Differences Between Argumentative & Discursive Essay Writing | Assignment Collections | assignmentcollections.com


Argumentative Essay vs. Discursive Essay is one of the confusing things to learn at University. Students do not know how to differentiate between the two essays, as they might look similar at first glance but are, in fact, very different.

Both argumentative and discursive essays require different writing styles. While an argumentative essay is written to prove a point, a discursive essay provides information about a subject without attempting to persuade or take sides into account. Are you curious about argumentative vs. discursive writing styles? Look no further, we’ve got your back!

What is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is a type of writing in which students must research a subject, gather, produce, assess supporting information, and briefly present their stance.

Please be aware that the terms “argumentative essay” and “expository essay” sometimes get mixed up. Despite the similarities between these two types, the argumentative essay requires more pre-writing (invention) and research than an explanatory essay does. The argumentative essay requires extensive, in-depth research and is frequently given as a capstone or final project in first-year writing or advanced composition courses. Expository essays are shorter and require less research than other types. Expository essays are frequently used for writing assignments in class or on writing assessments like the GED or GRE.

Assignments requiring argumentative essays frequently necessitate thorough literature or previously published material study. Empirical research, in which the student gathers information through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments, may also be required for argumentative tasks. The student can take a stance and support it with the data gathered via detailed research. This allows the student to learn about the topic and other points of view on it. Argumentative essays must develop a distinct thesis and adhere to logical reasoning regardless of the quantity or type of research used.

What is a Discursive Essay?

Discursive essays discuss a problem, a point of contention, or a current issue. This essay can be written in an informal or formal style, but it’s usually written that way. This kind of essay requires writing material for many schools and institutions to assess applicants’ and students’ writing, conceptualization, and analytical abilities.

The objectivity of a discursive essay is one of its defining characteristics. The author must present the issue objectively while carefully debating each side of the debate. If the assignment calls for the writer to support a particular position, he should first provide all arguments before making his decision. It is advised that the essay be written from a third-person point of view and steer clear of first-person expressions like “in my opinion,” “I believe,” and “I wholeheartedly endorse.” A discursive essay differs from an argumentative essay since the latter only gives one side of an argument and examines supporting or opposing evidence.

Discursive Essay Structure


A discursive paper begins with an introduction and finishes with a conclusion, like most assignments:

  1. Give your readers a hook by suggesting something intriguing.
  2. Give a succinct description of the issue. Both quotations and rhetorical inquiries are acceptable.
  3. Present both sides of the debate to your audience before summarizing.

The Body

The following action you should perform while writing a formal essay is to create the body.

  1. Avoid bias. Analyze the whole picture of a problem. Leave your emotions at the door, or choose a different essay style.
  2. If you have any argumentation, provide each of your arguments in a separate paragraph. This will assist you in keeping your writing clear and understandable. Don’t forget to include supporting documentation.
  3. Try writing your essay’s body differently. Why does that matter? If your opening paragraph presents evidence in favor of the paper’s thesis, the second paragraph should present evidence to the contrary. Such contrasting and supporting paragraphs will give your essay a clear, well-researched appearance. Additionally, it will aid in maintaining objectivity.
  4. Add topic phrases and supporting details. At the beginning of the paragraph, summarize the argument. It will make it simpler for the reader to comprehend the paragraph. Give proof that you aren’t making the information up.


You’re almost done with your writing, I suppose. You should now concentrate on the final segment. If you continue reading, you will discover how to create a conclusion for a discursive essay.

  1. In the final section, you should include a summary of your article’s essential ideas from the body paragraphs.
  2. You can also rationally state your viewpoint. Remember that it should match the evidence you provided in the body paragraphs.
  3. Simply summarize the results rather than rehash them.

Then what? Keep it brief. Your conclusion shouldn’t be longer than one paragraph.

Argumentative Essay Structure

The following elements hold an argumentative essay’s structure together.

A thesis statement that is crystal clear, concise, and well-defined appears in the opening sentence of the essay

Students should provide background information by briefly discussing the subject in the opening paragraph of an argument essay. The author should then discuss the topic’s importance (exigence) or why readers should be concerned about it. The pupils should then present the thesis statement. This thesis statement must be adequately narrowed to meet the assignment’s requirements. It will be challenging for the student to write an engaging or convincing essay if they cannot master this essay section.

Transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion

The mortar that keeps the essay’s structure together is its transitions. Without the logical flow of thinking, the reader cannot understand the essay’s point, and the structure will fail. Changes should summarize the previous section’s main point and introduce the next section’s main theme

Body paragraphs with supporting evidence

There should only be one main concept discussed in each paragraph. This will give the essay focus and direction throughout. Additionally, being succinct makes one’s audience easier to read. It is crucial to remember that every paragraph in the essay’s body must logically relate to the thesis statement in the introduction. The thesis statement will be directly supported in some paragraphs by research-based data. It is crucial to clarify how and why the evidence backs up the theory (warrant).

