Opinion Article: We explain what an opinion article is and what its general characteristics are. Also, how is its structure and classification
What is an opinion article?
An opinion article is a piece of writing that expresses a particular point of view.
An opinion article belongs to the journalistic genre and consists of a text that expresses the author’s opinion on a current topic, after being interpreted and analyzed in a meticulous way.
An opinion piece is usually published in a newspaper or magazine and differs from an editorial article because it bears the author’s signature. The author’s ideas may not be strictly aligned with the editorial profile of the newspaper in which the article is published.
The public interested in opinion articles is usually the one who seeks different points of view based on solid arguments, about the journalistic news of the moment.
These articles seek to awaken in their readers a critical feeling about the subject, highlighting aspects and considerations to limit the debate to their point of view. To do this they usually make use of narratives , comparisons and even a certain degree of poetic writing .
Opinion articles tend to reinforce the editorial line of the medium in which they are published. They constitute one of the most read sections of a journalistic publication since personalities from the political, cultural or media world are usually summoned to share their point of view and opinion.
Characteristics and features of an opinion article
An opinion piece is characterized by:
- Length of the text: It is usually short, around 800 words.
- Author’s name: It should always appear. You may not be a journalist, although you must be specialized in the subject to be addressed.
- Opinion analysis: It must have arguments and rationale.
- Type of text: It can be sporadic or be part of an editorial space (called an opinion column).
- Topic to be discussed: It can be the most varied, as long as it is about a current event.
- Freedom of opinion of the author: It may or may not be aligned with the profile of the publisher that publishes it.
- Headline: It must be original and capture the reader’s attention.
- Objective: It consists of providing a personal view of the author to awaken the critical conscience of the reader.
- The receiving and interested public: It is usually very broad, not necessarily specialized on the subject.
Structure of an opinion article
Although an opinion piece usually has a variable structure or with enough freedom to diagram it, it usually consists of four main parts:
- Qualification: Clearly identify the topic being analyzed and it must be attractive to the reader.
- Introduction: It details the most relevant information in a summarized way, to put the reader in context.
- Body: Develop the analysis of the author proper, with arguments and examples.
- Conclusion: It details a summary of the author’s analysis, or it can be a short thought-provoking phrase.
Classification of opinion articles
The opinion article addresses current issues that are the most diverse.
Opinion articles are classified into different types:
- The columns: They are articles that are published in reserved sections of an editorial so that a journalist, specialist or prestigious personality can express their analysis on a certain topic. The only limitations that these writings usually have are: the length of the article, which cannot exceed the space allocated for the section and the vocabulary, which must be understood by the general public.
- The critics: They are articles that offer an opinion and a specific value judgment. They usually deal with cultural events related to art , such as film reviews, theater reviews , painting and book exhibitions , gastronomic reviews of restaurants, chefs, among others.
- Editorials: They are opinion pieces that do not include the signature of a particular author, but rather represent a collective opinion of an institution or a media outlet. Editorial articles are intended to explain or justify, make a value judgment or capture the attention of the public in the face of a recent public knowledge event.
Essay and opinion article
An essay is characterized by being a writing that does not necessarily address a current topic. It is based on a rigorous scientific analysis (the author must be very informed and have verifiable sources), while the opinion article can offer conclusions and points of view based on valid reasoning and arguments devised by the author, without having evidence scientific.
Examples of opinion articles
1. Our unpayable debt to the environment
Throughout more than two hundred years of industrialization, humanity has contracted a debt with the environment that gave birth to it: we have taken materials and substances at will, we have modified them and then thrown away without caring how or how long it takes the nature to regain its balance, nor what may be the long-term consequences of our production models. And as everyone knows by now, the payment date may be near.
- See full text: Opinion article on the environment
2. We must think ethically about the growing list of animals at risk of extinction
Extinction, as we know, is a very common and frequent phenomenon in nature. We have seen its traces in the fossil record that geography reveals to us: in very ancient times there were cataclysmic events that, by radically changing the environment, pushed towards the disappearance of a large percentage of the species that existed at a certain time. And we have also seen it happen, on a much smaller scale, in our days: numerous species have disappeared due to the effect of the dominant species on the planet, humanity.
- See full text: Opinion article on animals in danger of extinction
3. The painful illusion of social networks
You don’t have to be a genius to realize the transcendental impact that the emergence of social networks has on the contemporary world. In little more than a decade of existence, these virtual spaces have gone from being a youthful eccentricity and a useful tool for contacting old friends, to being the quintessential place where transactions of all kinds take place: from purchases and sales of products , and publication of advertisements for goods and services , to falling in love and the dissemination of personal content. Everything is centralized in their digital pages, to the point that it is rare to ask someone for their phone number, because in reality we want their authorization to join their vast network of contacts.
- See full text: Opinion article on social networks
4. Video games: that modern way of telling us stories
Many anthropologists agree that telling ourselves stories is one of the most humane gestures there is, something we have done since ancient times, when we sat by the fireside listening to tales of terrible gods and mythological hunts from tribal elders. A role that, over the years, has been performed by countless human inventions, ranging from books and magazines to movies, television and, in more recent times, video games.
- See full text: Opinion article on video games
5. Virtual classes: necessary evil or new paradigm?
An important debate has taken place within the Covid19 pandemic and has to do with distance education or virtual education. It is an idea that has many detractors as well as many promoters, although in reality those who defend it, for the most part, consider it little more than a necessary evil. Does that mean that when the pandemic is eventually over, everything will go back to the way it was before? It is very unlikely.
- See full text: Opinion article on virtual classes
6. Break the crystal cealing
More than 40 years have passed since the feminist Marilyn Loden denounced in a speech the existence of a “glass ceiling” that prevents the professional advancement of women in the workplace, and that continues to be a reality for millions of women in the West, especially in the countries of the so-called “third world”.
- See full text: Opinion article on gender equality
7. Conspiranoia: that pandemic within the pandemic
The internet at home stopped working, a serious thing in these times of “home office”. The provider company told me that the modem needed replacing, so the next day they sent a technician to do the job: a talkative, friendly guy, who for the forty-five minutes of his visit couldn’t get his mask on properly ( left his nose out), and that in the face of my clear discomfort about it, he insisted that there was no need to worry: Covid-19 did not really exist. It was all a media fabrication, a front to try to implement a new world order.
- See full text: Opinion article on Covid-19
8. The immorality of consumption and animal abuse
Mahatma Gandhi stated that “the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats animals”, meaning that the way we relate to other species is a reflection of the degree of cultural refinement of our societies. And although in principle it is easy to agree with the Indian leader, it is not so easy when it implies a radical change in our life habits, such as food, entertainment or consumption.
- See full text: Opinion article on animal abuse
9. The outrageous impunity of environmental crimes
Few countries lack specific environmental legislation, but even fewer enforce it to the fullest extent of the law . The environmental crime, apparently, constitutes for the majority of our societies a minor crime, without mourners, excusable above all if the person who commits it is a powerful transnational corporation or, worse still, a company belonging to the same State.
- See full text: Opinion article on pollution