Discursive essay: best writing tips

Discursive essay: best writing tips

Are you struggling with your discursive essay writing? Does the process of putting a constructive discursive essay together confuse you? If you are looking for a way to do your essay, you are in the right place. The easy instruction that you are about to go through will equip you with the basics.

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What is discursive writing

A discursive essay is a type of essay that involves discussing a specific problem, issue, or situation in a formal manner. Include evidence, facts, and views in a balanced and well-constructed style. There is no need to choose a distinct side. The best discursive writing definition is that it is a document where you discuss a topic and present arguments for it. A discursive essay is, however, different from an argumentative essay.

The differences between a discursive and argumentative essay are;

The purpose of the essay

The purpose of a discursive essay is to come up with a view that is balanced and unbiased. This is done after a critical investigation and research of the topic. You use facts and evidence to discuss points that are for or against the theme of the paper.

An argumentative essay sways an audience or readers to make them lean towards one side or the other. You are supposed to provide a strong personal stance on the argument. The aim is to use your perspective to tip the argument in your favor.

Writing style

The main writing style of a discursive essay is the use of impersonal, formal writing. The third-person perspective is used which means, you use the pronouns them and them. The paper is not about you or your opinion. It compares two aspects of one factor.

An argumentative essay is more personal and opinionated. You state your thoughts and convictions and support them with evidence and analysis.

Types of discursive essay

For and against discursive essay

A particular subject is allocated to the students in this kind of writing. The students are asked to provide ideas concerning the subject that are both assisting and opposing. You have to write both the positive and negative features of the subject. Students are required to put practice and hard work into writing this kind of academic paper.

For example, writing for and against a discursive essay will require the essay to be divided into three parts. The introduction is the first part, to give importance to the subject. Secondly, the body, to write your own disagreeing and agreeing opinions on the subject. The last part is the conclusion. It is where you sum up your subject.

Opinionated discursive writing

In this kind of essay, you are expected to present your theories. Discussion of famous writers’ points of view is made while still presenting their theories. With the help of professional opinion, you get to support your opinions. This is the main focus of this type of writing. Adopting this type of writing requires effective execution of the work and research. Looking at an opinionated discursive essay example will give you some insight.

Argumentative discursive writing

With two key parts of an issue, it is necessary to provide arguments on both sides. These two parts are the elements that give the discursive writing meaning. It is essential to maintain a balance on both sides. In other cases, students might be asked to give more weight to a particular part of an issue. An argumentative discursive essay writing has two main models, the Toulmin and Region.

Descriptive discursive writing 

The main focus of a descriptive essay is the Description of a place, thing, or even a person. The mission is to form the picture of a place, thing, or even a person into the readers’ minds. It has to be in a particular way for the image to be formed. You should apply your five senses and bestow close attentiveness to capture an event. The creation of interest in academic papers is important for students in this type of writing.

Discursive essay structure


There are three purposes of the introduction;

  • To capture the reader’s interest.
  • To suggest the importance of the essay’s subject.
  • Give the reader a view of your thesis sentence.

Creating a relationship between the introduction and the discursive writing topics shows the reader how certain points will be addressed. These points make up the key ideas you will use in your essay. A good essay needs a powerful thesis, and each introductory paragraph needs to be connected to your thesis. The critical foundation of your paper lies in a powerful thesis. Stating an idea is not the sole work of a powerful thesis. It also applies to have a strong backup of examples.

The hardest part of writing an essay is the introductory paragraph. Looking at a blank page can be unnerving. It is easy to first decide on which context you want to place your subject. Then introduce your subject after you have identified the category you want to put it.


all body paragraphs should start with a subject sentence. They should justify your thesis if it contains several points. The assertions should be supported in the order they were mentioned in the thesis. This enables the subject sentence of the body paragraph to point back to the original thesis sentence. The Second body paragraph should point back to the thesis sentence of the second sentence.

Look at an example of discursive writing to see the demonstration. Use precise details in all paragraphs within the body like comparisons, contrast, anecdotes, expert view of points, facts, and definitions. It helps in developing the claims of the subject’s sentence.

Always follow suggestions from your teacher because most teachers reward creativity and contemplative organization. It is better to ask and know how your teacher would react to your form. If possible, complete the paper before the deadline and submit it to your professor for corrections.


