How to Choose a Personal Essay Topic and Write a Great Piece?

personal essay topics

All students need to write great crowds of essays of all types. Each type has a special purpose that is sometimes hard to fulfill. Thus, a personal essay may induce a lot of difficulties because it surely differs from other essay types. It is about writing a very personal story. You can write about yourself, people you know, or some outstanding personalities. Your story is supposed to be inspirational. One of the main stumbling stones of this particular piece is the selection of a topic.

How to choose a personal essay topic? This is one of the most popular questions asked by thousands of learners. They seem to have problems with every type when their creativity level is low. Yet, a personal essay is more complicated because there are not so many good topic ideas for it. Luckily, you have found this informative guide. It explains how to choose a perfect topic for this essay type.

First of all, understand what makes a good topic. It should be something interesting and essential for your readers and you. This topic is supposed to encourage your readers or teach something vital by using real-life stories. For example, a suitable topic can be something like this:

  • The day that changed my life from bad to good.
  • A person who inspired me to be a better version of myself.
  • How one person can influence others really impressively.
  • The design of a perfect life by living through it in reality.
  • How I overcame my greatest fear and enjoyed life to the fullest.

Conduct In-Depth Research

Although you may not need to research this essay type, there are cases when students decide to highlight some outstanding personalities. This is when research will be required. You need to find great personal essay topics to find out which ones suit you and your potential audience. Your interests must be taken into account as well. Otherwise, it will be real suffering instead of writing. Select a topic which is really interesting for you. Be sure you have enough evidence to cover it entirely.

Craft an Outline

When you get the right topic, you should write an outline. It can include really vital personal essay ideas and how they should appear in your text. The main points it commonly contains are as follows:

  • The main parts – introduction, main plot, and conclusion.
  • Descriptions – short facts about what and how you intend to do.
  • Timeframes – clear and realistic deadlines for every part.
  • Tools and methods – anything that may help you to complete all the parts.
  • Revising – methods you intend to use to edit and proofread.

You are free to add other similar features as well. Anything that may suit your writing style is welcome.

Create a Compelling Thesis Statement

You may opt for a topic writing design, arts, photo, and so on. Yet, every essay must have a central argument, which is known as a thesis statement. It’s the foundation of the entire project, and all other parts are dependent on it. The thesis statement is supposed to explain to your readers 2 vital things:

  • Why have you chosen this topic?
  • Why is it so important?

A thesis statement is only one sentence. Yet, it’s the most important element of this puzzle. Be sure it is clear and straight to the point.

Show – Don’t Tell!

When you try to disclose all your photo essay design ideas in your essays, you should stick to one vital rule. You need to show rather than tell. What do we mean? You are expected to create the feeling as if your readers were with you during the events you describe. Add the right words and clear descriptions. Make the story as vivid and clear as you can.

As you already have several ideas, select any of them. Even if these are essay design ideas, or about how you started to write your own blog or made a memorable photo, your story should be captivating and detailed.

Make It Readable

You may be good with the task of how to choose a personal essay topic, but the readability of your text may spoil all your efforts. There are definite methods that will help to create an original and comprehensive text. Let’s check them straight away:

  • Make smooth transitions. You should make your story “flow”, which means every point must be ended, and the next one should be related to it. Show a logical transition from one sub-thesis to another.
  • Don’t cram everything at once. Many students write several sub-theses in one paragraph, which is a serious mistake. It overloads the minds of readers because there are too many facts that must be analyzed, and the diversity of these blows up your mind. It is always recommended to cover one sub-thesis per paragraph.
  • Use the right language. Sometimes students use a lexicon that does not suit the topic of the paper. Besides, they like to add slang or jargon because they use them in their everyday conversation. Yet, academic writing surely differs from it, and you should never forget about this crucial fact. You should also avoid clichés, technical terms, unknown abbreviations, and so on.
  • Do not over-explain. At times, students write too many explanations and examples. They take up too much space that could be used for other vital facts. One clear example is enough for one thesis.
  • Keep it concise. Do not write too long sentences and paragraphs. It’s very hard to keep focus when you read too long parts. Break them into smaller chunks whenever it’s possible.
  • Don’t overuse the passive voice. Some students like to use the passive voice too often in their essays, which is a mistake. Firstly, this voice is used for such assignments as term and research papers, dissertations, case studies, etc. Essays use the active voice to make the story flow naturally. Secondly, all passive constructions require more words to complete the sentence. The active voice is more suitable, and it will not make your sentences too long, which leads to the issue mentioned in the previous point.

Avoid Stereotypes

Many students seem to find relevant and original essay topic ideas and thus get great prospects. Nonetheless, they can bring everything to ruin if they disclose those original concepts in a stereotypical way. No one wants to read old and well-known concepts. You are expected to be original and creative. Therefore, avoid clichés and stereotypical thinking at all costs.

Revise It!

Of course, the last stage of writing this and any other essay type is to revise it. You should never ignore it because no one can write without mistakes. Even some minimal drawbacks will be present in every text. That is why you need to reread it at least two times.

If you apply various revision methods, you increase the chance of detecting mistakes. We recommend reading aloud rather than in your head. When you vocalize the text, you use your hearing and thus can realize that something does sound well enough. Perhaps it’s illogical or clumsy. Rewrite such parts and make them flow.

Another method is to read from the last line to the first one. Although it’s uncommon and takes a bit more time, it’s more effective too. It helps to maintain your attention and thus spot the mistakes you commonly miss when you read in a common way.

It is also reasonable to use special checking apps, like grammar checkers and editors. They are very resourceful and informational. They provide feedback on your text and check it in a few seconds, even if it’s large. You will see all the mistakes. By clicking on them, you will see the sort of mistake and a correction. Click again if you agree with it, and the app will fix the mistakes in your stead. You can learn a lot from these apps and will realize your typical mistakes.

It is possible to use other types, such as topic and citation generators, plagiarism checkers, organizers, etc. They have various benefits for the writing process. Try various types to see how they work for you. Most apps can be used for free. As a result, you get vital academic support and do not have to pay for it at all.

Mind that it will be good to read at least one great personal blog essay example. It is very useful to learn from successful students and bloggers. The Internet is full of personal essay samples and other essay types. Check how other people describe private situations and use something that may help you to disclose your topic clearer.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, a personal essay may be quite challenging, but it’s commonly easy to write. If you face any issues with it, use our tips. They are effective enough to easily cover whatever topic you would like to cover. Don’t forget to use our list of personal essay topic ideas. They will be interesting to disclose.

About Terry Qin

Terry Qin is a 27-year-old R&D engineer from Shenzhen currently living in the US. He is interested in programming, new trends and blogging.