Personal Essay Topics

David Schaffer / Getty Images

  • Writing Essays
  • Writing Research Papers
  • English Grammar
  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

A personal essay is an essay about your life, thoughts, or experiences. This type of essay will give readers a glimpse into your most intimate life experiences and life lessons. There are many reasons you may need to write a personal essay , from a simple class assignment to a college application requirement . You can use the list below for inspiration. Consider each statement a starting point, and write about a memorable moment that the prompt brings to mind.

  • Your bravest moment
  • How you met your best friend
  • What makes your mom or dad special
  • How you overcame a fear
  • Why you will succeed
  • Why you made a difficult choice
  • A special place
  • A place you try to avoid
  • When a friend let you down
  • An event that changed your life
  • A special encounter with an animal
  • A time when you felt out of place
  • An odd experience that didn't make sense at the time
  • Words of wisdom that hit home and changed your way of thinking
  • A person that you do not like
  • A time when you disappointed someone
  • Your fondest memory
  • A time when you saw your parent cry
  • The moment when you knew you were grown up
  • Your earliest memory of holiday celebrations in your home
  • Times when you should have made a better choice
  • A time when you dodged a dangerous situation
  • A person you will think about at the end of your life
  • Your favorite time period
  • A failure you've experienced
  • A disappointment you've experienced
  • A surprising turn of events
  • What you would do with power
  • What superpower you would choose
  • If you could switch lives with someone
  • How money matters in your life
  • Your biggest loss
  • A time when you felt you did the wrong thing
  • A proud moment when you did the right thing
  • An experience that you've never shared with another person
  • A special place that you shared with a childhood friend
  • A first encounter with a stranger
  • Your first handshake
  • Where you go to hide
  • If you had a do-over
  • A book that changed your life
  • Words that stung
  • When you had the desire to run
  • When you had the urge to crawl into a hole
  • Words that prompted hope
  • When a child taught you a lesson
  • Your proudest moment
  • If your dog could talk
  • Your favorite time with family
  • If you could live in another country
  • If you could invent something
  • The world a hundred years from now
  • If you had lived a hundred years earlier
  • The animal you'd like to be
  • One thing you'd change at your school
  • The greatest movie moment
  • The type of teacher you would be
  • If you could be a building
  • A statue you'd like to see
  • If you could live anywhere
  • The greatest discovery
  • If you could change one thing about yourself
  • An animal that could be in charge
  • Something you can do that robots could never do
  • Your most unfortunate day
  • Your secret talent
  • Your secret love
  • The most beautiful thing you've ever seen
  • The ugliest thing you've seen
  • Something you've witnessed
  • An accident that changed everything
  • A wrong choice
  • A right choice
  • If you were a food
  • How you'd spend a million dollars
  • If you could start a charity
  • The meaning of color
  • A close call
  • Your favorite gift
  • A chore you'd do away with
  • A secret place
  • Something you can't resist
  • A hard lesson
  • A visitor you'll never forget
  • An unexplained event
  • Your longest minute
  • An awkward social moment
  • An experience with death
  • Why you'll never tell a lie
  • If your mom knew, she'd kill you
  • A kiss that meant a lot
  • When you needed a hug
  • The hardest news you've had to deliver
  • A special morning
  • How to Write a Narrative Essay or Speech
  • What Is an Autobiography?
  • How to Ace Your University of Wisconsin Personal Statements
  • 7 Law School Personal Statement Topic Ideas
  • Expository Essay Genre With Suggested Prompts
  • Tips for the Pre-2013 Personal Essay Options on the Common Application
  • 50 Topics for Impromptu Student Speeches
  • 24 Journal Prompts for Creative Writing in the Elementary Classroom
  • Writing Prompts for Elementary School Students
  • Tips for Writing an Essay on an Event That Led to Personal Growth
  • Do You Know What to Do If You Fail a Test in College?
  • The 2021-22 Common Application Essay Prompts
  • How to Write a Personal Narrative
  • 61 General Expository Essay Topic Ideas to Practice Academic Writing
  • Compose a Narrative Essay or Personal Statement
  • Bad Essay Topics for College Admissions

110 Personal Essay Topics

Though written from a lived experience, personal essay topics can be tricky to come up with because they have to be universal enough for other people to relate to.

Since the skill of writing a good essay is being able to paint an image with words, students must choose a topic that will get others interested in the story and what it has to say about life, society, or themselves.

In essence, personal essays are written from a personal point of view and express a writer’s own insights, opinions, and feelings on a particular topic. Additionally, these types of essays lead to an overall point, lesson, realization, or revelation.

Most commonly, personal essays are written by high school students as part of their college applications. However, there are many other reasons that a personal essay may be assigned or written, including:

  • Scholarship applications
  • Job interview
  • Writing contest
  • Grad school admission

Students and others struggling with a valuable personal essay topic can choose from any of the 110 personal essay topics on this list to help them get started.

How to Write a Personal Essay

Writing a personal essay will require you to follow a traditional essay’s guidelines, structure, and format. However, you will also need to ensure that your essay is personal or tells a story about yourself rather than being entirely academic.

For example, you might want to explain an experience that changed how you saw the world or share an opinion on something important to you – even if the rest of the world doesn’t agree with it.

It often helps to make a list of experiences that you may want to share before starting with the writing aspect of the personal essay.


The introduction to your personal essay will set the scene for the reader. Therefore, your personal essay needs to start with a compelling hook that will draw the reader in and make them want to read more.

This hook statement could be a humorous or poignant anecdote related to your topic or a line of questioning that the reader will be interested in following. For example, some possible opening lines for a personal essay could start with:

  • “I remember exactly where I was when I first realized …”
  • “What would you do if you knew the world was going to end tomorrow?
  • “So, I once had this problem …”

These beginning lines will often create questions in the reader’s mind, which is an excellent way to capture their interest and keep them reading. Following this initial opening sentence, you can introduce other details as you build up the main point of the story.

Your introduction should end with a thesis statement that verbalizes the general direction the story will go.

Body Paragraphs

Generally, a personal essay will have no less than three body paragraphs that detail your experience in chronological order. Each section should discuss one part of the story, including the events leading up to it, what happened during the experience, and what you learned from it.

Body paragraphs may also include examples of feelings, emotions, or arguments that support your experience. The goal of a personal essay is to share a compelling story and teach the reader something about life or themselves by using specific details and language.

Consider this formatting when creating the body paragraphs of your personal essay:

1st Paragraph

  • Beginning of the story that answers questions related to “Who?” and “Where?”
  • Initial attitudes, moods, feelings, and assumptions about the event or experience about to take place

2nd Paragraph

  • Middle of the story
  • Details that show how the situation evolved over time, including any changes in mood or assumption on your part

3rd Paragraph

  • Ending of the story/resolution
  • The final analysis on overall feelings, emotions, and mood

By sticking to this formatting for the body paragraphs, students can ensure that they are telling the story correctly and including every key detail as it happens.

Conclusion Paragraph

The conclusion of a personal essay is optional and depends on what you want to accomplish with the telling of your story. If you want to leave the reader feeling inspired or emotionally moved, then focus on summarizing the main points in a short paragraph that ends on a positive note.

However, if this was a darker story, you may want to use the concluding paragraph to sum up your feelings after the experience has ended or explore any unanswered questions that remain.

In any event, your conclusion does need to include an overall moral or lesson of how the writer:

  • overcame hardship
  • rose to the occasion
  • identified new traits or abilities that they never realized existed
  • turned defeat into success
  • followed their instincts and made the right choice
  • came to appreciate something about life after the experience took place

Any of these statements can stand alone as a powerful lesson learned. However, when combined in one concluding paragraph, you will leave your reader with a profound impression.

Using any of these 110 personal essay topics will ensure that you have a strong and interesting story to tell.

Personal Essay Topics About Relationships

  • What was a time when you made a friend?
  • What would your worst enemy say about you?
  • Talk about the death of a friend.
  • How did it feel to be bullied in school?
  • The time when you had to get along with a sibling despite being different ages
  • What you learned from your first relationship
  • Why marriage isn’t important to you
  • How you discovered polyamory, and how it changed your view of relationships
  • How your best friend made you a better person
  • The lesson you learned from being catfished
  • The first time you experienced heartbreak
  • A funny story about how technology ruined a relationship.
  • How did you learn to recognize love?
  • Who would you consider your soulmate? What makes them that person specifically for you?
  • What was your most embarrassing moment as a boyfriend or girlfriend, and what did you learn from it?

Personal Essay Topics About Hardships

  • The worst thing that ever happened to me
  • The roughest time in my family’s life
  • The hardest challenge I’ve ever had to overcome
  • How did you deal with the stress of moving?
  • What was your most embarrassing moment as a kid?
  • What are some reasons that I am grateful for my disability/illness/condition?
  • When have you had an “Aha!” moment in life?
  • What’s something terrible that happened to you that turned into something good?
  • What’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned from my failures?
  • The time when it almost felt like the world was against me
  • How did I handle/recover from a severe illness/injury/accident?
  • When was the first time I realized that life isn’t fair?
  • What was the biggest struggle I went through in my teens?
  • The most challenging situation I faced in high school
  • When was a time when I made a negative impact on someone else?
  • The first time I got caught stealing
  • The most embarrassing mistake I ever made with money
  • What was the most challenging thing about getting sober/clean/overcoming addiction?
  • When did I realize that life is short and that nobody is promised tomorrow?
  • How did you learn to persevere through tough times?

Personal Essay Topics About Success & Achievements

  • Best moment in my sports career
  • My greatest success story
  • The time I overcame my fear and found strength I didn’t know I had.
  • What’s the happiest day of my life?
  • How did I learn to overcome failure?
  • The time I knew that dreams really do come true
  • My greatest triumph over adversity – and what it taught me about myself.
  • What made you realize that you have to work hard in order to achieve something meaningful in life?
  • When did I know that I had made it in life?
  • When was the first time you were acknowledged for your achievements?
  • The night when my hard work truly paid off
  • My most powerful moment after overcoming a setback
  • How did I become successful?
  • What are some defining moments in my career?
  • How did I make it through a difficult time in college/university?
  • What motivated me to become the person I am today?

Personal Essay Topics About Personal Growth & Self-Reflection

  • Whose lifelong encouragement helped make me who I am today
  • The first time I took responsibility for my own actions
  • What gave me the courage to be myself?
  • The most valuable life lesson I’ve ever received. Who taught it to me, and what was the context?
  • How did I get through a difficult childhood/adolescence/teenage years?
  • What did I learn from becoming a yoga master?
  • How has meditation helped me overcome anger issues?
  • How did I recover from using drugs and alcohol?
  • What’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned from quitting my job?
  • When did I realize that life is too short to hate someone?
  • The moment when I knew it was time for a change
  • I made a mistake – and this is how I bounced back
  • How did I overcome depression/anxiety/mental illness?

Personal Essay Topics About Passions & Hobbies

  • How did learning a skill change my life?
  • Why exercise makes me a better person
  • My passion for writing
  • What’s the best advice I’ve ever received? Who gave it to me, and in what situation?
  • The moment when I realized my true calling in life
  • The importance of keeping a journal and how it has helped me become a better person
  • My biggest bucket list dream and why it’s so important to me
  • What is my vision for the future?
  • How did I find peace, contentment, and happiness?
  • The time when I truly lived outside of my comfort zone
  • When was the moment when I felt like I “got” meditation?
  • My journey towards becoming vegan. What inspired me to make this change, and what were the challenges I faced?
  • What lessons have been easy for me to learn, and which ones have been harder?
  • The time when travel changed my life

Personal Essay Topics About Challenges & Failures

  • The low point of my life and how I got through it
  • How did an illness/injury/death in the family affect me?
  • Why did I decide to stop going on blind dates?
  • What were the consequences of losing my temper, and how did I make amends?
  • The time when I was broken. What happened, who got hurt, and how did it affect me? How did I overcome this experience?
  • When was the moment when I realized that my words carry weight?

Personal Essay Topics About Family & Childhood Memories

  • The time when my family showed me what unconditional love means
  • My most vivid childhood memory and how it has affected me as an adult
  • How did I learn to be patient and kind?
  • What was the moment that sparked a change in my life? What caused this change, and what happened after the changes took place?
  • The moment when I realized the true meaning of friendship
  • What lessons did growing up teach me about life?
  • My childhood dream and what it taught me about myself
  • How do I feel about my hometown after living in three different places?
  • Why is it important to visit your birthplace/hometown during holidays/vacations?
  • My family’s most influential life lesson and how it has affected me
  • What was the moment when I realized that my parents had their own struggles?
  • The time when I learned about my family history. What happened, why did this happen, and how did it affect me? How did things change after this event?
  • What do I know about family traditions now that I didn’t understand as a child?
  • Why are your family memories vital to you?

Personal Essay Topics About Cultural Heritage & Identity

  • What does being bilingual/multilingual mean to me? Why is it unique?
  • My first interaction with someone from another culture
  • What’s wrong with cultural appropriation, and how did I learn to stop?
  • The moment when I became aware of my race/ethnicity
  • My culture’s most influential life lesson and how it has affected me
  • How I learned to not be afraid of my cultural differences
  • Why is diversity important in my community? In what ways do I contribute?
  • The moment I realized that I am proud of my culture
  • How has the immigrant/refugee experience shaped who you are today?
  • How traditions have changed the way I view my family

Personal Essay Topics About Childhood Dreams & Aspirations

  • What were my childhood dreams, and how have they changed over the years?
  • How did I make peace with the fear of growing up?

Any of these 110 personal essay topics are perfect for students struggling to find a topic that will impress a college admission officer or any other person with whom you’re trying to connect with on a personal level through storytelling.

Related Posts

  • 160 Evaluation Essay Topics
  • 160 Climate Change Essay Topics
  • 110 Extended Essay Topics
  • 70 “How To” Essay Topics
  • 55 Beowulf Essay Topics


  • Essay Samples
  • Essay Topics
  • Essay Writing Guides

Recent posts:

  • 170 Ethics Essay Topics
  • 160 Satire Essay Topics
  • 160 Rhetorical Essay Topics
  • 155 Criminal Justice Essay Topics
  • 150 Political Essay Topics
  • 145 Classification Essay Topics
  • 140 Sociology Essay Topics
  • 140 Opinion Essay Topics
  • 140 Environmental Essay Topics
  • 135 Controversial Essay Topics
  • 125 Classification and Division Essay Topics
  • 120 Literary Essay Topics
  • 100 Profile Essay Topics
  • 90 Heart of Darkness Essay Topics
  • 80 Holocaust Essay Topics


Group 6

  • Dissertation
  • PowerPoint Presentation
  • Book Report/Review
  • Research Proposal
  • Math Problems
  • Proofreading
  • Movie Review
  • Cover Letter Writing
  • Personal Statement
  • Nursing Paper
  • Argumentative Essay
  • Research Paper

100+ Personal Essay Topics For College And Writing Tips

Jared Houdi

Table of Contents

70 Great Personal Essay Topics for College

Looking for interesting personal essay writing ideas? We’ve got a bunch…

A personal essay is a typical assignment for high-school and college students. It’s a type of non-fiction that incorporates a variety of writing styles. Personal essay topics usually include real stories, experiences, and opinions of people.

Writers need to give an account of their own experience and express their thoughts on the subject of a paper. The key to success is to make an attempt to combine narration and opinion together. In this article, you will find a short writing guide and 100+ engaging personal essay topic ideas.

How to write personal essays?

Keep in mind that personal writing is always subjective. It is based on the writer’s observation, feelings, opinion, and experience. You are the speaker, so it’s quite natural to use such pronouns as I, my, me, we, and our.

First of all, most essay writing websites will say that you need to find a compelling topic. College personal essay topics include a lot of things.

Students may be asked to

  • state their opinion about an issue
  • document what they observed
  • share a story
  • give a description of an object, event, place, person
  • relate a specific subject to their own life

Whatever theme you choose, it’s crucial to start an introduction of your paper with a strong hook to capture the audience’s attention. Introduce the subject in the first paragraph. Think about the main idea you want to communicate.

In the body of your paper, inform readers about the subject. It’s better to create an outline before to start writing. It will help you organize your thoughts, stay focused, and write clearly and concisely. Start each paragraph with a new idea. Show, don’t tell. Use strong verbs and include a lot of sensory details.

End with a thought-provoking conclusion. You need to explain what lesson you have learned, how your experience contributed to your development as a person and shaped your personality.

Why choose personal persuasive essay topics for writing

When writing on personal persuasive essay topics, writers must state their position or opinion on an issue and try to persuade people to accept their point of view, telling stories and appealing to their feelings and emotions.

That differs from elaborating on personal argumentative essay topics, when students have to support their point of view with strong arguments, reasons, relevant examples, appropriate illustrations, etc.

These types of papers are not easy to write as well as papers on personal cause and effect essay topics.

But there are important reasons why you may want to do that.

  • You’ll improve communication and critical thinking skills .
  • Challenging themes can help you stand out from the crowd.
  • You will be able to demonstrate your creativity and ability to apply persuasive techniques.

… Can’t decide what idea to choose?

Here we have gathered a wide variety of moving ideas for your inspiration. Whether you need personal experience essay topics or personal narrative essay topics, we’ve got you covered.

Personal essay topics: what are they about?

You may write on any subject. Popular themes include hobbies, nature, childhood, illness, travel, making a difficult choice, learning something new, friends, family, and relationships.

You may use some personal challenge essay ideas and tell about overcoming an obstacle. Or you can buy argumentative essay if you don’t have time to work on college tasks tonight.

Actually, the subject is not as important as you think. Readers want to see your point of view that reveals your unique personality.

  • How you met a special person in your life?
  • A person you admire most.
  • The best place in the local area.
  • A place where you would like to live your whole life.
  • Works of art you admire.
  • The job of your dream.
  • Your biggest disappointment.
  • Books that made a great impression on you.
  • What annoys you?
  • Your family traditions.
  • Are you addicted to technology?
  • What modern songs inspire you?
  • Could you live without money?
  • Do you like commercials?
  • What is your best method of studying?

Personal narrative essay topics

  • Tell about your first trip abroad.
  • The most unfortunate event ever happened to you.
  • What happened during your first day at school?
  • What is your first childhood memory?
  • What is your most memorable family event?
  • Did you experience failure?
  • What games did you play when you were a child?
  • The biggest challenge you have overcome.
  • Do you remember your first birthday party?
  • Tell how you learn something new.
  • Have you ever encountered a wild animal?
  • Tell about the first time you were home alone.
  • How you cooked a meal for the first time?
  • Tell how you helped someone.
  • How you overcame fear?

Personal experience essay topics

  • What things make you feel happy?
  • How you came to healthy eating habits?
  • How did you celebrate Christmas?
  • Did you bring a stray animal home?
  • How did you learn to drive?
  • How you met a famous person?
  • How did you learn something from enemies?
  • Describe the accidents you witnessed.
  • How you got hurt?
  • Describe disastrous trips or vacations.
  • Fantastic concerts you attended.
  • Describe terrifying nightmares.
  • Your reaction when provoked.
  • Experience of being a leader.
  • A friendship breakup experience.

Personal argumentative essay topics

  • What could you live without?
  • Why are you concerned about environmental issues?
  • How much money do you need for happiness?
  • What does your ethnic identity mean to you?
  • Significance of personal growth.
  • Male and female roles in your family.
  • Your attitude to feminism.
  • Explain what does it mean to be a Human.
  • Most precious moments of your life.
  • What is more critical: wealth or happiness?
  • Your attitude to getting a tattoo.
  • Is it important to be crazy about fashion?
  • Your opinion on cosmetics surgery.
  • Significance of healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Your favourite holiday destinations.

College personal essay topics

  • Have you been in love with someone?
  • What is your life’s goal?
  • What does success mean to you?
  • How freedom matters in your life?
  • How you leave the comfort zone?
  • Things you appreciate in life.
  • What things do you hate?
  • How you met college roommates?
  • Your plans on spending a gap year.
  • How you got your first job?
  • Describe intellectual challenges you would like to solve.
  • What did you learn from failures?
  • Outdoor activities you like most.
  • Explain your commitments.
  • What motivates you?

Personal persuasive essay topics

  • Your opinion of distant learning and online education.
  • Can listening to music help complete your homework faster?
  • Can hobbies help in a future career?
  • Is it ethical to buy products tested on animals?
  • Why is volunteering important?
  • Should drugs be banned?
  • Your favourite restaurant everyone should visit.
  • Things to do to help our world survive.
  • How can we make the world a better place?
  • Is it possible to avoid stress?
  • Should zoos be forbidden?
  • How online shopping makes me spend more money?
  • Why I don’t smoke.
  • Things I want to be doing when I become 85.
  • Why do I recommend students to study abroad?

Personal cause and effect essay topics

  • Why I don’t watch TV.
  • Reasons I go in for sports.
  • Effects of social media on the daily routine.
  • How my failures make me stronger?
  • Books that changed my world view.
  • Reasons why I study computer science.
  • Influence of my parents on my life choices.
  • Importance of learning math for my future career.
  • Effect of being a single child.
  • How my pets make me a better person?
  • Influence of regular exercise on my health and wellbeing.
  • What makes me rebel against my parents?
  • How did my parents help me to study?
  • Why going to college made me an independent person?
  • What caused my burn out?

Feel free to use our good personal essay topics for creating amazing pieces that will make a powerful impression on your readers and get you high grades.

Can’t grab your thoughts together and come up with a perfect personal essay? No worries! Our writers will do all the writing, while you enjoy your free time. Psst, it takes a few clicks only…

1 Star

What To Write In School Uniform Research Paper?

How to write assignment in style requested by the professor.

personal ideas for essay

How To Write A Strong Essay On Depression?

My Speech Class

Public Speaking Tips & Speech Topics

242 Personal Persuasive Essay Topics and Ideas

Photo of author

Jim Peterson has over 20 years experience on speech writing. He wrote over 300 free speech topic ideas and how-to guides for any kind of public speaking and speech writing assignments at My Speech Class.

Personal Persuasive Essay Topics Ideas intro image

Personal essays are some of the most diverse assignments you can receive. Whether you’re a student in middle school or university, the best personal essay will highlight an individual’s personal views and unique experience. They’re not confined by the restrictions of literary essays and give plenty of opportunity for introducing the writer’s personality. The key here is selecting the right topics to talk about in a personal essay. Usually, this is the toughest part. After all, it’s the emotional core of your text. A lot of people also struggle to write about themselves and their experience as subjects of the text. Where does one start? Essay topics in general are frustrating to formulate so if you need help with some inspiration, take a look at some more ideas here ! And if you’re wondering what some good personal essay topics are, you’ll find a lot of sample ideas here as well as a guide on how to write a persuasive text.

In this article:

How to Write Personal Essays

Personal narrative essay topics, personal experience essay topics, personal argumentative essay topics, personal cause-and-effect essay topics, personal persuasive essay topics, personal essay topics for middle school, personal essay topics for high school students and college students.

Start by taking a trip down memory lane. The most gripping stories come from personal experience, especially if you’re thinking of writing a personal narrative essay. Think about a memory from your past that includes some inciting incident. If this is the first time you come across this phrase, inciting incidents are typically the metaphorical “ hooks ” of the story that have the audience interested in your text.

You could talk about your experience working as a volunteer, for example, or if you aren’t the volunteering type, you can write about some exciting memories from your childhood and summer vacations. Have you taken a trip abroad that has really left an impression on you? Are you drawn to different cultures because of that exotic trip? Maybe you went to visit a museum of your favourite artist, and this has inspired you to become an artist yourself. Perhaps you were immersed by the sound of a different language and decided to have a go at it. What have you enjoyed the most in the process? What did you hate about it? Perhaps you tried acquiring a new skill, but it went completely the wrong way for you. The list goes on and on.

