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100 Top Narrative Essay Topics and Ideas

100 Top Narrative Essay Topics and Ideas

Imagine being put in a time capsule with an artificial intelligence chauffeur who asks “Which one of your memories would you like to access?”

In a narrative essay, this scenario is not far from the truth. What makes a narrative essay unique is your story, voice, and writing style. The best way to meet your teacher's requirements & grading rubric is to order a quick academic help from EssayPro professional paper writers team.

Table Of Contents

Narrative Essay Definition and Types of Essay

A few words about a narrative definition before we move on: a narrative paper is a type of academic assignment that tells a story about the writer’s personal experience with making some point. The goal is not just to share an entertaining story.

Narrative essays rely on settings, character growth, dialogue, conflicts & resolutions, and turning points.

Another purpose of such writing is to stress the reasons for sharing the episode and the significance of the provided experience. Unlike the heavily-structured persuasive essay, the narrative essay is more free-form. Every narrative has a beginning, middle, and end.

Find out how to write a narrative essay on our blog. Mind that 4 types of such paper exist, and you should make a difference:

  • Exposition
  • Description
  • Narrative
  • Argument

How to Choose Narrative Essay Topics?

  1. Always keep in mind that narratives tell stories

The theme you choose should make it possible for the audience to connect to your personal experience and skills and learned a valuable life lesson.

  1. Pick useful ideas to discuss

If you have a passion for something, select issues that you struggled with, it is a unique chance to avoid writing about things that make you yawn.

  1. Be ready - do not miss the stage of planning!

Your paper has to prove a particular point, so be sure to check how much information you need to collect on different topics.

  1. Keep on experimenting through

Experiment by, for instance, mixing various episodes from your life/different topics. Think about the subject that will guarantee the best emotional experience to your readers.

  1. Recall the essay structure

An academic paper always requires a golden formula structure. Think about the list of ideas you choose from whether it is possible to develop the relevant, logical sections according to the intro-body-conclusion organization. As a body requires at least three paragraphs, decide whether you will be able to come up with three claims (topic sentences) to support the thesis statement.

Our essay writing service has compiled a whole list of narrative essay topics with descriptions to light your path. Scroll down and find some excellent narrative essay topics for college students.

Narrative Essay Topic Ideas

Experience Is a Teacher

Experience Is a Teacher

Grab a pen and paper and jot down the experiences that spring to mind. Your experience could be something negative eventually turning positive or vice-versa. The most intriguing part of a negative experience is how you handled it and came out on top. Give your reader a setting, making them part of the story, and have them experience this moment of change with you.

  1. Fear is a sincere and relatable emotion. Describe the moment you overcame your biggest concern.
  2. Heroism takes bravery… or stupidity in separate situations. Write about your experience of courage.
  3. Nobody is perfect, and everybody makes mistakes. Talk about a mistake you’ve made and the lessons you’ve learned.
  4. When life gets too monotone, it’s always good to get out of your comfort zone. Share memories of the time you’ve experienced something new.
  5. First work experiences teach responsibility and give students a glimpse into adulthood. Write about your first work experience.

Childhood Memories

Childhood Memories

Take the memory trip to your ** open and sincere years*, and find a crazy story to share. If you have a setting, an idea, but no story - you can always make one up. Make it convincing, and people will think you’re a wunderkind!*

  1. Write about a childhood experience that showed the importance of teamwork.
  2. Remember when parties didn’t need alcohol to be fun? Recall the craziest party of your childhood.
  3. Write about your first experience of physical or emotional pain. How did you overcome it?
  4. Kids often have role models who are like superheroes in their eyes (from Hollywood actors to rock band players). Who was your role model and why?
  5. Write about a dream you remember from your childhood.

Growing Up in High School

Growing Up in High School

Everyone is nostalgic for their school years in one way or another. It is a time of knowledge, development, and growth or skipping college classes and looking for trouble. Find something exciting from your high school experience and turn it into a narrative essay.

  1. The school was mostly dull, but some classes didn’t feel that way. Focus on a school subject that you cared about.
  2. Depict an experience of humiliation, whether it was you or someone else. How did people react and what did you learn?
  3. Hobbies (football, guitar, gaming, traveling) are what you looked forward to when rushing to complete homework. What was your after-school hobby?
  4. Describe your best friend from high school and how you’ve both changed growing up.
  5. Write about your greatest school achievement.

Personal Narrative Essay Topics

People and Relationships

Relationships start with family. As a person grows, they extend to friendships, romantic interests, business relationships, and far beyond. Explore the vices and virtues of the people you’ve met.

  1. People change. Some stay together, and some fall apart. Write about an old friend who you’ve lost and why it happened.
  2. A few words can change a person’s perception of things. Write about a conversation you’ve had that changed your life.
  3. Discuss a productive business relationship where you’ve made a great achievement from working with your partner.
  4. Dads can be the voice of reason and moral discipline. Talk about the way your Dad has influenced you.
  5. As people grow and move around, they change their circles of friends. Have you had this experience? Talk about what it feels like meeting an entirely new group of people, sharing experiences, making friends, and building relationships.

