The Best Essay Topics & Ideas
One of the hardest steps to complete when you start writing an essay is figuring out what topic to write about (unless it’s preassigned). Commonly, students are tempted to write about something they have a great passion towards or are genuinely interested in. Though there is never a correct answer about choosing the best topic, there are filters to use when brainstorming ideas. After having plenty of writing experience, it becomes apparent that certain topics fit better with specific categories than others; this means that your point of discussion should be chosen only after knowing the type of essay you have to create.
Tips for Choosing the Best Topics
In writing there is nothing more important than the essay topic you choose. The essay topic idea is the backbone of your paper, and if it is weak, it will be extremely difficult for you to succeed. The best topic ideas are the ones that you are most passionate about. If you do not care about your subject, the essay is going to be torture for you to create. However, if it is something you truly enjoy, writing it will be a breeze. Another point to consider while choosing your essay topic idea is your audience. If your audience has little to no knowledge on a certain topic, consider omitting very technical and specialized topics. And finally, choose something interesting and exciting. Put yourself in your reader’s shoes: what would you like to learn about?
The COVID-19 pandemic came into our world very unexpectedly and it is hard to assume what months of self-isolation and shelter-at-home orders will do to our lives and daily routines. This is definitely an experience none of us will ever forget, and an essay on such a hot topic will appeal to most readers. We have some interesting essay topic ideas below:
- What to know about pets and COVID-19
- How will COVID-19 change life
- Pros and cons of self-isolation
- Life lessons you have learned during the quarantine
- Challenges you have faced during the pandemic
- A person you lost due to COVID-19
- School life during COVID-19
- Mass media and pandemic panic
- A charity you engaged in during the pandemic
- Projects you undertook during the quarantine
- Essential workers during the pandemic
- Your personal achievements during the quarantine
- How relationship dynamics have changed during COVID-19
- Things you enjoyed about quarantine
- What could have been done to prevent the spread of the virus
- Backlash against Asian Americans due to COVID-19
- Preventative measures of COVID-19, and how you implemented them in life
- How to stay healthy and active during the quarantine
- The future of the virus: vaccines for COVID-19 vs. a strong immune system
- Mental health during self-isolation
Essay Topics by Category
As stated above, your essay topic depends entirely on the style of essay you write. There are various essay styles that every student should know, and they can be broken down into four main groups:
Persuasive Writing (Group 1) - This essay type asks the writer to pick and defend a point of view on a certain position. Argumentative, Research, and Persuasive essays fit into this category.
Expository Writing (Group 2) - This group is all about presenting facts and informing the reader about some topic or idea. Cause & Effect, Research, Informative, and Expository essays fit into this category.
Descriptive Writing (Group 3) - This style asks the author to unleash their inner artist with lively vocabulary and coherent ideas to explain an idea, describe a concept, etc. Definition and Descriptive essays fit into this category.
Narrative Writing (Group 4) - This less common, but still certainly present style requires the author to tell a story or explain a process (something in chronological order). Narrative, Process, and Personal essays are placed into this category.
Here are some good essay topics for the most common style varieties:
Cause and Effect Essay Topics
Cause and effect essays explain how one thing influences another. The cause and effect method of covering a topic is very common and is used to write essays at both school and college levels. This form of essay organization allows students to explain how subjects are connected. Another name for this type of essay is “reason and result”. Check out our cause and effect essay topics:
- How optimism influences your immunity
- Using a bicycle instead of a car improves your health and lowers your environmental impact
- Does social media improve people’s communication skills?
- Are people who went to college more successful?
- Long-distance relationships and distrust
- Kids’ obesity prevention with exercise
- Drugs and alcohol consumption are the main causes of homelessness
- Global warming and species extinction
- Panic attacks and their causes
- Bulimia and its consequences
- Portion control and healthy weight loss
- Communication is the key to a healthy marriage
- Electronic devices and their influence on child development
- Peer interaction in school leads to improved social skills
- GMOs and its influence on humans’ genes
- Organic produce consumption reduces health risks
- Cultural differences cause immigration transition problems
- Freedom of speech can be abused
- Cheating in school has long-term life effects on one’s personality
- Consumerism pollutes the planet
Good Argumentative Essay Topics
Argumentative essays usually present arguments both for or against a certain issue. Depending on the author's goals and personal opinions, arguments can be balanced on both sides of the problem, or they can mostly support one of the sides. Some great essay topics are written below:
- Should all women have access to birth control and family planning?
