The first of the essay writing tips is choosing the topic. It is the very first step in successful essay writing for obvious reasons. You cannot just start writing an essay, first you need to know what your focus is, and then begin writing. You usually have a word limit, and so your text cannot go all over the place.
For one thing, the topic will form the crux of the parts of the essay from the introduction and the body to the conclusion. For another thing, it will set the tone of the essay in terms of the words used, the outline applied and the type of research done. Indeed, most essay writing teachers cannot overemphasize the importance of choosing a good topic.
It may seem difficult to achieve such an initial but important step. However, once the process has started, it will steamroll to the point that the topics just seem to pop out of nowhere, into your head and then on to paper. Here are the steps to achieve this desirable end, or more appropriately, start to essay writing.
There are many types of essays, each one with its own specific purpose although there are commonalities amongst all of them. Zeroing in on the essay's specific purpose achieves many goals, the most notable of which is that the tone of the essay is established at the very first instance. Of course, the statement of the purpose is almost always connected to your personality.
Just for examples, if your personality is persuasive, then an argumentative essay is the right purpose. If you have a knack for comparisons, then the comparison essay is the best path to take. If your adjectives are abundant to answer the questions of what, why, when, where and how, then go for a descriptive or a narrative essay. If your talent is for description of relationships and their importance, then an evaluation essay will get top grades.
The general rule in choosing the topic of the essay is that the more it arouses your interests, challenges your capabilities and affirms your personality, the better you can follow through with the final results. Thus, always look into yourself and determine your interests, hobbies and beliefs, which will offer up a wealth of ideas to expand on later in the essay writing process.
For example, if your interest is in politics, then write down topics of national and international importance in politics that you have been debating about with similar-minded friends. This is true if your interests are in the social, cultural, psychological and economic arenas of life.
Even when you feel that a particular topic has no merit, it is very important to evaluate it along with the rest of the ideas. This way, you leave no room for regrets that a certain snubbed topic could have been made into an excellent essay.
The general guidelines in topic evaluation is that it should be sufficiently general in nature to support extensive research, provide the basis for comprehensive writing and be engaging to a wider set of audience but sufficiently specific so as to focus on one particular aspect of a general issue. In short, you want a topic that will hold your interest as well as the reading public including your teacher.
Needless to say, it is imperative that written records are kept throughout the entire activity of choosing a suitable topic. These notes will serve a valuable point and source of reference later on in the essay writing process.
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