Nothing kills an essay more than it being too subjective. Even though essays are designed to be persuasive, therefore requiring an opinion, the essay itself needs to be highly objective with facts that support the opinion. The only places for a purely subjective, or opinionated essay, is in the editorial section or a blog. Essays need to show your thinking, but with serious support.
The structure of an essay lends itself to being objective, with a few touches of subjectivity. There are a few places where writers can be subjective. They include the thesis or claim of the essay, the hook, and topic sentences. Even though these parts of the essay can and should be subjective, they should be supported with facts, making the subjectivity limited.
In a subjective piece, the writer develops an opinion by supporting it with more opinions and experiences. People who write subjective pieces for a living usually have advanced degrees and significant experiences that give them to them the credentials to write subjectively.
On the other hand, students do not have the necessary credentials to support a subjective piece of writing. It is vital that they stick to the objective form. They should develop their claims around the knowledge they discover while researching the topic for the essay. They should craft their subjective topic sentences with the objective facts and examples. These examples should be in the form of direct quotes and paraphrased facts that students explain in their paragraphs.
In order to be objective, students need to supply ample examples. Too many students fail to provide enough examples. The rule of thumb for essay writing involves including at least three solid examples per topic sentence. If there are not enough examples to support the topic sentences, then the sentences cannot support the claim and the essay will fail to convince. Essay readers need to also understand the point of the examples, so students need to clearly explain why those examples were given.
In order to decide whether or not a piece is objective, students need to ask themselves the questions, “So what?” and “How do you know?” as they write. The answers should be found in the essay. If students cannot find the answers, then they need to include more facts.