Personal Essay Topics

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A personal essay is an essay about your life, thoughts, or experiences. This type of essay will give readers a glimpse into your most intimate life experiences and life lessons. 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. Consider each statement a starting point, and write about a memorable moment that the prompt brings to mind.

  • Your bravest moment
  • How you met your best friend
  • What makes your mom or dad special
  • 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
  • An event that changed your life
  • A special encounter with an animal
  • A time when you felt out of place
  • An odd experience that didn't make sense at the time
  • Words of wisdom that hit home and changed your way of thinking
  • A person that you do not like
  • A time when you disappointed someone
  • Your fondest memory
  • A time when you saw your parent cry
  • The moment when you knew you were grown up
  • Your earliest memory of holiday celebrations in your home
  • Times when you should have made a better choice
  • A time when you dodged a dangerous situation
  • A person you will think about at the end of your life
  • 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 superpower you would choose
  • If you could switch lives with someone
  • How money matters in your life
  • Your biggest loss
  • A time when you felt you did the wrong thing
  • A proud moment when you did the right thing
  • An experience that you've never shared with another person
  • A special place that you shared with a childhood friend
  • A first encounter with a stranger
  • Your first handshake
  • 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 into a hole
  • Words that prompted hope
  • When a child taught you a lesson
  • Your proudest moment
  • If your dog could talk
  • Your 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 at your school
  • 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
  • Your 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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110 Personal Essay Topics

Though written from a lived experience, personal essay topics can be tricky to come up with because they have to be universal enough for other people to relate to.

Since the skill of writing a good essay is being able to paint an image with words, students must choose a topic that will get others interested in the story and what it has to say about life, society, or themselves.

In essence, personal essays are written from a personal point of view and express a writer’s own insights, opinions, and feelings on a particular topic. Additionally, these types of essays lead to an overall point, lesson, realization, or revelation.

Most commonly, personal essays are written by high school students as part of their college applications. However, there are many other reasons that a personal essay may be assigned or written, including:

  • Scholarship applications
  • Job interview
  • Writing contest
  • Grad school admission

Students and others struggling with a valuable personal essay topic can choose from any of the 110 personal essay topics on this list to help them get started.

How to Write a Personal Essay

Writing a personal essay will require you to follow a traditional essay’s guidelines, structure, and format. However, you will also need to ensure that your essay is personal or tells a story about yourself rather than being entirely academic.

For example, you might want to explain an experience that changed how you saw the world or share an opinion on something important to you – even if the rest of the world doesn’t agree with it.

It often helps to make a list of experiences that you may want to share before starting with the writing aspect of the personal essay.


The introduction to your personal essay will set the scene for the reader. Therefore, your personal essay needs to start with a compelling hook that will draw the reader in and make them want to read more.

This hook statement could be a humorous or poignant anecdote related to your topic or a line of questioning that the reader will be interested in following. For example, some possible opening lines for a personal essay could start with:

  • “I remember exactly where I was when I first realized …”
  • “What would you do if you knew the world was going to end tomorrow?
  • “So, I once had this problem …”

These beginning lines will often create questions in the reader’s mind, which is an excellent way to capture their interest and keep them reading. Following this initial opening sentence, you can introduce other details as you build up the main point of the story.

Your introduction should end with a thesis statement that verbalizes the general direction the story will go.

Body Paragraphs

Generally, a personal essay will have no less than three body paragraphs that detail your experience in chronological order. Each section should discuss one part of the story, including the events leading up to it, what happened during the experience, and what you learned from it.

Body paragraphs may also include examples of feelings, emotions, or arguments that support your experience. The goal of a personal essay is to share a compelling story and teach the reader something about life or themselves by using specific details and language.

Consider this formatting when creating the body paragraphs of your personal essay:

1st Paragraph

  • Beginning of the story that answers questions related to “Who?” and “Where?”
  • Initial attitudes, moods, feelings, and assumptions about the event or experience about to take place

2nd Paragraph

  • Middle of the story
  • Details that show how the situation evolved over time, including any changes in mood or assumption on your part

3rd Paragraph

  • Ending of the story/resolution
  • The final analysis on overall feelings, emotions, and mood

By sticking to this formatting for the body paragraphs, students can ensure that they are telling the story correctly and including every key detail as it happens.

Conclusion Paragraph

The conclusion of a personal essay is optional and depends on what you want to accomplish with the telling of your story. If you want to leave the reader feeling inspired or emotionally moved, then focus on summarizing the main points in a short paragraph that ends on a positive note.

However, if this was a darker story, you may want to use the concluding paragraph to sum up your feelings after the experience has ended or explore any unanswered questions that remain.

In any event, your conclusion does need to include an overall moral or lesson of how the writer:

  • overcame hardship
  • rose to the occasion
  • identified new traits or abilities that they never realized existed
  • turned defeat into success
  • followed their instincts and made the right choice
  • came to appreciate something about life after the experience took place

Any of these statements can stand alone as a powerful lesson learned. However, when combined in one concluding paragraph, you will leave your reader with a profound impression.

Using any of these 110 personal essay topics will ensure that you have a strong and interesting story to tell.

Personal Essay Topics About Relationships

  • What was a time when you made a friend?
  • What would your worst enemy say about you?
  • Talk about the death of a friend.
  • How did it feel to be bullied in school?
  • The time when you had to get along with a sibling despite being different ages
  • What you learned from your first relationship
  • Why marriage isn’t important to you
  • How you discovered polyamory, and how it changed your view of relationships
  • How your best friend made you a better person
  • The lesson you learned from being catfished
  • The first time you experienced heartbreak
  • A funny story about how technology ruined a relationship.
  • How did you learn to recognize love?
  • Who would you consider your soulmate? What makes them that person specifically for you?
  • What was your most embarrassing moment as a boyfriend or girlfriend, and what did you learn from it?

Personal Essay Topics About Hardships

  • The worst thing that ever happened to me
  • The roughest time in my family’s life
  • The hardest challenge I’ve ever had to overcome
  • How did you deal with the stress of moving?
  • What was your most embarrassing moment as a kid?
  • What are some reasons that I am grateful for my disability/illness/condition?
  • When have you had an “Aha!” moment in life?
  • What’s something terrible that happened to you that turned into something good?
  • What’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned from my failures?
  • The time when it almost felt like the world was against me
  • How did I handle/recover from a severe illness/injury/accident?
  • When was the first time I realized that life isn’t fair?
  • What was the biggest struggle I went through in my teens?
  • The most challenging situation I faced in high school
  • When was a time when I made a negative impact on someone else?
  • The first time I got caught stealing
  • The most embarrassing mistake I ever made with money
  • What was the most challenging thing about getting sober/clean/overcoming addiction?
  • When did I realize that life is short and that nobody is promised tomorrow?
  • How did you learn to persevere through tough times?

Personal Essay Topics About Success & Achievements

  • Best moment in my sports career
  • My greatest success story
  • The time I overcame my fear and found strength I didn’t know I had.
  • What’s the happiest day of my life?
  • How did I learn to overcome failure?
  • The time I knew that dreams really do come true
  • My greatest triumph over adversity – and what it taught me about myself.
  • What made you realize that you have to work hard in order to achieve something meaningful in life?
  • When did I know that I had made it in life?
  • When was the first time you were acknowledged for your achievements?
  • The night when my hard work truly paid off
  • My most powerful moment after overcoming a setback
  • How did I become successful?
  • What are some defining moments in my career?
  • How did I make it through a difficult time in college/university?
  • What motivated me to become the person I am today?

Personal Essay Topics About Personal Growth & Self-Reflection

  • Whose lifelong encouragement helped make me who I am today
  • The first time I took responsibility for my own actions
  • What gave me the courage to be myself?
  • The most valuable life lesson I’ve ever received. Who taught it to me, and what was the context?
  • How did I get through a difficult childhood/adolescence/teenage years?
  • What did I learn from becoming a yoga master?
  • How has meditation helped me overcome anger issues?
  • How did I recover from using drugs and alcohol?
  • What’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned from quitting my job?
  • When did I realize that life is too short to hate someone?
  • The moment when I knew it was time for a change
  • I made a mistake – and this is how I bounced back
  • How did I overcome depression/anxiety/mental illness?

