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GED Lesson Idea: The Opinion Essay


Give your student practice writing an opinion essay, such as required for the GED Language Arts Writing exam.


Provide lined paper for writing on, and scratch paper for working out ideas. If your student would like to practice writing under time pressure (45 minutes are allowed in the actual test) bring a clock or timer.

  • GED Essay by Steck-Vaughn, 2002, provides an introduction to the writing process as well as many sample topics.
  • If your student has little or no experience with writing, start slowly with a simpler project, such as Keeping a Journal.
  • Practice recognizing the difference between Fact and Opinion. In the GED essay, students will be required to state their opinion clearly and support it with factual details.
  • Teach a process for this type of writing, such as the one described in the book GED Essay, listed above.
  • Write with your student, in order to demonstrate that good writers struggle too and that good writers edit and polish their work.
  • Note that the GED testing situation does not allow the use of a word-processor for writing so the essay will have to be written longhand.
  • Here are just a few topic suggestions from this exhaustive list:
    • If your doctor told you that you had only a few months to live, how would you alter your way of life? Discuss.
    • Name someone you consider to be a modern hero or heroine and explain why.
    • Explain why you would or would not want to live in a large city.
    • Has the automobile been harmful to our society? Discuss.
    • "Television has made America a nation of watchers, not doers." Agree or disagree.
    • Are spectator sports overemphasized in this country today? Discuss.
    • If you could have a conversation with a famous person (living or dead), whom would you choose? Discuss.
    • Explain why you do or do not vote.
    • Should both parents assume equal responsibility in child rearing? Explain why or why not?
    • What are the essential characteristics of a good parent? Discuss.
    • If you were to be deprived of one of your five senses (sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing) which one would you most hate to give up? Explain.
    • What, in your opinion, are some of the reasons so many people have pets? Discuss.
    • Should women in the military services be assigned combat duties? Discuss.
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