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295 personal narrative ideas: diverse topics for your essay.

January 6, 2022

295 Personal Narrative Ideas

Personal narrative writing involves writing about a real-life experience. It’s like non-fiction. You’re writing a story about yourself because it happened to you. At some point, your stories are the perfect personal narrative writing ideas because they are yours.

This way, you get to connect with people. As a student in high school, college, middle school, or university, you can impress your teachers or professors with good personal narrative topics. By choosing the perfect topic, you can create a stellar essay to earn high grades.

Characteristics of a Good Personal Narrative Piece

As a kind of writing which relies on individual experience, your story must:

Have a Clear Purpose This could be a narration of why the story is important to you. The purpose of the story must be clearly expressed without making direct statements about it. Organized Facts and Events The fact you are writing a story about your life doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be organized. You should write sequentially as much as possible to make it organized and lucid. Sensory Description You must also describe your feeling in a way the audience can connect with it. If you need to describe how the cold touch of rain sliced through your skin on a winter dawn, do it. Let your audience feel it as much as you felt it. Involve Readers Your readers must feel important while reading your story. To achieve this, your story must carry them along. If there’s something you need to explain, explain it to make everything clear to them. Include Conflict A story is incomplete without conflicts. This is why you must create enthralling conflicts for your characters. The higher the stake, the better the feelings when the protagonist scales through it.

All these, in addition to a thesis statement are all important features that must be seen in any personal narrative writing.

The Structure of a Personal Narrative Essay

After knowing what your personal essay must have as its features, you must also structure your essay properly. To do this, you should follow this organizational structure:

  • Introduction

This is where you grab your readers’ attention. You should set the scene where major characters of the story are also introduced. After this, discuss the role of the argument and introduce the characters. Your introduction must be captivating. Note that you’re writing a story, not a paper.

This is where everything about the story is shared. You must add all the details you know to your story. For instance, the hiking experience must be profoundly discussed, and so do the events that changed you. If you also want to talk about people, describe them. Doing this lets you show your readers, not tell them the story. When you need to change the course of the story, you can write in a new paragraph.

Our list will be extremely helpful to start your essay, but we can assist you even more along the whole process if you want to pay for essay online and save your time for something more entertaining.

Personal Narrative Writing Prompts

As students, one of the most important essays you may ever write is a personal narrative one. This is one of the ways to reveal yourself to strangers and friends. It’s a way to knows more about yourself and other people. You can consider these ideas for a personal narrative piece:

  • Identify your most threatening challenges
  • What would you say are your survival strategies?
  • How do you cope when you fail?
  • Would you say that you can’t succeed unless you fail?
  • Discuss what you do to achieve your goals
  • Do you think “leave your comfort zone” is a sham?
  • What do you think about yourself when you’re scared?
  • Would you say you don’t mind loneliness?
  • What does crying mean to you?
  • What are your fears?
  • Do you harbor superstitions, what are they?
  • Do you feel no one is seeing you as they should
  • Write about your rules for life
  • Write about your response to bullies
  • Write about how you give yourself peace
  • How do you relax within the limited time you have to yourself?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • How do you integrate feedback to improve?
  • Would you say becoming an adult is difficult?
  • What is the responsibility that scares you the most and why?
  • When was your saddest day and why was it?
  • How does stress not make anything easy for you?
  • Do you act anyhow when you’re provoked?
  • How do you perform under pressure?
  • Can you discuss what makes you happy?
  • Discuss what criticism means and how you take them in
  • Discuss what your decision-making process is like
  • Explain what motivates you the most
  • Do you think you have self-control
  • Are you presently easy or hard on yourself to reach your goals?
  • Can you work under any circumstances?
  • Do you think you’re a creative person?
  • What are the conditions that helped you maximize your potentials
  • Would you say you’re emotionally intelligent?
  • Would you say you can perform the most when you collaborate
  • Are you ready for the competitive workplace?
  • Would you say you’re a great speaker?
  • Would you say you’re a better listener?
  • Do you think you’re an agreeable person?
  • Discuss what you think about peer pressure.

Personal Narrative Essay Ideas

For your personal essays, how do you discover great essay ideas? You can consider custom personal narrative prompts which are unique to specific events. Some of the topics which are target-oriented are:

  • Discuss a time you took more risks than others
  • What makes you a daredevil?
  • What has made you brave?
  • Would you say you’re impulsive?
  • Discuss your strategies against boredom
  • What are the pranks you’ve ever fallen for
  • How do you apologize when you’re wrong?
  • Do you think you’re a cynical person?
  • Discuss three things that annoy you
  • Would you say you’re materialistic?
  • Do you consider yourself a minimalist?
  • How do you say goodbye?
  • Are you on the right or the left?
  • What do you think people think about you?
  • Why do you think what others think should matter?
  • Write about your role model
  • Would you say you’re weird?
  • Would you say you’re a nonconformist?
  • Do you believe in magic?
  • Why should you be inspired by people?
  • Do you think your role models are heroes?
  • Would you think role models must be famous
  • Outside your family, are you a different person?
  • Within your family, do you want to be someone else?
  • Which live show do you love the most?
  • Discuss how someone has made a difference in your life
  • What are the kinds of music you like?
  • Discuss what you’d put in a thank you note
  • Write what you’d do if you’re to invite your enemies to dinner
  • Recall a time to speak to a large audience of people and write how it felt
  • Do you think family is everything?
  • Do you think you can’t be anything without family?
  • Would you say you want to change your role in the family?
  • What are the programs that keep you closer?
  • If your life would be a movie, which of the autobiographies would it be?
  • Choose a profession of your choice and discuss why
  • What do you think about sacrifice?
  • Discuss a family treasure
  • Would you say you have hobbies someone has adopted
  • Why are you called your name?

Personal Narrative Ideas High School

As high school students, you also need to develop personal narrative essays. These could be essays about your parents, neighbors, or your home. Choose from these personal narrative ideas for high school students:

  • Describe your relationship with your parents?
  • Would you say your parents permit you?
  • Discuss the freedom your parents give you
  • Do you think your curfew hours make it difficult to live?
  • Would you say you enjoy your parents, why?
  • Would you prefer to be a parent too?
  • What do your parents do with your bad report card?
  • Would you say parenting is difficult?
  • Do your parents like online learning?
  • Are your parents hard on you to do things?
  • Do you think parenting could be something to be embarrassed by?
  • How did your parents influence the school you attended?
  • Do your parents let you create things on your own?
  • Do you think you have great teachers and patients?
  • What will your neighbors say about you?
  • Which characters perfectly describe your neighbors and why?
  • What is a common slogan in your environment?
  • What are the TV shows you can’t stop watching?
  • What do you think about supporting community sport?
  • Write about the mayor of your city
  • Where is your favorite place?
  • Write about your favorite joint
  • Write about a park you love
  • Discuss how you spend time with nature
  • Would you say you see bad things every day?
  • Do you love your home?
  • What is your favorite ad slogan and why?
  • What does chatting with the police feel like?
  • Have you ever been assaulted?
  • Do you think you’re easily annoyed?

Personal Narrative Topic Ideas

If you’d love to discuss anything at all, there are tons of custom ideas on narrative writing. Some personal narrative ideas are also based on religion, sexuality, race, and many other issues of the world today. Consider:

  • Would you say you have no religion?
  • Do you think the older generations are too religious?
  • Write about how you know about other religions
  • Write about what you know about other religions
  • Discuss the difference between male and female
  • Do you acknowledge the rights of trans people?
  • Do you think the LGTBQ is complicated?
  • Will you share parental responsibilities?
  • What do you know about sex?
  • What do you know about gender issues?
  • What is your experience of love?
  • How does being a ‘real man’ feel?
  • Do you think you can be biased?
  • Is there a difference in the ways sons and daughters are treated in the home?
  • Should there a more pressure on daughters than men
  • Discuss your racial identity and why it’s important to talk about it
  • Would you say you’re a feminist?
  • Discuss your encounter with sexual harassment
  • Discuss what you think about catcalling
  • What do you think about social hierarchies?
  • Discuss the last time you interacted with someone of another race
  • Do you think you have racial biases too?
  • Would you say you experienced racism before, as black
  • Which one is more important to you: money or love
  • Are you happy with yourself?
  • Would you say money can’t buy happiness too?
  • What do you pay attention to the most in the world?
  • Do you think it’s okay to be addicted to phones
  • How do you teach people about money?
  • What are the most important things in your life?

Personal Narrative Writing Ideas

As an attempt to discuss something that deals with people’s daily affairs, good ideas for personal narrative may be hard to come by. Rather than go through the trouble of finding how to think of ideas for a personal narrative, these are custom ideas for you:

  • What are the things that matter most for you?
  • Narrate what you hope to have in your dream home
  • Narrate your experience as if you’d lived in the woods
  • Narrate your most fun childhood memory
  • Discuss what your passion was as a child
  • Explain what you loved most as a child
  • Write about your favorite childhood shows and books
  • Discuss your favorite childhood picture book
  • Write about your childhood influences
  • Discuss your childhood most loved places
  • Discuss the little things your parents did they made you happy
  • Write about the first time you went out with your parents
  • Narrate your experience of a swing
  • What was your favorite song as a child? Write a response to it
  • Which food do you wish you’d eaten as a child
  • Narrate what made a gift the best you ever had
  • Write about what your most memorable letter
  • Write about the divorce of a family friend or neighbor
  • Discuss the consequence of separation from a state
  • Write about how migrated from a place to another
  • Write about how angry your father or mother could be at themselves
  • Write about your favorite memories of sleepovers
  • How did it feel when you found something you thought you’d lost?
  • What are your most prized lessons of teenage years?
  • Would you do something else differently not as an adult when you were 13?
  • Narrate the achievements that made you proud
  • Discuss the rites you engaged in
  • Write about your message to the older generation
  • Write a message to the younger generation
  • Describe yourself as if you’re a 13-year-old right now
  • Share a story of your ethical dilemma
  • Discuss your sex experience; whether you had it not
  • Write about something you cared about that you shouldn’t have
  • Write about something you didn’t care about but you should have
  • Discuss the last time you collected money from a stranger
  • Write about the last time a stranger kissed you
  • Discuss your memorable lying experience
  • Narrate your experience with drugs
  • Explain your experience with gossiping
  • Have you ever cheated in exams?

Personal Narrative Ideas College

As a college student, you can also develop incredible personal narrative pieces. Through these pieces, you can connect with your colleagues and share your ideas. Consider these personal narrative prompts:

  • Why did you choose the screen time you chose?
  • What would you do without a smartphone?
  • Narrate your gaming experiences and the thrill you feel
  • Write about the apps that do nothing but reduce you
  • Would you say tech takes a huge responsibility for change in your life?
  • Would you say you are interested in technology?
  • What is your experience of religion?
  • What is your experience of God?
  • Narrate if you’ve had an encounter with God or religion before
  • Explain what you’d do if you have control over others
  • Narrate what you would control if you can
  • Narrate what you can do without thinking otherwise
  • What would you say are your best features of YouTube
  • Narrate your experience of a date over the internet
  • Narrate your experience of seeking to advice online
  • Discuss your favorite online sports
  • Write about your online sad story
  • Write about a terrible experience of bullying online
  • Discuss how you fact check what you read online
  • Write about how you express yourself online
  • Would you say you trust Wikipedia?
  • Would you say you enjoy online reviews?
  • What is your comment on porn?
  • Would you give your passwords out?
  • If you have a partner, will you share everything?
  • What would you do if you just made a fraudulent purchase?
  • Do you chat with anonymous people?
  • How do you keep your passwords safe?
  • Are there things your parents won’t believe that is on the internet?
  • Write about why you trust social media
  • What is your favorite Facebook experience?
  • What is your favorite Twitter experience?
  • What is your experience of wrong grammar structure online?
  • Did you ever go through Instagram feeds with envy?
  • Did you ever download a stranger’s picture because you like them?

Personal Narrative Ideas for Middle School

At this stage, you have also had plausible experiences of life. What can you say about your life, or your experiences? You can write from these interesting personal narrative ideas:

  • What do you know about poo divas and who’s your favorite?
  • Write about your first karaoke performance
  • Write about the artists you’d like lined up
  • Narrate your earliest connection with music
  • Narrate your earliest experience of music
  • Write about the most loving but sad thing that ever happened to you
  • Why do you avoid people?
  • Narrate your experience of being stalked
  • Discuss how you think social media has been abused
  • Tell a story about your most favorite songs
  • Tell a story about the music which has inspired you the most
  • Which television show would you bring back?
  • Which of your childhood commercials is your favorite?
  • Why do you prefer cartoons?
  • Discuss how television helped your family stay together
  • Narrate the work nature of your parents
  • Discuss your experience of being cheated
  • Which music star do you love?
  • Which music tells you about life?
  • Which artist tells stories the most?
  • How does the music you listen to Influence you?
  • Narrate what you think are the best period of your life yet
  • Narrate your favorite movies
  • Narrate a public performance experience
  • Discuss the bad things about horror movies
  • Write about your favorite comedians
  • Narrate your experience of gaming
  • Would you play violent games?
  • Do you think zombies are real?
  • Do you feel guilty or excited that you kill zombies?

Good Ideas for a Personal Narrative Essay

If you need to discuss cool events and languages, there are good personal narrative topics for you. Some of these topics are:

  • Narrate your experience at the museum
  • What is your favorite visual artist?
  • Discuss your most fascinating work of art
  • Write about the importance of education
  • Would you say you can’t live without art
  • Which words do you like using?
  • Which words don’t you like using?
  • What are the slangs you used to love?
  • What has changed since you started using some words
  • Would you call someone a shag? Why?
  • Which word do you think people use too much?
  • Narrate what you consider a great conversation
  • Discuss your time with a lover
  • Narrate your experience discussing with your mum
  • Narrate your experience discussing with your dad
  • Narrate your experience teaching your grandparents about something on a smartphone
  • Write about a time you felt you talked too much
  • Write about a time you used satires
  • Write about a time you attacked people but didn’t feel bad
  • What would you say are the most terrible things you’ve done?
  • If you had to learn a language, which would it be?
  • How do you use your body language and why do you use it?
  • If you can influence someone’s memory, what would it be and why would you do it?
  • Write about what stresses you the most about school without using F words or castigating anyone
  • Discuss what you once looked forward to but no longer look forward to
  • Would you rather take private classes, online classes, or physical classes with other students and why would you choose your choice?
  • Discuss your experience with bullying and what you could have done when you were bullied or when someone you know was bullied
  • Write about the kind of school you wish you had attended and the experience you wish you had had
  • Write about the things you hate the most about going to your religious places and the things you wish they had
  • Discuss what it would mean to not be educated at all.

Interesting Personal Narrative Ideas

There are also interesting personal narrative essay ideas across all classes. You can choose these essay ideas for your college, high school, middle school, or university assignments. Options to consider are:

  • What have you had to do which you didn’t like?
  • Discuss how best you once participated in class
  • Write about a memorable experience of school you wish were yours
  • Write about a memorable experience of a relationship you wish you could have
  • Discuss your first encounter with a difficult subject and write when you realize you may fail the course
  • Tell a story about what you thought is fascinating about relationships that are no longer fascinating?
  • Tell a story about what you think about digital skills and why it is important in the future
  • Would you say that programming and computer coding offers more opportunities than any other skills?
  • Narrate a terrible experience of yours after you failed an exam and what your parents did
  • Narrate the saddest day in class for you
  • You were invited to speak to your class about how you spent your weekend or holiday, what were the things that ran through your mind and did you speak?
  • Like your friends, you had many terrible and shameful experiences while studying simply because you’re a shy person, narrate some of the most important and terrible moments of your school life
  • Write a story about a teacher you would like to appreciate detailing the important things the teacher had done to you without isolating the bad things he or she had also done
  • Discuss the textbook you ever felt disgusted with and why you did
  • Do you think your teachers are as vast with technology as they ought to be, and would you feel bad if you had insulted them at one time or the other when you were young?
  • Narrate the most arousing party you went to focusing on the sensory details which made it different from other parties and proms
  • If you will deliver a speech about the horribleness of physical bullying or cyberbullying, focusing on experiences that could make people cry, how would you write the speech and how would you perform it?
  • Would you flog students you considered rebellious in your class if you were a teacher, even if the student is truly stubborn and should have probably been in a juvenile center?
  • What are the mental health issues you wish people had talked about the most when you were in high school?
  • If you could talk to the authorities about the things you think were important for students which weren’t done, what would they be, and how would you do it?

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With these exciting topics, you can create a professional personal narrative essay based on your adult or childhood experiences. However, if you need someone to write your essay or assignment, you can hire top-notch writers online.

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good topics for personal narrative essays

Narrative Essay Topics: 200 Best Ideas for You

good topics for personal narrative essays

Envision being enclosed in a time capsule with an AI chauffeur posing the question, "Which of your memories would you like to revisit?” This scenario perfectly aligns with the essence of a narrative essay, where your story, voice, and writing style set it apart. 

In this article, you will get a proper definition of a narrative essay, as well as a list of 200 narrative essay topics for college to get your creative juices flowing abundantly! If you’re in a hurry or overloaded with other tasks, feel free to consult our essay service – expert writers know how to help.

Bring your stories to life with EssayPro . Select from a vast array of narrative essay topics and let our professionals help you weave your tales into captivating essays. Whether it's adventure, reflection, or imagination, we're here to assist.

order narrative essay

Best Narrative Essay Topics: How to Choose the One That Resonates 

A narrative essay is a form of writing that recounts a personal experience or tells a story, often incorporating elements like characters, plot, setting, and a chronological sequence of events. The primary purpose of a narrative essay is to engage the reader emotionally and convey a specific message or insight through the retelling of a significant experience.

Students engage in writing narrative essays as part of their academic curriculum for various reasons. First and foremost, this type of essay serves as a means for personal expression, allowing students to convey their unique experiences, thoughts, and emotions creatively. Additionally, the process of crafting a narrative essay contributes to the development of essential writing skills, such as structuring ideas coherently and organizing thoughts effectively. 

How to Choose Narrative Essay Topics

Selecting compelling narrative essay ideas involves considering personal experiences, interests, and the potential for engaging storytelling. Here's a guide on how to choose narrative essay topics:

  • Reflect on Personal Experiences: Identify significant experiences in your life that have had a lasting impact. Consider moments of personal growth, challenges overcome, or lessons learned.
  • Explore Interests and Passions: Choose topics related to your hobbies, interests, or areas of expertise. Writing about something you are passionate about can make the narrative more captivating.
  • Consider Audience Interest: Think about the interests and preferences of your intended audience. Choose topics that resonate with a broader audience if the essay is for a class or publication.
  • Focus on a Specific Event or Detail: Narrow down your topic to a specific event or detail to make the narrative more focused and impactful. Avoid overly broad topics that may be challenging to cover thoroughly in a short essay.
  • Look for Universal Themes: Explore themes that have universal appeal, such as love, resilience, or personal transformation. Connecting with readers on a universal level enhances the relevance of your narrative.
  • Brainstorm and Freewrite: Generate a list of potential topics through brainstorming. Freewriting, where you write without constraints for a set period, can help unearth compelling ideas.
  • Consider Narrative Techniques: Think about the storytelling techniques you want to employ (e.g., flashback, foreshadowing) and choose a topic that complements those techniques.
  • Seek Feedback: Share your ideas with friends, peers, or instructors to get feedback on the potential impact and interest of your chosen topics.
  • Evaluate Emotional Significance: Assess the emotional significance of each potential topic. Topics that evoke strong emotions, whether joy, sadness, or excitement, often make for compelling narratives.
  • Ensure Personal Connection: Select a topic that you can connect with on a personal level. Your enthusiasm and connection to the subject matter will enhance the authenticity of the narrative.

