200 Personal Essay Topics – Use These Ideas From Experts!
The personal statement or essay for college is a short writing sample you submit to show the admission officers who you are and why you should be admitted to their institution. Personal essay topics for college applications are a requirement for most colleges and universities around the world.
Generally, applications provide several college personal essay topics for students to choose from but a lot of them allow students to write on a “free” or “open” topic. If the students choose to write on the latter, they must select something important to them. Here are 200 ideas to consider.
Personal Essay Topics for Middle School
These topics for a personal essay are targeted at students that are just learning the skill of first-person writing. You probably wouldn’t want to use these for an application, but they are still helpful ideas that can stir your creativity:
- Write about your favorite childhood memory.
- Describe the ideal family pet.
- Explain what makes the best family holiday.
- Explain your favorite team activity.
- Describe your favorite family activity.
- Explain why you like a specific fruit drink.
- Describe your perfect family getaway or vacation.
- Describe a time when you have defended an unpopular belief.
- Write about a traditional family activity.
- Describe the perfect summertime exercises.
- Explain how someone should spend the Memorial Day weekend.
- Describe why people like watching baseball in the Summer.
- Write about the need to have a Winter break from school.
- Describe what it is like to watch a Presidential Inauguration.
- Explain what it was like to attend your first professional sporting event.
- Describe your best athletic talent.
- Explain why you would be great doing a particular job.
- Talk about an obstacle that helped you achieve greater things.
- Describe somebody that you consider a role model.
- Describe somebody that you admire.
Personal Essay Topics for High School
The best personal essay topics are those that deal with something that has a lot of meaning for you. Consider each of these ideas and see what stands out the most:
- Write about a challenge your family has faced.
- Write about something that scares you.
- Describe a book you recently read that you like.
- Describe a teacher that has positively impacted your life.
- Write about a day you would like to change in life.
- Explain something that captivates you.
- Write about a country you would like to visit in the next year.
- Write about the advice you would give a student starting high school.
- Describe an extracurricular activity you enjoy doing.
- Write about a book that you believe everyone should read.
- Describe an experience that taught you something new.
- Write about someone you would like to have a conversation with.
- Describe a situation where you were at a disadvantage.
- Explain an event that had a positive impact on your personality.
- Describe an activity you have discovered that you want your friends to try.
- Describe a book that has changed the way you think.
- Write about a situation when you spoke up for someone who could not speak for him or herself.
- Explain why you want to attend a specific college or university.
- Write about what you want to accomplish by attending a specific college or university.
- Explain what impact you will have on an academic community.
Personal Essay Topics for College
In college, you may need to consider personal argument essay topics for grant and scholarship opportunities. Because these opportunities are limited, you want to make sure you choose something that stands out:
- Explain what your academic goals are and how they will define your future.
- Write about an academic challenge you were unable to overcome.
- Write about a social movement that has meant the most to you.
- Describe the scariest situation you have ever experienced.
- Write about something that makes you upset.
- Write about a time where you had to stand up to protect others.
- Describe a profession you see yourself entering after graduation.
- Explain what you feel it means to be patriotic.
- Write about a politician you would like to meet.
- Write about a federal law that is important to you and your beliefs.
- Write about something you wish people knew about you but are afraid to talk about.
- Describe your views on religion and tolerance.
- Explain what your expectations about school are.
- Write about any time and place you would like to visit.
- Write about a famous historical figure you would like to speak to.
- Explain why you want to join a specific academic program.
- Write about an amendment you would like to add to the Constitution.
- Describe a sport that has taught you personal values.
- Write about an accomplishment that is unrelated to academics.
- Describe someone you know that has inspired you.
Personal Argumentative Essay Topics
Some of the best personal expository essay topics deal with difficult issues. The following topic ideas encourage students to face some uncomfortable situations that can show character traits that are otherwise absent in application forms:
- Explain what motivates you to take action on social issues.
- Write about a situation where you have failed and persevered.
- Describe a social issue that stirs your convictions.
- Write about the biggest concerns or reservations you have about college.
