then share your ideas with another member of the class. Remember, this is about your opinion!

  • Teenagers today have no respect for their elders
  • The Rugby World Cup will benefit all New Zealanders
  • School uniforms are outdated
  • New Zealand should start developing nuclear power
  • There is no way to stop bullying in schools
  • The drinking age should be changed to 20
  • Any other current affairs issue you would like to talk about
what is an opinion column

What is an opinion column?

  • There are several ways to make your column convincing:
  • Use evidence/examples to illustrate the point(s) that you are making
  • Use direct address to command attention from the reader
  • Use a common experience to hook the reader into your column by showing they can relate to it (such as a ‘have you ever…?’ scenario)

Opinion columns are usually found in newspapers, magazines and blog sites. The writer attempts to raise awareness about and issue and persuade readers to agree with their opinion on the topic

REMEMBER: This is still formal writing – so make sure that your language is appropriate – your style can be quite casual but do not get overly emotive or insulting!

what techniques are commonly found in an opinion column
What techniques are commonly found in an opinion column?

As we go through the sheet – make notes to remind you of what these techniques are and how you might use them 

now it s your turn
Now it’s your turn…!

As a group, read through the opinion column assigned to you. Then note down the following information:

  • Title/Author/Publication
  • What is the argument/opinion presented here?
  • What techniques are used to persuade/convince the reader? Write down an example of each technique you list (aim for 3)
  • Is the column convincing? Why/Why not?

You will then share you findings with the class

I will be collecting the columns back in!

choosing your topic
Choosing your topic:
  • Pick something that interests you – you need to be able to write convincingly on it
  • Try to think about a topic that relates to your life and to other teenagers in New Zealand today