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Opinion Response Essays. F or Mr. Kay’s WORLD HISTORY and AMERICAN GOVERNMENT classes. Opinion Response Essays. Why, oh why, do we have to do THIS ???. YOUR GRADE will depend in some part on how well you do on these. These will be graded as assessments :

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opinion response essays

Opinion Response Essays

For Mr. Kay’s



opinion response essays1

Opinion Response Essays

Why, oh why, do we have to do THIS ???

your grade will depend in some part on how well you do on these

YOUR GRADE will depend in some part on how well you do on these.

These will be graded as assessments:

Score point 4’s will be equivalent to 20 points

Score point 3’s will be equivalent to 18 points

Score point 2’s will be equivalent to 16 points

Score point 1’s will be equivalent to 14 points


MORE IMPORTANTLY…Doing opinion response essayshelps to develop your reading, writing,and critical thinkingskills

Social studies classes in the future will begin to look more and more like English classes.

If the Common Core continues to prevail as the basis for subject area standards, English and social studies will be linked together as never before.



What if I don’t care about the Common Core?

Note the “mission statement” beneath the logo:


You will be expected to do this kind of essay in almost every college course you will take.

Even if you forego college for a more immediate career, you will be COMPETING AGAINST students who will have these skills once Common Core is more fully implemented.

Why not be better readers, writers, and critical thinkers ?

opinion response essays2
Opinion Response Essays…

Test your reading proficiency equally as much as they test your abilities as a writer

Help you to become better informed about current events—events of national and international import

By requiring you to disagree with another writer’s opinion, ask you to think critically about these issues

Can cultivate a better sense of empathy—“the ability to see the world through the eyes of another”

how to write excellent or better opinion response essays
How to write excellent or better opinion response essays…

Score point 1 papers – the majority of these papers did not follow instructions

Score point 2 papers – the majority of these papers were too brief or undeveloped

Score point 3 papers – a good level of writing proficiency; these papers are often not as serious or as well-planned/thought-out as they could be

Score point 4 papers – only one or two in a class, indicates a superior ability to write, will be interested to see if this can be demonstrated consistently

dealing with the problem of not following instructions

Dealing with the problem of NOT FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS

Be sure to include the following at the top of each opinion response you write:

your name, class hour

“title of article”

date article ran in WSJ

Choose an article from the OPINION section of The Wall Street Journal.

(generally located in the last 3 to 6 pages of the first/A section)

Be sure that you write an opinion response in which you DISAGREE with the opinion expressed by the writer of the article you have selected and read

Do NOT rewrite, re-cap, summarize, or explain what the article means – do as much of your own original writing as possible to share your opinion about an issue with those who will read your essay.

The goal is to CONVINCE your readers that your opinion is right or more valid, and that the other writer’s opinion (in the article) is wrong or misguided.

dealing with the problem of too brief or undeveloped

Dealing with the problem of TOO BRIEF or UNDEVELOPED

  • Consider what sort of evidence will best support the statements that collectively express your opinion in your response.
      • Personal experience
      • Evidence from the text itself
      • Evidence from outside sources
      • (NOTE: Each of these has its strengths and weaknesses.)

If you’ve only written 3 sentences or filled up less than ¼ of the page, your response is almost certainly too brief or undeveloped.

1 personal experience
1. Personal experience
  • Use personal experience as examples to:
      • demonstrate why you interpret the text the way you do
      • why you react the way you do
      • why you agree or disagree
  • Example sentence:
    • I strongly disagree with Tannen’s first point based on my own high school experience, especially in my History class.
2 evidence from the text itself
2. Evidence from the text itself
  • Cite specific phrases or sentences (or the lack of them) from the text itself to support your
      • explanation of the text
      • analysis of the effectiveness of the text
      • to support why you agree or disagree
      • Use this kind of evidence to question the credibility, credentials, or authority to speak on the issue of
          • The source itself – the Wall Street Journal
          • The writer of the article
3 evidence from other sources
3. Evidence from other sources
  • Acceptable to bring in ideas and information from other texts or online sources of information
  • Your prior knowledge (i.e., what you have learned in other subject area classes)
  • No research is required for this assignment, but don’t be afraid to discuss the issues with adults in your life or to learn more about the issues online
  • Informally cite sources if you do use or borrow material from other sources
dealing with the problem of not as serious or as well planned or thought out as it could be
  • These responses tend to suffer from being



  • They rely too much on one kind of evidence
  • They ask questions they leave unanswered or make statements not supported by any kind of evidence
  • They do NOT match the style of the article to which their response is directed
a question of style formal or informal
A Question of Style – FORMAL or INFORMAL ?

Take the following test to see

how well you understand the differences:


using the rubric
Using the Rubric…
  • Rubric title: SBAC Informative-Explanatory Writing Rubric Grades 6-12
  • Scores are based by measurement in three to five areas:
      • Statement of Purpose/Focus and Organization
        • Statement of Purpose/Focus
        • Organization
        • Development: Language and Elaboration of Evidence
          • Elaboration of Evidence
          • Language and Vocabulary
      • Conventions (aka grammar)
  • These areas are arranged in order of importance in weighing the final score of the student’s writing—therefore, a student’s ideas and their organization are most important; followed by how they use evidence and language to support their ideas; followed lastly by grammatical considerations
some other rules

Some Other Rules

First of all, choose an article with a topic that we feel we can most effectively write about…

For example: Obamacare,

domestic violence in the NFL, or

the decline of penmanship.

Then we use this STRUCTURE to write our essay:






In this part we write a presentation of the issue and our opinion.

This part of the essay shouldn’t be too long; it’s only a briefintroduction to thetopicthatwewillthentreat in thenextsection, thebody.

Thelongestpart of our response will be developed in thenextpart, thebody.



Is the longest part of the essay.

In the body of the essay we have to convince the reader, giving specific reasons and facts to support our opinion (this is why it’s the longest part).

And to finish our opinion essay, we must write an effective conclusion.



It’s the part where we sum everything up and (almost always) restate our opinion.

As in theopening, theconclusiondoesnothave to be toolong—a single complexsentenceortwoorthreesentences at most.

some last words of advice

Some last words of advice

You can use a separate sheet of paper to do a scheme—a list of the ideas that you are going to talk about in your essay. Using this scheme, you should be able to better organize your opinion response and present your ideas in the most effective sequence.