Discursive Essays

For example, if you were writing a paper against the death penalty, you might say, "I acknowledge that murderers deserve the most severe punishment society has, but I believe the death penalty should not be used because it can lead to the execution of innocent people." Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore.He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets.

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A discursive essay, sometimes called a argument essay, is a critical analysis of a controversial topic that supports an opinion about that topic.

The writer of a discursive essay attempts to present both sides of an issue, while showing why one side has greater merit.

I believe that we cannot blame technology for what goes wrong.

We should rather blame the people who use it badly. I can let my mother know when I am going to come home, and I can find my friends when we are in town and in different places.

In other words, they offer a range of insights into a particular topic, but don’t demand that the reader accept only one of these positions as definitive– discursive texts have some features in common with persuasive essays – rhetorical devices, personal voice – but they differ in purpose, as the persuasive text puts forward arguments to support a predetermined position/opinion, whereas a discursive piece considers other opinions also, even if the writer might not agree with that opinion– lines of argument about the chosen topic are supported with evidence, this may be personal experience/anecdotes, statistics, quotes from experts, reference to shared human experiences, descriptions of events etc– Orwell’s essays are called personal essays because they put forward his personal opinion on a chosen topic, have a strong personal voice, and often have the purpose of ‘exposing some lie’, therefore are more persuasive than a discursive essay.

However, the personal essay has a lot in common with a discursive text in that it is a discussion/dialogue on a topic of interest, presents a range of arguments about the topic, support arguments/points with evidence, is designed to engage the reader as well as inform them about the topic, the personal essay, like the discursive form, appeals to the heart, mind and imagination of the reader (well, I think so anyway! )– finally, I would say that discursive texts can be pretty much anything, haha.

People can do bad things with technology, but people can also do very good things too. Reckless drivers can kill, but that doesn’t mean cars aren’t very useful.

Tips for writing good discursive essays Plan and structure your essay very carefully: • Introduction: introduces the topic and summarises the essay • First paragraph: gives one argument supporting the topic • Second paragraph: gives another argument that supports the topic • Third paragraph: gives an argument against the topic • Fourth paragraph: gives an argument against the topic • Conclusion: summarises your point of view.

We ended up having about a 40 minute conversation, putting forward many ideas, with me looking through things I’ve written about persuasive texts for textbooks and about personal essays trying to see if I knew what I was on about.

Ultimately, we came to an agreement that the form is super flexible, but there are some elements that students can use to guide them.


Comments Discursive Essays

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