To develop interesting essay topics, it is a good idea to consider the aspects of the general topic that you find interesting, to try and determine whether you can find appropriate sources for your essay, and to make sure that you can adequately address the topic in accordance with the essay's length limits and the time in which you have to write it. If you are having difficulty generating interesting essay topics for a class or some other obligation, you may wish to review your class notes or textbooks to get some ideas. Another option is to talk to other people who have an interest or expertise in the subject matter and get their suggestions.
Essay writing can be a difficult task if you do not have a strong interest in the subject matter. In such cases, you may have to work a little harder to come up with two or three topics that are worth considering. By reviewing authoritative articles on the subject matter or pertinent class materials, you should be able to select a few topics on which you are capable of writing. You may also want to consider the individual or individuals who will be reading your essay. If you believe that a professor has an interest in a particular historical figure or specific topics addressed in your class, you may want to focus on that interest as a possible essay topic.
If you are having the opposite problem and are having difficulty choosing from several interesting essay topics, you may wish to focus more on logistics of writing each topic and then choose the one that you believe that you will have the most success at writing. For example, some very interesting essay topics may prove difficult to properly research and you may not be able to find authoritative sources that can add credibility to your essay. In fact, many instructors will insist that your essays be properly footnoted, making the availability of source material very important.
The other thing to consider is whether you feel that you are capable of communicating the point of your essay in accordance with it prescribed length. Some essay topics lend themselves well to short essay lengths, while others may require many pages to thoroughly consider. Also consider your deadline. If you find a topic that seems very interesting but you will need to complete a lot of research and write a fairly lengthy essay, you may be better off choosing another interesting but less complex topic.