How to Write a Discursive Essay: Step-by-Step Guide

Perhaps, during your coursework at one point you will have to complete your discursive essay writing. The most common inquiries from students are: How do you write it?

What exactly is a discursive essay? Throughout their education, students are given a variety of assignments. Each work is unique and has certain needs and standards that must be followed.

A discursive essay example is often regarded as one of the most difficult sorts of essay writing for college students. Many of them do not understand the distinction between a discursive and an argumentative essay. However, each essay style has different characteristics that we will discuss below. If you were asked to write this assignment and are unsure what subjects to choose, here are some professional recommendations and guidance on how to build a fantastic discursive essay outline.

What is a Discursive Essay: Meaning and Definition

Another type of academic paper is the discursive essay, which is intended to assess students’ abilities and knowledge. Its key distinguishing feature is the intention to elicit conversation on the call-off issue. As a result, the author becomes involved in any scenario, topic, or problem. In addition to demonstrating your possibilities and original ideas, this style of paper is designed to demonstrate your abilities to gather and apply arguments. As a result, such a work is not only theoretical, but also practical for students of any year of study.

You can face discursive essays in 3 types:

  • papers with for and against arguments;
  • essays to demonstrate your opinion about exact topic;
  • texts with real propositions and problem solutions.

They differ slightly, but the primary purpose is the same: the author should give his perspective and explore the subject using pertinent reasons. Every writer must follow numerous stages when writing a discursive essay. You must adhere to a good framework and meet all standards.

How do I plan and write a discursive essay?

As with each essay, there is a technique you may follow to write high-quality essays while making your life simpler. Do not even fret, we have a procedure in place. Let’s look at the Matrix approach Matrix students study.

discursive essay

Flowchart: The steps to writing a discursive response

How to Start a Discursive Essay?

Before you begin writing, you need take a few vital measures. Do not expect to get a good grade by writing numerous pages about whatever you want. The discursive essay is not an easy assignment. If the author wishes to write a spectacular paper, he should adhere to such a plan:

Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas for Discursive Essay

Before you do anything, you should think about what you know about the matter at hand. The first step is to create a mind-map that contains all you know about the subject. Mindmaps should include a list of the features of the issue that you believe are worth researching or would be interesting to investigate. Your mindmap is vital since it will show you which things you need to investigate and research.

Step 2: Topic Selection for Discursive Essay

The discursive essay has the benefit of being able to be dedicated to any topic. On the other hand, it is a disadvantage for a student since he must think about several subjects and articulate himself correctly. You have two options: select one of the topics on the list or create your own, unique one. Both approaches need equal work and specific expertise.

Step 3: Research and come up with your ideas on the Discursive Essay

You have created a brainstorm so that you can get started. You must now develop the concepts that you have unpacked. This will necessitate some study on your part. Fortunately, you have the internet’s power at your fingertips.

Examine your mindmap and begin investigating the subjects or thoughts you’ve jotted down. Wikipedia is a fantastic location to start looking for information on a variety of topics. However, you may also watch movies on YouTube or visit news websites such as the New York Times.

Make an effort to select trusted websites. A personal blog, for example, will not have the same level of reliability as a big news site, a museum, or Wikipedia. You should begin by looking at the general issue that interests you, and then choose two or three elements to examine in depth. Don’t allow your study become too extensive; you’ll most likely only be producing a 1000-1200 word answer.

Some dos and don’ts:

  • Do – Follow the ideas that interest you
  • Don’t – Research too many different ideas
  • Do – Research different perspectives on your topic
  • Don’t – Settle for just one source
  • Do – Make note of useful sources, examples, and quotations for your response
  • Don’t – Skip out on doing research
  • Do – Check the reputation of the website
  • Don’t – Forget to make notes of examples and useful pieces of information, like quotations

Once you have researched your topic, you are ready to start planning things.

