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Narrative Essay Topics: 80+ Examples of Free Themes in 2020-2021

An individual who passes through the American education system must write at least one narrative essay. In this case, the construction of a narrative essay topic is crucial to the successful completion of a narrative essay assignment. Basically, this guide on narrative essay topics begins with a definition, which indicates its value in learning. Further on, the manual discusses the two types of narrative essays: fiction and nonfiction. Finally, the guide discusses the process of forming a topic for a narrative essay. In turn, the manual includes a template that students may use to create topics and provides numerous examples of narrative themes across various disciplines.

General Guidelines

Narrative essay topics

Definition of a Narrative Essay

A narrative essay is a documentation of a real or fictitious succession of events, which share some form of link as subjects within a discourse. Basically, the presentation of events does not necessarily reflect the exact sequence of occurrence, for example, flashbacks disrupting typical succession of events. Instead, authors of a narrative essay must ensure that the order that they use in the presentation of events allows the audience to flow narrations easily. Then, narrative essay topics are useful in the sharing of personal perspectives on various issues. Mostly, students write narrative essays as a means of building their creative writing skills. In some cases, narrative essays may play the role of evaluation tools where professors ask students to reflect on their learning experiences. Besides, authors can write a narrative essay in the first or third person.

Types of Narrative Essays

There are two main types of narrative essays: fiction and nonfiction. Basically, authors write fiction narrative essays based on imagined events, which may be motivated by past experiences or an individual’s idea of an appropriate sequence of events. In fiction narratives, both characters and events do not represent any real persons or happenings. Then, nonfiction narrative essays are an accurate representation of a series of events that authors experience or observe in the real world. Notably, the content of nonfiction narratives may not include all the events because it is a documentation of events from the perspective of the author, which implies that he or she may omit some events. In some instances, nonfiction narratives may contain fake character names to protect the privacy of real persons, but authors must warn the audience about name alterations.

Step-by-Step Construction of Narrative Essay Themes

During the process of creating a topic for a narrative essay, students should ensure that defined themes should give the audience a snapshot of a narrative in one sentence. Basically, the first step in the generation of a topic is the identification of a subject of a narrative. Then, authors distinguish whether they participated in the events, or they were merely observers. Besides, this stage is essential because it clarifies a narration perspective, which may affect the wording of a topic. In this case, writers should determine a preferred primary effect that a narrative should have on readers. Finally, authors choose a critical moment or event that is the climax of a narrative and develop a topic that adequately captures all the details, which previous four steps yield.

Working Template for a Narrative Essay Topic

  1. Selection of a subject.
    Write a maximum of two sentences that describe the subject of a narrative essay.
  2. Identification of a narrative perspective.
    Identify some characters of a narrative and their roles.
  3. Choosing a primary effect of a narration.
    List some feelings or thoughts that the audience should develop after reading a narrative
  4. Picking a climax event.
    Summarize a crucial moment in a few descriptive words.
  5. Creation of a narrative essay topic.
    Combine keywords from previous steps, events, and other words that trigger desired effects upon the first reading.

Altering a Topic to Suite Different Purposes

The purpose of a narrative essay theme plays a crucial role in the selection of words that authors include in their topics. Basically, once a writer selects a topic, he or she may adjust it to align it with the purpose of writing. Moreover, if an author decides to write about an accident, he or she may use a narrative essay to inspire or instill fear in the audience. Consequently, the topic “The accident that defines me” can manifest in two forms that represent a narrative’s purpose. Also, another version of a narrative topic that installs fear is “A mistake at the wheel that robbed my humanity.” In turn, an alternative version, which hints at inspiration, is “The silver lining to a grisly road accident.”

Samples of Narrative Essay Topics

1. Examples of Themes for Fictional Narrative Essays

A. Sample Ideas on An Act of Courage

Arts. An artist who paints content, which is against the directives of an authoritarian government.

History. A dog plays an instrumental role in ending the battle of middle earth.

Language and literature. The books’ failed revolt against Michael, who was a librarian attempting to digitize all books.

Law. A day in court for mother and her rebellious daughters that demand their freedom of expression.

Sociology. The struggle for the female voice in the family structure of the animal kingdom.

Engineering and technology. John sneaks into the palace to show the king his invention, which would push most royal families out of the automotive industry.

Medicine and health. The elephant’s willingness to try a new medication, which had significant side effects.

Business. Pike’s decision to sell off the family business and invest in new technology.

Social work. Kate’s missionary work and the town council’s greed.

Psychology. Dr. Stock’s first heart surgery that brings Maddie back to life.

B. Examples of Narrative Prompts on Forever Remembered

Arts. The songwriter creates music by channeling dead artists and composers.

History. The adventurer who stole Alaric’s treasure from the hand of its keepers.

Language and literature. The mystery behind the love songs to Alexandre from his cook.

Law. A judge and prosecutor’s plan to avenge a young boy’s death.

Sociology. A researcher breaks all social bonds in her pursuit of the fountain of youth.

Engineering and technology. The day Potter created the weightless spoon.

Medicine and health. The hare’s experiments unleash a plague that kills half the animal kingdom.

Business. Jackal’s source of his unique goods, which he claims comes from the gods.

Social work. The memoirs of Locksdale’s good works in the town of Danish.

Psychology. The scientist who discovers hypnosis through dark magic.

C. Samples of Narrative Essay Topics on No Other Way

Arts. Jonas’ inspiration for Picasso’s art.

History. Hitler’s affair with a Jewish maid before the start of the world war.

Language and literature. The secret language of the church mice.

Law. The summit for creating laws for the interaction of the human race and wildlife.

