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Discussion essays Considering both sides of the argument

Discussion essays are a common form of academic writing. This page gives information on what a discussion essay is and how to structure this type of essay. Some vocabulary for discussion essays is also given, and there is an example discussion essay on the topic of studying overseas.

What are discussion essays?

Many essay titles require you to examine both sides of a situation and to conclude by saying which side you favour. These are known as discussion or for and against essays. In this sense, the academic meaning of the word discuss is similar to its everyday meaning, of two people talking about a topic from different sides. For a discussion essay, a balanced view is normally essential. This makes discussion essays distinct from persuasion essays , for which only one side of the argument is given. When writing a discussion essay, it is important to ensure that facts and opinions are clearly separated. Often you will examine what other people have already said on the same subject and include this information using paraphrasing and summarising skills, as well as correct citations .

The following are examples of discussion essay topics.

  • Examine the arguments for and against capital punishment.
  • Schools should teach children not only academic subjects but also important life skills. Discuss.
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of technology in the classroom?

Although the structure of a discussion essay may vary according to length and subject, there are several components which most discussion essays have in common. In addition to general statements and thesis statement which all good essay introductions contain, the position of the writer will often be stated, along with relevant definitions . The main body will examine arguments for (in one or more paragraphs) and arguments against (also in one or more paragraphs). The conclusion will contain a summary of the main points, and will often conclude with recommendations , based on what you think are the most important ideas in the essay. The conclusion may also contain your opinion on the topic, also based on the preceding evidence.

An overview of this structure is given in the diagram below.

Structural component Purpose Stage of essay
To introduce the reader to the subject of the essay.
PositionTo give the opinion of the writer (not always possible).
Definition(s) (optional)To explain any important technical words to the reader.
To tell the reader what parts of the topic will be included in the essay.
Arguments for To explain to the reader the evidence for the positive side of the issue, with support. The most important ideas usually come first. This may be covered in one or more paragraphs.
Arguments against To explain to the reader the evidence for the negative side of the issue, with support. The most important ideas usually come first. This may be covered in one or more paragraphs.
Summary To give the reader a brief reminder of the main ideas, while restating the issue. Sometimes also says which ideas the writer believes have the strongest evidence.
Opinion & Recommendation To give your opinion, and tell the reader what the writer believes is the best action to take, considering the evidence in the essay.

Discussion vocabulary

When summarising the stages in a discussion or in presenting your arguments, it can be useful to mark the order of the items or degrees of importance. The following words and phrases can be used.

  • First..., First of all..., The most important...
  • Second..., In the second place...
  • Finally..., Lastly...

The following can be used when introducing your opinion.

  • There is no doubt that...
  • I believe that...
  • One of the main arguments in favour of/against X is that...

It is important in English writing, including academic writing, to use synonyms rather than repeating the same word. The following are useful synonyms for 'advantage' and 'disadvantage'.

  • advantage: benefit, a positive aspect/feature, pro (informal)
  • disadvantage: drawback, a negative aspect/feature, con (informal)

Example essay

Below is an example discussion essay. Click on the different areas (in the shaded boxes to the right) to highlight the different structural aspects in this essay.

Title: An increasing number of students are going overseas for tertiary education. To what extent does this overseas study benefit the students?

 
 
 
 
         
 
 
   

Most people spend around fifteen years of their life in education, from primary school to university study. In the past, students only had the opportunity to study in their own country. Nowadays, however, it is increasingly easy to study overseas, especially at tertiary level. Tertiary education, also called post-secondary education, is the period of study spent at university. As the final aspect of schooling before a person begins their working life, it is arguably the most important stage of their education. While there are some undoubted benefits of this trend, such as the language environment and improved employment prospects , there is also a significant disadvantage, namely the high cost . The first and most important advantage of overseas study is the language learning environment. Students studying overseas will not only have to cope with the local language for their study, but will also have to use it outside the classroom for their everyday life. These factors should make it relatively easy for such students to advance their language abilities. Another important benefit is employability. Increasing globalisation means that there are more multinational companies setting up offices in all major countries. These companies will need employees who have a variety of skills, including the fluency in more than one language. Students who have studied abroad should find it much easier to obtain a job in this kind of company. There are, however, some disadvantages to overseas study which must be considered, the most notable of which is the expense. In addition to the cost of travel, which in itself is not inconsiderable, overseas students are required to pay tuition fees which are usually much higher than those of local students. Added to this is the cost of living, which is often much higher than in the students' own country. Although scholarships may be available for overseas students, there are usually very few of these, most of which will only cover a fraction of the cost. Overseas study therefore constitutes a considerable expense. In summary, studying abroad has some clear advantages, including the language environment and increased chances of employment , in addition to the main drawback, the heavy financial burden . I believe that this experience is worthwhile for those students whose families can readily afford the expense. Students without such strong financial support should consider carefully whether the high cost outweighs the benefits to be gained.

 
 
 
 

Academic Writing Genres

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Below is a checklist for discussion essays. Use it to check your own writing, or get a peer (another student) to help you.

The essay begins with
There is a clear
are given if needed
The essay has clear
One or more are included (including clear )
One or more are included (including clear )
The conclusion includes a of the main points
The writer's is given
There is a , which relates to the points in the essay

Bailey, S. (2000). Academic Writing. Abingdon: RoutledgeFalmer

Cox, K. and D. Hill (2004). EAP now! Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education Australia

Jordan, R.R. (1999). Academic Writing Course. Cambridge: CUP

Roberts R., J. Gokanda, & A. Preshous (2004). IELTS Foundation. Oxford: Macmillian

Next section

Find out how to write persuasion essays in the next section.

Previous section

Go back to the previous section about different essay types .

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Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 16 January 2022.

Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of EAPFoundation.com. He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn .

Compare & contrast essays examine the similarities of two or more objects, and the differences.

Cause & effect essays consider the reasons (or causes) for something, then discuss the results (or effects).

Discussion essays require you to examine both sides of a situation and to conclude by saying which side you favour.

Problem-solution essays are a sub-type of SPSE essays (Situation, Problem, Solution, Evaluation).

Transition signals are useful in achieving good cohesion and coherence in your writing.

Reporting verbs are used to link your in-text citations to the information cited.

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1. Choose Your Topic

2. outline your essay, outline your points, 3. draft your introduction, 4. good discussion in the body of your essay, 5. conclude your essay, how to write a discussion essay.

A discussion essay presents and discusses issues surrounding a particular topic--usually one that is debatable and open to argument. A good argumentative essay must include a thorough discussion of both sides of the issue, including main points to support your argument and its counterargument. It should also provide a well-rounded understanding of the issues before the writer presents their personal own opinions and conclusions.

What is an IELTS Discussion Essay?

The International English Language Testing System is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers.

Example of an IELTS Discussion essay

Some believe language provides cohesion to a country, while others believe diverse languages bring diversity and vibrancy. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

As with most persuasive essay formats, the essay's quality relies primarily on the writer's ability to provide solid research and evidence to present different views of the topic.

Practicing your writing skills as you write a discussion essay is a great way to grow as a writer. Let’s dive into the essay structure and components of a successful discussion essay.

Choose your discussion essay topic. When choosing this topic, make sure it is one that you're interested in personally since this will be easier for you to write. You'll need to discuss both sides of the argument surrounding the discussion essay topic, so ensure that you have access to good research that provides pertinent information. Writing only one side of the argument will result in an undeveloped discussion essay, which probably won’t receive a good score.

Outline your discussion essay. This outline should include a rough draft of your thesis statement, main argument, opposing argument, other main points and a rough draft of your conclusion. Your goal at this point is to get your thoughts on the discussion essay topic organized and in writing.

You can write a detailed outline for your discussion essay, using traditional outline format--letters and numbers to separate key points--or you can simply jot down a list of the main discussion points you plan to cover in order to answer the essay question or address the essay topic.

Next, write your introduction. According to the Open University, your goal in the introduction of your discussion essay is to introduce the issues relating to the topic and to provide your reader with important background information. Your introduction is essentially setting the scene for your reader so they are prepared to digest the argument you’ll be presenting. Providing your reader with a simple overview of how your discussion essay is organized will ensure that she understands your flow of thought throughout the body of the essay.

Most importantly, at the end of your introductory paragraph you must include a well developed thesis statement. One of the most common mistakes made when writing introduction paragraphs is leaving out the thesis statement, which is one sentence that firmly asserts what side of the argument you will be arguing throughout the work. Be specific in your points and make sure it is a strong closing to this first paragraph, as it will set the tone for the rest of your essay.

Write the body paragraphs of your discussion essay using any research sources that you have collected. Typically, you should present each issue individually and impartially, discussing first one side of the argument and then the other side of each argument that relates to your topic. Ensuring that each paragraph is roughly the same size as the other will make the presentation of facts seem balanced to the reader as well. Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that smoothly transitions from the previous paragraph while simultaneously introducing the new topic covered in the upcoming one.

Progress through your body arguments in order, starting with your weakest argument or issue and progressing to the strongest. This structure allows your reader to follow your flow of thought easily without getting distracted. When deciding how to use sources, try to use the same number of quotes and sources for each argument. If you use three quotes to support your main argument, strive to use three quotes to present the opposing view as well.

Write your discussion essay conclusion. Your goal with your conclusion is to summarize the overall information from the body of the discussion essay, leading the reader to mentally review the pros and cons of the topic argument. Although you don't technically have to be in favor of one side of the discussion yourself, if you are, be sure to present your own conclusions in this paragraph rather than earlier in the essay.

Once you have finished your conclusion, part of wrapping up your essay is going back through it and checking for grammatical errors. Check to make sure you have not copied any quotes directly from other sources, as this would result in a plagiarism charge, especially if your professor screens your essay through a writing service that checks for plagiarized work. Always write using your own words. Using your own words not only saves you from plagiarism issues, but also helps with essay coherence since the rest of the work has been written in your tone of voice.

On the final page of your discussion essay you will also include all of the citations for sources you quoted or summarized information from. Whether citing in MLA or APA format, double check the style and order of your citations for accuracy before turning it in.

Regan Hennessy has been writing professionally for 11 years. A copywriter and certified teacher, Hennessy specializes in the areas of parenting, health, education, agriculture and personal finance. She has produced content for various websites and graduated from Lycoming College with a Bachelor of Arts in English.

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How to Write a Discussion Essay

Last Updated: June 27, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 444,438 times.

Jake Adams

Discussion Essay Outline and Example

discussion essay definition

Planning Your Essay

Step 1 Work through the...

  • For instance, maybe the question is, "Immigration has been a heated topic on the national level for many years. With issues like the DREAM Act and President Trump's stances on policy, it's likely to remain a central issue. Using authoritative resources to back up your argument, take a stance on immigration policy, establishing whether you think it should be more or less strict and why."
  • You can establish that the main topic is immigration policy from the sentence, "Take a stance on immigration policy."
  • If you're having trouble understanding the question, don't be afraid to talk to the professor. They can help you better understand what they're asking for.

Step 2 Perform initial research to understand the issue.

  • If your essay will be based off a discussion had in class, ask your instructor if you can use class notes as a primary source.
  • Look for respected news sources, as well as websites with ".edu" and ".gov" extensions.
  • You may need to look up information on the DREAM Act or President Trump's policies to help you understand the question, for example. For this part, you don't need to take extensive notes, as you're just trying to get a feel for the subject.

Step 3 Take a side on the issue to begin outlining your essay.

  • If you were given a text to base your essay on, make sure that text has enough evidence to support your chosen position.

Step 4 Add the main points you'd like to cover to your outline.

  • Use Roman numerals on your page to mark your main ideas. Write a main point by each Roman numeral. You should only cover 3 to 4 main points in a relatively short essay, such as one that's 3 to 5 pages.

Step 5 Find research to support your points.

  • Your main sources should be books or ebooks, journal articles from academic journals, and credible websites. You can also use high quality news articles if they're applicable to your topic.

Step 6 Take notes that include citations.

  • For a book, you should include the author's name, the editor's name (if applicable), the title of the book, the publication year, the publication city, the edition, and the title of the book chapter in an anthology by multiple authors.
  • For a journal, include the author's name, the journal title, the article title, the digital object identifier (DOI), the ISSN, the publication date, the volume (if applicable), the issue (if applicable), and the page numbers for the journal article.
  • If you're searching in a database, you can often ask the database to save this information for you, but you should include identifiers on your notes.

Step 7 Fill in your outline to finish planning your essay.

  • For example, if one of your main points is "Immigration increases diversity," some of your points underneath might be "Brings in new cuisines," and "Brings in new art."
  • Find examples from your research, and add notes to each point to fill them in.

Writing the Introduction

Step 1 Begin with a hook such as a quotation or anecdote to engage readers.

  • For an example or anecdote, start by telling a short story about something relevant to your topic. For instance, you might write the following for an essay on immigration, "When I was 4-years-old, my parents told me we were going on a long trip. After a bus ride, we spent nights walking, my dad carrying me most of the way. One day, we crossed a river. That day marked our first day in our new country."

Step 2 Introduce your topic in your transition sentences.

  • For example, you might write, "Immigration is a highly-debated issue. It is controversial because some people fear how it affects the resources of the country the people are immigrating to, while others believe the improved quality of life for immigrants is what’s most important."

Step 3 Work on a thesis statement to establish your argument.

  • For instance, your thesis statement might be, "Immigration is good for the country because it increases diversity, infuses the country with new talent, and broadens the population's perspective, and it should be encouraged with a few basic safeguards in place."

Composing the Body of Your Essay

Step 1 Limit each paragraph to 1 idea.

  • For instance, if you're writing a short research paper, one paragraph might be your main point "Immigration increases diversity," where you cover all your bullet points in that paragraph.
  • If you're digging deeper, you might create a section about diversity, and then use a paragraph to cover "brings in new cuisines," another to cover "brings in new art," and so on.

Step 2 Acknowledge the other side of the issue.

  • Try not to set up a "straw man" argument, where you don't give the other side a fair chance. You should be able to support your position without purposefully creating a weak position on the other side.

Step 3 Keep your whole argument in mind as you write.

  • For instance, maybe you want to transition between a section about increasing diversity to one about bringing in new talent. You might write a sentence like, "Increasing diversity in our country doesn't just bring in new cuisines and art, it also brings in hard workers that have fresh perspectives on old problems in the workforce."

Step 4 Support your ideas with research.

  • You can paraphrase other ideas or use direct quotes, but only use a direct quote if the author said something in a unique way. Otherwise, put it in your own words.
  • You may want to begin body paragraphs with a quote from a relevant source. Then, explain or provide commentary on the quote and show how it supports your position.
  • You can also use statistics to back up your research. For instance, if one of your arguments is that immigration doesn't increase crime, use statistics to back that up.

Concluding Your Essay

Step 1 Synthesize the information from your essay.

  • For instance, you might write, "A truly great country is one that celebrates differences and welcomes new ideas and perspectives. While immigration has some negative effects on a country, overall, allowing people from other countries to come in helps to spark new ideas and make the country a better and more interesting place to live. Rather than being a drain on society, immigrants are motivated to work hard and our citizens can only benefit from listening to their perspectives."

Step 2 Avoid restating your introduction.

  • Once you have the flow down, read it again to check for grammatical mistakes and typos. It can help to read it aloud, as it slows you down and forces you to read every word.