Once you've discovered a topic that aligns with your mood, engage in brainstorming. Jot down all conceivable scenarios on paper and structure them into a distinctive outline for your narrative essay. Adhere to your professor's instructions diligently, as they likely address most of your inquiries. For added assistance, you can always turn to our narrative essay writing service and receive timely support. 

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Ideas for Narrative Essay Topics

Having examined the writing experiences of students in crafting narrative paragraphs, we have curated a collection of narrative essay topics tailored for both college and school students. This comprehensive list encompasses a diverse array of subjects, so feel free to choose one that resonates with you! If you’d like to see how to develop a topic in written form, please consult our narrative essay example guide. 

Literacy Narrative Essay Topics for College Students

What about exploring intriguing literacy narrative essay topics tailored for college-level writing? Sounds great!

  • Discovering the transformative power of literature during a challenging period in my life.
  • Navigating the complexities of multilingualism and its impact on my identity.
  • The profound influence of a childhood book that ignited my love for reading.
  • Overcoming dyslexia and finding my unique voice in the world of written expression.
  • Exploring the cultural significance of storytelling within my family heritage.
  • The evolution of my writing style through encounters with diverse literary genres.
  • Unraveling the mysteries of decoding language as a non-native English speaker.
  • The role of digital technology in shaping my approach to reading and writing.
  • The empowering journey of embracing academic literacy in a foreign language.
  • Capturing the essence of my academic growth through reflective writing assignments.
  • The intersection of personal and academic literacies in shaping my worldview.
  • The impact of a memorable teacher on my development as a critical reader.
  • Confronting stereotypes through literacy: Redefining narratives about my culture.
  • How my relationship with writing evolved through participation in online communities.
  • The role of literature in fostering empathy and understanding diverse perspectives.
  • Unveiling the hidden narratives in everyday life through observational writing.
  • The challenges and triumphs of maintaining a personal writing practice in college.
  • Exploring the connection between literacy and social justice advocacy.
  • Reflecting on the influence of literature on my personal and professional aspirations.
  • The unexpected lessons learned from failed attempts at creative writing projects.

Personal Narrative Essay Topics on Relationships

Reflect on your past experiences and share compelling personal narratives through these essay ideas. 

  • Navigating the complexities of a long-distance relationship: How did distance shape our connection?
  • The transformative impact of a friendship that withstood the test of time.
  • Lessons learned from a mentor-mentee relationship that transcended professional boundaries.
  • The role of sibling dynamics in shaping my understanding of interpersonal relationships.
  • Exploring the impact of cultural differences on friendships and romantic connections.
  • How did a childhood friendship influence my views on trust and loyalty in relationships?
  • The evolving dynamics of a family relationship during a significant life transition.
  • Unveiling the complexities of parent-child relationships through moments of conflict and resolution.
  • The unique challenges and rewards of maintaining relationships in a digital age.
  • Investigating the influence of societal expectations on romantic relationships.
  • The unexpected connections forged during a group travel experience.
  • How did a challenging breakup contribute to personal growth and self-discovery?
  • The role of shared hobbies and interests in building meaningful connections.
  • Reflecting on the impact of past relationships on my present-day perspectives.
  • Navigating workplace relationships and the balance between professionalism and camaraderie.
  • How have my experiences with peer relationships shaped my sense of belonging?
  • The significance of forgiveness and reconciliation in repairing strained relationships.
  • The influence of role models on my understanding of healthy and fulfilling relationships.
  • Exploring the complexities of friendships that transition into romantic involvement.
  • How do online interactions and social media influence the nature of modern relationships?

Best Narrative Essay Topics on Education and Learning

Think about sharing your personal experiences and emotions in a captivating manner with these ideas for personal narrative essays.

  • How overcoming academic challenges in high school shaped my approach to learning.
  • The transformative impact of a teacher who inspired a lifelong love for a particular subject.
  • Investigating the role of extracurricular activities in shaping a well-rounded educational experience.
  • How a cultural exchange program broadened my understanding of global education.
  • The challenges and rewards of navigating a bilingual education environment.
  • Exploring the influence of technology on modern classroom dynamics.
  • The role of peer collaboration in fostering a positive learning environment.
  • How did a personal learning style assessment impact my study habits and academic performance?
  • The importance of inclusive education in fostering empathy and understanding.
  • Reflecting on the impact of a particular book or literary work on my educational journey.
  • The role of mentors and role models in guiding educational and career aspirations.
  • Investigating the impact of standardized testing on students' mental health and academic success.
  • How do study abroad experiences contribute to a well-rounded education?
  • The challenges and triumphs of pursuing a non-traditional educational path.
  • The role of community service and volunteerism in shaping a sense of social responsibility.
  • How has the integration of technology changed the landscape of classroom learning?
  • The impact of cultural diversity on classroom discussions and collaborative projects.
  • Exploring the role of education in fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • The influence of socioeconomic factors on educational opportunities and outcomes.
  • How can experiential learning enhance traditional classroom education?

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Personal Narrative Essay Ideas on Reflection on Life

We recommend sparking your creativity with a variety of narrative essay topics, ranging from special moments to everyday experiences.

  • How a personal setback became a catalyst for self-discovery and resilience.
  • Reflecting on the impact of a major life decision and the lessons learned.
  • Exploring the role of cultural heritage in shaping my identity and worldview.
  • The significance of small, everyday moments in fostering gratitude and mindfulness.
  • How facing a fear transformed my perspective on courage and personal growth.
  • Investigating the influence of family traditions on personal values and beliefs.
  • What does success mean to me, and how has that definition evolved over time?
  • Reflecting on the role of friendships in providing support during challenging times.
  • The impact of travel experiences on broadening my understanding of the world.
  • How personal hobbies and passions contribute to a sense of fulfillment.
  • Exploring the relationship between self-love and mental health.
  • How adversity can lead to unexpected opportunities for personal development.
  • Reflecting on the importance of setting and achieving personal goals.
  • What have been the defining moments in my journey toward self-acceptance?
  • Investigating the role of forgiveness in overcoming personal conflicts.
  • How do cultural or societal expectations influence my perception of success?
  • Reflecting on the role of self-care in maintaining physical and emotional well-being.
  • Exploring the impact of technology on the way I connect with others and the world.
  • The lessons learned from navigating a crossroads in life and making a tough decision.
  • How do personal beliefs and values guide my decision-making and life choices?

Ideas for a Narrative Essay on Culture and Society

It’s always a smart move to engage your readers with narrative essays on culture and society, exploring captivating ideas.

  • How cultural diversity in my community has enriched my perspective on the world.
  • Exploring the impact of technology on communication within contemporary society.
  • The role of traditional customs in preserving cultural identity amid globalization.
  • How social media has influenced societal perceptions of beauty and self-worth.
  • Investigating the effects of popular culture on shaping individual values and beliefs.
  • What cultural traditions and rituals contribute to a sense of belonging in my life?
  • Reflecting on the intersection of art and culture in shaping societal narratives.
  • How does socioeconomic status impact individuals' access to education and opportunities?
  • The evolving role of gender norms and equality in today's changing society.
  • Exploring the impact of immigration on cultural exchange and adaptation.
  • What role does storytelling play in preserving and passing down cultural heritage?
  • The influence of historical events on the collective memory of a community.
  • How do language and communication styles reflect cultural diversity?
  • Investigating the effects of globalization on local cultures and traditions.
  • The impact of social movements on challenging societal norms and fostering change.
  • How does media representation influence perceptions of different cultural groups?
  • Reflecting on the role of education in promoting cultural awareness and tolerance.
  • What challenges do individuals face in navigating a multicultural society?
  • Exploring the role of fashion and trends in expressing cultural identity.
  • How do cultural stereotypes affect interpersonal relationships and understanding?

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Narrative Writing Topics on Hobbies and Interests

Impress your readers by transforming your passions and hobbies into thought-provoking narrative essay topics.

  • How my passion for photography has shaped the way I perceive the world.
  • Exploring the joy of discovering new recipes and the art of culinary experimentation.
  • What challenges have I faced and overcome in pursuing my favorite outdoor activities?
  • Reflecting on the transformative power of literature in my life.
  • How has my interest in astronomy influenced my perspective on the universe?
  • What life lessons have I learned through my dedication to martial arts?
  • The role of music in capturing and expressing the essence of personal experiences.
  • How does my love for hiking connect me with nature and promote well-being?
  • Investigating the world of gaming and its impact on my problem-solving skills.
  • What role do artistic expressions, such as painting or drawing, play in my self-discovery?
  • The thrill and challenges of exploring different styles of dance as a form of self-expression.
  • How has my interest in technology and coding opened new possibilities for creativity?
  • What motivates my commitment to environmental sustainability and eco-friendly practices?
  • Exploring the excitement and camaraderie of participating in team sports.
  • The journey of cultivating a green thumb and finding joy in gardening.
  • How do travel and exploration contribute to my personal growth and worldview?
  • Reflecting on the satisfaction derived from building and creating with hands-on crafts.
  • Investigating the cultural and historical aspects of collecting unique artifacts or memorabilia.
  • What sparks my curiosity in the world of science and scientific inquiry?
  • How does my dedication to a specific hobby foster a sense of discipline and dedication?

Narrative Essay Titles on Life-Changing Moments

Life's unpredictability often leads to transformative moments. Consider these narrative essay titles for stories that forever changed your life.

  • Unearthing a hidden passion that illuminated my world.
  • Choosing courage over comfort: A pivotal day in my life.
  • Navigating unexpected turns: Embracing life's spontaneous changes.
  • Can a solitary decision truly reshape the trajectory of a lifetime?
  • Embracing transformative opportunities: The power of saying 'yes'.
  • A chance encounter that forever altered my perspective.
  • Confronting fears head-on: Discovering the strength within.
  • Resilience in adversity: Rising above setbacks with determination.
  • Defining moments that reshaped the very core of my identity.
  • At life's crossroads: Choosing destinies beyond expectations.
  • The ripple effect of decision-making: Small choices, big changes.
  • Losing and finding myself: A journey to rediscover my true identity.
  • Breaking free from self-imposed limitations: The sweet taste of liberation.
  • Piecing together a new narrative amidst life's intricate challenges.
  • Finding silver linings in heartbreak: Transformative growth revealed.
  • Harmony amid chaos: Gracefully dancing through life's constant changes.
  • Thriving beyond comfort zones: Exploring uncharted territories.
  • The journey to success: Failure as a vital stepping stone.
  • Letting go and embracing fresh beginnings: The art of renewal.
  • Discovering purpose in the unpredictable moments of life.

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Good Narrative Topics on Travel and Adventure

Compose captivating personal narrative essay ideas titles by delving into exciting travel adventures.

  • Exploring the vibrant markets of Marrakech.
  • Hiking the untamed trails of Patagonia.
  • A spontaneous road trip through the American Southwest.
  • Can the thrill of paragliding over the Swiss Alps be surpassed?
  • Navigating the chaos of Tokyo's bustling streets.
  • How does volunteering in a remote village in Cambodia change perspectives?
  • Camping under the Northern Lights in Lapland.
  • What wildlife encounters await on an African safari?
  • How do diverse landscapes shape the experience of backpacking across Nepal?
  • What stories lie in the historic streets of Rome during a solo journey?
  • Chasing sunsets on the cliffs of Santorini.
  • What wonders lie beneath the crystal-clear waters of the Maldives for snorkeling?
  • How does getting lost in the ancient alleyways of Istanbul unravel surprises?
  • Exploring the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu.
  • What tales unfold while hitchhiking along the scenic coastal roads of New Zealand?
  • Embracing the serenity of a secluded mountain retreat.
  • Capturing the essence of a bustling Asian street market.
  • How does bungee jumping off a bridge in Queenstown, New Zealand, feel?
  • What culinary delights await while savoring street food in Bangkok?
  • What stories emerge from surfing the waves of the Pacific Coast?

Narrative Essay Topic Ideas on Career and Work Experience

College students can find compelling narrative essay topics by exploring potential career paths or revisiting past job experiences.

  • Navigating challenges while climbing the corporate ladder.
  • Managing multiple roles in a fast-paced workplace.
  • Experiencing a pivotal career moment in transition.
  • Can mentorship shape a career more than formal education?
  • Learning valuable lessons from job loss.
  • Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey: Building a startup from scratch.
  • Understanding the impact of networking on professional growth.
  • Assessing remote work and its influence on productivity from a desk with a view.
  • Evolving from intern to leader: The workplace roles' progression.
  • Can a passion-aligned career pay the bills?
  • Examining the influence of a positive work culture on employee satisfaction.
  • Strategies for overcoming impostor syndrome and thriving in professional spaces.
  • Navigating freelance challenges in the gig economy.
  • Striking a balance at the crossroads of work and family.
  • Exploring how effective communication shapes careers during negotiations.
  • Resilience in the workplace: Turning setbacks into comebacks.
  • Paving the way for success outside traditional careers through the unconventional path.
  • Examining the role of failure as a necessary detour in career development.
  • Breaking glass ceilings and challenging norms: Women in the workplace.
  • Can work-life integration achieve harmony, replacing the pursuit of balance?

Interesting Narrative Essay Topics about Challenges and Obstacles

If you're feeling uncertain about your narrative essay topic, reflect on challenging moments you've faced and how you overcame them.

  • Overcoming fear through confronting phobias.
  • Navigating challenges in a complex career transition.
  • Scaling personal obstacles for self-discovery.
  • Juggling multiple responsibilities in modern life.
  • Recovering from physical injuries and emotional trauma.
  • How do you deal with life-altering decisions at unexpected crossroads?
  • Unraveling knots: Rebuilding relationships after betrayal.
  • What is the personal tale of overcoming depression?
  • Weathering the storm: Surviving and rebuilding after natural disasters.
  • Adapting to a new culture: Foreign ground, familiar struggles.
  • How do you confront invisible illnesses in a judgmental world?
  • Rising from rock bottom to resilience against addiction.
  • Forging a unique path against societal expectations.
  • Embracing self-acceptance amidst societal pressures.
  • Juggling life responsibilities on the tightrope of balance.
  • Finding a voice in the midst of personal challenges.
  • How do you navigate life-altering decisions at crossroads?
  • Self-discovery through overcoming personal flaws.
  • Rebuilding relationships after a period of estrangement.
  • Repairing connections after a falling out on bridges over troubled waters.

Final Remarks

As we conclude, our compilation of 200 narrative essay topics aims to provide you with a solid foundation for your upcoming writing endeavors! Whether you're recounting a significant event, cherishing a childhood memory, or expressing a profound realization, a meticulously crafted narrative essay possesses the potential to deeply resonate with readers.

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150 Best Topic Ideas For Narrative Essay

Table of contents

  • 1 How to Choose a Topic for a Narrative Essay?
  • 2 Some Tips for Writing Narrative Essays
  • 3.1 Narrative Essay Topics for High School Students
  • 3.2 Good Narrative Essay Topics for College Students
  • 4.1 Personal Narrative Essay Topics
  • 4.2 Personal Experience Narrative Essay Topics
  • 4.3 Narrative Essay Topics About Childhood
  • 4.4 Relationship Narrative Essay Topics
  • 4.5 Personal Narrative Essay About Friendship
  • 4.6 Cultural Narrative Essay Topics
  • 4.7 Personal Narrative Stories Ideas on Traveling and Holidays
  • 4.8 Narrative Argument Essay Topics

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.

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.


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.


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
  • Eavesdropping

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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  • Knowledge Base
  • How to write a narrative essay | Example & tips

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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good topics for personal narrative essays

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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Caulfield, J. (2023, July 23). How to Write a Narrative Essay | Example & Tips. Scribbr. Retrieved January 3, 2024, from

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550 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing

Questions that invite students to tell stories, describe memories, make observations, imagine possibilities, and reflect on who they are and what they believe.

good topics for personal narrative essays

By The Learning Network

Update, Sept. 9, 2022: We published a new collection of 445 narrative and personal writing prompts.

We’ve been posting fresh writing prompts every school day for over a decade now, and every so often we create a themed collection like this one to help you find what you need all in one place.

This fall, in honor of our new narrative-writing unit and our first-ever Personal Narrative Essay Contest for teenagers, we’ve rounded up 550 evergreen questions on everything from family, friendships and growing up to gender, spirituality, money, school, sports, social media, travel, dating, food, health and more. (They’re also all available here as a PDF .)

We hope they’ll inspire you, whether you’re entering our related contest or just want to improve your writing skills. Like all our Student Opinion questions , each links to a related Times article, which is free to read if you access it from our site.

So dive in and pick the questions that most inspire you to tell an interesting story, describe a memorable event, observe the details in your world, imagine a possibility, or reflect on who you are and what you believe.

Overcoming Adversity

1. How Resilient Are You? 2. What Do You Do When You Encounter Obstacles to Success? 3. When Have You Failed? What Did You Learn From It? 4. Have You Ever Felt Like an Outsider? 5. What Are Your Secret Survival Strategies? 6. When Have You Reinvented Yourself? 7. How Often Do You Leave Your ‘Comfort Zone’? 8. When Was the Last Time You Did Something That Scared or Challenged You? 9. How Do You Handle Fear? 10. What Do You Gain From Pursuing Something You Do Really, Really Badly? 11. Do You Give Yourself Enough Credit for Your Own Successes? 12. How Often Do You Cry? 13. How Do You Cope With Grief? 14. How Have You Handled Being the ‘New Kid’? 15. How Do You Deal With Haters? 16. How Do You React When Provoked? 17. Does Stress Affect Your Ability to Make Good Decisions? 18. Are You Too Hard on Yourself? 19. How Do You Find Peace in Your Life? 20. Does Your Life Leave You Enough Time to Relax? 21. What Did You Once Hate but Now Like? 22. Do Adults Who Are ‘Only Trying to Help’ Sometimes Make Things Worse? 23. How Well Do You Take Criticism?

Your Personality

24. What Motivates You? 25. What Makes You Happy? 26. What Are You Good At? 27. How Do You Deal With Boredom? 28. Do You Like Being Alone? 29. How Full Is Your Glass? 30. Do You Have a Hard Time Making Decisions? 31. How Much Self-Control Do You Have? 32. Are You a Patient Person? 33. How Well Do Rewards and Incentives Work to Motivate You? 34. How Productive and Organized Are You? 35. Under What Conditions Do You Do Your Best Work? 36. How Do You Express Yourself Creatively? 37. Do You Hold Grudges? 38. How Good Are You at Judging Your Own Talents? 39. How Emotionally Intelligent Are You? 40. Do You Take More Risks When You Are Around Your Friends? 41. Are You a Procrastinator? 42. What Role Does Envy Play in Your Life? 43. How Much of a Daredevil Are You? 44. Are You a Perfectionist? 45. How Impulsive Are You? 46. Are You a Novelty-Seeker? 47. What Annoys You? 48. Do You Apologize Too Much? 49. What Animal Are You Most Like? 50. How Materialistic Are You? 51. How Easy — or Hard — Is It for You to Say No When You Want To? 52. Are You a Hoarder or a Minimalist? 53. Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert? 54. Are You Popular, Quirky or Conformist? 55. How Good Is Your Sense of Direction? 56. How Competitive Are You? 57. What Assumptions Do People Make About You? 58. Are You More of a Leader or a Follower?

59. What Are Your Hobbies? 60. What Are Your Passions? 61. What Would You Choose to Do If You Had Unlimited Free Time and No Restrictions? 62. Are There Activities You Used to Love That Are Now So Competitive They’re Not Fun Anymore? 63. What Activities Make You Feel Most Alive? 64. What Do You Collect? 65. What Work, Sport or Pastime Do You Like to Do at Night?

66. Do You Wish You Had a Different Morning Routine? 67. What Ordinary Moments Would You Include in a Video About Your Life? 68. What Are Your Best ‘Life Hacks’? 69. Do You Spend Enough Time With Other People? 70. How Do You Greet Your Friends and Family? 71. How Do You Remember What You Need to Remember? 72. What’s Your Sunday Routine? 73. How Often Do You Talk to Yourself? 74. When and For What Reasons Do You Seek Silence? 75. What Habits Do You Have, and Have You Ever Tried to Change Them? 76. What Small Things Have You Seen and Taken Note Of Today? 77. What Are the Sounds That Make Up the Background Noise in Your Life? 78. What Sounds Annoy You? 79. What Public Behavior Annoys You Most? 80. What Are Some Recent Moments of Happiness in Your Life? 81. What Are You Grateful For?

