There are many types of essay where an author has to analyze all sides of the described issue and in the end choose the most favorable side. Such type of essays are called for and against essay or discussion essay. In such situation the meaning of “discuss” word does not change because it resembles the conversation of two individuals who have two different opinions regarding one issue or topic. It is essential to provide a balanced view in a discussion essay.

It is one of the aspects that differs discussion from persuasion papers, where you need to provide only one argument. It is crucial to make sure that personal opinions and facts are separated in an essay that requires discussion. Oftentimes, you will have to analyze thoughts of other authors about the chosen issue/ topic. In such cases you will have to paraphrase and properly cite such information.

Discussion Essay Writing Tips

What Should Be in a Discussion Essay?

How is you essay supposed to look? Prior to writing your high school, college or university essay that requires discussion, you will have to make a clear plan regarding what should be included in the paper. Let us define this type of an essay.

Usually college students are assigned with discussion essay writing where they are tasked to present two arguments regarding one topic or issue. It is advisable to select an interesting topic unless your professor has already gave it to you. This essay is also named an argument essay where you need to provide pros and cons of a chosen issue/ topic. In the end, author’s task is to provide his/ her personal point of view.

Topic of an essay should be clearly defined. It is important to develop a topic that can be examined with ease. Make sure you narrow down your topic prior to writing an essay. 

Ways to Write a Discussion Essay Effectively

  1. Structure your thoughts: make sure you organize your thoughts in a logical manner.
  2. Do a topic brainstorm: prior to choosing the topic, research different ideas. Make sure that the chosen topic is interesting to a wide audience.
  3. Collect your sources of information: it is vital to have an access to a number of various sources. Remember that one source equals to one opinion. So, you need to read a lot in order to find the sources that represent your topic.
  4. Essay outline is needed: it will help you to create a list of points that should be discussed in your paper. Provide only important ideas in your outline. That is why you will have to sort them out.
  5. Create a draft: it is recommended to make a draft. It will help you understand how your essay will look. Draft helps to understand where you made a mistake and correct it immediately.
  6. Make a submission copy or a second draft: this way you will understand whether your essay can be submitted. Double check for grammatical mistakes and spelling errors.  

Vocabulary for Discussion

It can be helpful to mark the items and their order by their level of importance. You can apply the below phrases or words: 

  • The most important… First of all…, or First…
  • .., Second…
  • Last but not least…, Lastly…, Finally…, In the end…

When you need to provide your opinion, use the following phrases:

  • It is difficult to deny the fact that …
  • In my point of view …
  • In my opinion…

When you write using an academic language, it is crucial to use synonyms and avoid repetitions. The below examples provide synonyms to words ‘advantage’ and ‘disadvantage’.

  • advantage: pro, positive feature, positive aspect, benefit.
  • disadvantage: con, negative feature, negative aspect, drawback.

Discussion Essay Examples

You can find below an example of a discussion essay. In order to see different organizational aspects of an essay, you are free to click on the different areas.

Discuss How Management Theory and Practice Has Changed over since the Early 1900’s

During the last hundred years, the concept of management has changed dramatically influenced by political, social and economic changes in society. Throughout the beginning of the 20th century, industrial entrepreneurs struggled to achieve a measure of labor discipline that would allow them to accomplish the intensification of production for which the early factories had been established. Traditional work patterns such as those of agricultural workers or cottage weavers vacillated between periods of intense effort and leisure. Achieving sustained work activity meant battling the industrial laborer’s prevailing subsistence mentality. The new millennium demands new work functions and new ways and methods of getting people together. Today, the goal is to solve as many problems as possible where they occur. In contrast to traditional hierarchies, designed to maximize managerial control at all levels, integrative organizations promote ongoing learning, synthesize members’ interests, and promote a two-way flow of information and knowledge.

Contemporary management and management theory differs greatly from the past theory and practice because of economic changes and new models of work structure. In order to illustrate the differences, it is important to describe past practices and management viewpoints. The early theorist of management, M. P. Follet describes management as “the art of getting things done through people”. Similar to Follet, H. R. Towne, H. L. Gantt, F. Taylor, et supposed that the thousand different ways of doing things were not all optimally effective or equally efficient. Work tasks had to be observed, analyzed, and measured in meticulous ways in order to discover “the one best way” for doing a specific task. Frederick Taylor applied himself to more than the determination of output standards. He was convinced that the function of the general foreman, the key figure in traditional factory organization, could not be competently performed by one individual. Instead, these tasks should be “scientifically” subdivided and moved to a planning department. The driving force behind Taylor‘s early experiments was his obsession with efficiency and his hatred of wasted effort. An astute observer and skilled craftsman himself, Taylor was well aware that each worker approached his or her task in an idiosyncratic manner, doing things slightly differently and finding ways to make the task easier. The growing industrialization, in part a result of the integration of Taylorist principles with Fordist production methods, had increased the standard of living such that people started to focus on more than material subsistence.

