How to write a discussion essay

A discussion essay, also called a controversial essay, is where you express your opinion about a topic. When writing one, 

So let’s deeply explore the structure and components of a successful discussion paper.

Quick summary

Choose a controversial topic

Choosing a topic is the first step when starting your essay. When choosing a topic, make sure it is something that you are personally interested in as it will be easier for you to write.

Now let’s have a look at discussion essay topic examples. 

After choosing the essay topic, you should create your outline to finish planning your essay.

Create an outline

The outline allows you to understand how to combine all the information and thesis statement to support claims of your essay.

Create a basic outline for your discussion essay. Start with a preliminary version of your thesis statement, main argument, opposing argument, and other main points.

Here is an outline example for a discussion essay.

Discussion essay outline example

Title: The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

  1. Introduction
    1. Start with a strong and engaging opening.
    2. Introduce the topic and its relevance.
    3. Present the thesis statement that highlights the ethical considerations in AI integration in healthcare.
  2. Body Paragraph 1: Enhancing Diagnostics and Accuracy
    1. Begin with a clear topic sentence about AI's role in diagnosis.
    2. Explain AI's superiority in analyzing medical data and images.
    3. Provide an example of AI detecting diseases early.
    4. Discuss concerns about the potential effects on human expertise.
  3. Body Paragraph 2: Personalized Treatment and Privacy
    1. Introduce the focus on personalized treatment.
    2. Explain how AI can customize therapies based on individual data.
    3. Give an example of optimizing medical outcomes.
    4. Raise ethical issues about privacy, consent, and data security.
  4. Body Paragraph 3: Ethical Responsibility and Accountability
    1. Start with a topic sentence about accountability.
    2. Discuss the challenge of assigning blame in AI-related errors.
    3. Address the importance of unbiased AI algorithms.
    4. Mention the need for regulation and oversight.
  5. Conclusion
    1. Restate the significance of the ethical landscape of AI in healthcare.
    2. Summarize the core points discussed in the body paragraphs.
    3. Reiterate the importance of balancing AI advancements with ethical considerations.
    4. End with a call to uphold ethical principles in the integration of AI in healthcare.

So now that you’ve seen an outline example, let’s start writing your essay with an introduction.

Write your introduction

Introduction serves as a bridge between the reader’s existing knowledge and the specific topic you’ll be addressing in your essay. Your aim in the introduction is to introduce relevant topics and provide important background to your reader.

Discussion essay introduction example


The relentless march of technology has ushered in an era where artificial intelligence (AI) is permeating every facet of our lives. Hook sentence In no sphere is this more evident than healthcare, where AI promises to revolutionize diagnosis, treatment, and patient care. As we navigate this new terrain, we find ourselves grappling with the ethical implications of integrating AI into healthcare practices. Background While the potential benefits are vast, they are accompanied by ethical dilemmas that require careful consideration and reflection. Thesis statement

Now that we have written our introduction, we can move on to the discussion parts.

Compose the body of your essay

Write down the main points of the body paragraphs of your discussion paper. A well-written body paragraph illustrates, justifies, and/or supports your thesis statement. When writing body paragraphs:

Discussion essay body paragraphs

Body Paragraph 1: Enhancing Diagnostics and Accuracy

AI-powered diagnostic tools have demonstrated exceptional accuracy in analyzing medical images and data, often outperforming human experts.. Opening sentence These technologies offer the promise of rapid and precise diagnoses, enabling earlier interventions and improved patient outcomes. Presenting positive aspects For instance, AI algorithms can identify patterns in medical imaging such as X-rays or MRIs, leading to early detection of diseases like cancer. Supporting the positive aspect However, this remarkable progress raises concerns about the role of human expertise, as reliance on machines might erode the skills of medical professionals and distance them from the decision-making process. Opposing viewpoints

Body Paragraph 2: Personalized Treatment and Privacy

AI's ability to analyze massive datasets allows for personalized treatment plans based on a patient's unique genetic makeup and medical history. Opening statement This tailoring of therapies has the potential to revolutionize medicine, optimizing outcomes and minimizing side effects.Presenting positive aspects Yet, in the pursuit of personalized care, we encounter ethical questions surrounding patient privacy. Presenting ethical questions The collection and sharing of sensitive health data raise concerns about consent, data security, and the potential for discrimination based on genetic information. Exploring ethical questions Striking the right balance between individualized treatment and safeguarding patients' privacy becomes paramount.Balancing positive and negative aspects

Body Paragraph 3: Ethical Responsibility and Accountability

As AI takes on an increasingly influential role in healthcare decisions, questions arise about accountability in cases of medical errors. Opening statement Who bears responsibility when an AI algorithm fails to make a correct diagnosis or prescribes an inappropriate treatment?Presenting the issue Establishing clear lines of accountability becomes crucial in a landscape where the roles of humans and machines are intertwined. Exploring the issue Additionally, ensuring that AI algorithms are unbiased and do not perpetuate existing healthcare disparities is an ethical obligation that demands rigorous oversight and regulation. Highlighting another ethical concern

Now, let’s look at how to end your work.

Conclude your discussion essay

Writing a strong conclusion for a discussion essay is essential to leave a lasting impression on your readers and summarize the main points of your argument effectively. Here are the steps on how to write a good conclusion for your discussion paper:

Let’s have a look at a conclusion example for a discussion essay..

Discussion essay conclusion example


In the dawning age of AI-driven healthcare, the ethical landscape is complex and multifaceted. While AI holds the potential to transform medicine in ways once thought impossible, it comes with a responsibility to navigate its integration with mindfulness and ethical integrity. The pursuit of accuracy, personalization, and efficiency should be accompanied by a commitment to preserving the core values of patient autonomy, privacy, and equitable care. Restate the thesis statement & and summary As we stand at this crossroads, it is our collective duty to harness the power of AI while safeguarding the ethical principles that define compassionate and responsible healthcare for all. Call to action

Remember that a conclusion is your final opportunity to leave a strong impression, so make it memorable and impactful.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a discussion essay different from other types of essays?

Unlike other common essays that might focus on presenting a single argument, a discussion essay presents multiple perspectives on a topic. It strives to remain neutral and balanced while analyzing different viewpoints.

Can I express my personal opinion in a discussion essay?

Yes, you can include your personal opinion, but it should be presented alongside other viewpoints. Your opinion should be supported by evidence and analysis, and you should strive for a balanced presentation.

Do I need to include counterarguments?

Yes, including counterarguments is essential in a discussion essay. Addressing opposing viewpoints demonstrates your understanding of the topic and strengthens your analysis.

How do I ensure a balanced presentation of viewpoints?

Present each viewpoint objectively and support it with evidence. Give equal attention to different perspectives and avoid using biased language.

How can I transition between different viewpoints in my essay?

Use transitional words and phrases like “however,” “on the other hand,” and “in contrast” to smoothly guide readers between paragraphs and viewpoints.

Picture of Duygu Demiröz
Duygu Demiröz
Content writer, editor and translator. Passionate for words and the outer world. Always ready to conquer both realm of language and glittering streets.