Expert Q&A

Jake Adams

  • Remember you can't research forever. Often, the research stage absorbs a student so fully that the upcoming submission date seems unimportant. Make sure to leave yourself at least a few days to write your essay. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0

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Write an Essay

  • ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 20 May 2020.
  • ↑ https://student.unsw.edu.au/answering-assignment-questions
  • ↑ https://student.unsw.edu.au/essay-and-assignment-planning
  • ↑ https://opentextbc.ca/writingforsuccess/chapter/chapter-11-developing-a-convincing-argument/
  • ↑ https://student.unsw.edu.au/organising-your-ideas
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/introductions/
  • ↑ https://www.umgc.edu/current-students/learning-resources/writing-center/writing-resources/parts-of-an-essay/essay-introductions
  • ↑ https://wts.indiana.edu/writing-guides/how-to-write-a-thesis-statement.html
  • ↑ https://www.student.unsw.edu.au/writing-your-essay
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/establishing_arguments/organizing_your_argument.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/establishing_arguments/research_and_evidence.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/conclusions/
  • ↑ https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/conclusion
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/editing-and-proofreading/

About This Article

Jake Adams

To write a discussion essay, start by taking a side on the issue you're writing about, like "Immigration is good for the country." Then, outline the main points that made you decide to take that position and do research to find evidence that backs them up. Look for credible sources that can help you make your argument, and don't forget to cite them. Then, when you're writing your essay, devote 1 paragraph to each main point and include your evidence. For help writing the introduction and conclusion to your essay, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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37 Composition: Discussion Strategies

Two hands on a blue keyboard of a laptop on a table

What is a discussion essay?

A discussion essay presents and discusses issues surrounding a particular topic. The topic is usually one that is debatable and open to argument. Security for students on campus is probably not an appropriate topic because probably everyone would agree that students should feel safe on campus. The use of guns on campus, however, could be an appropriate topic because some people might think guns make the campus safer while others argue that guns make the campus more dangerous.

Regardless of your personal opinion, a good discussion essay must begin with a thorough discussion of both sides of the topic. It should provide a well-rounded understanding of the issue before the writer presents their personal opinions and conclusions. The discussion essay’s quality relies primarily on your ability to provide your readers with solid research and evidence. The conclusion to your discussion essay may propose “next steps” rather than a direct solution or decision. Alternatively, the conclusion can include your opinion, but it should be based upon the information presented in the body of the essay.

When writing a discussion essay, it is important that facts and opinions are clearly separated. Often the writer will examine what other people have already said on the same subject. The author will include this information using paraphrasing and summarizing skills, as well as correct citations. A balanced view is essential. The writer’s opinion usually comes only after both sides are considered. This makes discussion essays different from persuasion or argument essays in which a writer asserts their opinion in their thesis and then provides evidence to support their position. Therefore, the writer’s position is more of an observation than persuasion.

SAME, BUT DIFFERENT

Argument essay = states the writer’s opinion at the beginning (thesis) and then tries to prove it with evidence, but sometimes the evidence is from only one side

Discussion essay = explores the opinions of others on both sides of an issue and then states the writer’s opinion at the end as a logical result of the information

Why do you write discussion essays?

A discussion essay is a helpful way to present an issue for discussion or debate. It is not as formal and objective as a research paper, and it is not as informal and subjective as a persuasive or argumentative essay. It’s somewhere in between. Here are some examples of when a discussion essay is a useful writing strategy:

To decide how to vote on a ballot measure issue Examine the arguments for and against capital punishment.
To design a curriculum and class schedule for a school Schools should teach children not only academic subjects but also important life skills. Discuss.
To determine if a school should invest in new computers for classrooms What are the advantages and disadvantages of technology in the classroom?
To make a choice between a foreign university and a local university An increasing number of students are going to college in another country. What are the rewards and challenges of such a situation?

How do you organize a discussion paragraph or essay?

In many ways, a discussion paragraph essay resembles a compare/contrast essay. You group the details of each side of the argument: rewards and challenges, advantages and disadvantages, choice A and choice B. In other words, introduce the issue; present one side of the issue; present the other side of the issue; conclude with your opinion or some other observation or comment.

You can begin your work by first making some notes. Graphic organizers can help. For example, you might use a Venn diagram (two overlapping circles). Or you can use a simple table like the one in the following example.

Topic: An increasing number of students are going to college in another country. What are the rewards and challenges of such a situation?

language immersion: Students who use a foreign language all the time — at school and outside of school — learn the language faster

cultural immersion: Students who have experience adapting to a foreign culture make good candidates for desirable jobs with multinational corporations

expensive: Tuition for foreign students is usually higher than for domestic students

If you have the money, it’s definitely worthwhile.

 

But which side comes first?

Which position comes first? You have some choices here. Consider these options and decide which works best for your particular essay:

  • Often, the position you do not agree with comes first and the position you agree with comes second. That’s because it flows better into your opinion and conclusion.
  • Another common option is to put the “for” position first and then the “against” position second. This “feels” objective in the same way that alphabetical order “feels” objective (because it is arbitrary).
  • If your sides are not very balanced, you can start with the weaker position and end with the stronger position.

Example discussion paragraph

INSTRUCTIONS: Use the example discussion paragraph above to answer the questions below.

Example discussion essay

Look closely now at this example discussion essay. Read closely and notice how it mirrors the discussion paragraph above. Then answer the questions that follow.

George Spelvin ESOL 252 Level 7 Writing February 15, 2023

Finding the Best Place to Study

        “There’s no place like home” goes the familiar mantra from the famous book and movie The Wizard of Oz . It celebrates the virtues of the familiar while at the same time making a case for exploring the unknown. The same could be said for choices in education. Most people spend around fifteen years of their life in education, from primary school to university study. In the past, students only had the opportunity to study in their own country. Nowadays, however, it is increasingly easy to study overseas, especially at the university level. While there are some undoubted benefits of this trend, such as the language environment and improved employment prospects, there is also a significant disadvantage, namely the high cost..

      The first and most important advantage of overseas study is the language learning environment. Students studying overseas will not only have to cope with the local language for their study, but they will also have to use it outside the classroom for their everyday life. These factors should make it relatively easy for such students to advance their language abilities.

      Another important benefit is employability. Increasing globalization means that there are more multinational companies setting up offices in all major countries. These companies will need employees who have a variety of skills, including the fluency in more than one language and familiarity with a foreign culture. Students who have studied abroad should find it much easier to obtain a job in this kind of company.

      There are, however, some disadvantages to overseas study which must be considered, the most notable of which is the expense. In addition to the cost of travel, which in itself is not inconsiderable, overseas students are required to pay tuition fees which are usually much higher than those of local students. Added to this is the cost of living, which is often much higher than in the students’ own country. Although scholarships may be available for overseas students, there are usually very few of these, most of which will only cover a fraction of the cost. Overseas study therefore constitutes a considerable expense.

      In summary, studying abroad has some clear advantages — an immersion in foreign language and culture that leads to increased chances of employment — in addition to the main drawback of heavy financial burden. International students in London, for example, pay more than $14,000 a year for tuition alone. This experience can be worthwhile for those students whose families can readily afford the expense. Students without such strong financial support, however, should consider carefully whether the high cost outweighs the benefits to be gained. For them, there truly may be no place like home.

INSTRUCTIONS: Use the example discussion essay above to answer the questions below.

  • What is the issue that is discussed in this essay?
  • Read the introduction again. Which sentence is not needed and could be omitted?
  • Read the conclusion again. What could the writer do to improve this paragraph?
  • Look at the text again. Does the author use any modal verbs? Identify them and their purpose.
  • Here are three pieces of information from outside sources. Where would be the best place to add them? Paragraph 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5?
  • A. 2018 survey from Big Business Company says 95% of corporate executives prefer to hire foreign exchange students for overseas jobs.
  • B. As linguist Dan Samuels says, “It’s no surprise that the person who uses a language learns it faster than a person who only studies it in a classroom.”
  • C. “There’s no doubt the study abroad experience builds character and responsibility,” says Ishanee DeVas, author of A Student of Life . “But it takes a long time — maybe a year or more — and that makes it too expensive for most people unless they move there.”

INSTRUCTIONS: Use the information above to answer the questions below.

1. A discussion essay needs an introduction, body, and conclusion, just like other essays. True or false?

2. Which of the following research questions is suitable for a discussion essay?

  • A. Why are protesters demonstrating in downtown Portland?
  • B. What does the word “queer” mean today?
  • C. How are community colleges and 4-year universities different?
  • D. What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying organic food?

3. In our discussion essay, we should … (choose all that apply)

  • A. Choose a topic that is debatable
  • B. Separate your opinion from the discussion; present only information about each side in the body
  • C. Support the information with evidence or proof from outside sources of information
  • D. Present both sides of the argument equally (even if you disagree with one of the sides)
  • E. Use formal tone (academic vocabulary; no contractions; write in third person)

4. A discussion essay chooses one side of a two-sided argument. It explores only the pros or the cons — not both — in order to give a clear opinion and persuade the reader. True or false?

5. What is the best way to organize the body of a discussion essay?

  • A. Group the details of each side of the argument or debate; start with the weaker one and end with the stronger one, which is usually the one that you agree with.
  • B. Start with your opinion and then explain what others think.
  • C. Write whatever comes to mind; it’s more organic and natural when it sounds like you are talking informally with a friend.
  • D. Focus on only one side of the argument in an essay; if you want to write both sides of the argument, then write two different essays.

6. A discussion essay always presents the disadvantages, or cons, first. True or false?

7. A discussion essay must always be exactly four paragraphs. True or false?

8. Which of the following would NOT be a purpose for a discussion paragraph or essay?

  • A. The pros and cons of the COVID vaccine
  • B. The most effective methods for solving the problem of homelessness
  • C. College education should be free
  • D. How to change a flat tire on your bike or car

9. The discussion essay’s quality relies primarily on our ability to provide our readers with ____________.

  • A. solid research and evidence
  • B. subjective opinions without proof
  • C. fake data and statistics
  • D. a good story with a funny plot

10. “Three reasons why you should get an electric car” is not the best choice for a discussion essay. Why not? Explain.

Coalescence Copyright © 2023 by Timothy Krause is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Literacy Ideas

How to write an Argumentative Essay

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ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAYS

In this article, we will explore the process of constructing a high-quality argumentative essay. The ability to craft a coherent argument and to express those arguments with others in a discussion are essential skills to encourage in our students. This skill helps our students engage with the world, process their thoughts, and discover their opinions.

Table of Contents

argumentative essay | WHAT IS A DISCUSSION ESSAY 1 | How to write an Argumentative Essay | literacyideas.com

In this article, we will use the terms ‘discussion’ and ‘argument’ interchangeably. But, it is worth noting that the real purpose of a discussion is to explore a variety of arguments to arrive at the truth, where possible.

Teaching our students the basics of argument and discussion is not about tooling them up to ‘win’. The discussion processes are as much about the student discovering what they think as they are about persuading others to agree. As students mature and get more practised in their discussions, they will discover that often discussion is a necessary precursor to having an opinion on a given topic, no matter how basic or advanced that topic may be.

For students, the discussion often bridges the gap between speaking and listening learning areas and reading and writing. It is for this reason that we will look at some oral discussion activities before examining how to approach the writing of discussion pieces in the classroom. These oral activities can serve as excellent pre-writing exercises for the students to prepare their thoughts and ideas before writing. They also work well as standalone oral activities that allow students to practice their persuasive speaking skills and all that entails.

A COMPLETE TEACHING UNIT ON PERSUASIVE WRITING SKILLS

argumentative essay | opinion writing unit 1 | How to write an Argumentative Essay | literacyideas.com

Teach your students to produce writing that  PERSUADES  and  INFLUENCES  thinking with this  HUGE  writing guide bundle covering: ⭐ Persuasive Texts / Essays ⭐ Expository Essays⭐ Argumentative Essays⭐ Discussions.

A complete 140 PAGE unit of work on persuasive texts for teachers and students. No preparation is required.

what is an argumentative essay

An argumentative essay, also known as a discussion, presents both sides of the argument on a specific topic so the audience can form their own opinion.

STRUCTURE OF AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY

CLARITY Choose a clear, firm and debatable topic, and stress its importance. There should be no confusion about what or what you are writing about or why.

PROVIDE CONTEXT A bit of background information is often needed early in the essay to understand the argument. Bring your audience up to speed on the topic.

ORDER Use sequential paragraphs or statements. Keep things in order by creating paragraphs that lead us from opinion A to opinion B through well-crafted segways and transitions.

RESEARCH Nothing will sink your essay faster than a poorly researched paper full of questionable “facts” and ill-informed opinions . Get your evidence straight.

LOGICAL & RATIONAL You are not a “shock jock” or a biased blogger. You are presenting both sides of an argument to let your readers make a decision.

FEATURES OF AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY

IMPERSONAL VOICE Keep your own opinions out and let your audience form their own.

TENSE Discussions are usually written in present tense.

LOGICAL CONNECTIVES Use terms such as therefore and however to connect concepts and points of contention.

RESPECTED SOURCES Valued information comes from respected sources. Ensure you use reputable evidence.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AN ARGUMENTIVE ESSAY AND A PERSUASIVE ESSAY?

These styles of writing are often confused, and whilst they do share common elements, they are two separate genres with different purposes. If you are looking for a complete guide to writing a persuasive essay, please view ours here.

  • A PERSUASIVE ESSAY presents EMOTION, and the author’s purpose is to try and CONVINCE YOU to think as they do. It is about the sales pitch more so than an emphasis on the specifications and details of the subject area.
  • An ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY presents EVIDENCE and LOGIC at its core. Whilst you are still trying to influence your readers’ thinking on a given topic, you shouldn’t pull on your reader’s heartstrings nearly as much as presenting a mountain of facts, data and specifics that cannot be ignored.

POINTS TO CONSIDER BEFORE WRITING YOUR ESSAY

Pick your poison wisely: choosing discussion topics.

The beauty of incorporating discussion and argument into the classroom is that you can quickly build your lessons around the student’s interests. From the youngest students in elementary to those wizened old owls in high school, a quick class brainstorm will reveal a wealth of juicy topics for them to get their mental teeth into. In this day and age of political correctness, however, be sensitive to the selection of a topic for discussion appropriate to the demographics of your class. While controversial topics can lead to the most lively of discussions, it is best to avoid subjects too close to the bone that may cause deep rifts in the class dynamic. If in doubt, rather than take suggestions from the class, have some exciting topics pre-prepared for the students to choose from or to vote on.

You can find numerous topics on the web, but here are some to get you started…

  • All zoos should be shut down, and the animals should be returned to the wild. – Discuss
  • Mobile phones should be embraced as learning tools in the classroom. – Discuss
  • Parents have different expectations for their sons and daughters. – Discuss
  • Do we give children too many trophies? – Discuss
  • Is it ethical to eat meat? – Discuss
  • School canteens promote poor diets. – Discuss
  • Can money buy happiness? – Discuss
  • Is animal testing justified? – Discuss
  • Are we too dependent on computers? Discuss
  • Do violent video games and films create social problems? – Discuss

GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT: DO YOUR RESEARCH

argumentative essay | debating writing | How to write an Argumentative Essay | literacyideas.com

The challenge in writing a good discussion or argumentative essay is to be open-minded, even if you know which side you want to support.

Factual research and evidence are your number one tool.  It gives you credibility by sourcing knowledge from experts but more importantly, it gives your own opinions and ideas greater weight as you have demonstrated a broad and accurate understanding of the topic you are writing about.

be sure to spend some time researching your topic before writing about it, and make sure you reference where you have sourced this knowledge.

Most students will head straight for the internet to find their evidence, so ensure you understand how to use it correctly.  This poster demonstrates how to get the most out of the three major search platforms on the web.   You can download the free poster version of it here.

An Argumentative Essay Outline

The aim of a well-written discussion text is to present information and opinions that express more than one viewpoint. This will often take the form of a newspaper report or a leaflet.  Regardless of the genre of the writing undertaken, however, some common factors apply to most discussion texts. Most often, they are written in the present tense and are commonly structured in the following way:

INTRODUCTION

No better place to begin than at the start. The title should typically be a general statement or even a question that draws attention to a specific issue. For example, Should cell phones be banned in schools?

