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Topics for Personal Essays
“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.”
-Allen Ginsberg (American poet)
Personal essays have the very same purpose: of pouring your inner self out on paper, whether for academic or other purposes. Personal essays are very intimate accounts of your personality and surroundings, quite often delving into your personal experiences and the lessons you have learnt from them. Putting your persona into paper is not as easy as it sounds, for here, you cannot really afford your words to be a jumbled mess of inside jokes and allusions piled together with the daily musings that you have. For personal essays, the topic, although touching upon the intimate and autobiographical account that is solely yours to craft and create, has to be explained and brought to life in a manner that strikes a chord with your readers. It falls in the genre of creative non-fiction, and you will have to pull out all stops to write one that enthrals and delights the readers, and at the same time evoking in them the more profound feeling of the need to connect with one’s inner self. As leading academic essay help service providers opine, personal essays, more often than not, have the power to move the readers towards self-reflection and are not merely a bland description of your favourite colour.
A well-composed personal essay reveals a lot about the author and his ideas about the subject of self. Handling the central subject of self that is built around myriad essay topics is all that a personal essay is about. A very common type of assignment for the freshmen, personal essays also come in handy for college applications for select courses as well as while applying for jobs. Personal essays are also known as “personal statements”. In case you are in a dilemma about how to compose a personal essay that will fetch you great grades, you can look for custom writing assistance or expert essay help online. The professional custom writers and academic paper writers all agree that a well-written personal essay can reveal a few crucial points about the author. The main factors that the professors look for in your personal expression and writing style that are revealed from the way you compose personal essays are as follows.
- Ability to think critically
The ability to think critically and expressing it on paper with the help of your creativity and imagination is something that you must keep in mind while composing your personal essays. The common mistakes that students usually make in this regard are cluttering their essays with clichéd proverbs and by being unoriginal in their way of expression. Personal essays are essentially a unique and original account of your inner self with respect to some event, occurrence, pastime, another human, nature, or anything in your life. Make it personal in all senses, so that originality, creativity and imagination shine through in the end.
- Ability to communicate
Your communication skills will be under the scanner through the personal essays that you write for reasons more than one. This is primarily because the central essay topic for the personal essays is, well, you and yourself. How well you are able to communicate about yourself speaks volumes about your ability to express yourself using the powerful tool of writing at your disposal. As is no secret to anyone, having great communication skills always works as an added feather to your cap in academics as well as further in your professional career.
- Maturity in writing
As you move on to more serious bits of academic writing from essays to full-blown dissertations, you will find that the maturity that you were able to show through your personal essay is of invaluable help for it has formed the very foundation on which your later works will be built. The lessons, experiences, and events in your personal essays are not merely for the purpose of recounting them, but also to show what you have learnt from them, or how matured your thought process was in interpreting them.
Personal essays are thus precise and thorough pieces of writing that detail your personal opinion, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, fears, ambitions, experiences, dreams, likings, pastimes, and the like as per the topic of the essay. Composing personal essays that are sure to captivate your readers or impress your professors is a challenging task indeed, and if you are a first-timer trying your hand on this kind of essay, you can look for professional guidance, academic assistance or cheap essay help offered by experienced essay helpers for students that are available online.
Trending topics for personal essays
Selecting topics for personal essays is easy and difficult at the same time. As these essays deal with your take on yourself and surroundings with a special emphasis on your experiences and life, it may seem at first that there is no dearth of options to choose from as the topic of your personal essay. However, narrowing down the topic to something interesting enough to captivate your readers is not a mean feat and has to be done with careful consideration of the factors of the audience and the occasion of the essay. Keeping in mind all of these factors, the following is the ultimate list of amazing topics for your personal essays on a variety of themes and areas of focus.
- What are the best survival strategies, according to you, when you are too stressed out to focus on anything else?
- What is the concept of the “comfort zone” to you and how often have you had to leave that in your life?
- What has been the most difficult assignment in your life so far and how did you rise to the occasion?
- Has there ever been a feeling of under-appreciation in you? How did you combat it?
- How do you manage your time?
- What were some of the major lessons that you learnt in life while overcoming obstacles?
