Learning the most valuable information, writing with the greatest passion, and getting the right grade may all hinge on picking the right topic for an project. While the right topic will make it easy to complete research, and formulate an essay, picking the wrong topic can be disastrous. That’s why we’re taking some time today to delve into tips for targeting the right topic. Here are our topic tips, courtesy of Panther Academic Editing, your source for editing and proofreading services.
Before you even think about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), it’s time to hit the drawing board for a brainstorming session. Take a few minutes to pour out as many ideas as possible. No idea is bad. Just pour out topics and titles as quickly as possible. When brainstorming, it’s best to work fast and freely in order to get the creative juices flowing. Work with peers if you have the opportunity; it can be helpful to bounce ideas off of each other. Once you have a significant list, and have exhausted all of your brainstorming fuel, it’s time to narrow down your choices. Consider your audience, and strive to avoid topic redundancy amongst your peers.
While you’re narrowing down your topics, it’s crucial to consider your audience. Who will be reviewing your essay? Will this paper become published, or is it for your professor’s eyes only? Your audience can have a major impact on applicable topics for an essay, and it’s a consideration you should carry with you throughout the writing process. Consider your target audience’s age, beliefs, education level, interests, culture, and other factors. Shape your topic and thesis to meet the expectations of your audience.
If you’re writing an essay in a lecture hall of 400 students, your professor will surely receive some papers that are redundant. Choosing a unique topic is an easy way to get an upper hand on classmates. Professors find a creative, unique topic fresh, whereas an overused regurgitated paper can make a prof’s eyes glaze over. If you’re settling on a topic, take a quick survey of the students around you, and make sure that you’re researching an idea that is unique.
Research & Flexibility
As you delve into research for your paper, it’s important to remain flexible. Give yourself some wiggle room as far as your topic and thesis are concerned. You may find, as you dig through materials and sources, that your projected thesis is completely invalid. Or, perhaps, you’ll find a better topic along the way. Don’t be afraid to shift topics in the midst of your research, or you could be selling yourself short.
Build Around a Concise Thesis
Somewhere along the research process, you should be able to establish a concrete thesis. As Merriam-Webster defines it, a thesis is “a position or proposition that a person (as a candidate for scholastic honors) advances and offers to maintain by argument.” So, as you’re navigating through research and preparing your topic, continually ask yourself, “What is the point of this essay? What is the statement I’d like to make, and what is my stance on this topic?” When you arrive at an argument that you’d like to formulate, write your thesis down. Keep your thesis statement in mind as you write your essay. Most theses can be precise and may often be summed up in a handful of sentences. Sample theses might include:
- “Plumbing and sanitation efforts may be the most effective use of government aid resources in developing regions which lack adequate water sanitation and hygienic practices because these efforts reduce poverty levels, mitigate the spread of disease, and improve the quality of life of those affected.”
- “Student loans have an adverse effect on the United States economy as a whole. As graduates exit school indebted, they’re less likely to spend money on products and services. Thus, local and national economies suffer from a lack of demand, especially in specific sectors.”
- “Since judicial courts regulate law, and law regulates public freedoms, the public should have an active influence over judicial proceedings. The supreme court currently has little influence from the public and great influence over public law, therefore it should be dissolved and replaced with a general court run by the public in order to better represent the popular interests of that public.”
Each of these theses offers up an idea or argument, and a brief look at the reasoning behind that idea or argument. The writer can then build out support for each claim, thus concretizing their argument.
If you still can’t develop a topic and thesis for an essay, it’s time to use a lifeline. You can always count on your peers for ideas, or, if your professor will allow it, you can ask your teacher him/herself.
Ask Your Peers
Your peers can be a wealth of knowledge, and can provide you with help in order to find a topic and find research tools. Call upon peers in your class if you’re struggling to hone in on a topic. A fellow classmate may have a few gems that they aren’t using for their paper. Or, perhaps, they may be presenting a thesis that may have an opposing argument; you can utilize an opposing argument to compose your paper.
Ask Your Prof
Professors often provide topic ideas for students. If your professor carries regular office hours, stop by to bounce ideas off of them. It shows initiative, and it’s the best way to assess viable topics. Plus, it’ll give you some insight into your audience’s preferences (After all, it’s likely that your professor is your audience.).
If you still can’t settle on a topic, don’t sweat. We provide writing coaching services alongside our editing and proofreading services. We’ll work with you to seek out the right topic for your project, and we can aid you to organize your thoughts and research into a well structured, concise essay. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our editing, proofreading, and writing coach services today!