Personal Essay Topics About Passions & Hobbies

  • How did learning a skill change my life?
  • Why exercise makes me a better person
  • My passion for writing
  • What’s the best advice I’ve ever received? Who gave it to me, and in what situation?
  • The moment when I realized my true calling in life
  • The importance of keeping a journal and how it has helped me become a better person
  • My biggest bucket list dream and why it’s so important to me
  • What is my vision for the future?
  • How did I find peace, contentment, and happiness?
  • The time when I truly lived outside of my comfort zone
  • When was the moment when I felt like I “got” meditation?
  • My journey towards becoming vegan. What inspired me to make this change, and what were the challenges I faced?
  • What lessons have been easy for me to learn, and which ones have been harder?
  • The time when travel changed my life

Personal Essay Topics About Challenges & Failures

  • The low point of my life and how I got through it
  • How did an illness/injury/death in the family affect me?
  • Why did I decide to stop going on blind dates?
  • What were the consequences of losing my temper, and how did I make amends?
  • The time when I was broken. What happened, who got hurt, and how did it affect me? How did I overcome this experience?
  • When was the moment when I realized that my words carry weight?

Personal Essay Topics About Family & Childhood Memories

  • The time when my family showed me what unconditional love means
  • My most vivid childhood memory and how it has affected me as an adult
  • How did I learn to be patient and kind?
  • What was the moment that sparked a change in my life? What caused this change, and what happened after the changes took place?
  • The moment when I realized the true meaning of friendship
  • What lessons did growing up teach me about life?
  • My childhood dream and what it taught me about myself
  • How do I feel about my hometown after living in three different places?
  • Why is it important to visit your birthplace/hometown during holidays/vacations?
  • My family’s most influential life lesson and how it has affected me
  • What was the moment when I realized that my parents had their own struggles?
  • The time when I learned about my family history. What happened, why did this happen, and how did it affect me? How did things change after this event?
  • What do I know about family traditions now that I didn’t understand as a child?
  • Why are your family memories vital to you?

Personal Essay Topics About Cultural Heritage & Identity

  • What does being bilingual/multilingual mean to me? Why is it unique?
  • My first interaction with someone from another culture
  • What’s wrong with cultural appropriation, and how did I learn to stop?
  • The moment when I became aware of my race/ethnicity
  • My culture’s most influential life lesson and how it has affected me
  • How I learned to not be afraid of my cultural differences
  • Why is diversity important in my community? In what ways do I contribute?
  • The moment I realized that I am proud of my culture
  • How has the immigrant/refugee experience shaped who you are today?
  • How traditions have changed the way I view my family

Personal Essay Topics About Childhood Dreams & Aspirations

  • What were my childhood dreams, and how have they changed over the years?
  • How did I make peace with the fear of growing up?

Any of these 110 personal essay topics are perfect for students struggling to find a topic that will impress a college admission officer or any other person with whom you’re trying to connect with on a personal level through storytelling.

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personal essay topics for middle school

Creative Writing Prompts For Middle School Students

personal essay topics for middle school

Written by:

Max Stevens

Max Stevens


Creative Writing Prompts for middle school students is a fun list to help unmotivated and uninspired students use their imagination. Do you know one of the major reasons why students struggle with their writing growth is a lack of inspiration and guidance? This can result in low creative thinking leading to lower-quality work and poor confidence.

With these creative writing prompts specifically tailored to middle school students, you’ll have a starting point for your writing. There’s nothing like a spark of inspiration to get you going! Do you need more structured guidance from Oxbridge tutors to give you a massive boost in your creative writing skills? Check out our most in-demand  creative writing summer school !

Are you ready to dive in and feel inspired by exciting writing prompt ideas? Read on!

The Best Writing Prompts for Middle School

Before getting started, you may want to delve deeper into some creative writing examples to get into the swing of things. If you’ve done that, then here are a few of the best writing prompts for middle school students that help spark creativity:

  • Who’s your favourite character in a book? Try journaling from the character’s perspective.
  • What topic are you passionate about? Write a persuasive essay on the topic. 
  • Think about your favourite place on Planet Earth. Write a descriptive essay about it.
  • Write a story that begins with the sentence, “It was a dark and stormy night.”
  • If you had a time machine, where you would go and what you would do.
  • Recall a memorable emotion or experience. Write a poem about it. 
  • Think about a current event you find interesting. Write a news article about it. 
  • Who would you approach if you could ask for advice from anyone, living or dead? Write them a letter. 
  • Imagine you’re an astronaut travelling through space. Write a journal entry about your experience.
  • What’s one of the most memorable moments in your life? Write a personal narrative about it. 
  • Write a short story about a character who overcomes a challenge or obstacle.
  • What topic did you learn about recently? Write an informative essay about it.
  • Write a fictional diary entry from the point of view of a historical figure.
  • What specific animal do you find beautiful? Write a descriptive poem about it.
  • Describe your hopes and dreams for the next five years via a letter to your future self. 
  • Imagine that you are stranded on a deserted island. Write a story about your experience.
  • Write a scene in a play in an unusual setting.
  • What place would you like to visit? Write a descriptive paragraph about it. 
  • Write a personal reflection about a significant event or experience and what you have learned from it.
  • What’s your favourite animal? Write a fictional story from your fave animal’s perspective.

Creative Story Ideas: 34 Story Starters and Prompts for Middle Schoolers

  • A magical pen that brings drawings to life
  • A group of friends find a hidden treasure map.
  • A world where animals can talk
  • A robot who develops human emotions
  • A strange creature is discovered in the depths of the ocean.
  • A character who can see into the future
  • A young detective solves a series of mysterious crimes.
  • Teenage superhero navigates the challenges of middle school while saving the world.
  • A group of middle school students stumble upon a secret government experiment.
  • The magical kingdom is hidden in a scary forest.
  • A vengeful ghost haunts the basketball court at a small school.
  • Time-travel adventure to the Wild West 100 years ago. 
  • Friends have to save their town from a massive alien invasion.
  • A character who learns to communicate with animals to save them from illegal hunters.
  • A future world where AI technology controls everything.
  • A distraught character who can control time and tries to change their past.
  • Four teenagers go on a survival camping trip that turns into a nightmare.
  • The magical creature must find a way back home against the efforts of evil humans who want to use its powers for their own purposes.
  • A young girl discovers she was born 500 years ago.
  • An orphan wakes up with no memory of who they are until they accidentally stumble upon an oddly familiar house.
  • Students accidentally open a portal to another dimension and try to find their way back home fast because their final exam is a week away.
  • A terrifying monster lives beneath the city streets. So why did it start terrorising the city all of a sudden?
  • A gamer gets stuck in a video game. How can said gamer get out? Do they even want to?
  • A middle school student starts having foreboding dreams that come true. What is the universe trying to warn them?
  • Students attend a school for monster-slaying magic. So what monsters are they fighting against?
  • A group of kids discover a secret underground society they must fight to save modern civilisation.
  • An old man saves his town from a natural disaster in 13 minutes. 
  • The dragon wakes up from a century-long slumber. Only to discover it’s the only one left.
  • The robot becomes self-aware and must navigate human emotions.
  • A young inventor creates a machine that can read minds for a sinister purpose.
  • A magical place where everyone has a special ability gets tangled up in a civil war.
  • Supernatural mystery in an old, abandoned mansion that can save the world from a looming threat.
  • A haunted amusement park contains secrets that can solve a criminal case.
  • A young scientist creates a potion that can make people fly.
  • An evil character can control the elements. How will the average human hero stop them?

Writing Prompts for Stories That Start with Dialogue for Middle Schoolers

  • “I can’t believe you did that,” John says to his best friend. Write a story about what John’s best friend did. 
  • “I wish I could go back in time and change everything,” laments Jane. Write a story about Jane’s regrets. What would she do differently if given a chance?
  • “I found something bizarre in the backyard,” said Tom to his sister. Write a story about what Tom found. How did the discovery change their lives? 
  • “I can’t do this anymore!” screamed Sarah to her parents. What is Sarah complaining about? How did her parents react?
  • “I’m going to run away,” whispers Michael to his classmates. Why does Michael plan on running away? What happens when he does?
  • “I knew you were hiding something,” said Jack to his friend. Write a story about Jack’s discovery and how it affects their friendship.
  • Blake cries to her family, “I’m not who you think I am!” 
  • Write a story about how Alex stands up for himself against a bully. Starting with this line: “I’m not going to take it anymore,” 
  • “I think we might be lost,” whimpers Lucy to her friends. Where are Lucy and her friends? Why did they get lost in the first place?
  • Ryan is grappling with a massive decision. Begin the story with “I think this is a sign.”
  • The principal walks through the hallway, saying to Teacher Clare, “Help your students cope with the recent tragedy that plagued our halls.” What happened?