  The introduction section itself should usually be relatively brief and open with a brief statement on the issue and provide some background to the issue to be discussed. It will outline the arguments to be reviewed ahead, but the introduction itself does not usually contain any of the student’s opinions or views on the topic in question. There are, however, several things to consider when writing the introduction.

argumentative essay | the writing hook | How to write an Argumentative Essay | literacyideas.com

As with any genre of writing, it is essential to grab the reader’s attention from the outset, and discussion texts are no different. Fortunately, there are several tried and tested methods of achieving this. Here are a few that may be suitable openers for your students’ discussion writing:

●     open with a quotation relevant to the topic being addressed. A well-chosen quotation can grab the attention of even the most distracted of readers and compel them to read more!

●     a surprising fact is another excellent way to grab the reader’s attention and illuminate the topic to be discussed. Not only is it engaging, but informative too!

●     a joke. Everyone loves a laugh, and a joke can provide an excellent in to the student’s writing. But, encourage your students to be careful here; the suitability of a humorous opening will largely depend on the topic being discussed. As jokes may not always be appropriate to the material, they must be used wisely.

THE ARGUMENTS

In writing a balanced argument, students must consider the positives and negatives of the issue. The body of the text should be focused on presenting the pros and cons, the for and against arguments, relating to the central issue. This is why oral starter activities can be so valuable as prewriting exercises.

After the student has laid out the topic in their introduction by providing the necessary background information, it is time for the student to consider laying out the case for the argument.

Using time connectives is an excellent way for students to organize their information. Adverbs of time, such as firstly, secondly, next, then etc. and phrases such as, in addition to, therefore etc., can help students structure their information chronologically and coherently.

Depending on the length of the text, it is typically recommended that each paragraph consists of a single point. It is important to remind students that in the presentation of a balanced argument, they should not express their own bias or even their own point of view , instead, they are laying out both sides of the argument for the reader and should give equal weight to each point of view. When exploring each point, whether for or against, the PEE method can be a helpful way to aid students in structuring their paragraphs and give the direction of their argument:

Be sure to check out our own complete guide to writing perfect paragraphs here .

P = Point (Student makes their point at the beginning of the paragraph)

E = Evidence (Student provides evidence that underpins this point)

E =Explain (Student explores point further and ties back to the central issue)

When the student has considered each of their points for the argument, for example, three separate paragraphs each making three points for the argument, it is now time to consider and do the same for the argument against . The purpose here is to set up an opposition to the previously made points, to offer the other side of the story.

Encourage students here to use words and phrases that set up this contrast, for example, however , contrastingly , on the other hand , etc. Displaying these words and phrases in a word bank can also be a great way to help weaker students to organize their writing.

argumentative essay | 4a53f2b3fe2261b79950d0256f855062 conclusion20clipart conclusion clipart 584 350 1 | How to write an Argumentative Essay | literacyideas.com

In the conclusion, the student reviews the information, summarises the arguments made and weighs up the issue in light of the available evidence. At this point, students can offer their own opinion in favor or against the issue at hand, but only if it is appropriate to the genre of the discussion text. 

Students often find it difficult to know how to end their writing. One excellent way to finish their discussion is to end it with a question, a challenge to the readers to form their own opinion on the issue in light of the evidence that has been presented.

TIPS FOR WRITING A GREAT ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY

  • Make sure you clearly explain the topic to the audience before you get into taking sides.
  • When you have selected a topic, ensure that you research both sides of the argument thoroughly before writing.
  • In your conclusion, make it clear which side of the argument you side on, even make a recommendation but allow the reader to keep an open mind.
  • Keep everything in order.
  • List all the items that will be required to complete the task.
  • Use paragraphs effectively. Each new argument should start with a new paragraph.
  • Keep your arguments short, sharp and to the point.
  • Use the correct language and terms.

ORAL ACTIVITIES TO GET IN THE ‘DISCUSSION’ ZONE

argumentative essay | classroom discussion | How to write an Argumentative Essay | literacyideas.com

ORAL ACTIVITY 1: PROS AND CONS

This great warm-up exercise allows students to explore a topic, weigh up the different possible opinions, and even offers a chance for the student to discover what they think about a topic. This exercise can also serve as a fantastic prep exercise for a piece of extended writing and involves minimal prep.

Pros and Cons involve students making a list of a given topic’s pro and con arguments. This is often best done in small groups where the students can brainstorm together and bounce ideas off one another. The process of comparing the for and against of an issue gives them an awareness of the range of opinions on the matter, helping them on their way to forming their own opinion.

The list created during this activity can also provide a helpful outline that can work as a springboard for later writing. It is a great way to organize ideas coherently that can seamlessly feed into the writing process described later below.

BY LISTING POINTS AND COUNTERPOINTS TOGETHER, STUDENTS GET INTO THE PRACTICE OF DEVELOPING A NUANCED AND CONSIDERED ARGUMENT RATHER THAN PRODUCING MERE PROPAGANDA. THIS HELPS THEM INTERNALIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF GIVING FULL CONSIDERATION TO A RANGE OF DIFFERING OPINIONS ABOUT THE SAME TOPIC.

ORAL ACTIVITY 2: THINK – PAIR – SHARE

argumentative essay | think pair share 1 | How to write an Argumentative Essay | literacyideas.com

This activity requires almost zero prep, other than giving the class a topic to get their teeth into!

First, have the students think silently about the topic for a minute or two. They may scratch down doodles or brief notes of their ideas on a piece of paper to use in the discussion portion of this exercise, but this is not a writing activity!

Then, partner them up with another student. At this stage, you may consider differentiation; you may wish to match students with other students of equal ability or with a stronger one as support. Either way, students discuss the topic with their partners for a predetermined number of minutes. The length of time will be dictated by the students’ ages and abilities. Experiment to find the most suitable length of time for your class.

After the time is up, students can share their opinions with the class. You can also scribe the ideas generated by each group onto a master list displayed on the whiteboard as part of a pre-writing exercise. This can also be an excellent exercise to begin the preparation for a formal debate, as it affords the students opportunities to think on their feet, engage with differing opinions, and to work on public speaking skills such as body language.

ORAL ACTIVITY 3. SPEED-DATING FUN

argumentative essay | classroom speed dating activity 1 | How to write an Argumentative Essay | literacyideas.com

This is a pacy, fun activity to get a lively conversation going in a manner that apes the popular speed dating format – but with a more virtuous intent! You can organize the desks in rows facing each other or in concentric circles in the middle of the classroom.

Choose one row or circle to be mobile. Give students a list of topics to discuss and start the clock. After three minutes or so, signal the time is up and instruct students to move to the following table. At the next station, they can either discuss the same topic or move on to the next topic on their list.

Of course, you may shorten or lengthen the allotted time based on the student’s abilities or the complexities of the topics. However, as this exercise works best in fun and fast-paced, and the aim is for each student to have the opportunity to speak with every other student, it is often best to keep the topics fairly straightforward. Questions like Is it better to live in the town than the country? or Do dogs make better pets than cats? work well here.

THE IMPORTANCE OF DISCUSSION IN THE CLASSROOM

The discrete teaching of discussion and argument in the classroom is essential. It offers students invaluable opportunities to test their opinions and ideas with their peers in a safe environment. Students learn that disagreement is inevitable and not fatal! They learn, too, that it is okay to revise an opinion in the light of compelling evidence they had not previously considered.

Discussion is a proving ground for ideas. Ideas tested in the arena of classroom discussion will likely be expressed much more coherently in written form. Often, students are not fully aware of exactly how they think on an issue until they have had a chance to try out their embryonic ideas with each other in a public discussion. It also helps students avoid the dangers of the echo chamber of their minds where frequently their ideas existed without challenge.

Encouraging our students to engage in respectful and productive disagreement is perhaps one of the most important skills we can help them develop.

AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Discussion activities offer tremendous opportunities for some informal assessment that helps with planning to best meet the needs of your students in future lessons. The fact that they are not teacher-led gives the teacher a chance to take a backseat and give full attention to the students’ conversations. This allows you to spot areas of difficulty and gaps in learning – all valuable information that will be priceless for effective future lesson planning.

argumentative essay | LITERACY IDEAS FRONT PAGE 1 | How to write an Argumentative Essay | literacyideas.com

Teaching Resources

Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.

The first task in writing an excellent argumentative essay is finding a suitable topic with solid and valid opinions for both sides of the argument.  You will find some engaging writing prompts below.

structure of argumentative essay

argumentative essay | argumentative essay graphic organizer 1 | How to write an Argumentative Essay | literacyideas.com

sample argumentative essay

Below are a collection of student writing samples of discussions.  Click on the image to enlarge and explore them in greater detail.  Please take a moment to read them in detail, and the teacher and student guide highlight some of the critical elements of discussions to consider before writing.

Please understand these student writing samples are not intended to be perfect examples for each age or grade level but a piece of writing for students and teachers to explore together to critically analyze to improve student writing skills and deepen their understanding of writing a discussion.

We would recommend reading the example either a year above or below, as well as the grade you are currently working with to gain a broader appreciation of this text type.

argumentative essay | discussion student writing sample year 4 2 | How to write an Argumentative Essay | literacyideas.com

ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY WRITING CHECKLIST & RUBRIC BUNDLE

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  • How to Write a Discussion Section | Tips & Examples

How to Write a Discussion Section | Tips & Examples

Published on August 21, 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 18, 2023.

Discussion section flow chart

The discussion section is where you delve into the meaning, importance, and relevance of your results .

It should focus on explaining and evaluating what you found, showing how it relates to your literature review and paper or dissertation topic , and making an argument in support of your overall conclusion. It should not be a second results section.

There are different ways to write this section, but you can focus your writing around these key elements:

  • Summary : A brief recap of your key results
  • Interpretations: What do your results mean?
  • Implications: Why do your results matter?
  • Limitations: What can’t your results tell us?
  • Recommendations: Avenues for further studies or analyses

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Table of contents

What not to include in your discussion section, step 1: summarize your key findings, step 2: give your interpretations, step 3: discuss the implications, step 4: acknowledge the limitations, step 5: share your recommendations, discussion section example, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about discussion sections.

There are a few common mistakes to avoid when writing the discussion section of your paper.

  • Don’t introduce new results: You should only discuss the data that you have already reported in your results section .
  • Don’t make inflated claims: Avoid overinterpretation and speculation that isn’t directly supported by your data.
  • Don’t undermine your research: The discussion of limitations should aim to strengthen your credibility, not emphasize weaknesses or failures.

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discussion essay definition

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Start this section by reiterating your research problem and concisely summarizing your major findings. To speed up the process you can use a summarizer to quickly get an overview of all important findings. Don’t just repeat all the data you have already reported—aim for a clear statement of the overall result that directly answers your main research question . This should be no more than one paragraph.

Many students struggle with the differences between a discussion section and a results section . The crux of the matter is that your results sections should present your results, and your discussion section should subjectively evaluate them. Try not to blend elements of these two sections, in order to keep your paper sharp.

  • The results indicate that…
  • The study demonstrates a correlation between…
  • This analysis supports the theory that…
  • The data suggest that…

The meaning of your results may seem obvious to you, but it’s important to spell out their significance for your reader, showing exactly how they answer your research question.

The form of your interpretations will depend on the type of research, but some typical approaches to interpreting the data include:

  • Identifying correlations , patterns, and relationships among the data
  • Discussing whether the results met your expectations or supported your hypotheses
  • Contextualizing your findings within previous research and theory
  • Explaining unexpected results and evaluating their significance
  • Considering possible alternative explanations and making an argument for your position

You can organize your discussion around key themes, hypotheses, or research questions, following the same structure as your results section. Alternatively, you can also begin by highlighting the most significant or unexpected results.

  • In line with the hypothesis…
  • Contrary to the hypothesized association…
  • The results contradict the claims of Smith (2022) that…
  • The results might suggest that x . However, based on the findings of similar studies, a more plausible explanation is y .

As well as giving your own interpretations, make sure to relate your results back to the scholarly work that you surveyed in the literature review . The discussion should show how your findings fit with existing knowledge, what new insights they contribute, and what consequences they have for theory or practice.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do your results support or challenge existing theories? If they support existing theories, what new information do they contribute? If they challenge existing theories, why do you think that is?
  • Are there any practical implications?

Your overall aim is to show the reader exactly what your research has contributed, and why they should care.

  • These results build on existing evidence of…
  • The results do not fit with the theory that…
  • The experiment provides a new insight into the relationship between…
  • These results should be taken into account when considering how to…
  • The data contribute a clearer understanding of…
  • While previous research has focused on  x , these results demonstrate that y .

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Even the best research has its limitations. Acknowledging these is important to demonstrate your credibility. Limitations aren’t about listing your errors, but about providing an accurate picture of what can and cannot be concluded from your study.

Limitations might be due to your overall research design, specific methodological choices , or unanticipated obstacles that emerged during your research process.

Here are a few common possibilities:

  • If your sample size was small or limited to a specific group of people, explain how generalizability is limited.
  • If you encountered problems when gathering or analyzing data, explain how these influenced the results.
  • If there are potential confounding variables that you were unable to control, acknowledge the effect these may have had.

After noting the limitations, you can reiterate why the results are nonetheless valid for the purpose of answering your research question.

  • The generalizability of the results is limited by…
  • The reliability of these data is impacted by…
  • Due to the lack of data on x , the results cannot confirm…
  • The methodological choices were constrained by…
  • It is beyond the scope of this study to…

Based on the discussion of your results, you can make recommendations for practical implementation or further research. Sometimes, the recommendations are saved for the conclusion .

Suggestions for further research can lead directly from the limitations. Don’t just state that more studies should be done—give concrete ideas for how future work can build on areas that your own research was unable to address.

  • Further research is needed to establish…
  • Future studies should take into account…
  • Avenues for future research include…

Discussion section example

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

Research bias

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  • Halo effect
  • The Baader–Meinhof phenomenon
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In the discussion , you explore the meaning and relevance of your research results , explaining how they fit with existing research and theory. Discuss:

  • Your  interpretations : what do the results tell us?
  • The  implications : why do the results matter?
  • The  limitation s : what can’t the results tell us?

The results chapter or section simply and objectively reports what you found, without speculating on why you found these results. The discussion interprets the meaning of the results, puts them in context, and explains why they matter.

In qualitative research , results and discussion are sometimes combined. But in quantitative research , it’s considered important to separate the objective results from your interpretation of them.

In a thesis or dissertation, the discussion is an in-depth exploration of the results, going into detail about the meaning of your findings and citing relevant sources to put them in context.

The conclusion is more shorter and more general: it concisely answers your main research question and makes recommendations based on your overall findings.

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McCombes, S. (2023, July 18). How to Write a Discussion Section | Tips & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved July 8, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/dissertation/discussion/

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Guide to Writing a Discussion Essay

Discussion essay definition.

What is a discussion essay? When assigned a discussion essay, what are you expected to do? In this guide to writing a discussion essay, we’ll start by answering these questions. First, a discussion essay discusses issues surrounding an open and debatable topic. Discussion essays are also known as argumentative essays. Second, when given a discussion essay, you should provide a detailed discussion of both sides of a given topic. The quality of a discussion essay relies on the evidence used to support different views of a topic. In the next part, we provide a step-by-step guide to writing a discussion essay. Read on and become a better writer.

How to write a good discussion essay

Step 1- read and understand the question.

This sounds like an obvious step. But did you know some students skip it? Some students read the question once and proceed to answer it. Such students provide an irrelevant answer. An irrelevant answer attracts poor grades if any. Essay content carries more points. This is the reason you must get it right. How can you get it? It is simple. By first reading and understanding the question. You need to know what exactly the question needs you to do. Look at this example question (below).

