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An Easy Guide to Discursive Writing

UserMin Seow time07 September,2023

These days, with social media so easily available, it has become easier for people to share opinions. Any national or international event is up the headlines, and people comment on it or share their opinions. Mind it, they are not just opinions but mostly discussions. For example, when a law is amended or new clauses are introduced, general people are up for a discussion these days over social media. They highlight the points, show their agreement or disagreement, and sometimes criticise a few things. This can be a good example of discursive writing.

Now, you may have thought discursive writing to be very difficult to achieve, but it is not. This will be very easy for you if you are an active social media person. To know more, please keep reading the blog.

What Is Discursive Writing?

A discursive essay is a type of writing where the essay writer explores a topic in detail. With no intention of forcing their opinions on the readers, the writers explore the topic minutely. Like when you give those long post alerts on social media, are you sure that everybody will agree with you? You already know that readers might disagree and are open to discussion. The same should be the mindset while you are writing a discursive essay. Discursive writing can both use a humorous or a serious tone, depending on the purpose of your writing. It also depends on the topic you are addressing.

The Importance of Discursive Writing

Discursive literature is useful for exploring a wide range of ideas and themes within the confines of an essay structure. It includes an introduction, discussion, and summary of the subject, all with the goal of encouraging the listener to continue reading.

Many public debates these days have taken on an aggressive tone. Unfortunately, there has been a shift in focus in recent years towards criticising your opponent rather than explaining your own perspective. If your audience feels lectured to or cornered, they are more likely to become entrenched in their own point of view and cease to be open to new ideas, which is critical to growth.

Discursive writing is distinct in that it eventually conveys a specific point of view on the subject and discusses both sides of the issue. This makes it an excellent piece of literature for readers to read when investigating the subject. It is not a shouty or confrontational piece of writing, but instead considers both sides of the argument before making a judgement.

This makes it more appealing to many people who might otherwise be turned off by a narrow-minded, one-sided argument. It also helps to reinforce the final argument because it is seen to be one that takes all of the facts into account and is a very well-informed judgment.

Often, students seem to confuse discursive writing with argumentative. But that is not the case. One type of discursive writing can be argumentative, but they are not exactly the same. The same is discussed later in the blog. But first, let’s have a look into the differences between discursive and argumentative writing.

The Differences Between Discursive and Argumentative Writing

Discursive Argumentative
Purpose To provide a trustworthy and unbiased assessment of a problem. However, your discursive writing does not have to be entirely neutral. To portray both sides of the topic, you should write it utilising facts and research reports.In order to convince the reader of your perspective, providing evidence is necessary. This type of essay requires thorough research so that the author can both persuade and inform the reader. Nonetheless, the final result should be more straightforward and less emotional than a traditional persuasive essay.
Structure In comparison to other assignment kinds, its style is more impersonal and formal:Begins with an overview of the subject.Each essay question should be addressed in a single paragraph.Start each paragraph with a strong topic sentence.One-point paragraphs are generally followed by a rebuttal paragraph.Its format is standard for essays because the reader should comprehend what you stand for.In the introduction, create a concise thesis statement that reflects your stance.In the body paragraph, expand on it and explain why you’re correct.In the conclusion, restate and expand on your thesis.Persuade your reader to accept your point of view.

Types of Discursive Essays

Discursive essays can be broadly categorized into three categories. They are

  • Opinion or Persuasive discursive essays
  • Argumentative discursive essays
  • Suggesting solution discursive essays.

Each one of the se categories is explained below.

I. Opinion or Persuasive Discursive Essay

The author’s perspective on a topic presented in the introductory paragraph is required for an opinion essay. It should be given clearly, with reasoning and instances to back it up. This essay assignment should also include an opposing point before the conclusion. The author must explain to readers why the cited argument is unconvincing. The writer’s point of view should be restated/summarised in the conclusion.

II. Argumentative Discursive Essay

With the support of competing points of view, the argumentative discursive essay presents readers with a detailed debate on the topic. Each point should be discussed objectively and thoroughly. The topic is discussed in the first paragraph. The major body of an essay paper should include examples, reasons, and arguments that are justified. Only in the conclusion should the author’s own opinion with balanced reflections on the matter be given.

III. Suggesting Solution Discursive Essays

The essay suggests a solution to a problem, analyses difficulties and suggests possible remedies. The first paragraph declares a problem and investigates its sources and implications. The major body of the essay should provide some proposals for a possible solution to the problem as well as prospective state ramifications or predicted outcomes. Finally, the author’s viewpoint should be clearly summarised.

How to Write Discursive Essays?

Moving on to the main concern of how to write a discursive essay, know that the basic structure of the essay is the same as others. It contains three main parts –

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

Now, let’s look into each of these sections separately.

A. Introduction

Often, students ask – What is the best way to start a discursive essay? Here’s your answer –

  • Provide your audience with a hook, an intriguing element that will capture their interest.
  • Give a brief explanation of the problem. You can utilise quotations and rhetorical questions.
  • Show your readers both sides of the debate and then summarise.

