Next, let’s turn our attention to the essay discussion. This type of essay is not exactly easy, but it is still popular with many students. Because here you are allowed to express your own opinion, but you have to justify it well and comprehensibly.
What is important in an essay?
In the discussion, you are fighting an intellectual battle. | Source: Unsplash
This is often a challenge, but it can be a lot of fun and brings a certain satisfaction when you succeed and maybe even get a good grade for it.
However, this is why you don’t start writing discussions until around the 8th grade (and sometimes not until the 9th/10th grade). Popular topics are those that are close to the lives of young people, i.e. questions such as “Should the voting age be lowered to 16?”, “Should smoking be allowed from 16?”, “Should the use of cell phones be allowed in school?” etc.
For such given topics, one can then write two types of discussions: a linear discussion or a dialectical discussion. In a linear discussion, you argue only from one direction, i.e., you present only pro-arguments that support your thesis.
In dialectical argumentation, you weigh pro and con arguments, building the essay so that the strongest pro argument supporting your opinion always comes last.
There are two techniques:
The hourglass form: one first brings all contra arguments from the strongest to the weakest, then all pro arguments from the weakest to the strongest.
Alternating argumentation: One brings alternately a contra- and a pro-argument, thus always immediately invalidating the potential argumentation of opponents.
A special form is the text-bound discussion. Here, one does not justify one’s own opinion but rather reproduces the argumentation structure of another person’s text (e.g. in an article). This is more like a text analysis.
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After the analysis, you often have to give your own opinion or explain and justify why you agree or disagree with the argumentation in the text.
It is best to also read our article on the topic of writing an argumentation to get all the important information about the text-based argumentation.