Abortion has been a heated topic across the world. With restrictive abortion laws, the topic is likely to remain a key issue. Using scholarly sources to support your argument, take a stance on restrictive abortion laws and establish whether you think the laws should be less strict or stricter. Give reasons.

To understand a question, start by reading it several times. Identify any words that you don’t understand. Then, establish the issue at hand. For example, in the example above, what is the issue at hand? The issue at hand is abortion. Specifically, the issue at hand is restrictive abortion laws. This is clear from the words “take a stance on restrictive abortion laws”.

If you can’t seem to understand the question, talk to your instructor. Just don’t write your essay before understanding the question. It will be a waste of time, energy, and effort. You’re also more likely to get poor grades.

Step 2- Research

You’ve understood the question. What do you do to get enough material for your essay? Our guide to writing a discussion essay provides a detailed answer to this question. Do the following;

  • Review your course notes. Find any information surrounding your topic. For example, in our example above, we would find notes about abortion. The notes will help you understand the topic better.
  • Check your textbook. In most cases, teachers assign topics that are in the main textbook. In such a case, gather all information about the topic.

What if the notes and the textbook have no information surrounding your topic? It is simple. Visit your library. You can also use the internet. You’ll find lots of sources with information on your topic. Search for academic journals. You can also rely on reliable sites such as ‘.gov’. Avoid opinion-based sources such as blogs.

The initial research will give you a starting point. After identifying credible sources, dig deeper. Find more information for supporting your discussion essay. Remember to take notes as you research. Include citations in your notes.

Step 3- Outline your essay

Step 3 in our guide to writing a discussion essay is outlining your discussion essay. Before outlining, you need to decide on your discussion essay structure. A standard structure will have three main sections. It will have an introduction, main body, and a concluding section. In the main body, you’ll present arguments from both sides. A wrong discussion essay structure frustrates your reader. This is the reason you need a correct structure. After deciding on your structure, outline the essay. Your outline should have bulleted points. This will be useful while drafting the essay. Following is a structure you can use to outline your essay.

1.    Introduction

General statement

Relevant definitions

Thesis statement

2.    Main body

Ø  Arguments for

One:  Argument 1

Two: Argument 2

Three: Argument ….

Ø  Arguments against

o   One: Argument 1

o   Two: Argument….

3.    Conclusion

Ø  Summary of main points

Ø  Call to action

Note: The number of arguments will depend on the length of your essay. For a five-paragraph essay, your arguments will be three. This is because you should present only one argument in each body paragraph. You can choose to have two arguments for and one against. Alternatively, you can choose to have two arguments against and one argument for. For a longer essay, you can have several arguments for and against. Just ensure that you have arguments for both sides. List down your arguments in the outline. You can highlight any other relevant point in the outline. This will make it even easier to write your discussion essay.

Step 4- Draft your discussion essay

The next step in our guide to writing a discussion essay is drafting the essay. With an outline, this should be way easier.

Start with the introduction. Now, let’s look at how to write a discussion introduction. Start your introduction with a general statement. For example, you may begin your introduction with a general statement on abortion. This is for our example question provided in step 1 above. Then, introduce your specific topic. In our example, this would be restrictive abortion laws. Lastly, present your thesis statement with your position.

Then, move to the next main section. This is the main body. Use the outline as a guide. Based on your position, start with the arguments for or against. Use research to develop your paragraphs. After writing your argument, explain. Then, provide evidence from your notes. Evidence may include statistics, quotes, or paraphrased ideas. Remember to always include citations. You can get this information from the notes you made during the research. This is the reason you need not skip any step.

Finally, write the concluding paragraph. Provide enough information for the reader to form an opinion. Start by restating your thesis statement and position. Then, state your arguments. Close your concluding paragraph with a call to action.

Step 5- Revise your discussion essay

The last step in our guide to writing a discussion essay involves revising the essay. You need to read and reread your essay to eliminate any errors. Ensure that the ideas flow from one to the next. If not, add transitions. Ensure that every section is clear. If not, rewrite them. Read the essay to look for typos and grammatical errors. Try leading it out aloud. This will force you to read each word. Reread the essay one more time. When sure that it is error-free, submit it.

What to avoid when writing a discussion essay

Don’t wait for the deadline to approach to start working on a discussion essay. From our guide to writing a discussion essay, you can see there is a lot to do. You need to research, find good sources, outline, and draft. This means that you need enough time. Also, you need enough time to provide a clear analysis. It is impossible to provide a logical argument when in rush. In short, give yourself enough time to write a good discussion essay. What if you find yourself doing your essay at the last minute. You don’t have to worry. The best essay service can help you out. Professional essay writers will ensure that you complete your essay before the deadline. Most importantly, the best professional essay writers will ensure that you produce a high-quality discussion essay even when in rush.

In this guide to writing a discussion essay, you’ve learned how to write a good discussion essay. This is a five-step process. Start by reading and understanding your question. Second, research the topic to find supporting materials. Third, outline the essay using a proper structure. Fourth, use your outline to draft the discussion essay. Lastly, revise your essay and then submit it. Following this guide will help you to write a winning discussion essay. If you still find it difficult to write a discussion essay, don’t give up. Allow the best professional essay writers to help you learn how to write a discussion essay.

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How to Write Your Discussion Essay

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Stuck or don’t know how to start a discussion essay? Discover how to arrive at a good topic for your essay. A discussion essay explores issues around a specific topic. Such a topic should be open to debate. In writing a discussion essay, you must have an in-depth understanding of the matter, the right format, and structure. A well-presented essay should be in simple English, persuasive and informative. Learn more about structure and topics below.

What is the Best Way to Write My High School or College Discussion Essay?

What is a discussion essay and how is it supposed to look? Before you can begin writing your college, secondary school or middle school discussion essay, you need to plan what to include in it. Let us start with how to define discussion essay.

A discussion essay is a common type of assignment in college that requires students to present two sides of an argument. Also known as an argument essay , it should outline reasons for and against a particular issue. The writer should then conclude by giving their opinion.

Define Discussion Essay Topic. To start writing an excellent discussion essay, develop a topic that you can explore extensively. However, it may take you days to come up with viable topic ideas and even more time to narrow down on one idea.

How to write an excellent discussion essay

  • Organize your thoughts: clear your mind and organize your logical thoughts.
  • Brainstorm for a topic: do an initial research to better understand your topic ideas before selection. A good topic should have relatively equal weight on both sides of an argument. It should be interesting to most individuals.
  • Gather your sources: for your work to be reliable, you have to draw from a variety of sources. One source represents one opinion. Read widely to establish sources that provide information on your theme. They will also help you when making your bibliography.
  • Create an essay outline: an outline is a basic list of points you intend to discuss in your essay body paragraphs. Creating one can help you analyze topic viability. Write down all the ideas on your mind. Then sort out the important ones and make an outline with them.
  • Make your first draft: it is advisable to make an initial draft. A draft should represent how you would like your paper to look. Include all the important sections that is the thesis statement, a captivating introduction, a detailed body section and an impressive conclusion. Then, proofread it. The aim of an essay draft is to show you errors and mistakes you have made.
  • Make a second draft or submission copy: depending on the quality of your first draft, you will assess whether your paper is ready for submission or if you should create a second draft. Check formatting, spelling and general readability.

The Perfect Discussion Essay Structure

Correctly structuring your essay can contribute significantly to your score. In a discussion essay, proper styling and citation cannot be overstated. This essay is an academic paper. Therefore, it heavily sources information from recognized material and rewrites it. It needs to properly site the source material and paraphrase source content in an intelligible manner.

The Structure of Your Thesis Should Present All Sections Distinctly

You need sufficient writing skills to structure your discussion essay thesis admirably. The structure should guide your reader through the different sections of your essay. It should be coherent. If the structure is incorrect, your audience may get frustrated reading your paper.

Writing a Good Introduction to Your Discussion Essay

If you want your audience to read on to other parts in your essay, you need to write an engaging discussion essay introduction. Right from your first statement, your audience should yearn for more. An introduction to a discussion essay requires presenting a general view of the ideas you will discuss in your body paragraphs. A paragraph-long opening is a good length for your essay. End your introduction with your essay thesis.

Amplify Your Ideas in the Body Paragraphs

A discussion essay is not like a persuasive essay which tries to woe the reader towards a particular opinion. A discussion essay provides valid points supporting or opposing an existing issue. The  online essay writer then takes one point of view.

How to write a body paragraph for a discussion essay correctly:

  • Start the first sentence by stating a new idea
  • Give points strengthening the idea
  • Give points negating the idea
  • Make a conclusion.

Write a Detailed Conclusion that Summarizes Your Essay

The purpose of a discussion essay conclusion is to accentuate the thesis statement and the main point discussed in the body. It needs to give enough information for the reader to form an opinion. However, it should also draw the writer to the essay body to learn more about your discussion. The conclusion of discussion essay for university should depict a deep understanding of the topic you have tackled. It is your last chance to sway the reader.

How to write a conclusion for a discussion essay

To write the perfect ending paragraph to your discussion essay you have to consider many aspects. It should state the main points of your argument and the motivation for this argument. The closing sentence should intrigue your reader. Make the conclusion of your discussion essay smooth and captivating. Looking for someone to ‘ write an essay for me ‘? You can order an essay from us

Tips to Finding Agreeable Topics for Your Discussion Essay

  • Compile discussion essay topic ideas that interests you as it is easier to write about them.
  • Research on the discussion essay topics. Look at each independently and write down brief notes.
  • Select a topic that is debatable and has many issues that you can analysis. It should not solely lean on one side.
  • Sketch the positive and negative issues surrounding your topic.

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The purpose of the discussion section is to interpret and describe the significance of your findings in relation to what was already known about the research problem being investigated and to explain any new understanding or insights that emerged as a result of your research. The discussion will always connect to the introduction by way of the research questions or hypotheses you posed and the literature you reviewed, but the discussion does not simply repeat or rearrange the first parts of your paper; the discussion clearly explains how your study advanced the reader's understanding of the research problem from where you left them at the end of your review of prior research.

Annesley, Thomas M. “The Discussion Section: Your Closing Argument.” Clinical Chemistry 56 (November 2010): 1671-1674; Peacock, Matthew. “Communicative Moves in the Discussion Section of Research Articles.” System 30 (December 2002): 479-497.

Importance of a Good Discussion

The discussion section is often considered the most important part of your research paper because it:

  • Most effectively demonstrates your ability as a researcher to think critically about an issue, to develop creative solutions to problems based upon a logical synthesis of the findings, and to formulate a deeper, more profound understanding of the research problem under investigation;
  • Presents the underlying meaning of your research, notes possible implications in other areas of study, and explores possible improvements that can be made in order to further develop the concerns of your research;
  • Highlights the importance of your study and how it can contribute to understanding the research problem within the field of study;
  • Presents how the findings from your study revealed and helped fill gaps in the literature that had not been previously exposed or adequately described; and,
  • Engages the reader in thinking critically about issues based on an evidence-based interpretation of findings; it is not governed strictly by objective reporting of information.

Annesley Thomas M. “The Discussion Section: Your Closing Argument.” Clinical Chemistry 56 (November 2010): 1671-1674; Bitchener, John and Helen Basturkmen. “Perceptions of the Difficulties of Postgraduate L2 Thesis Students Writing the Discussion Section.” Journal of English for Academic Purposes 5 (January 2006): 4-18; Kretchmer, Paul. Fourteen Steps to Writing an Effective Discussion Section. San Francisco Edit, 2003-2008.

Structure and Writing Style

I.  General Rules

These are the general rules you should adopt when composing your discussion of the results :

  • Do not be verbose or repetitive; be concise and make your points clearly
  • Avoid the use of jargon or undefined technical language
  • Follow a logical stream of thought; in general, interpret and discuss the significance of your findings in the same sequence you described them in your results section [a notable exception is to begin by highlighting an unexpected result or a finding that can grab the reader's attention]
  • Use the present verb tense, especially for established facts; however, refer to specific works or prior studies in the past tense
  • If needed, use subheadings to help organize your discussion or to categorize your interpretations into themes

II.  The Content

The content of the discussion section of your paper most often includes :

  • Explanation of results : Comment on whether or not the results were expected for each set of findings; go into greater depth to explain findings that were unexpected or especially profound. If appropriate, note any unusual or unanticipated patterns or trends that emerged from your results and explain their meaning in relation to the research problem.
  • References to previous research : Either compare your results with the findings from other studies or use the studies to support a claim. This can include re-visiting key sources already cited in your literature review section, or, save them to cite later in the discussion section if they are more important to compare with your results instead of being a part of the general literature review of prior research used to provide context and background information. Note that you can make this decision to highlight specific studies after you have begun writing the discussion section.
  • Deduction : A claim for how the results can be applied more generally. For example, describing lessons learned, proposing recommendations that can help improve a situation, or highlighting best practices.
  • Hypothesis : A more general claim or possible conclusion arising from the results [which may be proved or disproved in subsequent research]. This can be framed as new research questions that emerged as a consequence of your analysis.

III.  Organization and Structure

Keep the following sequential points in mind as you organize and write the discussion section of your paper:

  • Think of your discussion as an inverted pyramid. Organize the discussion from the general to the specific, linking your findings to the literature, then to theory, then to practice [if appropriate].
  • Use the same key terms, narrative style, and verb tense [present] that you used when describing the research problem in your introduction.
  • Begin by briefly re-stating the research problem you were investigating and answer all of the research questions underpinning the problem that you posed in the introduction.
  • Describe the patterns, principles, and relationships shown by each major findings and place them in proper perspective. The sequence of this information is important; first state the answer, then the relevant results, then cite the work of others. If appropriate, refer the reader to a figure or table to help enhance the interpretation of the data [either within the text or as an appendix].
  • Regardless of where it's mentioned, a good discussion section includes analysis of any unexpected findings. This part of the discussion should begin with a description of the unanticipated finding, followed by a brief interpretation as to why you believe it appeared and, if necessary, its possible significance in relation to the overall study. If more than one unexpected finding emerged during the study, describe each of them in the order they appeared as you gathered or analyzed the data. As noted, the exception to discussing findings in the same order you described them in the results section would be to begin by highlighting the implications of a particularly unexpected or significant finding that emerged from the study, followed by a discussion of the remaining findings.
  • Before concluding the discussion, identify potential limitations and weaknesses if you do not plan to do so in the conclusion of the paper. Comment on their relative importance in relation to your overall interpretation of the results and, if necessary, note how they may affect the validity of your findings. Avoid using an apologetic tone; however, be honest and self-critical [e.g., in retrospect, had you included a particular question in a survey instrument, additional data could have been revealed].
  • The discussion section should end with a concise summary of the principal implications of the findings regardless of their significance. Give a brief explanation about why you believe the findings and conclusions of your study are important and how they support broader knowledge or understanding of the research problem. This can be followed by any recommendations for further research. However, do not offer recommendations which could have been easily addressed within the study. This would demonstrate to the reader that you have inadequately examined and interpreted the data.

IV.  Overall Objectives

The objectives of your discussion section should include the following: I.  Reiterate the Research Problem/State the Major Findings

Briefly reiterate the research problem or problems you are investigating and the methods you used to investigate them, then move quickly to describe the major findings of the study. You should write a direct, declarative, and succinct proclamation of the study results, usually in one paragraph.

II.  Explain the Meaning of the Findings and Why They are Important

No one has thought as long and hard about your study as you have. Systematically explain the underlying meaning of your findings and state why you believe they are significant. After reading the discussion section, you want the reader to think critically about the results and why they are important. You don’t want to force the reader to go through the paper multiple times to figure out what it all means. If applicable, begin this part of the section by repeating what you consider to be your most significant or unanticipated finding first, then systematically review each finding. Otherwise, follow the general order you reported the findings presented in the results section.

