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50 Engaging Narrative Essay Topics for High Schoolers
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Narrative essays vs. analytical essays, how to pick the right narrative essay topic, elements of a strong narrative essay, engaging narrative essay topics for high schoolers, where to get your narrative essay edited for free.
Narrative essays are an extensive form of writing that gives readers the opportunity to follow along as a person goes through a journey or sets of experiences. Rather than providing analytic insight, narrative essays simply share a story and offer a first-person account. These essays may seem easy to write at first, but it takes a certain finesse to write a narrative essay that is interesting, cohesive, and well-researched. Whether you’re looking for a unique topic to write about, or just want some new inspiration, CollegeVine is here to help! These 50 narrative essay topics are engaging, unique and will have you writing in no time.
A narrative essay is a great way to express your personal experiences and opinions, but it is important to remember that this type of essay is different from an analytical paper. In a narrative essay, you do not need to provide background information or explain your thoughts and feelings; instead, you simply tell a story. It’s important to avoid too much telling in your writing; instead, use creative details and vivid imagery to make readers feel as if they are actually right there with you.
Where You Will Encounter Narrative Essays
This type of essay is typically encountered in high school, where students may be required to write personal statements to prepare for their Common App essay . Narrative essays are also commonly seen in AP Language and Composition. Therefore, it’s important you are aware of the style because you are bound to have a narrative essay assignment.
Of course, before you start writing, it is important to pick the right essay topic. There are many factors involved in the process of picking the perfect narrative essay topic for your story.
You should always choose a topic that you are passionate about, since writing on something you care about will make the process much easier. Not only will it be more interesting to create your paper around something that truly interests you, but it will also allow you to fully express yourself in your essay. You also want to be sure that the topic has enough material to work with. If your chosen topic is too short, you will not have enough content to write a complete paper. For example, if you are writing about your experience getting lost at the mall, make sure that you have enough information to work with to craft an engaging narrative.
The best topic for an engaging narrative essay is one that focuses on showing versus telling, has a clear structure, and provides a dialogue. These elements come together to form an engaging narrative essay. Regardless of what subject you pick, any topic may be turned into a fascinating, A+ worthy narrative using the tips below.
Show, Don’t Tell
To write a good narrative essay, it’s important to show, not tell. Instead of simply informing your audience, show them what you mean. For example, instead of saying “I was nervous,” you could say “My heart began to race and my stomach filled with butterflies.” Also make sure to use sensory details, such as sights, sounds and tastes, and include a personal reflection at the end of your narrative.
Begin with a Strong Opening Line
A good narrative essay will begin with an attention-grabbing opening line. But make sure to avoid common clichés, such as “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Instead, come up with something original and specific to you and your situation. For example: “My pre-calc teacher was obsessed with circles. I mean, he even used circular note cards.” Or, “It all started the day my mom brought home a guinea pig.”
Follows a Three-Act Structure
A strong narrative essay follows the same three-act structure as other essays. But in order to make it interesting, you’ll need to come up with a creative way to break things down into sections. For example, using the guinea pig example from above, you could write the following:
- Act 1 – Introduction: The day my mom brought home a guinea pig.
- Act 2 – Conflict: The day I had to say goodbye to my beloved pet.
- Act 3 – Conclusion: Looking back at how much I miss him now that he’s gone.
Conclude with Personal Reflection
To conclude your narrative essay, you’ll want to explain what this specific experience taught you or how you’ve changed. For example, upon realizing that her pre-calc teacher was obsessed with circles, the writer of the previous example begins to notice circular shapes everywhere. Another way to conclude your narrative essay is by touching on how this experience impacted you emotionally. For example, after losing his guinea pig, the writer explains how much he missed it.
Include a conversation in your essay to make it come alive. For example, instead of simply saying that you met a new friend, talk about how you introduced yourselves or what they were wearing when you met them.
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The following list of 50 narrative essay topics is divided into categories. This will make it easier to find a topic that fits your writing style.
1. What is a childhood song that still sticks with you today?
2. Your first day of Kindergarten
3. Talk about a time when you’re siblings looked up to you
4. Describe the best birthday party you’ve ever had
5. Talk about the best day you ever spent with a childhood friend
6. Explain your first childhood hobby
7. Describe your first halloween costume
8. A family vacation gone wrong
9. Your first family reunion
10. Describe a tradition that is unique to your family
11. Describe your family to a person who’s never met them before
12. What frustrates you most about your family
13. If you could only keep one memory of your family, what would it be and why?
14. Describe a time your family embarrassed you in public
15. The most beautiful place in the world
16. Your favorite season and why
17. If you were a part of nature, what element would you be? Why?
18. When you go outside, which of your senses are you most thankful to have?
19. Describe the first time you witnessed a tornado
20. Write a poem about your favorite season
21. Describe yourself as one of the four seasons
22. Describe a time in which you felt connected with nature
23. Describe the first time you played an instrument and how you felt
24. What major event would be much worse if music was removed, and why?
25. If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
26. What would a life without music look like?
27. If you could master one instrument, what would it be and why?
28. What if you had never met your best friend?
29. Describe a time when you fixed a broken relationship
30. Talk about a movie that defined a relationship for you
31. Describe your first date
32. Describe the first time you made a friend
33. Describe your relationship with your parents
34. Have you ever fooled someone? If so, describe what happened and how you felt about it
35. What is the worst thing you’ve done to someone else?
36. Write about the difference between how things seem and how they really are.
37. Have you ever been embarrassed in some way? If so, describe the situation and how it affected you as well as those around you
38. Have you ever witnessed something really beautiful? Describe it
39. Is your glass half empty or half full?
40. Have you ever been very afraid of something but tried your hardest to appear fearless? If so, describe that experience
41. When have you ever succeeded when you thought you might fail
42. What are your secret survival strategies?
43. Describe the last time you were stressed and why?
44. Describe a time when you were discriminated against
45. The most memorable class you’ve had and why
46. Your favorite study abroad memory
47. Describe your kindergarten classroom
48. Describe your first teacher
49. The first time you experienced detention
50. Your first field trip
Hopefully these topics will get you thinking about a personal experience that could make for a thoughtful and engaging narrative essay. Remember, a strong narrative essay must contain relatable details and a clear flow that keeps the reader entertained and engaged to read all the way to the end.
If you need some additional guidance on your narrative essay, use CollegeVine’s free peer review essay tool to get feedback for free!
Related CollegeVine Blog Posts
200 Best Narrative Essay Topics and Ideas
Imagine being put in a time capsule with an artificial intelligence chauffeur who asks you, 'Which one of your memories would you like to access?'.
This scenario is rather accurate for a narrative essay. Your storyline, voice, and writing style distinguish this type of writing from others. The best option to satisfy your professor's demands and the criteria outlined in the grading scale is to acquire prompt academic assistance from the EssayPro's narrative essay writing service . Continue reading to find out how to write a narrative essay like a true professional and have a look at our narrative essay examples below!
Narrative Essay Definition and Types of Essay
Before we continue, let's briefly discuss what is a narrative paper. A narrative essay definition is a form of academic assignment that uses a tale about the author's personal experience to make a point. It's not enough to merely tell an amusing tale. Narrative essays rely on settings, character growth, dialogue, conflicts & resolutions, and turning points.
The other purpose of such writing is to stress reasons for sharing the episode and the significance of the experience provided. The narrative essay structure is less rigidly organized than the persuasive essay.
Speaking of which, a narrative essay format follows a typical layout. Everything in these papers needs to maintain a predetermined chronology and have a distinct beginning, middle, and end.
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Narrative Essay Topic Ideas
Literacy Narrative Essay Topics for College Students
Brainstorm the following literacy narrative essay topics for college:
- The Book That Ignited Your Passion for Literature
- A Book or Writer That Has Had an Enormous Effect on Your Writing
- How You Developed the Ability to Read and Compose
- Your Journey with Learning a Foreign Language
- A Tutor or Guide Who Sparked Your Passion for Literature
- The Effects of Technology on Your Reading and Writing Practices
- How Reading and Writing Have Impacted Your Sense of Self and Outlook on Life
- A Noteworthy Written Task or Venture
- A Literary Figure That You Can Identify With Personally
- How Reading Affects Your Capacity for Critical Thought
- Why Keeping a Personal Notebook Is Valuable
- The Influence of Literature on Standards of Society and Culture
- The Impact That Social Media Has on Literary and Verbal Habits
- The Importance of Literacy in Terms of Your Job Aspirations
- Your Prior Experience Crafting a Novel or Other Substantial Piece of Literature
- The Value of Reading and Composing in Everyday Situations
- How Writing Has Assisted You in Overcoming Hardships or Traumatic Experiences
- The Effects of Literature and Reading on Emotional Wellness
- The Impact of Bookshops or Libraries on Your Literary Habits
- The Impact of a Specific Literary Genre on Your Literary and Artistic Patterns
Personal Narrative Essay Topics on Relationships
Ponder your past experiences and share them with others through these personal narrative essay ideas:
- The Influence of Your Early Life on the Decisions You Make About Your Relationships
- A Partnership That Came as a Surprise
- The Growth of Your Bond with a Brother or Sister or Parent
- A Moment When You Had to Finish a Detrimental Relationship
- The Importance of Communication in Preserving Strong Connections
- A Sudden Conclusion to a Relationship
- The Consequences of Having a Relationship over a Long Distance
- A Connection That Aided You in Discovering a New Enthusiasm or Hobby
- The Feeling of Being in Love for the First Time
- A Connection That Showed You the Importance of Compassion
- An Affiliation That Enlightened You to the Significance of a Societal Matter
- The Tribulations and Successes of Keeping a Lasting Bond.
- My Journey Through Long-Distance Love: What I've Learned.
- The Effect of My Parents Splitting Up on My Own Connections.
- How a Close Pal Aided Me During a Difficult Separation.
- Exploring the Path to Loving Myself and Others: The Significance of Interaction in Establishing Lasting Connections.
- Growing from Betrayal: Relearning to Trust Again.
- The Value of Shared Beliefs in a Romantic Partnership.
- My Relationship with my Sibling: Reflections on Forgiveness and Compassion.
- Uncovering Friendship in Unexpected Areas
Best Narrative Essay Topics on Education and Learning
Check out some good narrative essay topics - from special moments to everyday experiences - to get your creativity flowing and tell your story.
- How Teachers Shape Students' Lives
- My Journey with Online Learning During the Pandemic
- The Influence of School Uniforms on Students' Educational Experience
- Battling a Learning Disability or Difficulty
- The Significance of Extracurricular Activities in Education
- Pros and Cons of Homeschooling
- How Learning a Second Language can be Advantageous
- Technology's Influence on Teaching and Education
- My Involvement in Overseas Study Programs
- The Issues Facing First-Time University Attendees.
- The Influence of Social Expectations on Education and Learning.
- Rewards and Drawbacks of Standard Examinations.
- The Relevance of Analytical Thinking in Education.
- The Effects of Parental Participation on Student Achievement.
- My Most Impactful Educational Encounter.
- The Importance of Libraries in Teaching and Education.
- The Advantages of Continuing Education.
- The Significance of Imagination in Instruction
- The Merit of a Liberal Arts Education
- The Influence of Education on Intergenerational Mobility
Personal Narrative Essay Ideas on Reflection on Life
Grant readers the chance to gain insight into your individual experiences and feelings in an interesting and captivating manner through these ideas for personal narratives:
- The Most Memorable Experience of My Life So Far
- A Challenge I Have Successfully Overcome
- A Person Who Has Had a Profound Influence on Me
- The Value of Family in My Life
- My Biggest Blunder and the Wisdom Gained From It
- A Moment of Taking a Chance Which Brought a Positive Result
- How My Thinking and Principles Evolved Over Time
- An Occasion When I Discovered Something New About Myself
- The Impact, a Difficult Incident, Had on My Life
- An Occasion of Failing and What I Grew From It
- The Part of Friendship in My Existence
- A Selection I Made That Influenced My Life
- The Value of Taking Care of Myself in My Life
- An Error That Showed Me the Value of Travel
- The Meaning of Travel in My Life
- When I Learned to Forgive Myself or Others
- The Significance of Giving to Others in My Life
- A Moment When I Understood What Was Truly Significant to Me
- When I Acknowledged the Importance of Education in My Life
- Coming to Terms with the Need for Adaptation
Ideas for a Narrative Essay on Culture and Society
Come up with captivating ideas for narrative essays on culture and society that will resonate with your readers.
- How Cultural Diversity Has Had an Influence on My Life
- The Customs and Traditions That Have Forged My Identity
- My Time Living Overseas and Being Imbued with Distinct Cultures
- The Significance of Cuisine in Different Cultures and Nations
- A Moment in Which I Felt Disoriented by My Own Culture
- The Consequences of Taking Cultural Elements for One's Own Use
- The Influence of Music on Cultures and Communities
- A Moment When I Felt Alienated in My Own Culture
- Language as a Factor in Cultural and Social Development
- Art's Contribution to Shaping Culture and Society
- Honoring Diversity in Our Communities
- Globalization's Influence on Cultural and Social Structures
- Religion's Place in Culture and Society
- My Encounter with Prejudice or Discrimination
- Social Media's Effect on Culture and Society
- Popular Culture's Impact on Society
- A Cultural Experience That Amazes Me
- Safeguarding Cultural Traditions: Why It Matters
- The Meaning of Festivals and Celebrations in Different Cultures
- Examining the Impact of Education on Encouraging Intercultural Appreciation and Tolerance
Narrative Writing Topics on Hobbies and Interests
Turn your passions and hobbies into insightful narrative topics!
