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The Academic Writing Guide (AWG) is designed to familiarise you with the process of writing a discursive essay. A discursive essay is a genre of writing that requires you to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner. Once you have decided on your position your writing will be an attempt to persuade your reader that it is a reasonable one to take. The pages in this guide will present information and activities designed to help you develop the skill of argumentation, which as well as being the main feature of discursive writing, underpins every aspect of university study.

Before you begin working through the AWG and using the examples and activities to help you research and write your own discursive essay watch the interview with James, one of our former Foundation Year students, who worked through the AWG and is reflecting on his progress. Some of what James says may not make sense to you yet, but come back to it occasionally as your own research skills develop and see if your experience resembles his. As you listen, notice what James says about how his perspective on the learning process changed during the course of the Foundation Year.

Academic writing does not aim simply to describe (although describing will be part of the process). An essay that is too descriptive will receive a very low mark at university level. Similarly, an essay that takes a ‘balanced’ view and does little more that weigh up the pros and cons of each side of an argument is rarely appropriate for university-level study.

Your aim in writing a discursive essay is to persuade your reader that your position (your argument) is a valid one. It makes a claim about a topic and defends this claim with evidence. A discursive essay must therefore begin with a thesis or claim that is debatable. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade your reader of its merits.

Argumentation – mass noun

2. A reason or set of reasons that you use for persuading other people to support your views, opinions, etc.

His main argument is stated in the opening paragraph.

Discursive writing

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There is a lot of pre-writing work to do for a discursive essay. Before you can begin writing you need to:

Throughout the research and writing process you will submit a series of assessed tasks relating to this title. Each of the tasks is designed to support your writing development, and help you produce a well-argued discursive essay supported with appropriate academic evidence. Each submission carries a percentage of the overall marks for the portfolio, making it essential that you complete each one. The portfolio accounts for a large percentage of the overall marks for the two Academic Development modules (see module handbook).

At the start of each of the 3 Stages in the AWG you will be told what the aims and objectives are, as well as the different assessments you will have to complete for that Stage. You will also be told where to submit these assessments in Canvas (find details below and in the module handbook on your class Canvas site).

Student studying at the University of Sussex

These voluntary, drop-in sessions offer you personalised support for your work with the Academic Writing Guide and all aspects of the Academic Development Module.

You don’t need an appointment for these sessions, just show up with any questions you have about the module or the AWG and the tutor will help you on a one-to-one basis. You are welcome to use the drop-in service as often as you like.

You can find information about the drop-in sessions on your Canvas site.

This resource will help you to develop your Academic Skills whilst at Sussex. It brings together all of the web resources, workshops and support that are available to you as a Sussex student. Academic Skills are essential to successful study; from time management and note making, all the way through to reference management and exam writing techniques. These skills will help you to fully engage with, and excel, in your studies. Use the navigation on the left side of the page to find the section you are after or use the search box in the header.

As you work through the Academic Writing Guide (AWG) you will create a range of documents that need to be saved as you go and then uploaded to an assessment point at the end of each stage.

As a Sussex student you can download Microsoft Office 365.

With Office 365 you can get Microsoft Office for your personally-owned computer and mobile device(s) at no cost, as well as access to online versions of Office products and 1TB of free cloud storage in OneDrive.

Remember you are not expected to have all these skills already - you will develop them throughout your time at Sussex.

Each Stage requires several hours of self-study to complete, and each Stage is assessed. You will have plenty of time to work through the 3 Stages, and at regular intervals will submit formal assessments that will be included in your assessed portfolio for the Academic Development module at the end of the year. After each submission your Academic Development tutor will give you feedback, which you will use to inform the process of developing your discursive essay further. Each assessed task carries a percentage of the overall marks for the portfolio, making it essential that you complete each one. The portfolio itself carries a large percentage of the overall marks for the Academic Development module.

You will find details about each of the assessments at relevant points in this Guide, and will need to pay close attention to them. Your Academic Development tutor will also be introducing and supporting the process in your Academic Development seminars.

The following is an overview:

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26 Planning a Discursive Essay

Discursive essay – description.

A discursive essay is a form of critical essay that attempts to provide the reader with a balanced argument on a topic, supported by evidence. It requires critical thinking, as well as sound and valid arguments (see Chapter 25) that acknowledge and analyse arguments both for and against any given topic, plus discursive essay writing appeals to reason, not emotions or opinions. While it may draw some tentative conclusions, based on evidence, the main aim of a discursive essay is to inform the reader of the key arguments and allow them to arrive at their own conclusion.

The writer needs to research the topic thoroughly to present more than one perspective and should check their own biases and assumptions through critical reflection (see Chapter 30).

Unlike persuasive writing, the writer does not need to have knowledge of the audience, though should write using academic tone and language (see Chapter 20).

Choose Your Topic Carefully

A basic guide to choosing an assignment topic is available in Chapter 23, however choosing a topic for a discursive essay means considering more than one perspective. Not only do you need to find information about the topic via academic sources, you need to be able to construct a worthwhile discussion, moving from idea to idea. Therefore, more forward planning is required. The following are decisions that need to be considered when choosing a discursive essay topic:

  • These will become the controlling ideas for your three body paragraphs (some essays may require more). Each controlling idea will need arguments both for and against.
  • For example, if my topic is “renewable energy” and my three main (controlling) ideas are “cost”, “storage”, “environmental impact”, then I will need to consider arguments both for and against each of these three concepts. I will also need to have good academic sources with examples or evidence to support my claim and counter claim for each controlling idea (More about this in Chapter 27).
  • Am I able to write a thesis statement about this topic based on the available research? In other words, do my own ideas align with the available research, or am I going to be struggling to support my own ideas due to a lack of academic sources or research? You need to be smart about your topic choice. Do not make it harder than it has to be. Writing a discursive essay is challenging enough without struggling to find appropriate sources.
  • For example, perhaps I find a great academic journal article about the uptake of solar panel installation in suburban Australia and how this household decision is cost-effective long-term, locally stored, and has minimal, even beneficial environmental impact due to the lowering of carbon emissions. Seems too good to be true, yet it is perfect for my assignment. I would have to then find arguments AGAINST everything in the article that supports transitioning suburbs to solar power. I would have to challenge the cost-effectiveness, the storage, and the environmental impact study. Now, all of a sudden my task just became much more challenging.
  • There may be vast numbers of journal articles written about your topic, but consider how relevant they may be to your tentative thesis statement. It takes a great deal of time to search for appropriate academic sources. Do you have a good internet connection at home or will you need to spend some quality time at the library? Setting time aside to complete your essay research is crucial for success.

It is only through complete forward planning about the shape and content of your essay that you may be able to choose the topic that best suits your interests, academic ability and time management. Consider how you will approach the overall project, not only the next step.

Research Your Topic

When completing a library search for online peer reviewed journal articles, do not forget to use Boolean Operators to refine or narrow your search field. Standard Boolean Operators are (capitalized) AND, OR and NOT. While using OR will expand your search, AND and NOT will reduce the scope of your search. For example, if I want information on ageism and care giving, but I only want it to relate to the elderly, I might use the following to search a database: ageism AND care NOT children. Remember to keep track of your search strings (like the one just used) and then you’ll know what worked and what didn’t as you come and go from your academic research.

The UQ Library provides an excellent step-by-step guide to searching databases:

Searching in databases – Library – University of Queensland (

Did you know that you can also link the UQ Library to Google Scholar? This link tells you how:

Google Scholar – Library – University of Queensland (

Write the Thesis Statement

The concept of a thesis statement was introduced in Chapter 21. The information below relates specifically to a discursive essay thesis statement.

As noted in the introduction to this chapter, the discursive essay should not take a stance and therefore the thesis statement must also impartially indicate more than one perspective. The goal is to present both sides of an argument equally and allow the reader to make an informed and well-reasoned choice after providing supporting evidence for each side of the argument.

Sample thesis statements: Solar energy is a cost -effective solution to burning fossil fuels for electricity , however lower income families cannot afford the installation costs .