III.  Relate the Findings to Similar Studies

No study in the social sciences is so novel or possesses such a restricted focus that it has absolutely no relation to previously published research. The discussion section should relate your results to those found in other studies, particularly if questions raised from prior studies served as the motivation for your research. This is important because comparing and contrasting the findings of other studies helps to support the overall importance of your results and it highlights how and in what ways your study differs from other research about the topic. Note that any significant or unanticipated finding is often because there was no prior research to indicate the finding could occur. If there is prior research to indicate this, you need to explain why it was significant or unanticipated. IV.  Consider Alternative Explanations of the Findings

It is important to remember that the purpose of research in the social sciences is to discover and not to prove . When writing the discussion section, you should carefully consider all possible explanations for the study results, rather than just those that fit your hypothesis or prior assumptions and biases. This is especially important when describing the discovery of significant or unanticipated findings.

V.  Acknowledge the Study’s Limitations

It is far better for you to identify and acknowledge your study’s limitations than to have them pointed out by your professor! Note any unanswered questions or issues your study could not address and describe the generalizability of your results to other situations. If a limitation is applicable to the method chosen to gather information, then describe in detail the problems you encountered and why. VI.  Make Suggestions for Further Research

You may choose to conclude the discussion section by making suggestions for further research [as opposed to offering suggestions in the conclusion of your paper]. Although your study can offer important insights about the research problem, this is where you can address other questions related to the problem that remain unanswered or highlight hidden issues that were revealed as a result of conducting your research. You should frame your suggestions by linking the need for further research to the limitations of your study [e.g., in future studies, the survey instrument should include more questions that ask..."] or linking to critical issues revealed from the data that were not considered initially in your research.

NOTE: Besides the literature review section, the preponderance of references to sources is usually found in the discussion section . A few historical references may be helpful for perspective, but most of the references should be relatively recent and included to aid in the interpretation of your results, to support the significance of a finding, and/or to place a finding within a particular context. If a study that you cited does not support your findings, don't ignore it--clearly explain why your research findings differ from theirs.

V.  Problems to Avoid

  • Do not waste time restating your results . Should you need to remind the reader of a finding to be discussed, use "bridge sentences" that relate the result to the interpretation. An example would be: “In the case of determining available housing to single women with children in rural areas of Texas, the findings suggest that access to good schools is important...," then move on to further explaining this finding and its implications.
  • As noted, recommendations for further research can be included in either the discussion or conclusion of your paper, but do not repeat your recommendations in the both sections. Think about the overall narrative flow of your paper to determine where best to locate this information. However, if your findings raise a lot of new questions or issues, consider including suggestions for further research in the discussion section.
  • Do not introduce new results in the discussion section. Be wary of mistaking the reiteration of a specific finding for an interpretation because it may confuse the reader. The description of findings [results section] and the interpretation of their significance [discussion section] should be distinct parts of your paper. If you choose to combine the results section and the discussion section into a single narrative, you must be clear in how you report the information discovered and your own interpretation of each finding. This approach is not recommended if you lack experience writing college-level research papers.
  • Use of the first person pronoun is generally acceptable. Using first person singular pronouns can help emphasize a point or illustrate a contrasting finding. However, keep in mind that too much use of the first person can actually distract the reader from the main points [i.e., I know you're telling me this--just tell me!].

Analyzing vs. Summarizing. Department of English Writing Guide. George Mason University; Discussion. The Structure, Format, Content, and Style of a Journal-Style Scientific Paper. Department of Biology. Bates College; Hess, Dean R. "How to Write an Effective Discussion." Respiratory Care 49 (October 2004); Kretchmer, Paul. Fourteen Steps to Writing to Writing an Effective Discussion Section. San Francisco Edit, 2003-2008; The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Sauaia, A. et al. "The Anatomy of an Article: The Discussion Section: "How Does the Article I Read Today Change What I Will Recommend to my Patients Tomorrow?” The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 74 (June 2013): 1599-1602; Research Limitations & Future Research . Lund Research Ltd., 2012; Summary: Using it Wisely. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Schafer, Mickey S. Writing the Discussion. Writing in Psychology course syllabus. University of Florida; Yellin, Linda L. A Sociology Writer's Guide . Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 2009.

Writing Tip

Don’t Over-Interpret the Results!

Interpretation is a subjective exercise. As such, you should always approach the selection and interpretation of your findings introspectively and to think critically about the possibility of judgmental biases unintentionally entering into discussions about the significance of your work. With this in mind, be careful that you do not read more into the findings than can be supported by the evidence you have gathered. Remember that the data are the data: nothing more, nothing less.

MacCoun, Robert J. "Biases in the Interpretation and Use of Research Results." Annual Review of Psychology 49 (February 1998): 259-287; Ward, Paulet al, editors. The Oxford Handbook of Expertise . Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Another Writing Tip

Don't Write Two Results Sections!

One of the most common mistakes that you can make when discussing the results of your study is to present a superficial interpretation of the findings that more or less re-states the results section of your paper. Obviously, you must refer to your results when discussing them, but focus on the interpretation of those results and their significance in relation to the research problem, not the data itself.

Azar, Beth. "Discussing Your Findings."  American Psychological Association gradPSYCH Magazine (January 2006).

Yet Another Writing Tip

Avoid Unwarranted Speculation!

The discussion section should remain focused on the findings of your study. For example, if the purpose of your research was to measure the impact of foreign aid on increasing access to education among disadvantaged children in Bangladesh, it would not be appropriate to speculate about how your findings might apply to populations in other countries without drawing from existing studies to support your claim or if analysis of other countries was not a part of your original research design. If you feel compelled to speculate, do so in the form of describing possible implications or explaining possible impacts. Be certain that you clearly identify your comments as speculation or as a suggestion for where further research is needed. Sometimes your professor will encourage you to expand your discussion of the results in this way, while others don’t care what your opinion is beyond your effort to interpret the data in relation to the research problem.

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discussion essay definition

How To Write A Discussion Essay

To write a discussion essay, start with a clear introduction introducing the topic and presenting your main argument. Next, develop the body paragraphs, each addressing a specific aspect or viewpoint related to the topic, supported by evidence and facts. Then address counterarguments to strengthen your argument. Conclude your discussion essay by summarizing key points and restating your main argument, leaving readers with a compelling closing thought.

Fredrick Eghosa

Fredrick Eghosa

May 21, 2024

How To Write A Discussion Essay

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

Structure of a discussion essay, introduction:, key points to include:, thesis statement:, example introduction:, body paragraphs:, topic sentences:, supporting evidence:, counter arguments and refutations:, logical organization:, example body paragraph, conclusion:, summary of key points:, restatement of thesis/main point:, closing thoughts:, example conclusion:, linking words, for introducing ideas:, for adding information:, for presenting contrasting ideas:, for providing examples:, for showing cause and effect:, for expressing agreement:, for summarizing:, for emphasizing points:, for transitioning to the next point:, for expressing uncertainty:, valuable tips to guide you when writing a discussion essay, ensure you understand the essay prompt and requirements:, read and analyze the prompt:, clarify the scope:, define your thesis:, conduct in-depth research:, gather reliable sources for your essay:, evaluate your sources:, take notes and organize information:, present multiple viewpoints and arguments in your essay:, develop balanced arguments:, support with evidence:, address counterarguments:, structure your essay effectively:, transition smoothly:, edit and revise carefully:, review for clarity and coherence:, check for consistency:, proofread for grammar and spelling:, evaluate your argument:, examples of discussion essay written using cowriter.ai, topic 1: the impact of social media on teenagers: discuss the positive and negative effects on teenagers' mental health and social interaction., topic 2: benefits of studying abroad vs. the benefits of studying in your home country., topic 3: traditional education vs. online education: which approach fosters learning and skill development more effectively, topic 4: gun rights vs gun control: should there be stricter gun control laws to reduce violence, or should individuals have the right to own firearms for self-defense.

Fredrick Eghosa

  • A discussion essay is an academic writing that presents and analyzes various perspectives on a specific topic or issue.
  • The structure of a discussion essay usually follows the introduction, introducing the topic and presenting your main argument. The body paragraphs address a specific aspect or viewpoint of the topic and counterarguments. Lastly, the conclusion summarizes key points and restates your main argument.
  • Some valuable tips to guide you when writing a discussion essay are ensuring you understand the essay requirements, carrying out proper in-depth research on the topic, presenting multiple viewpoints in your discussion essay, ensuring your essay is structured properly, and editing to ensure your essay is free from errors.
  • You can use CoWriter as your writing assistant to streamline and enhance the writing and editing process of discussion essays.

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How to Write the Discussion Section of a Research Paper

The discussion section of a research paper analyzes and interprets the findings, provides context, compares them with previous studies, identifies limitations, and suggests future research directions.

Updated on September 15, 2023

researchers writing the discussion section of their research paper

Structure your discussion section right, and you’ll be cited more often while doing a greater service to the scientific community. So, what actually goes into the discussion section? And how do you write it?

The discussion section of your research paper is where you let the reader know how your study is positioned in the literature, what to take away from your paper, and how your work helps them. It can also include your conclusions and suggestions for future studies.

First, we’ll define all the parts of your discussion paper, and then look into how to write a strong, effective discussion section for your paper or manuscript.

Discussion section: what is it, what it does

The discussion section comes later in your paper, following the introduction, methods, and results. The discussion sets up your study’s conclusions. Its main goals are to present, interpret, and provide a context for your results.

What is it?

The discussion section provides an analysis and interpretation of the findings, compares them with previous studies, identifies limitations, and suggests future directions for research.

This section combines information from the preceding parts of your paper into a coherent story. By this point, the reader already knows why you did your study (introduction), how you did it (methods), and what happened (results). In the discussion, you’ll help the reader connect the ideas from these sections.

Why is it necessary?

The discussion provides context and interpretations for the results. It also answers the questions posed in the introduction. While the results section describes your findings, the discussion explains what they say. This is also where you can describe the impact or implications of your research.

Adds context for your results

Most research studies aim to answer a question, replicate a finding, or address limitations in the literature. These goals are first described in the introduction. However, in the discussion section, the author can refer back to them to explain how the study's objective was achieved. 

Shows what your results actually mean and real-world implications

The discussion can also describe the effect of your findings on research or practice. How are your results significant for readers, other researchers, or policymakers?

What to include in your discussion (in the correct order)

A complete and effective discussion section should at least touch on the points described below.

Summary of key findings

The discussion should begin with a brief factual summary of the results. Concisely overview the main results you obtained.

Begin with key findings with supporting evidence

Your results section described a list of findings, but what message do they send when you look at them all together?

Your findings were detailed in the results section, so there’s no need to repeat them here, but do provide at least a few highlights. This will help refresh the reader’s memory and help them focus on the big picture.

Read the first paragraph of the discussion section in this article (PDF) for an example of how to start this part of your paper. Notice how the authors break down their results and follow each description sentence with an explanation of why each finding is relevant. 

State clearly and concisely

Following a clear and direct writing style is especially important in the discussion section. After all, this is where you will make some of the most impactful points in your paper. While the results section often contains technical vocabulary, such as statistical terms, the discussion section lets you describe your findings more clearly. 

Interpretation of results

Once you’ve given your reader an overview of your results, you need to interpret those results. In other words, what do your results mean? Discuss the findings’ implications and significance in relation to your research question or hypothesis.

Analyze and interpret your findings

Look into your findings and explore what’s behind them or what may have caused them. If your introduction cited theories or studies that could explain your findings, use these sources as a basis to discuss your results.

For example, look at the second paragraph in the discussion section of this article on waggling honey bees. Here, the authors explore their results based on information from the literature.

Unexpected or contradictory results

Sometimes, your findings are not what you expect. Here’s where you describe this and try to find a reason for it. Could it be because of the method you used? Does it have something to do with the variables analyzed? Comparing your methods with those of other similar studies can help with this task.

Context and comparison with previous work

Refer to related studies to place your research in a larger context and the literature. Compare and contrast your findings with existing literature, highlighting similarities, differences, and/or contradictions.

How your work compares or contrasts with previous work

Studies with similar findings to yours can be cited to show the strength of your findings. Information from these studies can also be used to help explain your results. Differences between your findings and others in the literature can also be discussed here. 

How to divide this section into subsections

If you have more than one objective in your study or many key findings, you can dedicate a separate section to each of these. Here’s an example of this approach. You can see that the discussion section is divided into topics and even has a separate heading for each of them. 

Limitations

Many journals require you to include the limitations of your study in the discussion. Even if they don’t, there are good reasons to mention these in your paper.

Why limitations don’t have a negative connotation

A study’s limitations are points to be improved upon in future research. While some of these may be flaws in your method, many may be due to factors you couldn’t predict.

Examples include time constraints or small sample sizes. Pointing this out will help future researchers avoid or address these issues. This part of the discussion can also include any attempts you have made to reduce the impact of these limitations, as in this study .

How limitations add to a researcher's credibility

Pointing out the limitations of your study demonstrates transparency. It also shows that you know your methods well and can conduct a critical assessment of them.  

Implications and significance

The final paragraph of the discussion section should contain the take-home messages for your study. It can also cite the “strong points” of your study, to contrast with the limitations section.

Restate your hypothesis

Remind the reader what your hypothesis was before you conducted the study. 

How was it proven or disproven?

Identify your main findings and describe how they relate to your hypothesis.

How your results contribute to the literature

Were you able to answer your research question? Or address a gap in the literature?

Future implications of your research

Describe the impact that your results may have on the topic of study. Your results may show, for instance, that there are still limitations in the literature for future studies to address. There may be a need for studies that extend your findings in a specific way. You also may need additional research to corroborate your findings. 

Sample discussion section

This fictitious example covers all the aspects discussed above. Your actual discussion section will probably be much longer, but you can read this to get an idea of everything your discussion should cover.

Our results showed that the presence of cats in a household is associated with higher levels of perceived happiness by its human occupants. These findings support our hypothesis and demonstrate the association between pet ownership and well-being. 

The present findings align with those of Bao and Schreer (2016) and Hardie et al. (2023), who observed greater life satisfaction in pet owners relative to non-owners. Although the present study did not directly evaluate life satisfaction, this factor may explain the association between happiness and cat ownership observed in our sample.

Our findings must be interpreted in light of some limitations, such as the focus on cat ownership only rather than pets as a whole. This may limit the generalizability of our results.

Nevertheless, this study had several strengths. These include its strict exclusion criteria and use of a standardized assessment instrument to investigate the relationships between pets and owners. These attributes bolster the accuracy of our results and reduce the influence of confounding factors, increasing the strength of our conclusions. Future studies may examine the factors that mediate the association between pet ownership and happiness to better comprehend this phenomenon.

This brief discussion begins with a quick summary of the results and hypothesis. The next paragraph cites previous research and compares its findings to those of this study. Information from previous studies is also used to help interpret the findings. After discussing the results of the study, some limitations are pointed out. The paper also explains why these limitations may influence the interpretation of results. Then, final conclusions are drawn based on the study, and directions for future research are suggested.

How to make your discussion flow naturally

If you find writing in scientific English challenging, the discussion and conclusions are often the hardest parts of the paper to write. That’s because you’re not just listing up studies, methods, and outcomes. You’re actually expressing your thoughts and interpretations in words.

  • How formal should it be?
  • What words should you use, or not use?
  • How do you meet strict word limits, or make it longer and more informative?

Always give it your best, but sometimes a helping hand can, well, help. Getting a professional edit can help clarify your work’s importance while improving the English used to explain it. When readers know the value of your work, they’ll cite it. We’ll assign your study to an expert editor knowledgeable in your area of research. Their work will clarify your discussion, helping it to tell your story. Find out more about AJE Editing.

