The first thing to do when you get a writing assignment is to find an appropriate topic (unless you were assigned it to cover). As it turns out, while it’s not the most difficult thing to do, it’s one of the most important factors that will determine your grade. Failing to find a good topic may resultin failing the entire assignment. In thecase of admission and scholarship essays, the topic matters so much that to alarge extent it defines whether you get money or not.
What to write about? Are there any topics you should stay away from? Should you write what you actually think, or what is considered to be the ‘right’ point of view? There are only general answers to these questions, but we will still try to clear it out for you.
Rule #1. Write about exciting things. One of the most common mistakes students make is writing about ‘important’ and ‘current’ issues, while not caring the slightest bit about them. As a result, you don’t get any satisfaction from the work done, and in the most cases the paper is dull and hard to read. There is no doubt that different subjects and different teachers allow various degrees of creativity. So, only a few of them will be OK with a paper about the Jedi Order and symbolism of light sabers. Still, you can always find something you like dealing with, and doing so pays back a lot.
Rule#2.Write what you think, not what you should think. Yes, justifying the 11th of September is not an option.However, having your own opinion and being able to prove it with facts is way better than sticking to ‘what the others think.’
Rule #3.Avoid topics that have already been worn out: the famous person you would like to meet, the person who influenced you the most, the best piece of advice.They have been so overused that you’ll need to useyour creativity to the max to make your piece stand out. It’s simply easier to find a fresh current theme and be a pioneer.
Rule #4.Do not go too far with creativity. Any academic paper is still a conventional assignment. So, please respect the limits. Being funny and unpredictable will do for short essays. Moreover, it is more of a death sentence for dissertations and major research papers.
Last but not least, start early. Never be scared to start everythingfrom the very beginning. If your paper is a half-way done and you realize that the topic you chose was a mistake, drop it and start fresh (if it is allowed, of course). It won’t take you much more time, but might have acrucial effect on the final results.