Turning Your Interests into an Essay

Write about what you know! Write about what interests you. If you’ve ever been stuck on what to write, you’ve probably received both pieces of advice. Well, it’s true. There are many benefits to writing about your interests. If you’ve got an essay assignment, and can figure out how to write about something that interests you, the work will be that much easier. When you write about your interests, you:

  • Can write more naturally.
  • Will be able to find the best resources.
  • Will enjoy the process that much more.
  • Can be much more confident about your accuracy.

Of course, it’s not all upside. There are some guidelines that you will need to follow. Remember that this is still academic writing, and you want to meet all of your instructors criteria while still enjoying writing about something you love.

Find a Genuine Connection to The Subject Matter

There’s no doubt about it. If you can find a way to connect a writing assignment with one of your interests, you’re going to have a better time. The challenge is making sure that connection is genuine. If you try to shoehorn your hobby or interest into an essay, your writing will seem forced and contrived.

Have a Unique Angle

One of your goals should be to make your interests more interesting to others. To do this, look for a unique ‘spin’ or perspective to present your topic to your audience. For example, you can share the story of your first experiences with your hobby or interest. You can share a personal narrative. You can even take the perspective of a beginner, and provide an introduction to your interest. Remember that you want your audience to understand what your interest is, why it excites you, and why they should feel passionate about it as well.

Run Your Topic Idea by Your Instructor or TA

Before you ‘take off running’ with your idea, you’d better make sure your instructor will approve. They may be concerned that you are trying to take the easy way out by writing about something familiar. They may also be concerned with writer bias. Talk to your instructor or TA to get approval, and to provide them with assurance that your essay will be balanced and well-researched.

Do Your Research

Keep in mind that this is still academic writing. You have to research your topic using proper resources. Even if you are an expert, you can’t necessarily use yourself as a source. Of course, there are some exceptions to this:

  • When you are writing a personal narrative.
  • In an admissions or scholarship essay where you are writing about a personal experience.
  • If your writing has been previously published, or if you have been quoted in another paper as an academic source.

It may feel a bit redundant to research a topic on which you have in depth knowledge. Just remember though, by doing so you can get a unique perspective. It can give your take a unique and fresh angle.

Be Descriptive

The best way to share your experiences is by painting a clear picture with your writing. You can do this by using lots of sensory words and adjectives. This will help your readers to visualize what you’re describing. Share examples where they make sense as well. Think in terms of what you see, smell, hear, and experience when you engage in your interest or hobby.

Edit Vigorously

If it’s clear that you are writing about an interest, your instructor’s expectations are going to be a bit higher. After all, you’re writing about something you know. So, that may be seen as a bit indulgent in the first place. The last thing you want to do is underwhelm your instructor or fellow classmates with something that just isn't very well written.

Take the time to edit and proofread your work. If you don’t have enough time to dedicate to this task, consider a proofreading and editing service such as Get Academic Help. By having this step done professionally, you have more time to ensure that your writing is interesting and compelling.

Get Someone to Look at Your Work

One of the few problems with writing about something you love is the tendency to develop tunnel vision. You lose your perspective a bit, and it can become easy to miss where your writing may be self-indulgent, unclear, or just not very interesting. 

This is why it is always a good idea to get a trusted third party to review your writing for you. They will be able to provide you with very useful feedback. You can then make the changes you need to ensure that your essay is both interesting and readable. 

Final Thoughts

If you have the opportunity to write about something you love, go for it! Your passion and expertise can really shine through making your writing come alive. Just follow the guidelines above, and you should be on the right track.

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