Adam Goulston, Science Marketing Consultant, PsyD, Human and Organizational Behavior, Scize

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How to Answer a Discuss Essay

When an essay title includes the word ‘Discuss’, this means that you are being asked to debate the subject of the essay. In other words, you need to be able to demonstrate that you have understood and evaluated both sides of the topic, problem, or opposing views in a theoretical perspective. At the same time, you need to be able to show, through rational evaluation of the evidence why you favour a particular view.

From this definition, it is clear that a ‘discuss’ essay is looking for balance, not bias or persuasion. In other words, the essay is not starting from one perspective and aiming to confirm this. Rather the intent of a ‘discuss’ essay is to deliver a work that clearly separates facts and opinions. The skills required for this include paraphrasing, summation, and the clear evaluation of different viewpoints. Common titles for a discuss essay include the format “AI is killing natural innovation from engineers. Discuss”, “Highlight and examine the advantages and disadvantages of home schooling for toddlers”, “Examine the arguments for and against the widespread mandatory delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine”. All of these titles require a discuss essay to be produced.

  • A discuss essay of the highest standard will be logical, flow well and make arguments and statements based on knowledge and evidence, covering all perspectives.
  • You should include all the most important (key) factors or issues in a subject area, highlighting where there is debate over these, ensuring that both sides of the argument are presented.
  • Make statements and deliberations that are based only on credible and viable research, that has been previously well presented.

Structure of a Discuss Essay

Introduction.

In all essays the best introductions are those which draw in the reader with a strong statement from the outset.  The remainder of the introduction should give a brief indication of the subject being covered, the key points that will be discussed, and if you wish, anticipated conclusions. You should also incorporate any acronyms, or industry specific terms that will be covered in the essay.

Main Body of the work

The main body (or the meat of the essay) should be divided into separate paragraphs that each cover one distinct point or statement.  A discuss essay requires presentation of evidence, so each paragraph should be focused on one point with both for and against perspectives, before a final summary point identifying one or the other as being justified.  In all cases, any points made should be backed up by evidence, correctly cited and referenced at the end of your work.

Important point: The evidence provided, and references cited should only come from valid, credible sources, preferably peer-reviewed articles, and fully referenced. It is vital to ensure that the views expressed are not opinions but have been delivered based on evidence of wider reading in the field.

To ensure a logical flow, you should raise the main or key points of an arguments first, and then move onto sub-arguments, ensuring that all the paragraphs are well linked to deliver a cohesive, essay that flows in a logical way.

A discuss essay conclusion should contain two elements.  Firstly, a summary of the core ideas, returning to the evidence presented and the points made, along with an indication of which you believe delivered the strongest arguments for or against the statement in the title.

Secondly, a discuss essay should give your opinion, which should be grounded in the presented evidence, to demonstrate your ability to draw a conclusion from the data considered.  In other words, following an internal debate with yourself, evaluating the information available, you should demonstrate that you have an informed opinion on the subject under discussion.

To help you in the construction of your discussion essay, we have put together a list of key words and phrases that can be used to ensure you deliver a first-class piece of work.

Key Discussion Essay Vocabulary

When presenting evidence:.

  • It is suggested that…
  • Evidence available indicates that….
  • It has been indicated that…
  • Aspects of the work suggest that…
  • The evidence presented supports the view that…
  • The evidence presented however overlooks…
  • Closer examination suggests….

For summarising, the following phrases are useful:

  • The most important

When introducing an opinion:

  • There is no doubt that…
  • A key argument in favour is that…
  • I believe that…

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IELTS Discussion Essays [Discuss Both Views/Sides]

Posted by David S. Wills | Jun 14, 2021 | IELTS Tips , Writing | 3

IELTS Discussion Essays [Discuss Both Views/Sides]

In this lesson, I’m going to explain what an IELTS discussion essay is and how you can write a good one. I will talk about structure and content, as well as looking briefly at discussion essay thesis statements, which many people find tricky. I’ve also written a sample essay, which you can find at the bottom of this page.

What is a Discussion Essay?

As the name suggests, a discussion essay is an essay that discusses things! More specifically, it is a type of IELTS writing task 2 essay that requires you to look at two different points of view . You can easily recognise these essays by the following phrase:

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Sometimes it is phrased a little differently. It might say:

Discuss both sides and give your opinion
Discuss both points view and give your opinion

The important thing is that these all mean the same. When you see any of these, you know that you need to write a discussion essay. Importantly, this instruction tells you that you need to do two things:

  • Discuss both views (there will have been 2 views mentioned in the previous sentence(s))
  • Give your opinion (i.e. state which view you agree with)

If you failed to do either of these things, you would not have satisfied the basic criteria for Task Achievement .

Example Discussion Essay Questions

Here is a list of 5 discussion essay questions either from the IELTS exam, reportedly from the IELTS exam, or from reputable publications that have copied the IELTS question style. (Not that you absolutely should avoid fake IELTS questions when practising.)

Some people say that parents should encourage their children to take part in organised group activities in their free time. Others say that is important for children to learn how to occupy themselves on their own. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
Some people prefer to spend their lives doing the same things and avoiding change. Others, however, think that change is always a good thing. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
Some people feel that manufacturers and supermarkets have the responsibility to reduce the amount of packaging of goods. Others argue that customers should avoid buying goods with a lot of packaging. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
Some people believe that higher education should be funded by the government. Others, however, argue that it is the responsibility of individuals to fund their higher education. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
Some people believe that it is important for children to attend extra classes outside school, while others believe that they should be allowed to play after school. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

You can see in these questions that there is a similar pattern. In each case, the question phrase (“Discuss both views and give your own opinion”) is the same and in the previous sentence or sentences, there are two opposing views. This, then, makes “discuss both views” questions a sort of opinion essay .

How to Answer IELTS Discussion Questions

First of all, it is important when answering any IELTS task 2 question that you read the question carefully so that you understand it, then provide an answer that directly responds to the question, following its instructions carefully.

As discussed above, you are required to do two things: 1) Discuss both views, and 2) Give your own opinion. You absolutely must do both of those. It doesn’t really matter what your opinion is or whether you give equal weighting to both sides of the argument. Instead, you must cover both sides and also give some sort of opinion. (It is important, though, according to the marking rubric , that you are consistent in your opinion.)

Your answer of course should be structured carefully so as to present your ideas in a thoroughly logical way that is easy for your reader to interpret. I almost always use a four-paragraph structure in my essays, but some people prefer to use five paragraphs in this sort of essay. The difference would look like this:

 Four-paragraph essayFive-paragraph essay
IntroductionIntroduce the main idea
State your opinion
Introduce the main idea
State your opinion
Body paragraph 1Discuss the first point of viewDiscuss the first point of view
Body paragraph 2Discuss the second point of viewDiscuss the second point of view
Body paragraph 3Give your opinion
Summarise the issue and reaffirm positionSummarise the issue and reaffirm position

You might be wondering why I have given my opinion in the body of the five-paragraph essay but not in the four-paragraph essay. Well, actually I would give my opinion in the body of both. However, my opinion would be more subtly woven into the text of the four-paragraph essay. I personally find this to be a better method, but it is equally possible that you could write an amazing five-paragraph essay. That issue is discussed further in this video:

Discussion Essay Thesis Statement

In academic writing, a thesis statement (sometimes called an essay outline ) is the part of the essay where you insert your opinion. It typically comes at the end of the introduction and guides the reader by explaining your opinion on the issues that have been introduced.

But do you really need to provide one in such a short essay? Well, a 2018 study into successful IELTS essays concluded that thesis statements were “obligatory” – i.e. you absolutely do need one. In fact, that study found that thesis statements appeared in 100% of successful IELTS discussion essays! Therefore, we can conclude they are very important.

Because a discussion essay will tell you to “Discuss both views and give your opinion,” you must introduce the two views and then give your opinion in the introduction. Here is an example:

Introductory paragraph:

In some parts of the world, children are forced to go to cram schools and other facilities of extracurricular learning, but many people believe that this is unfair and that they should be allowed to enjoy their free time instead. This essay will look at both perspectives and then conclude that it is indeed unfair.

My first sentence clearly introduces two different ideas:

  • Children should do extra classes
  • Children should not do extra classes

Note how I have successfully used synonyms to avoid repeating anything from the question. I have also framed the issue in a new way so that I am not just paraphrasing. (You can learn why paraphrasing is not always helpful here .)

My second sentence is the thesis statement. In this sentence, I outline what the essay will do (“look at both perspectives”) and then give my opinion (“it is unfair”). This is a simple but effective thesis statement.

Thesis Statement Advice

Your IELTS discussion essay thesis statement should do two things:

  • Tell the reader what the essay will do
  • Present your opinion

Because this is a formal essay, it is best not to be too personal. Instead of saying “I will…” or “I think…” it is better to say “This essay will…” Here are some simple templates that you can follow most of the time:

  • This essay will look at both sides and then argue that…
  • This essay will discuss both views but ultimately side with…

Just make sure to avoid being overly vague. You are required to give your opinion consistently throughout the essay, so don’t say “This essay will look at both sides and then give my opinion .” It is not really the best approach because the examiner wants to see that you can be consistent in presenting an opinion. That is clearly stated in the marking rubric. For band 7, it says:

  • presents a clear position throughout the response

It could be concluded, then, that your opinion is not clear from the start and so you have not done enough to warrant a band 7 for Task Achievement.

Body Paragraphs

As I mentioned above, there are really two main approaches you could take to the body paragraphs:

  • Discuss one view per paragraph and incorporate your opinion into each.
  • Discuss one view per paragraph and then have another for your opinion.

I suppose there is also a third option:

  • Compare and contrast the two viewpoints in each paragraph.

This last one may be a little harder to do successfully without jeopardising your score for Task Achievement or Coherence and Cohesion , but advanced candidates may find it useful.

Remember that there is no single perfect formula for an IELTS essay. That’s not how languages work and that’s not how IELTS works. Different people could come up with different ways to present a successful essay. The most common essay structures are mere guidelines for particularly useful methods of approaching an essay.

discussion essay definition

Does a Discussion Essay Have to be Balanced?

Because the question says “Discuss both views,” it is quite logical to think that you must provide some degree of balance, but you certainly don’t need to give equal weighting to both sides. Remember that you are also going to give your opinion, so if you come down strongly on one side of the issue, it might be odd to give equal attention to both.

If you do feel very strongly about one side, you might want to present your discussion of the other side as quite negative. However, IELTS is a thinking exam as well as an English exam and an intelligent person can always look at both sides of an issue and explain – at the very least – why someone might believe a thing that is different to his own view. This seems quite important, but there is nothing explicitly mentioned in the marking rubric.

I would suggest that if you think a two-sided issue is basically one-sided (i.e. you strongly disagree with the other view), you should still write one or two sentences about why people believe that and then devote the rest of your essay to disputing their view.

Another approach is to write BP1 as a very short paragraph that explains why people might think one thing, but then have BP2 as a very long paragraph that debunks the opposing view and then explains why the other is correct.

(You can read more about IELTS essays and balance here .)

Sample Answer

Here is my full sample answer to the above question about whether or not children should be made to do extracurricular activities:

In some parts of the world, children are forced to go to cram schools and other facilities of extracurricular learning, but many people believe that this is unfair and that they should be allowed to enjoy their free time instead. This essay will look at both perspectives and then conclude that it is indeed unfair. In countries like South Korea, most children are made to go to an array of cram schools outside of regular school hours. Their parents do this in order to give their child a better future because it helps the child to learn more and thus gives them the academic advantages needed to apply to the best universities or jobs in future. These schools often provide children with an advantage over their peers because they improve their foreign language or math skills more quickly, and thus the children who do not attend these schools might have comparatively poor grades. However, whilst this attitude may result in better academic performance, it is certainly not good for the mental health of these children. It is no coincidence that places like South Korea have the highest rates of suicide among their young populations. The fact is that children are not equipped to spend fourteen or sixteen hours per day in classrooms, memorising facts and figures. In a sense, it is a form of child abuse. Children should be allowed to go home and spend time with friends and family to build social skills. They should be allowed to occupy themselves in order to become more creative and learn how to understand their own mind instead of being trained to repeat what they are told. In conclusion, it is understandable that some parents want their children to go to extra classes, but this is damaging to children and they should be given the freedom to play and socialise outside of regular school hours.

In BP1, I have looked at the topic of cram schools (ie the side of the argument in favour of extra lessons). I explored why parents might want their kids to do this and show the supposed benefits. Note that I never embraced any of these benefits. I was careful to use language that distanced these ideas from my own opinion, which was the opposite, so I said “Their parents do this in order to…”

In BP2, I looked at the opposite side. I was careful to make sure that my first sentence linked to the previous paragraph, highlighting that the benefits are quite minor compared to the drawbacks. All of my sentences here justify my position, which is that it is cruel to force these extra lessons on children.

My conclusion ties all of this together. The first clause references BP1 and the second summarises the main argument in BP2.

You can find two more sample essays here:

  • A discussion essay about sports facilities
  • A discussion essay about sports abilities

About The Author

David S. Wills

David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural Cambodia and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. David has worked in many different countries, and for several years designed a writing course for the University of Worcester. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing and he has since written two other books about IELTS. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.

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DIRWAN

It is sometimes debatable whether asking children to get extra education after school or letting them play that is actually beneficial for them. Even though both viewpoints have benefits and drawbacks but I believe ,in the childhood age, children have to take rough and discipline education after school to be succeed in the future.

To begin with, many educational experts believe that playing is one of the essential aspects that have to be gotten by children to grow and happy. By using the playing approach, children can have a good mental and psychic health. Besides, letting children play after school can also support them to increase their emotional stimuli and get a positive social interaction. With this way, experts believe children can grow as a better adult in the future and have a freedom to get a better life in the upcoming times.

However, I completely contra with the first idea because I believe childhood is a better time to train children about academic or other skills that benefits them in the future. Based on scientific journal that I read, the ability of children in learning new things are more spectacular compared to adults. A lot of artists, scientist, and even football player who currently becoming a superstar in this era is a string of process that is began since their in the childhood. For instance, nowadays, I am working in the field of election supervision, it because since in my childhood my father love to force me learning about social and political issues by getting additional class. Thus, making children to get extra class after school is an appropriate preference if parents desire to see their son getting a good future.

To conclude, based on experts children have to get a freedom to play after schools but in my viewpoint it will be more advantages if they utilize the playing time with joining additional class after school.

tufail khan

VERY GOOD MR DIRWAN But actually you mixed both of the ideas , you need to take one side for this sort of essay writting, as it is mentioned in the above instruction. By the way WELL DONE . love from Pakistan to my sweet brother.

Daisey Lachut

I have not checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are really great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend. ??

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How to Write a Discussion Section | Tips & Examples

Published on 21 August 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on 25 October 2022.

Discussion section flow chart

The discussion section is where you delve into the meaning, importance, and relevance of your results .

It should focus on explaining and evaluating what you found, showing how it relates to your literature review , and making an argument in support of your overall conclusion . It should not be a second results section .

There are different ways to write this section, but you can focus your writing around these key elements:

  • Summary: A brief recap of your key results
  • Interpretations: What do your results mean?
  • Implications: Why do your results matter?
  • Limitations: What can’t your results tell us?
  • Recommendations: Avenues for further studies or analyses

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Table of contents

What not to include in your discussion section, step 1: summarise your key findings, step 2: give your interpretations, step 3: discuss the implications, step 4: acknowledge the limitations, step 5: share your recommendations, discussion section example.

There are a few common mistakes to avoid when writing the discussion section of your paper.

