To write a discursive essay, it's necessary to research and express at least two points of view. A discursive essay differs from an argumentative essay in that it objectively presents multiple points of view, rather than arguing for a single perspective.
- Research the topic
Conduct thorough research on multiple points of view to better understand the various opinions others have taken toward the topic. Ideally, this research consists of reading primary sources to learn each side of the debate from the supporters themselves.
- Write a balanced piece
To write a balanced discursive essay, open with an overview of the topic, and write several alternating paragraphs presenting the two sides evenly. Avoid unfairly promoting one viewpoint over another, and structure the piece in a point/counterpoint style that helps readers directly compare the different viewpoints as they read.
- End with a summary
While an argumentative essay usually ends with a strong appeal to take action or to hold a certain opinion, a discursive essay may not have a conclusive ending. An open ending, consisting mostly of a neutral summary, leaves the reader to decide which argument was correct. If the discursive essay does end with an appeal, however, it is usually less strenuous than that of an argumentative essay.