There’s something there. Just remember the golden rule: always be honest in your personal essays . Trying to change your viewpoint on a subject so that it fits the masses’ opinion won’t make your personal essay enticing. The topic you’ll talk about in your personal essay is extremely important and so is the first sentence. Writing phrases such as “ever since I was a baby, I wanted to become a doctor” isn’t convincing or truthful. Try not to stick to clichés. You want to make an impression with your text, so ask yourself: What would grab your attention if you were reading your persuasive essay? I always think of Charles Dickens’ first sentence from A Christmas Carol : “Marley was dead: to begin with.” It begs for explanation and resolve, and it’s short and simple. The same should go for the personal essay entry sentence.

Why Choose Personal Persuasive Topics for Your Essay

If you’re wondering why you should choose personal persuasive topics for your essay, the answer lies in the question. We are a narrative-oriented society, and much of our relatability comes from convincingly expressing to others our individual, personal experience. What better way to let your personality shine than through conveying your emotions and adventures in a gripping story?

Personal experience essay topics vary depending on your age, and it’s quite likely that a story that worked for a high school assignment won’t have the same effect in your university days. That’s why in the sections below, we have divided the best personal essay topics into different categories. That way, you can easily navigate across all topics (and there’s quite a lot of them – a total of 242 ), but don’t let that restrict you. If you’re confident, you can always choose a topic from any of the categories.

Can We Write Your Speech?

Get your audience blown away with help from a professional speechwriter. Free proofreading and copy-editing included.

Of course, there are other important takeaways from writing a great personal essay. Usually, your teacher or admissions officer will look out that you have successfully done the following:

  • Communicated and implemented your critical thinking skills
  • Spoken convincingly and from experience about challenging themes that make you stand out from the crowd
  • Demonstrated your creativity and unique voice all the while applying persuasive techniques in your writing

With all this in mind, you can now start by selecting the right type of personal essay topic from our categories. We have included everything from personal essay topics for middle school to personal essay topics for high school, as well as narrative essay topics and many more. Go on, what are you waiting for?

Personal Narrative Essay Topics

Personal narrative essays are a great way to tell your unique take on a personal story. You just have to choose a project you feel passionate about. Typically, choosing a story involving your success and personality growth is your best bet, but of course, always make sure to check that your topic is suitable for the task given by your tutors. If you’re wondering what topics are suitable for a great personal narrative essay, check out the following ideas:

  • Starting your first job
  • Volunteering for the first time
  • A memorable teacher that made an impact on you
  • A dangerous experience
  • Your first journey abroad/to the countryside
  • An experience that changed your behavior
  • An experience that made you gain/lose religious faith
  • A comedic situation based on some misunderstanding
  • Events from your summer vacation that changed your life
  • The first time you got a pet
  • The experience of meeting your little sibling for the first time 
  • A time when you decided what your future job will be 
  • The change of a relationship with some you didn’t expect you’d like
  • The first time you experienced a dangerous event of some kind 
  • The first time you won something
  • Your experience participating in a sport/political/environmental design
  • A story about a teacher who inspired you
  • A story about a family member who is dear to you
  • Your experience of being in charge of something for the first time
  • Your experience traveling on your own for the first time 
  • How a book you read changed your life 
  • How the most exciting subject in school changed your life
  • How technology changed the way you access information
  • The first time you experienced an earthquake or tornado
  • A story about someone who has become your patron/idol 
  • Your reaction/opinion on an event that influenced your country 
  • A moment you caught someone in a lie
  • An episode that changed your relationship with your parents
  • An event which showed you taking responsibility and leadership 
  • An event in which you face discrimination 
  • An experience of successfully fighting procrastination 
  • A time when you helped people in a crisis
  • The experience of creating secret places in your childhood
  • An experience playing your favorite game
  • A time you got lost 
  • Your first time going on a trip by yourself 
  • The influence of technology on your younger siblings vs you
  • What you would do if you won the lottery for the first time 
  • Your best childhood memory
  • Your experience of discovering a disability for the first time 
  • A secret talent you have 
  • Your experience learning a musical instrument
  • Your experience with an inexplicable event that happened to you
  • A story about the greatest fear you have 
  • How your favorite work of art inspires you
  • The best advice you have heard in your life 
  • A place you would go to if you could travel in time 
  • A story about the most beautiful place you have visited
  • Something you witnessed in your lifetime that you will never forget
  • Your favorite holiday experience 
  • Your most awkward moment in college
  • Your biggest fear
  •  The most crucial lesson in your life 
  • Your experience of being betrayed by someone and your response to it 
  • An advice your parents gave you that wasn’t useful
  • Describe your biggest moment of failure 
  • Your biggest argument with a family member
  • A difficult decision you have made 
  • The day you realized you had made a best friend
  • The most interesting dream you have had 

Personal Experience Essay Topics

Personal experience essays aren’t that much different from personal narrative essays. They still have an element of narrative storytelling within them, but this time, they focus more on a level of experience you have gained because of a certain event. Usually, personal experience essay topics are focused around the theme of personal development. Many things can be described and included in a personal narrative essay, and you not only are given the opportunity to demonstrate your personal views on a subject, but you can also have your level of determination and ambition evaluated by a professional teacher or college admissions officer. Usually, personal narrative essay papers are written when submitting a college application, but it’s also possible to receive such an essay in school. In my personal experience, some of the greatest essays presenting an intellectual challenge are in fact the personal experience essays.

Let’s get straight into some essay prompts:

  • How do you handle stress when attending an important exam?
  • Which school subject motivated you to study hard?
  • Did a teacher have a significant influence on your confidence in selecting a career?
  • Is homework a waste of time?
  • How would you go about doing research for an essay?
  • What motivates you to study and pursue your dreams?
  • Everyone has a plan “A” when it comes to choosing a career. What is your plan “B”?
  • How has your biggest failure shaped your personality today?
  • What is your biggest accomplishment outside of college/school, and how did you come to achieve it?
  • What is the difference between female and male roles in your family? In what way would you change them?
  • How did a book/film change your worldview?
  • What role have teams and clubs had in your life?
  • What role has television had in your life? 
  • What is your relationship with social media?
  • How have moments of racial or religious discrimination affected you?

Personal Argumentative Essay Topics

Personal argumentative essay topics are generally given to college students or sometimes to people applying for a degree in Humanitarian Sciences. Such essays are a great way for admission officers to evaluate your knowledge of current events and relevant social discussions. Personal argumentative essay topics are usually considered more difficult than narrative essays, for example. For more argumentative ideas and speech topics , check the guide! Thus, if you’re planning on taking up this challenge, make sure you have enough time to prepare. If you have a whole term to prepare for this personal argumentative essay topic, you’ll surely be able to tackle it. Also, if that sounds too engaging, don’t worry, there are plenty of other, easier essay ideas on our lists!

Check out our example personal argumentative essay prompts for argumentative essay topics:

  • Should prisons be abolished? If so, what is the negative and positive impact of this global decision?
  • How does higher education affect the merit in meritocracy?
  • Should artificial intelligence be applied actively in warfare?
  • Does revolution go hand in hand with violence?
  • Has the COVID-19 pandemic made us more prepared for the prevention of future epidemics occurring worldwide?
  • In what way has the instant gratification of social media changed our relationship to technology?
  • How has the digital age changed children’s relationship to empathy?
  • What would the impact of a potential legalization of productivity drugs look like in current society?
  • Is there a difference in work performance between Ivy League alumni and lower-ranking university students?
  • Is obesity preventable?
  • Is gun control a necessary method for the prevention of shootings?
  • Should everyone have the right to vote?
  • Should the right to vote be exclusively available to people with some form of education?
  • Does the #metoo movement yield meaningful social change?
  • Is knife control a necessary and sufficient method of knife crime prevention?
  • How can the value of digital collectible art be accurately determined?
  • Is fan fiction writing real writing?
  • Do all students need to learn a foreign language?
  • Should students take a gap year between high school and university?
  • Why should universities teach financial literacy?
  • Should students participate in the maintenance of school property?

Personal Cause-and-Effect Essay Topics

Personal cause-and-effect essay topics are pretty self-explanatory. You’re aiming to express your opinion on a subject that has a cause, for example, supposedly, school uniforms are meant to cause discipline among students. Exercising and backing up your opinion on this essay idea will make it personal. Here is a detailed guide on how to write a great cause and effect essay . Think of a topic that excites you. It could be something you’re unhappy with or something you think is unjust.

Here are personal cause-and-effect essay topics we came up with:

  • How can video games boost people’s IQ?
  • Can a personal relationship in a family improve with phone use?
  • Can going to college make for happier marriages?
  • How can the involvement of a parent change a child’s education?
  • How have smartphones impacted general communication?
  • What is the effect of cookies, and does it make people shop more?
  • What is the effect of tablets on young children?
  • What is the effect of mobile usage during class?
  • Why can’t another popular engine be established in place of Google?
  • What is the effect of the financial success Disney has had in the last 30 years?
  • Should dating in school be banned?
  • Can living together before marriage make a relationship between partners stronger?
  • Can a couple sleeping in separate beds have a healthy relationship?
  • What is the effect of bullying on mental health?
  • What is the cause of bullying behavior?
  • Why shouldn’t women have to work after an abortion or miscarriage?
  • What is the impact of smoking on a pregnant mother ?
  • How can the presence of acne affect the life of a teenager? What about an adult?
  • Why do some people avoid vaccines?
  • What causes a lack of interest in sports?
  • How can teenagers better protect themselves against cyberbullies?
  • What causes certain social media apps to lose popularity?
  • Can continuous sporting activities cause character development?
  • Is “cancel culture” sparking meaningful change?
  • What is the root cause of racism?
  • Why is it essential to manage forest fires?
  • What are the harmful effects of antill hunting on the ecosystem? 
  • Why is it important for everyone to conserve water?
  • What is the environmental impact of a single-use plastic ban?
  • Can a long-distance relationship work?
  • What are the causes and effects of cheating during exams?
  • Is it a necessity to have an obligatory Sex Ed class ?
  • How has the Internet changed the public’s sexual education?
  • Should there be student bars on campus?
  • Should work become mandatory for anyone over the age of 18?
  • What causes some sports to be more popular among students than others?
  • What are the effects of using computers and tablets in school? What about university?
  • Have libraries become more popular over the last few years? 
  • What caused the General Data Protection Regulation, and why is it necessary?
  • What are the effects of online dating apps such as Tinder or Grindr?
  • What are the effects of drugs and alcohol on people?
  • Should people be allowed to drive after drinking a single unit of alcohol?
  • What are the effects of a family structure on an individual?
  • Does having a sibling make a person more responsible?
  • Are siblings better at sharing?
  • How has the golden child syndrome affected millennials?
  • How can teachers positively and negatively affect student lives?
  • What are the root causes of commitment phobia in men and women?
  • What is the effect of social media on romantic relationships?
  • How does eating fast food affect the energy levels of an individual?

Personal Persuasive Essay Topics

Unlike personal cause-and-effect essay topics, personal persuasive essay topics aim to convince the reader that your opinion is right. This type of academic writing assignment explains a particular problem and uses research combined with personal experience in order to end up with a powerful persuasive conclusion. Through logic and convincing evidence, as well as always keeping in mind the goal of persuasion, you can write a powerful assignment.

Here are some personal persuasive essay ideas to choose from for your next writing assignment:

  • Is chess considered a sport or a game?
  • How is modern music not as well-composed as music from the past, such as the 1970s?
  • Is it important to put PG labels on music tracks or films?
  • Elaborate on the importance of the right education when playing professional music.
  • Is animal hunting an immoral hobby?
  • Is it a good idea to keep pets indoors?
  • The cruelty behind testing beauty products on animals
  • Is it ethical to breed animals for sale?
  • Schools have to reduce the amount of homework assigned to students.
  • SATs and ACTs are not effective ways of examining the knowledge of students.
  • There should be an Emotional Intelligence mandatory class for all years.
  • Vaccines can lead to autism.
  • Astrology isn’t an effective way of predicting future events.
  • All transport vehicles should be automatic or electric.
  • Can distant online learning replace traditional classes?
  • Working from home is better for finance but worse for mental health.
  • The current taxation system is unfair.
  • Listening to music when writing homework is an effective way of sparking productivity
  • Hustle culture has taxing effects on mental health.
  • People volunteer for their personal benefit, instead of kindness
  • People who have survived a near-death experience have a newfound appreciation for life.
  • Is “fake it until you make it” a healthy way of progressing?
  • Why do people lie on their resumes?
  • Why book reading during summer vacations should become mandatory.
  • Weekends should change from 2 days to 3 days.
  • Why we should be making selective school sports mandatory in school.
  • Cooking and body health classes should be mandatory subjects in school.
  • Can e-books and Kindles replace physical books?
  • Should the death penalty exist?
  • Why should children have chores?
  • Why should it be made mandatory for children to contribute to the overall maintenance, cleanliness, and gardening of schools?

Personal Essay Topics for Middle School

When choosing a personal essay topic, it’s important to take on subjects and ideas related to your age. Some topics require a lot more research, while others can be a little too sensitive for a younger writer. Selecting the right one for you will leave you with less workload and can guarantee you a better grade. Of course, if you feel confident and knowledgeable enough, you can try your skills with a more difficult essay idea. Paper writing can be a difficult intellectual challenge, but we’re sure that with these essay ideas, you’ll be able to tell your personal story and write a great essay:

  • How did you make a best friend?
  • A special top-secret place you have.
  • A story of a time a friend let you down.
  • A time when you disappointed someone.
  • What is your happiest memory?
  • Your first time receiving a pet.
  • Your bravest moment.
  • A time you felt embarrassed.
  • What would you do if you were omnipotent? 
  • What would you do if you could switch lives with someone? Who would it be?
  • How did a book change your life?
  • What would you do if your pet could talk?
  • If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  • If you could shapeshift into an animal, what would you be? What would you do?
  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Would you change anything?
  • What’s your secret talent?
  • The first time you fell in love.
  • An accident that changed your life.
  • Talk about the ugliest thing you have seen.
  • Talk about the most influential family member.
  • Talk about your favorite gift.
  • Talk about something you can’t resist.
  • Talk about a guest you had in your house that you’ll never forget.
  • Talk about the hardest news you’ve had to deliver.
  • Talk about a special gift you have received.
  • Talk about something that if your mum knew, you’d be in a lot of trouble. A lot.
  • If you could volunteer anywhere, where would it be?
  • If you won a million dollars, how would you spend them?
  • What is an unexplained event that stuck with you?
  • The one thing you can’t resist.
  • If you could be a superhero, what power would you have? Why?
  • If you could teleport anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Personal Essay Topics for High School Students and College Students

This list of personal essay topics for high school students will definitely inspire you to practice your personal essay skills. Covering topics like communication, ethical consumption, personal experience and more, you’ll be able to gain new ideas and express your deepest thoughts within the confines of the page. These personal essay topics for high school students are also a great way of reflecting on your growth and personal opinion, while expressing your thoughts and opinions.

  • What inspires you?
  • What inanimate object best embodies you?
  • What’s one thing your parents don’t understand about you?
  • What is the one quality a good person must have?
  • Describe the best decision you ever made
  • What is one thing you would change that you know will make a great difference in your life?
  • How do you respond to criticism? Talk about a time you were critiqued.
  • Do you feel the impact of peer pressure in your life? How is it manifested?
  • Are you religious, an atheist, or agnostic? Why and why not?
  • Do you feel comfortable in your body? Do you feel pressure from the media about how you “should” look?
  • What are your views on ethical consumption? Does it matter to you?
  • What are your views on veganism? 
  • Do you feel like your friends are honest with each other? Why and why not?
  • When you look back on your time in high school, what part will you remember with fondness?
  • If you could tell your 12-year-old self something, what would it be and why?
  • Do you have a dream profession? What is it?
  • If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
  • Do you believe in “soulmates”? Why and why not?
  • What is your dream goal? Do you feel like you’ll ever achieve it?
  • Do you believe in the concept of “best friends”? Why and why not?
  • Do you believe in astrology? Why and why not?
  • What do you think the world will look like in 100 years?
  • If you could bring to life any famous historical figure and spend the day with them, who would you pick, and what would you do?
  • If you could go back in time, would you kill Hitler? 
  • What TV series you saw recently made an impression on you? Why?
  • What part of high school do you wish you could get rid of?
  • If you could start your own business, what would you do?
  • What issues truly motivate you and why?
  • If you were an admissions officer, what positive qualities would you look for in students?
  • What period of school do you think is most important? 
  • What is your dream profession? What are it’s positives and negatives?
  • Do you think the world can function without money? What would that alternative universe look like?
  • Do you think all students should go to college? Why?

Writing essays is a great way to showcase your writing skills, as well as clearly communicate your views and ideas. Personal essay writing improves your debating, logical, and deductive skills, so it’s important that you select a topic you’re passionate about and inspired by. This will give you enough fuel to power through the most difficult essay topics while at the same time enjoy what you’re writing about. We hope you enjoyed our personal persuasive essay topics! Make sure to bookmark and come back to this personal essay ideas list in the future when you’re given an assignment! Here are some more college essay topics , check them out!

151 Interesting Narrative Essay Topics and Examples

300+ Conversation Topics That Are Guaranteed to Break the Ice

Leave a Comment

I accept the Privacy Policy

Reach out to us for sponsorship opportunities

Vivamus integer non suscipit taciti mus etiam at primis tempor sagittis euismod libero facilisi.

© 2024 My Speech Class

Have a language expert improve your writing

Check your paper for plagiarism in 10 minutes, generate your apa citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • College essay
  • Choosing Your College Essay Topic | Ideas & Examples

Choosing Your College Essay Topic | Ideas & Examples

Published on October 25, 2021 by Kirsten Courault . Revised on July 3, 2023.

A strong essay topic sets you up to write a unique, memorable college application essay . Your topic should be personal, original, and specific. Take time to brainstorm the right topic for you.

Table of contents

What makes a good topic, brainstorming questions to get started, discover the best topic for you, how to make a common topic compelling, frequently asked questions about college application essays, other interesting articles.

Here are some guidelines for a good essay topic:

  • It’s focused on you and your experience
  • It shares something different from the rest of your application
  • It’s specific and original (not many students could write a similar essay)
  • It affords the opportunity to share your positive stories and qualities

In most cases, avoid topics that

  • Reflect poorly on your character and behavior
  • Deal with a challenge or traumatic experience without a lesson learned or positive outlook

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Spend time reflecting on and writing out answers to the following questions. After doing this exercise, you should be able to identify a few strong topics for your college essay.

Writing about yourself can be difficult. If you’re struggling to identify your topic, try these two strategies.

Start with your qualities

After identifying your positive qualities or values, brainstorm stories that demonstrate these qualities.

Start with a story

If you already have some memorable stories in mind that you’d like to write about, think about which qualities and values you can demonstrate with those stories.

Talk it through

To make sure you choose the right topic, ask for advice from trusted friends or family members who know you well. They can help you brainstorm ideas and remember stories, and they can give you feedback on your potential essay topics.

You can also work with a guidance counselor, teacher, or other mentor to discuss which ideas are most promising. If you plan ahead , you can even workshop multiple draft essays to see which topic works best.

If you do choose a common topic, ensure you have the following to craft a unique essay:

  • Surprising or unexpected story arcs
  • Interesting insight or connections
  • An advanced writing style

Here are a few examples of how to craft strong essays from cliché topics.

Here’s a checklist you can use to confirm that your college essay topic is right for you.

College essay topic checklist

My topic is focused on me, not on someone else.

My topic shares something different from the rest of my application.

My topic is specific and original (not many students could write a similar essay).

My topic reflects positively on my character and behavior.

If I chose to write about a traumatic or challenging experience, my essay will focus on how I overcame it or gained insight.

If I chose a common topic, my essay will have a surprising story arc, interesting insight, and/or an advanced writing style.

Good topic!

It looks like your topic is a good choice. It's specific, it avoids clichés, and it reflects positively on you.

There are no foolproof college essay topics —whatever your topic, the key is to write about it effectively. However, a good topic

  • Is meaningful, specific, and personal to you
  • Focuses on you and your experiences
  • Reveals something beyond your test scores, grades, and extracurriculars
  • Is creative and original

Yes—admissions officers don’t expect everyone to have a totally unique college essay topic . But you must differentiate your essay from others by having a surprising story arc, an interesting insight, and/or an advanced writing style .

To decide on a good college essay topic , spend time thoughtfully answering brainstorming questions. If you still have trouble identifying topics, try the following two strategies:

  • Identify your qualities → Brainstorm stories that demonstrate these qualities
  • Identify memorable stories → Connect your qualities to these stories

You can also ask family, friends, or mentors to help you brainstorm topics, give feedback on your potential essay topics, or recall key stories that showcase your qualities.

Most topics are acceptable for college essays if you can use them to demonstrate personal growth or a lesson learned. However, there are a few difficult topics for college essays that should be avoided. Avoid topics that are:

  • Overly personal (e.g. graphic details of illness or injury, romantic or sexual relationships)
  • Not personal enough (e.g. broad solutions to world problems, inspiring people or things)
  • Too negative (e.g. an in-depth look at your flaws, put-downs of others, criticizing the need for a college essay)
  • Too boring (e.g. a resume of your academic achievements and extracurriculars)
  • Inappropriate for a college essay (e.g. illegal activities, offensive humor, false accounts of yourself, bragging about privilege)

Here’s a brief list of college essay topics that may be considered cliché:

  • Extracurriculars, especially sports
  • Role models
  • Dealing with a personal tragedy or death in the family
  • Struggling with new life situations (immigrant stories, moving homes, parents’ divorce)
  • Becoming a better person after community service, traveling, or summer camp
  • Overcoming a difficult class
  • Using a common object as an extended metaphor

It’s easier to write a standout essay with a unique topic. However, it’s possible to make a common topic compelling with interesting story arcs, uncommon connections, and an advanced writing style.

If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Academic writing

  • Writing process
  • Transition words
  • Passive voice
  • Paraphrasing


  • How to end an email
  • Ms, mrs, miss
  • How to start an email
  • I hope this email finds you well
  • Hope you are doing well

 Parts of speech

  • Personal pronouns
  • Conjunctions

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Courault, K. (2023, July 03). Choosing Your College Essay Topic | Ideas & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved April 2, 2024, from

Is this article helpful?

Kirsten Courault

Kirsten Courault

Other students also liked, college essay format & structure | example outlines, what do colleges look for in an essay | examples & tips, how to make your college essay stand out | tips & examples, "i thought ai proofreading was useless but..".

I've been using Scribbr for years now and I know it's a service that won't disappoint. It does a good job spotting mistakes”

  • Essay Samples
  • College Essay
  • Writing Tools
  • Writing guide


↑ Return to Writing guide

Top 50 Personal Essay Topics

You might be set a personal essay as a criterion for your admission to college or it might be set at any time during your academic career. A personal essay is essentially a form of self-expression. It draws on other essay formats – like a narrative essay – but of all academic assignments it is the loosest and least dogmatic. It can be more prosaic than other more technical formats demand. Whatever form, at its core is the presentation of your experience or emotions. It is a time when you can find your muse and really express yourself in the written word.

