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Home / Blog / Personal Essay Topics And Writing Recommendations

Personal Essay Topics And Writing Recommendations

personal essay topics

A personal essay is ordinary paperwork at high school and college. Being one of the most spread forms of creative nonfiction, it is based on a life experience and lessons gained from it. Also, students may tell their opinion on the issue or problem in a personal essay.

How To Start a Personal Essay?

The key to a successful personal narrative and winning the attention of the audience is being open-minded. Each student decides how open he or she wants to be. A conversation about such intimate topics as fears and dreams, life success, or failure stories are very private. But they are catchy and provide a field for debates. A good personal essay should include five chapters with five sentences in each.

As soon as you finish your mind traveling over the recent events and remarkable people, you come up to the writing stage. Many students wrestle with the subject of how to start a personal essay. Take a deep breath and catch some inspiration. That should be a strong hook that will grab attention. Your task to hold your audience and make it listen to you till the end. This hook could be:

  • a felicitous citing;
  • statistic data or real facts;
  • a literary device (metaphoric expressions, contrast, etc.);
  • a humorous or witty story.

The introduction part should include some background information. Encourage your readers to reflect on the theme touched by a personal essay. Introduce the main heroes of your narrative, determine the time and place of the events. Also, the first chapter must have a thesis statement, your main argument. It should be intriguing, convincing, and weighty enough to develop this topic. A perfect personal essay is a successful combination of a narrative and a writer’s point of view.

Elements of a Personal Essay

A personal essay should include the following elements:

  1. A link that joins other details of the story and transmits your main message to people.
  2. Stroke of genius. The truth realization or just «that’s it!» moment. There should be several ones throughout an essay appearing to some extent.
  3. Uncertainty. Keep your audience intrigued and waiting for the moment when the new epiphany comes up. If you give all the truth at once, people will lose the desire to listen to you till the end.
  4. The high point. The maximal tension of your story, the event that turned out your vision. This element can be the most calling one among «that’s it!» instants.
  5. Admitting to yourself. A moment of weakness facing the truth, the facts that are hard to accept. You should be as open as you want to speak of yourself without intruding on the privacy of other people involved.
  6. The emotional landscape. Describe the emotional state which the experience brings. Readers should understand your thoughts and feelings when the event happened. Be as detailed as possible.
  7. Personal character traits. The main heroes should sound to the readers naturally and exciting. Perhaps, a dialogue or a composite portrait would be appropriate.
  8. Chronological order. Classically, a writer describes events by their appearing in his or her life. Backtracking may take place too. The beginners should be attentive at this point to make the story understandable to the readers.

Piecing these details together will help you to write a realistic, memorable, emotional, and analyzing essay.

Good Personal Essay Topics

Students who need a good topic for a personal essay but experience a lack of inspiration may use this list:

  • the most challenging moment in your life;
  • how do you know your best friend;
  • why are your parents the amazing people;
  • how do you struggle with anxiety;
  • the path of your success;
  • the most difficult choice of your life;
  • your favorite place on the Earth;
  • the most horrible place you have ever visited;
  • how do you overcome betrayal;
  • a watershed event in your life;
  • how do you deal with animals;
  • a time when you felt like a fish out of water;
  • unrealistic expectations;
  • the philosophy that changed your life;
  • how do you deal with unpleasant sort of fellows;
  • a time when you let down someone;
  • the most beautiful memories;
  • the moment of your maturity;
  • remembering the first holiday in your life;
  • wrong life choice;
  • getting yourself out of sticky situations;
  • a person who you will remember forever;
  • the happiest time in your life;
  • your failures;
  • your frustrations;
  • surprises in your life;
  • who is your authority and why;
  • what is your superpower;
  • whose life you would like to live;
  • how is wealthiness meaningful to you;
  • the largest forfeiture in your life;
  • the winning of your life;
  • our sacred life experience;
  • a hiding place in your childhood;
  • how do you deal with strangers;
  • what does handshaking matters to you;
  • if you had a second chance;
  • the most influential book in your life;
  • sharp words;
  • desire to escape;
  • are children smarter than adults?
  • Pride as the highest satisfaction;
  • is your dog your best friend;
  • the best family time ever;
  • which country you would choose for a living;
  • the most desirable invention;
  • life within two hundred years;
  • if you lived in the nineteenth century;
  • the most desirable school changes;
  • the most impressive movie you have ever seen;
  • if you were a teacher;
  • the Wonder of the World you want to see;
  • the lack of yours;
  • would you pet a snake;
  • can robots replace human labor completely;
  • the worst day in your life;
  • the ability locked away inside you;
  • your mysterious passion;
  • the ugliest creation on the planet;
  • the most beautiful thing on the Earth;
  • If you were the rich;
  • how would you manage the charity funds;
  • the importance of the color;
  • the best present in your life;
  • a case when a minute lasted a year;
  • the strangest visitor;
  • the weirdest event;
  • when did you feel embarrassed;

In the list, you will find the topic you are ready to discuss in public.

Personal Essay Examples According to Purpose

According to the purpose, a personal essay can be a narrative. See the themes samples below:

  • your first journey abroad;
  • the first day at school: how it was;
  • flashbacks from early childhood;
  • how hazardous are you;
  • the most efficient studying methods;
  • your first home-cooked meal;
  • your first experience of rapid assistance.

An essay may illuminate your skills:

  • your ways of staying healthy;
  • special Christmas traditions;
  • helping homeless animals;
  • your first driving experience;
  • have you personally met a superstar;
  • lessons that you have gained from rivals;
  • have you ever been a witness to an accident;
  • the most painful life period;
  • the most impressive concert you have seen.

A personal essay may be argumentative:

  • the most necessary thing in your life;
  • how do environmental problems bother you;
  • the price of happiness;
  • the importance of personal development;
  • patriarchy or matriarchy;
  • a real mensch: who is it;
  • a tattoo is a beauty or a stigma;
  • plastic surgery: necessity or fad.

If you got a task to write a persuasive personal essay, choose one of these topics:

  • distance and online learning: what’s the difference;
  • does music help to get the job done quicker;
  • the influence of leisure activity upon future profession;
  • the best restaurant you would recommend;
  • the significance of volunteering;
  • methods of stress releasing;
  • how to save the world from the global conflicts;
  • pros and cons of zoos and circuses;
  • how do you see yourself in old age?

Choose one of these themes to write a cause and effect personal essay:

  • reasons to reject from watching TV;
  • the positive influence of sport upon your life;
  • do the life challenges build character;
  • reasons to be a computer genius;
  • how do parents affect your adult life;
  • being the only kid in the family: pros and cons;
  • why do you want to be a mathematic;
  • the assistance of your parents in the studying process;
  • how do pets help us to become better people?

Follow your inspiration and express yourself in the theme that is the closest to you. Being an expert in your field of knowledge or experience is essential to make a powerful impression on your audience and receive the highest grades.

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