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Tips on How to Choose a Narrative Essay Topic

The most difficult part of working on a narrative essay is to choose the experience you would like to tell the world about. Here are few tips to assist you in your brainstorm.

  • Draw a timeline of your life.

    Mark your birth, going to school, and other events that have changed your life. Write a few words about each point on your line. When did it happen? Why was it so important for you? What did you feel then? How do you feel about it now? When you start answering these questions, you will realize which of your memorable events can make an interesting story.

  • Freewrite.

    Set a timer for five minutes. Take a sheet of paper and write any possible personal essay topics that come to your mind. However stupid, ridiculous, or inappropriate they seem – just write them! Do not focus on your memories or on what you would like to write. Think of all narrative essay topics you can imagine. Do not stop writing until you hear a signal. Review the chaotic notes you have made. Among all those impossible ideas, there must be at least two or three ones that deserve a closer examination.

  • Hunt for visual clues.

    Pretend that your room is actually the room of your friend and you came here to visit for the first time. What do you see (a toy ship, a dream catcher, a photo with a celebrity)? Is it a bit surprising? Would you like to hear how this item happened to be here? Tell yourself the story behind this thing. You may discover it to be an excellent topic for your narrative.

  • Look for strong emotions.

    A topic you eventually choose should be the one you feel strongly about. It may be either a positive or a negative experience, but it should have been important for you. Do not simply describe what has happened. Tell how you felt about this situation and what you learned from it. Your personal insight is what will make your narrative essay valuable and unique.

Examples of Good Narrative Topics

  • An event that made you grow up faster than your peers.
  • A first occasion when you felt “different” or isolated because of your family or cultural background.
  • An occasion when you questioned a belief you have been taught since your early years.
  • An experience of traveling to a different country and interacting with people of another culture.
  • An occasion that changed the way in which you think about yourself.