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5 Ways to Give Students Free Choice on Essay Topics and Still Save Your Sanity

First and foremost, telling the student that you should write about specific topics just because a lot of work has already been done on a particular topic is not right. No two works done by two different people on the same topic are the same. Every person has their method of writing. As no two people have the same style, limiting the students by telling them that they are not allowed to write on certain topics is not the right approach. Rather, you should teach them various methods that they can use to write on the same topic. Five such methods are discussed below

  1. Focus

It would help if you told your students that they would need to focus on the topic. For instance, if the topic is ‘The Big Game’, tell your students that they should shift their focus to the players at an individual level. Talk about the things that are going through the mind of the goalkeeper. What is it that the referee is thinking? Talk about losing the game and then shaking hands with the winners. These points would help your students focus on things other than the game itself

  1.  Change the perspective

The story can be written from various perspectives. You don’t need to write the story or the essay only from the audience’s perspective. Furthermore, it is not necessary to talk only from the perspective of living things. You can also tell your students to broaden their imagination. Tell them to write the essay on ‘The Big Game’ from the perspective of the scoreboard, or the ball. The student will be able to think differently from that point onwards

  1. Include the sensory details

Talking about the senses and their ability to perceive things differently is another point that you can tell your students. Tell them that they should include about 15-20 sensory details in their essay, which might seem a lot in the beginning, but when the student starts thinking about it from that perspective, you will be surprised by the things they will come up with.

  1. Get personal

The next point that you should tell your students is that they will need to get personal. Tell them what if one of their great-grandchildren finds this essay lies in the attic one day, what would you like to tell them about yourself through the essay. Whenever a person is writing something, their personality is displayed through their writing style. Tell your students that they should get personal. Tell them to answer this question, ‘Why are you telling this story?’

  1. Change the genres

Last but certainly not least, tell your students to change the genre of your essay. Even if they are working on a basic topic like ‘The Big Game’, tell them that they should switch the genre to mystery or thriller. Imagining such sort would help the students in ways that you cannot imagine. The students will think about the various ways of converting a simple game to a mystery, or maybe a murder mystery, you never know.


Therefore, you should never underestimate your student by limiting their imagination and telling them not to work on certain topics just because a lot of work has already been done on that topic. Where would romantic story writers go if you tell them the same thing?