Step 4: Create an Outline for Discursive Essay

Regardless of how brief an essay is, the author should write an outline. This blueprint includes the fundamental structure of your future paper as well as a brief summary of each section. The introduction, major body, and conclusion are all included in all sorts of discursive essays. As a result, the structure is identical to that of other scholarly articles. Every component of the structure performs the same function:

  • Introduction announces topic and your main questions to be described in paper;
  • Body includes the arguments and thesis statements to discuss;
  • Conclusion requires from author to share his options and findings of his topic.

Step 5: Notice 3-5 Main Ideas in Body for Discursive Essay

These arguments represent your ability to prove or refute the assertions in your topic. Make certain that powerful arguments allow the writer to feel liberated and enthusiastically explore the issue.

It would be fantastic if you had 3+ agreements for and 3+ agreements against concepts. This is when your preparation comes into play. When composing the body of your discursive answer, consider the sequence of information your reader will need to make sense of your topic. So, organize your body paragraphs using your planning notes. While a topic sentence is not required, you should get to the point of the paragraph within the first couple of phrases. You may adjust the length of your paragraphs to fit the amount of information you wish to cover.

Rules for writing your paragraphs:

  • Use clear and direct language. For example, avoid the passive form
  • Employ a conversational and accessible tone
  • Use language suited to an educated audience
  • Vary your sentence length
  • Support your points with examples and quotations about your topic
  • Employ rhetorical techniques and literary devices to convey your ideas (check out this Essential Guide to English Techniques if you need inspiration)
  • Utilise anecdotes to connect with your audience
  • Include pop-culture and intertextual references that will help your reader follow your ideas
  • Use first and second person pronouns:
    • “You” to refer to the reader or people in general
    • “I” to introduce your perspectives and experiences
  • When finishing one paragraph and moving to another, orient the reader. For example, “While that one perspective, that’s not the only perspective.”

Step 6: Write the Draft of your Discursive Essay

You may simply compose the entire discursive essay if you have reasons for both sides. Follow the basic framework and include all of your thoughts to reassure readers of your abilities.

Giant’s advice: you may include not only your own arguments, but also credible ideas from well-known specialists in the industry. For example, use main and secondary materials to boost the impact of your own words.

Step7: Write a Conclusion for Discursive Essay

Your closing remarks should be completely distinctive. To end your work and show your views about your topic, use your own ideas. You can produce a terrific closing paragraph if you have solid arguments. Furthermore, don’t forget to emphasize the importance of your work and the issue on which you have expressed your perspective. Your conclusion should summarize everything. While you are not attempting to reaffirm your beliefs as in a persuasive essay, you do need to connect the dots.

You don’t need to follow the rigid formula of:

  1. Restate thesis
  2. Reiterate themes
  3. Make a statement about your experience of studying the Module

Instead, you must connect the numerous points of view discussed in your essay. Remember that the purpose of a discursive essay is to investigate a subject from several angles rather than to persuade the reader of a particular viewpoint. As a result, you should walk the reader through the many points of view you have experienced. 

Step 8: Proofread Your Discursive Essay

When you are enthused about writing, it’s difficult to detect your own typos or errors. That is why you must proofread your work numerous times to ensure its accuracy. As a result, producing a discursive essay is a difficult undertaking. Although the paper is brief, you must pay close attention to each line and assess its connection to the primary arguments and core issue.

After you have finished your first draft, set it away for a few hours or a day or two before rereading and editing it. This will allow you to look at it with “fresh eyes,” implying that you will have forgotten some of what you wrote.

When proofreading your initial draft, use fresh eyes to be more objective. You should print out your initial draft so you may annotate it as you go. However, this is not always practical, and it is certainly not ecologically beneficial. Track changes on a Word, Pages, or GoogleDoc document will also function.

Make an effort to annotate and monitor changes. You will want to keep track of your modifications, and you may need to show your professors that you’ve used an editing procedure.

