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Great Personal Essay Topics and Ideas for Students

The idea of completing a personal essay may scary students because they feel like they need to open up on something personal or evaluate their own behavior in the eyes of strangers. Well, the idea is that students do have to express their own views and opinions on the matter in concise written form as well as link this matter to their own experience. But it does not mean students have to confess in something or reveal some unpleasant facts or events they would rather forget. 

 Rather, everyone understands the conventionality of “personal opinion” and “personal connection” to the matter. So, students are actually expected to present themselves in a positive light and to show they can draw some lessons or conclusions from various situations in life. You can describe your opinion very loosely or posh it up a bit if you expect that your actual views will disappoint someone or will look controversial. That’s the biggest and the most inspiring secret of personal essays. 

Besides, the key focus of narrative essay writing is demonstrating your narrative skills, persuasive skills, argumentation skills, and maybe a little bit of humor (if appropriate). Thus, your focus should be placed on careful structuring, drafting, and polishing the paper. The topic matters, but even if it is assigned and you do not like it, you can pick a side that will let you speak with ease and show off your writing skills. 

Learning and mastering writing skills is a goal, so instead of fretting over the boring topic, ‘just do it,’ like you have done tons of other papers. And we will gladly help you along the way, plus provide with 90+ cool ideas of topics. 

What Key Points Should You Consider When Writing a Personal Essay?

You should begin your writing by picking a topic (or finding the right angle of the already assigned one). It will set you on the right track and will prompt where to look for information. 

Yes, surely, when you write a personal essay, you write about yourself. But if you speak of some wider matters in relation to yourself, you will need to do a bit of research. Look for credible and peer-reviewed sources, read them thoroughly, and mark the information you will use. Basically, by doing this, you will prepare an outline. 

Outlining is necessary since you have to construct a smooth narration. You are weaving a compelling and engaging story, not just some last-second school report. So, take your time, especially if you are writing your college application essay. To create an outline, you need to know the structure of such a paper. Luckily, the structure is all the same through all papers you have ever written (this one included): 

  • Introduction;
  • A thesis;
  • Body paragraph;
  • Body paragraph;
  • Body paragraph;
  • Conclusion. 

That’s it. Aim for five paragraphs (they are about two pages long), and you will not fail. 

A thesis is obligatory since it defines which one of the personal essay prompts you have selected and how you relate to it. For example: Despite the latest trends in online education, brick-and-mortar colleges still provide vital knowledge, skills, and habits of individual work; this is why I plan to attend a college and invest fully into studies. 

It is obvious that you are going to speak about the importance of college education in general and for you in particular. 

Drafting is writing the actual paper, so take every step seriously. Make the introduction interesting by using some careful joke, unexpected or intriguing phrase as a hook, add a couple of sentences, and end with a thesis.

Each paragraph should have a topic sentence and its development through evidence, facts, and explanation. I.e., you say how specifically a college is useful (3-4 main points) and develop each point into a paragraph. Always use transitions to make the story smooth and coherent.

Proofreading is the last vital part because nothing spoils a good impression as profoundly as silly mistakes. Check grammar and potential typos, or ask a friend or a relative to do it for you.

Selecting a Good Topic or Idea for Your Personal Essay

Now, where to find personal essay ideas? Everywhere, actually. 

  • think of some bright event in your past and how you can describe it to your advantage;
  • think of some challenges that you have overcome and are ready to share with others;
  • think of some problem that pesters you and how you plan to tackle it;
  • browse the media and see trending topics – maybe you can relate to them in some way;
  • talk to friends; maybe they will come up with some useful stuff;
  • see if a college provides examples of earlier essays and check the topics;
  • look through ready-made lists provide by study-help sites;
  • make use of the great list we have compiled for you.
  • Make sure that the topic really relates to you and have something to say. 
  • Topic should not be too sensitive or depressing for you. Opt for something lighter and positive. 
  • The situation to your advantage and speak optimistically. That’s what everyone likes to read, so meet the expectations of your readers. That would be the path to success, even if a bit beautified one. 

Our List of Personal Essay Topics

Now comes the best part: the list of 90+ topics to write about yourself. Explore it, see what appeals to you, and develop the topic into a great narration. Yes, you can do it! So start right now so that you have enough time for the process.  

Personal Narrative Essay Topics

  1. Did you use to create something when a child? 
  2. What book or cartoon character did you want to become in childhood? 
  3. Was there something you dreamed wildly about but never got? 
  4. What childhood object do you still keep?
  5. What advice would you give to your young teen self? 
  6. Things that were considered cool when you were a kid
  7. Was there some book of even that impacted you significantly in your teens? 
  8. Is there something that older people do not get about the modern life of teenagers?
  9. Is there a long-cherished tradition in your family? 
  10. Your hobbies: are they your own or you picked them from parents or friends? 