- The Start of My Photography Journey: Reflecting on How It All Began and What I Discovered
- The Rush of Adrenaline: Reflecting on My Experience with Extreme Activities like Skydiving
- The Pleasure of Gardening: Sharing My Fondness for Cultivating and Growing Plants
- The Aesthetic of Art: Sharing My Experiences and Appreciation for Different Art Forms and Styles
- My Experiences as a Musician: How I Began Performing and the Impact It Has Had On Me
- A Journey into the Marvels of Cooking: My Experiences in the Kitchen and Recipes I Love
- My Love of Literature: My Fondness for Reading and Writing
- Crafting My Own Life: My Love for Constructing and Making Things
- My Passion for Fashion: My Fascination with Style and Latest Trends
- Touring the Globe: My Journeys and Adventures
- My Love of Exercise: How I Keep Moving and Its Significance to Me
- Gathering Treasures: The Collectibles That Mean the Most to Me and Why
- Penmanship: Exploring the Various Forms of Writing and How It Enriches My Life
- The Fun of Gaming: My Preferred Video Games and What I've Gained From Them
- Dance Appreciation: My Passion for Different Dance Types and What It Signifies to Me
- The Excitement of the Wild: My Forays into Hiking, Camping, and Investigating Nature
- My Fervor for Animals: My Zeal for Nurturing and Understanding Distinct Species
- My Fascination with the World of Fashion Design and Making Clothes
- My Passion for Music and Collecting Vintage Vinyl Records
- The Marvel of Magic: My Affection for Showing and Acquiring Various Magic Stunts
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Narrative Essay Titles on Life-Changing Moments
Life is an unpredictable journey, and at times, we stumble upon a situation that forever redirects our lives. Consider writing the following narrative essay titles on the life-changing moment:
- The Day I Became Aware of My Inner Resilience
- The Instant I Chose to Take Charge of My Fate
- The Moment I Knew I Could Shape My Own Destiny
- When I Lost Everything and Discovered Myself
- The Time I Learned to Forgive
- The Day I Found My Life Purpose
- The Day I Defeated My Fear of Failure and Discovered the Power of My Voice
- Achieving My Goals and Experiencing My Dream Come True
- A Day of Discovery - Uncovering My Voice and Gaining the Courage to Speak
- When I Abandoned the Past and Embraced the Now
- The Moment I Resolved to Follow My Intuition
- When I Learned to Appreciate My Strengths and Weaknesses
- The Discovery of a Real Bond
- Conquering My Bias and Growing More Tolerant of Others
- The Occasion I Encountered My Perfect Match
- The Instance I Perceived I Had Influenced Someone's Life
- When I Beat My Addiction and Reclaimed My Life
- Achieving Harmony and Releasing Grudges: My Story
- When I Underwent a Life-Altering Epiphany
- The Moment I Opted to Chase My Goals and Strive for a Craving
Good Narrative Topics on Travel and Adventure
Exploring some exciting traveling adventures will make amazing personal narrative titles!
- My Trip to the Himalayas - A Life-Transforming Experience
- A Transformative Backpacking Trip Through Europe
- My Exploration of the Untamed Wilderness of Iceland
- My Grand Adventure Across America
- When I trekked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
- Exploring the Exotic Islands of Southeast Asia
- Immersing Myself in the Culture of the Middle East
- My Solo Journey Through South America
- Overcoming My Fear of Heights on a Skydiving Trip
- My Triumph on the Highest Peak in the World
- Uncovering the Treasures of Central America
- My Voyage Aboard a Yacht
- My Never-to-Be-Forgotten Safari Journey in Africa
- During My Tour of Egypt's Ancient Wonders
- Submerging Myself in the Great Barrier Reef Underwater World
- Incredible Adventure Across the Australian Wilderness
- Meeting Indigenous Tribes in the Amazon Jungle
- Trekking in the Canadian Rockies: A Wild Adventure
- My Experience Dog Sledding Across the Arctic Tundra
- My Remarkable Adventure to the Land of Oz
Narrative Essay Topic Ideas on Career and Work Experience
Checking out what the future might hold career-wise or revisiting past job experiences can serve as great narrative essay topics for college students.
- My Search to Uncovering My Ideal Profession
- The Occupation That Formed My Work Habits
- When I made the Bold Move to Become a Business Owner
- My Career Shift: From Corporate to Non-Profit
- My Greatest Professional Challenge and How I Overcame It
- Uncovering My Mentor and Acquiring the Resources to Succeed in My Field
- The Biggest Agreement I Closed in My Professional Life
- My Experiences Overseas and What I Picked Up from Another Culture
- Realizing the Vitality of Work-Life Harmony
- My Experience of Taking a Risk That Led to Success in My Professional Life
- When I Was Rewarded with a Promotion and Found Myself in a Leadership Role
- My Journey of Joining a Start-Up Company and Seeing It Pay Off
- A Failure at Work That Taught Me an Important Lesson
- Exploring the Benefits of a Graduate Degree for Professional Growth
- The Shift from Intern to a Full-Time Position: My Story
- Working with a Team Influenced My Perspective on Collaboration
- The Project I Worked On That Had a Considerable Effect on the Lives of a Lot of People
- Attaining Harmony Between Work and Life as a Solo Parent
- Coming to Understand the Value of Being Truthful in My Work
- A Chronicle of My Journey Starting a Side Gig While Employed Full-Time
Interesting Narrative Essay Topics about Challenges and Obstacles
If you're still unsure what to write about in a narrative essay, think back to any tough times you had and how you got through them.
- Conquering My Fear of Public Speaking
- Enduring a Health Crisis to Emerge as a Stronger Person
- Overcoming Mental Health Issues and Growing Stronger
- Dealing with the Difficulties of Nurturing a Child with Special Requirements
- Conquering Financial Strife and Acquiring Financial Control
- When I Stood Up for My Rights and Had an Impact
- Juggling the Demands of Employment and Family
- Conquering a Physical Disability and Achieving My Ambitions
- My Path to Overcoming Addiction and Gaining Sobriety
- Adapting to an Unknown Culture or Surroundings
- Overcoming an Unfavorable Relationship and Discovering Self-Affection
- Overcoming My Most Dreadful Anxiety
- Conquering a Professional Bump in the Road
- Surviving a Harrowing Event
- Surmounting a Learning Disability to Reach Success
- My Struggle for Fairness After Facing Discrimination
- Overcoming Procrastination and Enhancing Productivity: My Battle
- Overcoming the Challenge of Establishing a Business from the Ground Up and Achieving Success
- When I Successfully Bridged a Language Gap and Communicated Efficiently
- Beating Social Anxiety and Strengthening My Social Proficiency
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FAQs on Narrative Writing Topics
After exploring a seemingly endless list of narrative essay topics, our admission essay writing service has some additional information that can help you with your writing. Let us take a look at the most frequently asked questions on narrative essay writing!
What is a Proper Narrative Essay Definition?
A narrative essay is a type of academic assignment that uses the story of the author's own experience to illustrate an idea. It is not sufficient to simply tell an interesting story. To be successful, good personal narrative topics must include elements such as settings, character development, dialogue, conflicts and resolutions, and climaxes.
Another reason for writing this kind of essay is to highlight the reasons for recounting the episode and the impact of the experience. The narrative essay is not as rigidly organized as the persuasive essay. With respect to this, narrative essays follow a standard format. All elements in these essays must be in a certain order and have a clear start, middle, and conclusion.
How to Choose Narrative Essay Topics?
Selecting good narrative topics may set you up for a challenge, particularly when you're trying to write a story that intrigues and fascinates your readers. Fortunately, there are many different ways and topics you can investigate to create a memorable narrative essay. Whether you're among university or high school students, here are some tips for coming up with a killer topic:
- Consider your own adventures : For narrative writing topics, draw from your own experiences. Reflect on a noteworthy occurrence in your life that you can share with your readers. This can be a journey, a momentous event, or an accomplishment of yours.
- Establish a purpose: Ponder what notion or message you wish to present in your narrative essay. This can facilitate you in refining your possible topic choices and forming a more centered and consistent essay.
- Opt for an unusual viewpoint: To make your narrative essay stand out, go for an uncommon viewpoint or outlook. This could be a different way of examining a commonplace subject or a novel interpretation of a familiar story.
- Use sensory details to bring your narrative essay to life. This will aid your readers in becoming immersed in the story, resulting in a more vivid and powerful experience.
- Take your audience into account : Reflect upon who your readers are and what they may find intriguing. This may assist you in choosing a subject that will be relevant to them and hold their attention.
- Allocate some time to compile a list of possible ideas for a narrative essay. Don't assess the ideas; just make a note of them and observe what arises.
After finding a topic that suits your mood, do some brainstorming. Write all of the possible scenarios on a piece of paper and organize them into a unique narrative essay outline. Follow the instructors of your professor. Most of your questions have probably been answered there. Our essay service has compiled some writing tips to help you manage your essay without any hassle.
Narrative Essay Examples
In this narrative essay example provided by our essay service , you can explore a proper paper structure while also observing the capacity of storytelling to create a strong emotional bond with readers. By giving us full-on descriptions and bringing the senses to life, you'll feel like the author is right there with you and you're living the story.
If the sample was up your alley, you might be into the piece on the case study format . It's worth a read!
As we come to an end, our 200 narrative essay ideas should have given you a good head start on your next writing project! Remember, whether you're writing about a momentous occasion, a beloved memory from your childhood, or a realization you had, a narrative essay written with care can really have an effect on readers.
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Narrative Essay Topics
Best Narrative Essay Topics 2023 for Students
Published on: Jun 19, 2018
Last updated on: Nov 16, 2023
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Are you a student in 2023, looking for some awesome narrative essay topics that are easy to grasp and fun to write about?
You're in luck! Narrative essays let you share your stories, making them a perfect choice for students.
In this guide, we've put together a list of the best narrative essay topics for 2023.
Whether you're an experienced writer searching for fresh ideas or a student hunting for an exciting topic for your next assignment, we've got your back. These topics will ignite your imagination and captivate your readers.
So, let's dive in!
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Narrative Essay Topics for Students
If you're a student looking for a diverse range of topics, we've got you covered with a diverse selection of narrative essay topics.
Narrative Essay Topics for Grade 5
- My First Day at a New School
- The Time I Learned to Ride a Bike
- A Visit to a Haunted House
- The Day I Met a Real-Life Superhero
- My Most Memorable Family Vacation
- A Surprising Encounter with an Animal
- The Mystery of the Missing Homework
- The Best Birthday Party I Ever Had
- When I Lost a Tooth
- My Adventure in a Fantasy World
Narrative Essay Topics for Grade 6
- An Unforgettable Camping Trip
- The Day I Discovered a Hidden Talent
- A Mysterious Letter and Its Consequences
- A Time I Had to Stand Up for What's Right
- The Thrilling Mystery of a Forgotten Diary
- A Memorable Encounter with a Famous Person
- My Journey Through a Fantasy Land
- The Day I Learned a Valuable Life Lesson
- An Unexpected Act of Kindness
- A Secret Adventure in an Abandoned Place
Narrative Essay Topics for Grade 7
- The Most Exciting Adventure of My Life
- The Day I Overcame a Fear
- A Memorable School Field Trip
- The Strangest Mystery I Ever Encountered
- An Unforgettable Encounter with Wildlife
- A Life-Changing Decision I Had to Make
- The Best Book I Ever Read and Why
- A Day in the Life of a Time Traveler
- The Importance of Friendship in My Life
- A Valuable Lesson Learned from a Mistake
Narrative Essay Topics for Grade 8
- A Time I Faced a Difficult Moral Dilemma
- The Most Memorable Summer Vacation
- The Impact of a Life-Altering Decision
- An Unexpected Act of Kindness I Received
- The Day I Stepped Out of My Comfort Zone
- A Historical Event I Would Like to Witness
- A Special Family Tradition and Its Significance
- A Personal Achievement I'm Proud Of
- A Challenging Obstacle I Overcame
- A Journey Through My Creative Imagination
Narrative Essay Topics for Grade 9
- The Transition to High School: Challenges and Triumphs
- A Life-Changing Encounter with an Inspiring Mentor
- My First Part-Time Job and What I Learned
- The Day I Realized the Power of Empathy
- The Impact of a Personal Passion or Hobby
- An Unforgettable Travel Experience Abroad
- A Meaningful Community Service Project I Participated In
- The Role of Technology in My Life
- A Defining Moment in My Cultural Identity
- My Vision for the Future: Dreams and Aspirations
Narrative Essay Topics for O-Levels
- The Day I Took a Leap of Faith
- An Unforgettable Journey into the Unknown
- A Life-Altering Decision I Made in High School
- An Encounter with a Stranger That Changed My Perspective
- The Role of Resilience in Overcoming a Personal Challenge
- The Impact of a Cultural Exchange Experience
- A Lesson Learned from a Unique Life Experience
- The Importance of Perseverance in Achieving a Goal
- My Most Memorable Academic Achievement
- A Glimpse into My Future: Aspirations and Ambitions
Narrative Essay Topics for Highschool
- The Moment I Discovered My Passion
- A Life-Changing Journey Abroad
- A Challenging Decision That Shaped My Future
- An Unexpected Act of Kindness That Touched My Heart
- The Role of Resilience in Overcoming Adversity
- A Personal Experience That Shaped My Values
- The Impact of Technology on My Generation
- A Time I Took a Stand for a Cause I Believe In
- A Memorable Leadership Role I Assumed
- A Glimpse into My Ideal Future: Aspirations and Goals
Narrative Essay Topics for College
- The Journey to Finding My Academic Passion
- A Life-Altering Study Abroad Experience
- The Transformational Impact of a Challenging Decision
- Navigating the Transition from College to the Professional World
- An Unforgettable Encounter with a Mentor or Role Model
- The Role of Adversity in Shaping My Personal Growth
- A Significant Ethical Dilemma I Faced in College
- How My College Experiences Have Shaped My Worldview
- The Impact of Technology on My College Education
- A Personal Reflection on My Career Aspirations and Goals
Narrative Essay Topics for University
- The Evolution of My Academic and Career Goals at University
- An Eye-Opening Internship Experience That Impacted My Future
- A Transformative Study Abroad Journey
- Navigating the Complexities of Balancing Work, Academics, and Social Life at University
- The Role of a Unique Research Project in My Academic Growth
- A Personal Account of Overcoming a Significant Academic Challenge
- A Meaningful Leadership Role in a University Organization
- The Journey of Self-Discovery Through Elective Courses at University
- The Impact of Peer Relationships and Networking at University
- How My University Education Has Shaped My Perspective on Global Issues
Unique Narrative Essay Topics for Students
We've gathered distinct narrative topic ideas to fuel your creativity. Let’s look at some personal narrative ideas to inspire your narrative writing.
