Picking Your Essay Topic

Updated: Oct 14, 2016

The main starting point when writing an essay is to choose your topic. If you have already been assigned a topic by your instructor, you have an advantage. If you are required to choose your own topic, maybe based on the course materials or what you have learned, your topic should be something interesting to you. You should be able to easily brainstorm a few ideas to write about. However, keep in mind that your topic describes what your entire essay is going to be about. For example, if your topic is "The Cause of the War in Iraq" you would not write about a children's book.

How to Pick a Proper Topic for Your Essay

Ok, so you’ve been given an essay writing assignment and were given the freedom of picking the essay topic on your own. At first the idea of being able to choose any topic you want seemed attractive, but then you got lost in the options, right? This is a common situation. As a rule, it’s happening due to the fact that topic selection process gives you so many options that you can easily get lost in them without a proper approach. This article, therefore, will provide a basic breakdown of a topic selection process. It will not review cases when you have been already given a topic, but will focus solely on situations when you need to pick one. It would be logical to assume that you already know what subject are the essay needs to be written in – if you receive an essay writing assignment in your Literature class, your essay will focus on Literature; a Philosophy class, in turn, will require a paper about some philosopher and so on.

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Step One: Determine Your Essay Type

Before starting to write an essay or even selecting a topic, you need to consider what kind of paper you want to have at the end of the writing process. Speaking of essays, there is a whole range of essay subtypes, e.g. argumentative, persuasive, informal etc. Each of the essay subtypes requires a special approach. This article tells more about various essay subtypes, you might want to check it out while preparing for the actual essay writing. Different types of essays may impose different requirements on the essay writing process as well as topic selection. For example, an argumentative essay will require that you select a rather controversial topic; otherwise the reader will find the essay not so interesting to read. A comparative essay, in turn, requires that your essay topic introduces two items that are going to be compared: pieces of literature, art, schools of thought etc. We have put together a short list of sample argumentative and compare and contrast essay topics, hope you find some of them useful.

Step Two: Brainstorm

You won’t go far in writing your essay without actually brainstorming for ideas that can be written about. Brainstorming for the possible essay topics can be turned into a quite simple and straightforward process. Before beginning to search for ideas, ask yourself a few simple questions within a chosen subject:

  1. Within the given subject, what aspects do I like most? (e.g. While selecting topics for a Philosophy paper I feel most attracted to Hegel’s school of thought).
  2. Why do you find this topic interesting? (e.g. Because I consider the four concepts of Hegelian Dialectics one of the greatest ideas in Philosophy)
  3. Do you have access to literature on the chosen topic? (e.g. There’s plenty of information on Hegel’s Dialectics at our local library; there is even more available online).

The bottom line is – when selecting a topic for your essay think about those topics that are of most interest to you. This approach ensures that you will have chosen a topic that inspires you and gives you the energy and enthusiasm to work on your paper and complete it successfully. Another point to consider is the availability of information on the topic – if the information is readily available, writing a quality essay would be piece of cake; if it’s not – you might want to look for a different topic.

We hope you find these tips useful. If, however, you are still struggling to pick an essay topic to write on, our writing professionals are ready to provide you the assistance required to accomplish this task. One of the convenient options we offer our customers is a free live support. Our support agents will help you in the topic selection process. If needed, they can ask our professional writers to come up with topics that can be covered. You will then have to simply pick one of the offered topics, place your order and wait until the paper is delivered to you. Please feel free to contact our support team at support@privatewriting.com any time or visit our order page to place your order.

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