Moral & Ethical Dilemmas

Moral Ethical Dilemmas

Laws keep the world in order. Or do they? Students from all over the world discuss many challenging moral questions. Times come when a person has to choose - do the legal thing or do the right thing according to their set of ethical standards. These points make morality an infinite pool of inspiration.

  1. Talk about the time you’ve done something illegal, but it was the right thing to do.
  2. Talk about your observation of a cowardly act. Explain why you think it was cowardly. Share what you would have done instead.
  3. Teachers, parents, police, government - the morals they preach can be wrong sometimes. Provide the details of your act of rebellion against ‘the man in charge.’
  4. Talk about the time you had to do something that undermined your morality.
  5. From a moral perspective, how do you think your government should deal with homeless people?

Hobbies & Interests

Hobbies Interests

Hobbies are things that people enjoy doing most of all that spark lifetime interests in the community. Some people end up happy when their hobby becomes their job. Besides, people attract each other based on the things they do, and the places they go. Ask yourself “What do I enjoy doing?” Or “Why do I like this particular type of music?”

  1. Discuss the time you’ve dumped your responsibilities to do something in favor of your hobby and came out on top proving everyone what you are worthy of.
  2. Write about your talent and how you develop it.
  3. Would you turn your hobby into a class taught in schools?
  4. Tell us how your hobby or obsession managed to get you a job.
  5. Hobbies are often looked over by parents. They want their kids to do well in school. How do you think parents should act towards kids who care more about their hobby than getting good grades?

Moments of Inspiration

Moments of Inspiration

Ever had that moment that inspired you to do great things? As students, we often get inspired by the most straightforward observations. A field trip, or a beautiful view, a film with a moving story, or a classic book like ‘Catcher in the Rye’ - whatever your source of inspiration, you can always turn it into a fascinating piece of writing.

  1. Have you ever seen a movie that inspired you to go out and do great things?
  2. Have you ever been inspired by a book character to behave a certain way and how do you empathize with this character?
  3. The most successful people have failed millions of times to reach success. Tell us about a successful person that inspires you to keep trying.
  4. Write about the time when something seemingly insignificant greatly inspired you (examples: a close person, heroic deed, event, etc.)
  5. Have you ever felt like you could do better? Remember the time you saw someone do something, and it inspired you to do it better than them.

College Student Life

College Student Life

Entering college means getting catapulted into a new world enriched with new impressions. New circles of people, a new system of education, student living conditions, and much more. All the craziest stories happen in college; whether you’re there to party or use textbooks for pillows, there's plenty of narrative essay topics for college and about college that you can write about.

  1. Tell us about the most unlikely exam that you’ve passed and how you prepared for it.
  2. College professors are open to discussions and reinterpretations. Describe the time you’ve won an argument against your professor.
  3. Describe a lecture that has inspired you to get out there and do great things.
  4. After the harsh transition from high school, there’s always a moment when you snap and suddenly realize that you’re in college now. Tell us about the moment that kick-started your college life.
  5. College can refer to partying, studying, or fulfilling your dream - which one will you choose?

‘Imagine If’ Scenarios

Imagine If Scenarios

Narrative essays usually require the student to write about their life. What are the exceptions? Frequently narratives get dramatized in favor of telling a great story over blatantly stating facts. ‘Imagine If…” scenarios are massively amplified versions of reality, making it one of the most popular sub-genres in essay writing. Enter the realm of free-flowing imagination and see where it takes you:

  1. If you had your reality show - what would it be like?
  2. If you could travel back in time - where would you go and why? Would you change the past?
  3. If you had a superpower, which one would you choose, why, and would you use it for personal goals or help people to be happy?
  4. What if you were a movie director with an unlimited budget? Tell us about the movie you’d make!
  5. If you were a best-selling musician and you’ve just come off your most successful album ever - what would you do next?

Places You Have Attended

Memorable Places

You should not necessarily discuss only places from your memories; it is also possible to describe locations that you would like to attend and provide reasons for doing so. Some ideas may include:

  1. Tales from history: the impression of a visit to the National Museum of the U.S. History
  2. Having a trip abroad for the first time in your life. Describing your ideas from that flight
  3. The very first time you traveled to Paris compared to your last visit to the ‘City of Lovers’
  4. Tasting that favorite dish in a cozy restaurant by the Red Sea
  5. Going to see a gig of a favorite rock band at the best venue in New York

Top-preferred Activities

top preferred activities

This one is similar to your “hobbies” yet slightly different. It is better to focus on what you do well and share some useful recommendations instead of fake memories. Describing something, you have a passion for always adds a dynamic perspective!

  1. If you were a scriptwriter for “Game of Thrones,” what would you change about the plot of season three?
  2. If there is a book that changed your opinion on a specific topic, would you recommend it to others and why?
  3. Do you find any resemblance with your favorite Marvel or DC hero?
  4. If you were the head of a mobile app development company, which sort of game would you release first?
  5. Is there a music composition that always cheers you up in any situation?

Author’s Strong Sides and Expertise

author strong sides and expertise

If you believe you are an expert in a particular field, offer the reader some tips and tricks on how to succeed in the same area. I recall the personal experience and factors that helped you. It may look like recommendations, but do not forget that you are not writing a how-to guide - involve more creativity and descriptions.

