Writing a Deductive Essay: A to Z

What Is a Deductive Essay?

A deductive essay is a rather popular type of assignment that helps instructors evaluate the students’ knowledge and analytical thinking. To complete this task, you have to use deductive reasoning. You’ve probably heard about deduction, but let’s figure this out anyway.

According to deductive reasoning, a general premise (a fact, rule, belief, or set of circumstances) combined with a piece of evidence (information you already have) leads to a particular conclusion. This “bottom-down logic” method can look like this: 

  • premise: all cats are animals;

  • evidence: Kitty is a cat;

  • conclusion: Kitty is an animal.

Deductive writing follows a logical path, and every step must be reflected in the essay’s structure.

The Structure of a Deductive Argument Essay

Regardless of the topic of your deductive essay, this piece of writing usually follows the same structure outlined below.

  1. Introduction (premise = a well-known fact or a basic idea + thesis statement).

  2. Main body (it consists of reliable arguments – something you have observed or analyzed; you should refer to authoritative scholarly resources or scientific findings to support your viewpoint): 

  • supporting evidence 1;

  • supporting evidence 2;

  • supporting evidence 3.

  1. Conclusion (a concluding statement aims at reinforcing your thesis).

Once your outline is ready, you may wonder about the peculiarities of a deductive writing style.

Deductive Writing Style

Logical reasoning plays the primary role in a deductive argument essay, but the way you present your thoughts is also important.

First, make sure the reader will interpret your thoughts easily – be concise and clear. Don’t make the sentences too long – it hinders readability. As for the paragraphs, it’s better when they are equal in length. 

It’s crucial to support each argument with evidence. Next, draw a conclusion from this thought. There are two argument styles: 

  • categorical (use such words as “all,” “none,” “some”): “All mammals feed their children with milk,” “Some politicians lie”;

  • propositional (use “and,” “or,” “if”): “If he is clever, he will pass the exam.”

Deductive Essay Example

Before you start working on the deductive argument essay, look through a deductive essay example. Here are some sample key points. 

  • All people are mortal (introduction). ➔ Socrates is a man (main part). ➔ Socrates is mortal (conclusion).

  • If a quadrilateral is a square, then its diagonals are equal (introduction). ➔ Quadrangle ABCD is a square (body). ➔ The diagonals of the quadrilateral ABCD are equal (conclusion).

  • All stars radiate energy (introduction). ➔ The Sun is a star (main body). ➔ The Sun radiates energy (conclusion).

  • Anyone with a long, bushy mustache cannot smoke a cigar to the end (introduction). ➔ Colonel Morin had a long mustache (main body). ➔ Colonel Morin couldn’t smoke a cigar to the end (conclusion).

Deductive Essay Topics

What do you want to write about? Analyze global themes: art, sports, news, politics, religion, psychology, literature, people, technology, science, and so on.

Then, you need to choose something more specific (like UN sustainable development goals, Flemish painting, neurolinguistic programming, and the Afghanistan conflict). Remember that deductive essay topics must advocate a point of view on a controversial issue. 

Here are some deductive argument essay topics to choose from. 

  • Depression: An Illness or a Habit?

  • Monarchy vs. Democracy

  • Good Lies vs. Bad Truth

  • Ethical Perspective of Cloning

  • Influence of Marketing on Children

Inductive vs Deductive Essay

A deductive essay stands for using general facts to reach a specific solution. The opposite to deductive writing is the inductive one when several particular cases suggest a general rule. For example:

  • Jupiter is moving. Mars is moving. Venus is moving;

  • Jupiter, Mars, and Venus are planets;

  • All planets are moving.

The first two premises are specific, while the last one brings them together.

The disadvantage of induction is the high likelihood of mistakes as there can be exceptions in any group. Even if a set of objects from a certain group is characterized by some feature, it doesn’t mean that all objects are the same.


Steps to Write a Deductive Argument Essay

To compose an essay in a deductive writing style, begin with a proper organization. It is better to complete the task following the steps below.

  1. Choose the general topic and narrow it to a specific subject to interest the reader.

  2. Prepare the outline, thinking about the thesis statement and key arguments you want to present. 

  3. Discuss your thesis with a friend or colleague. It’s great if they have a different opinion - it will help you enhance the reasoning and come up with extra arguments to support your main point. 

  4. Do research – in a deductive reasoning essay, you need to back up your arguments with trustworthy data. Remember that figures and facts are a great method of persuasion. 

  5. Be sure to mention the sources of borrowed information. There are several ways to cite them. For example, philologists often use the MLA citation style, while historians turn to the Chicago format.

Conclusion

Check the text for grammar errors and unnoticed typos as they make your deductive argument essay look raw and unprofessional. Also, avoid

  • incomplete phrases and illogical transitions between paragraphs;

  • fuzzy statements and weak arguments;

  • incorrectly styled links.

Never underestimate the power of editing and proofreading – thanks to these finishing touches, your text will look outstanding.