At times, readers only go through the introduction to have the essence of the rest of the essay. Sometimes, a poor introduction kills the spirit, and the readers do not continue with the essay. So, your aim is to make the introduction better and more convincing for the readers. An additional piece of advice is that for a discursive essay, you must totally avoid generalization and, of course, stereotypes.

B. Body Paragraphs

To write the body paragraph, follow the following tips –

  • First and foremost, remain objective. Consider all facets of a problem. Leave your emotions at home or for another essay style.
  • Second, construct your argument. If you have multiple justifications for your point of view, put them in distinct paragraphs. This will assist you in keeping your writing understandable and distinct. Don’t forget to include supporting documentation.
  • Third, write the body of an essay in a different style. What does it imply? If your first paragraph supports the paper’s argument, write something against it in the second paragraph. Such a mix of supporting and opposing paragraphs will make your essay appear clear and well-researched. Furthermore, it will assist you in remaining neutral.
  • Fourth, provide topic phrases and supporting evidence. At the start of the paragraph, write a summary of the argument. It will make it easy for the reader to comprehend the paragraph. Provide evidence to demonstrate that you are not making up the facts.

C. Conclusion

A good conclusion ensures a quality ending to your essay, giving it a complete sense. Remember these while writing essays –

  • You should summarise your essay in the final section, including the important points from the body paragraphs.
  • You can also communicate your thoughts logically. Remember that it should be consistent with the evidence presented in the body paragraphs.
  • Instead of repeating results, simply summarise them.

Tips to Follow While Writing Discursive Essays

Here are some tips that you can follow while writing discursive essays –

1. Dig Deep– The strength of discursive writing is its capacity to cover all aspects of a topic. Therefore, the best way to begin is by researching everything you’re writing about. This will put you in a good position to write authoritatively about the subject, and your argument will be well-informed and well-rounded.

2. Plan before Writing– Randomly changing perspectives can lead to confusion and hinder effective communication of your message. To avoid this, plan out your thoughts and organize them in a logical manner. One useful tactic is presenting your own point of view first, followed by discussing the opposing view in a separate paragraph, before returning to your original perspective. By doing so, you can ensure that your writing is clear and easy to understand.

3. Switch between Intimate and macro Perspectives- It’s necessary to think about the big picture with discursive writing, but writing from a local or personal perspective might help you convey your point. They are easy to identify with and will let the reader recognize how the issue directly applies to them.

Besides following these tips, make sure not to do the following things –

i. Don’t use abbreviations like I’ll, don’t.

ii. Don’t use colloquial or casual language, such as “old as the hills,” “ain’t,” “gonna,” and so on.

iii. The use of highly emotional language should be avoided because it may make your discursive essay appear biased.

iv. Don’t make broad generalisations. Extending the characteristics of some elements in a group beyond what is appropriate will result in generous and erroneous conclusions.

v. Don’t be too pushy in expressing your personal opinion.

vi. Don’t use statistics without properly referencing them (see our citation guides)

vii. Leave personal examples for a personal experience essay.

This is all that you need to know to write top-notch discursive essays. Now, here are some discursive essay topics for your reference.