Role Models

82. What Heroic Acts Have You Performed or Witnessed? 83. What Are Some ‘Words of Wisdom’ That Guide Your Life? 84. Who Outside Your Family Has Made a Difference in Your Life? 85. What Does the World Need to Know About an Important Person in Your Life? 86. To Whom, or What, Would You Like to Write a Thank-You Note? 87. What Does Dr. King’s Legacy Mean to You? 88. What Six People, Living or Dead, Would You Invite to Dinner? 89. Who’s Your ‘Outsider Role Model’?

90. How Do You Define ‘Family’? 91. What Events Have Brought You Closer to Your Family? 92. What Have You and Your Family Accomplished Together? 93. What Is Your Relationship With Your Siblings Like? 94. Have You Ever Felt Pressured by Family or Others in Making an Important Decision About Your Future? 95. What Possessions Does Your Family Treasure? 96. What Hobbies Have Been Passed Down in Your Family? 97. What’s the Story Behind Your Name? 98. How Have You Paid Tribute to Loved Ones? 99. What Family Traditions Do You Want to Carry On When You Get Older? 100. Did Your Parents Have a Life Before They Had Kids? 101. How Much Do You Know About Your Family’s History? 102. Where Would You Visit To Find Out More About Your Family’s Past?

Parents & Parenting

103. How Close Are You to Your Parents? 104. How Are You and Your Parents Alike and Different? 105. How Much Freedom Have Your Parents Given You? 106. Do You Push Your Parents’ Buttons? 107. How Often Do You Fight With Your Parents? 108. Are Your Parents Addicted to Their Phones? 109. Is Your Family Stressed, Tired and Rushed? 110. How Do You Get What You Want From Your Parents? 111. Do You Ever Feel Embarrassed by Your Parents? 112. Do Your Parents Try Too Hard to Be Cool? 113. Do Your Parents Support Your Learning? 114. Do Your Parents Yell at You? 115. Do You Want Your Parents to Stop Asking You ‘How Was School?’ 116. How Much Do Your Parents Help With Your Homework? 117. How Has Your Family Helped or Hindered Your Transition to a New School? 118. Have Your Parents and Teachers Given You Room to Create? 119. Are You Conforming to or Rebelling Against Your Parents’ Wishes for You? 120. What Advice Do You Have for Teenagers and Their Parents? 121. Do Your Parents Spy on You?

Your Neighborhood

122. What’s Special About Your Hometown? 123. Who Are the ‘Characters’ That Make Your Town Interesting? 124. What Marketing Slogan Would You Use for Your Town or City? 125. After Home and School, Where Do You Find the Strongest Feeling of Community? 126. What Do the Types of Dogs in Your Neighborhood Say About Where You Live? 127. Who Is the ‘Mayor’ of Your School or Neighborhood? 128. How Much Does Your Neighborhood Define Who You Are? 129. What ‘Urban Legends’ Are There About Places in Your Area? 130. Do You Know Your Way Around Your City or Town? 131. How Well Do You Know Your Neighbors? 132. What Is Your Favorite Place? 133. What’s Your Favorite Neighborhood Joint? 134. What Is Your Favorite Street? 135. Do You Hang Out in the Park? 136. What Buildings Do You Love? What Buildings Do You Hate? 137. Have You Ever Interacted With the Police? 138. What Ideas Do You Have for Enhancing Your Community? 139. Where Do You Think You Will Live When You Are an Adult? 140. Would You Most Want to Live in a City, a Suburb or the Country?

141. What is Your Favorite Place in Your House? 142. Do You Wish You Had the Go-to House? 143. Do You Need to De-Clutter Your Life? 144. Do You Plan on Saving Any of Your Belongings for the Future? 145. Is Your Bedroom a Nightmare? 146. What Would You Grab in a Fire? 147. Do You Think You Might Like Communal Living When You’re an Adult? 148. Who Lived Long Ago Where You Live Now? 149. What Would Your Dream Home Be Like? 150. What City or Town Most Captures Your Imagination?

Childhood Memories

151. What Was Your Most Precious Childhood Possession? 152. What Objects Tell the Story of Your Life? 153. Have You Ever Given, or Received, a Perfect Gift? 154. What Were Your Favorite Picture Books When You Were Little? 155. What’s the Best Party You’ve Ever Been To? 156. What Places Do You Remember Fondly From Childhood? 157. What Food or Flavor Do You Remember Tasting for the First Time? 158. What Do You Wish You Could See, Hear, Read or Experience for the First Time All Over Again? 159. Have You Ever Felt Embarrassed by Things You Used to Like? 160. Do You Wish You Could Return to Moments From Your Past? 161. Was There a Toy You Wanted as a Child but Never Got? 162. What Childhood Rules Did You Break? 163. What Is the Most Memorable Thing You Have Ever Lost or Found? 164. What Is Your Earliest Memory? 165. What Nicknames Have You Ever Gotten or Given? 166. What Are Your Best Sleepover Memories? 167. What Old, Worn Out Thing Can You Just Not Part With? 168. What Is Your Most Prized Possession?

169. What Have You Learned in Your Teens? 170. What Rites of Passage Mark the Transition to Adulthood in Your Community? 171. What Letter of Inspiration Would You Write to Your Younger Self? 172. Do You Hate When Adults Ask You What You Want to Be When You Grow Up? 173. Do You Look Forward to Old Age? 174. What Can Older People Learn From Your Generation? 175. What Have You Learned From Older People? 176. What Advice Do You Have for Younger Students? 177. Do You Recognize Yourself in Descriptions of ‘Generation Z’? 178. Do Other People Care Too Much About Your Post-High School Plans? 179. Do You Have ‘Emerging Adult’ Skills? 180. What Do Older Generations Misunderstand About Teenagers Today? 181. What Have You Learned From a Younger Person — and What Have You Taught An Older Person? 182. What Legacy Do You Want to Leave Behind?

Morality & Ethics

183. What Ethical Dilemmas Have You Faced? 184. Have You Ever Taken a Stand That Isolated You From Your Peers? 185. Have You Ever Donated Your Time, Talents, Possessions or Money to Support Anyone in Need? 186. What Acts of Kindness Have You Witnessed or Participated In? 187. Have You Ever ‘Paid It Forward’? 188. How Would You Like to Help Our World? 189. What Would You Invent to Make the World a Better Place? 190. What Would You Risk Your Life For? 191. How Trustworthy Are You? 192. How Comfortable Are You With Lying? 193. When Do You Lie? 194. Have You Ever Lied to Your Parents or Done Something Behind Their Backs? 195. If You Drink or Use Drugs, Do Your Parents Know? 196. Have You Ever Taken Something You Weren’t Supposed To? 197. Do You Ever Eavesdrop? 198. Do You Know How to Say ‘I’m Sorry?’

Religion, Spirituality & Beliefs

199. What Is the Role of Religion or Spirituality in Your Life? 200. How Often Do You Start Conversations about Faith or Spirituality? 201. Do You Believe That Everything Happens for a Reason? 202. How Much Control Do You Think You Have Over Your Fate? 203. Can You Be Good Without God? 204. Can You Pass a Basic Religion Test? 205. What Can You Learn From Other Religions? 206. What Legends and Myths Do You Believe In? 207. Do You Believe in Astrology? 208. Do You Believe in Ghosts?

Gender, Race & Sexuality

209. Do You Feel Constricted by Gender Norms? 210. Do Parents Have Different Hopes and Standards for Their Sons Than for Their Daughters? 211. Have You Ever Been Told You Couldn’t Do Something Because of Your Gender? 212. Is There Too Much Pressure on Girls to Have ‘Perfect’ Bodies? 213. How Much Pressure Do Boys Face to Have the Perfect Body? 214. What Experiences Have You Had With Gender Bias in School? 215. What Does it Mean to Be ‘a Real Man’? 216. What Have You Learned From the Women in Your Life? 217. What Messages About Gender Have You Gotten From Music? 218. How Do You Feel About Being Told to Smile? 219. Have You Ever Tried to Hide Your Racial or Ethnic Identity? 220. Do You Ever Talk About Issues of Race and Class With Your Friends? 221. Have You Experienced Racism or Other Kinds of Discrimination in School? 222. What Has Your Sex Education Been Like?

Money & Social Class

223. What Are Your Attitudes Toward Money? 224. Are You a Saver or a Spender? 225. What Have Your Parents Taught You About Money? 226. Do You Expect Your Parents to Give You Money? 227. How Important a Role Has Money, Work or Social Class Played in Your Life? 228. Do You See Great Disparities of Wealth in Your Community? 229. Can Money Buy You Happiness? 230. What Are the Best Things in Life and Are They Free? 231. What Are Your Expectations About Earning, Saving and Spending Money? 232. How Much Financial Help Do You Expect From Your Parents in the Future? 233. What Choices Do You Make About Money Every Day?

234. Are You Distracted by Technology? 235. Are You Distracted by Your Phone? 236. Are You ‘Addicted’ to Texting? 237. Do Screens Get in the Way of the Rest of Your Life? 238. Do You Experience FOMO When You Unplug? 239. Could You Go a Year Without a Smartphone? 240. Is Your Phone Love Hurting Your Relationships? 241. How Much of Your Day is Voluntarily Spent Screen-Free? 242. To What Piece of Technology Would You Write a ‘Love Letter’?

The Internet

243. How Do You Know if What You Read Online Is True? 244. How Much Do You Trust Online Reviews? 245. What Has YouTube Taught You? 246. What Would You Teach the World in an Online Video? 247. Do You Worry About Your Digital Privacy? 248. Do You Listen to Podcasts? 249. Would You Share an Embarrassing Story Online? 250. Do You Leave Funny Comments Online? 251. What Are Your Experiences With Internet-Based Urban Legends? 252. How Do You Use Wikipedia? 253. Have You Ever Been Scammed? 254. Whom Would You Share Your Passwords With? 255. Do You Ever Seek Advice on the Internet? 256. What Are Your Favorite Viral Videos?

Social Media

257. What Role Does Instagram Play in Your Life? 258. Do You Have ‘Instagram Envy’? 259. Do the Adults in Your Life Follow You on Social Media? 260. Have You Ever Gone to a Place for the Primary Purpose of Taking Selfies? 261. Who Is Your Favorite Social Media Star? 262. How Much Do You Trust the Celebrities and Social Media Stars You Follow? 263. Are You the Same Person on Social Media as You Are in Real Life? 264. What Memorable Experiences Have You Had on Facebook? 265. Why Do You Share Photos? 266. How Do You Archive Your Life? 267. Have You Ever Posted, Emailed or Texted Something You Wish You Could Take Back? 268. Have You Ever Sent an Odd Message Because of Auto-Correct? 269. Would You Want Your Photo or Video to Go Viral? 270. Do You Worry Colleges or Employers Might Read Your Social Media Posts Someday? 271. What Advice Do You Have for Younger Kids About Navigating Social Media?

272. What Are Your Earliest Memories of Music? 273. Who in Your Life Introduces You to New Music? 274. How Much Is Your Taste in Music Based on What Your Friends Like? 275. What Role Does Hip-Hop Play in Your Life? 276. What’s Your Karaoke Song? 277. How Closely Do You Listen to Lyrics? 278. What Is Your Favorite Musical Instrument? 279. What Would You Name Your Band?

Movies, Television & Video Games

280. What Have You Learned About Life From Watching Movies? 281. What Is Your Favorite Sports Movie? 282. Do You Like Horror Movies? 283. What Are Your Favorite TV Shows? 284. What Role Does Television Play in Your Life and the Life of Your Family? 285. What Stereotypical Characters Make You Cringe? 286. Have You Fallen Into ‘Friends’ or Any Other Older Television Shows? 287. How Much Are You Influenced by Advertising? 288. Do You Play Violent Video Games? 289. Who Are Your Opponents in Online Gaming? 290. What Classic Video Games Do You Still Enjoy Playing? 291. Are You a Fortnite Addict? 292. Do You Gamify Your Life?

Books & Reading

293. Read Any Good Books Lately? 294. What Books Do You Think Every Teenager Should Read? 295. What Role Have Books Played in Your Life? 296. Has a Novel Ever Helped You Understand Yourself or Your World Better? 297. Has a Book, Movie, Television Show, Song or Video Game Ever Inspired You to Do Something New? 298. What Book Would You Add to the High School Curriculum? 299. What Have You Learned from Comics? 300. Do You Read or Write Poetry? 301. What Is the Scariest Story You Have Ever Heard?

302. What Purpose Does Writing Serve in Your Life? 303. Do You Keep a Diary or Journal? 304. Do You Want to Write a Book? 305. When Do You Write by Hand? 306. Do You Write in Cursive? 307. Do You Write in Your Books? 308. What ‘Mundane Moments’ From Your Life Might Make Great Essay Material? 309. What Is Your Most Memorable Writing Assignment? 310. Do You Ever Write About Challenges You Face in Life? 311. What’s Your Favorite Joke? 312. If You Had a Column in The New York Times, What Would You Write About? 313. What Would You Write in a Letter to the Editor?

314. What Has Arts Education Done For You? 315. What Work of Art Has Changed Your Life? 316. What Are the Most Memorable Works of Visual Art You Have Seen? 317. Who Is Your Favorite Visual Artist? What Is Your Favorite Work of Art? 318. Which Photograph Stays In Your Memory? 319. What Would You Like to Learn to Make by Hand? 320. Are You Intimidated by Classical Music and Art? 321. Do You Love to Dance? 322. Have You Ever Performed for an Audience or Shared Creative Work With Others? 323. Have You Ever Stumbled Upon a Cool Public Performance? 324. What Show Do You Wish Your School Would Stage?

Language & Speech

325. What’s Your Favorite Word? 326. What Words Do You Hate? 327. Do You Say ‘Kind of, Sort of’ More Than You Realize? 328. What Makes a Great Conversation? 329. How Often Do You Have ‘Deep Discussions’? 330. Do You Wish Your Conversations Were Less Small Talk and More ‘Big Talk’? 331. How Much Information Is ‘Too Much Information’? 332. How Good Are You at Coming Up With Witty Comebacks? 333. Do You Sometimes ‘Hide’ Behind Irony? 334. How Good Is Your Grammar? 335. Do You Speak a Second, or Third, Language? 336. What Does Your Body Language Communicate?

337. Do You Like School? 338. Are You Stressed About School? 339. Are High School Students Being Worked Too Hard? 340. Would You Want to Go to a School Like This One? 341. How Much Do You Speak Up in School? 342. What ‘Pop-Up’ Classes Do You Wish Your School Offered? 343. Is Your School a Safe Learning Space? 344. Would You Want to Be Home-Schooled? 345. What Can Other Schools Learn — and Copy — From Your School? 346. What Do You Hope to Get Out of High School? 347. What Are Your Thoughts on Riding the School Bus? 348. Do You Feel Your School and Teachers Welcome Both Conservative and Liberal Points of View? 349. Do You Want to Be ‘Promposed’ To? 350. How Big a Problem Is Bullying or Cyberbullying in Your School or Community? 351. Can Students at Your School Talk Openly About Their Mental Health Issues? 352. What Career or Technical Classes Do You Wish Your School Offered?

Learning & Studying

353. Do You Have Too Much Homework? 354. Do You Need a Homework Therapist? 355. What’s the Most Challenging Assignment You’ve Ever Had? 356. Are You Afraid of Math? 357. How Would You Do on a Civics Test? 358. What Was Your Favorite Field Trip? 359. What Are Your Best Tips for Studying? 360. What Kind of Time Management Skills Are You Learning from the Adults in Your Life? 361. What Would You Like to Have Memorized?

362. What Do You Wish Your Teachers Knew About You? 363. When Has a Teacher Inspired You? 364. What Teacher Would You Like to Thank? 365. Have You Ever Been Humiliated by a Teacher? How Did it Affect You? 366. Have Your Teachers or Textbooks Ever Gotten It Wrong? 367. Does Your Teacher’s Identity Affect Your Learning? 368. Has a Teacher Ever Changed Your Mind-Set? 369. Do You Have a Tutor?

370. What Personal Essay Topic Would You Assign to College Applicants? 371. How Prepared Are You For College? How Well Do You Think You’ll Do? 372. What Worries You Most About the College Admissions Process? 373. What Worries Do You Have About College? 374. What Role Has Community College Played in Your Life or the Life of Someone You Know? 375. What Qualities Would You Look For in a College Roommate? 376. Would You Want to Take a Gap Year After High School? 377. Do You Intend to Study Abroad While You Are in College? 378. Are You Worried About the Rising Cost of Attending College? 379. Do You Want Your Parents to Live Nearby When You Go to College? 380. What Specialty College Would You Create?

Work & Careers

381. What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? 382. Do You Have a Life Calling? 383. What’s Your Dream Job? 384. Would You Pursue a Career If You Knew You Likely Would Not Make Much Money? 385. What Jobs Are You Most Curious About? 386. Will You Follow in Your Parents’ Footsteps? 387. Would You Consider Moving Overseas for a Job? 388. Would You Want to Be a Teacher? 389. Would You Rather Work From Home or in an Office? 390. What ‘Back-to-the-Land’ Skills Do You Have, or Wish You Had? 391. What Skill Could You Teach in Two Minutes? 392. What Have You Made Yourself? 393. Do You Have an Idea for a Business or App? 394. How Did You Start Doing Something You Love? 395. Did You Ever Take a Break From Doing Something You Love? 396. Would You Quit if Your Values Did Not Match Your Employer’s? 397. Do Your Summer Plans Include Employment?

398. Do You Have Satisfying Friendships? 399. How Alike Are You and Your Friends? 400. Do You Have Any Unlikely Friendships? 401. Do You Like Your Friends? 402. Do You Have a Best Friend? 403. Have You Ever Been Left Out? 404. Do You Ever Feel Lonely? 405. How Often Do You Spend One-on-One Time With Your Closest Friends? 406. How Do You Feel About Introducing Friends from Different Parts of Your Life? 407. Do You Find It Easier to Make New Friends Online or In Person? 408. How Good a Friend Are You? 409. How Have You Helped a Friend in a Time of Need? 410. Is Competitiveness an Obstacle to Making or Keeping Friendships? 411. How Should You Handle the End of a Friendship?

412. Are You Allowed to Date? 413. Is Dating a Thing of the Past? 414. What Advice Would You Give to Somebody Who Just Started Dating? 415. How Do You Think Technology Affects Dating? 416. Have You Ever Been in Love? 417. How Much of a Romantic Are You? 418. Have You Ever Been Ghosted? 419. What’s the Best Way to Get Over a Breakup? 420. Would You Want to Be Proposed to on a Jumbotron? 421. If You Get Married Someday, Do You Think You Will Change Your Last Name?

Sports & Games

422. Why Do You Play Sports? 423. Have You Ever Learned Something From a Professional Athlete? 424. How Would You Change Your Favorite Sport? 425. Does Being a Fan Help Define Who You Are? 426. What Kinds of Games and Puzzles Do You Like? 427. What Are Your Favorite Board Games? 428. Are You a Good Driver?

429. Where Do You Want to Travel? 430. What Is Your Most Memorable Family Vacation? 431. How Would You Spend Your Ideal Family Vacation? 432. What Do You Think You Would Learn From Traveling to All 50 States? 433. What Would Your Fantasy Road Trip Be Like? 434. What Crazy Adventure Would You Want to Take? 435. What Local ‘Microadventures’ Would You Like to Go On? 436. How Has Travel Affected You? 437. What Kind of Tourist Are You? 438. What Are the Best Souvenirs You’ve Ever Collected While Traveling? 439. What Famous Landmarks Have You Visited? 440. What’s the Coolest Thing You’ve Ever Seen in Nature? 441. Would You Like to Live in Another Country? 442. If You Could Time-Travel, Where Would You Go?

