Writing Tutorials

Choosing Brilliant Topics for Your Academic Essay

Choosing an essay topic can be difficult, especially if your instructor has given you a very broad topic. Narrowing the general topic down into something fun and exciting to write about is the key to choosing a brilliant topic for your academic essay.

Step One: Narrow Your Topic

If your instructor has given you the topic of medical technology to write about, there are more than 1000 things that you could choose to write. Narrowing down the general topic to a more concise area is going to help you choose your final topic. You can narrow this down by writing everything you know about the general topic onto a sheet of paper. This part of the brainstorming process will help get your ideas going and allow you to see what areas of medical technology you could write about.

Step Two: Pick a Specific Field

Once you’re done with your list of everything you know about your topic, in our example medical technology, you’re going to pick specific elements of medical technology that you would like to write about. Once you have narrowed your topic to something within the general field, you will be ready to finalize your topic selection with a concise topic statement.

Step Three: Topic Statement

A topic statement is different than a thesis statement because you’re not creating the thesis for your essay. In the statement, you’re simply summarizing what the topic of your essay will be. To create a good topic statement, you’ll brainstorm ideas based on your narrowed idea. You can use bubble charting, listing, and cubing techniques to find what you want for your essay topic.

One thing you want to watch out for when selecting a topic statement is to make it broad enough to be able to make an argument or write a thesis. Don‘t make your topic statement so one-sided that you have no choice but to write exactly what your topic statement says. Making a topic statement neutral allows you to choose which side of the argument you would like to make.

Example of Narrowed Topic Choice

General: Medical Technology

Narrowed: Blood Testing and Donation

Topic Statement: How has blood testing affected blood donation?

In our example, our topic statement is asking a question and still allows for the creation of a thesis statement within the essay.