narrative essay first day in school

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Essay on My First Day in School: Sample in 100, 200, 350 Words

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Essay on my first day in school

Essay on My First Day in School: The first day of school is often considered an important day in every child’s life. It is a time of a mix of emotions, like nervousness, excitement, homesickness, feelings of shyness, and likewise. But did you know these feelings are responsible for making our day memorable?

narrative essay first day in school

As children, we all are like a blank canvas, easily dyed into any colour. Our first day in school is like a new world to us. As a child, we all have experienced those feelings. So, to make you feel nostalgic and refresh those special feelings, we have brought some samples of essay on my first day in school.

Quick Read: Essay on Best Friend

Table of Contents

  • 1 Essay on My First Day in School in 100 words
  • 2 Essay on My First Day in School Sample in 200 Words
  • 3 Essay on My First Day in Day in School in 350 Words
  • 4 FAQs 

Essay on My First Day in School in 100 words

It was a cloudy day when I took my first step into the compound of my school. I was carrying a new backpack that was filled with notebooks. Though the backpack was a bit heavy, instead of focusing on the weight, I was excited about the beginning of my journey on my first day in school.

My classroom was at the end of the corridor. As I entered my classroom, my class teacher introduced me to the class and made me feel welcome. Activities like reading, solving problems in groups, and sharing our lunch boxes slowly and steadily transformed the new student with a sense of belonging.

The whole day progressed with mixed excitement as well as emotions. As the bell rang, declaring the end of the school day, the school felt like a world of possibilities where the journey was more than textbooks.

To improve your essay writing skills, here are the top 200+ English Essay Topics for school students.

Essay on My First Day in School Sample in 200 Words

It was a sunny day and the sun was shining brightly. With my new and attractive backpack, I was moving through the school gate. It was my first day in school and I was filled with nervousness and excitement. From the tower of the building to the playground everything was bigger than life. As a school student, I was about to enter a new world. 

The corridor was filled with the echo of students. As I entered the classroom, wearing a mix of curiosity and excitement, my classmates and class teacher welcomed me with a warm smile. After a round of introductions and some warm-up activities, strangers gradually started tuning into potential friends. At lunchtime, the cafeteria was filled with the smell of delicious food. However, I hesitated before joining the group of students but soon enough, I was laughing with my new friends and sharing stories. The unfamiliar were now my friends and transformed my mixed emotions into delightfulness. 

The bell rang for the next class and I stepped out for new learning in my new academic home. My first day of school had many memorable stories, with old subjects and new introductions of knowledge. The day was spent learning, sharing and making new memories. 

Also Read: Essay on Joint Family in 500+ words in English  

Essay on My First Day in Day in School in 350 Words

My first day in school started by stepping onto the school bus with a bag full of books and a heart full of curiosity. It was like I was starting a new chapter in my life. After travelling a long way back, I stepped at the gate of my school. The school gate welcomed me with open arms and greeted me with a sense of excitement as well as nervousness.

As I entered the classroom, I found many new faces. Arranging my stuff on the seat, I sat next to an unknown, who later on turned into the best friend of my life. I entered my class with a welcoming smile, and later on, I turned everything in with ease. During our lunchtime, the cafeteria was filled with the energy of students. 

At first, I hesitated to interact with the children, but later on, I was a part of a group that invited me to join the table. At lunchtime, I made many new friends and was no longer a stranger. After having delicious food and chit-chatting with friends, we get back to our respective classrooms. Different subjects such as mathematics, science, and English never left the same impact as they did on the first day of school. 

The teacher taught the lessons so interestingly that we learned the chapter with a mix of laughter and learning. At the end of the day, we all went straight to the playground and enjoyed the swings. Moreover, in the playground, I also met many faces who were new to the school and had their first day in school, like me.

While returning home, I realised that my first day was not just about learning new subjects; it was about making new friends, sailing into new vibrant classrooms, and settling myself as a new student. The morning, which was full of uncertainty at the end of the day, came to an end with exciting adventures and endless possibilities. With new experiences, I look forward to new academic and personal growth in the wonderful world of education.

Also Read: How to Prepare for UPSC in 6 Months?

Also Read: Trees Are Our Best Friend Essay

My first day of school was filled with mixed feelings. I was nervous, homesick, and excited on the first day at my school.

While writing about the first day of school, I share my experience of beginning my journey from home. What were my feelings, emotions, and excitement related to the first day of school, and how did I deal with a whole day among the unknown faces, these were some of the things I wrote in my first day of school experience essay. 

The first day of school is important because, as a new student, we manage everything new. The practice of managing everything is the first step towards self-responsibility.

Along with studying my favourite subjects, I share fun moments and delicious foods with my friends in school. 

Parents are filled with emotions on the first day of their child. As school is the place to gain knowledge, skills, and experience, parents try their best to give their children the best academics they can.

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Personal Narrative Essay: My First Day at School

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📌Words: 723
📌Pages: 3
📌Published: 22 February 2022

First day of school. I was so exhilarated. On the night before the first day of school, I prepared everything for the next day. I chose a beautiful floral dress and practiced french braiding my hair.  I had been practicing and learning how to french braid for weeks.  When everything was ready, I climbed into bed. I was so excited that I could fall asleep. I kept twisting and turning, and my eyes just wouldn’t stay shut. It was like there was a string pulling my eyelids up, preventing me from ever closing my eyes. I don’t remember when I fell asleep, but it felt like I was awake for hours before I finally closed my eyes and drifted off.

On the morning of the joyous day, I woke up at the sound of my alarm. Before I even opened my eyes, I knew what day it was. I reached for my clock and turned off the blaring alarm. I walked toward my closet excitedly, knowing that I got to wear my favorite dress today. Then, I quickly got dressed, grabbed my supplies, and ran down the stairs to do my hair. When I got to the bottom of my stairs, I took a sharp right turn to my vanity. I sat down, grabbed a small section of hair, and started braiding. After about 10 minutes, two elastic bands, and a handful of bobby pins, I finished. I was more than satisfied with my hair. When I got to the dining table, I saw my favorite pancakes. Swiftly sitting down, I stabbed a pancake with my fork and munched down on it. It was so good. I quickly wolfed down my delicious pancakes and waited for my best friend, Gabby, to arrive.

Ding dong! I ran toward the front door, almost slipping on my socks. I fumbled with the lock as I tried to open the door. When I finally got it open, I saw my best friend and jumped joyfully.

“I’ll be right there!” I exclaimed as I swung my backpack over my shoulders and went to the front door. Then I wrapped my arms around my parents, giving them a tight hug.

When I got outside, Gabby and I started walking to school. Our conversations were endless. We could’ve talked for hours just about how fun school was going to be with each other. When we arrived at our classroom, we had to pause our conversations. Our teacher welcomed us in and led us to our seats. 

The day was going great. The teacher told us that we could choose where we wanted to sit, so I got to sit next to Gabby. Everyone introduced themselves to one another, and then we got organized for the rest of the school year. Out of all the things you do on the first day of school, getting organized is by far my favorite part. Everything was going great until 11:50 AM.

At 11:50, the bell rang for our second recess. Gabby 10 minutes later, Gabby says, “Can you stop following me?” I was taken aback. I couldn’t believe it. The first day of school and she tells me to stop following her? She was the only person I knew! I try not to present myself as weak and just laughed as if I ignored her comment.

The rest of the day was fine after the second recess. When I got home after school, my mom asked how my first day was. I told her it was great except for when Gabby told me to stop following her. My mom was taken aback as well. Being the great mom that she was, she discussed this situation with me.

“Is there anyone else that is nice that you could be friends with?” my mom asked.

I thought about who was in my class. “Oh, there is this one girl that is also new. I think I could be friends with her since she doesn’t have any friends yet either.”

“That’s great! Tomorrow, you should try to talk to her.”

The next day, I approached the other new student during recess. Her name was G.. 

“Do you want to sit on the swings together?” I asked.

“Sure,” she replied. Then, we ran to the swings together.

We sat on the swings every day since that day. G. and I started to bond as we hung out together during recess every day. We started inside jokes and conversations just flowed smoothly like a stream.

G. is my closest, most trusted friend, and I give all the credit to my mother. She encouraged me when I was timorous, and she comforted me when I was disconsolate.

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My First Day At School Essay

There's a first time for everything. Moments turn into memories. We all cherish the first time we did something or achieved something, or maybe even won our first competition. The moments you love become your happy memories. Here are some sample essays on my first day at school.

100 Word Essay On My First Day At School

My first day at school is a very happy memory and I will always love to revisit it. It was a different experience altogether. From the comfort zone of my home, I was suddenly put into a completely new atmosphere – My Preschool. It looked so crowded and noisy. I still remember, on my first day, I was crying and so the memories of the morning are very blurry.

My First Day At School Essay

My parents comforted me and gave me my favourite chocolate ice-cream. I entered the classroom, and it immediately cheered my mood up. The classroom was very colourful, filled with small benches and a lot of toys and swings.

The teacher came after a few minutes. She was very friendly. After an hour, we all grouped together, and played several fun games and did many activities together. It was a very amazing day.

200 Word Essay On My First Day At School

I still remember my first day at preschool. I was very excited and nervous. Being a 5-year-old kid, it had been so hard for me to leave my home and settle in a completely new place for almost an entire day, but I was a tough kid. I was also very excited to wear my uniform. I reminded Mummy to iron my uniform many times until I checked myself and was sure of it.

My Day At School

When I entered the school with my parents on my first day, I was surprised with the fact that there were so many children of my age, some were happy and laughing, running on the ground. While a few were very scared and crying, their parents and teachers were trying to calm them down.

I was having mixed feelings, but once I entered class, I was elated with joy. The classroom was coincidently painted with my favourite colour—Sky Blue.

In my first lesson, I was taught the alphabet. But since I already knew them, the teacher called me out to recite it in front of the class. I nervously went ahead and did it. Everyone clapped for me. It was a very nice moment and made my first day of the school an unforgettable memory for me.

500 Word Essay On My First Day At School

My first day at school was an unforgettable memory for me and gave me a gift I cherish to this date. It was a cozy and comfortable evening in April when I was informed with the news that I have been admitted to Mount Libra Zee School.

I didn’t know how to react. I have seen my sister going to school daily, sometimes she was happy about it, but sometimes she was very reluctant to go and made silly excuses to avoid school. My parents had also brought a very cute school uniform. I liked it and was excited to wear it. But I still had no idea about how the first day of school was going to be.

How My First Day At School Started

The next morning, I dressed up very early in excitement. I ate my breakfast and Mummy packed a small tiffin box for me. At 8 o'clock, I went to the school in my father’s red car.

When I Reached My School

The school building was huge. It was painted with cartoons. I got happy when I saw my favourite cartoon characters, Tom & Jerry painted on the walls too. My father left me at the school gate to a peon after instructing him about my class. The peon picked me up very gently and started walking through the endless corridors. I could see the huge playground in the middle of the school building. It had all kinds of swings in it. For a moment, I wanted to run away to my favourite Merry-Go-Round, but I dropped that temptation and was dropped in front of my class by the peon.

My Classroom

The class had 15 chairs, all painted with cartoon characters. The wall had ABCs and numbers painted on it. It was a very cheerful and colourful environment. My eyes immediately glanced through the students already sitting there. They all were lost in their world. Some were sobering, while some were making drawings with crayons.

After a few minutes, our teacher came. She asked each of us our names and hobbies, and then she introduced herself to us. Then, she asked everyone to name the animals and birds painted on a picture board. We all begin singing the names. It was very fun. She was impressed with us and gave us candies at the end of the lesson.

