Standard Grade English Tutor

Written by Standard Grade English Tutor

This profile is a platform for a range of Standard Grade-experienced English teachers to post information that will help students, and their parents, with preparing for students' Standard Grade English exams. By following the below advice, we are confident that a student can improve their English grade, but individual motivation, perseverance and other factors must be taken into account also. This platform presents a proven, successful approach to Standard Grade English, we do not claim it is the only approach.

Standard Grade English Folio – Discursive Essay

In Standard Grade English, you have to hand in a W1 folio piece. This folio piece can be either a discursive essay or a persuasive essay. The discursive essay is probably the easiest, but the persuasive essay is the most challenging and fun to do.

We’re going to focus on the discursive essay in this blog. When you think discursive, think discussion, because the discursive is more an exchange of points backed by evidence. As the writer of the essay, you remain neutral on the issue to the very end. What you are doing is presenting the arguments of two sides of the one topic.

Abortion, school uniform, nuclear weapons, euthanasia, independence, Europe, and the death penalty are all very common topics for a discursive essay. Each topic can be looked at from two opposing sides, for and against. A discursive essay will present both sides of the issue and then, usually, you, the author of the essay, will come down on one side or the other justifying the reasons for your choice at the very end of the essay. (And have a bibliography.)

So, how do you do present it? Well, here’s a suggested structure:


P.Ex.I.In. For 1


P.Ex.I.In. Against 1


P.Ex.I.In. For 2


P.Ex.I.In. Against 2


P.Ex.I.In. For 3


P.Ex.I.In. Against 3


If you notice you move from a point FOR to the opposing side’s point AGAINST to another point FOR. It keeps it balanced. Make sure that you’ve got an introduction and conclusion at top and bottom and that is you!

Of course, if only it was that essay. More preparation is required and we’ll cover that in upcoming blogs, but the first three steps can be done right away.

  1. Choose your topic
  2. Get points FOR and AGAINST
  3. Research evidence for each point

Here’s the video:


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