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Discussion essays Considering both sides of the argument

Discussion essays are a common form of academic writing. This page gives information on what a discussion essay is and how to structure this type of essay. Some vocabulary for discussion essays is also given, and there is an example discussion essay on the topic of studying overseas.

What are discussion essays?

Many essay titles require you to examine both sides of a situation and to conclude by saying which side you favour. These are known as discussion or for and against essays. In this sense, the academic meaning of the word discuss is similar to its everyday meaning, of two people talking about a topic from different sides. For a discussion essay, a balanced view is normally essential. This makes discussion essays distinct from persuasion essays , for which only one side of the argument is given. When writing a discussion essay, it is important to ensure that facts and opinions are clearly separated. Often you will examine what other people have already said on the same subject and include this information using paraphrasing and summarising skills, as well as correct citations .

The following are examples of discussion essay topics.

Although the structure of a discussion essay may vary according to length and subject, there are several components which most discussion essays have in common. In addition to general statements and thesis statement which all good essay introductions contain, the position of the writer will often be stated, along with relevant definitions . The main body will examine arguments for (in one or more paragraphs) and arguments against (also in one or more paragraphs). The conclusion will contain a summary of the main points, and will often conclude with recommendations , based on what you think are the most important ideas in the essay. The conclusion may also contain your opinion on the topic, also based on the preceding evidence.

An overview of this structure is given in the diagram below.

Discussion vocabulary

When summarising the stages in a discussion or in presenting your arguments, it can be useful to mark the order of the items or degrees of importance. The following words and phrases can be used.

The following can be used when introducing your opinion.

It is important in English writing, including academic writing, to use synonyms rather than repeating the same word. The following are useful synonyms for 'advantage' and 'disadvantage'.

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Below is an example discussion essay. Click on the different areas (in the shaded boxes to the right) to highlight the different structural aspects in this essay.

Title: An increasing number of students are going overseas for tertiary education. To what extent does this overseas study benefit the students?

Most people spend around fifteen years of their life in education, from primary school to university study. In the past, students only had the opportunity to study in their own country. Nowadays, however, it is increasingly easy to study overseas, especially at tertiary level. Tertiary education, also called post-secondary education, is the period of study spent at university. As the final aspect of schooling before a person begins their working life, it is arguably the most important stage of their education. While there are some undoubted benefits of this trend, such as the language environment and improved employment prospects , there is also a significant disadvantage, namely the high cost . The first and most important advantage of overseas study is the language learning environment. Students studying overseas will not only have to cope with the local language for their study, but will also have to use it outside the classroom for their everyday life. These factors should make it relatively easy for such students to advance their language abilities. Another important benefit is employability. Increasing globalisation means that there are more multinational companies setting up offices in all major countries. These companies will need employees who have a variety of skills, including the fluency in more than one language. Students who have studied abroad should find it much easier to obtain a job in this kind of company. There are, however, some disadvantages to overseas study which must be considered, the most notable of which is the expense. In addition to the cost of travel, which in itself is not inconsiderable, overseas students are required to pay tuition fees which are usually much higher than those of local students. Added to this is the cost of living, which is often much higher than in the students' own country. Although scholarships may be available for overseas students, there are usually very few of these, most of which will only cover a fraction of the cost. Overseas study therefore constitutes a considerable expense. In summary, studying abroad has some clear advantages, including the language environment and increased chances of employment , in addition to the main drawback, the heavy financial burden . I believe that this experience is worthwhile for those students whose families can readily afford the expense. Students without such strong financial support should consider carefully whether the high cost outweighs the benefits to be gained.

Academic Writing Genres


Like the website? Try the books. Enter your email to receive a free sample from Academic Writing Genres .

Below is a checklist for discussion essays. Use it to check your own writing, or get a peer (another student) to help you.

Bailey, S. (2000). Academic Writing. Abingdon: RoutledgeFalmer

Cox, K. and D. Hill (2004). EAP now! Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education Australia

Jordan, R.R. (1999). Academic Writing Course. Cambridge: CUP

Roberts R., J. Gokanda, & A. Preshous (2004). IELTS Foundation. Oxford: Macmillian

Next section

Find out how to write persuasion essays in the next section.

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Go back to the previous section about different essay types .


Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 16 January 2022.

Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn .

Compare & contrast essays examine the similarities of two or more objects, and the differences.

Cause & effect essays consider the reasons (or causes) for something, then discuss the results (or effects).

Discussion essays require you to examine both sides of a situation and to conclude by saying which side you favour.

Problem-solution essays are a sub-type of SPSE essays (Situation, Problem, Solution, Evaluation).

Transition signals are useful in achieving good cohesion and coherence in your writing.

Reporting verbs are used to link your in-text citations to the information cited.

discuss essay template

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discuss essay template

How to Write a Discussion Essay – Complete Writing Guide

How to write Discussion Essay

A discussion essay is where you take a position on an issue. To compose it, start by agreeing with a particular position, investigating your point, and illustrate your exposition prior to launching into the introduction and your thesis statement . Create a strong argument in the body of your article, and utilize your decision to make it all together without introducing new data.

What is a Discussion Essay?

A discussion essay is a paper that requires you to analyze the two sides of a circumstance and to close by saying which side you favor. These are known as discussions for or against essays. In this sense, the scholastic significance of the word discuss is like its ordinary importance of two individuals discussing a theme from various sides. For a discussion article, a decent view is ordinarily fundamental. This makes discussion papers different from persuasive articles , for which just one side of the contention is given. When composing a discussion article, ensure that realities and suppositions are obviously isolated. Frequently you will look at what others have just said on a similar subject and incorporate this data utilizing rewording and summing up aptitudes, as well as correct citations.

Examples of Discussion Essay Topics

Here are the discussion essay topics

Discussion Essay Structure

Your article ought to have the best structure. Here are the things that a decent article structure needs

Discussion Essay Structure

In spite of the fact that the structure of a discussion essay may fluctuate as indicated by length and subject, there are a few segments which most discussion articles share for all intents and purpose. In addition to general explanations and thesis statements which all great paper introductions contain, the situation of the author will frequently be expressed, alongside applicable definitions. The fundamental body will inspect contentions for (in at least one section) and contentions against (additionally in at least one passage). The determination will contain a rundown of the central matters, and will regularly close with suggestions; in view of what you believe are the main thoughts in the exposition. The end may likewise contain your assessment on the subject, additionally dependent on the former proof.

Here is a summary of various components of a discussion essay structure.


The purpose of the introduction is to arouse the interest of the reader.