After 2 hours, a bell rang for lunch. I took out my tiffin and started feasting on my sandwiches. A boy came to me, and said that sandwiches are his favourite. I knew his name by now, Ansh. I quickly offered him one and he was very happy. We soon became friends and chatted endlessly about Spider-Man, Iron Man and Tom and Jerry.

After learning that his favourite cartoon was also Tom and Jerry , I instantly knew I got my first school friend. 14 years forward, Ansh is still my best friend, and I am always thankful to him for making my first day at school a very fond memory.

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Narrative Essay

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narrative essay first day in school

A narrative essay is a form of storytelling where the writer shares a personal experience in a detailed and engaging manner. Crafting a Short Narrative Essay allows the author to focus on a specific event or moment, making it concise and impactful. Writing a Beneficial Narrative Essay helps readers connect with the author’s journey, providing insight and reflection. The Thesis Statement for Narrative Essay serves as the guiding idea, encapsulating the main point or lesson learned. A well-crafted Narrative Summary ensures the story is coherent and compelling, leaving a lasting impression on the audience.

What is Narrative Essay?

A narrative essay is a form of writing that tells a story from the writer’s personal experience, using vivid details and a clear sequence of events. It aims to engage readers by making them feel a part of the journey, often imparting a meaningful lesson or insight.

Examples of Narrative Essay

Examples-of-Narrative-Essay

  • A Memorable Family Vacation – Recount a family trip that left a lasting impression.
  • My First Day at School – Describe the emotions and experiences of your first school day.
  • An Unexpected Adventure – Share a surprising and exciting experience you had.
  • Overcoming a Fear – Narrate the story of how you faced and conquered a fear.
  • A Life-Changing Event – Detail an event that significantly impacted your life.
  • A Lesson Learned the Hard Way – Explain a situation where you learned an important lesson through a challenging experience.
  • My Favorite Childhood Memory – Describe a cherished memory from your childhood.
  • A Time I Helped Someone – Share a story where you helped someone in need and what you learned from it.
  • A Day I Will Never Forget – Narrate a day that stands out vividly in your memory.
  • My First Job Experience – Recount your experiences and lessons learned from your first job.
  • The Best Decision I Ever Made – Explain a decision that positively changed your life.
  • A Time I Stood Up for Myself – Describe an instance where you confidently defended your beliefs or actions.
  • A Significant Challenge I Faced – Narrate how you dealt with a major challenge in your life.
  • My Favorite Holiday Celebration – Share your experiences and traditions during a special holiday.
  • A Friendship That Changed Me – Describe a friendship that had a profound impact on you.
  • A Moment of Personal Growth – Explain a situation where you experienced significant personal development.
  • A Funny Incident from My Life – Recount a humorous event that still makes you laugh.
  • A Time I Felt Truly Happy – Describe an experience that brought you immense joy and fulfillment.
  • My Experience Moving to a New Place – Share your feelings and experiences about relocating to a new environment.
  • A Mistake That Taught Me a Valuable Lesson – Narrate a mistake you made and the lessons you learned from it.

Narrative Essay Examples for Students

  • My First Day at High School : My first day at high school was a mix of excitement and nervousness. Walking through the crowded halls, I felt lost but eager to start a new chapter.
  • Overcoming Stage Fright : In eighth grade, I was chosen to lead the school play. Though terrified, I practiced tirelessly and eventually overcame my stage fright.
  • A Memorable Family Vacation : Last summer, my family and I went on a trip to the Grand Canyon. The breathtaking views and the bonding moments we shared made it an unforgettable experience.
  • The Day I Got My First Pet : Getting my first pet, a golden retriever named Max, was a day filled with joy. I vividly remember the feeling of holding him for the first time and the instant bond we formed.
  • Learning to Ride a Bike : Learning to ride a bike was a significant milestone in my childhood. My dad spent countless hours running beside me, encouraging me not to give up.

Narrative Essay Topics

  • A Life-Changing Experience
  • My First Day at a New School
  • An Unforgettable Family Reunion
  • The Day I Overcame a Fear
  • A Time I Got Lost
  • The Best Birthday Party Ever
  • A Lesson Learned from a Mistake
  • The Moment I Realized I Was Growing Up
  • A Memorable Road Trip
  • An Unexpected Act of Kindness
  • A Funny Incident in My Life
  • A Time I Stood Up for Myself
  • A Significant Challenge I Faced
  • My First Job Experience
  • A Time When I Felt Truly Happy
  • A Difficult Decision I Had to Make
  • The Day I Met My Best Friend
  • An Adventure in Nature
  • A Family Tradition That Means a Lot to Me
  • The First Time I Tried Something New

Narrative Essay Format

Introduction.

From a young age, I was terrified of public speaking. The very thought of standing in front of an audience made my palms sweat and my heart race. However, my journey to overcome this fear taught me valuable lessons about courage and perseverance.

In eighth grade, I was unexpectedly chosen to play the lead role in our school play. At first, I wanted to decline the offer, but my teacher encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone. With her support and my parents’ encouragement, I reluctantly agreed.

As the day of the performance approached, my nerves intensified. However, I remembered my teacher’s advice: “Focus on the story you’re telling, not on the audience.” On the night of the play, I took a deep breath and stepped onto the stage, my heart pounding in my chest.

To my surprise, as I delivered my first lines, the fear began to fade. I became immersed in my character, and the audience’s presence seemed to disappear. By the end of the play, I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride that I had never experienced before.

Overcoming my stage fright was a pivotal moment in my life. It taught me that facing my fears head-on and persevering through challenges can lead to personal growth and unexpected rewards.

How to write Narrative Essay

Choose a Topic : Pick a story or experience from your life that you can describe in detail and that has a clear point or lesson.

Create an Outline : Outline the main events of your story in the order they happened. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure your essay flows smoothly.

Write the Introduction:

  • Hook : Start with an interesting opening sentence to grab the reader’s attention.
  • Setting the Scene : Provide background information about where and when the story takes place.
  • Thesis Statement : Briefly explain the main point or lesson of your story.

Write the Body Paragraphs :

  • Paragraph 1: Beginning of the Story
  • Paragraph 2: Rising Action
  • Paragraph 3: Climax
  • Paragraph 4: Falling Action
  • Write the Conclusion : Summarize the lesson or main point of your story.

Tips for Narrative Essay Writing

  • Start with a Strong Hook
  • Use Vivid Descriptions and Sensory Details
  • Show, Don’t Just Tell
  • Reflect on the Significance

How does a narrative essay differ from a biography?

Unlike a Biography Narrative Essay , a narrative essay focuses on a specific event or experience.

Can a narrative essay include fictional elements?

Yes, a narrative essay can blend fact and fiction for creative storytelling.

What is a narrative history essay?

A narrative history essay recounts historical events in a story-like format.

How do you start a narrative essay?

Begin with an engaging hook, setting the scene or introducing key characters.

What are the key components of a narrative essay?

Introduction, plot, characters, climax, and conclusion are essential.

How should a narrative essay be structured?

Follow a chronological order or a logical progression of events.

What tone should a narrative essay have?

The tone can vary but should suit the story’s context and audience.

How do you end a narrative essay?

Conclude by reflecting on the story’s significance or lessons learned.

How important is the setting in a narrative essay?

A well-described setting enhances the story’s mood and context.

What is the purpose of a narrative essay?

To entertain, inform, or convey personal experiences and insights.

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How to Write a Narrative Essay | Example & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

A narrative essay tells a story. In most cases, this is a story about a personal experience you had. This type of essay , along with the descriptive essay , allows you to get personal and creative, unlike most academic writing .

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Table of contents

What is a narrative essay for, choosing a topic, interactive example of a narrative essay, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about narrative essays.

When assigned a narrative essay, you might find yourself wondering: Why does my teacher want to hear this story? Topics for narrative essays can range from the important to the trivial. Usually the point is not so much the story itself, but the way you tell it.

A narrative essay is a way of testing your ability to tell a story in a clear and interesting way. You’re expected to think about where your story begins and ends, and how to convey it with eye-catching language and a satisfying pace.

These skills are quite different from those needed for formal academic writing. For instance, in a narrative essay the use of the first person (“I”) is encouraged, as is the use of figurative language, dialogue, and suspense.

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Narrative essay assignments vary widely in the amount of direction you’re given about your topic. You may be assigned quite a specific topic or choice of topics to work with.

  • Write a story about your first day of school.
  • Write a story about your favorite holiday destination.

You may also be given prompts that leave you a much wider choice of topic.

  • Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself.
  • Write about an achievement you are proud of. What did you accomplish, and how?

In these cases, you might have to think harder to decide what story you want to tell. The best kind of story for a narrative essay is one you can use to talk about a particular theme or lesson, or that takes a surprising turn somewhere along the way.

For example, a trip where everything went according to plan makes for a less interesting story than one where something unexpected happened that you then had to respond to. Choose an experience that might surprise the reader or teach them something.

Narrative essays in college applications

When applying for college , you might be asked to write a narrative essay that expresses something about your personal qualities.

For example, this application prompt from Common App requires you to respond with a narrative essay.

In this context, choose a story that is not only interesting but also expresses the qualities the prompt is looking for—here, resilience and the ability to learn from failure—and frame the story in a way that emphasizes these qualities.

An example of a short narrative essay, responding to the prompt “Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself,” is shown below.

Hover over different parts of the text to see how the structure works.

Since elementary school, I have always favored subjects like science and math over the humanities. My instinct was always to think of these subjects as more solid and serious than classes like English. If there was no right answer, I thought, why bother? But recently I had an experience that taught me my academic interests are more flexible than I had thought: I took my first philosophy class.

Before I entered the classroom, I was skeptical. I waited outside with the other students and wondered what exactly philosophy would involve—I really had no idea. I imagined something pretty abstract: long, stilted conversations pondering the meaning of life. But what I got was something quite different.

A young man in jeans, Mr. Jones—“but you can call me Rob”—was far from the white-haired, buttoned-up old man I had half-expected. And rather than pulling us into pedantic arguments about obscure philosophical points, Rob engaged us on our level. To talk free will, we looked at our own choices. To talk ethics, we looked at dilemmas we had faced ourselves. By the end of class, I’d discovered that questions with no right answer can turn out to be the most interesting ones.

The experience has taught me to look at things a little more “philosophically”—and not just because it was a philosophy class! I learned that if I let go of my preconceptions, I can actually get a lot out of subjects I was previously dismissive of. The class taught me—in more ways than one—to look at things with an open mind.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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If you’re not given much guidance on what your narrative essay should be about, consider the context and scope of the assignment. What kind of story is relevant, interesting, and possible to tell within the word count?

The best kind of story for a narrative essay is one you can use to reflect on a particular theme or lesson, or that takes a surprising turn somewhere along the way.

Don’t worry too much if your topic seems unoriginal. The point of a narrative essay is how you tell the story and the point you make with it, not the subject of the story itself.

Narrative essays are usually assigned as writing exercises at high school or in university composition classes. They may also form part of a university application.

When you are prompted to tell a story about your own life or experiences, a narrative essay is usually the right response.

The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.

Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.

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3 Great Narrative Essay Examples + Tips for Writing

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A narrative essay is one of the most intimidating assignments you can be handed at any level of your education. Where you've previously written argumentative essays that make a point or analytic essays that dissect meaning, a narrative essay asks you to write what is effectively a story .

But unlike a simple work of creative fiction, your narrative essay must have a clear and concrete motif —a recurring theme or idea that you’ll explore throughout. Narrative essays are less rigid, more creative in expression, and therefore pretty different from most other essays you’ll be writing.

