Prewriting: How to come up with an essay or research topic? (Demo)

Writing tutors and teachers know for a fact that students can have a hard time coming up with an essay or research topic. Some resort to recycling overused topics while others become susceptible to discussing a new topic without depth,

Writing will never commence without a topic and purpose in mind. Therefore, answering the “what” and “why” of the writing process becomes valuable. Hence, in developing the topic and determining the purpose, a writer should be able to answer the following questions:

  • What is my topic all about?
  • Why am I writing?

Apart from topic and purpose, it is also important to identify the audience or readers. Doing so entails answering the “who” part of the writing process, specifically by profiling the audience in order to determine their characteristics. This allows a writer to produce content tailor-fitted to the preference and sensibilities of the identified audience.

Take note, however, that a writer should justify his or her reasons for choosing an audience. Thus, apart from answering the “who” part, the writer needs to integrate the “what” and “why” parts by answering the questions:

  • What is the relevance of my topic to my audience?
  • Why am I writing for this audience?

Topic, purpose, and audience bring forth focus that in turn, is important in identifying the things needed to do in order to expand and substantiate the writing. This is where the “how” questions surfaces as it compels the writer to answer the question: How can I substantiate the discussion of my topic in relation to my purpose and audience using research?

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