  • I went to college to say thank you to my parents
  • How being bullied made me the person I am today
  • William Blake is the poet I most admire
  • My spirit of adventure
  • How I propose to spend the long vacation
  • Why I am taking a gap year
  • What the “art of conversation” means to me
  • Why I left Facebook
  • I want to be able to drink legally before I’m 21
  • How being in a band helped my leadership skills
  • Why I chose a career in the medical field (or any other field)
  • My first experience as a babysitter
  • Becoming an older sister (or brother)
  • I will be a lifelong learner
  • My father (mother) is my hero
  • Life skills I learned in college
  • Why I love the Golden Age of Hollywood
  • Chocolate is my comfort food
  • The reasons I keep a food diary
  • The bravest thing I have ever done
  • The one thing I would change about the world
  • I will never forget the day that …
  • The advice I would give to a new high school student
  • My siblings and childhood
  • How I would spend $1 million
  • The place I would most like to live
  • The proudest moment of my life so far
  • Did I feel pressured into going to college?
  • Why I joined an online dating site
  • I wish I had looked after my teeth
  • The things I learned from my grandmother (father)
  • I’m proud to be a Millennial
  • The way I deal with my allergies
  • Why opera moves me so much
  • My love of Shakespeare
  • I will never prefer eBooks over printed books
  • Why pole dancing is my favorite form of exercise
  • I wasn’t allowed a pet as a child. Today I have 5 pets.
  • Why marine pollution breaks my heart
  • I took a gap year but wish I had traveled more
  • Why I plant a new tree every year
  • I do not use social media
  • I wish my mother had taught me to cook
  • Visiting museums has taught me a great deal
  • Monet and Van Gogh are my favorite artists
  • An eclectic music taste makes me interesting
  • I want to enter local politics in my 40s
  • It’s time I learned to appreciate my Irish roots
  • There was a time when …
  • If I ruled the world …

Get 20% off

Follow Us on Social Media


Get more free essays

More Assays

Send via email

Most useful resources for students:.

  • Free Essays Download
  • Writing Tools List
  • Proofreading Services
  • Universities Rating

Contributors Bio

Contributor photo

Find more useful services for students

Free plagiarism check, professional editing, online tutoring, free grammar check.

personal ideas for essay

Please wait while we process your request

Personal Essay Topics

Essay paper writing

Academic writing

personal ideas for essay

Personal essay is considered to be one of the most interesting academic assignments. Writing such an essay, you are not just creating a regular text about some person but also have a great opportunity to demonstrate your views, feelings, or opinion on a given topic. In a good paper, you can influence the readers and present some new ideas to them.

Students often think that a personal essay is difficult to write. Moreover, they often get scared when they realize that they may need to prepare for this assignment longer than usual. Well, in fact, there is nothing complicated in this task. All you need to do is express the main idea clearly, discuss it, and be honest with your readers.

However, sometimes the situation gets worse when a teacher gives quite specific college personal essay topics, and you have no opportunity to touch upon some important issues that you might want to discuss. Relax and do not think of the topic as a limitation! Instead, try to provide a deeper comprehension of the issues and concepts related to the theme of your paper.

The next challenge of creating such a text is that you will need to combine a lot of writing styles. But do not panic! Look at this struggle from a different perspective, and it will become an advantage which allows you to express your thoughts more vividly. After all, it’s a fact that your writing style reflects your personality.

Of course, the success of your essay mostly depends on the topic, so you are welcome to choose one of the interesting personal essay topics presented by our essay writing service in this article. Then, working on the task, make sure that it is not a monotonous piece that will be difficult to read. Well-structured papers on relevant common personal essay topics provide an excellent opportunity to show your point of view and express your feelings regarding the subject.

How to write personal essays?


This question is pertinent among the new writers who struggle to create a whole text about a person. But there is nothing to worry about! First of all, try to collect as much information as possible. For example, look for some interviews with the individual you want to write about. If you have one of the top personal essay topics, it will be quite easy to find this kind of info.

The next aspect of a good essay is the formatting of the text. This is not the easiest part of writing, but it is definitely not the thing you should be concerned about. Make sure that you have a writing guide to refer to or just ask your professor about formatting rules at your college. By the way, mind that we are talking mostly about personal essay topics for college, so if you have to write such text for school or university, you will need to adapt it to the requirements of that educational institution.

Finally, let’s consider the structure of a good personal essay. In the first paragraph, you have to provide a brief biography of the person you are writing about. It should contain some information about their life, achievements, and some interesting facts. After that, try to find some info about the childhood years of this individual. Using this technique, you can create an interesting intro which will prompt your audience to read the text to the very end. If you have troubles with that, you can just pick one of the personal essay topics for high school students, as they should be easier to find info on. After you are done with the first section, it is time to move on to the most challenging part of writing. Here, you have to describe the outstanding years of a person’s life and analyze the most important experiences or events during that time . Do not get scared if you are assigned to write a text about yourself or someone you do not know. You may have excellent writing skills, but it is always difficult to tell personal stories or share memories. So don’t lose heart if you won’t succeed with your first personal essay.

Why choose to write on the personal persuasive essay topics

While reading the information above, you may get the following question, “Why would a novice writer pick such a complex topic to write on?” First of all, people need to do something new and challenging all the time in order to become well-versed in particular spheres. Secondly, students learn how to work on several types of texts, which not only helps them to become better writers but also reach a totally new level of proficiency. Another great thing is that if you pick one of the personal essay topics for college applications, you will be able to stand out from the crowd of those who are going to choose the easier topics.

So, now it’s time to start writing the actual essay. Do not worry if you still have no ideas what to write about. In this article, we will provide the list of personal essay topic options which will definitely help you to write a perfect paper and get an excellent mark.

College level personal essay topics


College-level personal experience essay topics are more challenging to cope with than school ones because you have to search and analyze a lot. Moreover, writing college-level essays presupposes the development of analytical and critical thinking skills. Just like writing a personal essay for college application, it requires a more in-depth evaluation of the issue under consideration. If you struggle to find a proper topic for your essay, here is a list of interesting themes for college students:

  • The biggest fear in your life
  • A difficult decision you have made
  • When did you have the biggest argument with your sibling?
  • The most interesting dream you have ever had
  • Music that inspires you and makes you feel good
  • Perfect family vacation
  • The day you met your best college friend
  • The most awkward moment in college
  • Your phobias
  • Things your parents have taught you
  • The time you spoke out about something important to you
  • How would you spend your gap year?
  • What is the bravest moment of your life?
  • What did you do when a close person betrayed you?
  • The most important lesson in your life
  • Describe the biggest failure in your life and what you have learned from it

Personal essay topics for education

These topics are slightly different from the previous ones. Educational themes are usually a bit more school-based, which means that you need to have some basic knowledge to complete them. A lot of things can be described in this essay, but it is important to include only relevant information and clearly state your opinion. By the way, these themes are considered the best personal essay topics among all. The reason is that writing this kind of essay, you have an opportunity to demonstrate your views, goals, and aspirations so that your teacher can determine your ambitions and potential in the study area. Therefore, let us move on to the actual examples:

  • How can a professor motivate you to become a better person?
  • What are the best methods to deliver a speech?
  • Do you like doing homework, or is it a waste of time for you?
  • The best lesson you have learned studying in college or high school
  • Is it hard for you to prepare for school exams? How do you handle stress during that period?
  • What second language did you learn and how?
  • What motivates you to study hard and pursue your dreams?
  • The right and wrong choices you made regarding study and education

Easy topics for personal essay

Students choose easy topics quite often because they are not willing to spend a lot of time on writing. Selecting such a theme is not a bad idea at all because these topics are usually quite broad. Make sure you know how to write the best pieces using these great personal essay topics:

  • How to relax after a hard day?
  • The greatest fear you have
  • The best place in your house
  • The best period of the history of your country
  • Your favorite movie
  • What would you buy right now if you had a lot of money?
  • The work of art that you adore the most
  • The best period of your life
  • Who is your favorite singer?
  • Secret talent you have
  • The unexplained event that happened to you
  • Your favorite season
  • Your best birthday party
  • Your favorite type of food
  • The best childhood memory
  • What would you do if you won the lottery
  • Your favorite holiday

Some other good personal essay topics


If you are still out of ideas for personal essay topics, you can consider the themes listed below:

  • The last act of kindness that you have made
  • The job of your dream
  • The most beautiful place in the world you have ever seen
  • The best music band that helps you to fall asleep
  • The most annoying things in your life
  • A thing that reminds you of your childhood
  • The role of money in your life
  • The best words you have heard in your life
  • Have you ever witnessed something that you will remember for the rest of your life?
  • The best morning in your life
  • Something that makes you feel guilty
  • Your shopping habits
  • A place you would go if you could travel back in time  

personal ideas for essay

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *

Try it now!

Calculate your price

Number of pages:

Order an essay!

personal ideas for essay

Fill out the order form

personal ideas for essay

Make a secure payment

personal ideas for essay

Receive your order by email

personal ideas for essay

Resume services

How Far Back Should Your Resume Go?

I recently came across a resume that listed a summer cashier position in 1976 as part of a person’s “professional experience.” While it may seem a little strange or ridiculous to…

4th Jun 2018

personal ideas for essay

How to Write an Essay on College Tuition?

Many students wonder how to write an essay on college tuition, as this topic is growing in popularity these days. So, it is crucial to know how everything works in this field. And, of course, you…

22nd Jun 2020

personal ideas for essay

Writing about Gender Stereotypes

Naturally, there always were heated debates over gender issues topics in the world. Nowadays, the problem of gender inequality and stereotype remains topical. This is exactly the reason why many…

8th Jul 2020

Get your project done perfectly

Professional writing service

Reset password

We’ve sent you an email containing a link that will allow you to reset your password for the next 24 hours.

Please check your spam folder if the email doesn’t appear within a few minutes.

Questions? Call us: 


  • How it works
  • Testimonials

Essay Writing

  • Essay service
  • Essay writers
  • College essay service
  • Write my essay
  • Pay for essay
  • Essay topics

Term Paper Writing

  • Term paper service
  • Buy term papers
  • Term paper help
  • Term paper writers
  • College term papers
  • Write my term paper
  • Pay for term paper
  • Term paper topic

Research Paper Writing

  • Research paper service
  • Buy research paper
  • Research paper help
  • Research paper writers
  • College research papers
  • Write my research paper
  • Pay for research paper
  • Research paper topics

Dissertation Writing

  • Dissertation service
  • Buy dissertation
  • Dissertation help
  • Dissertation writers
  • College thesis
  • Write my dissertation
  • Pay for dissertation
  • Dissertation topics

Other Services

  • Custom writing services
  • Speech writing service
  • Movie review writing
  • Editing service
  • Assignment writing
  • Article writing service
  • Book report writing
  • Book review writing

Popular request:

295 personal narrative ideas: diverse topics for your essay.

January 6, 2022

295 Personal Narrative Ideas

Personal narrative writing involves writing about a real-life experience. It’s like non-fiction. You’re writing a story about yourself because it happened to you. At some point, your stories are the perfect personal narrative writing ideas because they are yours.

This way, you get to connect with people. As a student in high school, college, middle school, or university, you can impress your teachers or professors with good personal narrative topics. By choosing the perfect topic, you can create a stellar essay to earn high grades.

Characteristics of a Good Personal Narrative Piece

As a kind of writing which relies on individual experience, your story must:

Have a Clear Purpose This could be a narration of why the story is important to you. The purpose of the story must be clearly expressed without making direct statements about it. Organized Facts and Events The fact you are writing a story about your life doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be organized. You should write sequentially as much as possible to make it organized and lucid. Sensory Description You must also describe your feeling in a way the audience can connect with it. If you need to describe how the cold touch of rain sliced through your skin on a winter dawn, do it. Let your audience feel it as much as you felt it. Involve Readers Your readers must feel important while reading your story. To achieve this, your story must carry them along. If there’s something you need to explain, explain it to make everything clear to them. Include Conflict A story is incomplete without conflicts. This is why you must create enthralling conflicts for your characters. The higher the stake, the better the feelings when the protagonist scales through it.

All these, in addition to a thesis statement are all important features that must be seen in any personal narrative writing.

The Structure of a Personal Narrative Essay

After knowing what your personal essay must have as its features, you must also structure your essay properly. To do this, you should follow this organizational structure:

  • Introduction

This is where you grab your readers’ attention. You should set the scene where major characters of the story are also introduced. After this, discuss the role of the argument and introduce the characters. Your introduction must be captivating. Note that you’re writing a story, not a paper.

This is where everything about the story is shared. You must add all the details you know to your story. For instance, the hiking experience must be profoundly discussed, and so do the events that changed you. If you also want to talk about people, describe them. Doing this lets you show your readers, not tell them the story. When you need to change the course of the story, you can write in a new paragraph.

Our list will be extremely helpful to start your essay, but we can assist you even more along the whole process if you want to pay for essay online and save your time for something more entertaining.

Personal Narrative Writing Prompts

As students, one of the most important essays you may ever write is a personal narrative one. This is one of the ways to reveal yourself to strangers and friends. It’s a way to knows more about yourself and other people. You can consider these ideas for a personal narrative piece:

  • Identify your most threatening challenges
  • What would you say are your survival strategies?
  • How do you cope when you fail?
  • Would you say that you can’t succeed unless you fail?
  • Discuss what you do to achieve your goals
  • Do you think “leave your comfort zone” is a sham?
  • What do you think about yourself when you’re scared?
  • Would you say you don’t mind loneliness?
  • What does crying mean to you?
  • What are your fears?
  • Do you harbor superstitions, what are they?
  • Do you feel no one is seeing you as they should
  • Write about your rules for life
  • Write about your response to bullies
  • Write about how you give yourself peace
  • How do you relax within the limited time you have to yourself?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • How do you integrate feedback to improve?
  • Would you say becoming an adult is difficult?
  • What is the responsibility that scares you the most and why?
  • When was your saddest day and why was it?
  • How does stress not make anything easy for you?
  • Do you act anyhow when you’re provoked?
  • How do you perform under pressure?
  • Can you discuss what makes you happy?
  • Discuss what criticism means and how you take them in
  • Discuss what your decision-making process is like
  • Explain what motivates you the most
  • Do you think you have self-control
  • Are you presently easy or hard on yourself to reach your goals?
  • Can you work under any circumstances?
  • Do you think you’re a creative person?
  • What are the conditions that helped you maximize your potentials
  • Would you say you’re emotionally intelligent?
  • Would you say you can perform the most when you collaborate
  • Are you ready for the competitive workplace?
  • Would you say you’re a great speaker?
  • Would you say you’re a better listener?
  • Do you think you’re an agreeable person?
  • Discuss what you think about peer pressure.

Personal Narrative Essay Ideas

For your personal essays, how do you discover great essay ideas? You can consider custom personal narrative prompts which are unique to specific events. Some of the topics which are target-oriented are:

  • Discuss a time you took more risks than others
  • What makes you a daredevil?
  • What has made you brave?
  • Would you say you’re impulsive?
  • Discuss your strategies against boredom
  • What are the pranks you’ve ever fallen for
  • How do you apologize when you’re wrong?
  • Do you think you’re a cynical person?
  • Discuss three things that annoy you
  • Would you say you’re materialistic?
  • Do you consider yourself a minimalist?
  • How do you say goodbye?
  • Are you on the right or the left?
  • What do you think people think about you?
  • Why do you think what others think should matter?
  • Write about your role model
  • Would you say you’re weird?
  • Would you say you’re a nonconformist?
  • Do you believe in magic?
  • Why should you be inspired by people?
  • Do you think your role models are heroes?
  • Would you think role models must be famous
  • Outside your family, are you a different person?
  • Within your family, do you want to be someone else?
  • Which live show do you love the most?
  • Discuss how someone has made a difference in your life
  • What are the kinds of music you like?
  • Discuss what you’d put in a thank you note
  • Write what you’d do if you’re to invite your enemies to dinner
  • Recall a time to speak to a large audience of people and write how it felt
  • Do you think family is everything?
  • Do you think you can’t be anything without family?
  • Would you say you want to change your role in the family?
  • What are the programs that keep you closer?
  • If your life would be a movie, which of the autobiographies would it be?
  • Choose a profession of your choice and discuss why
  • What do you think about sacrifice?
  • Discuss a family treasure
  • Would you say you have hobbies someone has adopted
  • Why are you called your name?

Personal Narrative Ideas High School

As high school students, you also need to develop personal narrative essays. These could be essays about your parents, neighbors, or your home. Choose from these personal narrative ideas for high school students:

  • Describe your relationship with your parents?
  • Would you say your parents permit you?
  • Discuss the freedom your parents give you
  • Do you think your curfew hours make it difficult to live?
  • Would you say you enjoy your parents, why?
  • Would you prefer to be a parent too?
  • What do your parents do with your bad report card?
  • Would you say parenting is difficult?
  • Do your parents like online learning?
  • Are your parents hard on you to do things?
  • Do you think parenting could be something to be embarrassed by?
  • How did your parents influence the school you attended?
  • Do your parents let you create things on your own?
  • Do you think you have great teachers and patients?
  • What will your neighbors say about you?
  • Which characters perfectly describe your neighbors and why?
  • What is a common slogan in your environment?
  • What are the TV shows you can’t stop watching?
  • What do you think about supporting community sport?
  • Write about the mayor of your city
  • Where is your favorite place?
  • Write about your favorite joint
  • Write about a park you love
  • Discuss how you spend time with nature
  • Would you say you see bad things every day?
  • Do you love your home?
  • What is your favorite ad slogan and why?
  • What does chatting with the police feel like?
  • Have you ever been assaulted?
  • Do you think you’re easily annoyed?

Personal Narrative Topic Ideas

If you’d love to discuss anything at all, there are tons of custom ideas on narrative writing. Some personal narrative ideas are also based on religion, sexuality, race, and many other issues of the world today. Consider:

  • Would you say you have no religion?
  • Do you think the older generations are too religious?
  • Write about how you know about other religions
  • Write about what you know about other religions
  • Discuss the difference between male and female
  • Do you acknowledge the rights of trans people?
  • Do you think the LGTBQ is complicated?
  • Will you share parental responsibilities?
  • What do you know about sex?
  • What do you know about gender issues?
  • What is your experience of love?
  • How does being a ‘real man’ feel?
  • Do you think you can be biased?
  • Is there a difference in the ways sons and daughters are treated in the home?
  • Should there a more pressure on daughters than men
  • Discuss your racial identity and why it’s important to talk about it
  • Would you say you’re a feminist?
  • Discuss your encounter with sexual harassment
  • Discuss what you think about catcalling
  • What do you think about social hierarchies?
  • Discuss the last time you interacted with someone of another race
  • Do you think you have racial biases too?
  • Would you say you experienced racism before, as black
  • Which one is more important to you: money or love
  • Are you happy with yourself?
  • Would you say money can’t buy happiness too?
  • What do you pay attention to the most in the world?
  • Do you think it’s okay to be addicted to phones
  • How do you teach people about money?
  • What are the most important things in your life?

Personal Narrative Writing Ideas

As an attempt to discuss something that deals with people’s daily affairs, good ideas for personal narrative may be hard to come by. Rather than go through the trouble of finding how to think of ideas for a personal narrative, these are custom ideas for you:

  • What are the things that matter most for you?
  • Narrate what you hope to have in your dream home
  • Narrate your experience as if you’d lived in the woods
  • Narrate your most fun childhood memory
  • Discuss what your passion was as a child
  • Explain what you loved most as a child
  • Write about your favorite childhood shows and books
  • Discuss your favorite childhood picture book
  • Write about your childhood influences
  • Discuss your childhood most loved places
  • Discuss the little things your parents did they made you happy
  • Write about the first time you went out with your parents
  • Narrate your experience of a swing
  • What was your favorite song as a child? Write a response to it
  • Which food do you wish you’d eaten as a child
  • Narrate what made a gift the best you ever had
  • Write about what your most memorable letter
  • Write about the divorce of a family friend or neighbor
  • Discuss the consequence of separation from a state
  • Write about how migrated from a place to another
  • Write about how angry your father or mother could be at themselves
  • Write about your favorite memories of sleepovers
  • How did it feel when you found something you thought you’d lost?
  • What are your most prized lessons of teenage years?
  • Would you do something else differently not as an adult when you were 13?
  • Narrate the achievements that made you proud
  • Discuss the rites you engaged in
  • Write about your message to the older generation
  • Write a message to the younger generation
  • Describe yourself as if you’re a 13-year-old right now
  • Share a story of your ethical dilemma
  • Discuss your sex experience; whether you had it not
  • Write about something you cared about that you shouldn’t have
  • Write about something you didn’t care about but you should have
  • Discuss the last time you collected money from a stranger
  • Write about the last time a stranger kissed you
  • Discuss your memorable lying experience
  • Narrate your experience with drugs
  • Explain your experience with gossiping
  • Have you ever cheated in exams?

Personal Narrative Ideas College

As a college student, you can also develop incredible personal narrative pieces. Through these pieces, you can connect with your colleagues and share your ideas. Consider these personal narrative prompts:

  • Why did you choose the screen time you chose?
  • What would you do without a smartphone?
  • Narrate your gaming experiences and the thrill you feel
  • Write about the apps that do nothing but reduce you
  • Would you say tech takes a huge responsibility for change in your life?
  • Would you say you are interested in technology?
  • What is your experience of religion?
  • What is your experience of God?
  • Narrate if you’ve had an encounter with God or religion before
  • Explain what you’d do if you have control over others
  • Narrate what you would control if you can
  • Narrate what you can do without thinking otherwise
  • What would you say are your best features of YouTube
  • Narrate your experience of a date over the internet
  • Narrate your experience of seeking to advice online
  • Discuss your favorite online sports
  • Write about your online sad story
  • Write about a terrible experience of bullying online
  • Discuss how you fact check what you read online
  • Write about how you express yourself online
  • Would you say you trust Wikipedia?
  • Would you say you enjoy online reviews?
  • What is your comment on porn?
  • Would you give your passwords out?
  • If you have a partner, will you share everything?
  • What would you do if you just made a fraudulent purchase?
  • Do you chat with anonymous people?
  • How do you keep your passwords safe?
  • Are there things your parents won’t believe that is on the internet?
  • Write about why you trust social media
  • What is your favorite Facebook experience?
  • What is your favorite Twitter experience?
  • What is your experience of wrong grammar structure online?
  • Did you ever go through Instagram feeds with envy?
  • Did you ever download a stranger’s picture because you like them?

Personal Narrative Ideas for Middle School

At this stage, you have also had plausible experiences of life. What can you say about your life, or your experiences? You can write from these interesting personal narrative ideas:

  • What do you know about poo divas and who’s your favorite?
  • Write about your first karaoke performance
  • Write about the artists you’d like lined up
  • Narrate your earliest connection with music
  • Narrate your earliest experience of music
  • Write about the most loving but sad thing that ever happened to you
  • Why do you avoid people?
  • Narrate your experience of being stalked
  • Discuss how you think social media has been abused
  • Tell a story about your most favorite songs
  • Tell a story about the music which has inspired you the most
  • Which television show would you bring back?
  • Which of your childhood commercials is your favorite?
  • Why do you prefer cartoons?
  • Discuss how television helped your family stay together
  • Narrate the work nature of your parents
  • Discuss your experience of being cheated
  • Which music star do you love?
  • Which music tells you about life?
  • Which artist tells stories the most?
  • How does the music you listen to Influence you?
  • Narrate what you think are the best period of your life yet
  • Narrate your favorite movies
  • Narrate a public performance experience
  • Discuss the bad things about horror movies
  • Write about your favorite comedians
  • Narrate your experience of gaming
  • Would you play violent games?
  • Do you think zombies are real?
  • Do you feel guilty or excited that you kill zombies?

