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What Is The Main Difference Between A Discursive And An Argumentative Essay

When you’re writing one of these types of essays, it can be easy to mix them up. Make sure to check your teacher’s instructions, because they’ll probably have everything you need to do for this assignment, regardless of the type of essays it’s called. Keep reading to find out more of the differences between discursive and argumentative work, so that you can more easily finish your homework.

As in any essay, you should have an introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction is for introducing both sides of the issue. It’s advised to put your strongest points in the first paragraph of the body, then descending in order of importance. Stick to having one single argument or point in each paragraph. Then, the conclusion should summarize everything you’ve just written.

Argumentative vs. discursive:

  • Introduction with either a thesis statement or formal presentation of facts
  • Body paragraphs with either pros and cons or a neutral view
  • Conclusion with desired response or objectivity
Differences in purpose

A discursive essay is focused on presenting a balanced view or objective view of a topic. You need to discuss multiple sides or perspectives and remain neutral as the writer, on what your beliefs are. You can then draw tentative conclusions, but stay mostly to the facts without opinion.

On the other hand, an argumentative work is about showing a strong position to the reader of one side or the other. You should focus on one specific point of view in this project, even with controversial subjects.

Differences in style

Any discursive assignments are supposed to be more formal and written with an impersonal tone. Talk about different parts of the issue in different paragraphs, beginning with a strong first sentence. You should alternate paragraphs for different perspectives on the subject, with a lead-in to the next point. Let readers of your homework draw their own conclusions about the subject.

Argumentative work has a purpose closer to a general format. You need a thesis statement in the introduction that presents the single point of view you’re going to explore. Even though you do have both sides in the body, you will be refuting the opposition and providing rebuttal evidence. Your separate paragraphs can have pros and then cons, or have both in the same paragraph for each point. Then, make sure to have the conclusion you want the reader to understand clearly made.

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