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Choosing Unique Topics For Analytical Essays: Tips Ans Examples


Analytical essays are a perennial standby for all types of college-level classes, especially within history, social science, and the humanities. Throughout high school and college, you’ll find yourself writing many, many analytical essays on many, many topics. One of the most important aspects of this is choosing unique topics for analytical essays. Although it can depend on the expected word count for the assignment, you’ll want to pick a topic that’s neither too broad nor too narrow, that interests you, and that your professor hasn’t seen nine hundred times already. Here are some tips and examples for choosing unique topics for analytical essays.

  • Choose a topic that’s not too broad, but not too specific either. A topic that’s too broad is simply impossible to cover in your typical 1000-3000 word analytical essay. A broad subject is a great start, but from there, you’ll want to narrow things down. For example, let’s say you need to write an analytical essay for an Art History class. “Ancient Greek sculpture” is too broad. You could write an entire book on that topic. However, you can narrow things down within that subject area to create a unique analytical essay topic that’s specific enough to work with in a few thousand words. An example might be, “Changing Representations of the Human Form in Ancient Greek Sculpture.” You could talk about how Greek sculptural depictions evolved from the rigid Archaic style, to the fluid naturalism of form that characterizes the Classical and Hellenistic periods.

  • Write about something you’re interested in. It’s rare that your choice of subjects will be completely open-ended, but you’ll still have leeway to choose unique topics for analytical essays in most college classes. Choose something that interests you. A topic you genuinely want to learn about can be the difference between an enjoyable research project, and a grueling ordeal. You’ll put more effort in, and do a better job, if you’re interested in what you’re writing about. Let’s return to our Art History scenario. Let’s say you have your pick of topics within 19th century art. Don’t write about Realism if it bores you to tears. If you’re more into Impressionism, choose a topic that revolves around that instead.

  • Make sure your topic isn’t so obscure that you can’t find enough information to write about it. When it comes to choosing unique topics for analytical essays, it’s important to narrow down the topic from a broader subject area. However, be careful not to pick something where you won’t be able to find enough information. For Art History, for example, you may not be able to find enough information about one specific, obscure modern artist to do an entire essay about their work. However, you could talk about them in the context of a larger art movement.

When you’re choosing unique topics for analytical essays, a good strategy is to figure out a broader subject area that interests you, and then work from there to narrow things down within that field. Most importantly, try to choose a topic you’re genuinely interested in. If you find the topic boring, writing your essay will be a tiresome chore, but if you write about something interesting, it might even be fun.

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