It’s easy to imagine a narrative sentence or even a narrative paragraph. They are the necessary building blocks for all kinds of essays. However, the entire narrative paper sounds a bit odd. What is it? A short story? A recount of events for a police statement? What can be interesting about a narrative essay if you don’t argue, don’t persuade, don’t prove any point?
It turns out, quite a lot! Think about how colleges use personal narrative topics to find out more about their applicants. They don’t need their autobiographical details. They need to learn more about their prospective student’s character, outlook, values – and all these can be elicited by some unassuming topic for a narrative essay. You, on the other hand, can also leverage a narrative topic to get your point across. Want to know how?
How to Come Up With Personal Narrative Ideas
When choosing a topic for narrative essay, it’s important to remember that you still have an agenda. Just like a college that asks you to compose a personal statement, you must see the reason behind this short creative writing sample.
Do you want to entertain your readers with an amusing anecdote from your past? Do you want to share an eye-opening experience and change your readers’ views? Do you want to portrait yourself as witty, artistic, mindful, or just a good person? Do you want to explain what makes your hobby so important to you?
When you brainstorm personal narrative essay ideas always keep your goal in mind. Remember, a narrative is only a vehicle for your message.
Narrative Writing Topics for Young Students
The narrative is a native format for young children. Modeling on their favorite storybooks, children like to tell stories about themselves in a third person, as if they were fictional characters, such as “Lizzy went to the park today.” This is why narrative essays should not present much of a challenge even for elementary school students.
Good narrative writing ideas for this age include literacy narrative topics. A literacy narrative is an autobiographical account of student’s experience with reading, writing and speaking a language. They are also popular among older students who learn English as a second language. Here are some examples of such topics:
- The First Poem I’ve Learned By Heart
- The Word That Was Most Difficult To Read
- The First Book I Ever Read Myself
- A Bedtime Story That Scared Me
- The First Sentence I Wrote
- How I Learned That There Are Bad Words
Some other entertaining examples include:
- My First Movie Theater Visit
- The Happiest Day of My Life
- The Best Summer Day With My Family
- A Memorable Journey
- How I Celebrated My Birthday
- My First Day at School
- My Most Treasured Possession
Personal Narrative Essay Topics for Middle School
Among all the new types of essay that are introduced to students at that age, a narrative essay probably stays the most simple and straightforward. The simplicity of the format allows concentrating on topics that are more complex and exploring deeper questions.
Here is a list of the best middle-school topics for narrative essays:
- My Future Career Essay
- A Day at the Beach Essay
- My Favorite Memory Essay Examples
- My Expectations From My College Experience
- Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland Literacy Narrative Essay Example
- My Dream Job Essay Writing Sample
- My Personality Traits Essay
- Essays about Music in My Life: How Rock Music Changed My Life
- Things That a Child Should Learn During the Education Tenure - Free Narrative Essays
- The Most Embarrassing Experience Ever
- My Earliest Memory
- How I Met My Best Friend
- How I Overcame My Fear
Narrative Essay Topics for College and High School Students
Here are some good narrative topics suitable for high school and college. Please note that the examples available via links are college essay samples. The topics are approachable for high-school students as well, especially the cultural ones, such as music and films, but they might be tackled on a slightly different level.
- My Wedding Day Essay
- My Credit Card Fraud Essays
- How Drugs Negatively Impacted My Life
- Rock Music, Culture, Pop Music and You
- My Helpful Car Accident Essay
- Why I Want To Be an Engineer Essay
- Discovering Your Authentic Leadership
- How I Engaged In Reflective Practice as a Childcare Practitioner
- Essay on My Business Idol and Why
- My Diet Analysis Project Essay
- My Dream Car Essay
- My Experience With College Admission
- My Behavior and Classical Conditioning Research Paper
Some Tips on Narrative Speech Topics
The narrative speech format is very close to a narrative essay. However, there are some significant differences:
- A speech is usually shorter.
- Second, more often than not, personal experience is just a piece inserted into a speech to illustrate a point, make an argument more relatable, or as a hook to make a speech more engaging for the audience.
- Even in their purest form, narrative speeches have explicitly stated codas that sum up why the orator has chosen to share this particular experience with the audience, what did they want to say, prove, disprove, etc.
- All this brings narrative speeches very close to the persuasive format.
Here are some good personal narrative speech ideas:
- A Date That Went Wrong
- My Experience With Grief and Bereavement
- The Toughest Decision I Had to Make
- The Day I Fell in Love
- The Sunset I Will Never Forget
- One Little Thing I Can’t Live Without
- The Time When I Had No Worries
- My Experience with Rashomon Effect
- What Living Through My Parents’ Divorce Has Taught Me
- The Day I Learned That No One Likes a Sore Looser
- One Day When Everything Went Wrong
- One Remark by a Stranger That Made Me Ashamed of Myself
- A New Year’s Resolution I’ve Been Keeping To This Today
Need More Narrative Story Ideas?
If among the narrative story topics listed above you didn’t find an idea to spark your interest, you can always browse through the examples in our essay database or give a random topic generator a try!
If that doesn’t help I have one last solution: go to the attic, garage, or closet – wherever you keep old stuff – and go through it! I bet every little thing there has a story or two attached to it. Remember, the narrative is as natural to people as breathing. All you need is a little nudge of inspiration.