How to write a discursive essay: step-by-step guideline

how to write discursive essay

Many students struggle with discursive writing as it can be tricky. It’s hard to manage different opinions and create a well-organized argument, leaving learners feeling unsure. In this article, we want to make creating discursive essays less confusing by giving helpful tips. If you grasp the essential information and follow our advice, you can tackle the challenges of this essay style and learn how to express convincing and well-thought-out ideas. Come with us as we explore the basic dos and don’ts for making successful writing.

What is a discursive essay? 

This type of academic writing explores and presents various perspectives on a particular topic or issue. Unlike an argumentative essay, where the author takes a clear stance on the subject, discursive writing aims to provide a balanced and nuanced discussion of different viewpoints. What is the discursive essay meaning? The first word implies a conversation or discussion. So, the text encourages an exploration of diverse opinions and arguments.

This homework, commonly assigned in higher academia, serves various purposes:

  • Students analyze diverse perspectives, fostering critical thinking as they weigh different viewpoints before forming a conclusion.
  • Such essays involve thorough research, requiring students to synthesize information from various sources and present a comprehensive understanding of the topic.
  • When struggling with how to write my essay for me, students develop their communication skills as they should express complex ideas clearly and coherently, creating smooth transitions between arguments.
  • While not demanding a fixed stance, discursive papers require persuasive writing skills. The authors present each perspective convincingly, regardless of personal endorsement.
  • Encouraging an appreciation for the issue’s complexity, the essays promote tolerance for diverse opinions.

In summary, these papers contribute to developing analytical, research, and communication skills, preparing students for nuanced engagement with complex topics in academic and professional settings.

What is the difference between discursive and argumentative essays?

While these documents may exhibit certain similarities, it’s crucial to underscore the notable distinctions that characterize them, delineating their unique objectives and methodologies. 

Discursive essays

  • Objective presentation: A five paragraph essay of this type aims to provide a comprehensive discussion on a particular topic without necessarily taking a clear stance.
  • Multiple perspectives: Writers explore different viewpoints, neutrally presenting arguments and counterarguments.
  • Complexity: These essays often deal with complex issues, encouraging a nuanced understanding of the subject.
  • Balanced tone and language: Such writing allows for a more open expression of different ideas using objective and formal language. 
  • Flexible structure: These texts allow for a free-flowing topic analysis and may express numerous ideas in separate sections. 
  • Conclusion: While a discursive essay example may express the writer's opinion, it doesn’t necessarily require a firm conclusion or a call to action.

Argumentative essays

  • Clear stance: This type involves taking a specific position and defending it with strong, persuasive arguments.
  • Focused argumentation: The primary goal is to convince the reader of the writer's position, providing compelling evidence and logical reasoning.
  • Counterarguments: While an argumentative essay acknowledges opposing views, the focus is on refuting them to strengthen the writer’s position.
  • Assertive tone: This type aims to present ideas from the writer’s perspective and convict the reader using evidence and reasoning.
  • Rigid structure: These texts come with a clear structure with a distinct introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs with arguments and reasoning, and a conclusion that highlights the author’s stance.
  • Call to action or conclusion: Such papers often conclude with a clear summary of the arguments and may include a call to action or a statement of the writer’s position.

The key distinction lies in the intent: discursive texts foster a broader understanding by presenting multiple perspectives. At the same time, argumentative papers aim to persuade the reader to adopt a specific viewpoint through strong, focused arguments.

Discursive writing types

When delving into discursive essay format, exploring three primary forms of writing is essential.

1. Opinion essay.

  • In an opinion essay, your viewpoint on the discussed problem is crucial.
  • 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.
  • Introduce the issue at the beginning of the text.
  • Detail possible solutions in separate body paragraphs.
  • Summarize your opinion in the conclusion.

3. For and against essay.

  • Write it as a debate with opposing opinions.
  • Describe each viewpoint objectively, presenting facts.
  • Set the stage for the problem in your discursive essay intro.
  • Explore reasons, examples, and facts in the main body.
  • Conclude with your opinion on the matter.

If you need professional writers' support when working on your homework, you may always pay for essay writing. Our experts can explain how to create different types of papers and suggest techniques to make them well-thought-out and compelling.

Discursive essay structure

Discover a concise outline that will help structure your thoughts and arguments, allowing for a comprehensive and articulate presentation of your ideas.

I. Introduction:

A. Hook or opening statement

B. Background information on the topic

C. Thesis statement (indicate the topic and your stance, if applicable)


II. Body paragraphs: (number of paragraphs can vary based on essay length)

A. Presentation of perspective 1

1. Statement of perspective 1

2. Supporting evidence/examples

3. Analysis and discussion


B. Presentation of perspective 2

1. Statement of perspective 2

2. Supporting evidence/examples

3. Analysis and discussion


C. Presentation of perspective 3 (if applicable)

1. Statement of perspective 3

2. Supporting evidence/examples

3. Analysis and discussion


D. Presentation of counterarguments

1. Acknowledge opposing views

2. Refute or counter opposing arguments

3. Provide evidence supporting your perspective


III. Conclusion:

A. Summary of main points

B. Restate thesis (if applicable)

C. Closing thoughts or call to action (if applicable)

The length of the discursive introduction example and the number of body paragraphs can vary based on the topic's complexity and the text's required length. Additionally, adjust the outline according to specific assignment guidelines or your personal preferences.