General Creative Writing Ideas for Middle School Students

Here is a list of prompts to get those creative juices flowing:

  • Talk about a time you were so happy you wish the moment would last forever.
  • You went to art class with a blind friend. How would you describe the painting to them? Use descriptive words.
  • If you could go on your dream vacation today, what would it be like?
  • Make a list of the most thought-provoking questions you can come up with.
  • You’re about to meet your favourite celebrity. What interview questions would you ask them?
  • If you could choose what happens next in your life until death, what will your story look like?
  • Imagine how your favourite pet was created and use procedural writing to describe the process.
  • If you were to insert yourself in a book you read, how would you change the story?

Want more fun writing prompts ? Check these out! Write a/an:

  • Short story about reluctant writers whose writing changes the world.
  • Acrostic poem about friendship or love.
  • Science fiction story about a futuristic world where your favourite toy is a legendary weapon with fearsome power.
  • Letter that will help inspire your past self when you were in a difficult part in your life.
  • Personal narrative about a memorable event from your childhood.
  • Descriptive paragraph about a person you admire.
  • Write a horror science fiction story about a world where technology is advanced beyond our current understanding.
  • Background story for your least favourite side character.
  • List of the benefits of writing. Use persuasive writing
  • Instructional essay on how to make a magical portal.
  • Mystery story where the main character finds the missing heirloom of an ancient noble family.
  • Story about a boy who became a millionaire because of a video game idea.
  • Personal letter to a historical figure, asking questions or seeking advice.
  • Descriptive poem about a specific season or weather.
  • Story about time travel and the consequences of changing the past.
  • Fun story about a cross-country road trip you would like to take.
  • Story about a character who is an outsider and how they find a sense of belonging.
  • Terrifying story about a person haunted by a past event and how they come to terms with it.
  • Heroic story about a character who journeys to discover their true identity.
  • Persuasive letter to a public figure expressing your thoughts on a current issue

Journaling Prompts for Middle School Writing

Here are journal prompts for middle school kids:

  • Describe your hometown.
  • What’s your favourite season, and why?
  • What are your greatest fears? Do you want to overcome them? Why or why not?
  • Where would you go if you could go anywhere?
  • Write a descriptive paragraph about your favourite food and why you like it.
  • What’s the meaning of your life? Use reflective writing.
  • What’s your favourite food and what does it remind you of?
  • If you won the lottery today, what would you buy?
  • Do you have a pet dog? How do you feel about your furry friend?
  • Choose one event in your life you wish didn’t happen. Why?
  • What’s your dream dinner party?
  • Would you rather become a normal person or a superhero? Why?
  • Who would you call first when you’re in a dangerous situation?
  • When was the time you felt most peaceful? Describe what was happening.
  • Do you enjoy story writing? Why or why not?
  • What are your top 3 greatest accomplishments so far?
  • If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
  • What’s the most embarrassing experience you’ve had?
  • If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? Why?
  • What’s your dream job? Why?
  • Describe your ideal friend.
  • Imagine you are stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you want to have with you?
  • Write about a time you tried something new and what you learned from the experience.
  • What’s the most beautiful movie science you’ve seen? Describe it.
  • If you could invent any item, what features would it have? And what is its purpose?

If you feel like challenging yourself then check out our high school creative writing prompts .

There you have it – a fun list of favourite writing prompts for middle schoolers to enjoy. What are your favourite ideas to write so far? And,

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100+ Personal Essay Topics For College And Writing Tips

Jared Houdi

Table of Contents

70 Great Personal Essay Topics for College

Looking for interesting personal essay writing ideas? We’ve got a bunch…

A personal essay is a typical assignment for high-school and college students. It’s a type of non-fiction that incorporates a variety of writing styles. Personal essay topics usually include real stories, experiences, and opinions of people.

Writers need to give an account of their own experience and express their thoughts on the subject of a paper. The key to success is to make an attempt to combine narration and opinion together. In this article, you will find a short writing guide and 100+ engaging personal essay topic ideas.

How to write personal essays?

Keep in mind that personal writing is always subjective. It is based on the writer’s observation, feelings, opinion, and experience. You are the speaker, so it’s quite natural to use such pronouns as I, my, me, we, and our.

First of all, most essay writing websites will say that you need to find a compelling topic. College personal essay topics include a lot of things.

Students may be asked to

  • state their opinion about an issue
  • document what they observed
  • share a story
  • give a description of an object, event, place, person
  • relate a specific subject to their own life

Whatever theme you choose, it’s crucial to start an introduction of your paper with a strong hook to capture the audience’s attention. Introduce the subject in the first paragraph. Think about the main idea you want to communicate.

In the body of your paper, inform readers about the subject. It’s better to create an outline before to start writing. It will help you organize your thoughts, stay focused, and write clearly and concisely. Start each paragraph with a new idea. Show, don’t tell. Use strong verbs and include a lot of sensory details.

End with a thought-provoking conclusion. You need to explain what lesson you have learned, how your experience contributed to your development as a person and shaped your personality.

Why choose personal persuasive essay topics for writing

When writing on personal persuasive essay topics, writers must state their position or opinion on an issue and try to persuade people to accept their point of view, telling stories and appealing to their feelings and emotions.

That differs from elaborating on personal argumentative essay topics, when students have to support their point of view with strong arguments, reasons, relevant examples, appropriate illustrations, etc.

These types of papers are not easy to write as well as papers on personal cause and effect essay topics.

But there are important reasons why you may want to do that.

  • You’ll improve communication and critical thinking skills .
  • Challenging themes can help you stand out from the crowd.
  • You will be able to demonstrate your creativity and ability to apply persuasive techniques.

… Can’t decide what idea to choose?

Here we have gathered a wide variety of moving ideas for your inspiration. Whether you need personal experience essay topics or personal narrative essay topics, we’ve got you covered.

Personal essay topics: what are they about?

You may write on any subject. Popular themes include hobbies, nature, childhood, illness, travel, making a difficult choice, learning something new, friends, family, and relationships.

You may use some personal challenge essay ideas and tell about overcoming an obstacle. Or you can buy argumentative essay if you don’t have time to work on college tasks tonight.

Actually, the subject is not as important as you think. Readers want to see your point of view that reveals your unique personality.

  • How you met a special person in your life?
  • A person you admire most.
  • The best place in the local area.
  • A place where you would like to live your whole life.
  • Works of art you admire.
  • The job of your dream.
  • Your biggest disappointment.
  • Books that made a great impression on you.
  • What annoys you?
  • Your family traditions.
  • Are you addicted to technology?
  • What modern songs inspire you?
  • Could you live without money?
  • Do you like commercials?
  • What is your best method of studying?

Personal narrative essay topics

  • Tell about your first trip abroad.
  • The most unfortunate event ever happened to you.
  • What happened during your first day at school?
  • What is your first childhood memory?
  • What is your most memorable family event?
  • Did you experience failure?
  • What games did you play when you were a child?
  • The biggest challenge you have overcome.
  • Do you remember your first birthday party?
  • Tell how you learn something new.
  • Have you ever encountered a wild animal?
  • Tell about the first time you were home alone.
  • How you cooked a meal for the first time?
  • Tell how you helped someone.
  • How you overcame fear?

Personal experience essay topics

  • What things make you feel happy?
  • How you came to healthy eating habits?
  • How did you celebrate Christmas?
  • Did you bring a stray animal home?
  • How did you learn to drive?
  • How you met a famous person?
  • How did you learn something from enemies?
  • Describe the accidents you witnessed.
  • How you got hurt?
  • Describe disastrous trips or vacations.
  • Fantastic concerts you attended.
  • Describe terrifying nightmares.
  • Your reaction when provoked.
  • Experience of being a leader.
  • A friendship breakup experience.

Personal argumentative essay topics

  • What could you live without?
  • Why are you concerned about environmental issues?
  • How much money do you need for happiness?
  • What does your ethnic identity mean to you?
  • Significance of personal growth.
  • Male and female roles in your family.
  • Your attitude to feminism.
  • Explain what does it mean to be a Human.
  • Most precious moments of your life.
  • What is more critical: wealth or happiness?
  • Your attitude to getting a tattoo.
  • Is it important to be crazy about fashion?
  • Your opinion on cosmetics surgery.
  • Significance of healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Your favourite holiday destinations.

