Narrative Essay Topics


Even though narrative essays are not assigned as often as other styles of essays, there are still professors who will assign them. Many students claim that narrative essays are actually one of the more complicated essay writing styles. Since they are meant to defend a claim through storytelling, they are one of the least assigned style, but when they are written well, they are a joy to read. If you have to write a persuasive essay, but you are feeling creative, then it might be time to give the narrative essay a try, especially if you have ideas for good essay topics.

When Narrative Essays are Assigned

Narrative essays are most commonly used for application essays and for courses that rely on reflection. When professors assign narrative essays, they often provide the narrative essay topics while making the requirements very clear for their students. Those topics will usually relate to literature, concepts, or historical events. Many times, the professors will also require students to write from a particular voice, which may or may not be the actual voice of the student. You might be required to write from the voice of a historical figure, a literary character, or a subject in an experiment.

Essay Topics for Challenging Papers

Despite the fact that narrative essays are often assigned in liberal arts courses rather than science and math courses, there are plenty of narrative essay topics that can be used in nearly every curricular area. These are a few possible topics you might encounter when a narrative essay is assigned:

  • - How the (historical figure)’s childhood affected his/her choices as an adult.
  • - How living through the (historical event) changed the way (historical figure) saw the world.
  • - Describe how you reacted to disappointment and what you learned from the event.
  • - Choose a historical figure who was known for breaking the rules. Choose an event and write as if you are that historical figure who was choosing to break the rules.
  • - Chose a major historical event in American History, but tell the story as if you were from a different country.
  • - Write about a memory that is connected to food.
  • - Write about a time when you either gave help or accepted help.

How the Narrative Essay Actually Persuades

The idea of a narrative essay is to share an experience as well as what was learned from it. The learning that took place becomes the claim that you will support through the telling of the story. This is what separates a narrative essay from a narrative. In a narrative, writers will include dialogue as well as descriptions about the setting and the actions in the story. These are all told from the point-of-view that the writer chooses. In a narrative essay, writers do not include dialogue. There will be a point-of-view, but not written in the same way as a narrative piece of fiction. A narrative essay is still considered a part of the non-fiction genre, even if the event is made up by the author.

Things to Remember When Writing a Narrative Essay

When you write your narrative essay, always remember that the narrative essay needs to have a point. This will be the topic that you are arguing. So, if you choose to write about how Adolf Hitler’s childhood led him to make decisions about the Nazi party, you will want to be very specific about the decisions he made. In a narrative essay, you will write about those decisions as if you are telling a story by including the beginning, middle, and end of the events. If you are told to write from your own eyes or from the eyes of another person, it is acceptable to use the pronoun “I” in the essay, because you will be telling your very own story, which is why “I” feels natural in this type of essay.

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