Return Back

Discursive Essay: Definition, Writing Tips and Examples

Essays come in all formats and sizes, so it’s perfectly natural not to be familiar with all of them. At one point in your scholarly career, you will be tasked with writing a discursive essay.

While it may seem like a big deal at first, crafting this type of essay is actually not that difficult.

All it takes is to follow the ground rules of writing a discursive essay.

Experienced authors from our essay writing service did the heavy lifting on your behalf, compiling a whole list of practical tips and writing suggestions. So, without further ado, let’s check out all you need to know about a discursive essay!

What is Discursive Essay?

What is a discursive essay, you ask? A discursive essay is an argumentative piece of writing that discusses a problem, situation, or issue from different perspectives. In other words, it’s a balanced, well-thought-out piece that looks at both sides of the coin.

Unlike an argumentative essay, a discursive essay does not aim to persuade or convince the reader of anything. Rather, it simply presents both sides of the issue in an objective manner and allows the reader to make up their own mind.

Discursive essays often touch upon controversial topics. This is because these topics usually elicit strong opinions from people. As such, they make for great discursive essay topics! Here are some examples of controversial issues that would make for great discursive essays:

  • Legalization of drugs
  • Cloning animals
  • Death penalty
  • Euthanasia

In each case, your job is to present an argument in a structured manner. A discursive essay is usually written in a formal academic style and aims to persuade the reader to agree with the thesis statement. If you find it all to be a bit scary, there is always the option to buy essay online. However, we are sure you won’t need it after reading the entire article!

Main Types of Discursive Essay

Determining common formats of a discursive essay is not easy, especially if you know how broad and versatile topics it may cover. But we need to begin somewhere, so let’s see the two main types of discursive essays here:

For and Against (Argumentative) Essays

These essays take a particular issue and discuss the arguments for and against it. For example, you may be required to write an essay discussing the pros and cons of animal testing. In this case, your job is to present both sides of the issue in a balanced manner.

Pros and cons essays are usually pretty easy to write since all you need to do is take a stand and support it with evidence. However, make sure that you don’t simply list the points for and against the issue. Instead, try to present them in a way that makes your essay more convincing.

Opinion (Persuasive) Essays

In an opinion essay, the author presents their personal opinion on the topic at hand. But unlike in an argumentative essay, you take a stand while trying to persuade or convince the reader of something.

Opinion essays are pretty easy to write as well. All you need to do is take a position on the issue and support it with evidence. However, make sure that your essay is well-reasoned and includes arguments to avoid coming across as biased.

For instance, you may be required to write an opinion essay discussing whether global warming is a result of human activity or not. Your job, in this case, is to present your opinion on the issue while acknowledging the validity of your evidence.

How to Write a Discursive Essay

Before you start writing your discursive essay, take some time to brainstorm ideas and plan your structure. That will make it easier for you to stay on track and include all the points you want to discuss. Once you have a decent understanding of the issue at hand, you can start working on it.

Discursive Essay Structure

Just like many other forms of academic writing, a discursive essay also consists of three main sections. We will discuss each of those in the following paragraphs.

1. Introduction: How to start a discursive essay

The introduction is one of the most important parts of your essay. This is because it sets the tone for the rest of your paper and gives the reader an idea of what to expect. As such, you must ensure that your introduction is catchy, well-written, and relevant to the topic at hand.

A good way to start a discursive essay is to present a strong thesis statement. This will let the reader know what your opinion is on the issue and what evidence you will be using to support it.

The introduction should also include a brief overview of the main points you will be discussing in your paper. That gives the reader a good idea of what to expect in the body paragraphs.

2. Main Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs are where you will present your arguments and evidence in support of your thesis statement. Each paragraph should discuss one main point and analyze it concisely and clearly. When writing your body paragraphs, it is important to remember that you need to:

  • Present your arguments clearly and logically
  • Support your arguments with evidence
  • Address counterarguments and refute them
  • Avoid emotional language

If you follow these recommendations, you can write a well-structured and convincing body for your discursive essay.

3. Conclusion: Summarize All The Previous Points

The conclusion is, of course, the final part of your essay. In this section, you need to briefly summarize the main points of your paper and restate your thesis statement. You should also present your opinion on the issue and discuss the implications of your findings.

When writing the conclusion, it is important to avoid introducing new information or arguments. This will only confuse the reader and make your paper seem less convincing. It’s best to repeat what you have already said and make a final, strong statement that will leave the reader with mind-provoking ideas to think about.

Discursive Essay Ideas

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of how to write a discursive essay, let’s take a look at some possible essay topics. Needless to say, it’s impossible to list all the possible discursive essay topics since there are so many different issues to choose from. But we’ve crafted a list of general ideas that you can use to get started. Let’s take a look:

  • Should schools ban mobile phones?
  • Is social media bad for our mental health?
  • Do violent video games lead to real-world violence?
  • Should the government censor the internet?
  • Is animal testing necessary?
  • Should gay marriage be legal?
  • Is global warming a real threat?
  • Why should abortion be legalized?
  • What makes healthcare one of the basic human rights?
  • Should transgender persons compete in sports?

These are just some of the many possible topics you could choose to write about. Remember, when picking an essay topic, it’s important to pick something that you’re passionate about. This will make it easier for you to write a convincing and well-argued paper.

How To Organize A Discursive Essay

Now that you know what a discursive essay is and how to structure it, it’s time to learn some ways you can organize your paper.

First of all, you should create an outline for your essay. That makes it easy for you to organize your thoughts and ideas and ensure that your paper flows smoothly. After that, you can write each section according to the plan.

Secondly, don’t forget to write concise sections and paragraphs. Each part of your paper should be logical and flow smoothly from one point to the next. This will make it easier for the reader to follow your argument and see the evidence you’re using to support it.

Thirdly, make sure to use strong evidence to support your arguments. This could include statistics, data, expert opinions, etc. Last but not least, proofread your essay before submitting it. That way, you will catch any grammar or spelling errors.

Transition Words useful for Discursive Writing

When writing a discursive essay, it’s important to use transition words. These words are terms or phrases that can be used to connect one idea to another. You can take advantage of transition words to connect two thoughts, two sentences, or even two paragraphs.

Transition words help create a flow between ideas, making it easier for the reader to follow along. Simply put, they will help connect your ideas and make your paper flow smoothly. Here are ten examples of transition words you can use:

  • However
  • Nonetheless
  • On the other hand
  • In contrast
  • Yet
  • Though
  • But
  • Although
  • Despite
  • Since
  • Because
  • As a result
  • Consequently
  • Therefore
  • Thus
  • Hence
  • For this reason

How to Make Your Discursive Essay Perfect

Now that you are aware of the foundations of writing a discursive essay, it’s time to learn about how you can make your paper perfect. Here are some tricks and suggestions to help you:

  • Do your research: It is one of the most important steps in writing a discursive essay. Ensure that you have gathered enough evidence to support your argument. Not to mention, you’ll also need to make sure that your evidence is reliable and credible.
  • Create a convincing thesis statement: This is the foundation of your paper. Your thesis statement should be clear, concise, and arguable. It should also be located at the beginning of your paper so that the reader knows what your paper is about.
  • Use strong evidence: As we mentioned before, your paper will be more convincing if you use strong evidence to support your argument.


Creating a high-quality discursive essay can be challenging. But if you follow the tricks and tips we’ve listed above, we’re confident that you’ll be able to write a paper that’s sure to impress. Just remember to do your research, create a strong thesis statement, and use strong evidence to support your argument. Good luck!