To proofread and amend your comment, do the following:

  1. Reread the essay
  2. As you read:
    1. Underline any sentences that do not make sense
    1. Circle any pieces of grammar that are incorrect
    1. Check for proper comma and apostrophe usage

3. Consider the sequence in which you delivered the material. “Does this make sense?” ask yourself. “Does this make sense?” Do not be hesitant to make drastic adjustments or reorganize the paragraphs or concepts in your response.

4. Consider whether your essay persuaded you. “Do I communicate concepts in a way that demonstrates my skill and insight?”

5. Consider how you may improve your writing by incorporating a figurative device or rhetorical strategy.

6. Take notes on what you believe is beneficial in your writing.

7. Make notes on what aspects of your response you believe might be more effective or enlightening. It’s important to be objective about your writing.

This can make it hard to give an honest appraisal about what works and what does not. Do your best to be as objective and critical about your work as you can.

You need to use these notes and edits to write a second draft. Once you have finished proofing and editing your work you are ready to write your second draft.

Step 9: Write a second draft based on your notes and edits

Instead of updating an existing work, you should develop a second draft from scratch.


Rewriting manuscripts from scratch will always increase the writing quality.

Because you are not currently working with sentences on a page but are rewriting them, you will be less likely to not update and improve them.

What exactly do I mean? Do you ever look at a sentence in a word document that you’re revising and think, “I know I should modify that sentence, but I really like it, so I’ll make it work?”

If you do, you are not alone. However, it is a horrible habit to develop.

Rewriting your second draft from scratch can make you less likely to cling to sentences that may appear lovely to you but are not effective at delivering your ideas.

Furthermore, reworking your essay will make it simpler to incorporate new rhetorical devices and literary styles, reorder things, and make significant structural modifications.

Do not be afraid to use the drafting process to experiment with your writing and improve it.

How to Write a Good Discursive Essay when given Examples?

If you want to write an excellent report, you should not disregard discursive essay samples. You must seize every opportunity to improve your essay, and strong examples provide such an opportunity. There are several samples available on the Internet; simply study them and apply the knowledge correctly.

The following are the most significant advantages of adopting discursive essay samples:

Pay attention to the discursive essay’s typical format

The fundamental framework is approximate, but every writer should adhere to current guidelines. Remember that each tiny drink has an impact on your ultimate grade;

Determine the substance of important components in structure

In general, discursive writing is similar to other types of essays, although there are a few differences. You will grasp such things after watching excellent samples;

Observe the most prevalent errors in your Discursive Essay

You will be able to prevent such issues in your paper if you understand them. Let’s face it: it’s far better to learn from the errors of others than to make your own. Nobody likes to make silly mistakes, therefore essay examples will keep you from making them.

Furthermore, be careful not to reproduce any borrowed content without permission and include a link in the reference list, since your writing may fail a plagiarism check. As a result, high-quality discursive essay samples are regarded as the ideal way to improve your writing. This is an excellent opportunity for inexperienced yet proficient authors. If you are not very skilled at writing, you should get discursive essay ideas for the topic or the entire paper.

You merely need to supply the author with all relevant details about your project and wait a few days. You may be certain that your professor will be delighted to award you the best possible grade!

How to Make Your Discursive Essay Perfect?

To make your paper excellent, try these exclusive suggestions from expert authors:

  • Use formal third-person speech;
  • Make a special map of notes to clarify own points;
  • Imagine they have to walk in another person’s shoes to collect only fair arguments;
  • Use good and well-known examples from real life to support arguments;
  • Add references to all borrowed ideas; and
  • Finish paper at least a day before the deadline to allow for additional editing time.

However, try to avoid making the following mistakes: using over-generalization, clichés, personal examples, casual language, an overly emotive writing style, and insisting on your own correctness.

It is difficult to comprehend how to create a discursive essay, but you can do it!

Simply utilize your best abilities to produce outstanding paper.

