By Kota Kamemura

Deciding a topic is what you have to do as the first step of your research for your writing. And it is one of the important and basic parts of writing.

You should think about these things first:

  • What do you like?
  • What are you interested in?
  • What do you want to know?
  • What do you want people to know?

These answers can generate the best topic for you. Remember – it is not easy to write about something you are not interested in! The topic must be worthwhile for yourself, not just your audience.

*The ideas don’t have to be very clear or detailed at first. As you are researching and writing by reading books and gathering data,  your ideas will gradually and naturally become more detailed and focused.*

What if you don’t have any ideas or nothing that interests you?

You don’t have to be so worried about it because there are plenty of chances in your daily life to find something interesting. For instance, even when you stay home and have time with your family, you can see so many things: your parents talking, advertisements on the television, and SM like Instagram and Twitter. They can all inspire you and are chances to find a topic or even just something that interests you.

Also, here are some examples of how you can find a topic:

  • Watching videos on YouTube, Netflix
  • Other classes you take
  • Reading articles/books
  • Conversations with someone
  • SNS/SM

As you can see, the things you always do in your daily life can be chances to find inspiration for your topic. Something small you always do can be a topic for your big project.

One piece of advice from me is to check online news such as BBC (https://www.bbc.com/) or ABC (https://abcnews.go.com/) in your spare time every day. This can help you to find a topic and learn about current global affairs as well.

*It’s a good idea to write down what you notice or find so as not to forget. For example, making notes in your smartphone or laptop is great because you can check it anytime you want.*

Do you feel pressure about writing your thesis?

Actually, you don’t have to feel much pressure because you have almost two years to finish it, so you can write it at your own pace. If you had to finish it in 1 week, you would have to start writing right now! But you don’t have to! But, what you have to do now is find a topic because it is the first step you have to take.

You can write it at your own pace, but the important thing is that you have to keep making progress – even little by little. Every week after deciding your topic try:

  • reading one article which is interesting to you and making notes
  • watching one video related to your interests and writing down what you find interesting and useful.

*If you don’t follow this advice, you will have to do everything in a rush at the end. This is very hard because writing your thesis is not all that you have to do!*

If you have some ideas about your topic, you don’t have to be worried about it, of course. However, even if you don’t have any ideas, you don’t have to be so worried about it either. That is because there are plenty of chances to find it naturally. As mentioned, something small you always do can be a topic for your big project. Anyway, all you have to do now is take the first step to write your thesis by deciding on a topic!