Discursive Essay Format

First Paragraph: Introduction

Introduce your topic or subject. Give readers a little information regarding events or a particular situation in your neighborhood or region. List any factors responsible for those events or situation. You may find it helpful to follow the below example:

    1. Crime is the most prominent problem…
    2. In recent times, there has been an escalation/reduction in crime.
    3. The most common types of crime includes …
    4. The worst part is the sharp increase in…
    5. One deciding factor is undoubtedly the high rates of unemployment, which…
    6. A further reason underlying this seems to be …
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Note: If it is the case you have chosen a specific side or viewpoint to support, you should first discuss the alternative or opposing view. By contrast, if you are denying a particular view or statement, everything should be done in a vice versa manner.

Second Paragraph: Use arguments to support your view

Say why you are taking a particular stance or position. Give your reasons and make them convincing. Provide a few solid examples as well as some indisputable facts.

Third Paragraph: Alternative or opposing viewpoints/arguments

Give your reasons for favoring one stance or viewpoint. Build concrete arguments and provide clear examples.

Fourth Paragraph: Use this section to summarize everything

Set out your view of the question or problem you are discussing. You may want to consider using such phrases as:

  1. I consider…,
  2. In my opinion…,
  3. As to my own thinking….

Style Traits

When writing an essay of the discursive variety, you will need to present the topic from a number of different viewpoints. This will lend objectivity to your work. In the concluding paragraph, however, you need only offer your own point of view. As you write, make effective use of transitional words (such as additionally, nonetheless, therefore, and so on), passive constructions, and any other appropriate grammar instruments.

Presentation of Facts

  • Some people think it is essential to return to harsh sentencing.
  • In Britain, many people agree with the “three strikes” law that is applied in America.
  • Additionally, there are people who believe the living conditions of prisoners are very good.
  • Some arguments are put forward in favor of bringing back the death penalty.
  • Maybe the opinions of the relatives of victims need to be taken into account.
  • A number of counterarguments exist in respect of stronger prison sentences and capital punishment.
  • Overcrowding is one factor in favor of shorter prison sentences.
  • Some people believe imprisonment is capable of improving or correcting the behavior of criminals.  
  • Furthermore, capital punishment is seen by many to be the equivalent of judicial murder.
  • There is also the possibility that non-guilty people may be made to suffer unnecessarily in cases where verdicts are wrong.
  • Another consideration is the human rights issue i.e. that the death penalty is seen as a breach of one’s rights as a human. 
  • Building Arguments with Facts and Examples
  • A lot of people believe that long-term imprisonment for those who commit the most violent crimes is a benefit of harsher sentencing.
  • Another advantage is that imprisonment makes people feel safer.
  • Consequently, it may be possible to eliminate or reduce the amount of crime committed by certain small groups of people.

For example, many crimes are committed by ex-prisoners.

  • Still there are people who feel there are several disadvantages to more severe sentencing. One of these is the notion that it is difficult for prisoners to reintegrate into society after long sentences.
  • Based on the research undertaken…
  • Statistical information/data will need to be analyzed
  • Suitable vocabulary will need to be chosen
  • Crime types and associated punishments

Common types of crime and offenders: Someone who commits murder is known as a murderer, someone who steals or robs is known as a burglar, someone who shoplifts is known as a shoplifter, someone who commits rape is known as a rapist. The decision is whether to punish these crimes with arrest, a harsh sentence, a mere fine, to released offenders from prison, to take into account the wishes of the victim, to restore capital punishment, and so on.   

There are also a number of legislative considerations: courts of law, the law itself, the role of judges, the legal/judicial system, the possibility of judicial error, and so on.   

The Connection between Cause and Result

  • It is thought that an increased use of drugs has resulted in an increase in the amount of crime.
  • Heavy and persistent drug use has led to an increase in the numbers of serious crimes.
  • The increase in serious crimes can be attributed to increased consumption of drugs.
  • The increase in drug use has led to a corresponding increase in crime.
  • The increased use of drugs has shown an increase in serious crime.
  • The increase in crime is due to a growth in drug use.
  • Some people say that modern prisons are comparable to five-star hotel accommodation thanks to the large amounts of money being invested in them.
  • Some people feel the aim should be to reform prisoners to allow them to return and reintegrate into society.
  • In order for prisoners to come back and live in society, considerable reforms need to be devised and introduced.

Issues Related to “As” and “Like”

  • There was one amazing article about the arrest of a criminal group. Here, the term “as” is taken to mean “because.”  
  • Her uncle is employed as a prison warden (here “employed as” can be interchanged for “is.”)
  • Capital punishment is just like any other form of murder (here, “like” can be interchanged for “same as.”)
  • Everyone viewed him as a serious offender (here, “as” can be interchanged for “the same as.”)
  • Crime occurs for several reasons like poor living conditions, unemployment, and so on (here, “like” can be interchanged for “such as.”) 
  • The real reason there is so much crime is down to problems such as poor living conditions, unemployment, and so on (here, “such as” can be interchanged for “for instance/for example.”)
  • Writing this type of essay is not as difficult as it might at first seem.

Double-Check What You Have Written

  • Check the content: Have you constructed your work in a logical manner?
  • Check for transitions: Do you think you have used an adequate amount of transitional words and phrases? Should you add more “connecting” words to ensure all sentences and paragraphs transition smoothly?
  • Check the style of writing: Check that the language in your essay is formal. Only offer your own opinion in the closing paragraph.
  • Check all spelling and grammar: Make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes in your paper.
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