- Do you think that we try too hard to find happiness that is, in essence, elusive?
- Give your opinions about positive and negative feedback in helping one overcome adversities in life
- Discuss three everyday problems that keep on bothering you and what you should ideally be doing to set them right
- What are the three things that you initially disliked about life but have come to love gradually?
Role models and famous personalities
- Prepare a guest list of five renowned personalities, dead or alive, for a dinner that you would like to host and give reasons for the inclusion of each of them
- If you could host a popular talk show for a day, who would you like your guest for the night to be and why?
- Who is your role model and why?
- Which motivational speaker do you think has the most stirring impact on the audience and why?
- Name two figures apart from your immediate family who have had a deep impact on the development of your personality
Gender and sexuality
- Explain the role division according to gender in your family
- What are your opinions about body images and the ‘ideal’ perception of beauty?
- Briefly elucidate your opinions about sex education in middle school and senior high
- What are your opinions on feminism?
- Do you think that parents have different expectations from sons and daughters according to their genders?
Internet and social media
- How do you think your Facebook personality differs from you in real life?
- Describe a text or email that you regret sending till date and give reasons to support your choice
- What are your favourite YouTube channels and why?
- What, according to you, should be done to enhance the security of your privacy online?
- Briefly justify the three main reasons for which you like to post photos online on your social media accounts
- Share the experiences that you have online with the urban legends based on the Internet
- What is your point of view on the rise of scammers on the Internet?
- Recount a few funny instances where you accidentally sent an embarrassing text because of autocorrecting
- What, according to you, are the ideal ways of using the learning resources available online for higher studies?
- Briefly explain your point of view on the alarming increase of cyberbullying online and suggest some ways to prevent it
Religion and moral values
- What are the some of the biggest ethical dilemmas that you have had to overcome in your life?
- Briefly describe some of the ways that you have done your bit to be a good Samaritan to others
- What are your religious beliefs and convictions?
- What are your opinions about lying to your partners while in a relationship?
- What are your perspectives on the saying “What goes around, comes around”?
Music, movies and theatre
- What is your favourite genre of movies and why?
- How has watching theatre influenced your life?
- Prepare a top ten must-listen playlist for all generations and state reasons for each of your choices
- Which reality shows, according to you, should be banned from television and why?
- Briefly delineate your views on the best open-air performance that you have attended and state reasons to support your choice
- What are two of your most favourite television shows and why?
- Describe two of your most favourite commercials and state reasons to support your choices
- Prepare the ideal cast for a movie you would like to direct and state resaons to support your choices
- Which are the books that you wish had sequels and why?
- What, according to you, are the three most inspiring genres of music and why?
Literature and the arts
- What is your favourite book of all time and why?
- Form a personal comparative analysis of painting by hand and digital painting with suitable examples
- Give your opinions on the habit of keeping a diary or journal to pen down you daily memoirs
- What are the three best magazines that you have read, and would recommend for everyone? State reasons to support your answer.
- Give an overview of the best museum trip of your life and describe some of the most memorable works of art that you saw during that trip
- Prepare a comparative analysis of a famous work of literature and its screen adaptation
- Who, according to you, is the most underrated author of the last century and why?
- Do you think that e-books have caused the popularity of printed books to wane? Give reasons to support your answer.
- Give an overview of the works of your favourite poet with suitable examples
- Explain how the seemingly mundane moments in life quite often result in brilliant ideas for creative writing with suitable examples from your life
Careers and ambition
- What, according to you, are three most basic life skills or professional skill development subjects that should be taught in colleges mandatorily and why?
- What are your two most primary ambitions and why?
- What is your dream job and why?
- What is opinion about taking a sabbatical from work in your twenties?
- Briefly explain your concept of earning money and having a successful career
- Give your views regarding the work-at-office vs. work-from-home debate
- Which long-time passion or interest of yours would you ideally choose as a career and why?
- Where would you like to see yourself professionally in the next decade?
- What, according to you, is the noblest profession? State reasons for your answer.
- Briefly explain your views on the gender disparity in pay scales among men and women all over the world and suggest ways about how it can be brought to order
- Do you agree with the saying “The family that eats together, stays together”? Give reasons to support your answer.