College personal essay topics

  • Have you been in love with someone?
  • What is your life’s goal?
  • What does success mean to you?
  • How freedom matters in your life?
  • How you leave the comfort zone?
  • Things you appreciate in life.
  • What things do you hate?
  • How you met college roommates?
  • Your plans on spending a gap year.
  • How you got your first job?
  • Describe intellectual challenges you would like to solve.
  • What did you learn from failures?
  • Outdoor activities you like most.
  • Explain your commitments.
  • What motivates you?

Personal persuasive essay topics

  • Your opinion of distant learning and online education.
  • Can listening to music help complete your homework faster?
  • Can hobbies help in a future career?
  • Is it ethical to buy products tested on animals?
  • Why is volunteering important?
  • Should drugs be banned?
  • Your favourite restaurant everyone should visit.
  • Things to do to help our world survive.
  • How can we make the world a better place?
  • Is it possible to avoid stress?
  • Should zoos be forbidden?
  • How online shopping makes me spend more money?
  • Why I don’t smoke.
  • Things I want to be doing when I become 85.
  • Why do I recommend students to study abroad?

Personal cause and effect essay topics

  • Why I don’t watch TV.
  • Reasons I go in for sports.
  • Effects of social media on the daily routine.
  • How my failures make me stronger?
  • Books that changed my world view.
  • Reasons why I study computer science.
  • Influence of my parents on my life choices.
  • Importance of learning math for my future career.
  • Effect of being a single child.
  • How my pets make me a better person?
  • Influence of regular exercise on my health and wellbeing.
  • What makes me rebel against my parents?
  • How did my parents help me to study?
  • Why going to college made me an independent person?
  • What caused my burn out?

Feel free to use our good personal essay topics for creating amazing pieces that will make a powerful impression on your readers and get you high grades.

Can’t grab your thoughts together and come up with a perfect personal essay? No worries! Our writers will do all the writing, while you enjoy your free time. Psst, it takes a few clicks only…

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65 Engaging Personal Narrative Ideas for Kids and Teens

Tell a story to engage the reader.

personal essay topics for middle school

Personal narrative essays are all about telling stories. Engage your reader with lots of descriptive language, and ensure you have a beginning, middle, and end. ( Get more tips about teaching narrative writing here. ) Try these personal narrative ideas to inspire kids and teens to tell meaningful stories from their own lives, no matter what they’ve experienced.

“Describe a Time When You …” Personal Narrative Ideas

Firsts and bests personal narrative ideas, general personal narrative essay ideas, college essay personal narrative ideas.

These personal narrative ideas urge students to dig into their past experiences and share them with their audience. Be sure to share the details, including what took place and how it made you feel, and anything you learned from the experience.

Describe a time when you:

  • Were scared
  • Overcame a big challenge
  • Learned an important life lesson
  • Had to make a difficult decision

personal essay topics for middle school

  • Were proud of a friend or family member
  • Did something you didn’t want to and ended up liking it
  • Met a celebrity or someone you really admire
  • Tried something new
  • Made a mistake and had to apologize and/or fix the mistake
  • Were in danger
  • Helped someone in need
  • Had a dream come true
  • Felt inspired
  • Had a really terrible day

personal essay topics for middle school

  • Were a leader
  • Made someone else laugh
  • Did something you later regretted
  • Set a goal and achieved it

These essay topics explore the times you did something for the first time ever, or when you were the best version of yourself.

  • Write about meeting your best friend for the first time and how your relationship developed.

personal essay topics for middle school

  • Tell about learning to ride a bike or drive a car.
  • Tell about your proudest moment.
  • What is your happiest memory?
  • What is your earliest memory?
  • Explain what it’s like to move to a new town or start a new school.
  • What’s the best (or worst!) vacation you’ve ever taken?
  • Tell the story of the time you got your first pet.
  • Describe your favorite field trip of all time.
  • Tell the story of your first day of kindergarten.
  • What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten?
  • Describe the best party or celebration you’ve ever attended.
  • Tell about the first time someone ever paid you for work (first job, chores for a neighbor, babysitting, etc.) and how it made you feel.

personal essay topics for middle school

  • Describe the first time you spent a night away from home without your family.
  • What’s the best gift you’ve ever been given?

Here are more personal narrative topics to inspire young writers.

  • Describe a performance or sporting event you took part in.
  • Explain the process of cooking and eating your favorite meal.
  • Write about a time when you or someone you know displayed courage.
  • Share the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you.
  • Describe a time when you or someone you know experienced prejudice or oppression.

personal essay topics for middle school

  • Explain a family tradition, how it developed, and its importance today.
  • What is your favorite holiday? How does your family celebrate it?
  • Describe your morning routine from the time you wake up until the moment the school bell rings to start the day.
  • Share what you do on a typical non-school day.
  • Tell about a time when you were injured. How did it happen?
  • Describe an argument you and a friend had and how you resolved it.
  • Tell about what you think your life will be like when you’re 25 years old.
  • Explore a time when you felt you were treated unfairly.
  • What makes your family different from everyone else’s family?
  • If you could relive any day in your life, what would it be? Would you want it to be the same or different?

personal essay topics for middle school

These personal narrative essay topics all come from real 2022–2023 college applications. ( See more college essay prompts here. )

  • Discuss a time when reflection or introspection led to clarity or understanding of an issue that is important to you.
  • Share an example of how you have used your own critical-thinking skills on a specific subject, project, idea, or interest.

personal essay topics for middle school

  • Using your personal, academic, or volunteer/work experiences, describe the topics or issues that you care about and why they are important to you.
  • Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness.
  • When was the last time you questioned something you had thought to be true?
  • Reflect on a time when you or someone you observed had to make a choice about whether to act with integrity and honesty.
  • Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.
  • Describe a time when you were challenged by a perspective that differed from your own. How did you respond?
  • Elaborate on an activity or experience you have had that made an impact on a community that is important to you.

personal essay topics for middle school

  • Describe any meaningful travel experiences you’ve had.
  • Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.
  • What is the greatest compliment you have ever been given? Why was it meaningful to you?
  • What has been your best academic experience in the last two years, and what made it so good?
  • Describe a time when you’ve felt empowered or represented by an educator.
  • Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.

What are your favorite personal narrative ideas? Come share on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out the big list of essay topics for high school (100+ ideas) ., you might also like.

What Is Narrative Writing and How Do I Teach It in the Classroom?

What Is Narrative Writing, and How Do I Teach It in the Classroom?

It's more than just telling stories. Continue Reading

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Student Opinion

525 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing

Questions that invite students to write about themselves, their lives and their beliefs.

personal essay topics for middle school

By The Learning Network

Updated with 80 new prompts from the 2022-23 school year!

We’ve been posting fresh writing prompts every school day for over a decade now, and every so often we create a themed collection like this one to help you find what you need all in one place.

Below, we’ve rounded up 525 evergreen questions to encourage you to write about your life. They cover everything from family, friendships and growing up to gender, spirituality, money, school and more. (They’re also all available here as a clickable PDF .)

We hope they’ll inspire you, whether you’re entering our related 100-Word Personal Narrative Contest this fall, or just want to improve your writing skills. Like all our Student Opinion questions , each links to a related Times article, which is free to read if you access it from our site.

So dive in and pick the questions that motivate you to tell an interesting story, describe a memorable event, observe the details in your world, imagine a possibility, or reflect on who you are and what you believe.

Overcoming Adversity

1. How Mentally Tough Are You? 2. What Is the Bravest Thing You’ve Ever Done? 3. When Have You Made the Best of a Difficult Situation? 4. How Have You Gotten Over Disappointment? 5. How Do You Get Over Rejection? 6. How Do You Deal With Self-Doubt? 7. How Resilient Are You? 8. What Do You Gain From Pursuing Something You Do Really, Really Badly? 9. How Do You Handle Fear? 10. Are You Too Hard on Yourself? 11. How Do You Silence Your Inner Critic? 12. Have You Ever Experienced ‘Impostor Syndrome’? 13. Have You Ever Benefited From Rejection? 14. Do You Give Yourself Enough Credit for Your Own Successes? 15. How Do You Overcome Your Fears? 16. Stress, Worry and Anxiety Are All Different. How Do You Cope With Each? 17. How Do You Cope With Grief? 18. How Do You Make Hard Decisions? 19. Have You Ever Quit Something? 20. Have You Ever Felt as if You Didn’t Belong? 21. When Has Starting Over Worked for You? 22. When Have You Reinvented Yourself? 23. Do You Find It Hard to Let Other People Help You? 24. Have You Ever Felt Like an Outsider? 25. Do You Appreciate When Celebrities Share Their Struggles? 26. Have You Ever Worried About Making a Good First Impression? 27. Have You Ever Felt Pressure to ‘Sell Your Pain’?

