There is a mountain of course work provided by professors to students; one of the most unique is a discursive essay. The students are used to write about a topic both qualitatively and quantitatively, but how about taking a side? Well, you are required to do that here. This makes every student struggle with the same question, how to write discursive essay? You have hit a jackpot of information here, but remember to keep a pen and notepad handy to take down quick notes.
What Is a
It is a form of essay writing with a twist. In a normal essay, you are required to just write about a topic based on whatever information is available in a non-biased way. In a discursive essay or argumentative essay, you have to either write in favor or opposition to the topic. You can also present views from both sides and make it look like a discussion or subtle argument. This way, you give points from both sides and leave it for the reader to decide what suits them.
This enables one to form an opinion based on the facts that suit its own argument and gives them an ability to reject facts presented by the opposition using innovative defense techniques. It doesn't mean that a student gets opinionated by this exercise, but they become exposed to both sides of the topic. This can be very helpful if you are looking for a political career.
This unique feature can tempt anyone to attempt a discursive essay, but before you take the next step, you will also need to know about the essay structure.
Understanding the Structure of a Discursive Essay
The structure is very different from the normal essays, as you have to take sides here. The facts are only important until they are in your support. So, you have to present counter to every opposition fact. This makes it important for one to learn the structure and placements of each section. Read the below section to know more.
Introduction: You choose an interesting topic that has the capability of becoming a debatable issue. The controversial nature of the topic is most important in the selection of the topic. This can make your essay a piece of great work if you can defend your chosen side. Introduce the audience to the topic in a subtle manner without exposing your side. Make them think about it and let them choose the side first. This can make them more interested in what is about to come next.
Position Yourself: The intrigue has been built enough. Now, present your opinion of the topic, and it is always better to take sides against the majority opinion. The professor always well appreciates it. Anyone can defend a popular position, but if your arguments are able to just shake them a bit, its a job well done. The position you have taken will also make them think and create doubts about their own choice.
Presenting Argument: The presentation should start from subtle arguments presented with popularly available facts. This makes the reader comfortable in a gradual manner with your position. You can also start with the most controversial argument of yours, but that will require solid facts that can't be countered easily. The drawback here is that you may come out as being too outrageous, and the reader will stop reading. Therefore, in this case, your supporting evidence should be watertight.
Building up the Case: Gradually, you build upon every argument from start to end to present a strong case. They should be interlinked and must always point towards the main topic in conclusion. If you deviate from it, your point may become weak as you may have written irrelevant things in the essay.
Give Some Little Space to Opposition: List out the potential counterpoints from the other side. But these are not here for the sake of only writing; counter them strongly with your facts. Always keep in mind the goal is to win the debate. That's why great debaters always prepare more for the rebuttal rather than their own points.
Stand Firm: Before the end, you must reinstate your position on the topic. This is easy if you defended your position well and rebutted all the counterpoints. In case you think that some of your points are looking weak, omit them from the text. Sometimes you can also leave an open-ended question for the reader to think about if you want to hide a few weak points.
Conclusion: Gather all your winding sub conclusions to form a final statement. State them one-by-one and present how each point is supportive of your position. You can point out the most strong points that help you the most and play down the importance of weaker ones. The conclusion must be written in full agreement of your stand with no ifs and buts.
All this requires solid research work and an excellent flow of thoughts. It is not easy to take sides when you are unprepared to argue for both sides. There is a process that can make you the master of both positions.
What Process to Follow in Discursive Essay Writing?
The structure of such work is important; but, the most important part is writing one. Several angles are needed to be looked at in a discursive essay as it also forces you to think from the reader's point of view. This feature makes it a unique task. To get it right to the core, expert discursive essay writers must follow a process developed over years of experience.
Research for Both Sides: As you may have understood by now, it is basically an argument whose main goal is to prove your stand on a topic. But to defend your position, you have to know about the facts from another side also. This requires extensive research on the subject. You have to research both sides of the topic. This will help you know the potential facts that can be presented against you. It is better to be prepared in advance than getting your work rejected as hypocrisy.
Prepare Arguments for Both Sides: When you have researched for 'for and against' the motion, you should also prepare for the points made against you by the reader. You should have a clear understanding of the arguments that may surface against you. It is important to look at potential questions and find a way to divert them to your benefit.
Collect Evidence to Counter: Any view can be countered using anecdotes and facts; you just need solid pieces of evidence favoring your positions. There are several methods used by good discursive essay writers to discredit a point of view by presenting vague anomalies and exceptions related to their case. This way, you can confuse the reader about their position and push them to accept your version.
Build Contradictions: Justify your perspective by pointing out the diversion others have taken from their theory. You have to point out the contradiction in the popular belief and present it as general ignorance of the opposition. This technique puts you up in a commanding position while keeping others guessing about their own internal conflicts related to the topic.
Respectful Disregard: When you have built a solid base of arguments, counters, and evidence, you must not get arrogant about your view. You know from the information you have that you have to defend this for the sake of discussion. That's why one must remain humble to the other position and respectfully disagree with them. You may have knowledge of both sides, but arrogance degrades the quality of your document.
When you have the perfect process for the job, you just need to understand the right way to frame your document. This can enhance the impact of your discursive essay.
Some Tips to Polish Your Discursive Essay Writing Skills
These are a few points that can help you sharpen your discursive essay writing techniques to enhance its impact on the reader.
Be Formal: Your writing should be in a third-person format to make it detached from yourself. You are only trying to defend a position based on available facts in the public domain and can be accessed by anyone. Making it personal will only distract the reader on your veracity points and discourage them from reading further.
One Point, One Sentence: Keep different points separated by mentioning them in different paragraphs. This helps in creating a step-by-step process to make the reader understand better. Also, it makes you mention a point, produces evidence, and conclude in the same para.
Links: Use keywords to create links between the sentences and create a sense in the reader's mind that all of them are connected. Sometimes, adjacent paras are talking about a completely different subject and may break the flow of thoughts.
Sub Topics: Start each para by a subtopic that clearly mentions the point that is going to be discussed in it. This helps a reader to go back to a particular thought when they have some doubt. This also helps you in the main conclusion by only mentioning that para title to help them for reference.
Sequence: It is important to maintain a flow of thoughts or a chain of events. You have to build upon each point to make your case stronger with each passing para. With a technique of growing intensity and depth of arguments, you can make the reader understand your thoughts. Sudden changes in tone should be avoided because that can break the process of making others believe in you.
Sources: The most important exercise to polish your discursive essay writing is to present all the sources used with full credits and references. This builds the credibility of the facts and arguments presented by you. A reader should be able to cross-check every data and every fact that you have presented in favor of and against your position. This also raises the quality of your work and helps others to conduct research on the same topic if they develop interest by reading your work.
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