A discursive essay
A discursive essay is a piece of formal writing which discusses a particular issue, situation or problem.
There are three main types of discursive essays.
There are two basic kinds of discursive essays. 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.
An essay is a piece of writing, usually from an writer's personal point of view on a particular topic.
I For and against essays present both sides of an issue, discussing points in favour of a particular topic as well as those against, or the advantages and disadvantages of a particular question. Each point should be supported by justifications, examples, and/or reasons. The writer's own opinion should be presented only in the final paragraph.
II Opinion essays present the writers personal opinion concerning the topic, clearly stated and supported by reasons and/or examples. The opposing viewpoint and reason should be included in a separate paragraph before the dosing one, together with an argument that shows it is an unconvincing viewpoint. The writer's opinion should be included in the introduction, and summarized/restated in the conclusion.
III Essays suggesting solutions to problems, in which the problem(s) associated with a particular issue or situation are analysed and possible solutions are put for-ward, together with any expected results/consequences. The writer's opinion may be mentioned, directly or indirectly, in the introduction and/or conclusion.
A good discursive essay should consist of:
a) an introductory paragraph in which you clearly state the topic to be discussed;
b) a main body, in which points are clearly stated in separate paragraphs and exemplified or justified: and
c) a closing paragraph summarising the main points of the essay, in which you stale/restate your opinion, and/or give a balanced consideration of the topic. You will able to get good essay ideas at Essay Typer sentences generator.
Points to consider
• Present each point in a separate paragraph. A well-developed paragraph contains a clear topic sentence, which summaries the contents of the paragraph, as well as a clear justification, explanation or example in support of the point presented.
• Well-known quotations (e.g. As writer Somerset Maugham once said, 'It is bad enough to know the past; it would be intolerable to know the future."). rhetorical questions (e.g. It people today are not concerned enough about tomorrow, will the future still be there for man?) or thought-provoking statements (e.g. The fact is mat one's future is what one makes it. There Is no such thing as chance.) are useful devices to make your composition more interesting.
• Before you begin writing, you should always make a list of the points you will present.
• Do not use informal style (e.g. contracted forms, colloquial language, etc) or very strong language (e.g. I know. I am sure…)
Use appropriate linking words/phrases to show the links between paragraph, as well as to link sentences within paragraphs.
Many people, however, prefer living in flats because they feel safer.
With increasing crime rates, people are afraid to live in a house, as they feel more vulnerable to burglars and other criminals. Therefore, they prefer the feeing of security that the proximity of neighbouring flats offers them.
Go to Practical exercises on the topic Discursive essay
• Discursive essays are written in formal style. This means you should use:
-passive voice, impersonal constructions
(e.g. It Is argued that It Is a common belief that…)
- a range of advanced vocabulary (verbs, adjectives, abstract nouns, etc)
(e.g. heated debate concerning the controversial issue…)
-formal linking words/phrases (e.g. furthermore, however, nonetheless)
- complex sentences with a variety of links, dependent clauses, etc (e.g. Although it is widely accepted that compulsory military service, which provides an army with abundant manpower, is beneficial to a country's ability to defend itself, closer analysis of military efficiency suggests that it is advanced weaponry which plays a crucial role in…)
- inversion, especially in conditionals
(e.g. Were this true, we would…; Never has this been more obvious…)
You should not use.
-short forms (e.g. I'm, It’s) except when these are part of a quotation
-colloquial expressions, phrasal verbs, idioms
(e.g. lots of, put up with, be over the moon about…)
- simplistic vocabulary (e.g. Experts say they think this is bad….)
- a series of short sentences (e.g. Many people think so. They are wrong.)
- simple linking words (e.g. and, but, so) except for variety
Go to Practical exercises on the topic Formal style
Go to Beginning and ending discursive essays
In the first paragraph, you should state the topic and/or your opinion, and you may include one or more of the following techniques.
• Make reference to an unusual or striking idea/scene/situation e.g. Imagine millions of people coming home from school or work every day to sit staring at a wall for four hours.
• Address the reader directly e.g. You may think this is an exaggeration. and/or ask a rhetorical question. e.g. Have you ever wondered what the world would be like without cars?
• Start with a quotation or thought-provoking statement, e.g. "Television is an invention that
permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your home." David Frost once said.
In the last paragraph, you should state your opinion and/or give a balanced consideration of the topic, and you may include one or more of the following techniques.
• Finish with a quotation
• Ask a rhetorical question
• Give the reader something to consider e.g. Perhaps then people will re-discover what It is like to actually communicate with each other.