Shopping, Looks & Fashion

443. What’s Your Favorite Store? 444. Could You Stop Shopping for an Entire Year? 445. Are You an Ethical Consumer? 446. Do Politics Ever Influence How or Where You Shop? 447. What Is Your All-Time Favorite Piece of Clothing? 448. Are You a Sneaker Head? 449. Do You Wear Clothes for the Logo? 450. Would You Like to Be a Fashion Model? 451. What’s Your Favorite T-Shirt? 452. What Does Your Hairstyle Say About You? 453. How Do You Feel About Your Body? 454. Have You Inherited Your Parents’ Attitudes Toward Their Looks? 455. What’s Your Favorite Room?

Exercise, Health & Sleep

456. What Rules Do You Have for Staying Healthy? 457. Do You Like to Exercise? 458. Do You Get Enough Exercise? 459. How Has Exercise Changed Your Health, Your Body or Your Life? 460. Do You Vape? 461. How Do You Get Your Nature Fix? 462. How Strong Is Your Sense of Smell? 463. What’s Your Favorite Mood Booster? 464. Do You Have Any Bad Health Habits? 465. Do You Learn Better After Moving Around? 466. How Often Do You Engage in ‘Fat Talk’? 467. Do You Pay Attention to Nutrition Labels on Food? 468. What Are Your ‘Food Rules’? 469. What Are Your Healthy Habits? 470. What Health Tips Have Worked for You? 471. What Are Your Sleep Habits? 472. Do You Get Enough Sleep?

Meals & Food

473. What Foods Bring Up Special Memories for You? 474. What Are the Most Memorable Meals You’ve Ever Had? 475. Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been, a Picky Eater? 476. What Foods Best Represent Your Hometown? 477. Have You Ever Experienced Food Insecurity? 478. What’s Your Favorite Holiday Food Memory? 479. What Convenience Foods Make You Happy? 480. How Do You Like Your Pizza? 481. What Are Your Favorite Junk Foods? 482. What’s Your Favorite Candy? 483. What’s Your Favorite Sandwich? 484. What Food Would You Like to Judge in a Taste-Off? 485. Do You Cook? 486. What Would You Most Like to Learn to Cook or Bake? 487. What Messages About Food and Eating Have You Learned From Your Family? 488. How Often Does Your Family Eat Together? 489. What Are Your Favorite Restaurants? 490. What Restaurant Would You Most Like to Review? 491. What Do You Eat During the School Day?

Holidays & Seasons

492. How Do You Celebrate Your Birthday? 493. How Much Scare Can You Handle in Your Halloween Entertainment? 494. Did You Take Part in Any Thanksgiving or Post-Holiday Traditions? 495. What Will You Talk About on Thanksgiving? 496. What Has Been Your Most Memorable Thanksgiving? 497. What Do You Look Forward to Most — and Least — During the Holiday Season? 498. What Are Your Tips for Enjoying the Holiday Season? 499. What Does Santa Claus Mean to You? 500. How Do You Fight the Winter Blues? 501. How Do You Feel About Valentine’s Day? 502. What Would Your Ideal Summer Camp Be Like? 503. What’s Your Favorite Summer Food? 504. Do You Choose Summer Activities to Look Good on Applications? 505. What’s the Most Memorable Thing That Happened to You This Summer?

Animals & Pets

506. What Are the Animals in Your Life? 507. What Have You Learned From Animals? 508. What’s Your Relationship Like With Your Pet? 509. What Are Your Thoughts on Cats? 510. Would You Want to Hang Out at a Cat Cafe? 511. How Do You Feel About the Spiders, Insects and Other Tiny Creatures in Your Home?


512. How Concerned Are You About Climate Change? 513. How Do You Try to Reduce Your Impact on the Environment? 514. Do You Ever Feel Guilty About What, or How Much, You Throw Away? 515. How Much Food Does Your Family Waste? 516. What Could You Live Without? 517. Would You Change Your Eating Habits to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint? 518. Could You Live ‘Plastic Free’?

History, Politics & Current Events

519. What Event in the Past Do You Wish You Could Have Witnessed? 520. What National or International Events That You Lived Through Do You Remember Best? 521. Is Your Online World Just a ‘Filter Bubble’ of People With the Same Opinions? 522. Do You Ever Get the ‘Bad News Blues’? 523. Have You Ever Changed Your Mind About a Hot-Button Issue? 524. What Do American Values Mean to You? 525. How Much Do You Know About the Rest of the World?

526. Would You Want to Live Forever? 527. Would You Want to Live a Life Without Ever Feeling Pain? 528. If You Had an Extra Billion Dollars, What Cause Would You Support With Your Philanthropy? 529. Are You Hopeful About the Future? 530. If the World Was Ending, What Would You Want to Say? 531. Would You Like to Be Famous? 532. Would You Like to Be Cryogenically Preserved (Frozen!) Upon Your Death? 533. Would You Like to Be a Farmer? 534. What Items Would You Place in a Time Capsule for Future Generations? 535. What Fantasy Invention Would You Want to Exist in Reality? 536. What Do You Want to Be Known for After Your Death? 537. Do You Like Your First Name? Would You Change It if You Could? 538. What Would You Do if You Won the Lottery? 539. What Era Do You Wish You Had Lived In? 540. Would You Want to Be a Child Prodigy? 541. What Kind of Robot Would You Want? 542. What Would You Outsource if You Could? 543. What Would You Like to Learn on Your Own? 544. What Would You Be Willing to Wait in a Really Long Line For? 545. Do You Want to Live to 100? 546. Given Unlimited Resources, What Scientific or Medical Problem Would You Investigate? 547. What Scientific Mysteries Do You Want Solved? 548. What Idea Do You Have That Is Ahead of Its Time? 549. How Would Your Life Be Different if You Had Better Listening Skills? 550. What Do You Want Your Obituary to Say?


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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 3 great narrative essay examples + tips for writing.

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A narrative essay is one of the most intimidating assignments you can be handed at any level of your education. Where you've previously written argumentative essays that make a point or analytic essays that dissect meaning, a narrative essay asks you to write what is effectively a story .

But unlike a simple work of creative fiction, your narrative essay must have a clear and concrete motif —a recurring theme or idea that you’ll explore throughout. Narrative essays are less rigid, more creative in expression, and therefore pretty different from most other essays you’ll be writing.

But not to fear—in this article, we’ll be covering what a narrative essay is, how to write a good one, and also analyzing some personal narrative essay examples to show you what a great one looks like.

What Is a Narrative Essay?

At first glance, a narrative essay might sound like you’re just writing a story. Like the stories you're used to reading, a narrative essay is generally (but not always) chronological, following a clear throughline from beginning to end.  Even if the story jumps around in time, all the details will come back to one specific theme, demonstrated through your choice in motifs.

Unlike many creative stories, however, your narrative essay should be based in fact. That doesn’t mean that every detail needs to be pure and untainted by imagination, but rather that you shouldn’t wholly invent the events of your narrative essay. There’s nothing wrong with inventing a person’s words if you can’t remember them exactly, but you shouldn’t say they said something they weren’t even close to saying.

Another big difference between narrative essays and creative fiction—as well as other kinds of essays—is that narrative essays are based on motifs. A motif is a dominant idea or theme, one that you establish before writing the essay. As you’re crafting the narrative, it’ll feed back into your motif to create a comprehensive picture of whatever that motif is.

For example, say you want to write a narrative essay about how your first day in high school helped you establish your identity. You might discuss events like trying to figure out where to sit in the cafeteria, having to describe yourself in five words as an icebreaker in your math class, or being unsure what to do during your lunch break because it’s no longer acceptable to go outside and play during lunch. All of those ideas feed back into the central motif of establishing your identity.

The important thing to remember is that while a narrative essay is typically told chronologically and intended to read like a story, it is not purely for entertainment value. A narrative essay delivers its theme by deliberately weaving the motifs through the events, scenes, and details. While a narrative essay may be entertaining, its primary purpose is to tell a complete story based on a central meaning.

Unlike other essay forms, it is totally okay—even expected—to use first-person narration in narrative essays. If you’re writing a story about yourself, it’s natural to refer to yourself within the essay. It’s also okay to use other perspectives, such as third- or even second-person, but that should only be done if it better serves your motif. Generally speaking, your narrative essay should be in first-person perspective.

Though your motif choices may feel at times like you’re making a point the way you would in an argumentative essay, a narrative essay’s goal is to tell a story, not convince the reader of anything. Your reader should be able to tell what your motif is from reading, but you don’t have to change their mind about anything. If they don’t understand the point you are making, you should consider strengthening the delivery of the events and descriptions that support your motif.

Narrative essays also share some features with analytical essays, in which you derive meaning from a book, film, or other media. But narrative essays work differently—you’re not trying to draw meaning from an existing text, but rather using an event you’ve experienced to convey meaning. In an analytical essay, you examine narrative, whereas in a narrative essay you create narrative.

The structure of a narrative essay is also a bit different than other essays. You’ll generally be getting your point across chronologically as opposed to grouping together specific arguments in paragraphs or sections. To return to the example of an essay discussing your first day of high school and how it impacted the shaping of your identity, it would be weird to put the events out of order, even if not knowing what to do after lunch feels like a stronger idea than choosing where to sit. Instead of organizing to deliver your information based on maximum impact, you’ll be telling your story as it happened, using concrete details to reinforce your theme.


3 Great Narrative Essay Examples

One of the best ways to learn how to write a narrative essay is to look at a great narrative essay sample. Let’s take a look at some truly stellar narrative essay examples and dive into what exactly makes them work so well.

A Ticket to the Fair by David Foster Wallace

Today is Press Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, and I’m supposed to be at the fairgrounds by 9:00 A.M. to get my credentials. I imagine credentials to be a small white card in the band of a fedora. I’ve never been considered press before. My real interest in credentials is getting into rides and shows for free. I’m fresh in from the East Coast, for an East Coast magazine. Why exactly they’re interested in the Illinois State Fair remains unclear to me. I suspect that every so often editors at East Coast magazines slap their foreheads and remember that about 90 percent of the United States lies between the coasts, and figure they’ll engage somebody to do pith-helmeted anthropological reporting on something rural and heartlandish. I think they asked me to do this because I grew up here, just a couple hours’ drive from downstate Springfield. I never did go to the state fair, though—I pretty much topped out at the county fair level. Actually, I haven’t been back to Illinois for a long time, and I can’t say I’ve missed it.

Throughout this essay, David Foster Wallace recounts his experience as press at the Illinois State Fair. But it’s clear from this opening that he’s not just reporting on the events exactly as they happened—though that’s also true— but rather making a point about how the East Coast, where he lives and works, thinks about the Midwest.

In his opening paragraph, Wallace states that outright: “Why exactly they’re interested in the Illinois State Fair remains unclear to me. I suspect that every so often editors at East Coast magazines slap their foreheads and remember that about 90 percent of the United States lies between the coasts, and figure they’ll engage somebody to do pith-helmeted anthropological reporting on something rural and heartlandish.”

Not every motif needs to be stated this clearly , but in an essay as long as Wallace’s, particularly since the audience for such a piece may feel similarly and forget that such a large portion of the country exists, it’s important to make that point clear.

But Wallace doesn’t just rest on introducing his motif and telling the events exactly as they occurred from there. It’s clear that he selects events that remind us of that idea of East Coast cynicism , such as when he realizes that the Help Me Grow tent is standing on top of fake grass that is killing the real grass beneath, when he realizes the hypocrisy of craving a corn dog when faced with a real, suffering pig, when he’s upset for his friend even though he’s not the one being sexually harassed, and when he witnesses another East Coast person doing something he wouldn’t dare to do.

Wallace is literally telling the audience exactly what happened, complete with dates and timestamps for when each event occurred. But he’s also choosing those events with a purpose—he doesn’t focus on details that don’t serve his motif. That’s why he discusses the experiences of people, how the smells are unappealing to him, and how all the people he meets, in cowboy hats, overalls, or “black spandex that looks like cheesecake leotards,” feel almost alien to him.

All of these details feed back into the throughline of East Coast thinking that Wallace introduces in the first paragraph. He also refers back to it in the essay’s final paragraph, stating:

At last, an overarching theory blooms inside my head: megalopolitan East Coasters’ summer treats and breaks and literally ‘getaways,’ flights-from—from crowds, noise, heat, dirt, the stress of too many sensory choices….The East Coast existential treat is escape from confines and stimuli—quiet, rustic vistas that hold still, turn inward, turn away. Not so in the rural Midwest. Here you’re pretty much away all the time….Something in a Midwesterner sort of actuates , deep down, at a public event….The real spectacle that draws us here is us.

Throughout this journey, Wallace has tried to demonstrate how the East Coast thinks about the Midwest, ultimately concluding that they are captivated by the Midwest’s less stimuli-filled life, but that the real reason they are interested in events like the Illinois State Fair is that they are, in some ways, a means of looking at the East Coast in a new, estranging way.

The reason this works so well is that Wallace has carefully chosen his examples, outlined his motif and themes in the first paragraph, and eventually circled back to the original motif with a clearer understanding of his original point.

When outlining your own narrative essay, try to do the same. Start with a theme, build upon it with examples, and return to it in the end with an even deeper understanding of the original issue. You don’t need this much space to explore a theme, either—as we’ll see in the next example, a strong narrative essay can also be very short.


Death of a Moth by Virginia Woolf

After a time, tired by his dancing apparently, he settled on the window ledge in the sun, and, the queer spectacle being at an end, I forgot about him. Then, looking up, my eye was caught by him. He was trying to resume his dancing, but seemed either so stiff or so awkward that he could only flutter to the bottom of the window-pane; and when he tried to fly across it he failed. Being intent on other matters I watched these futile attempts for a time without thinking, unconsciously waiting for him to resume his flight, as one waits for a machine, that has stopped momentarily, to start again without considering the reason of its failure. After perhaps a seventh attempt he slipped from the wooden ledge and fell, fluttering his wings, on to his back on the window sill. The helplessness of his attitude roused me. It flashed upon me that he was in difficulties; he could no longer raise himself; his legs struggled vainly. But, as I stretched out a pencil, meaning to help him to right himself, it came over me that the failure and awkwardness were the approach of death. I laid the pencil down again.

In this essay, Virginia Woolf explains her encounter with a dying moth. On surface level, this essay is just a recounting of an afternoon in which she watched a moth die—it’s even established in the title. But there’s more to it than that. Though Woolf does not begin her essay with as clear a motif as Wallace, it’s not hard to pick out the evidence she uses to support her point, which is that the experience of this moth is also the human experience.

In the title, Woolf tells us this essay is about death. But in the first paragraph, she seems to mostly be discussing life—the moth is “content with life,” people are working in the fields, and birds are flying. However, she mentions that it is mid-September and that the fields were being plowed. It’s autumn and it’s time for the harvest; the time of year in which many things die.

In this short essay, she chronicles the experience of watching a moth seemingly embody life, then die. Though this essay is literally about a moth, it’s also about a whole lot more than that. After all, moths aren’t the only things that die—Woolf is also reflecting on her own mortality, as well as the mortality of everything around her.

At its core, the essay discusses the push and pull of life and death, not in a way that’s necessarily sad, but in a way that is accepting of both. Woolf begins by setting up the transitional fall season, often associated with things coming to an end, and raises the ideas of pleasure, vitality, and pity.

At one point, Woolf tries to help the dying moth, but reconsiders, as it would interfere with the natural order of the world. The moth’s death is part of the natural order of the world, just like fall, just like her own eventual death.

All these themes are set up in the beginning and explored throughout the essay’s narrative. Though Woolf doesn’t directly state her theme, she reinforces it by choosing a small, isolated event—watching a moth die—and illustrating her point through details.

With this essay, we can see that you don’t need a big, weird, exciting event to discuss an important meaning. Woolf is able to explore complicated ideas in a short essay by being deliberate about what details she includes, just as you can be in your own essays.


Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin

On the twenty-ninth of July, in 1943, my father died. On the same day, a few hours later, his last child was born. Over a month before this, while all our energies were concentrated in waiting for these events, there had been, in Detroit, one of the bloodiest race riots of the century. A few hours after my father’s funeral, while he lay in state in the undertaker’s chapel, a race riot broke out in Harlem. On the morning of the third of August, we drove my father to the graveyard through a wilderness of smashed plate glass.

Like Woolf, Baldwin does not lay out his themes in concrete terms—unlike Wallace, there’s no clear sentence that explains what he’ll be talking about. However, you can see the motifs quite clearly: death, fatherhood, struggle, and race.

Throughout the narrative essay, Baldwin discusses the circumstances of his father’s death, including his complicated relationship with his father. By introducing those motifs in the first paragraph, the reader understands that everything discussed in the essay will come back to those core ideas. When Baldwin talks about his experience with a white teacher taking an interest in him and his father’s resistance to that, he is also talking about race and his father’s death. When he talks about his father’s death, he is also talking about his views on race. When he talks about his encounters with segregation and racism, he is talking, in part, about his father.

Because his father was a hard, uncompromising man, Baldwin struggles to reconcile the knowledge that his father was right about many things with his desire to not let that hardness consume him, as well.

Baldwin doesn’t explicitly state any of this, but his writing so often touches on the same motifs that it becomes clear he wants us to think about all these ideas in conversation with one another.

At the end of the essay, Baldwin makes it more clear:

This fight begins, however, in the heart and it had now been laid to my charge to keep my own heart free of hatred and despair. This intimation made my heart heavy and, now that my father was irrecoverable, I wished that he had been beside me so that I could have searched his face for the answers which only the future would give me now.

Here, Baldwin ties together the themes and motifs into one clear statement: that he must continue to fight and recognize injustice, especially racial injustice, just as his father did. But unlike his father, he must do it beginning with himself—he must not let himself be closed off to the world as his father was. And yet, he still wishes he had his father for guidance, even as he establishes that he hopes to be a different man than his father.

In this essay, Baldwin loads the front of the essay with his motifs, and, through his narrative, weaves them together into a theme. In the end, he comes to a conclusion that connects all of those things together and leaves the reader with a lasting impression of completion—though the elements may have been initially disparate, in the end everything makes sense.

You can replicate this tactic of introducing seemingly unattached ideas and weaving them together in your own essays. By introducing those motifs, developing them throughout, and bringing them together in the end, you can demonstrate to your reader how all of them are related. However, it’s especially important to be sure that your motifs and clear and consistent throughout your essay so that the conclusion feels earned and consistent—if not, readers may feel mislead.

5 Key Tips for Writing Narrative Essays

Narrative essays can be a lot of fun to write since they’re so heavily based on creativity. But that can also feel intimidating—sometimes it’s easier to have strict guidelines than to have to make it all up yourself. Here are a few tips to keep your narrative essay feeling strong and fresh.

Develop Strong Motifs

Motifs are the foundation of a narrative essay . What are you trying to say? How can you say that using specific symbols or events? Those are your motifs.

In the same way that an argumentative essay’s body should support its thesis, the body of your narrative essay should include motifs that support your theme.

Try to avoid cliches, as these will feel tired to your readers. Instead of roses to symbolize love, try succulents. Instead of the ocean representing some vast, unknowable truth, try the depths of your brother’s bedroom. Keep your language and motifs fresh and your essay will be even stronger!

Use First-Person Perspective

In many essays, you’re expected to remove yourself so that your points stand on their own. Not so in a narrative essay—in this case, you want to make use of your own perspective.

Sometimes a different perspective can make your point even stronger. If you want someone to identify with your point of view, it may be tempting to choose a second-person perspective. However, be sure you really understand the function of second-person; it’s very easy to put a reader off if the narration isn’t expertly deployed.