- Does our tax system benefit everyone fairly?
- Is vaping as harmful as smoking cigarettes?
- Does consumerism pose a big issue for the world?
- Does social media violate our privacy?
- Is vaccination for everyone?
- Do food companies control our diets?
- Does our educational system suit our society?
- What languages should be official in the United States and why?
- Is capital punishment ever justified?
- Should abortion be banned?
- Do people abuse their right to carry guns?
- Does police brutality have a racial aspect?
- Should recycling be compulsory?
- Is competition really beneficial?
- Do careers in blogging have a future?
- Will people ever be able to live without the Internet?
- Should everyone engage in volunteering and charity?
- Does the press violate the privacy of famous people?
- Should testing on animals be legal?
Narrative Essay Topics
While writing a narrative essay, imagine yourself as a real writer. You get to talk about your experiences and tell an interesting, sad, or funny story that is memorable to you. In a narrative essay, details play a great role as one of the goals is to paint a picture for the reader with your own words. It is better to pick a story that you remember very well and capable of noting the smallest details. Some great ideas for your essay topic are:
- Your favorite childhood memory
- Most recent travel experience
- The death of a friend or relative that influenced you
- The loss of a pet that changed your life
- Your best friend and how you met
- Your first time on a plane
- The first book you read
- The worst memory you have
- Your biggest fear
- Your family traditions
- A summer camp story to remember
- Your first time driving
- The most embarrassing situation you have experienced
- How do you relax on your weekend?
- Things you love about school
- The funniest story about you and your sibling
- The time you got in an accident
- A person who inspires you
- How you overcame any of your fears
- The thing you regret the most
Research Essay Topics
A research essay presents an issue based on the works of scholars and scientists. After explaining what others have to say about a problem, you usually get to express your own opinion on the matter. You can also agree or disagree with the scholars’ opinions. Here are some interesting research essay topics:
- Animal rights and how they are violated in modern society
- Legal drinking ages around the world
- What does it mean to be patriotic in different cultures?
- Sexual harassment in the workplace
- Doctor negligence and its consequences
- Hate crimes and what should be done about them
- The pros and cons of online retail
- How intelligence tests segregate society
- Plagiarism and academic honesty
- Sources of alternative energy
- Ocean pollution and ways to prevent it
- Pesticides and how they influence us
- Is the population control a solution for global warming?
- Endangered species and their conservation
- Divorce rates among young couples
- Family values and their role in a person’s life
- Alternative medicine vs. traditional medicine
- Importance of sleep for a healthy life
- Stem cell research
- Body positivity for teenagers
Informative Essay Topics
Informative essays are similar to research essays, however, they simply present facts and educate readers on a matter. Here you do not get to say what you think, rather you simply discuss your topic and inform your reader about it. Here are some good essay topics:
- Civil War and its significance in American history
- History of slavery in the United States
- The civil rights movement
- The causes and long-term consequences of stress
- Why we procrastinate and how to avoid it
- Racism in the US
- Child obesity
- Cybercrime and how not to be its victim
- The Solar System and its components
- The Milky Way and how to find it in the night sky
- How recycling can save our planet
- Hitler and his military strategies
- The causes of the Vietnam War
- The judiciary system in the United States
- What is ADHD and how does it change lives?
- The consequences of WWII
- Is a college degree necessary to be successful?
- Child abuse and its influence on character development
- Expressionism and its role in art history
- Overpopulation in prisons
Expository Essay Topics
An expository essay's goal is to conduct an analysis of a certain issue based on facts and research. Here you have to explain how exactly things are happening and describe the process or the cause and effect relationship. The biggest difference between expository essays from other types is that the point you are trying to argue is a process of analysis, and is not simply based on your research.
