This revision looks more closely at the second purpose of writing which is examined in Standard Grade English - to deploy ideas and argue. This means that you are expected to discuss a given topic and to present an argument related to it. Organising a discursive essay
There are three basic structures (ways of organising) for the discursive essay - * you argue strongly for a given discussion topic
* you argue strongly against a given discussion topic
* you argue about a given discussion topic in a balanced way. Ideally, you should read these over (and complete any accompanying tasks)before you attempt the test bite. Good luck! Finding information for a discursive essay
In the same way as you would look for information for the informative essay, you could try the following areas for information which would support arguments in the discursive essay - * any relevant books from any library you can reach (check the non-fiction and reference sections) * the internet
* magazines and newspapers
* television and video
* mums and dads and brothers and sisters and uncles
* and aunts and friends . . . . . . !
It is important that you keep a note of where all your information comes from. This will allow you to check it again later, and will also allow you to complete the ‘Sources consulted’ section on the folio tag. Other points
If you choose to do the discursive essay remember that you are expected to have a personal opinion - try to make clear your personal interest in the issues you are offering for discussion! Remember, in the examination itself, you will not be able to access information, nor take in notes of any description (you won't know what's in the paper anyway!). So, the ideas about access to all of the above sources apply mainly to the completion of discursive essays for your folio. Planning a discursive essay
The following basic structure should be employed for writing this essay. * Provide an interesting introduction.
* Provide a clear indication of your position, your stance in relation to the topic (are you 'for' or 'against' ?). * Present your first argument, with supporting evidence. * Present your second argument, with supporting evidence. * Present your third argument, with supporting evidence. * Present your fourth argument, with supporting evidence, and so on (the number of paragraphs like this will depend on the number of arguments you can offer). * Indicate, in a single paragraph, that there is another side to this argument, with some idea of the points likely to be made for the view(s) which are opposite to your own. * Reiterate (state again) your position and conclude your essay. This plan is followed in the exemplar essay provided in this revision bite. Introducing a discursive essay
The opening of an essay is important. It should capture the reader's attention in some way or another. It should avoid being bland or dull. It should invite the reader to read on and create a sense of interest. If the beginning is flat, it will not inspire your audience. Methods of Opening a Discursive Essay
The following methods are suggestions. It is up to you to decide which style suits your writing best. Provocative
e.g."It is difficult to see how anyone can approve of fox hunting." Balanced
e.g."Fox hunting is a subject about which people hold strongly contrasting views." Quotation
e.g."Oscar Wilde once described fox hunting as 'The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable.'." Illustration
e.g."On a glorious autumn morning a terrified, exhausted animal is savaged to death by a pack of baying dogs while a group of expensively dressed humans encourage the dogs in their bloody work." Anecdote
e.g."I have always detested fox hunting since I was almost physically sick while watching a television film of the kill at the end of a hunt." Linking ideas in a discursive essay
Any well-written piece of discursive writing will flow as one continuous piece despite being...
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