Sometimes just starting our essay writing is the biggest challenge we face as writers and students. This can be especially difficult when we are not given an essay topic. Even creative essay writers can sometimes be stumped for good essay topics when they are staring at that blank page. Sometimes it can feel like staring into a black hole of infinite possibility and infinite emptiness. Let’s look at how to pick ourselves up, find a topic and get started.
How I Feel Makes a Big Difference in How I Think.
We have all heard it before, almost any ideas can become a persuasive essay topics. So, why is it so hard to get started? The first thing we often have to overcome is ourselves and our attitude. Before I begin going through some specific tactics and practical advice for coming up with great essay topic ideas, I want to share with you how I have often gotten out-out of the slump by challenging my attitudes. For me, this has been the key.
I Don’t Have to Prove Myself.
To get grades, I have to fulfill criteria and show how I have listened and read through the course. I do not have to prove my intelligence, and no lecturer gives extra marks to clever students. This might seem obvious, but I will admit to you that I have had some trouble letting this sink in, and I know a number of other students I know have felt similarly compelled to try to prove something about themselves in the topics they choose and how they write about them. This is not as helpful as you might think. Maybe you are an especially clever student, and perhaps you are not, it isn’t important. Trying to think of that perfectly clever topic or question is only going to cost you time and self-doubt, and it won’t give you any returns in grades.
I have to play the mental game.
Perhaps you could write it off as trying to kid yourself when I tell you to tell yourself you love what you are doing and you are excited about the topic. Try reading the biographies of great achievers in sports. They are all telling their stories about playing the mental game. They are programming their minds to push harder, swim faster and to train longer. When they hate it, they remember they love it. When they are tired and want to quit they realize that they have another 20% always left in some reserve, they conjure in their imagination. I, as a writer, also have to play the mental game. “I love this topic.” “It’s going to be fascinating to explore this topic for the next week or two.” If we bring a good attitude to our task, we will find it easier to get an essay topic down and get started refining our research and constructing our argument.
Practical Tactics to Think of Good Essay Topics
When we are looking at that blank page as though it is a mirror of our blank minds, we know we are already in the mental game. If it is hard to break out of that rut with attitude alone then sometimes it helps to put some of these practical tactics into play. Maybe it will be easier to improve our attitude when we see some progress is being made.
I Have to Get Out of Myself and into the Essay Topic
A solitary human can and has come up with a number of great ideas, but all in all, our minds work socially. Sometimes it is a great way to lubricate the gears of your creativity if you can break out of yourself and listen to what is said and thought elsewhere. This much more than looking for an opportunity to swipe an idea from elsewhere. You are very likely to think of something original in response to some other stimuli. We have to start somewhere before we can get anywhere.
Get to Google: Blogs, Vlogs, Podcasts and Forums
I believe essay topics are everywhere. Try the forums of the field you are studying. Maybe you are looking for compare and contrast essay topics, but regardless of what you are looking for there is a lot of inspiration to be found. The best inspiration can be found where people are genuinely enthusiastic about the fields of interest. I would ask Google to show me where the blogs, vlogs, podcasts and forums are. I want to listen to the different ways other people talk about topics in the field for which I want to write my essay. This is where I would start writing my essay topic list, which is just a list of key ideas I hear or read other people are talking about.
Conflict, Conversation and Creativity
Where is the drama? Where are people arguing about the issues of the field? Which ideas do you agree with and which do not sit comfortably with you. Try talking people about your college essay topics. You could even try arguing. Maybe you naturally disagree; perhaps you want to play Devil’s advocate to explore an idea you haven’t given a lot of weight to in the past. This is not only useful in considering argumentative essay topics, but even just for expanding our thinking and exploring a new way of expressing our ideas. Our minds will become more active and creative when we are trying to solve a problem and conflict creates problems that we can then solve. If I do this, it doesn’t mean I want to fight with people, but the conversation and conflict is a great essay topic generator.
Don’t be Shy; Ask for Help on your Essay Writing Topics
Most tutors are happy to talk with students who come to see them well before the due date. Don’t be worried. I’ll let you in on a secret. Intelligence does not make a tutor as happy as being able to think they were the one who inspired greatness in one of their students. Go for it; ask them for essay help. Find out what sort of topics have been done in the past and ask them what they think are the areas that will be the most useful to focus on in order to keep to the aims of the ‘learning aims’ of the program. They’ll love it.
Good Planning Leads to Easy Essay Writing
This one is not an emergency solution. Nonetheless, it can go a long way towards preventing the problem of writer’s block stopping you from thinking of essay topics for college or school in the future.
Find a shorthand way of recording the key points from the readings you do and the lectures you hear. Make a point of noting where you read or heard them so you can go back to the source later, if the idea leads to inspiration. Right down the thoughts, you have while you study and perhaps you could even keep a learner’s journal of your progression through the program. These notes could be on the cards, in an exercise book, recorded audio or online using a cloud-based note app which you share between your devices. Anyone of your recorded ideas could form the basis of your future essay topic sentence.
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