- Describe a subject that makes you curious.
- Explain an experience that you can point to as helping you grow personally.
- Describe an obstacle that challenged you to take an unpopular approach.
- Write about a facet of your background that is essential to your personality.
- Describe a characteristic you can identify that defines you to others.
- Write about a person in your life that helped you understand yourself better.
- State the background, identity, or interest you have that set you apart from other applicants.
- Explain the lessons you have learned by facing challenges.
- Describe a talent you have that separates you from other college candidates.
- Write about a time in your life where a challenge or setback helped you grow as a person.
- Describe a hurdle you have overcome to become a better person.
- Write about a time in your life when you challenged a belief you disagreed with.
- Explain what it means to be an independent person.
- Write about a situation in which you took an unpopular position.
- Explain what it means to be a problem solver in today’s competitive world.
- Describe a problem you have solved and what the results were.
Personal Cause and Effect Essay Topics
The best approach to tackling any of the good personal essay topics listed below is to write quickly. Let your ideas flow to the page freely and you will find a lot of your best thoughts come from writing without limitations.
- Describe the ways an environmental issue has changed your society’s view.
- Explain how wildlife impacts your involvement in local politics.
- Write about how the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s had on your family.
- Describe what makes fast food restaurants so popular among youth.
- Describe what it is like growing up in a world of social media.
- Write about the influence professional athletes have on children.
- Explain how the internet influences the way people think about society.
- Describe the popularity of sports in the United States.
- Explain what it is like to be chivalrous in today’s age.
- Describe the ideal first date with a person you like.
- Write about your intended contribution to your dormitory.
- Explain what you know about drug and alcohol abuse in college.
- Explain what consequences there should be for cheating.
- Write about a traumatic experience from your childhood.
- Describe a topic that makes you lose time.
- Write about an essay topic you did in school that you want to build on.
- Write about an experience when you felt you were being bullied.
- Describe what you think about traveling to a foreign land.
- Explain how positive relationships can affect a person.
- Write about how technology has made people less social.
Personal Challenges Essay Topics
Writing about personal challenges is a great way to get attention from your readers. These topics for personal reflective essay should generate plenty of interest. This selection of personal belief essay topics has been used to inspire some great writing assignments:
- Write about how online dating has changed the way people court.
- Explain what you think the future of education will look like.
- Describe a social issue that means a lot to you.
- Write about the state of federal social programs.
- Explain what you think about home-schooled students.
- Write about a health condition that has inspired you to work harder.
- Write about a time when the death of a loved one affected you.
- Describe a learning experience you gained from traveling.
- Explain how professional athletes influence young people.
- Rewrite a fable so that people question its original meaning.
- Describe a time when someone’s actions made you happy.
- Explain how you became passionate about a discipline.
- Describe a sporting event that inspired you to work harder.
- Write about a time when you faced a setback.
- Write about a time when you questioned someone’s beliefs.
- Write about an activity that makes you lose track of time.
- Describe an accomplishment that led to personal growth.
- Write about an event that gave you a new understanding.
- Explain something that captivates you more than anything else.
- Describe a situation where someone has helped you.
Essay Topics about Personal Goals
If you have specific professional or personal goals, these topics to talk about in a personal essay should make this kind of assignment easier to handle:
- Explain why attending a specific college or university is important to you.
- Write about what you want to achieve in your first term.
- Write about your educational and professional aspirations.
- Describe how you would change local politics.
- Describe the impact you would make in your field of study.
- Explain what you would gain from studying abroad.
- Write about what it means to be successful in life.
- Describe the impact you want to have on your community.
- Explain what you want to do to challenge yourself.
- Explain what it means to reach one’s financial goals.
- Write about what it means to be successful in a profession.
- Describe what you want to accomplish in your first year of college.
- Explain what you intend to do to avoid the “freshman 15”.
- Explain what you hope you will gain with a college education.
- Write about a political or social impact you would like to have in college.
- Describe what you want to do after you graduate.
- Explain a country you would like to visit during college.
- Describe where you see yourself in 20 years.