But not to fear—in this article, we’ll be covering what a narrative essay is, how to write a good one, and also analyzing some personal narrative essay examples to show you what a great one looks like.

What Is a Narrative Essay?

At first glance, a narrative essay might sound like you’re just writing a story. Like the stories you're used to reading, a narrative essay is generally (but not always) chronological, following a clear throughline from beginning to end. Even if the story jumps around in time, all the details will come back to one specific theme, demonstrated through your choice in motifs.

Unlike many creative stories, however, your narrative essay should be based in fact. That doesn’t mean that every detail needs to be pure and untainted by imagination, but rather that you shouldn’t wholly invent the events of your narrative essay. There’s nothing wrong with inventing a person’s words if you can’t remember them exactly, but you shouldn’t say they said something they weren’t even close to saying.

Another big difference between narrative essays and creative fiction—as well as other kinds of essays—is that narrative essays are based on motifs. A motif is a dominant idea or theme, one that you establish before writing the essay. As you’re crafting the narrative, it’ll feed back into your motif to create a comprehensive picture of whatever that motif is.

For example, say you want to write a narrative essay about how your first day in high school helped you establish your identity. You might discuss events like trying to figure out where to sit in the cafeteria, having to describe yourself in five words as an icebreaker in your math class, or being unsure what to do during your lunch break because it’s no longer acceptable to go outside and play during lunch. All of those ideas feed back into the central motif of establishing your identity.

The important thing to remember is that while a narrative essay is typically told chronologically and intended to read like a story, it is not purely for entertainment value. A narrative essay delivers its theme by deliberately weaving the motifs through the events, scenes, and details. While a narrative essay may be entertaining, its primary purpose is to tell a complete story based on a central meaning.

Unlike other essay forms, it is totally okay—even expected—to use first-person narration in narrative essays. If you’re writing a story about yourself, it’s natural to refer to yourself within the essay. It’s also okay to use other perspectives, such as third- or even second-person, but that should only be done if it better serves your motif. Generally speaking, your narrative essay should be in first-person perspective.

Though your motif choices may feel at times like you’re making a point the way you would in an argumentative essay, a narrative essay’s goal is to tell a story, not convince the reader of anything. Your reader should be able to tell what your motif is from reading, but you don’t have to change their mind about anything. If they don’t understand the point you are making, you should consider strengthening the delivery of the events and descriptions that support your motif.

Narrative essays also share some features with analytical essays, in which you derive meaning from a book, film, or other media. But narrative essays work differently—you’re not trying to draw meaning from an existing text, but rather using an event you’ve experienced to convey meaning. In an analytical essay, you examine narrative, whereas in a narrative essay you create narrative.

The structure of a narrative essay is also a bit different than other essays. You’ll generally be getting your point across chronologically as opposed to grouping together specific arguments in paragraphs or sections. To return to the example of an essay discussing your first day of high school and how it impacted the shaping of your identity, it would be weird to put the events out of order, even if not knowing what to do after lunch feels like a stronger idea than choosing where to sit. Instead of organizing to deliver your information based on maximum impact, you’ll be telling your story as it happened, using concrete details to reinforce your theme.

body_fair

3 Great Narrative Essay Examples

One of the best ways to learn how to write a narrative essay is to look at a great narrative essay sample. Let’s take a look at some truly stellar narrative essay examples and dive into what exactly makes them work so well.

A Ticket to the Fair by David Foster Wallace

Today is Press Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, and I’m supposed to be at the fairgrounds by 9:00 A.M. to get my credentials. I imagine credentials to be a small white card in the band of a fedora. I’ve never been considered press before. My real interest in credentials is getting into rides and shows for free. I’m fresh in from the East Coast, for an East Coast magazine. Why exactly they’re interested in the Illinois State Fair remains unclear to me. I suspect that every so often editors at East Coast magazines slap their foreheads and remember that about 90 percent of the United States lies between the coasts, and figure they’ll engage somebody to do pith-helmeted anthropological reporting on something rural and heartlandish. I think they asked me to do this because I grew up here, just a couple hours’ drive from downstate Springfield. I never did go to the state fair, though—I pretty much topped out at the county fair level. Actually, I haven’t been back to Illinois for a long time, and I can’t say I’ve missed it.

Throughout this essay, David Foster Wallace recounts his experience as press at the Illinois State Fair. But it’s clear from this opening that he’s not just reporting on the events exactly as they happened—though that’s also true— but rather making a point about how the East Coast, where he lives and works, thinks about the Midwest.

In his opening paragraph, Wallace states that outright: “Why exactly they’re interested in the Illinois State Fair remains unclear to me. I suspect that every so often editors at East Coast magazines slap their foreheads and remember that about 90 percent of the United States lies between the coasts, and figure they’ll engage somebody to do pith-helmeted anthropological reporting on something rural and heartlandish.”

Not every motif needs to be stated this clearly , but in an essay as long as Wallace’s, particularly since the audience for such a piece may feel similarly and forget that such a large portion of the country exists, it’s important to make that point clear.

But Wallace doesn’t just rest on introducing his motif and telling the events exactly as they occurred from there. It’s clear that he selects events that remind us of that idea of East Coast cynicism , such as when he realizes that the Help Me Grow tent is standing on top of fake grass that is killing the real grass beneath, when he realizes the hypocrisy of craving a corn dog when faced with a real, suffering pig, when he’s upset for his friend even though he’s not the one being sexually harassed, and when he witnesses another East Coast person doing something he wouldn’t dare to do.

Wallace is literally telling the audience exactly what happened, complete with dates and timestamps for when each event occurred. But he’s also choosing those events with a purpose—he doesn’t focus on details that don’t serve his motif. That’s why he discusses the experiences of people, how the smells are unappealing to him, and how all the people he meets, in cowboy hats, overalls, or “black spandex that looks like cheesecake leotards,” feel almost alien to him.

All of these details feed back into the throughline of East Coast thinking that Wallace introduces in the first paragraph. He also refers back to it in the essay’s final paragraph, stating:

At last, an overarching theory blooms inside my head: megalopolitan East Coasters’ summer treats and breaks and literally ‘getaways,’ flights-from—from crowds, noise, heat, dirt, the stress of too many sensory choices….The East Coast existential treat is escape from confines and stimuli—quiet, rustic vistas that hold still, turn inward, turn away. Not so in the rural Midwest. Here you’re pretty much away all the time….Something in a Midwesterner sort of actuates , deep down, at a public event….The real spectacle that draws us here is us.

Throughout this journey, Wallace has tried to demonstrate how the East Coast thinks about the Midwest, ultimately concluding that they are captivated by the Midwest’s less stimuli-filled life, but that the real reason they are interested in events like the Illinois State Fair is that they are, in some ways, a means of looking at the East Coast in a new, estranging way.

The reason this works so well is that Wallace has carefully chosen his examples, outlined his motif and themes in the first paragraph, and eventually circled back to the original motif with a clearer understanding of his original point.

When outlining your own narrative essay, try to do the same. Start with a theme, build upon it with examples, and return to it in the end with an even deeper understanding of the original issue. You don’t need this much space to explore a theme, either—as we’ll see in the next example, a strong narrative essay can also be very short.

body_moth

Death of a Moth by Virginia Woolf

After a time, tired by his dancing apparently, he settled on the window ledge in the sun, and, the queer spectacle being at an end, I forgot about him. Then, looking up, my eye was caught by him. He was trying to resume his dancing, but seemed either so stiff or so awkward that he could only flutter to the bottom of the window-pane; and when he tried to fly across it he failed. Being intent on other matters I watched these futile attempts for a time without thinking, unconsciously waiting for him to resume his flight, as one waits for a machine, that has stopped momentarily, to start again without considering the reason of its failure. After perhaps a seventh attempt he slipped from the wooden ledge and fell, fluttering his wings, on to his back on the window sill. The helplessness of his attitude roused me. It flashed upon me that he was in difficulties; he could no longer raise himself; his legs struggled vainly. But, as I stretched out a pencil, meaning to help him to right himself, it came over me that the failure and awkwardness were the approach of death. I laid the pencil down again.

In this essay, Virginia Woolf explains her encounter with a dying moth. On surface level, this essay is just a recounting of an afternoon in which she watched a moth die—it’s even established in the title. But there’s more to it than that. Though Woolf does not begin her essay with as clear a motif as Wallace, it’s not hard to pick out the evidence she uses to support her point, which is that the experience of this moth is also the human experience.

In the title, Woolf tells us this essay is about death. But in the first paragraph, she seems to mostly be discussing life—the moth is “content with life,” people are working in the fields, and birds are flying. However, she mentions that it is mid-September and that the fields were being plowed. It’s autumn and it’s time for the harvest; the time of year in which many things die.

In this short essay, she chronicles the experience of watching a moth seemingly embody life, then die. Though this essay is literally about a moth, it’s also about a whole lot more than that. After all, moths aren’t the only things that die—Woolf is also reflecting on her own mortality, as well as the mortality of everything around her.

At its core, the essay discusses the push and pull of life and death, not in a way that’s necessarily sad, but in a way that is accepting of both. Woolf begins by setting up the transitional fall season, often associated with things coming to an end, and raises the ideas of pleasure, vitality, and pity.

At one point, Woolf tries to help the dying moth, but reconsiders, as it would interfere with the natural order of the world. The moth’s death is part of the natural order of the world, just like fall, just like her own eventual death.

All these themes are set up in the beginning and explored throughout the essay’s narrative. Though Woolf doesn’t directly state her theme, she reinforces it by choosing a small, isolated event—watching a moth die—and illustrating her point through details.

With this essay, we can see that you don’t need a big, weird, exciting event to discuss an important meaning. Woolf is able to explore complicated ideas in a short essay by being deliberate about what details she includes, just as you can be in your own essays.

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Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin

On the twenty-ninth of July, in 1943, my father died. On the same day, a few hours later, his last child was born. Over a month before this, while all our energies were concentrated in waiting for these events, there had been, in Detroit, one of the bloodiest race riots of the century. A few hours after my father’s funeral, while he lay in state in the undertaker’s chapel, a race riot broke out in Harlem. On the morning of the third of August, we drove my father to the graveyard through a wilderness of smashed plate glass.

Like Woolf, Baldwin does not lay out his themes in concrete terms—unlike Wallace, there’s no clear sentence that explains what he’ll be talking about. However, you can see the motifs quite clearly: death, fatherhood, struggle, and race.

Throughout the narrative essay, Baldwin discusses the circumstances of his father’s death, including his complicated relationship with his father. By introducing those motifs in the first paragraph, the reader understands that everything discussed in the essay will come back to those core ideas. When Baldwin talks about his experience with a white teacher taking an interest in him and his father’s resistance to that, he is also talking about race and his father’s death. When he talks about his father’s death, he is also talking about his views on race. When he talks about his encounters with segregation and racism, he is talking, in part, about his father.

Because his father was a hard, uncompromising man, Baldwin struggles to reconcile the knowledge that his father was right about many things with his desire to not let that hardness consume him, as well.

Baldwin doesn’t explicitly state any of this, but his writing so often touches on the same motifs that it becomes clear he wants us to think about all these ideas in conversation with one another.

At the end of the essay, Baldwin makes it more clear:

This fight begins, however, in the heart and it had now been laid to my charge to keep my own heart free of hatred and despair. This intimation made my heart heavy and, now that my father was irrecoverable, I wished that he had been beside me so that I could have searched his face for the answers which only the future would give me now.

Here, Baldwin ties together the themes and motifs into one clear statement: that he must continue to fight and recognize injustice, especially racial injustice, just as his father did. But unlike his father, he must do it beginning with himself—he must not let himself be closed off to the world as his father was. And yet, he still wishes he had his father for guidance, even as he establishes that he hopes to be a different man than his father.

