50 Topic Ideas for Your Narrative Essay

Suggestions and Tips for Writing Narration

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A narrative essay is used to tell a story. It's typically about your personal experience and it should have a clear point that engages your audience.

The best narratives reflect what you know best. When you're exploring topics for your assignment, stick with your comfort zone and topics you're interested in. This will allow you to write a compelling story and make the experience more enjoyable.

The Elements of a Good Narrative Essay

Essays are non-fiction writings and narrative essays are an account of events, most often pulled from the writer's life.

In contrast, a personal essay is an inner reflection that goes deeper than the facts, though it is still a type of narrative. To keep things clear, it's best to ensure that your narrative essay remains factual and steers clear of being overly introspective.

Narrative essays serve a wide variety of purposes. The most successful ones usually share these three basic traits:

  1. They make a central point.
  2. They contain specific details in support of that point.
  3. They are clearly organized in time.

In the process, your narrative should have an emotional appeal. It can be serious or humorous, but you can attempt to give your audience some way to connect with your story. Maybe they had a similar experience or can relate to the triumphs or challenges you encountered. The more that others can identify with the story, the more impact it will have.

50 Topic Ideas for Narrative Essays

While you know that narration recounts a series of events, which event should you write about?

Choosing the topic for your essay may be the hardest part.

What you're looking for is a particular incident that you can recount in a well-developed and clearly organized essay or speech. We have a few ideas to help you brainstorm topics. They're quite broad, but there's sure to be something here that sparks an idea.

  1. An embarrassing experience
  2. A memorable wedding or funeral
  3. An exciting minute or two of a football game (or another sporting event)
  4. Your first or last day at a job or new school
  5. A disastrous date
  6. A memorable moment of failure or success
  7. An encounter that changed your life or taught you a lesson
  8. An experience that led to renewed faith
  9. A strange or unexpected encounter
  10. An experience of how technology is more trouble than it's worth
  11. An experience that left you disillusioned
  12. A frightening or dangerous experience
  13. A memorable journey
  14. An encounter with someone you were in awe of or afraid of
  15. An occasion when you experienced rejection
  16. Your first visit to the countryside (or to a large city)
  17. The circumstances that led to the breakup of a friendship
  18. An experience that showed that you should be careful of what you wish for
  19. A significant or comic misunderstanding
  20. An experience that showed how appearances can be deceiving
  21. An account of a difficult decision that you had to make
  22. An event that marked a turning point in your life
  23. An experience that changed your viewpoint on a controversial issue
  24. A memorable encounter with someone in authority
  25. An act of heroism or cowardice
  26. An imaginary encounter with a real person
  27. A rebellious act
  1. A brush with greatness or death
  2. A time that you took a stand on an important issue
  3. An experience that altered your view of someone
  4. A trip that you would like to take
  5. A vacation trip from your childhood
  6. An account of a visit to a fictional place or time
  7. Your first time away from home
  8. Two different versions of the same event
  9. A day when everything went right or wrong
  10. An experience that made you laugh until you cried
  11. The experience of being lost
  12. Surviving a natural disaster
  13. An important discovery
  14. An eyewitness account of an important event
  15. An experience that helped you grow up
  16. A description of your secret place
  17. An account of what it would be like to live as a particular animal
  18. Your dream job and what it would be like
  19. An invention you'd like to create
  20. A time when you realized your parents were right
  21. An account of your earliest memory
  1. Your reaction when you heard the best news of your life
  2. A description of the one thing you can't live without

Read the Narratives of Others

As you're exploring topics for your narrative, it may also help to read what others have written. Here are a few notable narrative paragraphs and essays that can inspire your story.

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Nordquist, Richard. "50 Topic Ideas for Your Narrative Essay." ThoughtCo, Aug. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/writing-topics-narration-1690539. Nordquist, Richard. (2017, August 3). 50 Topic Ideas for Your Narrative Essay. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/writing-topics-narration-1690539 Nordquist, Richard. "50 Topic Ideas for Your Narrative Essay." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/writing-topics-narration-1690539 (accessed January 17, 2018).