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An Expert Advice: How To Write A Discussion Paper

A good discussion paper outlines the facts surrounding a specific issue. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  •         Have a Question
  •         Be Objective
  •          Use Sources
  •         Plan
  •          Have a Question
  • A good discussion paper poses a question, a challenge of sorts around which the paper pivots. Try to make your question something interesting, something important. You want the reader to be engaged with the topic, not fall asleep reading it. Make sure your topic has a slant or is unique on some way. Try to be different, but don’t corner yourself either. You want to pick something that has enough meat to pick apart, but that isn’t so oddly specific no one knows what you’re talking about.

  •          Be Objective
  • While you have your question, you should also remain objective. Try to approach the issue from many sides. Look at alternative views and compare your ideas with detractors. Don’t have an idea and write what you think about it, that’s just a lesson in ego boosting. Instead, have an idea, and see what everyone thinks about it. A good discussion paper discusses all viewpoints; so don’t cut anything out just because you disagree with it.

  •           Use Sources
  • Back up your argument with facts. Don’t rely on opinion and hearsay. A good discussion paper is factual. This will require a lot of time and energy and research, but it will make your paper the entire better. Don’t go in blind, go in armed with sources.

  •          Plan
  • Before you start writing, make sure you have a thorough plan laid out. Don’t come up with a good topic and throw yourself into it right away. You’ll only end up running out of steam. Instead, sit down for a few days, read a few books and articles, think about it. Talk to friends and colleagues about your opinions, and then put in place a detailed plan. Come up with three main points and flesh them out one by one. If you can’t do that at the early stage then there’s no hope you’ll be able to do it halfway through your paper. Not only that, but a good plan will help you overcome writer’s block and fatigue. When you aren’t sure where to go next in your writing, turn to your plan, and get your head back in the game.