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Discursive Writing - Module C

Discursive Writing
Pattern of Arrangement / Structure:
• Problem/Solution
• Issue: ‘Ya/Na’ - One hand // Other hand.
• Bookend: Start à Finish.
• Chronology: Timeline
• Emotional Blocks
‘SPEEECH’ Trigger à What to talk about whilst writing a discursive text:
Discursive Texts – NOTES:
• NOT discussion essays, although they have some commonalities including:
o Considering different perspectives of a topic.
o Writing strong paragraphs on each perspective.
§ WITH supporting evidence.
o Selecting a preferred position and articulating reasons for choice à BUT not
in a forceful way:
§ Use writing and language techniques to help convey meaning.
o UNLIKE a discussion essay in that it does not need to be in a formal or
objective tone.
• Discursive essays are an offer, not a demand.
o Offer a range of insights into a particular topic à Do not demand the reader
to accept any particular position.
• A discursive text is like a dialogue about a topic, allowing the writer to put forward
different positions in an engaging, sometimes provocative way.
• Typically written in an active voice – but might sometime have passive voice.
o Active Voice à Subject is performing an action denotive of a verb:
§ Marilyn (subject) mailed a letter (verb).
o Passive Voice à Change of wording of active sentences so that the subject
is no longer active, but is, instead being acted upon.
§ The letter (subject) was being mailed (verb).
• Both informative and engaging.
o Allowing writer to show off their mastery of language through the use of:
§ Anecdotes.
§ Analogies.
§ Figurative Language.
• Structure à Include an introduction that aims to engage the reader/s.
o Often referred to as an invitation for the reader to continue reading.
Some features of persuasive text:
o Rhetorical devices.
o Personal voice à Writers own thoughts AND reflections.
o THEY do however DIFFER à Persuasive text puts forward arguments to
support a predetermined position whilst discursive texts explore both sides
of opinions – even if the writer may not agree with that particular option.
Lines of argument supported with evidence:
o Personal evidence.
o Anecdotes.
o Statistics.
o Quotes from friends, family, experts.
o References to shared human experiences.
Variety of sentence types – simple, compound, complex.
No ideal structure, however, ones outlined above use most frequently.
Find examples of discursive texts in magazines, journals of websites (The
‘Discursive texts are an offer.... not a demand.’
Points to consider when writing a discursive text:
• Considering different perspectives to topics.
• Writing a strong paragraph on each perspective with supporting evidence.
• Selecting a preferred position and articulating reasons for choice but not in a
forceful way à WHILST, also exploring other opinions in the SAME manner.
• Do not require formal or objective tone.
• Offer a range of insights into a particular topic but don’t demand that the reader
accept only one of these positions as a definitive.
• Like a dialogue about a topic à Allowing writer to put forward different positions in
an engaging and sometimes provocative way.
• Written in active voice but might also sometimes be written in passive voice.
• Both informative and engaging.
• Structurally – Discursive texts often include an introduction – ‘Hook’.
• Use of rhetorical devices.
• Links argument and opinions to topic and supports with evidence; personal,
statistical, quotes from experts, references to the shared human experience/s.
• Discussion/dialogue on topic of interest.
• Presents a range of arguments about topic.
• Support arguments with evidence.
• Is designed to engage reader as well as inform them about the topic.
• Appeals to the heart, mind and imagination of the reader.
• Variety of sentence types – simple, complex, compound.
• Don’t use direct quotations from interviews – to direct.