  • Don’t introduce new results: You should only discuss the data that you have already reported in your results section .
  • Don’t make inflated claims: Avoid overinterpretation and speculation that isn’t directly supported by your data.
  • Don’t undermine your research: The discussion of limitations should aim to strengthen your credibility, not emphasise weaknesses or failures.

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Start this section by reiterating your research problem  and concisely summarising your major findings. Don’t just repeat all the data you have already reported – aim for a clear statement of the overall result that directly answers your main  research question . This should be no more than one paragraph.

Many students struggle with the differences between a discussion section and a results section . The crux of the matter is that your results sections should present your results, and your discussion section should subjectively evaluate them. Try not to blend elements of these two sections, in order to keep your paper sharp.

  • The results indicate that …
  • The study demonstrates a correlation between …
  • This analysis supports the theory that …
  • The data suggest  that …

The meaning of your results may seem obvious to you, but it’s important to spell out their significance for your reader, showing exactly how they answer your research question.

The form of your interpretations will depend on the type of research, but some typical approaches to interpreting the data include:

  • Identifying correlations , patterns, and relationships among the data
  • Discussing whether the results met your expectations or supported your hypotheses
  • Contextualising your findings within previous research and theory
  • Explaining unexpected results and evaluating their significance
  • Considering possible alternative explanations and making an argument for your position

You can organise your discussion around key themes, hypotheses, or research questions, following the same structure as your results section. Alternatively, you can also begin by highlighting the most significant or unexpected results.

  • In line with the hypothesis …
  • Contrary to the hypothesised association …
  • The results contradict the claims of Smith (2007) that …
  • The results might suggest that x . However, based on the findings of similar studies, a more plausible explanation is x .

As well as giving your own interpretations, make sure to relate your results back to the scholarly work that you surveyed in the literature review . The discussion should show how your findings fit with existing knowledge, what new insights they contribute, and what consequences they have for theory or practice.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do your results support or challenge existing theories? If they support existing theories, what new information do they contribute? If they challenge existing theories, why do you think that is?
  • Are there any practical implications?

Your overall aim is to show the reader exactly what your research has contributed, and why they should care.

  • These results build on existing evidence of …
  • The results do not fit with the theory that …
  • The experiment provides a new insight into the relationship between …
  • These results should be taken into account when considering how to …
  • The data contribute a clearer understanding of …
  • While previous research has focused on  x , these results demonstrate that y .

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Even the best research has its limitations. Acknowledging these is important to demonstrate your credibility. Limitations aren’t about listing your errors, but about providing an accurate picture of what can and cannot be concluded from your study.

Limitations might be due to your overall research design, specific methodological choices , or unanticipated obstacles that emerged during your research process.

Here are a few common possibilities:

  • If your sample size was small or limited to a specific group of people, explain how generalisability is limited.
  • If you encountered problems when gathering or analysing data, explain how these influenced the results.
  • If there are potential confounding variables that you were unable to control, acknowledge the effect these may have had.

After noting the limitations, you can reiterate why the results are nonetheless valid for the purpose of answering your research question.

  • The generalisability of the results is limited by …
  • The reliability of these data is impacted by …
  • Due to the lack of data on x , the results cannot confirm …
  • The methodological choices were constrained by …
  • It is beyond the scope of this study to …

Based on the discussion of your results, you can make recommendations for practical implementation or further research. Sometimes, the recommendations are saved for the conclusion .

Suggestions for further research can lead directly from the limitations. Don’t just state that more studies should be done – give concrete ideas for how future work can build on areas that your own research was unable to address.

  • Further research is needed to establish …
  • Future studies should take into account …
  • Avenues for future research include …

Discussion section example

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How to Write a Discussion Essay for University: How to Start

How to Write a Discussion Essay for University: How to Start

How to Write a Discussion Essay

How to Write a Discussion Essay

Have you been asked to write a discussion essay and you do not know how to go about it? Discussion essays require you to debate two opposing sides where you eventually show the side you prefer.

This article will look into steps that you need to follow when writing discussion essays and all the tips to complete one successfully

discussion essay definition

What is a Discussion Essay?

discussion essay

A discussion essay presents issues surrounding topics that are debatable and open to criticism or arguments. The essay must include detailed accounts of both sides of the debate and strong points to support arguments and counterarguments.

The opinions on both sides of the topic should be fully exhausted. An example of a good discussion essay title is; The arguments for and against the death penalty.

Also Read: Is Using Old Exams Cheating? Tips how to Use Them to Pass

How to Write a Discussion Essay?

Writing discussion essays is not hard. It takes time to perfect essay writing and a few average first trials should not discourage you. However, there are several steps that if followed can help elevate you easily to an expert discussion essay writer. These include:

Step 1: Choose a Topic

When you have not been given a specific topic to write about, always ensure that you choose a topic carefully. Pick a topic that will be easier to research and write about.

A topic with readily available research is important because you will have to write about two argument phases in detail.

When you choose a side where the research available is one sided ,then your discussion essay will be unbalanced and may result in poor grading or rating

Step 2: Do Your Research

You will need to thoroughly research the topic you are writing about because facts must be separated from opinions. Only facts about a topic will make credible arguments for and against it.

research sources

Always research for enough factual points about a topic that will balance your arguments. Also, ensure that during research you formulate a thesis statement, opinions, and a conclusion that will serve as the parting shot of your essay.

Step 3: Create an Outline

After research, create a rough draft of how you want your essay to flow. Here include introduction points, thesis statement, supporting arguments, opposing arguments, and a rough conclusion paragraph.

This draft will help you write the essay without instant stops that are caused by running out of content halfway through.

Also, through outlines the ideas you present in the essay will look organized because you have already planned how they will flow. There is no recommended way of formulating this draft as long as you make sure that you do all the above tasks.

Also Read: Essay Reading: Practice and Importance of Reading Essays

Step 4: Write the Introduction

To introduce a discussion essay, all issues relating to the topic and important background information must be involved. The introduction should effectively set the pace of your essay preparing the reader for the arguments that you will present.

The thesis statement that reveals to the reader what the essay will be all about should conclude the introduction. The statement should summarize both sides presented in the essay.

It also sets the scene for your essay. Therefore, it should be a specific and strong closing statement to your introduction paragraph.

Step 5: Write the Discussion in the Body Part of the Essay

Each issue in the body paragraphs should be presented impartially. There should be no cases of mix-up. This implies that arguments for should be presented separately from arguments against.

Paragraphs that present the facts should be equal to give the impression that they are balanced. Also, each paragraph should start with a topic sentence that introduces an argument that is then supported by the body sentences.

The last sentence in the paragraph can serve as a transition to the next. When presenting your arguments, start with the strongest to ensure that the reader can keep up with the flow of your essay.

Always ensure a smooth transition to arguments against if you started in arguments for and vice versa. Sources and quotes should be balanced for both arguments.

For example, if you use four scholarly sources and 3 quotes for arguments against, the same should be replicated in supporting arguments.

Step 6: Write the Conclusion

the conclusion

To conclude a discussion essay, summarize the overall information that has been presented in your essay. There is no requirement that you favor one side of the argument in your essay but if you do, make sure that you present your own opinion that is not similar to the body paragraphs to avoid repetition.

Write the conclusion in a way that the reader will know that the essay is coming to an end and notice your point of view.

Step 7: Proofread

After writing the essay, always ensure that you go through it to correct any mistakes that you may have committed. Most of them include grammar mistakes and incorrect pronunciations that can make your work lose clarity.

After proofreading, always ensure that you have not copied anything directly from a source that can lead to your work being flagged as plagiarized. Once this is done your work is ready for submission.

How to Start a Discussion Essay?

Just like other essays, discussion essays start with an introduction. Here you must introduce both sides of the argument and include a thesis statement to help the reader comprehend what the essay will be all about.

To start a discussion essay you will have to take a position on a topic and start agreeing with it. Also, investigate your stance and present the opposing side before continuing to the introduction and thesis statement.

Also Read: What Assignment Due 11:59 PM Means: What Comes After

Tips When Writing a Discussion Essay

The following tips can be helpful when writing a discussion essay:

Tip 1: Be Clear

All paragraphs in your essay should be written in clear language that is easily understandable by the reader. After writing paragraphs always make sure that you proofread to correct any mistakes that may distort their meaning.

be clear

Tip 2: Take a Good Stand

Always choose a stance that you are comfortable with. This way you will be able to provide a view in your own words that present your stance on the topic.

A controversial stand will always be harder to write and prove with evidence.

Tip 3: Consider Opposing Views

A discussion essay is not complete if the opposing views are not fully presented. They are the ones that prove there is a relevant discussion about a particular topic that has two opposing views that can be supported and opposed.

Tip 4: Break down Opposing Sides with no Inclination

Do not lean on one side of the arguments when presenting them. Always ensure that both arguments are presented fairly.

Balance the points for each argument to avoid giving the impression that you favor a particular side. The side you take should be revealed in the introduction or conclusion of the essay and not in the body paragraphs.

When proofreading your essay always make sure that there is a fair approach between the two arguments.

Tip 5: Use a Reliable Tone

Remember that discussion essays are for academic use. Therefore, always ensure that the tone you use is formal. Use specialized terms that are common in the field of the essay topic.

It is up to the reader to establish what they mean.

Always ensure that you do not exaggerate anything you write because arguments presented must always sound real.

Tip 6: Be Detailed

Always avoid shallow arguments. All arguments you present in your discussion must be detailed. Your aim is to show both sides of a topic and shallow arguments will not help achieve that.

Jessica Kasen

Jessica Kasen is experienced in academic writing and academic assistance. She is well versed in academia and has a master’s degree in education. Kasen consults with us in helping students improve their grades. She also oversights the quality of work done by our writers.

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discussion essay definition

How to Write a Discursive Essay: Awesome Guide and Template

discussion essay definition

The term "discursive" comes from the Latin word "discursus," meaning to move around or traverse. A discursive essay reflects this by exploring multiple viewpoints and offering a thorough discussion on a specific topic.

In this article, our term paper writing service will define what a discursive essay is, distinguish it from an argumentative essay, provide practical tips on how to write one effectively, and examine essay examples to illustrate its structure and approach.

What Is a Discursive Essay

A discursive essay is a type of essay where you discuss a topic from various viewpoints. The goal is to provide a balanced analysis by exploring different perspectives. Your essay should present arguments on the topic, showing both sides to give a comprehensive view.

Features of discursive essays typically include:

  • Thesis Statement: Clearly states your position or argument on the topic.
  • Discussion of Perspectives: Examines different viewpoints or aspects of the issue.
  • Evidence and Examples: Supports arguments with relevant evidence and examples.
  • Counterarguments: Addresses opposing viewpoints to strengthen your position.
  • Logical Organization: Structured to present arguments coherently and persuasively.

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How to Write a Discursive Essay

Writing a discursive essay involves examining a topic from different angles and presenting balanced viewpoints. Whether you're tackling a controversial issue or analyzing a complex subject, following these steps will help you craft a well-structured discursive essay.

discursive essay aspects

1. Understand the Topic

Before you start writing, make sure you grasp the topic thoroughly. Identify key terms and concepts to clarify what you need to discuss. Consider the different aspects and perspectives related to the topic that you will explore in your essay.

2. Research and Gather Evidence

Research is crucial for a discursive essay. Gather information from reliable sources such as books, academic journals, and reputable websites. Collect evidence that supports various viewpoints on the topic. Note down quotes, statistics, and examples that you can use to strengthen your arguments.

3. Plan Your Structure

Organize your essay effectively to ensure clarity and coherence. Start with an introduction that states your thesis or main argument. Outline the main points or perspectives you will discuss in the body paragraphs. Each paragraph should focus on a different aspect or viewpoint, supported by evidence. Consider including a paragraph that addresses counterarguments to strengthen your position.

4. Write the Introduction

Begin your essay with a compelling introduction that grabs the reader's attention. Start with a hook or an intriguing fact related to the topic. Clearly state your thesis statement, which outlines your position on the issue and previews the main points you will discuss. The introduction sets the tone for your essay and provides a roadmap for what follows.

5. Develop the Body Paragraphs

The body of your essay should present a balanced discussion of the topic. Each paragraph should focus on a different perspective or argument. Start each paragraph with a clear topic sentence that introduces the main idea. Support your points with evidence, examples, and quotes from your research. Ensure smooth transitions between paragraphs to maintain the flow of your argument.

6. Conclude Effectively

Wrap up your essay with a strong conclusion that summarizes the main points and reinforces your thesis statement. Avoid introducing new information in the conclusion. Instead, reflect on the significance of your arguments and how they contribute to the broader understanding of the topic. End with a thought-provoking statement or a call to action, encouraging readers to consider the complexities of the issue.

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Discursive Guide Checklist

Aspect 📝 Checklist ✅
Understanding the Topic Have I thoroughly understood the topic and its key terms?
Have I identified the different perspectives or viewpoints related to the topic?
Research and Evidence Have I conducted comprehensive research using reliable sources?
Have I gathered sufficient evidence, including quotes, statistics, and to support each perspective?
Structuring the Essay Have I planned a clear and logical structure for my essay?
Does my introduction include a strong thesis statement that outlines my position?
Introduction Does my introduction effectively grab the reader's attention?
Have I clearly stated my thesis statement that previews the main arguments?
Body Paragraphs Do my body paragraphs each focus on a different perspective or argument?
Have I provided evidence and examples to support each argument?
Counterarguments Have I addressed potential counterarguments to strengthen my position?
Have I acknowledged and responded to opposing viewpoints where necessary?
Conclusion Does my conclusion effectively summarize the main points discussed?
Have I reinforced my thesis statement and the significance of my arguments?
Clarity and Coherence Are my ideas presented in a clear and coherent manner?
Do my paragraphs flow logically from one to the next?
Language and Style Have I used clear and concise language throughout the essay?
Is my writing style appropriate for the academic context, avoiding overly casual language?
Editing and Proofreading Have I proofread my essay for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors?
Have I checked the overall structure and flow of my essay for coherence?

Discursive Essay Examples

Here, let’s take a look at our samples and see how different topics are discussed from different viewpoints in real discursive essays.

If you found these examples helpful, you can order custom essay now and receive one on any topic you choose.

Discursive Essay Topics

Here are a range of topics that encourage exploration of different perspectives and critical analysis. Choose a topic that interests you and allows for a balanced analysis of arguments and evidence.

  • Should governments impose higher taxes on sugary drinks to combat obesity?
  • Is homeschooling beneficial for children's education?
  • Should the use of drones for military purposes be restricted?
  • Should the legal drinking age be lowered or raised?
  • Is online education as effective as traditional classroom learning?
  • Should parents be held legally responsible for their children's actions?
  • Is artificial intelligence a threat to human employment?
  • Are video games a positive or negative influence on young people?
  • Should the voting age be lowered to 16?
  • Should schools teach mindfulness and meditation techniques?
  • Is cultural diversity in the workplace beneficial for companies?
  • Should prisoners have the right to vote?
  • Is social media addiction a real problem?
  • Should plastic packaging be replaced with eco-friendly alternatives?
  • Is it ethical to clone animals for agricultural purposes?
  • Should the government provide subsidies for electric vehicles?
  • Is privacy more important than national security?
  • Should school uniforms be mandatory?
  • Is renewable energy the future of our planet?
  • Should parents have access to their children's social media accounts?

By the way, we also have a great collection of narrative essay topics to inspire your creativity.

