General Advice on How to Compose a Discursive Essay

A discursive essay is a common writing assignment where you should present your understanding of a topic. You may argue either for or against the issue as well as assess both sides of it in a balanced manner. There are lots of common features between discursive writing and argumentative or persuasive writing. However, there is one factor that makes the difference. In a discursive paper, you should present a well-balanced argument and an unbiased opinion of yours on the topic while a persuasive piece of writing is aimed at convincing the reader in your point of view. If you don’t know how to compose a good discursive essay, the following advice will come in handy:

  • Start with an interesting introduction.
  • A thought-provoking assertion, an apt quotation, or an anecdote on the topic will be good. Whichever method you use, make sure that it doesn’t involve stereotypes or generalizations.

  • Make your stand at the end of the introduction.
  • State your personal opinion of the topic. This will be a preferred position of yours or a balanced view of the problem. If your essay should be very objective, you may not be required to make a stand in the introduction and will have to reserve your opinion for the last paragraph.

  • Present your arguments in the body paragraphs.
  • All arguments should be distinctly presented in separate body paragraphs. Include the evidence of equal quality to support your arguments. This may be information from academic sources as well as facts and examples from the Internet, television, and magazines.

  • Alternate your arguments.
  • To come up with a balanced position, you should consider both sides of the problem. Make sure that you present them effectively. For example, use the first two body paragraphs to support your opinion, and the subsequent two paragraphs to oppose it.

    If you are inclined to support one side, present more arguments for it, but don’t forget to add at least one counterargument closer to the end of your discursive paper.

  • Conclude properly.
  • Summarize all key points you made and restate (or state) your opinion. It can be for the topic, against it, or somewhere in the middle.

  • Write in a clear formal language.
  • Since you should present a well-balanced argument, don’t be emotional in your discursive paper. Use formal and technical language. Avoid using colloquialisms, contractions, and abbreviations. Apply appropriate transitions to make your essay coherent and the order of your arguments logical.

Keeping this advice in mind, you’ll easily cope with the task of creating a reasoned and balanced discursive paper on any topic.