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10 Great Essay Writing Tips

discursive essay how to write

Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses. Impress your professors with your knowledge and skill by using these great essay writing tips.

Prepare to Answer the Question

Most college essays ask you to answer a question or synthesize information you learned in class. Review notes you have from lectures, read the recommended texts and make sure you understand the topic. You should refer to these sources in your essay.

discursive essay how to write

Plan Your Essay

Many students see planning as a waste of time, but it actually saves you time. Take a few minutes to think about the topic and what you want to say about it. You can write an outline, draw a chart or use a graphic organizer to arrange your ideas. This gives you a chance to spot problems in your ideas before you spend time writing out the paragraphs.

Choose a Writing Method That Feels Comfortable

You might have to type your essay before turning it in, but that doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. Some people find it easy to write out their ideas by hand. Others prefer typing in a word processor where they can erase and rewrite as needed. Find the one that works best for you and stick with it.

discursive essay how to write

View It as a Conversation

Writing is a form of communication, so think of your essay as a conversation between you and the reader. Think about your response to the source material and the topic. Decide what you want to tell the reader about the topic. Then, stay focused on your response as you write.

discursive essay how to write

Provide the Context in the Introduction

If you look at an example of an essay introduction, you’ll see that the best essays give the reader a context. Think of how you introduce two people to each other. You share the details you think they will find most interesting. Do this in your essay by stating what it’s about and then telling readers what the issue is.

discursive essay how to write

Explain What Needs to be Explained

Sometimes you have to explain concepts or define words to help the reader understand your viewpoint. You also have to explain the reasoning behind your ideas. For example, it’s not enough to write that your greatest achievement is running an ultra marathon. You might need to define ultra marathon and explain why finishing the race is such an accomplishment.

discursive essay how to write

Answer All the Questions

After you finish writing the first draft of your essay, make sure you’ve answered all the questions you were supposed to answer. For example, essays in compare and contrast format should show the similarities and differences between ideas, objects or events. If you’re writing about a significant achievement, describe what you did and how it affected you.

discursive essay how to write

Stay Focused as You Write

Writing requires concentration. Find a place where you have few distractions and give yourself time to write without interruptions. Don’t wait until the night before the essay is due to start working on it.

discursive essay how to write

Read the Essay Aloud to Proofread

When you finish writing your essay, read it aloud. You can do this by yourself or ask someone to listen to you read it. You’ll notice places where the ideas don’t make sense, and your listener can give you feedback about your ideas.

discursive essay how to write

Avoid Filling the Page with Words

A great essay does more than follow an essay layout. It has something to say. Sometimes students panic and write everything they know about a topic or summarize everything in the source material. Your job as a writer is to show why this information is important.


discursive essay how to write

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  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


  • 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:

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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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 (

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 (

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.

discursive essay how to write

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.


  • 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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discursive essay how to write

How to Write a Discursive Essay

How to Write a Discursive Essay at

What is a discursive essay? 

A discursive essay is an essay where you are required to write on something, which can be either argued for the topic or against the topic. However, some discursive essays can also be written in a way where you don’t have to choose any particular side but to present your views on both the sides in a balanced manner. Sometimes you might also be required to write a discursive essay wherein you don’t argue for or against the topic or statement but instead need to present your own unbiased views and opinions on that matter.

Writing a discursive essay forces you to review all aspects and viewpoints of a particular topic, allowing you to think deeper and more critical. There are three types of discursive essays:

  • Opinion essay – which requires the writer to state their opinion on a topic and then put forward arguments to support it. However, before concluding the essay, the writer must put forward arguments against the topic and say why they are unconvincing.  
  • For and against essay – explains the reasons for and against a particular topic. Before concluding, the writer must state their opinion on the topic by giving their preference.  
  • Essay suggesting a solution to a problem – outlines a problem and explains several ways to solve the problem. In conclusion, the writer should give their opinion on the best solution to the problem and why.

A discursive essay can look like just another argumentative or persuasive essay but the fact is that it differs from both of them as the arguments are presented in a better and balanced manner. Normally, you are required to present your views on the topic in a balanced way after taking consideration of all the factors, which include ‘for and against’. While writing a discursive essay, you should follow some conventions as they will not only help you in making the right choice of words and sentences but will also guide you in using the appropriate language for the essay. For example, the voice expressed in the essay should be calm and the tone should be as balanced as possible. Further, you should use a writing structure that can easily alternate from one stand to the other. Like in one paragraph you should be able to write something against a topic and in the next paragraph in favour of the topic/statement, but the transition between the paragraphs should be seamless - as smooth as possible.

