When a narrative essay is assigned, most college students see this as an opportunity to showcase personal stories, but unless stated otherwise, this isn’t the case. Narrative essay writing simply means telling a story, but it’s more than just picking out a life experience and talking about it. These essays are told from a defined point of view, which is often the author’s perspective. This means that there is a need to be specific, and the use of sensory details must be employed in order to get the reader involved in the elements and sequences of the narration. The verbs used must be precise and vivid. Since your narrative essay will rely on experiences, it should be in the form of a story. This technique comes with all the conventions of storytelling, such as the characters, plot, climax, setting, and ending. You are expected to include all necessary details and each to be explained carefully, to support and embellish your narration.
By making up a story, describing a memorable event, or writing about your role model, you can create an interesting paper. Take your time to get the right topic to create a masterpiece. Check out the list below of the best narrative essay prompts that will inspire you in ways you never imagined, before you come up with your own theme idea. Once you have chosen your topic, investigate thoroughly and make sure that your content is 100% original. Focus on the topic and go through your best memories with your reader. You will be able to create a fascinating story if you allow your words to flow naturally. Seeing that your narrative essay makes a great impression on the reader is your responsibility as a writer. With that, read the rest of this post as it discusses the importance of a narrative essay, the best ideas for narrative essays, and a list of the best narrative essay prompts.
The importance of choosing a good narrative essay writing topic
Students usually find themselves between two options whenever tasked with narrative essay writing: come up with their own essay ideas, or utilize the topic assigned to them by their professors. Being able to choose an essay topic that is well-thought-out means being able to write a narrative essay that will get you on top.
No matter what kind of paper you may be assigned, a complete paper should be interesting. More importantly, if given the chance to write an essay according to a topic of your choice, then you should choose something you’re interested in; chances are, writing it will only be a blur of passion. Narrative essays are your chance at this, as it’s the only genre of academic writing that promotes imagination and creativity.
As how we should all be dealing with freedom in general, freedom of choice must be treated with caution. Choosing a topic is challenging, because when you’re given the chance to write anything about your life, you will get overwhelmed. Some students work with ideas that first come to mind, only to have them fail after several attempts. You need to remember that your essay topic must not only be interesting to your audience, but appealing to you.
Choosing a topic for a narrative essay
It is integral that you write about things that mean a lot to you. Write a narrative essay about your interests. If you write about things that bore you, make you uncomfortable, or you simply just remain apathetic about, then it will be next to impossible to create an engaging and quality story. The mere process of writing it will be a pain, and will take most of your time up – waste it, even.
Always remember that you should only tell the truth in your story. A good narrative essay topic should be based on your personal experiences, and not those borne out of imagination or fabricated stories.
Look for an example of a paper with a good subject from another student's narrative essay. Of course, this doesn’t give you a free pass to copy it. You can take a look at it, however, as it will help you understand how you can transform your personal experiences and ideas into the best essay. There are other factors to consider, such as the fact that your topic should be creative and original, especially if one of your goals is to attract students and teachers' attention. It should also be written properly and comprehensibly. This way, your readers will enjoy reading your story and others, who have never heard of it, may want to read it as well.
Lastly, choose a topic that will make you passionately write! You will be able to write a fascinating story and involve your readers and listeners in it if your writing is emotionally-charged.
Narrative Essay Topic Ideas
The objective of the narrative essay is simply to teach you to narrate your experiences in a literary manner. To be able to write a good essay, you must first brainstorm about the different aspects of your life, along with the experiences that come with them. They can be both negative and positive, and remember to list them down with as many details as possible.
- Your most embarrassing experience so far
- The most frightening instance you’ve ever found yourself in
- An experience that opened your eyes and allowed you to see values
- An instance that inspired you to treasure life more
- A moment wherein fear overtook, but courage prevailed still
- An uncomfortable or unpleasant personal experience
- Something that taught you to appreciate what you have
- The most memorable day spent with your family
- Your special success story, retold with facts
Your childhood is your developmental years, and if you look back, chances are they’re full of color, with vivid impressions and many firsts. Children are explorers, but their naivety is intertwined with the tendencies to get involved in the most ridiculous of situations. You probably have something interesting to share about your childhood, too. Try to recall as many memories as possible, as these could build a good narrative essay.
