Guide to Writing Deductive Essays

Writing serves several purposes. For instant, humor writers craft pieces to entertain, novel writers and poets craft pieces to explore our language and the human condition, journalists write to convey news items, and so on. Students, however, usually write to explain and inform, often using the “deductive” essay format to do so. The art of deduction is a means of stating assumptions, opinion, information that is well known, and then by applying reasoning to clarify and reach conclusions. Writing deductive essays are often a challenge and quite stressful for students. However, these types of essays are an essential tool for tutors to evaluate how much their students understand from various courses.

What is a Deductive Essay?

A deductive essay and the art of deductive reasoning or thinking are connected where the latter implies using reasoning to come to conclusions. As it progresses, a deductive essay shows the most reasonable and logical conclusion that can be reached on the basis of the information provided. This type of essay is comprised of:

  1. an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement that is explored over a number of paragraphs in an attempt to evaluate and quote a particular text.
  2. a number of body paragraphs that provide a detailed evaluation of various points.
  3. a concluding paragraph that analyses, recaps, and reflects on the thesis statement.

When writing a deductive essay, the most crucial factor is supporting each deduction or conclusion. The writer’s very last conclusion is based on their own feelings and experiences of life. Writing a deductive essay involves extensive research and applying one’s critical thinking skills. Therefore, the writer should have a good grasp of the English language if they are to provide a text that is clear and easy to understand. In summary, writing a deductive essay requires:

  • the ability to think critically
  • the ability to cite and format a text correctly
  • a considerable amount of time.

Deductive essays are a great way of evaluating a student’s achievements in various subjects. The individual nature of deductive writing means it should demonstrate how competent a student is at analyzing information and reaching a logical conclusion that accurately represents that information. Deductive reasoning derives from the notion, that when provided with certain signs or information, the writer is able to come to logical conclusions about that information.   

What are Deductive Arguments

Deductive arguments are a type of argument whereby a conclusion should reasonably result from provided evidence. Where the premises of the argument are fact-based and strongly support any conclusion, then it is reasonable that the argument’s conclusion is resoundingly true. There are three basic parts to a deductive argument:

  • The main premise
  • A lesser premise
  • A conclusion.

Deductive arguments can be:

  • Valid

Deductive arguments are valid if or where the conclusion follows inevitably on from the premise(s).

  • Invalid

Arguments are invalid if or where the conclusion does not follow inevitably on from the premise(s).

  •  Sound

Where the deductive argument’s premise(s) is true, then it can be deemed sound.

  • Unsound.

Where the deductive argument’s premise(s) is untrue, then it can be deemed unsound.

The Three Main Parts in a Deductive Essay

Clarity and keen focus are key features of deductive writing. The primary aim of this type of essay is to help students understand the process of deductive reasoning. Some popular topics for deductive essays are:

  • Communism versus democracy
  • Animals versus birds
  • Vegetables versus fruit
  • Love versus hate.

Deductive reasoning has three parts:

  1. Premise

This is the basic belief or fact on which irrefutable conclusions can be drawn. An argument may have several premises.

  1. Evidence

This element is the various particles of information available to a writer.

  1. Conclusion

This part is the writer’s final analysis of a given subject, problem or situation. A conclusion is reached by matching the premise(s) with available evidence.

The following is a simplified example of the process:

  • Premise:                       all sharks are fish
  • Evidence:                      Jaws is a shark
  • Conclusion:       Jaws is a fish.

The Structure of a Deductive Essay

Deductive essays are a genre of writing given to students at various levels of higher education. It is possible to define a deductive essay as a type of writing that relies heavily on the use of reasoning and on the writer presenting their process of reasoning in the form of an argument – a deductive argument. A worthy essay of this type is highly focused and perfectly formed. Every new paragraph focuses on a particular point or feature where examples and detail are used to arrive at a conclusion. One of the most important aspects of the essay is the support provided to draw conclusions. Put another way, a conclusion will appear weak and feeble if the writer does not support their points with strong evidence. The following are some key elements to bear in mind when writing a deductive essay.  

The Process for Writing a Deductive Essay

  • Topic selection: Writers should select a topic that interests them, but one they do not have a strong opinion on.
  • The purpose: A deductive essay’s purpose is to show students how to use deductive reasoning, a process that uses facts to arrive at conclusions.
  • Introductory paragraph: Deductive essays are fact-based so writers should use the introductory paragraph to explain the issue or problem they are exploring and provide any relevant background information about that issue or problem. The thesis statement should outline all main facts as well as any conclusion(s) arrived at.
  • Supporting body paragraphs: These are used to describe or elaborate on the main points presented in the thesis statement. Each body paragraph should begin with a clearly written topic sentence to indicate what that paragraph is about. After that, any evidence that supports the writer’s claims should be outlined – while omitting any personal experiences or opinions he or she (the writer) may have.

Concluding paragraph: In this paragraph, the writer should recap on any conclusion(s) he or she has come to from their research work. A conclusion can also be forward-looking.