Come up with a Good Topic

If you haven’t been assigned to a particular topic, you are likely liable to go through the hardest step in academic writing, generating ideas. In fact, there is a couple of ways to explore ideas but no sure fire method to come up with a good topic.

Given that, the following lines are meant to provide some pointers, or rather hacks, to master the art of brainstorming.

Without any doubt, having a clear image of your assignment is the key to writing effectively. That said, students need to determine the scope of what they can write about, the required length and the given time. It is important to understand whether their paper should relate to their classroom activities and sources or not.  

Common Tips for generating topic ideas

Getting started is typically the hardest part in the process of writing. Yet, the following simple strategies can help the flow of ideas.

Talk about it

Discussing ideas with a teacher or fellow student is a simple technique to find new avenues to explore ideas. This can uncover ideas you might not have considered.

Jot down ideas

Make a list of ideas as many as you can. Try to make point form notes on them as you go. It is crucial to keep writing even if it doesn’t seems clear since this is what drafting is. You can drop out ideas or cluster important ones together. It is possible to draw connections between them on the page.

Free write

Free writing is similar to brainstorming, but it is somehow faster and less reflective. Give yourself a broad topic to write about. Then, on a pad of paper, write continually for three or four minutes. The strategy is to keep going.

Write down anything that comes to mind, no matter how nonsensical it seems, as long as it somehow relates to the topic you began with.

When you’re done, read through what you’ve written and identify any useful ideas that have come out of free writing.

You may only use one strategy to come with lots of ideas, but in fact, there are infinite ways for finding brilliant ideas.

Don’t follow a logical order

It is said that good ideas often have strange origins. It does not matter how you get your idea; what matters is that you find a good one.

Avoid being general

Your first good idea won’t take the form of a final thesis statement, and in this sense, you need to work from general to specific. Think of a broad topic that you can narrow down to make it more precise.

Maintain the flow of ideas                                          

Don’t be critical of your ideas at this stage as it can hinder your creativity. You need to mind that creative momentum is important: the first five thoughts might be irrelevant, but the sixth could be pure gold. Thus, don’t shut down your thought process at the second.

Don’t be selective at first

Don’t get hooked to the first topic you came up with. It might be a great idea, but it also might turn out to be a dud once you start researching. Thinking about a new topic doesn’t mean giving up an old one.

Keep a notepad close

Good ideas will often cross your mind when you least expect it. When they do, make sure that you can hold onto them. It is possible to come up with their best ideas when driving or before falling asleep. It is useful to keep a notepad close.

Once you are done with ideas, you’ll need to start working on your thesis statement and planning your paper’s structure. It is possible to go back to the ideas above whenever you struggle with coming up with a good thesis on your topic. This is natural.