Top 5 Ways to Brainstorm Essay Topics

When you get an open-ended essay topic, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Without the parameters set up by a specific essay assignment, you can get pretty lost pretty quickly. Brainstorming your own ideas can be time-consuming and difficult, especially if your brain doesn’t seem to be producing much creative juice. When you’re stuck in limbo, struggling to invent even a single exciting essay topic, you need to start trying out some different techniques. Astoundingly, there are several simple strategies that any student can use to brainstorm great essay ideas. Listed below are the top 5 ways that students brainstorm great essay topics.

1. Use a group session

Sometimes it’s too difficult to come up with ideas on your own, and that’s ok; use a group brainstorming session to kick-start those creative juices! Gaining the input, thoughts and arguments of your peers can really aid you (and others!) in your quest for great essay topics. Make sure you brainstorm in a relaxing, stress-free location; this is more likely to inspire creative ideas.

2. Make a mind map

Students in need of great brainstorming strategies have used mind maps for years. This clever strategy involves starting with a basic topic – perhaps something like time or history – and branching out into different categories of the topic. You can also start with a topic word and find a related topic word to pair with it. Branch further out into more unique ideas and you’ll find yourself with more than a few essay topics!

3. Compose a list

This doesn’t have to happen all in one night. Over a few days, carry a list with you of possible essay topics. Every time you have a new idea, record it. You’ll find after a day or two that you’ve probably got at least a few good dozen ideas written down. Now it’s just a matter of picking the one you think you’ll like best!

4. Read, watch and listen

A great way to get a brainstorm flowing is to constantly input new ideas and information. Read interesting journals, watch random shows, or listen to lectures, radio broadcasts – whatever! The key is to stimulate our mind in any way possible for more outpouring of new ideas. The most creative people are the ones that have the most exposure to the most diverse subject, topics, events and other learning.

5. Writing exercises

You may not have your ideal essay topic yet, but with some effort you may! Flip to a random noun in the dictionary or use a random word generator to give you a base word. Write something original and creative around that word or idea. You can do the same thing for bigger issues. This can also be done with a group in a group session.