Some studies indicate that teacher comments written in red may have no effect on students’ emotions , however other studies suggest that seeing red ink on papers could cause some students unnecessary stress. [1]

According to social justice principles, education should be available to all , yet historically, the intellectually and physically impaired may have been exempt from participation due to their supposed inability to learn. [2]

This is where your pros and cons list comes into play. For each pro, or positive statement you make, about your topic, create an equivalent con, or negative statement and this will enable you to arrive at two opposing assertions – the claim and counter claim.

While there may be multiple arguments or perspectives related to your essay topic, it is important that you match each claim with a counter-claim. This applies to the thesis statement and each supporting argument within the body paragraphs of the essay.

It is not just a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. A neutral tone is crucial. Do not include positive or negative leading statements, such as “It is undeniable that…” or “One should not accept the view that…”. You are NOT attempting to persuade the reader to choose one viewpoint over another.

Leading statements / language will be discussed further, in class, within term three of the Academic English course.

Thesis Structure:

  • Note the two sides (indicated in green and orange)
  • Note the use of tentative language: “Some studies”, “may have”, “could cause”, “some students”
  • As the thesis is yet to be discussed in-depth, and you are not an expert in the field, do not use definitive language
  • The statement is also one sentence, with a “pivot point” in the middle, with a comma and signposting to indicate a contradictory perspective (in black). Other examples include, nevertheless, though, although, regardless, yet, albeit. DO NOT use the word “but” as it lacks academic tone. Some signposts (e.g., although, though, while) may be placed at the start of the two clauses rather than in the middle – just remember the comma, for example, “While some studies suggest solar energy is cost-effective, other critical research questions its affordability.”
  • Also note that it is based on preliminary research and not opinion: “some studies”, “other studies”, “according to social justice principles”, “critical research”.

Claims and Counter Claims

NOTE: Please do not confuse the words ‘claim’ and ‘counter-claim’ with moral or value judgements about right/wrong, good/bad, successful/unsuccessful, or the like. The term ‘claim’ simply refers to the first position or argument you put forward (whether for or against), and ‘counter-claim’ is the alternate position or argument.

In a discursive essay the goal is to present both sides equally and then draw some tentative conclusions based on the evidence presented.

  • To formulate your claims and counter claims, write a list of pros and cons.
  • For each pro there should be a corresponding con.
  • Three sets of pros and cons will be required for your discursive essay. One set for each body paragraph. These become your claims and counter claims.
  • For a longer essay, you would need further claims and counter claims.
  • Some instructors prefer students to keep the pros and cons in the same order across the body paragraphs. Each paragraph would then have a pro followed by a con or else a con followed by a pro. The order should align with your thesis; if the thesis gives a pro view of the topic followed by a negative view (con) then the paragraphs should also start with the pro and follow with the con, or else vice versa. If not aligned and consistent, the reader may easily become confused as the argument proceeds. Ask your teacher if this is a requirement for your assessment.

discursive essay pdf download

Use previous chapters to explore your chosen topic through concept mapping (Chapter 18) and essay outlining (Chapter 19), with one variance; you must include your proposed claims and counter claims in your proposed paragraph structures. What follows is a generic model for a discursive essay. The following Chapter 27 will examine this in further details.

Sample Discursive Essay Outline 

The paragraphs are continuous; the dot-points are only meant to indicate content.


  • Thesis statement
  • Essay outline (including 3 controlling ideas)

Body Paragraphs X 3 (Elaboration and evidence will be more than one sentence, though the topic, claim and counter claim should be succinct)

  • T opic sentence, including 1/3 controlling ideas (the topic remains the same throughout the entire essay; it is the controlling idea that changes)
  • A claim/assertion about the controlling idea
  • E laboration – more information about the claim
  • E vidence -academic research (Don’t forget to tell the reader how / why the evidence supports the claim. Be explicit in your E valuation rather than assuming the connection is obvious to the reader)
  • A counter claim (remember it must be COUNTER to the claim you made, not about something different)
  • E laboration – more information about the counter claim
  • E vidence – academic research (Don’t forget to tell the reader how / why the evidence supports the claim. Be explicit in your E valuation rather than assuming the connection is obvious to the reader)
  • Concluding sentence – L inks back to the topic and/or the next controlling idea in the following paragraph

Mirror the introduction. The essay outline should have stated the plan for the essay – “This essay will discuss…”, therefore the conclusion should identify that this has been fulfilled, “This essay has discussed…”, plus summarise the controlling ideas and key arguments. ONLY draw tentative conclusions BOTH for and against, allowing the reader to make up their own mind about the topic. Also remember to re-state the thesis in the conclusion. If it is part of the marking criteria, you should also include a recommendation or prediction about the future use or cost/benefit of the chosen topic/concept.

A word of warning, many students fall into the generic realm of stating that there should be further research on their topic or in the field of study. This is a gross statement of the obvious as all academia is ongoing. Try to be more practical with your recommendations and also think about who would instigate them and where the funding might come from.

This chapter gives an overview of what a discursive essay is and a few things to consider when choosing your topic. It also provides a generic outline for a discursive essay structure. The following chapter examines the structure in further detail.

  • Inez, S. M. (2018, September 10). What is a discursive essay, and how do you write a good one? Kibin. ↵
  • Hale, A., & Basides, H. (2013). The keys to academic English. Palgrave ↵

researched, reliable, written by academics and published by reputable publishers; often, but not always peer reviewed

assertion, maintain as fact

The term ‘claim’ simply refers to the first position or argument you put forward (whether for or against), and ‘counter-claim’ is the alternate position or argument.

Academic Writing Skills Copyright © 2021 by Patricia Williamson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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discursive essay pdf download

How to Write a Discursive Essay: Awesome Guide and Template

discursive essay pdf download

Interesting fact: Did you know that the term "discursive" is derived from the Latin word "discursus," which means to run about or to traverse? This reflects the nature of a discursive essay, as it involves exploring various perspectives, moving through different points of view, and presenting a comprehensive discussion on a given topic.

In this article, you will find out about a discursive essay definition, learn the difference between a discourse and an argumentative essay, gain practical how-to tips, and check out a discursive essay example.  

What Is a Discursive Essay

A discursive essay definition is a type of formal writing that presents a balanced analysis of a particular topic. Unlike an argumentative essay, which takes a firm stance on a single perspective and seeks to persuade the reader to adopt that viewpoint, a discursive essay explores multiple sides of an issue. 

The goal of a discursive essay is to provide a comprehensive overview of the subject, presenting different arguments, counterarguments, and perspectives in a structured and organized manner.

This type of essay encourages critical thinking and reasoned discourse. It typically includes an introduction that outlines the topic and sets the stage for the discussion, followed by a series of body paragraphs that delve into various aspects of the issue. The essay may also address counterarguments and opposing viewpoints. 

Finally, a discursive essay concludes by summarizing the key points and often leaves room for the reader to form their own informed opinion on the matter. This form of writing is commonly assigned in academic settings, allowing students to demonstrate their ability to analyze complex topics and present a well-reasoned exploration of diverse viewpoints. In case you find this type of composition too difficult, just say, ‘ write my paper ,’ and professional writers will take care of it. 

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Difference Between a Discursive Essay and an Argumentative

The main difference between discursive essays and argumentative lies in their overall purpose and approach to presenting information.

  • Discursive: The primary purpose of a discursive essay is to explore and discuss various perspectives on a given topic. How to write a discursive essay is about providing a comprehensive overview of the subject matter by presenting different arguments, opinions, and viewpoints without necessarily advocating for a specific stance.
  • Argumentative: In contrast, an argumentative essay is designed to persuade the reader to adopt a particular viewpoint or take a specific action. It presents a clear and focused argument in favor of the writer's position, often addressing and refuting opposing views.