Discursive Essay Topics UK

There is another challenge that students face when writing discursive essays. They usually have to come up with something new and come up with a theme. Sometimes such a work necessitates the same amount of time as writing. It is excellent if you have a decent alternative in mind.

But if you are stuck for ideas, we’re here to assist. The following are the TOP-15 fascinating and evergreen themes for discursive essays:

  1. Do we believe in the death penalty?
  2. Plastic surgery’s power: yes or no?
  3. Is severing hands the only method to get rid of corruption?
  4. Should individuals in Muslim nations learn religious tolerance?
  5. What are your thoughts on the childfree movement?
  6. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “The only free cheese is in the mousetrap?”
  7. Is Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square valuable or overpriced?
  8. Which automobile manufacturer is the finest in the world?
  9. What are your thoughts on the marriage of convenience?
  10. What is the optimum age for persons to obtain a driver’s license?
  11. Do you believe in same-sex relationships?
  12. When is the optimum age to marry?
  13. Did slavery have a good impact on global economics?
  14. Is it preferable to respond to a rationale or to your heart?
  15. Where is the finest place to visit?

Simply choose one topic and begin writing your fantastic discursive essay! If you want extra assistance, simply ask our experienced writer to do this assignment for you. Our staff is made up of expert essay writers that are eager to produce any type of academic assignment. Feel free to ask them for assistance or a basic consultation right now!

Why do I need to learn how to write “discursive essays”?

Module C of the 2019 English Syllabus for the HSC has been significantly modified.

Module C is no longer just another module for analyzing texts and creating essays. Instead, the new Module C: The Craft of Writing is designed to help you improve as a writer.

To do this, they have created a Module that needs you to write in a number of modes:

  • Imaginative: Imaginative writing is also known as creative writing. Writing a creative work, such as a short story or creative rethinking, is an example.
  • Persuasive: Persuasive writing is written to persuade someone of an idea or a point of view. The majority of the writings you write in high school are persuasive essays.
  • Informative: Informative writing attempts to educate readers about facts and statistics. This might refer to a report, but it could also refer to other sorts of writing, such as popular science or travel writing.
  • Discursive: Discursive writing examines an idea from several angles.

It might be amusing or serious in tone. The National Endowment for the Arts hopes that by training you to write in a variety of forms, you will become a more confident and skilled communicator. This writing style will enhance your writing abilities in ways that are useful outside of high school and the HSC.

Is a discursive essay different from a regular persuasive essay?

Most essays you write in high school need you to take a stand and fight for it. Essentially, you are being expected to persuade a reader of anything — a theme or concept in a work, or its relationship to context.

Discursive essays, on the other hand, do not force you to take a certain stance on something. Instead, when writing a discursive essay, you might look at your issue from a variety of angles.

This allows you to consider the benefits and downsides as well as see what others think about something. Furthermore, discursive essays are less rigorous and formal than the conventional persuasive essay required for other Modules.

You will have the opportunity to create your own voice and style in a discursive essay. Consider the table below to gain an idea of the differences in forms:

DetailDiscursive EssayPersuasive Essay
Table: Discursive Vs. Persuasive Essays
Register of languageA mix of formal and informal languages with occasional colloquialismsFormal
Style and toneAim for an educated audience, but the tone and style can be friendly and more openly subjectiveAcademic, objective, and intellectual
Use of first-person pronounsFirst-person pronouns are fineFirst person pronouns should be used cautiously and judiciously
Use of figurative devicesShould be used throughoutNot recommended
Use of evidence and examplesYes, but not in a T.E.E.L or P.E.E.L formatYes, consistently and in a particular format
StructureRequires an introduction, conclusion, and paragraphing. Paragraph length can vary. There is no definitive scaffold.Introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion. Formal structure appropriate to the Module. Consistent paragraph length throughout.

Struggling with writing a discursive essay?

Learn how to do research, structure, and write a discursive essay with professional advice and criticism!