The introduction should determine what you will talk about in the discussion essay. You will clarify the question in your own words and afterward characterize your essential contention. This is likewise called composing a thesis statement . End it by determining what you will do and how. When done, change the section and start with the body.

The main body is the place where all the arguments and their support of the discussion essay will be found. You have to do nothing but explain the points written in the introduction in a detailed manner. The brilliant guideline to follow is one Idea, one Paragraph.

Keep in mind; you are not composing a secondary school exposition. Try not to be so astounded. Think more than what you see. Look from an alternate point of view and figure what others might think by taking a look at what you are being approached to depict. Discussion papers additionally need critical thinking. You can’t simply overlook this.

How to form your arguments

Suppose that you have been asked to discuss the recent flood in Queensland . A novice will discuss the following:


The garages have been closed down however houses look OK

The roads are overflowed

A few trees are blown to the streets

To avoid such, you have to think critically for a discussion essay.

You will get pointers like –

In spite of the fact that the houses are alright, were there individuals caught?

Are the houses damaged to fall at any second?

Do individuals need rescuing?

Is there new water in the taps?

Is power still working after trees have fallen?

What to Write?

The conversation should be about the occasions. Clarify in detail what occurred, what you experienced, and what are the realities spinning around the said occasion. Taking the above model further, you can utilize historical information in your discussion essay.

Compose the thoughts in a sensible way. By coherent, I imply that each thought should be communicated with the end goal that it is associated with the following one. The reader ought not to feel like an uneven ride where the author is tossing one contention after another. Remember to specify the main points. Underscore on them. Disclose them to the readers. The discussion essay depends on investigation and questioning. The more you read, the more you search and the more you justify, the better will be your conversation. Composing a 1000 word long substance isn’t simple, particularly when it is a scholastic one. Hence, make it a habit to set up a psyche map or a conceptualizing note. Composing a discussion essay will resemble a piece of cake with this. Sit alone with the point and record all that you know.

Investigate all the measurements that are conceivable, everything about is connected and you can consider them. Subsequent to conceptualizing once, you ought to recognize the defects and search for loopholes. If you don’t discover deficiencies in the discussion essay, the educator will.

Read more: How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay

Whenever you have composed the paper, the time has come to wrap it up. Like every single beneficial thing, the discussion essay will likewise end. The decision is only a redundancy of what has just been discussed in the paper above. You won’t present another contention here and just express the general and clear derivations. Continuously make sure to give the paper an excellent end. Try not to leave the readers hanging and give a response to the title or discussion essay question eventually.

Tips for Writing a Discussion Essay

Basic conversation expositions call upon understudies to utilize their minds and examine certain assessments, proclamations, and contentions. Elegantly composed college discussion essays feature an essayist’s keenness and insightful capacities and have an enduring effect on their readers.

Here are the discussion essay tips that will astutely manage you through your creative cycle.

Tips for Writing a Discussion Essay

Comprehend your objectives first

Discussion articles on any theme require that understudies present their contentions and conversations on an opinion, an assertion, or a generally acknowledged standard. The most common question discussion essay formats are:

Two-part questions

For an opinion based inquiries, you need to comprehend the setting of the given assertion with a receptive outlook. Cautiously go through the question and discover the importance and rationale of the given assertion. Attempt to comprehend the perspective of the speaker through their words.

The essay topic question may give you a preferences and burdens explanation. Assess both from your viewpoint without partiality. There may be inquiries that pose you to concur or differ with a given assertion. Pick one specific way and afterward clarify why you believe it’s the most legitimate one. Two-part question types need you to address the two inquiries individually.

Create a mental blueprint for the whole essay

Having a fundamental blueprint of your composing prepared in your psyche is consistently a good thought. Conceptualize to think of ideas that you will utilize while composing.

For instance, in the introduction, quickly notice the setting of given statements and afterward uphold or repudiate it. Rework the inquiry in your words to make it more significant.

You should plan on the most proficient method to decipher the offered thoughts. Brainstorm the different approaches to introduce a discussion about the opposing views in the body of the essay.

The conclusion of a discussion paper should end with emphasis. Express your assessment and suggestions here. Compose it well to have a lasting impression on your instructor.

Be cohesive while presenting your arguments

The perspectives and suppositions you express are a vital piece of the grading criteria. Educators evaluate your mindfulness about a subject and your critical thinking capacities by means of your assessment.

Continuously be cohesive while introducing your contentions and try not to offer any shallow expressions. If you choose to introduce a supporting contention, at that point stick to it. Convey your viewpoint with emphasis to place everything into point of view.

Regardless of whether the inquiry poses to you about your judgment or advises you to consider something, express your focuses firmly and back them to expand the heaviness of your composition.

Break down sentiments with no inclination

To describe this specific point precisely, here’s a model:

“Finishing college training is viewed as fundamental for obtaining work. Then again, a few people think learning soft skills and getting in-hand experience is more significant. Examine the two sentiments and express your own.”

For the above-given inquiry, the primary passage will contain how college training improves one’s information base but how it likewise neglects to bestow the essential expert abilities.

The second paragraph will evaluate how soft skills and early job experiences prepare one against the realities of the professional world. You also must mention how one’s knowledge remains lacking in avoiding higher studies.

The point here is that you should take a look at each assessment from a few viewpoints. Come at the situation from others’ perspective and attempt to comprehend the circumstance of the individual offering the expression. Continuously be fair in your approach and make sure to back up your contentions with thinking.

Follow the structure that suits your inquiry

Familiarise yourself with discussion paper tests, and you will see that their structures change as indicated by the subject. A regular discussion essay format comprises an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Given underneath is an overall arrangement of a conversation paper structure:

In the introduction of a discussion paper, the given issue is paraphrased and the offered thoughts, explanations, and contentions are described. The thesis statement and the outline sentence are added at the end.

For the body, start by expressing the given perspectives alongside appropriate models. For each new assessment, examine it in another paragraph. If it’s an upsides and downsides question, one area ought to depict favorable circumstances while the other one the inconveniences. The same goes for the inquiry and answer issues and two-section questions.

Sum up taking everything in the conclusion. Quickly clarify why you upheld or invalidated any assessment, and furthermore mention your standpoint. Wrap up everything by offering some helpful proposals.

Follow the correct paper structure since a major piece of your evaluations rely on a well laid out discussion essay presentation.

Keep a reliable tone all through

Remember your readers while composing. A formal and expert tone of composing is fundamental for these papers. Utilize specialized terms and complicated words if need be, as your school educators will comprehend what you are stating.

When emphasizing your points, ensure you don’t exaggerate or disregard others’ assessments. Talk about everything from a nonpartisan viewpoint and never utilize any conversational words.