Good Ideas for a Personal Narrative Essay

If you need to discuss cool events and languages, there are good personal narrative topics for you. Some of these topics are:

  • Narrate your experience at the museum
  • What is your favorite visual artist?
  • Discuss your most fascinating work of art
  • Write about the importance of education
  • Would you say you can’t live without art
  • Which words do you like using?
  • Which words don’t you like using?
  • What are the slangs you used to love?
  • What has changed since you started using some words
  • Would you call someone a shag? Why?
  • Which word do you think people use too much?
  • Narrate what you consider a great conversation
  • Discuss your time with a lover
  • Narrate your experience discussing with your mum
  • Narrate your experience discussing with your dad
  • Narrate your experience teaching your grandparents about something on a smartphone
  • Write about a time you felt you talked too much
  • Write about a time you used satires
  • Write about a time you attacked people but didn’t feel bad
  • What would you say are the most terrible things you’ve done?
  • If you had to learn a language, which would it be?
  • How do you use your body language and why do you use it?
  • If you can influence someone’s memory, what would it be and why would you do it?
  • Write about what stresses you the most about school without using F words or castigating anyone
  • Discuss what you once looked forward to but no longer look forward to
  • Would you rather take private classes, online classes, or physical classes with other students and why would you choose your choice?
  • Discuss your experience with bullying and what you could have done when you were bullied or when someone you know was bullied
  • Write about the kind of school you wish you had attended and the experience you wish you had had
  • Write about the things you hate the most about going to your religious places and the things you wish they had
  • Discuss what it would mean to not be educated at all.

Interesting Personal Narrative Ideas

There are also interesting personal narrative essay ideas across all classes. You can choose these essay ideas for your college, high school, middle school, or university assignments. Options to consider are:

  • What have you had to do which you didn’t like?
  • Discuss how best you once participated in class
  • Write about a memorable experience of school you wish were yours
  • Write about a memorable experience of a relationship you wish you could have
  • Discuss your first encounter with a difficult subject and write when you realize you may fail the course
  • Tell a story about what you thought is fascinating about relationships that are no longer fascinating?
  • Tell a story about what you think about digital skills and why it is important in the future
  • Would you say that programming and computer coding offers more opportunities than any other skills?
  • Narrate a terrible experience of yours after you failed an exam and what your parents did
  • Narrate the saddest day in class for you
  • You were invited to speak to your class about how you spent your weekend or holiday, what were the things that ran through your mind and did you speak?
  • Like your friends, you had many terrible and shameful experiences while studying simply because you’re a shy person, narrate some of the most important and terrible moments of your school life
  • Write a story about a teacher you would like to appreciate detailing the important things the teacher had done to you without isolating the bad things he or she had also done
  • Discuss the textbook you ever felt disgusted with and why you did
  • Do you think your teachers are as vast with technology as they ought to be, and would you feel bad if you had insulted them at one time or the other when you were young?
  • Narrate the most arousing party you went to focusing on the sensory details which made it different from other parties and proms
  • If you will deliver a speech about the horribleness of physical bullying or cyberbullying, focusing on experiences that could make people cry, how would you write the speech and how would you perform it?
  • Would you flog students you considered rebellious in your class if you were a teacher, even if the student is truly stubborn and should have probably been in a juvenile center?
  • What are the mental health issues you wish people had talked about the most when you were in high school?
  • If you could talk to the authorities about the things you think were important for students which weren’t done, what would they be, and how would you do it?

Get Narrative Essay Help

With these exciting topics, you can create a professional personal narrative essay based on your adult or childhood experiences. However, if you need someone to write your essay or assignment, you can hire top-notch writers online.

We are one of the best professional writing services with years of experience writing for college, high school, and university students. We have professors and teachers in our team who create essays to help students score high grades. If you’d like to make the best submission, you can hire these writers.

Like other essays and papers we’ve written, we deliver custom essays at a fast pace at affordable rates. With a token, you’ll get the best essay and get high grades in class.

personal ideas for essay

Take a break from writing.

Top academic experts are here for you.

  • How To Write An Autobiography Guideline And Useful Advice
  • 182 Best Classification Essay Topics To Learn And Write About
  • How To Manage Stress In College: Top Practical Tips  
  • How To Write A Narrative Essay: Definition, Tips, And A Step-by-Step Guide
  • How To Write Article Review Like Professional
  • Great Problem Solution Essay Topics
  • Creating Best Stanford Roommate Essay
  • Costco Essay – Best Writing Guide
  • How To Quote A Dialogue
  • Wonderful Expository Essay Topics
  • Research Paper Topics For 2020
  • Interesting Persuasive Essay Topics

670 Personal Essay Topics & Free Ideas

5 December 2023

last updated

Colleges and high schools require students to complete personal essays. Basically, personal memoirs aim to stimulate readers to act in a specific way. In this case, writers can use unique examples of personal essay topics for starting, organizing, and writing their papers. Personal papers include real stories, involvements, and individual opinions. Besides, authors should give an account of their responsibilities and express thoughts on assigned subjects. Further on, there are two types of personal essay topics, which include secret lives and defining moment narratives. In particular, the first type focuses on essential but mysterious experiences where learners give stories that concentrate on infrequent life tracking down. Moreover, the second type of individual essay theme focuses on a critical moment in a person’s life. In turn, one should follow specific schemes to write personal papers by considering two types of topics. As a result, such aspects make essays outstanding for readers.

General Guidelines on Personal Essay Topics

A personal essay topic refers to a typical assignment for high school and college students, while they can use many examples of personal essay topics for their writing assignments provided in this article. Basically, personal memoirs exist as two major types. The first type focuses on secret lives, where learners provide stories that focus on unusual life pursuits. For example, this composition takes writers behind specific scenes of their unique experiences in odd jobs. Then, the second type of personal essay focuses on defining moments in a person’s life. Hence, personal essay topics resemble not only some secrets of life but also focus on one crucial moment that explains how authors think about their occupation or a unique situation. However, people should not limit their ideas and themes to these two types since other topics also work with writing interesting papers.

Best Personal Essay Topics

  • The journey to mastering my favorite hobby.
  • Overcoming a fear that changed my life.
  • An unforgettable encounter with a stranger.
  • Travel experiences that changed my perspective.
  • Realizing the importance of mental health.
  • My most significant failure and what I learned.
  • Living through a natural disaster: My story.
  • Memories of my first best friend.
  • Growing up in a multicultural household.
  • How has volunteering shaped my character?
  • Conquering the fear of public speaking.
  • Adapting to life after moving to a new city.
  • The time I confronted my biggest critic.
  • Experiences that taught me the value of time.
  • A passion that’s not popular among my peers.
  • Lessons learned from an unexpected source.
  • The moment I stood up for what was right.
  • How I cope with stress: My personal methods.
  • Going against societal norms: A personal account.
  • Balancing dreams with reality: My experience.
  • The importance of self-care in my life.

Easy Personal Essay Topics

  • Experiences that shaped my political views.
  • The journey to accepting my sexuality.
  • Unraveling my unique talent.
  • Achieving my most ambitious goal.
  • My favorite childhood memory and its impact.
  • The role of spirituality in my life.
  • Navigating through a major life transition.
  • Learning to appreciate my heritage.
  • The influence of art on my personal growth.
  • Overcoming a personal health challenge.
  • An event that triggered personal growth.
  • How I managed a personal conflict?
  • A time when I had to forgive someone.
  • Finding happiness in the little things.
  • My journey toward body positivity.
  • Experiencing a unique cultural event.
  • Lessons I learned from my first job.
  • A hobby that helps me relax.
  • Reflections on my time in high school.
  • The impact of technology on my life.
  • A trip that ignited a newfound passion.
  • Handling a financial crisis: A personal tale.

Personal essay topics

Interesting Personal Essay Topics

  • Perspectives on global citizenship.
  • My journey with mental health.
  • Overcoming the fear of failure.
  • The impact of family traditions.
  • Being an introvert in an extroverted world.
  • How minimalism simplified my life.
  • Reading books versus eBooks: A personal preference.
  • The role of music in my life.
  • Unusual habits that keep me sane.
  • Body positivity and self-love.
  • Finding courage in vulnerability.
  • The influence of a favorite teacher.
  • Digital detox: My experience and insights.
  • Reflecting on a childhood ambition.
  • Coping with loss: A personal journey.
  • Living a sustainable lifestyle.
  • Pets and their effect on our well-being.
  • My experience with a unique hobby.
  • Choosing passion over a paycheck.
  • Embracing change: My personal experience.
  • The importance of setting boundaries.
  • How have my parents shaped my worldview?
  • Volunteering and the act of giving back.

Personal Essay Topics About You

  • Discovering my hidden talents: A journey of self-exploration.
  • How has adopting a pet changed my life?
  • Overcoming personal fears: My story of growth.
  • The role of music in my personal development.
  • A significant moment of failure that shaped me.
  • My experience with cultural diversity and what I learned.
  • Navigating through life with a rare medical condition.
  • Dealing with loss: How has grief transformed my perspective?
  • Lessons learned from my first job experience.
  • My lifelong passion for cooking and how it is influenced me.
  • Confronting my anxieties: The path toward mental well-being.
  • Balancing academics and sports: My high school experience.
  • Embracing solitude: The importance of being alone.
  • How has volunteering shaped my worldview?
  • Reflections on a family tradition that means a lot to me.
  • Making a difference: My journey into activism.
  • How has moving to a new city opened my mind?
  • My evolution as an artist: From doodles to masterpieces.
  • Personal growth through the lens of travel experiences.

Personal Essay Topics About Your Experiences

  • Unraveling the knots: The toughest challenge I faced in my past relationship.
  • How has my first vacation with my ex shaped my understanding of compatibility?
  • The subtle art of compromise: Learning to balance my needs with my ex’s.
  • Discovering personal growth: What breaking up taught me about myself?
  • The day we adopted a pet: Learning about responsibility and care in a relationship.
  • When culture clashed: Navigating differences in our backgrounds.
  • Chasing dreams: Supporting my ex in their professional journey.
  • Navigating long-distance: The trials and triumphs of our virtual relationship.
  • Managing conflict: How have we tackled our first major disagreement?
  • In pursuit of trust: Mending our relationship after a breach of faith.
  • Lessons learned from cooking together on Sundays.
  • Cherished holidays: Creating traditions in our shared life.
  • Rebuilding bridges: Reconciling after a painful breakup.
  • A shared love of music: How have concerts become our refuge?
  • Exploring fitness together: How has working out affected our relationship?
  • Meeting the parents: The fear, excitement, and aftermath.
  • Understanding sacrifice: The most significant compromise I made.
  • The joy of shared hobbies: Learning to sail together.
  • Fostering independence: Finding personal space in a committed relationship.
  • Adapting to change: When my ex’s career shift uprooted our life.

Personal Essay Topics About Relationships

  • Discovering love in the unlikeliest places.
  • When do friendships turn into romantic relationships?
  • Balancing individuality and unity in a relationship.
  • Healing after a devastating breakup.
  • The silent language of long-term relationships.
  • Navigating the challenges of long-distance love.
  • The beauty and hardship of platonic love.
  • Mending broken bridges: Reconciliation in familial relationships.
  • Lessons learned from failed relationships.
  • The role of vulnerability in strengthening bonds.
  • Being single: A journey of self-love and exploration.
  • Age differences and their impact on relationships.
  • Integrating cultural backgrounds in relationships.
  • Living with your partner: A test of compatibility.
  • The intricacies of dating in adulthood.
  • Childhood friendships that have stood the test of time.
  • The emotional roller coaster of unrequited love.
  • Understanding the role of trust in relationships.
  • Adapting to change: The evolution of relationships over time.

Personal Essay Topics About Dreams

  • Exploring the world through my dreams.
  • How do my dreams influence my creative process?
  • A specific dream that changed my perspective on life.
  • The connection between dreams and subconscious thoughts.
  • Lessons I have learned from my recurring dreams.
  • Overcoming fears: The role dreams play.
  • Nightmares and what they teach us about ourselves.
  • Can dreams predict the future? My experience.
  • Analyzing the symbolism in my dreams.
  • The role of dreams in different cultures: A personal perspective.
  • Discovering personal growth through dream journaling.
  • How has lucid dreaming expanded my self-awareness?
  • Dreams and their impact on my mental health.
  • My journey with dream interpretation: Successes and challenges.
  • Unforgettable dream experiences that have left lasting impressions.
  • The relationship between my dreams and my waking life.
  • Dealing with loss and grief through dreams.
  • Diving into the science of dreams: A personal inquiry.
  • My personal endeavors in dream incubation: Seeking solutions in sleep.
  • Revisiting childhood through dreams: A voyage of self-discovery.

Personal Narrative Essay Topics

  • My journey through learning a new language.
  • Overcoming the biggest challenge in my life.
  • The day I stood up for what was right.
  • An unforgettable experience with a stranger.
  • Exploring my heritage during a visit to my ancestral homeland.
  • A life-changing experience on my first solo trip.
  • Memories from my favorite childhood place.
  • My perspective on life after a near-death experience.
  • How has my favorite book shaped my personality?
  • Understanding the meaning of friendship from a surprising source.
  • My transformative experience while volunteering at a shelter.
  • The incident that made me a more compassionate person.
  • Becoming a pet parent: Joy and responsibilities.
  • Experiencing a culture shock on my exchange program.
  • Navigating through life with a unique hobby.
  • Lessons learned from a devastating failure.
  • Discovering my passion in an unlikely way.
  • How has a single book shaped my worldview?
  • The role of a mentor in my personal growth.
  • The unforgettable journey to my ancestral home.
  • Discovering strength in my weakest moment.

Personal Persuasive Essay Topics

  • Online education is superior to traditional schooling.
  • Mandatory voting will improve democratic participation.
  • Self-driving cars should replace human-operated vehicles.
  • Adoption of plant-based diets is necessary for global sustainability.
  • Privacy concerns outweigh the benefits of surveillance technologies.
  • Animal testing is unacceptable in modern scientific research.
  • Artificial intelligence poses more threats than benefits to society.
  • Corporations should have stricter regulations to prevent climate change.
  • Countries should open their borders to all immigrants.
  • All schools should implement mental health education in their curriculum.
  • Society benefits more from arts education than from sports programs.
  • Public spaces should always offer free Wi-Fi.
  • Parental consent is necessary for minors to access social media.
  • Health insurance should be a fundamental right, not a privilege.
  • Single-use plastic items must be banned globally.
  • Personal finance courses should be a mandatory part of high school education.
  • Social media platforms need stricter measures against cyberbullying.
  • Humanity should prioritize colonizing other planets.
  • Excessive screen time is detrimental to children’s development.

Personal Cause and Effect Essay Topics

  • Volunteering at a local shelter and its impact on my worldview.
  • The effect of social media detox on my mental health.
  • Experiencing failure and its role in shaping my resilience.
  • The consequences of procrastination on my academic performance.
  • Moving to a new city and the unexpected outcomes.
  • Practicing mindfulness and its effect on my stress levels.
  • The implications of becoming a vegetarian on my health and lifestyle.
  • Embracing minimalism and its transformative impact on my life.
  • How has learning a new language influenced my cultural understanding?
  • A significant childhood event and its long-lasting effects.
  • The repercussions of taking a gap year after high school.
  • Committing to regular exercise and its impact on my self-esteem.
  • Cultivating a hobby and how it altered my leisure time.
  • Learning to play a musical instrument and its influence on my cognitive abilities.
  • A health scare and its effect on my life priorities.
  • Pursuing a passion and the subsequent changes in my career path.
  • Joining a book club and its impact on my intellectual growth.
  • Undertaking a solo travel adventure and the resulting self-discovery.
  • Coping with a significant loss and its effect on my emotional growth.
  • Incorporating meditation into my daily routine and its influence on my concentration.
  • Deciding to live abroad and the resulting changes in my worldview.

Personal Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Impacts of social media on personal relationships.
  • Remote work is more efficient than traditional office work.
  • The necessity of financial literacy in the modern world.
  • Veganism: A healthier choice or a passing trend?
  • Online dating: Are the risks worth the rewards?
  • Is maintaining personal privacy possible in the digital age?
  • Standardized tests do not accurately reflect a student’s abilities.
  • Living abroad can broaden your perspective on life.
  • Fast fashion and its effect on individual purchasing behavior.
  • Personal growth: Is it essential to experience failure?
  • Meditation as a powerful tool for stress relief.
  • Self-driving cars: Safer or riskier than human drivers?
  • Online influencers: Are they shaping or harming our society?
  • The role of pets in enhancing mental health.
  • Renewable energy at home: Is it a practical choice?
  • How important is physical exercise for mental health?
  • Continuous learning: A key to success or a source of stress?
  • The effectiveness of mindfulness practices in daily life.
  • Decluttering: A path to mental clarity or a trendy illusion?
  • Gap years: Are they beneficial for personal growth?

Examples of Personal Essay Topics

One can write about different personal essay topics for two types of personal memoirs identified above. Hence, some unique types of personal essay topics are:

Personal Essay Topics on Secrets of Life

  • The confession of a failed help mission.
  • The disclosure of searching for a soul mate.
  • The secret life of a rescue volunteer.
  • A detailed account of obesity caused me to develop joint problems.
  • Secrets of a successful learner.
  • Unveiling the beauty of everyday moments.
  • The healing power of laughter in life’s journey.
  • Nature’s wisdom: How do the outdoors teach us to live?
  • Lessons learned from unexpected friendships.
  • Adapting to change: Life’s only constant.
  • The transformative power of love and kindness.
  • Harnessing the strength within: Self-discovery in times of turmoil.
  • Serenity in solitude: A journey toward self-love.
  • Perseverance and hope: A tale of personal growth.
  • Mysteries of the subconscious mind: Dream interpretations and their impact on life.
  • Simplicity, minimalism, and the quest for a meaningful existence.
  • Understanding the role of failure in the pursuit of success.
  • Life’s hidden messages in seemingly mundane routines.
  • Endurance and resilience: Learning to dance in the rain.
  • Reflections on wisdom: What have elders taught me about life?
  • Connections and coincidences: A contemplation on fate and destiny.
  • Cherishing the transient: An essay on life’s fleeting moments.

Personal essay topics above may vary from one discipline to another, depending on the writer’s focus and life experiences. In turn, possible topics for different subjects that one may consider when writing a personal essay about a secret life are:

Examples of Personal Topics on Art and Culture

  • An account of a failed social media relationship.
  • The confession of my experience with native communities.
  • The impact of street art on urban development.
  • My first experience with classical music.
  • The evolution of pop art and its impact on my artistic vision.
  • How do different cultures influence contemporary fashion?
  • My personal connection with abstract expressionism.
  • The cultural significance of traditional folk music in my life.
  • Understanding the power of photography: Capturing moments that matter.
  • The intersection of technology and art: My experience with digital art.
  • The role of theatre in shaping cultural perspectives.
  • How has anime influenced my appreciation of Japanese culture?
  • My journey with literature: The books that have changed my perspective on life.
  • The confession of how I used to copy a colleague’s work.
  • An account of how my choice of college promoted learning skills.
  • My confession with a haunting artwork.
  • Why graffiti is more than just vandalism: My personal perspective.
  • My account of how I faced the law due to throw-away culture.
  • Cultural celebrations: A deeper look at their artistic components.
  • My secret account with a haunting experience with my cultural identity.

Samples of Personal Topics on Economics

  • Effects of global financial influence on my life.
  • Impacts of consumerism on my economic status.
  • Balancing a personal budget: A journey to financial independence.
  • The influence of global economic events on local economies.
  • Lessons learned from the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Microfinance: Transforming lives and communities.
  • Effects of Hurricane Katrina on my school life.
  • Influence of tariffs on my consumption behaviors.
  • How does politics influence my relationship with natives?
  • Exploring the concept of “money” in the digital age.
  • How does my understanding of supply and demand influence daily decisions?
  • Sustainability and economics: Can they coexist harmoniously?
  • Unraveling the impact of inflation on my purchasing power.
  • Capitalism vs. socialism: My personal perspective.
  • How do economic policies influence my poverty levels?
  • The role of government in my economic life.
  • Demystifying the complex world of stock markets.
  • Evaluating the pros and cons of consumerism.
  • How did my father’s choices influence my behavior?
  • My experience with cryptocurrency: A gamble or a wise investment?
  • Effects of monetary policies undermined my business.

Examples of Personal Essay Topics on Education

  • An account of how standardized testing influenced my high school performance. 
  • The role of technology in modern education.
  • My journey toward understanding the value of inclusive education.
  • An account of how my indigo identity ruined my life.
  • Navigating the educational system as a first-generation student.
  • Benefits of extracurricular activities for holistic development.
  • ADHD and dyslexia damaged my education.
  • An account of how internal and external factors make my learning experience boring.
  • How has homeschooling changed my perspective on learning?
  • The importance of language learning in global citizenship.
  • Parent involvement: A critical aspect of educational success.
  • Lessons learned from my first teaching experience.
  • An account of how technologies weakened my learning abilities
  • My horrific account with e-books and collaborative boards in class 
  • An account of how homeschooling caused social distress
  • My experience with student-led learning initiatives.
  • Emotional intelligence: An overlooked aspect in classrooms.
  • Benefits and challenges of studying abroad.
  • Experiencing cultural diversity in the school environment.
  • My horrific experience in charter schools

Sample Topics for Personal Papers on Ethics

  • My negative perception of genetic engineering.
  • Exploring the role of personal integrity in decision-making.
  • My journey toward understanding the essence of truthfulness.
  • Altruism and its impact on my life choices.
  • My negative perception towards the legalization of marijuana.
  • How marijuana legalization increased my juvenile delinquency.
  • A personal account of cultural imperialism.
  • The ethical dilemma I faced in the digital age.
  • Personal reflections on the ethics of non-violence.
  • The influence of empathy on my ethical framework.
  • Standing up against groupthink: A story of moral courage.
  • An account of how cultural imperialism ruined my life.
  • An account of globalization influenced my lifestyle.
  • Living green: The ethical considerations of environmental responsibility.
  • My experience with ethical consumerism and its impact.
  • The morality of forgiveness: Lessons from my personal life.
  • How has practicing fairness reshaped my outlook on life?
  • Understanding the significance of justice in everyday situations.
  • Balancing personal gain and ethical responsibility.
  • Uniquely personal experience as a global citizen.
  • An account of how traditions affected my ethics.

Examples of Personal Topics on Government and Politics

  • The United States’ invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan affected my family life.
  • An account of how the Community Reinvestment Act (RCA) influenced my lifestyle.
  • How has the increasing homeownership in the United States affected my life as a low-income earner?
  • The balance between freedom and security in modern society.
  • Why trust in government is essential for social progress?
  • The role of media in shaping political views.
  • Influences of political ideologies on personal lives.
  • Ethical dilemmas in government surveillance.
  • How has the growing debt in the United States impacted my life?
  • Our evolving understanding of democracy in the digital age.
  • Deciphering the complexity of immigration policies.
  • How is my life affected by international politics?
  • How the tariffs made by President Trump impacted my life?
  • Impacts of decreased military activity in my family life.
  • An account of how historical injustices undermines my family life.
  • Decoding political propaganda in the 21st century.
  • Understanding the link between politics and education reform.
  • My journey into grassroots activism.
  • A personal account of how the constitution undermines my employability.