- Why graduating from high school is important
- Things most teenagers worry about
- How to open a credit card and factors to watch out for
- Student loans: pros and cons
- The higher education system in the US
- Why moving is stressful
- Why some things make us happier than others
- How certain music can influence a society
- How to distinguish a leader in a group
- Why most parents are overprotective and strict
- The psychological causes of smoking
- How drinking influences the ability to operate machinery
- Why teenagers join gangs and the dangers associated with it
- The problems with getting pregnant at 16
- Why being compassionate to others is important
- How to overcome the fear of public speaking
- How physical activity improves overall wellness
- The importance of protection during sex
- The consequences of doing drugs
- How skipping classes can jeopardize your college career
Definition Essay Topics
The goal of a definition essay is to define a term. For the most part, these essays are about terms that are not concrete. These terms do not have strict definitions, and they can differ depending on culture or personality. Here are some definition essay topics:
- How do you define success?
- What does love mean to you?
- Kindness and why it is important
- What is optimism and how does it help in life?
- Procrastination and its consequences
- Define Buddhism and its role in the world’s belief systems
- What is happiness for you?
- Define friendship in your life
- Perfectionism: pros and cons
- The institution of marriage explained
- Define terrorism and the reasons for it
- What is peer pressure and how does it influence teenagers?
- Define surrealism in culture
- What does power mean to you?
- Define willpower and how to exercise it daily
- What is global warming, and what causes it?
- Cloning and its consequences for the human race
- Creativity and its importance in life
- Define generosity and how being generous helps people
- Why hate is not the answer
Descriptive Essay Topics
Descriptive essays are similar to narrative essays, though descriptive essays pay even more attention to detail yet have less action. Descriptive essays need to convey a feeling, atmosphere, or place. All of the topics for a descriptive essay are your experiences and things you have a vivid memory of.
- The most recent nightmare you had
- The weirdest travel experience you had
- Describe a museum that has become your favorite
- The happiest day of your life
- Describe your favorite literary character
- The person that inspires you
- The earliest memory you posses
- Talk about one of your friends and describe him/her
- The most beautiful view you have ever seen
- Describe the place that exists solely in your imagination
- Talk about your favorite sport and describe your experience at a live game
- Describe yourself to someone who has never met you
- Talk about your favorite memory
- The most memorable day of school
- Your favorite birthday
- The first time you fell in love: describe your feelings
- Talk about the most embarrassing situation you have been in
- The best city you have been to
- Describe your childhood home
- Talk about an object that is very special to you
Process Essay Topics
Process essays need to explain to your reader(s) how something is done. It is necessary to describe the subject first, and then explain, step by step, how the process happens. The steps can be very precise and gradual. On the contrary, it also can simply be an explanation of a group of actions that do not necessarily follow each other.
- How to drive a car
- How to learn to swim
- How to make your own movie
- How to learn cooking delicious healthy meals
- How to be an A student
- How to pass your SATs
- How to deal with procrastination
- How to be successful in a job search
- How to write your own book
- How to overcome being shy
- How to make new friends
- How to know you’ve met your other self
- How to save money
- How to get rid of a bad habit
- How to exercise regularly
- How to start your own business
- How to choose a used car
- How to make new friends
- How to learn to say “no” to people
- How to let go of unnecessary things
Personal Essay Topics
Personal essays are autobiographical stories that have a friendly, intimate touch to them. The tone of such an essay is usually conversational and reflects the character of the writer. It should also examine certain emotions you have experienced as a result of particular events that have happened to you.
- Your motivation for success
- A special person in your life
- The biggest disappointment you have experienced
- The happiest moment of your life
- A time you were betrayed
- Someone who annoys you
- A time when you lost someone
- How you overcame your worst fear
- A moment you were very brave
- A time when you felt very alone
- A place that is special to your heart
- Your favorite time of the year
- Your bucket list of wishes
- The time you lost a tournament
- An inspirational person you have met
- The biggest act of kindness you have done
- A moment when you learned a life lesson
- A time you got hurt by someone you love
- A place you would like to visit
- A time when you made the wrong choice
Good Persuasive Essay Topics
Although persuasive and argumentative essays may sound like the same exact thing, they do have one distinct difference: what separates persuasive essays from argumentative ones is the type of reasoning they use to defend their point of view. While argumentative essays tend to rely on logic and statistics to make their point, persuasive writing is all about convincing through emotions and morality. Both of these writing styles could discuss similar topics. The difference comes from the methodology used to make their point.