Read more to improve your writing skills

Peruse discussion paper models regularly to gain proficiency with the composing styles, words utilized, and some other indispensable factors. Go through reviews dependent on various conversation article thoughts to study the composing best practices.

However, if the submission deadline is breathing down your neck, you can always avail of a reputed academic writing service that will write your essay with as much care as you would have.

Developing a Discussion Essay

Select a suitable topic for the exposition. The point should be one that intrigues you. You are required to talk about all the sides of the issues that encompass the exposition. Extraordinary exploration with proper proof will help an incredible arrangement by giving appropriate data to the paper.

The layout of the conversation exposition should be made utilizing a pen and paper. The essential objective now includes getting the contemplations on the topic organized in writing. An itemized layout could be composed for the conversation exposition utilizing the formal customary blueprint and numbers, which isolates the primary concerns. Another way, of thinking of the diagram, includes writing down the primary concerns of conversation which you need to cover in the body.

Focus to compose the exposition in an accompanying manner. The goals in the acquaintance of the task are to have all issues identified with the point presented. The presentation additionally offers the reader with fundamental foundation data. You are required to clarify the significant terms or words that are utilized in the article. Furnishing the reader with the fundamental review of the organization of the conversation guarantees that the progression of thought is perceived in the entire article body.

The body of the paper can be composed with the assistance of the research sources gathered. Each issue should be introduced unbiasedly and exclusively. You should begin by talking about a solitary side then the opposite side of the contention, which is identified with the given theme. The contentions in the body should be reformist starting with frail contentions or issues and advancing to the more grounded contention. A very organized conversation exposition encourages the reader to follow the progression of thought in a simple manner with no interruption.

The last part of the conversation paper is the article’s conclusion. The part of end includes summing up the data from the body of the exposition. The end makes the reader survey the merits and demerits of the contention point. Much of the time, you are not expected to pick any side of the contention. On the off chance that you chose to choose a specific side of the contention, you would have to show your conclusion on the argument.

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How to Structure an Essay | Tips & Templates

Published on September 18, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on November 11, 2022.

The basic structure of an essay always consists of an introduction , a body , and a conclusion . But for many students, the most difficult part of structuring an essay is deciding how to organize information within the body.

Table of contents

The basics of essay structure, chronological structure, compare-and-contrast structure, problems-methods-solutions structure, signposting to clarify your structure, frequently asked questions about essay structure.

There are two main things to keep in mind when working on your essay structure: making sure to include the right information in each part, and deciding how you’ll organize the information within the body.

Parts of an essay

The three parts that make up all essays are described in the table below.

Order of information

You’ll also have to consider how to present information within the body. There are a few general principles that can guide you here.

The first is that your argument should move from the simplest claim to the most complex . The body of a good argumentative essay often begins with simple and widely accepted claims, and then moves towards more complex and contentious ones.

For example, you might begin by describing a generally accepted philosophical concept, and then apply it to a new topic. The grounding in the general concept will allow the reader to understand your unique application of it.

The second principle is that background information should appear towards the beginning of your essay . General background is presented in the introduction. If you have additional background to present, this information will usually come at the start of the body.

The third principle is that everything in your essay should be relevant to the thesis . Ask yourself whether each piece of information advances your argument or provides necessary background. And make sure that the text clearly expresses each piece of information’s relevance.

The sections below present several organizational templates for essays: the chronological approach, the compare-and-contrast approach, and the problems-methods-solutions approach.

The chronological approach (sometimes called the cause-and-effect approach) is probably the simplest way to structure an essay. It just means discussing events in the order in which they occurred, discussing how they are related (i.e. the cause and effect involved) as you go.

A chronological approach can be useful when your essay is about a series of events. Don’t rule out other approaches, though—even when the chronological approach is the obvious one, you might be able to bring out more with a different structure.

Explore the tabs below to see a general template and a specific example outline from an essay on the invention of the printing press.

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Essays with two or more main subjects are often structured around comparing and contrasting . For example, a literary analysis essay might compare two different texts, and an argumentative essay might compare the strengths of different arguments.

There are two main ways of structuring a compare-and-contrast essay: the alternating method, and the block method.


In the alternating method, each paragraph compares your subjects in terms of a specific point of comparison. These points of comparison are therefore what defines each paragraph.

The tabs below show a general template for this structure, and a specific example for an essay comparing and contrasting distance learning with traditional classroom learning.

In the block method, each subject is covered all in one go, potentially across multiple paragraphs. For example, you might write two paragraphs about your first subject and then two about your second subject, making comparisons back to the first.

The tabs again show a general template, followed by another essay on distance learning, this time with the body structured in blocks.

An essay that concerns a specific problem (practical or theoretical) may be structured according to the problems-methods-solutions approach.

This is just what it sounds like: You define the problem, characterize a method or theory that may solve it, and finally analyze the problem, using this method or theory to arrive at a solution. If the problem is theoretical, the solution might be the analysis you present in the essay itself; otherwise, you might just present a proposed solution.

The tabs below show a template for this structure and an example outline for an essay about the problem of fake news.

Signposting means guiding the reader through your essay with language that describes or hints at the structure of what follows.  It can help you clarify your structure for yourself as well as helping your reader follow your ideas.

The essay overview

In longer essays whose body is split into multiple named sections, the introduction often ends with an overview of the rest of the essay. This gives a brief description of the main idea or argument of each section.

The overview allows the reader to immediately understand what will be covered in the essay and in what order. Though it describes what  comes later in the text, it is generally written in the present tense . The following example is from a literary analysis essay on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein .


Transition words and phrases are used throughout all good essays to link together different ideas. They help guide the reader through your text, and an essay that uses them effectively will be much easier to follow.

Various different relationships can be expressed by transition words, as shown in this example.

Because Hitler failed to respond to the British ultimatum, France and the UK declared war on Germany. Although it was an outcome the Allies had hoped to avoid, they were prepared to back up their ultimatum in order to combat the existential threat posed by the Third Reich.

Transition sentences may be included to transition between different paragraphs or sections of an essay. A good transition sentence moves the reader on to the next topic while indicating how it relates to the previous one.

… Distance learning, then, seems to improve accessibility in some ways while representing a step backwards in others.

However , considering the issue of personal interaction among students presents a different picture.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

An essay isn’t just a loose collection of facts and ideas. Instead, it should be centered on an overarching argument (summarized in your thesis statement ) that every part of the essay relates to.

The way you structure your essay is crucial to presenting your argument coherently. A well-structured essay helps your reader follow the logic of your ideas and understand your overall point.

Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways:

It’s also possible to combine both methods, for example by writing a full paragraph on each of your topics and then a final paragraph contrasting the two according to a specific metric.

