how to write discursive essay

How to Write a Discursive Essay
how to write discursive essay


A discursive essay is a type of academic writing that presents both sides of an argument on a specific topic. It requires you to explore and discuss different opinions, considering various perspectives, before ultimately expressing your own viewpoint. The goal of a discursive essay is to engage the reader in a balanced and well-structured discussion.

1. Choose a Controversial Topic

The first step in writing a discursive essay is selecting a topic that sparks debate and presents contrasting viewpoints. Ensure the topic is relevant and interesting, as this will make your essay more engaging for readers. Examples of controversial topics include climate change, capital punishment, and social media’s impact on society.

2. Conduct Thorough Research

Before delving into writing, gather information from credible sources to strengthen your arguments. Explore diverse perspectives and gather evidence to support each viewpoint. Make sure to take note of the sources you use, as you will need to reference them later in your essay.

3. Structure your Essay

A discursive essay typically consists of an introduction, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, provide background information on the topic and present a clear thesis statement that reflects your main argument. Each body paragraph should focus on a single aspect of the topic, presenting different viewpoints and supporting evidence. Use logical transitions to smoothly move from one paragraph to another. Finally, conclude your essay by summarizing the main points and offering your own opinion.

4. Present Balanced Arguments

When writing a discursive essay, it is crucial to present both sides of the argument objectively and accurately. Address the strongest points of opposing viewpoints, acknowledging their validity while still finding ways to counter them. This will demonstrate a thoughtful and well-informed discussion.

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5. Use Formal Language and Structure

As an academic essay, a discursive essay requires a formal tone and structure. Use proper grammar, vocabulary, and punctuation throughout the essay. Ensure your sentences are clear, concise, and coherent. Avoid using slang or overly casual language.

6. Provide Supporting Evidence

To strengthen your arguments, include relevant and reliable supporting evidence. This can include statistics, research findings, expert opinions, or historical examples. Properly cite your sources using a recognized citation style such as APA or MLA.

7. Balance Length and Depth

While a discursive essay must be long enough to thoroughly discuss the topic, it’s important to balance length with depth. Avoid unnecessary repetition or irrelevant information. Stay focused and ensure each paragraph contributes meaningfully to the overall discussion.

8. Revise and Edit

After completing the initial draft, take time to revise and edit your essay. Check for logical coherence, clarity, and grammar mistakes. Ensure your arguments flow smoothly and your paragraphs are well-structured. Consider seeking feedback from a trusted friend or tutor to gain additional insights.


Writing a discursive essay allows you to develop critical thinking skills by analyzing different perspectives on a given topic. Remember to choose a controversial subject, present balanced arguments, and use formal language. By conducting thorough research, structuring your essay effectively, and providing supporting evidence, you can create a compelling and well-rounded discussion. With careful revision and editing, your discursive essay will be ready to engage readers and showcase your ability to examine complex issues from multiple angles.

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