Assignment: Topic Selection

To Do

The topic for the essay in this module has been identified for you: you will be writing about why you withdrew from English class this term, and what you will do differently next term.

This is a pretty broad starting point, however, and there’s room to narrow it down and customize it to your writing style and experience.

  1. Apply the steps from “Ways to Narrow Down a Topic.”  Write your answers to all questions on that page in a new document that you can return to throughout this module.


Worked Example

Follow along as Julio completes these assignments on the way towards a final draft of his Personal Analysis Essay. Here is what he wrote for this activity:

Topic Selection

  1. General topic: Why I withdrew from ENG 020, and what I’m going to do to prepare to start again next semester.
      1. Who: me, a 22-year old Film Production major
      2. What: returning to English class next semester
      3. Where: Cerritos College
      4. When: next semester
      5. Why: to get a job working in television production
      6. How: be a better student
  2. Specific ideas:
      1. Problems faced: not enough time to work at my job, hang out with friends, and get all school work done

      2. Problems overcome: getting enough cash together to register for classes, applying for student federal aid

      3. Motives: getting the right job I’ll enjoy long-term

      4. Effects on a group: helping my family, being a good role model for my nephews

      5. Member group: college students, college dropouts

      6. Group affected: college students, my family

      7. Group benefited: my family, the TV production industry

      8. Group responsible for/paid for: the federal student loan program, the PELL grant program, my family

      1. Similarities: other people who’ve withdrawn from a course but have gone on to succeed in school
      2. Opposites: what happens when people like me don’t go back to school, how do they live?
      3. Contrasts: other students who have an easier time managing all the pressures of school, vs. those like me, who really can’t seem to figure it all out
      4. Relationships: college social life, my family giving me help to get school figured out
      5. Anthropomorphisms: (I had to ask my tutor for help with this one.) Duty to society to improve myself and become a better member of society.
      6. Personifications: school as enemy or school as friend.
      7. Repetition: how school might change each additional semester I attend.