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Make a bring topic interesting or personal

You will get plenty of topics that initially seem very boring to you. If you’re not a great writer and find the whole process generally difficult, having a topic that you have no interest in makes it even worse! The trick here is to try to generate some interest in the topic. You can often do this by personalising the topic.

Try to relate the topic to your own life. This may initially be hard; for instance, how the heck do you personalise a topic like this:

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein is a famous story about a man-made human-like monster made out of dead body parts (a side point: Frankenstein is the name of the scientist, not the monster, which is often called Frankenstein’s Monster). Everyone knows the name, but if you actually sit down and read the book, many people tend to find it a bit boring and very dated (dated: out of date, suited for audiences of the time, but not so much for contemporary readers).

One of the core messages that the author, Mary Shelley, makes in the book is that all life deserves respect and love, no matter how outwardly repulsive that life may appear. Frankenstein is a terrible looking creature, but it’s not evil - it’s only through the treatment it receives (or does not receive) from humans that leads it to destroy its creator.

Most people have come into contact with severely disabled or disfigured people during their lives. Do you remember how you reacted the first time you saw someone who looked or acted ‘not normal’? Many people’s first reaction on encountering severely disabled people is one of revulsion and they pull back.

If you introduce your personal emotions, or those of people you know, when encountering people who were horribly disfigured or scarred, you can personalise your essay on Frankenstein. You can link your own reactions to scarred or disabled people you’ve met to those of the people in the novel to Frankenstein’s Monster. You can discuss whether society is better equipped to deal with such things now, compared to the 19th Century setting of the novel, by analysing your personal experiences.

Another way you could personalise a topic like this is to discuss how you feel about ‘cute’ animals like seals, compared to ‘repulsive’ animals like maggots. You can contrast and compare your personal reactions to the appearance of these animals with the reaction of society in the novel to the Monster.