  Sample Personal Topics on Health

  • An account of how emotional problems lowers my body’s immunity.
  • Exploring my journey through recovery from addiction.
  • How has adopting a vegan diet transformed my health?
  • Navigating the complex world of mental health stigmatization.
  • Life lessons learned from my experience with chronic pain.
  • My personal insights into battling and overcoming obesity.
  • Unraveling the mystery of my rare genetic disorder.
  • An account of the excessive consumption of junk food increases my body’s energy levels.
  • Self-care: My key to managing stress effectively.
  • An account of how emotional eating causes indigestion.
  • The struggle and victory: My tale of beating cancer.
  • Walking the tightrope: Balancing health and career ambitions.
  • An account of how a lack of moral support causes anorexia and bulimia.
  • Reflections on my experience with gender dysphoria and mental health.
  • An account of how positive life changes stressed me.
  • Embracing the unexpected: How has yoga changed my perspective on health?
  • An account of how I discovered that ozone in the air leads to respiratory diseases.
  • My adventure into the realm of holistic healing.
  • An account of how high blood pressure caused me to develop cardiovascular disease.
  • Decoding the enigma of sleep disorders: A personal perspective.
  • An account of how social media increases my psychological challenges.

Examples of Personal Essay Topics on History

  • How has World War I separated my family?
  • How did the continued effects of slavery affect my family life?
  • An account of how my interest in women’s movement affects my thoughts on racism.
  • How has my family weathered the Great Depression?
  • Personal reflections on the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • Discovering my roots: Tracing my lineage to the American Revolution.
  • Living in a post-9/11 world: My perspective.
  • Interpreting the French Revolution through my ancestor’s letters.
  • An account of how World War II influenced my family.
  • Visiting historic sites: My journey through the Civil Rights Movement landmarks.
  • The legacy of the Vietnam War in my family.
  • How has studying the Holocaust shaped my worldview?
  • An account of how the Holocaust affected my education and career path.
  • How religion influences my delinquency levels?
  • Personal experiences in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse.
  • My pilgrimage to the landmarks of the Women’s Suffrage Movement.
  • Historical epidemics and their relevance to modern-day pandemics.
  • A reflection on the Rwandan Genocide through the lens of a humanitarian worker.
  • The Arab Spring and its significance in my life.
  • British imperialism and its negative impacts on my life.

Sample Topics for Personal Essays on Science

  • Effects of global warming on my health and social well-being.
  • Results of excessive temperature on metabolism.
  • Discovering the beauty of fractals in nature.
  • Life under a microscope: The unseen world.
  • How does the study of genetics shape our self-perception?
  • Results of sunlight on my skin.
  • From science fiction to reality: The progress of artificial intelligence.
  • The lure of space exploration: A personal perspective.
  • Journey toward sustainable living through science.
  • Evolutionary biology and its impact on my worldview.
  • Effects of ambient temperature on my pet’s feeding habits.
  • How does temperature influence my daily routine?
  • Human interaction with technology: A blessing or a curse?
  • Grappling with the ethical dilemmas of genetic engineering.
  • Neuroscience and the mystery of human consciousness.
  • How do scientific findings affect my food consumption?
  • How do research methods influence my health outcomes?
  • Impacts of my scientific knowledge on my social behavior.

Examples of Personal Essay Topics on Sports

  • Workouts enhance my immunity.
  • Regular workouts strengthened my bones.
  • An account of how physical exercise relieves my stress.
  • Participating in sports lowered my juvenile delinquency.
  • How has paying college athletes promoted my talent development?
  • A narrative of how workouts boost my memory, yield, and intelligence.
  • Overcoming obstacles in sports: A journey of perseverance.
  • The role of sports in shaping my character.
  • Lessons learned from teamwork in sports.
  • The psychology of sports: Understanding the mindset of athletes.
  • The importance of sportsmanship in competitive athletics.
  • A narrative of how children who take part in sports developed my peer relationships.
  • How have sports taught me the value of discipline?
  • The joys of playing sports: Finding happiness on the field.
  • A sports injury and its impact on my life.
  • The relationship between sports and academic success.
  • Sports as a medium for cultural exchange.
  • Exploring the connection between sports and leadership.
  • The evolution of sports: From ancient times to modern day.
  • The intersection of sports and technology.
  • An account of how regular exercise enhanced my communication skills.

Personal Essay Topic Samples on Technology

  • An account of how increased internet accessibility increased my cyber-bullying.
  • My cyber-bullying increased my rate of juvenile delinquency.
  • A narrative of how the state control of the internet pushed me into cyber-bullying.
  • Ethical dilemmas of genetic engineering.
  • Roles of technology in enhancing communication.
  • How has technology revolutionized the music industry?
  • Future of robotics and its implications.
  • Influence of social media on personal relationships.
  • An account of how social networking influences my ways of life.
  • Social networks influence my collective behaviors.
  • An account of how social media affects my overall well-being.
  • My personal beliefs that facial recognition technologies undermine human rights.
  • Benefits and drawbacks of cryptocurrency.
  • Power of big data analytics in business.
  • Roles of technology in improving healthcare.
  • Exploring the ethics of biometric technology.
  • Evolution of e-commerce and its effect on traditional retail.
  • Impacts of augmented reality in education.
  • Roles of technology in addressing climate change.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of 3D printing.
  • My views on how artificial intelligence enhances active learning.

Personal Essay Ideas on Defining Moments

  • I was a police officer for thirty years, which is an experience that continues to haunt me.
  • Every individual has a moment that changes his or her life.
  • How has a trip to New York changed my family life forever?
  • Obesity has led to joint problems.
  • Influence of adults on my life choice.
  • Discovering my true passion in a hidden hobby.
  • The unexpected encounter that altered my perspective on life.
  • A turning point: Embracing vulnerability in a moment of strength.
  • Embracing failure experiences as a stepping stone to success.
  • A single moment of kindness that changed everything.
  • Finding beauty in the midst of chaos.
  • The bittersweet taste of saying goodbye for the last time.
  • Lessons from a near-death experience.
  • How have I found hope in the darkest hour?
  • Transformation through a moment of silence.
  • The day I chose to break free from societal norms.
  • Healing through unexpected friendships.
  • Lessons learned from my first heartbreak.
  • Navigating through life after a life-changing diagnosis.
  • Understanding the importance of mental health after a personal crisis.

Personal essay topics above may vary from one discipline to another, depending on the writer’s focus and life experiences. Hence, examples of possible topics for different subjects that one may consider when writing a personal essay about a secret life are:

Examples of Personal Essay Ideas on Art and Culture

  • How have social media relationships influenced my social behavior?
  • My experience with native communities influenced social behaviors.
  • From viewer to creator: My personal journey into filmmaking.
  • The power of poetry: How did it allow me to express myself?
  • Art as a tool for activism and peace: How do artists reflect social issues in their works?
  • The influence of hip-hop culture on contemporary society.
  • The artistic beauty of architectural landmarks: How do they reflect a city’s culture?
  • How has reading graphic novels expanded my perspective on storytelling and culture?
  • My experience of learning a foreign language was momentous.
  • Copy a colleague’s work changed my attitude towards education.
  • My choice of college transformed my career goals.
  • Exploring body art: A personal narrative on tattoos and piercings.
  • The art of cooking: How has cultural cuisine shaped my culinary skill?
  • The emotional power of music and sound: How does it shape our mood and behavior?
  • The influence of indigenous art on modern design trends.
  • An interaction with a haunting artwork changed my attitude toward employment.
  • The increased levels of throw-away culture motivated me to become an environmental activist.
  • A haunting experience with my cultural identity encouraged me to become an activist.

Sample Ideas for Writing Personal Papers on Economics

  • The global financial crisis influenced me to embrace a saving culture.
  • Consumerism encouraged me to embrace financial savings.
  • Effects of Hurricane Katrina influenced my thoughts about humanity.
  • The current tariffs in the United States forced me to change my business strategies. 
  • Transition from a traditional economy: A personal story.
  • From scarcity to abundance: Understanding the economic principle in personal life.
  • Implementing cost-benefit analysis in everyday life decisions.
  • How does a deeper understanding of economics affect voting choices?
  • Reflections on wealth distribution and income inequality.
  • The domino effect of oil price fluctuations on my living expenses.
  • Facing the student loan crisis: My personal story.
  • The current politics influence me to develop a positive relationship with natives. 
  • Economic policies imposed in 2023 contributed to my poverty.  
  • My father’s choices motivated my delinquent levels.
  • Navigating through the gig economy: Opportunities and challenges.
  • A personal account of living through a recession.
  • Encountering and overcoming wage stagnation in the 21st century.
  • The power of compound interest: A pathway to financial freedom.
  • Various monetary policies forced me to make the wrong choices.

Examples of Personal Essay Ideas on Education

  • Standardized testing changed my high school performance. 
  • My indigo identity changed my attitude toward other aboriginals.
  • ADHD and dyslexia changed my education perception.
  • Experiencing internal and external factors encouraged me to adopt a negative attitude toward education.
  • Interacting with technologies weakened my learning abilities.
  • The use of e-books and collaborative boards affected my attitude toward education.
  • The transformation of education through online learning.
  • Vocational education: A path less traveled.
  • Attaining equality in education: My personal experience.
  • Lifelong learning: The key to personal and professional growth.
  • My unforgettable experience with collaborative learning.
  • Bullying in schools: A personal encounter.
  • My encounter with the arts in education.
  • Grappling with the reality of educational disparities.
  • Integrating environmental education into the curriculum: A personal perspective.
  • The influence of positive reinforcement on academic performance.
  • How do study habits shape academic success?
  • The adoption of homeschooling caused me social distress.
  • Joining charter schools caused a negative attitude toward education.

Sample Ideas for Personal Essays on Ethics

  • Experience with genetic engineering changed my attitude toward ethics.
  • Legalization of marijuana forced me into drugs.
  • Marijuana legalization was the cause of my juvenile delinquency.
  • Corporate social responsibility: A personal perspective.
  • The intersection of culture and ethics in my life.
  • Reflecting on the ethical aspects of animal rights.
  • Dealing with biases: My journey towards ethical awareness.
  • Grappling with the ethical implications of artificial intelligence.
  • Transparency and honesty in the era of fake news.
  • Learning to respect diversity: An ethical obligation.
  • Cultural imperialism led to negative attitudes toward other people.
  • Globalization motivated me to live abroad.
  • Being a global citizen influenced my charity levels.
  • Cultural traditions affected my attitude toward ethics.
  • My ethical stance on wealth inequality and poverty.
  • How has ethics shaped my perspective on privacy in the digital age?
  • The struggle with ethical choices in a globally interconnected world.
  • Balancing the scales: A personal tale of justice and mercy.

Examples of Personal Ideas on Government and Politics

  • The impact of political polarization on friendships and family.
  • Navigating through the maze of bureaucracy.
  • Climate change policy: A personal perspective.
  • Reflections on the current state of political discourse.
  • Gun control and the politics of fear.
  • From apathy to advocacy: My political awakening.
  • Money, power, and politics: A critical look.
  • The psychology of voting behavior.
  • The United States’ invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan encouraged me to join the armed forces.
  • The Community Reinvestment Act (RCA) changed my attitude toward communal unity.
  • Increasing homeownership in the United States forced me to move from my motherland.
  • The increasing debt in the United States ruined my economic progress.
  • The tariffs made by President Trump ruined my business. 
  • Health care reform: A personal journey through the political maze.
  • Observations on political activism in the social media era.
  • Living under the shadow of nuclear diplomacy.
  • The impact of gender politics on my worldview.
  • Human rights in foreign policy: A personal narrative.
  • Navigating partisan politics in a divided nation.
  • The decreased military activity led to a stabilized life in my family.
  • Historical injustices separated me from my family.
  • The constitutional amendments undermined my employability as an illegal immigrant.

Samples of Personal Essay Ideas on Health

  • The beginning of emotional problems lowered my body’s immunity.
  • The excessive consumption of junk food affected my sugar level balance.
  • Emotional eating led to indigestion.
  • My lack of moral support led to Anorexia and bulimia.
  • Trapped in my own body: The trials and triumphs of living with paralysis.
  • Experiencing life through the lens of color blindness.
  • The silent fight: My personal struggle with an invisible illness.
  • Aging gracefully: Accepting and embracing the golden years.
  • The long road to acceptance: My personal struggle with body image.
  • A new lease on life: Surviving a near-death experience.
  • Learning to fly: How has disability shaped my worldview?
  • Making positive life changes was the source of my distress.
  • My discovery of the importance of the ozone layer increased my interest in respiratory problems.
  • The promise of tomorrow: Living with a terminal illness.
  • When food became my enemy: My battle with an eating disorder.
  • Living in the shadows: My journey with depression.
  • From victim to victor: Overcoming the trauma of domestic abuse.
  • Dance as therapy: How has movement healed my soul?
  • My high blood pressure led to cardiovascular disease.
  • Using social media increased my psychological challenges.

Examples of Personal Ideas on History

  • The emergence of World War I led to my family’s separation.
  • A journey back in time: My visit to the historic Underground Railroad sites.
  • My experience researching the Arab Spring for a school project.
  • Indian partition: Stories passed down through generations.
  • Unearthing my family’s connection to the Spanish Civil War.
  • A reflection on my ancestral ties to the transatlantic slave trade.
  • The development of slavery affects my family life.
  • My interest in the women’s movement led to my activism against racism.
  • The emergence of World War II led to my family’s breakup.
  • Tracing my heritage back to the Irish Potato Famine.
  • Learning about my family’s involvement in the Korean War.
  • Interpreting the impact of the Industrial Revolution on my hometown.
  • South African apartheid: Understanding its impact through my parents’ eyes.
  • Artifacts of history: My personal collection of World War I memorabilia.
  • The lasting effect of the Cuban Missile Crisis on my community.
  • The emergence of the Holocaust ruined my education and career path.
  • Joining religion reduced my delinquency levels.
  • The Arab Spring improved my quality of life.
  • British imperialism reduced my employment opportunities.

Samples of Personal Essay Ideas on Science

  • Global warming undermined my social well-being.
  • Excessive temperature reduced my digestion strategies.
  • The art and science of brewing coffee: A personal journey.
  • Why am I fascinated by the science of sleep?
  • My journey toward understanding the interconnectedness in ecology.
  • The personal impacts of living in the Anthropocene era.
  • Experiencing awe: The cosmos through an amateur astronomer’s lens.
  • The inspiration behind my interest in forensic science.
  • Exposure to excessive sunlight was the cause of my skin cancer.
  • Ambient temperature threatened my pet’s feeding habits.
  • High temperature threatens my daily routine.
  • Scientific findings undermined my food consumption.
  • Reflections on my first science experiment failure.
  • The deep sea: A realm of science still largely unknown.
  • Balancing faith and science: A personal exploration.
  • The fascinating world of microbiomes and their impact on health.
  • Appreciating the subtle science in everyday life.
  • Various research methods undermined my health outcomes.
  • My scientific knowledge promoted my social behavior.

Examples of Personal Essay Ideas on Sports

  • Embracing workouts enhanced my immunity.
  • Exploring the mental and emotional challenges of sports.
  • Sports and identity: How do they shape who we are?
  • The cultural significance of sports in different societies.
  • Ethics of sports: Fair play and integrity.
  • Embracing regular workouts strengthened my bones.
  • The role of sports in reducing stress and promoting well-being.
  • Sports and the pursuit of excellence: Striving for greatness.
  • The legacy of sports heroes: Their impact on society.
  • The intersection of art and sports: Capturing the beauty of movement.
  • Embracing physical exercise relieved my stress.
  • Sports and empowerment: How do athletics inspire confidence?
  • Sports and social change: Breaking barriers and challenging norms.
  • The impact of sports on mental health and well-being.
  • Sports and time management: Balancing athletics and responsibilities.
  • Embracing sports lowered my juvenile delinquency.
  • Participating in college athletes led to talent development.
  • Engaging in workouts boost my memory.
  • Taking an active part in sports improved my peer relationships.
  • Embracing regular exercise enhanced my communication skills.

Samples of Personal Ideas on Technology

  • Internet accessibility increased my cyberbullying.
  • Increased cyberbullying increases juvenile delinquency.
  • Effects of technology on mental health.
  • Impacts of technology on sustainable energy solutions.
  • Evolution of wearable technology.
  • Benefits and drawbacks of internet censorship.
  • Roles of technology in enhancing personal productivity.
  • Influence of technology on travel and tourism.
  • Challenges and opportunities of 5G technology.
  • Pros and cons of biometric identification systems.
  • Future of work: Automation and job displacement.
  • Influence of technology on the entertainment industry.
  • Roles of virtual assistants in modern living.
  • Implications of quantum computing on society.
  • The emergence of state control of the internet pushed me into cyberbullying.
  • Embracing social networking influences my ways of life.
  • Embracing social media influenced my overall well-being.
  • The emergence of facial recognition technologies undermined my human rights.
  • Adoption of artificial intelligence that enhanced my active learning.
  • Roles of technology in promoting accessibility and inclusion.

Creating a Topic for a Personal Essay

Writers identify essential and exciting life experiences. In this case, they create exciting topics about their thought-provoking essay topics. Also, one must create a topic that interests readers. However, authors must ensure that they use real-life experiences. Hence, a scheme template to develop a unique item for a personal essay is:

  • For essays on secrets of life, one should use a scheme: “secret events and its consequences.”
  • For papers on defining moments, one should use a format: “momentous events and their influence on one’s life.”

Summing Up on Personal Essay Topics

Personal essay topics refer to a typical assignment that high school and college students must develop. Basically, the primary goal of writing personal papers is to stimulate readers to act in a specific way. In this case, authors can use different writing styles to complete this type of arrangement. Then, personal writing includes real stories, involvements, and individual opinions. Besides, authors should give an account of their involvement and express thoughts on subjects. In turn, there are two types of personal essay topics. The first type focuses on some secrets of life, whereas learners represent stories that focus on unusual life pursuits. The second type of personal paper focuses on defining moments in a person’s life. Hence, one should follow examples of template schemes for two types of personal essay topics:

  • Secret events and their consequences.
  • Momentous events and their influence on one’s life.

To Learn More, Read Relevant Articles

How to write a thematic essay with explanations and examples, 576 good compare and contrast essay topics.

personal ideas for essay

Narrative Essay Topics: TOP 200 Choices for Students

personal ideas for essay

Imagine yourself facing a blank page, ready to fill it with your memories and imagination. What story will you tell today?

As students, you often have to write narratives that capture people's attention. But with so many stories to choose from, where do you start? How do you find the perfect topic that will grab our readers' interest and make them think?

Join our essay service experts as we explore 200 topics for college where stories are waiting to be told, and experiences are ready to be shared. From everyday events to unforgettable moments, each topic is a chance to connect with your readers and make them feel something.

order narrative essay

Best Narrative Essay Topics: How to Choose the One That Resonates 

A narrative essay is a type of writing that tells a personal story, including characters, plot, setting, and the order of events. Its main goal is to connect with readers emotionally and share a specific message or insight through the retelling of a meaningful experience.

Students write narrative essays as part of their studies for several reasons. Firstly, it allows them to express themselves creatively by sharing their unique experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Secondly, it helps them develop important writing skills like organizing ideas and thoughts effectively.

Narrative Essay topics

Choosing good narrative essay ideas involves looking at personal experiences, interests, and the potential for engaging storytelling. Here's a simple guide to help you pick the right topic:

  • Think about significant moments in your life that had a lasting impact, such as personal growth or overcoming challenges.
  • Choose topics related to your hobbies, interests, or areas of expertise to make your story more engaging.
  • Consider what your audience would be interested in and choose topics that resonate with them.
  • Focus on a specific event or detail to make your narrative more focused and impactful.
  • Look for universal themes like love or personal transformation that connect with readers on a deeper level.
  • Brainstorm ideas and write freely to uncover compelling topics.
  • Decide on storytelling techniques like flashbacks or foreshadowing and choose a topic that fits.
  • Get feedback from friends, peers, or instructors to see if your topics are interesting and impactful.
  • Choose topics that evoke strong emotions for a more compelling narrative.
  • Select a topic that you personally connect with to make your story authentic.

Once you've chosen a topic, brainstorm ideas and create an outline for your essay. Follow your professor's instructions carefully and consider seeking help from our narrative essay writing service if needed.

Bring your stories to life with EssayPro. Select from a vast array of narrative essay topics and let our professionals help you weave your tales into captivating essays. Whether it's adventure, reflection, or imagination, we're here to assist.

Do You Need Professional Help with Your Hometask?

Ideas for Narrative Essay Topics

After exploring how students write narrative paragraphs, we've put together a list of narrative essay topics designed specifically for college and school students. This list covers a wide range of subjects, so pick one that speaks to you! If you want to see how to develop a topic into a written essay, check out our narrative essay example . 

Literacy Narrative Essay Topics for College Students

How about delving into captivating literacy narrative essay topics designed specifically for college-level writing? Exciting, isn't it?

  • How did learning to read change my perspective on the world?
  • What was my favorite childhood book and why?
  • How did writing my first story impact my love for storytelling?
  • What challenges did I face when learning a new language?
  • How did keeping a journal help me improve my writing skills?
  • How did my family influence my attitude toward reading?
  • What role did literature play in shaping my identity?
  • How did participating in a book club enhance my reading experience?
  • How did technology affect my reading habits?
  • What was the most memorable book I read in school?
  • How did my favorite teacher inspire my passion for literature?
  • What impact did reading diverse perspectives have on my worldview?
  • How did overcoming a reading difficulty shape my relationship with books?
  • What lessons did I learn from writing my first poem?
  • How did storytelling traditions in my culture influence my literacy journey?

Personal Narrative Essay Topics on Relationships

Take a moment to reflect on your past experiences and craft compelling personal narratives with these essay ideas.

  • How did my relationship with my best friend change over time?
  • What lessons did I learn from my first romantic relationship?
  • How did my relationship with my sibling influence who I am today?
  • What challenges did I face in maintaining a long-distance friendship?
  • How did a conflict with a family member teach me about communication?
  • What role do my pets play in my life and relationships?
  • How did volunteering together strengthen my bond with a friend?
  • What impact did a mentor have on my personal growth?
  • How did a betrayal affect my trust in relationships?
  • What did I learn from a failed friendship?
  • How did traveling with a friend deepen our connection?
  • What role does forgiveness play in maintaining healthy relationships?
  • How did my relationship with my parents evolve as I grew older?
  • What lessons did I learn about teamwork from a group project?
  • How did a disagreement with a colleague teach me about compromise?

Best Narrative Essay Topics on Education and Learning

Consider the beauty of sharing your personal experiences and emotions in a captivating manner through these ideas for personal narrative essays.

  • How did a particular teacher inspire me to excel in school?
  • What challenges did I face while adapting to online learning?
  • How did participating in extracurricular activities shape my educational experience?
  • What lessons did I learn from a memorable field trip?
  • How did studying abroad broaden my perspective on education?
  • What role does technology play in modern education?
  • How did overcoming a learning obstacle impact my academic journey?
  • What did I gain from tutoring a classmate in a challenging subject?
  • How did a hands-on learning experience change my understanding of a topic?
  • What impact did a mentor have on my educational and career aspirations?
  • How did peer collaboration enhance my learning in a group project?
  • What lessons did I learn from a failure or setback in school?
  • How did my cultural background influence my approach to education?
  • What role does self-directed learning play in my academic success?
  • How did participating in a debate or public speaking event shape my communication skills?

At this point, we think you might've already been interested in our term paper writing service that helps busy students succeed in college. 

Personal Narrative Essay Ideas on Reflection on Life

Why not ignite your creativity with a range of narrative essay topics, from extraordinary moments to everyday experiences?

  • How did confronting a fear change my view on courage and growth?
  • How do family traditions shape my personal values and beliefs?
  • What does success mean to me, and how has it evolved?
  • Reflecting on friendships as a source of support in tough times.
  • How have travel experiences expanded my global perspective?
  • How do my hobbies and passions bring fulfillment to my life?
  • Exploring the link between self-love and mental well-being.
  • How can challenges lead to unexpected personal growth?
  • Reflecting on the importance of setting and reaching personal goals.
  • What pivotal moments mark my journey to self-acceptance?
  • Investigating how forgiveness resolves personal conflicts.
  • How do cultural expectations shape my idea of success?
  • Reflecting on the significance of self-care for overall well-being.
  • Exploring how technology influences my connections and worldview.
  • What did I learn from facing a life-changing decision?