In this essay, Baldwin loads the front of the essay with his motifs, and, through his narrative, weaves them together into a theme. In the end, he comes to a conclusion that connects all of those things together and leaves the reader with a lasting impression of completion—though the elements may have been initially disparate, in the end everything makes sense.

You can replicate this tactic of introducing seemingly unattached ideas and weaving them together in your own essays. By introducing those motifs, developing them throughout, and bringing them together in the end, you can demonstrate to your reader how all of them are related. However, it’s especially important to be sure that your motifs and clear and consistent throughout your essay so that the conclusion feels earned and consistent—if not, readers may feel mislead.

5 Key Tips for Writing Narrative Essays

Narrative essays can be a lot of fun to write since they’re so heavily based on creativity. But that can also feel intimidating—sometimes it’s easier to have strict guidelines than to have to make it all up yourself. Here are a few tips to keep your narrative essay feeling strong and fresh.

Develop Strong Motifs

Motifs are the foundation of a narrative essay . What are you trying to say? How can you say that using specific symbols or events? Those are your motifs.

In the same way that an argumentative essay’s body should support its thesis, the body of your narrative essay should include motifs that support your theme.

Try to avoid cliches, as these will feel tired to your readers. Instead of roses to symbolize love, try succulents. Instead of the ocean representing some vast, unknowable truth, try the depths of your brother’s bedroom. Keep your language and motifs fresh and your essay will be even stronger!

Use First-Person Perspective

In many essays, you’re expected to remove yourself so that your points stand on their own. Not so in a narrative essay—in this case, you want to make use of your own perspective.

Sometimes a different perspective can make your point even stronger. If you want someone to identify with your point of view, it may be tempting to choose a second-person perspective. However, be sure you really understand the function of second-person; it’s very easy to put a reader off if the narration isn’t expertly deployed.

If you want a little bit of distance, third-person perspective may be okay. But be careful—too much distance and your reader may feel like the narrative lacks truth.

That’s why first-person perspective is the standard. It keeps you, the writer, close to the narrative, reminding the reader that it really happened. And because you really know what happened and how, you’re free to inject your own opinion into the story without it detracting from your point, as it would in a different type of essay.

Stick to the Truth

Your essay should be true. However, this is a creative essay, and it’s okay to embellish a little. Rarely in life do we experience anything with a clear, concrete meaning the way somebody in a book might. If you flub the details a little, it’s okay—just don’t make them up entirely.

Also, nobody expects you to perfectly recall details that may have happened years ago. You may have to reconstruct dialog from your memory and your imagination. That’s okay, again, as long as you aren’t making it up entirely and assigning made-up statements to somebody.

Dialog is a powerful tool. A good conversation can add flavor and interest to a story, as we saw demonstrated in David Foster Wallace’s essay. As previously mentioned, it’s okay to flub it a little, especially because you’re likely writing about an experience you had without knowing that you’d be writing about it later.

However, don’t rely too much on it. Your narrative essay shouldn’t be told through people explaining things to one another; the motif comes through in the details. Dialog can be one of those details, but it shouldn’t be the only one.

Use Sensory Descriptions

Because a narrative essay is a story, you can use sensory details to make your writing more interesting. If you’re describing a particular experience, you can go into detail about things like taste, smell, and hearing in a way that you probably wouldn’t do in any other essay style.

These details can tie into your overall motifs and further your point. Woolf describes in great detail what she sees while watching the moth, giving us the sense that we, too, are watching the moth. In Wallace’s essay, he discusses the sights, sounds, and smells of the Illinois State Fair to help emphasize his point about its strangeness. And in Baldwin’s essay, he describes shattered glass as a “wilderness,” and uses the feelings of his body to describe his mental state.

All these descriptions anchor us not only in the story, but in the motifs and themes as well. One of the tools of a writer is making the reader feel as you felt, and sensory details help you achieve that.

What’s Next?

Looking to brush up on your essay-writing capabilities before the ACT? This guide to ACT English will walk you through some of the best strategies and practice questions to get you prepared!

Part of practicing for the ACT is ensuring your word choice and diction are on point. Check out this guide to some of the most common errors on the ACT English section to be sure that you're not making these common mistakes!

A solid understanding of English principles will help you make an effective point in a narrative essay, and you can get that understanding through taking a rigorous assortment of high school English classes !

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Melissa Brinks graduated from the University of Washington in 2014 with a Bachelor's in English with a creative writing emphasis. She has spent several years tutoring K-12 students in many subjects, including in SAT prep, to help them prepare for their college education.

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First Day of School Essay

500 words essay on first day of school.

The first day of schools is not easy for anyone. Even if you are not shy, it is still tough for the first day. When people say the first day of school, the mind usually goes back to our first day in class nursery. But, that is not the same as everyone. When a person transfers to a new school, their first day of the new school is also a new experience. Thus, the first day of school essay will tell us about it in detail.

first day of school essay

A Thrilling Experience

The first day of school is a thrilling experience. You are entering an unknown territory and you don’t know anyone there. While it might scare some, for some it is quite exciting. You get to learn about new things on the first day.

Moreover, the first day gives us a new perspective on things. Things we don’t often notice, we might notice on our first day of school. It is because we are very aware of our surroundings on our first day.

Nonetheless, it is an exciting experience for all. If you are a four-year-old joining school for the first time or a senior going to a new school for the first time, everyone usually remembers their experience and cherish it forever.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

My First Day of School as a Senior

My father has a government job which requires him to shift a lot. Even though we stayed in the same place, my father moved from one place to another. After being in the same school for 8 years, my father finally got a permanent posting.

This meant that we had to move to a new city and join a new school. I was very nervous to move to a new city and even more to join a new school. My present school has all my friends whom I cannot stay apart from.

Nonetheless, when we moved to the new city, I became friends with my neighbour . On my first day of school, I joined the fifth standard. The teacher introduced me and I went to sit in my seat.

Many children sitting beside me started talking to me. They were being friendly and cordial. Thus, all my nervousness went away. Upon talking with them, I realized that they are very welcoming.

Some of them also shared their lunch with me. My neighbour also came to meet me during the recess and we played on the swings. On the first day, only the feeling of being an outsider went away. I enjoyed my first day a lot and came back home smiling.

Conclusion of the First Day of School Essay

Thus, the first day of schools is not easy. It is equally difficult for little children as well as teenagers. It is not easy to enter a place with unknown faces, but it is definitely not impossible. We all need to come out of comfort zone someday, so it serves as a great way of reminding us of this fact.

FAQ of First Day of School Essay

Question 1: Is the first day of school memorable?

Answer 1: The first day of school whether for the first time or in a new school is memorable for everyone. It is a life-changing day for students as they enter into an unknown place without the support of anyone, all by themselves.

Question 2: Does the first day of school determine the rest of our school days?

Answer 2: Not at all. Our first day can be good or bad, but it does not determine anything. There are good days and bad days in life; it is upon us to take the journey forward happily without letting anything discourage us.

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Home — Essay Samples — Education — First Day of School — First Day of High School Essay – 150 Words

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About My First Day at High School

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Words: 170 |

Published: May 14, 2021

Words: 170 | Page: 1 | 1 min read

Works Cited

  • Chen, X., & Wu, B. (2019). Traditional Chinese Cultural Values and Personality Traits Among Chinese International Students. Journal of International Students, 9(2), 487-503. doi:10.32674/jis.v9i2.239
  • Cohen, E. G. (1994). Designing Groupwork: Strategies for the Heterogeneous Classroom. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
  • Delpit, L. (1995). Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom. New York, NY: The New Press.
  • Du, X., Li, Y., & Zhang, L. (2016). Confucianism, Education, and Schooling: A Brief Introduction. In Y. Li & X. Du (Eds.), Chinese Education in Global Contexts: Research and practice in China and the UK (pp. 1-20). London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. doi:10.1057/978-1-137-58078-6_1
  • Gay, G. (2000). Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
  • Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions, and Organizations Across Nations (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Kao, G. (1995). Asian Americans as Model Minorities?: A Look at Their Academic Performance. American Journal of Education, 103(2), 121-159. doi:10.1086/444120
  • Ogbu, J. U. (1988). Minority Education and Caste: The American System in Cross-Cultural Perspective. New York, NY: Academic Press.
  • Su, C., & Kuo, B. (2019). The Impact of Western Education on Chinese Students’ Cultural Identity. Journal of International Students, 9(2), 601-622. doi:10.32674/jis.v9i2.266
  • Zhou, M. (2002). The Limits of Racial Domination: Plebeian Society in Colonial Mexico City, 1660-1720. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

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My First Day in School Essay | Essay on My First Day in School for Students and Children in English

February 7, 2024 by Prasanna

My First Day In School Essay: My parents got me admitted to Mount Valley School. At that time, I was six years old. I still remember my first day at school. My mother woke me up early in the morning and after my bath and breakfast, I got dressed in my brand new school uniform. I was very excited.

You can read more  Essay Writing  about articles, events, people, sports, technology many more.

Short Essay on My First Day in School 200 Words for Kids and Students in English

Below we have given a short essay on My First Day in School is for Classes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. This short essay on the topic is suitable for students of class 6 and below.

My sister studied in the fourth class in the same school and my father took us there by car. The school compound was full of boys and girls. We went straight to the principal’s office and he asked my name and gave me a chocolate. After that, my father left for his office.

My First Day in School Essay

I was led to my class by the peon. My class teacher turned out to be a very sweet and kind lady. She made me comfortable and introduced me to the rest of the class. My classmates also proved to be quite friendly and welcomed me to the class. They told me about the timetable and various subjects and teachers.

During the recess, I met my sister in the canteen. We ate the lunch that she had carried from home. I told her about my day till then and how I had already made many friends, At 1:30 pm, the classes got over. Mother, who had come to pick us up, met us at the school gate and we left for home.

On the whole, it was a very pleasant and interesting experience. I will always remember my first day at school.

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My First Day of High School Personal Narrative Essay

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          I woke up this morning and it was harder to get out of bed than usual. I tossed and turned all night because my anxiety was at an all-time high. I had nightmares because of the scary movie I watched the night before, and spicy food usually leads to my comfort in sleeping at night. I also had a million questions racing through my mind.  What should I wear? What should I pack in my backpack? A million questions are an understatement but they were still going through my mind at 4 in the morning. I finally fell asleep around 5:45 and my alarm started going off at 6. Well, it’s time for me to kick start my day, whether I like it or not.

          I always dreamed of what my first day of high school would be like. Would I make a lot of friends? Would I trip and fall in front of the whole class? Would I somehow be summoned to the geek squad? I couldn’t let those thoughts cloud my mind. I had to prepare myself for one of the most important days of my life.

          I ate a bowl of cereal, Captain Crunch of course, and then brushed my teeth. I packed my notebooks, folders, calculator, and make-up and headed out the door. I had to take the train to school. I hate taking the train. The crowded train, the messy station, the strangers with their hands in your face asking for money...I am not a fan. I can’t take the bus though, my school is on the other side of the city which is far away from bus stops.

          I get to the school building and it doesn’t look the same as orientation day. The lawn was glistening in the sun, the fountain was shooting water in pretty designs, and students were in a joyous mood on orientation day. Today, it is the complete opposite and makes me question whether I want to step foot in the door. I hesitantly open the door to begin my first day in high school.

