So, you’ve been assigned to write a discursive essay. The word discursive obviously comes from the word discourse, which means to communicate back and forth. A discursive essay is one in which the writer presents both sides of an argument. Unlike an argumentative essay, a discursive essay gives a balanced representation of both sides of an issue. The writer might give clues as to the side the he agrees with, but does not try to convince the reader that there is only one correct solution.
In order to choose a topic for a discursive essay, you have to think of situations that have at least two distinct sides. Usually the topic will be controversial, which presents its own difficulty. A controversial topic can make it difficult to give a balanced explanation without leaning to one choice. If you are totally anti-something or totally pro-something, it is going to be very difficult for you to write an piece with a fair and balanced approach to both sides, so be careful with your topic.
Even if you choose your topic carefully, you will likely have to do some research in order to present a balanced piece. As you complete the research, be sure to get information from reliable and unbiased sources.
Following are 20 questions you can answer with a discursive essay: