How to Write a Discursive Essay

So, you intend to write a breathtaking discursive essay but do not know where to start. You are not alone, since scores of scholars routinely encounter this challenge. Although a discursive essay is quite confounding, applying some basics would simplify the endeavor. 

Understanding the meaning of a discursive essay is one significant step that guarantees success in assignment writing. 

A discursive essay is defined as a type of essay that deliberates on a controversial issue, a problem, or a polemic issue that is likely to generate conflict. Usually, this type of essay is formal but can also be informal depending on the context under which it is created. A thoroughly explored discursive assignment inspires the audience to rely on rational prowess to arrive at sound decisions that would otherwise generate controversy. Universities and classes oblige the applicant candidates and students to subscribe to this type of treatise to appraise their skills in writing, thought formation, and exploration or analysis.   

As a scholar, you might be requested by your college or university to write a discursive essay. One of the following must feature in your essay:

  • Argue in favor or against an issue or controversial subject. 
  • Addressing both the merits and demerits of a contentious subject. 
  • Presenting an unbiased opinion on a given subject or matter. 

Mastering the discursive basics can make you enjoy writing the paper. Be resilient in practicing the same and don’t panic!

Other skills featured in the website include how to generate a discursive thesis in a discursive essay, the thesis structure, and the ideal way to present claims and counterclaims. Lastly, you will learn how to plan your discursive essay, and also an ideal approach to employ when selecting sources that would aid in writing. You can Buy Coursework on our website.

writing discursive essay

What is a Discursive Essay?

Do you always find the definition of a discursive essay quite confusing? You are not alone since many scholars relate a discursive essay with an argumentative essay. Are they similar? No actually. While the two essays share some commonalities, discursive and argumentative essays are separated by the structure and the purpose of the two assignments. The unique features can be presented in a table for quicker understanding


Discursive Essays

  • The writer focuses more on consistency and impartiality when assessing an issue. While neutrality is not guaranteed, utilization of evidential data and credible reports to generate the issues on both sides matter most.

Argumentative Essays

  • Argumentative essays entail tabling evidential information to convince the audience or reader to take your position. While a thorough research is vital to showcase the stance of an individual, the outcome is less passionate, and thus cannot be compared with discursive essay.


Discursive Essays

  • The style is unique and entails tabling evidence to enable one to argue for both sides of the subject. The structure entails generating an introduction, explore essay questions in separate paragraphs, ensuring a topic sentence is present in each paragraph, and generating the counter paragraphs.

Argumentative Essays

  • In this essay type, the writer should be able to understand the side you take in the argument.
  • Entails drafting a thesis statement that harbors your position in the essay. Then, is the elaboration of your argument in several paragraphs. The last stages entail restating of thesis statements, followed by the persuasion stance.

From the table above, you can realize a massive difference exists between the two assignments, namely discursive and argumentative essays. We will expound on the discursive essay structure in later chapters, but let’s now explore how to write a discursive essay.

Have fun as you learn more!

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Discursive Essay Writing

Writing a Discursive Essay

I believe you understand the significance of any structure as it relates to projects or academic assignments. You also understand that crafting an excellent structure can engender an idyllic format for discursive assignment presentations. Like most academic papers, a discursive assignment comprises its exclusive structure. Any assignment commences with an introduction, followed by body paragraphs, and then the conclusion. While the discursive essay format may sound identical in most scholarly works, a difference arises when two aspects, namely the structure and purpose come into play. We will explore a step-by-step analysis of the discursive essay structure by focusing more on the introduction, the body, and the conclusion aspects.


You might be encountering challenges relating to how to start a discursive essay. There is no point to worry since the introduction is quite simple!

The following methodology can be efficient in creating a fanciful and ingenious introduction for the discursive essay.

  • Create an ideal discursive essay outline to guide you in the next writing stages
  • Begin with an attractive and interesting sentence to serve as a hook for the purposes of attracting the readers.
  • Give a summary of the problem with the aid of rhetorical sentences and the quotations to enable the reader to get a glimpse of what is covered.
  • Conclude with a thesis statement, which summarizes the content to feature in the body paragraphs.
  • Ensure that the readers notice both sides of the arguments by clarifying the pros and cons but in a summarized fashion.

What are you supposed to avoid in the introduction part to make it more compelling and attractive to the readers? Over-explaining of concepts that would feature in body paragraphs, inclusion of stereotypes and generations should be avoided by all means as they make the introduction lose its connotation.