Descriptive Narrative Essay Topics
- A Peaceful Day by the Riverside
- Exploring a Haunted House
- My Favorite Childhood Memory
- A Walk Through an Ancient Forest
- The Perfect Winter Wonderland
- An Evening at a Carnival
- A Visit to a Vibrant Art Gallery
- The Spectacular Colors of Autumn
- A Day in the Life of a Beach
- An Exciting Night in the City
Personal Narrative Essay Topics
- A Life-Changing Decision I Made
- A Moment of Personal Triumph
- Overcoming My Greatest Fear
- A Meaningful Lesson from a Personal Challenge
- The Role of a Special Friend in My Life
- A Time When I Broke a Personal Record
- The Impact of a Mentor on My Life
- My Journey to Self-Discovery
Literacy Narrative Essay Topics
- My Earliest Memory of Learning to Read
- The Book That Sparked My Love for Reading
- A Life-Changing Experience in a Library
- The Impact of a Special Teacher on My Writing Skills
- How Technology Has Shaped My Writing Habits
- A Personal Reflection on My Writing Journey
- The Role of Literature in Shaping My Perspective
- Writing as a Tool for Self-Expression and Healing
- How I Overcame Writer's Block
- The Significance of Storytelling in My Life
Engaging Narrative Essay Topics
- The Mystery of a Lost Treasure Map
- An Unlikely Friendship That Changed My Life
- A Day in the Life of a Professional Athlete
- The Journey of Starting My Own Business
- A Haunting Experience in a Historic Place
- A Memorable Road Trip with Friends
- My Encounter with a Famous Celebrity
- The Day I Conquered My Greatest Fear
- An Adventure in a Foreign Land
- A Life-Altering Decision at a Crossroads
How to Choose a Topic for a Narrative Essay?
Choosing the right topic for your narrative essay can be a daunting task. Before you start writing, it is important to invest some time in researching and brainstorming.
Here are a few tips to help guide you in selecting an interesting and engaging narrative essay topic:
- Reflect on Your Personal Experiences: If you are writing about a personal narrative topic, consider the impactful moments in your life and think about experiences that have left a strong impression on you.
- Identify a Clear Message or Theme: Determine the central idea or theme of your narrative. Decide what lesson, insight, or emotion you want to convey.
- Engage Your Audience: Consider your target audience and what will resonate with them. Choose a topic that captures their interest and keeps them engaged.
- Play with Different Perspectives: Explore the option of incorporating different viewpoints. Combining personal and external perspectives can add depth to your narrative.
- Test Your Idea: Get feedback from a friend or classmate. Assess if your chosen topic is likely to resonate with your audience.
- Stay True to Your Voice: Balance considering your audience with being authentic. Let your unique voice and storytelling style shine through in your writing
Tips for Writing Narrative Essays
Once you have selected a topic for your narrative essay, it is time to start writing.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you write your story:
- Start with a Strong Hook: Begin your narrative essay with a captivating hook, such as an engaging anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or a vivid description.
- Follow a Clear Structure: Organize your narrative essay outline with a clear structure. Most narratives follow a chronological order, but you can also use flashbacks or nonlinear storytelling when it serves your narrative.
- Build Tension and Conflict: Create tension and conflict in your narrative to add depth and maintain reader engagement. Whether it's a personal struggle, a moral dilemma, or an external challenge, these obstacles will keep readers eagerly anticipating what comes next.
- Revise and Edit: After completing your first draft, take the time to revise and edit your work. Review it for grammar and spelling errors, but also examine the overall structure and flow of your narrative.
- Practice, Practice, Practice: Like any form of writing, improving your narrative essay skills takes practice. Keep writing and experimenting with different topics, styles, and approaches to develop your storytelling abilities.
Before you start writing, make sure you read some narrative essay examples to learn how to organize your thoughts and structure your story.
In summary, no matter the type of essay you are writing about, you need a topic to start with. Our collection of narrative essay topics offers fresh, distinct ideas.
These topics are crafted to ignite your creativity and captivate your audience. They cover a diverse range of experiences, making it easier for you to connect with your readers on a personal level.
Still, struggling to write a compelling narrative essay? Our narrative essay writing service is here to help you out!
MyPerfectWords.com stands as a legitimate essay writing service with a specialized focus on crafting exceptional essays designed for high school and college students. Our customer support team is also available 24/7, so don't hesitate to reach out whenever you need assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are narrative essay topics different from other essay types.
Narrative essay topics are usually based on personal experiences, so they are more emotional and creative than other types of essays. Also, they are often more open-ended, so you have more freedom to choose what to write about.
Where can I find good narrative essay topics?
There are a few ways to find good topics for your narrative essay. You can look through books or magazines for ideas, or search online for inspiration. You can also brainstorm with friends or family members to come up with ideas.
What do I write a narrative essay about?
You can write a narrative essay about anything, but it is usually based on personal experience. Try to recall interesting incidents from your life to develop a narrative about.
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50 Narrative Essay Topics
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a narrative essay can also tell an exciting story and create vivid pictures in the reader’s mind! We’ve got 50 narrative essay topics designed to prompt students to craft memorable written narratives. These can be modified for students in elementary, middle and high school. Feel free to print the entire narrative essay topics list for plenty of inspiration for your next narrative essay assignment!
Narrative Essay Topics
- Your first day of school.
- Your most exciting day of school
- A field trip that your class took.
- Your favorite summer vacation.
- A trip that included something unexpected or surprising.
- A time that you experienced something spooky.
- A time that you experienced something truly frightening.
- A time that you learned something new that changed you in some way.
- The moment when you met someone who changed your life.
- The day that you got your first pet.
- A move from one place to another.
- Something funny that happened to you.
- Something funny that happened to one of your family members or friends.
- Something embarrassing that happened to you.
- Your favorite birthday party.
- A birthday that was disappointing.
- A big storm (rain, snow or even a tornado!).
- A time that the power went out.
- A summer day when the temperature got much higher than expected.
- A time when you went to an amusement park.
- A time when you got lost somewhere.
- A memorable experience with a favorite family member.
- A sad experience with someone about whom you care.
- Your most exciting moment playing sports.
- Your most exciting moment performing in a play, singing, playing music or dancing.
- An experience that left you feeling frustrated.
- An experience that was hard but ended up being worth it.
- A time that you experienced rejection.
- A weird encounter with a stranger.
- A random act of kindness.
- A time that you took a stand for someone or for an issue that you care about.
- A moment when you thought you might get hurt but didn’t.
- Breaking a bone (or otherwise suffering an injury).
- Your first time away from home for the night (or longer).
- A time when you experienced a historic event.
- Where you were when a major event happened. (Note: You don’t need to have been at the site of the event; this prompt is about where you were when you found out about the event and how you reacted.)
- A time when you rebelled against your parents or teacher.
- A dangerous experience.
- A misunderstanding between yourself and someone else.
- A difficult decision that you had to make.
- The end of a friendship or relationship.
- The beginning of a friendship or relationship.
- A time when you judged someone first and then realized that you were wrong about the person.
- A time when someone judged you first and then realized that he or she was wrong about you.
- A moment when you felt that you were starting to grow up.
- A time when you saw one or both of your parents in a different light.
- A time when you looked up to your older sibling.
- A time when your younger sibling looked up to you.
- A time when you were grateful to be an only child.
- An experience that you think has only ever happened to you!
Looking for more essay topics? Compare and Contrast Essay Topics Descriptive Essay Topics Cause and Effect Essay Topics Persuasive Essay and Speech Topics
164 Narrative Essay Topics for School & College Students
A narrative essay tells a story about a series of events. At the core of this kind of essay can be a personal experience or a fictional plot. Any story can be a basis for a narrative essay!
Our specialists will write a custom essay on any topic for 13.00 10.40/page
Narratives can look similar to descriptions. Still, they are different. A descriptive essay aims to explain the details of a specific moment. Narrative writing focuses on a sequence of events to tell a complete story.
In this article, we have prepared a list of narrative essay topics for high school, college, and university students. The topic ideas are divided by spheres. In the collection below, you’ll find the ideas based on personal experience as well as fictional narrative essay topics. Make use of resources offered by our custom writing experts to write any paper!
- 🔝 Top 10 Topics
- 📖 Fictional Topics
- 🧑✍️ Personal Narrative
- ✈️ Traveling
- 🧒 Elementary
✏️ Middle School
🧑🏫 high school.
- 👫 Relationships
- 🧸 Childhood
- 💡 Writing Guide and Tips
🔝 Top 10 Narrative Essay Topics: High School
- Your childhood role model
- How you overcame hardship
- The best news you have ever heard
- The time you experienced culture shock
- A story of how you mistreated someone
- The most memorable encounter you’ve had
- An unexpected event that changed your life
- The most embarrassing conversation you’ve had
- When you realized you were wrong in an argument
- A person who changed your opinion on something
📖 Fictional Narrative Essay Topics
The art of writing fiction is all about narrating a story. In a fictional narrative, you are free to create a tale that doesn’t relate to real life. Take a look at the fictional narrative essay topics below:
- Write a narrative where a girl discovers her superpower.
- A story about a land that has 25 hours in a day.
- Describe your version of the future .
- Fiction narrative where a person discovers big city life.
- Come up with an apocalyptic story.
- A group of scientists discovering a new world inside the Earth.
- Write about a hamster that prevented a house robbery .
- A person who saves the country from mass-produced poisoned food .
- A group of high school students helping to improve their city.
- A new civilization in a far away galaxy.
- Write about a grandfather who was secretly a spy.
- A narrative about a person waking up from the surgery with a different identity .
- Create a story about a mysterious musical instrument .
- A college student who won the presidential election .
- Compose a story about a painting that looks different in every new house.
- An anonymous person sends lots of money to the poor.
- Come up with a fictional narrative about a family with unusual tendencies.
- A movie star who lives out their roles in real life.
- Passengers of an airplane encounter a UFO .
- A narrative where a farmer grows strange plants.
- Write about an orphan who finds out about their inheritance .
- Story of siblings who resolve a long-lasting argument.
🧑✍️ Personal Narrative Essay Topics
A personal narrative is devoted to the author’s own experience. Therefore, feel free to write in first person. Include your thoughts and emotions. Do your best to describe the details of your narrative. This will help the reader to relive the story with you. Here is the list of excellent topic ideas for your essay:
- Memories of your first sports coach .
- A story of how you dyed your hair.
- Write about something you did against your parents’ will.
- Recall a day when you got in a fight with your best friend .
- What was the most exciting adventure in your life?
- An unfortunate situation that had a good ending.
- Write about the time when you had to train hard for a competition.
- Describe the turning point of your life.
- An experience when you had to overcome your fear.
- Write about the circumstances that brought you and your parents closer.
- Describe a memorable conversation with someone.
- An imaginary world you’ve created as a child.
- Who gave you the most valuable lesson in your life?
- One time when you regretted doing something.
- A particularly embarrassing situation you went through.
- Your memories of seeing something very beautiful .
- A moment that made you proud of yourself.
- Recall a time when you taught a child to do something.
- What was the most memorable news report you saw in your life?
- Describe a day when you stood up for someone.
- Write about the best birthday party you’ve ever had.
- Share your experience of being lost.
📚 Literacy Narrative Essay Topics
Literacy narrative revolves around reflecting on feelings connected to reading and writing. For this type of essay, think of yourself as a reader and a writer. You can describe any reading experience, whether it is a book, email, or social media post.
- The most touching piece of writing you’ve ever read.
- Write about a book that impacted you the most.
- A news article that changed your view on life.
- What book character do you most identify with?
- Talk about a piece of fiction that captured your imagination.
- What was your favorite novel growing up?
- The scariest story you’ve ever read.
- Recall your emotions after reading a heartfelt social media post.
- What is the most boring book you’ve read?
- Describe a book that you would reread over and over again.
- Your experience of reading a story to a child.
- Have you ever read something that taught you a lesson?
- Do you see yourself becoming a professional writer?
- Recall the day when you had to complete your first writing assignment.
