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How To Write Discursive Essays

  • Essay Writing Lower Secondary

How To Write Discursive Essays

1. What is a Discursive Essay?

A discursive essay is an essay which involves a discussion. You’re encouraged to examine different perspectives on the issue so that the discussion you provide is a balanced one! You are on the right track if your essay sheds light on the issue by looking at it from different viewpoints.

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2. How do I Identify a Discursive Essay Topic?

Let’s take a look at some of the discursive essay topics from past year papers:

2021 O-Level: “Young people are changing the world for the better.” What is your opinion?

  • 2019 O-Level: “Most young people today are obsessed with fame and imitating celebrities.” What are your views?

In recent years, “What is your opinion?” and “What are your views?” are common signposts used to indicate a discursive essay topic. However, there are also instances where such questions are not used. Consider:

  • 2012 O-Level: People all over the world are living longer. What are the advantages and disadvantages of their increased life expectancy?
  • 2010 O-Level: What important lessons in life are learned away from school?

So note that the question can still indicate discursive writing even when it does not contain “What is your opinion?” or “What are your views?”

3. What is the Difference Between a Discursive Essay, an Argumentative Essay and an Expository Essay?

shrub vector

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s look at the differences in requirements for a discursive and an argumentative essay.

Argumentative: you are required to take an explicit stand on the issue. Your essay is structured in a manner that argues towards this stand. When writing an argumentative essay, your goal is to persuade, to convince the reader to be in support of your stand.

Discursive: you are not required to take an explicit stand on the issue. In other words, you do not need to pick a side. You may choose to pick a side; that’s perfectly fine! Just note that the goal here is not to persuade or to convince; it is to provide the reader with a balanced discussion by examining the issue from various viewpoints.

Now that you’ve learnt how to identify a discursive question and gotten a better idea of what it requires, let’s look at how to plan a discursive essay.

4. How do I Approach or Structure a Discursive Essay?

vector image of thinking

Some essays require  a binary approach , meaning to say you tackle the issue by addressing the positive and the negative aspects of the question at hand. 

Here is how you can plan your body paragraphs for such topics:

Now, it’s your turn! Try planning an outline for the following topics:

  • 2017 O-Level: It is often said that people
  • are too concerned with getting things and spending money. What is your opinion? 

On the other hand, there are topics which are not suited for such a binary approach. Consider questions such as:

  • Give 3 x features (1 per body paragraph)
  • Give 3 x important lessons (1 per body paragraph)

vector image of balance

5. How do I Brainstorm Ideas for a Discursive Essay to Achieve a Balanced Discussion?

Give yourself 10 minutes to do a proper planning. It’s useful to approach the issue at hand by exploring its significance and relevance in different spheres and domains : Education, Ethics or Morals, Technology, Law etc.

Instead of giving 3 different points from an education perspective, why not broaden your scope and look at the issue from not just an educational perspective, but also a technological perspective and an ethical perspective?

This is what makes for a matured, holistic response. 

Let’s use the following topic as an example:

vector image of man working

If you run out of ideas, you can also examine two sides of a coin in a single domain. For example, you’ll see that in the example, that for the technological sphere, there are instances of youths making and  not changing the world for the better.  

Now that the brainstorming is done, let’s put pen to paper and start writing!

6. How do I Write an Introduction for a Discursive Essay?

  • Share an insight or observation regarding the issue. Why is this issue worth discussing? What are the implications of the issue? You can also use 5W1H questions to help you generate ideas.
  • Define your scope of discussion and if needed, define the keywords in the topic by setting out what is meant by, for instance, “young people” and “for the better”.

You can ask yourself these questions to help you with your intro:

  • Who are “young people”?
  • In which domains are youths making significant impact?
  • Why do some people believe that they are making the world a better place?
  • Why do other people not trust youth to positively impact the world?
  • What is my thesis?

Simply answer these questions + include your thesis. Voila, you have a solid introduction!

7. How do I Write the Body Paragraphs for a Discursive Essay?

Students, you must have heard of the PEEL method by now. We introduce the POINT in the first sentence, ELABORATE on the point, then substantiate with EVIDENCE or EXAMPLES , and finally, we round it all off by LINKING back to the point.

It sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?

vector image of good job

Each body paragraph should only discuss one main idea , and only one! Introduce the main idea in your topic sentence (the first sentence of your body paragraph), not after you’ve given your example or when you’re wrapping up the paragraph.

A good topic sentence is straightforward and clear .

Here is an example of a coherent and concise topic sentence:  

  • In the sphere of education, youth activists are making positive changes by advocating to make education available to girls in less developed societies.

After you have crafted your topic sentence, it’s time to elaborate on your main point. A well-developed body paragraph elaborates by delving deeper into the main point and substantiating with relevant examples or evidence.

For our point on “education”, consider asking and answering the following questions:

  • Education imparts knowledge and skills to girls, which then grants more employment opportunities. In turn, they break free from the poverty cycle.
  • Don’t stop here! Make sure to link back to the idea of “making the world a better place”.
  • This means lower poverty rates in the world and society also benefits from the contributions that the girls go on to make in the workforce.

Important Reminders:

vector image of warning sign

a. Your essay  must not be example-driven ! It must always be point-driven. 

b. Remember to make the link from your examples/ evidence back to your topic sentence. This illustrates the relevance and strength of your evidence and reinforces your main point. 

For our example, a coherent body paragraph could look like this: 

8. How to Write a Conclusion for a Discursive Essay?

vector image of man lifting a star

Many students just reiterate the points in conclusion. But that is… you guessed it, boring. Last impression lasts!   You want to provide an insight to this issue to demonstrate your maturity of thought. Apart from summarising your points, link your conclusion back to the introduction so that your essay comes a full circle. You can also use a quote or thought-provoking question for readers to make their own conclusion.

Students, this is how you tackle a discursive essay. Try applying these tips to one of the topics above!

Visit other related articles on Writing Samurai:

How to write argumentative essays.

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  • Practice Past Years O-Level English Essay Questions
  • Exam Smart Tips for Secondary English Paper 1 and Paper 2

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how to write an intro for a discursive essay

How to Write a Discursive Essay: Awesome Guide and Template

how to write an intro for a discursive essay

Interesting fact: Did you know that the term "discursive" is derived from the Latin word "discursus," which means to run about or to traverse? This reflects the nature of a discursive essay, as it involves exploring various perspectives, moving through different points of view, and presenting a comprehensive discussion on a given topic.

In this article, you will find out about a discursive essay definition, learn the difference between a discourse and an argumentative essay, gain practical how-to tips, and check out a discursive essay example.  

What Is a Discursive Essay

A discursive essay definition is a type of formal writing that presents a balanced analysis of a particular topic. Unlike an argumentative essay, which takes a firm stance on a single perspective and seeks to persuade the reader to adopt that viewpoint, a discursive essay explores multiple sides of an issue. 

The goal of a discursive essay is to provide a comprehensive overview of the subject, presenting different arguments, counterarguments, and perspectives in a structured and organized manner.

This type of essay encourages critical thinking and reasoned discourse. It typically includes an introduction that outlines the topic and sets the stage for the discussion, followed by a series of body paragraphs that delve into various aspects of the issue. The essay may also address counterarguments and opposing viewpoints. 

Finally, a discursive essay concludes by summarizing the key points and often leaves room for the reader to form their own informed opinion on the matter. This form of writing is commonly assigned in academic settings, allowing students to demonstrate their ability to analyze complex topics and present a well-reasoned exploration of diverse viewpoints. In case you find this type of composition too difficult, just say, ‘ write my paper ,’ and professional writers will take care of it. 

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Difference Between a Discursive Essay and an Argumentative

The main difference between discursive essays and argumentative lies in their overall purpose and approach to presenting information.

  • Discursive: The primary purpose of a discursive essay is to explore and discuss various perspectives on a given topic. How to write a discursive essay is about providing a comprehensive overview of the subject matter by presenting different arguments, opinions, and viewpoints without necessarily advocating for a specific stance.
  • Argumentative: In contrast, an argumentative essay is designed to persuade the reader to adopt a particular viewpoint or take a specific action. It presents a clear and focused argument in favor of the writer's position, often addressing and refuting opposing views.

Tone and Language:

  • Discursive: The tone of a discursive essay is generally more balanced and objective. It allows for a more open exploration of ideas, and the language used is often neutral and formal.
  • Argumentative: An argumentative essay tends to have a more assertive tone. The language is focused on presenting a compelling case from the writer's perspective, and there may be a sense of conviction in the presentation of evidence and reasoning.
  • Discursive Essay: A discursive essay typically follows a more flexible structure. It may present multiple points of view in separate sections, allowing for a free-flowing exploration of the topic.
  • Argumentative Essay: When learning how to write an argumentative essay, students usually follow a more rigid structure, with a clear introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs that present evidence and arguments, and a conclusion that reinforces the writer's stance.

Conclusion:

  • Discursive Essay: The conclusion of a discursive essay often summarizes the main points discussed and may leave room for the reader to form their own opinion on the matter.
  • Argumentative Essay: The conclusion of an argumentative essay reinforces the writer's position and may include a call to action or a clear statement of the desired outcome.

While both types of essays involve critical thinking and analysis, the key distinction lies in their ultimate goals and how they approach the presentation of information. 

Types of Discursive Essay

Before writing a discursive essay, keep in mind that they can be categorized into different types based on their specific purposes and structures. Here are some common types of discursive essays:

purpose of discursive essay

Opinion Essays:

  • Purpose: Expressing and supporting personal opinions on a given topic.
  • Structure: The essay presents the writer's viewpoint and provides supporting evidence, examples, and arguments. It may also address counterarguments to strengthen the overall discussion.

Problem-Solution Essays:

  • Purpose: Identifying a specific problem and proposing effective solutions.
  • Structure: The essay introduces the problem, discusses its causes and effects, and presents possible solutions. It often concludes with a recommendation or call to action.

Compare and Contrast Essays:

  • Purpose: Analyzing similarities and differences between two or more perspectives, ideas, or approaches.
  • Structure: The essay outlines the key points of each perspective, highlighting similarities and differences. A balanced analysis is provided to give the reader a comprehensive understanding.

Cause and Effect Essays:

  • Purpose: Exploring the causes and effects of a particular phenomenon or issue.
  • Structure: The essay identifies the primary causes and examines their effects or vice versa. It may delve into the chain of events and their implications.

Argumentative Essays:

  • Purpose: Presenting a strong argument in favor of a specific viewpoint.
  • Structure: The essay establishes a clear thesis statement, provides evidence and reasoning to support the argument, and addresses opposing views. It aims to persuade the reader to adopt the writer's perspective.

Pro-Con Essays:

  • Purpose: Evaluating the pros and cons of a given issue.
  • Structure: The essay presents the positive aspects (pros) and negative aspects (cons) of the topic. It aims to provide a balanced assessment and may conclude with a recommendation or a summary of the most compelling points.

Exploratory Essays:

  • Purpose: Investigating and discussing a topic without necessarily advocating for a specific position.
  • Structure: The essay explores various aspects of the topic, presenting different perspectives and allowing the reader to form their own conclusions. It often reflects a process of inquiry and discovery.

These types of discursive essays offer different approaches to presenting information, and the choice of type depends on the specific goals of the essay and the preferences of the writer.

How to Write a Discursive Essay

Unlike other forms of essay writing, a discursive essay demands a unique set of skills, inviting writers to navigate through diverse perspectives, present contrasting viewpoints, and weave a tapestry of balanced arguments. 

You can order custom essay right now to save time to get ready to delve into the art of crafting a compelling discursive essay, unraveling the intricacies of structure, language, and critical analysis. Whether you're a seasoned essayist or a novice in the realm of formal writing, this exploration promises to equip you with the tools needed to articulate your thoughts effectively and engage your audience in thoughtful discourse. 

discursive essay aspects

Discursive Essay Format

The format of a discursive essay plays a crucial role in ensuring a clear, well-organized, and persuasive presentation of multiple perspectives on a given topic. Here is a typical discursive essay structure:

1. Introduction:

  • Hook: Begin with a captivating hook or attention-grabbing statement to engage the reader's interest.
  • Contextualization: Provide a brief overview of the topic and its relevance, setting the stage for the discussion.
  • Thesis Statement: Clearly state the main argument or the purpose of the essay. In a discursive essay, the thesis often reflects the idea that the essay will explore multiple viewpoints without necessarily taking a firm stance.

2. Body Paragraphs:

  • Topic Sentences: Start each body paragraph with a clear topic sentence that introduces the main point or argument.
  • Presentation of Arguments: Devote individual paragraphs to different aspects of the topic, presenting various arguments, perspectives, or evidence. Ensure a logical flow between paragraphs.
  • Address Counterarguments: Acknowledge and address opposing viewpoints to strengthen the overall credibility of your essay.
  • Supporting Evidence: Provide examples, statistics, quotations, or other forms of evidence to bolster each argument.

3. Transitions:

  • Logical Transitions: Use transitional phrases and words to ensure a smooth and logical flow between paragraphs and ideas. This helps readers follow your line of reasoning.

4. Conclusion:

  • Restate Thesis: Summarize the main argument or purpose of the essay without introducing new information.
  • Brief Recap: Provide a concise recap of the key points discussed in the body paragraphs.
  • Closing Thoughts: Offer some closing thoughts or reflections on the significance of the topic. You may also leave room for the reader to consider their own stance.

5. Language and Style:

  • Formal Tone: Maintain a formal and objective tone throughout the essay.
  • Clarity and Coherence: Ensure that your ideas are presented clearly and that there is coherence in your argumentation.
  • Varied Sentence Structure: Use a variety of sentence structures to enhance readability and engagement.

6. References (if applicable):

  • Citations: If you use external sources, cite them appropriately according to the citation style required (e.g., APA, MLA).

Remember, flexibility exists within this format, and the specifics may vary based on the assignment requirements or personal writing preferences. Tailor the structure to suit the demands of your discourse and the expectations of your audience.

Introduction

A discursive essay introduction serves as the gateway to a thought-provoking exploration of diverse perspectives on a given topic. Here's how to structure an effective discursive essay introduction:

  • Begin with a compelling hook that captures the reader's attention. This could be a striking statistic, a thought-provoking quote, a relevant anecdote, or a rhetorical question. 
  • Offer a brief context or background information about the topic. This helps orient the reader and sets the stage for the discussion to follow. 
  • Clearly state the purpose of the essay. This often involves indicating that the essay will explore various perspectives on the topic without necessarily advocating for a specific stance. 
  • Provide a brief overview of the different aspects or arguments that will be explored in the essay. 
  • Conclude the introduction with a clear and concise thesis statement. 

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Writing a discursive essay involves crafting the body of your discursive essay. The number of paragraphs in the body should correspond to the arguments presented, with an additional paragraph dedicated to the opposing viewpoint if you choose to disclose both sides of the argument. If you opt for this approach, alternate the order of the body paragraphs—supporting arguments followed by counterarguments.

Each body paragraph in your discursive essay should focus on a distinct idea. Begin the paragraph with the main idea, provide a concise summary of the argument, and incorporate supporting evidence from reputable sources.

In the concluding paragraph of the body, present potential opposing arguments and counter them. Approach this section as if engaging in a debate, strategically dismantling opposing viewpoints.

