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How to Come Up with a Good Essay Topic: Tips for Beginners

Getting started is the hardest part of anything you have to do, especially if it’s not something you’re familiar with or enthusiastic about. If choosing an essay topic seems to be a difficult task, or you just don’t know where to start, read some tips and ideas below that may help you.

  1. Find something that truly interests you.

    Teachers often assign a certain topic, so you don't have to go through a lengthy process of choosing on yourself. However, that can’t be viewed as an advantage. Writing about something related to the book you’ve been discussing in class can be a problem, especially if you didn’t enjoy that book or haven’t finished reading it. Being free to choose a topic yourself is a wonderful opportunity to write about things that you know well or find really interesting. You won’t have to try convincing the reader of something that you doubt or even disagree with.

  2. Focus on something you have learned through experience.

    When a topic requires additional research, it may get very time-consuming – up to the point where you lose all your patience and enthusiasm. Using a personal experience means that you already have the information ready, so the only thing that needs to be done is to explain what you have learned from it and why others may find it helpful.

  3. Write about people you like or dislike.

    What personality traits make them so special or so unpleasant? If you admire, respect, or value a person; explain why. Alternatively, you can imagine what it would be like if you were someone of a different age or a different country.

  4. Describe your favorite activity, sport, or hobby.

    You can also select anything that can be placed in a “favorites” category. Write about music, movies, holidays, writers, pets, places you have visited, or moments that you like to remember – any of these can become a good topic for writing.

  5. Imagine something different from reality.

    If you could time travel or become invisible, for example, where would you go and what would you do? If you could change one moment in your own or anybody else’s life, which one would you change and why? If you were able to start your own business right now, write a book, direct a movie, or create a website; what would it be like? Who might be interested in it or who would enjoy the results?

You can start with a list of things that you care about, like to do, or would like to try. At this point, you can write down any ideas to decide which ones are more interesting than the others. They may certainly all look great, but avoid mixing everything up. In your essay, you have to focus on a certain idea instead of simply writing about many different things; make the reader ask “so what?”


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