A discursive essay should be neutral. Although the writer may hold very strong opinions about the essay topic, these should not be couched in emotive words. It is always a good idea to have an outline of an essay before you start writing it. You should make notes of points to include and ensure that you write a balanced essay. You have to write an unbiased essay, carefully presenting both sides of the coin. Whatever you do, don’t give in to your emotional responses to the subject or you will be penalised for ranting.
The outline should begin with a you clearly defining the topic and deciding whether you are for or against the proposition contained in its title.
The outline, or model, should have a clear first paragraph which introduces the topic to be discussed in the essay.
You need to have points in the main body which you have thought about very carefully. In your outline these can be in bullet points, but it isn’t usual to use these in>b a formal discursive essay. Generally, you’ll need three or four main points, both for and against, to produce a balanced argument. The points should start with the strongest one for the topic and the next paragraph should refute the point you made. Continue in this way until you have exhausted your list of arguments, ending with the weakest.
In the conclusion you need to state your point of view and explain your reasons for holding it.
Tips for writing a formal essay
- Use the third person pronoun in the essay so that it remains formal Use phrases such as ‘It is said...’, or it is believed rather than ‘I believe’ until you write your conclusion.
- Don’t use elision, e.g. ‘it’s’, write ‘it is’ in full.
- Each point should be in a separate paragraph and each paragraph should have a topic sentence. This keeps your writing on track.
- Each point made should be accompanied by your reasons for including it and examples.
- Link your ideas with careful sequencing and appropriate linking words and phrases.
- Cite your sources to avoid being accused of plagiarism. It is very important to attribute paragraphs and so on the relevant author.
- If you use statistics, make sure they are appropriately referenced.
If you are writing the essay for assessment purposes you should do research and make notes of sources, you can cite in the essay. Reputable sources can be academic publications, the quality press, or magazines such as The Economist, New Statesman and so on. Generally, avoid quotations from the more sensational tabloids. Use the British newspapers, The Times and the Guardian or the US Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
Don’t quote from Wikipedia, or any other Wiki site without checking that this is permissible. Many academic institutions don’t accept the validity of the information contained in Wikis. Some of the information is very good, but not all of it has been thoroughly checked by editors.
It is worth noting that you really shouldn’t use personal examples in a discursive essay. Instead use examples for your reading on the topic.
Remember that one of the purposes of writing a discursive essay to have the reader accept the validity of your point of view.
The differences between a discursive essay and an argumentative one
As mentioned above, the discursive essay is impersonal and written in the third person. The writer presents a balanced argument and only states his or her point of view in the final paragraph. In the main body of the essay, there is no attempt to persuade the reader that the author’s point of view is correct.it is simply stated.
The argumentative essay is written with the purposes of instructing and also persuading the reader that the author’s point of view is the correct one.
Both types of essay can be on controversial topics, but the discursive essay is impersonal and unbiased.
There are many examples of discursive and argumentative essays online and students should search for examples and analyse them in order to improve their own writing. Analysing the writing of others is a good way to improve your own.
Many students feel that they can’t write good essays and often despair about passing exams, especially when they are writing in a foreign language. Now, however, it is easy to get help to write an essay, review, formal letters and emails and so on. Sometimes students are reluctant to use professional writing services because they think it is cheating. However, if you hire a professional writer to help you, then you can use the finished product a guide. You could order examples of different types of writing and use them as models for your own. If you simply borrow words and useful phrases from the models you have, this is not plagiarism.
Plagiarism is when you copy something and don’t attribute the author. If you quote from another person’s work, the quote should be clearly marked by inverted commas. Failure to do this could lead to your work being disqualified by your college or university. These institutions frown on plagiarism.
Asking an essay-writing company to do some writing for you alone would not really be construed as plagiarism as the work has not been published. There could be legal difficulties though, if you published the work as your own at a later date and did not acknowledge the real author.
What every student needs though, is to thoroughly check each piece of written work for typos and grammatical errors. It is always a good idea to ask a competent person to read though your essays before you submit them to tutors.
When you have completed your law and morality essay, read through it several times to be sure that it is error free. Alternatively, hire a professional proof reader to help. You can use our writing and editing services if you need help.