Answered By: Hillary Fox
Last Updated: Oct 28, 2015     Views: 72

Consider your audience, purpose, and requirements of your writing assignment.

Doing this allows you to choose a topic that is appropriate for your assignment and audience. Identify your audience, or who will be reading your paper. Think about your purpose of your assignment; do you need to compare and contrast, inform, or persuade?

In addition, review the requirements of your assignment. How many pages does it need to be? When is it due? How many sources are needed? Refer to your class notes or syllabus for this information, and ask your instructor if needed.

Use your experiences.

If you are given a very broad topic, referring to your knowledge, experiences and interests may help you pick one with more focus. Think about any personal interest or skill that may have a connection with your assigned topic. Choosing something that interests or excites you can provide a very good start for your assignment.

Explore your topic.

Sometimes you can choose a topic by brainstorming, making lists, or asking yourself questions about it. Concept mapping can also be helpul in exploring at topic (for more information, visit our Concept Mapping tutorial). You may also try to explore your topic from different angles or perspectives, perhaps framing it like a debate where you can take a side. Try talking about topics with others; they may have good ideas or suggestions.

Look at information in encyclopedias, almanacs, or course materials.

If you feel stuck on choosing a topic or don't know a lot about it, look at class materials such as textbooks, notes, or discussions. Consult with encyclopedias, almanacs, or guides to a subject. Referring to these could also help with finding a topic that interests you.

For more information on Choosing a Topic, including examples, click here.

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