www.whyville.net Feb 20, 2011 Weekly Issue

Senior Times Writer

Choosing a Topic

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I have had many people ask me questions about how to choose a topic for writing an article for the Whyville Times. So, for everyone who needs help choosing a topic to write on, here are some tips!

Do NOT try find a topic that you think would interest other people. Try write for yourself, not for others. Sure you can share your piece of writing, but try get some self-satisfaction from it! Don't write about something that doesn't appeal to you just because you think it will interest others. Trust me, if you choose a topic you're not interested in it will be extremely boring and dreary to write, and if you're not enjoying what you're writing about, that will reflect in your piece of writing and it's quality won't be that great.

How to choose a topic that interests you:

Ask yourself any of these questions (you may want to write the questions and answers down to help organize yourself):

- What are my interests?
- What are my skills?
- What is something I feel strongly about?
- Was there anything I saw in the news that really caught my attention?
- Was there a recent or past event that had a big impact on my life?
- Did I see anything happen that really got me thinking?
- What's something I want to see changed (in your school, home, neighborhood, country, etc.)
- Was there a movie I watched or a book I read that I'd like to share with people?
- What are my values in life? (friends, family, creativity, imagination, nature, etc.)

There are tons of other questions that you could ask yourself, those are just a few.

Your answers to those questions are the perfect topic to write on! For example, if your answer to the first question was art, you could write about art!

Narrowing down your topic choice:

You need to narrow down your topic choice, because chances are, the topic you picked is probably going to be pretty broad. A good way to narrow down your choice is "spider-mapping", but that's just one type of graphic organizer, there are many different ones you could use. For the spider-mapping method, write your topic choice in the middle of the page inside a circle. Then make lines coming out from the circle to write points by. Now here's the time for some more questions:

- What do I like about this topic?
- How does this topic make me feel?
- What are the things that come to mind when I think of this topic?

Just questions like those. Write down everything you can on your spider-map.

Once you have your spider-map complete, look and see what interests you think would make a good topic based on your narrowed down answers of the broad topic.

And voila! You now have a topic to start writing on!

If you get bored during the writing process of your article and decide to quit, just try another topic that interests you!

And most importantly, have fun while writing!



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