Home > Discursive and Persuasive Writing > Structuring Your Discursive Essay

Structuring Your Discursive Essay

Your essay should adhere to the following guidlines in order to effectively construct your discussion.

  • Introduction – State your topic clearly. Contextualise it, provide any necessary background information and ensure that you clearly communicate why the topic is worth discussing. Aim to stimulate reader engagement.
  • Initial Argument – This should be the side of the argument that you do not personally agree with, although it must still be discussed and fully evidenced in order to present a balanced argument. Aim to discuss between 2-points (two in significant depth or 4 key points succinctly).
  • Pivotal Paragraph – This should function as a link between the two arguments. You should make a brief comment regarding the points you have just dealt with, and then indicate that you are now going to discuss opposing views. Think of how you answer a ‘Link Question’ in close reading and work backwards.
  • Rebuttal Argument – This should be the side of the argument that you do personally agree with. Ensure that you discuss a similar number of points as in your inital argument to ensure a balanced discussion.
  • Conclusion – This should state your personal opinion on the topic, and your reason for holding it. Aim to finish stylishly. Your closing statement should be thought provoking and poignant.

Key Points

Your aim is to display a balanced presentation of ideas which should allow the reader to become suitably informed about a topic in order to form a clear opinion. In order to do this ensure you attempt to do the following:

  • Write formally – attempt to utilise a sophisticated tone via effective word choice and sentence structure.
  • Use facts – make sure your discussion is well informed and refers to valid and reliable sources
  • Use questions – the key here is to stimulate interest. Get your reader thinking.

For further reading, have a look at broadsheet newspaper articles. This is the style which you should be aiming to replicate.



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