Journal Entry 3: Picking a Topic

This week at the edX: Academic and Business Writing course has tasked us with selecting a topic for the final assignment.

More specifically, the choices are:

In your journal this week, start brainstorming some ideas of what you would like to do as a final project. Your choices are:

  • a statement of purpose / personal statement (academic writing)
  • a cover letter for a job (business writing)
  • a movie or book review (general/academic writing)
  • a product review (business writing)
  • an essay about a social issue that is important to you (academic writing)

Which of these appeals to you? Write a paragraph about your choice, and any ideas you have about the topic

As I thought through these choices, I was pulled between the movie/book review and the essay on a social issue. While both topics seem interesting, but I want the assignment to be challenging and driven by emotion. Most academic writing can get caught in the trap of being sans purposeful human emotion and buried with evidence instead. One of my favorite writers, Mark Manson, stands out for me because he has the enviable ability to present complex concepts with simplicity and back it up with highly emotive tone (sometimes more than necessary). I want to try merging the two in the final project.

Image Credit: Huffington Post

My final pick — an essay about social issue i.e. water. I have worked for two years as part of a social enterprise that designed products to improve access to water in the developing world. As a result, I travelled across India and lived on less than 20lts of water a day, have headloaded heavy pots for over five kilometers, been dangerously dehydrated. To say I am passionate about the water access and conservation would be reasonable conclusion.

I am excited to write the next piece. Will update soon!