How to Choose an Essay Topic

Choosing the right essay topic is the first step in independent creative work. The essay topics are given by the teacher or left to the student’s choice (this is called an open-ended essay).

The whole process of writing an essay depends on the chosen topic – the purpose of the work, structure, genre, style, a form of narration, sources of information used by the author. If you need help with essays, get help from the best paper writers to save your free time. The topic of your essay assigned by your teacher may be narrowly focused. You may not have enough information. In that case, it is worth discussing it with your teacher.

Essays classification

The topic of an essay always depends on its type. The formulation of the topic is determined by the genre of the text: for example, an essay explanation often involves a long topic with a specific question, while an essay description can be titled briefly, such as “View from the Window.” Let’s take a closer look at the types of essays in different classifications.

Types of essays by genre

By genre, essays can be divided into two large categories: traditional genre essays and non-traditional genre essays.

Within the traditional genres the following types of essays are distinguished:

  • Description – listing the characteristics of an object or phenomenon, the subject being the object itself or a specific aspect of it;
  • Narrative: a narration of a course of events, a story; the theme of the essay corresponds to the essence of the story
  • Reasoning – logical argumentation by the thesis put forward, the opinion of the author.

Examples of topics for an essay of reasoning: “What are the values of life?” or a phrase with the word “thoughts,” “reasoning,” “reflection,” etc. 

Examples of essay-narrative topics: “How I spent my summer”, etc.

Examples of essay-description topics: “Visual Narrative in a TV Series”, etc.

Non-traditional genres of essays are often written in specialized classes with a linguistic or humanities profile and in specialized universities:

  • Diary entry – a small chronological story in literary and everyday style, is written in the first person; the theme is the main event of the text or the date;
  • Journalistic article – information about a social and social phenomenon, news, as well as the author’s reasoning about it; the topic is a current event;
  • Letter – a text for a specific addressee or a group of people, a conversation with an absent person; the subject is the content of the message;
  • Advertisement – a story about the benefits of an object or service in a brief and entertaining form, the subject of the advertisement is chosen.

For non-traditional essay genres, the topic is more often chosen by the learner himself or herself, as they involve more creativity and the expression of his or her point of view.

Types of essays by source

An essay is written based on the author’s thoughts, that is, it is a unique work, not a complete retelling of information, as in an outline or an essay.

Possible sources of information for essays are:

  • Personal experience
  • Literary text
  • A film, television series, cartoon, musical work, etc
  • A picture or series of pictures united by one theme, a master
  • several sources of information

Important! It is recommended to use only a source in which the author is confident. If a quote is used, it must be accurate.

In this case, the topics for the essay can be called: “My observations…”, “Impressions of a book…”, “Description of a picture…”, etc.

Types of essays by style

The topic of the essay affects not only what the essay will be about, but also the style of the text. The following styles are distinguished:

  • Emotionally imaginative essays. Required for artistic description, impressions. Such are essays about paintings, fiction, films, etc. The task of the essay is to convey vivid images in words.
  • Documentary-style essays. In this case, the strictness of presentation is necessary, the use of verified facts. The topic is determined by what the documentary narrative is about.
  • Essays in the scientific style. The text is close in style to scientific articles. Theoretical and experimental knowledge is considered, conclusions are drawn. The subject of the essay is the object of scientific research or area of knowledge.

Topics for emotionally imaginative essays are more often chosen by authors since even the formulation of the topic itself already indicates the author’s main idea.

Documentary-style essay topics are more often chosen from a ready-made list. The specifics of the essay assume that it is a phenomenon studied at a minimal level and that there are credible sources with different opinions from which the author can take the information.

Topics for science-style essays are similar in their rigor of wording to documentary-style essays. The topic in such an essay should not be revealed creatively, but as logically and reasonably as possible.

Criteria for selecting a theme for an Essay

To choose the right topic for your essay, answer the following questions:

  • Am I familiar with the topic material?
  • Am I interested in writing about it?
  • Do I understand the meaning and the point to be made?
  • Do I know pieces of fiction (at least two) that I can use as examples in my essay?
  • Do I have experience in writing essays on such topics?
  • Will I be able to fit my thoughts on the topic into the proper length and finish it in time?

After you’ve chosen a topic, prepare to work on your essay:

  1. Reread the topic, highlighting keywords in it.
  2. Formulate the topic in the form of one or more questions.
  3. Answer these questions in your mind; write down some ideas in the form of notes.
  4. Recall literary works that can be used to illustrate answers and reasoning about it.
  5. Make a plan for the essay.

Important! If you plan to choose a specific topic, prepare quotes from suitable sources, little-known facts that will prove your point of view, opinions of different experts on your topic.

How to Write a Free Theme Essay

Choose a free topic if you know it well and have something to say about it. The advantages of a free topic are that there are no restrictions.

Free Theme essays are written in the format of reasoning, description, narration. They are in all styles and genres.

Regardless of the form of the essay on a free topic standard structure is used:

  1. Introduction
  2. Main part
  3. Conclusion.

The topic of the essay determines the purpose, stylistics, genre, and form of the paper. It is advisable to choose a topic in which the author understands, which he is interested in. If you are not sure that you will write a good essay on your own, check best essay writing service reviews where you can easily find an experienced writer.

Free topics often have non-traditional essay genres. Such a topic is recommended when the author knows exactly what he wants to say, his thoughts are supported by arguments. he has a new perspective on the subject.

You can prepare in advance for an essay on a given topic (if you know what topic you want to write on) by selecting appropriate sources, and writing out quotations that can then be used in the text.

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