What Is a Perspective Essay?

What Is a Perspective Essay?

Unless you happen to love writing, and it comes naturally to you, you probably aren’t a big fan of writing essays. If you're like most people, though, you likely do enjoy telling others what you think. Even if you don’t like to write, a perspective essay can be fun because you get to express yourself in ways that most other types of essays don’t allow. Whether you are completing an English class assignment, preparing for the essay component of a standardized test like the ACT or submitting a piece for possible publication in a media outlet, knowing how to write a quality perspective essay is a useful addition to your repertoire of skills.

1 What Is a Perspective Essay?

A perspective essay is an opportunity to voice your thoughts and opinions on a given topic. The primary purpose of a perspective essay is to express your views and then provide adequate support for those views using concrete examples. Support and analysis of your opinions is what sets a perspective essay apart from randomly spouting your thoughts on things without bothering to back them up.

2 How to Choose a Topic for a Perspective Essay

If you have many strong opinions, it may be difficult to decide what you want to write about. The best rule of thumb when it comes to choosing a topic for a perspective essay is to select one that you genuinely care about. Something you are passionate about will be far easier to write and will likely lead to a better piece than a topic you aren’t all that interested in. Consider writing about current events that intrigue you or a controversial issue that you have strong feelings about. No matter what topic you ultimately choose, be sure to take a clear position on it. A perspective essay is not the place to be neutral. Pick a side and support it with a healthy mixture of opinion and facts.

3 Perspective Essay Format

Perspective essays typically adhere to the standard format of an introductory paragraph followed by multiple body paragraphs and a conclusion. The introduction should start out with a hook that draws in the reader and a thesis statement that outlines the most important points that the essay will focus on. Each paragraph in the body of the essay should elaborate on, and provide evidence for, each of the points mentioned in the introduction. The conclusion should summarize the essay and restate your thesis in a new way. Since a perspective essay includes your personal experiences, it should be written in the first-person point of view.

Kristina Barroso earned a B.A. in Psychology from Florida International University and works full-time as a classroom teacher in a public school. She teaches middle school English to a wide range of students from struggling readers to advanced and gifted populations. In her spare time, she loves writing articles about education for TheClassroom.com, WorkingMother and other education sites.