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Narrative Essay Topics and Story Ideas

A narrative essay is a journey through time. Every narrative essay has three parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end. Writing a narrative essay is different from a persuasive essay. Persuasive essays are more structured. They have main points that the writer supports. Narrative essays do not have such arguments. They have settings, characters, and dialogue. They have conflicts and resolutions. Great narrative essays also have turning points.

There’s more than one way to write a narrative essay. It’s not as simple as coming up with three points and explaining them. Writing a narrative essay is about telling a story using your original voice. Good narrative essays have a touch of poetics. Characters and settings should be described with flare, but the descriptions shouldn’t slow the plot to a crawl. Narrative essays are truly works of art, and good artists must practice their craft. Here is a list of 101 narrative essay topics, prompts, and short story ideas to give students the practice that they need to become better writers:


  1. Everybody gets afraid sometimes. If there were no fear, there would be no opportunity for bravery. Write about the scariest moment in your life.
  2. Some people avoid challenges. Others see them as opportunities to grow. Write about a time when you overcame a great challenge.
  3. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Write about a time when you discovered something valuable that others had discarded or ignored.
  4. The golden rule states that you should treat others as you’d like to be treated. It’d be nice if everyone followed this rule, but its been broken more than once. Write about a time when you felt disrespected. How did you handle it and what did you learn?
  5. Everybody has a special talent. Write about the time when you discovered one of your talents.
  6. It’s no fun to be in pain, but it can be worse to watch someone you love suffer. Write about a time when one of your loved ones was hurt.
  7. The world can be a cold place, but a little bit of kindness can make it a lot warmer. Write about a time when you made the world a better place for someone by being kind.
  8. It’s a good thing that nobody’s perfect. Some of life’s greatest lessons are learned on accident. Write about a time when you learned an important lesson by making a mistake.
  9. It can be hard to see ourselves for who we really are at times. Write about a time when someone else taught you something about yourself.
  10. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy. Write about a time when you got in trouble or made someone angry by doing what you thought was right.
  11. You don’t have to learn everything the hard way. Write about a time when you avoided trouble by taking someone’s advice.
  12. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Write about a time when you were underestimated or when you underestimated someone else.
  13. Practice makes perfect. Write about a time when you got better at doing something by practicing.
  14. Can’t we all just get along? Write about a time when you got into a disagreement with someone. How did you resolve it?
  15. There’s a time for work and a time for play, but it’s a lot more fun to play. Write about a time when you put off doing something important to have fun. How did it work out for you in the end and what did you learn?
  16. You never know until you try. Write about a time when you learned something about yourself by trying something new.
  17. Hard work doesn’t always payoff. Write about a time when you worked hard on something but felt like your efforts weren’t appreciated.
  18. You can’t trust everyone. Write about a time when someone betrayed your trust. How did you react? Did you ever forgive them?
  19. You can’t make everybody happy. Write about a time when you made a decision that disappointed or hurt someone.
  20. Nobody said that life would be fair. Write about a time when you witnessed someone taking advantage of a weaker person. How did it make you feel?
  21. Sometimes two people just click. Write about a time when you formed a genuine connection with someone.
  22. So much in life is about the choices that you make. Write about a time when you had to choose between two things that were important to you.
  23. It’s the people we love that can hurt us the most. Write about a time when you had to confront a loved one over their decisions.
  24. Accomplishments mean so much more when work for them. Write about a time when you worked hard to earn something. How did it make you feel to meet your goal?
  25. Even the best of friends have the occasional argument. Write about a time when you got into a dispute with a friend. How did the situation get resolved?
  26. Appearances are important. Sometimes your appearance can work for you. Other times it can work against. Write about a time when someone treated you differently because of your appearance. You can share a negative or positive experience.
  27. You can’t always get what you want and sometimes that’s for the best. Write about a time when you were denied something that you wanted and it worked out alright in the end.
  28. Once in a while everything just goes your way. Write about a time when you felt on top of the world.
  29. Sometimes people drift apart. Other times they are torn apart. Write about a time when you were separated from someone with whom you were close.
  30. It’s been said that every gray cloud has a silver lining. The hard part is looking for it. Write about a time when you made the best of a bad situation.
  31. Faith is believing in something that you cannot prove. Write about a time when you had faith in someone or something that others doubted.
  32. There’s a time to be creative and there’s a time to follow directions. Write about a time when you benefitted from following directions.