If you want a little bit of distance, third-person perspective may be okay. But be careful—too much distance and your reader may feel like the narrative lacks truth.

That’s why first-person perspective is the standard. It keeps you, the writer, close to the narrative, reminding the reader that it really happened. And because you really know what happened and how, you’re free to inject your own opinion into the story without it detracting from your point, as it would in a different type of essay.

Stick to the Truth

Your essay should be true. However, this is a creative essay, and it’s okay to embellish a little. Rarely in life do we experience anything with a clear, concrete meaning the way somebody in a book might. If you flub the details a little, it’s okay—just don’t make them up entirely.

Also, nobody expects you to perfectly recall details that may have happened years ago. You may have to reconstruct dialog from your memory and your imagination. That’s okay, again, as long as you aren’t making it up entirely and assigning made-up statements to somebody.

Dialog is a powerful tool. A good conversation can add flavor and interest to a story, as we saw demonstrated in David Foster Wallace’s essay. As previously mentioned, it’s okay to flub it a little, especially because you’re likely writing about an experience you had without knowing that you’d be writing about it later.

However, don’t rely too much on it. Your narrative essay shouldn’t be told through people explaining things to one another; the motif comes through in the details. Dialog can be one of those details, but it shouldn’t be the only one.

Use Sensory Descriptions

Because a narrative essay is a story, you can use sensory details to make your writing more interesting. If you’re describing a particular experience, you can go into detail about things like taste, smell, and hearing in a way that you probably wouldn’t do in any other essay style.

These details can tie into your overall motifs and further your point. Woolf describes in great detail what she sees while watching the moth, giving us the sense that we, too, are watching the moth. In Wallace’s essay, he discusses the sights, sounds, and smells of the Illinois State Fair to help emphasize his point about its strangeness. And in Baldwin’s essay, he describes shattered glass as a “wilderness,” and uses the feelings of his body to describe his mental state.

All these descriptions anchor us not only in the story, but in the motifs and themes as well. One of the tools of a writer is making the reader feel as you felt, and sensory details help you achieve that.

What’s Next?

Looking to brush up on your essay-writing capabilities before the ACT? This guide to ACT English will walk you through some of the best strategies and practice questions to get you prepared!

Part of practicing for the ACT is ensuring your word choice and diction are on point. Check out this guide to some of the most common errors on the ACT English section to be sure that you're not making these common mistakes!

A solid understanding of English principles will help you make an effective point in a narrative essay, and you can get that understanding through taking a rigorous assortment of high school English classes ! 

Need more help with this topic? Check out Tutorbase!

Our vetted tutor database includes a range of experienced educators who can help you polish an essay for English or explain how derivatives work for Calculus. You can use dozens of filters and search criteria to find the perfect person for your needs.

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Melissa Brinks graduated from the University of Washington in 2014 with a Bachelor's in English with a creative writing emphasis. She has spent several years tutoring K-12 students in many subjects, including in SAT prep, to help them prepare for their college education.

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good topics for personal narrative essays

150 Narrative Essay Topics

good topics for personal narrative essays

If you're looking for a more creative approach to writing essays, narrative essays might be a great option for you. With narrative essays, you have the freedom to tell a story and use your own personal experiences to make a point.

Whether you're writing a personal narrative or an experiential essay, you'll want to make sure that you're engaging your reader and conveying your message effectively. This is where custom essay writing services and coursework writing services can be incredibly helpful. With the assistance of professional writers, you can develop a compelling narrative essay that is both engaging and informative.

Overall, writing a narrative essay can be a fun and rewarding experience. Whether you're reflecting on a personal experience or sharing an anecdote, remember that the goal is to make a point and connect with your audience. So why not give it a try and see what stories you can tell? And if you need any assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to a " write my essay" or " write a paper for me" service for help.

What is a Narrative Essay?

A narrative essay is a less formal form of academic writing where the goal is to see whether you can tell a story clearly in an engaging manner. It follows the typical format of an essay with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion but also incorporates classic story writing elements like plot, setting, character, climax, and ending. 

This kind of essay is written from a defined point of view, usually yours, so writing in the first person is recommended unlike most other forms of academic writing. You still need to make a point though, so include a thesis statement in your first paragraph and refer to it again in the conclusion. 

Many college application essay prompts are narrative writing, for example - describe the most significant achievement of your life. Learning how to write a good narrative paper has use beyond just college essays though, a majority of online content now is based on telling engaging stories. Read on to know more about narrative papers and find a list of 150 fascinating topics for narrative essays.

How to Choose a Topic for a Narrative Essay

Choosing good narrative essay topics are crucial for a few reasons. The story you tell will most often draw from your own experiences and thoughts, so choose a topic that you know well or are well-informed about. Additionally, since the story has to have a purpose, select a topic that has broad potential and narrow it down to tell your unique story. Remember the following things when choosing a topic for a narrative essay.

The key thing to remember is that you’re telling a story

Because a narrative essay is so unlike most academic writing assignments, a common mistake is writing sections like a dry academic assignment. It’s for school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t deliver an experience. It’s about crafting an engaging piece of storytelling while revealing something impactful through the story.

Choose an interesting or meaningful idea to explore

This is a great time to write about something that is particularly important in your life or something you are passionate about. Topics can range from your thoughts and ideas about a concept to an obscure activity that you enjoy.

The pre-writing stage is critically important

A good story flows well and includes details that draw the reader in, but it also has to deliver some idea or message. Collecting information and planning ahead to create an outline for your essay will smoothen your writing process.

Don’t forget to have fun with it!

The story you tell should be engaging, which means you have the freedom to experiment! Drawing from several different but interconnected life experiences, or telling the story from the perspective of an inanimate object are some interesting ways to make your essay stand out. 

But remember that it’s still an essay

Even though it’s storytelling, you’re still writing an essay, which means it needs to follow the classic essay structure. Based on the word count, plan how many body paragraphs you need (minimum 3 ALWAYS). Your first sentence should still have a hook, and your first paragraph still needs to have a thesis statement. The story that unfolds in the body paragraphs shouldn’t drift from your thesis statement, and your conclusion needs to end the story as well as reiterate your thesis. 

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150 Unique Topics for Narrative Essay 

It can be quite tough to think of something meaningful to write your essay about, but almost any experience you have can be an interesting topic. For one person, the first time they played a sport could be a traumatic experience, for another it could be life-changing. Only you know your experiences and thoughts. Here’s a list of narrative essay topics that you can use to start the brainstorming process and spark your imagination.

College narrative essay topics 

College is a time of new experiences. So much happens that it shouldn’t be difficult to choose something to write about. The essay you write can be more descriptive, focussing on your sensory observations of an experience, or more contemplative, focusing on new thoughts and feelings. Take a look at these narrative essay topics for college students. 

What was it like getting your first acceptance letter?
How you chose which college to go to
Your first day leaving home and coming to campus
Meeting your roommate and whether it went well or not
Your first college party 
Your favorite class 
Losing touch or staying in touch with friends from high school
The best day in college so far
The difference between sports in high school and college
How you realized college was easier or tougher than you thought it would be
What it was like being in a class with 200 students
Your experience with an extracurricular you had never tried before
Going home for the first time after attending college
Finding a subject you never thought you would like 
How did you start feeling truly comfortable in college?

Narrative essay topics for high school students

High school years are chaotic. The changes in students and their social expectations can be frustrating, challenging, and exhilarating. Essays about many important firsts can be drawn from high school. Here are a few examples of narrative essay topics related to high school.

The best day of freshman year
A time you were bullied and stood up for yourself
A time when you were bullied and felt helpless
Your most significant social accomplishment
What was a meaningful volunteering experience you had?
Your proudest moment in a sporting event
Losing a valued friend
Your first highschool dance
Why your favorite teacher became your favorite teacher
When you realized what you want to pursue as a career
The best video game moment you had 
An embarrassing moment in school and how you overcame it
Your best social media moment
The buildup to graduation day
An experience helping another student

Personal narrative essay topics

Since narrative essays are often written in the first person and rely on the experiences and thoughts of the author, they can all be considered personal, but a personal essay asks you to specifically tell a story about a time that changed you in a meaningful way. Here are some topics for writing a narrative essay about personal moments and revelations. 

A summer vacation adventure that involved heroics
Describe an experience you had in a foreign country that made you feel lucky to be from your country
Your first time following a YouTube tutorial 
Your excitement at watching the newest star wars/lord of the rings/Marvel Cinematic Universe etc. movie
Bonding with a new pet 
The moment you realized that you admire some traits in a person and want to be like them 
A situation that changed your relationship with your parents 
A situation when you had to deal with the police
Witnessing an event that needed you to call the police 
Your best leadership moment
Your experience attending a large event (politics, religion, sports, etc)
The most meaningful time in church or any religious moment of significance
An experience that humbled you 
A situation where you made a serious mistake 
A time you had to learn from adversity 

Narrative argument essay topics

Like any narrative essay - the goal is to tell a story, but like any argument essay - the goal is to convince or persuade the reader to agree with your viewpoint. Writing an effective narrative argument essay incorporates convincing arguments into the story itself. The trick is finding a balance between getting lost in telling the story and forgetting about storytelling and convincing the reader. Here are a few examples to help you find a topic for a narrative essay. 

A time when you convinced somebody against a conspiracy theory
A moment that made you more religious or spiritual
A moment that made you less religious or spiritual
Your favorite trip and why the place you went to is fantastic
How you discovered your favorite art style
The first time you played a new genre of game and why it’s the best 
Your experience attending a conference or event about climate change
Watching a movie, tv-show, youtube video, or any media that changed your mind
A situation where you had to verbally defend yourself or a friend
An observation about income disparity gained by working in a soup kitchen/homeless shelter etc.
An experience you’ve had talking to somebody with different political beliefs
A conversation about gender identity with an older person
Seeing the police behave appropriately or inappropriately
Your experience with love and how you developed your definition of it
A time you had to swallow your pride and hold your tongue

Easy narrative essay topics

Here’s a list of some good topics for a narrative essay that most people have experience with and can write about but are still interesting enough to create an engaging story for the reader. Below are some easy but interesting narrative essay topics.

A hike, picnic, or walk that made you appreciate nature
Visiting a particularly awesome amusement park
An especially romantic date
Your first trip to a big city 
Your first trip to a foreign country 
Discovering a new movie genre
The thrill of watching horror movies
A regular day in your life
A moment when you gained respect for your parents, teachers, or friends
The time you saved an animal
How you broke a bad habit 
How you developed a new skill
Your experience at a zoo
The first time you went bowling (tried any new game)
Your happiest day

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Cultural narrative essay topics

Some of the most mind-expanding experiences happen when looking at and understanding a different culture or by analyzing your own culture from an outsider’s perspective. Cultural narrative essay topics are particularly useful when applying to colleges or applying for grants or scholarships for exchange programs. 

What you learned from a trip abroad
How the lives of people in various socio-economic brackets are different
Observations on which basic things are different in different countries
How your cultural identity has changed over time
Sleeping over at a friends house from a different cultural background
Describe some unique personal family traditions
An experience where your culture/race/religion affected the situation around you
How you learned to fit in with a different culture
You first experience living in a foreign country
Discovering new subcultures like anime, gaming, k-pop, etc
Your favorite traditions from foreign cultures
How you understood your cultural heritage better
A time when you realized the impact of media on the perspective of other cultures
Getting over stereotypes because someone behaved differently than what you expected 
Celebrating a different festival for the first time

Autobiographical narrative essay topics

Autobiographical narrative essays as you to specifically describe and talk about things in your life that impacted you. Take a look at the narrative essay topics below for inspiration.  

Your first memory
Your first meaningful memory
Your first day of school
Your relationship with your grandparents
Finding out a shocking family secret
Your proudest achievement as a child
Your favorite childhood hobby
The best day of middle school
A time when you lost something important
How you dealt with losing someone close to you
Discovering your favorite musician
Your first kiss, date, or relationship
The worst day of your life 
Why certain things are so meaningful to you
Which people have influenced your life significantly?

Fictional narrative essay topics

Fictional narrative essay topics are an opportunity to flex your creativity. Put yourself in the shoes of someone else, or in a fantastic situation and write a story! These are some narrative essay topics to choose from down below.

What it would be like traveling to Mars
What you would do with a million dollars
Describe a particularly vivid dream 
A day in your life if you woke up as the opposite sex
What it would be like to be a professional gamer
What it would be like to have 100,000 Instagram followers
A day at the zoo from the perspective of an animal
A day in the life of a child from a very wealthy family
A day in the life of a child from a war-torn country
What it would be like to have your own talk show
What would you do if you were president?
What would you do if you were a dictator?
What it would be like to be a superhero
Tell a story based on your favorite work of art
A hypothetical dinner with your favorite celebrity

Best narrative essay topics - our choice

The best narrative essay topic ideas are going to be different for every individual. This section is going to choose some topics that offer the most space for creativity, are interesting to write about, or offer a broad chance for self-reflection. 

Your earliest sad memory
How you realized someone had become a role model
A day in the life of your favorite fictional character
The thrill of winning
The heartbreak of loss
Understanding gender identity
A clash of culture
A new discovery
Finding your favorite hobby 
Performing beyond expectation
Overcoming personal trauma
Helping someone in need
A life-changing trip 
Enjoying nature
Questioning the status quo

More interesting narrative essay topics

Think about these situations and ask yourself if any of these or something similar happened to you and makes for a good story. Enjoy these interesting narrative essay topics!

The best way to win at a particular video game
The process of creating a good TikTok 
Why binging a show is the best way to consume media
What it’s like being lost in a virtual world
A time you were convinced to try something new
Discovering a new favorite food 
What dancing means to you 
The saddest scene in media
The funniest babysitting moment
Your first day at a job
A time you asked for help
What it feels like to end a good book
A time where you panicked 
A time you were kind to someone 

Final thoughts

A narrative writing is unlike most other forms of academic writing. This can make it challenging for students, but as long as you think about it as writing a story and choose the right topic for a narrative essay, they are actually a joy to write! Here are a few key things to remember as you write your essay. 

A narrative essay uses the story structure - beginning, middle, and end, as well as plot, climax, setting, and characters

Spend time on the prewriting phase to gather your thoughts and plan an outline

Don’t lose track of the main purpose of the story

Generally, write in the first person, but the third person can be used as well

Use vivid words and explain sensory details

Above all, have fun and engage the reader as much as you can

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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.

Narrative Essay Topics

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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good topics for personal narrative essays

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249 Personal Narrative Ideas

249 Personal Narrative Ideas

A personal narrative essay is based on stories, experiences, events, memories, and interactions. Hence, while writing, you need to write in the first person. While on it, you need to think about epic moments in your life, memorable things, and things that entertained you along the way. It also acts as a way to evaluate some great experiences and special moments you had with your friends or relatives. While on it, try to know your audience and consider what they will feel while reading your narrative essay. Additionally, it should have a sort of emotional influence on the audience Therefore, try to be as descriptive as possible. This should make the reader feel like they were there with you. This article will provide some great personal narrative ideas and how to structure one.

A Personal Narrative Writing Piece Structure

Just like any other type of essay, it needs to have an introduction, body, and conclusion. You also need to know how to think of ideas for a personal narrative.

Before Starting Try to remember the story that you want to give and create a draft of how you will phrase the story. Also, try to figure out the words that you will use to make your narrative interesting. The preparation process is essential. However, try not to overthink. Introduction The introduction should provide an overview of what to expect. Try your best to explain your view of the topic and what the essay will entail. In addition, try your best to use the introductory paragraphs to get the reader’s attention. Just be creative enough to make them want to read more. Body The body should provide a clear idea of what happened. You can creatively show the events by importance. Moreover, try to structure the story in a way that everything flows from one thing to another. Try to use transitional words to connect various sentences. In addition, use the correct sentence structure for easy readability. Conclusion The conclusion paragraph should entail a summary of the story. This can be in terms of the lesson gotten, why the experience was memorable, and key takeaways. However, be cautious to ensure everything you write here is related to the essay. Once you are done, read the essay and remove or add what seems important for the essay.

You can release yourself from a long writing process and pay attention to more important or joyful activities. Buy dissertation online and our experts will guarantee you perfect result and good mood.

Impressive Personal Narrative Ideas

Are you looking for the best personal narrative prompts? You can start with these. They are mostly geared to understanding your personal experience in different activities.

  • Describe how you overcame your greatest fear.
  • Evaluate your greatest experiences of courage.
  • Evaluate any major mistakes you have made and the lessons learned.
  • The importance of new experiences in our lives.
  • The importance of first work experiences to individuals.
  • A professor you will never forget.
  • Evaluate any dangerous experience you’ve ever had.
  • The most epic experience that happened to you when young.
  • The feeling of losing a friend.
  • How to deal with grief.
  • The best way to learn a new skill.
  • An embarrassing experience that happened to you.
  • The importance of taking part in extracurricular activities.
  • The thrill of attending a sporting event.
  • The thrill of attending a concert.
  • The importance of helping people in need.
  • How does it feel to learn a secret?
  • The family member with whom you have the greatest bond.
  • An inspiration class in your life.

Personal Narrative Writing Prompts

How has your life been from the start? These personal narrative writing prompts will help you to remember the best memories of childhood and school.

  • The worst moment in which you felt scared and alone.
  • Your best vacation experience.
  • The best strategy to use to make friends.
  • Your first day at a new school with new classmates.
  • Your experience of making new friends in a new school.
  • The most enjoyable festive season in your life.
  • The best birthday celebration in your life.
  • The most painful lesson you have ever learned.
  • Your major life fears.
  • An experience when a stranger helped you.
  • The best day of your life.
  • The most tragic event in your life.
  • Your experience with socializing with a new pet.
  • The best way you dealt with a natural disaster
  • A time you found yourself in issues and was called to see the principal.
  • A hard depression experience you would want to forget.
  • The outcome of a serious argument with someone.
  • The result of someone treating you unfairly.
  • Your first skiing experience.

Personal Narrative Essay Ideas

Do you want to get high grades? You can consider any of these personal narrative essay ideas for a start. They are the best topics that you can use in college.

  • Your best cooking experience.
  • How does it feel to help a stranger?
  • The impact of racial prejudice.
  • Have you ever misjudged someone? How did it feel?
  • The best beach experience in your life.
  • The best present you have ever experienced.
  • The negative result of getting an injury.
  • Your first experience driving a car.
  • Your first experience driving a tractor.
  • The negative and positive effects of ending a relationship.
  • The negative and positive effects of starting a relationship.
  • Your first plane trip.
  • How did you feel after using an airplane for the first time?
  • How does it feel to meet a stranger?
  • The best trip you have ever gone on.
  • The negative effects of being punished from a personal experience.
  • The importance of learning a life lesson.
  • Your favorite hiking experience.
  • The importance of hiking and having nature walks often.

Best Ideas for A Personal Narrative

While at school, you need to provide professional work that will help you to get top-notch grades. As students, you should always strive to get the best grades of all-time in college, high school, or university.

  • Your experience when you learned some deep truth about someone.
  • A tradition that surprised you.
  • How circumstances can change some cultures.
  • The most evident food traditions in your family.
  • Your cultural identity.
  • How culture defines someone and their personality.
  • How did it feel to take part in an argument?
  • Dealing with a bully.
  • The repercussion of a person who commits suicide to the family.
  • Your experience after graduating from high school.
  • The effects of being involved in a car accident.
  • The negative effects of humiliation.
  • The importance of different acts of charity.
  • How did it feel to help a friend?
  • The negative effects of school fights.
  • How did you feel when someone got beat up at school?
  • Has a doctor ever neglected your health condition?
  • A tough decision, you have ever made.
  • A total stranger that changed your life completely.
  • A person’s deeds that amazed you.

Personal Narrative Ideas High School

The experiences in high school are numerous. You should spend your high school trying new hobbies, sports, and forming valuable friendships.

