The purpose of the deductive essay is to guide students in the process of using deductive reasoning. In Western countries, deductive reasoning is the most commonly used method to arrive at a valid conclusion. Deductive reasoning uses facts to draw a conclusion. For example, a simple deductive argument might be
“Only depressive students exhibit the following set of behaviors. Twenty-five percent of college freshman exhibit these behaviors. Therefore, 25% of college students must be depressed.”
Of course, a deductive essay draws on a lot more than one fact to arrive at a conclusion, but this simple example illustrates the principle.
The tone of the deductive essay must be factual and objective. Personal opinions and conjecture are not welcome in a deductive essay, so take care to avoid introducing these elements in the essay.
Selecting a Topic
Topics for a deductive essay must be chosen carefully. Avoid topics that evoke a strong emotional response because it is very difficult to write an objective paper about a topic that you feel strongly about. Instead, choose a topic that you find interesting, but that you do not have a firm opinion about.
The introduction should explain the problem that is being investigated, as well as provide the background of the problem. Because the deductive essay is based on facts, the introduction and background of the problem should be carefully researched. Then, the thesis should explain the major facts and present the conclusion. For example, in a deductive essay about the lack of diversity at a particular university, the thesis could be, “Plain State University lacks diversity because the majority of its students are Caucasian, Protestant, and from upper middle-class backgrounds.”
The supporting paragraphs should explain the major facts mentioned in the thesis. Each of these paragraphs should have a clear topic sentence to guide the reader, and then move on to provide evidence that supports the claim. This evidence must stem from credible research and never include elements of the author’s opinion or personal experiences.
The conclusion of the deductive essay should restate the conclusion that you have drawn, based on your research. The conclusion can also look to the future. For example, the author in the Plain State University example might advocate that the university conduct further research to solve the diversity problem. Alternatively, they might discuss the implications of failing to address this problem, such as losing federal funding.
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