You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.

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How to Write a Discussion Essay

Last Updated: February 23, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 417,511 times.

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Planning Your Essay

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Writing the Introduction

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Composing the Body of Your Essay

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Concluding Your Essay

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To write a discussion essay, start by taking a side on the issue you're writing about, like "Immigration is good for the country." Then, outline the main points that made you decide to take that position and do research to find evidence that backs them up. Look for credible sources that can help you make your argument, and don't forget to cite them. Then, when you're writing your essay, devote 1 paragraph to each main point and include your evidence. For help writing the introduction and conclusion to your essay, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Sample discussion essay

Discuss the best way for a supermarket or a store to become successful and to expand its business, and make a large profit. You may refer to examples of a supermarket or a store known to you.

by Miao Wang (Vanessa)

Copied with permission of the author

Everyone needs to buy things in order to live, and everyone likes to get things as conveniently and cheaply as possible. For this reason, there are many supermarkets or stores appearing. However, getting into the supermarket business can be difficult, so I have written some ideas to make a supermarket become successful and make a large profit. [ Comment 1 ]

The first aspect to be discussed is that of good service. Firstly, the correct attitude in attending to customers is very important. Attendants should always smile to customers, no matter whether the customer is right or wrong. When customers ask where they can find things, attendants should not only show the way, but also they should go and get things for the customers. Secondly, a supermarket needs to provide good after-sales service. For example, when customers buy big and heavy items, they cannot carry them by themselves; the supermarket should thus help them take the items to the right places free of charge. If the place is too far away, the supermarket could ask the customer to contribute some money. [ Comment 2 ]

A further aspect to be considered is the need for good products. In my opinion, when a supermarket is stocked with goods, it should check the sell-by date of goods, and make sure all of them are fresh and have good quality. What is more, a successful supermarket has many different kinds of goods, and its prices are balanced. For instance, TESCO, which is a successful supermarket in Britain, has balanced prices. In the supermarket, items have different prices on one price tag: one referring to TESCO, the others from other supermarkets. When customers buy items, they can thus compare prices, in order to choose the best ones to buy. Moreover, a supermarket should update goods quickly in order to make sure they are fresh. [ Comment 3 ]

While a supermarket needs to do things for customers, it also needs to expand its business and make a large profit. In my opinion, first of all, the store should learn about the customers that it wants to provide goods to. The supermarket should check whether customers look for low prices or a certain type of good. Secondly, a supermarket should be well situated, and have pleasant surroundings. For example, a supermarket can be built in a place with a park nearby, and with many trees. This kind of location could make customers feel comfortable. Moreover, it should have a car park which is big enough, and the car parking should be free. When customers get into the supermarket there should be soft music, and all goods should be divided into different kinds to put in order. Customers can pick up things that they want very easily. A supermarket may also use good IT systems. For instance, customers might find things on the internet and know where they are, then pick them up quickly. Thirdly, a successful supermarket should know other supermarkets well. It can send its own employees to research the others’ information, such as price, types of advertisement, discounts and sales ploys. Fourthly, a supermarket can have its own brand products and diversify in order to expand its business. For example, TESCO is not only a supermarket, but has its own mobile. Furthermore, it can have its own club to attract customers to join in. [ Comment 4 ]

In a nutshell, a successful supermarket is difficult to manage. It needs good service, good products, and good ideas to expand its business and make a large profit. [ Comment 5 ]

[ Comment 1 ]In this paragraph, the writer has indicated the importance of the topic and has given a statement, using the first person pronoun, of what she will be doing in the essay.

[ Comment 2 ]This is the first main paragraph. Here the student focuses on the aspect of customer service. Notice the use of the topic sentence: “The first aspect to be discussed is that of good service”. This provides a key to the content of the paragraph.

[ Comment 3 ]This second main paragraph concerns the need for supermarkets to have good quality products. Notice again that here, the student groups all the ideas into a single paragraph, and that she writes a topic sentence at the start of the paragraph: "A further aspect to be considered is the need for good products." The writer is not afraid to show her own personality: “In my opinion….”, etc.

[ Comment 4 ] This paragraph now moves on to consider how a supermarket can make a profit. Several ideas are given. Notice how sequencers are used: “firstly…”, “secondly…”, thirdly...”, etc.

[ Comment 5 ] This paragraph provides a brief conclusion to the writing. Notice the idiomatic use of the expression “In a nutshell”. The conclusion only needs to be brief – there is no need to restate everything that has been said before.

How To Plan & Write IELTS Discussion Essays

Students can find it difficult to identify IELTS discussion essays and often confuse them with either opinion essays or advantage and disadvantage essays.

This is one of the issues I’ll be covering in this lesson. I’m also going to show you how to plan and write discussion essays step-by-step.

Here’s what we’ll be covering:

Want to watch and listen to this lesson?

Click on this video.

Click the links to see lessons on each of these Task 2 essay writing topics. 

Once you understand the process, practice on past questions. Take your time at first and gradually speed up until you can plan and write an essay of at least 250 words in the 40 minutes allowed in the exam.

The Question

The first part of the question for an IELTS discussion essay will be a statement containing two opposing views.

You will then be asked to discuss both sides of the argument and give your own opinion. Here is some typical wording that might be used:

Here's a question from a past test paper.

Some people think that zoos are cruel and should be closed down. Others, however, believe that zoos can be useful in protecting wild animals.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

I’ll be using this question to guide you through the process of planning and writing an IELTS discussion essay.

The key to identifying this type of question is the fact that you are required to discuss BOTH views. This is different to opinion questions where you must decide between two opposing views and make an argument to support your own opinion.

Opinion essays , also known as ‘agree or disagree’ essays, a generally worded in one of these ways:

What is your opinion? / Do you agree or disagree? / To what extent do you agree or disagree?

The other essay type that students mistake for discussion essays is advantages and disadvantages essays . With these, the statement will contain just one view and the question will typically be written as shown in this sample question.

School children are using computers in school more than ever.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this and give your own opinion.

The consequence of incorrectly identifying the question type is that you will use the wrong structure for your essay. This is a major reason why people make the mistakes we’ll now look at.

3 Common Mistakes

These three errors are common in IELTS discussion essays.

The most common mistake that students make is not giving their opinion. The question will clearly state that you must choose one side of the argument to agree with. If you fail to do this, you will get a low score for task achievement.

It doesn’t matter which side of the argument you take or even, that you actually agree with it.

However, you must give equal attention to both sides. A common error is to provide a stronger argument for the view you favour. This leads to an unbalanced essay and a low score for task achievement. 

