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Personal Essay Topics

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The personal essay will give readers a glimpse into your life experience. There are many reasons you may need to write a personal essay, from a simple class assignment to a college application requirement. You can use the list below for inspiration. Imagine each statement as a writing prompt, and imagine if there was a special moment that the prompt brings to mind.

  • Your bravest moment
  • How you met your best friend
  • What makes your mom or dad special
  • When your life changed forever
  • How you overcame a fear
  • Why you will succeed
  • Why you made a difficult choice
  • A special place
  • A place you try to avoid
  • When a friend let you down
  • Your favorite time period
  • A failure you've experienced
  • A disappointment you've experienced
  • A surprising turn of events
  • What you would do with power
  • What super power you would choose
  • If you could change lives with someone
  • How money matters in your life
  • Your biggest loss
  • Where you go to hide
  • If you had a do-over
  • A book that changed your life
  • Words that stung
  • When you had the desire to run
  • When you had the urge to crawl in a hole
  • Words that prompted hope
  • When a child taught you a lesson
  • Your proudest moment
  • If your dog could talk
  • Favorite time with family
  • If you could live in another country
  • If you could invent something
  • The world a hundred years from now
  • If you had lived a hundred years earlier
  • The animal you'd like to be
  • One thing you'd change
  • The greatest movie moment
  • The type of teacher you would be
  • If you could be a building
  • A statue you'd like to see
  • If you could live anywhere
  • The greatest discovery
  • If you could change one thing about yourself
  • An animal that could be in charge
  • Something you can do that robots could never do
  • You most unfortunate day
  • Your secret talent
  • Your secret love
  • The most beautiful thing you've ever seen
  • The ugliest thing you've seen
  • Something you've witnessed
  • An accident that changed everything
  • A wrong choice
  • A right choice
  • If you were a food
  • How you'd spend a million dollars
  • If you could start a charity
  • The meaning of color
  • A close call
  • Your favorite gift
  • A chore you'd do away with
  • A secret place
  • Something you can't resist
  • A hard lesson
  • A visitor you'll never forget
  • An unexplained event
  • Your longest minute
  • An awkward social moment
  • An experience with death
  • Why you'll never tell a lie
  • If your mom knew she'd kill you
  • A kiss that meant a lot
  • When you needed a hug
  • The hardest news you've had to deliver
  • A special morning
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