While composing the body of a discursive essay, maintain a cohesive narrative. Although individual paragraphs address different arguments, refrain from titling each paragraph—aim for a seamless flow throughout the essay. Express your personal opinions exclusively in the conclusion.

Key guidelines for writing the body of a discursive essay:

  • Remain Unbiased: Prioritize objectivity. Evaluate all facets of the issue, leaving personal sentiments aside.
  • Build Your Argumentation: If you have multiple arguments supporting your viewpoint, present them in separate, well-structured paragraphs. Provide supporting evidence to enhance clarity and credibility.
  • Use an Alternate Writing Style: Present opposing viewpoints in an alternating manner. This means that if the first paragraph supports the main argument, the second should present an opposing perspective. This method enhances clarity and research depth and ensures neutrality.
  • Include Topic Sentences and Evidence: Commence each paragraph with a topic sentence summarizing the argument. This aids reader comprehension. Substantiate your claims with evidence, reinforcing the credibility of your discourse.

By adhering to these principles, you can construct a coherent and well-supported body for your discursive essay.

Conclusion 

Writing an effective conclusion is crucial to leaving a lasting impression on your reader. Here are some tips to guide you in crafting a compelling and impactful conclusion:

  • Begin your conclusion by summarizing the key points discussed in the body of the essay. 
  • Remind the reader of your thesis statement, emphasizing the primary purpose of your discursive essay. 
  • Address the broader significance or implications of the topic. 
  • Explain why the issue is relevant and underscore the importance of considering multiple perspectives in understanding its complexity.
  • Reiterate the balanced nature of your essay. Emphasize that you have explored various viewpoints and arguments without necessarily taking a firm stance.
  • Reinforce the idea that your goal was to present a comprehensive analysis.
  • If applicable, suggest possible recommendations or solutions based on the insights gained from the essay.
  • Encourage the reader to reflect on the topic independently. 
  • Pose open-ended questions or invite them to consider the implications of the arguments presented. 
  • Resist the temptation to introduce new information or arguments in the conclusion.
  • Keep the tone of your conclusion professional and thoughtful. 
  • Conclude your essay with a strong, memorable closing statement.
  • Carefully review your conclusion to ensure clarity and coherence. Edit for grammar, punctuation, and overall writing quality to present a polished final product.

By incorporating these tips into your discursive essay conclusion, you can effectively summarize your arguments, leave a lasting impression, and prompt thoughtful reflection from your readers. Consider using our term paper writing service if you have to deal with a larger assignment that requires more time and effort.

Yays and Nays of Writing Discourse Essays

In learning how to write a discursive essay, certain do's and don'ts serve as guiding principles throughout the writing process. By adhering to these guidelines, writers can navigate the complexities of presenting arguments, counterarguments, and nuanced analyses, ensuring the essay resonates with clarity and persuasiveness.

  • Conduct thorough research on the topic to ensure a well-informed discussion.
  • Present multiple perspectives on the issue, exploring various arguments and viewpoints.
  • Maintain a balanced and neutral tone. Present arguments objectively without expressing personal bias.
  • Structure your essay logically with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. Use paragraphs to organize your ideas effectively.
  • Topic Sentences:
  • Include clear topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph to guide the reader through your arguments.
  • Support your arguments with credible evidence from reputable sources to enhance the credibility of your essay.
  • Use transitional words and phrases to ensure a smooth flow between paragraphs and ideas.
  • Engage in critical analysis. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different arguments and viewpoints.
  • Recap key points in the conclusion, summarizing the main arguments and perspectives discussed in the essay.
  • Carefully proofread your essay to correct any grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors.
  • Don't express personal opinions in the body of the essay. Save personal commentary for the conclusion.
  • Don't introduce new information or arguments in the conclusion. This section should summarize and reflect on existing content.
  • Don't use overly emotional or subjective language. Maintain a professional and objective tone throughout.
  • Don't rely on personal opinions without sufficient research. Ensure that your arguments are supported by credible evidence.
  • Don't have an ambiguous or unclear thesis statement. Clearly state the purpose of your essay in the introduction.
  • Don't ignore counterarguments. Acknowledge and address opposing viewpoints to strengthen your overall argument.
  • Don't use overly complex language if it doesn't add to the clarity of your arguments. Strive for clarity and simplicity in your writing.
  • Don't present ideas in a disorganized manner. Ensure that there is a logical flow between paragraphs and ideas.
  • Don't excessively repeat the same points. Present a variety of arguments and perspectives to keep the essay engaging.
  • Don't ignore the guidelines provided for the essay assignment. Follow any specific instructions or requirements given by your instructor or institution.

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Discursive Essay Examples

Discursive essay topics.

Writing a discursive essay on a compelling topic holds immense importance as it allows individuals to engage in a nuanced exploration of diverse perspectives. A well-chosen subject encourages critical thinking and deepens one's understanding of complex issues, fostering intellectual growth. 

The process of exploring a good topic enhances research skills as writers delve into varied viewpoints and gather evidence to support their arguments. Moreover, such essays contribute to the broader academic discourse, encouraging readers to contemplate different facets of a subject and form informed opinions.

  • The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Employment.
  • Should Social Media Platforms Regulate Content for Misinformation?
  • Exploring the Ethics of Cloning in Contemporary Science.
  • Universal Basic Income: A Solution for Economic Inequality?
  • The Role of Technology in Shaping Modern Education.
  • Nuclear Energy: Sustainable Solution or Environmental Risk?
  • The Effects of Video Games on Adolescent Behavior.
  • Cybersecurity Threats in the Digital Age: Balancing Privacy and Security.
  • Debunking Common Myths Surrounding Climate Change.
  • The Pros and Cons of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
  • Online Education vs. Traditional Classroom Learning.
  • The Impact of Social Media Influencers on Consumer Behavior.
  • The Ethics of Animal Testing in Medical Research.
  • Universal Healthcare: Addressing Gaps in Healthcare Systems.
  • The Role of Government in Regulating Cryptocurrencies.
  • The Influence of Advertising on Body Image and Self-Esteem.
  • Renewable Energy Sources: A Viable Alternative to Fossil Fuels?
  • The Implications of Space Exploration on Earth's Resources.
  • Is Censorship Justified in the Arts and Entertainment Industry?
  • Examining the Impact of Globalization on Cultural Identity.
  • The Morality of Capital Punishment in the 21st Century.
  • Should Genetic Engineering be Used for Human Enhancement?
  • Social Media and Its Influence on Political Discourse.
  • Balancing Environmental Conservation with Economic Development.
  • The Role of Gender in the Workplace: Achieving Equality.
  • Exploring the Impact of Fast Fashion on the Environment.
  • The Benefits and Risks of Autonomous Vehicles.
  • The Influence of Media on Perceptions of Beauty.
  • Legalization of Marijuana: Addressing Medical and Social Implications.
  • The Impact of Antibiotic Resistance on Global Health.
  • The Pros and Cons of a Cashless Society.
  • Exploring the Relationship Between Technology and Mental Health.
  • The Role of Government Surveillance in Ensuring National Security.
  • Addressing the Digital Divide: Ensuring Access to Technology for All.
  • The Impact of Social Media on Political Activism.
  • The Ethics of Animal Rights and Welfare.
  • Nuclear Disarmament: Necessity or Utopian Ideal?
  • The Effects of Income Inequality on Societal Well-being.
  • The Role of Education in Combating Systemic Racism.
  • The Influence of Pop Culture on Society's Values and Norms.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact on Creative Industries.
  • The Pros and Cons of Mandatory Vaccination Policies.
  • The Role of Women in Leadership Positions: Breaking the Glass Ceiling.
  • Internet Privacy: Balancing Personal Security and Data Collection.
  • The Impact of Social Media on Youth Mental Health.
  • The Morality of Animal Agriculture and Factory Farming.
  • The Rise of Online Learning Platforms: Transforming Education.
  • Addressing the Digital Gender Gap in STEM Fields.
  • The Impact of Global Tourism on Local Cultures and Environments.
  • Exploring the Implications of 3D Printing Technology in Various Industries.

By the way, we have another great collection of narrative essay topics to get your creative juices flowing.

Wrapping Up

Throughout this guide, you have acquired valuable insights into the art of crafting compelling arguments and presenting diverse perspectives. By delving into the nuances of topic selection, structuring, and incorporating evidence, you could hone your critical thinking skills and sharpen your ability to engage in informed discourse. 

This guide serves as a roadmap, offering not just a set of rules but a toolkit to empower students in their academic journey. As you embark on future writing endeavors, armed with the knowledge gained here, you can confidently navigate the challenges of constructing well-reasoned, balanced discursive essays that contribute meaningfully to academic discourse and foster a deeper understanding of complex issues. If you want to continue your academic learning journey right now, we suggest that you read about the IEEE format next.

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How to Write a Discursive Essay

November 17, 2023

A discursive essay is a type of academic writing that presents both sides of an argument or issue. Unlike an argumentative essay where you take a clear stance and defend it, a discursive essay allows you to explore different perspectives and provide an objective analysis. It requires careful research, critical thinking, and the ability to present logical arguments in a structured manner.

In a discursive essay, you are expected to examine the topic thoroughly, present evidence and examples to support your points, and address counterarguments to demonstrate a balanced understanding of the issue. The purpose is not to persuade the reader to take a particular side, but rather to present a comprehensive view of the topic. By mastering the art of writing a discursive essay, you can effectively convey complex ideas and contribute to meaningful discussions on various subjects.

What’s different about writing a discursive essay

Writing a discursive essay differs from other types of essays in several ways. Here are some key differences to consider when approaching this particular form of academic writing:

  • Explores multiple perspectives: Unlike an argumentative essay, a discursive essay examines different viewpoints on a given topic. It requires you to gather information, analyze various arguments, and present a balanced view.
  • Structured presentation: A discursive essay follows a clear structure that helps organize your thoughts and arguments. It typically consists of an introduction, several body paragraphs discussing different arguments, and a conclusion.
  • Impartiality and objectivity: While other essays may require you to take a stance or defend a particular position, a discursive essay aims for objectivity. You should present arguments and evidence without bias and demonstrate a fair understanding of each viewpoint.
  • Importance of research: Good research is essential for a discursive essay. You should gather information from reliable sources, consider various perspectives, and present evidence to support your ideas.
  • Addressing counterarguments: In a discursive essay, it is crucial to acknowledge and address counterarguments. By doing so, you show a comprehensive understanding of the topic and strengthen your own argument.
  • Use of transitions: To maintain coherence and provide a smooth flow of ideas, appropriate transitions should be used to link paragraphs and signal shifts between arguments.

By recognizing these key differences and adapting your writing style accordingly, you can effectively write a discursive essay that engages the reader and presents a well-rounded discussion of the topic.

Step-by-Step Discursive Essay Writing Guide

Selecting a topic.

Selecting a topic for a discursive essay is a crucial first step in the writing process. Here are some considerations to help you choose an appropriate and engaging topic:

  • Relevance: Select a topic that is relevant and holds significance in the current context. It should be something that sparks interest and discussion among readers.
  • Controversy: Look for topics that have multiple perspectives and controversial viewpoints. This will allow you to explore different arguments and present a balanced analysis.
  • Research opportunities: Choose a topic that offers ample research opportunities. This ensures that you have access to reliable sources and enough material to support your arguments.
  • Personal interest: It is easier to write about a topic that you are genuinely interested in. Consider your own passion and areas of expertise when selecting a subject for your essay.
  • Scope and depth: Ensure that the chosen topic is neither too broad nor too narrow. It should provide enough scope for thorough analysis and discussion within the word limit of your essay.

Remember, the topic sets the foundation for your discursive essay. Take time to consider these factors and select a topic that aligns with your interests, research capabilities, and the potential to present a well-rounded discussion.

Possible Discursive Essay Topics:

  • The impact of social media on society.
  • Should euthanasia be legalized?
  • Pros and cons of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
  • The influence of technology on human interactions.
  • Is homeschooling more beneficial than traditional schooling?
  • The effects of climate change on the environment.
  • Should animal testing be banned?
  • The advantages and disadvantages of globalization.
  • The ethics of capital punishment.
  • The legalization of marijuana: pros and cons.

Write the Thesis Statement

The thesis statement in a discursive essay serves as the central argument or main claim that sets the tone for the entire essay. It typically appears in the introductory paragraph and guides the reader’s understanding of the essay’s purpose and direction. Here are some key points to consider when crafting an effective thesis statement for a discursive essay:

  • Clear stance: The thesis statement should clearly express your position or viewpoint on the topic. It should present a concise statement that reflects your overall argument or analysis.
  • Controversy: The thesis statement should highlight the controversy or debate surrounding the topic. It should indicate that there are multiple perspectives to be explored and that you will discuss them in a balanced manner.
  • Specificity: The thesis statement should not be too vague or general. It should address a specific aspect of the topic that you will focus on in your essay.
  • Clarity: The thesis statement should be clear and easy to understand. It should provide a clear sense of direction for the reader, indicating the main points that will be discussed in the essay.
  • Strong and compelling: The thesis statement should be strong and compelling, capturing the attention of the reader. It should be a statement that provokes thoughtful analysis and discussion.

By considering these factors, you can develop a thesis statement that effectively sets the tone for your discursive essay and captures the essence of your argument or analysis.

Conducting Research

Conducting thorough research is a critical step in writing a discursive essay. Here are some essential tips to help you effectively gather information and sources:

  • Define your research question: Clearly define the question or issue you want to explore in your essay. This will guide your research and help you stay focused.
  • Use a variety of sources: Gather information from a diverse range of sources, such as books, scholarly articles, reputable websites, and academic journals. This will ensure a well-rounded and comprehensive understanding of the topic.
  • Evaluate the credibility of sources: Assess the reliability and credibility of each source before including it in your essay. Consider factors such as author credentials, publication date, peer-reviewed status, and the reputation of the source.
  • Take organized notes: As you read and review your sources, take organized notes to keep track of key points, quotes, and references. This will make it easier to cite sources accurately later.
  • Analyze and synthesize information: Analyze the information you have gathered and synthesize it into coherent arguments. Identify common themes, patterns, and conflicting viewpoints that will form the basis of your essay.
  • Address counterarguments: Remember to consider and address counterarguments in your research. Engaging with opposing viewpoints will strengthen your arguments and demonstrate a well-rounded understanding of the topic.

By following these research strategies, you can gather reliable and varied sources to support your discursive essay, ensuring a balanced and well-informed discussion of the topic.

Writing the Introduction

The introduction sets the tone and direction for a discursive essay, providing context and background information on the topic. Here are some key elements to include when writing the introduction to a discursive essay:

  • Grab the reader’s attention: Use a hook or attention-grabbing statement to draw the reader in and generate interest in the topic.
  • Introduce the topic: Clearly state the topic and provide some background information to contextualize the issue.
  • Define key terms: Define any key terms related to the topic that may be unfamiliar to the reader.
  • Present the thesis statement: Clearly state your main argument or claim, which sets the tone for the rest of the essay.
  • Outline the structure: Briefly outline the main points or arguments that will be addressed in the essay.
  • Write in a discursive style: Use a discursive style of writing in the introduction that presents multiple viewpoints on the topic.

By including these elements, you can craft an effective introduction to your discursive essay that engages the reader, establishes the context for the topic, and clearly presents your thesis statement. Remember to present a balanced analysis of multiple viewpoints, maintaining the discursive style of the essay.