Essay Structure

Now let’s look at a simple structure you can use to write IELTS discussion essays. It’s not the only possible structure but it’s the one I recommend because it’s easy to learn and will enable you to quickly plan and write a high-level essay.

1)  Introduction

  2)  Main body paragraph 1

 3 )  Main body paragraph 2

  4)  Conclusion

This structure will give us a well-balanced essay with 4 paragraphs.

We now need some ideas to add into the structure and we’ll have everything we need for our essay.

How To Plan IELTS Discussion Essays

# 1  analyse the question.

This is an essential step in the planning process and will ensure that you answer the question fully. It’s quick and easy to do. You just need to identify 3 different types of words:

1. Topic words

2.  Other keywords

3.  Instruction words

We’ve already considered the instruction words (the actual question) so we’ll focus on the first two.

Topics words are the ones that identify the general subject of the question.

Some people think that zoos  are cruel and should be closed down. Others, however, believe that  zoos  can be useful in protecting wild animals.

So, this question is about ‘ zoos ’.

Many people do this first step of the process and then write about the topic in general. This is a serious mistake and leads to low marks for task achievement.

What we need to do now that we know the general topic, is to understand exactly what aspect of zoos we're being asked to write about.

The other keywords in the question tell you the specific topic you must write about. They define the opinions stated in the statement.

Some people think tha t zoos are cruel and should be closed down . Others, however, believe that zoos c an be useful in protecting wild animals .

By highlighting these words, it’s easy to see that you are being asked to write about the opposing views that zoos are cruel and should be closed down and that zoos can be useful in protecting wild animals. Your essay must only include ideas relevant to these ideas.

# 2  Decide on your opinion

As already mentioned, it doesn’t matter if you genuinely agree with the view you take in your essay or not. IELTS discussion essays are about your ability to write a well-structured essay in the English language and you will not be assessed on any opinion you might hold.

So, choose one view and make sure that your opinion is clear throughout the essay.

For this model essay, I’m going to agree with the statement that zoos are cruel and should be closed down.

# 3  Generate ideas

The next task is to generate some ideas to write about.

There are several different ways to think up ideas. I cover them fully on the  IELTS Essay Planning  page.

We’re going to use the ‘friends technique’. This is my preferred method as it allows you to take a step back from the stress of the exam situation and think more calmly.

Here’s how it works. Imagine you are chatting with a friend and they ask you the question in a casual conversation. What answers would you give them off the top of your head? Plan your essay around these ideas.

Doing this will help you to come up with simple answers in everyday language rather than straining your brain to think of amazing ideas using high level-language, which isn’t necessary.

You might want to try this yourself before reading on for my ideas.

Here are my ideas:

Cruel  – closed down:

Useful – protect wild animals:

I’ve got more ideas here than I need so I’m going to pick two to develop in the essay – one for each of the main body paragraphs.

Idea 1  –  Cramped cages & unnatural environments, animals distressed.

Idea 2  –  Breeding programmes for endangered species, some species saved from extinction.

We’re almost ready to start writing our IELTS discussion essay but first, we have one other small task to do.

# 4  Vocabulary

In an IELTS essay, it’s important to be able to say the same things in different ways, either by paraphrasing and/or using synonyms. During the planning stage, quickly jot down a few synonyms of key words you could use to save you having to stop and think of the right language while you’re writing.

For example:

zoos  – animals in captivity, collections of wild animals, menagerie, wildlife park

cruel  – to cause suffering, inhumane

protect  – safeguard, preserve

animals  – creatures, species

With that done, we can focus on the first paragraph of the essay – the introduction.

How To Write an Introduction

Good introductions to IELTS discussion essays have a simple 3 part structure:

1)  Paraphrase the question

2)  State two supporting reasons (outline statement)

3)  Give your opinion (thesis statement)

Start your introduction by paraphrasing the question.

Question:   Some people think that zoos are cruel and should be closed down. Others, however, believe that zoos can be useful in protecting wild animals.

There are various phrases you can use to do this. Here are three examples. They all say the same thing using different language.

Choose one and add the details in the question statement in a paraphrased form. I recommend putting the view you don’t agree with first.

Paraphrased question:  

Some people argue that zoos help to preserve wild creatures, while others say that they are inhumane and should be abolished.

Note my use of synonyms. You don’t have to replace every key word but do so where possible whilst ensuring that your language sounds natural. There aren’t any suitable synonyms of ‘zoo’ that I can think of, so I've repeated this word from the statement.

2)  Thesis and outline statements

Now we need to add an  outline statement  where you outline the two main points that you’ll cover in the rest of the essay (ideas 1 and 2 above) and a  thesis statement  where you state your opinion.

Outline & thesis statements:

While the development of breeding programmes contributes to the preservation of endangered species, I believe that the poor conditions that many animals held in captivity are kept in make the existence of zoos unacceptable. 

So, let’s bring the three elements of our introduction together.


discuss essay template

This introduction achieves three important functions:

The two ideas in your introduction will become your two main body paragraphs.

Main body paragraph 1  – Breeding programmes for endangered species, some species saved from extinction.

Main body paragraph 2  – Cramped cages & unnatural environments, animals distressed.

How To Write Main Body Paragraphs

Main body paragraphs in IELTS discussion essays should contain 3 things:

It is easier to begin by discussing the opinion you don’t agree with and then present the reasons for the opposing view that you support. So, we’ll start with idea 1.

Main Body Paragraph 1

The  topic sentence  summarises the main idea of the paragraph. That’s all it needs to do so it doesn’t have to be complicated.

It plays an important role in ensuring that your ideas flow logically from one to another. It does this by acting as a signpost for what is to come next, that is, what the paragraph will be about.

If you maintain a clear development of ideas throughout your essay, you will get high marks for task achievement and cohesion and coherence.

We’ll now take the idea for our first main body paragraph and create our topic sentence.

Topic sentence:  

On the one hand, there are many projects in existence in zoological parks around the world where species facing extinction have been successfully bred in captivity and their numbers increased substantially.

Next, we must write an  explanation sentence that expands on the idea. This explains to the examiner what we mean or why this is the case.

Explanation sentence: 

This is important for ensuring the survival of animals under threat from poaching and the destruction of their natural environments.

Finally, we add an  example  to support our main point. If you can’t think of a real example, it’s fine to make one up, as long as it’s believable. The examiner isn’t going to check your facts.

Example sentence:

A good example of this is the golden lion tamarin from Brazil which nearly died out because of logging and mining activities which are destroying its habitat. Today, a third of wild golden lion tamarins were raised in captivity.