You should paragraph your essay according its content. Try to meet the writing guidelines and basic requirements. Keep your report fairly. Rather than this type essay, you may have to write admission essay or application essays.
Useful Tips for Discursive Essays
• When writing a discursive essay, you should:
- use formal, impersonal style (see Formal Style)
- use topic sentences to introduce the subject of each paragraph
- write well-developed paragraphs, giving reasons/examples
- use generalisations (e.g.ln most developed countries, education…)
- use sequencing (e.g. First/ly, Second/ly, etc) and linking words/phrases (e.g. however, although, etc)
- make references to other sources (e.g. Experts have proved that…)
- use quotations, either word-for-word or in paraphrase, being careful to identify the source (e.g. As Winston Churchill said,”…)
• You should not:
-use short forms, informal/colloquial language, etc (see Formal Style)
- use very emotional language (e.g. I absolutely detest people who…)
- express personal opinions too strongly (e.g. I know…); instead, use milder expressions (e.g. It seems to me that…)
- use over-generalisation (e.g. All politicians are…)
- refer blindly to statistics without accurate reference to their source (e.g. "A recent study showed…" - which study?)
- use cliches (e.g. Rome was not built in a day.)
- use personal examples (e.g. In my school…)
Taken from "Successful Writing Proficiency" by Virginia Evans
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Content of this article
- Topic list
- Definition essay structure
A definition essay is an essay written by students in order to define some concept, term, or word. This essay explains something that is not well known.
The definition must be thorough and long. It is essential that you choose a word that will give you plenty to write about, and there are a few standard tactics you can use to elaborate on the term. The definition essay has a few parts: telling what term you are going to speak about, presenting information and using facts, examples, or anecdotes that readers will understand.
First of all, if you are writing definition essay you need to choose a topic that will be interesting. You need to remember that most physical object has definitions which are similar for most people, so you will write about something, that usually do not have a second opinion. At the same time, if you will choose some abstract thing as a topic for your essay, you need to know that this thing has different meaning to different people. You need to pay attention to every detail when you are choosing a topic!
Did you Know we can help you Write Your Essay?
List of 70 definition essay topics:
- Real estate
- American dream
- Male chauvinism
- Peer pressure
- Juvenile delinquency
- Contemporary art
- Healthy living
- Corporate social responsibility
- Good parenting
- Environmental conservation
- Civil rights
- Racial segregation
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
Since a definition essay is primarily focused on explanation and meaning of the definite term or terms, the structure of the essay is focused on expounding the subject. Definition essays are mainly articulated in continuous prose from a subjective angle of the author. The structure must ensure coherent and logical flow of ideas for each paragraph as the author continues to expound on the topic. Each paragraph should present a unique idea with a lead sentence and several sentences expounding on the idea presented by the lead sentence. The subsequent sentences must be logically connected to the topic and ideas the author presents in each paragraph. The paragraphs then have to introduce the subsequent ones and create a smooth transition between them to avoid losing the interest of the reader.
Tips on introduction writing
Introduction is worded and structured to attract the attention of the reader. Here are some tips on how to write a good introductory paragraph for a definition essay:
- Ensure it has a thesis statement;
- It should introduce the body paragraphs and create a smooth transition;
- Avoid a lengthy introduction;
- Do not bury the thesis statement deep in the introduction;
- Avoid grammatical mistakes and ensure coherence of the definition in the introduction.
Tips on body paragraphs writing
The body paragraph harbors much details on the defined term/ phrase. In this article, some key tips on writing body paragraphs of a definition essay:
- Always create a smooth transition from each paragraph to the next;
- Each paragraph should start with a topic sentence;
- Each paragraph should be few sentences in length preferable four or five;
- Avoid lengthy sentences they are likely to be ungrammatical;
- Each paragraph should carry its own idea/opinion;
Tips on conclusion writing
There are necessary definition essay tips that can be instrumental to writing a great definition essay conclusion:
- The conclusion should sum up the content of the entire essay and present the ;author’s unique definition of the subject/topic being discussed;
- The conclusion should refer to contents previously written in the essay;
- The conclusion of a definition essay can also reassert the thesis statement;
- The conclusion should also be short and made up of few sentences;
- Include a short summary of each key point used in the essay.
Does not matter what topic you will choose, what is really important: really believe that you will find your audience. The topic that you are going to choose needs to be interesting for you personally, in other case it would be really difficult to gather all facts and general information to make a good paper. You need to ask yourself: will my future work be interesting to read? Has my future essay a perspective to become a reason for discussion? Is it possible to be serious in talking about this theme but not so much serious to put to sleep this one, who will read it? If the answers are yes, you have a good chance to write an outstanding definition essay.