Ideas for a Narrative Essay on Culture and Society

Engaging your readers with narrative essays on culture and society is a great way to spark interest, offering captivating ideas for exploration.

  • How has my cultural heritage shaped my identity?
  • Reflecting on a tradition or ceremony that holds significance in my culture.
  • Exploring the impact of globalization on local traditions and customs.
  • How does language influence the way I perceive the world around me?
  • Investigating the role of food in cultural identity and expression.
  • Reflecting on a cultural celebration or festival that left a lasting impression.
  • How does media portrayal affect societal perceptions of different cultures?
  • Exploring the intersection of culture and religion in shaping values and beliefs.
  • Reflecting on experiences of cultural assimilation or integration.
  • How do stereotypes impact individuals within a cultural group?
  • Investigating the role of art and literature in preserving cultural heritage.
  • Reflecting on the challenges and benefits of multiculturalism in society.
  • Exploring the significance of storytelling in passing down cultural traditions.
  • How do cultural norms influence gender roles and expectations?
  • Reflecting on the cultural exchange experiences that have broadened my perspective.

Since you're working on essays, we think it's suitable to suggest you learn more about the case study format , which is another common college assignment.

Narrative Writing Topics on Hobbies and Interests

Wow your readers by turning your passions and hobbies into compelling narrative essay topics that will get them thinking.

  • Describe a memorable adventure or experience related to your favorite hobby.
  • Reflect on how your hobby has evolved over time and its significance in your life.
  • Write about a moment when your hobby provided a sense of escape or relaxation.
  • Explore the role of hobbies in promoting mental health and well-being.
  • Share a story of how you discovered your passion for a particular hobby.
  • Describe a challenge you faced while pursuing your hobby and how you overcame it.
  • Reflect on the impact of your hobby on your relationships with others.
  • Write about a hobby-related achievement or milestone that you are proud of.
  • Explore how your hobby connects you to a community or group of like-minded individuals.
  • Describe the process of learning a new hobby and the lessons you gained from it.
  • Reflect on the role of hobbies in balancing work, leisure, and personal growth.
  • Write about a hobby-related project or creation that you are passionate about.
  • Explore the connection between your hobbies and your broader interests and values.
  • Describe a favorite memory or experience involving your hobby.
  • Reflect on how your hobbies have influenced your perspective on life and the world around you.

Narrative Essay Titles on Life-Changing Moments

Life is full of unexpected twists that can lead to life-changing moments. Take a look at these narrative essay titles for stories that have had a lasting impact on your life.

  • How did meeting a lifelong friend change my life?
  • What lessons did I learn from overcoming a major obstacle?
  • How did traveling to a new country broaden my perspective?
  • Reflecting on the day I discovered my passion.
  • How did a health scare transform my lifestyle?
  • What impact did volunteering in my community have on me?
  • How did I find strength in a moment of loss?
  • Reflecting on the decision that altered my path.
  • How did a random act of kindness change my outlook?
  • What lessons did I learn from a failed endeavor?
  • How did confronting a fear empower me?
  • Reflecting on the day I realized my potential.
  • How did experiencing a natural disaster shape my priorities?
  • What insights did I gain from a cultural exchange?
  • How did a mentor's guidance impact my life trajectory?

Have you ever wondered about the challenges of essay writing? What happens when you're assigned a larger paper, like coursework? Make a preemptive strike by exploring coursework writing service right now!

Good Narrative Topics on Travel and Adventure

Consider creating intriguing titles for your narrative essay ideas by exploring thrilling travel adventures.

  • What was my most unforgettable travel experience?
  • How did a solo journey change my perspective on life?
  • Reflecting on an unexpected adventure in a foreign land.
  • How did traveling on a budget lead to unexpected discoveries?
  • What lessons did I learn from getting lost in a new city?
  • How did a cultural immersion experience broaden my understanding of the world?
  • Reflecting on the friendships formed during a travel adventure.
  • What was the scariest moment I encountered while traveling?
  • How did volunteering abroad impact my outlook on life?
  • What cultural differences surprised me the most while traveling?
  • Reflecting on the beauty of nature experienced during a hiking trip.
  • How did traveling to a remote destination challenge my comfort zone?
  • What was the most delicious food I tried while traveling?
  • Reflecting on the kindness of strangers encountered during a journey.
  • How did a travel mishap turn into a memorable experience?

Narrative Essay Topic Ideas on Career and Work Experience

College students can uncover captivating narrative essay ideas by exploring potential career paths or reminiscing about past job experiences.

  • What was my first job, and what did I learn from it?
  • Reflecting on a challenging project that taught me resilience.
  • How did a career setback lead to unexpected opportunities?
  • What lessons did I learn from transitioning to a new career?
  • Reflecting on a mentor who influenced my career path.
  • How did a workplace conflict teach me about communication?
  • What was the most rewarding moment in my career so far?
  • Reflecting on the importance of work-life balance in my career journey.
  • How did networking help me advance in my career?
  • What challenges did I face as a new graduate entering the workforce?
  • Reflecting on the decision to pursue a passion versus stability in my career.
  • How did a career change impact my sense of fulfillment?
  • What skills did I develop through volunteer work that helped in my career?
  • Reflecting on the role of mentors in my professional growth.
  • How did a career milestone shape my future aspirations?

Interesting Narrative Essay Topics about Challenges and Obstacles

If you're not sure what to write about for your narrative essay, think back to the tough times you've had and how you managed to get through them.

  • How did I overcome my fear of failure?
  • Reflecting on a time when I felt like giving up but persevered.
  • How did a personal setback lead to unexpected growth?
  • What lessons did I learn from navigating a difficult relationship?
  • Reflecting on a time when I had to step out of my comfort zone.
  • How did I overcome a major health challenge?
  • What strategies did I use to overcome procrastination?
  • Reflecting on the resilience I developed after facing adversity.
  • How did I navigate financial challenges and come out stronger?
  • What did I learn from failing at something I was passionate about?
  • Reflecting on the obstacles I faced while pursuing my dreams.
  • How did I overcome imposter syndrome in my academic or professional life?
  • What role did self-care play in helping me overcome challenges?
  • Reflecting on a time when I had to stand up for myself in the face of adversity.
  • How did I find motivation and inspiration during tough times?

Final Remarks

As we wrap up, our list of 200 narrative essay topics is here to fuel your creativity for your next writing project! Whether you're sharing a memorable event, reliving a childhood memory, or expressing a profound insight, crafting a narrative essay can be an uplifting experience that resonates deeply with readers.

And if you're gearing up for college admissions, why not check out our admission essay writing service ? We've already assisted countless students in securing their spots at their dream colleges, and we'd love to help you, too!

Give Us Your Task

We provide coursework writing help as well as editing and proofreading. Every paper we deal with is written and triple-checked by a team of experts—which means that you are guaranteed to get top-quality work from our term paper writing service . Order now!

Related Articles

 criminal justice research topics

  • Online Degree Explore Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees
  • MasterTrack™ Earn credit towards a Master’s degree
  • University Certificates Advance your career with graduate-level learning
  • Top Courses
  • Join for Free

19 College Essay Topics and Prompts

Not sure what to write for your college essay? We've got you covered with a number of topics and prompts to help shape your unique story.

[Featured image] A woman works on her college essay with a pen, notebook, and laptop computer.

As part of your college application materials, you'll likely be asked to submit a college essay. These tend to be between 250 and 650 words , and are a unique opportunity to showcase your personality. Admissions panels are typically looking for students who will positively represent the school as a whole. In the end, your goal is to show them that you and the college are a good match. 

When drafting your college essay, you may be expected to answer a prompt or come up with a topic on your own. In this article, we've rounded up several ideas to get you thinking—and writing.

19 college essay topics

Each school sets different requirements around the college essay, so it's important to review the expectations around every application you intend to submit. Some give you creative freedom, while others expect you to respond to a pre-developed prompt. Either way, a strong college essay conveys to the admissions team who you are, why you want to attend that particular school, and what matters to you. It's a way to personalize an application that often focuses on quantitative data, such as GPA and SAT scores.

If you're given the creative freedom to write about whatever you want, consider a college essay topic that allows you to be honest and original. We've compiled the following ideas to help you brainstorm:

What's an important issue you care about? How have you gotten involved?

Have you changed your mind about something in recent years? What was it and why?

What's a situation that caused you to grow?

Explain a time when you failed. What did you learn from that moment?

Share a surprising pastime or hobby and what interested you about it.

What extracurricular activity are you involved in that speaks to your personality?

Detail a meaningful volunteer experience.

Dive into a meaningful travel experience.

Who do you most admire and why?

If you have a unique background, share a bit about it. How did you get where you are?

What's the best advice you've ever received?

Was there ever a time when you had to stand up for something—or someone?

What's something you might change about the world to make it better?

What do you hope to accomplish by attending college?

Is there something you want to do after graduating college?

Have you ever made or created something? Talk about it.

Do you have a big idea that could potentially impact your community?

What is most valuable to you? Dive into your values and share an example.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

Pre-developed college essay prompts

Some colleges and universities will give you a series of prompts to choose from. These will vary from school to school, and can either be questions or statements. Here are a few examples of both.

Sample question prompts:

What excites your intellectual curiosity?

How has your upbringing shaped the person you are today?

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

Sample statement prompts:

Talk about an unusual circumstance in your life

Share how you hope to use your college education

Discuss a list of books you have read in the last year

Common App essay prompts

Common App is an online platform designed to simplify the college application process. Over 900 colleges use Common App, making it possible for you to fill out one application that's then submitted to multiple schools.

If you choose to complete the Common App, you'll have a choice of several distinctive prompts that change every academic year. Here's a sample of the 2022-2023 essay prompts [ 1 ]:

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

Stick to the prompt.

No matter what type of prompt you receive, it's your job to stick to it. The admissions team has a lot of essays to read, so you'll have a better chance of standing out if you develop a cohesive response that stays on topic.

Start by identifying the prompt's main topic, then spend some time brainstorming to find the idea that resonates most with you. For many people, it's the topic that makes them feel some sort of emotion or reminds them of an entertaining story. Understanding what you're being asked to write about should make staying on topic throughout the entire composition easier.

5 additional college essay tips

Once you decide what you'd like to write, follow the tips below to craft a standout essay. You can also find more advice about college essays in our article College Essay Format: Writing and Editing Tips .

1. Be considerate with humor.

Showing off your sense of humor lets your personality show through your words and can make reading the essay more entertaining. Try including a few sentences that you think will bring a smile to the reader's face, or use adjectives to insert some colorful comedy.

2. Offer insight.

Beyond recounting an event, experience, or memory, a great essay shows insight aka an ability to highlight meaningful takeaways. For example, if you choose to write about your unique hobby, try to discuss what you've learned from that pastime—or how you've grown as a result of it.

3. Add details

Great essays also invite the reader to connect with the story on an emotional level. With that in mind, it can help to recount a specific memory rather than answer a prompt without those colorful details. More than discussing something on a surface level—or vaguely—you want to provide enough particulars to keep your readers engaged. For example, if you choose to write about the best advice you ever received, set the scene and take the reader back to that moment.

4. Have an editor.

Your essay should ideally be error-free. Ask a trusted friend or family member to review your essay and suggest edits. An editor can help you catch grammatical errors or points out ways to better develop your response.

Avoid passing your paper along to too many people, though, so you don't lose your own voice amid all of the edits and suggestions. The admissions team wants to get to know you through your writing and not your sister or best friend who edited your paper.

5. Revise your essay.

Your first draft is just that: a draft. Give yourself plenty of time to read and revise your first pass and make sure you fully developed your response, stayed on topic, and shared your personality.

When revising your essay, you may find it helpful to read it aloud so you hear the words as you're saying them. Some people prefer to print a copy on paper and write notes by hand. Both options give your brain a new way to process the information to catch details you may miss if you keep everything in your head and on the computer.

Watch to find out why the essay many admission counselor's favorite part of the application:

Next steps: Apply with confidence

Earn your bachelor's degree online from prestigious global universities on Coursera. Many even offer performance-based admission, meaning you can complete a course or two online and earn admittance with a passing score.

Article sources

Common App. " First-year essay prompts ," Accessed February 8, 2023.

Keep reading

Coursera staff.

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.


Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 113 perfect persuasive essay topics for any assignment.

author image

General Education


Do you need to write a persuasive essay but aren’t sure what topic to focus on? Were you thrilled when your teacher said you could write about whatever you wanted but are now overwhelmed by the possibilities? We’re here to help!

Read on for a list of 113 top-notch persuasive essay topics, organized into ten categories. To help get you started, we also discuss what a persuasive essay is, how to choose a great topic, and what tips to keep in mind as you write your persuasive essay.

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

In a persuasive essay, you attempt to convince readers to agree with your point of view on an argument. For example, an essay analyzing changes in Italian art during the Renaissance wouldn’t be a persuasive essay, because there’s no argument, but an essay where you argue that Italian art reached its peak during the Renaissance would be a persuasive essay because you’re trying to get your audience to agree with your viewpoint.

Persuasive and argumentative essays both try to convince readers to agree with the author, but the two essay types have key differences. Argumentative essays show a more balanced view of the issue and discuss both sides. Persuasive essays focus more heavily on the side the author agrees with. They also often include more of the author’s opinion than argumentative essays, which tend to use only facts and data to support their argument.

All persuasive essays have the following:

  • Introduction: Introduces the topic, explains why it’s important, and ends with the thesis.
  • Thesis: A sentence that sums up what the essay be discussing and what your stance on the issue is.
  • Reasons you believe your side of the argument: Why do you support the side you do? Typically each main point will have its own body paragraph.
  • Evidence supporting your argument: Facts or examples to back up your main points. Even though your opinion is allowed in persuasive essays more than most other essays, having concrete examples will make a stronger argument than relying on your opinion alone.
  • Conclusion: Restatement of thesis, summary of main points, and a recap of why the issue is important.

What Makes a Good Persuasive Essay Topic?

Theoretically, you could write a persuasive essay about any subject under the sun, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Certain topics are easier to write a strong persuasive essay on, and below are tips to follow when deciding what you should write about.

It’s a Topic You Care About

Obviously, it’s possible to write an essay about a topic you find completely boring. You’ve probably done it! However, if possible, it’s always better to choose a topic that you care about and are interested in. When this is the case, you’ll find doing the research more enjoyable, writing the essay easier, and your writing will likely be better because you’ll be more passionate about and informed on the topic.

You Have Enough Evidence to Support Your Argument

Just being passionate about a subject isn’t enough to make it a good persuasive essay topic, though. You need to make sure your argument is complex enough to have at least two potential sides to root for, and you need to be able to back up your side with evidence and examples. Even though persuasive essays allow your opinion to feature more than many other essays, you still need concrete evidence to back up your claims, or you’ll end up with a weak essay.

For example, you may passionately believe that mint chocolate chip ice cream is the best ice cream flavor (I agree!), but could you really write an entire essay on this? What would be your reasons for believing mint chocolate chip is the best (besides the fact that it’s delicious)? How would you support your belief? Have enough studies been done on preferred ice cream flavors to support an entire essay? When choosing a persuasive essay idea, you want to find the right balance between something you care about (so you can write well on it) and something the rest of the world cares about (so you can reference evidence to strengthen your position).

It’s a Manageable Topic

Bigger isn’t always better, especially with essay topics. While it may seem like a great idea to choose a huge, complex topic to write about, you’ll likely struggle to sift through all the information and different sides of the issue and winnow them down to one streamlined essay. For example, choosing to write an essay about how WWII impacted American life more than WWI wouldn’t be a great idea because you’d need to analyze all the impacts of both the wars in numerous areas of American life. It’d be a huge undertaking. A better idea would be to choose one impact on American life the wars had (such as changes in female employment) and focus on that. Doing so will make researching and writing your persuasive essay much more feasible.


List of 113 Good Persuasive Essay Topics

Below are over 100 persuasive essay ideas, organized into ten categories. When you find an idea that piques your interest, you’ll choose one side of it to argue for in your essay. For example, if you choose the topic, “should fracking be legal?” you’d decide whether you believe fracking should be legal or illegal, then you’d write an essay arguing all the reasons why your audience should agree with you.


  • Should students be required to learn an instrument in school?
  • Did the end of Game of Thrones fit with the rest of the series?
  • Can music be an effective way to treat mental illness?
  • With e-readers so popular, have libraries become obsolete?
  • Are the Harry Potter books more popular than they deserve to be?
  • Should music with offensive language come with a warning label?
  • What’s the best way for museums to get more people to visit?
  • Should students be able to substitute an art or music class for a PE class in school?
  • Are the Kardashians good or bad role models for young people?
  • Should people in higher income brackets pay more taxes?
  • Should all high school students be required to take a class on financial literacy?
  • Is it possible to achieve the American dream, or is it only a myth?
  • Is it better to spend a summer as an unpaid intern at a prestigious company or as a paid worker at a local store/restaurant?
  • Should the United States impose more or fewer tariffs?
  • Should college graduates have their student loans forgiven?
  • Should restaurants eliminate tipping and raise staff wages instead?
  • Should students learn cursive writing in school?
  • Which is more important: PE class or music class?
  • Is it better to have year-round school with shorter breaks throughout the year?
  • Should class rank be abolished in schools?
  • Should students be taught sex education in school?
  • Should students be able to attend public universities for free?
  • What’s the most effective way to change the behavior of school bullies?
  • Are the SAT and ACT accurate ways to measure intelligence?
  • Should students be able to learn sign language instead of a foreign language?
  • Do the benefits of Greek life at colleges outweigh the negatives?
  • Does doing homework actually help students learn more?
  • Why do students in many other countries score higher than American students on math exams?
  • Should parents/teachers be able to ban certain books from schools?
  • What’s the best way to reduce cheating in school?
  • Should colleges take a student’s race into account when making admissions decisions?
  • Should there be limits to free speech?
  • Should students be required to perform community service to graduate high school?
  • Should convicted felons who have completed their sentence be allowed to vote?
  • Should gun ownership be more tightly regulated?
  • Should recycling be made mandatory?
  • Should employers be required to offer paid leave to new parents?
  • Are there any circumstances where torture should be allowed?
  • Should children under the age of 18 be able to get plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons?
  • Should white supremacy groups be allowed to hold rallies in public places?
  • Does making abortion illegal make women more or less safe?
  • Does foreign aid actually help developing countries?
  • Are there times a person’s freedom of speech should be curtailed?
  • Should people over a certain age not be allowed to adopt children?


  • Should the minimum voting age be raised/lowered/kept the same?
  • Should Puerto Rico be granted statehood?
  • Should the United States build a border wall with Mexico?
  • Who should be the next person printed on American banknotes?
  • Should the United States’ military budget be reduced?
  • Did China’s one child policy have overall positive or negative impacts on the country?
  • Should DREAMers be granted US citizenship?
  • Is national security more important than individual privacy?
  • What responsibility does the government have to help homeless people?
  • Should the electoral college be abolished?
  • Should the US increase or decrease the number of refugees it allows in each year?
  • Should privately-run prisons be abolished?
  • Who was the most/least effective US president?
  • Will Brexit end up helping or harming the UK?


  • What’s the best way to reduce the spread of Ebola?
  • Is the Keto diet a safe and effective way to lose weight?
  • Should the FDA regulate vitamins and supplements more strictly?
  • Should public schools require all students who attend to be vaccinated?
  • Is eating genetically modified food safe?
  • What’s the best way to make health insurance more affordable?
  • What’s the best way to lower the teen pregnancy rate?
  • Should recreational marijuana be legalized nationwide?
  • Should birth control pills be available without a prescription?
  • Should pregnant women be forbidden from buying cigarettes and alcohol?
  • Why has anxiety increased in adolescents?
  • Are low-carb or low-fat diets more effective for weight loss?
  • What caused the destruction of the USS Maine?
  • Was King Arthur a mythical legend or actual Dark Ages king?
  • Was the US justified in dropping atomic bombs during WWII?
  • What was the primary cause of the Rwandan genocide?
  • What happened to the settlers of the Roanoke colony?
  • Was disagreement over slavery the primary cause of the US Civil War?
  • What has caused the numerous disappearances in the Bermuda triangle?
  • Should nuclear power be banned?
  • Is scientific testing on animals necessary?
  • Do zoos help or harm animals?
  • Should scientists be allowed to clone humans?
  • Should animals in circuses be banned?
  • Should fracking be legal?
  • Should people be allowed to keep exotic animals as pets?
  • What’s the best way to reduce illegal poaching in Africa?
  • What is the best way to reduce the impact of global warming?
  • Should euthanasia be legalized?
  • Is there legitimate evidence of extraterrestrial life?
  • Should people be banned from owning aggressive dog breeds?
  • Should the United States devote more money towards space exploration?
  • Should the government subsidize renewable forms of energy?
  • Is solar energy worth the cost?
  • Should stem cells be used in medicine?
  • Is it right for the US to leave the Paris Climate Agreement?
  • Should athletes who fail a drug test receive a lifetime ban from the sport?
  • Should college athletes receive a salary?
  • Should the NFL do more to prevent concussions in players?
  • Do PE classes help students stay in shape?
  • Should horse racing be banned?
  • Should cheerleading be considered a sport?
  • Should children younger than 18 be allowed to play tackle football?
  • Are the costs of hosting an Olympic Games worth it?
  • Can online schools be as effective as traditional schools?
  • Do violent video games encourage players to be violent in real life?
  • Should facial recognition technology be banned?
  • Does excessive social media use lead to depression/anxiety?
  • Has the rise of translation technology made knowing multiple languages obsolete?
  • Was Steve Jobs a visionary or just a great marketer?
  • Should social media be banned for children younger than a certain age?
  • Which 21st-century invention has had the largest impact on society?
  • Are ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft good or bad for society?
  • Should Facebook have done more to protect the privacy of its users?
  • Will technology end up increasing or decreasing inequality worldwide?


Tips for Writing a Strong Persuasive Essay

After you’ve chosen the perfect topic for your persuasive essay, your work isn’t over. Follow the three tips below to create a top-notch essay.

Do Your Research

Your argument will fall apart if you don’t fully understand the issue you’re discussing or you overlook an important piece of it. Readers won’t be convinced by someone who doesn’t know the subject, and you likely won’t persuade any of them to begin supporting your viewpoint. Before you begin writing a single word of your essay, research your topic thoroughly. Study different sources, learn about the different sides of the argument, ask anyone who’s an expert on the topic what their opinion is, etc. You might be tempted to start writing right away, but by doing your research, you’ll make the writing process much easier when the time comes.

Make Your Thesis Perfect

Your thesis is the most important sentence in your persuasive essay. Just by reading that single sentence, your audience should know exactly what topic you’ll be discussing and where you stand on the issue. You want your thesis to be crystal clear and to accurately set up the rest of your essay. Asking classmates or your teacher to look it over before you begin writing the rest of your essay can be a big help if you’re not entirely confident in your thesis.

Consider the Other Side

You’ll spend most of your essay focusing on your side of the argument since that’s what you want readers to come away believing. However, don’t think that means you can ignore other sides of the issue. In your essay, be sure to discuss the other side’s argument, as well as why you believe this view is weak or untrue. Researching all the different viewpoints and including them in your essay will increase the quality of your writing by making your essay more complete and nuanced.