- Do you recall that time you scraped your knee at the playground? What happened after?
- Explain a childhood memory which prompted you to understand better and helped you mature.
- Recall your birthday party celebrations. What made them special?
- As a child, what did you dream of becoming?
- What was your favorite game as a kid, and what about it that fascinated you so much?
- Narrate a day where you got hurt as you played with your friends
- Do you miss your favorite childhood game? Why, and what do you miss most about it?
- What was your most valuable possession as a child?
- Did you draw as a child and invented things out of paper?
- What were your favorite shows and cartoon characters?
Your school years
School consumes the vast majority of a child’s life, and is the path to adulthood. This is where you gain knowledge and experiences, which you get from studying and overcoming challenges. As the years pass, your personality develops, from the simplest of things such as preferences, down to the big decisions such as the greater good of the country. Most, if not all, go through school, but the experiences and the challenges that come with it are unique to each and every one. When you decide to write about school, chances are your narrative essay will be original.
- What’s your favorite subject in school, and what about it that interests you?
- Did some of your teachers become role models to you? How have they made an impact in your life?
- When was the first time you took part in a big school event? What happened?
- The most disastrous event you’ve experienced in class
- Tell a story about the teacher you still look up to, and would like to be friends with
- Do you have a childhood teacher you’re still friends with?
- Do you still remember your first best friend in primary school?
- How have your teachers made an impact in your life today?
As the saying goes: no man is an island. Being a human being means being connected to other human beings, in a concept called relationship. Everyone is connected to someone, and they own a pool of memories with family, friends, and people they consider special and loved. Your stories about them will be uniquely yours and theirs, so if asked to write a narrative essay, choosing this as a topic will give you endless of possibilities.
- Have you experienced a friendship breakup? Write about it.
- Who is the person you are most afraid of losing?
- An instance of rejection
- A misunderstanding with a person, and how you overcame it
- Talk about the worst argument you’ve ever had with your parents
- What do you know about being in love? Do you suppose it lasts?
- Write about your first experience with love and the things you’ve learned from it
- What is the importance of loyalty and trust in friendships?
People obey laws in every country, but there are other laws that regulate the lives of people on a wider scale. They are the laws of morality and ethics. Morality has a range of unresolved problems, a solution which usually in the form of a choice. This is either to do something and abide by ethical rules, or to do the opposite and infringe the said rules. Topics on morality are a successful choice for narrative essays, as they are always of immediate interest.
- A difficult decision you had to make, and the outcome of that
- A time where you had to rebel against something or someone
- Morality issues that bother you, and the reason why they do
- Cowardice in a negative spotlight
- Was there a time when your morality was challenged?
- Do you lie often? How much have you already told?
- How do you look at strangers?
- Recall that instance where you’ve eavesdropped
Usually, hobbies and attractive events are the center of your personal interests. As you write a narrative essay on your interests, ask yourself: "What do I enjoy doing?" What music do I like listening to? "What do I like to spend my free time on?”. These are topics which you can write about with maximum passion. Remember that people enjoy reading passionately written material.
- Talk about a movie you’ve watched and how it has affected you
- Do you have a song choice that affects you emotionally?
- What is a skill or talent you’ve always wanted to have?
- Which book character do you most associate with?
- If given the chance to be a filmmaker, what kind of movie would you produce?
- Recall the time when you first discovered your talent.
- If you were to live as a book character, who would you choose to be?
- Are there any celebrities you’ve met in real life?
- How do you feel about sports?
There's a story behind every spot in the world. When you travel, every step of the way will be full of impressions. No matter how many times you’ve seen mountains or the sea, you’ll always be drawn to it. As a unique human being, you own a journey that is full of impressions – share them with your readers. Perhaps you can come up with your own Odyssey – a much, much shorter version, that is.
- Have you ever visited the countryside? Or have you ever visited the city?
- What is your favorite mode of travelling?
- Talk about your first travelling experience
- What are your travel essentials, and what do you think will happen if you accidentally leave them?
