Tips for Crafting a MHO-worthy opinion

GirlsAskGuys a

Hello G@Gers!

Today, we’re going to be discussing various tips in crafting an opinion and increasing your chances of getting MHO (Most Helpful Opinion). Of course, there is a disclaimer! These are generalized tips, but there are plenty of ways to write a “good” opinion. This is simply a way of trying to objectify a subjective topic. The real secret to writing a good opinion is analyzing the question and deciding what it’s asking for. If you feel a ‘rule’ needs to be broken to give the best advice, by all means, do it!

1. Length: Match the size to the question.

Frankly, you’ll be very limited in what info you can get across in a one-or-two sentence answer. However, there are times where a one-sentence opinion is all you need. It may not be appropriate to write 4000 characters on why “blue is my favorite color.” Size of opinion can be broken down into three main questions:

A) How complicated is this issue?

B) How many questions need answered here?

C) Have I said what I needed to say?

“Say what you need to say!”

We find that personal questions tend to beg for longer opinions. Don’t write long opinions for the sake of it though! A longer opinion does not always mean better if the information is redundant or it continually goes off topic. Relevance is absolute key in every opinion.

2. Don’t just copy/paste!

By this, we are suggesting to not simply copy / paste a long blurb of text from some website! If the asker wanted to read something on wikipedia, he/she likely would have done it. That being said, quoting CAN be a powerful tool when done at the right moments. The key is limiting yourself in how much you’re quoting. The most effective quoting usages tend to be when you can quote a small amount of text and then explain it in your own words afterwards. This accomplishes two things: It keeps things personal to connect with the asker more, and it also summarizes/explains it in a different way. Summarizing a topic makes it easier for the readers to digest.

Travolta. Travolta everywhere.
Travolta. Travolta everywhere.

3. A [relevant] Picture is Worth a 1000 words!

More often than not, a picture may not be necessary for an opinion. However, a picture can sometimes help immensely in clarifying your opinion! As per the “1000 words” saying, some situations are really hard to describe without just showing it! Take a look at the question in hand and ask yourself “Is there a picture that can help?”

4. Take a friendly tone.

We suggest you remain friendly as you write your opinion. Stay away from personal attacks. A more controversial stance is that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Riding the line between blunt matter-of-factness and consideration of feelings can help engage the asker and listen to your words better. For example, if you disagree with the asker’s position— that’s alright! Instead of insulting the asker though for their viewpoint, it’s better to simply discuss your own thoughts and/or why you disagree. Insults have little to no substance to an argument, so it’s best you leave them out. They’ll only serve to make your opinion weaker! Even if your opinion is ‘right,’ if you wrap it up in negativity, it’s going to have limited reach.

(Note: This is different from pandering— something we DO NOT recommend! Pandering, even if it possibly increases an MHO%, serves to reduce the quality of your advice)

Fist bump!
Fist bump!

5. It’s not about the views. It’s about the help.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember the main objective— helping a person. It’s not about the xper, reputation, or upvotes. There isn’t anything quite like the feeling of a “Thank you!” from an asker deeply appreciative of the hard work you put into your opinion.

With that in mind, quality is better than quantity. Besides boosting your MHO% up, you’ll also be more likely to gain traction on the site as a “person to go to for sage advice.” That'll get you more opportunities to help others out when they seek you out for your wisdom.

6. Some opinions require experience. Some require knowledge.

Some opinions help with a first-hand experience of the situation. That being said, many questions instead only require giving them some thought. Analyze the question. If you feel like the only valid opinion you can give on the question is “Sorry, I’ve never done that before, so I can’t help you,” it may be best to focus your efforts and time on another post.

Indeed, give us your wisdom you will
Indeed, give us your wisdom you will

7. Format for ease.

This is an often overlooked matter in peoples’ opinions. Line breaks, punctuation, and general grammatical correctness can significantly aid your opinion’s clarity. It is something that is especially true the longer an opinion is. A block of text is intimidating, disorienting, and it can instantly bring the thought “Ugh, I don’t want to read this” to mind.

Structure it! It’s ok to use numbered lists or paragraphs to separate your points. In fact, we encourage it! If it’s a longer opinion, a TL;DR; or concluding statement (i.e. “In conclusion…) wouldn’t hurt either!

8. If you want, add some humor.

There are times to and to not add in some humor or comedic value to your opinion. It’s all about the timing. For instance, it’s best to avoid making fun of asker’s troubles, especially if they’re on a serious topic. If you have a witty joke about something along the way though, it can help engage readers with your opinion. To reemphasize, however, you need to ‘read the mood’ of the question. A forced joke with bad timing is worse than no joke at all!

Those are all the tips for now. We hoped they helped. Thanks for reading!

Theres a time and place for everything!
There's a time and place for everything!

Those are all the tips for now. We hoped they helped. Thanks for reading!

Agree? Disagree? Want to add your own tips? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Tips for Crafting a MHO-worthy opinion
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