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How to Write an Outstanding Discursive Essay: Structure and Format

How to Write an Outstanding Discursive Essay: Structure and Format

A discursive essay or discussing essay is similar to other essays in that it shares information and gives an opinion, but differs because it doesn’t provide any new knowledge or insight.

Instead, the goal of this type of essay is to convince the reader by arguing for your position and providing evidence. This blog post will teach you how to write a discursive essay so you are ready for your next assignment!

Discursive Essay Meaning

What is discursive essay? A discursive essay is a type of argumentative essay that should take the reader through your thought process and reasoning. This type of writing takes on a certain position or argument. It is usually written in order to convince the reader of a particular point of view.

For example, if you are writing about how college should be free for all students, then your stance would be pro-free college education and your goal would be convincing the readers that this idea should become reality.

Discursive writing is one of the most basic forms of writing. It can be used to write about anything from a personal experience, to an opinion on a current event.

Four (4) Steps to follow in Discursive Writing

  1. Choose a topic.

There are many different types of topics that you can pick from, but before picking one it’s important to make sure the reader will be interested enough in what you have to say about it.

  1. Formulate introduction:

Secondly, after choosing your subject matter for discussion and research, come up with an introduction based on some introductory questions into why this issue deserves attention or needs solving.

This way readers understand where your argument stems from and how they should take it further by reading more than just what was written here.

  1. Conclusion part

A strong conclusion is key when coming to any type of discourse because it ties everything together nicely so there isn’t anything left hanging that could confuse anyone who happened upon your writing.

  1. Examples, data and references

Finally, you can always think of an example or case study to illustrate the issue at hand and provide a real-life scenario for your readers so they understand it better.

Discursive essay Structure, Format and Outline


The introduction for a discussing essay is often short, with the writer providing one or two paragraphs to introduce the topic.

This section should also include an explanation of what it means to be “discursively” writing so that readers understand how this text will organize and present information differently than other types of essays.

The body

The majority of your discursive essay paper should consist of reading/writing about your topic in depth with evidence from research included throughout each paragraph.

In addition, you can provide additional content by including quotes from sources who have studied more deeply into the subject at hand; questions that need answering when considering certain aspects of your issue; descriptions about different perspectives on your topic; etcetera. You do not need to follow a strict outline or linear structure in your writing.

The conclusion

Your discursive essay should end with a summary of the key points you have made throughout your paper, and how these pieces of information connect to one another. This is also where you can make an argument for why this issue matters.

This is how discursive essays are typically structured in order to best engage with their audiences and get them thinking about what they’ve just read which leads into understanding on their own about this topic as well as opening up new avenues that could lead towards solving whatever problem may be at hand.

In a nutshell, discourse writing is engaging because its written in such away where arguments come together around one focused subject matter which brings forth introspection from anyone who reads it.

Discourse essay structures help keep everything organized while still being engaging by discussing events related to the argument’s topic.

Discursive Essay Writing

Tips for Discursive Essay Writing

  • Write all aspects of the topic at once
  • Research the topic beforehand to make sure you have enough information for your essay and are able to cover all bases
  • Write a draft of an outline before moving on to writing the body paragraphs as this will help with structuring, order, and content flow
  • Create headings that match each section in your outline so it’s easier when going back over things later or if someone else has to look at it (e.g., Introduction)
  • Format with double spaces between sentences unless otherwise specified by assignment instructions
  • Use good grammar throughout: Comma after listing items; Quotation marks where needed; Avoid contractions like “I’m” or stay consistent within same sentence
  • Include a title, author’s name and date in the header
  • Proofread before submitting for review

30+ Original Discursive Essay Topics

  1. The role of the media in a democratic society.
  2. The effects of consumerism on the environment.
  3. Should there be a ban on handgun ownership?
  4. What is your personal experience with cyberbullying?
  5. How has technology changed how we communicate and socialize as a society?
  6. Does religion belong in schools or should it have its own place outside education systems to avoid bias from students who don’t share the same beliefs?
  7. Is capitalism bad for individuals, corporations, governments and entire societies around the world today?
  8. How mental illness is perceived and treated in America
  9. The role of the police officer.
  10. What the consequences are for people who consume alcohol or drugs
  11. Why do some people take medication?
  12. The benefits of living in a multicultural society
  13. Write an essay on Violence in schools and how it impacts students.
  14. How to improve public speaking skills
  15. Discursive Essay on Mental health: what is the difference between physical illness and mental illness?
  16. What makes someone successful versus unsuccessful.
  17. Is technology ruining our social lives?
  18. In what ways can we promote diversity on college campuses without hurting people’s feelings or making them feel like they’re not wanted.
  19. How does “unlearning” racism work?
  20. What are some steps that can be taken to un-learn racist behaviour, thoughts, beliefs, etc.?
  21. Do you think white supremacy groups should have freedom of speech at university protests?”
  22. The meaning behind tattoos – why do so many people get tattooed now days when historically this was a sign of slavery?
  23. The potential causes of obesity.
  24. Discursive Essay on who should be in charge: the government or self-rule?
  25. Is it worthwhile to save endangered species from extinction?
  26. What are your thoughts on euthanasia and its legality around the world?
  27. To what extent do you think gender stereotypes affect individual lives? – Should we work towards lessening these effects, or just let them happen naturally?
  28. Should all restaurant workers be paid fair wages for their service (especially those who wait tables)? Why/why not? What would this mean for customers’ dining experience at restaurants if they had to pay more than usual per meal/dessert order?”
  29. How much does social media really impact our teenage generations today and how will that affect society as a whole in the future?
  30. Applying for college to an institution: What are your chances?
  31. The importance of education and becoming educated about the world around us.
  32. Gun Control essay: Why it should be allowed or not permitted.
  33. Should children have homework on weekends?

