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The Funny Narrative Essay
We all like a great story – whether it’s a book we read, a movie we see, or a friend or relative recalling some memorable event. And if that story is especially funny, scary, exciting, or poignant, we stay interested as it is being told. As a student, you will have many opportunities to write narrative essays – in almost every English class you take from 9th grade forward, all the way through college and for admissions and scholarship requirements. In any of these instances, especially when you have a choice of topics, a great way to capture the attention of your reader is to write a funny narrative essay. Most students will write serious narratives, unless they have prompts that force them to do otherwise, so your funny narrative will be welcome relief to readers, even college admissions decision makers!
Defining the Narrative
The most common belief about a narrative essay is that it tells a story, and this is absolutely true. When you write one, you are going to put a slice of your life “out there” for the reader to see. So, several narrative essay writing prompts would be as follows:
- Your most frightening experience
- The happiest moment in your life thus far
- The best vacation you ever took
- The most embarrassing moment you have had
- An event that changed your life
- An experience that forced you to question a basic belief or value
- An experience in which you had a leadership role
Narrative essays are meant to reveal something about you. Given this additional part of the definition, the narrative essay may not necessarily tell a full story but may, instead, demonstrate how you feel or might act. For example, here are some prompts that might also be considered correct for a narrative essay:
- If I had to evacuate my home in 5 minutes, what would I grab?
- Who are three of my heroes?
- Something I need or want that has not yet been invented.
- A secret talent I have that no one knows about.
- A secret adventure I want to have.
- If I could be someone else for a day, who would I choose?
- If I won the lottery, here’s what I would do.
- If I would spend one day with someone who is dead, who would that be?
These essay prompts will not lead you into actually telling a story with a plot; however they will provide the reader a glimpse into who you are, what you consider important, and what some of your dreams may be. And in this respect they are considered personal narratives.
Writing the Narrative Essay that has Much More than a Grade at Stake
The personal narrative essay for college admissions or for a scholarship competition is a pretty important piece of writing. It may be the final determining factor in a choice between you and another candidate for admission to the college you really want to attend. It may mean money that will mean you can actually go to college or that at least will reduce the amount of money you may have to borrow to do so. With so much riding on these essays, you absolutely have to get them right.
Of course, you understand the importance of having a perfectly composed piece of writing – great grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, along with a really engaging introduction that intrigues your reader immediately. But also critically important will be the topic you choose from among the prompt and how you decide to “treat” that topic.
Most students spend a good amount of time weighing the essay prompts and ultimately choosing one that they feel will reveal really important and exceptional things about themselves. And this is as it should be. Then they set about to write a very serious essay – one that they believe will keep the reader interested throughout. And thousands of very serious essays result in admissions and scholarship awards because they do just that.
Finding Humor in the Serious
It is perfectly okay to think “outside the box” and to treat a serious topic with humor, if you can do it well. Suppose, for example, that you have selected an essay prompt that has asked you to recall a time when you had to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills and to describe the process you went through to solve a problem. A winning essay on this topic was written by a candidate for admissions to an Ivy League school. Not only was she admitted (of course she met the other qualifications), but her essay received acclaim and has been published all over the web. Her story? How she used critical thinking and problem-solving skills to kill a fly that had been annoying her all day! The essay was hysterically funny and yet demonstrated her thought processes quite well. Other funny narrative essay topics on this topic could be the following:
- How you found your car in a parking garage when you had no idea on what level you had parked.
- How you managed to feed yourself for a week with only $10.00 in your pocket.
Finding a funny narrative essay within the stack of all of the serious ones causes a reader to take notice, to appreciate the “comic relief” and makes you essay much more memorable. Spend some time thinking over those essay prompts you are given. Come up with narrative essay topic ideas that are unique and humorous – you’ll have fun writing them!