Wanting to ace that next essay project? If you are into writing, you are one step ahead of your goal. However, whether you have good writing skills or not, you cannot start your essay without a topic. Hence, this article will give you the answer to the question: how to choose the best topic for an argumentative essay.
But first, what is an argumentative essay? Why do you have to define it first?
What is an argumentative essay?
An argumentative essay is a type of written discourse that compels the student to, first, perform an investigation of a topic; then, next, gather, generate, and assess information; and, finally, create a stance on the topic in a summarized method. The reason why it’s important to define it is for you to know that not all topics are applicable and appropriate.
Why Do You Need to Pick an Essay Topic?
Well, there are instances where your teacher is the one to assign a topic for an argumentative paper. If that is the case, you will not be reading this article. However, when your teacher wants you to pick your topic, it is because he or she wants to gauge your critical-thinking skills.
Your teacher is giving you a chance to originate something that interests you. Why? Because many teachers believe that if the student chooses a topic, he or she can write the essay better.
On the other hand, your teacher wants to assess if you truly grasp the nature of an argumentative essay and can identify argumentative essay topics that are open to discussion.
It gives the teacher an inkling if you can talk about points and prove your viewpoint and, at the same time, help him or her measure your skill level in researching and analyzing. So, if your teacher is instructing you to choose your own argumentative essay topic, that means he or she is giving you a favour to enhance your other skills. That also means your chance of acing that argumentative paper, in a big way, depends on you.
So how do you choose a topic for an argumentative essay? Read on.
Brilliant Tips You Can Use in Choosing a Good Argumentative Essay Topic
- Pick something that catches your interest the most.
Since you are going to write for a required number of words (3 to 5 pages usually), you should choose a topic that you are willing to research about. Do note that an argumentative paper requires a lot of research and reading, so picking a topic that you love is imperative. Another thing to consider is your readers. While you want to write something that tickles your fancy, do not forget to pick something that your potential readers would like to read.
- Do not focus on facts alone.
Writing pure facts may not be fun because it won’t allow you to express your thoughts and become creative. Factual data are very hard to expound because they are basically bits of proof.
- Do not pick a topic that is too broad.
One important thing to consider when choosing a topic is the availability of information. However, if your chosen topic has a lot of it, you will have a hard time narrowing it down. In addition, you will have a hard time discussing your points in an in-depth manner. You do not want to be overwhelmed with too much data, do you? If this, somehow, happens, don’t worry. You have the power to narrow things down and choose your focus.
- Avoid any personal stories.
In writing an argumentative paper, you will do a lot of research. When a topic is too personal, how can you find information about it? Also, personal stories make you emotional, and that is something you do not want to reflect in your writing.
- Keep your audience in mind.
As mentioned earlier, consider your audience. It will help if you ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is my target audience (age range, status, level of education, points of interest)?
- What does my audience want to know?
- How can this paper benefit my readers?
Predict how your target audience will want to engage in your points of discussion. Think if your essay can motivate or challenge your readers.
- Find yourself some backup.
If you’re thinking of getting a backup writer, that is not what is meant here. Backup refers to ensuring that you can find ample data that are credible and rational and, most importantly, can support not only your opinions but also the opposing points as well.
- Don’t play it safe.
In choosing the right topic, your first instinct is to play it safe, so you would pick a topic that you think is easiest to write about. However, there is a downfall to this: you will end up having a predictable and lacklustre piece. So how do you keep your essay interesting? Take risks. Brainstorm your ideas, and pick a topic that will challenge you, something that others might try to stay away from. By doing this, you are making another step ahead as your topic will surely stand out.
- Scan your environment.
In choosing a topic, you don’t have to look too far. Most of the time, the very thing you are looking for may be right in front of you. Check your surroundings. What are the people doing? What are the current challenges in the community? What are the possible solutions to the problems at hand? Asking these questions will lead you to the best topic for your paper.
Write to Express, Not to Impress
In writing, you don’t need to brag about your stylistic vocabulary. Your teacher and audience don’t want to read a paper that screams give me the dictionary. Remember, an argumentative essay needs you to express your opinion about a certain topic. So instead of overusing your Thesaurus, pick a topic that allows you to express your thoughts.