One example is using connectives by use of words like ‘equally’, ‘similarly’ in highlighting the similarities of two different paragraphs and where joining two similar paragraphs are required. Another important consideration while writing a discursive essay is that it should have technical and formal language in it. You should always try to use formal language in a discursive essay and do not use informal language, as the very nature of the discursive essay is formal. Other than that, you can also use persuasive writing techniques like the use of imagery, metaphors, repetition, hyperbole, similes, oxymoron, triads, where applicable, but keeping in mind that the structure of the essay remains intact. Otherwise, it will look more like a persuasive essay rather than the discursive one.

As with any other academic essay, a discursive essay also comes with a certain standard structure that other academic essays follow and that is: the introduction, the main body and the conclusion. The points mentioned below will help you become better in writing a discursive essay.

Structure of a discursive essay

  • Start an essay with an introduction that sounds interesting to the readers. Try to avoid generalizations and stereotypes in your approach.
  • Give a clear stance in the opening paragraph of the essay itself – you can be for or against a topic or statement if the essay asks you to do so. However, in essays that do not require a particular stance, you need to wait till the end to present your own views on the matter.
  • In the subsequent paragraphs, try to build your arguments. You might have several arguments for your essay but you should write them in separate paragraphs so that they are coherent and distinct. Whenever you are building your argument – either in favour of or against of the topic, you need to provide supporting evidence from internal or external sources to strengthen your argument.
  • Make sure you alternate from one argument to the other in an alternate manner, i.e., if you have written the first paragraph in support of the topic, then your second paragraph should be something against the topic and not in support of it. However, the third paragraph could be similar to paragraph one, supporting the topic as before. The next paragraph should be again similar to paragraph two, arguing against the topic. This combination of alternate for and against paragraphs will make your essay look distinct, better and thoroughly researched and will result in a lasting impact on the reader’s mind.  
  • After you have put all your thoughts and opinions in the body section, you now need to focus on the ending section, which is the conclusion. To write the conclusion you need to sum up the key points, which you have mentioned in the body paragraphs above and based on the essay type, you can state your final position on the topic/statement, which can be either for or against, or even can be neither of the two. However, whatever you write in the conclusion should resonate with your main body paragraphs. You can also write your personal opinion here if the essay requires you to do so but you should also express it in a logical way, clearly referencing it with your findings in the body paragraphs. Remember that your conclusion is not just a repetition of the arguments you have mentioned in the above body paragraphs but a summary of the main findings.

 If you have followed the above points, you will surely find it much easier to write a discursive essay at your school, college or university life. 

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Discursive Essay Topics: 50 Most Creative Ideas

Good discursive essay topics will force you to review all aspects and viewpoints of a particular subject matter, allowing you to think deeper and more critical. Topics for discursive essays are wide and varied. Below is a comprehensive list of 50 ideas for discursive essays that you can refer to any time.

  • Is technology good or bad?
  • Comment on the impact of social media on our youth.
  • Should cell phones be allowed in school?
  • Should there be guidelines/rules about the length of hair for boys in school?
  • Should you euthanize cancer patients?
  • Are the prices of cars too high?
  • Should healthy foods cost more than “unhealthy” or “junk” food?
  • The best time to exercise is in the morning when you are fresh and energetic.
  • Young children should learn about the various religious sects in school, whether it is their chosen faith or not.
  • Your marriage is more likely to flourish if it is based on a strong foundation of friendship that was established before the marriage.
  • Is the education system as good as it should be?
  • White collar crime is worse than blue collar crime.
  • What should be the penalty for internet trolling/cyber bullying?
  • Is texting and texting apps such as WhatsApp killing the English language?
  • Technological advancements are making us lazier.
  • Will Google bring about the end of privacy?
  • Graffiti is a great form of art expression.
  • The music today is not as good as it was before the year 2000.
  • Should a parent be on the same social network as their child?
  • Sixteen years is the ideal age for a child to commence social media use.
  • Women over 35 years old should not give birth.
  • Women should be allowed to determine their right to an abortion, with or without the consent of the father.
  • Parenting classes should be compulsory for all new parents, regardless of gender, age or ethnic group.
  • Time-out is the best and most effective method to discipline a child.
  • Has social media created a narcissistic population?
  • At what age should a child start doing household chores?
  • Is MBA necessary for success in business?
  • A child who is continuously exposed to a violent environment will eventually become violent.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of home schooling and give your thoughts on which you believe is the best for our nation.
  • The world would be better if everyone learned sign language as their second language.
  • Single-sex schools are better than co-ed schools.
  • Facilities such as a day-care and breastfeeding room should be established at all workplaces for working moms.
  • A 20 – 30 minute afternoon (power) nap should be allowed at work.
  • A vegetarian diet is the best one for optimal health.
  • Exercising is a must for losing weight.
  • The ideal amount of water to be consumed is best determined by the weight and physical activity levels of the person.
  • Traditional medicine is better than alternative medicine.
  • It is a big world and aliens exist somewhere out there.
  • Wearing high heels for a long time will affect your health.
  • The correlation between wealth and happiness - If you are wealthy, you are happy.
  • If texting while driving has penalties, shouldn’t distractions such as drinking coffee while driving have penalties too?
  • Smoking tobacco should be illegal.
  • Are tattoos a work of art?
  • Should cheerleading be recognized as a sport and played in the Olympics?
  • Is good grammar still necessary?
  • Are zoos an archaic way to view animals? Are there more modern ways to view animals for entertainment?
  • Children who play violent video games eventually become violent.
  • Reading is a dying art and pastime.
  • The parents are to be blamed if a child is obese.
  • The fundamental role of women has not changed and will never change, as balancing home and work will never be shared/done 50-50 between husband and wife.

