- The idea from the article that you are using to launch your own discussion
- The one particular experience, question, or problem that you will develop based on first-hand experience
- The stages you will put in the middle part of your essay to elaborate on your idea
- Your thesis statement and the relevance of your topic
So, your Paper Topic should include four components, in this order, in one paragraph:
1. Introduce the complex idea from the article you chose
You may not use a general idea to start your topic, nor should you summarize the article. Your topic should be be inspired by an idea from a reading assignment and clearly show your intent to take the idea in a new direction according to your own concerns.
2. Focus on ONE particular experience, question, or problem that you can base on first-hand experience
Your essay cannot be "about the article," or about several different ideas. If you want to analyze an experience, you should look at a single incident. If you want to look at a consequence of, reason for, or improvement to a problem, you must look at a single consequence, single reason, etc.
3. Announce and explain the stages that will develop your central idea in a logical sequence, not a list
The ultimate goal of your paper is to extend an idea from an article with a discussion of your own. Whatever that topic is, and there is a lot of room for different kinds of topics, the discussion has to lead the reader through a sequence of stages. Instead of summarizing the article or giving a list of examples, you will fashion a complex discussion.
4. Indicate a possible thesis and the relevance of the topic
The thesis statement has to give a reason for some idea that you think is true--just be sure that your thesis is about your particular topic, not a general conclusion. For relevance, explain why your topic matters. Even if your topic is well-developed, its importance will not automatically be clear, so make sure you offer a reason that the paper topic will be worth reading. The relevance of a topic could come from any direction, but it needs to be openly stated so that the purpose of writing the essay is well-defined.