- How does sharing thoughts on social media make you feel?
- If you were to write a book, who would be the main character?
- Talk about the most personal thing you’ve ever written.
- Describe your experience of composing a poem.
- Why can someone have difficulty with writing ?
- Recall what it was like to read for the first time.
- What does journaling mean to you?
- Have you ever been proud of something you wrote?
✈️ Narrative Essay Topics about Traveling
In this section, you get to engage your creativity! A narrative essay about traveling is supposed to show the reader what it’s like to explore the world. Present a story taking place in a real or imaginary location:
- Your first time traveling to another country.
- Friends taking a trip to the Great Canyon.
- Write a narrative about traveling to your dream location.
- Describe a trip to the Taj Mahal.
- A day-long road trip.
- Share your experience of visiting a historical site.
- Come up with a story about getting around the airport .
- What to do if you are lost in a foreign country?
- A day in the life of a flight attendant .
- Write about eating unusual foods from around the world.
- Describe talking to a local in a foreign language .
- A narrative about going on a seven-day cruise .
- Tell the reader about the most breathtaking view you’ve ever seen.
- Write a story about riding a train.
- A short narrative about an out-of-state road trip .
- Traveling to see your family on holidays.
- Come up with a narrative about hitchhiking across America.
- What is it like to travel in the air balloon?
- How to prepare for a trip around the world.
- What to do if your luggage got lost in a foreign country.
- Describe packing a suitcase for a long trip.
- A story about a person missing their plane.
🏫 Narrative Essay Topics about School
This section is for all grades! Writing a narrative essay about school gives you a chance to share your personal experience as a student. You can write about precious memories, challenges, or influential people in your school career. Pick one of the narrative essay topics about school from this list:
🧒 Elementary School
- Write a story with your favorite teacher as the main character.
- Describe your first day at school.
- A fun memory with your best friend.
- What is your favorite thing to do during a break?
- Tell your reader about something interesting you learned in class recently.
- A day when you had to leave school early.
- Recall your favorite celebration with classmates.
- Write about your favorite school subject.
- A story about your most unusual day at school.
- How did you bond with your classmates?
- Come up with narrative about a memorable event at the cafeteria .
- The last day of school before the summer break .
- One time when you forgot to bring something to the class.
- Describe how you worked on a science project.
- The most challenging class you took in middle school.
- A story of how you pranked a friend.
- Have you ever won a school competition?
- The day when you’ve decided on your future profession.
- Write about the teacher who impacted you the most.
- A story of a serious conversation you had about your grades .
- The day when you got in trouble with the principal .
- Reflect on a class you will never forget.
👫 Narrative Essay Topics about Relationships
Narrative essay about relationships focuses on presenting a story about connections between people. You can write about your family, friends, or loved ones. Make sure to pick a statement that you will expand on in your story. Use the following list of narrative writing topics to come up with your narrative about relationships.
- A conflict between generations .
- What is it like to be in love ?
- Write about how hatred can destroy relationships.
- Describe an example of loyalty.
- A story about maintaining friendship via social media .
- Come up with a narrative where people with opposite personalities are getting along.
- Tell the reader about somebody being generous.
- Write about a couple being honest with each other.
- A story where classmates treat each other with respect.
- Describe a family that maintains loving relationship no matter what.
- A story where you help somebody who used to be your enemy .
- How friendliness can brighten up a person’s day.
- Talk about the pain of ending a relationship .
- Children learning from their parents about empathy .
- A narrative about food connecting people.
- Come up with a story about unfulfilled expectations.
- The importance of authentic conversations in a friendship.
- What relational patterns do you see in your family?
- Manifestations of real love in everyday life.
- A story when someone makes a sacrifice for the sake of others.
- Describe a situation where parents are bonding with their child.
- Talk about the most meaningful relationship in your life.
🧸 Childhood Narrative Essay Topics
Childhood narrative essays are about sharing memories from the time when you were little. You can write about playing with friends or a day when you fell off the bike. Or, ask your family members to recall some episodes from your childhood.
- A story of how you received your nickname.
- Write about playing with your favorite toys.
- What is the most memorable place you went to when you were little?
- What kind of friends did you have when you were little?
- Did you ever break anything?
- Recall your earliest childhood memories.
- What was the first valuable lesson you’ve learned as a kid?
- Share your favorite childhood sports memory.
- A story of your first triumph.
- What did you enjoy doing when you were little?
- A moment from your childhood that your parents often recall.
- Which talents did you have when you were a child?
- What was it like to grow up with your siblings ?
- Write a narrative about your favorite pet.
- The most memorable childhood moment with your family.
- Were there any challenges you had to overcome as a kid?
- What was your favorite children’s book ?
- Did you ever get lost when you were little?
- An exciting sleepover you had with friends.
- Write a story about how you and your friends went on an adventure.
- A family holiday that you will remember forever.
- What was your favorite food in your early years?
💡 Narrative Essay Writing Guide and Tips
As you already know, writing a narrative essay is very similar to telling a story. Here are a few tips to remember for narrative writing:
Receive a plagiarism-free paper tailored to your instructions.
- Tip 1: Use your memories. Take time to write down everything you can recall about the event. You can use it as a basis for your paper.
- Tip 2: Be clear. Stick to the main idea of the essay. It’s better not to add characters or details that are not relevant to the story you’re telling.
- Tip 3: Choose words carefully. In an essay words to are like paint on a canvas. The use of vivid language can help you create a story worth reading.
Now, pay attention to this step-by-step guide. It will help you outline an on-point narrative essay:
- Introduction. In the opening paragraph, determine the main idea of the paper. Make a clear thesis that reflects the purpose of your narrative. To help yourself with this part, you can try a narrative essay thesis generator .
In this essay, I want to share my happiest childhood memory of playing with my older brother.
- The body. Since you are writing the narrative essay as a story, make sure to tell the story well. Think through the plot with conflict, climax, and a powerful conclusion. Take your time to introduce the setting and the characters. All this will make your paper entertaining and easy to read.
- Conclusion. Bring your narrative to a logical end. Expanding on the thesis statement will help you write a great conclusion.
Playing with my older brother taught me the true meaning of family, and I’m very grateful for it.
We hope this article helped you figure out how to write a narrative essay!
You may be also interested in:
- How to Write a Narrative Essay: Easy Guide and Useful Tips
- How to Start an Autobiography about Yourself: Full Guide + Autobiography Examples
- How to Write a Creative Essay: Tips, Topics and Techniques
- Breaking Down the Types of Essays: a Complete Guide for Success
- Narrative Essays: Purdue University
- Nailing the Craft of Narrative Writing: WeAreTeachers
- Narrative and Reflection Writing Samples: Western Technical College
- Drafting a Narrative: Walden University
- Scholarly Personal Narrative: University of Vermont
- The Power of Personal Narratives in the Classroom: University of Washington
- Fiction Writing Basics: Purdue University
- How to Write a Literacy Narrative: Pen and the Pad
- Literacy Narratives: UNC Charlotte
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Narrative Essay Topics — Prompts & Ideas For All Grade Levels
N arrative essays can present a serious challenge for even the most seasoned of writers, but fear not, we’ve compiled some great narrative essay topics to inspire your next paper! Follow along as we explore prompts relating to life, school, and more. By the end, you’ll be prepared to tackle narrative essays from a variety of different angles.
Good Narrative Topics
What is a narrative essay.
Before we jump into our narrative essay topics, we have to first answer the question: what is a narrative essay ? A narrative essay is a prose-written story that’s focused on the commentary of a central theme.
Narrative essays are generally written in the first-person POV , and are usually about a topic that’s personal to the writer.
Everything in a narrative essay should take place in an established timeline, with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
For more on narrative essays, check out this video on literacy narrative topics and structure:
Narrative Essay Topic Ideas • Narrative Essay Titles
In the world of literature, narrative essays are held to a rigorous structure. We’re not going to enforce that rigor here! So, follow along as we (hopefully) inspire you with a variety of narrative essay topics and argument essay ideas.
Narrative essay ideas for kids.
Narrative essay topics for kids usually focus on family, school, and friends.
Here are some easy narrative essay topics that work well for kids:
- Describe your most recent birthday party.
- Tell the story of your first day of school.
- Who is your best friend?
- Have you ever helped others?
- Describe your favorite animal(s)
- What is your dream for the future?
This next video from “Teaching Without Frills” explores narrative essay topics for kids in further detail.
Narrative Essay Ideas • Titles of narrative essays
Sometimes it can help to visualize narrative essay topics with pictures, especially for younger kids. If you’re a teacher, consider using pictures to inspire your students!
Narrative essay ideas for teens
Middle school and high school students are often asked to write narrative essays too. But whereas narrative essay topics for elementary school students are usually structured around simple, positive topics, narrative essay topics for teens are generally more contemplative.
Here are some personal narrative essay topics that work well for teens:
- Describe a moment of loss.
- Describe a moment of serenity.
- Recount the story of a lost friend.
- Detail your greatest creation.
- Tell the story of your favorite teacher.
- How would you change the world?
Remember: not every person has the same circumstances as others. That's why they're called personal narrative essay topics.
It’s important to frame narrative essay topics for kids in a way that every kid can relate. For example: the prompt “a lost friend” could mean a friend who moved away or a dead pet. Make sure to word your prompts in such a way that participants can glean their own interpretation.
- What is a Narrative? →
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Narrative Essay Ideas
Narrative essay ideas for young adults.
Young adults are sometimes asked to write narrative essays for school and or job applications. Narrative essay reviewers typically want to see writers demonstrate maturity and growth in their work. As such, their questions are generally structured around challenges and problem management.
Here are some narrative argument essay topics for young adults:
- Have you ever failed at your job?
- If you could change one thing from your past, what would it be?
- What is something you take pride in?
- Describe your childhood.
- How will you grow this year?
- What is the most important element of success?
Of course, the topics above are mostly focused on success and failure. Young adults can certainly respond to the other prompts too!
Narrative essay ideas for adults
Adults aren’t generally tasked with writing narrative essays unless they’re writers. But that doesn’t have to be the case! There are a lot of positives to writing narrative essays, whether you’re a literary professor or a wrestler looking to articulate your thoughts.
So, here are some things to write a narrative essay about for adults:
- What was your worst job?
- What (or who) was your first love?
- Who do you take care of?
- What is your most prized possession?
- If you could tell somebody who’s now gone from your life one thing, what would it be?
- Paint a picture of where you find peace.
Narrative essay titles • Easy narrative essay topics
In recent years, companies have been selling books with narrative essay prompts for adults (particularly elderly adults) to reflect on their lives.
Creative Writing Prompts & Exercises
Now that you're brainstorming good titles for personal narrative, time to learn about other forms of creating writing. A narrative essay is just one type of essay – there are dozens more! In our next article, we break down more creative writing prompts and exercises, including those suited to fantasy, romance, horror, and more. By the end, you’ll know a ton of different ways to approach your next story.
Up Next: Creative Writing Exercises →
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100+ Narrative Essay Topics and Ideas You Can Write About
Narrative essay topics are commonly used across all education levels. Fictional or realistic, they can take on the form of many genres, as long as there is a coherent story told in the first person.
Whether you’re in elementary school, high school, or college, narrative essay tasks will always keep popping up throughout your academic journey as they’re one of the best ways for students to practice their writing and storytelling skills.
If you still haven’t mastered the craft of writing a flawless narrative essay or don’t have enough time to dedicate to this task, essay writing help might come in handy.
However, if your teacher gave you the freedom to write about whatever you like, you’re probably struggling with finding the ideal topic for your paper. If that’s the case, you’re in the right place.
How to Choose a Topic for a Narrative Essay
Choosing a topic for your narrative essay isn’t an easy task. A lot goes into finding the perfect topic, and you should think about several topics before making the decision. As the topic you go with can determine the quality of your essay and the grade you receive, you should carefully consider your options.
Although narrative essay topics don’t sound too remarkable or inspiring by themselves, it’s up to the writer to make a good story out of a generic title. The best way is to go with something relatable, such as a childhood memory or something you’re passionate and knowledgeable about.
Once you find a topic you’re happy with, pay attention to the style and word choice throughout your essay. Since how you tell the story is much more important than the story itself, an inspiring topic can help you achieve desired quality results much more easily.
After you complete your essay, don’t forget to run the text through an online plagiarism checker . It’ll catch any plagiarized content if you used some sources for inspiration and ensure you end up with a fully unique essay.
Narrative Essay Topic Ideas
A teacher giving you complete freedom to write about anything you like has both its pros and cons. While it allows all students to write something they’re passionate about, it also leaves many struggling with choosing a single topic from all the different options.
If that’s something you’re currently experiencing, don’t worry – here you’ll find everything you have been looking for. Choose from 100+ good narrative essay topics for your upcoming writing project and create the most inspiring piece of narrative writing yet.
Personal Narrative Essay Topics
Among the ultimate favorites among students are personal narrative topics. These topics are typically based on some personal experience. Even if you don’t feel comfortable writing a personal essay, your work can still be personal if you decide to include some points of view or experiences you drew upon.