A good discursive essay topic is one in which you can be both passionate and objective about. Choosing a discursive essay topic that you are passionate about will enable you to have a lot of content for the essay. However, you must also be able to be objective so as not to create biases that can affect your ability to appropriately weigh the pros and cons of the subject matter. Try to keep this in mind when choosing your next discursive essay topic.

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discursive essay how to write

How to Write a Discursive Essay: Awesome Guide and Template

discursive essay how to write

Generally, if you are studying for an academic degree, you most definitely will have to write an essay. This type of academic paper comes in various types, including a discursive essay. What is a discursive essay? In a nutshell, it is a formal paper that has to express an author’s neutral position regarding a topic. If you wonder how to write a discursive essay, there are several common options:

  • Expressing your impartial view on the topic
  • Providing arguments for or against the matter
  • Presenting a few problem solutions

Remember, a top-tier discursive essay usually has a calm tone, unlike a persuasive essay. Besides, it’s best to avoid slang and other types of informal language in a paper like this. If you need the best results you can either buy an essay paper or spend the time to learn the main rules on how to write a discursive essay yourself. 

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What Makes a Good Argumentative Essay?

According to the discursive essay definition, this kind of work represents a strong position with reliable backup. Hence, creating a good argumentative paper requires meticulous preparation. Some might believe that writing relies on pure talent, but it’s just one of the components of success. Let’s unpack the secrets of an A+ essay!

Opt for a controversial topic

You might be wondering: “How do I stay original?”. People often choose to play safe and pick common essay themes. But if you want to be unique, it’s best to choose something unusual. Fortunately, there are numerous unconventional discussion topics today. Ideally, the theme should be both unusual and familiar to you to make it easier to provide interesting cases and back them up with arguments. It's quite another matter if you have the task of " do math homework ". Mathematics is an exact science, and accordingly you need to have the necessary knowledge.

Strong thesis

After you've selected an unconventional topic, the goal is to come up with a strong thesis statement. To clarify, an essay must contain a statement that narrows down the view on a broad problem. Avoiding statements that are obvious and hardly debatable is key. Instead, stick to the controversial subjects that are easy to support with facts. Learn more about sentence types on Essaypro - term paper writing service .

Thorough research

Another top priority before starting an essay is digging through different sources of information beforehand. To rely on word of mouth exclusively is ineffective. Take your time to find supporting evidence, especially if the theme is new to you. A lack of technical knowledge often leads to errors in an academic paper. Any discursive essay example must have relevant sources.

Discursive Essay Outline

Indeed, learning a discursive essay definition is hardly enough to create a great paper. The second essential step is to memorize the structure of such a paper. Normally, the discursive essay outline includes:

  • Introduction

A key rule is to express one thought in one paragraph. This way, the text becomes easier to perceive. Overall, the secret to creating a top-notch academic piece is in making it logical, coherent, and engaging. An author’s goal is to make the narration seamless, so each part should naturally flow into the next one. To find out what is a discursive essay, memorize the outline and its contents. 

Uses of punctuation marks is very important in proper essay writing. But many students often find it difficult to use it or some other details., and that's quite normal. Our team of experienced writers will help you to overcome these difficulties. If you need help with an essay, try to order custom essay from us and make sure it's easy to use!

