Writing essays is part of every college student’s experience. While there are times when topics are assigned by your professor, there are also cases when you need to choose your own. But coming up with a topic can be quite challenging, especially since the topic may make or break your essay. A well-chosen topic provides you with a chance to showcase your writing skills, while a poorly-chosen one can easily render your entire essay invalid. Fortunately, there are tips that you can follow to ensure that you choose not only an appropriate topic but a good one.
Relevance to the Course
It goes without saying that to choose a good college essay topic, it should be relevant to your course and to class discussions. For instance, if your course is on history, then it only figures that you should also choose a subject on some aspect of history; if you are writing for a literature class, then your essay should be about a subject related to literature. Keep in mind that college writing is more advanced than high school writing. Therefore, it is expected that the topic is of appropriate depth. In general, avoid topics that are too common, too easy, or too general. Ideally, your essay should have a narrower focus, such as by discussing a specific claim about a particular subject rather than a general overview.
Consider the Type of Essay
You should also consider what type of essay you are writing, since different types have different requirements that must be considered when choosing a good college essay topic. For instance, an expository essay requires an objective discussion based on facts. Examples of this type are compare-contrast essays, process essays, and cause-effect essays. As such, your topic should be one for which there are a lot of information available. Meanwhile, an argumentative essay sets out to defend a specific claim. Therefore, a topic for this type should be debatable. Once you identify what kind of essay you are writing, you will have an easier time coming up with an appropriate topic.
Some topics also have expiration dates. You would not want to write about something that is no longer relevant to the current situation. Writing about a current political issue for a political science class, for instance, is preferable to writing about a political issue that has already been resolved. The more relevant the topic is to the current context, the more engaging your essay will be. If you choose a well-known topic that many have already written about, approach it from a different angle or explore a new side of it. For instance, highlighting the proven effects of climate change can be considered as an outdated topic for an argumentative essay, but new findings on how climate change affects us can be fascinating.
Finally, in order to choose a good college essay topic, go for a topic that is of personal interest to you. This may be something that you have always been curious about, a subject that you believe is important to share with others, or a topic that you feel passionate about. Avoid topics that you find boring, because these will most likely make the writing process dull and may eventually affect the quality of your essay. Having a personal interest on the subject, on the other hand, will give you a sense of wonder, make the writing process fulfilling, and ultimately increase the quality of your essay.
Bonus: Have Alternate Topics
There are cases when writing about your chosen topic proves to be unfeasible. For instance, you may find that information on your subject is scant or simply unavailable. You may also realize that your topic is too complex or too extensive to be covered by your essay. Therefore, it will be better if you have other topics that you can write about in case your first topic needs to be changed. In the end, a good topic is crucial in nailing that college essay. If you still have questions on how to choose a good college essay topic, you can always ask for advice from professionals.