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Discursive Essay Writing Guide

In science, discussion and debate are very useful in research. When people with different positions provide their arguments, they may share their knowledge and reach consensus. When you have some point of view, you shouldn't try to prove everyone that you are right but also focus on opinions of other people that can be more relevant than yours.

When you write a discursive essay, you look at a specific subject from many sides. You may have your position but you should also notice other opinions and views, and as the result, you get something like an argumentative essay but more neutral.

This type of papers is often compared with the argumentative and persuasive essays, but there are a few differences. The most notable difference is that you provide not only arguments that support your position but also evidence that works against the topic. It is also less personal and doesn't make you try to prove the rightness of your own position.


What to Do When Writing Discursive Essays

As with many other essay types, you should start with stating your topic, this is the central subject of your paper and you will build all your content around it. Then, provide a short description of your topic and paper, show why you are writing it and what result you are going to reach by it.

Divide your essay questions and write a paragraph for each of them. It helps you to concentrate on several ideas and work on each of them separately, all questions should be connected with your topic and help you to prove your position if you have any claims.

You should provide both arguments and counterarguments for a specific statement. You have to organize them correctly for helping your readers not to misunderstood your position. When you work with several different points of view, it is difficult to concentrate on all of them and find your place in this discussion.


Recommendations for Writing Such Papers

You should write in an impersonal style. Even if you have reliable evidence that supports your topic, you should be focused on using credible sources but not showing that you are very clever because your position is right.

Take your time for working on each paragraph, don't think that small parts are not significant. For all the paragraphs, you should provide a good first sentence, additional sentences, and a conclusion.

Give examples and explanations for each point you are talking about because it is easier to get the position of any person if they provide you understandable samples and explanations. If possible, you can add also figures, images, tables, etc.

Make references to reliable sources that help you to support a specific opinion. Check every fact before adding it to the content of your paper, and make a list of sources, use citations and quotations due to the style of your document.

Think of the both sides of the topic. To write a good essay, you should be able to see and think like other people, even your main opponents. It could be difficult if you do not have such an experience, but if you study the opinions of other people, it will be much easier.

Revise your paper after writing because even if you did a great job, there could be many mistakes and holes in the logical flow of the essay. The number of mistakes and other issues should be very small if you are going to get a good grade.

You should discuss all elements objectively, with all necessary references if needed, because when you provide unreliable arguments for positions that you disagree with, it is not a good practice.


What is not Recommended

Don't use short forms, like “don't” at the beginning of this sentence, they are not common in academic papers and you should use a full form of each word when working on such an assignment.

Don't use informal language, even if it's more usual for you. In discursive essays, you should stick to an appropriate academic style and select words correctly.

Even if you can use emotional language in other types of essays, you shouldn't do it in discursive papers; such a paper should not be biased or prejudices and emotional language may reduce the quality of the content.


Where to Find Counterarguments

Most of the people stick to their point of view, that is why it is difficult to understand what other people think and see what is in their minds. If you don't know what others think on your topic, you should make the small research.

Visit special forums and threads in social networks, search for other papers with similar topics. There you will find opinions that differ from yours and arguments that support them, it helps you to collect the thoughts of other people quickly and use them for building the content of your paper.

The objective of writing discursive essays is to help people to understand the views of other people. Even in the world of science, there are individuals who don't want to listen to reliable arguments because of their biases or prejudices. That is why such essays help to reach consensus and find out which arguments are more relevant.


Topic Examples

- There should be no such thing as the drinking age and children should be allowed to drink whenever that like.

- Nuclear weapons should be banned in all the countries with no exceptions because they are much more dangerous than useful.

- Should animal testing be forbidden because of its cruelty and killing innocent animals during medical experiments?

- Should tattoo and unusual haircuts be forbidden for teachers in all forms of educational establishments?

- Are believers usually less moral than atheists?

- Is social media a problem for modern society that is similar to tobacco and alcohol problems?

- Do TV shows glorify improper behavior and stupidity?

- Is it good when parents monitor the location of their children by using special devices?

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