How to Write a Discursive Essay

Introduction: How do you start a discursive essay?

Even though a discursive essay introduction takes up a small part of the whole paper, it is of immense importance. In short, the introduction helps a reader get acquainted with the work. Write an intro to cater both to you and your audience.

Compressing the general idea and its topicality into a couple of sentences requires talent. Brevity is the soul of wit! A discursive essay introduction is essential as it delivers the relevance of the problem to the public. What is more, a good introduction can spark an interest in the most indifferent people.

Main body: Arguments

Once you are done with the discursive essay introduction, it's time for the main body paragraphs. Analyzing numerous discursive essay examples helps in defining the main body principles. First, build the opening paragraph, since it contains an author’s opinion on the matter.

Secondly, take time to lay out the arguments and counterarguments. Dedicate separate paragraphs to every point. It is essential to start each paragraph with topic sentences. According to the discursive essay definition, your top priority is gathering information on the matter. Therefore, all the statements should have a reliable source like specific literature, statistics, personal examples, and other supporting evidence.

Besides, you can see a skilled writer from afar by the way they list their arguments. A high-quality layout tells a full-fledged story through main body paragraphs.

Conclusion: Summing up your thoughts

For the final part of every discursive essay, it's necessary to write a conclusion. Just like the discursive essay introduction, it assists in framing the main part. Here, a writer summarizes all the previous points and even states their personal opinion if needed. A crucial requirement is to reference only the mentioned arguments and avoid introducing new information.

Additionally, the purpose of a conclusion is to encourage future discussions among the readers. There is no better compliment than their desire to do further research. Some authors prefer to include their predictions on the essay topic. Again, all the assumptions should be based on relevant data.

Discursive essay topics: Best ideas

By all means, a beneficial discursive essay sample is a life-saver for a student. Luckily, there are tons of intriguing and entertaining discursive essay topics. Picking the subject that amazes you is the key to success! Here are a few discursive essay examples for creative writing.

How to Write a Discursive Essay

Health topics

  • Are too many skincare treatment steps necessary?
  • The boom of SPF products and its consequences
  • The impact of weighted blankets on our mental and physical state
  • Baby sensory videos: short-term delight or long-term nightmare?
  • K-pop reign and the epidemic of skin bleaching
  • Is listening to healing frequencies just a trend?

Technology topics

  • Should Metaverse educational institutions replace traditional ones?
  • Why are so many people skeptical about NFT?
  • Potential threats and possibilities of deepfake technology
  • No more nightmares? Sleep engineering and the quality of rest
  • The eye in the sky: do drones take our privacy away?

Education topics

  • How do students suffer from teachers’ professional deformation?
  • Are there alternatives to modern classrooms?
  • The detrimental effect of excessive school noise on academic performance
  • How can we stop modern students from treating online lectures like podcasts or background noise?
  • What is wrong with beauty contests at educational institutions?
  • Should teaching methods vary to cater to students with ADHD?
  • Do individual preferences of some students negatively affect group well-being?

Essay topics for high-school

  • The impact of hyper-realistic beauty filters on the modern society
  • Should there be concerts with holograms of no longer living superstars?
  • No-backpack trend in schools: what are the other ways to stimulate students’ creativity?

Essay topics for college

  • Is it wrong when parents exploit their children to gain followers and likes on social media?
  • The necessity of mental health days in schools and universities
  • Is it possible to lengthen the attention span of Generation Z?
  • Why do university graduates overestimate their future salaries?
  • What makes remote workers protest against going offline again?
  • Is it time to move away from hustle culture?

Environment topics

  • Will fast fashion drown us in the piles of clothes?
  • Who is more guilty of pollution: corporations or end-users?
  • Can the trend for secondhand beat the destructive results of overconsumption?
  • Can traveling ever be sustainable?
  • Tote bags and metal straws: a drop in the sea or sufficient good for the planet?

Sport topics

  • The dark side of overexercising
  • How can we fight verbal and physical abuse from coaches?
  • Can you put E-sports in the same line as regular sports?

Culture topics

  • What is the problem with doing Asian-inspired makeup?
  • Where is the fine line between cultural appreciation and appropriation?
  • Do most companies use diversity just for profits and reputation points?
  • The importance of racial representation through skins in the metaverse
  • How is the fetishization of Japanese people detrimental to their culture?