Tone and Language:

  • Discursive: The tone of a discursive essay is generally more balanced and objective. It allows for a more open exploration of ideas, and the language used is often neutral and formal.
  • Argumentative: An argumentative essay tends to have a more assertive tone. The language is focused on presenting a compelling case from the writer's perspective, and there may be a sense of conviction in the presentation of evidence and reasoning.
  • Discursive Essay: A discursive essay typically follows a more flexible structure. It may present multiple points of view in separate sections, allowing for a free-flowing exploration of the topic.
  • Argumentative Essay: When learning how to write an argumentative essay, students usually follow a more rigid structure, with a clear introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs that present evidence and arguments, and a conclusion that reinforces the writer's stance.


  • Discursive Essay: The conclusion of a discursive essay often summarizes the main points discussed and may leave room for the reader to form their own opinion on the matter.
  • Argumentative Essay: The conclusion of an argumentative essay reinforces the writer's position and may include a call to action or a clear statement of the desired outcome.

While both types of essays involve critical thinking and analysis, the key distinction lies in their ultimate goals and how they approach the presentation of information. 

Types of Discursive Essay

Before writing a discursive essay, keep in mind that they can be categorized into different types based on their specific purposes and structures. Here are some common types of discursive essays:

purpose of discursive essay

Opinion Essays:

  • Purpose: Expressing and supporting personal opinions on a given topic.
  • Structure: The essay presents the writer's viewpoint and provides supporting evidence, examples, and arguments. It may also address counterarguments to strengthen the overall discussion.

Problem-Solution Essays:

  • Purpose: Identifying a specific problem and proposing effective solutions.
  • Structure: The essay introduces the problem, discusses its causes and effects, and presents possible solutions. It often concludes with a recommendation or call to action.

Compare and Contrast Essays:

  • Purpose: Analyzing similarities and differences between two or more perspectives, ideas, or approaches.
  • Structure: The essay outlines the key points of each perspective, highlighting similarities and differences. A balanced analysis is provided to give the reader a comprehensive understanding.

Cause and Effect Essays:

  • Purpose: Exploring the causes and effects of a particular phenomenon or issue.
  • Structure: The essay identifies the primary causes and examines their effects or vice versa. It may delve into the chain of events and their implications.

Argumentative Essays:

  • Purpose: Presenting a strong argument in favor of a specific viewpoint.
  • Structure: The essay establishes a clear thesis statement, provides evidence and reasoning to support the argument, and addresses opposing views. It aims to persuade the reader to adopt the writer's perspective.

Pro-Con Essays:

  • Purpose: Evaluating the pros and cons of a given issue.
  • Structure: The essay presents the positive aspects (pros) and negative aspects (cons) of the topic. It aims to provide a balanced assessment and may conclude with a recommendation or a summary of the most compelling points.

Exploratory Essays:

  • Purpose: Investigating and discussing a topic without necessarily advocating for a specific position.
  • Structure: The essay explores various aspects of the topic, presenting different perspectives and allowing the reader to form their own conclusions. It often reflects a process of inquiry and discovery.

These types of discursive essays offer different approaches to presenting information, and the choice of type depends on the specific goals of the essay and the preferences of the writer.

How to Write a Discursive Essay

Unlike other forms of essay writing, a discursive essay demands a unique set of skills, inviting writers to navigate through diverse perspectives, present contrasting viewpoints, and weave a tapestry of balanced arguments. 

You can order custom essay right now to save time to get ready to delve into the art of crafting a compelling discursive essay, unraveling the intricacies of structure, language, and critical analysis. Whether you're a seasoned essayist or a novice in the realm of formal writing, this exploration promises to equip you with the tools needed to articulate your thoughts effectively and engage your audience in thoughtful discourse. 

discursive essay aspects

Discursive Essay Format

The format of a discursive essay plays a crucial role in ensuring a clear, well-organized, and persuasive presentation of multiple perspectives on a given topic. Here is a typical discursive essay structure:

1. Introduction:

  • Hook: Begin with a captivating hook or attention-grabbing statement to engage the reader's interest.
  • Contextualization: Provide a brief overview of the topic and its relevance, setting the stage for the discussion.
  • Thesis Statement: Clearly state the main argument or the purpose of the essay. In a discursive essay, the thesis often reflects the idea that the essay will explore multiple viewpoints without necessarily taking a firm stance.

2. Body Paragraphs:

  • Topic Sentences: Start each body paragraph with a clear topic sentence that introduces the main point or argument.
  • Presentation of Arguments: Devote individual paragraphs to different aspects of the topic, presenting various arguments, perspectives, or evidence. Ensure a logical flow between paragraphs.
  • Address Counterarguments: Acknowledge and address opposing viewpoints to strengthen the overall credibility of your essay.
  • Supporting Evidence: Provide examples, statistics, quotations, or other forms of evidence to bolster each argument.

3. Transitions:

  • Logical Transitions: Use transitional phrases and words to ensure a smooth and logical flow between paragraphs and ideas. This helps readers follow your line of reasoning.

4. Conclusion:

  • Restate Thesis: Summarize the main argument or purpose of the essay without introducing new information.
  • Brief Recap: Provide a concise recap of the key points discussed in the body paragraphs.
  • Closing Thoughts: Offer some closing thoughts or reflections on the significance of the topic. You may also leave room for the reader to consider their own stance.

5. Language and Style:

  • Formal Tone: Maintain a formal and objective tone throughout the essay.
  • Clarity and Coherence: Ensure that your ideas are presented clearly and that there is coherence in your argumentation.
  • Varied Sentence Structure: Use a variety of sentence structures to enhance readability and engagement.

6. References (if applicable):

  • Citations: If you use external sources, cite them appropriately according to the citation style required (e.g., APA, MLA).

Remember, flexibility exists within this format, and the specifics may vary based on the assignment requirements or personal writing preferences. Tailor the structure to suit the demands of your discourse and the expectations of your audience.


A discursive essay introduction serves as the gateway to a thought-provoking exploration of diverse perspectives on a given topic. Here's how to structure an effective discursive essay introduction:

  • Begin with a compelling hook that captures the reader's attention. This could be a striking statistic, a thought-provoking quote, a relevant anecdote, or a rhetorical question. 
  • Offer a brief context or background information about the topic. This helps orient the reader and sets the stage for the discussion to follow. 
  • Clearly state the purpose of the essay. This often involves indicating that the essay will explore various perspectives on the topic without necessarily advocating for a specific stance. 
  • Provide a brief overview of the different aspects or arguments that will be explored in the essay. 
  • Conclude the introduction with a clear and concise thesis statement. 

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Writing a discursive essay involves crafting the body of your discursive essay. The number of paragraphs in the body should correspond to the arguments presented, with an additional paragraph dedicated to the opposing viewpoint if you choose to disclose both sides of the argument. If you opt for this approach, alternate the order of the body paragraphs—supporting arguments followed by counterarguments.

Each body paragraph in your discursive essay should focus on a distinct idea. Begin the paragraph with the main idea, provide a concise summary of the argument, and incorporate supporting evidence from reputable sources.

In the concluding paragraph of the body, present potential opposing arguments and counter them. Approach this section as if engaging in a debate, strategically dismantling opposing viewpoints.

While composing the body of a discursive essay, maintain a cohesive narrative. Although individual paragraphs address different arguments, refrain from titling each paragraph—aim for a seamless flow throughout the essay. Express your personal opinions exclusively in the conclusion.

Key guidelines for writing the body of a discursive essay:

  • Remain Unbiased: Prioritize objectivity. Evaluate all facets of the issue, leaving personal sentiments aside.
  • Build Your Argumentation: If you have multiple arguments supporting your viewpoint, present them in separate, well-structured paragraphs. Provide supporting evidence to enhance clarity and credibility.
  • Use an Alternate Writing Style: Present opposing viewpoints in an alternating manner. This means that if the first paragraph supports the main argument, the second should present an opposing perspective. This method enhances clarity and research depth and ensures neutrality.
  • Include Topic Sentences and Evidence: Commence each paragraph with a topic sentence summarizing the argument. This aids reader comprehension. Substantiate your claims with evidence, reinforcing the credibility of your discourse.

By adhering to these principles, you can construct a coherent and well-supported body for your discursive essay.


