Discussion Text is “a text which present a proble
matic discourse. This problem will be discussed
from different viewpoints. Discussion is common
ly found in philosophical, historic, and social
Where can we find the text?
The text can be find in:
- Editorials in newspaper
- Magazines articles
- Talk back radio
- Public Speeches
The text aims to:
Present argument and information from differing view points.
A discussion presents differing opinions, viewpoints or perspectives
on an issue, enabling the reader to explore different ideas before m
aking an informed decision.
The writer normally explores different opinions and ends with a pers
onal opinion or comment.
The types of Discussion
• It develops the skills to look at both sides of an argument
weighing the positives and negatives objectively before
they make a rational decision.
• it concerns with analysis, interpretation and evaluation of
• it helps to think clearly and critically
Structure of the Text
Issue (Statement of the issue plus a preview of the
Arguments for, plus supporting evidence (supporting
Arguments against, plus supporting evidence
(alternatively, argument/counter-argument, one point
at a time/contrasting points)
Recommendation – summary and conclusion
• Use of present tense.
• Use of general nouns to make statements, e.g. men, papers.
• Use of detailed noun groups to reinforce an argument,
• Use of saying verbs to quote.
• Use of relating verbs, e.g. is.
• Use of thinking verbs expressing a personal point of view, e.g. wonder.
• Use of factual adjectives, e.g. my last holiday.
• Use of adjectives expressing an opinion, e.g. my horrifying adventure.
• Use of comparative or contrasting adjectives, e.g. boring, most significant.
• Use of adverbs of manner, e.g. honestly, rapidly, carefully, thoroughly.
• Use of connectives to link arguments, e.g. however, in the same way.
• Use of conjunctions to link clauses.
• Use of varying degrees of modality for effect
e.g. Perhaps we might see…followed by but we must see…
• Use of abstract and technical terminology.
• Use of quoted and reported speech, e.g. Ms
• Use of evaluative language, e.g.The threatened landscape will contin
ue to be tragically eroded, if steps are not taken.
• Phrases to introduce the other point of view, e.g. on the other hand, gen
• Words showing the writer’s opinion, e.g. For the above reasons I fervent
ly believe that…
• Use of clearly structured beginning of sentences that focus attention, e
.g. Game parks…,The cleaner environment focus…
• Use of passive voice to change focus of the sentence, e.g.The environ
ment is threatened…
• Using complex combination of clauses, e.g.
While it is vitally important to have a clean environment, we must think
• Use of word chains, synonyms, antonyms and repetition for effect.
To teach discussion
Collect discussions that students might come across every day, for example an editorial,
debates, public speeches, newspaper and magazine articles.Ask students to identify the
points of view that may be evident in both sides of the argument and to reorder the
arguments to see how this affects the strength of the discussion.
Ask students to compare these discussions, by answering questions about differences in text
organization, structure and features.
• What is the topic?
• Is the target audience adult, teenager or child?
• What is the assumed background knowledge?
• Are two sides given in each text? Find examples.
• Is evidence, research data or elaboration used? Give examples.
• Is each side’s argument elaboratedto the same extent?What is the conclusion?
Is an opinion expressed?
• Is the levelof modality appropriate?
• Is technical language used?
• Is emotive language used?
• What different conclusions might have been reached?
• Do the conclusions summarize, recommend or solve an issue?
Look at visual text. Do they add to the understanding each text?
Help students develop their skills in discussion writing by developing questions, completing
concept maps or writing keywords that will focus research skills.
Encourage students to research information using the Internet and encyclopedias or viewing
Ask them to think of target audiences and what their opinions maybe on the topic
Ask students to plan by mind mapping. This method is great for structuring and organizing
Encourage students to write a topic sentence or main point about a subject and then to
elaborate adding details.
Demonstrate the development of arguments from note taking points to sentences by using
word banks of connectives and content words. Remind students about the usage of
persuasive words that show certainty.
Ask students to write discussions on one of these issues after completing a concept map
Example: Text 1
School Uniforms Policy
School uniforms are uniforms which are obligatory worn by the students in the school
or any other educational institution. School uniforms tell many things such as students'
grade level and school or institution identity. Nowadays, school uniforms become a de
batable issue among parents. Some of them think that school uniforms are necessary,
while others think that they are not.
Some parents believe that school uniforms will make such good advantages to their ch
ildren while learning at school. First, school uniforms can keep students focused on th
eir education, not their clothes. Second, school uniforms may improve attendance and
discipline. The last, school uniforms are a symbol that every student is equal in getting
same education. School uniforms will not differentiate whether the students are rich or
not and students’ economic or social class.
In other hand, school uniforms can affect negatively on students psychology and
performance in learning at school. First, school uniforms restrict students' freedom
of expression. Second, uniforms also may have a detrimental effect on students'
self-image because when students have to wear the same outfits, rather than being
allowed to select clothes that suit their body skin, they can suffer embarrassment at
school. Third, some students also find uniforms less comfortable than their regular
clothes, which may not be conducive to learning.
In conclusion, school uniforms remain important of the students’ forsakes. Students will
be discipline and will focus more on learning. School uniforms also will show them that
they are equal in learning. However, to cover all disadvantages of school uniforms, it is
better if school gives a free school uniform day to the students on certain days and with
Example: Text 2
Is National Examination Necessary?
National examination has become a hot topic to discuss in Indonesia. The main contr
oversy regarding to national examination is whether or not it is necessary to continu
e the national exams (UN). Some other debates focus on whether the quality of Indo
nesian education depends on the national exam and whether the quality of the Indo
nesian education system will worsen without national exam.
For those who support the national exam, they believe that the quality of the Indone
sia education system will get worse without the national exam, so they try to defend
the current system. They also believe that national exam can be used to measure ho
w far educational program designed by the government works.
However, for those who disagree with national exam, the result of national exam
can’t give the clear image of students’ ability in general since the issues of cheati
ng always happen. Furthermore, the national exam only measures a small portion
of students’ competence in specific subjects, and does not measure students’ co
mpetences throughout the semester.
Above all, the national examination can still be used as an instrument to evaluate
the level of students’ cognitive competence in certain subjects, on a national scal
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