Three Essay Plans For Writing the Discursive Essay

A discursive essay is an expositive/argumentative piece of writing which discusses a particular issue, situation or problem. There are basically three types of discursive essays: a) For and Against; b) Opinion; and c) Solutions to Problems.

William Zinsser (Writing to Learn, Collins, 1989) teaches that clear writing is the logical arrangement of thought. One of the most difficult things about writing is how to organize are thoughts. One idea must lead and link to the next. In other words, we are talking about coherence and consistency. To be consistent, we need to plan our writing. And the best way to do this is to use a framework. No doubt, structure increases the quality of creative output. So, plans/frameworks and templates are valuable tools in helping to reduce complex problems into their component intellectual parts. But it is important to recognize, with Zinsser, that writing teaches writing, that is, writing organizes and clarifies are thoughts.

The Overall Essay Structure

There are just two parts to an essay structure: the overall essay structure and the structure of each paragraph. Every discursive essay should consist of: an introductory paragraph in which you clearly state the theme (topic) to be discussed; a main body, in which you subdivide your argument into its relevant points (these points should be clearly stated in separate paragraphs and exemplified or justified); and a closing paragraph summarizing the most important points of the essay. You may, to use a common schema, visualize the overall essay structure as something like this:

Introduction: Paragraph 1
Main Body: Paragraphs 2-5
Conclusion: Final Paragraph

This blueprint explains necessary steps. The three fundamentals for our work are: the beginning, the exposition/problem, and the ending. Simply using this framework improves performance.

Let us see now three models that are a kind of procedure to enhance the process of writing. Surely, as is true with all structures, others can modify it successfully. Recall that to write a discursive essay you should use formal, impersonal style.

Three Essay Plans

Your goal is to write a simple six-paragraph article following the structures bellow. Notice that each of the four body paragraphs should expand on the points you identify in your thesis using ideas and examples.

1) For and Against
Paragraph 1 - state topic, without your opinion
Main Body:
Paragraphs 2-3 - arguments for and justifications, examples or reasons
Paragraphs 4-5 - arguments against and justifications, examples or reasons
Final Paragraph - balanced consideration or opinion

2) Opinion
Paragraph 1 - state the topic including your opinion
Main Body:
Paragraphs 2-4 - viewpoints and reasons or examples
Paragraph 5 - opposing viewpoint and reason or example
Final Paragraph - summarize/restate your opinion

3) Solutions to Problems
Paragraph 1 - state the problem and its causes/effects
Main Body:
Paragraphs 2-5 - suggestions/examples/results
Final Paragraph - summarize your opinion

This is a simple strategy that will enable you to quickly write a short focused informational essay that you can use for your school needs.