Writing an effective conclusion is crucial to leaving a lasting impression on your reader. Here are some tips to guide you in crafting a compelling and impactful conclusion:

  • Begin your conclusion by summarizing the key points discussed in the body of the essay. 
  • Remind the reader of your thesis statement, emphasizing the primary purpose of your discursive essay. 
  • Address the broader significance or implications of the topic. 
  • Explain why the issue is relevant and underscore the importance of considering multiple perspectives in understanding its complexity.
  • Reiterate the balanced nature of your essay. Emphasize that you have explored various viewpoints and arguments without necessarily taking a firm stance.
  • Reinforce the idea that your goal was to present a comprehensive analysis.
  • If applicable, suggest possible recommendations or solutions based on the insights gained from the essay.
  • Encourage the reader to reflect on the topic independently. 
  • Pose open-ended questions or invite them to consider the implications of the arguments presented. 
  • Resist the temptation to introduce new information or arguments in the conclusion.
  • Keep the tone of your conclusion professional and thoughtful. 
  • Conclude your essay with a strong, memorable closing statement.
  • Carefully review your conclusion to ensure clarity and coherence. Edit for grammar, punctuation, and overall writing quality to present a polished final product.

By incorporating these tips into your discursive essay conclusion, you can effectively summarize your arguments, leave a lasting impression, and prompt thoughtful reflection from your readers. Consider using our term paper writing service if you have to deal with a larger assignment that requires more time and effort.

Yays and Nays of Writing Discourse Essays

In learning how to write a discursive essay, certain do's and don'ts serve as guiding principles throughout the writing process. By adhering to these guidelines, writers can navigate the complexities of presenting arguments, counterarguments, and nuanced analyses, ensuring the essay resonates with clarity and persuasiveness.

  • Conduct thorough research on the topic to ensure a well-informed discussion.
  • Present multiple perspectives on the issue, exploring various arguments and viewpoints.
  • Maintain a balanced and neutral tone. Present arguments objectively without expressing personal bias.
  • Structure your essay logically with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. Use paragraphs to organize your ideas effectively.
  • Topic Sentences:
  • Include clear topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph to guide the reader through your arguments.
  • Support your arguments with credible evidence from reputable sources to enhance the credibility of your essay.
  • Use transitional words and phrases to ensure a smooth flow between paragraphs and ideas.
  • Engage in critical analysis. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different arguments and viewpoints.
  • Recap key points in the conclusion, summarizing the main arguments and perspectives discussed in the essay.
  • Carefully proofread your essay to correct any grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors.
  • Don't express personal opinions in the body of the essay. Save personal commentary for the conclusion.
  • Don't introduce new information or arguments in the conclusion. This section should summarize and reflect on existing content.
  • Don't use overly emotional or subjective language. Maintain a professional and objective tone throughout.
  • Don't rely on personal opinions without sufficient research. Ensure that your arguments are supported by credible evidence.
  • Don't have an ambiguous or unclear thesis statement. Clearly state the purpose of your essay in the introduction.
  • Don't ignore counterarguments. Acknowledge and address opposing viewpoints to strengthen your overall argument.
  • Don't use overly complex language if it doesn't add to the clarity of your arguments. Strive for clarity and simplicity in your writing.
  • Don't present ideas in a disorganized manner. Ensure that there is a logical flow between paragraphs and ideas.
  • Don't excessively repeat the same points. Present a variety of arguments and perspectives to keep the essay engaging.
  • Don't ignore the guidelines provided for the essay assignment. Follow any specific instructions or requirements given by your instructor or institution.

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Discursive Essay Examples

Discursive essay topics.

Writing a discursive essay on a compelling topic holds immense importance as it allows individuals to engage in a nuanced exploration of diverse perspectives. A well-chosen subject encourages critical thinking and deepens one's understanding of complex issues, fostering intellectual growth. 

The process of exploring a good topic enhances research skills as writers delve into varied viewpoints and gather evidence to support their arguments. Moreover, such essays contribute to the broader academic discourse, encouraging readers to contemplate different facets of a subject and form informed opinions.

  • The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Employment.
  • Should Social Media Platforms Regulate Content for Misinformation?
  • Exploring the Ethics of Cloning in Contemporary Science.
  • Universal Basic Income: A Solution for Economic Inequality?
  • The Role of Technology in Shaping Modern Education.
  • Nuclear Energy: Sustainable Solution or Environmental Risk?
  • The Effects of Video Games on Adolescent Behavior.
  • Cybersecurity Threats in the Digital Age: Balancing Privacy and Security.
  • Debunking Common Myths Surrounding Climate Change.
  • The Pros and Cons of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
  • Online Education vs. Traditional Classroom Learning.
  • The Impact of Social Media Influencers on Consumer Behavior.
  • The Ethics of Animal Testing in Medical Research.
  • Universal Healthcare: Addressing Gaps in Healthcare Systems.
  • The Role of Government in Regulating Cryptocurrencies.
  • The Influence of Advertising on Body Image and Self-Esteem.
  • Renewable Energy Sources: A Viable Alternative to Fossil Fuels?
  • The Implications of Space Exploration on Earth's Resources.
  • Is Censorship Justified in the Arts and Entertainment Industry?
  • Examining the Impact of Globalization on Cultural Identity.
  • The Morality of Capital Punishment in the 21st Century.
  • Should Genetic Engineering be Used for Human Enhancement?
  • Social Media and Its Influence on Political Discourse.
  • Balancing Environmental Conservation with Economic Development.
  • The Role of Gender in the Workplace: Achieving Equality.
  • Exploring the Impact of Fast Fashion on the Environment.
  • The Benefits and Risks of Autonomous Vehicles.
  • The Influence of Media on Perceptions of Beauty.
  • Legalization of Marijuana: Addressing Medical and Social Implications.
  • The Impact of Antibiotic Resistance on Global Health.
  • The Pros and Cons of a Cashless Society.
  • Exploring the Relationship Between Technology and Mental Health.
  • The Role of Government Surveillance in Ensuring National Security.
  • Addressing the Digital Divide: Ensuring Access to Technology for All.
  • The Impact of Social Media on Political Activism.
  • The Ethics of Animal Rights and Welfare.
  • Nuclear Disarmament: Necessity or Utopian Ideal?
  • The Effects of Income Inequality on Societal Well-being.
  • The Role of Education in Combating Systemic Racism.
  • The Influence of Pop Culture on Society's Values and Norms.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact on Creative Industries.
  • The Pros and Cons of Mandatory Vaccination Policies.
  • The Role of Women in Leadership Positions: Breaking the Glass Ceiling.
  • Internet Privacy: Balancing Personal Security and Data Collection.
  • The Impact of Social Media on Youth Mental Health.
  • The Morality of Animal Agriculture and Factory Farming.
  • The Rise of Online Learning Platforms: Transforming Education.
  • Addressing the Digital Gender Gap in STEM Fields.
  • The Impact of Global Tourism on Local Cultures and Environments.
  • Exploring the Implications of 3D Printing Technology in Various Industries.

By the way, we have another great collection of narrative essay topics to get your creative juices flowing.

Wrapping Up

Throughout this guide, you have acquired valuable insights into the art of crafting compelling arguments and presenting diverse perspectives. By delving into the nuances of topic selection, structuring, and incorporating evidence, you could hone your critical thinking skills and sharpen your ability to engage in informed discourse. 

This guide serves as a roadmap, offering not just a set of rules but a toolkit to empower students in their academic journey. As you embark on future writing endeavors, armed with the knowledge gained here, you can confidently navigate the challenges of constructing well-reasoned, balanced discursive essays that contribute meaningfully to academic discourse and foster a deeper understanding of complex issues. If you want to continue your academic learning journey right now, we suggest that you read about the IEEE format next.

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is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

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is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

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20 Essay Writing Topics/Questions | C1 Advanced (CAE)

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How to write an C1 Advanced (CAE) essay?


More than practice tests, c1 advanced (cae) essay: example topics / questions.

Below is a sample list of academic essay writing topics/tasks for C1-level (advanced) students. You can use them to practice writing English essays or to simplyy prepare for the Cambridge exam

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 1 | Advanced (CAE)

Your class has attended a panel discussion on the subject of TV shows that feature members of the public, such as reality TV shows and talent competitions. You have made the notes below.