Your Personality

28. Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist? 29. How Competitive Are You? 30. Do You Like Spending Time Alone? 31. Are You a Good Person? 32. Are You a Perfectionist? 33. Do You Hold Grudges? 34. Do You Seek Out New Experiences? Or Stick With the Things You Know and Love? 35. How Do You Express Yourself Creatively? 36. What Animal Are You Most Like? 37. Are You a Patient Person? 38. Are You a Worrier? 39. Are You a Risk-Taker? 40. How Do You Handle Boredom? 41. How Well Do Rewards and Incentives Work to Motivate You? 42. How Good Are You at Judging Your Own Talents? 43. Are You a Procrastinator? 44. Do You Suffer From ‘Task Paralysis’? 45. Do You Feel Joy at Others’ Success? 46. What Role Does Envy Play in Your Life? 47. How Do You Like to Be Comforted When You Are Sad? 48. How Easy — or Hard — Is It for You to Say No When You Want To? 49. Are You More of a Leader or a Follower? 50. How Well Do You Read Other People? 51. Are You Good at Giving Gifts? 52. Do You Complain Too Much, Too Little or Just the Right Amount? 53. How Would You Rate Your Listening Skills and Those of the People Around You? 54. Do You Prefer to Dwell in the Past, Live in the Present or Dream of the Future? 55. What Makes You Cringe? 56. What Disgusts You? 57. Are You Easily Distracted? 58. How Punctual Are You? 59. Are You a Good Conversationalist? 60. How Emotionally Intelligent Are You? 61. Are You an Orchid, a Tulip or a Dandelion?

Hobbies & Interests

62. What Are Your Hobbies? 63. What Is Your Passion? 64. How Do You Spend Your Downtime? 65. How Do You Have Fun? 66. What Would You Choose to Do If You Had Unlimited Free Time and No Restrictions? 67. What Activities Make You Feel Most Alive? 68. What Big Project Do You Hope to Accomplish Someday? 69. What Work, Sport or Pastime Do You Like to Do at Night? 70. What Seemingly Mundane Feats Have You Accomplished? 71. What Have You Made This Year? 72. What Do You Collect? 73. Which Fandoms Are You In? 74. What Competition Do You Think You Could Win? 75. What Is Something You Want to Try, Even Though Others Might Think It’s Weird? 76. Are There Activities You Used to Love That Are Now So Competitive They’re Not Fun Anymore? 77. What Would You Recommend That Is ‘Overlooked and Underappreciated’? 78. What New Innovations and Discoveries in STEM Intrigue You?

79. What Are the Little Rituals That Keep You Going? 80. What Are Your Best Life Hacks? 81. What Ordinary Moments Would You Include in a Video About Your Life? 82. What Habits Do You Have, and Have You Ever Tried to Change Them? 83. Do You Wish You Had a Different Morning Routine? 84. Does Your Life Ever Feel Too Busy? 85. How Can You Tell a Story About Your Life Right Now Through a Few Simple Numbers? 86. What Is Your Secret to a Happy Life? 87. What’s Your Sunday Routine? 88. What Slang Words Do You Use? 89. How Often Do You Treat Yourself to Something Special? 90. How Often Do You Just ‘Hang Out’ With Others? 91. What Are You Grateful For? 92. Where Do You Find Peace and Quiet? 93. Do You Spend Enough Time With Other People? 94. Do You Talk to Yourself? 95. Is Clutter a Problem in Your Life? 96. How Do You Remember What You Need to Remember? 97. When and For What Reasons Do You Seek Silence? 98. How Do You Greet Your Friends and Family? 99. What Is the Most Wholesome Thing You’ve Seen Lately?

Home & Community

100. Who Are the ‘Characters’ That Make Your Town Interesting? 101. If You Made a Mixtape for Your Hometown, What Sounds and Songs Would You Include? 102. What Do the Types of Dogs in Your Neighborhood Say About Where You Live? 103. What Are Your Hometown’s Shortcomings? 104. Do You Have a Favorite Local Hangout? 105. After Home and School, Where Do You Find the Strongest Feeling of Community? 106. What Grievances Do You Have With Your Local Community? 107. Who in Your Community Might Be Interesting to Interview? 108. What Role Do Parks Play in Your Life? 109. What Role Do Trees Play in Your Neighborhood? 110. How Diverse Is Your Community? 111. How Do You Come Together With Your Community? 112. What Is Unique About Your Hometown? 113. What’s Your Favorite Local Business? 114. Do You Wish You Had the Go-to House? 115. Do You Think You Might Like Communal Living When You’re an Adult? 116. Do You Have Enough Access to Places Where You Can Play and Exercise? 117. What Do the Objects in Your Home Say About You?

118. How Do You Define ‘Family’? 119. Who Is in Your Chosen Family? 120. How Well Do You Get Along With Your Siblings? 121. How Well Do Your Parents Deal With Sibling Conflicts? 122. Do You Have a Family Motto or Creed? 123. How Much Do You Know About Your Family’s History? 124. Where Would You Visit To Find Out More About Your Family’s Past? 125. What Is a Meaningful Family Relationship That You Have? 126. What Is Your Relationship Like With Your Grandparents and Elders? 127. Do You Have Any Family Heirlooms?

Parents & Parenting

128. How Involved Are Your Parents in Your Life? 129. How Similar Are You to the Adults Who Raised You? 130. Do You Push Your Parents’ Buttons? 131. How Do You Get What You Want From Your Parents? 132. Do Your Parents Yell at You? 133. What Advice Do You Have for Teenagers and Their Parents? 134. Are You Conforming to or Rebelling Against Your Parents’ Wishes for You? 135. Do Your Parents Spy on You? 136. Do You Turn to Your Parents for Advice? 137. How Do You Connect With Your Parents? 138. Do Your Parents Overpraise You? 139. Have You Ever Felt Embarrassed by Your Parents? 140. Who Cooks, Cleans and Takes Care of the Kids in Your Family? 141. What Kind of Time Management Skills Are You Learning from the Adults in Your Life? 142. Are Your Parents Addicted to Their Phones?

Role Models

143. What Role Have Mentors Played in Your Life? 144. Whom Do You Turn to for Good Advice? 145. What Can We Learn From Older Adults? 146. What Does the World Need to Know About an Important Person in Your Life? 147. Who’s Your ‘Outsider Role Model’? 148. What Does Dr. King’s Legacy Mean to You? 149. Who Do You Turn To in a Crisis? 150. Who Is Someone You Would Like to Thank? 151. Have You Ever Written Fan Mail? If Not, Would You? 152. How Have You Coped With the Death of an Idol?

Childhood Memories

153. What Is Your Earliest Memory? 154. What Things Remind You of Your Childhood? 155. What Childhood Rules Did You Break? 156. What’s the Craziest Thing You Did as a Kid? 157. What Magic Did You Believe In as a Child? 158. What Is the Most Memorable Thing You Have Ever Lost or Found? 159. Have You Ever Given, or Received, a Perfect Gift? 160. What’s the Best Party You’ve Ever Been To? 161. What Smells Trigger Powerful Memories for You? 162. What Is Your ‘Good Luck Charm’? 163. What Objects Bring You Comfort?

164. What Is It Like to Be a Teenager Now? 165. What Is the Best Thing About Being Your Age? 166. What Do Older Generations Misunderstand About Teenagers Today? 167. What Rites of Passage Mark the Transition to Adulthood in Your Community? 168. How Important to You Is Being Able to Drive? 169. Do Other People Care Too Much About Your Post-High School Plans? 170. Do You Hate When Adults Ask You What You Want to Be When You Grow Up? 171. Have You Ever Felt Pressured by Family or Others in Making an Important Decision About Your Future? 172. Do You Have ‘Emerging Adult’ Skills? 173. How Long Do You Hope to Live at Home? 174. What Letter of Inspiration Would You Write to Your Younger Self? 175. What Have You Learned From a Younger Person — and What Have You Taught An Older Person? 176. Have You Ever Helped an Adult? 177. When — if Ever — Do You Call Adults by Their First Names? 178. What Advice Do You Have for Younger Students? 179. Are You Optimistic About the Future? 180. Do You Want to Have Children Someday? 181. Do You Look Forward to Old Age? 182. What Legacy Do You Want to Leave Behind? 183. What Do You Want to Be Known for After Your Death?

