Why you should avoid using short essay topics


What is the first your professor sees when he takes your paper to check? Even before reading the introduction, he will for sure check the topic of your paper. If the professor leaves the topic for an assignment open, it means that he needs you to think about it and he wants to read interesting ideas. The topic itself will most likely decide the mood your paper will be read with – choose carefully!

What information shall your topic give the reader?

Your topic shall never be longer than one sentence, but the difficulty of writing a good topic is that you have to include in this one sentence as much information about your paper as you can. This will be especially complicated if you are selecting a topic for a long paper, for example, an extended research paper or for a dissertation. Here is what your topic shall have at least small hints on:

  • Subject of research (as specific as possible). Your reader shall understand what the paper will be about with only reading the title.
  • Type of the essay or paper. You shall not openly state it, you can hint at it with building the sentence in a specific way.
  • The name of the book or article if your paper is a summary or analysis. If you use one book for examples in your research, you shall also mention it.

A short essay topic will look unattractive.

When your professor will take a first look at the submitted paper, he shall make a clear understanding of what your paper will be about just from reading the title. You shall not think that if the title is not specific enough, it will make the reader more interested in reading the whole paper. That rule will be good to apply to introduction, but not the actual title. Unclear title will prevent the reader from understanding the paper and will create a poor Impression about you from the first lines of the paper.

Long, but making sense.

Remember, that just making the topic long and squeezing as much information as you can there will still not do any good if the sentence does not make sense. It has to be, first of all, understandable. When you write the first variant of title, read it out loud or give to somebody else to read. If you cannot make sense of it from the first look and have to re-read it to understand, it is better to think about it for some more time.

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