          My first class wasn’t too bad. I had to listen to my English teacher discuss the importance of themes and plots, but otherwise, it was a pretty easy-going class. I did notice a guy who caught my attention and I must say, he may have increased my interest in this class. I don’t think I would get tired of admiring that eye candy. My other classes that followed after were pretty much the same (a few eye candies in those as well). Not too many cliques were joining yet from what I noticed, but then again, lunch didn’t start yet. Thinking about all of this made me wonder where I would sit during lunchtime. I was hoping I wouldn’t feel singled out and would find a decent table to sit at and enjoy my lunch. Hopefully, though, it will be some good food getting served today.

          I ate a pepperoni pizza and had an orange soda to wash it down. I’m grateful for the food not tasting horrible so I wouldn’t have that in my mind for the rest of the day. I still didn’t manage to find any new friends to sit with, but I’m just happy I found a table to sit at. It would have been tortured if I had to sit in a classroom to eat lunch, or an empty hallway with the possibility of some kids walking past and laughing.

          My first day at school was almost over and I felt a tap on my shoulder in Chemistry class. It was a girl named Samantha asking if she could share my textbook with me because hers didn’t get shipped yet to her house. I told her yes and invited her to scoot her chair next to mine. We made small conversations and connections with similar interests. When the class bell rang, we exchanged numbers to hang out after school. I felt like my day couldn’t go any smoother and was eager for school to be finished. I just had one more class to get through and I would be done for the day.

          Once the last bell rang, I was eager to get home and tell my childhood friend how my day went at a brand new school. I knew Charlie was going to have an "I told you so” moment, but I didn’t care. I was just excited to speak to a familiar voice and vent out my feelings that I endured all day. I wondered how his day went at his brand new school as well. I guess before I know it, I would find out if he made friends easily and if he’s excited about the classes he will be taking.

          I got on the same train line that I took to school and headed back home. The train ride was more pleasant going home than it was going to school. There were hardly any people on the train, and I was sitting pleasantly in a window seat most of the ride home.

I was home before I knew it and speaking to Charlie on the house phone. I found out he made plenty of friends during lunchtime and felt that his classes would be easy. Charlie hardly ever has to study for a test, so I will take his word for it with regards to his classwork. Once I got off the phone, I let out a big sigh of relief and plopped on top of my bed. Even though I would have to do this all over again tomorrow, I’m glad I got through my first day at school.

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50 Engaging Narrative Essay Topics for High Schoolers

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What’s Covered:

Narrative essays vs. analytical essays, how to pick the right narrative essay topic, elements of a strong narrative essay, engaging narrative essay topics for high schoolers, where to get your narrative essay edited for free.

Narrative essays are an extensive form of writing that gives readers the opportunity to follow along as a person goes through a journey or sets of experiences. Rather than providing analytic insight, narrative essays simply share a story and offer a first-person account. These essays may seem easy to write at first, but it takes a certain finesse to write a narrative essay that is interesting, cohesive, and well-researched. Whether you’re looking for a unique topic to write about, or just want some new inspiration, CollegeVine is here to help! These 50 narrative essay topics are engaging, unique and will have you writing in no time.

A narrative essay is a great way to express your personal experiences and opinions, but it is important to remember that this type of essay is different from an analytical paper. In a narrative essay, you do not need to provide background information or explain your thoughts and feelings; instead, you simply tell a story. It’s important to avoid too much telling in your writing; instead, use creative details and vivid imagery to make readers feel as if they are actually right there with you.

Where You Will Encounter Narrative Essays

This type of essay is typically encountered in high school, where students may be required to write personal statements to prepare for their Common App essay . Narrative essays are also commonly seen in AP Language and Composition. Therefore, it’s important you are aware of the style because you are bound to have a narrative essay assignment.  

Of course, before you start writing, it is important to pick the right essay topic. There are many factors involved in the process of picking the perfect narrative essay topic for your story.

You should always choose a topic that you are passionate about, since writing on something you care about will make the process much easier. Not only will it be more interesting to create your paper around something that truly interests you, but it will also allow you to fully express yourself in your essay. You also want to be sure that the topic has enough material to work with. If your chosen topic is too short, you will not have enough content to write a complete paper. For example, if you are writing about your experience getting lost at the mall, make sure that you have enough information to work with to craft an engaging narrative. 

The best topic for an engaging narrative essay is one that focuses on showing versus telling, has a clear structure, and provides a dialogue. These elements come together to form an engaging narrative essay. Regardless of what subject you pick, any topic may be turned into a fascinating, A+ worthy narrative using the tips below.

Show, Don’t Tell

To write a good narrative essay, it’s important to show, not tell. Instead of simply informing your audience, show them what you mean. For example, instead of saying “I was nervous,” you could say “My heart began to race and my stomach filled with butterflies.” Also make sure to use sensory details, such as sights, sounds and tastes, and include a personal reflection at the end of your narrative. 

Begin with a Strong Opening Line

A good narrative essay will begin with an attention-grabbing opening line. But make sure to avoid common clichés, such as “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Instead, come up with something original and specific to you and your situation. For example: “My pre-calc teacher was obsessed with circles. I mean, he even used circular note cards.” Or, “It all started the day my mom brought home a guinea pig.”

Follows a Three-Act Structure

A strong narrative essay follows the same three-act structure as other essays. But in order to make it interesting, you’ll need to come up with a creative way to break things down into sections. For example, using the guinea pig example from above, you could write the following:

  • Act 1 – Introduction: The day my mom brought home a guinea pig.
  • Act 2 – Conflict: The day I had to say goodbye to my beloved pet.
  • Act 3 – Conclusion: Looking back at how much I miss him now that he’s gone.

Conclude with Personal Reflection

To conclude your narrative essay, you’ll want to explain what this specific experience taught you or how you’ve changed. For example, upon realizing that her pre-calc teacher was obsessed with circles, the writer of the previous example begins to notice circular shapes everywhere. Another way to conclude your narrative essay is by touching on how this experience impacted you emotionally. For example, after losing his guinea pig, the writer explains how much he missed it.

Use Dialogue

Include a conversation in your essay to make it come alive. For example, instead of simply saying that you met a new friend, talk about how you introduced yourselves or what they were wearing when you met them.

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The following list of 50 narrative essay topics is divided into categories. This will make it easier to find a topic that fits your writing style.

1. What is a childhood song that still sticks with you today?

2. Your first day of Kindergarten

3. Talk about a time when you’re siblings looked up to you

4. Describe the best birthday party you’ve ever had

5. Talk about the best day you ever spent with a childhood friend

6. Explain your first childhood hobby

7. Describe your first halloween costume

8. A family vacation gone wrong

9. Your first family reunion

10. Describe a tradition that is unique to your family

11. Describe your family to a person who’s never met them before

12. What frustrates you most about your family

13. If you could only keep one memory of your family, what would it be and why?

14. Describe a time your family embarrassed you in public

15. The most beautiful place in the world

16. Your favorite season and why

17. If you were a part of nature, what element would you be? Why?

18. When you go outside, which of your senses are you most thankful to have?

19. Describe the first time you witnessed a tornado 

20. Write a poem about your favorite season

21. Describe yourself as one of the four seasons

22. Describe a time in which you felt connected with nature

23. Describe the first time you played an instrument and how you felt

24. What major event would be much worse if music was removed, and why?

25. If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

26. What would a life without music look like?

27. If you could master one instrument, what would it be and why?

Relationships

28. What if you had never met your best friend?

29. Describe a time when you fixed a broken relationship

30. Talk about a movie that defined a relationship for you

31. Describe your first date

32. Describe the first time you made a friend

33. Describe your relationship with your parents

Self Reflection

34. Have you ever fooled someone? If so, describe what happened and how you felt about it

35. What is the worst thing you’ve done to someone else?

36. Write about the difference between how things seem and how they really are. 

37. Have you ever been embarrassed in some way? If so, describe the situation and how it affected you as well as those around you

38. Have you ever witnessed something really beautiful? Describe it

39. Is your glass half empty or half full?

Overcoming Adversity 

40. Have you ever been very afraid of something but tried your hardest to appear fearless? If so, describe that experience

41. When have you ever succeeded when you thought you might fail

42. What are your secret survival strategies?

43. Describe the last time you were stressed and why?

44. Describe a time when you were discriminated against

45. The most memorable class you’ve had and why

46. Your favorite study abroad memory

47. Describe your kindergarten classroom

48. Describe your first teacher

49. The first time you experienced detention

50. Your first field trip

Hopefully these topics will get you thinking about a personal experience that could make for a thoughtful and engaging narrative essay. Remember, a strong narrative essay must contain relatable details and a clear flow that keeps the reader entertained and engaged to read all the way to the end.

If you need some additional guidance on your narrative essay, use CollegeVine’s free peer review essay tool to get feedback for free!

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narrative essay first day in school

The Ultimate Narrative Essay Guide for Beginners

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A narrative essay tells a story in chronological order, with an introduction that introduces the characters and sets the scene. Then a series of events leads to a climax or turning point, and finally a resolution or reflection on the experience.

Speaking of which, are you in sixes and sevens about narrative essays? Don’t worry this ultimate expert guide will wipe out all your doubts. So let’s get started.

Table of Contents

Everything You Need to Know About Narrative Essay

What is a narrative essay.

When you go through a narrative essay definition, you would know that a narrative essay purpose is to tell a story. It’s all about sharing an experience or event and is different from other types of essays because it’s more focused on how the event made you feel or what you learned from it, rather than just presenting facts or an argument. Let’s explore more details on this interesting write-up and get to know how to write a narrative essay.

Elements of a Narrative Essay

Here’s a breakdown of the key elements of a narrative essay:

A narrative essay has a beginning, middle, and end. It builds up tension and excitement and then wraps things up in a neat package.

Real people, including the writer, often feature in personal narratives. Details of the characters and their thoughts, feelings, and actions can help readers to relate to the tale.

It’s really important to know when and where something happened so we can get a good idea of the context. Going into detail about what it looks like helps the reader to really feel like they’re part of the story.

Conflict or Challenge 

A story in a narrative essay usually involves some kind of conflict or challenge that moves the plot along. It could be something inside the character, like a personal battle, or something from outside, like an issue they have to face in the world.

Theme or Message

A narrative essay isn’t just about recounting an event – it’s about showing the impact it had on you and what you took away from it. It’s an opportunity to share your thoughts and feelings about the experience, and how it changed your outlook.

Emotional Impact

The author is trying to make the story they’re telling relatable, engaging, and memorable by using language and storytelling to evoke feelings in whoever’s reading it.

Narrative essays let writers have a blast telling stories about their own lives. It’s an opportunity to share insights and impart wisdom, or just have some fun with the reader. Descriptive language, sensory details, dialogue, and a great narrative voice are all essentials for making the story come alive.

The Purpose of a Narrative Essay

A narrative essay is more than just a story – it’s a way to share a meaningful, engaging, and relatable experience with the reader. Includes:

Sharing Personal Experience

Narrative essays are a great way for writers to share their personal experiences, feelings, thoughts, and reflections. It’s an opportunity to connect with readers and make them feel something.

Entertainment and Engagement

The essay attempts to keep the reader interested by using descriptive language, storytelling elements, and a powerful voice. It attempts to pull them in and make them feel involved by creating suspense, mystery, or an emotional connection.

Conveying a Message or Insight

Narrative essays are more than just a story – they aim to teach you something. They usually have a moral lesson, a new understanding, or a realization about life that the author gained from the experience.

Building Empathy and Understanding

By telling their stories, people can give others insight into different perspectives, feelings, and situations. Sharing these tales can create compassion in the reader and help broaden their knowledge of different life experiences.

Inspiration and Motivation

Stories about personal struggles, successes, and transformations can be really encouraging to people who are going through similar situations. It can provide them with hope and guidance, and let them know that they’re not alone.