- Describe three of your most memorable meals and state reasons for your choices
- Recount some of your experiences with cooking
- Briefly delineate some of the most striking eating habits and food values that you learnt from your family
- What are the five kinds of food that you would like to judge at a cooking competition and why?
- Explain your views on the organic food debate
- What would you like to learn to cook or bake and why?
- Prepare a list of your favourite junk or street food and state reasons for you being fond of them
- How important are the nutritional value labels on food items for you? Are you someone who is always careful about what they are eating? State reasons to support your answer.
- What, according to you, are the four healthiest eating habits that do not require one to be on calorie-watch all the time?
Relationships and dating
- What, according to you, are the most effective ways of handling the pain and suffering when you lose a friend?
- Explain in brief the three most significant relationships in your life
- What are the best ways of handling a difficult break-up?
- Do you feel that real-life dating is steadily being replaced by online dating? Give reasons to support your answer.
- How did you meet your best friend and how has your friendship developed over time?
- What, according to you, is the level of effectiveness of deep discussions or heart-to-heart conversations in resolving conflicts between partners or friends?
- Give an overview of your idea of love and the ways it can change one’s life
- Prepare a list of pieces of advice for someone who is new to the dating scene and has just started seeing someone
- What are the major influences of your peer group in the development of your self and personality?
- Which fictional character would you ideally like to be in a relationship with an why?
Climate and festivals
- Describe the look and feel of your fantasy spring break
- How much do you look forward to summer and what is the usual way that you celebrate summer breaks?
- What are your New Year resolutions this year and why?
- What are your opinions about celebrating Valentine’s Day?
- Discuss your summer job and the reason why you took it up
- What do you like to do on weekends?
- What are your festivals and why?
- How will your ideal Halloween costume look like?
- What, according to you, are some of the most effective ways of fighting the winter blues?
- What should be on the ideal shopping list for fall and why?
Topics on the make-believe world
- What is the one superpower that you wish you had? Give reasons for your answer.
- What is the one thing that you wish to learn on your own and why?
- If you were elected as the head of state for your country for a week, what are the most significant changes you would like to bring in and why?
- What is the ideal era that you think you belong in and why?
- What do you wish made you a public figure all across the world?
- If you had the opportunity of outsourcing only one thing or job, what would it be and why?
- If you invented a robot, what would be its primary function and why?
- What is the one thing or person for whom you would be willing to queue up in the longest queue in the world?
- What will you do if you won the jackpot in Las Vegas?
- If you could go back in time, whom would you like to meet and why?
Pro tips on how to write a personal essay
Trying your hand at personal essays for the first time can prove to be quite tricky, and there are a few things that you must know before you start writing one. The best way to go about writing a personal essay, according to the best essay typers of the industry, is to have a carefully outlined plan of action. The first of the tasks in that plan of action is consulting an essay guide or looking for a collection of quick tips to get you started. It is precisely for that reason that we have compiled below the best tips on planning, structuring, composing and revising your personal essay that will ensure that you score great grades with your professors.
- Choose a fascinating topic
The main purpose of a personal essay is to evoke a sense of belongingness in the readers. The “me too!” feeling in the minds of the readers after they read about your experiences and opinions is something that you should ideally be aiming at with your personal essays. So, be careful to choose a topic that is very more or less relatable. No one wants to read about an obscure punk band that you were a part of in senior high unless being in that band gave you some life-altering lessons and experiences. Picking up topics for personal essays from our life experiences and the places that we visit is thus one of the most difficult but crucial tasks that need to be done away with at the very beginning of writing the essay. Select a topic that has universal relevance, but can be brought to life using your personal touch and point of view.
