Here are a few personal essay titles that I gave to my Junior Certs today. I’m really just posting them here so I’ll have them for again! Most of them are taken from a random selection of previous exam papers. Some of the titles that usually come up lean in particular directions – towards descriptive short stories or dialogue heavy ‘scenes’; others towards journalistic opinion pieces – so I’ve avoided them deliberately because I want today to be about the art of personal writing. What these titles have in common is that they ask you to insert yourself into the essay, to reveal who you are as a person – your thoughts, beliefs, experiences, hopes, dreams, personality and sense of humour.
- The things about myself I’d most like to change
- In 30 years time…
- Childhood memories
- Life’s little luxuries
- A significant event that changed my life
- It’s a weird and wonderful world
p.s. Another title I made up recently that produced some interesting responses from Leaving Certs was “Write a personal essay about some of the funniest/most embarrassing moments of your life so far”.