Reflecting on Life’s Significance

These essays usually make you think about the importance of certain moments in life or the impact of certain experiences. They make you look deep within yourself and ponder on the things you learned or how you changed because of those events.

Demonstrating Writing Skills

Coming up with a gripping narrative essay takes serious writing chops, like vivid descriptions, powerful language, timing, and organization. It’s an opportunity for writers to show off their story-telling abilities.

Preserving Personal History

Sometimes narrative essays are used to record experiences and special moments that have an emotional resonance. They can be used to preserve individual memories or for future generations to look back on.

Cultural and Societal Exploration

Personal stories can look at cultural or social aspects, giving us an insight into customs, opinions, or social interactions seen through someone’s own experience.

Format of a Narrative Essay

Narrative essays are quite flexible in terms of format, which allows the writer to tell a story in a creative and compelling way. Here’s a quick breakdown of the narrative essay format, along with some examples:

Introduction

Set the scene and introduce the story.

Engage the reader and establish the tone of the narrative.

Hook: Start with a captivating opening line to grab the reader’s attention. For instance:

Example:  “The scorching sun beat down on us as we trekked through the desert, our water supply dwindling.”

Background Information: Provide necessary context or background without giving away the entire story.

Example:  “It was the summer of 2015 when I embarked on a life-changing journey to…”

Thesis Statement or Narrative Purpose

Present the main idea or the central message of the essay.

Offer a glimpse of what the reader can expect from the narrative.

Thesis Statement: This isn’t as rigid as in other essays but can be a sentence summarizing the essence of the story.

Example:  “Little did I know, that seemingly ordinary hike would teach me invaluable lessons about resilience and friendship.”

Body Paragraphs

Present the sequence of events in chronological order.

Develop characters, setting, conflict, and resolution.

Story Progression : Describe events in the order they occurred, focusing on details that evoke emotions and create vivid imagery.

Example : Detail the trek through the desert, the challenges faced, interactions with fellow hikers, and the pivotal moments.

Character Development : Introduce characters and their roles in the story. Show their emotions, thoughts, and actions.

Example : Describe how each character reacted to the dwindling water supply and supported each other through adversity.

Dialogue and Interactions : Use dialogue to bring the story to life and reveal character personalities.

Example : “Sarah handed me her last bottle of water, saying, ‘We’re in this together.'”

Reach the peak of the story, the moment of highest tension or significance.

Turning Point: Highlight the most crucial moment or realization in the narrative.

Example:  “As the sun dipped below the horizon and hope seemed lost, a distant sound caught our attention—the rescue team’s helicopters.”

Provide closure to the story.

Reflect on the significance of the experience and its impact.

Reflection : Summarize the key lessons learned or insights gained from the experience.

Example : “That hike taught me the true meaning of resilience and the invaluable support of friendship in challenging times.”

Closing Thought : End with a memorable line that reinforces the narrative’s message or leaves a lasting impression.

Example : “As we boarded the helicopters, I knew this adventure would forever be etched in my heart.”

Example Summary:

Imagine a narrative about surviving a challenging hike through the desert, emphasizing the bonds formed and lessons learned. The narrative essay structure might look like starting with an engaging scene, narrating the hardships faced, showcasing the characters’ resilience, and culminating in a powerful realization about friendship and endurance.

Different Types of Narrative Essays

There are a bunch of different types of narrative essays – each one focuses on different elements of storytelling and has its own purpose. Here’s a breakdown of the narrative essay types and what they mean.

Personal Narrative

Description : Tells a personal story or experience from the writer’s life.

Purpose: Reflects on personal growth, lessons learned, or significant moments.

Example of Narrative Essay Types:

Topic : “The Day I Conquered My Fear of Public Speaking”

Focus: Details the experience, emotions, and eventual triumph over a fear of public speaking during a pivotal event.

Descriptive Narrative

Description : Emphasizes vivid details and sensory imagery.

Purpose : Creates a sensory experience, painting a vivid picture for the reader.

Topic : “A Walk Through the Enchanted Forest”

Focus : Paints a detailed picture of the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings experienced during a walk through a mystical forest.

Autobiographical Narrative

Description: Chronicles significant events or moments from the writer’s life.

Purpose: Provides insights into the writer’s life, experiences, and growth.

Topic: “Lessons from My Childhood: How My Grandmother Shaped Who I Am”

Focus: Explores pivotal moments and lessons learned from interactions with a significant family member.

Experiential Narrative

Description: Relays experiences beyond the writer’s personal life.

Purpose: Shares experiences, travels, or events from a broader perspective.

Topic: “Volunteering in a Remote Village: A Journey of Empathy”

Focus: Chronicles the writer’s volunteering experience, highlighting interactions with a community and personal growth.

Literary Narrative

Description: Incorporates literary elements like symbolism, allegory, or thematic explorations.

Purpose: Uses storytelling for deeper explorations of themes or concepts.

Topic: “The Symbolism of the Red Door: A Journey Through Change”

Focus: Uses a red door as a symbol, exploring its significance in the narrator’s life and the theme of transition.

Historical Narrative

Description: Recounts historical events or periods through a personal lens.

Purpose: Presents history through personal experiences or perspectives.

Topic: “A Grandfather’s Tales: Living Through the Great Depression”

Focus: Shares personal stories from a family member who lived through a historical era, offering insights into that period.

Digital or Multimedia Narrative

Description: Incorporates multimedia elements like images, videos, or audio to tell a story.

Purpose: Explores storytelling through various digital platforms or formats.

Topic: “A Travel Diary: Exploring Europe Through Vlogs”

Focus: Combines video clips, photos, and personal narration to document a travel experience.

How to Choose a Topic for Your Narrative Essay?

Selecting a compelling topic for your narrative essay is crucial as it sets the stage for your storytelling. Choosing a boring topic is one of the narrative essay mistakes to avoid . Here’s a detailed guide on how to choose the right topic:

Reflect on Personal Experiences

  • Significant Moments:

Moments that had a profound impact on your life or shaped your perspective.

Example: A moment of triumph, overcoming a fear, a life-changing decision, or an unforgettable experience.

  • Emotional Resonance:

Events that evoke strong emotions or feelings.

Example: Joy, fear, sadness, excitement, or moments of realization.

  • Lessons Learned:

Experiences that taught you valuable lessons or brought about personal growth.

Example: Challenges that led to personal development, shifts in mindset, or newfound insights.

Explore Unique Perspectives

  • Uncommon Experiences:

Unique or unconventional experiences that might captivate the reader’s interest.

Example: Unusual travels, interactions with different cultures, or uncommon hobbies.

  • Different Points of View:

Stories from others’ perspectives that impacted you deeply.

Example: A family member’s story, a friend’s experience, or a historical event from a personal lens.

Focus on Specific Themes or Concepts

  • Themes or Concepts of Interest:

Themes or ideas you want to explore through storytelling.

Example: Friendship, resilience, identity, cultural diversity, or personal transformation.

  • Symbolism or Metaphor:

Using symbols or metaphors as the core of your narrative.

Example: Exploring the symbolism of an object or a place in relation to a broader theme.

Consider Your Audience and Purpose

  • Relevance to Your Audience:

Topics that resonate with your audience’s interests or experiences.

Example: Choose a relatable theme or experience that your readers might connect with emotionally.

  • Impact or Message:

What message or insight do you want to convey through your story?

Example: Choose a topic that aligns with the message or lesson you aim to impart to your readers.

Brainstorm and Evaluate Ideas

  • Free Writing or Mind Mapping:

Process: Write down all potential ideas without filtering. Mind maps or free-writing exercises can help generate diverse ideas.

  • Evaluate Feasibility:

The depth of the story, the availability of vivid details, and your personal connection to the topic.

Imagine you’re considering topics for a narrative essay. You reflect on your experiences and decide to explore the topic of “Overcoming Stage Fright: How a School Play Changed My Perspective.” This topic resonates because it involves a significant challenge you faced and the personal growth it brought about.

Narrative Essay Topics

50 easy narrative essay topics.

  • Learning to Ride a Bike
  • My First Day of School
  • A Surprise Birthday Party
  • The Day I Got Lost
  • Visiting a Haunted House
  • An Encounter with a Wild Animal
  • My Favorite Childhood Toy
  • The Best Vacation I Ever Had
  • An Unforgettable Family Gathering
  • Conquering a Fear of Heights
  • A Special Gift I Received
  • Moving to a New City
  • The Most Memorable Meal
  • Getting Caught in a Rainstorm
  • An Act of Kindness I Witnessed
  • The First Time I Cooked a Meal
  • My Experience with a New Hobby
  • The Day I Met My Best Friend
  • A Hike in the Mountains
  • Learning a New Language
  • An Embarrassing Moment
  • Dealing with a Bully
  • My First Job Interview
  • A Sporting Event I Attended
  • The Scariest Dream I Had
  • Helping a Stranger
  • The Joy of Achieving a Goal
  • A Road Trip Adventure
  • Overcoming a Personal Challenge
  • The Significance of a Family Tradition
  • An Unusual Pet I Owned
  • A Misunderstanding with a Friend
  • Exploring an Abandoned Building
  • My Favorite Book and Why
  • The Impact of a Role Model
  • A Cultural Celebration I Participated In
  • A Valuable Lesson from a Teacher
  • A Trip to the Zoo
  • An Unplanned Adventure
  • Volunteering Experience
  • A Moment of Forgiveness
  • A Decision I Regretted
  • A Special Talent I Have
  • The Importance of Family Traditions
  • The Thrill of Performing on Stage
  • A Moment of Sudden Inspiration
  • The Meaning of Home
  • Learning to Play a Musical Instrument
  • A Childhood Memory at the Park
  • Witnessing a Beautiful Sunset

Narrative Essay Topics for College Students

  • Discovering a New Passion
  • Overcoming Academic Challenges
  • Navigating Cultural Differences
  • Embracing Independence: Moving Away from Home
  • Exploring Career Aspirations
  • Coping with Stress in College
  • The Impact of a Mentor in My Life
  • Balancing Work and Studies
  • Facing a Fear of Public Speaking
  • Exploring a Semester Abroad
  • The Evolution of My Study Habits
  • Volunteering Experience That Changed My Perspective
  • The Role of Technology in Education
  • Finding Balance: Social Life vs. Academics
  • Learning a New Skill Outside the Classroom
  • Reflecting on Freshman Year Challenges
  • The Joys and Struggles of Group Projects
  • My Experience with Internship or Work Placement
  • Challenges of Time Management in College
  • Redefining Success Beyond Grades
  • The Influence of Literature on My Thinking
  • The Impact of Social Media on College Life
  • Overcoming Procrastination
  • Lessons from a Leadership Role
  • Exploring Diversity on Campus
  • Exploring Passion for Environmental Conservation
  • An Eye-Opening Course That Changed My Perspective
  • Living with Roommates: Challenges and Lessons
  • The Significance of Extracurricular Activities
  • The Influence of a Professor on My Academic Journey
  • Discussing Mental Health in College
  • The Evolution of My Career Goals
  • Confronting Personal Biases Through Education
  • The Experience of Attending a Conference or Symposium
  • Challenges Faced by Non-Native English Speakers in College
  • The Impact of Traveling During Breaks
  • Exploring Identity: Cultural or Personal
  • The Impact of Music or Art on My Life
  • Addressing Diversity in the Classroom
  • Exploring Entrepreneurial Ambitions
  • My Experience with Research Projects
  • Overcoming Impostor Syndrome in College
  • The Importance of Networking in College
  • Finding Resilience During Tough Times
  • The Impact of Global Issues on Local Perspectives
  • The Influence of Family Expectations on Education
  • Lessons from a Part-Time Job
  • Exploring the College Sports Culture
  • The Role of Technology in Modern Education
  • The Journey of Self-Discovery Through Education

Narrative Essay Comparison

Narrative essay vs. descriptive essay.