- Prepare an outline
Here is why preparing an initial outline for your personal essay is important: it gives you a clear and definite idea of what to include in the essay, and in what order of narration. Quite often, while recounting a personal experience or sharing a lesson we learnt from life, we tend to meander into the by-lanes of our mind and digress from what we started out to say in the first place. To avoid such meanderings in your personal essay, it is thus best to prepare an outline that will help you organise your thoughts and ideas coherently. Carefully consider how you wish to open the essay and the path you wish for it to take as per the requirements of the topic that you have chosen. Although a personal essay deals with your own opinions and viewpoints, try to narrow your stream of thoughts to the ones that are in accordance with the topic. Only include the most compelling points in your essay that makes it an interesting read. The paragraphs that contain the most crucial of your arguments and minute detailing of the event or occurrence must follow a logical order. So it is best to prepare an outline at the outset that helps you compose the essay with comparative ease.
- Hook in the introduction
As for the introduction, take a trip down the memory lane as you recollect the most fascinating stories that you read as a child, or maybe some autobiographical memoir that moved you. All the great personal essays start with a compelling hook or opening sentence that piques the interest of the readers and urges them on to read further into your essay. For the introduction of your personal essay, you can thus start with a relevant quote, some funny anecdotes, or a fascinating fact about yourself that is relevant to the topic of your essay. The introduction should ideally prepare the setting for the main body of your essay. Therefore, it is best to keep the tone light yet formal. Following the structure of rising action, set the mood for your personal essay in the introduction itself. Try to keep things as interesting as you can in the opening paragraph, so your readers are immediately hooked to your essay. The introduction should thus ideally leave them wanting for more so they read on and on until the entire essay is finished.
- Sequence the body paragraphs
As fascinating as personal essays may be, the logical order of the body paragraphs can prove to be a determining factor when it comes to composing a winning one. The sequence of the body paragraphs must follow the same pattern as you read in the stories, where the plot thickens with every turn of the page, and at the end of each chapter, you are oh-so-eager to know, “What happens next?” Similarly, your personal essay must also build the rising action at each paragraph that makes the readers hooked to it. However, the sequencing of the paragraphs in your personal essay is not only for the purpose of keeping the interest of the readers alive, but it also contributes to highlighting your thought process and the way you are able to communicate and express yourself in a coherent manner. A proof of your ability to think critically and express yourself well, the sequencing of the body paragraphs is something that the professors pay a lot of attention to while marking the personal essays. Be careful to use the phrases and words that evoke the senses of the readers so that instead of simply ‘telling’ them the story, you can ‘show’ it to them.
- Conclude on a positive note
Wrap up your personal essay with a positive vibe. In conclusion, you can sum up the essay by going over the main points that you chose to highlight, and state the lessons you have learnt, or the positive impact it has had on your life. By linking the personal realm to the universal, your essay will give the readers the relatable elements that they will later be able to look back and reflect on. The conclusion should do justice to the mood that you have created throughout the entire essay, and serve as the final note to a well-composed piece of writing. Since conclusions are saved for the last, prepare one that is sure to linger in the hearts of your readers for many days to come. The way you frame the concluding paragraph to your personal essay says a lot about the lessons that you picked up during the experience that you will be recounting in the essay, so be on the lookout for engaging terms and sentence structures that have enough pull in them to keep the readers involved until the very last sentence.
- Edit, revise, and proofread with care
Lastly, editing, revising and proofreading your personal essay is the last bit of fine-tuning that it needs before you submit it. Edit and revise the essay with great care, reading it again and again to include only the relevant portions or adding a few major points that you may have missed out earlier. In case this gets too tedious, consult expert essay editors and experienced essay proofreaders for a final revision of your essay before you submit it. In the revision stage, in addition to the style and structure of your essay, look for minute grammatical or typographical errors that need to weeded out. Also, pay careful attention to the detailing such as transitional phrases, subject-verb agreement, placement of the comma and other such common mistakes. Remember that a well-revised and proofread essay is always three steps ahead of the ones that are not all that. Paying attention to details such as proper grammar and punctuation for your essays will thus earn you a much-needed brownie point with your professors.
Now that you have a list of thought-provoking topics and expert tips on composing your personal essay, the only thing that is left to do is actually writing it from scratch. Do not let the thought intimidate you. Instead, take a deep breath and go through the tips once again before you start planning your personal essay. Proceed in a systematic manner, and consult expert essay writers if you land yourself in a soup. All the very best for your personal essay – happy writing!
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