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What are Essay Ideas

  There is no dearth of essay ideas. Ideas drive us on a daily basis. Whether it is the sun or your feelings, a day in your life or an invention, a child’s problem or an office intrigue, a political catastrophe or a painting, you name it, and you have a topic/idea for an essay. Ideas for essays can arise out of your everyday life, happenings around the world, social and scientific matters, or literary concepts.

When you sit to write, your first thought may be—what do I write about? It may help to categorize. Think in compartments such as politics, history, society, national and international news, human rights, environment, biological matters, gender issues, or ethnic matters. Which of these are you comfortable with? Begin to narrow down. If you are comfortable with more than one or two ideas, you need to decide which of them appeal the most? Why? What do you know about them? Do you know them equally well? Now try to jot down points. At one point, you may realize that you know a little more about one than the other, or that you are a little more comfortable with one of them. That’s your topic.

There is another way of looking at this process. If you are writing for admission to a professional course, and you have a list of topics to choose from, you have to consider the following factors:

  • Which topic are you comfortable with?
  • Which topic is relevant for the school you are writing for?
  • Which is relevant to you as an individual?
  • Which is relevant to you as an aspirant for this school?

As you keep ticking off, you will pare down to the topic that best suits your needs.

Here are some essay topics.


  • Cloning is unethical.
  • Abortion should be legalized.
  • Marijuana should be legalized for medicinal use.
  • Ethnic cleansing is justified.


  • Describe a day in your life that affected your future course of work.
  • Describe man’s journey to moon.
  • Describe three paintings/work of sculpture that you saw at the Metropolitan museum.
  • Describe euthanasia as an issue that needs to be resolved.


  • Analyze Hamlet’s character in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet as an insecure prince.
  • Analyze the debate over the First Amendment to the Constitution.
  • Analyze the role of setting in the movie Brokeback Mountain.
  • Analyze the complexity of the main issue in Crash.


  • Compare and contrast President Bush and Clinton’s foreign policy.
  • Compare the treatment of ethnic clash in Hotel Rwanda and Mississippi Burning.
  • Compare and contrast two war poets.
  • Compare and contrast two holiday places you have visited.


  • Explain how your dog senses strangers outside the house.
  • Explain the concept of demand and supply.
  • Explain abuse at the workplace as another way of exploiting women.
  • Explain the idiom: “Make hay while the sun shines.”

Essay ideas are not hard to come by. You only want to decide which the one for you is.

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