IntroductionIntroduce the topic. Consider your audience and how much they may know or not know about the topic. Give context, background and color in order to grab the audience's attention and help them to understand the issue surrounding your opinion.
Play streets are streets that are traffic calmed with rules and facilities that allow for multiple uses of the street such as play, recreation, bicycling and other forms of non-motorized transportation.
Thesis StatementA thesis statement is a clear and concise statement of your opinion, argument or position. This avoids the common mistake of droning on and on without making any clear point.
Play streets improve quality of life and should be implemented on all quiet streets that don't have much through traffic.
ExpositionProvide a narrative that examines the topic.
Holland has a well established culture of living streets known as Woonerf. These are quite popular and are viewed as increasing quality of life in Holland. As a result, these have grown such that there are now around 6000 Woonerf in the country. The North American equivalent is usually called a play street or living street but these are far less common.
FactState facts that support your argument.
Play is considered a right of children according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
LogicBuild upon facts with logical inferences.
If play is a right, then children must also have a right to a place to play. Many children may live in small apartments in areas far from parks such that play streets represent an important type of public space for children.
ArgumentMake your case by presenting rational arguments.
Streets can be designed with popular features such as green space that raise property values such that they are likely to be well received by homeowners.
EthosEthos is a type of argument that references an authority.
The _______ Health Association estimates that __% of Americans don't get enough exercise. Play streets provide space for recreation and light exercise such as walking a dog.
PathosPathos is an appeal to emotion.
Every child deserves a chance to play. A place to play. Who could look in the eyes of a child and tell them otherwise.
LogosLogos is an appeal to logic.
As play streets represent a low cost investment, it is certainly worth trying as a prototype to collect feedback from neighborhood residents.
Anticipating ObjectionsConsider how your audience may criticise your opinion. Beat them to the punch by stating these objections yourself. This is a feature of mature writing whereby you objectively document the pros and cons of your opinion with equal vigor.
Play streets slow down traffic and neighbors may have concerns about noise.
Handling ObjectivesPresent a counterargument to any potential objections.
Play streets do slow traffic but they are typically implemented on a short span of a low traffic street. Rules for the street can reduce neighborhood concerns about noise. For example, a regulation that restricts recreational use of the street to daylight hours.
ConclusionThe last paragraph of an opinion paper typically summarizes your key points. It is also common to restart or rephrase your thesis statement.
Play streets are a low cost investment that have been extremely successful in countries such as Holland and the UK. They align to the rights of children and quality of life goals such as exercise, recreation and community interaction. Play streets should at least be tested locally and if they show promise, scaled out where it makes sense such as on quiet residential streets.