  • A day that you will never forget.
  • The impact of failing in a class.
  • The experience when you helped to save someone’s life
  • An experience when you were sick at school.
  • How did it feel when you failed in your best subject at school?
  • A day that you would wish to live again.
  • The emotions that crowd your mind when you fail an exam.
  • The experience in a haunted house.
  • The happiness that comes with winning a prize.
  • Your first job experience.
  • The experience when you got a flat tire.
  • How do you spend your free time?
  • The hobbies you are highly invested in.
  • Your first police encounter.
  • Your experience in an emergency room.
  • The impact of going for internships.
  • The craziest party in your childhood.
  • Your worst emotional experience
  • Your worst physical pain experience.
  • How do you control your emotions?

Personal Narrative Topic Ideas

Are you good at narratives? You can use any of these personal narrative topic ideas to remember some great experiences that you had in the past.

  • Your most memorable dream in childhood.
  • The best subject you cared about in high school.
  • The worst humiliation experience.
  • Has someone ever been humiliated before you?
  • Your after school hobby when young.
  • The best experience with your best friend.
  • The greatest school achievement.
  • The best hobby that you like.
  • Write about a close friend that you lost touch with completely.
  • A conversation you had that changed your perception of things.
  • The influence of your dad on you.
  • A productive business relationship you have ever had.
  • The best motivation that you like.
  • As you grow up, your circle of friends also changes, how’s the experience?
  • How does it feel to make an entirely new group of friends?
  • The best way to share experiences and build relationships.
  • The most illegal experience you have ever had.
  • The most cowardly act you have ever observed.
  • Explain the morals brought forth by the police teachers and parents.
  • Something’s that has ever undermined your morality.

Personal Narrative Writing Ideas

You need to be creative with these personal narrative writing ideas to write your best essay. However, if you can’t remember an incident, you can still try to be creative and formulate a good experience.

  • How the government should deal with homeless people.
  • Write about abandoning your responsibility to take part in a hobby.
  • Evaluate your talent development.
  • Do you think your favorite hobby should be taught in school?
  • What are your most heartfelt interests?
  • Your obsession over something.
  • Why do some parents overlook some hobbies?
  • Do you think your hobby can help you to get a job?
  • The most memorable inspiration in your life.
  • A movie inspiration that made you do great things.
  • The best thing you have ever done for someone.
  • Your best book.
  • Your best book character inspiration.
  • The steps were taken by successful people to reach success.
  • The most successful person that inspires you
  • Where do you derive your inspiration from?
  • One of the most insignificant events that have greatly inspired you.
  • Have you ever felt that you could do something better than someone else?
  • The worst betrayal you have ever experienced.
  • How to aim higher for better results.

Personal Narrative Ideas College

The beauty of these research topics is that you are not limited to the kind of things that you can write. It is your story and experiences. Hence, no one can judge you about what you write.

  • An experience where you expected to fail an exam, but you ended up passing.
  • The best way to prepare for exams.
  • The one time you felt your professor was wrong about a certain concept.
  • The best lecture that has ever inspired you.
  • Are your lecturers and professors open to discussions?
  • How did you kick-start your college life?
  • Do you think college is a great place to fulfill your lifelong dreams?
  • How to have the best experiences in college.
  • The best partying experience in college.
  • Reality shows that you would want to be part of.
  • If you could turn back time, where would you travel back to?
  • Which superpower would you want to have while in college?
  • If you were a movie director, which movie would you make?
  • If you were the best-selling musician, how would you go about making a successful album ever?
  • One of your best museum experiences.
  • Your first trip experience abroad.
  • Your best food experience.
  • The experience of your favorite rock bands at one of the most memorable venues.
  • A book that changed your opinion of certain things.
  • Relation between your favorite superheroes.

Personal Narrative Ideas For High School

High school should be one of the most exciting experiences for you. This is because you get to grow, get new experiences, and form new bonds. Here are some topics that you can use for your essay.

  • The best school experiences.
  • Your experience graduating from high school.
  • Your favorite teacher.
  • What do you do after school?
  • The craziest thing that happened to you after prom night.
  • A shocking incident in high school.
  • The best way to rehearse for the drama competitions.
  • How do you prepare for a debate competition?
  • How to travel to school through bad weather.
  • How did you spend a day when school was canceled?
  • Your least favorite class.
  • The worst experience failing a class.
  • The worst experience getting caught cheating.
  • The best tips on how to top a class.
  • Your favorite subjects.
  • Your first day at high school.
  • The most memorable time in high school.
  • The best moment in high school.
  • The toughest decision you have ever made in high school.
  • The moment that changed your life in high school.

Personal Narrative Ideas For Middle School

Being in middle school teaches you a lot. These are some of the best personal narrative ideas for middle school. They are simple, straightforward, and straightforward.

  • The biggest surprise in your life.
  • The most memorable holiday in your family.
  • The biggest fear you had in middle school.
  • A situation you thought things would get worse.
  • Your first day at school.
  • Your favorite meal at school.
  • A fight with your best friend.
  • How you got your first pet.
  • The unique family tradition that you have.
  • Your experience being called to the dean’s office.
  • The worst conflict with your father.
  • A memorable wedding you will never forget.
  • Your favorite childhood memory.
  • The worst betrayal experience.
  • The best life accomplishment.
  • Your favorite theater movie.
  • How you lost your faith in humanity.
  • The best space planet you would want to travel to.
  • Your experience as a tornado.
  • A trip you will never forget.

Good Ideas For A Personal Narrative Essay

Finding a good topic can take you time. Here are some good ideas for a personal narrative essay. You won’t regret using any of these topics.

  • How your creativity can save the day.
  • The best guide on how to dance at parties.
  • Things to do while waiting in line.
  • If given a billion dollars, how would you spend it in a day?
  • A dream that came true and changed your life.
  • An experience that made you almost die.
  • The most important experience in your digital life.
  • The most random way you have ever made a friend.
  • How is partying destructive?
  • Your worst experience with alcohol.
  • Has math ever saved your life?
  • The importance of self-control.
  • Have you ever been a leader at least once in your life?
  • The importance of a competitive nature when playing a sport.
  • Discuss your superstitions.
  • Assumptions people have about you.
  • The most daring experience you have ever had.
  • The worst risk you have ever taken?
  • Pressure on women to have ideal bodies.
  • The purposes of the feminist movement.

Interesting Personal Narrative Ideas

Do you love narrating your personal experiences? Well, these topics will play a big role in that. Just ensure you creatively explain your narrative well.

  • The importance of gender education at school.
  • A moment that changed your life.
  • An experience growing up in the countryside.
  • The best experiences while growing up in the city.
  • A disastrous trip you experienced.
  • Have you ever risked your life for someone?
  • An accident you experienced.
  • The impact of losing a precious object.
  • Do you think you are a special person?
  • Your first job interview experience.
  • Visiting a park for the first time.
  • A visit to Disney world.
  • The earliest birthday party that you recall.
  • A memorable incident when you were younger.
  • Your earliest childhood memory.
  • An incident that involved your crush.
  • How did your first romantic relationship start?
  • How would life be if you never met your best friend?
  • Your favorite movie that defines relationships.
  • Have you ever fixed a broken friendship?

Good Personal Narrative Topics

Life is full of exciting stuff to do. Hence, you can use these personal narrative topics to give your story.

  • A moment you had to cover for your friend
  • The first time you got into a fight with a friend.
  • Getting in trouble with a close friend.
  • Your relationship with your friend’s pet.
  • Ever been in a position you needed to choose between friends?
  • Your favorite holiday and festival.
  • A trip home for Easter.
  • The scariest Halloween.
  • The best family holiday traditions.
  • A foreign cultural event you won’t ever forget.
  • How it feels spending a holiday alone.
  • Your first experience traveling yourself.

Get The Best Personal Narrative Idea

These are some of the best personal narrative ideas that you can ever use. They are elaborative, simple, straightforward, and exciting to write about. If you are not comfortable with your writing, you can always pay for thesis online. Our rates are cheap, and you will get your work fast.

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Narrative Essay

Narrative Essay Topics

Caleb S.

Best Narrative Essay Topics 2023 for Students

Published on: Jun 19, 2018

Last updated on: Nov 16, 2023

Narrative Essay Topics

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Crafting a Winning Narrative Essay Outline: A Step-by-Step Guide

Share this article

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! 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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Narrative Essay Topics Featured

  • Scriptwriting

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 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.

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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

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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65 Engaging Personal Narrative Ideas for Kids and Teens

Tell a story to engage the reader.

good topics for personal narrative essays

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

good topics for personal narrative essays

  • 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

good topics for personal narrative essays

  • 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.

good topics for personal narrative essays

  • 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.

good topics for personal narrative essays

  • 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.

good topics for personal narrative essays

  • 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?

good topics for personal narrative essays

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.

good topics for personal narrative essays

  • 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.

good topics for personal narrative essays

  • 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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Narrative Essay Writing

Personal Narrative Essay

Cathy A.

Personal Narrative Essay - Easy Guide & Examples

16 min read

Published on: Apr 18, 2020

Last updated on: Sep 1, 2023

personal narrative essay

People also read

How to Write a Narrative Essay - Beginner’s Guide

Interesting Narrative Essay Topics and Ideas

20+ Top Narrative Essay Examples by Experts

Share this article

A personal narrative essay can be a fun way to share your life story with friends and family. However, most students have no idea how to write a personal narrative essay. 

This can be a challenge. On top of that, it's one of the most common assignments in school.

Is this something that you are also dealing with? Fortunately, you don't have to worry anymore! We are here to simplify the process for you.

This guide will walk you through the process of writing a personal narrative essay step by step. Plus, you can find plenty of examples here to help you get started and avoid common writing mistakes. 

So what are you waiting for, take a step forward to make your essay shine!

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Personal Narrative Essay Definition

What is a Personal Narrative Essay? 

A personal narrative essay is also referred to as short storytelling. It depends on the writer's type of story they want to tell the readers. This type of essay can be composed of the personal experience of the writer. 

A personal narrative essay is usually written in the first person participle. It helps to depict a clear narrative that’s focused on a specific moment.

Usually, high school students are usually assigned to write such essays. Writing these essays helps them to enhance creative writing skills. Also, they help to provide insight into a student’s personal life. 

To write a personal narrative essay, the writer specifies a plot around which the entire essay revolves. Moreover, the plot should also discuss the characters that have played some part in the story.

Sample Personal Narrative Essay (PDF)

How to Start a Personal Narrative Essay?  

The personal narrative essay requires a balance between objectivity and subjectivity. To write about an event or situation with significance, you must first identify what's important to share with the readers.

As with other types of writing - there are some guidelines you need to follow some guidelines. These are;

1. Choose the Right Topic 

A good topic can not just make your essay look good, but also it will make the writing process much easier. Since personal narrative essays are written on personal experiences and thoughts, make sure you choose your most interesting experience. 

Keep in mind that the topic you choose matches the intended audience. It is the reader who decides the scope and success of your essay.

2. Choose a Theme 

You can also choose a theme for your essay. This will help you focus on what you want to say. You can use your personal experiences to explore the theme in depth.  For example, if you choose the theme of love, you could talk about your experience of love with your sister(s).  Alternatively, you can start writing out the story and see if any ideas might relate to a bigger theme. When you are writing, pay attention to any ideas that keep coming up. See if they might be related to a bigger topic.

3. Create a Thesis Statement 

The thesis statement is the most important sentence and tells the reader what your essay will be about.  

In a personal narrative essay, the thesis statement can briefly explore the story's events. Or it can tell the reader about the moral or lesson learned through personal experience. The thesis statement can also present the main theme of the essay. 

For example, if you are writing an essay about your personal experience as a refugee. You may have a thesis statement that presents the theme of freedom.

Check out more thesis statement examples to learn how to write one!

4. Create an Outline 

Once you have your topic, it is time that you create an outline for your essay. The essay outline is an essential element of an essay. It keeps the whole composition in an organized order. 

Also, it helps the reader through the essay. With the help of an outline, a writer can provide logic for the essay. 

Personal Narrative Essay Outline

Being a student, you must know how important an outline is for an essay. It provides an organization with the whole content.

To create an outline for a personal narrative essay, you need to follow the following traditional method.


These three major elements of a  narrative essay  are further elaborated down below.

The introduction is the most important part of essay writing. It is the first impression on the reader; by reading this part, the reader decides the quality of the essay. This part should be the most attention-grabbing part. 

It should have an attention-grabbing hook and some background information about the topic. Moreover, it should include the thesis statement, which explains the main idea of your essay.

Keep in mind that the essay introduction should always end with a transition sentence. This will make a logical connection with the rest of the essay. 

Personal Narrative Introduction Example

Body Paragraphs 

After the introduction, the body paragraphs are written. These paragraphs help you to explain the key elements of your personal narrative essay. 

In a standard personal narrative essay, there are usually three body paragraphs. These paragraphs help the writer to describe the subject of the essay in all possible aspects. 

With the help of these paragraphs, the writer describes their point of view to the readers. To support the essay, the time and place of the event happening are also mentioned. Moreover, these paragraphs have all the information about the characters. 

Keep in mind that a body starts with a topic sentence . This sentence is a kind of introductory sentence for that particular paragraph.

Another important thing you need to keep in mind is the order in which you will present the details. Make sure that you use chronological order for this purpose. 

Personal Narrative Body Example

In conclusion, you need to provide the climax of the story. 

In this section of a personal narrative essay, you should wrap up the whole story. Do it in such a way that you provide a summary of the entire essay. 

Your conclusion should be just as impactful as your introduction. End with a memorable sentence or thought that leaves the reader with a lasting impression. You can summarize the main points of your essay or reflect on the significance of the experience in your life.

Make sure that you do not add any new points in this part. It will not give the reader a sense of accomplishment and will leave them in confusion. 

Personal Narrative Conclusion Example

How to Write a Personal Narrative Essay

A personal narrative essay is considered very good when it is expressive, and the reader enjoys your personal narrative. The key to writing an amazing personal narrative is to use sensory details as much as possible.

An excellent narrative essay doesn't tell what happened. Instead, it shows what happened precisely and how you have felt at that moment.

Here is how you can write a personal narrative essay:

  • Start With a Good Hook 

For any type of essay , a hook statement can be a game-changer. But, particularly for a personal narrative essay, hook sentences are very important. 

Usually, the introduction of the essay starts with this sentence. You may use a famous quotation, verse, or an interesting fact for this purpose. This sentence helps to attain the reader’s attention and persuade the reader to read the entire essay. 

  • Vivid Description 

For a narrative essay, it is a must to be vivid enough to let the reader imagine the whole scene. This is why it is necessary that the writer uses as much descriptive language as possible. 

For instance, if you are writing about a visit to the beach, you can describe how the sun felt on your face. On top of that, making use of strong verbs and adjectives will also help to provide an engaging experience for readers.  

  • Use Transition Words 

For any essay, be it an argumentative essay , descriptive essay , or personal narrative essay. It is very important to have some transition sentences and words. These transition words help to make a logical connection in all parts of the essay. 

In other words, the transition words help to make links between the storyline. You may use transition words like this, however, whereas, therefore, moreover, etc.

  • Add Emotions 

The purpose of a personal narrative essay is to show the reader what and how you have felt. Hence don't forget to add the emotions, as you have to make the reader know about the feelings. 

Describe all of the emotions and feelings using very descriptive words. 

  • Be Consistent 

Consistency is the key to writing an essay in a professional way. Make sure that you don't get distracted by any irrelevant details. 

Stay focused on one single point, and add details related to your specific idea.  Make sure that you inter-link all the events of the story in a regular manner. This will help the reader to relate all the events. Also, use first-person impressions as you are writing a personal narrative. 

You also want to show the reader that you are telling your own story. Make sure that you follow the same participle in the entire essay. 

  • Prove the Significance of Your Experience 

You know that behind every event, there is a reason. Similarly, let your readers know the reason behind your essay and its significance. 

Also, mention that the story you just told was important to share. 

As it is a personal narrative, you don't have to provide evidence to prove the significance of your story. Rather, you have to convey a broader message through your story. 

  • Use Dialogue

Dialogue is an excellent way to bring life to your story and make it more engaging. It can reveal the character’s personalities and add a touch of realism to the essay. 

When you use dialogue, make sure to punctuate it correctly and indicate who is speaking.

  • Show, Don't Tell

When writing a personal narrative essay, avoid summarizing events and simply telling the story. Instead, use sensory details to help the reader experience the story with you. 

Describe what you saw, heard, felt, tasted, and smelled to bring the story to life.

  • Reflect on the Experience

Reflection is an important part of any personal narrative essay. It is an opportunity for you to reflect on the experience you are writing about and what it means to you. Take the time to think about what you learned from the experience and how it has shaped you as a person.

Once you are done with writing your personal narrative essay. It's time that you put a little effort into making it error-free. Proofread the essay more than once and look for minor spelling mistakes and other grammatical mistakes. 

This will ensure that you have written an essay like a pro. You can do this yourself or you may ask a friend to do it for you.

To understand better how to write a personal narrative essay, take a few moments to watch the video below!

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Free Personal Narrative Essay Examples

Examples help you to understand things better; here are a few well-written  narrative essay examples . Read them thoroughly and use them as a guide to writing a good essay yourself.

Personal Narrative Essay 750 words

Personal narrative essays can be long or short. It depends on the writer how they want to elaborate things.

750 Words Personal Narrative Essay (PDF)

Personal Narrative Essay Examples for High School Students

Personal narrative essays are often assigned to high school students. If you are a high school student and looking for some good examples, you are exactly where you should be.

Best Summer Memory of My Childhood (PDF)

Near-Death Experience (PDF)

Personal Narrative Essay Examples for College Students

Being a college student, you will often get to write personal narrative essays. Here are a few examples of well-written personal narrative essays to guide college students.

Climbing a Mountain (PDF)

My First Job (PDF)

Want to get a better understanding? Dive into the wide collection of our narrative essay examples !

Personal Narrative Essay Topics

It is important to choose a good topic before you start writing. Here are some interesting  narrative essay topics  you can choose from for your essay.

  • My worst childhood memory
  • My favorite summer activities during vacation.
  • The first time I had a serious argument with my best friend
  • The first time someone broke my heart.
  • Things I could tell myself.
  • How I balance my family life and my professional life.
  • The most important rule in life
  • Teachers who inspired me in my college.
  • Why I love to write a diary
  • My favorite New York Times Article.
  • My favorite movie.
  • Personal advice for the youth of today.
  • How I overcame my stage fear.
  • The toughest decision I have ever made.
  • What I regret most

Need some inspiration to craft your essay? Our expansive list of narrative essay topics will provide you with plenty of ideas!

Personal Narrative Essay Writing Tips

You need to follow a few things in order to start your personal narrative essay in a proper way. Those significant things are as follows:

  • Think of a memorable event, an unforgettable experience, or any that you want to tell the readers.
  • Plan your narrative essay. Make yourself clear on the order in which you want to mention all the details.
  • Start your personal essay with a hook sentence. This will help you to grab the attention of the readers.
  • Use vivid language so that the reader can imagine the whole scene in mind. Describe the actions, mood, theme, and overall plot.
  • Make sure that you use descriptive language.
  • Use proper sentence structure.

In conclusion,

writing a personal narrative essay can be daunting for many students. We have professional essay writer online at

Our essay writing service can help you write your college essay so you can deliver them right in time. 

We have a customer support team available 24/7 to attend to all queries related to your assignments. So place your order now with our narrative essay writing service and let all your stress go away.

Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

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Last updated on Oct 31, 2022

10 Personal Narrative Examples to Inspire Your Writing

Personal narratives are short pieces of creative nonfiction that recount a story from someone’s own experiences. They can be a memoir, a thinkpiece, or even a polemic — so long as the piece is grounded in the writer's beliefs and experiences, it can be considered a personal narrative.