Because most students can easily relate to personal essays, they offer some of the best results. Here are 15 topics if you decide to write a personal narrative essay:
- The first concert I went to
- A scary experience that put me in real danger
- My first trip abroad
- How I lost my best friend
- What getting lost as a child taught me about people
- The best moment of my life
- How I spent the whole day taking in the sites of the big city
- The time I helped someone in need
- An embarrassing story that helped me grow
- Moving from one place to another as a child
- The most challenging decision I ever had to make
- Why discovering a big family secret changed me completely
- My favorite story from my childhood
- The family member I bonded with the most
- The most inspirational class of my life
Narrative Essay Topics for High School Students
Most narrative topics created for high school students are closely connected to personal narrative essay ideas. The reason for this is that many students struggle with sharing their experiences, problems, and emotions during their high school education, as they often feel alone and misunderstood by the people they’re surrounded with.
Although one essay can’t make these issues go away, it’s certainly helpful to share them with someone, even in written form. Narrative essays for high schoolers are one of the best ways to motivate students to say something more about their private life and confide in their teachers.
Here are 15 examples of excellent narrative essay topics that all high school students will enjoy writing about:
- What do students usually feel by being caught cheating on a test
- How I felt after failing a class
- A bad experience with an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend
- My first experience with alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs and how I felt afterward
- The most memorable experience in my digital life
- A typical evening after school and a not so typical acquaintance
- The craziest thing that happened at a party
- Why I’m nervous about prom night
- The time when math saved your life
- My version of a perfect day if the school got canceled
- The time I got into big trouble
- The most shocking incident that happened at school
- My emotions when I win and lose a sports match
- The struggles of balancing schoolwork and social life
- How bad weather affects my motivation to go to school
Narrative Argument Essay Topics
The good thing about narrative essays is that they can implement just about any story or situation. Therefore, it’s also possible to combine narrative storytelling with argumentative writing. As a result, you can simultaneously tell a story and share your point of view on a given topic. Intertwining your thoughts and executing such a complex task isn’t simple, but it’s certainly rewarding.
For those interested in sharing their opinion or side of a story while writing their narrative essay, narrative argument essay topics are a perfect choice. Here are our top 10 topic ideas:
- The biggest conflict I participated in and did it worth it
- My experience with bullying
- The time I was in a car accident
- The time I felt extremely humiliated
- My most valuable life experiences so far
- Is it right to eavesdrop?
- The choice I regret making
- Learning about the right and the wrong
- Doing a good thing even if it’s against the rules
- How serious can taking and shifting the blame be?
Interesting Narrative Essay Topics
If you made it up to this point and still haven’t found a topic that caught your eye, it’s probably because you still haven’t stumbled upon a narrative topic that’s interesting enough. If you’re looking for an exciting topic for a narrative essay you’ll enjoy researching and writing about, make sure to check out the following 15 topic suggestions:
- The most impactful person in my life
- A day I wish to go back to
- My first encounter with the authorities
- The toughest decision I ever had to make
- Returning home after being abroad for an extended period
- The first time I won a prize
- My first experience in the emergency room
- How I saved someone’s life
- The first time traveling by myself
- The experiences from my first job
- The struggles of the first day at a new school
- Cooking my first meal by myself
- Things I like to do when I’m home alone
- The time I got my first flat tire
- The most memorable incident on a holiday
Cultural Narrative Essay Topics
As many places around the world are considered multicultural, people of all ages have many questions related to culture. Some people tend to forget about their cultural traditions, while others take great pride in maintaining them.
Whatever the case may be for you, one thing is certain – cultural narrative essay ideas are favorite among many students.
Whether they’d like to use this opportunity to recollect their most memorable cultural experiences or tackle some of the questions about culture that have been bothering them, here’s our pick of the top 10 cultural narrative essay suggestions:
- The unique traditions of my family
- My cultural identity and why it’s important
- A tradition that never stops surprising me
- How can a culture define a person?
- My most meaningful holiday
- Working during a holiday
- Spending a holiday by myself
- Attending a foreign cultural event
- Celebrating holidays with friends instead of family
- How cultures and traditions change through time
40 Best Narrative Essay Topics
Finally, you’ll certainly find a great topic among these 40 best narrative essay topic ideas. The suggestions used in this part of the post cover various topics, so they’re best for students who don’t have a predetermined category and are free to write about whatever topic they choose.
Even if you don’t find a topic that suits you here, going through and reading these titles will surely inspire you and help you come up with the ideal title for your upcoming writing project. Check them out:
- How being treated unfairly helped me build resilience
- Confronting my fears after years of letting them control me
- The first time seeing snow in person
- The time I was called to the dean’s office
- My favorite day at the beach
- How I met my best friend
- The time I helped a stranger
- How I lost something valuable
- The tragic event that changed my life forever
- A life lesson I’ll never forget
- My experience facing racial prejudice
- Experiencing a natural disaster and its consequences
- My first time riding a bicycle
- My first time sitting behind the steering wheel
- The worst punishment I received
- The story behind getting my pet
- My favorite vacation I’ve been on
- A trip I’ll always remember and cherish
- My most random way of making a friend
- The best birthday party I’ve had
- The best day of my life so far
- The time I misjudged someone
- Receiving the help I didn’t know I needed
- My story of helping someone in need
- My first plane ride
- Entering a new relationship
- Ending a relationship
- My worst injury
- The present I’ll never throw away
- My most enjoyable family holiday
- My experience going to a summer camp for the first time
- The most serious argument between my best friend and me
- The moment I felt depression overwhelm me
- How I cope with my anxiety
- Life lessons I learned from getting in an accident
- The time I got very sick
- The time I ignored something bad happening
- Being at the wrong place at the wrong time
- The scariest Halloween of my life
- Maintaining a long-distance friendship
Narrative essay topics are flexible and can take many forms, which is why they’re so loved by teachers and students equally. If you’re struggling with finding the ideal topic for your essay, these 100+ ideas will surely help you out.
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How to Write a Narrative Essay | Example & Tips
Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.
A narrative essay tells a story. In most cases, this is a story about a personal experience you had. This type of essay , along with the descriptive essay , allows you to get personal and creative, unlike most academic writing .
Table of contents
What is a narrative essay for, choosing a topic, interactive example of a narrative essay, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about narrative essays.
When assigned a narrative essay, you might find yourself wondering: Why does my teacher want to hear this story? Topics for narrative essays can range from the important to the trivial. Usually the point is not so much the story itself, but the way you tell it.
A narrative essay is a way of testing your ability to tell a story in a clear and interesting way. You’re expected to think about where your story begins and ends, and how to convey it with eye-catching language and a satisfying pace.
These skills are quite different from those needed for formal academic writing. For instance, in a narrative essay the use of the first person (“I”) is encouraged, as is the use of figurative language, dialogue, and suspense.
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Narrative essay assignments vary widely in the amount of direction you’re given about your topic. You may be assigned quite a specific topic or choice of topics to work with.
- Write a story about your first day of school.
- Write a story about your favorite holiday destination.
You may also be given prompts that leave you a much wider choice of topic.
- Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself.
- Write about an achievement you are proud of. What did you accomplish, and how?
In these cases, you might have to think harder to decide what story you want to tell. The best kind of story for a narrative essay is one you can use to talk about a particular theme or lesson, or that takes a surprising turn somewhere along the way.
For example, a trip where everything went according to plan makes for a less interesting story than one where something unexpected happened that you then had to respond to. Choose an experience that might surprise the reader or teach them something.
Narrative essays in college applications
When applying for college , you might be asked to write a narrative essay that expresses something about your personal qualities.
For example, this application prompt from Common App requires you to respond with a narrative essay.
In this context, choose a story that is not only interesting but also expresses the qualities the prompt is looking for—here, resilience and the ability to learn from failure—and frame the story in a way that emphasizes these qualities.
An example of a short narrative essay, responding to the prompt “Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself,” is shown below.
Hover over different parts of the text to see how the structure works.
Since elementary school, I have always favored subjects like science and math over the humanities. My instinct was always to think of these subjects as more solid and serious than classes like English. If there was no right answer, I thought, why bother? But recently I had an experience that taught me my academic interests are more flexible than I had thought: I took my first philosophy class.
Before I entered the classroom, I was skeptical. I waited outside with the other students and wondered what exactly philosophy would involve—I really had no idea. I imagined something pretty abstract: long, stilted conversations pondering the meaning of life. But what I got was something quite different.
A young man in jeans, Mr. Jones—“but you can call me Rob”—was far from the white-haired, buttoned-up old man I had half-expected. And rather than pulling us into pedantic arguments about obscure philosophical points, Rob engaged us on our level. To talk free will, we looked at our own choices. To talk ethics, we looked at dilemmas we had faced ourselves. By the end of class, I’d discovered that questions with no right answer can turn out to be the most interesting ones.
The experience has taught me to look at things a little more “philosophically”—and not just because it was a philosophy class! I learned that if I let go of my preconceptions, I can actually get a lot out of subjects I was previously dismissive of. The class taught me—in more ways than one—to look at things with an open mind.
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If you’re not given much guidance on what your narrative essay should be about, consider the context and scope of the assignment. What kind of story is relevant, interesting, and possible to tell within the word count?
The best kind of story for a narrative essay is one you can use to reflect on a particular theme or lesson, or that takes a surprising turn somewhere along the way.
Don’t worry too much if your topic seems unoriginal. The point of a narrative essay is how you tell the story and the point you make with it, not the subject of the story itself.
Narrative essays are usually assigned as writing exercises at high school or in university composition classes. They may also form part of a university application.
When you are prompted to tell a story about your own life or experiences, a narrative essay is usually the right response.
The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.
Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.
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150 Best Topic Ideas For Narrative Essay
26 Apr 2022
❓How to Choose a Topic for a Narrative Essay?
☝️Some Tips for Writing Narrative Essays
📑Narrative Essay Topics for:
- High School Students
- College Students
✏️Topics for essays on themes:
- Personal Experience
- About Childhood
- Personal About Friendship
- Traveling and Holidays
- Argument Essay
In academic practice, the narrative essay is probably one of the key elements to train students in expressing their opinions. It teaches well how to tell a story in a clear, concise manner, that’s why it is so welcome in the language and composition classes.
Narrative essays are not only valuable as such: their contribution lies in the ability to elaborate students’ storytelling and narration skills. To touch the reader’s nerves, you should opt for exciting narrative essay ideas. There are plenty of them – but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of essay ideas.
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How to Choose a Topic for a Narrative Essay?
When you are selecting a topic for your essay , you should consider some aspects. As a teacher, you should opt for the best narrative essay topics that would be interesting and familiar to your mentees. If you are a mentee yourself, you can be assigned a specific task to write on the topic provided by your teacher or professor. In the opposite case, you have the freedom to choose a topic on your own.
We’ve collected some useful tips on how to efficiently select a narrative speech topic for your paper. They apply to the general principles of narrative essay topic choice. You can write about something special and personal for you, or describe events and subjects that are well-known to everyone. The following rules will be a perfect support for you in the creation of a powerful narrative essay.
- Opt for relevant topics Always consider your audience when picking a topic if you are a teacher. The topic shall be cognizable and meaningful for your audience, be it higher school students or schoolchildren. They must be able to express their thoughts on the subject and relate their personal experiences to it. Obviously, the requirements for younger students are lower, and narrative writing topics shall deal mostly with descriptions or reporting. On the other hand, senior schoolers and students shall be able to write an essay that is also persuasive and reflective.
- Choose your comfortable writing style Experience in studying affairs clearly demonstrates that successful subjects for a narration essay are those you feel comfortable with. Picking up the right idea is the key to a powerful paper as it determines the style of your writing. Think about what you love to tell about. Do you like to describe events in a detailed and vivid manner? Or maybe you are factual and concise? Are you a fan of reflections and self-analysis? Recollecting or imagining, projecting or analyzing, reporting or insightful – if you identify your features, they will be helpful narrative essay prompts.
- Show your mastery Topics are essential, but that’s not the hard and fast rule: always factor into personal proficiency. This is what turns even a dull and merely informative topic into an engaging story. A narration essay is your chance to create a description that would allow your readers to pop into your experiences and share your fun or drama with you. Whether your narration concerns a film, a book, a relationship, a person, or a situation, try to complement it with a touch of personal attitude. Discourse upon the lessons you’ve learned, describe a turning point of your life or reflect on why an event from your past is so memorable. Try to convey this in the essay outline , and you’ll see how fascinating it might be. The more so as there are plenty of brilliant topics for narrative writing.
Stuck with finding the right title?
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Some Tips for Writing Narrative Essays
Narration may be both rewarding and challenging. To maximize your rewarding experience and minimize the tough aspects of essay writing, follow our tips recovered from the students’ practice.
- Aim at telling a story
A narration essay stands foremost for a narration. Whether you are describing events, discussing situations, or recollecting the past, your story should be engaging and have a plot. You may introduce the elements that make your story individual. These include arguments, reflections, and opinions, but the focus of this type of essay is narrative.
- Keep to an outline
The conventional structure is not required, however, it assists in organizing your thoughts properly and preserving accuracy and distinctiveness. The introduction and conclusion parts do not differ much from those in other academic papers. The body part, in turn, presents a story that may tackle moral, practical, psychological, or other problems. This clearly distinguishes your narration from all the others. This is why personal narrative topics shall be thoroughly picked.
- Make a plan
Draft the events and characters to be introduced in your story. Don’t feel like you are limited by the structure you create. A plan is a guide rather than a mold for your text, so try making it comfortable for you. Drafting your essay before you start writing may also be helpful. This way you can break down the nuances and see what’s lacking for an immersive story.
- Remain individual
While good narrative topics circulate in the school and college assignments, you are still able to make your essay personalized. To start with, you have your own stories to be told. Then, you might express your own opinions that are unconventional. Also, you can present the lessons you’ve learned from the story. In the end, your author’s style will surely add points to your paper.
