How to Brainstorm a Topic For an Essay

Brainstorming is an excellent way to find a topic for your essay. You should think about all possible ideas, including those that may seem silly. Grab a notepad and a pencil to begin. Think of the easiest thing to write about, such as a single word, and then work your way outwards from there. When you are finished brainstorming, you will have plenty of ideas for your essay.

Ideas from encyclopedias

If you’re assigned to write an encyclopedia-style essay, you’re in for a treat. The encyclopedia article covers the topic in broad, yet concise, terms. The purpose is to give the reader a high-level overview of the topic, not go into exhaustive detail. Your topic should be something you’re personally interested in, but not so far-fetched that you can’t research it for hours.


There are several ways to brainstorm a topic for an essay. One of the most effective methods is brainstorming with someone else. Brainstorming can be very productive if you talk about the topic with a friend or family member. If possible, use your conversation to come up with several ideas for your essay topic. When you are brainstorming with a friend or family member, make sure to keep your topic specific so that you can avoid using the same idea over again.

When brainstorming a topic for an essay, pay attention to the information that excites, angers or thrills you. Use your own life experience to find out what topics interest you. If you have little knowledge about a topic, start by brainstorming ideas for a topic that is related to your life experiences. This will make writing easier. In addition to brainstorming with a pen or pad of paper, you can also consult your noggin to help you narrow down your topic ideas.

Exploring your interests

Students often don’t have a clear direction in mind when they start writing about their interests, but they tend to gravitate toward a general academic area. Alternatively, they may have a vague idea of what they like, but haven’t explored it in detail yet. For example, few students have taken classes in linguistics, anthropology, geology, or other related subjects in high school.

Besides discussing your academic interests in detail, you can also tie your personal passions into your essay. For example, you might discuss how you became interested in environmental engineering after becoming active in Model UN. Your interest in this area combines your background in math and science with your desire to find solutions to global issues related to sustainability. Besides describing your interest, you can also identify specific courses and programs at each college to showcase your knowledge and skills.

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