Despite the nonfiction element, there’s no single way to approach this topic, and you can be as creative as you would be writing fiction. To inspire your writing and reveal the sheer diversity of this type of essay, here are ten great examples personal narratives from recent years: 

1. “Only Disconnect” by Gary Shteyngart

good topics for personal narrative essays

Personal narratives don’t have to be long to be effective, as this thousand-word gem from the NYT book review proves. Published in 2010, just as smartphones were becoming a ubiquitous part of modern life, this piece echoes many of our fears surrounding technology and how it often distances us from reality.

In this narrative, Shteyngart navigates Manhattan using his new iPhone—or more accurately, is led by his iPhone, completely oblivious to the world around him. He’s completely lost to the magical happenstance of the city as he “follow[s] the arrow taco-ward”. But once he leaves for the country, and abandons the convenience of a cell phone connection, the real world comes rushing back in and he remembers what he’s been missing out on. 

The downfalls of technology is hardly a new topic, but Shteyngart’s story remains evergreen because of how our culture has only spiraled further down the rabbit hole of technology addiction in the intervening years.

What can you learn from this piece?

Just because a piece of writing is technically nonfiction, that doesn’t mean that the narrative needs to be literal. Shteyngart imagines a Manhattan that physically changes around him when he’s using his iPhone, becoming an almost unrecognizable world. From this, we can see how a certain amount of dramatization can increase the impact of your message—even if that wasn’t exactly the way something happened. 



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2. “Why I Hate Mother's Day” by Anne Lamott

The author of the classic writing text Bird by Bird digs into her views on motherhood in this piece from Salon. At once a personal narrative and a cultural commentary, Lamott explores the harmful effects that Mother’s Day may have on society —how its blind reverence to the concept of motherhood erases women’s agency and freedom to be flawed human beings. 

Lamott points out that not all mothers are good, not everyone has a living mother to celebrate, and some mothers have lost their children, so have no one to celebrate with them. More importantly, she notes how this Hallmark holiday erases all the people who helped raise a woman, a long chain of mothers and fathers, friends and found family, who enable her to become a mother. While it isn’t anchored to a single story or event (like many classic personal narratives), Lamott’s exploration of her opinions creates a story about a culture that puts mothers on an impossible pedestal. 

In a personal narrative essay, lived experience can be almost as valid as peer-reviewed research—so long as you avoid making unfounded assumptions. While some might point out that this is merely an opinion piece, Lamott cannily starts the essay by grounding it in the personal, revealing how she did not raise her son to celebrate Mother’s Day. This detail, however small, invites the reader into her private life and frames this essay as a story about her —and not just an exercise in being contrary.

3. “The Crane Wife” by CJ Hauser 

Days after breaking off her engagement with her fiance, CJ Hauser joins a scientific expedition on the Texas coast r esearching whooping cranes . In this new environment, she reflects on the toxic relationship she left and how she found herself in this situation. She pulls together many seemingly disparate threads, using the expedition and the Japanese myth of the crane wife as a metaphor for her struggles. 

Hauser’s interactions with the other volunteer researchers expand the scope of the narrative from her own mind, reminding her of the compassion she lacked in her relationship. In her attempts to make herself smaller, less needy, to please her fiance, she lost sight of herself and almost signed up to live someone else’s life, but among the whooping cranes of Texas, she takes the first step in reconnecting with herself.

With short personal narratives, there isn’t as much room to develop characters as you might have in a memoir so the details you do provide need to be clear and specific. Each of the volunteer researchers on Hauser’s expedition are distinct and recognizable though Hauser is economical in her descriptions. 

For example, Hauser describes one researcher as “an eighty-four-year-old bachelor from Minnesota. He could not do most of the physical activities required by the trip, but had been on ninety-five Earthwatch expeditions, including this one once before. Warren liked birds okay. What Warren really loved was cocktail hour.” 

In a few sentences, we get a clear picture of Warren's fun-loving, gregarious personality and how he fits in with the rest of the group.


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4. “The Trash Heap Has Spoken” by Carmen Maria Machado

The films and TV shows of the 80s and 90s—cultural touchstones that practically raised a generation—hardly ever featured larger women on screen. And if they did, it was either as a villain or a literal trash heap. Carmen Maria Machado grew up watching these cartoons, and the absence of fat women didn’t faze her. Not until puberty hit and she went from a skinny kid to a fuller-figured teen. Suddenly uncomfortable in her skin, she struggled to find any positive representation in her favorite media.

As she gets older and more comfortable in her own body, Machado finds inspiration in Marjory the Trash Heap from Fraggle Rock and Ursula, everyone’s favorite sea witch from The Little Mermaid —characters with endless power in the unapologetic ways they inhabit their bodies. As Machado considers her own body through the years, it’s these characters she returns to as she faces society’s unkind, dismissive attitudes towards fat women.

Stories shape the world, even if they’re fictional. Some writers strive for realism, reflecting the world back on itself in all its ugliness, but Carmen Maria Machado makes a different point. There is power in being imaginative and writing the world as it could be, imagining something bigger, better, and more beautiful. So, write the story you want to see, change the narrative, look at it sideways, and show your readers how the world could look. 

5. “Am I Disabled?” by Joanne Limburg 

The titular question frames the narrative of Joanne Limburg’s essay as she considers the implications of disclosing her autism. What to some might seem a mundane occurrence—ticking ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘prefer not to say’ on a bureaucratic form—elicits both philosophical and practical questions for Limburg about what it means to be disabled and how disability is viewed by the majority of society. 

Is the labor of disclosing her autism worth the insensitive questions she has to answer? What definition are people seeking, exactly? Will anyone believe her if she says yes? As she dissects the question of what disability is, she explores the very real personal effects this has on her life and those of other disabled people. 

Limburg’s essay is written in a style known as the hermit crab essay , when an author uses an existing document form to contain their story. You can format your writing as a recipe, a job application, a resume, an email, or a to-do list – the possibilities are as endless as your creativity. The format you choose is important, though. It should connect in some way to the story you’re telling and add something to the reader’s experience as well as your overall theme. 



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6. “Living Like Weasels” by Annie Dillard

good topics for personal narrative essays

While out on a walk in the woods behind her house, Annie Dillard encounters a wild weasel. In the short moment when they make eye contact, Dillard takes an imaginary journey through the weasel’s mind and wonders if the weasel’s approach to life is better than her own. 

The weasel, as Dillard sees it, is a wild creature with jaws so powerful that when it clamps on to something, it won’t let go, even into death. Necessity drives it to be like this, and humanity, obsessed with choice, might think this kind of life is limiting, but the writer believes otherwise. The weasel’s necessity is the ultimate freedom, as long as you can find the right sort, the kind that will have you holding on for dear life and refusing to let go. 

Make yourself the National Geographic explorer of your backyard or neighborhood and see what you can learn about yourself from what you discover. Annie Dillard, queen of the natural personal essay, discovers a lot about herself and her beliefs when meeting a weasel.

What insight can you glean from a blade of grass, for example? Does it remind you that despite how similar people might be, we are all unique? Do the flights of migrating birds give you perspective on the changes in your own life? Nature is a potent and never-ending spring of inspiration if you only think to look. 


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7. “Love In Our Seventies” by Ellery Akers

“ And sometimes, when I lift the gray hair at the back of your neck and kiss your shoulder, I think, This is it.”

In under 400 words, poet Ellery Akers captures the joy she has found in discovering romance as a 75-year-old . The language is romantic, but her imagery is far from saccharine as she describes their daily life and the various states in which they’ve seen each other: in their pajamas, after cataract surgeries, while meditating. In each singular moment, Akers sees something she loves, underscoring an oft-forgotten truth. Love is most potent in its smallest gestures.  

Personal narrative isn’t a defined genre with rigid rules, so your essay doesn’t have to be an essay. It can be a poem, as Akers’ is. The limitations of this form can lead to greater creativity as you’re trying to find a short yet evocative way to tell a story. It allows you to focus deeply on the emotions behind an idea and create an intimate connection with your reader. 

8. “What a Black Woman Wishes Her Adoptive White Parents Knew” by Mariama Lockington

good topics for personal narrative essays

Mariama Lockington was adopted by her white parents in the early 80s, long before it was “trendy” for white people to adopt black children. Starting with a family photograph, the writer explores her complex feelings about her upbringing , the many ways her parents ignored her race for their own comfort, and how she came to feel like an outsider in her own home. In describing her childhood snapshots, she takes the reader from infancy to adulthood as she navigates trying to live as a black woman in a white family. 

Lockington takes us on a journey through her life through a series of vignettes. These small, important moments serve as a framing device, intertwining to create a larger narrative about race, family, and belonging. 

With this framing device, it’s easy to imagine Lockington poring over a photo album, each picture conjuring a different memory and infusing her story with equal parts sadness, regret, and nostalgia. You can create a similar effect by separating your narrative into different songs to create an album or episodes in a TV show. A unique structure can add an extra layer to your narrative and enhance the overall story.

9. “Drinking Chai to Savannah” by Anjali Enjeti

On a trip to Savannah with her friends, Anjali Enjeti is reminded of a racist incident she experienced as a teenager . The memory is prompted by her discomfort of traveling in Georgia as a South Asian woman and her friends’ seeming obliviousness to how others view them. As she recalls the tense and traumatic encounter she had in line at a Wendy’s and the worry she experiences in Savannah, Enjeti reflects on her understanding of otherness and race in America. 

Enjeti paints the scene in Wendy’s with a deft hand. Using descriptive language, she invokes the five senses to capture the stress and fear she felt when the men in line behind her were hurling racist sentiments. 

She writes, “He moves closer. His shadow eclipses mine. His hot, tobacco-tinged breath seeps over the collar of my dress.” The strong, evocative language she uses brings the reader into the scene and has them experience the same anxiety she does, understanding why this incident deeply impacted her. 

10. “Siri Tells A Joke” by Debra Gwartney

One day, Debra Gwartney asks Siri—her iPhone’s digital assistant—to tell her a joke. In reply, Siri recites a joke with a familiar setup about three men stuck on a desert island. When the punchline comes, Gwartney reacts not with laughter, but with a memory of her husband , who had died less than six months prior.

In a short period, Gwartney goes through a series of losses—first, her house and her husband’s writing archives to a wildfire, and only a month after, her husband. As she reflects on death and the grief of those left behind in the wake of it, she recounts the months leading up to her husband’s passing and the interminable stretch after as she tries to find a way to live without him even as she longs for him. 

A joke about three men on a deserted island seems like an odd setup for an essay about grief. However, Gwartney uses it to great effect, coming back to it later in the story and giving it greater meaning. By the end of her piece, she recontextualizes the joke, the original punchline suddenly becoming deeply sad. In taking something seemingly unrelated and calling back to it later, the essay’s message about grief and love becomes even more powerful.

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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.

When writing a fictional narrative.

  • 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.

Vivian Gornick quote.

  • 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.

A book report is considered a narrative essay.

  • 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 .

Robert Louis Stevenson quote.

  • 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 .

Brandon Sanderson quote.

  • 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?

Marcel Proust quote.

  • 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

🔍 References

  • 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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  • Share to LinkedIn
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Narrative Essay Guide

Narrative Essay Topics

Last updated on: Dec 21, 2023

Narrative Essay Topics - Best Topic Ideas for Your Essay

By: Nathan D.

10 min read

Reviewed By: Rylee W.

Published on: May 19, 2020

narrative essay topics

A narrative essay is similar to storytelling.  Writing a narrative essay  means that the writer is narrating a story. It can be related to a person, place, personal experience, or event in your life.

Narrative essays tell the story of your life. When you write a narrative essay, you are telling someone about an important experience or event. A good narrative essay should have some kind of personal connection with the reader.

Also, the best narrative essay topics are ones that you can write about with passion. If you're not able to find the right topic for your narrative essay, try looking into some of the topics given in the blog.

Like any other essay, you need to choose an essay topic before starting with narrative essay writing. It may seem easy, but finding good narrative essay topics can be hard.

Therefore, you need to know how to find and choose a topic for your narrative essay.

narrative essay topics

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Narrative Essay Topics for Students

Now you know how to choose  essay topics  for a great narrative essay. The next step is to research and find a good topic idea on your own. However, if you are still struggling, we have given some great narrative essay ideas to choose from.

Personal Narrative Essay Topics for Middle School Students

  • 3 Reasons Why disappointment is good
  • What love means to you
  • How to write a speech about a person you admire
  • An unpleasant childhood experience
  • Discuss loyal friends in your life
  • Imagine living on another planet. How would it be?
  • A memory from your vacations
  • Talk about your school and what makes you love it.
  • An experience that put you in danger
  • Share the experience of your first trip abroad.

Narrative Essay Topics for Grade 7

  • A day when you got lost
  • How did your father propose to your mom?
  • What do you want to be and why?
  • Describe your hero
  • Imagine you were invisible. Describe what you would do
  • Talk about the person you are most afraid to lose.
  • A misunderstanding with another person
  • An interesting episode from your school days
  • How you lost your best friend

Narrative Essay Topics for Grade 8

  • One of your most amazing childhood shows and characters
  • Describe the things in life that you are grateful for
  • As a child, what is your role in the family?
  • If you are a teacher, what would you do when your students feel bored?
  • What things make you feel angry and why?
  • What is your favorite commercial on TV?
  • What friendship means to you
  • An exciting experience that put you in danger
  • A funny story that made you feel embarrassed
  • A quick trip to your childhood
  • A sneak peeks into learning a new skill.

Narrative Essay Topics for High School Students

  • My favorite weather story.
  • If I were president.
  • If I had a million dollars.
  • This made me laugh.
  • The end of my first relationship
  • The day I lost a loved one.
  • When you experienced rejection.
  • My greatest accomplishment.
  • I would like to invent this.
  • A story of you playing in the rain.

Narrative Essay Topics for College Students

  • Interesting books for students to read this summer
  • First day at college
  • Poems you’ve read this year
  • Do you have a diary or journal?
  • Reasons you should start your own blog.
  • How often do you use Facebook?
  • Your favorite pop star
  • Favorite childhood games
  • Who is your role model?
  • A teacher you will never forget.

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Narrative Argument Essay Topics

  • Should nuclear weapons be outlawed?
  • Is animal testing necessary?
  • Pressure on teenagers to go to college
  • Does religion cause war?
  • Should abortion be illegal?
  • Is it okay for parents to monitor teens’ Internet use?
  • Humans are the main cause of natural disasters.
  • Social media is the reason behind conflicts between family members.
  • Share a memorable moment of your childhood in a scholarship essay.
  • When you fought with your brother while playing a video game

Morality Narrative Essay Topics

  • Does modern society lack the moral values of the past?
  • What is your opinion about racial discrimination?
  • What are the key moral values in your life?
  • What is your personal view regarding morality?
  • Have you inherited your moral values?
  • Do you think your ancestors had different moral values?
  • How do you understand other people's moral values? Is it difficult for you to accept them or not?
  • What was the best morality lesson for you?
  • Lack of morality is the root cause of social destruction. Discuss.
  • How can we promote moral lessons in schools?

Relationship Narrative Essay Topics

  • How do you know if there are no sparks in your relationship anymore?
  • Does arguing with your parents affect your social life?
  • When do you know you have met “the one”?
  • Does being a feminist influence your relationships?
  • Is marrying old-fashioned?
  • Does forgiveness matter in a relationship?
  • How do you eradicate misunderstandings and arguments from your relationships?
  • Reasons for the distance between parents and children.
  • Both partners need to work together to make a relationship successful. Discuss.
  • Traditional Vs. Modern Household System. Which is better and why?

Childhood Narrative Essay Topics

  • What was your first day of school like for you?
  • What was your favorite school activity as a child?
  • Who was your favorite teacher? And Why?
  • What was the most mischievous event of your childhood?
  • How did you manage the bullies of your school?
  • Who was your role model when you were a child?
  • Do you think teachers should be friendly? If yes, then why?
  • Have you ever pranked anyone? What was the result?
  • Did you like any particular subject when in school?
  • Do childhood friends influence us? How?

Work Narrative Essay Topics

  • How to engage employees in the work environment?
  • How to reduce stress at the workplace?
  • How do you manage strict deadlines?
  • What kind of experience do you have while hiring an online employee?
  • What to do when you think your work-life is falling apart?
  • How to avoid harassment in the workplace?
  • Promoting equality in the workplace.
  • Men and women employees should be treated equally; discuss.
  • Having a plant wall in the workplace is healthy.
  • Companies should give healthy lunch options at subsidized prices. Discuss.

Traveling Narrative Essay Topics

  • Do you need a large budget for traveling?
  • Is it safe to travel the world on your own?
  • Is travel photography a difficult art to master?
  • Should you quit your job if you want to travel?
  • Can too much traveling be boring?
  • What to do when you travel to the city of your dreams?
  • What can you learn from traveling to non-tourist areas?
  • Is it possible to explore a location without knowing that place's language?
  • How does traveling affect your worldview?
  • How can you travel on a low budget?

Cultural Narrative Essay Topics

  • What is called pop culture?
  • How does the media influence our beliefs?
  • What is a cultural norm?
  • What does it mean to be Native American in the twenty-first century?
  • What can a person learn from personal discovery?
  • Why are food traditions still important to some people?
  • Why do people take health for granted
  • Tell us about your unique family tradition.
  • A tradition that surprised you

Experience Narrative Essay Topics

  • Discuss the most embarrassing moment of your life.
  • Which is the scariest incidence of your life?
  • Real-life values that you learned from an experience.
  • The experience that taught you the value of family and friends.
  • How did you learn to control your fear?
  • The most helpful experience of your life.
  • How did you learn to appreciate the value of life?
  • When did you feel the happiest?
  • A memorable family picnic.
  • The experience of the first job.

Interesting Narrative Essay Topics

  • Describe the most amazing movie that you ever watched.
  • Describe the most touching song that you heard last time.
  • The superpower that you want to have and why?
  • Any book characters that you relate with?
  • The movie that you want to direct and why?
  • Do you have any hidden talent? When did you discover it?
  • Which is your favorite TV character?
  • Any TV stars who you would like to meet in real life?
  • Are you a sports fanatic? Describe your favorite sport.
  • Who is your favorite tennis player, and why?

General Narrative Essay Topics

  • Write about the scariest moment in your life. How did a scary moment teach you to be brave?
  • Challenges are important for improvement. Discuss.
  • Describe your visit to a flea market. Did you get anything valuable there?
  • Do you believe that you should treat others as you would like to be treated? Describe any relevant experience.
  • Siblings help develop our personalities. Describe how you contribute to your personal development.
  • Watching someone you love suffering is hard. Describe your experience when you felt this pain.
  • Kindness keeps this world warm. Discuss the statement with relevant examples and personal life experiences.
  • Imperfection is a blessing. Discuss a lesson learned through mistakes.
  • Self-criticism is hard but useful. Write about your experience when you rectified your flaw.
  • Being right does not mean being easy. Write about the event in your life when you had difficulty because you were right.

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How to Choose a Good Narrative Essay Topic?

Choosing a good topic for your high school or college narrative writing involves a set of steps. By following them, you will find relevant narrative topics that you could use in your essay.

The steps include:

1. Brainstorming

Brainstorming is important. Make a list of essay ideas and research them. See what information you can find about them and choose the essay topic that you are confident about.

2. Planning

Planning before writing is a rule of thumb. Research the stories, ideas and decide which ones you will add to your narrative essay. Decide the number of paragraphs and the ideas for them. Make points and refer to them when writing the essay.

3. Proving the Main Point

Every essay has the main point; what is yours? When you write a narrative essay, you share your experience and try to persuade the reader to share it. They may have a different viewpoint. But, through your essay, you tell an interesting story and convince them to agree with your point of view.

4. Storytelling

A good narrative essay is all about storytelling. This could be through the character’s voice or the writer’s voice. Feel free to choose any voice but be consistent. Do not shift from the first person to third-person narration and vice versa.

5. Essay Structure

No great narrative essay is without a proper structure. An essay structure includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. The usual number of paragraphs in the main body is three, but you can increase it if needed.