- Choose a writing narrative thoroughly
Stories may be told third-person or first-person. Weigh the pros and cons of each type of narration and opt for the one reflecting your objective. Personal experiences are usually written in first-person, and epic narratives may be third-person. Though, unconventional approaches may be an interesting artistic device making your essay even more intriguing.
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Narrative Essay Topics for Students
We’ve analyzed trainees’ experience in writing narrative paragraphs and selected narrative essay topics for college and school students. This profound list covers a wide range of subjects, so pick one!
Narrative Essay Topics for High School Students
High school students normally feel comfortable about describing their study routine. Below you’ll find interesting topics to convey some of the things at school familiar to every pupil.
- My favorite class
- An unexpected day-off
- My favorite teacher
- My most memorable participation in a sports event
- My harshest debate competition
- My best role in a school theatre
- My after-school activities
- My routine travel to school
- My funny prom night adventure
- My worst lost match
- The craziest incident on my campus
- The subject I don’t like
- How I failed an exam
- How I got through an exam
- How I got caught cheating
Good Narrative Essay Topics for College Students
Just like high schoolers, students at colleges and universities are fond of talking about their everyday matters. Whether a topic about students’ affairs or reflection on new relationships, the most popular narrative topics for college students are collected here.
- My first day at the higher school
- My last day with my schoolmates
- My favorite course
- Meeting my better half
- The story of my split-up
- My brightest high school moment
- How I met my old friend
- My favourite professor
- A funny adventure on my campus
- The most symbolic episode from my college life
- The day I moved
- How I traveled to my college
- My first impressions of the college campus
- How I met my roommate
- My first friends at college
Topics for essays on themes:
Personal narrative essay topics.
Each of us had moments in life the story of which would be interesting to others. Develop your narration mastery and tell the world a story about the very best, most memorable, extremely scary, or awkward situations. Our list is here to assist you.
- The happiest event ever
- The saddest moment in my life
- The worst moment of my life
- The best moment of my life
- If I start my life all over again, I’d…
- The most frightening episode of my life
- The most dramatic decision I had to make
- The life-changing event in my life
- The greatest risk I took
- The day I decided to move
- The worst decision of my life
- Getting lost abroad
- The most disastrous trip
- How I grew up in a city
- How I grew up in a village
Personal Experience Narrative Essay Topics
Personal experiences are way more exciting for writers. Unfortunately, personal narrative essays are not always just as fascinating for listeners unless they are presented in an entertaining manner. We’re sure that the ideas for personal narratives below will help you pick your topic to maximize readers’ engagement.
- The moment of my life I’m proud of
- My first visiting an opera house
- The weirdest accident I witnessed
- How I first tried Asian cuisine
- My most memorable birthday present
- If I was a character in a book
- The memory I wish I lived through again
- If I was my favourite movie superhero
- How I lost a thing that wasn’t mine
- My first travel to the sea
- What makes me unique
- My first trip into the wild
- My first job interview
- My most significant loss
- My most memorable Christmas
Narrative Essay Topics About Childhood
Childhood is probably the sweetest period of our lives and the one with the most number of insights. The most powerful experiences come from it, and most of our reflections are related to a child's perception in this or that way. Check out our list of captivating topics about childhood and pick one.
- My first memories ever
- My first pet
- The role model of my childhood
- The first time I met my uncle/aunt
- The first time I got to a hospital
- My first big sports competition
- My first day at school
- The first time at a stadium
- My best visit to a children’s entertainment park
- My favourite preschool teacher
- My first time on the airplane
- My most memorable picnic
- The scariest incident of my childhood
- My childhood phobias
- The funniest incident of my childhood
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Relationship Narrative Essay Topics
Writing about this huge layer of experience – relationships – is surely thrilling. We’ve picked just some of the great variety of narrative topics about relationships for you. Even if you don’t find here exactly what you want to talk about, you’ll definitely hit upon an appropriate idea.
- My first romantic date
- How my best friend changed my life
- How I first met my best friend
- The saddest moment in a relationship I experienced
- A turning point in my important relationship
- My role model relationship from a book/movie
- My first romantic relationship
- What my parents mean to me
- The best advice about relationships I got
- Why is my significant other so important to me
- The situation that helped me fix my ruined relationship
- The best memories I share with my friends
- My first confession
- How I helped someone with depression
- A film/book about relationships that stroke me
Personal Narrative Essay About Friendship
Friendships often determine our paths in life, and most people love telling stories. These are about their adventures with friends or reflections on the effects of getting cozy with other people. From the list below, you may pick one of the best friendship topics for narrative essay papers.
- My best friend from a summer camp
- How I reconnected with my friend after a quarrel
- How I covered my friend
- How I first met my online friend live
- How I helped my friend reconnect with his/her loved one
- The coolest adventure with my best friend
- The first time at my friend’s place
- My worst quarrel with my friend
- My best older friend
- How my foe turned into my friend
- The toughest situation I and my friend went through
- My friend’s sister/brother
- The situation where I had to choose between two friends
- How I met a friend on the Internet
Cultural Narrative Essay Topics
How about writing on culture? The variety of topics is enormous, and you can write here in different styles and tonalities. Find out effective narrative paragraph topics dedicated to traditions, holidays, or cultural events below.
- My favourite holiday
- How we celebrate Christmas
- The best Christmas present I got
- My best Christmas
- My saddest Christmas
- The holiday which is most significant for me
- Our family traditions for Easter
- How I took part in holidays abroad
- The scariest Halloween I ever had
- Home alone on a holiday night
- The most memorable cultural event I visited
- The festival I love most
- What I was thankful for this Thanksgiving Day
- My family traditions
- A foreign holiday tradition that I love most
Personal Narrative Stories Ideas on Traveling and Holidays
This segment of subjects covers individual experiences. Respectively, it has to do with reflections, opinions, and feelings. Our list of personal narrative ideas related to trips and celebrations is here for your convenience.
- My best entertainment on winter holidays
- My first traveling abroad
- How I first visited a warm country in winter
- How I missed my flight/train/bus
- The happiest moment during the holidays
- Making a new friend during the holidays
- My first time traveling alone
- My most memorable holiday ever
- The saddest incident on a holiday
- My best visit to a foreign city on holiday
- My best travel to a big city
- The worst quarrel while on holiday
- The best encounters during the holiday
- My best trip to a countryside
- How I returned home after a long vacation
Narrative Argument Essay Topics
Strong argumentation is one of the indications of a successful academic paper and a prerequisite for a higher grade. You should pick a topic you are confident in to provide your effective arguments as your objective is to persuade your readers. Opt for a narrative essay topic that speaks to you.
- The toughest decision between right and wrong
- The choice I regret
- How I helped a friend against the rules
- Involvement in a conflict between other people
- Getting caught lying
- How I let down a friend following the rules
- How I shifted the blame to someone else
- The toughest yet most important experience
- Helping someone for personal benefit
- The prank I played on my friend
- Ignoring bullying
- How my friend took the blame for me
- Does justice actually exist?
- Ignoring the wrong behavior of others
When writing a narrative essay, it is important to choose an interesting topic that can engage your readers. Finding the right topic can be a challenge, but there is no need to worry as there are many resources available, such as online essay writers , that can help you choose the best topic for your narrative essay.
Whether a personal experience essay, a story about your best childhood birthday, a narration about your most meaningful travel, or the way you reacted to essential world events, are all worth writing. Bear in mind that each of them requires research, adhering to a structure, and planning. Focus on what’s inspiring for you and may be of interest to your readers, and you’ll get a list of the narrative ideas working best for you.
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I am a proficient writer from the United States with over five years of experience in academic writing. I comfortably complete given assignments within stipulated deadlines and at the same time deliver high-quality work, which follows the guidelines provided.
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What is a Narrative Essay? How to Write It (with Examples)
Narrative essays are a type of storytelling in which writers weave a personal experience into words to create a fascinating and engaging narrative for readers. A narrative essay explains a story from the author’s point of view to share a lesson or memory with the reader. Narrative essays, like descriptive essays , employ figurative language to depict the subject in a vivid and creative manner to leave a lasting impact on the readers’ minds. In this article, we explore the definition of narrative essays, list the key elements to be included, and provide tips on how to craft a narrative that captivates your audience.
Table of Contents
What is a narrative essay, choosing narrative essay topics, key elements in a narrative essay, creating a narrative essay outline, types of narrative essays, the pre-writing stage, the writing stage, the editing stage, narrative essay example, frequently asked questions.
Narrative essays are often based on one’s personal experience which allows the author to express himself/herself in compelling ways for the reader. They employ storytelling elements to convey the plot and captivate the reader while disclosing the story’s theme or purpose. The author must always have a purpose or theme in mind when writing a narrative essay. These essays may be assigned to high school students to assess their ability to create captivating stories based on personal experiences, or they may be required as part of a college application to assess the applicant’s personal traits. Narrative essays might be based on true events with minor tweaks for dramatic purposes, or they can be adapted from a fictional scenario. Whatever the case maybe, the goal is to tell a story, a good story!
In narrative essays, the emphasis is not so much on the narrative itself as it is on how you explain it. Narrative essay topics cover a range of experiences, from noteworthy to mundane, but when storytelling elements are used well, even a simple account can have weight. Notably, the skills required for narrative writing differ significantly from those needed for formal academic essays, and we will delve deeper into this in the next section.
You can talk about any narrative, but consider whether it is fascinating enough, has enough twists and turns, or teaches a lesson (It’s a plus if the story contains an unexpected twist at the end). The potential topics for a narrative essay are limitless—a triumphant story, a brief moment of introspection, or a voyage of self-discovery. These essays provide writers with the opportunity to share a fragment of their lives with the audience, enriching both the writer’s and the reader’s experiences. Narrative essay examples could be a write-up on “What has been your biggest achievement in life so far and what did it teach you?” or “Describe your toughest experience and how you dealt with it?”.
While narrative essays allow you to be creative with your ideas, language, and format, they must include some key components to convey the story clearly, create engaging content and build reader interest. Follow these guidelines when drafting your essay:
- Tell your story using the first person to engage users.
- Use sufficient sensory information and figurative language.
- Follow an organized framework so the story flows chronologically.
- Include interesting plot components that add to the narrative.
- Ensure clear language without grammar, spelling, or word choice errors.
Narrative essay outlines serve as the foundational structure for essay composition, acting as a framework to organize thoughts and ideas prior to the writing process. These outlines provide writers with a means to summarize the story, and help in formulating the introduction and conclusion sections and defining the narrative’s trajectory.
Unlike conventional essays that strictly adhere to the five-paragraph structure, narrative essays allow for more flexibility as the organization is dictated by the flow of the story. The outline typically encompasses general details about the events, granting writers the option to prioritize writing the body sections first while deferring the introduction until later stages of the writing process. This approach allows for a more organic and fluid writing process. If you’re wondering how to start writing a narrative essay outline, here is a sample designed to ensure a compelling and coherent narrative:
- Hook/Opening line: The introduction should have an opening/hook sentence that is a captivating quote, question, or anecdote that grabs the reader’s attention.
- Background: Briefly introduce the setting, time, tone, and main characters.
- Thesis statement: State clearly the main theme or lesson acquired from the experience.
- Event 1 (according to occurrence): Describe the first major event in detail. Introduce the primary characters and set the story context; include sensory elements to enrich the narrative and give the characters depth and enthusiasm.
- Event 2: Ensure a smooth transition from one event to the next. Continue with the second event in the narrative. For more oomph, use suspense or excitement, or leave the plot with cliffhanger endings. Concentrate on developing your characters and their relationships, using dialog to bring the story to life.
- Event 3: If there was a twist and suspense, this episode should introduce the climax or resolve the story. Keep the narrative flowing by connecting events logically and conveying the feelings and reactions of the characters.
- Summarize the plot: Provide a concise recap of the main events within the narrative essay. Highlight the key moments that contribute to the development of the storyline. Offer personal reflections on the significance of the experiences shared, emphasizing the lasting impact they had on the narrator. End the story with a clincher; a powerful and thought-provoking sentence that encapsulates the essence of the narrative. As a bonus, aim to leave the reader with a memorable statement or quote that enhances the overall impact of the narrative. This should linger in the reader’s mind, providing a satisfying and resonant conclusion to the essay.
There are several types of narrative essays, each with their own unique traits. Some narrative essay examples are presented in the table below.
How to write a narrative essay: Step-by-step guide
A narrative essay might be inspired by personal experiences, stories, or even imaginary scenarios that resonate with readers, immersing them in the imaginative world you have created with your words. Here’s an easy step-by-step guide on how to write a narrative essay.
- Select the topic of your narrative
If no prompt is provided, the first step is to choose a topic to write about. Think about personal experiences that could be given an interesting twist. Readers are more likely to like a tale if it contains aspects of humor, surprising twists, and an out-of-the-box climax. Try to plan out such subjects and consider whether you have enough information on the topic and whether it meets the criteria of being funny/inspiring, with nice characters/plot lines, and an exciting climax. Also consider the tone as well as any stylistic features (such as metaphors or foreshadowing) to be used. While these stylistic choices can be changed later, sketching these ideas early on helps you give your essay a direction to start.
- Create a framework for your essay
Once you have decided on your topic, create an outline for your narrative essay. An outline is a framework that guides your ideas while you write your narrative essay to keep you on track. It can help with smooth transitions between sections when you are stuck and don’t know how to continue the story. It provides you with an anchor to attach and return to, reminding you of why you started in the first place and why the story matters.