That’s the 3 parts of our first main body paragraph complete. Here’s the finished paragraph.

discuss essay template

We now follow the same process for our second main body paragraph.

Main Body Paragraph 2

Main idea 2  – Cramped cages & unnatural environments, animals distressed.

First, we write the  topic sentence  to summarise the main idea. I started main body paragraph 1 with the phrase ‘On the one hand...’, so main body paragraph 2 will naturally begin, ‘On the other hand... .

These are great cohesive devices to use when making a direct contrast between two opposing views and they link the ideas together well. They can be used in most IELTS discussion essays and will help to earn you a good score for cohesion and coherence.

Topic sentence:

On the other hand, a significant percentage of zoos house their animals in cramped cages with very little space to move around or behave naturally.

Now for the  explanation sentence  where we expand on this idea.

Explanation sentence:

This can lead to them becoming distressed and depressed as well as suffering physically through lack of exercise.

Finally, an  example  to support this point.

A friend of mine recently visited a wildlife park while on holiday abroad and was very upset to see the lions pacing up and down in a narrow, bare pen and eagles in enclosures so small that they were unable to fly.

That’s the 3 parts of our second main body paragraph complete. Here’s the finished paragraph.

discuss essay template

Now we need a conclusion and our IELTS discussion essay is done.

How To Write a Conclusion

Conclusions to IELTS discussion essays should do two things:

This can generally be done in a single sentence.

If you're below the minimum 250 words after you’ve written your conclusion, you can add a prediction or recommendation statement.

Our essay currently has 231 words so we’re on target and don’t need this extra sentence but you can learn more about how to write a prediction or recommendation statement for IELTS discussion essays on the Task 2 Conclusions page.

The conclusion is the easiest sentence in the essay to write but one of the most important.

A good conclusion will:

If you achieve this, you’ll improve your score for both task achievement and cohesion and coherence which together make up 50% of the overall marks. Without a conclusion, you’ll score below band 6 for task achievement.

You can start almost any final paragraph of an IELTS discussion essay with the words:


Now all you need to do is briefly summarise the main ideas into one sentence.

Here’s a top tip . Go back and read the introduction to the essay because this is also a summary of the essay. It outlines what you are going to write about.

To create a great conclusion, you simply have to paraphrase the introduction. Let’s give it a go.


Here is the same information formed into a conclusion:

discuss essay template

That’s it. We’ve completed our essay. Here it is with the 4 paragraphs put together.

Finished IELTS discussion essay.

discuss essay template

Go through this lesson as many times as you need to in order to fully understand it and put in lots of practice writing IELTS discussion essays from past exam questions. Practice is the only way to improve your skills.

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More help with ielts discussion essays & other task 2 essays.

IELTS Writing Task 2  – T he format, the 5 question types, the 5 step essay writing strategy & sample questions. All the key information you need to know.

The 5 Types of Task 2 Essay   – How to recognise the 5 different types of Task 2 essays. 15 sample questions to study and a simple planning structure for each essay type.

Understanding Task 2 Questions  – How to quickly and easily analyse and understand IELTS Writing Task 2 questions.

How To Plan a Task 2 Essay  – Discover why essay planning is essential & learn a simple 4 step strategy, the 4 part essay structure & 4 methods of generating ideas.

How To Write a Task 2 Introduction  – Find out why a good introduction is essential. Learn how to write one using a simple 3 part strategy & discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.

How To Write Task 2 Main Body Paragraphs  – Learn the simple 3 part structure for writing great main body paragraphs and also, 3 common mistakes to avoid. 

How To Write Task 2 Conclusions  – Learn the easy way to write the perfect conclusion for a Task 2 essay. Also discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.

Task 2 Marking Criteria  – Find out how to meet the marking criteria in Task 2. See examples of good and poor answers & learn some common mistakes to avoid.

The 5 Task 2 Essay Types:

Step-by-step instructions on how to plan & write high-level essays. Model answers & common mistakes to avoid.

   Opinion Essays

   Discussion Essays

  Problem Solution Essays

  Advantages & Disadvantages Essays

  Double Question Essays

Other Related Pages

IELTS Writing Test  – Understand the format & marking criteria, know what skills are assessed & learn the difference between the Academic & General writing tests.

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Essay Structure

Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a time—they must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader. Successfully structuring an essay means attending to a reader's logic.

The focus of such an essay predicts its structure. It dictates the information readers need to know and the order in which they need to receive it. Thus your essay's structure is necessarily unique to the main claim you're making. Although there are guidelines for constructing certain classic essay types (e.g., comparative analysis), there are no set formula.

Answering Questions:  The Parts of an Essay

A typical essay contains many different kinds of information, often located in specialized parts or sections. Even short essays perform several different operations: introducing the argument, analyzing data, raising counterarguments, concluding. Introductions and conclusions have fixed places, but other parts don't. Counterargument, for example, may appear within a paragraph, as a free-standing section, as part of the beginning, or before the ending. Background material (historical context or biographical information, a summary of relevant theory or criticism, the definition of a key term) often appears at the beginning of the essay, between the introduction and the first analytical section, but might also appear near the beginning of the specific section to which it's relevant.

It's helpful to think of the different essay sections as answering a series of questions your reader might ask when encountering your thesis. (Readers should have questions. If they don't, your thesis is most likely simply an observation of fact, not an arguable claim.)

"What?"   The first question to anticipate from a reader is "what": What evidence shows that the phenomenon described by your thesis is true? To answer the question you must examine your evidence, thus demonstrating the truth of your claim. This "what" or "demonstration" section comes early in the essay, often directly after the introduction. Since you're essentially reporting what you've observed, this is the part you might have most to say about when you first start writing. But be forewarned: it shouldn't take up much more than a third (often much less) of your finished essay. If it does, the essay will lack balance and may read as mere summary or description.

"How?"   A reader will also want to know whether the claims of the thesis are true in all cases. The corresponding question is "how": How does the thesis stand up to the challenge of a counterargument? How does the introduction of new material—a new way of looking at the evidence, another set of sources—affect the claims you're making? Typically, an essay will include at least one "how" section. (Call it "complication" since you're responding to a reader's complicating questions.) This section usually comes after the "what," but keep in mind that an essay may complicate its argument several times depending on its length, and that counterargument alone may appear just about anywhere in an essay.

"Why?"   Your reader will also want to know what's at stake in your claim: Why does your interpretation of a phenomenon matter to anyone beside you? This question addresses the larger implications of your thesis. It allows your readers to understand your essay within a larger context. In answering "why", your essay explains its own significance. Although you might gesture at this question in your introduction, the fullest answer to it properly belongs at your essay's end. If you leave it out, your readers will experience your essay as unfinished—or, worse, as pointless or insular.