Morality & Ethics

184. Have You Ever Taken a Stand That Isolated You From Your Peers? 185. What Acts of Kindness Have You Witnessed or Participated In? 186. How Good Are You at Apologizing? 187. Do You Ever Laugh at the Misfortune of Others? 188. When Have You Either Forgiven Someone or Been Forgiven Yourself? 189. Has Forgiving Someone Ever Made You Feel Better? 190. What Is the Code You Live By? 191. Have You Ever Been Surprised by an Act of Generosity?

Race, Ethnicity, Gender & Sexuality

192. What Cultural Traditions Are Important to You? 193. How Do You Connect to Your Heritage? 194. What Role Does Your Family’s Native Tongue Play in Your Life? 195. How Does Your Identity Inform Your Political Beliefs and Values? 196. How Much Racism Do You Face in Your Daily Life? 197. What Is Your Gender Identity? 198. Do You Feel Constricted by Gender Norms? 199. Have You Ever Been Told You Couldn’t Do Something Because of Your Gender? 200. What Messages About Gender Have You Gotten From Music? 201. How Do You Feel About Being Told to Smile? 202. What Has Your Sex Education Been Like? 203. How Do You Respond When People Ask, ‘Where Are You From?’ 204. What Does Your Accent Say About Who You Are?

Money & Social Class

205. What Are Your Expectations About Earning, Saving and Spending Money? 206. What Choices Do You Make About Money Every Day? 207. How Do You Get and Spend Money? 208. Have You Ever Tried to Make Money Online? 209. How Much Financial Help Do You Expect From Your Parents in the Future? 210. Do You Get an Allowance? 211. How Much Has Your ZIP Code Determined Your Opportunities? 212. What Has Television Taught You About Social Class?

Religion, Spirituality & Beliefs

213. What Role Does Religion Play in Your Life? 214. How Often Do You Start Conversations about Faith or Spirituality? 215. What Do You Think Are the Secrets to Happiness? 216. What Legends and Myths Do You Believe In? 217. Do You Believe in Astrology? 218. Do You Believe in Manifesting? 219. What Are Your Experiences With Meditation? 220. How Important Is Mindfulness to Your Daily Life? 221. How Do You View Death? 222. We Document Life’s Milestones. How Should We Document Death? 223. Do You Believe in Ghosts?

Technology & the Internet

personal essay topics for middle school

224. How Are You Using A.I.? 225. What Old Technology Do You Think Is Cool? 226. What Don’t Adults Understand About Teenage Life Online? 227. What Online Communities Do You Participate In? 228. Could You Go a Year Without a Smartphone? 229. Is Your Phone Love Hurting Your Relationships? 230. How Much of Your Day is Voluntarily Spent Screen-Free? 231. How Would Your Life Be Different if You Didn’t Have Wi-Fi and Cellular Service? 232. Where Do You Go to Find Cool, Strange or Fascinating Information on the Internet? 233. Does the Future of Robots Get You Excited, or Fill You With Dread? 234. Do You Worry About Your Digital Privacy? 235. Do You Feel Safer When You Know You’re Being Watched? 236. Do You Leave Funny Comments Online? 237. Have You Experienced Any Embarrassing Zoom Mishaps? 238. Have You Ever Encountered Racist or Extremist Content Online? 239. How Do You Know if What You Read Online Is True? 240. How Much Do You Trust Online Reviews?

Social Media

241. How Much of Your Life Do You Share Online? 242. Do Social Media and Smartphones Make Your Friendships Stronger? 243. Are You the Same Person on Social Media as You Are in Real Life? 244. What Does TikTok Mean to You? 245. Who Is Your Favorite Social Media Star? 246. Would You Want to Be a Social Media Star? 247. Do the Adults in Your Life Follow You on Social Media? 248. Have You Ever Gone to a Place for the Primary Purpose of Taking Selfies? 249. Would You Want to Live and Breathe Creating Content for Social Media? 250. Do You Feel You’re Friends With Celebrities or Influencers You Follow Online? 251. What Role Does Instagram Play in Your Life? 252. How Does Social Media Affect Your Mental Health? 253. Does Social Media Affect Your Body Image? 254. Which Emoji Do You Use the Most? 255. Do You Ever Ignore Text Messages?

Music & Podcasts

256. What Music Are You Listening to Right Now? 257. Who Was Your Favorite Musical Artist This Year? 258. What Songs Explain You? 259. What Is Your Favorite Musical Instrument? 260. What Songs Matter to You Now? 261. What Was Your First Concert? 262. Which Celebrity Performer Would You Like to Challenge to a Friendly Battle? 263. What Would You Name Your Band? 264. Do You Listen to Podcasts? 265. If You Could Make Your Own Podcast, What Would It Be About?

Movies, TV & Video Games

266. What Have You Learned About Life From Watching Movies? 267. What Is Your Favorite Sports Movie? 268. What Are Your Favorite TV Shows? 269. Who Is Your Favorite Actor? 270. What’s in Your Queue? 271. What Is Your Favorite Memory of PBS? 272. How Do You Feel About Spoilers? 273. What Stereotypical Characters Make You Cringe? 274. Are You a Fan of Rom-Coms? 275. Do You Like Horror? 276. What’s Your Favorite Video Game Ever? 277. What Classic Video Games Do You Still Enjoy Playing? 278. What Video Games Would You Like to See Adapted for Film or TV? 279. Are You a Fortnite Addict? 280. Do You Gamify Your Life?

Books & Reading

281. What Role Have Books Played in Your Life? 282. What Books Do You Think Every Teenager Should Read? 283. Do You See Yourself in the Books You Read? 284. Has a Novel Ever Helped You Understand Yourself or Your World Better? 285. What’s the Best Book You Ever Read for School? 286. What Book Would You Add to the High School Curriculum? 287. How Do You Find New Books, Music, Movies or Television Shows? 288. What Have You Learned from Comics? 289. What Role Does Poetry Play in Your Life? 290. Do You Like Romance Stories? 291. What Is the Scariest Story You Have Ever Heard? 292. Have You Ever Read a Book You Weren’t Supposed to Read? 293. What Children’s Books Have Had the Biggest Impact on You? 294. Where Is Your Favorite Place to Read? 295. What Role Do Libraries Play in Your Life?

296. What Purpose Does Writing Serve in Your Life? 297. Do You Keep a Journal? 298. What’s Your Favorite Word? 299. What’s Your Favorite Punctuation Mark? 300. Do You Read or Write Poetry? 301. Do You Love Writing or Receiving Letters? 302. What Do You Want to Investigate? 303. What Would You Write a Book About? 304. What Would You Write in a Letter to the Editor? 305. If You Had a Column in The New York Times, What Would You Write About?

306. What Movies, Shows, Books, Music, Games or Other Works Have Made a Strong Impression on You? 307. What Work of Art Has Changed Your Life? 308. Who Is Your Favorite Visual Artist? What Is Your Favorite Work of Art? 309. Which Photograph Stays In Your Memory? 310. What Would You Like to Learn to Make by Hand? 311. Are You Intimidated by Classical Music and Art? 312. Do You Love to Dance? 313. Have You Ever Performed for an Audience or Shared Creative Work With Others? 314. What Show Do You Wish Your School Would Stage? 315. How Would You Design Your Ideal Museum? 316. What Broadway Show Would You Most Like to See? 317. What Are the Most Memorable Works of Visual Art You’ve Ever Seen? 318. What Could You Read, Listen to or Watch to Stretch Your Cultural Imagination? 319. How Often Do You Read, Watch or Listen to Things Outside of Your Comfort Zone?

320. How Did You Grow and Change This School Year? 321. Do You Like School? 322. What Motivates You to Learn? 323. Would You Want to Go to a School Like This One? 324. What ‘Pop-Up’ Classes Do You Wish Your School Offered? 325. How Is What You Are Studying in School Relevant to Your Life and the Larger World? 326. Do You See the Point in Learning Math? 327. How Much Do You Speak Up in School? 328. How Diverse Is Your School? 329. Is Your School a Safe Learning Space? 330. How Comfortably Can You Speak Your Mind at School? 331. Are You Able to Be Your Whole Self at School? 332. Do You Feel Your School and Teachers Welcome Both Conservative and Liberal Points of View? 333. How Have You Learned About Slavery? 334. How Much Have You Learned About Black History? 335. Has a School Assignment or Activity Ever Made You Uncomfortable? 336. Are You Stressed About School? 337. How Good Are You at Handling Challenging School Work? 338. Do You Need a Homework Therapist? 339. What Are You Doing to Change Your School? 340. What Are Your Thoughts on Riding the School Bus? 341. Is the Diversity of Your School Accurately Reflected in Its Promotional Materials? 342. How Have Your Teachers Shaped Who You Are? 343. Does Your Teacher’s Identity Affect Your Learning? 344. Has a Teacher Ever Changed Your Mind-Set? 345. Would You Want to Be a Teacher Someday? 346. What Have Been Your Experiences With Substitute Teachers?

