Planning a Discursive Essay

Planning a Discursive Essay
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At first glance, discursive essays seem to be easy to comprehend, and their objective is rather obvious. The success of your discursive essay depends on your ability to make readers interested in the topic, providing the necessary evidence to support your claims. However, writing a discursive essay often turns out to be more difficult than it seems, so is here to help you create a strategy of argumentation and plan your essay properly.

How to Write an Engaging Discursive Essay

Before you start writing, you should evaluate your research base and determine whether it allows you to provide the necessary support to your claims and to address the opposite points. Basic discursive essays can be also one-sided, with the author being either for or against the subject matter. However, good discursive essays include at least two opposing viewpoints.

Structure Outline for a Successful Discursive Essay

To have a solid base for your argument, write a simple outline taking into account the common structure of academic papers.


At the beginning of your essay, state your topic and explain its significance. You should also state your opinion in a clear and concise manner.

Main Body

This part of the paper may look different, depending on whether you choose a lazy approach and consider only one point or present a range of opinions. Depending on the number of your arguments, you’ll need to write a different number of paragraphs. Devote one paragraph to each particular argument. Begin your paragraph by stating an argument and then support it with evidence. A good way to conclude your sequence of pieces of evidence is to address the opposing view.


In the final part of your essay, restate your opinion and the key facts that explain and support it. If you have not stated your personal opinion yet, you can do it in the conclusion or explain what prevented you from doing so.

A Simple Template for a Discursive Essay

You can use this simple template, adjusting it to your needs and the type of the essay.

  • Introduction
  • Your opinion;
  • 1st argument with evidence;
  • 2nd argument with evidence;
  • 3rd argument with evidence;
  • 4th argument with evidence;
  • Opposite points;
  • Restated author’s opinion;
  • Conclusion.

How to Stick with the Right Format

  • When selecting the opposite arguments, choose strong arguments that have a stronger impact on the audience.
  • Provide balanced opinions. If you address three arguments for, you should also address three arguments against.
  • Use the right transitions to help your readers understand your flow of thoughts.
  • Write your paper in the third person to meet the formal writing requirements.

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