Mapping an Essay

Structuring your essay according to a reader's logic means examining your thesis and anticipating what a reader needs to know, and in what sequence, in order to grasp and be convinced by your argument as it unfolds. The easiest way to do this is to map the essay's ideas via a written narrative. Such an account will give you a preliminary record of your ideas, and will allow you to remind yourself at every turn of the reader's needs in understanding your idea.

Essay maps ask you to predict where your reader will expect background information, counterargument, close analysis of a primary source, or a turn to secondary source material. Essay maps are not concerned with paragraphs so much as with sections of an essay. They anticipate the major argumentative moves you expect your essay to make. Try making your map like this:

Your map should naturally take you through some preliminary answers to the basic questions of what, how, and why. It is not a contract, though—the order in which the ideas appear is not a rigid one. Essay maps are flexible; they evolve with your ideas.

Signs of Trouble  

A common structural flaw in college essays is the "walk-through" (also labeled "summary" or "description"). Walk-through essays follow the structure of their sources rather than establishing their own. Such essays generally have a descriptive thesis rather than an argumentative one. Be wary of paragraph openers that lead off with "time" words ("first," "next," "after," "then") or "listing" words ("also," "another," "in addition"). Although they don't always signal trouble, these paragraph openers often indicate that an essay's thesis and structure need work: they suggest that the essay simply reproduces the chronology of the source text (in the case of time words: first this happens, then that, and afterwards another thing . . . ) or simply lists example after example ("In addition, the use of color indicates another way that the painting differentiates between good and evil").

Copyright 2000, Elizabeth Abrams, for the Writing Center at Harvard University

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1. Choose Your Topic

2. outline your essay, outline your points, 3. draft your introduction, 4. good discussion in the body of your essay, 5. conclude your essay, how to write a discussion essay.

A discussion essay presents and discusses issues surrounding a particular topic--usually one that is debatable and open to argument. A good argumentative essay must include a thorough discussion of both sides of the issue, including main points to support your argument and its counterargument. It should also provide a well-rounded understanding of the issues before the writer presents their personal own opinions and conclusions.

What is an IELTS Discussion Essay?

The International English Language Testing System is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers.

Example of an IELTS Discussion essay

Some believe language provides cohesion to a country, while others believe diverse languages bring diversity and vibrancy. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

As with most persuasive essay formats, the essay's quality relies primarily on the writer's ability to provide solid research and evidence to present different views of the topic.

Practicing your writing skills as you write a discussion essay is a great way to grow as a writer. Let’s dive into the essay structure and components of a successful discussion essay.

Choose your discussion essay topic. When choosing this topic, make sure it is one that you're interested in personally since this will be easier for you to write. You'll need to discuss both sides of the argument surrounding the discussion essay topic, so ensure that you have access to good research that provides pertinent information. Writing only one side of the argument will result in an undeveloped discussion essay, which probably won’t receive a good score.

Outline your discussion essay. This outline should include a rough draft of your thesis statement, main argument, opposing argument, other main points and a rough draft of your conclusion. Your goal at this point is to get your thoughts on the discussion essay topic organized and in writing.

You can write a detailed outline for your discussion essay, using traditional outline format--letters and numbers to separate key points--or you can simply jot down a list of the main discussion points you plan to cover in order to answer the essay question or address the essay topic.

Next, write your introduction. According to the Open University, your goal in the introduction of your discussion essay is to introduce the issues relating to the topic and to provide your reader with important background information. Your introduction is essentially setting the scene for your reader so they are prepared to digest the argument you’ll be presenting. Providing your reader with a simple overview of how your discussion essay is organized will ensure that she understands your flow of thought throughout the body of the essay.

Most importantly, at the end of your introductory paragraph you must include a well developed thesis statement. One of the most common mistakes made when writing introduction paragraphs is leaving out the thesis statement, which is one sentence that firmly asserts what side of the argument you will be arguing throughout the work. Be specific in your points and make sure it is a strong closing to this first paragraph, as it will set the tone for the rest of your essay.

Write the body paragraphs of your discussion essay using any research sources that you have collected. Typically, you should present each issue individually and impartially, discussing first one side of the argument and then the other side of each argument that relates to your topic. Ensuring that each paragraph is roughly the same size as the other will make the presentation of facts seem balanced to the reader as well. Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that smoothly transitions from the previous paragraph while simultaneously introducing the new topic covered in the upcoming one.

Progress through your body arguments in order, starting with your weakest argument or issue and progressing to the strongest. This structure allows your reader to follow your flow of thought easily without getting distracted. When deciding how to use sources, try to use the same number of quotes and sources for each argument. If you use three quotes to support your main argument, strive to use three quotes to present the opposing view as well.

Write your discussion essay conclusion. Your goal with your conclusion is to summarize the overall information from the body of the discussion essay, leading the reader to mentally review the pros and cons of the topic argument. Although you don't technically have to be in favor of one side of the discussion yourself, if you are, be sure to present your own conclusions in this paragraph rather than earlier in the essay.

Once you have finished your conclusion, part of wrapping up your essay is going back through it and checking for grammatical errors. Check to make sure you have not copied any quotes directly from other sources, as this would result in a plagiarism charge, especially if your professor screens your essay through a writing service that checks for plagiarized work. Always write using your own words. Using your own words not only saves you from plagiarism issues, but also helps with essay coherence since the rest of the work has been written in your tone of voice.

On the final page of your discussion essay you will also include all of the citations for sources you quoted or summarized information from. Whether citing in MLA or APA format, double check the style and order of your citations for accuracy before turning it in.

Regan Hennessy has been writing professionally for 11 years. A copywriter and certified teacher, Hennessy specializes in the areas of parenting, health, education, agriculture and personal finance. She has produced content for various websites and graduated from Lycoming College with a Bachelor of Arts in English.

Mr Smedjeback's English Class

How to write a discussion essay.

The aim of the discussion essay is to inform the reader about a topic and show different perspectives (sides) of it. You are allowed to express your own opinion but the aim is not to persuade others what to believe. Often you are supposed to explain, give examples, discuss and compare. 

1. The introduction is the first part of the essay. The function is:

• to introduce the subject to the reader in an interesting and catchy way

• to give some background information about the subject

• to state the main idea or focus of the essay

2. In the body paragraph make sure you show solid support for the points you make by describing, explaining and illustrating so that the reader will think you are worth “listening to”. Let each paragraph explain or discuss one aspect using specific details and examples to clarify and support your thesis.

