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Writing is an older medium of communication. Now that it is in its very refined and structured state, narrative writing is still one of the most commonly used and ancient forms of writing. It relies on personal experiences and events to draw tangible results for readers.
It is widely used in academia to gauge the thinking and writing capabilities of students. For colleges, they are used in different ways to decide the candidature of the aspirants.
Narrative Essay Writing 101
The most distinguishing thing about narrative writing is its distinct structure and premise. It has a clear opening and ending with the meat of the story in the body. The theme and setting of the story are set during the introduction and progress through the body until it reached its culmination at the end of the body.
Relating Topics With Narratives & Audiences
The topic selection is one of the most crucial things about writing a narrative essay. On its own, it should have an enticing element, a hook, that can lure readers in. There are many ways writers come up with topics. For students in high schools and colleges, it takes brainstorming and practice to land the best topic.
Whether it is just the topic or the whole narrative of the essay, writers must make it relatable for the readers. If it is about pain and tragedy, they should take extra care and pay attention to the narrative to be believable and tangible to a great extent.
Picking A Winning Topic
Like writing and editing, picking personal narrative essay topics can be an art and a science at the same time. It takes some practice and hit and trial before anyone can land a great title.
There is a great way to pick the best topics for a narrative essay where writers should have a working title in the beginning and then come up with a proper title after completing it.
How to Choose The Perfect Narrative Essay Topic
In this section, we will go through the whole process of coming up with the best topic for your narrative essay. So, make sure to get the whole section down to understand how great ideas come around.
This is perhaps the most common and easy way to come up with an essay topic. There are many ways to brainstorm;
- You can look at the theme and draw parallels
- Using a prompt can break a writer’s block
- Either come up with a premise or start fresh with no box around ideas
- Logic can be a hurdle in choosing a topic or coming up with a topic
Researching Through Sources
The other way of finding the best topic for your narrative essay is to research. Start with the best narrative writing work and see what they accomplished in the essay and relate to the topic.
Many writers have tried their muscles on narrative essay writing and can serve as the perfect starting point to learn not the art of writing but also to find the winning topic for your essay.
Planning The Content Flow
Planning how you are going to write the essay can help you come up with the topic. Often it is about the structure of the events or the way they unfolded in your story, especially if you are writing from a non-linear perspective.
Even if you are not resorting to the non-linear narrative, you can always rely on your story to give out something from the title or the topic.
Finding Topics At The Unlikeliest Places
There are chances that you go through all of the above tips and still struggle to nail the topic just right. This can happen to anyone and there is nothing to panic about. Often, you have to remove the whole structure of the idea and find the topic in unexpected places.
If you had a premise for the topic, remove it. If you did not have one to work on, develop one and get it to work. It is about disturbing the apple cart and letting the status quo take a back seat because it is not working in your favor.
Amazing Narrative Essay Topics
In the previous sections, we have mentioned many reasons why writers should not make the mistake of taking the topic of their essays lightly. They must give it appropriate time and attention to make sure it complements the narrative.
Both in college and school, most of the time professors provide a topic and students only need to write essays on it. For cases when they have to come up with the topic themselves, this is where you should see.
Let us take a look at some of the good narrative essay topics.
The Ultimate List
- Attending a music concert for the first time
- Facing real danger for the first time
- Going abroad with family for the first time
- How losing my best friend changed me
- What I learned about people after getting lost in a market
- Living in a big city and feeling loneliness
- The time I helped someone in a dire need
- Growing as a human being through adversity
- Changing houses as a teenager
- Making the most challenging decision in my life
- Facing the most well-kept family secret
- Reading my favorite childhood story as an adult
- Losing the family member I bonded with the most
- Taking the most inspirational class in high school
- What I learned after getting caught in a class test
- A bitter experience in a relationship
- Thinking about life choices before making them
- Getting to know the digital world and feeling special
- How a day changed by meeting a person
- Witnessing a crazy thing at a party
- Why I dread even thinking about prom night
- The time math saved the day
- What happened when school got canceled
- Facing and coping with trouble at school
- Battling with emotions after winning a losing match
- How bad weather changes your plans for schools
- Facing conflict with loved ones
- Experiencing bullying for the first time
- The time I met with a car accident
- When I was humiliated by my teacher
- The best time of my life with a loved one
- Making a poor choice in life
- How I learned about good things the hard way
- Getting punished for a good deed
- Taking and shifting blame in one go
These are examples of narrative essay topics for your essay. You can pick one as it is or you can combine two and experiment with the premise to come up with a topic that suits the needs of your narrative.
Types of Narrative Essay Topics
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to narrative essay topics, Depending on what a writer has experienced and how he can handle the narrative it can shape the topic. Still, based on the literary structure and classification of the finished product, here are some types of narrative essay topics for college:
- Descriptive Narrative Essay Topics
Outlining Your Narrative Essay
Writing heads can be a noble idea but it is never ideal. Writers have often suggested that creating a working outline for your narrative essay should be the first move. This starts with understanding what you want to write about and how you can cover it with the structure you have in mind.
Creating A Balanced Outline
The outline you come up with will be the basis of the written content. That’s why it should be complementary to that. The essay will have three distinct parts, the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.
While formulating the outline, treat each section according to its needs. So, the introduction will have the hook and the thesis statement. The body will have the heft of the essay in terms of plot, setting, and characters. In the end, the conclusion should have reflections on what happened in the preceding sections and what lessons it offers.
There are certain things that are necessary for a narrative essay. Without them, it is hard to justify the cause and rationale of writing a document of around 1500 words. The essentials are;
Executing The Plans
After understanding the essentials and coming up with a working outline, it is time to execute these plans. The best thing about the planning phase is that it is extremely flexible. Often, we get the best ideas when we are writing and there is no need to discard great ideas just because they pop up a little late.
The goal here is to execute the plan superbly which could ideally be connecting the best ideas of both the planning and execution phase.
Narrative essays are based on personal experiences and incidents that can alter the course of life and leave lasting impressions. They can be about tragedy, loss, euphoria, etc. Depending on what kind of experience you had in the past, you can base your narrative essay on just about anything.
It would not be justifiable to name three topics as a suggestion because they can be extremely limiting for students. Instead, here are three areas or premises that you can work on to create your topic. The process of coming up with one is detailed in the article:
- Tragedy/ Loss
- Euphoria/ Meeting/ Getting Something/ Someone
- Facing Dilemma
Many acclaimed writers have written great narrative prose. This can serve as the best learning material for students and aspiring writers. So, here are some amazing narrative writing examples:
- Goodbye to All That (Joan Didion)
- Self-Reliance (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
- Notes of a Native Son (James Baldwin)
- My Life as an Heiress (Nora Ephron)
- Joy (Zadie Smith)
No matter what the execution of a narrative story is or how a writer deals with the narrative type, it should have the essentials that are necessary to weave a relatable and clear story:
The end or closing of the narrative essay is an important part. Without it, the essay is not complete. While writing the conclusion, make sure to touch on all the main points of the essay and draw lessons based on the events that unfolded in the story.
Summing It Up
Topic selection for a narrative essay is a crucial task and should not be taken lightly. It has the potential to make or break the story. In this post, we have gone to extended lengths to help you understand the importance of topics. We have also chalked out multiple ways to come up with a catching topic and how it should be placed in terms of complementing the narrative.
Before starting the essay, it is best to give the topic some time so that the rest will easily fall into place.