Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Developing Writing – An Opinion Essay

Welcome back, everyone! I told you I would bring a surprise to you, and here it is! However, this isn’t an entire breakdown. More just useful words, expressions, and paragraph formatting. So, let’s look at this.

Source: Gateway B2

Topic: It’s a bad idea for teenagers to do part-time work while they are still studying.

Paragraph 1: Introduction with general statement on the topic and your opinion.

Paragraph 2: First and most important reason for your opinion.

Paragraph 3: One of two other reasons for your opinion or other people’s arguments against your opinion and why don’t you agree with them.

Paragraph 4: Summary and conclusion restating your opinion.

Gateway B2

In some countries, the US for instance, many teenagers work while they are still studying at school or at university. In my opinion, this is a bad idea.

To begin with, studying at school or university is a full-time occupation. Students need time to take notes, revise, do assignments and research topics. In my opinion, students who work in the evenings or at the weekends do not have time to do these things properly. Furthermore, young people often work in bad conditions or late at night. This means after work they find it difficult to pay attention and concentrate.

On the other hand, some people say that work experience can help to make you more independent and responsible. I agree with this up to a point. However, there is time for students to gain this experience when they finish their studies.

To sum up, I believe that a student’s real responsibility is to learn as much as possible. They can only do this if they study full-time, with no other distractions.

Expressing opinions

As far as I’m concerned

Personally, I think

In my opinion

I believe that

Adding opinions and putting them in order



To begin with,

In addition,

What is more,

Contrasting opinions



On the other hand


In conclusion,

To sum up,

All things considered,



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