- If you had all the money in the world, where would you go?
- In your opinion, where is the best vacation spot?
- What bad experiences have you had as a traveler?
- Talk about the trip you loved the most
The Student Life
College life is different from the life during your school years. It's more adventurous and impressively enriched. You are introduced to new people, subjects, education system, and living conditions that challenge you to become independent. This very reason is why it makes for an amazing basis for stories.
- Talk about your most exhausting exam
- Share about a lecture that changed your perspective
- What happened on the day you first moved in to your college dorm?
- What was the wildest party you’ve ever been invited to
- What demotivated you in college?
- How do you deal with people of different cultures and backgrounds?
- Who influences you the most at the moment
A narrative essay topic that begins with the words "Imagine If or that..." usually requires a story to be created from your point of view, set in the future. This is one of the most popular among students, as it allows them to let their imagination run wild – there is an entire freedom to creativity.
- Imagine you've got a time machine. What time are you going to travel to?
- Imagine being an animal. What animal do you want to be and why?
- Imagine being born in a different country. Where would you like to be born? Why?
- Imagine if you were extremely rich. How do you plan to spend your money?
- Imagine if you were a character from a comic book. What superpower do you want and why would you want it?
Best Narrative Topics of 2019
The search for a good topic is never easy. Even with the prompts given above, it can still be a messy process, where you’ll find your decision-making processors unresponsive. To help, here are some of the most common categories, along with a list of narrative essay topic examples you can resort to. This list will help make it easier to find a theme you’ll be most comfortable working with – you don’t have to ask “choose the topic for my narrative essay” from anyone ever again.
Ideas for a personal narrative essay
Here are some essay topics you can use to create a great school or college paper. They can be useful to anyone who doesn't know where to start! You can be confident in your journey to success by selecting a topic from this list, but do not forget to check your instructor’s requirements, to ensure that the selected topic is appropriate. For a successful topic choice, take a look at this list:
- The most memorable teacher.
- Your new job
- Facing a natural disaster, or how you’ve helped survivors of these calamities
- Little creations by you, and the experience of being able to invent them
- Gaining your faith, and losing it
- Dangerous situations you’ve faced
- Arguments with another person
- Your first travel to the countryside
- A circumstance that changed your behavior
- A time when people chose to help each other during a crisis
- Instances that changed your perception about other people
- Summer vacations from your childhood
- Your secret places or imaginary friends from childhood
- Circumstances that made you realize that your parents or other people were right
- That moment when you finally triumphed over your fear
- Change in your prejudiced views because of other people
- The moment you decided what your future career path will be
- Little instances that taught you big things
- Meeting your first ever pet
- One of the most embarrassing moments
- Your first encounter with a storm or tornado
- A person you disliked in the beginning, but later became a good friend
- A moment where you found yourself lost
- Your first sports experience
- Attending events, whether it be sports, music, or politics
- Instances when you underestimated people who seemed kind and innocent
- The impact of events that touched the whole country on you
- Rebelling against your parents or other people who you didn’t agree with
- Your heroes during childhood, and how they have influenced your life
- The moment when you realized you were wrong about other people
- A truth hidden from you, and how you reacted when you found out about it
- Discovering that other people look up to you and wish to be like you
- A teacher who has inspired you the most
- Tell about the most exhilarating musical experience you’ve ever had
- That present you got on your birthday but didn’t like
- The most impactful truth you’ve learned in your childhood
- A moment in which your opinion changed about the older and younger generations
- Things that changed your relationship with your parents
- Times when you have faced racial and religious discrimination, or witnessed someone go through it
- A time where you had to contact the police to help other people
- Fighting off procrastination, and the results of it
- The day where you had to become a leader
- Realizations about the world, and acknowledging the fact that we’re only a speck in the universe
- School lessons that taught you the most
- Solving a problem and what it has taught you
- The power of technology and how it holds hobbies and behavior
- The most exciting assignment you’ve had in school
- Finding out you were having a sibling
- How you wrote your first essay, and how it has evolved since then
Essay topics ideas for college students
A narrative essay is a good tool to introducing yourself, as its main purpose is to show new colleagues, teachers, and even the school you wish to apply to you qualities as a student.