The closing paragraph repeats the thesis. It should give the reader something to ponder.  Considering the points presented in the essay, an invitation is issued to the reader. This allows the reader to make their argument that they deem satisfactory for the subject.

Steps of writing a discursive essay

An excellent essay follows specific steps. You do not have to struggle with writing a discursive essay. If you follow these steps, the process will be more straightforward. Here are some critical steps that teach you how to write a discursive essay;

Analyze the question

It is essential to understand the question before you start writing. You should read the instructions and analyze the requirements of the assignment. Search for the definitions of the words you don’t understand and ask your professor to clarify confusing instructions. This helps you to stay on topic when you begin writing. You will also come up with suitable discursive writing topics to choose from.

Find the best topic

Finding a suitable topic is the foundation of any writing. Choosing a topic should be a conscious process to avoid ending up with a bad topic. You should select a topic you will enjoy writing about. Discursive topics vary depending on the type of discursive essay you are writing. Here are some examples of discursive essay topics;

  • Does a strong foundation of friendship and trust increase the chances of a marriage working?
  • Is it ethical for the price of junk food to be higher than that of healthy food?
  • Does social media and search engines like Google put our privacy at risk?
  • Should religion be part of a school’s curriculum and be taught within school environments?
  • Is the advancement of technology a good or a bad thing?


This is a process that requires you to be thorough and vigilant. In this stage, you are looking for information to direct you when writing your paper. Use credible sources that will give your argument relevance. Here, you look for information to build on your discursive writing topic. You should find enough information for the two sides of your discussion.

Define your topic

Now that you have done your research, you know which side you will be leaning on. You should think about your stance in-depth and in a definitive way. You are also expected to develop a thesis statement that will be the basis of your discussion. You should solidify your idea into a hypothesis.

Create an outline

Use the information you have gathered from your research to come up with an outline. You are advised to develop your outline using the structure of writing demonstrated above. You can get multiple examples of discursive writing outlines online for guidance. Organize your points for each section of the paper. You should split your ideas as those for the argument and those against it. The sections of a discursive essay include;

  • The introduction
  • Your arguments
  • The evidence you have in support of the arguments,
  • Counter arguments
  • Your stance
  • conclusion


Your outline eases this step. Begin writing your draft using the information on your outline. Follow your structure and feed the ideas into different sections of your outline. It would help to look at a discursive essay example to understand the exact format.

Your stance

State your stance concerning the argument in detail. Avoid being subjective as you discuss your point of view. Because this is an academic paper, steer clear of showing any bias as you discuss both sides of the argument. Prove to your reader that you have exemplary discursive thinking skills.

The dos and don’ts of writing a discursive essay

  • Carefully plan all sections of your essay
  • For school essays, use discursive writing examples from your own life experiences
  • In the body, maintain a third person, formal perspective
  • Keep your arguments original and unbiased even if you do not agree with some points
  • As you draft for different arguments, imagine two people trying to convince each other
  • It is wise to create a mind map or spider diagram before you start writing
  • Each point should appear in its paragraph
  • Use sequencing to maintain order in your writing
  • Start all your paragraphs with a topic sentence
  • Develop your paragraphs with enough proof, facts, examples, and evidence
  • Include sources from other writers, and create a reference list to cite their work
  • Create in-text citations to link each sourced writer to their specific work
  • Use linking words and phrases to give your work a good flow

In academic writing, there are rules and orders of writing to be followed to earn good grades. There are things that you should avoid when writing a discursive essay. They include;

  • Do not bring out your personal opinion insistently
  • Do not overgeneralize, specificity shows that you understand what you are writing about
  • Do not use short forms and contractions such ad I’ll, they’ve, we’ll and isn’t
  • Do not use emotional language excessively, you may be thought of as prejudiced and avert your readers from the main point of your essay
  • Do not use too many personal examples, as your paper may end up seeming fictitious and baseless. Use credible sources instead
  • Do not use informal language or slang, words like “gonna” and “ain’t” are not proper English words and should not be used in academic writing

We understand that a discursive essay is a unique piece of work. You require skills, patience, and time to come up with a good paper. This may be hard as you have a busy life. With this article, you are a step closer to becoming an established writer. Looking at examples of discursive writing from time to time will also help develop your writing skills. Keep writing and practicing to get better.

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