Aspects of reality and talent TV shows

  • entertainment for viewers
  • influence on young people
  • effect on participants

Some opinions expressed in the discussion:

‘These programmes are just harmless entertainment and there is nothing wrong with them.’ ‘The influence these programmes can have on young people can be very bad indeed.’ ‘People who take part in these programmes can be damaged by the experience.’

Write an essay for your tutor discussing two of the aspects in your notes. You should explain which aspect you think is the most important regarding these TV shows and provide reason s to support your opinion.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 2 | Advanced (CAE)

You have watched a documentary about what causes young people to start committing crimes. You have made the notes below.

Reasons why young people commit crimes

  • lack of control by parents
  • absence of opportunities in life
  • influence of friends

Some opinions expressed in the documentary:

‘Without firm discipline from parents, some children are likely to get into trouble.” ‘It’s not surprising that young people who feel they have no chance of a good life turn to crime.” ‘The bad influence of people they mix with can cause some young people to take up crime.’

Write an essay for your tutor discussing two of the reasons in your notes. You should explain which cause you think is the most important for young people committing crimes and provide reasons to support your opinion.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 3 | Advanced (CAE)

Your class has attended a panel discussion on what are the greatest advantages of digital and computer technology for people in their everyday lives. You have made the notes below.

Advantages of digital and computer technology in everyday life

  • communication
  • access to information
  • shopping and services

‘Being able to contact anyone at any time in any place is obviously the greatest advantage.’

‘The fact that people can instantly look up something and find out about it, or learn something new, is the greatest advantage.’

‘You don’t need to go out or spend a long time buying or paying for things and that’s the greatest advantage.’

Write an essay for your tutor discussing two of the advantages in your notes. You should explain which advantage you think is the greatest for people in their everyday lives and provide reasons to support your opinion.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 4 | Advanced (CAE)

Your class has been discussing whether school/college leavers should be forced to do unpaid work if no paid jobs are available. You have made the notes below:

Arguments for and against forcing young people into jobs that are not paid:

  • it gives young people the chance to gain valuable work experience.
  • it would benefit society if more young people worked for the local community.
  • companies would be exploiting young people as a cheap source of labour.

Some opinions expressed during the discussion:

“If the job needs doing the company should be prepared to pay for someone’s labour.” “Such a scheme would build confidence in young people who would otherwise be idle” “It would force young people into dead-end jobs”

Write an  essay  discussing two of the arguments made for and/or against making young people do unpaid work. You should explain which argument is more important , giving reasons in support of your answer.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 5 | Advanced (CAE)

You class has watched a documentary about the need for nations to fund space exploration. You have made the notes below:

Advantages of spending public money on space exploration:

  • countries work together to further our understanding of the universe
  • we may discover raw materials.
  • possible new living space for the world’s growing population.

“It’s human nature to want to understand where we come from.” “We should stop exploiting natural resources.” “The world’s growing population needs further space to live.”

Write an  essay  discussing two of the advantages given for space exploration in your notes You should  explain which reason is most important , giving reasons in support of your answer.

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C1 - essay topic / question 6 | advanced (cae).

Your class has had a discussion about the importance of the Internet in our lives. You have made the notes below:

Reasons why the Internet has become so important:

  • the opportunity it offers to buy and sell online.
  • the ease with which we can keep in contact with friends or relations.
  • its use as a study tool.

“Social media allows me to stay in contact with family members all over the country.” “You can shop around, read reviews and get good bargains on the web.” “The Internet offers me an enormous library to help with my studies.”

Write an essay discussing two of the reasons given for the importance of the Internet. You should explain which reason is most important , giving reasons in support of your answer.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 7 | Advanced (CAE)

Your class has had a discussion about the negative effects of globalisation on local culture. You have made the notes below:

Effects of globalisation:

  • the dominance of the western music/film industry.
  • the loss of national identity.
  • the undermining of values of local culture.

“We don’t want to see the same culture wherever we travel.” “People are free to enjoy whichever music, films or fashion they wish.” “Young people are losing the sense of values their parents had.”

Write an essay discussing two of the effects listed in your notes. You should explain which effect is more important , giving reasons in support of your answer.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 8 | Advanced (CAE)

Your class has watched a documentary about the decline in the number of local buildings with historic interest. You have made the notes below: Factors behind the decline include:

  • a lack of space within inner cities for commercial and residential developments.
  • the fact that these buildings are not seen as worthy of preservation by town planners.
  • insufficient public funds to support the preservation of these buildings.

“We need to preserve old buildings for future generations.” “Buildings with a local historical interest can be good for tourism.” “Some of these buildings no longer serve a purpose and should be replaced with modern alternatives.”

Write an essay discussing two of the reasons given for the decline in such buildings in your notes. You should explain which factor is more important , giving reasons in support of your answer.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 9 | Advanced (CAE)

You attended a debate at a local community centre at which a proposal to launch a new local TV station was discussed. You have made the notes below:

What would be the benefits of a new local TV station?

  • community events
  • local businesses

Some opinions expressed during the debate:

“TV is dying. Everyone uses the internet.” “Will younger people engage with local television?” “TV service can’t just become a vehicle for wall-to-wall advertising!”

Write an essay , discussing two of the benefits in your notes. You should explain which benefit you think would be most important , giving reasons in support of your answer.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 10 | Advanced (CAE)

You attended a college debate that discussed ways of encouraging more people to be more environmentally friendly in their energy use and production. You have made the notes below:

How can individuals protect the environment through their home energy policy?

  • Subsidised solar panels
  • Free insulation
  • Replacement heating system

“Governments should be doing this, not individuals!” “Heating old, cold buildings helps nobody.” “Solar panels take decades to pay for themselves!”

Write an essay , discussing two of the ideas in your notes. You should explain which idea would help protect the environment most, giving reasons in support of your answer.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 11 | Advanced (CAE)

You attended a lecture at a local business centre where the advantages of working from home were discussed. You have made the notes below:

How can working from home be beneficial?

  • Effects on traffic
  • Less office space required
  • Happier employees

Some opinions expressed during the lecture:

“People working alone at home go crazy!” “Face-to-face meetings are crucial.” “Will everybody have this privilege?”

Write an essay , discussing two of the benefits in your notes. You should explain which benefit would be most important , giving reasons in support of your answer.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 12 | Advanced (CAE)

You attended a debate at the town hall which discussed how new government money for the town should be spent. You have made the notes below:

How should the new government money be spent locally?

  • Reduce local taxes by 1%
  • More sports facilities
  • New books and teachers for schools

“We pay too much tax, a tax cut helps everyone!” “Having a healthier local population is more important than money.” “I don’t play sports, what’s in this for me?”

Write an essay , discussing two of the proposals in your notes. You should explain which proposal would help the town most , giving reasons in support of your answer.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 13 | Advanced (CAE)

You attended a meeting at a local school where possible new additions to the curriculum were discussed. You have made the notes below:

What subjects can we add to our school curriculum?

  • computer programming
  • home decoration and repair

Some opinions expressed during the meeting:

“We need to consider those who won’t go to university.” “Learn Latin and you’re halfway to learning any other language.” “We need to prepare our children for the modern world they live in!”

Write an essay , discussing two of the subjects in your notes. You should explain which subject would help students most , giving reasons in support of your answer.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 14 | Advanced (CAE)

You have listened to a radio discussion programme about what can be done to increase participation in sports by people of all ages. You have made the notes below.

Ways of increasing participation in sports

  • advertising
  •  famous sportspeople

“Campaigns involving famous sportspeople are very effective because they are role models for young people.” “If people know what is available to them, more of them might take facilities” “What people need to get started in sports is enough free or cheap up sports.”

Write an essay for your tutor discussing two of the ways in your notes. You should explain which way you think is likely to be the most effective for increasing participation in sports and provide reasons to support your opinion.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 15 | Advanced (CAE)

Your class has attended a lecture on what governments could do to minimise the use of fossil fuels, You have made the notes below.

