Guidelines on How to Choose an Essay Topic

As a student, one of the most challenging things you may face when it comes to essay writing is the pressure to choose a topic. It can be tough to identify a subject that is both interesting and has enough research material available.

Selecting an essay topic

However, with a few helpful tips, you can learn how to pick an essay topic that will ensure that your paper is engaging and informative.

  • Consider the assignment requirements

Your essay assignment may come with specific requirements, such as a word count or particular topics that are allowed. Before choosing a topic, make sure to review the assignment instructions to ensure that you meet all the criteria. You do not want to spend time researching a topic only to find out that it is not within the scope of the assignment.

  • Brainstorm ideas

Brainstorming is an excellent way to generate ideas for your essay topic. You can create a list of subjects that you find interesting or topics that you would like to learn more about. From this list, narrow down the options to the ones that you believe would be the best fit for your essay.

What is a narrowed topic?

A narrowed topic is a specific aspect of a subject that is focused enough to research in-depth. A narrowed topic will help you to create a more organized and coherent essay that is not too broad or too narrow.

A topic that is too broad can be overwhelming, and you may find it challenging to create a well-structured and focused essay. On the other hand, a topic that is too narrow may not have enough research material, and you may struggle to find enough information to support your thesis.

To ensure that you have the right balance, consider using the following strategies to narrow down your topic:

  1. Use specific keywords to refine your search

When researching a topic online, use specific keywords to filter your search results. This will help you find more focused and relevant information.

  1. Conduct preliminary research

Before finalizing your topic, conduct preliminary research to determine if there is enough material available for your thesis. This will help you avoid the frustration of not being able to find enough research material later on.

  1. Reframe your topic as a question

Reframing your topic as a question can help you focus your research and ensure your essay is more structured and coherent.

  1. Consider the perspective of your audience

When selecting a topic, it is crucial to consider the perspective of your audience. What would they find interesting? What questions would they want to be answered? Will they like what will be the topic of the essay?

In addition to narrowing down your topic, it is also vital to ensure that your topic is relevant and timely. A topic that is too dated may not capture the attention of your audience, while a topic that is too current may not have enough research material available.

To ensure that your topic is relevant and timely, consider the following:

  • Stay up-to-date with current events: Keep an eye on current events and trends to identify timely and relevant topics.
  • Read relevant literature: Read books, articles, and other publications to stay up-to-date on current research and trends in your field of study.

Narrowing a Topic

To narrow down your topic, you can ask yourself questions such as, “What is the main idea of this subject?” or “What aspect of this subject do I find most interesting?”

Narrow topic examples

To provide you with an idea of how to narrow a topic, here are some examples:

  1. Broad topic: History of the Civil War

Narrowed topic: The Role of Women During the Civil War

  1. Broad topic: Climate Change

Narrowed topic: The Effects of Climate Change on Polar Bears

  1. Broad topic: Social Media

Narrowed topic: The Impact of Instagram on Teenage Body Image

What is the topic of the essay?

Once you have narrowed down your topic, you should be able to identify the main idea of your essay. This is what will be the topic of the essay. The topic is what your essay will revolve around, and it should be clear and concise.


The subject of an essay is an essential step in the writing process. To pick an essay topic, you should consider your interests, and the assignment requirements, brainstorm ideas and narrow down your topic. By following these tips, you can identify a topic that is engaging, informative, and well-researched.