How to Pick an Essay Topic and Score a High Grade

If you ever face education system, you will undoubtedly ask yourself, how to pick an essay topic? It’s natural because every student will be writing many essays of all kinds and types. For some of them, you’ll receive specific prompts, but for others, you’ll have to come up with ideas by yourself. This is where most students face problems: they simply don’t know what they should write about.

How to choose a topic that would be interesting both for you and for your audience? What could you impress your professor with and how easy writing an essay like this could be? We’ll help you find an answer to all these questions.

Steps You Need to Take When Settling on an Essay Topic

There are many ways in which people could start selecting a good essay topic. The first and major thing to understand is that a person should have a personal interest in the theme they decide on exploring. But this only makes the necessity of choosing all the more difficult, so here is what you should do.

  • Pay close attention to instructions.

Students should read the instructions as attentive as possible. They cannot decide on the topic before figuring out what’s needed from them as there may be confusing sentences or vague demands. Sure, asking professor for clarifications could seem like an embarrassing chore, but trust us: it is best to do it sooner than risk spending your time on a paper that will fail at meeting content requirements. When a person gets a solid idea of what an assignment entails, they could start looking for good essay topics to write about.

  • Brainstorm as hard as you can.

Begin with thinking about your preferences. Maybe you’ve watched an interesting show recently — some plot from it could be your new study subject. Perhaps your friend described some great book they’ve just read, and you were curious about it, too. Why not turn a part of it into an assignment? Ideas are everywhere, wherever you look, you should just know how to recognize them.

  • Look for new and fresh perspectives.

It never hurts to discuss everything with your friends, other students, or even teachers. They could give you amazing essay writing tips that you haven’t thought of. Internet is also the place where you could receive assistance. Look through lists with various offered topics — maybe you’ll find an inspiring one.

  • Turn on creative thinking.

If all other steps were inefficient and a student still found nothing that interests them, they should start looking at an upcoming essay from a creative angle. What would be the funniest or craziest thing to explore? Make a bet with yourself: write about the first thing you see on the street or turn the first phrase someone told you into a topic. The opportunities are endless! 

Methods Showing How to Pick a Topic Once and for All

After writer is done picking a theme, it is time for carefully testing it. They should compose detailed outline first. Is it an easy process? Are there enough points to cover? If not, they might have to go back and focus on another option. Then, use the source search method. Are there any credible books or articles you could use for this paper? In case one loves the topic but cannot find anything for supporting your views with, it won’t be a good choice. By using these methods, students would be able to rule out unfortunate options and focus on the most successful one.

Key Points to Consider When Deciding on a Topic

There are three major points students must take into consideration during their brainstorming. First, select the topic you like. If it is boring, your audience will surely believe the same because of your uninspired performance. The second point is, compose an overview of the number of useful sources. You won’t be able to write anything solid without it. Finally, if you’re unsure about your topic in any way, ask your supervisor about it. It’s better to resolve any potential issues before they emerge!

Do’s and Don’t’s Every Student Should Remember

As you’re dwelling on an academic essay topic, there are tips along with precautions you should heed. They’ll be helpful no matter what type of writing assignment you are working on. Based on what we’ve already suggested, let’s summarize them.


  • Actively seek advice about the topic, be it from your friends or teacher.
  • Consult with other papers you wrote for seeing if there are deeper perspectives you could explore an already familiar subject from.
  • Choose new and reliable academic sources for support.


  • Avoid choosing a unique topic that you would not be able to explore properly.
  • Don’t copy passages from old essays, not even if you wrote them. That would count as plagiarism.
  • Never choose general topics (unless you were asked to do it).

Common Mistakes Made by Students

A major mistake concerns selecting general subjects to write an essay on. A topic should always be specific and distinctive — otherwise, a person won’t have a convincing argument to make. Another mistake lies in doing everything alone. Sure, if they’re an experienced writer, it could work, but most students need assistance, whether it is with selecting a theme, looking for sources, writing, etc.

Narrow It Down and Have Fun Writing

A student could always start with a generic topic before moving to narrow it down. For example, they chose “War.” Writing about every war in existence would take them ages, so they have to make it more specific. This person choose a specific war, such as “WW2.” Still, it’s way too broad: they should move on toward a concrete battle or resistance movement. That’s it, they can start searching for useful books now!

By following the tips suggested above, you won’t have to wonder about how to choose a topic to write about. Stop at something you think is captivating, research it, discuss it with others, and turn a boring exercise into something fun. This is guaranteed to make your college experience more pleasant! 

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Elizabeth Baldridge
Elizabeth Baldridge

Elizabeth provides educational materials, conducts research, explores and solves student challenges. Her posts are always helpful, innovative, and contain interesting insights.

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