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Finding efficient ideas for academic essay topics

When you are on the lookout for an academic essay topic, it is important that you look for the following things:

  1. Make sure first and foremost that the topic is something that you are interested in. If you have passion for the subject, if it something that is meaningful to you, then you will truly enjoy the research and writing aspects of it. Your passion will flow through the writing and the reader will notice.
  2. For longer research articles, you will have to work with the subject for weeks. You will need to become an expert in the field. This is aided by a deep love for the topic. If it something you hate, or are uninterested in, then you won’t want to do more research and you will find the subject dull after just a few days.

    If you are unsure of what your passions really are, or you are suffering from writer’s block, you can try some brainstorming exercises to jog loose your creativity. You can try to free write for a few minutes. Free writing allows you to utilize stream of consciousness writing. This means that you can get out any of your thoughts, related to your subject or not, and make way for creativity.

    Try walking around before you sit down to do the brainstorming exercises because a five minute walk/stretching period increases imagination and creativity.

  3. Do preliminary research before you settle on a topic. When you are picking a topic for an academic essay, you need to make sure the item you select fits within the parameters of the assignment. For example, if you are assigned a 3 page paper, you will want a concise and short topic that you can introduce, examine, and conclude all within three pages. If you are writing a ten page paper, you will want a topic that is a bit more substantial. This means that you will want something broader.

But of course, there is the issue of whether there exists adequate published material on the subject. You can find this out by picking your top three ideas from the free write and conducting a general internet search. See what articles exist, if any, in Google scholar or in your library’s academic databases. See if there are enough published items out there that you can use as a potential source. Make sure they don’t all support the opposition too.

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