347. How Prepared Are You For College? How Well Do You Think You’ll Do? 348. What Worries You Most About the College Admissions Process? 349. How Much of Your Real Self Have You Revealed on Applications? 350. What Worries Do You Have About College? 351. Do You Intend to Study Abroad While You Are in College? 352. Are You Worried About the Rising Cost of Attending College? 353. Do You Talk to Your Family About the Cost of College? 354. Do You Want Your Parents to Live Nearby When You Go to College? 355. What Specialty College Would You Create?

Work & Careers

356. What Jobs Are You Most Curious About? 357. How Much Does Having a ‘Dream Job’ Matter to You? 358. Would You Pursue a Career If You Knew You Likely Would Not Make Much Money? 359. Will You Follow in Your Parents’ Footsteps? 360. Would You Consider Moving Overseas for a Job? 361. Do Your Summer Plans Include Employment? 362. Would You Consider Serving in the U.S. Armed Forces? 363. What Volunteer Work Would You Most Like to Do? 364. Have You Had a Job Recently? What Has the Experience Been Like?

365. Do You Have Satisfying Friendships? 366. How Alike Are You and Your Friends? 367. Do You Have Any Unlikely Friendships? 368. How Have Your Friends Helped You? 369. Do You Like Your Friends? 370. How Often Do You Text Your Friends Just to Say ‘Hi’? 371. Have You Ever Been Left Out? 372. Do You Ever Feel Lonely? 373. Have You Ever Had a Significant Friendship End? 374. Do You Have Any Close Friends? 375. How Many Close Friends Do You Need? 376. How Do You React When Your Friendships Change? 377. What Have Your Friends Taught You About Life? 378. What Have You Learned About Friendship This Year? 379. Do You Have Any Intergenerational Friendships? 380. What Makes a Great Conversation?

Dating, Love & Relationships

381. How Much of a Romantic Are You? 382. What Does Love Feel Like to You? 383. How Do You Think Technology Affects Dating? 384. Have You Ever Been Ghosted? 385. Do You Want to Get Married Someday? 386. Would You Want to Be Proposed to on a Jumbotron? 387. If You Got Married, Would You Want to Keep Your Last Name or Take Your Partner’s?

388. What Are You Doing to Take Care of Your Health? 389. What Rules Do You Have for Staying Healthy? 390. Do You Have Any Bad Health Habits? 391. Do You Have More Good Habits Than Bad? 392. What Do You Think Are the Secrets to a Long Life? 393. How Well Do You Sleep at Night? 394. Do You Enjoy Taking Long Walks? 395. Do You Learn Better After Moving Around? 396. Do You Have a Healthy Diet? 397. What Is Your Relationship With the Weight-Loss Industry? 398. How Strong Is Your Sense of Smell? 399. Have You Ever Jumped Into Ice-Cold Water? 400. How Is Your Mental Health These Days? 401. Do You Ever Get the ‘Bad News Blues’? 402. How Do You Hold It Together When You’re Feeling Stressed? 403. How Does Your Body React to Stress? 404. How Do You Practice Self-Care? 405. What’s Your Favorite Mood Booster?

Sports & Games

406. What Kinds of Games and Puzzles Do You Like? 407. What Are Your Favorite Games? 408. How Would You Change Your Favorite Sport? 409. Have You Ever Learned Something From a Professional Athlete? 410. Have You Ever Felt Too Much Pressure to Win? 411. What Is Your Favorite Rivalry? 412. What Role Have Coaches Played in Your Life? 413. Have You Witnessed Bad Behavior in Youth Sports? 414. Do You Like a Comeback Story? 415. Would You Ever Want to Run a Marathon? 416. Would You Make a Good Ump?

417. What Is Your Dream Travel Destination? 418. What Is Your Most Memorable Family Vacation? 419. How Would You Spend Your Ideal Family Vacation? 420. Would You Ever Go on a Solo Vacation? 421. What Do You Think You Would Learn From Traveling to All 50 States? 422. What Are the Places in the World That You Love Most? 423. What City or Town Most Captures Your Imagination? 424. How Good Is Your Sense of Direction? 425. How Much Do You Know About the Rest of the World?

Shopping, Looks & Fashion

426. What’s Your Favorite Item of Clothing? 427. What Does Your Unique Style Say About You? 428. What Does Your Hairstyle Say About You? 429. Are You a Sneakerhead? 430. Do You Like Getting Dressed Up? 431. Could You Stop Shopping for an Entire Year? 432. Are You an Ethical Consumer? 433. What Would You Wait All Night in the Rain to Buy? 434. Do Politics Ever Influence How or Where You Shop? 435. Do You Wear Clothes for the Logo? 436. Would You Like to Be a Fashion Model? 437. How Do You Feel About Your Body? 438. How Do You Feel About Your Height? 439. How Do You Feel About Tattoos?

Meals & Food

440. What Foods Bring Up Special Memories for You? 441. What Foods Are Closely Linked to Someone You Love? 442. Who Is the Best Cook You Know? 443. How Do You Celebrate Your Culture Through Food? 444. What Do You Eat for Dinner on a Typical Weeknight? 445. What Are the Most Popular Dishes in Your House? 446. Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been, a Picky Eater? 447. What Are the Best Places to Eat in Your Town? 448. What Foods Best Represent Your Hometown? 449. What Are the Essential Foods to Eat Where You Live? 450. What New Flavor Ideas Do You Have for Your Favorite Foods? 451. What Convenience Foods Make You Happy? 452. How Do You Like Your Pizza? 453. Would You Ever Consider Becoming Vegetarian? 454. Would You Eat Food Grown in a Lab? 455. Have You Ever Experienced Food Insecurity? 456. What Do You Think Your Favorite Book or Movie Character Eats For Dinner?

Holidays & Seasons

457. Do You Make New Year’s Resolutions? 458. What Healthy Habits Do You Hope to Build in the New Year? 459. How Do You Celebrate Spring? 460. What Are Your Favorite Memories of Spring? 461. What Are Your Plans This Summer? 462. What’s the Most Memorable Thing That Happened to You This Summer? 463. What Were Your ‘Mundane Joys’ of Summer? 464. What Are Your Memories of Halloween? 465. What’s Your Favorite Halloween Costume, Past or Present? 466. How Much Scare Can You Handle in Your Halloween Entertainment? 467. What Does Thanksgiving Mean to You? 468. What Has Been Your Most Memorable Thanksgiving? 469. What Will You Talk About on Thanksgiving? 470. Did You Take Part in Any Thanksgiving or Post-Holiday Traditions?

Animals & Nature

471. How Do Animals Provide Comfort in Your Life? 472. What Have You Learned From Animals? 473. What Are Your Experiences With Animal Adoption or Fostering? 474. How Do You Feel About the Spiders, Insects and Other Tiny Creatures in Your Home? 475. How Do You Get Your Nature Fix? 476. What Are the Most Memorable Things You’ve Seen or Experienced in Nature? 477. What Is the Coolest Thing You Have Seen in Nature? 478. Have You Ever Tried to Grow Something?


479. How Are You Doing Your Part for the Environment? 480. How Concerned Are You About Climate Change? 481. Do You Experience Climate Anxiety? 482. Do You Think You Make Good Climate Choices? 483. Would You Change Your Eating Habits to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint? 484. Could You Live an Entire Day Without Plastic? 485. How Good Are You at Recycling? 486. How Have You Experienced Extreme Weather?

487. How Similar Are Your Political Views to Those of Your Parents? 488. How Important Is It to You to Have Similar Political Beliefs to Your Family and Friends? 489. Is Your Online World Just a ‘Filter Bubble’ of People With the Same Opinions? 490. Do You Think You Live in a Political Bubble? 491. How Do You Talk With People Who Don’t Share Your Views? 492. What Do American Values Mean to You? 493. What Does Your Country’s National Anthem Mean to You? 494. Are You Optimistic About the State of the World? 495. Have You Ever Changed Your Mind About a Hot-Button Issue? 496. How Have School Shootings Shaped Your Experience as a Student? 497. How Has the Threat of Gun Violence Affected You? 498. How Do You Feel About Active-Shooter Drills in Schools?