- Hunting wild animals is immoral
- Why microchipping your pet is good
- Is it ethical to clone animals?
- Standardized tests are not for everyone
- School breaks should be longer
- Why PE is necessary in each grade of school
- Vaccines cause autism
- People themselves are the reason for global warming
- How we can save species from extinction
- Everyone must engage in physical activity
- Calorie reduction is the healthiest way to lose weight
- Kids must limit their time with electronics
- Growing up in a single-parent household has long-term consequences
- How the tax system benefits the already wealthy
- Listening to music slows down homework productivity
- Every public space must have free wifi
- When should the adoption not be allowed?
- Euthanasia should be legalized
- Human trafficking must be severely prosecuted
- Prostitution has to be eliminated
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
Compare and contrast essays showcase your ability to find similarities and differences between two or more subjects or points of view. This type of essay is relatively easy and fun to write because you get to express your own thoughts instead of writing bare facts. You can draw parallels and analyze the relationships between objects while explaining to the reader your unique perspective.
- Effects of coffee vs. tea on one’s cognitive ability during studying
- Capitalism vs. Communism
- American North and South during the Civil War
- The anatomical differences between monkeys and humans
- Freelancing vs. working in an office
- What is better: a movie or a book?
- The differences and similarities between Greek and Roman mythology
- The educational system in the US vs. the UK
- Online shopping vs. traditional shopping
- Smaller class sizes vs. bigger class sizes
- Living with parents vs. living on campus
- Electronic book readers vs. physical books
- Online dating vs. real-life encounters
- UK English vs. American English: differences and similarities
- The physical vs. the moral needs of people
- Lord of the Rings vs. Game of Thrones
- Horror films vs. comedies
- Carnivorism vs. veganism
- Biking to school vs. driving a car to school
- Japanese culture vs. Korean culture
Controversial Argumentative Essay Topics
Some topics are more controversial than others. The chances are that you will not necessarily succeed in persuading your reader to take your side – that is why these topics are controversial. Although, it is your job to construct your argument in a way that gives you a chance to change your reader’s mind.
- Should abortions be legal everywhere?
- Should gun control be more strict?
- Should smoking be banned?
- Should marijuana be legalized for medicinal purposes?
- Should people have sex before marriage?
- Should marriages be arranged?
- Should LGBTQ+ have all of the same rights as heterosexuals?
- Is it okay for professional athletes to use steroids?
- Should physical punishment for kids be allowed?
- Is it immoral to have sex scenes on TV?
- Should cheating in school be tolerated?
- Should teenagers have access to contraception?
- Can terrorism be justified with religion?
- Does bullying make people stronger?
- Should small children have access to smartphones and tablets?
- Is 18 a proper age to start voting?
- Are cross-cultural marriages acceptable?
- Is prostitution a crime?
- Should smoking in public places be allowed?
- Should everyone pay the same taxes?
Funny Argumentative Essay Topics
Want to jazz things up a little? How about a funny argumentative essay topic? Humor is a great tool to encourage your reader(s) to be interested in your subject. It serves as a good hook to get your reader interested and make sure he/she keeps reading.
- What would the world look like if animals ruled it?
- What if teachers and students exchanged places?
- How will our lives be different once we have flying cars?
- School dropouts are the most successful
- Why you should drink before an exam
- What if we saw the world through the eyes of dogs
- The reasons Starbucks tastes so good
- How disobeying your parents results in success
- Why passing your driving exam is important
- The best students are the ones who never show up to class
- The best guests are the ones that come already full
- Why I love spam emails
- Why burning down your school is not an option
- Clowns are not as scary as you think
- Why your laundry will not do itself
- Why you should wear a mask even once COVID-19 is over
- What is the worst movie ever?
- How your game-playing skills can help with getting a job
- The reasons I hate country music
- Why movies are better than books