Presenting Arguments and Counterarguments

Presenting arguments and counterarguments is a crucial aspect of writing a discursive essay. Here are some strategies to effectively structure and present your arguments and counterarguments:

  • Identify key arguments: Begin by identifying the main arguments or perspectives related to the topic. These arguments will form the basis of your essay and provide a framework for your analysis.
  • Develop supporting evidence: Gather relevant evidence, examples, statistics, or expert opinions to support each argument. This evidence should be well-researched and credible to strengthen your claims.
  • Present arguments in a logical order: Organize your arguments in a logical and coherent manner. You can choose to present each argument separately, dedicating individual paragraphs to each one or use a point-counterpoint approach where you counter each argument with a counterargument.
  • Address counterarguments: Acknowledge and include counterarguments in your essay to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the topic. Refute counterarguments by presenting contrasting evidence or providing a persuasive rebuttal.
  • Provide balanced analysis: While presenting arguments and counterarguments, ensure a balanced analysis that gives due weight to each viewpoint. Avoid bias and strive for objectivity by presenting evidence from various perspectives.
  • Use transition words and phrases: Utilize appropriate transition words and phrases to guide the reader through the presentation of arguments and counterarguments. Examples include “on the one hand,” “however,” “in contrast,” “nevertheless,” etc.

By following these strategies, you can effectively present arguments and counterarguments in your discursive essay, demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of the topic and engaging the reader in a thoughtful analysis.

Writing the Body Paragraphs

When writing the body paragraphs of a discursive essay, it’s important to present a balanced and well-structured analysis of the topic. Here are some key strategies to consider:

  • Organize your paragraphs: Each body paragraph should focus on a single argument or idea. Start with a clear topic sentence that introduces the main point of the paragraph.
  • Provide evidence and examples: Support your arguments with evidence, facts, statistics, or examples from credible sources. This will enhance the validity and persuasiveness of your arguments.
  • Use logical reasoning: Present clear and coherent reasoning to connect your evidence with your main argument. Use logic and critical thinking to explain the relevance and significance of your evidence.
  • Consider opposing viewpoints: Acknowledge potential counterarguments and address them within your body paragraphs. Refute counterarguments using logical and evidence-based reasoning.
  • Use paragraphs for different viewpoints: If you’re discussing multiple perspectives or arguments within the same essay, dedicate separate paragraphs to each viewpoint. Clearly indicate transitions between paragraphs to maintain a coherent flow.
  • Include topic sentences and transitions: Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that clearly states the main idea. Use transitional words and phrases to guide the reader smoothly from one paragraph to the next.

Remember, in a discursive essay, the body paragraphs should explore various arguments and perspectives related to the topic, providing a balanced analysis and supporting evidence. By following these strategies, you can construct well-organized and compelling body paragraphs for your discursive essay.

Incorporating Evidence and Examples

Effectively incorporating evidence and examples is crucial in a discursive essay to support your arguments and strengthen your analysis. Here are some strategies to consider when integrating evidence:

  • Choose credible sources: Gather evidence from reputable and reliable sources such as scholarly articles, books, authoritative websites, or academic journals. This ensures the validity and credibility of the evidence.
  • Use a variety of evidence: Draw from a range of sources to provide a well-rounded perspective on the topic. This can include facts, statistics, expert opinions, case studies, or historical examples.
  • Provide context: When presenting evidence, provide context to help the reader understand its significance. Explain the relevance of the evidence to your argument and how it supports your main points.
  • Analyze and interpret evidence: Avoid simply regurgitating evidence. Instead, analyze and interpret it, explaining how it supports your argument and contributes to your overall analysis.
  • Quote and paraphrase effectively: When using direct quotes, ensure they are relevant and support your argument. Use accurate paraphrasing to summarize and restate ideas from your sources.
  • Cite your sources correctly: Properly cite your sources using a citation style appropriate for your academic field, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago. This gives credit to the original authors and avoids plagiarism.

By incorporating evidence and examples effectively, you can provide a solid foundation for your arguments in a discursive essay, enhancing your credibility and persuasiveness.

Addressing Counterarguments

Addressing counterarguments is an essential component of a discursive essay as it demonstrates critical thinking and strengthens your overall argument. Here are some strategies to effectively address counterarguments:

  • Identify counterarguments: Identify the main counterarguments or opposing viewpoints related to your topic. This shows that you have considered different perspectives on the issue.
  • Understand the counterarguments: Thoroughly analyze and understand the counterarguments before addressing them. This will help you develop a strong response based on evidence and reasoning.
  • Refute the counterarguments: Present a persuasive rebuttal to counterarguments by providing evidence or logical reasoning that challenges or disproves them.
  • Anticipate objections: Address potential objections or criticisms that readers might have. Proactively refute these objections by providing additional evidence or presenting alternative perspectives.
  • Acknowledge validity: Recognize the validity of certain counterarguments or aspects of opposing viewpoints. This demonstrates fairness and strengthens your overall argument by showing that you have carefully considered all sides.
  • Use transitional phrases: Use transitional phrases such as “however,” “although,” or “on the other hand,” to seamlessly introduce counterarguments and your responses.

By effectively addressing counterarguments, you can strengthen your own argument and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the topic. Engaging with opposing viewpoints in a fair and persuasive manner enhances the overall credibility and impact of your discursive essay.

Concluding the Discursive Essay

Concluding your discursive essay is an opportunity to summarize your main points and leave a lasting impression on the reader. Here are some strategies to effectively conclude your essay:

  • Restate your thesis statement: Begin your conclusion by restating your thesis statement in a concise and clear manner. This reminds the reader of your main argument and reinforces its significance.
  • Summarize your main points: Provide a brief summary of the main points you discussed in the body paragraphs. This helps to reinforce the key arguments and evidence presented throughout the essay.
  • Emphasize the significance of your argument: Highlight the importance and relevance of your argument in relation to the broader context or real-world implications. This helps to leave a lasting impact on the reader.
  • Address counterarguments: Briefly acknowledge the counterarguments you addressed in the essay and reiterate why your main argument is stronger or more compelling.
  • Offer a final thought or call to action: Conclude your essay by offering a final thought, reflection, or call to action that encourages the reader to further consider the topic or take action.
  • Provide closure: End your conclusion by providing a sense of closure to the essay. This can be achieved by offering a conclusive statement or returning to an anecdote or example mentioned earlier in the essay.

By following these strategies, you can effectively conclude your discursive essay, leaving a strong and memorable impression on the reader while summarizing the key points and reinforcing the significance of your argument.

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How to Write a Discursive Essay: Tips to Succeed & Examples

So, you need to accomplish your discursive essay writing. The typical questions most students ask are: How do you write it? What is discursive essay?

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A discursive essay is an academic paper that involves a discussion on a particular topic. It is usually assigned to college students. You may be required to write a paper wherein you have to do one of the following:

  • argue for the issue or against it;
  • present your points of view on both sides;
  • provide your unprejudiced opinion on that matter.

Don’t panic!

Check out the tips from  Custom-writing.org  experts below. They will assist you in discursive writing and encourage you to examine essay examples. Moreover, in this article, you’ll also learn about different types of discursive essay, and its introduction, main body, and conclusion structure.

  • ❓ What Is It?
  • 🏁 Main Types

Introduction

  • Basic Don’Ts
  • ✏️ Frequent Questions

❓ What Is a Discursive Essay?

First of all, let’s figure out what the discursive essay is.

You may think it’s similar to the argumentative essay. Yes, but there’s a difference between them in the structure and purpose of these two types of assignments:

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We will take a detailed look at how to structure a discursive essay later, and now let’s find out what are the types of this assignment.

Keep reading!

🏁 Discursive Essay: Main Types

You have to think more critically and more in-depth when reviewing all viewpoints and aspects of discursive writing. Check these three main types of essay writing:

  • Opinion Essay  requires the author’s opinion on an issue which is stated in the introductory paragraph. It should be clearly presented and followed by reasons and supporting examples. Also, this essay paper should contain an opposing argument that comes before the conclusion. The writer must explain to readers why the mentioned argument is considered to be unconvincing. The writer’s opinion should be restated/summarized in the conclusion.
  • For and Against Essay  provides readers with a thorough debate on the topic with the help of opposing points of view. Each point should be discussed objectively and described in details. The introductory paragraph puts the issue under consideration. The main body of this essay paper should present examples, reasons, and arguments supported by justifications. The author’s own opinion with balanced reflections on the topic should be stated only in conclusion.
  • Essay Suggesting Solution to a Problem  discusses problems and finds the main solutions. The introduction paragraph explicitly declares a problem and analyses its causes and consequences. The main body of the essay should offer some suggestions for a possible solution to the problem and potential state consequences or expected results. In conclusion, author’s opinion should be distinctly summarized.

📑 How to Write a Discursive Essay

Well, it’s time to talk about the structure of a discursive essay. Like most of the assignments, a discursive paper starts with an introduction and ends with a conclusion:

The first question you may ask is how to start a discursive essay introduction. Simple!

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  • Give your readers a hook – something that would sound interesting to them.
  • Provide a short explanation of the problem. You may use quotations, as well as rhetorical questions.
  • Show your readers both sides of the arguments and sum up.

You may be wondering…

Is there something I should avoid in my discursive essay introduction?

Yes. No stereotypes and generalizations, please!

The next step under formal essay writing you should take is to compose the body.

Tips on how to write a discursive essay.

There are a few points you should remember:

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  • First and foremost: stay unprejudiced . Assess all of the aspects of an issue. Leave your feelings behind or for another essay type.
  • Second: build your argumentation . If you have several arguments for your viewpoint—provide them in separate paragraphs. This will help you to keep your essay comprehensible and distinct. Don’t forget to submit supporting evidence.
  • Third: write the body of an essay in an alternate manner. What does it mean? If your first paragraph supports the paper’s argument, then in the second paragraph you should write something in the opposite of it. Such a combination of supporting and opposite paragraphs will make your essay look apparent, and well researched. Besides, it will help you to remain neutral.
  • Fourth: include topic sentences and evidence . Write a summary of the argument at the beginning of the paragraph. It will allow the reader to easier understand what the paragraph is about. Provide evidence to show that you’re not making the facts up.

Well, you’ve almost finished your writing. Now you should focus on the last section. Keep reading, and you will learn how to write a conclusion for a discursive essay.

  • In the last section, you should summarize your article including the main points, specified in the body paragraphs.
  • You may also logically express your opinion. Remember: it should resonate with your evidence stated in the body paragraphs.
  • Don’t repeat findings, just summarize them.

Keep it short. Your conclusion length should not exceed one paragraph.

👍 Do’s and Don’ts

Do you want more discursive essay writing tips? Fine! Just check them below:

Basic Do’s of a Discursive Essay

  • Write in formal, impersonal style.
  • Introduce each point in a separate paragraph
  • Use topic sentences for each paragraph
  • Write well-developed paragraphs
  • Give reasons and examples for each point
  • Use sequencing
  • Use linking words and phrases
  • Make references to other sources and make sure that you follow proper citation style
  • Identify used sources

Basic Don’Ts of a Discursive Essay

  • Don’t use short forms, like I’ll, don’t, they’ve
  • Don’t use informal/colloquial language, for example: old as the hills, ain’t, gonna, etc.
  • Don’t use very emotional language, since it might make your discursive article look prejudiced
  • Don’t use over-generalizations. Extending the features of some elements from a group more than it is reasonable will lead to generous and inaccurate conclusions.
  • Don’t express your personal opinion too insistently
  • Don’t refer to statistics without proper referencing (check our citation guides )
  • Don’t use personal examples, leave it for a personal experience essay

Well, now you know what discursive essay means, what are its main types, and how to structure it.

Tips on how to write a discursive essay.

Discursive Essay Topics

  • Discussion of risk factors that impact human health.
  • Discuss the necessity of understanding cultural heritage to provide efficient health care.
  • Analyze different opinions on withdrawing patients’ treatment.
  • Examine different views on the Civil War. 
  • Discuss what hostile emotional states are and how they impact human life.
  • Discuss the meaning of metaphors used by Virgil in Aeneid .
  • Describe different opinions on telehealth in nursing homes.
  • The ethicality of stem cell technology.
  • Explore the effectiveness of motivational interviewing .
  • Discuss how people present themselves online .
  • Discuss the reasons for Coca-Cola’s marketing success.
  • Analyze the food safety issues and the ways to improve the situation.
  • Examine the essential meaning of sleep for people’s physical and mental health.  
  • Explore various complications of working with groups. 
  • Discussion of the modern issues with virtue ethics .
  • Describe different views on the definition of love .
  • Give the for and against arguments considering food security technologies .
  • Discuss how the concept of the American dream is presented in the film The Great Gatsby.  
  • Analyze the influence of family problems on children and suggest ways to improve the situation.
  • Present the various points of view on the ethical concepts of Buddhism. 
  • Examine the attitudes towards the problem of homelessness and the suggested ways of its solution.
  • Explore different opinions on the American revolution and its consequences.  
  • Discuss various policies and views around the globe on abortion .
  • Discussion of the history of food foraging in different communities. 
  • Multiple thoughts on civility on the Internet .
  • Analyze arguments on the effectiveness of hand sanitizers. 
  • Discuss the importance of visual aids in learning.
  • Present and evaluate the theories of international development .
  • Discuss how to prevent the spread of the West Nile Virus (WNV).
  • Is embracing renewable energy sources beneficial for both environment and the global economy?
  • Examine the correctness of the statement that the ideology of pleasure is the foundation of social activism.  
  • Discussion of the ethical dilemma of population control. 
  • Discuss the ethics of experimental studies .
  • Analyze the topic of gun violence and gun control laws.  
  • Explore the reasons for opioid crises in the US.  
  • Give arguments for and against random drug testing. 
  • Discuss the problem of endangered species .
  • Express your opinion on the necessity of parents to be included in children’s education .
  • Present your attitude towards working in a bureaucratic organization. 
  • Discuss the issue of the nursing shortage and suggest a solution.
  • Give different viewpoints on the definition of beauty .
  • Analyze the problem of police misconduct .
  • Discuss the description of violence of African people in literature. 
  • Examine the views on Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory .
  • Describe the various opinions on mysticism and express your attitude towards it.  
  • Discuss the diverse standpoints on spirituality. 
  • Is nature protection an urgent problem?
  • Analyze different ideas on physical privacy at work. 
  • Discussion on the Jewish heritage in nursing.
  • Examine the views on the meaning of life .

Good luck with your discussions and discursive essays! Be sure to check out the articles on our blog for more academic wisdom. By the way, on the Custom-Writing website, you may find the best essay topics for your academic writing.

And don’t forget to share your opinion in the comments below.

You might also be interested in:

  • Friendship Essay: Writing Guide & Topic Ideas about Friendship
  • Teamwork Essay: Quick Guide on How to Write a Good Paper
  • Compare and Contrast Essay Writing Tips and Examples
  • Transportation Essay: Writing Tips and Brilliant Topics

✏️ Discursive Essay FAQ

There is no one definitely correct answer to this question. Like any other essay, the text should have a clear structure with an introduction, body, and conclusion. The most important thing is that the overall book needs to be cohesive, persuasive, and exciting to read.

An example of a step by step guide is:

1. Take a closer look at the topic, think about the points to cover.

2. Choose the most relevant points and compose the Body of the essay.

3. Add an appropriate Introduction and Conclusion.

To write a good conclusion, you need to have the rest of the essay finished. Does the body of your essay present well-structured points? Great, then see what you can conclude based on that. If possible, make a connection between the introduction and the conclusion.