Discursive Essay Example

Sample 1

The Misunderstanding between Feminists and Transgender Activists over Gender Identity Politics

In our current society, it seems as though feminists are not unified on their stance towards transgender activism based solely off of gender identity politics…Or so says what many people believe without taking into account that there are two different schools of feminism which reflect differing opinions about trans* rights and inclusion within the feminist movement. Some feminists are in favor of including transgender people, while other feminists believe that trans* activism is actually a threat to the feminist movement.

The debate between these two schools of feminism has become so intense and complicated that it can be difficult for someone who is not well-versed in feminist theory to understand what they are fighting about. However, with both sides having strong arguments rooted in past experiences as women, there’s no easy way out.”

Sample 2: Discursive essay on recreational drugs

“So why should we use recreational drugs?

Most people argue against drugs for many different reasons: moral arguments, health concerns, legal consequences, and so on. This Discursive Essay will examine all of these arguments as well as the idea that drugs are good for society in general

An argument against using recreational drugs is moral concerns because people argue they’re morally wrong; this could be challenged by saying what about alcohol? If we say some things like driving while intoxicated or drinking from a baby bottle when you’re over 18 then there’s no difference with doing illegal substances.

A health concern to consider would be physical ailments such as lung cancer which can happen after smoking weed but it also comes down to how long you smoked for and if you have any family history related problems. The second point about health is mental illnesses such as addiction which depends on individual circumstance.

Legal concerns can range from being caught with drugs in your car to possession charges, and result in fines or jail time. The third point about legal concerns is how the drug affects you which can happen even if it’s not doing anything wrong because people react differently.

Societal implications exist due to culture: some societies may be more accepting of certain substances while others have a stricter view. This may depend on who they are talking to as well and what their position was so this could create an atmosphere where someone might feel pressured into using any substance at all times just for acceptance purposes.

Moral objectives would only really matter for those within that moral objective but if there were two parties then one will think its morally right while another doesn’t see it as being wrong. Morals can be seen as subjective and so this leads to the two parties having different views on a certain action.

Facts, such as when someone is hurting themselves or others due to substance use, are objective facts that don’t rely on feelings but rather sense. When something has an effect then it will have consequences because of how its affecting them physically or mentally which means that if they continue with their actions until these consequences happen then it becomes objectively morally wrong for one’s own sake.

Situations that may affect an individual’s understanding are: personal perspectives, societal views and cultural values. These all play a role in how people understand as well because it can impact their mental state which could have different effects on what they believe to be right from wrong for them personally.

If there is no medication then this will result in negative consequences but not always – if someone takes enough of the drug then they’ll experience withdrawal symptoms like weight loss, nausea and insomnia depending on the type of substance consumed so this would need to be taken into account when writing about drugs.

Sample 3

Topic: “Is technology good or bad” discursive essay


Technological advances have become so widespread in society that most people will not be able to live without them. Many of these same technological advancements are also linked with the progression of information technology, which has been a major factor in shaping and defining our culture today. With this being said, it is important to ask ourselves whether or not these technologies are good for us? Or should we reconsider how we use certain aspects of technology?

This discursive Essay will discuss five possible pros and cons related specifically to the advancement of technology including social media usage, cyber bullying, reliance on cell phones as well as computer-related activities at work/at home. It will then further explore if there are any other alternatives aside from just relying on devices like laptops or mobile phones.


The pros of technology have been argued to be the convenience it brings. For example, social media has made connecting with people easier than ever before and allows us to get information without having to go out in person or look for a local newspaper article. It also provides entertainment as well as other features that make life simpler. This includes apps like weather forecasting, calculators and even online shopping.


On the flip side, there are negative aspects related to how we use some technologies today such as cyber bullying which is defined as “the new form of face-to-face abuse”. In regards to the reliance on devices like laptops or mobile phones at work/at home; this can cause laziness due to the lack of physical movement.

There are many positives that can come from the internet such as access to information, communication with people who live in different geographical locations and a vast amount of content (both useful and useless). However, we must take caution when it comes to how much time is spent online and what types of things they look at on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit and Youtube.

Technology has both positive aspects but also negative ones depending on which side you’re looking at it from. The awesome thing about this topic though is there’s not one answer because everyone carries their own opinion on whether it be good or bad so anyone reading these words should form an opinion themselves by critiquing my thoughts instead of just taking them as the truth.”

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This article provides practical tips on how to write a discursive essay, the structure, format, outline for this kind of academic paper as well as some topics you may want to consider when working on your own composition.

We also provide an example at the end in case you need more help with understanding what it takes to craft these types of homework essays properly.

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