How to choose the right topic for an essay

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Typically, most students receive the topics from their professors to use for their writings. However, sometimes it is necessary to do it by yourself. And this is really hard! The main reason is that there is a wide choice of various topics and it becomes a real struggle to choose one. At the same time, you can consider some ideas to find something that will make your writing successful.

First of all, consider the personal interest. If you will be actually interested in some topic, it will be easier to develop it in your paper. Choose several essay topics that you are curious about and think about which one you would like to research. Do you want to learn more about something? The more interesting your topic will be, the more motivated you will be to learn about it. And it will not only make it easier to write about but also increase your chances for a great result.

The next issue to think about is scope. Try to analyze whether your topic is narrow enough to use it for your essay. If the research question is too broad, you will find too much information and data and it will be hard to focus. You need to consider the length of your assignment — whether it is a 2-page paper or a semester one. It is evident that the topic you choose should be reasonably addressed in the essay length you have. Try to narrow down your topic using more specific aspects like time period, region, groups involved, and so on.

Next, think about the goal of your essay. Whether you are supposed to compare and contrast an issue or to persuade someone in your point, you will need to choose a certain type of essay. This will define your further approach to the topic and research. It is also a good idea to present both sides of an issue in the paper to make the argument stronger.

Finally, you need to consider resources. Academic writing requires the use of reliable sources even if the topic is simple and you don’t need any additional materials. The thing is that everything that does not belong to common knowledge must be supported by an authoritative source, which you will also indicate at the end of your paper. Also, you need to understand if there is enough information on your topic and you will be able to use it. It is relevant to become acquainted with the requirements for the authoritative sources before using them in your paper.

So, when you finally chose the topic, you need to turn it to the research question. Try the method of five W’s: What? When? Where? Why? Who? It will help you to concentrate on certain issues rather than describe the question abstractly. Remember that the right topic will make your paper successful and writing it much easier for you.


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