What is the Difference Between a Discursive and Argumentative Essay

Discursive essays and argumentative essays share similarities but have distinct differences in their approach and purpose. While both essay types involve critical thinking and analysis, the main difference lies in the writer's approach to the topic and the overall goal of the essay—whether it aims to explore and discuss multiple perspectives (discursive) or to argue for a specific viewpoint (argumentative). Here’s a more detailed look at how they differ:

Key Differences 📌 Discursive Essay 📝 Argumentative Essay 🗣️
Purpose 🎯 Provides a balanced discussion on a topic Persuades the reader to agree with a specific viewpoint.
Approach 🔍 Examines multiple perspectives without taking a definitive stance Takes a clear position and argues for or against it throughout the essay.
Thesis Statement 📜 Often states a general overview or acknowledges different viewpoints. States a strong and specific thesis that outlines the writer's position clearly.
Argumentation 💬 Presents arguments from various angles to provide a comprehensive view. Presents arguments that support the writer's position and refute opposing views.

Types of Discursive Essay

Before writing a discursive essay, keep in mind that they can be categorized into different types based on their specific purposes and structures. Here are some common types of discursive essays:

purpose of discursive essay

Opinion Essays:

  • Purpose: Expressing and supporting personal opinions on a given topic.
  • Structure: The essay presents the writer's viewpoint and provides supporting evidence, examples, and arguments. It may also address counterarguments to strengthen the overall discussion.

Problem-Solution Essays:

  • Purpose: Identifying a specific problem and proposing effective solutions.
  • Structure: The essay introduces the problem, discusses its causes and effects, and presents possible solutions. It often concludes with a recommendation or call to action.

Compare and Contrast Essays:

  • Purpose: Analyzing similarities and differences between two or more perspectives, ideas, or approaches.
  • Structure: The essay outlines the key points of each perspective, highlighting similarities and differences. A balanced analysis is provided to give the reader a comprehensive understanding.

Cause and Effect Essays:

  • Purpose: Exploring the causes and effects of a particular phenomenon or issue.
  • Structure: The essay identifies the primary causes and examines their effects or vice versa. It may delve into the chain of events and their implications.

Argumentative Essays:

  • Purpose: Presenting a strong argument in favor of a specific viewpoint.
  • Structure: The essay establishes a clear thesis statement, provides evidence and reasoning to support the argument, and addresses opposing views. It aims to persuade the reader to adopt the writer's perspective.

Pro-Con Essays:

  • Purpose: Evaluating the pros and cons of a given issue.
  • Structure: The essay presents the positive aspects (pros) and negative aspects (cons) of the topic. It aims to provide a balanced assessment and may conclude with a recommendation or a summary of the most compelling points.

Exploratory Essays:

  • Purpose: Investigating and discussing a topic without necessarily advocating for a specific position.
  • Structure: The essay explores various aspects of the topic, presenting different perspectives and allowing the reader to form their own conclusions. It often reflects a process of inquiry and discovery.

These types of discursive essays offer different approaches to presenting information, and the choice of type depends on the specific goals of the essay and the preferences of the writer.

Discursive Essay Format

Writing a discursive essay needs careful planning to make sure it’s clear and flows well while presenting different viewpoints on a topic. Here’s how to structure your discursive essay:

Introduction

  • Start with an interesting opening sentence to catch the reader's attention. Give some background information on the topic to show why it’s important.
  • Clearly state your main argument or position on the topic, and mention that you’ll be discussing different viewpoints.

"Should genetically modified foods be more strictly regulated for consumer safety? This question sparks debates among scientists, policymakers, and consumers alike. This essay explores the different perspectives on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to give a complete view of the issues."

Body Paragraphs

  • Begin each paragraph with a sentence that introduces a key point or perspective about GMOs.
  • Present arguments, evidence, and examples to support each perspective. Consider the benefits, risks, and ethical issues around GMOs.
  • Address possible objections or opposing viewpoints to show a balanced analysis.

"Supporters of GMOs argue that genetically engineered crops can help solve global food shortages by increasing crop yields and resistance to pests. For example, studies have shown that GMOs like insect-resistant corn have reduced the need for chemical pesticides, which benefits both farmers and the environment."

Counterarguments

  • Recognize the counterarguments or concerns raised by opponents of GMOs.
  • Provide reasoned responses or rebuttals to these counterarguments, acknowledging the complexity of the issue.

"However, critics of GMOs worry about potential long-term health effects and environmental impacts. They argue that there isn’t enough research to ensure the safety of eating genetically modified foods over long periods."

  • Summarize the main points discussed in the essay about GMOs.
  • Reinforce your thesis statement while considering the different arguments presented.
  • Finish with a thought-provoking statement or suggest what should be considered for future research or policy decisions related to GMOs.

"In conclusion, the debate over genetically modified foods highlights the need to balance scientific innovation with public health and environmental concerns. While GMOs offer potential benefits for global food security, ongoing research and transparent regulation are essential to address uncertainties and ensure consumer safety."

Formatting Tips

  • Use clear and straightforward language throughout the essay.
  • Ensure smooth transitions between paragraphs to maintain the flow of ideas.
  • Use headings and subheadings if they help organize different perspectives.
  • Properly cite sources when referencing research findings, quotes, or statistics.

Remember, besides writing compositions, you’ll also need to do math homework , something we can assist you with right away.

Yays and Nays of Writing Discourse Essays

In learning how to write a discursive essay, certain do's and don'ts serve as guiding principles throughout the writing process. By adhering to these guidelines, writers can navigate the complexities of presenting arguments, counterarguments, and nuanced analyses, ensuring the essay resonates with clarity and persuasiveness.

Yays 👍 Nays 👎
Conduct thorough research to ensure a well-informed discussion. Don’t express personal opinions in the body of the essay. Save personal commentary for the conclusion.
Explore various arguments and viewpoints on the issue. Don't introduce new information or arguments in the conclusion. This section should summarize and reflect on existing content.
Maintain a balanced and neutral tone. Present arguments objectively without personal bias. Don’t use overly emotional or subjective language. Maintain a professional and objective tone.
Structure your essay with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. Use paragraphs to organize your ideas. Ensure your arguments are supported by credible evidence. Don’t rely on personal opinions without sufficient research.
Include clear topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph to guide the reader through your arguments. Don’t have an ambiguous or unclear thesis statement. Clearly state the purpose of your essay in the introduction.
Use credible evidence from reputable sources to support your arguments. Don’t ignore counterarguments. Address opposing viewpoints to strengthen your overall argument.
Ensure a smooth flow between paragraphs and ideas with transitional words and phrases. Don’t use overly complex language if it doesn’t add to the clarity of your arguments. Aim for clarity and simplicity.
Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different arguments and viewpoints. Don’t present ideas in a disorganized manner. Ensure a logical flow between paragraphs and ideas.
Recap key points in the conclusion, summarizing the main arguments and perspectives discussed. Don’t excessively repeat the same points. Present a variety of arguments and perspectives to keep the essay engaging.
Correct any grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors by proofreading your essay. Don’t ignore the guidelines provided for your assignment. Follow any specific instructions or requirements given by your instructor or institution.

Wrapping Up

Throughout this guide, you have acquired valuable insights into the art of crafting compelling arguments and presenting diverse perspectives. By delving into the nuances of topic selection, structuring, and incorporating evidence, you could hone your critical thinking skills and sharpen your ability to engage in informed discourse. 

This guide serves as a roadmap, offering not just a set of rules but a toolkit to empower students in their academic journey. As you embark on future writing endeavors, armed with the knowledge gained here, you can confidently navigate the challenges of constructing well-reasoned, balanced discursive essays that contribute meaningfully to academic discourse and foster a deeper understanding of complex issues. If you want to continue your academic learning journey right now, we suggest that you read about the IEEE format next.

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What is a Discursive Example?

What is the difference between a discursive and argumentative essay, what are the 2 types of discursive writing.

Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker

is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

discussion essay definition

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

  • Updated old sections including definition, outline, writing guide.
  • Added new topics, examples, checklist, FAQs.
  • Discursive writing - Discursive Writing - Higher English Revision. (n.d.). BBC Bitesize. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zpdwwmn/revision/1  
  • Prepare for Exam Success: C1 Advanced self-access learning Writing Part 1 -the discursive essay Lesson summary. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2024, from https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/Images/583526-c1-advanced-self-access-learning-writing-part-1-discursive-essay.pdf  
  • Tomeu. (n.d.). Advanced C1.1: How to write a DISCURSIVE ESSAY. Advanced C1.1. Retrieved June 28, 2024, from https://englishadvanced2.blogspot.com/2013/10/speakout-advanced-p-25-examples-of.html  

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay

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  1. How to Write a Discussion Essay

    discussion essay definition

  2. How to Write a Discussion Essay

    discussion essay definition

  3. How to Write a Discussion Essay

    discussion essay definition

  4. IELTS Discussion Essays

    discussion essay definition

  5. How To Write A Discussion Essay

    discussion essay definition

  6. Tips and Tricks to Powerful Discussion Essay Writing & Examples

    discussion essay definition

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  5. Discussion Essay: Making an Evaluation Based on Pros and Cons (English for Academic Purposes)

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  1. Discussion essays

    Discussion essays are a common form of academic writing. This page gives information on what a discussion essay is and how to structure this type of essay. Some vocabulary for discussion essays is also given, and there is an example discussion essay on the topic of studying overseas.

  2. How to Write a Discussion Essay

    Let's dive into the essay structure and components of a successful discussion essay. 1. Choose Your Topic. Choose your discussion essay topic. When choosing this topic, make sure it is one that you're interested in personally since this will be easier for you to write. You'll need to discuss both sides of the argument surrounding the ...

  3. How to Write a Discussion Essay (with Pictures)

    After reading about both sides carefully, decide what position you want to take. Write your position at the top of a sheet of paper or at the top of a word processing document to start your outline. If you were given a text to base your essay on, make sure that text has enough evidence to support your chosen position. 4.

  4. Composition: Discussion Strategies

    In many ways, a discussion paragraph essay resembles a compare/contrast essay. You group the details of each side of the argument: rewards and challenges, advantages and disadvantages, choice A and choice B. In other words, introduce the issue; present one side of the issue; present the other side of the issue; conclude with your opinion or ...

  5. Argumentative Essay and Discussion Writing Explained

    In this article, we will explore the process of constructing a high-quality argumentative essay. The ability to craft a coherent argument and to express those arguments with others in a discussion are essential skills to encourage in our students. This skill helps our students engage with the world, process their thoughts, and discover their ...

  6. How to Write a Discussion Section

    The discussion section is where you delve into the meaning, importance, and relevance of your results.. It should focus on explaining and evaluating what you found, showing how it relates to your literature review and paper or dissertation topic, and making an argument in support of your overall conclusion.It should not be a second results section.. There are different ways to write this ...

  7. How To Write a Discussion Essay

    In a discussion essay there are two parts to the conclusion. The first is a summary of the main ideas, to remind the reader of the evidence you have presented, and the key points made. It is often advisable here to indicate which viewpoints you, as the writer, consider have delivered the strongest evidence in support of your thesis statement.

  8. Guide to Writing a Discussion Essay

    Step 3- Outline your essay. Step 3 in our guide to writing a discussion essay is outlining your discussion essay. Before outlining, you need to decide on your discussion essay structure. A standard structure will have three main sections. It will have an introduction, main body, and a concluding section.

  9. How to write a discussion essay

    A discussion essay is part of the IE... Learn how to write a discussion essay for IETLS, which is a type of essay in which you discuss different points of view.

  10. How to Write a Discussion Essay: An Extensive Writing Guide

    A discussion essay is a common type of assignment in college that requires students to present two sides of an argument. Also known as an argument essay, it should outline reasons for and against a particular issue. The writer should then conclude by giving their opinion. Define Discussion Essay Topic.

  11. 8. The Discussion

    The discussion section is often considered the most important part of your research paper because it: Most effectively demonstrates your ability as a researcher to think critically about an issue, to develop creative solutions to problems based upon a logical synthesis of the findings, and to formulate a deeper, more profound understanding of the research problem under investigation;

  12. Writing a discussion essay: Discuss two views and give your opinion

    Here, we suggest a possible structure for your essay: 1) Introduction. Introduce the topic and the two opposing views. State your opinion. 2) Body paragraph 1. Topic sentence: describe the view/s that you disagree with. Explanation: explain why some people support this view or provide evidence that supports it.

  13. How to Write a Discussion Essay

    The discussion essay depends on investigation and questioning. The more you read, the more you search and the more you justify, the better will be your conversation. Composing a 1000 word long substance isn't simple, particularly when it is a scholastic one. Hence, make it a habit to set up a psyche map or a conceptualizing note.

  14. How To Write A Discussion Essay

    A discussion essay is an academic writing that presents and analyzes various perspectives on a specific topic or issue. The structure of a discussion essay usually follows the introduction, introducing the topic and presenting your main argument. The body paragraphs address a specific aspect or viewpoint of the topic and counterarguments.

  15. How to Write the Discussion Section of a Research Paper

    The discussion section of your research paper is where you let the reader know how your study is positioned in the literature, what to take away from your paper, and how your work helps them. It can also include your conclusions and suggestions for future studies. First, we'll define all the parts of your discussion paper, and then look into ...

  16. How to Write a Discussion Essay: Step by Step

    Discussion essay structure is quite common and consists of the following parts: Introduction. Here you tell about the topic, insert thesis statement and hook the audience with a catchy phrase, argument, data or even a joke; Main paragraphs with evidence, arguments, and opinions of both sides. Make sure you divide those arguments into separate ...

  17. PDF 7th Edition Discussion Phrases Guide

    Discussion Phrases Guide. Papers usually end with a concluding section, often called the "Discussion.". The Discussion is your opportunity to evaluate and interpret the results of your study or paper, draw inferences and conclusions from it, and communicate its contributions to science and/or society. Use the present tense when writing the ...

  18. How to Answer a Discuss Essay

    A discuss essay conclusion should contain two elements. Firstly, a summary of the core ideas, returning to the evidence presented and the points made, along with an indication of which you believe delivered the strongest arguments for or against the statement in the title. Secondly, a discuss essay should give your opinion, which should be ...

  19. IELTS Discussion Essays [Discuss Both Views/Sides]

    Discussion Essay Thesis Statement. In academic writing, a thesis statement (sometimes called an essay outline) is the part of the essay where you insert your opinion.It typically comes at the end of the introduction and guides the reader by explaining your opinion on the issues that have been introduced.. But do you really need to provide one in such a short essay?

  20. PDF Introduction to discussion essays

    Procedure. Give each student a copy of the four-page worksheet. First, students read a brief description of discussion essays and preview an outline of an example discussion essay structure. Next, students read a discussion essay and underline and label the parts of the essay that show the essay structure. Exercise A - Answer key. a.

  21. How to Write a Discussion Section

    The discussion section is where you delve into the meaning, importance, and relevance of your results.. It should focus on explaining and evaluating what you found, showing how it relates to your literature review, and making an argument in support of your overall conclusion.It should not be a second results section.. There are different ways to write this section, but you can focus your ...

  22. How to Write a Discussion Essay for University: How to Start

    Step 3: Create an Outline. After research, create a rough draft of how you want your essay to flow. Here include introduction points, thesis statement, supporting arguments, opposing arguments, and a rough conclusion paragraph. This draft will help you write the essay without instant stops that are caused by running out of content halfway through.

  23. PDF Discussion Section for Research Papers

    The discussion section is one of the final parts of a research paper, in which an author describes, analyzes, and interprets their findings. They explain the significance of those results and tie everything back to the research question(s). In this handout, you will find a description of what a discussion section does, explanations of how to ...

  24. How to Write a Discursive Essay with Impact and Authority

    A discursive essay reflects this by exploring multiple viewpoints and offering a thorough discussion on a specific topic. In this article, our term paper writing service will define what a discursive essay is, distinguish it from an argumentative essay, provide practical tips on how to write one effectively, and examine essay examples to ...