To ensure that your essay has a perfect structure, start with creating an outline. Based on such a plan, you can present your points step by step. Your text should have a relevant introduction, several points in the main body (with examples), and a logical conclusion.

🔗 References

  • Writing an Opinion Essay: Grace Fleming, ThoughtCo
  • How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay: Easy Step-by-Step Guide: Master Class
  • Ending the Essay: Conclusions: Harvard College Writing Center
  • Academic Writing Style: University of Southern California
  • Cite Your Sources: Library Guides at University of California, Santa Cruz
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How to Write a Good Discursive Essay?

05 June, 2020

7 minutes read

Author:  Elizabeth Brown

What does a discursive essay mean? We have an answer to this and many other questions in our article. Welcome to the world of ideal essay writing. Ever wanted to build buzz for your text? We know you do. And we also know how you can do that with minimum effort and little diligence. So forget about your trivial academic essays - they are not as exciting as a discursive one. Ready to dive in?

discursive essay

What is Discursive Writing?

discursive essay

For all those who wanted to know the discursive essay meaning, here it is: a discursive essay is a writing piece, in which the focal element is devoted to an argument. That is, discursive writing presupposes developing a statement that ignites active discussions. After this essay, readers should be motivated to express their own opinions regarding the topic. Discursive essays have much in common with argumentative and persuasive papers, but these are not to be confused. Despite some similarities, discursive writing is a separate type of work that has its specific features and nuances. What we do want you to remember about discursive essays is that you need to concentrate on the power of thought rather than factology and pieces of evidence. In short, your mind is the only tool required to persuade and interest others on the topic you choose.

Discursive Essay Format

Now that we’ve figured out what is discursive writing, it’s time to focus more on the “skeleton” of discursive essay. Like any other piece of writing, discursive essays have clear requirements that help to glue their elements into a coherent paper. By the way, there are many writing services available which can help you present an excellent academic essay. So if you need professional assistance with your task, check them out. But if you want to do it yourself, you can simply take any discursive essay example from the web and use it as a starting point for your paper.

Discursive essay structure

As for the discursive structure itself, you need to start your essay with an introduction in the first place. Create a lead-in that’ll spark the reader’s interest and make them genuinely responsive to the topic. Also, make sure that your introduction is neither small nor extensive. Stick to the optimal amount of words that’ll be sufficient for readers to get the general idea of your essay.

Another essential aspect of an effective intro is your opinion. It’s worthy of note that some discursive essays might require no particular stance on the topic. In situations like this, wait until the end of an essay comes, and only then share your personal view on the matter. This way, readers will understand the neutral tone throughout the piece, shape their own thoughts about it, and later decide whether to agree with yours or not.

In the paragraphs that follow, you’ll need to accentuate on the argumentation. There’s no room for vague and unarticulate expressions at this point. Quite the contrary – you need to unfold your statements consecutively, in a couple of paragraphs, to depict the entire image of your stance for or against the topic. And don’t forget to link your discursive text to supporting evidence.

The last section is the conclusion. Your finishing remarks should clearly articulate your position toward this or that issue, with a close connection to the main ideas in the essay body.

Discursive Essay Thesis

To construct a good thesis for your discursive essay, you’ll need to describe the general stance your work will argue. Here, it’s important to back up the thesis statement with points. These are the opinions that support your thesis and allow to create an affirmative structure for the entire paper.

Discursive Essay Linking Words

Transition words

The points you use while writing a discursive essay need to flow smoothly so that readers could see a logical organization of the work. For this, you can use transition words that’ll make your paper easily readable and crisp. For example, if you want to list some points, opt for such words as firstly, to begin with, secondly, lastly, finally, etc. If you wish to point at advantages or disadvantages, consider using these transitions: the main/greatest/ first advantage of… is …, another positive side is…, an additional drawback is, another negative aspect of…is…

How to Write an Introduction for a Discursive Essay?

The introductory part is the critical aspect of creating a good discursive essay. In this section, specific attention should centralize on what your topic is all about. Therefore, it needs to be presented with clarity, be informative, and attention-grabbing. How to make your intro sentence for discursive essay memorable? You can start with a spicy anecdote to add humor to discussion. Another powerful way for hooking readers is stating a quote or opinion of experts and famous influencers. This will add to the credibility of your statements, making readers more motivated to read your work.

How to Write a Discursive Essay Conclusion?

Your discursive essay ending is the climax of your argument, a final link that organically locks up a chain of previously described points. This part is devoted to the restatement of the main arguments that sum up your attitude to the topic. And just like with introduction, the conclusion should leave a trace in readers’ minds. To achieve this result, your closing paragraph should include a call to action, warning or any other food for thought that will encourage people to ponder on the issue and make relevant conclusions.

Discursive Essay Topics

The ideas for discursive papers are so versatile that it’s hard to compile all of them in one list. For such list will extend to kilometers. However, we’ve collected some of them for you to facilitate your work on this task. So here are some discursive essay examples you can use any time:

Topics for a Discursive Essay

As you understand now, discursive writing definition and discursive essay definition are not as scary as they seem from the first glance. Even though the art of this type of paper is hard to master, over time, you’ll notice significant progress. All you need for this is practice and a little bit of patience to understand the subtle nuances of this task and develop the skill of writing confidently. And if you ever wondered what is an essay, a team of professional academic essay writers can give a helping hand and provide you with a top-notch paper.

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How to Write a Discursive Essay: Effective Guide

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Table of contents

  • 1 What Is a Discursive Essay?
  • 2.1 Argumentative
  • 2.2 Descriptive
  • 2.3 Narrative
  • 4 Helpful Tips: How to Write a Good Discursive Essay?
  • 5.1 How to Start a Discursive Essay?
  • 5.2 How to Develop the Discursive Essay Body?
  • 5.3 How to End a Discursive Essay?
  • 6.1 What to Do When Writing a Discursive Essay?
  • 6.2 What Not to Do When Writing a Discursive Essay?

If you’re pursuing a university degree, writing various assignments is unavoidable. Like it or not, you’ll have to draft at least a few every semester. Among other paper types, teachers favor discursive essays to encourage students to express a neutral standpoint regarding a given issue.

Moreover, this academic piece tests whether you possess polished writing and critical thinking skills. Besides your opinion, you’d also have to provide reliable evidence as a backup for your claim. Hence, a decent discursive essay requires thorough research and preparation.

But what should you pay attention to when writing the first draft ? Is pure talent enough, or are there other elements that make a successful manuscript? Below, we unravel the path to an A+ paper!

What Is a Discursive Essay?

A discursive essay aims to elaborate on a given topic in a balanced way. The subject matter is often a dilemma or issue, so there are usually two or three possible solutions. Hence, the ideal piece must include all sides of the problem and present objective and all-encompassing evidence about the topic.

The writer must maintain an impersonal style to avoid polarizing things and being biased. Many students hire a custom essay writing service because they either take one side or impose their views on the matter. As a result, they end up with an argumentative paper, which is entirely different.

The primary purpose of a discursive essay is to unveil the truth by exploring various topic-related arguments. Therefore, proper research, pondering the issue, and thinking critically, are critical aspects of the writing process.

Discursive Essay vs. Other Types of Essay

Though you might easily confuse discursive writing with other articles, the differences are striking. Let’s see what sets them apart and define their bordering points.​​

Argumentative

Both kinds of papers come from the same family. They discuss a topic by revealing facts and supporting them with examples. The main difference is that in argumentative works, one standpoint prevails. Though they list and acknowledge all arguments, the emphasis revolves around one point.

Ideally, argumentative writing  aims to persuade the audience to adopt a position. The writer presents the claims in a way that convinces the reader to pick a side. Conversely, the discursive essay explains the facts objectively but never urges the reader to shift views.

Descriptive

The purpose of a descriptive essay is to convey a picture for the readers to imagine. To this end, the author uses versatile adjectives and adverbs that help deliver the initial message. Moreover, comparisons, contrasts, and sensory figures of speech are inevitable if you want to create an eye-catching piece.

In contrast, discursive essays provide hard facts free of metaphors, idioms, and similes. The underlying purpose is to inform the readers and not engage their senses with flowery words. When you need to describe information in more detail, the descriptions should be as short and accurate as possible but never overly decorative.

​​Storytelling requires you to conceptualize a narration . In this case, your account can be informal and include descriptive writing elements. Since you have to hook the interest of the audience, the introduction and conclusion must be attention-grabbing and thought-provoking.

These papers follow a structure that usually involves a twist or unexpected events. Besides telling a story, you can also use this style for writing a character analysis essay for college. The smoother your retelling technique, the more successful your work will be.

With discursive essays, the primary focus is on facts and evidence. Hence, avoid weaving a tale because you might easily stray from the central idea. As a result, you can lose your target and omit the critical data you’re trying to present.

Discursive Essay Format

As with any academic work, you must write in a specific outline . To some extent, this venture resembles thematic essay writing because you’re elaborating on a concrete topic and including a clearly-defined thesis statement.

The typical structure of a discursive essay doesn’t differ much from that of other academic papers. It is usually a five or six-paragraph work that includes an introduction, three or more body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Here’s what a standard structure should look like :

  • Introductory paragraph
  • Argument 1 with supporting evidence
  • Argument 2 with supporting evidence
  • Argument 3 with supporting evidence
  • Paragraph with opposing views or counterarguments

Helpful Tips: How to Write a Good Discursive Essay?

Though you might follow the layout presented above and get all your standpoints in order, there are a few minor aspects you mustn’t neglect. Pay attention to the following:

  • Start each passage with a topic sentence that describes the most significant point.
  • Spend a few days drafting and finalizing your work; doing articles overnight is a no-go.
  • Don’t give a loud voice to your standpoint.
  • Use formal language that is impersonal. In short, white in third person speech.
  • Avoid copying content but rephrase what you found with your own words. You can use a free online paraphrasing tool to help you write a plagiarism-free piece.
  • Allow yourself enough time to edit and proofread your work in the end.
  • Communicate only fair aspects, but don’t overgeneralize or use clichés.
  • Convey your points in an alternate manner if your mentor allows this format.
  • Try the SEA method. S stands for making a statement, E for giving examples or evidence to support your claim, and A for applying theory in real life.

Writing a discursive essay can be challenging, but with the help of PapersOwl and its cheap essay writers , you can create a well-structured, argumentative essay in no time. Our writers have the skills and experience to craft an essay that will help you make your point effectively.

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How to Write a Discursive Essay?

Before you sit down and start brainstorming ideas, read a few samples online. This way, you’ll get the hang of the writing process and what each paragraph must include. Most importantly, stay unprejudiced and leave your feelings behind. Instead, concentrate on building and supporting your argumentation.

How to Start a Discursive Essay?

While the introduction is usually a fraction of the final work, it is critical. In it, you catch the reader’s attention and present your topic. Hence, ensure you make it as engaging and enlightening as possible. Moreover, the length of this part should be about 10% of the entire assignment.

The discursive essay introduction should contain a few sentences that compress the general idea. Hence, brevity and conciseness are your best shot at delivering the relevance of your subject matter to the public.

How to Develop the Discursive Essay Body?

Once finished, use the introduction to define the core of the body paragraphs. If you have difficulties, order a professional service to write your essay for money and pick your writer, depending on the topic’s complexity.

However, if you decide to proceed with the discursive essay yourself, put maximum effort into the opening paragraph. It’s advisable to give the strongest arguments first and then continue with the other standpoints. Also, don’t mix different points in a single paragraph but elaborate on one position at a given time.

Finally, take time to brainstorm and present your counterarguments. All statements must be objective and show your impartiality on the matter. When developing the body paragraphs, cite credible references like journals, statistics, and other supporting evidence.

How to End a Discursive Essay?

You must write a conclusion as the final paragraph of your manuscript. Similar to the introduction, this part aims to frame the central idea in simple words. So, if you wonder how to write a discursive essay conclusion, summarize all points stated and give an impartial opinion.

In addition, restate the mentioned arguments only and never introduce new information. Last, it would be ideal if your summary encourages future discussion among the audience. Your recommendations and predictions on the topic should also stimulate further research.

Do’s and Don’ts of a Discursive Essay

Here are some essay writing tips worth considering for a perfect outcome. The same ideas are relevant for writing a poetry essay with ease for university. Tick each hack when reviewing your final copy.

What to Do When Writing a Discursive Essay?

  • Different arguments go in separate paragraphs.
  • Write well-developed ideas supported by examples.
  • Give reasons for every position.
  • Use the sequencing method.
  • Maintain a balanced style.
  • Include linking words and phrases to enhance reading and flow of thought.
  • Identify the sources you use by following a proper citation style.

What Not to Do When Writing a Discursive Essay?

  • Avoid abbreviated forms and contractions, such as I’d, won’t, and you’re.
  • Never include informal and colloquial language like ain’t, gonna, or as good as gold.
  • Your topic will be specific so forget about generalizations because they lead away from accuracy and reliability. You might end up with arbitrary conclusions that will spoil the overall impression.
  • Emotional language is off-limits because it often signposts prejudice.
  • Steer away from personal examples because this means you’re taking a side.
  • Don’t insist on one standpoint at the cost of others.
  • Avoid stats you cannot prove or reference.
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how to write an intro for a discursive essay

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26 Planning a Discursive Essay

Discursive essay – description.

A discursive essay is a form of critical essay that attempts to provide the reader with a balanced argument on a topic, supported by evidence. It requires critical thinking, as well as sound and valid arguments (see Chapter 25) that acknowledge and analyse arguments both for and against any given topic, plus discursive essay writing appeals to reason, not emotions or opinions. While it may draw some tentative conclusions, based on evidence, the main aim of a discursive essay is to inform the reader of the key arguments and allow them to arrive at their own conclusion.

The writer needs to research the topic thoroughly to present more than one perspective and should check their own biases and assumptions through critical reflection (see Chapter 30).

Unlike persuasive writing, the writer does not need to have knowledge of the audience, though should write using academic tone and language (see Chapter 20).

Choose Your Topic Carefully

A basic guide to choosing an assignment topic is available in Chapter 23, however choosing a topic for a discursive essay means considering more than one perspective. Not only do you need to find information about the topic via academic sources, you need to be able to construct a worthwhile discussion, moving from idea to idea. Therefore, more forward planning is required. The following are decisions that need to be considered when choosing a discursive essay topic:

  • These will become the controlling ideas for your three body paragraphs (some essays may require more). Each controlling idea will need arguments both for and against.
  • For example, if my topic is “renewable energy” and my three main (controlling) ideas are “cost”, “storage”, “environmental impact”, then I will need to consider arguments both for and against each of these three concepts. I will also need to have good academic sources with examples or evidence to support my claim and counter claim for each controlling idea (More about this in Chapter 27).
  • Am I able to write a thesis statement about this topic based on the available research? In other words, do my own ideas align with the available research, or am I going to be struggling to support my own ideas due to a lack of academic sources or research? You need to be smart about your topic choice. Do not make it harder than it has to be. Writing a discursive essay is challenging enough without struggling to find appropriate sources.
  • For example, perhaps I find a great academic journal article about the uptake of solar panel installation in suburban Australia and how this household decision is cost-effective long-term, locally stored, and has minimal, even beneficial environmental impact due to the lowering of carbon emissions. Seems too good to be true, yet it is perfect for my assignment. I would have to then find arguments AGAINST everything in the article that supports transitioning suburbs to solar power. I would have to challenge the cost-effectiveness, the storage, and the environmental impact study. Now, all of a sudden my task just became much more challenging.
  • There may be vast numbers of journal articles written about your topic, but consider how relevant they may be to your tentative thesis statement. It takes a great deal of time to search for appropriate academic sources. Do you have a good internet connection at home or will you need to spend some quality time at the library? Setting time aside to complete your essay research is crucial for success.