This type of writing, according to the discursive essay description, represents a solid stance with trustworthy backing. As a result, writing a strong argumentative paper necessitates careful planning. Some may feel that writing requires pure skill, yet it is only one component of success. Let us dissect the secrets of an A+ essay!

Opt for a controversial topic

“How do I write original essay?” you may be asking. People frequently choose safe topics for their essays. However, if you want to stand out, go with something different.

Fortunately, there are many unusual debate subjects available nowadays. The subject should ideally be both distinctive and familiar to you, making it easy to present fascinating instances and arguments.

Strong thesis

After you have chosen an unusual topic, the aim is to develop a solid thesis statement. To explain, an essay must provide a remark that narrows down a large topic. It is critical to avoid claims that are apparent and barely contested. Instead, stick on contentious issues that are easily supported by evidence.

Thorough research

Another important priority before beginning an essay is to go through several sources of information. Relying only on word of mouth is futile. Take your time looking for supporting evidence, especially if the topic is unfamiliar to you. Errors in academic papers are frequently caused by a lack of technical understanding. Any discursive essay sample must have sources.

Discursive Essay FAQ

  1. How do I write a discursive essay?

This question has no definitively valid solution. The content, like any other essay, should have a defined format that includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. The most critical aspect is that the book as a whole be coherent, convincing, and enjoyable to read.

  • How to start a discursive essay?

An example of a step by step guide is:

  1. Take a closer look at the topic, think about the points to cover.
  2. Choose the most relevant points and compose the Body of the essay.
  3. Add an appropriate Introduction and Conclusion.
  • How to conclude a discursive essay?

To create a decent conclusion, you must have completed the whole of the essay. Does your essay’s body contain well-structured points? Great, then see what you can deduce from it. Make a link between the introduction and the conclusion if feasible.

  • How to structure a discursive essay?

Begin by making an outline to guarantee that your article has a proper structure. You may deliver your views step by step if you have a strategy. Your content should have a pertinent introduction, several significant body points (with examples), and a logical conclusion.

  • What style should I take in a discursive essay?

Discursive essays differ stylistically from persuasive essays. They might be either serious or amusing. They are not a new writing style; discursive essays were a popular genre of writing during the Renaissance and Early Modern periods. Mary Wollstonecraft, Charles Lamb, Elizabeth Barret Browning, Samuel Johnson, GK Chesterton, and Michel de Montaigne were all well-known essayists of their day who authored both discursive and compelling pieces. The discursive essay has been less prevalent over time than the persuasive essay.

Discursive writing is becoming increasingly frequent in our context. Discursive essays may be found in the works of contemporary writers such as Zadie Smith, John D’Agata, and Ta-Nesi Coates. You will find examples of discursive writing in publications like:

  • Do I need to analyse evidence in a discursive essay?

In discursive essays, you will need to give proof, but not in the same way that you would in persuasive writing.

The goal is to investigate various ideas or subjects.

You will need to provide evidence to do so.

However, literary analysis will not always be included (although it might if you so choose).

Instead, you will be writing about concepts and maybe supporting them with quotations from other people, or you will be supporting them with personal tales and insights.

  • What structure should a discursive essay have?

You will use essay scaffolds while writing persuasive essays based on whether you are addressing one or more texts and the Module you are studying. Furthermore, you should make sure that your paragraphs are of the same length and include clear signposting, such as subject sentences and connecting phrases.

Discursive essays do not have the same rigorous structure or approach to signposting as formal essays. In a discursive essay, you may not address texts, but rather concepts or objects, such as an advertising, a political system, or a brand of shoe. This implies that depending on the part of the notion you’re describing, certain paragraphs will need to be lengthier than others.

Furthermore, because a discursive essay requires you to explain topics objectively while still using anecdotal experiences when appropriate, you may discover that your stories yield shorter paragraphs than your exposition of concepts. While you must express your ideas in the introduction and at the beginning of each paragraph, formal thesis statements and subject sentences are not required.

After all, you are attempting to be more conversational and less official.