How to Write a Good Discussion Essay
If you are asking yourself how to write a good discussion essay and still do not have any luck – then welcome to our website. In this article will be presented the most useful tips and guidelines for writing a discussion essay. Usually, a good discussion essay provides readers with a thorough discussion of different sides of a topic. In order to do this assignment one will have to research both sides of his topic and present the most interesting facts and arguments that support each view. If you were not assigned a specific topic then you will have to chose a debatable question yourself. Find an issue that can be reviewed and discussed easily and follow our writing tips.
Step One: Organize your work
If you want to make your work more effective – you should organize and understand a logical chain of your actions. Here is what you have to do in order to create a good discussion essay: brainstorm your topic, do an in depth research, outline your essay, create a draft following a usual structure, proofread it and start writing.
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Step Two: Brainstorm your topic
Writing a discussion essay you should pick a debatable topic that would be interesting for most of the people (or at least to your professor). Follow a few simple rules when choosing a topic: it should be debatable and without exact answers, it should be interesting for you and your readers, it should not be too complicated for investigation. Read some news if you are experiencing troubles with selecting a topic – it can help you.
Step Three: Collect the sources
Usually, professors ask students to have several sources in bibliography. It is not a good idea to use the only source for your research and write down about five of them in bibliography. You are not able to create a good paper using the only source because it presents an information using it’s own opinion. You should discuss your topic from different sides, comparing several views. Collect several books in library, read your section and write down some interesting and important points.
Step Four: Outline an essay
Before outlining your essay – think about things and issues you want to cover in your discussion essay and write them down on a paper. Then using the important on your view points create an outline. Doing an outline this way you will be sure you have included to your essay everything you wanted. Use headings, numbers, letters and sub-headings to make it more structured.
Step Five: Always make a draft
Writing any academic paper – make a draft first. You will be able to proofread and correct mistakes. Write a paper using your outline, research data and usual essay structure. Remember to include introduction, thesis statement, a well-structured body section and conclusions. Make sure your draft discusses and covers different aspects of the issue and provides a reader with an accurate background information. Discuss the positive and negative aspects of both views on your subject and present your own.
Give your paper to a friend and ask to read it with voice – listen to it and ensure that you like how it sounds, ask about your friend’s impression. Proofread it once more and start writing!
Discussion essays, also called argument 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 argument 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 praphrasing and summarising skills, as well as correct citations.
The following are examples of discussion essay topics.
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|
|General statements||To introduce the reader to the subject of the essay.||Introduction|
|Position||To give the opinion of the writer (not always possible).|
|Definition(s) (optional)||To explain any important technical words to the reader.|
|Thesis||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.||Main body|
|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.||Conclusion|
|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.|
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.
The following can be used when introducing your opinion.
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'.
Below is a compare and contrast essay. This essay uses the point-by-point structure. Click on the different areas (in the shaded boxes to the right) to highlight the different structural aspects in this essay, i.e. similarities, differences, and structure words. This will highlight not simply the paragraphs, but also the thesis statement and summary, as these repeat the comparisons and contrasts contained in the main body.
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.
Below is a checklist for discussion essays. Use it to check your own writing, or get a peer (another student) to help you.
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
Find out how to write persuasion essays in the next section.
Go back to the previous section about different essay types.