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How to choose a topic for an essay?

 How to choose a topic for an essay?

Choosing an essay topic can put your writing process on hold for a long time, because you just don't know what you're going to write about. Apart from the case when the exact topic of the essay is formulated by your teacher, the choice of the topic can be reduced to narrowing down the direction given by the teacher, choosing from the suggested list of topics or "free floating".

Options for clarifying the topic


Narrowing the given direction
The first of the mentioned cases implies that you were given a certain general direction. For example, essays reviews on the culture of Ekaterinburg. Such a topic is too broad and requires you to narrow it down to a single issue. Suppose, having visited this glorious city, you made a trip along the "Red Line" and now have the idea of opening a similar tourist route in your city. Then you can formulate a theme, for example: "The creation of the "Red Line" in Kostroma". At the same time your work itself can be devoted to what objects of the city can be included in this route, or what benefits the city will receive after the creation of the "Red Line".

Pay attention to who exactly you are writing the essay for. An papersmart review to be turned in to a university teacher will be quite different from an essay turned in when applying to an educational institution, a literary circle, or when applying for a job. What does the person who is going to read your essay expect from you? Demonstration of originality, ability to reason competently and beautifully, professional qualities or something else?

Choice from a list of topics


This option is easier than the previous one, but requires you to analyze what you know best or would like to understand. When choosing a topic from the list given by the teacher, assess what knowledge and experience you already have on a particular topic. What authorial position could you take on the topic?

No topic


The third case is the complete absence of any topic. This option is the most difficult in terms of choice, but it literally opens the door to the world, allowing you to write about whatever you want. To avoid drowning in this ocean of possibilities, first determine what you are most interested in. What do you think about most often? What catches your attention to the point where you forget about everything else? What would you like to improve about your community, your city, and the things around you?

Once you have decided on a direction, find out what you like best. Some people like to vividly describe some events, places, interesting people, amazing things, others like to analyze, others like to write about themselves, and the fourth would prefer to criticize what they don't like. Depending on this, your essay will be descriptive, analytical, reflective, critical, or something else.

Combine a topic of interest to you with the type of essay, sketch out a few variations on the topics. It is not the exact formulation of the topic that is important at this stage, but understanding the essence of the problem and the potential of solving it.

Evaluation of the selected topics

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After selecting specific topics, evaluate each one to see how meaningfully you can cover it. Do you have interesting observations and ideas about the topic, can you surprise the reader with something, and are you inspired to talk about the topic? You must understand that in the course of your work you will have to formulate a certain thesis statement and then prove it reasonably. Will you be able to do this for your chosen topics? What are your trump cards?

When exploring the potential of a topic, pay attention to the availability of literary sources. In some cases, it is more logical to first try to find the necessary information in the sources, and then proceed to formulate your thoughts in the form of an essay. For example, for a topic about the creation of "Red Line" in the city, you may need to analyze the state of the problem today. Find out if you are too late with your idea. Maybe someone has already managed to inspire others to implement it, and is currently conducting the "Red Line" right under your window? What sights in your city deserve to be included in the tourist itinerary? How much money would it take to create such a line?

If the instructor has demanded the agreement of the topic with him, be sure to show him the work plan, the main thesis of the essay and arguments to support it.

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