The Pandemic

499. What Does the End of the Pandemic Emergency Mean to You? 500. How Have the Last Two and a Half Years Made You Who You Are Today? 501. How Would You Describe Your Pandemic Experience in Six Words? 502. How Have You Commemorated Milestones During the Pandemic? 503. Do You Think You Have Experienced ‘Learning Loss’ During the Pandemic? 504. How Has the Pandemic Changed Your Relationship to Your Body? 505. What Have You Learned About Yourself During This Lockdown? 506. How Will We Remember the Coronavirus Pandemic?

507. Would You Want to Live to 200? 508. Would You Want to Live Forever? 509. Would You Like to Be Cryogenically Preserved (Frozen!) Upon Your Death? 510. Would You Want to Live a Life Without Ever Feeling Pain? 511. Would You Like to Be Famous? 512. Would You Want to Be a Child Star? 513. Would You Like to Be a Farmer? 514. If You Had an Extra Billion Dollars, What Cause Would You Support With Your Philanthropy? 515. Do You Think You Will Ever Travel to Space? 516. What Fantasy Invention Would You Want to Exist in Reality? 517. If You Could Have Any Animal Feature, What Would It Be? 518. What Fictional House Would You Want to Stay In? 519. What Scientific Mysteries Do You Want Solved? 520. What Idea Do You Have That Is Ahead of Its Time? 521. What Era Do You Wish You Had Grown Up In? 522. Do You Like Your First Name? Would You Change It If You Could? 523. What Would You Like to Ask Your 40-Year-Old Self? 524. What Items Would You Place in a Time Capsule for Future Generations? 525. If the World Was Ending, What Would You Want to Say?

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.

Find more Student Opinion questions here. Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate them into your classroom.

personal essay topics for middle school

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Personal Essay Topics

Essay paper writing

Academic writing

personal essay topics for middle school

Personal essay is considered to be one of the most interesting academic assignments. Writing such an essay, you are not just creating a regular text about some person but also have a great opportunity to demonstrate your views, feelings, or opinion on a given topic. In a good paper, you can influence the readers and present some new ideas to them.

Students often think that a personal essay is difficult to write. Moreover, they often get scared when they realize that they may need to prepare for this assignment longer than usual. Well, in fact, there is nothing complicated in this task. All you need to do is express the main idea clearly, discuss it, and be honest with your readers.

However, sometimes the situation gets worse when a teacher gives quite specific college personal essay topics, and you have no opportunity to touch upon some important issues that you might want to discuss. Relax and do not think of the topic as a limitation! Instead, try to provide a deeper comprehension of the issues and concepts related to the theme of your paper.

The next challenge of creating such a text is that you will need to combine a lot of writing styles. But do not panic! Look at this struggle from a different perspective, and it will become an advantage which allows you to express your thoughts more vividly. After all, it’s a fact that your writing style reflects your personality.

Of course, the success of your essay mostly depends on the topic, so you are welcome to choose one of the interesting personal essay topics presented by our essay writing service in this article. Then, working on the task, make sure that it is not a monotonous piece that will be difficult to read. Well-structured papers on relevant common personal essay topics provide an excellent opportunity to show your point of view and express your feelings regarding the subject.

How to write personal essays?


This question is pertinent among the new writers who struggle to create a whole text about a person. But there is nothing to worry about! First of all, try to collect as much information as possible. For example, look for some interviews with the individual you want to write about. If you have one of the top personal essay topics, it will be quite easy to find this kind of info.

The next aspect of a good essay is the formatting of the text. This is not the easiest part of writing, but it is definitely not the thing you should be concerned about. Make sure that you have a writing guide to refer to or just ask your professor about formatting rules at your college. By the way, mind that we are talking mostly about personal essay topics for college, so if you have to write such text for school or university, you will need to adapt it to the requirements of that educational institution.

Finally, let’s consider the structure of a good personal essay. In the first paragraph, you have to provide a brief biography of the person you are writing about. It should contain some information about their life, achievements, and some interesting facts. After that, try to find some info about the childhood years of this individual. Using this technique, you can create an interesting intro which will prompt your audience to read the text to the very end. If you have troubles with that, you can just pick one of the personal essay topics for high school students, as they should be easier to find info on. After you are done with the first section, it is time to move on to the most challenging part of writing. Here, you have to describe the outstanding years of a person’s life and analyze the most important experiences or events during that time . Do not get scared if you are assigned to write a text about yourself or someone you do not know. You may have excellent writing skills, but it is always difficult to tell personal stories or share memories. So don’t lose heart if you won’t succeed with your first personal essay.

Why choose to write on the personal persuasive essay topics

While reading the information above, you may get the following question, “Why would a novice writer pick such a complex topic to write on?” First of all, people need to do something new and challenging all the time in order to become well-versed in particular spheres. Secondly, students learn how to work on several types of texts, which not only helps them to become better writers but also reach a totally new level of proficiency. Another great thing is that if you pick one of the personal essay topics for college applications, you will be able to stand out from the crowd of those who are going to choose the easier topics.

So, now it’s time to start writing the actual essay. Do not worry if you still have no ideas what to write about. In this article, we will provide the list of personal essay topic options which will definitely help you to write a perfect paper and get an excellent mark.

College level personal essay topics


College-level personal experience essay topics are more challenging to cope with than school ones because you have to search and analyze a lot. Moreover, writing college-level essays presupposes the development of analytical and critical thinking skills. Just like writing a personal essay for college application, it requires a more in-depth evaluation of the issue under consideration. If you struggle to find a proper topic for your essay, here is a list of interesting themes for college students:

  • The biggest fear in your life
  • A difficult decision you have made
  • When did you have the biggest argument with your sibling?
  • The most interesting dream you have ever had
  • Music that inspires you and makes you feel good
  • Perfect family vacation
  • The day you met your best college friend
  • The most awkward moment in college
  • Your phobias
  • Things your parents have taught you
  • The time you spoke out about something important to you
  • How would you spend your gap year?
  • What is the bravest moment of your life?
  • What did you do when a close person betrayed you?
  • The most important lesson in your life
  • Describe the biggest failure in your life and what you have learned from it

Personal essay topics for education

These topics are slightly different from the previous ones. Educational themes are usually a bit more school-based, which means that you need to have some basic knowledge to complete them. A lot of things can be described in this essay, but it is important to include only relevant information and clearly state your opinion. By the way, these themes are considered the best personal essay topics among all. The reason is that writing this kind of essay, you have an opportunity to demonstrate your views, goals, and aspirations so that your teacher can determine your ambitions and potential in the study area. Therefore, let us move on to the actual examples:

  • How can a professor motivate you to become a better person?
  • What are the best methods to deliver a speech?
  • Do you like doing homework, or is it a waste of time for you?
  • The best lesson you have learned studying in college or high school
  • Is it hard for you to prepare for school exams? How do you handle stress during that period?
  • What second language did you learn and how?
  • What motivates you to study hard and pursue your dreams?
  • The right and wrong choices you made regarding study and education

Easy topics for personal essay

Students choose easy topics quite often because they are not willing to spend a lot of time on writing. Selecting such a theme is not a bad idea at all because these topics are usually quite broad. Make sure you know how to write the best pieces using these great personal essay topics:

  • How to relax after a hard day?
  • The greatest fear you have
  • The best place in your house
  • The best period of the history of your country
  • Your favorite movie
  • What would you buy right now if you had a lot of money?
  • The work of art that you adore the most
  • The best period of your life
  • Who is your favorite singer?
  • Secret talent you have
  • The unexplained event that happened to you
  • Your favorite season
  • Your best birthday party
  • Your favorite type of food
  • The best childhood memory
  • What would you do if you won the lottery
  • Your favorite holiday

Some other good personal essay topics


If you are still out of ideas for personal essay topics, you can consider the themes listed below:

  • The last act of kindness that you have made
  • The job of your dream
  • The most beautiful place in the world you have ever seen
  • The best music band that helps you to fall asleep
  • The most annoying things in your life
  • A thing that reminds you of your childhood
  • The role of money in your life
  • The best words you have heard in your life
  • Have you ever witnessed something that you will remember for the rest of your life?
  • The best morning in your life
  • Something that makes you feel guilty
  • Your shopping habits
  • A place you would go if you could travel back in time  

personal essay topics for middle school

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