Methods of minimising the use of fossil fuels

  • increasing taxes on petrol
  • increasing use of nuclear energy

“Is the technology for recycling adequately developed?” “Increased taxation will not be a sufficient deterrent.’ “Nuclear energy is too risky.”

Write an essay for your tutor discussing two of the methods in your notes. You should explain which method you think is more important for governments to consider, and provide reasons to support your opinion.

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C1 - essay topic / question 16 | advanced (cae).

You recently heard a discussion about the benefits of school uniforms. These are the notes you took.

Pros and Cons:

  • Shared identity.
  • Expensive for parents.
  • Discrimination

Notes on Opinions expressed:

  • Could give students a positive identity boost.
  • Some parents may not be able to afford them.
  • Students with cheaper uniforms could face discrimination

Write an  essay  discussing  two  of the ideas in an appropriate style. You should  explain   which  idea you think is  more   important , giving reasons to support your opinion.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 17 | Advanced (CAE)

You recently heard a discussion about the behavioural problems of some children. These are the notes you took.

  • Stricter teachers.
  • Parental responsibility.
  • Government action.
  • Teaching is difficult if too strict.
  • Parents should exercise control.
  • Government should introduce Laws to make parents liable for their children.

Write an  essay  discussing  two  of the ideas in an appropriate style, using 220 – 260 words. You should  explain   which  idea you think is  more   important , giving reasons to support your opinion.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 18 | Advanced (CAE)

You recently heard a discussion about the low level of reading skills in schools. These are the notes you took.

  • Extra reading work at school.
  • Reading time with parents.
  • Special teachers.
  • No extra time available at school.
  • Parents have very busy lives.
  • Difficult to organise.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 19 | Advanced (CAE)

Your class has attended a panel discussion about the ‘race to space’ and who should be funding it. You have made the notes below:

Who should be funding the race to space?

  • private companies
  • the government
  • we should not spend money on this
  • In the future, we will need a new planet to live on
  • The race to space is important for scientific development
  • It’s a waste of money to explore space.

C1 - Essay Topic / Question 20 | Advanced (CAE)

You recently heard a discussion about bullying at school. These are the notes you took.


Notes on opinions expressed:

  • Teachers should control their environment.
  • Students should be taught about the dangers
  • The police should offer protection.

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Sample Discursive Writing Templates

discursive writing

Discursive writing can be quite a handful to write. It can also often get interchanged with other types of essays. When it comes to writing one, you want to make sure that you choose a topic that you will be passionate about or objective about. Choosing a topic for this type of writing is of high importance because you want to make sure that you will be able to put a good amount of effort into writing your essay. You may also see book writing 

Discursive Writing

7+ expository writing samples and templates, 6+ narrative writing samples and templates, 4+ informative writing samples and templates.

If you are looking for a couple of information about discursive writing, this is the article for you. We have also included a couple of essay samples in PDF  that would help you out with coming up with your very own discursive essay.

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Discursive Paragraph Example

The debate surrounding the use of technology in education illustrates a profound discursive subject that invites a range of perspectives. On one hand, proponents argue that technology enhances learning by providing students with access to a wealth of information and interactive tools that were previously unimaginable. They contend that digital resources, such as educational apps and online platforms, cater to diverse learning styles and can significantly improve engagement and understanding. Furthermore, technology prepares students for a digital future, equipping them with essential skills required in the 21st-century workplace. On the other hand, critics raise concerns about the potential drawbacks of technology in education, such as decreased attention spans, the digital divide, and the potential for distractions. They argue that reliance on technology might undermine foundational skills like handwriting and mental arithmetic. Additionally, there’s an apprehension about screen time affecting children’s health and social skills. This discourse highlights the nuanced balance educators must achieve between leveraging technology to enrich education and preserving traditional learning methods that have proven effective over time.

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Discursive Speech Example

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, I stand before you to delve into a topic that is both pervasive and profound in its impact on modern society – the role of social media. In this digital age, social media platforms have transcended their initial purpose of connectivity, morphing into colossal entities that influence nearly every facet of our daily lives. My discourse will explore the multifaceted effects of social media, both its boons and banes, on our societal fabric.

On one hand, social media has democratized information, breaking down barriers that once hindered the free flow of knowledge. It has empowered individuals to share their stories, raise awareness on critical issues, and mobilize for social change like never before. Campaigns for social justice, environmental advocacy, and political movements have found a fertile ground on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, where a single post can spark global conversations. Furthermore, in our personal lives, social media has kept us connected to those who matter most, shrinking distances and enabling us to maintain relationships across the globe.

However, as we bask in the glow of our screens, it’s imperative to recognize the shadows cast by these platforms. The pervasive nature of social media has blurred the lines between reality and perception, often presenting a distorted view of life that can exacerbate feelings of inadequacy and anxiety among users. Cyberbullying, a byproduct of online anonymity, has emerged as a sinister threat, especially to younger users, leading to tragic outcomes and raising questions about the psychological impact of these platforms. Moreover, the dissemination of misinformation has been facilitated by social media, undermining public trust in institutions and each other, and influencing elections and public policy.

As we navigate this complex landscape, it’s crucial to foster a balanced perspective on social media. Education on digital literacy, emphasizing critical thinking and responsible online behavior, can empower users to navigate social media wisely. Furthermore, advocating for transparency and accountability from tech giants is essential in mitigating the adverse effects of their platforms.

In conclusion, social media stands as a double-edged sword, capable of both uniting and dividing, enlightening and deceiving. As members of this digital society, it’s our responsibility to wield this tool with caution and consciousness, ensuring that its impact enriches, rather than diminishes, the fabric of our society.

discursive speech example

Discursive Article Example

The Digital Age: A Double-Edged Sword for Modern Society

In the contemporary epoch, the digital age stands as a colossal testament to human ingenuity and innovation. It has revolutionized the way we communicate, work, and live, embedding itself into the very fabric of daily existence. Yet, as we navigate through this digital renaissance, it becomes increasingly evident that this new era, much like a double-edged sword, presents both profound benefits and significant challenges to modern society.

On the bright side, the digital age has democratized information, rendering it accessible to a global audience. Knowledge and data, once the privilege of the few, are now at the fingertips of many, thanks to the internet. This has empowered individuals with the tools for self-education, broadening horizons and fostering an informed citizenry. Furthermore, digital platforms have revolutionized social connectivity, enabling people to maintain relationships across vast distances and cultural divides. The business sector, too, has reaped the rewards, with technology driving efficiencies, innovation, and opening new markets that were previously beyond reach.

However, this digital utopia is not without its shadows. The proliferation of digital technology has given rise to concerns over privacy and security. Personal information, once considered private, can now be easily accessed, shared, or even misused, leading to a growing sense of vulnerability among internet users. Moreover, the anonymity afforded by online platforms has fueled a rise in cyberbullying and hate speech, challenging the boundaries of free expression. Another poignant issue is the digital divide, which exacerbates existing inequalities. While some enjoy the full benefits of the digital age, others, particularly in less developed regions, are left on the sidelines, unable to access the same opportunities for growth and development.

The impact of the digital age on mental health also warrants attention. The constant bombardment of information and the pressure to maintain a perfect image on social media can lead to anxiety, depression, and a sense of inadequacy, particularly among younger generations. Additionally, the blurring lines between work and home life in a digitalized world contribute to burnout and stress, challenging the notion of digital technology as a purely beneficial force.

In conclusion, the digital age is a multifaceted phenomenon that brings to light the best and worst of technological advancement. It has undoubtedly propelled society forward, breaking down barriers and fostering innovation. Yet, it also poses significant challenges that require careful consideration and action. Balancing the scales between harnessing the potential of digital technology and mitigating its adverse effects is imperative. As we venture further into this digital frontier, it is crucial to foster a society that is not only technologically advanced but also ethically mindful and inclusive, ensuring that the digital age benefits all of humanity.

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Browse More Templates On Discursive Writing

Sample discursive essay in pdf.

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What is the format of discursive writing?