- Compile your first draft
A perfect story and outline do not work until you start writing the draft and breathe life into it with your words. Use your newly constructed outline to sketch out distinct sections of your narrative essay while applying numerous linguistic methods at your disposal. Unlike academic essays, narrative essays allow artistic freedom and leeway for originality so don’t stop yourself from expressing your thoughts. However, take care not to overuse linguistic devices, it’s best to maintain a healthy balance to ensure readability and flow.
- Use a first-person point of view
One of the most appealing aspects of narrative essays is that traditional academic writing rules do not apply, and the narration is usually done in the first person. You can use first person pronouns such as I and me while narrating different scenarios. Be wary of overly using these as they can suggest lack of proper diction.
- Use storytelling or creative language
You can employ storytelling tactics and linguistic tools used in fiction or creative writing, such as metaphors, similes, and foreshadowing, to communicate various themes. The use of figurative language, dialogue, and suspense is encouraged in narrative essays.
- Follow a format to stay organized
There’s no fixed format for narrative essays, but following a loose format when writing helps in organizing one’s thoughts. For example, in the introduction part, underline the importance of creating a narrative essay, and then reaffirm it in the concluding paragraph. Organize your story chronologically so that the reader can follow along and make sense of the story.
- Reread, revise, and edit
Proofreading and editing are critical components of creating a narrative essay, but it can be easy to become weighed down by the details at this stage. Taking a break from your manuscript before diving into the editing process is a wise practice. Stepping away for a day or two, or even just a few hours, provides valuable time to enhance the plot and address any grammatical issues that may need correction. This period of distance allows for a fresh perspective, enabling you to approach the editing phase with renewed clarity and a more discerning eye.
One suggestion is to reconsider the goals you set out to cover when you started the topic. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is there a distinct beginning and end to your story?
- Does your essay have a topic, a memory, or a lesson to teach?
- Does the tone of the essay match the intended mood?
Now, while keeping these things in mind, modify and proofread your essay. You can use online grammar checkers and paraphrase tools such as Paperpal to smooth out any rough spots before submitting it for publication or submission.
It is recommended to edit your essay in the order it was written; here are some useful tips:
- Revise the introduction
After crafting your narrative essay, review the introduction to ensure it harmonizes with the developed narrative. Confirm that it adeptly introduces the story and aligns seamlessly with the conclusion.
- Revise the conclusion and polish the essay
The conclusion should be the final element edited to ensure coherence and harmony in the entire narrative. It must reinforce the central theme or lesson outlined initially.
- Revise and refine the entire article
The last step involves refining the article for consistent tone, style, and tense as well as correct language, grammar, punctuation, and clarity. Seeking feedback from a mentor or colleague can offer an invaluable external perspective at this stage.
Narrative essays are true accounts of the writer’s personal experiences, conveyed in figurative language for sensory appeal. Some narrative essay topic examples include writing about an unforgettable experience, reflecting on mistakes, or achieving a goal. An example of a personal narrative essay is as follows:
Title: A Feline Odyssey: An Experience of Fostering Stray Kittens
It was a fine summer evening in the year 2022 when a soft meowing disrupted the tranquility of my terrace. Little did I know that this innocent symphony would lead to a heartwarming journey of compassion and companionship. Soon, there was a mama cat at my doorstep with four little kittens tucked behind her. They were the most unexpected visitors I had ever had.
The kittens, just fluffs of fur with barely open eyes, were a monument to life’s fragility. Their mother, a street-smart feline, had entrusted me with the care of her precious offspring. The responsibility was sudden and unexpected, yet there was an undeniable sense of purpose in the air , filling me with delight and enthusiasm.
As the days unfolded, my terrace transformed into a haven for the feline family. Cardboard boxes became makeshift cat shelters and my once solitary retreat was filled with purrs and soothing meows. The mother cat, Lily, who initially observ ed me from a safe distance, gradually began to trust my presence as I offered food and gentle strokes.
Fostering the kittens was a life-changing , enriching experience that taught me the true joy of giving as I cared for the felines. My problems slowly faded into the background as evenings were spent playing with the kittens. Sleepless nights turned into a symphony of contented purring, a lullaby filled with the warmth of trust and security . Although the kittens were identical, they grew up to have very distinct personalities, with Kuttu being the most curious and Bobo being the most coy . Every dawn ushered in a soothing ritual of nourishing these feline companions, while nights welcomed their playful antics — a daily nocturnal delight.
As the kittens grew, so did the realization that our paths were destined to part. Finally, the day arrived when the feline family, now confident and self-reliant, bid farewell to my terrace. It was a bittersweet moment, filled with a sense of love and accomplishment and a tinge of sadness.
Fostering Kuttu, Coco, Lulu, and Bobo became one of the most transformative experiences of my life. Their arrival had brought unexpected joy, teaching me about compassion and our species’ ability to make a difference in the world through love and understanding. The terrace, once a quiet retreat, now bore the echoes of a feline symphony that had touched my heart in ways I could have never imagined.
The length of a narrative essay may vary, but it is typically a brief to moderate length piece. Generally, the essay contains an introductory paragraph, two to three body paragraphs (this number can vary), and a conclusion. The entire narrative essay could be as short as five paragraphs or much longer, depending on the assignment’s requirements or the writer’s preference.
You can write a narrative essay when you have a personal experience to share, or a story, or a series of events that you can tell in a creative and engaging way. Narrative essays are often assigned in academic settings as a form of writing that allows students to express themselves and showcase their storytelling skills. However, you can also write a narrative essay for personal reflection, entertainment, or to communicate a message.
A narrative essay usually follows a three-part structure: – Introduction (To set the stage for the story) – Body paragraphs (To describe sequence of events with details, descriptions, and dialogue) – Conclusion (To summarize the story and reflect on the significance)
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Over 170 Prompts to Inspire Writing and Discussion
Here are all of our Student Opinion questions from the 2020-21 school year. Each question is based on a different New York Times article, interactive feature or video.
By The Learning Network
Each school day we publish a new Student Opinion question, and students use these writing prompts to reflect on their experiences and identities and respond to current events unfolding around them. To introduce each question, we provide an excerpt from a related New York Times article or Opinion piece as well as a free link to the original article.
During the 2020-21 school year, we asked 176 questions, and you can find them all below or here as a PDF . The questions are divided into two categories — those that provide opportunities for debate and persuasive writing, and those that lend themselves to creative, personal or reflective writing.
Teachers can use these prompts to help students practice narrative and persuasive writing, start classroom debates and even spark conversation between students around the world via our comments section. For more ideas on how to use our Student Opinion questions, we offer a short tutorial along with a nine-minute video on how one high school English teacher and her students use this feature .
Questions for Debate and Persuasive Writing
1. Should Athletes Speak Out On Social and Political Issues? 2. Should All Young People Learn How to Invest in the Stock Market? 3. What Are the Greatest Songs of All Time? 4. Should There Be More Gender Options on Identification Documents? 5. Should We End the Practice of Tipping? 6. Should There Be Separate Social Media Apps for Children? 7. Do Marriage Proposals Still Have a Place in Today’s Society? 8. How Do You Feel About Cancel Culture? 9. Should the United States Decriminalize the Possession of Drugs? 10. Does Reality TV Deserve Its Bad Rap? 11. Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished? 12. How Should Parents Support a Student Who Has Fallen Behind in School? 13. When Is It OK to Be a Snitch? 14. Should People Be Required to Show Proof of Vaccination? 15. How Much Have You and Your Community Changed Since George Floyd’s Death? 16. Can Empathy Be Taught? Should Schools Try to Help Us Feel One Another’s Pain? 17. Should Schools or Employers Be Allowed to Tell People How They Should Wear Their Hair? 18. Is Your Generation Doing Its Part to Strengthen Our Democracy? 19. Should Corporations Take Political Stands? 20. Should We Rename Schools Named for Historical Figures With Ties to Racism, Sexism or Slavery? 21. How Should Schools Hold Students Accountable for Hurting Others? 22. What Ideas Do You Have to Improve Your Favorite Sport? 23. Are Presidential Debates Helpful to Voters? Or Should They Be Scrapped? 24. Is the Electoral College a Problem? Does It Need to Be Fixed? 25. Do You Care Who Sits on the Supreme Court? Should We Care? 26. Should Museums Return Looted Artifacts to Their Countries of Origin? 27. Should Schools Provide Free Pads and Tampons? 28. Should Teachers Be Allowed to Wear Political Symbols? 29. Do You Think People Have Gotten Too Relaxed About Covid? 30. Who Do You Think Should Be Person of the Year for 2020? 31. How Should Racial Slurs in Literature Be Handled in the Classroom? 32. Should There Still Be Snow Days? 33. What Are Your Reactions to the Storming of the Capitol by a Pro-Trump Mob? 34. What Do You Think of the Decision by Tech Companies to Block President Trump? 35. If You Were a Member of Congress, Would You Vote to Impeach President Trump? 36. What Would You Do First if You Were the New President? 37. Who Do You Hope Will Win the 2020 Presidential Election? 38. Should Media Literacy Be a Required Course in School? 39. What Are Your Reactions to the Results of Election 2020? Where Do We Go From Here? 40. How Should We Remember the Problematic Actions of the Nation’s Founders? 41. As Coronavirus Cases Surge, How Should Leaders Decide What Stays Open and What Closes? 42. What Is Your Reaction to the Inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris? 43. How Worried Should We Be About Screen Time During the Pandemic? 44. Should Schools Be Able to Discipline Students for What They Say on Social Media? 45. What Works of Art, Culture and Technology Flopped in 2020? 46. How Do You Feel About Censored Music? 47. Why Do You Think ‘Drivers License’ Became Such a Smash Hit? 48. Justice Ginsburg Fought for Gender Equality. How Close Are We to Achieving That Goal? 49. How Well Do You Think Our Leaders Have Responded to the Coronavirus Crisis? 50. To What Extent Is the Legacy of Slavery and Racism Still Present in America in 2020? 51. How Should We Reimagine Our Schools So That All Students Receive a Quality Education? 52. How Concerned Do You Think We Should Be About the Integrity of the 2020 Election? 53. What Issues in This Election Season Matter Most to You? 54. Is Summer School a Smart Way to Make Up for Learning Lost This School Year? 55. What Is Your Reaction to the Senate’s Acquittal of Former President Trump? 56. What Is the Worst Toy Ever? 57. How Should We Balance Safety and Urgency in Developing a Covid-19 Vaccine? 58. What Are Your Reactions to Oprah’s Interview With Harry and Meghan? 59. Should the Government Provide a Guaranteed Income for Families With Children? 60. Should There Be More Public Restrooms? 61. Should High School-Age Basketball Players Be Able to Get Paid? 62. Should Team Sports Happen This Year? 63. Who Are the Best Musical Artists of the Past Year? What Are the Best Songs? 64. Should We Cancel Student Debt? 65. How Closely Should Actors’ Identities Reflect the Roles They Play? 66. Should White Writers Translate a Black Author’s Work? 67. Would You Buy an NFT? 68. Should Kids Still Learn to Tell Time? 69. Should All Schools Teach Financial Literacy? 70. What Is Your Reaction to the Verdict in the Derek Chauvin Trial? 71. What Is the Best Way to Stop Abusive Language Online? 72. What Are the Underlying Systems That Hold a Society Together? 73. What Grade Would You Give President Biden on His First 100 Days? 74. Should High Schools Post Their Annual College Lists? 75. Are C.E.O.s Paid Too Much? 76. Should We Rethink Thanksgiving? 77. What Is the Best Way to Get Teenagers Vaccinated? 78. Do You Want Your Parents and Grandparents to Get the New Coronavirus Vaccine? 79. What Is Your Reaction to New Guidelines That Loosen Mask Requirements? 80. Who Should We Honor on Our Money? 81. Is Your School’s Dress Code Outdated? 82. Does Everyone Have a Responsibility to Vote? 83. How Is Your Generation Changing Politics?