In contrast to past principles and practices of management, contemporary management is flexible and reflective. The aim of management is to adapt to new market conditions and meet diverse needs of modern organizations in spite of their size and complexity.  Modern management framework involves such concepts as technology, structure, effectiveness, and fit. Each of the concepts have great impact on the modern organization and its functions. The main limitations of the concepts and issues covered by the modern management theories are lack of scope and simplification of the business environment and its forces. Organizational research might be used in the study of information technology in cooperative work groups. In this discussion, the limitations of modern management concepts involve theoretical and empirical weakness. It becomes obvious that despite its popularity, modern management concepts have been subject to much criticism having to do with how to define and measure the key elements, as well as how to test the modern economic, political and social aspects of the theory. To use modern management concepts to study modern corporations, the manager must define the key attributes of the business and decide how to measure them. The correlation between these measures and measures of arrangement indicates how well the management decisions matches structure. Modern management concepts do not reveal much about how the important properties of these systems should be measures. Many of these management concepts either compare groups with teams or compare current motivation with established standards.

The Harvard business school, represented by such theorists as H. Fayol, R. Likert, E. Mayo, states that in an effort to protect themselves from the harsh demands that early industrial labor imposed on their bodies, workers alternated between intense spurts of activity and rebellion against confinement and discipline. A combination of elaborate fines, threats, and punishments was utilized to overcome the ambivalence of the workers and the multitude of ways they used to limit output and exhaustion. The pioneers of modern management in the railroad companies had all been trained civil engineers experienced in railroad and bridge construction before moving into the management of these enterprises. Similarly, major organizational and management innovation in the mass production sector originated in themerican Society of Mechanical Engineers.

In contrast to these developments, contemporary management is strategic and tactical. The journey in search of strategic credibility is a long one, but it starts with a single step. With many companies, this first step is long overdue. Others, who have already set out on the journey, have found that a commitment to open, candid and timely communications is an investment in the future well worth making. These companies have a head start in the race to achieve world competitiveness–not just because they have outstanding strategy communications programs; world-class companies do many things well, including being responsive to the legitimate informational needs of key stakeholders and other concerned constituencies. The apparent wrong perception of the company’s main activities led management to suspect that this might be one of the reasons for the undervaluation of the company’s share at international stock exchanges.

Bureaucracy was the core of the organizational structure for a century. Today, organizational prefer to introduce flexible decentralized structure which permits effective and fast decision-making and problem-solving. Competition is also intensified by the increasing globalization of economic exchange relationships and markets. Resulting changes in the size and variety of markets require quick responses and adaptation to new demands. The development of a “competent” organization involves much more than narrow skill training of the existing workforce or the recruitment of new employees able to meet these competence requirements. Much of the knowledge and many of the skills required at the four levels outlined above are best acquired within the organization.

At the beginning of the 20th century, ,management methods were aimed at establishing managerial control and coordination over the work process on the assumption that this would improve efficiency and quality, he believed, along with many of his engineering colleagues, that workers’ attempts to restrain their efforts was perfectly rational and in line with their own interests. At the beginning of the 21st century, cultural control means that formal rules and regulations are no longer necessary replaced by norms and values, traditions and beliefs.  An adequate balance between role structure, status ranking, and power relations is very important to the functioning of a work team as well as for its survival.

In sum, contemporary management reflects economic and social changes affected industrial enterprises and organizations for a century.  A complementary management policy would determine medium- and long-range competence development profiles, and assess employees’ qualification potential in light of these requirements. Personnel recruitment then becomes an internal as well as an external function. Employees already part of the organization are “recruited” and encouraged to take on new tasks, with training, education, and work design matching the goals of continuous competence development. This requires an organizational philosophy with a developmental and learning orientation that is convincingly communicated externally as well as internally. The past division of labor is replaced by a division of learning, predicated on the flattening of existing organizational hierarchies. Both aspects of integrative rationalization are aimed at supporting and maximizing self-regulation, thus increasing overall organizational flexibility and adaptability.

July 28, 2020
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