Main Body of the Discursive Essay

After crafting an appealing introduction, the next step is to create the body paragraphs that harbor the arguments and evidential information justifying your argument. Do you wonder why the academicians refer to it as the “main body”? Simple! It is because it expounds the ideas presented in the thesis statement, whereby facts and figures are utilized for justification purposes.

You should consider the following points when writing the main body of the discursive essay:

  • Firstly, you should not be compromised. Ensure to elaborate and cross-assess all aspects of the subject in question. While discussing the main points, it’s critical to sideline personal feelings and focus on factual information instead.
  • Second, organize your arguments in a systematic manner when building them sequentially. Ensure that each paragraph carries an independent idea backed by evidential information. Embracing the structure makes your writing unique and attractive. The evidence given should be accountable and not falsely generated.
  • Third, embrace the alternate format when drafting the essay body. By alternate means, your points should not be consistent. In the event the first paragraph features a point that supports an idea, the preceding one should contain opposing information. The pattern makes the essay more realistic and readers would rely on it by believing it is well researched. Alternative approach to paragraph writing would also uphold the neutrality aspect.
  • Fourth, ensure to include the topic sentence in every paragraph alongside the supporting information or evidence. At the end of each paragraph, a summary should feature to enable the reader to integrate and understand the content and internalize it. Evidential information provided in the middle of the body paragraphs dispels scenarios of imagined cooking of the same. Adopting the format would make the discursive essay look attractive and most efficient to read.

Writing a Conclusion

You are about to wind up your writing, and now working on the conclusion. This section is the most crucial since it gives a panorama of the entire discursive essay. When writing a conclusion, you must consider:

  • Summarizing the entire article by ensuring that the main points are addressed in the sequence in which they feature in body paragraphs.
  • Explain and emphasize your opinion in a logical manner. The opinion should align with the evidence presented in the body paragraphs for it to be relevant and reliable to the reader.
  • Summarize the results without repeating them in any stance.

What else?

Do not write a longer conclusion. Keep it shorter and simpler to fit a paragraph.

Primary Types of Discursive Essay

Since discursive essays cover controversial topics that attract elaborate discussion, critical and in-depth thinking should be applied when writing them. Do you know that discursive essays exist in different varieties and types? The three major ones include the opinion essay, for and against essay, and the Solution to a problem essay. We shall discuss each of the three essays independently for better understanding.

Opinion Essay

The opinion essay is unique because the author’s opinion counts regarding the issue featured in the introductory paragraph. Therefore, the opinion of the author should be elaborately presented, backed by evidential information and reliable examples. An opposing argument should also feature amid the paragraphs but should come before the conclusion. The author should launch an explanation that validates the arguments presented, and make sure the readers are convinced. Restating the author’s opinion is also crucial and should feature as the summary in the conclusion part.

For and Against Essay

For and against discursive essays embrace a debating style whereby readers are engaged in a controversial discussion by capitalizing on evidential facts to justify their course. For the essay to be relevant and stand, each point should be elaborated with an objective motive and presented in a detailed manner. The introductory paragraph is the most crucial and therefore should put the discussed issue under consideration. Examples, reasons, and evidential arguments should also feature in this type of essay since they justify. Lastly, the conclusion part should feature the opinion of the author alongside balanced arguments and reflections. That way, the essay would appear complete and reliable by the readers.

Essay Suggesting Solution to a Problem

As its name suggests, the “essay suggesting solution to a problem” explores problems and works on lasting solutions. The problems, causes, and consequences feature in the introductory paragraph. The discursive essay introduction is crucial because it introduces the subject, allowing readers to reflect and brainstorm further while seeking remedies to arising controversies. Next is the essay’s main body. Here some suggestions arise on which avenue would generate a lasting solution to the problem and the possible repercussions that accompany the results.  Summarizing the author’s opinion at the conclusion stage is crucial because it provides an understanding of the concepts the reader.

The Summary of the Things to Consider When Writing a Discursive Essay

The four things to consider when writing the discursive essay include:

  • Writing in formal and in impersonal style
  • Applying the topic sentences and evidential information in each paragraph,
  • Make references to sources
  • Use sequencing

You are wondering if there are things to avoid when writing a discussion essay. The answer is yes. Several aspects should be avoided and include, avoiding the use of short forms of words, avoiding colloquial language, avoiding expressing emotions and generalizations, and finally, ensuring that statistics sited are well referenced.

discursive essay examples

Examples of Discursive Essay Topics

The following are the discursive essay examples in the form of topics:

  1. Are smartphones doing more harm than good?
  2. Should award ceremonies become more diverse?
  3. Professional sports at a young age are not healthy.
  4. The government must control people’s diets.
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Article was written by Joy G

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