- Talk about your biggest accomplishment outside of the academic world, and how you achieved it
- If you were to have your own talk show, who would you invite?
- How are you in social media? What’s your personality like?
- Teams and organizations in your life, and how they influence you
- The most complicated assignment you had to do, but end up having the highest grade
- Tell about technology, and the specific tools that play the biggest role in your life
- A cherished memory with someone in your family
- The male and female roles in your family
- Your weirdest experience with someone you don’t know
- Television and how it affects your life
- Keeping a journal or diary (or the reason why you don’t)
- Experiencing something new
- A circumstance that taught you that looks can be deceiving
- Films and books that changed your perspective about the world
- A superpower you wish to have if given the chance, and why
Narrative essay ideas on traveling and the holidays
All students love the holidays and traveling. These topics are interesting because they help reveal your creative potential, and make you remember the most memorable moments in process of writing.The readers also find it interesting because they are full of vivid details, exciting twists and turns, and interesting stories that make them experience it as if they were there.
- Talk about the vacation of your dreams
- The most exciting adventure you’ve had with your friends
- How do you spend your winter holidays?
- Does your family have a tradition? What is it about?
- If you were given the chance to go anywhere, where would you go?
- The most memorable time with your family during the holidays
- Imagine travelling to space as a space tourist. What would you do?
- Do you want to move to a different country?
- Your first hiking experience
- The impact of travelling in your life
- The most famous landmarks you’ve already seen
- What is the best vacation in your life so far?
Essay topics on current events
While it’s good to write about personal experiences, you also have the option to dwell on current events, and how they’ve affected you so far. Here are some topics to consider:
- Discuss the current divisiveness of the nation and how you see it reflected in your immediate life.
- Name one of the Trump administration's policies and discuss how it has had a direct impact on you or your family.
- Do you think racism in America is alive and thriving? Respond through narrating a personal experience.
- How do you feel about the #metoo movement? What do your parents and grandparents think about it?
- Do you think our society is misogynistic? To what extent?
- What is your stand on America’s immigration policy?
- America should rightfully be dubbed as having a gun problem or a violence problem. Pick a side and discuss.
- What do you suppose is the main cause of mass shootings in America, and what do you derive about this?
- If you were given the chance to make an impact and change society, what would you do?
- Is there a certain issue or belief you’re willing to risk your life for? What is it?
- How big of a threat is terrorism, and how should nations be handling it?
- Do you follow a particular news story? What is it and why?
- Cite a change in a society in the last ten years, and discuss its repercussions now.
- What do you think of artificial intelligence?
- How can this nation experience a more solidified stance on unity?
Already have your narrative essay topic? Here’s what’s next
After finding the best essay topic for your writing, study your institution's instructions carefully. Be aware of the length of the papers given in the instructions, the narrative essay format, and then start writing the outline of the narrative essay. Check our writing tips to ease into the writing process:
Tips on narrative essay writing:
- Focus on specific details that are critical to the topic. Try to avoid mentioning off-topic information that is irrelevant.
- Don’t attempt to lie, or manipulate the facts. Look into your experience deeply, as readers will appreciate sincerity.
- Find a way to connect your ideas. Make use of transition words to make your text coherent, flow easily, and to make it easier to read.
- No matter your topic, never forget to write your conclusion. Your narrative essay should end with what you got from the experience.
- Write in a way that will make you invested in reading it. If you end up not liking what you’ve written as you read it, chances are your audience won’t, either.
- See your writing limitations. You can tell a lot about your experience, but you don't have to overload information.
- Remember to be creative.
- Follow the instructions of your instructor carefully. The narrative essay must be written in accordance with stated patterns, even though it is considered as a flexible writing genre.
- Essay editing is essential to the writing process. After writing, make sure to check for any errors in spelling, grammar, or word choice. If you find this hard to do, there are numerous editing service available on the internet. Find one that will work best for you.
Although simple at first, narrative essays are just as tricky to deal with like any other type of essays. The key is to choose a strong story, stick to it, and tell it in the best way possible. You’re a unique human being full of equally unique stories – it’s up to you which one you’ll choose!