Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Discursive essay: taking sides

Here you are some tips on how to write this type of discursive essay properly:

Key success factors:

  • Constructing an argument.
  • Sustaining your case with examples.
  • Showing that you have considered the opposing viewpoint.

Topic sentences
In a well-written essay, the first sentence of a paragraph establishes what the paragraph is going to be about. This is sometimes called the topic sentence.

Using synonyms and richer vocabulary
When you are writing an essay, remember to vary and enrich your vocabulary by using synonyms where appropriate.

Useful language

Giving personal opinions
I feel that ...
I believe that ...
In my view, the influences of ... are generally positive/negative ...
Personally, I think that ...

Expressing opposite arguments
Some people argue ...
It is often claimed that  ...
There are those who say ...

Refuting them
This may have been true in the past, but nowadays ...
There are a number of flaws in this argument.
This is simple not the case.

Planning what to write
Read the essay title below:

Marrying someone from a different country will always be more problematic than marrying someone from your own country.

Decide which you think are the three most important reasons. Decide if there are any typical opposing arguments which you could refute. Write topic sentences for the main paragraphs.

When you take one side of an argument in a discursive essay, it is important to:

  • Organize your essay into paragraphs, with a clear introduction and conclusion.
  • Begin each paragraph with a clear topic sentence and then develop the idea.
  • Use synonyms to avoid repeating yourself.
  • Use a variety of phrases for giving your opinion, or introducing an opposing argument and refuting it.

DRAFT your essay in four paragraphs:
  • An introductory paragraph where you introduce the topic and state your opinion.
  • Three or four paragraphs giving your reasons.
  • If relevant, a paragraph stating a common counter argument(s), and refuting it (them).
  • A conclusion, stating what your arguments have shown.
EDIT the essay, making sure your arguments link together and making sure it is the right length.

CHECK the essay for mistakes in grammar, spelling, punctuation and register.

Finally, PUBLISH your essay on this blog. 250 words.

Source: New English File Advanced. Student's Book. O. U. P.


  1. Marrying someone from a different country will always be more problematic than marrying someone from your own country.

    -> With the advent of globalization, international marriages have been more popular these days. However, there are multiple downsides of this trend than marrying native of one’s own country, which will now be explained.

    The strongest argument against such marriage could be language barrier. To illustrate, a SriLankan man might find it difficult to communicate effectively with his Chinese wife if he has limited language skill. If such couple has limited language proficiency, they would have difficulty expressing their feelings, instead may end up their conversation with dissatisfaction and misunderstandings.

    The other disadvantage of getting married with overseas foreigner could be a cultural shock. It is well known that the tradition and customs of different countries vary from one another. As from the example above, that Chinese lady is likely to face many difficulties getting used to her SriLankan in-laws’ lifestyle. This can lead to extreme discomfort and more family issues.

    Admittedly, some maintain that tying knot with someone from foreign country could be more exciting as it is fun to explore each other’s undiscovered traditions and also it provide opportunities for international travel. However, this could be true for some couples but not always the case. Learning new etiquettes everyday could be more demanding. Likewise, there are growing issues of dual citizenships and visa problems.

    To summarize, the drawbacks of an international wedding, such as language problem and difficulty in adjusting to foreign culture and tradition eventually outweigh its benefits. Therefore, I firmly believe that one should marry a citizen of one’s own nationality if he or she wants to avoid all those/these difficulties.

    1. Thank you very much for your viewpoints and for passing by the blog.
      All the best

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...