Questions for Creative and Personal Writing
84. What Does Your Unique Style Say About You? 85. How Do You Spend Your Downtime? 86. Would You Want to Live to 200? 87. How Do You Connect to Your Heritage? 88. What Do You Think Are the Secrets to Happiness? 89. Are You a Sneakerhead? 90. What Role Have Mentors Played in Your Life? 91. If You Could Make Your Own Podcast, What Would It Be About? 92. Have You Ever Felt Pressure to ‘Sell Your Pain’? 93. Do You Think You Make Good Climate Choices? 94. What Does TikTok Mean to You? 95. Do Your Parents Overpraise You? 96. Do You Want to Travel in Space? 97. Do You Feel You’re Friends With Celebrities or Influencers You Follow Online? 98. Would You Eat Food Grown in a Lab? 99. What Makes You Cringe? 100. What Volunteer Work Would You Most Like to Do? 101. How Do You Respond When People Ask, ‘Where Are You From?’ 102. Has a School Assignment or Activity Ever Made You Uncomfortable? 103. How Does Your Identity Inform Your Political Beliefs and Values? 104. Are You an Orchid, a Tulip or a Dandelion? 105. Are You Having a Tough Time Maintaining Friendships These Days? 106. How Is Your Mental Health These Days? 107. Do You Love Writing or Receiving Letters? 108. What Has Television Taught You About Social Class? 109. Are You Easily Distracted? 110. What Objects Bring You Comfort? 111. What Is Your Favorite Memory of PBS? 112. Have You Ever Felt Embarrassed by Your Parents? 113. What Are You Doing to Combat Pandemic Fatigue? 114. Have You Ever Worried About Making a Good First Impression? 115. What Do You Want Your Parents to Know About What It’s Like to Be a Teenager During the Pandemic? 116. How Have You Collaborated From a Distance During the Pandemic? 117. How Important Is It to You to Have Similar Political Beliefs to Your Family and Friends? 118. How Are You Feeling About Winter This Year? 119. Which Celebrity Performer Would You Like to Challenge to a Friendly Battle? 120. How Mentally Tough Are You? 121. What Smells Trigger Powerful Memories for You? 122. What Are You Thankful for This Year? 123. Do You Miss Hugs? 124. Are You a Good Conversationalist? 125. What Habits Have You Started or Left Behind in 2020? 126. What Was the Best Art and Culture You Experienced in 2020? 127. What’s Your Relationship With Masks? 128. What Role Does Religion Play in Your Life? 129. How Will You Be Celebrating the Holidays This Year? 130. What Is Something Good That Happened in 2020? 131. What New Flavor Ideas Do You Have for Your Favorite Foods? 132. What Are Your Hopes and Concerns for the New School Year? 133. How Has 2020 Challenged or Changed You? 134. What Do You Hope for Most in 2021? 135. How Do You View Death? 136. What Is Your Favorite Fact You Learned in 2020? 137. What Are the Places in the World That You Love Most? 138. Have You Ever Experienced ‘Impostor Syndrome’? 139. How Well Do You Get Along With Your Siblings? 140. Do You Talk to Your Family About the Cost of College? 141. Do You Have a Healthy Diet? 142. How Do You Feel About Mask-Slipping? 143. Do You Believe in Manifesting? 144. How Do You Express Yourself Creatively? 145. What Are Your Family’s House Rules During the Covid Crisis? 146. What Online Communities Do You Participate In? 147. Have You Experienced Any Embarrassing Zoom Mishaps? 148. What Does Your Country’s National Anthem Mean to You? 149. Are Sports Just Not the Same Without Spectators in the Stands? 150. Would You Volunteer for a Covid-19 Vaccine Trial? 151. What ‘Old’ Technology Do You Think Is Cool? 152. Have You Ever Tried to Grow Something? 153. How Has the Pandemic Changed Your Relationship to Your Body? 154. How Do You Find New Books, Music, Movies or Television Shows? 155. Are You Nervous About Returning to Normal Life? 156. How Do You Celebrate Spring? 157. How Do You Talk With People Who Don’t Share Your Views? 158. Would You Want to Be a Teacher Someday? 159. What Would You Recommend That Is ‘Overlooked and Underappreciated’? 160. What Children’s Books Have Had the Biggest Impact on You? 161. What Is Your Gender Identity? 162. Have You Hit a Wall? 163. What Is the Code You Live By? 164. Do You Think You Have Experienced ‘Learning Loss’ During the Pandemic? 165. What Are the Most Memorable Things You’ve Seen or Experienced in Nature? 166. Do You Want to Have Children Someday? 167. What Have You Learned About Friendship This Year? 168. What Seemingly Mundane Feats Have You Accomplished? 169. Has a Celebrity Ever Convinced You to Do Something? 170. How Have You Commemorated Milestones During the Pandemic? 171. How Often Do You Read, Watch or Listen to Things Outside of Your Comfort Zone? 172. Do You Think You Live in a Political Bubble? 173. What Is Your Relationship With the Weight-Loss Industry? 174. What Have You Made This Year? 175. How Are You Right Now? 176. What Are You Grateful For?
Want more writing prompts?
You can find even more Student Opinion questions in our 300 Questions and Images to Inspire Argument Writing , 550 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing and 130 New Prompts for Argumentative Writing . We also publish daily Picture Prompts , which are image-centered posts that provide space for many different kinds of writing. You can find all of our writing prompts, added as they publish, here .
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65 Engaging Personal Narrative Ideas for Kids and Teens
Tell a story to engage the reader.
Personal narrative essays are all about telling stories. Engage your reader with lots of descriptive language, and ensure you have a beginning, middle, and end. ( Get more tips about teaching narrative writing here. ) Try these personal narrative ideas to inspire kids and teens to tell meaningful stories from their own lives, no matter what they’ve experienced.
“Describe a Time When You …” Personal Narrative Ideas
Firsts and bests personal narrative ideas, general personal narrative essay ideas, college essay personal narrative ideas.
These personal narrative ideas urge students to dig into their past experiences and share them with their audience. Be sure to share the details, including what took place and how it made you feel, and anything you learned from the experience.
Describe a time when you:
- Were scared
- Overcame a big challenge
- Learned an important life lesson
- Had to make a difficult decision
- Were proud of a friend or family member
- Did something you didn’t want to and ended up liking it
- Met a celebrity or someone you really admire
- Tried something new
- Made a mistake and had to apologize and/or fix the mistake
- Were in danger
- Helped someone in need
- Had a dream come true
- Felt inspired
- Had a really terrible day
- Were a leader
- Made someone else laugh
- Did something you later regretted
- Set a goal and achieved it
These essay topics explore the times you did something for the first time ever, or when you were the best version of yourself.
- Write about meeting your best friend for the first time and how your relationship developed.
- Tell about learning to ride a bike or drive a car.
- Tell about your proudest moment.
- What is your happiest memory?
- What is your earliest memory?
- Explain what it’s like to move to a new town or start a new school.
- What’s the best (or worst!) vacation you’ve ever taken?
- Tell the story of the time you got your first pet.
- Describe your favorite field trip of all time.
- Tell the story of your first day of kindergarten.
- What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten?
- Describe the best party or celebration you’ve ever attended.
- Tell about the first time someone ever paid you for work (first job, chores for a neighbor, babysitting, etc.) and how it made you feel.
- Describe the first time you spent a night away from home without your family.
- What’s the best gift you’ve ever been given?
Here are more personal narrative topics to inspire young writers.
- Describe a performance or sporting event you took part in.
- Explain the process of cooking and eating your favorite meal.
- Write about a time when you or someone you know displayed courage.
- Share the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you.
- Describe a time when you or someone you know experienced prejudice or oppression.
- Explain a family tradition, how it developed, and its importance today.
- What is your favorite holiday? How does your family celebrate it?
- Describe your morning routine from the time you wake up until the moment the school bell rings to start the day.
- Share what you do on a typical non-school day.
- Tell about a time when you were injured. How did it happen?
- Describe an argument you and a friend had and how you resolved it.
- Tell about what you think your life will be like when you’re 25 years old.
- Explore a time when you felt you were treated unfairly.
- What makes your family different from everyone else’s family?
- If you could relive any day in your life, what would it be? Would you want it to be the same or different?
These personal narrative essay topics all come from real 2022–2023 college applications. ( See more college essay prompts here. )
- Discuss a time when reflection or introspection led to clarity or understanding of an issue that is important to you.
- Share an example of how you have used your own critical-thinking skills on a specific subject, project, idea, or interest.
- Using your personal, academic, or volunteer/work experiences, describe the topics or issues that you care about and why they are important to you.
- Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness.
- When was the last time you questioned something you had thought to be true?
- Reflect on a time when you or someone you observed had to make a choice about whether to act with integrity and honesty.
- Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.
- Describe a time when you were challenged by a perspective that differed from your own. How did you respond?
- Elaborate on an activity or experience you have had that made an impact on a community that is important to you.
- Describe any meaningful travel experiences you’ve had.
- Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.
- What is the greatest compliment you have ever been given? Why was it meaningful to you?
- What has been your best academic experience in the last two years, and what made it so good?
- Describe a time when you’ve felt empowered or represented by an educator.
- Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
What are your favorite personal narrative ideas? Come share on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, check out the big list of essay topics for high school (100+ ideas) ., you might also like.
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High School Narrative Writing Lesson plans and other teaching resources
| Elementary Narrative Writing | | Middle School Narrative Writing | |High School Narrative Writing|
10 Ways to Tell a Story An explanation of 10 different narrative viewpoints with examples.
15 Classified Ads We Hope Had Happy Endings Writing prompt: choose one of these historical ads and construct a narrative that supports it. Include characters, location, and other necessary details. (Teachers may wish to check the ads for appropriateness.)
20 Mystical Bridges That Will Take You To Another World Creative writing prompt: "I walked across the bridge and ..." The photographs of real bridges on this page are astonishingly beautiful. However, the page also carries ads that may not be appropriate for the classroom. Consider copying the photographs into a new file for classroom use.
27 Magical Paths Begging To Be Walked Photographs of beautiful paths all over the world, showing a variety of seasons and geography, just waiting to inspire a poem or serve as the setting for a short story. Note: this page carries ads that may not be appropriate for the classroom. Consider copying the photographs into a new file for classroom use.
500 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing Organized by category.
From Object to Story: Writing a Historical Narrative Featuring an Artifact from One's Family History Students share observations about the history of familial artifacts. They then research the history and cultural significance of selected objects to prepare their own historical narratives. Includes short reading as prewriting activity. Designed for grades 7-12.
Hands, Hands, Hands - Writing a Narrative Essay from the Perspective of a Particular Hand The teacher will show pictures of six hands to students (pictures included with other handouts). After a brainstorming session, students will choose one hand that illustrates a particular story from their life. Then students will write a two page narrative essay about this story. These stories will be posted on a class blog to allow for feedback and discussion from classmates. Designed for grades 7-10.
In Search Of Wisdom: An Interview With An Elder Students develop interview questions, interview someone aged 60 or older, and write a narrative using that person's voice. Designed for grades 6-12.
Incorporating Flashbacks in Narrative Text — The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis Students watch a 2:25 video segment that shows an interview with one of the survivors of the U.S.S. Indianapolis who recalls the sinking of the ship and his survival. Students then create an original narrative that utilizes flashback to tell the survivor's story. This lesson is designed for grades 6-12 and includes links to the downloadable video and all support materials.
Little Red Riding Hood Little Red Riding Hood is now part of an elite group of fairy tale crime scene investigators. You remember Humpty Dumpty? He didn't fall. He was pushed. Or so it seemed at first. This idea will work on multiple grade levels.
Narrative, Argumentative and Informative Writing About Baseball Students compose a one- or two-paragraph scene in which a valuable signed baseball is destroyed. The narrative task is the first of four prompts here. Common Core Standards indicated. Don't miss the extension activity, a video of Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" Grades 6-12.
Prewriting Exercises for Personal Narratives Ten activities for personal narrative writing, grades 7-12.
Ten Narrative Writing Prompts Prompts based on student life experiences for high school and college students.
Using Personal Photographs to Spark Narrative Writing The lesson plan asks students to bring in a photograph that has special meaning for them and to write about it. This will work on multiple grade levels.
The Best Personal Narrative Ideas For High School Students
Writing a narrative essay is like telling a little story from your life. Close people become the characters of your essay, and you become both a writer and the main hero. If you have received a personal narrative essay as your high school assignment, don’t worry if you have no idea what to write about — this article has got some great personal narrative ideas for high school.
What Is a Personal Narrative Essay and How to Write It
Essays of this type require a vivid plot filled with sincere emotions and memories.
Here are a few tips on how to write a personal narrative essay:
- The most important step is to find a narrative essay topic that will be interesting for both you and your potential reader. Make a short research to see what suits you — it has to be something personal and important to you.
- Use a descriptive language in your essay. It means that your story has to be written with the help of various expressions and words that you don’t often use. Read examples of an author you like if you are not sure how to do that.
- Make a strong point. The purpose of your narrative essay is not only to share your thoughts but to teach others something new. Your story should teach others something you’ve learned from your own experience. Try to make the lesson of your narrative both fun and useful.
- Make sure to work on the plot of your narrative essay. Use an outline . It has to reach the climax, the highest point of emotional intensity, and give the story a great turn. Add a little twist to surprise your readers.
Top High School Personal Narrative Essay Topics
Here are some great topics for the personal narrative essay for high school students. Choose the one that you like the most and get your straight A in class!
- What was the most unpleasant experience of your life?
- Describe an experience when someone has told you a secret information about them. How did it make you feel?
- Describe the worst and the best day in details.
- How did the first day of high school go for you? Include a detailed description of your feelings.
- How did you meet your best high school friends? Where did it happen?
- What is the best person that you have met? How did he or she influence you?
- Which music inspires you? How often do you listen to it?
- What teacher inspired you? How do you like his or her classes?
- Tell about a time when you took part in any school event.
- Describe a situation when you and your parents misunderstood each other or didn’t agree with your opinion. How did you solve this situation?
Other Personal Narrative Essay Topics
Narrative essay topics from that list will be both great for high school students and those who are already in colleges or university. Even if you are not a student, you can use these narrative topics to practice your writing skills and put your memories and emotions on a paper.
- Describe the hardest decision of your life that you had to make.
- Tell about words or phrases that annoy you when someone uses them.
- Which talent do you have that you are proud of?
- Describe problems that you face every day. How do you cope with them?
- What movies have inspired you? When did you watch them?
- Describe the trip when you traveled to another city or country. What did you do?
- What animal would like to be?
- How did you overcome your biggest fear?
- What is your biggest loss in life?
- Which failures did you experience in your life and what did they teach you?
These were the most popular topics that are great for a personal narrative essay. Start your writing as soon as possible. If these topics are not what you were looking for, try to look for some more essay topics online — and you will find the one that is perfect for you.