4 Ways to Brainstorm Essay Topic Ideas with Minimal Efforts

No semester ends without obligations to submit various papers. Many of those assignments are unintelligible due to artificial complications. Some of them are frankly meaningless. And sometimes, even crystalline instructions do not compensate for the essays’ tediousness. Not to mention where to look for essay topic ideas.

Essay topic creation demands coming up with several ideas. Thus, brainstorming is the only way out. And before discovering brainstorming techniques, let us explain what a profound topic requires.

What Makes an Essay Topic senseless?

Without pithy in a topic, don’t wait on writing a logical essay. First and foremost, the topic is an axis that your thoughts must hang on. You can also interpret an essay topic as a question that you must elucidate before giving a concrete answer. Of course, the headlines are not always in the question format. Still, a meaningful headline includes:


For instance, you must write an essay about Slavic cultures. Compare two potential topics:

  1. The cuisine of Slavic cultures.
  2. Wedding table in honor of the Ukrainian marriage.

The last formulation has specifics. You can see what you must elucidate instantly. Also, you have the conceptual pillars: wedding, marriage, and one sole culture to elucidate.


A Magical Number Seven rule exists for a reason. A writer must use seven words (plus or minus two) in their headline. That number of words is what our brain can process and take as one unit of sense.


Yes, conciseness does not equal brevity. While brevity is about numbers, conciseness is about condensed meanings. Yet again, let us contrast:

  1. The mathematics in art.
  2. Fibonacci Sequence is a base of the 20th centuries’ masterpieces.

Even though the first topic is shorter, brevity does not win over distinctiveness. Moreover, note that the latest option serves as an answer too. So, your task is to choose the most demonstrative instances — and you win the best mark.

Time to Conceptualize!

Now you know the three pillars that support a solid topic. Yet, how to attain brainstorming an essay topic with those three necessities? For instance, you can try:

1. Free-writing

Free-writing is a routine exercise for professional fiction and non-fiction writers. A fantasy book creator, a historical movie plot author, and a political publicist will do that equally. Furthermore, this exercise is undemanding. The rules are trouble-free:

Take a pen and a paper sheet.

Set a time limit (for instance, seven minutes and fifteen seconds).

Write everything that pops up in your imagination, even if it makes zero sense.

Re-read what you have written after the timer rings (optional).

Repeat when you are in the mood.

It is advisable to re-read your chaotic paper, even though that step is not obligatory. Your brain will suggest ideas that might fit your essay topic!

Creating extra limits for free-writing might be a wise choice in the essay writing case. For instance, try writing down everything you associate with the general topic you must elucidate. Or try writing a draft but without long-lasting contemplation.

2. Conferring

Yes, the discussion is a bit of seemingly apparent advice. Still, opinion exchange is a natural process of brainstorming. Friendly debates catalyze idea generation! Combining two discourses creates fresh ideas, according to Polish philosopher Roman Witold Ingarden. Let us demonstrate:

Idea A + [nothing] = Idea A
Idea A + Idea B = Idea C
Idea A + Idea C = Idea D
Idea B + Idea C = Idea E

Remember that no person has identical thoughts. Even when you and your friend think alike, there will be slight differences in your discourses. Thus, you will always get novel results! Write down or memorize your collocutors’ reactions as they might be the source of wise topic ideas.

3. Come up with an answer first; come up with a topic later

Remember that your essay topic is a question. So, the essay conclusion will have the same base, barely altered. Try determining whether your answer is positive or negative first. In other words, will you say yes or no to the dominating question? And after you have made a choice, your brain will spawn argumentation automatically.

4. Find an object to analyze like a problematic phenomenon

Of course, there is something in a subject that might irritate you. Try finding a sore spot — a problem you know how to solve. For instance:

  1. Carrying the bride over the threshold is a sexist tradition: yes or no.
  2. Racism manifestations against Chinese people in Mexico: how to minimize the detriments.
  3. Labeling cannabidiol users: stereotypes that hurt people.

Discontent over disturbing things humanity could have resolved long ago will fuel your ideas. So, you will come up with a narrowly-focused topic and argumentation in seconds! Of course, your solution might be theoretical and idealistic. Still, no one cancels that.

The Final Pronouncement

The topic determines whether your essay writing will have a gram of dynamism and interestingness. So, if your professor gives the green light to alter a dull subject, do not neglect the offer.

Also, try different brainstorming techniques! On Monday, go for free-writing. On Tuesday, choose to talk to your close ones. Later, try combining various techniques for ultimate results. And in a week you will be surprised by your result! Good luck with your essay writing!

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