In a discursive piece you are expected to discuss a given topic and present an argument related to it.
Organising a discursive essay
There are two basic types of discursive essay. Firstly there are persuasive essays in which you can argue strongly either in favour of or against a given discussion.
Alternatively, there are argumentative essays where you look at a discussion topic in a balanced way.
Finding information for a discursive essay
There are many sources you can use to find information for your discursive essay. These include:
- relevant books from a library
- online sources
- magazines and newspapers
- television and video
- family members
When looking in the library, focus on the non-fiction and reference sections. When searching online, always think carefully about key words.
Make sure you consider the reliability of all your sources. It is important you keep a note of where all your information comes from. This will allow you to check it again later and to complete your bibliography and footnotes.
Planning a discursive essay
The following basic structure should be employed for writing this essay.
- Provide an interesting introduction.
- Provide a clear indication of your position, your stance in relation to the topic (are you 'for' or 'against' ?).
- Present your first argument, with supporting evidence.
- Present your second argument, with supporting evidence.
- Present your third argument, with supporting evidence.
- Present your fourth argument, with supporting evidence, and so on (the number of paragraphs like this will depend on the number of arguments you can offer).
- Indicate, in a single paragraph, that there is another side to this argument, with some idea of the points likely to be made for the view(s) which are opposite to your own.
- Reiterate (state again) your position and conclude your essay.
This plan is followed in the exemplar essay provided in this revision bite.
Listen to this audio clip about presenting a balanced argument.