How to choose essay topics effectively? Part 1

Choosing a essay topic can permanently stall your writing process. Sometimes students simply do not know what to write about. Apart from cases when professor formulates exact essay topic, theme selection may be limited to narrowing of a given direction, choosing from a list of topics or “free-floating”. Further I would like to consider each of these types more closely.

Narrowing of a given direction.
This type implies that you have been given some general direction for essay topic. For instance, to write an essay on Texas culture. This topic is too broad and needs to be narrowed down to a single issue or question. For example, you would like to write about rodeo in Texas as vital part of Texas culture. Then you should formulate a topic, which in this case may sound like this: “History and development of rodeo in Texas”.

At the same time, while choosing your essay topic, you should take into account for whom do you write it. In other words, if you are enrolled in Master’s program, your essay can and must significantly differ from a freshman’s essay. Ask yourself: “Who will read my essay and what he / she expects from me?” Originality, wonderful reasoning, strong argumentation, demonstration of professional skills, or maybe something else? Answering this question is important step in essay preparation process, which surely will improve quality of your paper.

Choosing from a list of topics.
This option is easier than the previous one, but still requires a review of what you understand best, or would like to find out. Typically, during choosing a topic from a list essays, professors assess knowledge and experience you already have on a particular topic. When writing such essays try to answer the following question: “What author’s position could you express on the chosen theme?”.

Second part of the post is available here.

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#WritingProcess : How to choose essay topics effectively? Part 1
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