It is only through complete forward planning about the shape and content of your essay that you may be able to choose the topic that best suits your interests, academic ability and time management. Consider how you will approach the overall project, not only the next step.

Research Your Topic

When completing a library search for online peer reviewed journal articles, do not forget to use Boolean Operators to refine or narrow your search field. Standard Boolean Operators are (capitalized) AND, OR and NOT. While using OR will expand your search, AND and NOT will reduce the scope of your search. For example, if I want information on ageism and care giving, but I only want it to relate to the elderly, I might use the following to search a database: ageism AND care NOT children. Remember to keep track of your search strings (like the one just used) and then you’ll know what worked and what didn’t as you come and go from your academic research.

The UQ Library provides an excellent step-by-step guide to searching databases:

Searching in databases – Library – University of Queensland (uq.edu.au)

Did you know that you can also link the UQ Library to Google Scholar? This link tells you how:

Google Scholar – Library – University of Queensland (uq.edu.au)

Write the Thesis Statement

The concept of a thesis statement was introduced in Chapter 21. The information below relates specifically to a discursive essay thesis statement.

As noted in the introduction to this chapter, the discursive essay should not take a stance and therefore the thesis statement must also impartially indicate more than one perspective. The goal is to present both sides of an argument equally and allow the reader to make an informed and well-reasoned choice after providing supporting evidence for each side of the argument.

Sample thesis statements: Solar energy is a cost -effective solution to burning fossil fuels for electricity , however lower income families cannot afford the installation costs .

Some studies indicate that teacher comments written in red may have no effect on students’ emotions , however other studies suggest that seeing red ink on papers could cause some students unnecessary stress. [1]

According to social justice principles, education should be available to all , yet historically, the intellectually and physically impaired may have been exempt from participation due to their supposed inability to learn. [2]

This is where your pros and cons list comes into play. For each pro, or positive statement you make, about your topic, create an equivalent con, or negative statement and this will enable you to arrive at two opposing assertions – the claim and counter claim.

While there may be multiple arguments or perspectives related to your essay topic, it is important that you match each claim with a counter-claim. This applies to the thesis statement and each supporting argument within the body paragraphs of the essay.

It is not just a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. A neutral tone is crucial. Do not include positive or negative leading statements, such as “It is undeniable that…” or “One should not accept the view that…”. You are NOT attempting to persuade the reader to choose one viewpoint over another.

Leading statements / language will be discussed further, in class, within term three of the Academic English course.

Thesis Structure:

  • Note the two sides (indicated in green and orange)
  • Note the use of tentative language: “Some studies”, “may have”, “could cause”, “some students”
  • As the thesis is yet to be discussed in-depth, and you are not an expert in the field, do not use definitive language
  • The statement is also one sentence, with a “pivot point” in the middle, with a comma and signposting to indicate a contradictory perspective (in black). Other examples include, nevertheless, though, although, regardless, yet, albeit. DO NOT use the word “but” as it lacks academic tone. Some signposts (e.g., although, though, while) may be placed at the start of the two clauses rather than in the middle – just remember the comma, for example, “While some studies suggest solar energy is cost-effective, other critical research questions its affordability.”
  • Also note that it is based on preliminary research and not opinion: “some studies”, “other studies”, “according to social justice principles”, “critical research”.

Claims and Counter Claims

NOTE: Please do not confuse the words ‘claim’ and ‘counter-claim’ with moral or value judgements about right/wrong, good/bad, successful/unsuccessful, or the like. The term ‘claim’ simply refers to the first position or argument you put forward (whether for or against), and ‘counter-claim’ is the alternate position or argument.

In a discursive essay the goal is to present both sides equally and then draw some tentative conclusions based on the evidence presented.

  • To formulate your claims and counter claims, write a list of pros and cons.
  • For each pro there should be a corresponding con.
  • Three sets of pros and cons will be required for your discursive essay. One set for each body paragraph. These become your claims and counter claims.
  • For a longer essay, you would need further claims and counter claims.
  • Some instructors prefer students to keep the pros and cons in the same order across the body paragraphs. Each paragraph would then have a pro followed by a con or else a con followed by a pro. The order should align with your thesis; if the thesis gives a pro view of the topic followed by a negative view (con) then the paragraphs should also start with the pro and follow with the con, or else vice versa. If not aligned and consistent, the reader may easily become confused as the argument proceeds. Ask your teacher if this is a requirement for your assessment.

how to write an intro for a discursive essay

Use previous chapters to explore your chosen topic through concept mapping (Chapter 18) and essay outlining (Chapter 19), with one variance; you must include your proposed claims and counter claims in your proposed paragraph structures. What follows is a generic model for a discursive essay. The following Chapter 27 will examine this in further details.

Sample Discursive Essay Outline 

The paragraphs are continuous; the dot-points are only meant to indicate content.

Introduction

  • Thesis statement
  • Essay outline (including 3 controlling ideas)

Body Paragraphs X 3 (Elaboration and evidence will be more than one sentence, though the topic, claim and counter claim should be succinct)

  • T opic sentence, including 1/3 controlling ideas (the topic remains the same throughout the entire essay; it is the controlling idea that changes)
  • A claim/assertion about the controlling idea
  • E laboration – more information about the claim
  • E vidence -academic research (Don’t forget to tell the reader how / why the evidence supports the claim. Be explicit in your E valuation rather than assuming the connection is obvious to the reader)
  • A counter claim (remember it must be COUNTER to the claim you made, not about something different)
  • E laboration – more information about the counter claim
  • E vidence – academic research (Don’t forget to tell the reader how / why the evidence supports the claim. Be explicit in your E valuation rather than assuming the connection is obvious to the reader)
  • Concluding sentence – L inks back to the topic and/or the next controlling idea in the following paragraph

Mirror the introduction. The essay outline should have stated the plan for the essay – “This essay will discuss…”, therefore the conclusion should identify that this has been fulfilled, “This essay has discussed…”, plus summarise the controlling ideas and key arguments. ONLY draw tentative conclusions BOTH for and against, allowing the reader to make up their own mind about the topic. Also remember to re-state the thesis in the conclusion. If it is part of the marking criteria, you should also include a recommendation or prediction about the future use or cost/benefit of the chosen topic/concept.

A word of warning, many students fall into the generic realm of stating that there should be further research on their topic or in the field of study. This is a gross statement of the obvious as all academia is ongoing. Try to be more practical with your recommendations and also think about who would instigate them and where the funding might come from.

This chapter gives an overview of what a discursive essay is and a few things to consider when choosing your topic. It also provides a generic outline for a discursive essay structure. The following chapter examines the structure in further detail.

  • Inez, S. M. (2018, September 10). What is a discursive essay, and how do you write a good one? Kibin. ↵
  • Hale, A., & Basides, H. (2013). The keys to academic English. Palgrave ↵

researched, reliable, written by academics and published by reputable publishers; often, but not always peer reviewed

assertion, maintain as fact

The term ‘claim’ simply refers to the first position or argument you put forward (whether for or against), and ‘counter-claim’ is the alternate position or argument.

Academic Writing Skills Copyright © 2021 by Patricia Williamson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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How to Write a Discursive Essay – Guide with Examples

Published by Grace Graffin at March 28th, 2022 , Revised On July 26, 2023

What is a Discursive Essay?

You can see the word ‘discursive’ is close to the word ‘discourse’; in short, it means involving discussion. “In a discursive essay, you explore the discussion and perspectives surrounding a topic. Then proceeding with reason and argument, you reach a conclusion in which you may or may not agree with one of the perspectives you have presented.”

What is Discussed in a Discursive Essay?

Example: The discursive essay discusses ideas and opinions on a topic without the aim of persuading the reader to take a given view. It is your unbiased presenting of differing viewpoints that allows the reader to decide which is best. This allows you to present the topic from several viewpoints, showing the pros and cons of them all.

During the Renaissance, discursive essays were quite popular, though they have become much less so over time. Many consider the discursive essay to be one of the more difficult to approach. As such, many students struggle with them, and it is quite common to seek essay writing assistance .

What is the Purpose of a Discursive Essay?

The purpose of a discursive essay is to show that there are different and often competing viewpoints around a subject. The subject often raises a controversy or describes a problem requiring a solution. As such, discursive essay assignments are often used when comparing subjective opinions on literary works. Discursive essays highlight different opinions and arguments but do not argue either way.

Do Discursive Essays Offer Solutions to Problems?

It is not the author’s job to solve a problem. The problem could be a long-running one with no solution in sight. For example, in a discursive text, you do not examine a problem or literary text; instead, you discuss the opposing ideas and opinions surrounding them. These essays benefit readers by presenting a collection of various views on a subject all in one place, saving them from doing the research themselves.

What is the Author’s Role in a Discursive Essay?

Apart from creating the essay, the author’s role is minimal. That is, the essay should not be a personal opinion piece. The author stands in the centre of the ongoing debate, selects some of the best arguments and presents them to the reader. In this way, the author is more like a facilitator providing a clear view of the arguments surrounding the topic .

Should the Author Give an Opinion?

The role requires the author to stay mostly neutral, but it is acceptable for authors to take a stance. Whether you include your own stance in the essay is either up to you or your tutor. There is no rule that says you have to. You can clarify where you stand early in the essay, or you can wait until the conclusion.

Present Others’ Views Fairly

You should present the views of others in the best possible light; showing balance between the arguments is essential. When presenting others’ viewpoints, you should not try to prejudice readers or persuade them your view is best. This is not an argumentative essay .

How Does a Discursive Essay Differ from an Argumentative Essay?

When to write a discursive essay.

Your coursework may require a discursive essay in order to test your ability to find and presenting balanced evidence without bias. In this assignment, you need to make a balanced examination of arguments surrounding a topic, with the option of stating your own position. You are not attempting to settle the debate, only to show the thinking that surrounds it.

How do I Know if I Should Write a Discursive Essay?

Your tutor might not directly say ‘write a discursive essay’ but the essay question will give you a clue. It might be a relatively simple question, or it could just state that there is disagreement on a topic . It will not ask you to give your opinion or direct you to persuade your readers. Your essay is part of a study course, so there will be enough guidance from your tutors.

Here are some title examples that would be best discussed in discursive essays.

  • Is modern technology good or bad?
  • The effects of social media on today’s youth.
  • Should children under the age of ten be given mobile phones?
  • Should cigarettes be banned worldwide?
  • The positive and negative effects of water fluoridation.
  • Should governments subsidise healthy food and tax junk food?
  • Arranged marriages last longer than free-choice marriages.
  • Are educational standards declining?
  • How Harmful is cyberbullying?
  • Should gene editing and ‘designer babies’ be allowed?
  • Should the minimum age for driving a car be raised to 20?
  • Has the death penalty been proven as a failure or a success?
  • Does Google have too much power?

Types of Discursive Essays

There are three main types of discursive essays:

  • The opinion essay requires the author’s opinion on the issue. It should be clearly presented and supported with reason and evidence; it should also contain an opposing argument. The writer should explain why the counterargument is not convincing.
  • The for-and-against essay should provide readers with a good debate on the subject, aided by the opposing points of view. The main body should provide examples with sound reasoning to support claims. This should be an objective piece, as its purpose is to bring the information to the reader to make a decision.
  • Essays suggesting a solution to a problem should discuss the stated problem and find the main solution(s) that have been suggested. The introduction defines the problem, its causes and the consequences. The main body offers some suggestions for a possible solution to the problem and the possible consequences that can be anticipated from this solution.

Approaching a Discursive Essay

Before you do anything, read the essay question/prompt several times; let it sink in. All the work you undertake will be based on this. If you study remotely and receive the essay prompt digitally, copy it onto paper to make it real. Highlight key words and make sure you thoroughly understand what you are expected to write. Are you being asked to analyse , discuss , or explain something? These keywords are important to understand.

Steps Towards Creating your Essay

Before you even write the first line of the introduction, you have to carry out research. Trying to write an essay before doing research is like polishing a car before washing it. Researching is a way of learning about the subject while gathering and filtering information, forming the backbone of your coursework. The research you carry out should look into the subject and more importantly, also investigate the broad range of opinions and evidence surrounding it. Your research should not focus solely on the argument you favour but should cover other views equally.

How Many Viewpoints to Include

Some issues have a huge number of opinions surrounding them; you cannot include them all. Using too many will confuse the reader and make a conclusion difficult. Also, you won’t have the word limit to include everything you discover. Ask yourself if you have considered the most relevant viewpoints. Working through your discovered material, you can determine what to include based on appropriateness. It can become overwhelming, but there is plenty of help out there.

Where to Find your Evidence

Much of your research will be done online. But you should not disregard relevant books and other print sources, some of which are also online. There is also television and video to consider, and depending on the subject, you can ask family members and friends. Variety in your research shows you have really made an effort to cover all bases.

Always consider the credibility of any source you use, and always note where you found it. You will need this information to complete your bibliography. When you feel you have enough material and researching has given you a richer understanding of the subject, you can start writing.

Writing your Discursive Essay

The first thing to write is an outline ; think of it as a framework. You are going to fill this framework with good material. Remember that every word you put into it will have to justify its inclusion. For a discursive essay, the structure will likely follow the usual format of title, introduction , main body , and conclusion , followed by a reference section.

The Introduction

Example: The introduction should touch on all the points you’re going to cover, even if only broadly. It should provide a concise description of the topic and what your focus will be. Everything you discuss in the body should come under the umbrella created by the introduction.

Help the Reader Right from the Start

From the introduction, the reader should understand where the essay is going; it should not be a mystery tour. This is especially important if the subject is very broad. You can state your position on the subject in the introduction, but it is not necessary.

The discursive essay does not have a formal thesis statement , as with other essay types . This gives you the option of opening with something to really hook the reader. For example, any of these can be used:

  • Be provocative – “Maybe you don’t care about children’s self-confidence…”
  • Be balanced – “There are different opinions on whether children should do martial arts.”
  • Use a relevant quote – “As martial arts practitioners, we are not the type of people who allow life to happen to us. We are the author of our own lives.” – Jay Haynes.
  • Illustrate something – “Four-foot-tall Lisa was once bullied. After taking up kickboxing, she seems to stand much taller. She is no longer a target.”
  • Use an anecdote – “I lacked confidence and direction as a child. Taking up Tae Kwon Do changed all that in the first few weeks.”

After this is a rhetorical question at the centre of the discussion and a description of what the essay will cover.

Argumentative Essay Checklist

Frequently asked questions, should i analyse evidence in a discursive essay.

Although you will provide evidence in a discursive essay, it is not the same as in persuasive or argumentative essays. For example, if the essay is questioning the correct interpretation of a literary work, you do not analyse or review the literary work. Rather, you look at what others say about it and present that for the reader. What you present are ideas. And you support these ideas with quotations from other people, although it’s possible to do this by referring to your own experiences.