Here’s our first narrative essay comparison! While both narrative and descriptive essays focus on vividly portraying a subject or an event, they differ in their primary objectives and approaches. Now, let’s delve into the nuances of comparison on narrative essays.

Narrative Essay:

Storytelling: Focuses on narrating a personal experience or event.

Chronological Order: Follows a structured timeline of events to tell a story.

Message or Lesson: Often includes a central message, moral, or lesson learned from the experience.

Engagement: Aims to captivate the reader through a compelling storyline and character development.

First-Person Perspective: Typically narrated from the writer’s point of view, using “I” and expressing personal emotions and thoughts.

Plot Development: Emphasizes a plot with a beginning, middle, climax, and resolution.

Character Development: Focuses on describing characters, their interactions, emotions, and growth.

Conflict or Challenge: Usually involves a central conflict or challenge that drives the narrative forward.

Dialogue: Incorporates conversations to bring characters and their interactions to life.

Reflection: Concludes with reflection or insight gained from the experience.

Descriptive Essay:

Vivid Description: Aims to vividly depict a person, place, object, or event.

Imagery and Details: Focuses on sensory details to create a vivid image in the reader’s mind.

Emotion through Description: Uses descriptive language to evoke emotions and engage the reader’s senses.

Painting a Picture: Creates a sensory-rich description allowing the reader to visualize the subject.

Imagery and Sensory Details: Focuses on providing rich sensory descriptions, using vivid language and adjectives.

Point of Focus: Concentrates on describing a specific subject or scene in detail.

Spatial Organization: Often employs spatial organization to describe from one area or aspect to another.

Objective Observations: Typically avoids the use of personal opinions or emotions; instead, the focus remains on providing a detailed and objective description.

Comparison:

Focus: Narrative essays emphasize storytelling, while descriptive essays focus on vividly describing a subject or scene.

Perspective: Narrative essays are often written from a first-person perspective, while descriptive essays may use a more objective viewpoint.

Purpose: Narrative essays aim to convey a message or lesson through a story, while descriptive essays aim to paint a detailed picture for the reader without necessarily conveying a specific message.

Narrative Essay vs. Argumentative Essay

The narrative essay and the argumentative essay serve distinct purposes and employ different approaches:

Engagement and Emotion: Aims to captivate the reader through a compelling story.

Reflective: Often includes reflection on the significance of the experience or lessons learned.

First-Person Perspective: Typically narrated from the writer’s point of view, sharing personal emotions and thoughts.

Plot Development: Emphasizes a storyline with a beginning, middle, climax, and resolution.

Message or Lesson: Conveys a central message, moral, or insight derived from the experience.

Argumentative Essay:

Persuasion and Argumentation: Aims to persuade the reader to adopt the writer’s viewpoint on a specific topic.

Logical Reasoning: Presents evidence, facts, and reasoning to support a particular argument or stance.

Debate and Counterarguments: Acknowledge opposing views and counter them with evidence and reasoning.

Thesis Statement: Includes a clear thesis statement that outlines the writer’s position on the topic.

Thesis and Evidence: Starts with a strong thesis statement and supports it with factual evidence, statistics, expert opinions, or logical reasoning.

Counterarguments: Addresses opposing viewpoints and provides rebuttals with evidence.

Logical Structure: Follows a logical structure with an introduction, body paragraphs presenting arguments and evidence, and a conclusion reaffirming the thesis.

Formal Language: Uses formal language and avoids personal anecdotes or emotional appeals.

Objective: Argumentative essays focus on presenting a logical argument supported by evidence, while narrative essays prioritize storytelling and personal reflection.

Purpose: Argumentative essays aim to persuade and convince the reader of a particular viewpoint, while narrative essays aim to engage, entertain, and share personal experiences.

Structure: Narrative essays follow a storytelling structure with character development and plot, while argumentative essays follow a more formal, structured approach with logical arguments and evidence.

In essence, while both essays involve writing and presenting information, the narrative essay focuses on sharing a personal experience, whereas the argumentative essay aims to persuade the audience by presenting a well-supported argument.

Narrative Essay vs. Personal Essay

While there can be an overlap between narrative and personal essays, they have distinctive characteristics:

Storytelling: Emphasizes recounting a specific experience or event in a structured narrative form.

Engagement through Story: Aims to engage the reader through a compelling story with characters, plot, and a central theme or message.

Reflective: Often includes reflection on the significance of the experience and the lessons learned.

First-Person Perspective: Typically narrated from the writer’s viewpoint, expressing personal emotions and thoughts.

Plot Development: Focuses on developing a storyline with a clear beginning, middle, climax, and resolution.

Character Development: Includes descriptions of characters, their interactions, emotions, and growth.

Central Message: Conveys a central message, moral, or insight derived from the experience.

Personal Essay:

Exploration of Ideas or Themes: Explores personal ideas, opinions, or reflections on a particular topic or subject.

Expression of Thoughts and Opinions: Expresses the writer’s thoughts, feelings, and perspectives on a specific subject matter.

Reflection and Introspection: Often involves self-reflection and introspection on personal experiences, beliefs, or values.

Varied Structure and Content: Can encompass various forms, including memoirs, personal anecdotes, or reflections on life experiences.

Flexibility in Structure: Allows for diverse structures and forms based on the writer’s intent, which could be narrative-like or more reflective.

Theme-Centric Writing: Focuses on exploring a central theme or idea, with personal anecdotes or experiences supporting and illustrating the theme.

Expressive Language: Utilizes descriptive and expressive language to convey personal perspectives, emotions, and opinions.

Focus: Narrative essays primarily focus on storytelling through a structured narrative, while personal essays encompass a broader range of personal expression, which can include storytelling but isn’t limited to it.

Structure: Narrative essays have a more structured plot development with characters and a clear sequence of events, while personal essays might adopt various structures, focusing more on personal reflection, ideas, or themes.

Intent: While both involve personal experiences, narrative essays emphasize telling a story with a message or lesson learned, while personal essays aim to explore personal thoughts, feelings, or opinions on a broader range of topics or themes.

5 Easy Steps for Writing a Narrative Essay

A narrative essay is more than just telling a story. It’s also meant to engage the reader, get them thinking, and leave a lasting impact. Whether it’s to amuse, motivate, teach, or reflect, these essays are a great way to communicate with your audience. This interesting narrative essay guide was all about letting you understand the narrative essay, its importance, and how can you write one.

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How to Write a Narrative Essay Step by Step

narrative essay first day in school

Narrative essays combine personal storytelling with academic reflection. Unlike other essay types, they are not bound by strict requirements or the need for a bibliography. To write a narrative essay successfully, you’ll need to follow these steps: 

Step 1: Pick a personal experience to share.

Step 2: Organize your story's main points.

Step 3: Start narrating your story with vivid details.

Step 4: Improve the flow and clarity.

Step 5: Check for grammar and spelling errors.

A narrative is a story told verbally or in writing. The story's purpose is shown through its events and details. In the following sections, our custom term paper writing will explore various aspects of this type of writing, from choosing a topic to structuring your essay effectively.

What Is a Narrative Essay

Narrative essay , as the name suggests, is characterized by the presence of a narrative. Unlike argumentative essays, which present and defend a position, or analytical essays, which dissect another text, narrative essays tell a coherent story. Their goal is to convey a point or impart a lesson through personal experiences. These essays are frequently assigned in high school and for college admissions.

Where to Use Narrative Essays

A narrative essay serves the purpose of sharing personal experiences and insights. It helps the writer connect with readers on an emotional level and illustrate a point through storytelling. Here are a few occasions where writing a narrative essay is commonly used:

  • College Applications : To showcase personal growth and experiences, giving admission officers a glimpse into the applicant's character and background.
  • Class Assignments : To develop writing skills and reflect on personal events, helping students learn how to express their thoughts and emotions effectively.
  • Personal Blogs : To share life stories and engage with readers, building a personal connection and fostering a sense of community.
  • Scholarship Essays : To highlight personal achievements and challenges, demonstrating resilience and dedication to potential sponsors.

Professional Development : To reflect on career experiences and lessons learned, providing insights that can be valuable for personal growth and future endeavors.

5 Steps to Writing a Narrative Essay

Writing a narrative essay can be a rewarding experience as it allows you to share your personal story and insights. Crafting engaging and well-structured ideas for a narrative essay is essential for capturing your reader's attention. To help you learn how to start a narrative essay effectively, follow these five simple steps.

How to Write a Narrative Essay in 5 Steps

Step 1: Brainstorm Narrative Essay Topics

The first step is brainstorming narrative writing topics. Begin by thinking about personal experiences that have made a significant impact on you. Consider moments of growth, challenge, joy, or change. These experiences can provide a rich foundation for your narrative.

How to Research Narrative Essay Topics:

  • Reflect on Personal Experiences : Think about significant moments in your life. What stories do you often share with friends and family? These can be great starting points.
  • Read Other Narrative Essays : Look at examples of narrative essays online or in books. This can give you ideas for structure and themes.
  • Journaling : Write about your daily experiences and feelings. 
  • Ask for Feedback : Talk to friends, family, or teachers about your ideas. They might provide a fresh perspective or remind you of stories you’ve forgotten.
  • Consider Your Audience : Think about what stories would resonate with your readers. Choose topics that are engaging and relatable.

10 Narrative Essay Topics:

  • Describe a situation where your plans went awry but ended positively.
  • Focus on a dish you've cooked or baked. Share the recipe's story, emotional impact, and significance.
  • Reflect on a teacher who profoundly influenced your learning experience.
  • Describe an encounter with nature's beauty or strength and its impact on your worldview.
  • Recall a time you faced and conquered a significant fear, showing personal growth.
  • Reflect on an interaction with someone from a different cultural background, exploring lessons learned and challenges faced.
  • Explore the memories of a cherished item. How did you acquire it, and what significant events are tied to it?
  • Write about a passionate endeavor where failure led to personal growth and resilience.
  • Share a song or musical experience that deeply resonated with you and its significance in your life.
  • Reflect on losing something valuable and what it taught you about perseverance and resilience.

For more ideas, check out the Narrative Essay Topic list.

Step 2: Make a Narrative Essay Outline

Once you've chosen your topic, start by outlining your narrative essay. For instance, if you're writing about a memorable trip, begin with a scene-setting paragraph. Then, describe key experiences and interactions in subsequent paragraphs. Conclude by reflecting on how the trip affected you. In your conclusion, summarize the main events and their significance to effectively wrap up your story. For a more systematic approach, make sure to check out how to write an essay conclusion .

Topic: A Memorable Trip 🌍
Introduction 🎯 Begin with a captivating scene or anecdote from the trip. Briefly introduce the destination and purpose of the trip. State the significance of this trip in your life.
Setting the Scene 🌄
Key Experiences and Interactions 🌟 Detail a standout experience or adventure during the trip. Discuss an interaction with a local or a fellow traveler. Describe another memorable moment or activity.
Reflections and Insights 💡
Conclusion 🎓

Step 3: Write Your Narrative Essay

When you're ready to start writing your narrative essay, refer to your outline to develop each section with clear and engaging language. Unlike academic essays, narrative essays don’t need to follow strict formalities or summarize everything in the introduction.

Tip : Write from your own perspective . Most narratives use the first-person point of view, so feel free to use pronouns like "I" and "me" to describe your experiences.