To sum up, a discursive essay helps people express their opinions on controversial topics and back up their statements. This type of work requires meticulous preparation and sticking to a set of particular rules. However, an author can get creative with the essay topic that sparks their interest. The Internet most likely contains a suitable discursive essay example.

Discursive Essay: Template

Here is a good example of a discursive essay from our service:

We also recommend that you read some exemplification examples , perhaps they will be of interest to you.

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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.

Discursive Essay Introduction Example

“Teaching children to fight is a great way to give them self-confidence so that they never find themselves in fights.” It almost sounds like an oxymoron, but this is what many martial arts teachers claim. They say the focus, self-control, teamwork, and discipline of martial arts are the driving factors that instil self-confidence in children. . Other people, however, believe that putting children into what is effectively a fight club puts them at risk of injury and, should they dare mention it at school, becoming prime bullying targets, defeating the whole purpose. Certainly, self-confidence is valuable, but will learning to fight help develop it? This essay examines these opposing viewpoints so that we might understand the reasoning behind them.

In the main body of your essay, each paragraph should handle one idea or argument. You should show an equal number of arguments for and against. This helps create the required balance and prevents your essay from sounding biased.

You should begin paragraphs with topic sentences . And although there is no official requirement, you might find the TEEL or PEEL formulas helpful in building your paragraphs. Some people will find formulaic writing too restrictive, but some might find it a very helpful framework to follow.

Structuring the essay body is an art that matures after consistency and practice. Students having other subjects work, when they feel burdened, look for professional essay help from experts, that is very normal to get professional assistance, and that will also improve a student’s ability to write a complete essay by himself.

What are TEEL and PEEL?

These acronyms describe methods of constructing paragraphs. PEEL is defined as:

P oint – the first sentence makes a point and is what your paragraph will discuss.

E xample – the second sentence provides an example or evidence supporting the point.

E xplanation – the third sentence explains why the example supports the point made.

L ink – this part connects your paragraph to the wider argument. You can use it to explain why you think the evidence you provided is important. It also allows you to establish credibility of your arguments by stating the reliable and valid sources used.

TEEL differs in that the T replacing P stands for topic , as in topic sentence. These approaches can be helpful but it is a matter of choice.

Organising the Arguments

As you are writing an essay that essentially shows opposing views, you need to present them in an organised way so your reader can follow easily. It is often good practice to place your arguments in order from strongest to weakest.

Block and Alternating Approaches

There are two main ways to present the various viewpoints: block and alternating. The block method will have for example, all the ‘positive’ opinions in one block of text, and all the opposing arguments in the following block. Where numerous points are being argued, the reader can easily lose the thread. The alternating method focuses on one point of the topic under discussion, presents all viewpoints surrounding it, then moves to the next. You will likely need to write five paragraphs in your discursive essay, but it can vary slightly.

The Block Approach

  • Introduction
  • Paragraph 2 – All ‘for’ viewpoints on the various points
  • Paragraph 3 – All ‘against’ viewpoints on the various points
  • Paragraph 4 – Your comments on these viewpoints

The Alternating Approach

  • Paragraph 2 – Point 1 with views for and against
  • Paragraph 3 – Point 2 with views for and against

Regardless of how you organise arguments, you should give them all the opportunity to shine through as the most compelling, even where they disagree with your standpoint. This practice makes for a more exciting read because everything sounds so convincing.

Linking Between Paragraphs, Maintaining Flow

Your essay needs to flow, and there are words and phrases that can help with transitions .

Body Paragraph Example

It can be argued that when children learn a martial art, their confidence increases. In martial arts classes, children learn to physically defend themselves and the training process instils discipline. Knowing how to defend oneself, and having the discipline and self-control necessary to stay focused will by default improve confidence. Martial arts are not only about fighting; Instructors claim training improves listening and reaction skills, that children become better listeners and more focused at school. They say that martial arts require co-ordination and self-control, resulting in quicker improvement in other physical activities. All of these skills nourish a child’s self-confidence, regardless of whether they become excellent fighters. Compare, for example, children playing fighting video games with those attending classes in person. The computer gamer gains a false sense of achievement where those attending classes benefit from physical exercise, positive social interaction, and learning real skills. Says one kickboxing expert, “These skills will help them enter society with a more confident and enthusiastic outlook.” (

This part connects to the larger argument, provides positive support, and includes a quoted source.

The Conclusion

This is where you summarise the main points and evidence in the essay. If you have made your position clear, do not contradict it. You can, however, clarify why you have taken one in particular. Say why you agree with viewpoint x without saying what you feel , but how you have reasoned it. Using logic and reason is objective whereas using emotions is subjective .

