Students are young essay writers. Some of them find it difficult to put their ideas into words while others trust their best intuition in making up fictional characters for the sake of composing essays as a means of requirement. Unfortunately, this method conceals the writer’s image. Others find that disclosing intimate details about themselves might pose a threat in revealing a part of who they are.

But how can one determine the limitations of writing a personal essay? How much information can one divulge to divide the line between essay writing for private satisfaction over a personal account for academic purposes?

An essay is a short form of writing based on the author’s point of view. In most cases, students having an academic background in the Arts and Letters usually study essays for the purpose of literary analysis, social relevance, and moral lesson. For an essay that requires a personal account, most teachers give a particular topic to a class or a number of questions for different set groups. As for a free writing session, students may find it challenging to find appropriate topics that may qualify as a personal essay and at the same time, a scholarly piece of work. The following are topics that may be considered in essay writing:
1. Accounts on an unforgettable family event (Birthday, Thanksgiving, Halloween, etc.);
2. A travelogue – an account on one’s experience during his or her travel on one place or country. The chosen place can be a choice on one’s favorite destination or a first time visit outside his or her native land;
3. Recommended food and unique beach destinations for the summer or spring break;
4. Most admired personality or a public figure – This can be a Hollywood star, a politician, or an author; or
5. An account on one’s typical day as a student – Being a student is not only limited to attending classes but also as a performing student like a student council president, a varsity basketball player, or a youth volunteer for underprivileged children.

The said options are just some of the topics for an essay that require one’s own experience and point of view without sacrificing one’s private identity. There are no right or wrong answers, no room for mistakes. The topics presented keep the writer from being too personal but at the same time, fulfilling the needed information for a personal essay.

Author's Bio: 

With a passion for teaching, Ros Albert Smith began teaching at the age of 19 as a volunteer teacher in South Africa for two months in 2005. Ros is currently taking up English and Literature at the University of Oxford and loves to write an essay a week for Oxford’s school paper. He plans to teach writing when he comes back to South Africa and dreams to become a famous equestrian someday.