  33. Some people are just looking for a reason to not like you. Write about a time when you got on someone’s bad side just by being yourself.
  34. No matter how badly someone messes up, they always have the potential to redeem themselves. Write about a time when you or someone you know made a mistake and found redemption.
  35. It’s good to play it safe, but sometimes you have to take chances. Write about a time when you took a risk. Did it work out for you?
  36. Most people agree that honesty is a virtue, but sometimes being too honest can get you into hot water. Write about a time when you got in trouble or on someone’s bad side just by telling the truth.
  37. Nothing sours an accomplishment like jealousy. Write about a time when you or someone you know was affected by the jealousy of another.
  38. The older that you get, the more responsponsibilities you gain. It can be too much at times. Write about a time when you felt overwhelmed by your responsibilities.How did you handle it?
  39. Part of growing up is facing your fears. Write about a time when you did something that you were afraid to do.
  40. It’s hard to think about anything else when danger is approaching. Write about a time when you felt unsafe.
  41. You wouldn’t be where you are today without the countless sacrifices of others. Once in a while you have to give back too. Write about a time when you gave up something that was important to you to help somebody else.
  42. It’s been said that forgiveness is divine. Write about a time when you forgave someone for hurting or disappointing you.
  43. Our first impressions aren’t always accurate. Write about a time when your first impression of someone or something proved to be wrong.
  44. Everybody makes mistakes, even teachers. Write about a time when you were affected by one of your teachers’ mistakes.
  45. With so many awesome things to learn and do in the world, nobody should ever be bored. Write about a time when you turned a boring day into an exciting one.
  46. People change. That’s a part of life. Write about a time when you or someone you know changed in an important way.
  47. When opportunity knocks, it’s up to you to answer the door. Write about a time when you took advantage of an interesting or exciting opportunity.
  48. A kind word can go a long way. Write about a time when someone affected you by saying something nice or encouraging.
  49. The world needs heroes and anyone can be one. Write about a time when you did something heroic. It doesn’t have to be as dramatic as saving someone’s life. It can be as simple as helping someone out when they needed it.
  50. Your reputation is important. People will treat you differently based on how you are reputed to be. Write about a time when you did something that affected your reputation for better or worse.
  51. Anger can blind. Write about a time when anger caused you to behave in a way that you later regretted.
  52. Authority is when someone has the power to make decisions for you. Write about a time when you wanted to challenge someone’s authority. What were they doing to cause you to feel this way? How did you handle the situation?
  53. Everybody has had someone awkward moments in life. Write about a time when you felt embarrassed. How did you deal with your embarrassment?
  54. The process of growing up is a slow one. It takes your whole childhood. But some events cause us to grow quicker than others. Write about an experience that caused you to grow up quickly.
  55. You can’t give everyone everything that they want. That would leave nothing for you. You have to set limits. Write about a time when someone wanted more from you than you had to give.
  56. Your conscience is that little voice in your head that tells you when you are doing something wrong. Write about a time when your conscience stopped you from doing something.
  57. Friendship can be found in unexpected places. Write about a time when you became friends or partners with an unlikely person.
  58. It’s important to be persistent, but you have to know when to let go too. Write about a time when you quit pursuing something or let go of a dream.
  59. Anyone can talk. Followsing through is the hard part. Write about a time when you proved yourself with your actions.
  60. We are all tempted to do things that we shouldn’t at times. It takes integrity to do the right thing against your baser desires. Write about a time when you resisted the temptation to do something wrong.
  61. Tact is the ability to phrase criticism in a sensitive way. It’s hard to be tactful all of the time. Write about a time when you blurted out something that you immediately regretted saying.
  62. It’d be nice if there were a sure fire way to tell if someone were lying, but there isn’t. Write about a time when someone deceived you. How did you find out that they were lying to you? What did you do?
  63. You can’t win all of the time. Some of life’s greatest lessons are learned in defeat. Write about a time when you lost or failed at something and learned a lesson.
  64. You can predict the future, but you’re not alway going to get it right. Write about a time when you were surprised by the outcome of an event.
  65. William Shakespeare said that “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” Write about a time when you had to say goodbye to someone or something that was important to you. How did you get over the loss?
  66. Money can’t buy everything. Write about a time when you gained something valuable that can’t be bought or sold. Some examples might include a special skill, an important understanding, or a good relationship with someone.
  67. Presentation is everything. Write about a time when you or someone else made a strong impression based on manners. It can be a good impression or a bad one.
  68. A little bit of gratitude goes a long way. Write about a time when you felt unappreciated.
  69. Bad habits are hard to kick. Write about a time when you gave up something that was bad for you.
