How to Write a Discursive Essay Under Exam/Timed Conditions



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How to Write a Discursive Essay Under Exam/Timed Conditions

(Based on Edexcel A2 - Unit 6 (c))





  • Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Word Limit: 230 – 250 words

  • Marks for Paper = 45

  • Read the title (3 Minutes)

    1. What is the question asking/stating & what are the two sides of the argument?

    2. Address/refer to the question throughout the essay

    3. Answer the question asked and not what you want to write about.

  • Write a plan (10 Minutes)

    1. Brief introduction

    2. Points of discussion for first side of the argument e.g. Point 1, Point 2 & Point 3

    3. Points of discussion for other side of the argument e.g. Point 1, Point 2 & point 3

    4. Have an equal number of points to discuss on both sides to balance the argument

    5. Brief conclusion

    6. Jot down complex phrases

    7. Jot down idioms/proverbs e.g. Die Kehrseite der Medaille….. – The other side of the coin

    8. Make a list of any vocabulary/buzz words related to the topic

  • The ESSAY: (50 Minutes)

  • Introduction

    1. Set the scene/explain situation/problem e.g. Heute werden wir immer wieder mit dem Problem…………………konfrontiert

    2. Show first side of the argument e.g. Es stellt sich zunächst die Frage nach………..

    3. Show the other side of the argument e.g. Die Kehrseite der Medaille:

    4. Sum up e.g. Dieser Aufsatz wird das Für und Wider dieser Behauptung diskutieren.



  • Main Body: Present BOTH Sides of the Argument:




  • First side of the argument

    1. Use paragraph leaders e.g. Erstens……..

    2. Zweitens………..

    3. Überdies…………

  • Other side of the argument

  1. Use paragraph leaders e.g. Wir kommen nun zur Analyse……

  2. Auf der anderen Seite…………………………

  3. Ferner…………………………..

  • Conclusion

  1. Use a concluding phrase e.g. Alles in allem…………

  2. This should reflect upon your points of discussion and weigh up BOTH sides of your argument

  3. It should contain NO NEW INFORMATION

  4. Refer back to title but do not repeat it exactly

Give some reference to the future if possible e.g. Es muss sich erst herausstellen, ob….. – Only time will tell whether…..

  • CHECK YOUR WORK FOR: (10 Minutes)

  1. Genders

  2. Verb endings/Tenses

  3. Cases – Nominative, Accusative, Genitive, Dative

  4. Words followed by cases e.g. accusative prepositions etc.

  5. Spellings

  6. Singular and Plurals

  7. Adjectival Agreement

  8. Umlauts

  9. Examples of Complex Phrases

  10. Examples of Idioms/Proverbs

  11. Relevant Vocabulary and Structures to Topic

  12. Example of a Rhetorical Question (if possible)

  13. Write down WORD COUNT at end of essay


TIME USED: 1 hour 13 minutes
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