Summary: Persuasive Essay Ideas

Good persuasive essay topics can be difficult to come up with, but in this guide we’ve created a list of 113 excellent essay topics for you to browse. The best persuasive essay ideas will be those that you are interested in, have enough evidence to support your argument, and aren’t too complicated to be summarized in an essay.

After you’ve chosen your essay topic, keep these three tips in mind when you begin writing:

  • Do your research
  • Make your thesis perfect
  • Consider the other side

What's Next?

Need ideas for a research paper topic as well? Our guide to research paper topics has over 100 topics in ten categories so you can be sure to find the perfect topic for you.

Thinking about taking an AP English class? Read our guide on AP English classes to learn whether you should take AP English Language or AP English Literature (or both!)

Deciding between the SAT or ACT? Find out for sure which you will do the best on . Also read a detailed comparison between the two tests .

author image

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

Student and Parent Forum

Our new student and parent forum, at , allow you to interact with your peers and the PrepScholar staff. See how other students and parents are navigating high school, college, and the college admissions process. Ask questions; get answers.

Join the Conversation

Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!

Improve With Our Famous Guides

  • For All Students

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 160+ SAT Points

How to Get a Perfect 1600, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 800 on Each SAT Section:

Score 800 on SAT Math

Score 800 on SAT Reading

Score 800 on SAT Writing

Series: How to Get to 600 on Each SAT Section:

Score 600 on SAT Math

Score 600 on SAT Reading

Score 600 on SAT Writing

Free Complete Official SAT Practice Tests

What SAT Target Score Should You Be Aiming For?

15 Strategies to Improve Your SAT Essay

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 4+ ACT Points

How to Get a Perfect 36 ACT, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 36 on Each ACT Section:

36 on ACT English

36 on ACT Math

36 on ACT Reading

36 on ACT Science

Series: How to Get to 24 on Each ACT Section:

24 on ACT English

24 on ACT Math

24 on ACT Reading

24 on ACT Science

What ACT target score should you be aiming for?

ACT Vocabulary You Must Know

ACT Writing: 15 Tips to Raise Your Essay Score

How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League

How to Get a Perfect 4.0 GPA

How to Write an Amazing College Essay

What Exactly Are Colleges Looking For?

Is the ACT easier than the SAT? A Comprehensive Guide

Should you retake your SAT or ACT?

When should you take the SAT or ACT?

Stay Informed

personal ideas for essay

Get the latest articles and test prep tips!

Looking for Graduate School Test Prep?

Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here:

GRE Online Prep Blog

GMAT Online Prep Blog

TOEFL Online Prep Blog

Holly R. "I am absolutely overjoyed and cannot thank you enough for helping me!”

Writing Universe - logo

  • Environment
  • Information Science
  • Social Issues
  • Argumentative
  • Cause and Effect
  • Classification
  • Compare and Contrast
  • Descriptive
  • Exemplification
  • Informative
  • Controversial
  • Exploratory
  • What Is an Essay
  • Length of an Essay
  • Generate Ideas
  • Types of Essays
  • Structuring an Essay
  • Outline For Essay
  • Essay Introduction
  • Thesis Statement
  • Body of an Essay
  • Writing a Conclusion
  • Essay Writing Tips
  • Drafting an Essay
  • Revision Process
  • Fix a Broken Essay
  • Format of an Essay
  • Essay Examples
  • Essay Checklist
  • Essay Writing Service
  • Pay for Research Paper
  • Write My Research Paper
  • Write My Essay
  • Custom Essay Writing Service
  • Admission Essay Writing Service
  • Pay for Essay
  • Academic Ghostwriting
  • Write My Book Report
  • Case Study Writing Service
  • Dissertation Writing Service
  • Coursework Writing Service
  • Lab Report Writing Service
  • Do My Assignment
  • Buy College Papers
  • Capstone Project Writing Service
  • Buy Research Paper
  • Custom Essays for Sale

Can’t find a perfect paper?

  • Essay Topics
  • Personal Statement

50 Personal Statement Topics Recommended by Experts

If you’re looking for good personal statement topics, don’t worry, you are not alone: millions of students all over the world are in the same boat. Writing such an essay is an extremely responsible task because in many ways, it determines the degree of success your application is going to have. To overcome your competition, the first thing you should do is understand what a personal essay is and why colleges and universities ask their potential students to write one. Personal statements for undergraduate admissions are a piece of writing describing personality, achievements, hobbies, and plans of students who want to join a specific educational establishment.

What makes them important? They help the committee see who a person is, what they think, what motivations they have, and how well they are capable of essay writing. Reading through academic numbers is great, but the only thing they indicate is how well a student could study. What professors want to see instead is how motivated and inspired people applying to them are, and this could be done only via an application essay. The tricky question is, where to find a great topic for it?

Tips For Choosing the Best Personal Statement Ideas

Finding a topic is always difficult. It has to resonate both with you and with people who are going to review your work, so it is vital not to make a mistake. Here are some tips you could use for solving this problem.

  • Think about your life.  Even the most boring and monotonous lives have their small tragedies and victories. Start remembering them. Go through key moments and think about details surrounding them. The clearest memories are the best foundation for essay topic.
  • Focus on an interesting event.  Whatever personal topics you consider, they must revolve around a prompt that evokes some genuine feelings in you. It must be something you are passionate about, something that has really affected your growth as an individual. Feel invested as you describe this situation.
  • Add a challenge to it.  Don’t forget that such essays should somehow show your strong sides or your willingness to learn. Describing a situation that didn’t have a meaningful impact related to your growth won’t fit here, so focus on challenging memories. Topics must be unique.
  • Speak by yourself.  Application essay is your chance to speak and present things from your perspective. If you ever felt misunderstood, betrayed, or under-evaluated, this is an opportunity to shed light on it and explain everything in a way you see it. By combining these four tips, it’ll be easier to narrow down a potential range of topics and choose a truly great one.

50 Inspiring Topics for Personal Essay

Apart from options we mentioned above, there is another alternative. When you are fruitlessly looking for possible topics and cannot find anything, it is time for using the Internet. There are many lists with suggestions people could choose from — they offer free themes and encourage students to pick them in case they find them inspiring. We present 50 top ideas that could give you a sense of direction.

Personal Statement Topics on Your Past

These topics for personal statement never get old. Look into your life; consider every relevant moment that has ever happened. Here are some ideas.

  • First Day at School: My Fears, Hopes, and Strength I Gained
  • Living with Workaholic Parents & How This Background Made Me Who I Am
  • Accepting a Concept of Death: Frightening Story of Loss, Recovery, and Acceptance
  • Overcoming Envy and Learning Self-Control
  • Why I Hated Risks and How I Learned to Start Taking Them
  • How Reading This Book Changed My Life & Goals
  • When I Realized Why I Want to Go to College
  • The Event That Brought Me to a Start & Changed Direction of My Life
  • The Thing You Did That You Are Still Proud Of
  • Which Event Made You Regain Faith in Humanity

Personal Statement Ideas About Challenges

We all have challenges, and some of them leave a deep mark on our hearts. Check these good personal statement topics examples — maybe they’ll remind you of a problem that you managed to overcome.

  • First Taste of Betrayal & Its Impact on Me
  • My Biggest Accomplishment and Challenges on Its Way
  • How I Stepped Out of My Safety Zone & Changed My Core Belief
  • How Being Academically Unsuccessful Made Me Want to Be the Best
  • The Biggest Embarrassment of My Life: Learning From Mistakes
  • Having Two Best Friends at Once Is Tough
  • Coping with Stereotypes Inflicted By Other People
  • Days When Panic Attacks Did Not Let Me Get Up From Bed
  • Understanding Depression and Learning to Live with It
  • Event That Broke My Heart & How I Healed It

Personal Statement Prompts on Academic Subjects

How about some subject-related ideas for personal statements? They are always welcome by application committees.

  • My Love for Seeking Truth Was Born the Day I Discovered the Role of Law in Our Lives
  • Visiting the Hospital for the First Time and Why It Fuelled My Interest in Medical Education
  • My Work Was Stolen & It Woke My Interest in Intellectual Property
  • Why Seemingly Impossible Career Seems Closer Now
  • My Thirst for Knowledge and Why It Could Make Me a Good Journalist
  • The Most Beautiful Building I’ve Ever Seen or the Day When My Love for Design Was Born
  • Spending Every Sunday in My Life Cooking: Where Does That Lead Me?
  • Outrageous Historical Lies and Why That Inspired Me to Study History
  • From Toys to Engineering Devices: I Was an Inventor Before I Could Work
  • Animals Are as Important as People: My Hopes For Becoming a Vet

Suffer from writer’s block?

Your unique essay is just a few clicks away!

Personal Qualities Topics

People might have the same interests, but their personal characteristics make them different. These personal statement prompt examples could help demonstrate it.

  • Being the Definition of Stubbornness & Its Ups and Downs
  • Why My Resilience Makes Me a Good Fit For This College
  • How Love and Education Come Together: My Background and My Goals
  • Three Key Events That Boosted My Creativity
  • Suspiciousness Is My Second Nature: It’ll Help Excel in My Field
  • Passion for Politics I Carried Through Life: Then vs. Now
  • Loving to Argue: Childhood Screaming Matches vs. Mature Evidence-Based Discussions
  • Crying When Others Cry: How My Empathy Lets Me Live Complete Life
  • What Having Creative Mind Means For Me
  • I Wanted to Be a Superhero: How It Affected Who I Want to Be Now

Diversity Ideas

College personal statement topics related to diversity never lose their relevance.

  • Witnessing Cruelty for the First Time and What It Taught Me
  • The First Time I Faced Prejudice and Cried
  • Complex Story of Figuring Out My Sexuality: Why Things Should Have Been Easier
  • How My Race Affected My Social Acceptance
  • Understanding Racism After Making a New Friend
  • How I Believe Diversity Should Be Publicly Celebrated
  • How Being Strange Became a Norm For Me
  • Small Ways in Which I Intend to Change This World
  • Why Diversity Is Key to Achieving Peace
  • Racial Make-Up of My School  Class and How It Shaped My Views

Write an Essay That’ll Move Everyone

As long as you’re truly invested in your chosen topics for personal statements, you have every chance of crafting a stunning essay. Basically, you’ll be retelling a meaningful experience from your life, showing how you found purpose and how it led you to select this specific college. This kind of writing is always emotional, so you could affect your readers and share your joy, pain, and determination. The more effective you are in this, the more likely it is that you’ll reach success. After you settle on personal statement essay topics, write about them with sincerity and passion, and this will definitely get you some precious points!

Can’t come up with a topic for you paper? We’ve prepared a collection of essay topics for you

Want to write a winning essay but lack experience? Browse our free essay samples

Related Topics

Related essays to personal statement essays.

Words: 1397

Words: 1033

Words: 1467

Got to the bottom and still stuck with essay ideas?

What are your chances of acceptance?

Calculate for all schools, your chance of acceptance.

Duke University

Your chancing factors


personal ideas for essay

52 Argumentative Essay Ideas that are Actually Interesting

What’s covered:, how to pick a good argumentative essay topic, elements of a strong argumentative essay, argumentative essay idea example topics.

Are you having writer’s block? Coming up with an essay topic can be the hardest part of the process. You have very likely encountered argumentative essay writing in high school and have been asked to write your own. If you’re having trouble finding a topic, we’ve created a list of 52 essay ideas to help jumpstart your brainstorming process! In addition, this post will cover strategies for picking a topic and how to make your argument a strong one. Ultimately, the goal is to convince your reader. 

An argumentative essay tasks the writer with presenting an assertion and bolstering that assertion with proper research. You’ll present the claim’s authenticity. This means that whatever argument you’re making must be empirically true! Writing an argumentative essay without any evidence will leave you stranded without any facts to back up your claim. When choosing your essay topic, begin by thinking about themes that have been researched before. Readers will be more engaged with an argument that is supported by data.

This isn’t to say that your argumentative essay topic has to be as well-known, like “Gravity: Does it Exist?” but it shouldn’t be so obscure that there isn’t ample evidence. Finding a topic with multiple sources confirming its validity will help you support your thesis throughout your essay. If upon review of these articles you begin to doubt their worth due to small sample sizes, biased funding sources, or scientific disintegrity, don’t be afraid to move on to a different topic. Your ultimate goal should be proving to your audience that your argument is true because the data supports it.

The hardest essays to write are the ones that you don’t care about. If you don’t care about your topic, why should someone else? Topics that are more personal to the reader are immediately more thoughtful and meaningful because the author’s passion shines through. If you are free to choose an argumentative essay topic, find a topic where the papers you read and cite are fun to read. It’s much easier to write when the passion is already inside of you!

However, you won’t always have the choice to pick your topic. You may receive an assignment to write an argumentative essay that you feel is boring. There is still value in writing an argumentative essay on a topic that may not be of interest to you. It will push you to study a new topic, and broaden your ability to write on a variety of topics. Getting good at proving a point thoroughly and effectively will help you to both understand different fields more completely and increase your comfort with scientific writing.

Convincing Thesis Statement

It’s important to remember the general essay structure: an introduction paragraph with a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. A strong thesis statement will set your essay up for success. What is it? A succinct, concise, and pithy sentence found in your first paragraph that summarizes your main point. Pour over this statement to ensure that you can set up your reader to understand your essay. You should also restate your thesis throughout your essay to keep your reader focused on your point.

Ample Research

A typical argumentative essay prompt may look like this: “What has been the most important invention of the 21st century? Support your claim with evidence.” This question is open-ended and gives you flexibility. But that also means it requires research to prove your point convincingly. The strongest essays weave scientific quotes and results into your writing. You can use recent articles, primary sources, or news sources. Maybe you even cite your own research. Remember, this process takes time, so be sure you set aside enough time to dive deep into your topic.

Clear Structure

If the reader can’t follow your argument, all your research could be for nothing! Structure is key to persuading your audience. Below are two common argumentative essay structures that you can use to organize your essays.

The Toulmin argument and the Rogerian argument each contain the four sections mentioned above but executes them in different ways. Be sure to familiarize yourself with both essay structures so that your essay is the most effective it can be.

The Toulmin argument has a straightforward presentation. You begin with your assertion, your thesis statement. You then list the evidence that supports your point and why these are valid sources. The bulk of your essay should be explaining how your sources support your claim. You then end your essay by acknowledging and discussing the problems or flaws that readers may find in your presentation. Then, you should list the solutions to these and alternative perspectives and prove your argument is stronger.

The Rogerian argument has a more complex structure. You begin with a discussion of what opposing sides do right and the validity of their arguments. This is effective because it allows you to piece apart your opponent’s argument. The next section contains your position on the questions. In this section, it is important to list problems with your opponent’s argument that your argument fixes. This way, your position feels much stronger. Your essay ends with suggesting a possible compromise between the two sides. A combination of the two sides could be the most effective solution.

  • Is the death penalty effective?
  • Is our election process fair?
  • Is the electoral college outdated?
  • Should we have lower taxes?
  • How many Supreme Court Justices should there be?
  • Should there be different term limits for elected officials?
  • Should the drinking age be lowered?
  • Does religion cause war?
  • Should the country legalize marijuana?
  • Should the country have tighter gun control laws?
  • Should men get paternity leave?
  • Should maternity leave be longer?
  • Should smoking be banned?
  • Should the government have a say in our diet?
  • Should birth control be free?
  • Should we increase access to condoms for teens?
  • Should abortion be legal?
  • Do school uniforms help educational attainment?
  • Are kids better or worse students than they were ten years ago?
  • Should students be allowed to cheat?
  • Is school too long?
  • Does school start too early?
  • Are there benefits to attending a single-sex school?
  • Is summer break still relevant?
  • Is college too expensive?

Art / Culture

  • How can you reform copyright law?
  • What was the best decade for music?
  • Do video games cause students to be more violent?
  • Should content online be more harshly regulated?
  • Should graffiti be considered art or vandalism?
  • Should schools ban books?
  • How important is art education?
  • Should music be taught in school?
  • Are music-sharing services helpful to artists?
  • What is the best way to teach science in a religious school?
  • Should fracking be legal?
  • Should parents be allowed to modify their unborn children?
  • Should vaccinations be required for attending school?
  • Are GMOs helpful or harmful?
  • Are we too dependent on our phones?
  • Should everyone have internet access?
  • Should internet access be free?
  • Should the police force be required to wear body cams?
  • Should social media companies be allowed to collect data from their users?
  • How has the internet impacted human society?
  • Should self-driving cars be allowed on the streets?
  • Should athletes be held to high moral standards?
  • Are professional athletes paid too much?
  • Should the U.S. have more professional sports teams?
  • Should sports be separated by gender?
  • Should college athletes be paid?
  • What are the best ways to increase safety in sports?

Where to Get More Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas

If you need more help brainstorming topics, especially those that are personalized to your interests, you can use CollegeVine’s free AI tutor, Ivy . Ivy can help you come up with original argumentative essay ideas, and she can also help with the rest of your homework, from math to languages.

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

personal ideas for essay

Ultimate Guide to Writing Your College Essay

Tips for writing an effective college essay.

College admissions essays are an important part of your college application and gives you the chance to show colleges and universities your character and experiences. This guide will give you tips to write an effective college essay.

Want free help with your college essay?

UPchieve connects you with knowledgeable and friendly college advisors—online, 24/7, and completely free. Get 1:1 help brainstorming topics, outlining your essay, revising a draft, or editing grammar.


Writing a strong college admissions essay

Learn about the elements of a solid admissions essay.

Avoiding common admissions essay mistakes

Learn some of the most common mistakes made on college essays

Brainstorming tips for your college essay

Stuck on what to write your college essay about? Here are some exercises to help you get started.

How formal should the tone of your college essay be?

Learn how formal your college essay should be and get tips on how to bring out your natural voice.

Taking your college essay to the next level

Hear an admissions expert discuss the appropriate level of depth necessary in your college essay.

Student Stories


Student Story: Admissions essay about a formative experience

Get the perspective of a current college student on how he approached the admissions essay.

Student Story: Admissions essay about personal identity

Get the perspective of a current college student on how she approached the admissions essay.

Student Story: Admissions essay about community impact

Student story: admissions essay about a past mistake, how to write a college application essay, tips for writing an effective application essay, sample college essay 1 with feedback, sample college essay 2 with feedback.

This content is licensed by Khan Academy and is available for free at

personal ideas for essay

Tapping Memory and Generating Ideas for Personal Essays

personal ideas for essay

  • Chronological

The Perks of Being a Sociopath

personal ideas for essay

“Don’t take things personally,” my professor warned my class. “Therapists have a responsibility to compartmentalize social emotions like shame and guilt. Try to ignore them,” he added. “What a patient is feeling toward you is not about you.”

It was day one of Clinical Practicum, a graduate-level psychology course meant to teach us how to work as clinicians. In addition to practical skills like assessment and treatment methods, we were introduced to the concept of transference, the inevitable unconscious process of patients redirecting their feelings onto their therapists. Negative transference was something that evidently contributed to a great deal of clinical burnout, as many therapists have a difficult time separating themselves from the emotions layered upon them by those they’re counseling.

 “What’s the benefit in ignoring social emotions,” I asked.

“It allows you to observe your patient’s feelings,” he replied, “instead of absorbing them.”

That sounded like an advantage.

It wasn’t the first time I’d considered the upside of not connecting with guilt and empathy, social emotions which most people learn in early childhood. As a sociopath, these feelings come less easily to me than inherent emotions like joy and sadness. Dealing with this has certainly been a challenge, but I’ve also come to believe that some atypical traits of my personality type can be beneficial.

The American psychologist George E. Partridge suggested in 1930 that the term “sociopathy” be used to refer to the condition of the subset of individuals exhibiting atypical, antisocial tendencies. Current estimates indicate the prevalence of my personality disorder to be about 5% of the population . That means roughly 15 million people in America could reasonably be considered sociopathic. Yet any Google search on the topic will yield a who’s-who of serial killers and monsters. Like many sociopaths, I can assure you I’m neither. Though, I always knew something about me was different.

Read More: The Evolution of a Narcissist

I’ve never been able to internalize remorse. I started stealing in kindergarten, and my behavior worsened in elementary school. I had urges of violence and struggled with impulse control. By junior high, I was breaking into houses after school to relax. As my personality grew, so did my obsession with the word I’d heard used to describe it. “Sociopath.” Even as a teen I recognized some version of myself in its description. Except I never felt like a monster. And I didn’t want to be destructive.

My rebelliousness was not against parents, or teachers, or authority. It was more of a compulsion, my brain’s desperate way to jolt itself out of a suffocating apathy I had no way to convey to others. My struggle with feeling was like an emotional learning disability.

I knew I lacked empathy and wasn’t as emotionally complex as everyone else. But that was the point: I noticed these differences. This contributed to a unique type of anxiety, a stress associated with the inner conflict some believe compels sociopaths to behave in a way that is damaging. Unlike many on the sociopathic spectrum, I was fortunate to have a support system that enabled me to learn how to cope with this anxiety. That meant I was capable of both self-awareness and evolution, key milestones of emotional development that sociopaths supposedly can’t achieve.

It didn’t add up for me. Why did conventional wisdom, mainstream media, even college-level psychology courses, all pigeonhole such a significant portion of the population as irredeemable villains? There is nothing inherently immoral about having limited access to emotion. Millions of people spend billions every year in an attempt to free their mind and elevate their consciousness through meditation (or prayer) with the goal that is—for me, at least—my default state. Because it’s not what we feel or don’t feel. It’s what we do .

Of course, some sociopathic traits can be used destructively. I’m not trying to minimize the negative aspects of sociopathy or any of the anti-social personality disorders. But they can also be used con structively.

In pursuit of my PhD in clinical psychology, I spent thousands of hours counseling patients. My apathetic baseline enabled me to help people process their complex “big” feelings. I was able to act as an impartial container into which they could pour their deepest secrets, and I reflected no judgment about what they told me. I could better function as a neutral witness instead of a reactive participant because of my personality type. I recognized when negative transference occurred in my sessions, but it didn’t affect me the way it did other clinicians.

Secure in the knowledge that my psychological well-being isn’t something they need to protect, my friends and family, too, spare no details when looking to me for advice, support, or encouragement. This transparency allows me to be impartial when helping them confront often overwhelming feelings of indecisiveness, inferiority, shame, or guilt. Because I don’t experience those learned social emotions the way most people do, I can usually offer an insightful, helpful point of view.

I feel fortunate to have been spared the downside of these societal constructs. While research on sociopathy may still be sparse, there is no shortage of resources detailing the harmful effects of shame and guilt. From low self-esteem and a propensity toward anxiety and depression, to problems with sleep and digestion, the negative aspects of these emotions seem, to me, to far outweigh the positive.

Society would undoubtably fall to pieces if nobody ever felt bad about doing bad things. I get that. I acknowledge that “good” behavior is beneficial to society, just as I know there are tremendous benefits to living in a harmonious community. But, contrary to popular belief, it’s quite possible to make good choices even without the burdens of guilt and shame.

As someone whose choices are not dependent on these constructs, I like to think I can offer a helpful perspective. I’ve found that lending this point of view to people I care about lets them see their obligations through a more objective lens. This allows for healthy boundary-setting and self-advocacy, which can be just as helpful to overall well-being. Conversely, I’ve been able to adopt pro-social perspectives offered by others, enabling me to learn how they interpret things and better internalize empathy and compassion.

Like so many psychological conditions, sociopathy exists on a severity spectrum. For more than half a century we have identified sociopaths based solely on the most extreme negative behavioral examples, which only further alienates those living on the less extreme end of the scale. But there are millions of us who would prefer to peacefully coexist, who have accepted our own apathy, and have learned how to be valuable members of our families and community. We’ve learned to do this while living in the shadows. My hope is that one day we can step into the light.