Tip : Use creative storytelling techniques . Drawing from fiction or creative nonfiction, employ methods like dialogue, flashbacks, and symbolism to captivate readers and convey the themes of your essay effectively.

Tip : Focus on a central theme or message . Identify a central theme or message that your narrative revolves around. This gives your essay coherence and depth, guiding your storytelling towards a meaningful conclusion.

Step 4: Revise Your Narrative Essay

Once you already understand how to write a narrative essay and finish your first draft, revise and refine your essay. Start by taking a break to gain fresh perspective before returning with a clear mind – this is a key strategy for enhancing your writing.

While reviewing, carefully examine it for logical coherence and smooth flow. Address any inconsistencies or gaps in the narrative, refining your writing to improve clarity. Pay attention to details such as tense, point of view, and narrative voice throughout.

Step 5: Proofread and Publish Your Narrative Essay

After writing a narrative essay, take time to thoroughly proofread for any remaining errors or typos. Ensure proper formatting and citation style, if required.

Sharing your essay with trusted individuals such as friends, family, or educators can provide valuable feedback and new perspectives. Incorporate this feedback, along with your own observations from the revision process, to strengthen the impact and effectiveness of your essay.

Meanwhile, if you’re willing to describe your life in greater depth, our guide on how to write an autobiography might be just what you need!

Want to Be Like an Expert Writer? 

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Narrative Essay Examples

For more inspiration, check out a narrative essay example below prepared by our essay writer . Feel free to use it as a guide for your own story, ensuring that your unique voice and experiences come through in your work.

Final Thoughts

Now that you understand the basics of writing a narrative essay, you're probably excited to write your own! If you get stuck, our research paper writing service is here to help you. Whether you need a narrative essay or any other type of school paper, our services can provide personalized advice to fit your needs. Focusing on quality, affordability, and on-time delivery, we’ll make sure your story is told effectively!

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How Do I Start a Narrative Essay?

What makes a good narrative essay, how to end a narrative essay.

Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker

is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

narrative essay first day in school

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

  • Updated writing steps, samples, outline and FAQ
  • Narrative essays. (n.d.). Miami University. https://miamioh.edu/howe-center/hwc/writing-resources/handouts/types-of-writing/narrative-essays.html  
  • Mohammed, S. I. (2021). Suggested strategies for writing narrative essay . International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation , 4 (12), 30-39.

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Crafting a Winning Narrative Essay Outline: A Step-by-Step Guide

Many students struggle with crafting engaging and impactful narrative essays. They often find it challenging to weave their personal experiences into coherent and compelling stories.

If you’re having a hard time, don't worry! 

We’ve compiled a range of narrative essay examples that will serve as helpful tools for you to get started. These examples will provide a clear path for crafting engaging and powerful narrative essays.

So, keep reading and find our expertly written examples!

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  • 1. Narrative Essay Definition
  • 2. Narrative Essay Examples
  • 3. Narrative Essay Examples for Students
  • 4. Narrative Essay Topics
  • 5. Narrative Essay Writing Tips

Narrative Essay Definition

Writing a narrative essay is a unique form of storytelling that revolves around personal experiences, aiming to immerse the reader in the author's world. It's a piece of writing that delves into the depths of thoughts and feelings. 

In a narrative essay, life experiences take center stage, serving as the main substance of the story. It's a powerful tool for writers to convey a personal journey, turning experiences into a captivating tale. This form of storytelling is an artful display of emotions intended to engage readers, leaving the reader feeling like they are a part of the story.

By focusing on a specific theme, event, emotions, and reflections, a narrative essay weaves a storyline that leads the reader through the author's experiences. 

The Essentials of Narrative Essays

Let's start with the basics. The four types of essays are argumentative essays , descriptive essays , expository essays , and narrative essays.

The goal of a narrative essay is to tell a compelling tale from one person's perspective. A narrative essay uses all components you’d find in a typical story, such as a beginning, middle, and conclusion, as well as plot, characters, setting, and climax.

The narrative essay's goal is the plot, which should be detailed enough to reach a climax. Here's how it works:

  • It's usually presented in chronological order.
  • It has a function. This is typically evident in the thesis statement's opening paragraph.
  • It may include speech.
  • It's told with sensory details and vivid language, drawing the reader in. All of these elements are connected to the writer's major argument in some way.

Before writing your essay, make sure you go through a sufficient number of narrative essay examples. These examples will help you in knowing the dos and don’ts of a good narrative essay.

It is always a better option to have some sense of direction before you start anything. Below, you can find important details and a bunch of narrative essay examples. These examples will also help you build your content according to the format. 

Here is a how to start a narrative essay example:


Sample Narrative Essay

The examples inform the readers about the writing style and structure of the narration. The essay below will help you understand how to create a story and build this type of essay in no time.


Here is another narrative essay examples 500 words:


Narrative Essay Examples for Students

Narrative essays offer students a platform to express their experiences and creativity. These examples show how to effectively structure and present personal stories for education.

Here are some helpful narrative essay examples:

Narrative Essay Examples Middle School

Narrative Essay Examples for Grade 7

Narrative Essay Examples for Grade 8

Grade 11 Narrative Essay Examples

Narrative Essay Example For High School

Narrative Essay Example For College

Personal Narrative Essay Example

Descriptive Narrative Essay Example

3rd Person Narrative Essay Example

Narrative Essay Topics

Here are some narrative essay topics to help you get started with your narrative essay writing.

  • When I got my first bunny
  • When I moved to Canada
  • I haven’t experienced this freezing temperature ever before
  • The moment I won the basketball finale
  • A memorable day at the museum
  • How I talk to my parrot
  • The day I saw the death
  • When I finally rebelled against my professor

Need more topics? Check out these extensive narrative essay topics to get creative ideas!

Narrative Essay Writing Tips

Narrative essays give you the freedom to be creative, but it can be tough to make yours special. Use these tips to make your story interesting:

  • Share your story from a personal viewpoint, engaging the reader with your experiences.
  • Use vivid descriptions to paint a clear picture of the setting, characters, and emotions involved.
  • Organize events in chronological order for a smooth and understandable narrative.
  • Bring characters to life through their actions, dialogue, and personalities.
  • Employ dialogue sparingly to add realism and progression to the narrative.
  • Engage readers by evoking emotions through your storytelling.
  • End with reflection or a lesson learned from the experience, providing insight.

Now you have essay examples and tips to help you get started, you have a solid starting point for crafting compelling narrative essays.

However, if storytelling isn't your forte, you can always turn to our essay service for help.

Our writers are specialists who can tackle any type of essay with great skill. With their experience, you get a top-quality, 100% plagiarism-free essay everytime.

So, let our narrative essay writing service make sure your narrative essay stands out. Order now!

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Narrative essay

How to Ace Your First Year of Teaching

School Setting Superimposed on Modern Community Head Profile Icons combined with an Abstract Geometric Pattern. Classroom management, early career teacher professional development.

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When I began this essay in May, there were only 22 days left in the school year. Some were calling it the end of the year, but I called it 22 opportunities to grow as an educator.

Just kidding. I am not that teacher, and this is not that essay.

I am a teacher, though, and now I’ve finished my 10 th year in an 8 th grade classroom in the Philadelphia school district. Back in 2013, I completed my delightful-suburban student teaching and received a delightful-suburban wooden plaque that said “Student Teacher of the Year.” I was convinced I was the next big thing in education. I fantasized about my own TV show: a “Nanny 911”-style show, except with teaching, where I go into struggling classrooms and transform them into education showplaces.

Three months later, I started my actual career in Philadelphia. If I deserved an award, it would have been a yearbook superlative simply saying “worst.” Everything from my classroom culture to my instruction spiraled out of control my first few months, and the reality of having my own classroom in an underresourced community hit me hard. I crashed and burned because I thought I could waltz in from a suburban high school, where entire teams of seemingly well-rested staff members dedicated their resources to ensure every child attends college, and deliver that exact type of lecture-style instruction to 8 th grade children in a school that didn’t even have enough desks.

But now it’s 10 years later, and I’m still here. I’ve turned it around and I want to help you do the same. I’ve worked closely with many student-teachers, graduate students in yearlong mentorship programs, and first-year teachers. All these teachers have used at least some of the practices I’m going to share, and I’ve personally witnessed shifts take place within a month.

Before we get to the good stuff, it must be stated that there’s no monolithic urban classroom. However, most schools that enroll predominantly children of color from low-income families struggle with the same core problem—a lack of adequate resources for students, families, teachers, administrators, and even the building you’ll be walking into. Behavior concerns and lower academic achievement are not the root of the problem. Instead, those are the symptoms of a school’s lack of resources. Once you accept this, you can begin adding to the resources by improving the culture and performance of your classroom.

I’ve turned it around, and I want to help you do the same.

Be prepared to have just four walls, 28 desks, and 34 students all with different strengths and needs. If you’re struggling with classroom management, there won’t be a magical “office” where kids can be sent—just a secretary and a principal trying to figure out how to resolve an overflowing toilet when the school’s only custodian is out sick. There aren’t “assistant principals” running around to break up an escalating argument in your classroom. And there’s probably not even a well-stocked “supply closet.”

The only resource you can truly count on is yourself, and my goal is to help you personally create a welcoming, safe, and educational environment for your first year. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Teach with kindness. Teach with kindness and you’re more likely to receive it in return. Treat your students like rational adults, and that’s what they’ll eventually become. A simple “Can you have a seat real quick so I can go over this? Thank you!” is significantly more effective and better for everyone’s mental health (including yours) than barking “Sit down, NOW!”

2. Avoid getting into power struggles . When you “demand” a child do something, they’re either going to ignore you, hate you, start arguing, or most likely, all the above. Give each child a choice. “I need you to sit down or else I won’t be able to give you credit for this assignment.” This shows the truth: “Our teacher technically can’t force us to do anything, but there are consequences, and we get to make a choice about those.”

3. Communicate with families . If you’re anxious about calling, just text them. No matter how “tough” a kid might seem or no matter what you think you know about their home life, almost all of them have someone in their life that they want to make proud.

4. Establish rules and consequences . To this day, I still have three rules: Stay in your seat, keep your hands to yourself, and don’t talk across the classroom. If a rule is broken, have a clear and immediate consequence (incorporating the tip above is easy).

5. Stop yelling. Yelling is just exhausting yourself. I’ve never had a “good scream” in my life nor have I ever thought while being screamed at: “I’m going to work harder now to please this person.”

6. Face your classroom at all times . Whether you’re answering your classroom phone, taking attendance, or helping a student, turn your body to get a clear view of all children at all times.

7. It’s OK to ask your students to wait. If a student needs help, has a concern about their grade, or wants to tell you about their birthday, make sure that your classroom is completely safe and calm before giving students individualized attention. You’ll learn early on that it helps teach students patience and it’s not a human-rights violation to tell your frequent flier students “Ask me again in 10 minutes” when they ask to use the restroom.

8. Don’t stress about your administrators. It’s OK if your administrators don’t always like what you’re doing. You don’t need to wow them—this isn’t a corporate job, and you won’t get fired, especially if you’re in a union. Instead, your relationship with your administrator should be collaborative. Ask their opinion, hear it out, then do what’s best for you.

9. Enjoy yourself. There’s a teaching adage that says “Don’t smile until December.” Smile on the first day of school, and if you can, smile the next day, too. If a kid says something funny, you’re allowed to laugh. Students will match your energy and your mood, and if you create a positive classroom, you’ll feel the impact when you go home and so will they.

Every teacher, child, class, and school is different, but I believe these are universal tips that can help any teacher, even the ones who won’t crash and burn at the start of the year the way I once did. I wish you luck in your journey!

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