Personal Argumentative Essay Topics

  1. Neighborhood and district do not define or characterize you as a person.  
  2. Appearances are deceitful, yet they mean even more in the age of Instagram. What about you?
  3. You are more productive when collaborating, not going against each other.
  4. It is normal to cry in frustration or stress, so no one should be ashamed of it, you included. 
  5. Many young people behave riskier when with friends, but not you. 
  6. Peer pressure means a lot in your life (or not). 
  7. It is not okay to apologize practically for everything, so you are trying to unlearn this habit. 
  8. Saving some cash is always a good idea. 
  9. Decision making is really hard for you (or goes nice and breezy). 
  10. Is it really pay off to wait for something for very long? 
  11. House cleaning is only one of many things that a person can do in free time (and not the most necessary one). 
  12. Time spent in the natural environment is invaluable for human health, and for your mood as well. 
  13. Over-organizing and tidiness do not go hand in hand with creativity, so you are most creative. 
  14. Family history is important to know (although it takes efforts to learn it).
  15. Helicopter parenting is the response to complex and more dangerous times (or least to their image in the media). 

Personal Persuasive Essay Topics

  1. Sometimes procrastination is a good thing for young people. 
  2. It is important to learn to take polite and positive criticism well (for you and for others). 
  3. Today the concept of good manners has changed significantly. 
  4. Sometimes jumping to immediate assumptions about other people works well. 
  5. Leadership in your life. 
  6. Making friends with neighbors: is it always possible? 
  7. Money education should come from parents first. 
  8. Family is a wide and sometimes complicated notion. 
  9. Failure is a useful experience, so it is necessary to learn from it. 
  10. Challenges can both build and break a person’s character. 
  11. Leaving ‘comfort zone’ has a very particular meaning to you. 
  12. The main problem you would like to get rid of. 

Topics for Middle School

  1. Can you imagine your life without technology? 
  2. What is the only gadget you will select if such a request arises? 
  3. Do you play games on your phone? Do you spend too much time on it? 
  4. Role of social media in your life. 
  5. Do you think modern life is possible without technology, if more and more areas of life become dependent on it, literally? 
  6. Do you know the rules of Internet safety, and do you follow them? 
  7. Is Wikipedia a reliable source of information, in your opinion? 
  8. What does data protection mean to you? 
  9. What online course or blog would you launch?
  10. Are your friends on social media your real friends? All of them? 
  11. Do you usually like videos that ‘go viral’ on the web? 
  12. Do you think all school subjects are necessary? 
  13. How would you reorganize your school if you could?
  14. Is there a teacher who impacted you significantly? 
  15. Have you decided yet what you want to do in the future?

Topics for High School

  1. Is it the task of a young person alone to handle bullying, adversities, and conflicts (or there should be systemic solutions as well)? 
  2. Can adversity teach you anything (except that some people should be avoided at all costs)? 
  3. Gender roles and how they reflect in your life. 
  4. Do you feel your parents or society expect too much (or too little) from you because of your gender?
  5. Is religion necessary for you to be moral?
  6. Can stealing things be justified in some cases? 
  7. Is being kind to everyone around you (even strangers) a good idea? 
  8. Will it be useful to learn something about other religious teachings (i.e., to get accurate concepts and ideas from primary sources, not just read some free Internet interpretation)? 
  9. Street harassment: have you ever been on any side of it? How did you feel? How was the situation resolved? 
  10. Do you believe in destiny? 
  11. Do you have enough time to socialize after school? Would you like to change this ratio of free-school time? 

Topics for College Application

  1. What I want to change in the world. 
  2. What features of your school would you like to find in a college? 
  3. What subject has overturned your ideas about the world? 
  4. Digital skills, security and literacy for students. 
  5. School sports and your attitudes towards them. 
  6. Do you think school grades really reflect a student’s level of skills?
  7. College life: do you suppose it to be very different from school life? 
  8. Do you believe yourself to be independent in thinking, or do others influence you greatly? 
  9. What club or fraternity or sorority would you like to join, and why? 
  10. Are grades a real measure of your worth in life? 
  11. Do you think online studies can fully replace going to college in person? 
  12. Is a cool graduation ceremony a reason many students select prestigious colleges and universities? 
  13. Can anyone plan for a lifelong career in modern realities? 
  14. Lifelong learning: what do you know about it? 
  15. What talents or skills would you like to demonstrate while in college? 
  16. What menial skills would you like to bring back to the curriculum? 
  17. Would you like your hobby to be your way of earning? Is it really a good idea? 

Interesting Personal Essay Topics 

Need more customized personal essay topics? They are right here: 

  1. What was the most disappointing sports experience for you? 
  2. What was the most exciting sports experience you had? 
  3. Have you ever dreamt of changing rules in some kind of sports completely?
  4. Do you want to attend the Olympics someday? 
  5. Have you ever tried doing art? What kind of it? 
  6. Do you think photography and Photoshop can replace painting and draw completely? 
  7. What music do you like and why?
  8. The most exotic musical instruments that you have seen or laid your hands on. 
  9. Have you ever tried to write a book?
  10. Would you like to take part in some historical reenactment? What would it be? 
  11. Do you like to travel? Have you had an opportunity to go abroad?

We Will Gladly Help You with Your Narrative Essay

But what if among all personal essay topics you do not see any that really appeals to you? What if you feel that you just cannot complete this task right now as it should be completed? Are you that hopeless? Of course not. 

We are here for such occasions in particular. We have a team of very capable and talented writers who will create a great paper on any topic. Just drop us a line and ask for help; the rest will be our concern. On your side, you will get an excellent paper, submit it, and be sure that everything’s going right for you.

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