More Must-Reads From TIME

  • Jane Fonda Champions Climate Action for Every Generation
  • Passengers Are Flying up to 30 Hours to See Four Minutes of the Eclipse
  • Biden’s Campaign Is In Trouble. Will the Turnaround Plan Work?
  • Essay: The Complicated Dread of Early Spring
  • Why Walking Isn’t Enough When It Comes to Exercise
  • The Financial Influencers Women Actually Want to Listen To
  • The Best TV Shows to Watch on Peacock
  • Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time

Contact us at [email protected]


Top 20 Unessay Project Ideas For Students [Revised]

Unessay Project Ideas

In the area of education, there’s a constant quest to innovate and engage learners in meaningful ways. Traditional essays have long been the staple of academic assessment, but what if there was a way to break free from the constraints of this format and explore new avenues of expression and learning? Let’s enter into the concept of “Unessay project ideas.”

What is an Unessay?

Table of Contents

An Unessay is exactly what it sounds like – an unconventional approach to the traditional essay. It’s a departure from the standard written format, encouraging students to explore topics and express ideas through various creative mediums.

Unlike the typical essay, which often follows a rigid structure and formatting guidelines, Unessays offer freedom and flexibility in how information is presented.

Why Unessay Projects Matter

Unessay projects are not just about being different for the sake of it; they serve a crucial purpose in education. By allowing students to harness their creativity and personal interests, Unessays foster deeper engagement with course material. They encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and self-expression – skills that are essential for success both inside and outside the classroom.

How Do We Write An Unessay?

Writing an Unessay involves breaking away from the traditional essay format and exploring creative and unconventional ways to present your ideas. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an Unessay:

  • Choose Your Topic: Select a topic that interests you and aligns with the assignment requirements.
  • Brainstorm Ideas: Think outside the box and brainstorm different ways to approach the topic. Consider visual representations, multimedia presentations, creative writing, or alternative formats.
  • Select Your Medium: Decide on the medium that best suits your topic and creative vision. Are you drawn to visual art, storytelling, or digital media?
  • Research and Gather Materials: Conduct research to gather information and materials that will support your Unessay. This could include images, videos, quotes, data, or personal experiences.
  • Plan Your Structure: Unlike traditional essays, Unessays don’t necessarily follow a linear structure. Plan how you’ll organize your content to effectively convey your message.
  • Create Your Content: Start creating your Unessay using your chosen medium. This could involve writing, designing, recording, or producing content in a way that resonates with your audience.
  • Experiment and Iterate: Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Your Unessay is a creative expression of your ideas, so feel free to iterate and refine as you go.
  • Incorporate Feedback: Seek feedback from peers, instructors, or mentors to improve your Unessay. Consider how you can incorporate their suggestions to enhance your work.
  • Reflect and Revise: Reflect on your Unessay and consider what you’ve learned throughout the process. Make any necessary revisions to ensure your final product effectively communicates your message.
  • Submit and Share: Once you’re satisfied with your Unessay, submit it according to the assignment guidelines. Consider sharing your work with others to inspire creativity and spark meaningful discussions.

Top 20 Unessay Project Ideas

  • Interactive Documentary: Create an interactive documentary using multimedia elements such as video, audio, images, and text to explore a topic or issue from multiple perspectives.
  • Virtual Reality Experience: Design a virtual reality (VR) experience that immerses users in a specific environment or scenario related to your topic of interest.
  • Augmented Reality Exhibit: Develop an augmented reality (AR) exhibit that overlays digital content onto the physical world, allowing viewers to interact with information in innovative ways.
  • Data Visualization Story: Tell a story using data visualization techniques such as charts, graphs, maps, and interactive data visualizations to convey complex information in a compelling manner.
  • Animated Explainer Video: Create an animated video that explains a concept, process, or idea using engaging visuals, narration, and motion graphics.
  • Podcast Series: Produce a podcast series featuring interviews, discussions, and storytelling related to your topic, allowing listeners to explore different perspectives and insights.
  • Graphic Novel: Write and illustrate a graphic novel that explores themes, characters, and narratives relevant to your subject matter in a visually captivating format.
  • Photography Essay: Compile a photography essay featuring a series of photographs accompanied by descriptive captions or narratives that explore a particular theme or concept.
  • Interactive Game: Develop an interactive game or simulation that challenges players to explore and understand key concepts or phenomena related to your topic.
  • Live Performance Piece: Create a live performance piece incorporating elements of theater, dance, music, or spoken word to convey ideas, emotions, and messages.
  • Digital Collage: Produce a digital collage using images, text, and multimedia elements to create a visually dynamic representation of your topic or concept.
  • Choose Your Own Adventure Story: Write a choose-your-own-adventure story where readers can navigate through different pathways and outcomes based on their choices, exploring various aspects of your topic.
  • Video Essay Series: Produce a series of video essays that delve into different aspects or perspectives of your topic, combining narration, visuals, and analysis to engage viewers.
  • Art Installation: Create an art installation using mixed media, sculpture, or interactive elements to evoke emotions, provoke thoughts, and stimulate dialogue around your chosen theme.
  • Sound Collage: Compose a sound collage or audio montage incorporating ambient sounds, music, interviews, and other audio elements to create a sensory-rich exploration of your topic.
  • Digital Storytelling Website: Design a multimedia website featuring interactive storytelling elements such as videos, animations, infographics, and interactive timelines to present your research or narrative.
  • Comic Strip Series: Craft a series of comic strips or webcomics that humorously or artistically explore themes, characters, or events related to your subject matter.
  • Experimental Film: Produce an experimental film or video art piece that pushes the boundaries of traditional filmmaking techniques to convey abstract concepts, emotions, or narratives.
  • Interactive Map: Create an interactive map using GIS technology or digital mapping tools to visually represent geographical data, historical events, or social phenomena relevant to your topic.
  • Digital Art Installation: Develop a digital art installation featuring interactive projections, digital sculptures, or immersive environments that invite viewers to explore and interact with your subject matter in unique ways.

Where To Find Project Ideas?

Finding project ideas can come from a variety of sources. Here are some places to explore for inspiration:

  • Course Material: Look at your class syllabus, textbooks, or lecture notes for topics that interest you or that you’d like to delve deeper into.
  • Personal Interests: Consider your hobbies, passions, and personal experiences. Projects that align with your interests are often more engaging and rewarding.
  • Current Events: Stay updated on current events, news, and trends. Explore how these topics intersect with your academic studies or personal interests.
  • Conversations and Collaborations: Engage in discussions with peers, instructors, mentors, or professionals in your field. Collaborating with others can spark new ideas and perspectives.
  • Online Resources: Browse educational websites, forums, and social media platforms for project prompts, challenges, and inspiration.
  • Creative Prompts: Explore creative writing prompts, art prompts, or design challenges to stimulate your imagination and generate project ideas.
  • Problem-solving: Identify problems or challenges in your community, field of study, or personal life, and brainstorm creative solutions or projects to address them.
  • Past Projects: Review past projects, assignments, or research papers you’ve completed for inspiration. Consider how you can expand, improve, or build upon previous work.
  • Professional Journals and Publications: Read academic journals, magazines, or industry publications related to your field for ideas, research topics, and emerging trends.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Participate in clubs, organizations, or extracurricular activities that align with your interests. These experiences can inspire project ideas and provide valuable insights.

Unessay project ideas represent a paradigm shift in education – one that celebrates creativity, personalization, and innovation.

By breaking free from the constraints of traditional essays, Unessays empowers students to explore topics in-depth, express themselves authentically, and engage with course material in meaningful ways.

So why not embrace the Unessay revolution and unleash the full potential of learning? The possibilities are endless.

Related Posts

best way to finance car

Step by Step Guide on The Best Way to Finance Car

how to get fund for business

The Best Way on How to Get Fund For Business to Grow it Efficiently

Leave a comment cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • The Magazine
  • Newsletters
  • Managing Yourself
  • Managing Teams
  • Work-life Balance
  • The Big Idea
  • Data & Visuals
  • Reading Lists
  • Case Selections
  • HBR Learning
  • Topic Feeds
  • Account Settings
  • Email Preferences

Leading the 6-Generation Workforce

  • Nicholas Pearce

personal ideas for essay

This unprecedented age span, from the Silent Generation to Gen Alpha, offers unique opportunities for inclusion and impact.

Giving each generation — and, importantly, each individual — the opportunity to be seen, understood, valued, and leveraged in the workplace throughout the course of their career is essential for personal, social, and even societal well-being. This author offers five steps leaders can take to create healthy six-generation organizations.

For the first time in history, many workplaces span six generations: from the octogenarians of the Silent Generation who are still working — and in many cases still holding onto key global leadership roles — to the teenagers of the emerging Generation Alpha who are eagerly pursuing their first summer jobs and high school internships. In between are the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y (often called the Millennials), and Generation Z.

  • Nicholas Pearce is a clinical associate professor of management and organizations at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He’s also the CEO of The Vocati Group, a global executive consultancy. Follow him on Twitter @napphd .

Partner Center

  • Share full article


Supported by

Guest Essay

Elite College Admissions Have Turned Students Into Brands

An illustration of a doll in a box attired in a country-western outfit and surrounded by musical accessories and a laptop. The doll wears a distressed expression and is pushing against the front of the box, which is emblazoned with the words “Environmentally Conscious Musician” and “Awesome Applicant.” The backdrop is a range of pink with three twinkling lights surrounding the box.

By Sarah Bernstein

Ms. Bernstein is a playwright, a writing coach and an essayist in Brooklyn.

“I just can’t think of anything,” my student said.

After 10 years of teaching college essay writing, I was familiar with this reply. For some reason, when you’re asked to recount an important experience from your life, it is common to forget everything that has ever happened to you. It’s a long-form version of the anxiety that takes hold at a corporate retreat when you’re invited to say “one interesting thing about yourself,” and you suddenly believe that you are the most boring person in the entire world. Once during a version of this icebreaker, a man volunteered that he had only one kidney, and I remember feeling incredibly jealous of him.

I tried to jog this student’s memory. What about his love of music? Or his experience learning English? Or that time on a summer camping trip when he and his friends had nearly drowned? “I don’t know,” he said with a sigh. “That all seems kind of cliché.”

Applying to college has always been about standing out. When I teach college essay workshops and coach applicants one on one, I see my role as helping students to capture their voice and their way of processing the world, things that are, by definition, unique to each individual. Still, many of my students (and their parents) worry that as getting into college becomes increasingly competitive, this won’t be enough to set them apart.

Their anxiety is understandable. On Thursday, in a tradition known as “Ivy Day,” all eight Ivy League schools released their regular admission decisions. Top colleges often issue statements about how impressive (and competitive) their applicant pools were this cycle. The intention is to flatter accepted students and assuage rejected ones, but for those who have not yet applied to college, these statements reinforce the fear that there is an ever-expanding cohort of applicants with straight A’s and perfect SATs and harrowing camping trip stories all competing with one another for a vanishingly small number of spots.

This scarcity has led to a boom in the college consulting industry, now estimated to be a $2.9 billion business. In recent years, many of these advisers and companies have begun to promote the idea of personal branding — a way for teenagers to distinguish themselves by becoming as clear and memorable as a good tagline.

While this approach often leads to a strong application, students who brand themselves too early or too definitively risk missing out on the kind of exploration that will prepare them for adult life.

Like a corporate brand, the personal brand is meant to distill everything you stand for (honesty, integrity, high quality, low prices) into a cohesive identity that can be grasped at a glance. On its website, a college prep and advising company called Dallas Admissions explains the benefits of branding this way: “Each person is complex, yet admissions officers only have a small amount of time to spend learning about each prospective student. The smart student boils down key aspects of himself or herself into their personal ‘brand’ and sells that to the college admissions officer.”

Identifying the key aspects of yourself may seem like a lifelong project, but unfortunately, college applicants don’t have that kind of time. Online, there are dozens of lesson plans and seminars promising to walk students through the process of branding themselves in five to 10 easy steps. The majority begin with questions I would have found panic-inducing as a teenager, such as, “What is the story you want people to tell about you when you’re not in the room?”

Where I hoped others would describe me as “normal” or, in my wildest dreams, “cool,” today’s teenagers are expected to leave this exercise with labels like, Committed Athlete and Compassionate Leader or Environmentally Conscious Musician. Once students have a draft of their ideal self, they’re offered instructions for manifesting it (or at least, the appearance of it) in person and online. These range from common-sense tips (not posting illegal activity on social media) to more drastic recommendations (getting different friends).

It’s not just that these courses cut corners on self-discovery; it’s that they get the process backward. A personal brand is effective only if you can support it with action, so instead of finding their passion and values through experience, students are encouraged to select a passion as early as possible and then rack up the experience to substantiate it. Many college consultants suggest beginning to align your activities with your college ambitions by ninth grade, while the National Institute of Certified College Planners recommends students “talk with parents, guardians, and/or an academic adviser to create a clear plan for your education and career-related goals” in junior high.

The idea of a group of middle schoolers soberly mapping out their careers is both comical and depressing, but when I read student essays today, I can see that this advice is getting through. Over the past few years, I have been struck by how many high school seniors already have defined career goals as well as a C.V. of relevant extracurriculars to go with them. This widens the gap between wealthy students and those who lack the resources to secure a fancy research gig or start their own small business. (A shocking number of college applicants claim to have started a small business.) It also puts pressure on all students to define themselves at a moment when they are anxious to fit in and yet changing all the time.

In the world of branding, a word that appears again and again is “consistency.” If you are Charmin, that makes sense. People opening a roll of toilet paper do not want to be surprised. If you are a teenage human being, however, that is an unreasonable expectation. Changing one’s interests, opinions and presentation is a natural part of adolescence and an instructive one. I find that my students with scattershot résumés are often the most confident. They’re not afraid to push back against suggestions that ring false and will insist on revising their essay until it actually “feels like me.” On the other hand, many of my most accomplished students are so quick to accept feedback that I am wary of offering it, lest I become one more adult trying to shape them into an admission-worthy ideal.

I understand that for parents, prioritizing exploration can feel like a risky bet. Self-insight is hard to quantify and to communicate in a college application. When it comes to building a life, however, this kind of knowledge has more value than any accolade, and it cannot be generated through a brainstorming exercise in a six-step personal branding course online. To equip kids for the world, we need to provide them not just with opportunities for achievement, but with opportunities to fail, to learn, to wander and to change their minds.

In some ways, the college essay is a microcosm of modern adolescence. Depending on how you look at it, it’s either a forum for self-discovery or a high-stakes test you need to ace. I try to assure my students that it is the former. I tell them that it’s a chance to take stock of everything you’ve experienced and learned over the past 18 years and everything you have to offer as a result.

That can be a profound process. But to embark on it, students have to believe that colleges really want to see the person behind the brand. And they have to have the chance to know who that person is.

Sarah Bernstein is a playwright, a writing coach and an essayist.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

Follow the New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Instagram , TikTok , WhatsApp , X and Threads .


  1. Personal Essay Topics and Prompts

    A personal essay is an essay about your life, thoughts, or experiences. This type of essay will give readers a glimpse into your most intimate life experiences and life lessons. There are many reasons you may need to write a personal essay, from a simple class assignment to a college application requirement.You can use the list below for inspiration. Consider each statement a starting point ...

  2. 89+ Personal Narrative Ideas To Spark Your Creativity

    A long list of personal narrative ideas. 1. The journey of rediscovering my passion for painting after years of neglect sparked by an unexpected encounter with a street artist. 2. How a single conversation with my grandmother over her old photo album reshaped my understanding of family history and legacy. 3.

  3. 110 Personal Essay Topics

    Students and others struggling with a valuable personal essay topic can choose from any of the 110 personal essay topics on this list to help them get started. How to Write a Personal Essay. Writing a personal essay will require you to follow a traditional essay's guidelines, structure, and format.

  4. 650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing

    Here is a PDF of all 650 prompts, and we also have a related lesson plan, From 'Lives' to 'Modern Love': Writing Personal Essays With Help From The New York Times.. Below, a list that ...

  5. 550 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing

    Update, Sept. 9, 2022: We published a new collection of 445 narrative and personal writing prompts. We've been posting fresh writing prompts every school day for over a decade now, and every so ...

  6. 100+ Personal Essay Topics For College And Writing Tips

    Personal essay topics usually include real stories, experiences, and opinions of people. Writers need to give an account of their own experience and express their thoughts on the subject of a paper. The key to success is to make an attempt to combine narration and opinion together. In this article, you will find a short writing guide and 100 ...

  7. 242 Personal Persuasive Essay Topics and Ideas

    242 Personal Persuasive Essay Topics and Ideas. Jim Peterson has over 20 years experience on speech writing. He wrote over 300 free speech topic ideas and how-to guides for any kind of public speaking and speech writing assignments at My Speech Class. Personal essays are some of the most diverse assignments you can receive.

  8. Choosing Your College Essay Topic

    Choosing Your College Essay Topic | Ideas & Examples. Published on October 25, 2021 by Kirsten Courault. Revised on July 3, 2023. A strong essay topic sets you up to write a unique, memorable college application essay. Your topic should be personal, original, and specific. Take time to brainstorm the right topic for you.

  9. Top 50 Personal Essay Topics

    Top 50 Personal Essay Topics You might be set a personal essay as a criterion for your admission to college or it might be set at any time during your academic career. A personal essay is essentially a form of self-expression. It draws on other essay formats - like a narrative essay - but of all academic assignments it is the loosest and ...

  10. 200 Narrative & Personal Essay Topics Ideas

    A choice of good personal narrative topics is essential, as it should be interesting for readers. We hope that these ideas for personal narrative papers will help you write awesome essays. More than 100 personal essay topics are available here. Students can use ready personal essay topics or modify them.

  11. Top 75 Personal Essay Topics For Every Student 2022

    Some other good personal essay topics. If you are still out of ideas for personal essay topics, you can consider the themes listed below: The last act of kindness that you have made. The job of your dream. The most beautiful place in the world you have ever seen. The best music band that helps you to fall asleep.

  12. 21 College Essay Topics & Ideas That Worked

    Here's a list of essay topics and ideas that worked for my one-on-one students: Essay Topic: My Allergies Inspired Me. After nearly dying from anaphylactic shock at five years old, I began a journey healing my anxiety and understanding the PTSD around my allergies. This created a passion for medicine and immunology, and now I want to become ...

  13. 295 Personal Narrative Ideas: Diverse Topics For Your Essay

    295 Personal Narrative Ideas: Diverse Topics For Your Essay. January 6, 2022. Personal narrative writing involves writing about a real-life experience. It's like non-fiction. You're writing a story about yourself because it happened to you. At some point, your stories are the perfect personal narrative writing ideas because they are yours.

  14. How to Write a Personal Essay: 6 Tips for Writing Personal Essays

    Start with your intro. Include your hook, state your thesis, and form an emotional connection with the reader. Set your audience up for what your piece will be about and give them something to look forward to. 3. Fill your body paragraphs. Use sensory details about the sequence of events surrounding your thesis to guide the reader through your ...

  15. 670 Personal Essay Topics & Free Ideas

    Easy Personal Essay Topics. Experiences that shaped my political views. The journey to accepting my sexuality. Unraveling my unique talent. Achieving my most ambitious goal. My favorite childhood memory and its impact. The role of spirituality in my life. Navigating through a major life transition.

  16. 200 Best Topic Ideas for Narrative Essay

    Focus on a specific event or detail to make your narrative more focused and impactful. Look for universal themes like love or personal transformation that connect with readers on a deeper level. Brainstorm ideas and write freely to uncover compelling topics. Decide on storytelling techniques like flashbacks or foreshadowing and choose a topic ...

  17. 53 Stellar College Essay Topics to Inspire You

    Once you've chosen a general topic to write about, get out a piece of paper and get to work on creating a list of all the key details you could include in your essay. These could be things such as the following: Emotions you felt at the time. Names, places, and/or numbers. Dialogue, or what you or someone else said.

  18. 19 College Essay Topics and Prompts

    1. Be considerate with humor. Showing off your sense of humor lets your personality show through your words and can make reading the essay more entertaining. Try including a few sentences that you think will bring a smile to the reader's face, or use adjectives to insert some colorful comedy. 2.

  19. Where to Begin? 6 Personal Essay Brainstorming Exercises

    6. Make a list of anecdotes, childhood memories, or stories about yourself. Then choose one and make it your "vehicle.". Finally, you should conclude your brainstorming session by searching for a vehicle: an anecdote that you can use to frame your personal statement. You can use anecdotes in your personal statement in a number of ways.

  20. 113 Perfect Persuasive Essay Topics for Any Assignment

    List of 113 Good Persuasive Essay Topics. Below are over 100 persuasive essay ideas, organized into ten categories. When you find an idea that piques your interest, you'll choose one side of it to argue for in your essay. For example, if you choose the topic, "should fracking be legal?" you'd decide whether you believe fracking should ...

  21. 50 Outstanding Personal Statement Topics for Inspiration

    50 Inspiring Topics for Personal Essay. Apart from options we mentioned above, there is another alternative. When you are fruitlessly looking for possible topics and cannot find anything, it is time for using the Internet. There are many lists with suggestions people could choose from — they offer free themes and encourage students to pick ...

  22. 52 Argumentative Essay Ideas that are Actually Interesting

    Topics that are more personal to the reader are immediately more thoughtful and meaningful because the author's passion shines through. If you are free to choose an argumentative essay topic, find a topic where the papers you read and cite are fun to read.

  23. Ultimate Guide to Writing Your College Essay

    Sample College Essay 2 with Feedback. This content is licensed by Khan Academy and is available for free at College essays are an important part of your college application and give you the chance to show colleges and universities your personality. This guide will give you tips on how to write an effective college essay.

  24. Tapping Memory and Generating Ideas for Personal Essays

    1. The Sloth: "That sloth is as slow as grief." It captured exactly how I've experienced grief, and in 7 words it tied the entire essay together. Wow. 2. Swerve: the "fix"/"you hadn't fixed"/"break"/"brake light" business you already mentioned. I almost missed this whole bit the first time round. 2.

  25. The Perks of Being a Sociopath

    In a personal essay, Patric Gagne explores how sociopathic traits can be used constructively, instead of destructively. ... Ideas. By Patric Gagne. April 2, 2024 7:00 AM EDT.

  26. Top 20 Unessay Project Ideas For Students [Revised]

    Top 20 Unessay Project Ideas. Interactive Documentary: Create an interactive documentary using multimedia elements such as video, audio, images, and text to explore a topic or issue from multiple perspectives. Virtual Reality Experience: Design a virtual reality (VR) experience that immerses users in a specific environment or scenario related to your topic of interest.

  27. When I Became a Birder, Almost Everything Else Fell Into Place

    Mr. Yong is a science writer whose most recent book, "An Immense World," investigates animal perception. Last September, I drove to a protected wetland near my home in Oakland, Calif., walked ...

  28. Leading the 6-Generation Workforce

    Leading the 6-Generation Workforce. by. Nicholas Pearce. April 04, 2024. HBR Staff/Unsplash. Summary. Giving each generation — and, importantly, each individual — the opportunity to be seen ...

  29. Hash Out the Inheritance Now, or Fight Your Family Later

    More than $84 trillion in wealth has been, or is set to be, transferred by estates big and small between 2021 and 2045, according to Cerulli Associates. That wave of inheritance has brought a rise ...

  30. Elite College Admissions Have Turned Students Into Brands

    Ms. Bernstein is a playwright, a writing coach and an essayist in Brooklyn. "I just can't think of anything," my student said. After 10 years of teaching college essay writing, I was ...