The Ways in Which Opinion and Informative Essays Differ

While both opinion and informative essays share many similarities, they differ in many ways. Both require an introduction with a thesis, a body of several paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, their purposes and intentions set them apart. Both may use a strong tone, for instance, but an opinion style paper uses persuasion to share their perspective with bias. While the informative style paper may cover different perspectives, it does not try to convince the readers or encourage them to take a stance.


Opinion Essay

An opinion essay shows what the writer thinks or how the writer feels about a specific subject. This kind of essay:

  • Compares

  • Analyzes cause and effect, 

  • May propose a solution to a problem, 

  • May review a product. 

When you are composing an opinion essay, you should clearly state your opinion and your perspective about the topic. Research for an opinion essay may involve interviewing experts or professionals suitable for the topic. You should support your opinion using evidence from scholarly sources. You may appeal to the reader's sense of logic using statistics and information supported by citations from credible sources. An informative essay does not offer an opinion but strives to educate readers about a person, place, thing, event, or idea.


Informative Essay

The informative essay:

  • Explains

  • Describes

  • Informs

  • Defines 

This essay may answer the who, what, when, where, or why about a given topic without addressing the author's beliefs about it. The opinion essay seeks to persuade the reader of the writer's point of view, while an informative essay provides a straightforward, factual overview of the topic. The opinion piece may use factual evidence, just like an informative essay. But instead of describing or explaining alone, the purpose of the opinion essay is to use the information to get the reader to side with the writer’s position on the subject. 


Objective vs. Subjective

The informative essay does not pick sides and gives an unbiased overview. Both will use informative content, but the opinion essay takes those facts and persuades the reader to take one side over another. The opinion and informative essays may both show alternative sides of the subject, but the opinion piece will promote one view over the other. The informative essay will provide facts and explanations, but the opinion essay includes how those facts may support the writer’s position.


While the informative essay provides only objective information, the opinion essay provides both subjective and objective information. If you are writing an informative essay, you remain unbiased, objective, and present factual details and balanced explanations. You explain the issue or topic without giving your opinion about it.


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