- Describe the ideal relationship you would like to have with an advisor.
- Explain what you want to gain from an internship opportunity.
Interesting Personal Essay Topics
You can see that the personal statement essay topics are a bit more difficult at this level. This is because the subjects listed above can be used for an application and deal with some serious stuff. Make sure you get started early to ensure you explore each subject thoroughly.
- Explain how a specific program will help you achieve your goals.
- Describe a political and social issue you would like to fix.
- Explain the steps you take to identify and fix a problem.
- Write about a time you proposed a solution that helped others.
- Describe what you would do to advance technology.
- Explain what you think about environmental protection laws.
- Write about a social problem you want to tackle.
- Explain a difficult situation when you needed to step up.
- Describe a program or strategy you implemented in high school.
- Write about a time you took a leadership role.
- Write about a recycling program that works in your community.
- Explain the role and influence you would like to have in your community.
- Write about a time you interfered with an argument.
- Describe a situation when you felt you were discriminated against.
- Explain what it means to be a volunteer in your community.
- Write about community involvement in today’s world.
- Explain an occasion where you have had to discriminate against your community.
- Describe a celebrity that has changed your views about tolerance.
- Describe a time when you volunteered and helped people in your neighborhood.
- Explain how you deal with a social issue that bothers a majority.
Personal Persuasive Essay Topics
These are some creative personal narrative essay topics that have successfully been used by students to get accepted by many of the top programs in the U.S., U.K, and Canada. Consider these personal essay topics if you are applying to a highly competitive program:
- Write about someone in your community that you look up to.
- Explain the kind of person you would like to emulate.
- Describe a poem or piece of literature that you found profound.
- Explain what it was like to learn a musical instrument you still play.
- Describe what it was like when you found out you got accepted to college.
- Write about a family tradition you wish to maintain as you grow older.
- Describe a detailed experience when you were very scared.
- Write about what it was like learning English upon arriving in the U.S.
- Describe an instance where your life was in danger.
- Write about a book that has changed the way you view the world.
- Describe a painting or photograph that has changed your perspective.
- Explain what it was like when you found out you earned a scholarship.
- Explain what it was like to win your first game or match in high school.
- Explain how art can help people understand different cultures.
- Write about having to learn a new language when traveling abroad.
- Write about a book that sparked your interest in writing.
- Describe a school project that helped you choose a college major.
- Describe a school mentor that has encouraged you to go into a specific field.
- Explain a hobby you have that fits with your professional interests.
- Describe a group assignment that you how to be a leader.
Personal Experience Essay Topics
If you choose any of the college personal essay topics below, make sure you take the same approach as you would in an application. Financing a college education is important and great writing can get you some much-needed assistance.
- Write about a team sports memory that was specifically challenging.
- Describe the positive impact you imagine yourself having as a university graduate.
- Describe what your educational goals are for graduate school.
- Write about a subject or topic you can’t wait to research in school.
- Describe a professor you are looking forward to working with.
- Explain a specific skill or talent that will be helpful to you as a student.
- Write about a time you proposed a solution that did not work.
- Write about your biggest accomplishment that is related to your interests.
- Describe the profession you see yourself having after college.
- Write about challenges you faced by moving around a lot.
- Describe a documentary that made you aware of a specific social issue.
- Explain a computer application you used that helped you academically.
- Write about a time you realized you were wrong about a held belief.
- Describe a debate you had in school that proved you were wrong.
- Write about a celebrity role model you look up to.
- Describe a school program you started to help your classmates.
- Explain how your socioeconomic status made you aware of classes.
- Describe a time your opinion was changed because of an opposing argument.
- Write about a program that is captivating to you but that you can’t join.
- Describe a relationship with a close friend in the LGBTQ+ community.
The topics for personal essay listed above are available for free. Each year the common application lists approximately 200 topics you can use to replace questions many colleges and universities give students. We are available to give you custom personal essay topics to better suit your situation and goals. Just give us a call, email us, or contact us by chat. We can create a list of ideas to fit your specific situation as needed.