One of the most challenging parts of academic writing is brainstorming for the paper’s subject. If your teacher gave you the freedom to choose, you must take advantage of it. But whether you are choosing a topic for a research paper or essay, you will find yourself lost along the way. You will not be productive and might feel forced to finish if you select something you do not like. It only reveals that your motivation to work on your project highly depends on your final choice.
Because your entire work depends on it, you must decide carefully before drafting. You do not want to pause halfway, regret your decision, and start all over again. By doing this, you will waste your time, energy, and effort that you could have dedicated to other tasks. So, it would be best to take your time to brainstorm and research. In this article, you will learn how to choose a topic for your essay. But you can also use the following tips in any writing task you will have in the future.
- Choose something familiar to you
In your paper, you are expected to discuss your thoughts and insights. Moreover, your overall analysis is based on your understanding of the topic. This means that your background knowledge about the subject is crucial in the outcome of your work. If you do not know much about it, you will struggle and be stuck on an essay without progressing.
So, it would help to select something known or familiar to you. This way, you do not have to read extensively about the subject just to say something about it. Moreover, it will be the best time to showcase your prior knowledge about other things in life. Through this, your teacher will also see you differently and will learn something about you, too.
However, you can also get help from resources found online. For example, if you need a list of problem solution topics, you can find them on EssayZoo.org. Sometimes, it is reasonable to look for other prompts to help you narrow down your options.
- Look for something that you like best
Besides your background knowledge, it would help if you opt for something you like best. This way, you can confidently say, “The main reason why I chose this topic is my interest in it. I feel happy while writing because of it.” Your motivation will not deplete because you know you like the subject of your work. Similar to doing other tasks, you are most happy to do something you love. Do what you love so that you will love what you do.
But if you cannot think of one thing among others, it would be best to list them first. Then, write all topics you want to work on and start eliminating those that seem complicated. Also, you must consider the two factors discussed below. When you are done with brainstorming, you can also use the internet to search for specific prompts related to your listed ones. Some articles include timely questions that you can consider as well.
- Find out if there are sufficient resources
As mentioned previously, you must consider the available materials before deciding on the topic. Because aside from your insights, you must also cite references from credible sources in your paper. In academic writing, they are necessary to prove your argument. Your work will be filled with your ideas alone without them, which is not ideal for this kind of task.
If you need a topic with several resources, you can consider making essays on world war 2. Because it is a significant historical event, many documentaries, news reports, or personal anecdotes are available. It will also be a great subject if you are taking a social science or history program. But if you are not interested in history, you can opt for those related to medicine, technology, or business. You can use Google Scholar to look for credible resources and relevant issues.
- Consider the type of essay assigned
As a student, you are expected to read your teachers’ instructions before doing your project. Teachers typically provide a document containing all necessary guidelines you must follow in the activity. This will help you know what to do and what to avoid. But if you do not read the material thoroughly, you might produce an output that is not aligned with your teacher’s instructions. As a result, you might have to repeat your work or receive a low score for it. So you must understand everything first so that you can adjust and be specific in searching for a topic.
If your teacher asks you to make easy how-to essays, you must stick with that. No more, no less. You cannot choose unrelated ones because it will violate the guidelines given. For example, if you need a topic for an argumentative paper, it would be best to opt for something debatable and not factual. By doing this, you meet the criteria set by your teacher in the scoring rubric.
- Ask your teacher
Asking your teacher for essay or research topics might be your last option. But some people think that it is the best one because you consider the person grading your paper. If you know what they like, you can get into their good side. They might even give you positive feedback for this. Moreover, you can ask them for good topics that may otherwise be unfamiliar to you if not for them. You can also get some tips on how to write your paper using the subject they have suggested.
In conclusion, choosing a topic for your writing task is not a walk in the park. First, you have to think about your background knowledge and interest in life. Also, it would be best if you considered several things, such as available resources and activity guidelines. But if you are still lost, you can seek advice or help from your teacher. Finally, remember that whatever you choose will determine your motivation, which will affect the outcome of your paper.
Cody Rhodes is a learning specialist at essayzoo.org, he designs and delivers learning initiatives (both in class and online) for a global and internal audience. He is responsible for on-going development, delivery and maintenance of training. He has the ability to manage competing priorities to execute on time-sensitive deliverables within a changing environment. He contributes in continually improving the team’s processes and standards and works as a member of the team to assist with team initiatives.
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