10 Steps to Planning a Discussion Essay

Writing a discussion essay is an excellent way to harvest extra marks and is a very good skill to develop for your future career, too. Here you will find 10 steps to help walk you through writing your first discussion essay.

  1. Note points for and points against.
  2. Rank the points in order of importance.
  3. For each point make brief notes on the facts it will cover and your discussion of them.  Develop and expand your ideas.
  4. Decide on the order for your material.  Should you deal with all the “points for” and follow this with all the “points against”, or would it be better to alternate your points for and points against.
  5. Decide on the conclusion but don’t write it until you have written the essay.
  6. Consider the signposts which will be needed to help a reader to follow your argument.  You may find it useful to use such phrases as
    •             This clearly demonstrates that…
    •             It has been argued that …
    •             On the other hand …
    •             However, this conflicts with…
    •             Et Cetera
  7. Think about your own view.  Make use of your own experience and observations but be careful to maintain an objective stance.
  8. Write a draft introduction.
  9. Now write up the main body of the essay, aiming to write a paragraph for each point.
  10. Conclusions and introductions are written last!


Keep checking your essay against the title.

Think it over.  Where is it heading?

Grab the attention with the opening

Take the title to pieces – look at each word separately

Be decisive in which ever view you choose.