Imagine being put in a time capsule with an artificial intelligence chauffeur who asks “Which one of your memories would you like to access?” When writing a narrative essay, this scenario is not far from the truth. What makes a narrative essay unique is your story, voice, and writing style.
- Narrative Essay Definition and Types of Essay
- Narrative Essay Examples
- Narrative Essay Topic Ideas
Idea deficiency is a thing: many students do not have the time to spare for lengthy brainstorming and topic searching. This is why our essay writing service has compiled a whole list of narrative essay topics with descriptions to light your path. Scroll down and find some great narrative essay topics for college students.
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 writer’s personal experience with making some point. The goal is not just to share an entertaining story. 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. Narrative essays rely on settings, character growth, dialogue, conflicts & resolutions, and turning points.
Find out how to write a narrative essay on our blog. Mind that 4 types of such paper exists, and you should make a difference:
Narrative Essay Examples
One of the narrative essay examples to offer is The Climb (it is an extract - not a complete essay).
“I suffer from this fear. Climbing high causes my legs to share, breaking me out in a cold sweat. Each time I achieve a specific height, the thoughts of sudden death run through my mind, and the world shows up as a treasured place. I imagine my funeral. My stomach feels sick and my palms are clammy because I am scared of heights since I remember myself. It is not a fear of the particular place. It is the view of a long way to fall, of mountains surroUnding me, taking into account no solid wall exists between me and the edge. My sense of safety is gone by that moment.”
Another sample chosen from the list of great narrative essay examples is a playground memory. 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 select 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 me and my family got the flight tickets for cheap no matter where we were heading. The monstrous trees of Sequoia National Forest on the edge of Grande Canyon impressed me more than anything else. Those are details that make my childhood experiences unique.
Once, I stood on the playground of the elementary school. The power of wind was strong that day, and I stood on the blacktop pulling my hoodie over the eras fearing the rain will follow. I was surrounded by the miniature tornados. It almost scared me to death!”
Narrative Essay Topic Ideas
Experience Is a Teacher
Some say that experience is the best teacher - grab a pen with paper and jolt down the experiences that come to your head. Your experience could be something negative turned positive or vice-versa. Keep in mind that the most intriguing part of a negative experience is how you handled it and came out on top. Give your reader a setting, make them part of the story, and have them experience this moment of change with you. That is the formula that makes the best narratives.
Fear is a strong and relatable emotion. Describe the moment you overcame your biggest fear;
Heroism takes bravery… or stupidity in separate situations. Write about your experience of heroism;
Nobody is perfect, and everybody makes mistakes. Talk about a mistake you’ve made and the lessons you’ve learned.
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;
First work experiences teach responsibility and give students a glimpse into adulthood. Write about your first work experience.
The situations that children get themselves involved in can be ridiculous and funny to share. Take the memory trip to your naive 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!
Write about a childhood experience that showed the importance of teamwork;
Remember when parties didn’t need alcohol to be fun? Recall the craziest party of your childhood;
Write about your first experience of physical or emotional pain. How did you overcome it?
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?
Write about a dream you remember from your childhood.
Growing Up in High School
Remember counting the seconds on the clock before lunch break as the school bell rings and a stampede of kids comes roaring down the hallway? 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.
School was mostly dull, but some classes didn’t feel that way. Focus on a school subject that you actually cared about;
Depict an experience of humiliation, whether it was you or someone else. How did people react and what did you learn?
Hobbies (football, guitar, gaming, traveling) are what you looked forward to when rushing to complete homework. What was your after-school hobby?
Describe your best friend from high school and how you’ve both changed growing up;
Write about your greatest school achievement.
People and Relationships
Relationships start with family. As a person grows, they extend to friendships, romantic interests, business relationships, and far beyond. A story describing your relationship with another person will be relatable - as private as it may be. Explore the vices and virtues of the people you’ve met. Relationships observed could be an excellent source of ideas for personal narrative essay topics if you are into drama.
People change. Some stay together, and some fall apart. Write about an old friend who you’ve lost and why it happened;
A few words can change a person’s perception of things. Write about a conversation you’ve had that changed your life;
Discuss a productive business relationship where you’ve made a great achievement from working with your partner.
Dads can be the voice of reason and moral discipline. Talk about the way your Dad has influenced you;
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
Laws keep the world in order. Or do they? There are ethical and moral issues that stand outside of the legal regulations that regulate our everyday life. 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 moral standards. These points make morality an infinite pool of inspiration.
Talk about the time you’ve done something illegal, but it was the right thing to do;
Talk about your observation of a cowardly act. Explain why you think it was cowardly. Share what you would have done instead;
Teachers, parents, police, government - the morals they preach can be wrong sometimes. Provide the details of your personal act of rebellion against ‘the man in charge.’
Talk about the time you had to do something that undermined your morality.
From a moral perspective, how do you think your government should deal with homeless people?
Hobbies & Interests
Hobbies are things that people enjoy doing most of all that spark lifetime interests in community. Some people end up really 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?” Hobbies and interests can be great inspiration for topics. If you write about something you love passionately, the reader will be absorbed by it.
- 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 worth of.
- Write about your talent and how you develop it.
- Would you turn your hobby into a class taught in schools?
- Tell us how your hobby or obsession managed to get you a job;
- 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
Ever had that moment that inspired you to do great things? As students, we often get inspired by the simplest 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.
Have you ever seen a movie that inspired you to go out and do great things?
Have you ever been inspired by a book character to behave a certain way and how do you empathize with this character?
The most successful people have failed millions of times to reach success. Tell us about a successful person that inspires you to keep trying.
Write about the time when something seemingly insignificant greatly inspired you (examples: a close person, heroic deed, event, etc.)
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
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.
Tell us about the most unlikely exam that you’ve passed and how you prepared for it.
College professors are open to discussions and reinterpretations. Describe the time you’ve won an argument against your professor;
Describe a lecture that has inspired you to get out there and do great things.
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.
College can refer to partying, studying, or fulfilling your dream - which one will you choose?
‘Imagine If’ Scenarios
Narrative essays usually require the student to write about their own personal 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:
- If you had your own reality show - what would it be like?
- If you could travel back in time - where would you go and why? Would you change the past?
- 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?
- What if you were a movie director with an unlimited budget? Tell us about the movie you’d make!
- If you were a best-selling musician and you’ve just come off your most successful album ever - what would you do next?
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 are quite random, yet fun to write about. Check out some more topics for narrative essay assignments that we thought of.
- The first car you ever got
- Something that really ‘grinds your gears’
- The worst day ever
- Your personal guide to dancing at parties
- The moment you realized that Google saves all your data
- Your personal guide to relieving stress
- Your personal guide to reading books, listening to music, watching movies
- Things to do while waiting in line
- If you had a billion dollars for a day
- A dream that came true - by accident or through hard work
Fun Narrative Essay Topics for High School Students
- A bad experience with girls
- The time you almost died doing something stupid
- The time when your fun and naive high school persona got trapped in a harsh real world situation
- The greatest experience in your digital life
- The moment when math saved your life
- If you starred in ‘My Sweet Sixteen’
- If you starred in ‘Sixteen and Pregnant’
- The most random way you’ve made a friend
- The moment you realized that partying is destructive and decided to stop
- Your first experience with alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs. What would you tell a person who has never tried either?
I found a great topic for my narrative essay and I need further instructions
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 essay writing service have compiled some writing tips to help you manage your essay without a hassle.
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