Can I disagree with the prevailing opinion on the subject?

You do not have to take a position on the subject you write about in a discursive essay. Your tutor might even instruct you not to. If you decide to tell the reader your position, you briefly say what you think and why. It shouldn’t become a major part of your assignment because this is not a persuasive or argumentative essay. The essay is not based on what you think.

Can I address the reader directly?

Yes, it makes your work more personal if you do this. You could do this right at the start of the introduction, asking something like, “Have you ever wondered how much information big tech companies hold about you?” A direct question like this can be a useful hook to keep the reader reading. You could say that it reduces formality and brings in familiarity, but used minimally, maybe just once, it can be effective. Generally, the discursive essay should be quite formal and impersonal.

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How to Write a Discursive Essay: Tips, Examples, and Structure

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How to Write a Discursive Essay: Tips, Examples, and Structure

Mastering the Art of Writing a Discursive Essay

Table of contents.

Introduction

Understanding Discursive Essays

Discursive essay writing tips, discursive essay structure, examples of discursive essays, picking the right discursive essay topics, discursive essay format, crafting a strong discursive essay outline, writing an effective discursive essay introduction, nailing the discursive essay conclusion.

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to write a discursive essay effectively. If you’re unfamiliar with this type of essay or want to improve your skills, you’ve come to the right place! This guide will cover How to Write a Discursive Essay , examples, and strategies to help you craft a compelling discursive essay.

Are you ready to master this art of writing ? This article will explain a discursive essay and explore various aspects such as writing tips, structure, examples, and format. So, let’s dive right in and unveil the key elements of an impressive discursive essay.

how to write an intro for a discursive essay

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of writing a discursive essay , let’s take a moment to understand its nature and purpose. A discursive essay presents a balanced argument on a particular topic by exploring different perspectives. It requires the writer to consider different viewpoints, present evidence, and critically analyze the subject matter.

Writing a discursive essay can be challenging, but you can excel in this art form with the right approach. Here are some valuable tips that will help you write a discursive essay effectively:

  • Choose an Engaging Topic: Select a topic that is interesting and relevant to your audience. This will make the essay more engaging and enjoyable to read.
  • Thorough Research: Gather extensive information from reliable sources to support your arguments and counterarguments.
  • Plan and Outline: Take the time to plan and create an outline before diving into the writing process. This will help you organize your thoughts and arguments effectively.
  • Clear Introduction: Start with a concise introduction that provides context and grabs the reader’s attention. Clearly state your thesis or main argument.
  • Well-structured Paragraphs: Divide your essay into paragraphs that focus on specific points. Each paragraph should present a new idea or support a previous one.
  • Logical Flow: Maintain a logical flow using transitional words and phrases that connect your ideas and paragraphs smoothly.
  • Balance Your Arguments: Ensure a balance in presenting the pros and cons of each perspective. This will demonstrate your fairness and critical thinking skills.
  • Support with Evidence: Provide evidence, facts, and examples to support your claims and make your arguments more persuasive.
  • Use Clear Language: Avoid jargon and overly complex language. Opt for clear, concise, and precise language that is easy for readers to comprehend.
  • Proofread and Edit: Always revise, proofread, and edit your essay to ensure clarity, coherence, and proper grammar usage.

Following these tips, you’ll be well-equipped to write an impressive discursive essay that effectively presents your arguments and engages your readers.

A well-structured discursive essay enhances readability and ensures that your arguments are coherent. Here’s a suggested structure that you can follow:

  • Hook the reader with an attention-grabbing statement or anecdote.
  • Introduce the topic and provide background information.
  • Present your thesis statement or main argument.
  • Start each paragraph with a topic sentence introducing a new argument or perspective.
  • Provide evidence, examples, and supporting details to justify your claims.
  • Address counterarguments and present rebuttals, showing your ability to consider different viewpoints.
  • Use transitional words to maintain a smooth flow between paragraphs.
  • Summarize the main points discussed in the essay.
  • Restate your thesis statement while considering the arguments presented.
  • End with a thought-provoking statement or call to action.

By adhering to this structure, your discursive essay will be well-organized and easy for readers to follow.

To gain a better understanding of how discursive essays are written, let’s explore a couple of examples:

Example 1: The Impact of Social Media

Introduction: The growing influence of social media in society.

Main Body: Discussing the positive and negative aspects of social media on communication, mental health, privacy, and relationships.

Conclusion: Weighing the overall impact of social media and proposing ways to harness its strengths and mitigate its drawbacks.

Example 2: The Pros and Cons of School Uniforms

Introduction: Introducing the debate on school uniforms.

Main Body: Exploring the arguments supporting school uniforms (such as fostering discipline and equality) and arguments against them (such as limiting self-expression).

Conclusion: Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of school uniforms and suggesting potential compromises.

These examples illustrate how discursive essays analyze various perspectives on a topic while maintaining a balanced approach.

Choosing an engaging and relevant topic is crucial to capturing your readers’ attention. Here are some popular discursive essay topics to consider:

  • Is social media beneficial or detrimental to society?
  • Should the death penalty be abolished worldwide?
  • Are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) safe for consumption?
  • Should recreational marijuana use be legalized?
  • Are video games responsible for the rise in violence among youth?

When selecting a topic, ensure it is captivating, allows for multiple viewpoints, and is backed by sufficient research material.

While there is flexibility in formatting a discursive essay, adhering to a standard format enhances clarity and readability. Consider following this general format:

  • Font type and size: Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri with a 12-point font size.
  • Line spacing: Double-spaced throughout the essay.
  • Page margins: 1-inch margins on all sides.
  • Title page: Include the essay title, your name, course name, instructor’s name, and submission date (if applicable).
  • Header: Insert a header with your last name and page number (top-right corner).

A consistent format will make your essay more professional and easier to navigate.

how to write an intro for a discursive essay

Before writing your discursive essay, creating an outline that organizes your thoughts and arguments effectively is essential. Here’s a sample outline to help you get started:

I. Introduction

B. Background information

C. Thesis statement

II. Main Body

A. Argument 1

1. Supporting evidence

2. Examples

B. Argument 2

C. Argument 3

1 . Supporting evidence

2 . Examples

III. Counterarguments and Rebuttals

A. Counterargument 1

1 . Rebuttal evidence

B. Counterargument 2

C . Counterargument 3

IV. Conclusion

A. Summary of main points

B . Restating the thesis statement

C. Call to action or thought-provoking statement

By structuring your ideas in an outline, you’ll have a clear roadmap for your essay, ensuring that your arguments flow logically.

The introduction of your discursive essay plays a vital role in capturing your reader’s attention and setting the tone for the essay. Here’s how you can make your introduction compelling:

Start With an Engaging Hook: Begin with a captivating opening sentence, such as a surprising statistic, an intriguing question, or a compelling anecdote related to your topic.

Provide Necessary Background Information: Briefly explain the topic and its relevance to the reader.

Present Your Thesis Statement: Clearly state your main argument or thesis, which will guide your essay’s direction and focus.

You’ll establish a strong foundation for your discursive essay by crafting an engaging and informative introduction.

The conclusion of your discursive essay should effectively summarize your main points and leave a lasting impression on your readers. Here’s how you can achieve this:

Summarize the Main Points: Briefly recap the key arguments and perspectives discussed in the essay.

Restate Your Thesis Statement: Reiterate your main argument while considering the various perspectives.

Call to Action or Thought-Provoking Statement: End your essay with a compelling statement or encourage readers to explore the topic further, sparking discussion and reflection.

By crafting a powerful conclusion, you’ll leave a lasting impact on your readers, ensuring they walk away with a clear understanding of your essay’s message.

Congratulations! You’ve now comprehensively understood how to write a discursive essay effectively. Remember to choose an engaging topic, conduct thorough research, create a clear structure, and present balanced arguments while considering different perspectives. Following these guidelines and incorporating our tips, you’ll be well-equipped to craft a compelling discursive essay.

So, start writing your discursive essay following our comprehensive guide. Unlock your writing potential and captivate your readers with an impressive discursive essay that showcases your analytical skills and ability to present compelling arguments. Happy writing!

how to write an intro for a discursive essay

Frequently Asked Questions About “How to Write a Discursive Essay Effectively”

What is a discursive essay, and how does it differ from other types of essays.

A discursive essay explores a particular topic by presenting different perspectives and arguments. It differs from other essays, emphasizing balanced, unbiased discussion rather than a single, strong stance.

How should I choose a topic for my discursive essay?

Select a topic that allows for multiple viewpoints and has room for discussion. Controversial issues or topics with various opinions work well, providing ample material for exploration.

What is the typical structure of a discursive essay?

A discursive essay typically has an introduction, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction sets the stage, the body paragraphs present different viewpoints, and the conclusion summarizes the key points and your stance.

Is it necessary to choose a side in a discursive essay?

While you don’t have to take a definite side, you should present a balanced view. However, some essay prompts may ask you to argue for or against a particular position.

How do I start the introduction of a discursive essay?

Begin with a hook to capture the reader’s attention, provide background information, and clearly state the issue you will discuss. End the introduction with a thesis statement that outlines your approach.

Should I use formal language in a discursive essay?

Yes, maintain a formal and objective tone. Avoid using first-person pronouns and aim for clarity and precision in your language.

How many viewpoints should I include in the body paragraphs?

Include at least two or three well-developed viewpoints. Ensure that each paragraph focuses on a specific aspect or argument related to the topic.

How do I transition between paragraphs in a discursive essay?

Use transitional phrases to move smoothly from one idea to the next. This helps maintain a logical flow and coherence in your essay.

Can I include personal opinions in a discursive essay?

While you can present your opinions, remaining objective and supporting your views with evidence is crucial. The emphasis should be on presenting a well-rounded discussion rather than expressing personal bias.

How do I conclude a discursive essay effectively?

Summarize the main points discussed in the body paragraphs, restate your thesis nuancedly, and offer a closing thought or call to action. Avoid introducing new information in the conclusion.

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  • How to Write a Discursive Essay: Structure & Tips

Effective communication is a cornerstone of academic success, and mastering discursive essays is a crucial step in this journey. Essays for your English class, like discursive essays, are not just academic exercises but opportunities to enhance your analytical and persuasive skills.

In this guide, we’ll explore the intricacies of crafting compelling discursive essays, providing insights and practical tips to help you navigate how to write a discursive essay successfully. Let’s embark on the journey of honing your ability to present balanced viewpoints and articulate your thoughts with clarity and precision.

What is a Discursive Essay?

Discursive essays are versatile, allowing you to argue for or against a topic or present a balanced view. These essays, integral to English classes, foster critical thinking by exploring various perspectives. They come in different forms, such as opinion essays, for and against essays, or essays proposing solutions to problems. Understanding the nature and purpose of discursive essays is crucial for excelling in your English class.

Female student working on a discursive essay on laptop with books, pen and paper.

Discursive Essay Structure

The structure of a discursive essay is straightforward but essential. It has a snappy introduction, persuasive body paragraph and a cohesive conclusion.

In the introduction, set the stage by clearly stating your stance or indicating a balanced view. The body paragraphs are the core, where arguments are built, each paragraph dedicated to a specific aspect of the topic. Finally, the conclusion summarises key points and may include your final position. This structure ensures coherence and clarity.

How to Write an Introduction for a Discursive Essay

The introduction is your chance to captivate readers. Avoid cliches and generalisations; instead, consider opening with a thought-provoking question, a relevant quote, or a surprising statistic.

For example, if your essay is on the impact of technology on education, you might start with, “In an era dominated by screens, is traditional education becoming obsolete?”

Clearly state your stance or intention to present a balanced view.

For instance, “In this essay, we will explore both sides of the debate regarding the influence of technology on education, ultimately arriving at a nuanced perspective.”

How to Write the Body for a Discursive Essay

The body is where your arguments unfold. Divide it into paragraphs, each focused on a specific point. Provide evidence from reputable sources to support your claims. To maintain a smooth transition between paragraphs, use connectives like ‘equally,’ ‘similarly,’ or ‘on the contrary.’ If you’re discussing the positive impact of technology on education, a transition could be, “Similarly, the accessibility of online resources has revolutionised the learning experience.”

How to Write a Conclusion for a Discursive Essay

The conclusion is not a mere repetition but a synthesis of your main findings. Recap key points and, depending on the essay type, state your final position. Express your personal opinion logically, aligning it with the evidence presented in the body. For example, “While technology offers unprecedented opportunities, a balanced approach that preserves the essence of traditional education is vital.”

Discursive Essay Writing Tips

  • Utilise connectives: Use words like ‘however,’ ‘in contrast,’ or ‘conversely’ for smooth transitions between opposing viewpoints. For instance, “While some argue for the benefits of online learning, others vehemently oppose it. However, a nuanced perspective considers both sides.”
  • Formal language: Maintain a formal tone. Avoid colloquial expressions; instead, opt for academic language. For instance, replace “kids” with “children” and “a lot” with “numerous.”
  • Persuasive techniques: Experiment with persuasive writing techniques. For instance, if discussing environmental issues, use vivid imagery like “the lush greenery replaced by concrete jungles” to evoke a strong visual impact.

Need More Help With How to Write a Discursive Essay? A Team Tuition Can Help!

For personalised guidance and support in mastering discursive essays, consider reaching out to A Team Tuition. Our English academic personal trainers offer valuable insights and assistance tailored to your specific needs.

Whether forming study groups, seeking your teacher’s guidance, or opting for private tutoring and mentoring through A Team Tuition, these avenues can elevate your essay writing skills.

Remember, mastering discursive essays is not just about academic achievement; it’s a lifelong skill that enhances your ability to think critically and communicate effectively. Take the first step toward academic excellence – contact A Team Tuition to schedule your first session and unlock your full potential. Happy writing!

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How to Write a Discursive Essay: Introduction, Body and Conclusion

Whenever you are required to write a discursive essay, you desire to create a masterpiece that will wow your professor and earn you the best marks. And this desire is so strong that it pushes you to research profoundly and sometimes spend sleepless nights to churn out the best.

But despite your hard work, this might all be in vain if you do not know how to create stellar essays. This is because discursive pieces require you to research and be equipped with the knowledge and tips to help you develop the right content.

So, how do you write this piece’s introduction, body, and conclusion? Here are more details.

How to Write the Introduction of a Discursive Essay

The introduction of your discursive essay is an integral part. It sets the tone, gives the reader some background information, and helps you make an excellent first impression on your audience.

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Further, this part should be relevant, informative, and interesting to your readers. It should also state what you will say in your essay and why it is crucial, although subtly.

Generally, an introduction should;

  • Give your reader an overview of what they’re going to read
  • Make them want to continue reading by making them curious about what you’re going to say next
  • Show them how your paper fits into the bigger picture and what other researchers have said on the topic

To achieve all these, here are some things that you need to keep in mind

Use catchy phrases and anecdote

There are several different ways to start an essay, but one of the most effective techniques is to use catchy phrases. These phrases should be short but descriptive. You want to catch your reader’s attention with something interesting, but you also need to give them some information about what they will be reading.

After your research, find interesting facts about the topic and present them here, such as interesting facts. For example, if writing about texting driving and how it has become more dangerous over time, you might say that 90% of road accidents are attributed to texting driving.

Such a fact grabs a reader’s attention and would want to learn more about the topic. Further, the fact is interesting and an everyday occurrence that many readers identify with.

