Writing a personal essay is a task we all face multiple times in our lives. We need to submit personal statements for college admissions, for participating in various programs, for being considered for a job position.
Without a concrete prompt, it’s sometimes difficult to find an appropriate personal essay topic to write about. In this post, we have gathered topics for personal essay and suggestions on how to come up with a perfect one for you and your situation.
How to Come Up With Personal Essay Topic Ideas
Topics for a personal essay can be very diverse. They may concentrate on your culture, your family, your childhood, any of your past experiences, your interests, hobbies, your beliefs, people whom you love and find inspiring – anything you hold dear.
As a rule, people find it easy to talk about something they are excited about. That is why most of the personal narrative essay topics encourage essay writers to tell about their favorite places, people, subjects, songs, films, ways to spend the afternoon, or about pleasant memories from the past. This makes people more open and likely to show their personal qualities – consciously or unconsciously.
Your goal, therefore, is to be authentic and sincere, but also be aware of the traits you are showcasing and make sure they are the ones that people requesting the personal essay look for in you.
How to choose what to highlight? It depends on the purpose of your essay. For example, if you are applying for a scholarship towards a degree in design, you should demonstrate your creative side and your commitment to a future career. A great way to do it is to write about what made you interested in this field, how creating new designs makes you feel, give some examples of styles you find inspiring, and what steps you have already taken to improve your skills.
Personal Essay Topics for College Applications
Your personal statement is one of the most important things in your college application. This is the reason why as early as in middle school they start giving you autobiographical essay assignments. By the time high school students start crafting their applications, they are already familiar with the format and feel confident when sharing their thoughts and feeling with others.
A personal statement, as a rule, does not have a fixed topic. Application platforms might suggest some inspirational prompts for your essay, but they are never mandatory.
Depending on the college, personal essay topics can be changed to highlight your interest in the major, your values that coincide with the core values of your school, or your plans for the future. Keeping all that in mind, here are some suggestions you can start building upon:
- What person from the past would like to meet and what would you ask them?
- How would your friends describe you? How do you think, which feature they would name as your best?
- What is your biggest ambition in life? What do you hope your legacy to be?
- What makes you angry? How would you fix it if you could?
- Have you any volunteering experience? What cause have you chosen? Why?
- Do you have anyone you would call your mentor? How did this person help you?
- What is the contribution you have made to your community?
- What inspires you and brings you joy?
- Of what achievement you are most proud?
- What mystery do you find the most fascinating?
Personal Experience Essay Topics
Personal essays topics sometimes seek to explore your character through experiences. For example, challenges you have faced in the past and ways you overcame them or a particularly difficult dilemma you had to solve. Here are some of the examples:
- What was the most difficult choice that you had to make in your life?
- Has anyone ever challenged your deep-rooted belief? How have you reacted?
- Have you ever set goals for yourself that seemed unattainable? What was the outcome?
- Have you experienced grief in your life?
- Describe a time when you were greatly surprised
- When was the time you had to stand up for yourself?
- How did you meet your best friend?
- What is your most treasured possession? Why?
- Describe an adventure you had
- What is your happiest memory?
Interesting Topics for Personal Essays Combined With Other Types
Personal essays are very versatile and have more uses then to present your character to admission officers. Personal stories and anecdotes make for great illustrative material for argumentative and persuasive essays and cases to analyze in cause and effect essays. Here are some of the examples:
Personal Argumentative Essay Topics
- Why I think that school uniform is a good/bad idea based on my experience
- Why schools should teach more art and music
- My reasons for supporting/opposing firearms regulation
- School should start at later hours
- Why gap year is a great idea
- Why audiobooks should be appreciated more
- Why I would/wouldn’t like to win a lottery
- Why empathy and emotional intelligence should be taught at school
- Why I believe homework is outdated/still relevant nowadays
- Why gadgets should be used more/less in my classroom
Personal Persuasive Essay Topics
- Everyone should take responsibility for their carbon footprint
- Young people need more freedom to balance their many responsibilities
- Vegetarianism: yay or nay?
- Every student should spend at least a semester abroad
- Violent sports should be banned
- I adopted a pet from the shelter, and I think more people should do it
- Why going to college out of state is the best decision I’ve made thus far
- Everyone should learn how to play an instrument
- We should stop wasting water the way we do
- Pick your favorite song and tell why it’s the best song ever
Personal Cause and Effect Essay Topics
- My failures are steps to my success
- How keeping a journal taught me mindfulness
- My reading journey and where it led me
- My experience with 4R (Refuse, Reuse, Recycle, Rot)
- One encounter that changed my life
- How I learned that I should never lie
- Why Math (History, Biology, etc.) is my favorite subject
- What growing up with siblings taught me
- How I deliberately formed a wholesome habit
- The effects of cutting down on my screen time
Here are just some of the examples, but we have plenty more in our essay database – not only titles but full-fledged papers written by students like you. Go and sip the inspiration without limits!