3. Since you are discussing the topic in your essay, it is important to bring up aspects of the issue from different sides and angles even if you might find yourself leaning towards a particular view as the essay progresses (continues).

4. At the end, the conclusion rounds off the essay in one of the following ways:

• By briefly summarizing the main ideas of the essay

• By making recommendations about ideas discussed in the essay

• By suggesting a solution to the problem discussed in the essay

• By offering a personal reflection that grows logically out of the body paragraphs

If you study English 7 you are also required to use references/citations in your essay.  Click on this link to see how you refer to sources:

Cohesion (sammanhållning)

It’s important to link the different paragraphs together to form a good cohesion in the essay so that the reader can easily follow your line of thought. When you begin a new paragraph you must therefore link it to the paragraph before. You can for example show that you are going to show more examples of the same thing or if you are going to bring up other aspects/arguments of the topic.

Don’t start the paragraph referring to an article, because then the reader has a harder time understanding why you bring up the article.

Incorrect : “In the article “Trump for re-election” (2019) Peter Brosnan claims …”

Correct : There are also many Republicans who doubt that Trump will be re-elected. “In the article “Trump for re-election” (2019) Peter Brosnan claims …”

Using linking words is a good way to connect the paragraph together, see below.

Linking words Use linking words to get a good fluency in your essay, especially when you link paragraphs together. Here are some of the most useful:

Example: Jenny is very fond of children, she’s hardworking and reliable. However , she’s got very little experience of children.

Example: Since Jo’s a very hardworking and reliable person with a lot of experience of children I think she’d make an excellent au pair.

Checklist for writing a discussion essay

Directions : Use this guide to check your own essay, or exchange papers with a classmate and use the list to check each other’s essays. In the margins of the essay you are checking, make notes about anything that needs to be revised.


Body Paragraphs

Also look at this video on how to write a discussion essay:

And part two …

Read these student examples and assess them as a teacher. What is good about them and what could be improved? How are the two essays different?

Student example 1.

People have different perspectives on courageous behavior. Some believe that being brave is inborn, more specifically, such behavior can be unconsciously kept in mind and release automatically whenever it requires. For example, Malala Yousafzai, an eleven years old Pakistani schoolgirl, who could stand against Talibans for women’s rights and right to be educated. She is only a schoolgirl and have not realized whether her fight influential or not.

But another people convince that human being can be courage when their believe in the outcome and know how to reach the outcome. For example, Martin Luther, a priest, taught that salvation received only by faith in Christ, not by good works and donating churches. This statement was completely storming and Catholic Church priests treated him as a demon. However, he believed the consequences of his speech and educated in Bible. Therefore he could convince others. Martin Luther King, Inspired by him, best known as a symbol of nonviolent fight against racial discrimination during the period of racism against black people in America. Even though the period was tuff, he had a risk of end up in a jail or killed by white Americans, he believed that it is a something that he needs to be done and he educated in human rights.

On the other hand, temperamentally, courage can be explained by being comfortable with true self without concerned about expectation of others. Courageous people comfortable with apologize and admit mistakes. They always inspire others.  Philosopher Plato explained that courage requires keep in control desires and pleasure, resist fear and pain. It is not how often you fall down that matters, it is how often you get up.

In conclusion, courage can change future for good. People can born with it or beliefs and knowledge motivate to make courageous actions. Courage is doing the things you cannot possibly do. Everybody can wake up your courage from your inside and can do something good thing if you believing for yourself.

Student example 2 of a discussion essay

The Pros and Cons of Video Surveillance

Technology’s advancements throughout the last few decades have brought us a lot of good things and opportunities, but has it all been for the better? Some would argue that technology’s development have also negatively affected society, making us come closer to a “surveillance society”, where citizens keep getting monitored. Others argue that it’s for the citizen’s protection that this surveillance is up. Has this “surveillance society” with camera surveillance improved our way of living or in fact made it worse? This is a widely discussed subject with both pros and cons regarding the video surveillance.

There are some clear positives that have come with the installation of camera surveillance. In UK, they’ve used camera surveillance in an attempt to try and prevent crime. And Will Byrne writes that according to Assistant Chief Constable Simon Byrne, it’s also an important way of gathering evidence. The cameras will definitely scare off some culprits, but you can’t expect it to have the same effect on all locations. The cameras won’t only help the police in the way of gathering evidence, but surveillance operations will be a lot easier to pull off. Cameras can be deployed on drones which will be cheaper and able to work longer than police helicopters. This can be particulary effective in missing person cases. All of these pros bring together a society that’s safe and comfortable for the citizens and police officers.

However, is it worth it when you consider the cost for such advanced equipment? In just UK, the Home Office spent 500 million dollars on CCTV’s alone between 1994 and 2007. Could this money possibly be spent on something more worthwhile? It’s a lot of money spent on a system that won’t always work the way you want it to. And there’s no guarantee that it’ll actually help to decrease the crime rate. And with other departments of technology developing there needs to be a consideration for possible hacks of camera feeds, which could lead to private information ending up in the wrong hands. Furthermore, with the possibility of cameras getting attached to drones, we could see companies such as news agencies exploit this in a way of stalking celebrities. Where could this development end? Armed drones for police work? It seems to be an uncertain future ahead of us.

So is the “surveillance society” getting out of hand or is it something that benefits our society enough for it to maintain? While it’s a lot of money getting spent on surveillance equipment, it’s at the same time expensive with police officers and long investigations which could be decreased with the help of camera proof in certain cases. Cameras are by no means supposed to replace police officers; instead they are a tool to simplify their jobs. It’s not like all these cameras are tied together in a network in a way of tracking people. They are there for the police to go back and look at footage to solve crimes. So the camera surveillance has definitely helped us in our way of achieving a more safe society. It was with the help of cameras that the police could quickly track down the perpetrators of the Boston bombing in 2013, which is just one of many cases.

We do however need to be wary about the future, and see how the surveillance develops. And there needs to be a proper security system so the public information doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. But in today’s society I feel that we have nothing to worry about when it comes to camera surveillance in public, instead I think we should be more worried about what private companies do with our personal information, who we give it to willingly. Plenty of medias who provide free services today make profits by selling personal information.

So in short, the surveillance by the government today is there for our own benefits and is something we should be grateful for. We need to be wary about the future though and see how it develops. Today I feel that the focus should be put on private companies instead of government surveillance, because they’re actually out there trying to make a profit out of our private information.

List of references:

Byrne, Will. (2007) Orwell rolls in his grave: Britain’s endemic surveillance cameras talk back, The Raw Story, 30 May, Available from:

Cornwell, Rupert. (2011) Home on the range, where the spy drones fly, The Independent, 18 Dec, Available from:

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