When a tutor doesn’t provide you with a specific subject for the term paper or essay, the first thing you need to embark on is to try to come up with viable essay ideas. From these ideas, you will know what to research before you can start the writing process.
Idea generation is considered the most creative and least methodical step among professional essay writers. While you can use tons of ways to create ideas, you will find that there isn’t a definite one that can help you generate a great one.
As such, you need to begin by understanding the assignment that’s at hand. Understanding it involves determining what you are required to write about. While at it, make sure you know how to answer questions such as:
- How many words or pages does the tutor require?
- How much time do you have to get all this done?
- Do you need to relate your paper to everything that you have been studying?
- Will you need to undertake your research, or can you cite the sources already taught in your coursework?
- What kind of constraints can you expect to encounter when tackling the assignment?
Only then can you start using the following tips to create essay topic ideas:
By now, you are probably already well-versed with this technique. It works by setting a time limit for yourself, e.g., sixty seconds or a few minutes. Within that time, you will need to jot down all the words that cross your mind when you contemplate the task at hand.
Your focus should be on writing down simple words or short phrases. Remember that this isn’t the time for you to start worrying about whether what you have written makes sense to you or not. Additionally, essay ideas don’t have to make a complete sentence for it to make sense.
When trying to find essay ideas, the purpose of brainstorming is to allow your brain to think freely. It’s intended to deter you from having to worry too much about what you may or may not know.
2. Free Writing
Freewriting, when looking for essay ideas, is very similar to brainstorming. However, the technique requires less reflection, thereby making it faster and more efficient. You will need to give yourself a broad topic to contemplate.
From here, grab a word processor or a pen and a notepad and proceed to write continuously for around four minutes. You shouldn’t allow yourself to stop, not even for a single moment, as this may interfere with the thought process.
The trick is to ensure you have written everything that crosses your mind, even if you consider it nonsensical. As long as it’s related to the topic at hand, then it continues to remain valid. If possible, you could even time your progress to make sure you will write continuously.
3. Consider Your Life Story
Taking a look at your life story is more about taking an inner look. Here, you will need to ask yourself a series of questions such as:
- Is there something you know that others don’t?
- Are there things that you understand which the everyday person can’t or doesn’t?
- Do you possess any special knowledge or practical experience in this subject?
If the answer to any of the questions above was Yes, then it means that you are in the right direction to figure out what to write about. Focusing on something you understand or know to do can serve as an excellent idea for an essay.
4. Speed Writing
Traditionally, when you begin to write an essay, your focus will be on what you would like to say. You will also be worried about grammar and spelling. Your creativity is bound to become impacted when you start worrying too much.
Speed writing works well when generating essay ideas as it allows you to note down all your ideas on paper as fast as you can. Your focus on this technique is on the contents and not on other issues, such as whether your spelling and grammar are correct or not.
5. Let Ideas Flow
Generating college essay ideas also requires you to let some ideas go. What this means is that you shouldn’t get too attached to the first good idea that comes into your mind. While it may seem like a good one at first, it may also become a dud when the research process begins.
You should allow yourself enough time to give each idea some critical thought. Note that thinking of other topics doesn’t mean that you are getting rid of the issue. It just means that you can always come back to it at a later date.
6. Refer to Your Course Textbook
Considering how far you have come in your studies, you should have known by now that the ideal way to study involves focusing on chapter questions, graphs, and bullet points. If you are stuck on how to get ideas, try to review the pictures and the subheadings.
Going back to them will act as a reminder of what’s relevant and what’s not. Choosing to focus the essay on a topic already covered in the book implies that you already know what you are doing. From it, you will also get to know which topics are relevant and impress the tutor.
Don’t separate yourself from others as they may be able to help you with your problem. Talking to other people, even if they are your classmates, can prove helpful. If an entire class has to write an essay on one topic, you can collaborate with your peers to form a discussion group.
Use the group to go through the assignment, and listen to what others have to say about it. Getting a chance to express your thoughts aloud can clarify what you believe or like about the subject matter.
Another option is to discuss the matter with the tutor before you start the writing process. Also, don’t be afraid to use your parents as a soundboard for your ideas. If this doesn’t work, turn to an essay writing service to help you generate some ideas on what to write.
Kunal Vaghasiya is the writing adviser for International students that seek rapid paper assistance. Kunal shares helpful suggestions on writing, productivity, study, references. Occasionally Kunal goes off-topic by discussing his personal experience peppered with playful humor.