Discursive Topics for Essays

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A discursive essay is a treat for students who enjoy making constructive arguments. A discursive essay is an informal paper that discusses a controversial topic through reasoning and research as opposed to feelings and intuition. When choosing a discursive essay topic, make sure you have enough research material to make a strong argument for your stance through data, facts and convincing testimony.

Violence or Anti-Violence to Resolve Conflicts

Thought pacifists would be outraged by this topic, it is a largely contested question. Open your paper discussing the problems with each. For example, armed conflict produces death, fear, outrage, revengeful reactions, and famine -- the list goes on. In peaceful protests, change may not come around unless there is a strong leader. In each paragraph of the essay, introduce how peaceful or violent uprisings have brought about, or not brought about, change. Examine dictatorships and the use of violence in these political regimes. If the topic is too large for your paper, use two to four examples in one historical or current time period to make your argument for or against violence.

Death Penalty

Create an essay based on whether the death penalty a fair and just punishment. Some believe the death penalty exacts justice for the families and friends of victims; others speak out against the barbarity of a death sentence. Devote each paragraph to data, facts and figures, testimony and public reactions to the death penalty. Examine reasons why some states in the U.S. may favour the death penalty, when other states rally against it. End the paper with a firm concluding paragraph or paragraphs describing your view on the issue, given the research you have provided readers.

Arts in the Schools

Some educators, parents and students argue that required arts classes in school is a waste of time and money. Others disagree, stating that the arts are essential in forming cognitive learning skills not taught in any other courses, according to a Boston Globe article "Arts for Our Sake.". Write a discursive essay to explain your opinion on the issue through research. Be sure to include financial data and SAT score results based on schools with and without art programs. As of 2007, it was a well known fact that, in general, students at schools with arts programs receive higher SAT scores.


Write an essay describing the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a vegetarian, a diet that consists of no meat. In the paper, introduce the pros of having a meat-free diet, such as lower cholesterol, and the cons, such as protein deficiency. Argue your opinion through a moral lens, also; some believe eating meat is cruelty to animals. Carnivores, on the other hand, believe that certain animals are meant to be used as protein sources. Taking a look at vegetarian practices in some religions and cultures will help make convincing research.

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