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Great Narrative Essay Topic Ideas

A narrative essay is an essay that is written from the perspective of the writer. It’s often a story of the writer’s experience. It can also be an imagined experience, or one told in the voice of someone else. In those cases, the writing is still from the first person perspective. In a narrative essay, the goal is to share something that the writer has gone through, such as overcoming obstacles in a way that the audience becomes engaged with their writing.

Within the category of narrative essays is the personal literacy narrative essay. What is a literacy narrative essay? This is an essay about a writer’s relationship and experience with the written word.

Clearly a narrative essay is personal to you, so it should be something you are comfortable sharing. You also want your topic to be interesting and relatable to your audience. Ideally, they will be able to envision themselves experiencing whatever it was that you experienced.

At times, it can be challenging to find that ideal topic. Because of this, we’ve put together this list of narrative essay topic examples.

  1. Write a paper from the perspective of a historical figure like Frederick Douglass

Is there someone from your history books that you really relate to? If so, you could write a narrative from that person’s perspective. For example, you could describe President Lincoln’s evening from his perspective before he delivered the Gettysburg address.

  1. Your first day of college
  2. The best day you ever spent

  3. The scariest experience you had

  4. The bravest thing you’ve ever done

  5. What it’s like to move to a new state

  6. Living in the country after being raised in the city

  7. Learning to use public transportation

  8. How you clean your apartment

  9. Your first date

  10. One of your worst childhood memories

  11. Your first experience driving a car

This would be a great way to demonstrate your skills at sensory writing. Your narrative essay could explore your nervousness at driving for the first time, the sounds and smells, and the sights you saw on your first drive.

  1. What it’s like to live in a different country
  2. A conversation you’d like to have with a celebrity

  3. Your biggest conflict with another person

  4. What influenced you to choose your major

One of the most important decisions you make is selecting the major that will someday lead to your life’s work. Many people are influenced to go into the fields they do by their experiences and the people they meet. This can make for a very interesting essay, if you’d like to explore this topic.

  1. Why you vote the way you do
  2. Your first time voting

  3. Participating in a protest or march

  4. What it’s like to spend a day volunteering

  5. How you changed your political beliefs

  6. What motivates you to do volunteer work

  7. An experience that changed your core beliefs

  8. A night that made your dreams come true

  9. Learning to make something from scratch

Have you ever built something with your own hands? That’s a really rewarding experience. Of course, sometimes the most interesting part of all of this are the stumbles and failures you encounter during your efforts.

  1. Your first night in your own place
  2. Your first major disagreement with your parents

  3. Getting kicked out of your  home

  4. Learning to get along with your siblings as adults

  5. Dealing with divorced parents

  6. Befriending your step siblings

  7. Winning a championship game

  8. Losing a championship game

  9. The time you hit a homerun

  10. Scoring a goal for the other team

  11. Getting along with  your teammates

  12. Staying motivated after you failed

  13. Overcoming a rough childhood

  14. Living with a disability

  15. When you really disappointed someone you cared about

Unfortunately, letting someone down is a universal experience. The good news is that it’s possible to grow from that experience, and develop a stronger sense of empathy. If this topic resonates with you, consider it for your next assignment.

  1. When someone you cared about disappointed you
  2. Attending a major sporting event

  3. Applying to colleges on your own

  4. Applying for and winning scholarships

  5. Going to beach for the first time

  6. Becoming a citizen

If you’ve immigrated from another country, chances are you’ve got an interesting story to tell. In your narrative essay, you can talk about what drove you to leave your home country, and the efforts you had to make to secure your citizenship in your chosen country.

  1. Learning to play the piano
  2. Your first day of kindergarten

  3. Spending the night outside for the first time

  4. Making it around campus on your first day

  5. Surviving your dorm room

  6. Dealing with a difficult professor

  7. Dealing with a difficult roommate

  8. A guide to dorm room cooking

  9. Finances 101 for the college student

  10. Finding a job on campus

  11. An inspirational teacher

For many people, a favorite teacher is one person who had a major impact on their lives. Teachers help us to discover our talents, uncover interests, even assist us during difficult times of our lives. If you’ve had this experience, try writing a narrative essay detailing the things your teacher did to become such a meaningful part of your development.

  1. How you developed/lost your faith
  2. When you faced discrimination of some kind

  3. An experience with law enforcement

  4. Being the victim of the crime

  5. Your experience with a new technology

Not every narrative essay has to be based on a deep, life changing experience. They can be fun, or simply explore an interesting experience that you had. If you are taking a tech related course, you could write a narrative about your experience with a new video game, IOT device, mobile phone, or app.

  1. The first time you baked bread
  2. A mistake that shaped your life

  3. Living with an illness or disability

  4. An embarrassing moment

  5. The best you’ve ever felt

  6. How to juggle

  7. How to do a cartwheel

  8. Building your own video game

  9. How to change your oil

  10. How to change a tire

  11. Buying a new car

  12. Trying your favorite dish for the first time

  13. How to make a birthday cake

  14. A walk through of your favorite video game

  15. How to do the floss

  16. Operating an iphone

How to Write a Literacy Narrative Essay - Topic Suggestions

If you’re stuck on  how to write a literacy narrative essay, start with some of these great topic ideas.

  1. A timeline of your experiences as a reader

If you’re passionate about writing, chances are the books you’ve read have had a major influence on your development over the years. It can be fascinating to learn about the literature experiences of emerging writers.

  1. A conversation with a favorite historical writer
  2. A book that changed your life

  3. Essays that shaped your personal belief

  4. A writing genre that you’ve recently discovered

  5. The most interesting book you’ve ever read

  6. Your favorite authors

  7. A poem that you want read at your funeral

  8. A book you once hated that you now love

  9. The books you recommend to people most

  10. Desert island books

  11. Your favorite young adult authors

  12. Your favorite poets

  13. Your favorite non fiction authors

  14. How literature influenced your political beliefs

  15. Finding your literary voice

  16. Alternative literature that has influenced your writing

  17. The role of spoken word in your life

  18. How your taste in literature evolved

  19. The teacher who most influenced your literary path

  20. The first writing you were ever confident enough to publish

  21. Your favorite satirist

  22. Your favorite essayist

  23. Your experience interning at a literary magazine

  24. Meeting your favorite author

Narrative Essay Advice

The most important thing to remember when writing a narrative is that you’re sharing an experience that nobody else has had. This means you have to be very descriptive in your writing. Describe the scenery, your feelings, and use sensory words. Ideally, people will be able to visualize as they read your personal story.

Are You Ready to Share Your Story?

Writing a narrative essay is difficult, but it’s rewarding at the same time. Take one of the topics listed here, and write something that is sure to be as meaningful to your readers as it is to you.

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