Sociology. Donte’s struggle to maintain control of the locust clan after his stepbrother suggests seasonal migration to resolve their hunger problem.

Engineering and technology. An artificial intelligence program that destroys the world after remotely launching all nuclear bombs in the world.

Medicine and health. The mysterious healing powers of nurse Pattie’s special white tea.

Business. The journey across the Red Sea to the New World.

Social work. Stacy’s love affair with the leader of the hippopotamus clan saves the elephants from poverty.

Psychology. The rattlesnakes hypnotic tail end.

D. Examples of Narrative Themes on My Reflection on Justice

Arts. A play about a girl who could talk to her reflection on the mirror.

History. The real reason for Hercules’s goal to conquer Rome.

Language and literature. Dickson’s inner voice as documented in the lost memoirs.

Law. Bayle’s regrettable role in the witch trial of Salem.

Sociology. The first adoptive animal family and the challenge of overcoming species-specific instincts.

Engineering and technology. The fuel engine laments over the damage it does on the environment in its pursuit to better the world.

Medicine and health. The witch’s use of poison that slows the heart to save a child from the killer fever of the 15th century.

Business. A businessman that wears suits and lives a simple life despite being the head of the criminal underground.

Social work. Taking from the wealthy to assist the poor only to be caught and persecuted by the people one intends to assist.

Psychology. A narrative of a person that has two identities due to bipolar disorder.

2. Samples of Topics for Nonfictional Narrative Essays

A. Examples of Themes on Memory of My Adolescence

Arts. Robert De Niro’s defeat of stage fright in his high school years.

History. Lord Randolph Churchill defined Winston Churchill’s idea of democracy and freedom.

Language and literature. The childhood experiences that molded Maya Angelou into a civil rights activist.

Law. A day in the world of a black teenager under the black code enforced by the Jim Crow laws.

Sociology. The move to America that gave the young girl access to opportunities for self-growth.

Engineering and technology. Bill Gates’ first rub with technology in his youth.

Medicine and health. Tony Hansberry’s accidental invention of better stitching technique.

Business. Jake makes his first $100 from selling a new blend of juice, which set the foundation for his beverage company.

Social work. Saint Martin de Porres’ recounting his youth that contains many scars of discrimination and ridicule.

Psychology. Schizophrenia robbed Jack of his adolescent years.

B. Samples of Narrative Essay Topics on The Burden of Friendship

Arts. The filmmaker that stole movie ideas from his friends’ diaries with no apologies even after his rise to fame.

History. A tale of two brothers that decided to fight on opposite sides of the civil war, although they lived in the same home.

Language and literature. A platoon commander that writes a biograph for the son of one of his lieutenants whom he sent to his death during the war.

Law. A white man’s support for emancipation leads to his alienation from the community because he believed that his black friend should enjoy equal freedoms.

Sociology. John’s time in the foster system blurs the lines between friends and family and complicates his acceptance of his biological family.

Engineering and technology. Jane’s struggle to forge new friendship on social media platforms.

Medicine and health. Dr. Drake’s research on Parkinson’s disease is a consequence of his promise to a dear friend that he would find a treatment that can save the friend’s children.

Business. A business that collapses because of competing visions for the company.

Social work. Johnson’s “everyone is a friend” policy.

Psychology. Friendships under the strain of deteriorating mental health.

C. Examples of Essay Prompts on It Was Early

Arts. The death of a playwright before the official production of his play 50 years later.

History. The stabbing of a black doctor by one of his white patients after becoming the first black surgeon at a teaching hospital in Boston.

Language and literature. Satirical writing concerning blackface destabilized the fragile white-black relations.

Law. A judge’s personal beliefs complicate his ability to justly handle cases concerning gay relationships after the legalization of gay marriage.

Sociology. A woman that losses her family over drug abuse problems.

Engineering and technology. A scientist complains that the discovery of techniques to harness nuclear energy came to an under civilized society.

Medicine and health. The passing of a child just before the invention of the pacemaker that could save his life.

Business. Denis Polacks attempt to introduce e-commerce three years after the development of the Internet.

Social work. The fall of a non-profit housing organization under the leadership of a corrupt chief executive officer.

Psychology. A fatal brain surgery that left the attending psychologist without any confidence to proceed with his practice.

D. Sample Ideas on The Risk and Reward Fallacy

Arts. The failure of a young man that quits art school to be an apprentice to a renowned artist.

History. Abraham Lincoln’s pursuit of shared freedom leads to his death rather than provide him with the time to fulfill his leadership goals.

Language and literature. Black authors are unable to effect significant change through their writing despite receiving much persecution.

Law. A win in the supreme court cannot change the hearts of men, as shown in the events that follow the ruling of the Board of Education v Brown case.

Sociology. Human relationships do not bring positive results.

Engineering and technology. A software engineer’s obsession with commercial standalone products comes under threat from a multi-developer effort to build an open-source version of his sole product.

Medicine and health. A doctor that follows his gut rather than established statistics in advising the patient kills a young man in his unbridled optimism.

Business. A young man’s investment in bitcoin sets the tune for many who follow but fail to make significant profits.

Social work. A young social worker’s experience as a victim of a syndicate, which got her addicted to the drugs she was trying to take off the streets.

Psychology. The ignorance of ethical policies in research yields excellent results in a researcher’s work, but he struggles to live with his decision as he ages.

Takeaway

  • Students should ensure that they identify a climax event before constructing an essay topic because this theme and climax event must illustrate a clear link.
  • Narrative essay topics may require repeated adjustment because authors refine the plot of a paper.
  • The use of a proposed template should ensure that students avoid false starts, which lengthen the time required to complete a narrative essay.