Discursive writing follows a specific format that includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Here’s a brief breakdown of the format:

  • Begin with a clear and engaging introduction that presents the topic.
  • Provide background information and context.
  • Clearly state the thesis or main argument.
  • Organize the body into multiple paragraphs, each addressing a specific aspect of the topic.
  • Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea.
  • Support each point with evidence, examples, and reasoning.
  • Address counterarguments and refute them if necessary.
  • Ensure smooth transitions between paragraphs.
  • Summarize the main points discussed in the body.
  • Reinforce the thesis writing or main argument.
  • Provide a concluding thought or call to action.
  • Avoid introducing new information in the conclusion.
  • Use formal and objective language.
  • Maintain a neutral tone while presenting arguments.
  • Vary sentence structure for clarity and engagement.
  • Use cohesive devices to connect ideas.
  • Include citations for any sources used.
  • Follow a specified citation style (e.g., APA, MLA).

Remember, the format may vary based on the specific guidelines provided, the type of discursive writing (argumentative essay, debate, etc.), and the intended audience. Always refer to any specific instructions or requirements given for the assignment.

Sample Discursive Writing Template

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How do you start a discursive writing?

how do you start a discursive writing 1024x530

Starting a discursive writing piece effectively involves engaging the reader and laying a solid foundation for the exploration of the topic at hand. Here’s how to craft a compelling introduction:

  • Hook the Reader : Begin with a strong hook that piques the reader’s interest. This could be a provocative question, a surprising fact, a quote, or a brief anecdote related to your topic. The aim is to draw the reader in and make them want to learn more.
  • Introduce the Topic : Clearly state the topic of your discursive essay. Provide some background information if necessary to help the reader understand the context or significance of the issue being discussed.
  • Present the Controversy : Discursive writing explores a topic from multiple perspectives. Introduce the controversy or debate surrounding your topic. Highlight the main arguments or positions without showing bias toward any side.
  • State the Purpose : Explain the purpose of your essay. Inform the reader that you will be examining different viewpoints on the topic, weighing their merits, and perhaps drawing a conclusion based on the evidence presented.
  • Outline the Structure : Briefly outline how your essay will be structured. Mention the main points or arguments that will be explored in the body paragraphs. This gives the reader a roadmap of what to expect.

Here’s an example introduction for a discursive essay on the impact of social media on society:

“In today’s digital era, social media platforms have become integral to our daily lives, connecting people across the globe in unprecedented ways. Yet, as the digital web weaves itself tighter around our routines, debates rage over its impact on society. Is social media a tool for unparalleled connection and knowledge sharing, or does it serve as a breeding ground for misinformation and social isolation? This essay delves into the multifaceted nature of social media, exploring both its positive contributions and its potential pitfalls. By examining a spectrum of viewpoints, we aim to shed light on this complex issue, offering insights into how social media shapes our modern world.”

This introduction sets the stage for a balanced exploration of the topic, inviting the reader to consider the various dimensions of the issue.

Discursive Writing Template

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What Is a Discursive Essay?

Discursive writing is a type of formal writing that discusses a certain topic. The topic can be anything from an issue, a situation, or a problem.

There are two basic types of discursive essays: persuasive essays  which aim to persuade the reader that your opinion matters, while the other one is an argumentative essay which basically tries to argue a certain topic based on facts.

There are also three main types of discursive essays:

1. For and against essays which try to discuss the two sides of an issue with justifications, examples, as well as reasons. In the last part of the essay, the writer’s opinion may be written.

2. Opinion essays ,  based on the word opinion , is a type of discursive writing that presents the writer’s personal opinion regarding a certain topic. The writer’s opinion usually appears in the introduction as well as in the summary of the essay. You may also like business writing .

3. Suggested solutions to problems aim to analyze certain problems to certain topics and discuss possible solutions to these problems. The writer’s opinion may be directly or indirectly stated in the introduction and the conclusion of the essay. You may also check out letter writing

Features of a Good Discursive Essay

Just like any other type of essays, a discursive essay has three basic parts.

1. Introduction

The introduction of a discursive essay will be the part of your essay that will discuss what the main topic of the essay will be. You may also see informational writing

2. Main Body

The main body of the essay will contain the main points of the topic. Typically, it is separated into three paragraphs where the main points will be justified or exemplified.

3. Conclusion

The closing paragraph will summarize everything that you have discussed in the earlier paragraphs wherein your opinions will be restated. You may also like article writing

Considerations with Discursive Writing

1. present each point in an organized manner.

Every paragraph in the main body of your essay should start with one of the main points that you have for your essay. Justifications should also follow the main points.

2. Catchy Statements

Catchy statements can include

  • famous quotations,
  • rhetorical questions, and
  • thought-provoking questions.

3. List Down Points

When you get started on your essay outline , make sure that you also include the main points that you have. This will help to ensure that you have included everything that needs to be included in the essay. You may also check out  reflective writing

4. Formal Language

Keep the language formal and appropriate for the writing style that you have.

The Basic DOs and DON’Ts of Discursive Writing

1. when you are writing a discursive essay, do.

  • stick to a formal writing style,
  • introduce each main point in a clear and concise statement,
  • make sure that your paragraphs are well-developed and well-written,
  • give examples for every main point,
  • write in a sequential manner,
  • properly use linking words, and
  • cite sources and references.

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2. When You are Writing a Discursive Essay, DON’T

  • make use of shortened sentences or phrases,
  • make use of informal language,
  • make use of language that is biased or emotional,
  • over-generalize,
  • be insistent on your opinions, and
  • make use of personal examples.

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Basic Discursive Writing Template

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What are the benefits of discursive writing?

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Discursive writing offers several benefits, making it a valuable form of expression and exploration. Here are some advantages:

  • Comprehensive Understanding: Discursive writing encourages writers to thoroughly explore a topic from various angles. This process fosters a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
  • Critical Thinking: Writing discursively requires analyzing multiple perspectives and considering diverse viewpoints. This enhances critical thinking skills as writers evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different arguments.
  • Increased Tolerance: Engaging with diverse opinions in discursive writing promotes empathy and tolerance. Writers learn to appreciate different viewpoints and understand the complexities of various issues.
  • Enhanced Communication Skills: Expressing ideas in a clear and organized manner is crucial in discursive writing. This skill is transferable to other sample forms of communication, including verbal and professional communication.
  • Effective Research Skills: Discursive writing often involves research to support arguments and explore different perspectives. Writers develop research skills, including information gathering, source evaluation, and citation.
  • Versatility: Discursive writing can take various forms, including essays, articles, blog posts, and more. This versatility allows writers to adapt their skills to different genres and communication mediums.
  • Intellectual Exploration: The open-ended nature of discursive writing encourages intellectual exploration. Writers have the freedom to delve into complex issues, fostering a sense of curiosity and a desire for knowledge.
  • Improved Writing Proficiency: Regular practice of discursive writing hones writing skills. Writers become more adept at structuring arguments, using evidence effectively, and maintaining coherence throughout their writing.
  • Preparation for Argumentative Writing: Discursive writing serves as a foundation for argumentative writing. The skills developed in exploring multiple perspectives can be applied to make persuasive arguments in various contexts.
  • Encourages Lifelong Learning: Discursive writing promotes a mindset of continuous learning and inquiry. Writers develop a habit of seeking new information and staying informed about current issues.

In summary writing , discursive writing offers a multifaceted approach to exploring and understanding complex topics, contributing to the development of critical thinking, communication skills, and a well-rounded intellectual perspective.

Discursive Essay Writing Format

discursive writing sample format

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Discursive Writing Frame Outline Template

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What is the difference between discursive and argumentative?

While both discursive and argumentative writing involve exploring a topic, the key distinction lies in the degree of assertiveness and persuasion. Discursive writing tends to be more exploratory and open-ended, while argumentative writing aims to make a specific point and persuade the reader to adopt a particular viewpoint.

Is discursive writing biased?

Discursive writing may exhibit bias if it selectively presents information or leans towards a particular perspective without adequately considering opposing views. It depends on the author’s approach.

Where is discursive writing used?

