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How To Come Up With Original And Creative Essay Topic Ideas On Your Own

A great essay starts with a great topic. There are several characteristics that make an essay topic stand out:

  1. It presents a clear argument, position, or opinion.
  2. Good essay topics aren’t vague. They’re very specific, and they require the author to engage in critical thinking and research to present their opinions.

  3. The position can be supported by evidence.
  4. Whether the essay requires researching from many different sources, or the argument is a literary one pulled from one source text, the student should be able to show that their opinion is supported by evidence.

  5. It should be original and creative.
  6. Before settling on a topic, students should do a quick search online to see if the topic has been written about to death. If it’s too cliché or trite, that will hurt their score, no matter how well-written their topic is. Here’s how to choose an original or creative topic:

If a search turns up too many similar essays, and the student really wants to write about that topic, they’ll need to find a new perspective on it. One way to do this is to argue against the most common position that other writers took on the topic. For example, if most authors write about King Lear’s madness as being from one particular cause, the student can try to craft an argument that points to a different cause. Keep in mind that you don’t have to agree with a position to write about it—you’re just trying to demonstrate your ability to support an argument with evidence. Have fun with it! Write about something you disagree with just to challenge yourself. Choose a topic that, at first glance, seems ridiculous. After all, the most common topics will be those that practically go without saying. If you choose a topic that’s a bit on the silly side, but are able to craft a well-supported argument for it, you’ll impress your instructor enormously.

Ask yourself what questions you want answered about a topic, and then research the answer. If there’s a readily apparent answer that doesn’t require research, it’s probably not an original or creative topic. If, however, finding your answer requires some investigation and in-depth research, you’ve found a question that’s original and will provide you with great material for your essay. Satisfy your own curiosity!

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