The conclusion should contain no new information and the result should be inescapable based on your evidence. You should not intentionally leave the reader with the idea that one view is far better than the others. Your job is to tie up the end of the essay, leaving the reader to make a decision based on the balance of evidence. As with the introduction, this part of the essay should be kept to a minimal length.

Conclusion Paragraph Example

In conclusion, there are strong and credible arguments on both sides of this issue. There is clearly a case for teaching children martial arts in order to improve self-confidence. On the other hand, there is a case for using other, non-violent means to achieve the same. From researching this issue, I believe martial arts can play a strong role in developing children’s self-confidence. However, in fairness to those with opposing opinions, I agree that other methods could be equally as effective. Whatever methods improve children’s self-confidence, they should be activities children want to do and are physically capable of doing. The more choice means greater opportunities for children.

Content and Style in Your Discursive Essay

You should find and include different viewpoints on the subject, arguing all sides of the issue. When you present readers with strong arguments and then equally strong counterarguments, it makes for a very interesting read. Only include facts, supporting evidence, various viewpoints, and reasoning.

Things You Can Address in Your Essay

It is good practice to say why the issue is controversial. You can point out where arguments around the subject are emotional and whether any values are involved or at stake. If the issue is a longstanding one, is there any new thinking on it? What are all the different solutions that have been put forward?

There should be sufficient evidence for you to draw a conclusion. And the conclusion is not the end of your essay; you have to provide a reference section where you cite every source for information you have included, no matter how small. You really have to avoid plagiarism .

What not to Include in Your Discursive Essay

You should not include emotional language that aims to steer the reader, this would not be impartial. Do not fall into the trap of writing a narrative about the subject. It only needs the minimum of introduction. Although you should not use persuasive language, there will be an element of persuasion to the essay. However, this comes only from the strength of the arguments you are presenting. Other things to avoid are clichés, over generalisation, and insisting that you are correct.

Watch out for These Things

Including very convincing arguments can sway the reader. They should do this based on the weight of evidence, not because you amplified it. Although, you will have done your research and found an equally compelling counterargument. This high level of contrast creates a much more involving read. Maintain balance by not including a counterargument that is stronger than the argument.

Is There a Particular Writing Style for Discursive Essays?

Quite appropriately, there are different opinions on whether you should stick to using the third person pronouns : he, she, and it, not the first person, I and me. The problem with using phrases such as “I think”, “In my opinion”, and “I believe” is that it could start to sound like an argumentative essay. As such, check with your tutor to see what is expected in your assignment .

What Tone Should I Use?

The tone of the essay should be quite formal and you should not use slang or colloquial language. The expert writer learns these things with practice. Do not use technical jargon unless absolutely unavoidable, but define specialist terms.

Formality and Passive Voice

There is some disagreement over the use of active rather than passive voice. If you don’t know what this is, in active voice the subject (the dog) carries out the verb on the object (Johnny): The dog bit Johnny. In passive voice the subject, Johnny in the following example, has the verb carried out on it by the object, now the dog: Johnny was bitten by the dog. It allows the object to remain unknown: Johnny was bitten, it is thought that, it has been said … It can sound more formal but it can require more words, as Johnny and the dog will agree.

Some Tips on Language

Vary sentence length throughout the essay and use language that anyone can understand. Too many long sentences will lose the reader, too many short ones together make for unclear reading, sounding more like a list. While discursive essays are generally formal, it is acceptable to write conversationally. The best advice is to use plain English, there is never any need for showy language. Consider that one of the most important existential questions ever asked is written in single-syllable words no longer than three letters: To be, or not to be …

What is the Final Thing to do?

If you have written your first draft, the next thing to do is read it through with fresh eyes. For some people this can mean waiting a few hours or until the next day. Initially you read to make sure you have done what you intended. As you read, ask yourself if everything is logical and in the right order, are your topic sentences clear? Do not be tempted to think that you have nothing more to do now. If you want further opinion on your work, give it to others to read. You can now produce your second draft.

Refine the Final Version

Your second draft might still not be the end of the job. If you find you have gone over the word limit, you need to carefully work through it and take out every unnecessary word to make space. Do not be afraid to make big changes, and move large pieces of text around if necessary. Once you are satisfied with your reworked essay, you should go through it again, proofreading for errors such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Then, if you have time, repeat the process again. Eventually, you might find that you can recite your essay from memory.

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 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.

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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!

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