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Academic writing ideas for graduate students

When you are a graduate student, you will find yourself writing many academic pieces. From research papers, written responses, and informative essays, graduate students are expected to be able to write any type of academic paper with little to no support. By the time students reach the graduate level, their instructors will give them a broad topic and the students will simply need to write about it. In some cases, the instructor will simply tell their students to write a response to the reading they had to do, leaving the topic completely up to the discretion of the student.

Graduate instructors do not give writing instruction and they do not give topics ideas, because graduate students are fully capable of completing an academic paper and choosing a topic. When you are having difficulties deciding on a writing idea for a response or an essay, there are a few things that graduate students can do.

  • Use the Internet: When you are given an assignment and you are not sure where to go with it, get inspiration from the Internet. For example, if you are given the task of writing a response to a journal article depression in teens, research depression in teens. Then, look at the images that are associated with the topic. If those do not give you any inspiration, look at other the news associated with the topic. Hopefully, something will get your creative juices flowing.
  • Look at your previous work: If your instructor comments on your work, you can use those comments to develop new ideas. If your instructor does not comment, look back at your work and choose a line that you have written and expand upon it.
  • Use what you already know: You made it to graduate school because you successfully completed your undergraduate degree. You might even already have a career, too. You most likely chose your graduate degree focus because you are interested in learning more, so you must know something. Think about what you know and how it relates to the topic you need to discuss, so you can narrow the focus to something manageable. Do not discount what you already know, because in order to learn something new, you have to connect it to your prior knowledge.
  • Pick a line: If you are writing an academic response to a reading, pick a line from the reading and use that as your inspiration. This is a simple way to develop a response and narrow your focus.

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