At high school and also at tertiary institutions you need to be able to write about different points of view. Here are some tips on how to write a discursive essay.
Discursive essays are like a debate, where you give different arguments about the same topic.
Topics can be something like:
• Should cellphones be allowed at school?
• Uniforms at school: the pros and cons.
Example of a discursive essay
Technology – good or bad?
Some people believe that technology is bad, other people believe that technology is fantastic. However everyone must agree that now it is hard to imagine the world without technology. In this essay I look at the good and bad side of technology. I believe that we cannot blame technology for what goes wrong. We should rather blame the people who use it badly.
My parents and grandparents often talk about a time when there were no cellphones. My grandmother even remembers when there was no TV anywhere. And when my great-grandparents were around, there were no cars or buses. People took the train, or rode horses or wagons. Imagine!
Cellphones are great in many ways. We can keep in touch with people easily. I can let my mother know when I am going to come home, and I can find my friends when we are in town and in different places. I can get Maths help on Mxit and also can listen to music when I want to relax.
But cellphones can also be bad. My friend’s father gets cross when we are always texting and using our phones. “In our days we talked to each other, and got out in the world,” he always says. “You are all stuck to your phones.” And it is true that it can be addictive to play games or talk on Mxit or BBM. People sometimes use this to hurt others. Last year someone put very rude comments on Mxit about all the girls in my class. The comment about me was that I’d never find a boyfriend because I was so ugly. This was very hurtful.
But the problem really is the people, not technology. People can do bad things with technology, but people can also do very good things too. Perhaps the problem is more with people. Reckless drivers can kill, but that doesn’t mean cars aren’t very useful.
Tips for writing good discursive essays
Plan and structure your essay very carefully:
• Introduction: introduces the topic and summarises the essay
• First paragraph: gives one argument supporting the topic
• Second paragraph: gives another argument that supports the topic
• Third paragraph: gives an argument against the topic
• Fourth paragraph: gives an argument against the topic
• Conclusion: summarises your point of view.
• Use examples from your own life and experience to show what you mean (for school essays)
Login to Rate
< previousintronext >
The main idea of writing discursive essays is to set some arguments. Your goal is to make people discuss your topic pointing different opinions. Basically, it has a lot to do with argumentative and persuasive essays though it is a separate type that has particular features.
Writing a discursive essay, you will have to deal with varieties of opinions. Learning them all, you need to show your point of view is worth paying attention as well, and though it might be some kind of hopeless one it deserves the right to take place and be considered.
The main clue that differ discursive essays from argumentative and persuasive ones is that you do not have to prove your words with evidence. The strongest support here is your mind.
What to do
As we have already clarified, you need to set discourse in action. To do so, first of all you need to pick a topic and develop it. After, you must thoroughly study opinions of your opponents and those who support you. Carefully examine what they present and suggest and extract elements that bring about controversies with your view on a matter.
To make the entire process easy-to-understand, let’s make a list of what to do:
• select the matter to discuss;
• determine your position;
• study opinions of opponents and followers;
• explain why one point is acceptable while the rest is not;
• pick arguments and think over proves.
It is very important to note that although pointing evidence is not a must, it does not mean that you do not need any. If your position is supported by proves it automatically enhances your side and makes you wiser for impartial readers.
What not to do
Though essay writing seems to be easy work to do, there are a lot of underwater stones one should omit. Composing a discursive essay you do not have to be rude, on the contrary, you should show how polite you are and represent enough large-minded. To argue does not mean to express zero tolerance to your opponents.
Thus, try to avoid the following:
• do not dramatize your principal position;
• do not close to one and only opinion;
• do not pretend that your are the good and the rest is a root of all evil;
• do not point facts which you are not sure about;
• do not use words and expressions that may sound offensive to someone else.
Generally, writing discursive essays, an author should simply state his position. It should not look like political debates overloaded with hatred and contradictory facts. Remember that the truth is born in a dispute. But where passions are out of measure, truth evaporates.