How I choose my essay questions for my masters degree

(without changing my mind halfway through!)

This may seem like a long winded way to select a question – but if you’re anything like me it can be a real struggle to decide on an essay question from a pool of 8-10 options! This method helps me to feel confident in what I’m writing about, and stops me changing my mind about what to write halfway through!

1. General Reading

To start, I do some general reading around the topic/module. I usually have 8 – 10 questions to pick from – so starting with some general reading helps me to understand what each question means – a good start!

2. Eliminate half the potential questions

At this point I eliminate half the questions – ones that I find uninteresting, or I feel like I don’t know enough about from my background reading. This is usually fairly easy at this stage, and it becomes much easier to decide from a smaller pool of questions!

3. More reading (sorry!)

Next I read a small amount for each remaining question – to give me an idea of which angles I could approach the question from.

4. Boil it down to two contenders

Get rid of some more questions until you only have two left!

5. Make a mini mind-map for each question

Take 5 mins for each question and write down some key information as well as any critical arguments, to see which argument you can develop the most.

Choose a question out of these two and you’re done!

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