Discursive writing is used in various contexts, including academic essays, opinion pieces, blog posts, and article analysis . It serves as a means to explore and discuss complex topics comprehensively.

What is an example of discursive?

An example of discursive writing could be an essay discussing the ethical implications of artificial intelligence, exploring various perspectives on its impact on society, privacy, and employment.

Is a discursive essay formal or informal

A discursive essay is typically formal in nature. It requires structured reasoning, analysis of multiple viewpoints, and clear presentation of arguments, adhering to academic conventions and standards of writing.

In conclusion, discursive writing serves as a versatile tool for exploring diverse perspectives on complex topics, fostering critical thinking, and promoting a nuanced understanding of various issues.

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Discursive Essay Sample.pdf

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  • 1. Discursive Essay Sample Writing a discursive essay can be a challenging task that requires a thoughtful and balanced approach to presenting different perspectives on a given topic. The difficulty lies not only in organizing and structuring the essay effectively but also in critically analyzing and synthesizing diverse viewpoints. Crafting a discursive essay involves the ability to express ideas clearly, logically, and persuasively while navigating through the complexities of the subject matter. One of the primary challenges is striking the right balance between presenting opposing arguments and providing a coherent line of reasoning. It requires the writer to delve into the nuances of the topic, exploring various angles and considering counterarguments. Finding credible sources and evidence to support each perspective adds another layer of complexity to the process. Ensuring a fair representation of different viewpoints without bias is crucial for the overall integrity of the essay. Additionally, the task involves meticulous planning to create a well-structured essay that flows seamlessly from one point to another. Transitioning between paragraphs and maintaining a clear and concise writing style are essential for keeping the reader engaged and facilitating comprehension. Furthermore, the writer must be adept at maintaining a neutral tone throughout the essay, avoiding personal biases and emotional language. This can be challenging, especially when dealing with topics that evoke strong opinions or emotions. In conclusion, writing a discursive essay demands a combination of critical thinking, research skills, and effective communication. It is a challenging endeavor that requires careful consideration of multiple perspectives and the ability to present them coherently. While the difficulty may vary depending on the specific topic, mastering the art of writing a discursive essay is undoubtedly a valuable skill. For those seeking assistance with such essays or other academic writing tasks, it's worth exploring resources like, where similar essays and a range of writing services are available to provide support and guidance.


  1. Handout2.Discursive Essay

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  1. PDF Advanced Self-Access Learning Writing

    Writing Part 1 - the discursive essay Lesson summary The topic of this lesson is technology. In the lesson you will: • review the format and focus of the Writing Part 1 paper • research a topic online in English • make notes on useful ideas and vocabulary to help you write a discursive essay

  2. Academic Writing Guide

    The Academic Writing Guide (AWG) is designed to familiarise you with the process of writing a discursive essay. A discursive essay is a genre of writing that requires you to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner. Once you have decided on your position your ...

  3. Planning a Discursive Essay

    A discursive essay is a form of critical essay that attempts to provide the reader with a balanced argument on a topic, supported by evidence. It requires critical thinking, as well as sound and valid arguments (see Chapter 25) that acknowledge and analyse arguments both for and against any given topic, plus discursive essay writing appeals to ...

  4. How To Write Discursive Essays

    Your essay is structured in a manner that argues towards this stand. When writing an argumentative essay, your goal is to persuade, to convince the reader to be in support of your stand. Discursive: you are not required to take an explicit stand on the issue. In other words, you do not need to pick a side. You may choose to pick a side; that ...

  5. PDF The Discursive Essay

    Discursive (adj) [dis-ker-siv]: talking or writing about things that are not highly organized. moving from topic to topic without order. passing aimlessly from one topic to another. SYNONYMS: rambling, digressive, erratic, long-winded. Think of discursive as a BLEND of expository and argumentative because it uses elements from both:

  6. How to Write a Discursive Essay with Impact and Authority

    1. Introduction: Hook: Begin with a captivating hook or attention-grabbing statement to engage the reader's interest. Contextualization: Provide a brief overview of the topic and its relevance, setting the stage for the discussion. Thesis Statement: Clearly state the main argument or the purpose of the essay.

  7. Discursive/Expository Essays

    The discursive/expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.

  8. PDF The Discursive Essay

    A Good Discursive Essay Has A closing paragraph summarising the main points of the essay (you restate your opinion, and/or give a balanced consideration of the topic). A main body (points are clearly stated in separate paragraphs (2 - 3) and exemplified or justified), An introductory paragraph (you clearly state the topic to be discussed),


    3.5 Discursive essay (HL and FAL ONLY) A discursive essay is objective and aims to give a balanced view of both sides of an argument. The writer considers various aspects of the topic under discussion and presents opposing views impartially. The writer may come to a particular conclusion at the end of the essay but the arguments for and against ...

  10. PDF Guideline for Teaching and Writing Essays and Transactional Texts

    An argumentative essay can be subjective and strong opinions are expressed. A variety of rhetorical devices and persuasive techniques should be used. The language used is emotive and can be emotional but should not be rude. The conclusion should be a strong, clear and convincing statement of the writer's opinion. 3.5 Discursive essay

  11. PDF Essay Writing Handout

    Answer the question; keep it relevant. Develop a logical and clearly structured argument. Support and illustrate your argument. Go beyond description to demonstrate critical thinking. Practice writing and proofreading. 3. Plan Your Essay. Every essay needs a strong and clear structure, organized around an argument.

  12. How to Write a Discursive Essay: Tips, Dos & Don'ts

    State your opinion in the introduction, supported by examples and reasons. Present the opposing argument before the conclusion, explaining why you find it unconvincing. Summarize your important points in the conclusion. 2. Essay providing a solution to a problem. Focus on discussing an issue and proposing solutions.

  13. PDF Argumentative Essay Writing

    Brainstorming will help you get started with your argumentative essay. In this section, you will choose a topic for your essay, write your thesis statement, think about several supporting ideas for your opinion, and think about the counterargument. Planning your Essay Follow the steps below to develop ideas for an argument essay. 1.

  14. PDF B2 First for Schools Writing Part 1 (An opinion essay) Summary

    • Learn useful techniques for planning your own essay. • Evaluate two examples of a Writing Part 1 essay. • Practise and evaluate your own answer to a Writing Part 1 task. Review: Writing Part 1 . The B2 First for Schools Writing paper has two parts. Part 1 has only one task, which you . must. answer. You will: be given the essay title.

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    C1 Advanced (CAE) Essay: Download (PDF) An essay is the first part of the C1 advanced writing and it is obligatory. You need to answer the question with between 220-260 words. In the text, you need to analyse a question using different points of view. It is a semi-formal/formal text and should be impartial until the conclusion.

  16. Free Discursive Writing Cheatsheet Downloadable

    Download your free Discursive Writing Cheatsheet to get writing on the right foot.

  17. Discursive Essay Made Easy + 12 Sample Essays

    Discursive Essay Made Easy + 12 Sample Essays - Free download as Word Doc (.doc), PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free. discursive essay writing

  18. FREE 8+ Sample Discursive Writing Templates in PDF

    1. When You are Writing a Discursive Essay, DO. stick to a formal writing style, introduce each main point in a clear and concise statement, make sure that your paragraphs are well-developed and well-written, give examples for every main point, write in a sequential manner, properly use linking words, and.

  19. PDF Unit 2 Narrative Essays

    40 Unit 2 • Narrative Essays A narrative essay tells a story. In fact, narrative is another word for story. In this unit, you will learn how to organize and write a narrative essay. Even though the narrative essay has the same basic form as most other academic essays, it allows the writer to be a little more creative than academic

  20. What Is A Discursive Essay

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  21. Discursive Essay

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  22. A Discursive Essay.pdf

    A Discursive Essay.pdf - Download as a PDF or view online for free. A Discursive Essay.pdf - Download as a PDF or view online for free ... Examples. FREE 5+ Sample Discursive Writing Templates in PDF. Discursive Essay Structure - Mrs. Wiseman's MYP International English 9. Discursive Writing Format - Discursive Essay. how to write ...

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