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Defining the Success Essay with Topic Examples

Do you consider yourself successful? Why? One of the ways of showing that is to share examples of your achievements in the so-called 'success essay.' Structure and format-wise, it is a typical paper for English composition class written in MLA format. It has the same structure as any other essay does, (the introduction, body, and conclusion), however, it has a certain purpose which is to reveal the meaning of success. It can be written on various success-related topics, but it is defining the word 'success' in your own way that is the primary objective here.

So, let's see which category the success essay may fall into. There are:

  1. Definition essay.
  2. Descriptive.
  3. Narrative.
  4. Expository.
  5. Reflective.
  6. Argumentative.
  7. Persuasive.
  8. Compare and contrast.
  9. Cause and effect.
  10. Process analysis.

You should know exactly which type of paper you are expected to prepare, so read the instructions carefully or ask your teacher for clarification.

"Success is the ultimate goal of each person's life, but every individual treats it in different ways" - that would be a great beginning for the definition essay. Be sure to include an official dictionary definition of the word, but do paraphrase it to avoid being accused of plagiarism. Following that, provide your personal understanding of the word and explain your reasons for it.

In the descriptive paper on this topic, you should explain what your idea of success is or discuss how people become successful (you may pick a specific person and focus on describing their path to success).

If you decide to go with the narrative essay, you should relate a story of someone's success, whereas if you discuss your achievements with examples, your best bet would be the reflective paper.

The most difficult part is to convince the audience to accept your viewpoint. If you simply state that success is all about finding true love but fail to persuade the reader of that, that would be the argumentative paper; however, if you are determined to prove your point to your audience and get them to agree with you, you should stick to the persuasive paper.

In the compare and contrast essay, you may compare ways in which different people achieve success, while in the cause and effect paper the focus should be on explaining the reasons why people become successful and how it affects their lives.

We reckon things should be pretty clear by now, but some students may still be wondering what exactly they should discuss in such type of paper.

Therefore, we have prepared some good success essay topics that will hopefully help you come up with your own original topic:

  • What is success?
    Provide an official dictionary definition of the word and your own interpretation of it.
  • A personal philosophy of success.
    Ways in which different people see and treat the same things differently; list the most popular philosophies and explain them in brief.
  • How do you define success?
    Decide whether you are successful or not and provide your reasons - this will help you come up with your own definition of success.
  • Personal success plan.
    It could be a process analysis essay or how-to guide, but you should get creative about it.
  • Failure is key to success.
    Try to recall situations when failure became a reason for success.
  • Determination leads to success (explain why).
  • Success comes to those who work hard.
    You may either agree or disagree with this statement. Of course, there are cases in history when lazy people became successful thanks to their money and connections. You may write an argumentative essay in which you discuss this viewpoint in the form of debate.
  • Success is never easy.
    It would be a good idea to use the same prompt as in the previous point.

Now, let's see how all of the above applies to the actual essays by analyzing excerpts from the papers written by our professional writers.

What Does Success Mean to You?

"When I was a kid, I used to think that becoming a celebrity is all that it takes to achieve success. I was dreaming about joining a famous rock band like "Guns N' Roses", and that was my idea of making it big in life. However, is it really synonymous with being happy? As time went by, I came to realize that having a wealthy family means a lot more than just being a successful rock star, and here's why..."

Is a College Degree Necessary for Success?

"Many teens today argue that a college degree is not important. It is true that anyone can find a job, but how good of a job that will be depends on how qualified the applicant is. Having skills and experience is equally important when applying for a job, and it is hard to imagine a good specialist without a college or university degree. My parents stressed the importance of education to me when I was still young and did not care a bit about my studies. Without an MBA degree that I got thanks to their help, I could hardly imagine myself holding a CEO position at one of the leading IT companies in the US..."

The Way to Success

"In this paper, I would like to tell a story of my close friend Diane, who is a famous singer now. When we first met, she could barely talk, let alone sing, and I could never imagine her performing like Whitney Houston or Christina Aguilera some day. She certainly knew what she wanted to achieve in life, and her persistence and hard work brought her where she is now. She is now living in a nice pink house with a pool located in one of LA's most prestigious districts. So, let me tell you how she achieved all that..."

Keep in mind that you should not mention the word "success" all the time, but be sure to make it your keyword.

Let's check out some other insightful and thought-provoking ideas that can help make your paper more original.

Success and Failure

"The success story I'd like to focus on is that of the famous Macedonian ruler - Alexander the Great. Though he achieved a lot and was greatly revered by his own people, not everyone knows about some of his early failures that made it possible for him to conquer more than 70% of all known land by his early 30s..."

Persistence is key to success

"As a man sows, so shall he reap." A great way of starting your essay, isn't it? So why not also include some literary quotes in it, or quotations from famous people, rhetorical questions, jokes, facts, etc.?

In this essay, you can explain the quote you're citing or just provide some examples of persistence playing a decisive role in people's becoming successful. You may say that there are always two sides of the same coin, and, sometimes, persistence can be associated with negativity. However, when it comes to success, those striving to achieve it should be persistent and confident, as well as know their strengths and weaknesses as not to end up face down in the dirt.

Hard work is the key to success

"God helps those who help themselves", and isn't it true when it comes to achieving success! In such a paper, you should come up with examples of people who worked really hard to become successful, explaining the importance of investing time and effort.

Optimism is the key to success

Successful people are nearly always optimists. At least they try to look cheerful and encourage others to be the same way too. You can talk about what a simple smile or a compliment can do to change people's lives for the better. You can also ask yourself: "Why are optimistic people usually successful?" and try and come up with a list of possible answers, writing them all down on a separate paper sheet.

Perseverance is the key to success

Perseverance is another word for persistence - actually, the two are synonyms. However, not all people are aware of this word, so you can kill two birds with one stone by providing its definition and then showing how it is related to success. You can also use some great idiom, such as "Mess with the bull, get the horns", to make your paper sound more vibrant and memorable.

Patience is the key to success

You may write a great compare and contrast essay showing how similar and yet different patience and persistence can be. Make an emphasis on the fact that both qualities are important for one's success and that it is critical to strike a balance between them.

Education is the key to success

You may write about the importance of homework and education in general. Try to convince your classmates of the importance of higher education by providing some real-life example. For instance, you can explain why your parents became successful and cite their college degrees as proof.

University is not the only way to success

Unlike in the previous case, you should focus more on other key factors contributing to people's success. Explain why education is significant and mention how people's personal qualities can help them become successful. Cite the talents that can make some people more successful than others.

As you can see, success essay isn't as narrow as you might've thought! You just need to buckle up and handle it like a serious college student you are. And if the strain is much, you know where to find the best custom writing help... Right here!

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There are different types of essays: narrative, persuasive, compare\contrast, definition and many many others. They are written using a required citation style, where the most common are APA and MLA. We want to share some of the essays samples written on various topics using different citation styles.

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