  70. A hypocrite is a person who tells you not to do something that he or she does. Write about a time when a person acted hypocritically toward you. You may want to write about a teacher, parent, or friend.
  71. Not knowing your limits can be dangerous. Write about a time when you or someone you know took things too far.
  72. Laws were put in place for a reason. Still, not everyone follows them. Write about an experience that you shared with someone who broke a law.
  73. Sometimes we make decisions without fully considering the consequences. Write about a decision that you made which you later regretted.
  74. The only constant is change. People can change in ways that we find disappointing. Write about a time when someone you know turned out to be different than you thought they were.
  75. You never know what you’re capable of until you try. Write about a time when you succeed at something despite your doubts.
  76. Technology is supposed to solve our problems, but sometimes it just complicates them. Write about a time when technology made your life more difficult.
  77. The person you are today might not be the one you are tomorrow. People always have the potential to change, to improve. Write about an experience that changed you for the better.
  78. Our actions can have far reaching consequences that can be difficult to predict. Write about a time when you unintentionally hurt someone as a result of your actions. Did you make it up to them?
  79. Misunderstandings are the source of many conflicts. Write about a time when you solved a problem by talking about it.
  80. It can be hard to fit in when you feel awkward. Write about a time when you felt out of place. How did you adapt to the situation?
  81. Staying cool and calm helps you perform better, but this isn’t always easy. Some situations push you to the edge. Write about at time when you lost your patience.
  82. Sometimes the greatest conflicts come from within. Write about a time when you were challenged by an inner conflict. How did you resolve the problem?
  83. The world can be an overwhelming place. Write about a time when you just wanted to get away from everything.
  84. The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry. Write about a time when things did not work out the way that you planned.
  85. Not everyone is a good leader, and even good leaders can make bad decisions. Write about a time when you disagreed with someone who was in charge of you.
  86. Sometimes we think that we need help when all we really need to do is to put forth a decent effort. Write about a time when you learned to rely on yourself.
  87. Your national identity is complicated. Sometimes we are proud to be citizens of our country. Other times things are done in our country’s name that we dislike. Write about a time when you were either proud or ashamed of your nationality.
  88. You can’t always get what you want, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop trying. Write about a time when you fought for what you wanted and got your way.
  89. The world would be a better place if everyone treated each other with love and respect, but people don’t always act like that. The world can be unfair. Write about a time when you witnessed or were the victim of an injustice.
  90. Opinions can make or break you. Write about a time when someone misjudged you.
  91. Boys and girls are treated differently at times. It’s not fair, but it happens. Write about a time when you were treated differently because of your gender. It can be in a way that benefited you or worked against you.
  92. It’s been said that no good deed goes unpunished. Write about a time when you were trying to help someone and it backfired.
  93. Sometimes its best to keep your mouth shut. Write about a time when you got in trouble for sharing your opinion.
  94. The sense of smell is closely tied to memory. Think about scents that you have linked to experiences in your mind. Write about a time when an aroma became part of your memory.
  95. People are social by nature. Being alone can be torturesome. Write about a time when you felt lonely or abandoned.
  96. You can’t run from your past. It will always find a way to catch up with you. Write about a time when something from your past came back to haunt you.
  97. Many people are resistant to change, even when it is good for them. Write about a time when you grew to appreciate something that you once resisted.
  98. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than talented. Write about a time when you benefitted just by being in the right place at the right time.
  99. Everybody has perfect vision when they look into the past. Write about a time when you learned something a bit too late to help.
  100. It’s been said that the thrill is in the chase. Write about a time when you worked hard to get something, only to find out that you didn’t really want it after all.
  101. It’s a lot easier to go with the flow, but sometimes our hearts won’t let us. Write about a time when you supported an unpopular position because of your feelings or ideals.

 

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7 Comments

  1. Nazir Ahmad

     /  March 14, 2017

    why the page doesn’t work?

    Reply
  2. sireen nasser

     /  December 1, 2016

    Thank you for these amazing topics for narrative writing that exist on this web.

    Reply
  3. Jessika

     /  November 28, 2016

    I love how this is a website to help people write and #8 says, “on accident.” I kind of want to cry right now. BY accident.

    Reply
  4. Thein Han

     /  April 26, 2016

    This web is effectively support my English skills therefore, I really like it very much. Thank you all for your distribution.

    Reply
  5. lotfy shady

     /  November 6, 2015

    good

    Reply
  6. Anna

     /  November 12, 2014

    good advice

    Reply

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