Choose the best topic from the list given above and start writing your narrative essay. You can use these topics for narrative speech as well. These narrative essay writing topics will make a great essay for any academic level.

Still wondering how you would write a great narrative essay?

We have a professional essay writer for you.  writing service is expert and offers affordable writing help for high school, college, and higher-level students. We are diligent in choosing and hiring writers and work with only the best writers.

Our writers can handle 20+ other subjects, including custom essays and research papers. You can trust your academic papers with our top-ranked  write my essay  service and enjoy high grades.

Feel free to contact us any time and  order  your narrative essay.

Nathan D.

College Admission Essay, Literature

Nathan completed his Ph.D. in journalism and has been writing articles for well-respected publications for many years now. His work is carefully researched and insightful, showing a true passion for the written word. Nathan's clients appreciate his expertise, deep understanding of the process, and ability to communicate difficult concepts clearly.

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good topics for personal narrative essays

50 Engaging Narrative Essay Topics for High Schoolers

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What’s Covered:

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.

Use Dialogue

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.

good topics for personal narrative essays

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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

Self Reflection

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?

Overcoming Adversity 

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!

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good topics for personal narrative essays

200 Top Narrative Essay Topics and Ideas

good topics for personal narrative essays

Table of Contents

Narrative essay 101.

Out of all the essay types, narrative essay writing is one of the most common and misunderstood types of writing in schools and colleges. It consists of five paragraphs with three distinct sections, opening, body, and closing or conclusion.

Instructors check students’ writing and thinking capabilities by providing diverse essay writing topics to them. In case they are not offered one, they need to work on one and come up with ideas for a narrative story.       

Choosing The Best Topic For Your Essay

If you have never written a narrative essay, it could be a hassle to come up with narrative story ideas. But, it is not that hard if you know what you need to find and hone it to your best interest. 

Something That Resonates With Readers

The primary purpose of writing a narrative is to connect with readers. Writers need to weave a narrative that readers can understand and identify with and then draw conclusions from the body.

If a narrative essay does not do that, it is lacking in important areas. 

Influential Life Stories & Experiences

Personal narrative essays are dependent on personal experiences and incidents that can influence a person’s thinking or the course of life. For the sake of composing a topic or title, they need to go down memory lane and fetch stories and ideas to write on. 

Narrative Essay Topics To Choose From

Now, let us take a look at some of the best topics for narratives to choose from:
  • The unforgettable mentor in your life
  • A dangerous experience that made you value life
  • A hilarious situation happened to you in public
  • A moving incident from your childhood 
  • The first time you visited a country abroad
  • The unforgettable day at high school
  • The time you lost a dear friend to the disease
  • Journey of learning a new art or skill
  • An embarrassing story involving you and your best friend
  • Participating in sports for the first time
  • Your thoughts on attending a music concert for the first time
  • The time you helped a person in dire need
  • When you discovered a family secret
  • When you lost the most loving member of your family
  • Changes happened to you after taking an inspirational class
  • The moment you felt alone in a crowd
  • The time you got lost and there was no hope
  • The incident of saving someone in the wilderness
  • The time you cooked a meal using scrapes
  • Your favorite vacations with loved ones abroad
  • An unforgettable trip to tropical islands
  • Making friends in the unlikeliest times
  • Your first day at a new school and meeting someone new
  • The scariest thing you faced in life
  • The time Christmas was absolute fun
  • Your most memorable birthday party
  • When you learned a life lesson the hard way
  • Getting a blessing in disguise
  • The best day of your entire life
  • The day a tragedy found you
  • Getting your first pet
  • Meeting your best friend
  • Losing a dear one
  • The day you helped a stranger and became friends
  • Talk about responding to a natural disaster
  • Visiting dean’s office after a mischief
  • Going to the summer camp with friends
  • When you rode a bicycle in the dirt for the first time
  • The most depressing moments of your life
  • Getting into a serious argument with a loved one
  • The day you were treated unfairly
  • The day you went for a ski for the first time
  • Helping a stranger in a new city
  • The time you faced racial discrimination
  • When you misjudged a person and felt ashamed
  • The most memorable day playing at the beach
  • The most unforgettable present you ever received
  • The day you got injured severely
  • The beginning of a long relationship
  • Parting ways with a loved one
  • Driving a car for the first time
  • The first time you experienced flying
  • Meeting a stranger in a subway
  • The incident that made an ordinary trip extraordinarily
  • Getting punished for an offense you didn’t commit
  • The time you discovered a truth about someone
  • The day you almost drowned at the beach
  • Learning a life lesson from an elder
  • Seeing a car accident and helping the injured
  • The favorite hiking episode of your life 

Exceptional Narrative Ideas & Topics

In this section, we will go through some of the best narrative essay ideas and topics that you can explore in your narrative essays.

60+ Excellent Topics For Your Narrative Essay

If the above-mentioned suggestions were not enough for you, there is no need to panic as we have 60+ more essay topic ideas for you to choose from.

  • Experiencing unique family traditions as an adult
  • How do you celebrate your cultural holiday
  • How a family tradition surprised you
  • How knowing diverse cultures shaped your thinking
  • Feeling embarrassed among other cultures on holiday
  • Changing cultural traditions to grow
  • How social media changed your cultural perceptions
  • Why food is not just something you eat
  • How a culture changes a person\’s thinking
  • Defining your cultural identity from early childhood
  • The time you disagreed with a loved one
  • The conflict that almost cost you your friendship
  • When you had to deal with bullying aggressively
  • Experiencing a loss through suicide
  • The graduation day at high school
  • The day a classmate got caught cheating
  • Living through a near-death experience due to medical negligence
  • Meeting a car accident on New Year  
  • The day you endured humiliation 
  • The most memorable act of charity
  • Saving your friends from a loss
  • Witnessing a beating in the school\’s yard
  • A dilemma you faced and made the right decision
  • The most influential person in your life you hate
  • The time a friend flooded your home
  • When you want the time to stop
  • Failing an easy class for the first time   
  • The scariest moment in class
  • The time you got sick because of food poisoning
  • When you saved a friend’s life
  • The time you went into a creepy house
  • Winning a prize without the effort
  • The first job you loved and hated at the same time
  • Getting a flat tire on the highway at night
  • The things I want to do in my spare time
  • Visiting the ER for the first time
  • The day you encountered the police
  • When parties didn’t need alcohol to be fun
  • The first time you endured physical and emotional pain
  • The superhero in your life
  • The childhood dream you still remember and want to live
  • Living through dull high school before everything changed
  • When you saw someone getting humiliated in public
  • Finding time for hobbies in high school
  • The experience of growing up with a high school best friend
  • The greatest academic achievement of your life
  • The school friend you lost touch with
  • The conversation that changed your life for good
  • When you learned a lot by working with a person you despised
  • The good influence your father had on your thinking
  • The time you moved to a new city and made a friend on the first day
  • Doing something illegal for all the right reasons
  • The dichotomy of morals in theory and practice
  • The day you did a thing that is against your morality
  • Spending time with a homeless person on Christmas
  • The time you favored hobbies over responsibilities
  • How you developed your talents
  • The idea of turning your hobbies into something lucrative
  • When your hobbies managed to get you a job
  • Balancing hobbies and studies in high school
  • The most inspirational movie you have ever seen
  • Getting addicted to a novel or a movie
  • Growing from the mistakes to becoming great
  • The day you were moved from the most insignificant thing
  • When becoming only good for something did not cut it
  • The day it was almost impossible to pass the college exam
  • What is the real meaning of attending college and making good
  • What would you do if you had your reality show?
  • If you could travel back in time, what would you change?
  • Choosing a superpower and why that one 

Common Types of Topics

There are recurring themes and settings in ideas for writing a narrative. These include recalling memorable incidents, and experiences, such as losing or meeting someone, visiting a place, getting in trouble, etc.   

The Ideal Length of Topics

Usually, all school and college personal narrative essay ideas follow the same pattern and fall into the five-paragraph format. This means, that one is for the introduction, three for the body, and one for the conclusion. 

In terms of word count, the essays are around 1000 words to 1500 words.

Narrative Essay Topics For School & College Students

If you are thinking the lists for narrative essay topics will not stop coming, you are right. So, here are more than 40 best narrative essay topics.
  • If you were a movie director with no budget constraints
  • Topping your most successful album as a musician
  • A memorable day at the museum
  • The first road trip of your life
  • Visiting Europe for the first time
  • Tasting exotic cuisine in a new city
  • Enjoying live music of your favorite band
  • What would you change about your favorite movie?
  • How would you rewrite your favorite TV serial?   
  • Finding similarities between your favorite DC and Marvel characters
  • Developing your dream game
  • Making music to cheer up sad people
  • Reasons people rely on you in times of distress
  • Why you are the life of the party
  • Why the lies that save lives are not bad
  • Your dream sports team
  • Mentoring cooking to young people
  • Buying the first car of your life
  • The worst day of your academic life
  • When you dance at a part even though you don’t know
  • How to relieve stress during public speaking
  • Your ultimate guide to watching movies and reading books
  • Weird things you have done while waiting in line
  • If you had a billion dollars for a week
  • Realizing dreams through sheer luck or hard work
  • A bad romantic relationship that still haunts you
  • Almost dying while attempting to do something stupid
  • Balancing social and personal life in high school
  • The unforgettable digital life experience
  • The day science rescued you from a dangerous situation
  • Starring in your favorite movie as a protagonist
  • The day a random person on a street became a friend
  • When you decided that partying was a problem
  • Your first experience with smoking and how you felt afterward
  • Patience while waiting for someone
  • Mastering self-control when you cannot have your say
  • Your leadership experience and how it turned out
  • What was your life be like if you had lost your parents earlier in life
  • Compounding the demon during competitions
  • Taking more risks in a group
  • Personal superstitions and how you can save yourself
  • All the pranks you have pulled on your friends
  • Discuss all the false things that people assume about you
  • Being a daredevil in a small community
  • Discuss people who are always disrespectful toward women
  • Do women face pressure to have ideal bodies?
  • Gender roles in your family/ culture
  • The first time you encountered adult content online
  • How to teach sex education at schools
  • How do you do sex education and gender studies at schools?
  • Expectations for boys and girls in conservative households
  • Sexuality and modern movies
  • How sexuality is revolutionizing modern TV
  • Any gender bias experience at school or college
  • Rehearsing for a drama in school with your crush
  • The time you lost a sports match against arch-rivals
  • Topping a class in college without studying at all
  • The craziest thing happened during live sports
  • Your favorite course of studies becoming bland
  • The most memorable day on campus
  • Seeing an old friend after many years
  • When you were coerced by your family to make a poor decision
  • Growing up in a city after being born in the countryside
  • Your first promotion at a part-time job
  • The festival you still miss
  • The most spectacular thing about college
  • The time you got sea-sick
  • A defining moment in your relationship with your parents
  • The best thing about rom-coms
  • How do you fix a broken relationship with a friend

What are 3 good topics for a narrative essay?

It is hard to pinpoint only three good topics for narrative essays. But if you turn topics into ideas, then these three suggestions can work in countless ways:

  • Meeting someone special for the first time
  • Visiting a familiar place but under special circumstances
  • Losing a loved one and then getting back

What are examples of a narrative essay?

There are many examples that you can read and learn from for narrative essays. Ann Lamott, Joan Didion, and many other authors have penned exceptional essays.

What is a good example of a narrative?

A good narrative has strong plot lines, believable characters, a relatable setting, and a piercing theme that lets readers yearn for more.

What are the 5 types of essays?

These are the five most common types of essays:

  • Argumentative
  • Descriptive

What is the best topic for students?

Depending on their level of studies and experience in writing narratives, the best topic for narrative writing is the new experiences of meeting someone or doing a novel thing for the first time. 

What is the most common essay topic?

These days, topics for narrative writing are about the effects of the internet and social media as well as environmental crisis are some of the most common essay topics. 


Writing a narrative essay can be a tough task for school and college students. This blog post has listed some of the good narrative essay topics to base your narrative. You can base your story on these topics or you can experiment and come up with unique ideas.      

In the end, it is about weaving a relatable narrative to make sure that your story connects with the readers and they can draw parallels from it.

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150 Great Narrative Essay Topics and Ideas: Inspire Your Writing

150 Great Narrative Essay Topics and Ideas: Inspire Your Writing

If you are a high school or college student, you have probably been assigned to write a narrative essay at least once. This type of essay allows you to share your personal experiences, thoughts, and feelings with your readers, captivating them with your storytelling skills. However, coming up with a unique and captivating topic for your narrative essay can sometimes be a challenging task.

In this article, we have compiled a list of 150 great narrative essay topics and ideas to inspire your writing. Whether you are looking for something to write about your favorite memories, life-changing experiences, controversial or ethical situations, relationships with friends or family, or your thoughts on culture and society, you will find plenty of interesting topics to choose from.

When selecting a topic for your narrative essay, it is important to choose one that is personal to you and allows you to express your thoughts and feelings. Think about your interests, experiences, and future goals. What kind of story do you want to tell? What are your favorite memories? How have certain relationships or cultural experiences shaped your life? By narrowing down your interests and experiences, you can ensure that you choose a topic that you are passionate about and will enjoy writing about.

Now, without further ado, here are 150 great narrative essay topics and ideas to inspire your writing:

Narrative Essay Topics for Grade 5

1. My favorite childhood memory and why it’s so special to me.

2. The day I moved to a different city/school and how it affected me.

3. A trip abroad and what I learned about a different culture.

4. The most dangerous situation I’ve ever been in and how I handled it.

5. My plans for the future and what steps I need to take to achieve them.

6. The class or subject that I enjoy the most in school and why.

7. A personal experience that taught me an important life lesson.

8. The cultural event that had the biggest impact on me.

9. How participating in high-quality after-school activities helped me grow as a person.

10. The time when I had to stand up for what I believe in, even if it was difficult.

11. The effect of social media on my life and relationships with others.

12. My favorite book or movie and why it’s so important to me.

13. The importance of healthy eating and how it affects my daily life.

14. The most memorable school project I’ve ever worked on and why.

15. The role of my family in shaping my values and beliefs.

16. How I overcame a problem or challenge that seemed impossible at first.

17. The first time I realized the importance of helping others.

18. A time when I felt extremely happy and why it was so special.

19. The scariest dream I’ve ever had and how it affected me.

20. The most interesting place I’ve ever visited and what made it so memorable.

21. The best piece of advice I’ve ever received and how it changed my perspective.

22. A time when I felt proud of myself for achieving a goal.

23. The role of art or music in my life and why it’s important to me.

24. The most challenging experience I’ve had so far and what I learned from it.

25. The most memorable family gathering or celebration I’ve ever attended.

These narrative essay topics will give you plenty of ideas to come up with an engaging story that reflects your personal experiences and values. Remember to follow the structure of a narrative essay, incorporating a clear beginning, middle, and end. Use examples and vivid descriptions to show your readers what happened and why it was important to you. By choosing an excellent topic and using high-quality sources, you can ensure that your narrative essay stands out and leaves a lasting effect on your audience.

A Collection of Engaging Narrative Essay Ideas

The power of personal experiences.

Your own life is a treasure trove of potential essay ideas. Whether it’s a life-changing moment or a childhood memory, the experiences you’ve had can provide great material for a narrative essay. Consider writing about situations that shaped your identity or the relationships that had a profound impact on you. Personal experiences can be a powerful source of storytelling.

Exploring Different Cultures and Perspectives

Another interesting area to explore is cultural diversity. Have you ever traveled abroad or participated in exchange programs? What did you learn from these experiences? Discussing the differences and similarities between your own culture and the ones you encountered can make for an engaging narrative essay.

8 A person or a story that has influenced you.

9 A personal success story that is useful or can be persuasive.

6 A dangerous situation you experienced.

8 A person you admire the most;

9 A significant life-changing experience.

6 A lesson you learned from a personal failure.

The Impact of Relationships

Relationships play an important role in shaping our lives. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or even a pet, the impact of these relationships can make for compelling narrative essays. Discussing the ups and downs, the joys and challenges of these relationships can provide a deeper insight into who you are as a person.

High-Quality Suggestions for High Grades

When it comes to narrative essay topics, quality matters just as much as the content. To ensure a high-grade essay, consider selecting topics that are both interesting and unique. It’s always better to choose a topic that hasn’t been overly discussed in your classes or among your friends. This will make your essay stand out and leave a lasting impression on your readers.

The Importance of Structure and Drafting

Angelina jolie and her impact on humanitarian causes.

Angelina Jolie is not only a talented actress but also a strong advocate for various causes. Writing about her influence and the initiatives she has taken can be an interesting topic for a narrative essay. Explore her work in humanitarian efforts and how it has inspired and influenced others.

Remember, the most important thing is to choose a topic that you are passionate about. Writing about something that genuinely interests you will make the process more enjoyable and the final product more compelling. So go ahead, explore the list of narrative essay ideas, and find the perfect topic for your next writing adventure!

Choosing the Perfect Narrative Essay Topic

Know yourself and your audience.

Before you start brainstorming for narrative essay topics, take a moment to think about your own interests and experiences. Consider your future goals, school life, cultural background, and relationships – these can all be sources of inspiration for your essay. You need to select a topic that not only engages you but also resonates with your audience.

Consider Different Types of Stories

Narrative essays can be about any real-life experience, so think beyond the typical essay topics. Instead of solely focusing on major life-changing moments, think about everyday dilemmas or experiences that have shaped you as a person. These often make for unique and engaging narratives.

Brainstorm and Make a List

When brainstorming for narrative essay topics, start by making a list of potential ideas. Think about personal experiences, friendships, or moments that have helped you grow. Consider using popular or controversial topics as well, as they can make for interesting narratives.

Do Some Research

Once you have a list of potential topics, do some research to ensure that you have enough material to write a compelling narrative. Look for additional sources, examples, or real-life stories that you can incorporate into your essay.

Selecting the Best Topic

After you have compiled your list and done your research, it’s time to select the best topic for your narrative essay. Choose a topic that you feel passionate about and can confidently write about. It should be something that not only showcases your writing skills but also allows you to express your thoughts and feelings.

Outline Your Essay

Before you start writing, create an outline for your narrative essay. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure that your essay flows smoothly. Outlining your essay also allows you to see if your chosen topic has enough substance to develop into a full-length essay.

Selecting the perfect narrative essay topic is crucial for the success of your paper. By following these tips, you can ensure that your topic is inspiring, engaging, and captivating. Remember to choose a topic that resonates with you and your audience, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. With the right topic, your narrative essay will not only be a success but also a reflection of your unique experiences and perspective.

Can you give me some ideas for a personal narrative essay topic?

Sure! Here are some ideas for a personal narrative essay topic: my most embarrassing moment, the day I realized the importance of family, the first time I traveled alone, a life-changing experience, the best lesson I’ve learned, my biggest fear, a time when I had to make a difficult decision, a memorable vacation, an event that changed my perspective, the day I achieved a personal goal.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California , and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.


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    Narrative Essay Topics for Students. Now you know how to choose essay topics for a great narrative essay. The next step is to research and find a good topic idea on your own. However, if you are still struggling, we have given some great narrative essay ideas to choose from. Personal Narrative Essay Topics for Middle School Students

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    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.

  22. 200 Top Narrative Essay Topics and Ideas

    Influential Life Stories & Experiences Personal narrative essays are dependent on personal experiences and incidents that can influence a person's thinking or the course of life. For the sake of composing a topic or title, they need to go down memory lane and fetch stories and ideas to write on. Narrative Essay Topics To Choose From

  23. 150 Great Narrative Essay Topics and Ideas: Inspire Your Writing

    Narrative Essay Topics for Grade 5. 1. My favorite childhood memory and why it's so special to me. 2. The day I moved to a different city/school and how it affected me. 3. A trip abroad and what I learned about a different culture. 4. The most dangerous situation I've ever been in and how I handled it.

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