What do I need to know about ... Discursive Writing?
What's the point?
Discursive wirting discusses the situation at hand. It presents an argument in a more balanced way than argumentative and persuasive writing and can appreciate the arguments both for and against a given position. Discursive writing does not argue for or against a point throughout the essay. After having assessed and evaluated all arguments, the writer generally states his/her opinion at the end. What are the conventions?
Examples of conventions that could be used in a discursive essays are listed below. However, you have to be careful when using them that you do not become to strongly persuasive:
• Balanced and calm tone of voice
• A structure that alternates between the two opposiing positions exploring each one • A balanced consideration of the evidence for each point and an analysis of the strengths and flaws of that evidence • Techincal and formal language where appropriate
• Reference to other sources of expertise / quotations from famous thinkers • Connectives to link paragraphs together by pointing out similarites (Equally, Similarly, etc) or differences (On the other hand, However, etc) • Some persuasive techniques: hyperbole, repetition, oxymoron, triads, emotive language, imagery, similes, metaphors, rhetorical questions (although be careful when using all of these that you do not become too strongly persuasive
Introdution: This states clearly the problem of the investigation and why it is a significant issue.
Main Body: Consider the various sides of the position in turn, alternative between them. Assess each one and compare their relative strengths - do not include your own opinion at this point. For each point, use a new paragraph. Begin each paragraph with a key sentence which links back to the question.
Conclusion: Summing up the your key points and state your position again and what has made it difficult to come to this decision / whether there are any qualifications or uncertainties involved
Hints and Tips
• use the TENNIS MATCH ARGUMENT STYLE or an alternating structure to make it interesting • Before you start writing your discursive essay any essay you should start with a SPIDER DIAGRAM- this is a really good way to put your ideas down to help you plan your essay. Also, you should know before writing your essay which side of the argument you are on (For or against). This is to avoid mistakes and confusion. • Argument phrases: to introduce points and make it clear Against:
• “Some people believe/ think/ feel that…”
• “Some people may argue”
• "Others are of the opinion that...".
• “While some people may claim”
• “Furthermore some people may insist”
• “Although some people would have us believe”
• However, In contrast, On the other hand, Nevertheless • “While in the case that…”
• “Further consideration, however, suggests…”
• “Despite the fact that there is some truth in…” • “Although there is some evidence to support…”
• "It is also argued that...”
• "However there are also strong arguments against this point of view..." • "Another counter argument is that..."
• Should choose 4-6 main points (hopefully a balance of for and against) • Use connectives- furthermore, moreover, in addition, additionally, similarly etc. On the other hand, conversely, however, in contrast etc. • Look at both points of view, and end with your own opinion. • The different points, for and against, should be ALWAYS separated, NOT mixed. Present the “For” points in a separate paragraph, and present the “Against” point in another separate paragraph keep alternating between the two. • The introduction should be balanced and serve just to introduce the topic. • The conclusion can be persuasive
• Make examples as specific as possible
• Use informal language when you...
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