  1. Reasons why people can always cry on my shoulder and get cheered up immediately
  2. Several things that make me the top specialists when it comes to social media marketing
  3. The art of telling lies: how my creativity once saved the day
  4. Features that make me the best football players in my team
  5. A paper for those who seek advice in cooking Japanese dishes

Good Narrative Essay Topics Without a Category

good narrative essay topics without a category

All of the previous narrative essay topics are tied to a particular genre or theme. Still, there are plenty good narrative essay topics you can pick from that is quite random, yet fun to write about. Check out some more topics for narrative essay assignments that we thought of.

  1. The first car you ever got
  2. Something that really ‘grinds your gears’
  3. The worst day ever
  4. Your guide to dancing at parties
  5. The moment you realized that Google saves all your data
  6. Your guide to relieving stress
  7. Your guide to reading books, listening to music, watching movies
  8. Things to do while waiting in line
  9. If you had a billion dollars for a day
  10. A dream that came true - by accident or through hard work

Fun Narrative Essay Topics for High School Students

fun high school

This section is a pleasant bonus for our young readers! A good sense of humor is an excellent ace of the base in writing. You may turn a severe situation into something fun and relaxing by involving a relevant joke or anecdote. The rest of an essay will then be more alive and exciting. These ideas will help you to inspire:

  1. A bad experience with girls
  2. The time you almost died doing something stupid
  3. The time when your fun and naive high school persona got trapped in a harsh real world situation
  4. The most significant experience in your digital life
  5. The moment when math saved your life
  6. If you starred in ‘My Sweet Sixteen.’
  7. If you starred in ‘Sixteen and Pregnant.’
  8. The most random way you’ve made a friend
  9. The moment you realized that partying is destructive and decided to stop
  10. Your first experience with alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs. What would you tell a person who has never tried either?

Narrative Paper Topics about Personality

topics about personality

Each of us has its personality. It is possible to express yourself in any light by choosing to write a narrative paper about your strengths, weaknesses, characteristics, mood, etc. We have analyzed some of the best topics for you.

  1. How patient can you be if you have to wait for something that matters to you?
  2. How much self-control can you boast?
  3. Have you been a leader at least once in your life?
  4. How would your life be different if you had lost your parents early in life?
  5. Do you have a competitive spirit when it comes to playing various sports games?
  6. Do you take higher risks when your best friends surround you?
  7. List and discuss personal superstitions
  8. Pranks, jokes, anecdotes, and hoaxes you have ever fallen for
  9. Assumptions that people usually make about you
  10. How much of a daredevil are you?

Gender & Sexuality

gender and sexuality

Any topic related to gender is a sensitive one. A writer should be careful not to tread on corns. A paper on one of the ideas about sex should be objective and written in neutral tone, and here we go with some issues that you may find interesting to discuss:

  1. Are there any boys in your company that regard women as “prey”?
  2. Is there too much pressure on women to have ideal bodies?
  3. The difference between male and female roles based on your family/parents
  4. Effective preventive measures to deal with online adult content
  5. The best way to learn about sex in school
  6. The basic principles and purposes of the feminist movement
  7. Is it acceptable to have gender and sexual education at school?
  8. Why so many parents possess different hopes for their sons than for their daughters?
  9. The way sexuality is presented in the “Game of Thrones” book series
  10. Did you have any negative experiences with gender bias in school?

Tips on narrative essay writing

After finding a topic that suits your mood, do some brainstorming. Write all possible scenarios on a piece of paper and organize it into a unique narrative essay outline. Follow the instructors of your professor. Most of your questions have probably been answered there. Our online essay writing service have compiled some writing tips to help you manage your essay without a hassle.

Narrative Essay Examples

  1. One of the narrative essay examples to offer is The Climb (it is an extract - not a complete essay).

“ I suffer from this fear. I am climbing great causes my legs to shake, breaking me out in a cold sweat. Each time I achieve a certain height, thoughts of sudden death run through my mind, and terra firma shows up as a treasured place. I imagine my funeral. I feel sick to my stomach, and my palms become clammy, all because I have been scared of heights since before I can remember. It is not a fear of a particular place, it is the view of the long way to fall, of mountains surrounding me, taking into account no solid wall exists between me and the edge. My sense of safety has vanished at that moment.”

  1. Another sample chosen from the list of grand narrative essay examples is a Playground Episode. Some people say that childhood memories are the strongest.

“It is difficult to select the specific event or memory from my childhood. Many of the situations I used to go through made it hard to decide what left me with the fabled and fuzzy feelings. I used to travel by plane a lot. My father was an Air Force Major, so my family and I used to get flight tickets cheap no matter where we were heading. The large trees of Sequoia National Forest on the edge of The Grand Canyon impressed me more than anything else. Those are details that make my childhood experiences unique.
Once, I stood in the playground of my elementary school. The power of the wind was gusting a storm that day, Standing in the stadium pulling my hoodie over my ears I feared the rain would drench me. Miniature tornados surrounded me. It scared me to death!

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