Argumentative essays, however, should also consider and clarify various viewpoints on the subject. Students should devote one or two paragraphs of an argumentative essay, depending on the length of the assignment, to discussing opposing views on the subject. Students could indicate how opinions that do not agree with their thesis might not be well-informed or might be outdated rather than stating how they are categorically incorrect.

Evidence-based backing (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal)

To support the thesis statement and consider alternative points of view, the argumentative essay needs content that has been thoroughly researched, accurate, precise, and current. The argument should be supported by empirical, rational, statistical, or anecdotal evidence. However, when gathering evidence, students must take into account other viewpoints. A successful and well-rounded argumentative essay will also examine views that conflict with the thesis, as mentioned in the paragraph above. Excluding data that might not support the argument is immoral. The student’s role is to illustrate how other perspectives might not be knowledgeable or current on the subject, not to demonstrate how they are flat-out incorrect.

A conclusion that, rather than merely restating the thesis, revisits it in light of the supporting data

Students may start to struggle with the essay at this time. This section of the essay will make the reader think of you the most right away. Consequently, it must be rational and practical. In conclusion, summarize the facts offered in the essay’s body rather than adding new information. Review the key points, your thesis, and the importance of the topic. A brief discussion of additional studies that should be conducted in light of your work may also be included in your essay.

Argumentative vs. Discursive Essay

We strive to maximize breadth and depth because the discursive dialogue is typically impartial and open-ended. There are two trains of thought to generate a respectable number of points to work with. The first method is to think about a topic’s dimensions. Most problems often have political, social, and economic dimensions, while occasionally, they may have technological, psychological, geographical, and other relevant ones. We can go into great detail on each size in its paragraph. Second, we can examine the subject on many scales, typically by looking at how it impacts the person, the group, and society. There are frequently intermediary levels, such as groups operating within an organization or groups from various backgrounds influencing one another.

Contrarily, argumentative essays balance the thesis and the anti-thesis, which support and dispute your position. You must develop enough thesis statements that can stand independently and are diverse enough to account for scope-related factors. Without the antithesis, your writing would appear one-sided, stubborn, or mute about the weaknesses of your argument. The antithesis is equally crucial. On the other hand, recognizing these weaknesses and refuting them shows strength. You not only identify any potential flaws and exceptions in the opposing arguments, but you can also firmly and convincingly reject them, strengthening your case.

Significant Differences between Argumentative and Discursive Essays

Argumentative writing aims to: Your goal is to convince the reader that your perspective is valid and should be considered as an alternative one.

Writing an argumentative essay generally involves the following steps:

  1. Supports an excellent and worthwhile perspective with relevant reasons, credible facts, and sufficient evidence.
  2. Argumentative writing begins with researching a topic and aligning with one side.
  3. During argumentative writing, it is essential to acknowledge that opposing views exist, demonstrating that you are fair-minded and showing why your idea is more valid than theirs.
  4. By acknowledging opposing views, you are not only showing yourself to be fair-minded. Still, you will also have an opportunity to counter these views tactfully to explain why you believe your own is the more worthy viewpoint. Despite being biased, the writer presents multiple perspectives.

Argumentative writing is intended for the following audiences:

It does not require an audience to persuade. Simply putting it out there is enough for the writer.

Argumentative writing takes the following attitude:

To get the reader to listen to your idea, you simply need to get their attention. There is a conviction being shared by the writer, whether the audience agrees with it or not.

Discursive Essays

The goal of discursive writing:  To get readers to agree with you/your point of view on a particular topic.

Discursive writing generally involves the following techniques:  An attempt to convince the reader that the writer is “right” by combining facts and emotion. Opinions often play a significant role.

Discursive writing begins with: Choosing a topic and a side.

Discursive writing uses the following viewpoint: There is a single goal in discursive essays. An individual holds a particular way of thinking as the only sensible way to think. The writer presents only one side of the story – his side. There may be one opposing point in discursive writing, but it is quickly dismissed or refuted.

Discursive writing is intended for the following audiences:  The audience needs to be defined. The writer “attacks” what they believe and think to persuade the readers.

Discursive writing has the following attitude: Discursive Writers want to gain another “vote”, so they are more aggressive in their pursuit of readers. Discursive writing has incredible emotion, passion, and personal connection.

Bottom Line

One of the main differences between these two is that argumentative essay uses logical reasoning to support facts while discursive essay tends to connect several points. The other difference is in the structural formula. An argumentative essay should have its thesis statement in the introductory paragraph. It discusses its single point by providing proof or examples and then restating with a stronger thesis statement, while a discursive essay follows a cyclical pattern.  Finally, an argumentative essay is persuasive because you expect the reader to accept your point of view by the end of the paper.

Essay writing involves a lot of research and information. Thus, you can gather a lot of information to write the essay. Get help from online sources as well because there are many online sources where you will find enough information about writing essays.


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