Further, you can use anecdotes or stories to start your essay. Has something that relates to your topic happened recently? If so, include it in your introduction. Anecdotes and stories are great ways to catch the reader’s attention immediately and get them interested in reading more about what happened.  

They also help break up the flow of words without interrupting it too much and give readers little breaks that allow them to digest all the information before moving on to something else.

Provide an overview

The introduction is likened to a door or window of your essay. It provides information about your piece and even reasons readers should read it. Ideally, it gives readers an overview of the paper and what they will learn at the end.

With this in mind, your introduction should contain a thesis statement, however, do not make your position known. This will help keep yourself and your reader on track throughout the writing process. Without it, it’s easy for things to go off course once you start writing about other topics related or unrelated to your original idea and sometimes even end up with no conclusion.

Make it short

A good introduction should be short yet detailed and compelling. It should give enough information for the reader to understand what they will read. It should also encourage them to keep reading by making them want more information about your chosen topic.

Further, it should have a clear purpose and goal and have a unique angle or perspective that sets it apart from other essays.

Should have background information

As seen, an introduction should be short, clear, and hooking. And just like a door, it should also be welcoming. One way to achieve all these is by having background information about the topic.  

Background information helps you to build up your essay in a clear way and take your readers along. In addition, including the background information allows you to show your readers how well-informed and intelligent you are and that you have done some research on the topic.

How to Write the Body of a Discursive Essay

The body of a discursive essay is the part where you can make your point. Typically, it is the section where you write about the topic. The section’s length depends on the required word count and the complexity of the matter.  

However, experts recommend writing as much as possible, but make sure your writing is not too repetitive or contains grammar or spelling errors.

This part’s sentences should contribute something valuable to the overall idea. It should not contain unnecessary information that has no connection whatsoever with your main idea or argument.

The following tips will help you write an effective body paragraph

Remain unbiased

Discursive essays are devoid of prejudice and personal opinions. Therefore, you must use a combination of facts and persuasive arguments.

The information should be accurate and up-to-date, not from secondary sources, as they may not be reliable enough.

Also, use examples from other sources, such as books and articles, to support your claims. This way, your argument will sound more convincing and make it easier for readers to believe you.

Similarly, you can include quotes that support your claim or prove your point. Quotes are an excellent way of showing what others think about specific issues and how they feel also show how knowledgeable you are about these issues.  

However, use quotes sparingly because too many can distract readers from what you are trying to say. Use only those which support your arguments clearly and directly.

Arrange your points logically, starting from the strongest argument

Your body entails the bulk of your essay. It is the part where readers learn more about your idea or the information the piece passes.

Also, arrange the paragraphs logically, starting with the most crucial topic and working through it to the least important. This is because essay writing is a process of building up from the foundation.

Additionally, starting with the strong points makes you sound convincing and helps you keep control of your essay throughout its length.

The trick here is to make sure you put forward one main point first and then support it by providing evidence from various sources, such as statistics and examples. You can also use ideas from other people’s work, but make sure they are relevant and do not contradict yourself.

Flesh your paragraph

Since the body is where you explain your argument, you need to make sure that you include a strong and relevant topic sentence. This sentence introduces your point and tells the reader what to expect in the paragraph. It should be no longer than two sentences long, and it should be a complete thought.

After this introductory sentence, you can begin listing all of your evidence for this point. You may have multiple pieces of evidence for each point you make, but each piece should be limited to one paragraph.

Generally, a paragraph should be well-organized with an introduction and a conclusion. The introduction should include a topic sentence, also called a thesis statement, and will tell you precisely what you will write about.  

It should also contain some background information or facts on your topic. The main body of your paragraph should include all of your evidence, examples, or details to support your thesis statement.  

The last part of the paragraph is a summary reminding the reader of what was discussed and providing a transition into the next section or paragraph if needed.

How to Write the Conclusion of a Discursive Essay

The essay’s conclusion is your last chance to make another impression on your reader; thus should be a good one. Generally, this part summarizes your main points, presents some arguments about the topic, and shows how you have reached these conclusions.

In other words, it’s your chance to drive home your argument clearly and concisely. In fact, it should not be an afterthought; instead, be at the forefront of your thinking throughout the writing process.

Also see: how long should a conclusion be?

These are some of the tips on how to write a powerful conclusion

Restate your thesis

Restating your thesis is essential in writing an essay’s conclusion paragraph. This is because you want to ensure your readers remember your intent. Therefore, restating your thesis, in conclusion, helps readers remember what you are trying to prove through your essay.

Additionally, restating your thesis enables you to explain how it is supported by the evidence you have presented. A good essay will also explain how this new information helps us to understand the topic more deeply.

Don’t add new information

As highlighted earlier, the conclusion wraps up your ideas and puts them into a coherent whole. It is also where you make your most important point, so it should be brief and concise.

Therefore, as you summarize previous points, you should not introduce new ideas. So don’t add new information or examples. Instead, restate what you’ve written, tie everything together, and ensure that each part of your essay supports your claims.

Summarize your points

A good conclusion should summarize the essay’s main points, with an argument that draws all of these points together. This is important because it gives readers a sense of closure and that everything has been explained to their satisfaction.

However, a   good conclusion does not simply summarize the main points of your paper. It also addresses any unresolved issues that your argument may have raised, or it can draw some further conclusions that you’ve reached as a result of writing your paper.  

As you summarize, you should also state the significance of your findings and advise other researchers who may be working in the same field.

An excellent way to do this is to use a rhetorical question at the beginning of your conclusion. Then follow up with an answer that explains how all the pieces fit together.

Show How Ideas Are Related to Each Other

Another great tip for writing conclusions is showing how each point relates to another. To achieve this, ensure you show how the essay is relevant to the thesis statement. Also, you can mention a few pieces of evidence that are related and how they build up your claim

Further, this part should do more than repeat what you have already said. This means you should provide evidence for your argument by showing how different points fit together into one coherent whole.

To show the relationship between points, consider

  • What are some main ideas that must be covered?  
  • What do they add up to?  
  • How are they related?
  • How will these points strengthen your argument?  
  • How does each point relate to previous ones?  
  • How does each point connect forward to the next section?

Close With Final Thoughts

Final thoughts in conclusions help you end on a powerful note. It is your chance to state your lessons and what you think about the whole topic or what the issue points towards. However, ensure sure not to leave any loose ends or unanswered questions. This part should be a stand-alone without having to be read with other pieces of the paper.  

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Sussex Centre for Language Studies

The Academic Writing Guide (AWG) is designed to familiarise you with the process of writing a discursive essay. A discursive essay is a genre of writing that requires you to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner. Once you have decided on your position your writing will be an attempt to persuade your reader that it is a reasonable one to take. The pages in this guide will present information and activities designed to help you develop the skill of argumentation, which as well as being the main feature of discursive writing, underpins every aspect of university study.

Before you begin working through the AWG and using the examples and activities to help you research and write your own discursive essay watch the interview with James, one of our former Foundation Year students, who worked through the AWG and is reflecting on his progress. Some of what James says may not make sense to you yet, but come back to it occasionally as your own research skills develop and see if your experience resembles his. As you listen, notice what James says about how his perspective on the learning process changed during the course of the Foundation Year.

Academic writing does not aim simply to describe (although describing will be part of the process). An essay that is too descriptive will receive a very low mark at university level. Similarly, an essay that takes a ‘balanced’ view and does little more that weigh up the pros and cons of each side of an argument is rarely appropriate for university-level study.

Your aim in writing a discursive essay is to persuade your reader that your position (your argument) is a valid one. It makes a claim about a topic and defends this claim with evidence. A discursive essay must therefore begin with a thesis or claim that is debatable. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade your reader of its merits.

Argumentation – mass noun

2. A reason or set of reasons that you use for persuading other people to support your views, opinions, etc.

His main argument is stated in the opening paragraph.

Discursive writing

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There is a lot of pre-writing work to do for a discursive essay. Before you can begin writing you need to:

Throughout the research and writing process you will submit a series of assessed tasks relating to this title. Each of the tasks is designed to support your writing development, and help you produce a well-argued discursive essay supported with appropriate academic evidence. Each submission carries a percentage of the overall marks for the portfolio, making it essential that you complete each one. The portfolio accounts for a large percentage of the overall marks for the two Academic Development modules (see module handbook).

At the start of each of the 3 Stages in the AWG you will be told what the aims and objectives are, as well as the different assessments you will have to complete for that Stage. You will also be told where to submit these assessments in Canvas (find details below and in the module handbook on your class Canvas site).

Student studying at the University of Sussex

These voluntary, drop-in sessions offer you personalised support for your work with the Academic Writing Guide and all aspects of the Academic Development Module.

You don’t need an appointment for these sessions, just show up with any questions you have about the module or the AWG and the tutor will help you on a one-to-one basis. You are welcome to use the drop-in service as often as you like.

You can find information about the drop-in sessions on your Canvas site.

This resource will help you to develop your Academic Skills whilst at Sussex. It brings together all of the web resources, workshops and support that are available to you as a Sussex student. Academic Skills are essential to successful study; from time management and note making, all the way through to reference management and exam writing techniques. These skills will help you to fully engage with, and excel, in your studies. Use the navigation on the left side of the page to find the section you are after or use the search box in the header.

As you work through the Academic Writing Guide (AWG) you will create a range of documents that need to be saved as you go and then uploaded to an assessment point at the end of each stage.

As a Sussex student you can download Microsoft Office 365.

With Office 365 you can get Microsoft Office for your personally-owned computer and mobile device(s) at no cost, as well as access to online versions of Office products and 1TB of free cloud storage in OneDrive.

Remember you are not expected to have all these skills already - you will develop them throughout your time at Sussex.

Each Stage requires several hours of self-study to complete, and each Stage is assessed. You will have plenty of time to work through the 3 Stages, and at regular intervals will submit formal assessments that will be included in your assessed portfolio for the Academic Development module at the end of the year. After each submission your Academic Development tutor will give you feedback, which you will use to inform the process of developing your discursive essay further. Each assessed task carries a percentage of the overall marks for the portfolio, making it essential that you complete each one. The portfolio itself carries a large percentage of the overall marks for the Academic Development module.

You will find details about each of the assessments at relevant points in this Guide, and will need to pay close attention to them. Your Academic Development tutor will also be introducing and supporting the process in your Academic Development seminars.

The following is an overview:

How To Write A Good Discursive Essay?

  • Essay Writing Guides

How to Write Good Discursive Essay

We are a high-quality yet essay writing website that knows how to make every essay shine. Here is our complete guide on discursive essay writing.

What is Discursive Writing?

Mastering the art of discursive writing is impossible without first learning the definition of this type of writing. So what is a discursive essay and what makes it so different from other types of essays and so challenging to write?

Discursive writing is the process of describing different sides of an argument in an attempt to find the correct one. When writing a discursive essay, you may be asked to present one or more sides of the argument, and all along the writing process, you need to keep in mind the discursive essay purpose, which is to discover the truth through exploring different arguments.

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Discursive Essay Format

Like any other form of academic writing , a discursive essay has its own specific format and structure that you need to follow. Luckily, the structure of a discursive essay is not that different from the structure of most other essays and contains an introduction, the body of the essay, and the conclusion. The most common discursive essay format looks like this:

  • Introduction
  • Argument 1 with evidence
  • Argument 2 with evidence
  • Argument 3 with evidence
  • Opposing argument with counterarguments

From the description and the structure of a discursive essay, it may seem like it’s exactly the same as an argumentative essay. However, while those two types of essays to share a lot of features, they are also very different in nature.

In an argumentative essay, the author’s job is to pick one sign and argue for it. A discursive essay, on the other hand, requires the author to present different sides of one argument to form a more complete vision of the subject of the essay.

How to Write an Introduction for a Discursive Essay

The discursive essay introduction is the part of your essay that sets the tone and prepares the readers for the content of your paper. Your introduction should not be too detailed, but it should provide just enough information to get the audience acquainted with the topic.

So, how to start a discursive essay introduction the right way? A good idea is to use a hook as the first sentence of the introduction. Then you need to provide a brief overview of the problem, as well as the sides of the argument you want to discuss further.

How to Write the Body of a Discursive Essay

The body of your discursive essay will have the exact number of paragraphs as your arguments, plus one paragraph for the opposing argument. If you decide to disclose two sides of the argument, you will need to use the alternate order for the body paragraphs: one for and one against the main argument.

Each paragraph of the body of your discursive essay must be dedicated to a separate idea. Place the main idea at the beginning of the paragraph, add a summary of the argument, and attach the supporting evidence from credible sources.

In the final paragraph of the body of the discursive essay, you need to present the possible opposing arguments and then offer your own counterarguments. One of the most helpful discursive essay writing tips for this paragraph is to pretend like you are taking part in the debate and need to destroy your opponent’s arguments.

The important thing to remember when writing the body of a discursive essay is that even though you will use separate paragraphs for different arguments, you shouldn’t place a title for every paragraph — the body of the essay should read as a whole. You also shouldn’t express your personal opinion anywhere except for the conclusion.

How to Write a Discursive Essay Conclusion

After you’ve said everything you wanted to say in the introduction and body paragraphs of your discursive essay, all that is left to do is write the conclusion. Begin the conclusion by offering a summary of the body paragraphs of the essay, putting a special emphasis on the arguments and the supportive evidence.

At the end of the conclusion, our essay service recommends you can get a little personal and express your own views on the subject. Keep this section of the conclusion brief, and make sure it does not argue with the tone and content of the body of your discursive essay.

Are you ready to get things finally done?

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Discursive Essay Topics

The process of writing a discursive essay starts with a great topic. If you haven’t been assigned a topic by your professor and don’t know how to find a topic that will evolve into a powerful essay, here are 15 topics for your inspiration:

  • Are smartphones doing more harm than good?
  • Should award ceremonies become more diverse?
  • Professional sports at a young age are not healthy.
  • The government must control people’s diets.
  • It is time for the first female president of the USA.
  • Being an Instagram blogger is not a real profession.
  • Sports in schools should not be mandatory.
  • Should we allow all prisoners to vote in elections?
  • Legal smoking and drinking age must be raised.
  • Video games don’t really make people more violent.
  • Monarchy should be abolished everywhere in the world.
  • It’s okay for the government to track its citizens.
  • A degree in arts does not translate into a well-paying career.
  • Driverless cars are more dangerous than we think.
  • Superhero movies don’t have any cultural value.

In some cases, even if you really like the topic of your discursive essay, you simply don’t have the time or skills required to write a convincing paper. Our essay writing service is always ready to complete your assignment of any complexity level exactly on time!

  • Academic Writing Guides
  • Citation Guides
  • Essay Samples
  • Essay Topics
  • Research Paper Topics
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Narrative Essays

Narrative: The spoken or written account of connected events; a story

Narrative Introductions

The introduction of a narrative essay sets the scene for the story that follows. Interesting introductions—for any kind of writing—engage and draw readers in because they want to know more.

Since narratives tell a story and involve events, the introduction of a narrative quite often starts in the middle of the action in order to bring the reader into the story immediately, as shown in examples 1, 3, and 5 below. Other effective introductions briefly provide background for the point of the story—often the lesson learned—as in 4 below and the first example on the reverse side.

