The fall school season has started for many. That means a return to essay writing. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with essay ideas that match an assignment’s requirements. I can offer you ideas and starting resources for your essays.
For each topic, I will link an article I’ve written to help you get started. The references at the bottom of each article can give you a solid foundation for your essay. However, don’t copy my articles and try to pass them off as your own. Teachers read this blog and plagiarism checking websites will flag your essay if you try. I also suggest you visit MangaTherapy and Anime Science 101 for more essay ideas.
Personal Essay – The Impact of Samurai Champloo on Your Life.
Personal essays always challenged me in college and in school. But I also didn’t have Samurai Champloo to write about. The ending of the story left a mark on many people. The episodic nature of the story also allows you to focus on a chapter that resonates with you the most. Use examples from your life where you thought about the story (or its ending) and used the lessons. Perhaps the story just helped you through a difficult time. That too can work as a personal essay.
Personal Essay – The Importance of a Video Game in Your Life
You can also take the same idea as Samurai Champloo and apply it to a video game. While it seems silly to say an anime or a video game changed your life (the phrase has become trite from overuse), stories shape who we are. The Legend of Zelda (along with Final Fantasy VI) shaped much of my childhood and my idea of storytelling. I enjoyed Breath of the Wild because of how it went back to the start of the series with its exploration. I hadn’t had such a fun romp in a long time, and the game reminded me how much I’ve benefited from the series.
Here’s my essay on how The Legend of Zelda shaped me: Stories of Childhood: The Legacy of The Legend of Zelda
Censorship in Anime
This topic could be used as a persuasive essay. Argue for and against censoring anime. Does censorship work? What should be censored and why? Provide examples for and against censorship. My article on the topic argues against censorship, but you may favor it.
Write about NEETs
NEETs have become a discussion topic in recent years. Perhaps you fall into the category or know someone who does. NEETs have become a focus of anime lately, particularly for isekei stories. You can touch on the problems NEETs pose society or look at the personal cost of the lifestyle.
Sexuality in Manga
Sex can be a thorny topic for some essays, but it has a large influence on our cultures. Manga and anime provide a different perspective on the topic (at least compared to Western views). This topic requires tact that I don’t have to use here, so be careful if you try it. You can write for or against sexuality in manga or analyze pieces of it, such as the apparent obsession with female breasts. There’s quite a few topics in this area for you to approach.
Anime and Teaching Morals
You can explain how anime teaches good morals to children. This type of essay is best reduced to just a few morals, such as friendship, perseverance, or something similar. You can then support your argument with examples from various anime.
Essay Writing Tips
When writing your essays, strive for clarity in sentences and in your logic. You can make both clear by focusing on just a single topic per sentence and section. Muddled sentences and paragraphs happen when you try to stuff too much into them. Paragraphs need a single topic with all of your arguments and examples supporting that topic. Think of paragraphs as a house. The roof is the topic and the supports are the examples addressing that topic.
- Work early. While some people do their best work under a tight deadline, it’s usually better to get your work done early. This gives you time to revise and, in the end, gives you more time to do what you want to do.
- Let your first draft be crappy. My first drafts are ugly; you can’t fix a blank page. Use the first draft to explore your topic and think it through. When you revise you can move sections around to improve the logic. Don’t be afraid to cut and rewrite. That’s why you have to start a project early.
- Take a break. Breaks let you freshen your eyes, allowing you to see mistakes easier.
- Let yourself be imperfect. No work of writing is perfect. Writing is a human endeavor, and imperfections reveal the human hand. This isn’t an excuse for sloppiness. Excellence is imperfect, but excellence isn’t sloppy.
- Have fun. This is perhaps the hardest of my advice. I didn’t have much fun with many of my writing projects in university, but writing goes easier when you can find something enjoyable about an assignment. I always enjoyed bending a seemingly obtuse assignment to my will.