Providing Reasons in an Opinion Piece: Lesson for Kids

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Mary Evans

Mary has taught elementary school for six years and has a master's degree in education.

Using specific and clear reasons adds power to an opinion piece and can help kids have their voices heard. Explore the elements of a strong and convincing argument using the real-world example of a skate park. Updated: 01/04/2022

Expressing an Opinion

Let's pretend your community is considering building a skate park near the downtown area. Most likely, not all residents of the community will agree on whether or not that's a good idea. They will have a variety of different opinions on the matter.

Put simply, opinions are a person's thoughts or views on something. And while there isn't always a right or wrong opinion, people are much likelier to understand and agree with your point of view if you provide strong reasons or facts to support your opinion.

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  • 0:04 Expressing an Opinion
  • 0:35 Choosing Plausible Reasons
  • 1:32 Stating Your Reasons Clearly
  • 2:19 Arguing Against Yourself
  • 3:11 Lesson Summary
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Choosing Plausible Reasons

Something is plausible if it's likely to be real or to actually happen, and when writing an opinion piece it's best to choose at least three plausible reasons. Now let's imagine that you're writing an opinion piece explaining why building the community skate park near the downtown is a good idea. You might use the following plausible reasons:

  • It will make sidewalks safer for pedestrians because skateboarders won't be using the same area where people are walking.
  • It will bring business to stores and restaurants because kids and parents will shop and eat while they're in the downtown area to skate.
  • It will promote good physical health for kids by giving them a safe place to exercise through skating.

An implausible reason is not as strong and might look something like this:

  • It will help kids to be rich adults by becoming professional skateboarders.

This might happen to some kids, but it isn't likely for everyone!

Stating Your Reasons Clearly

Communicating clearly is critical when providing reasons for an opinion. The reasons we mentioned are clear and give enough detail to make someone understand why building a downtown skate park is a good idea. In contrast, unclear reasons might look something like this:

  • Skaters won't hit people on the sidewalks.
  • Stores and businesses will sell more stuff.
  • Kids will be safer and healthier.

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