80 of the Best Discursive Writing Topics

  1. What are the drawbacks of detox diets?
  2. Is our society becoming too regulated?
  3. Should school uniforms be prohibited?
  4. Are political leaders engaging in illicit activities?
  5. Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of globalisation.
  6. Examine the relationship between food, fitness, and weight.
  7. What are the benefits and drawbacks of video gaming among teenagers?
  8. Should schools refrain from using physical torture to punish students?
  9. How can students help to ensure the safety of nature?
  10. Is it necessary for schools to prohibit uniforms?
  11. Why are legislators increasingly emphasising STEM education?
  12. Should the government outlaw same-gender marriage?
  13. Should there be limitations on free speech?
  14. What are the workplace challenges that women face?
  15. Is it necessary to prohibit the broadcast of judicial hearings in the United Kingdom?
  16. Steroid users are barred from participating in sports.
  17. Is print media on its way out?
  18. Should the death penalty be prohibited in all countries?
  19. Tobacco manufacture is illegal all around the world.
  20. How can we keep children away from drugs?
  21. Is Blockchain helping trade finance in 2018?
  22. Is it necessary to outlaw animal sports?
  23. Which is preferable: listening to the head or listening to the heart?
  24. Should parents be truthful with their children?
  25. Is the greatest music based on societal oppression?
  26. Is chopping hands the only way to get rid of corruption?
  27. Is it the role of public schools to teach children social and emotional skills?
  28. Is it necessary to get rid of zoos?
  29. Should GMOs be permitted in food?
  30. Are anti-drug advertising effective?
  31. Why is it vital to prohibit rainforest destruction?
  32. Is the use of drones by the military a breach of privacy?
  33. Explain the negative and positive energy consequences of Blockchain.
  34. Is social media making our culture more toxic?
  35. Are modern people all across the world overly reliant on technology?
  36. Is the Internet of Things no longer a tool for ensuring privacy and security?
  37. Is workplace diversity beneficial to productivity?
  38. Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of peer pressure.
  39. Is it necessary to prohibit short dresses from being worn at work?
  40. Describe the healthcare and medical scenario in the 1900s.
  41. Should public figures become involved in politics?
  42. Do we really need Facebook to communicate with one another?
  43. Is English one of the most difficult languages to learn?
  44. Do space missions ensure long-term survival?
  45. Is it important to praise youngsters for good behaviour?
  46. Which is preferable: reading an e-book or a paperback?
  47. Is the media the most important source of fake news and purposefully created misinformation?
  48. Discuss how bad public relations and unfavourable press can help someone become more powerful and successful in politics.
  49. The cosmetic product industry is to blame for the spread of undesirable racial and gender stereotypes. Justify your position.
  50. Social media platforms are increasingly essential in comparison to traditional print and broadcast media. Give reasons for your answer.
  51. Why do so many spiritual people choose to go vegetarian?
  52. How does reading excellent novels help people improve their ability to think beyond the box?
  53. Are athletes good role models for kids?
  54. Is it possible to find romantic partners on dating websites?
  55. Should the government prohibit the culture of rap music?
  56. Should airlines have a two-seat policy for bigger passengers?
  57. Is the game industry responsible for negative gender and racial stereotypes?
  58. Do energy drinks endanger the health of teenagers?
  59. Is cheerleading a method of objectifying young women?
  60. Is it important to include text message abbreviations in dictionaries?
  61. Do all adults require eight hours of sleep per night?
  62. Describe your feelings regarding the child-free movement.
  63. Are technological advances making us sluggish?
  64. What should the penalty be for trolling or cyberbullying on the internet?
  65. Does slavery have a positive impact on global economics?
  66. Should cell phones be permitted in the classroom?
  67. Is it true that a safe, secure, and healthy workplace encourages people to give their all to the organisation?
  68. Describe the major elements or components of a positive workplace culture.
  69. Is graffiti an art form?
  70. Should religious tolerance be promoted in Muslim countries?
  71. Are plastic water bottles doing havoc on the environment?
  72. Should a 20- to 30-minute nap in the afternoon be permitted at work?
  73. Is conventional medicine superior to alternative treatment?
  74. Which is worse: White-collar crime or Blue-collar crime?
  75. Should cheerleading be considered a sport and competed in the Olympics?
  76. Is texting and messaging apps such as WhatsApp destroying the English language?
  77. When should a youngster begin doing domestic chores?
  78. Which is better: work-from-office culture or work-from-home culture?
  79. Should social media platforms be permitted to police and censor user content?
  80. Should celebrities be held to a high moral standard?

Frequently Asked Questions By Students-

1. What is the purpose of discursive writing?

While it may reach some preliminary conclusions based on facts, the primary goal of a discursive essay is to inform the reader of the essential arguments and allow them to reach their own judgment.

2. What are the key features of a discursive essay?

  • A discursive essay investigates a topic or idea and may advocate a position or point of view.
  • Approaches a topic from several perspectives and explores themes and concerns in a way that balances personal observations with multiple points of view.
  • Personal anecdotes are used, and the tone may be conversational.

3. Are there different types of discursive essays?

There are three types –

  • Persuasive
  • Argumentative
  • Suggesting solutions

4. Can you explain the structure of a typical discursive essay?

An interesting introduction could be used as a basic structure when constructing a discursive essay. It should have a clear indication of your viewpoint on the subject, and your initial argument with supporting evidence.

5. What role does research play in discursive writing?

To convey multiple perspectives on an issue, the writer must conduct extensive research and critically reflect on their own prejudices and assumptions.

6. How do you choose a suitable topic for a discursive essay?

  • Choose a contentious topic that can be debated with opposing perspectives or viewpoints.
  • Choose a topic about which you have extensive knowledge and an opinion.
  • Choose a complex topic with at least two sides to develop additional arguments for and against it.
  • Choose an essay topic that you are most comfortable writing about.
  • Determine an intriguing and distinctive essay topic that will capture the attention of the readers.
  • Choose a topic with enough relevant facts or evidence to back up your arguments or viewpoints.

7. How do you effectively introduce and conclude a discursive essay?

The topic is discussed in the first paragraph. The major body of an essay paper should include examples, reasons, and arguments that are justified. Only in the conclusion should the author’s own opinion with balanced reflections on the matter be given.

8. Can discursive writing be persuasive in nature?

Yes. Persuasive discursive writing argues strongly in favour of or against a discussion.

9. How do you acknowledge counterarguments in a discursive essay?

  • Respectfully acknowledge evidence or points of view that differ from your own.
  • Refute opposing arguments’ positions by using phrases like “although” or “however.” You want to demonstrate to the reader why your argument is superior to the opposing notion in the refutation.

10. Can discursive writing be used to explore ethical or philosophical topics?

Yes, discursive writings can be explored in detail philosophical topics as well.

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