Below are some strategies for writing effective openings. Remember your introduction should be interesting and draw your reader in. It should make your audience want to read more. If it's a person , begin with a description of the person and then say why that person mattered. If it's an event , begin with the action or begin by reflecting back on why the event mattered, then go into the narrative.

  • "Potter...take off!" my coach yelled as I was cracking yet another joke during practice.
  • Why do such a small percentage of high school athletes play Division One sports?
  • It was a cold, rainy night, under the lights on the field. I lined up the ball on the penalty line under the wet grass. After glancing up at the tied score, I stared into the goalkeeper's eyes.
  • My heart pounds in my chest. My stomach full of nervous butterflies. I hear the crowd talking and names being cheered.
  • Slipping the red and white uniform over my head for the first time is a feeling I will never forget.
  • "No football." Those words rang in my head for hours as I thought about what a stupid decision I had made three nights before.
  • "SNAP!" I heard the startling sound of my left knee before I ever felt the pain.
  • According to the NCAA, there are over 400,000 student-athletes in the United States.

Narrative Story

  • Unified: Ensure all actions in your story develop a central idea or argument.
  • Interesting: Draw your readers into your scene(s), making them feel as if they're experiencing them first-hand.
  • Coherent: Indicate changes in time, location, and characters clearly (even if your story is not chronological).
  • Climactic: Include a moment (the climax) when your ending is revealed or the importance of events is made clear.
  • Remember the 5 W's : Who? What? When? Where? Why?
  • Write vividly : Include significant sensory information in the scene (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste) to make readers feel they are there
  • Develop " Thick Descriptions "

Clifford Geertz describes thick descriptions as accounts that include not only facts but also commentary and interpretation . The goal is to vividly describe an action or scene, often through the use of metaphors, analogies, and other forms of interpretation that can emote strong feelings and images in your readers' minds.

"The flatness of the Delta made the shack, the quarters, and the railroad tracks nearby seem like some tabletop model train set. Like many Mississippi shacks, this one looked as if no one had lived there since the birth of the blues. Four sunflowers leaned alongside a sagging porch. When the front door creaked open, cockroaches bigger than pecans scurried for cover [...] walls wept with mildew."

—from Bruce Watson's Freedom Summer

Narrative Checklist

  • Does the story have a clear and unifying idea? If not, what could that idea be?
  • If the story doesn't include a thesis sentence, is the unifying idea of the story clear without it?
  • Is the story unified, with all the details contributing to the central idea?
  • Is the story arranged chronologically? If not, is the organization of ideas and events still effective and clear?
  • Do the transitions show the movement from idea to idea and scene to scene?
  • Are there enough details?
  • Is there dialogue at important moments?
  • Is there a climax to the story—moment at which the action is resolved or a key idea is revealed?

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  • Published: 08 May 2024

Accurate structure prediction of biomolecular interactions with AlphaFold 3

  • Josh Abramson   ORCID: orcid.org/0009-0000-3496-6952 1   na1 ,
  • Jonas Adler   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-9928-3407 1   na1 ,
  • Jack Dunger 1   na1 ,
  • Richard Evans   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-4675-8469 1   na1 ,
  • Tim Green   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-3227-1505 1   na1 ,
  • Alexander Pritzel   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-4233-9040 1   na1 ,
  • Olaf Ronneberger   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-4266-1515 1   na1 ,
  • Lindsay Willmore   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-4314-0778 1   na1 ,
  • Andrew J. Ballard   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-4956-5304 1 ,
  • Joshua Bambrick   ORCID: orcid.org/0009-0003-3908-0722 2 ,
  • Sebastian W. Bodenstein 1 ,
  • David A. Evans 1 ,
  • Chia-Chun Hung   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5264-9165 2 ,
  • Michael O’Neill 1 ,
  • David Reiman   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-1605-7197 1 ,
  • Kathryn Tunyasuvunakool   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-8594-1074 1 ,
  • Zachary Wu   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-2429-9812 1 ,
  • Akvilė Žemgulytė 1 ,
  • Eirini Arvaniti 3 ,
  • Charles Beattie   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1840-054X 3 ,
  • Ottavia Bertolli   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-8578-3216 3 ,
  • Alex Bridgland 3 ,
  • Alexey Cherepanov   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5227-0622 4 ,
  • Miles Congreve 4 ,
  • Alexander I. Cowen-Rivers 3 ,
  • Andrew Cowie   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-4491-1434 3 ,
  • Michael Figurnov   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1386-8741 3 ,
  • Fabian B. Fuchs 3 ,
  • Hannah Gladman 3 ,
  • Rishub Jain 3 ,
  • Yousuf A. Khan   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-0201-2796 3 ,
  • Caroline M. R. Low 4 ,
  • Kuba Perlin 3 ,
  • Anna Potapenko 3 ,
  • Pascal Savy 4 ,
  • Sukhdeep Singh 3 ,
  • Adrian Stecula   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-6914-6743 4 ,
  • Ashok Thillaisundaram 3 ,
  • Catherine Tong   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-7570-4801 4 ,
  • Sergei Yakneen   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-7827-9839 4 ,
  • Ellen D. Zhong   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-6345-1907 3 ,
  • Michal Zielinski 3 ,
  • Augustin Žídek   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-0748-9684 3 ,
  • Victor Bapst 1   na2 ,
  • Pushmeet Kohli   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-7466-7997 1   na2 ,
  • Max Jaderberg   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-9033-2695 2   na2 ,
  • Demis Hassabis   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-2812-9917 1 , 2   na2 &
  • John M. Jumper   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-6169-6580 1   na2  

Nature ( 2024 ) Cite this article

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We are providing an unedited version of this manuscript to give early access to its findings. Before final publication, the manuscript will undergo further editing. Please note there may be errors present which affect the content, and all legal disclaimers apply.

  • Drug discovery
  • Machine learning
  • Protein structure predictions
  • Structural biology

The introduction of AlphaFold 2 1 has spurred a revolution in modelling the structure of proteins and their interactions, enabling a huge range of applications in protein modelling and design 2–6 . In this paper, we describe our AlphaFold 3 model with a substantially updated diffusion-based architecture, which is capable of joint structure prediction of complexes including proteins, nucleic acids, small molecules, ions, and modified residues. The new AlphaFold model demonstrates significantly improved accuracy over many previous specialised tools: far greater accuracy on protein-ligand interactions than state of the art docking tools, much higher accuracy on protein-nucleic acid interactions than nucleic-acid-specific predictors, and significantly higher antibody-antigen prediction accuracy than AlphaFold-Multimer v2.3 7,8 . Together these results show that high accuracy modelling across biomolecular space is possible within a single unified deep learning framework.

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Author information.

These authors contributed equally: Josh Abramson, Jonas Adler, Jack Dunger, Richard Evans, Tim Green, Alexander Pritzel, Olaf Ronneberger, Lindsay Willmore

These authors jointly supervised this work: Victor Bapst, Pushmeet Kohli, Max Jaderberg, Demis Hassabis, John M. Jumper

Authors and Affiliations

Core Contributor, Google DeepMind, London, UK

Josh Abramson, Jonas Adler, Jack Dunger, Richard Evans, Tim Green, Alexander Pritzel, Olaf Ronneberger, Lindsay Willmore, Andrew J. Ballard, Sebastian W. Bodenstein, David A. Evans, Michael O’Neill, David Reiman, Kathryn Tunyasuvunakool, Zachary Wu, Akvilė Žemgulytė, Victor Bapst, Pushmeet Kohli, Demis Hassabis & John M. Jumper

Core Contributor, Isomorphic Labs, London, UK

Joshua Bambrick, Chia-Chun Hung, Max Jaderberg & Demis Hassabis

Google DeepMind, London, UK

Eirini Arvaniti, Charles Beattie, Ottavia Bertolli, Alex Bridgland, Alexander I. Cowen-Rivers, Andrew Cowie, Michael Figurnov, Fabian B. Fuchs, Hannah Gladman, Rishub Jain, Yousuf A. Khan, Kuba Perlin, Anna Potapenko, Sukhdeep Singh, Ashok Thillaisundaram, Ellen D. Zhong, Michal Zielinski & Augustin Žídek

Isomorphic Labs, London, UK

Alexey Cherepanov, Miles Congreve, Caroline M. R. Low, Pascal Savy, Adrian Stecula, Catherine Tong & Sergei Yakneen

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Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Max Jaderberg , Demis Hassabis or John M. Jumper .

Supplementary information

Supplementary information.

This Supplementary Information file contains the following 9 sections: (1) Notation; (2) Data pipeline; (3) Model architecture; (4) Auxiliary heads; (5) Training and inference; (6) Evaluation; (7) Differences to AlphaFold2 and AlphaFold-Multimer; (8) Supplemental Results; and (9) Appendix: CCD Code and PDB ID tables.

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Abramson, J., Adler, J., Dunger, J. et al. Accurate structure prediction of biomolecular interactions with AlphaFold 3. Nature (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-024-07487-w

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how to write an intro for a discursive essay

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  1. How To Write A Good Discursive Essay?

    how to write an intro for a discursive essay

  2. 😝 Higher persuasive essay. Persuasive Essay Free Higher Education. 2022-10-24

    how to write an intro for a discursive essay

  3. How To Write A Discursive Essay

    how to write an intro for a discursive essay

  4. How to Write a Good Discursive Essay

    how to write an intro for a discursive essay

  5. Discursive Essay [Topics, Examples, Ideas]

    how to write an intro for a discursive essay

  6. How to Write a Discursive Essay

    how to write an intro for a discursive essay

VIDEO

  1. Discursive Essay

  2. Syllabus 3247 Paper I Discursive Essay

  3. How To Write Intro With 2 DVs

  4. Discursive Essay Thoughts

  5. Thesis Writing. How to write Intro/Background

  6. DISCURSIVE ESSAY || ICSE ISC Essay writing series || Learn to write discursive essays ||

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Discursive Essay: Tips, Dos & Don'ts

    State your opinion in the introduction, supported by examples and reasons. Present the opposing argument before the conclusion, explaining why you find it unconvincing. Summarize your important points in the conclusion. 2. Essay providing a solution to a problem. Focus on discussing an issue and proposing solutions.

  2. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Table of contents. Step 1: Hook your reader. Step 2: Give background information. Step 3: Present your thesis statement. Step 4: Map your essay's structure. Step 5: Check and revise. More examples of essay introductions. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

  3. How To Write Discursive Essays

    Your essay is structured in a manner that argues towards this stand. When writing an argumentative essay, your goal is to persuade, to convince the reader to be in support of your stand. Discursive: you are not required to take an explicit stand on the issue. In other words, you do not need to pick a side. You may choose to pick a side; that ...

  4. How to Write a Discursive Essay with Impact and Authority

    1. Introduction: Hook: Begin with a captivating hook or attention-grabbing statement to engage the reader's interest. Contextualization: Provide a brief overview of the topic and its relevance, setting the stage for the discussion. Thesis Statement: Clearly state the main argument or the purpose of the essay.

  5. How to Write a Discursive Essay

    The introduction sets the tone and direction for a discursive essay, providing context and background information on the topic. Here are some key elements to include when writing the introduction to a discursive essay: Grab the reader's attention: Use a hook or attention-grabbing statement to draw the reader in and generate interest in the topic.

  6. How to Write a Discursive Essay: Tips to Succeed & Examples

    Start with an introduction to the topic. Discuss each essay question in a single paragraph. Begin each paragraph with a powerful issue sentence. Paragraphs with one point usually followed by a counterpoint paragraph. Its style is general for essays as the reader should understand what you stand for.

  7. How to Write a Good Discursive Essay

    As for the discursive structure itself, you need to start your essay with an introduction in the first place. Create a lead-in that'll spark the reader's interest and make them genuinely responsive to the topic. Also, make sure that your introduction is neither small nor extensive. Stick to the optimal amount of words that'll be ...

  8. How to Write a Discursive Essay: Effective Guide

    The typical structure of a discursive essay doesn't differ much from that of other academic papers. It is usually a five or six-paragraph work that includes an introduction, three or more body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Here's what a standard structure should look like: Introductory paragraph. Body.

  9. Planning a Discursive Essay

    A discursive essay is a form of critical essay that attempts to provide the reader with a balanced argument on a topic, supported by evidence. It requires critical thinking, as well as sound and valid arguments (see Chapter 25) that acknowledge and analyse arguments both for and against any given topic, plus discursive essay writing appeals to ...

  10. How to Write a Discursive Essay

    The discursive essay discusses ideas and opinions on a topic without the aim of persuading the reader to take a given view. It is your unbiased presenting of differing viewpoints that allows the reader to decide which is best. This allows you to present the topic from several viewpoints, showing the pros and cons of them all.

  11. PDF Strategies for Essay Writing

    Harvard College Writing Center 5 Asking Analytical Questions When you write an essay for a course you are taking, you are being asked not only to create a product (the essay) but, more importantly, to go through a process of thinking more deeply about a question or problem related to the course. By writing about a

  12. How to Write a Discursive Essay: Tips, Examples, and Structure

    Clear Introduction: Start with a concise introduction that provides context and grabs the reader's attention. Clearly state your thesis or main argument. Well-structured Paragraphs: Divide your essay into paragraphs that focus on specific points. Each paragraph should present a new idea or support a previous one.

  13. How to Write a Discursive Essay: Structure & Tips

    How to Write the Body for a Discursive Essay. The body is where your arguments unfold. Divide it into paragraphs, each focused on a specific point. Provide evidence from reputable sources to support your claims. To maintain a smooth transition between paragraphs, use connectives like 'equally,' 'similarly,' or 'on the contrary.'.

  14. How to Write a Discursive Essay: Introduction, Body and Conclusion

    How to Write the Introduction of a Discursive Essay. Use catchy phrases and anecdote. Provide an overview. Make it short. Should have background information. How to Write the Body of a Discursive Essay. Remain unbiased. Arrange your points logically, starting from the strongest argument. Flesh your paragraph.

  15. What Is a Discursive Essay, and How Do You Write a Good One?

    A discursive essay is organized like most essays, with a clear introduction and concise thesis statement, body paragraphs, ... Here are a few tips for writing your discursive essay. Thesis statement: The thesis statement in a discursive essay should not take a stance on the argument. The goal is to present both sides of the argument equally.

  16. Academic Writing Guide

    Introduction. The Academic Writing Guide (AWG) is designed to familiarise you with the process of writing a discursive essay. A discursive essay is a genre of writing that requires you to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner.

  17. PDF Prepare for Exam Success: C1 Advanced self-access learning Writing Part

    • review the format and focus of the Writing Part 1 paper • research a topic online in English • make notes on useful ideas and vocabulary to help you write a discursive essay • learn useful strategies for planning, writing and reviewing your written work. Get to know the exam: Writing Part 1 . The C1 Advanced Writing paper has two parts.

  18. How To Write A Good Discursive Essay?

    A discursive essay, on the other hand, requires the author to present different sides of one argument to form a more complete vision of the subject of the essay. How to Write an Introduction for a Discursive Essay. The discursive essay introduction is the part of your essay that sets the tone and prepares the readers for the content of your paper.

  19. How to Write a Discursive Essay

    This lesson goes through the intricacies and techniques behind writing a great discursive essay.

  20. Discursive Writing

    Organising a discursive essay. There are two basic types of discursive essay. Firstly there are persuasive essays in which you can argue strongly either in favour of or against a given discussion ...

  21. Discursive Essay: How to Write (With Examples!)

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