How to Write a Discussion Essay?

by Laura C. Jones
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Discussion essays are some of the most common and frequently encountered essay formats. Learning how to write one can be of great use, regardless of who you are and at what stage of your education process you find yourself to be.

While usually flexible when it comes to word count – it varies according to each particular essay’s instructions – it can be quite tricky when it comes to the ideas themselves.

This is why many students, and even many professional writers, may find discussion essays to be quite troublesome to create.

Yet, if one abides by a few simple tips and tricks, it’s relatively easy to understand the format and complete the essay type without a hassle.

Read further to find out what a discussion essay is, how to structure it properly, and which tips to bear in mind while writing it!

The Main Purpose of a Discussion Essay

Unlike essays that mainly focus on length, the main purpose of a discussion essay is to test your ability to observe certain issues from various points of view.

In essence, even though the particular topic or theme of the discussion essay may vary significantly, it always comes with one prerequisite: you need to provide two contrasting arguments and arrive at a balanced conclusion.

In other words, in the main body of your essay, you should include one paragraph where you state, say, the advantages of the topic in question, and one paragraph
where you state its disadvantages.

This is what the “discussion” part of the essay is referring to – you should have a discussion with yourself in a way, and prove that you are able to see multiple and opposing sides of a single issue at the same time.

This is a valuable skill that allows people to train their minds and observe the world from a more objective perspective. And in order to perfect this skill, one needs to follow a fixed discussion essay structure.

The Structure of Discussion Essays

The structure of the discussion essay is quite similar to the structure of other essay formats. It includes an Introduction, the Main Body, and a Conclusion. The main body is where the essay’s essence stands out the most.

Discussion Essay Introduction

The introduction of the discussion essay should very clearly posit the main topic or theme. Discussion essays tend to have rather complex topics, which can be observed from multiple perspectives, so it’s important for you to clearly state what your theme is right away.

Depending on the length of your essay, by the end of the introduction, you could also vaguely touch upon the conflicting arguments that are to follow.

Main Body

The main body needs to have at least two paragraphs, in which you should introduce two opposing or contrasting points of view regarding the topic, and support them with relevant arguments and examples.

It’s very important to approach the topic carefully and to be sure that both arguments are equally yet clearly stated. At this point, you should be almost like a chameleon – able to defend both sides of the issue equally well.

Depending on the length of the essay, you may even include a third paragraph, where you will state your personal opinion and provide a balanced view of the previous two paragraphs. If not, you can do this in conclusion.

Conclusion

The conclusion serves to round up the essay nicely and deliver your final message. Here, you can either provide your own personal take on the issue at hand or make a synthesis of the contrasting arguments you posited before.

Summarize the main points and end your essay – that is simple, yet effective.

Tips, Tricks, and the Verdict

Once you have a good grip on the discussion essay structure, the rest only depends on how well you’re informed about the topic in question!

For that purpose, we’ve decided to give you some extra tips that you may find useful:

  • If possible, choose a topic you’re well-acquainted with: in order to provide a truly balanced view on the subject, you need to know it well, with pros and cons included
  • Alternatively, try to do as much research as possible beforehand
  • If you’re still struggling with the structure, try custom writing online: that way you’ll get substantial help with your discussion essay assignment, while also learning how to improve your future texts!
  • Thoroughly proofread your text: no grammar or spelling mistakes allowed!

That’s it from us – the rest is up to you! Good luck and happy writing!

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