10 steps to create an essay

Many students wonder how to write a discursive essay. With the following guidelines, you can easily complete it as if you were one of the professional essay writers for hire. Look at these effective steps and create your outstanding text. 

1. Choose an appropriate topic:

  • Select a topic that sparks interest and is debatable. Ensure it is suitable for discursive examples with multiple viewpoints.

2. Brainstorm your ideas:

  • Gather information from various sources to understand different perspectives on the chosen topic.
  • Take notes on key arguments, evidence, and counterarguments.

3. Develop a clear thesis:

  • Formulate a thesis statement that outlines your main idea. This could include your stance on the topic or a commitment to exploring various viewpoints.

4. Create a discursive essay outline:

  • Structure your text with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
  • Outline the main points you want to cover in each section.

5. Write the introduction:

  • Begin with a hook to grab the reader's attention.
  • Provide background information on the topic.
  • Clearly state your thesis or the purpose of the essay.

6. Create body paragraphs:

  • Start each paragraph with a clear topic sentence.
  • Present different perspectives on the topic in separate paragraphs.
  • Support each perspective with relevant evidence and examples.
  • Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each viewpoint.
  • Use smooth transitions between paragraphs.

7. Suggest counterarguments:

  • Devote a section to acknowledging and addressing counterarguments.
  • Refute or explain why you find certain counterarguments unconvincing.

8. Write the conclusion:

  • Summarize the main points discussed in the body paragraphs.
  • Restate your thesis or the overall purpose of the essay.
  • Provide a concise discursive essay conclusion, highlighting the significance of the topic.

9. Proofread and revise:

  • Review your work for clarity, coherence, and logical flow.
  • Check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.
  • Ensure that your arguments are well-supported and effectively presented.

10. Finalize and submit:

  • Make any necessary revisions based on feedback or additional insights.
  • Ensure every discursive sentence in your paper meets specific requirements provided by your instructor.
  • Submit your well-crafted document.

Following these steps will help you produce a well-organized and thought-provoking text that effectively explores and discusses the chosen topic.

Dos and don’ts when completing a discursive essay

If you want more useful writing tips, consider the dos and don’ts to create an impactful and compelling text.


  • Thorough research: Do conduct extensive research on the topic to gather a diverse range of perspectives and solid evidence. It will strengthen your discursive thesis statement and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the subject.
  • Clear structure: Do organize your essay with a clear introduction, body paragraphs that present different viewpoints, and a concise conclusion. Use a separate paragraph to introduce every point. This structure helps readers follow your argument effectively.
  • Neutral tone: Do maintain a balanced tone and impersonal style throughout the essay. Avoid being overly emotional or biased, as the goal is to present a fair discussion of various perspectives.
  • Critical analysis: Do critically analyze each perspective, highlighting strengths and weaknesses. Build your discursive thesis on trustworthy sources and make appropriate references following the rules of the required citation style. This showcases your critical thinking ability and contributes to a more nuanced discussion.
  • Smooth transitions: Do use smooth transitions between paragraphs and arguments to create a cohesive flow. The use of linking phrases and words enhances the readability of your text and makes it easier for the reader to follow your line of reasoning.


  • Avoid biased language: Don’t use biased language or favor one perspective over another. Maintain an objective tone and present each viewpoint with equal consideration.
  • Don’t oversimplify: Avoid oversimplifying complex issues. Acknowledge the nuances of the topic and provide a nuanced discussion that reflects a deep understanding of the subject matter.
  • Steer clear of generalizations: Don’t make broad generalizations without supporting evidence. Ensure that relevant and credible sources back your arguments to strengthen your position.
  • Don’t neglect counterarguments: Avoid neglecting counterarguments. Acknowledge opposing views and address them within your discursive essays. It adds credibility to your work and thoroughly examines the topic.
  • Don’t be too personal: Avoid expressing your personal opinion too persistently, and don’t use examples from your individual experience. 
  • Refrain from unsupported claims: Don’t make claims without supporting them with evidence. Substantiate your arguments with reliable sources and statistics with proper referencing to enhance the credibility of your document.

By adhering to these dos and don’ts, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the complexities of writing a discursive text and present a well-rounded and convincing discussion.

Final thoughts 

Mastering the art of writing a discursive essay is a valuable skill that equips students with critical thinking, research, and communication abilities. If your essay-writing journey is challenging, consider seeking assistance from EduBirdie, a trusted companion that guides students through the intricacies of these papers and helps them answer the question, “What is discursive writing?”. With our support, you can navigate the challenges of crafting a compelling and well-rounded discourse, ensuring success in your academic endeavors. Embrace the assistance of EduBirdie and elevate your writing experience to new heights.

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