How to Write a Discussion Essay
A discussion essay explores and debates issues surrounding a particular topic, usually a controversial one that allows for different opinions and arguments. To create a well-written argumentative essay, it is essential to present a thorough discussion of both sides of the issue. This means including main points to support your argument as well as its counterargument. Only then can the essay provide a well-rounded understanding of the issues before the writer presents their personal opinions and conclusions.
The quality of a persuasive essay format primarily relies on the writer’s ability to provide solid research and evidence that presents different views of the topic. Practicing writing skills while composing a discussion essay is a great way to grow as a writer. Let us dive into the essay structure and the components of a successful discussion essay.
1. Choose Your Topic
The writer should choose a discussion essay topic that they are personally interested in. They should ensure they have access to good research that provides relevant information on both sides of the argument. Focusing only on one side of the argument will result in an undeveloped discussion essay that may not receive a good score.
2. Outline Your Essay, Outline Your Points
The writer should create an outline of the discussion essay. This outline should include a rough draft of the thesis statement, main argument, opposing argument, other main points, and a rough draft of the conclusion. The goal at this point is to get thoughts on the discussion essay topic organized and in writing.
The writer can create a detailed outline for their discussion essay, using traditional outline format–letters and numbers to separate key points–or simply jot down a list of the main discussion points they plan to cover in order to answer the essay question or address the essay topic.
3. Draft Your Introduction
The introduction of a discussion essay should introduce the issues relating to the topic and provide the reader with essential background information. The introduction sets the scene for the reader so they are prepared to digest the argument presented. Providing the reader with a simple overview of how the discussion essay is organized ensures that they understand the flow of thought throughout the essay.
The introductory paragraph must include a well-developed thesis statement. Leaving out the thesis statement is one of the most common mistakes made when writing an introduction. The thesis statement is one sentence that firmly asserts which side of the argument the writer will be arguing throughout the work. It should be specific and strong, setting the tone for the rest of the essay.
4. Good Discussion in the Body of Your Essay
The body paragraphs of the discussion essay should present each issue individually and impartially, discussing first one side of the argument and then the other. Ensuring that each paragraph is roughly the same size makes the presentation of facts seem balanced to the reader. 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.
The writer should progress through their body arguments in order, starting with the weakest argument or issue and progressing to the strongest. This structure allows the reader to follow the flow of thought easily without getting distracted. When deciding how to use sources, the writer should try to use the same number of quotes and sources for each argument.
5. Conclude Your Essay
The conclusion of the discussion essay should summarize the overall information from the body of the essay, leading the reader to mentally review the pros and cons of the topic argument. The writer may present their own conclusions in this paragraph rather than earlier in the essay, but they should aim to be objective and not take sides.
After finishing the conclusion, the writer should review the essay for grammatical errors and plagiarism. They should check that they have not copied any quotes directly from other sources, as this would result in a plagiarism charge. It is important to write using their own words, as this not only saves them from plagiarism issues but also helps with essay coherence since the rest of the work has been written in your tone of voice.
The final step in completing your discussion essay is to include a properly formatted reference page with citations for all sources you used in your essay. Whether you are citing in MLA, APA, or another format, ensure that you double-check the accuracy and order of your citations before submitting your essay. It is important to avoid plagiarism by using your own words and giving credit to the original sources. By following these steps and putting in the effort to produce a well-written discussion essay, you can improve your writing skills and succeed in presenting a thorough analysis of a debatable topic.