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What is a Discussion Essay? 


A discussion essay is a piece of text that aims to analyze both sides of an issue and define which one is the best. Usually, in such essays, students should state whether they are for or against a specific phenomenon, such as a smoking ban, school uniform, or abortion. However, discussion essays can also refer to choosing one reason over others or one explanation over the rest. In such a case, you should examine possible theories and explain why the chosen one is the most credible. 


What is the Difference between a Discussion Essay and Other Types of Texts?


This type of essay is usually shorter than the rest. It takes only 1-2 pages and does not require specific detailed research. You should examine both sides of the problem in a discussion essay, while in the argumentative text you can only mention counterarguments. Often discussion essays are assigned during exams and essays to define students’ ability to structure essays and present arguments. 


Some Words on a Structure


The structure of discussion essays follows the regular format. This essay has an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. 


  • Your introduction should contain a general statement, where you introduce the subject of the essay, both sides of the problem, and a thesis statement. Optionally, you can also add important definitions and state your opinion. 
  • In a body paragraph, make sure to write equally on both opinions. If you have two paragraphs for a specific phenomenon, make sure to add two paragraphs against it. 
  • In conclusion, summarize the main arguments. Based on them, give your opinion on the matter. Sometimes opinion part takes a whole separate paragraph; however, even so, you should repeat your opinion and argumentation in conclusion. 


Considering information above, your essay should have at least four paragraphs: one — for the introduction, one — for arguments for, one — for arguments against, and one for the conclusion. 


How is a Discussion Essay Evaluated?

As this type of essay is rather short, it is needed primarily to understand how well a student copes with basic writing. Hence, we have developed a short checklist for you to see if you can submit your essay in the way it is written. 


  1. My essay is properly structured: there is an introduction, paragraphs with arguments, and a conclusion. 
  2. My essay has a thesis statement.
  3. I have clearly stated my position at the end of the essay. 
  4. I have discussed both for and against arguments, dedicating even parts of my text to each of them. 
  5. I have used a wide range of vocabulary and proofread my text. 
  6. I have used sequencing phrases to ensure coherence. 
  7. I have addressed the main question and provided my answer to it. 


Useful Tips for Writing a Winning Discussion Essay


Here are some useful tips for writing discussion essays with no worries: 


  • First, it is okay to state your opinion here. So, don't be afraid to use personal pronouns and phrases.
Examples: I believe, I consider, to my mind, in my opinion, I agree/disagree with


  • It is also a good idea to use sequencing phrases. They will help to structure your essay and follow the necessary order.
Examples: First, to begin with, let’s start with, secondly, thirdly, then, in the end, and finally, to conclude. 


  • Also, use examples where you cannot refer to facts. In many cases, discussion essays should be written in the classroom, where you don't have access to sources. In this case, an example will be a good tool for presenting arguments.
Example: History has already seen how democracy wins when united. For instance, Hitler conquered the majority of Europe but did not manage to win because of the united forces of democratic countries. 


  • Finally, make sure to clearly state your position. You can take a whole paragraph for it or write it in the conclusion. 
Example: Considering the argument above, I suggest that healthy eating is more important than physical exercise. 


A Free Discussion Essay Example


Now that we have great tips to consider, let’s practice them. Below you will see a sample of the text that considers arguments for and against a never-ending discussion on the matter of school uniforms. 


Should School Uniforms be Obligatory?


School uniforms have been an attribute of many educational institutions; however, with time this practice stopped being compulsory. While private schools still try to preserve this idea, many public schools and colleges leave total freedom for their students. In this essay, I will examine the main arguments for and against school uniforms to define who is right in a discussion about its necessity. 

Those who support school uniforms state that a dress code is beneficial for discipline and students’ ability to define an appropriate look for each occasion. Colorful clothes may be irritating and distracting, so it would be easier for students to concentrate when they all look alike rather than when each student wants to be different and uses clothes for that. In addition, a uniform eliminates bullying at schools as students will not be able to use appearance as a motive for psychological abuse. For instance, at some schools, students may use clothes to define the economic status of a child and bully students for not being rich enough. In such a situation, a victim is forced either to buy new clothes or stay out of the community. When all students look the same, they don’t become victims of each other, which preserves their emotional well-being. Hence, school uniform does not only teaches children to dress up appropriately for different occasions but also helps them to avoid bullying in the educational environment. 

People who argue against school uniforms usually state that it is a reductant rule that does not bring any benefits. In the modern world, a dress code is almost nowhere needed, unless you are raising a future diplomat or president. The main argument against school uniforms is that it prevents children from discovering themselves through their appearance, limiting the psychological capabilities of self-analysis. If a child wants to wear a colorful T-shirt with a favorite movie character, there are no rational reasons for preventing them from doing so. Children meet each other and find peers through common interests, and sometimes it is easier to define interests of a person when this person can freely show up through clothes or hairstyle. Even when asked to wear uniform, children still try to show their personality through objects that are not regulated by school uniform rules: they wear jewelry and change hairstyles, dye their hair and find unusual accessories. As there is no specific benefit from limiting children in these abilities, there is also no need for school uniform. 

Upon checking all the arguments above, I must agree that school uniform should not be necessary for any educational institution. Indeed, on the one hand, school uniform may reduce disruption during the studying process and eliminate reasons for bullying. On the other hand, students in uniforms do not show a significant difference in studying success compared to other students, while many other reasons for bullying may appear. Hence, there is no valid reason for making school uniforms a must in educational institutions. Schools and colleges may preserve the right for designing uniforms; however, they should not be obligatory as there are no facts or statistics that confirm beneficial effect of school uniform on any aspect of the studying process. 



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