Narrative Essay ‘Memorable Incident’ – Sample Essay with Analysis

Posted on November 16, 2019

There are those incidents that happen in life and are so memorable that they keep on lingering in one’s mind. At the same time, such events usually leave a permanent mark on the lives of individuals and offer lessons that cannot be erased by any other experience in life, no matter what you do.

My memory event took place several years ago when, due to my curiosity, I decided to accompany my grandfather to the hospital. Due to his old age, my grandfather had started experiencing major problems with his left eye. He had visited the hospital on many occasions to seek treatment, but his condition was not getting any better. Finally, his doctor told him the only remedy left was to go for eye surgery as a way of trying to correct the abnormality with the eyes. I read a lot about cataracts, hoping to something or someone who could help, but my research failed. So, surgery was the only way out. Why was I so obsessed with searches for treatments? First off, I loved my grandpa. Second, I hated hospitals, and I did not want him to be there because he hated them too. Since it was a weekend and I had neither classes nor any other obligations on that day, I thought it would be a good idea to accompany my grandfather to the hospital rather than stay home and be bored. The tight relationship that had developed between my grandfather and me also made it very easy for me to accompany him, despite the fear I had of surgeries and hospitals in general.
My uncle drove us to the hospital. Thirty minutes after arriving at the hospital and ensuring that my grandfather had checked in, my uncle left for a commitment he had to take care of. Luckily, there were several helpful nurses available to offer any assistance that my grandfather required, and the doctors were very friendly. Even though things were taking their natural course, the situation was tearing me apart. I felt as if I had nosocomephobia at that moment. It was hard to breeze and think clearly. The smell of drugs and sanitizers made me feel sick, and I hardly managed to prevent vomiting. I guess the nurses sensed the high level of nervousness that both my grandfather and I had at that moment and talked to us so nicely that we ended up relaxing and perceiving the surgery as something normal and nothing to worry much about.

Once, I have read an interesting article when I was writing a nursing essay. I was always afraid of wards with patients who were waiting for their verdict or dying because treatment had not helped. I tried to find out what nurses usually did to calm down patients like me. I tried to remember that article to distract a bit from my fear and disturbing thoughts. I looked around and understood why my fear was not as strong as usual. The wards and waiting rooms were cozy. The personnel was polite and friendly. The doctor and nurses spoke slowly and calmly, without high-pitch tones. They did the same things I had read about in that scientific article. I was shocked that I remembered such unimportant things when keeping my grandfather’s arm. He was anxious and terrified as well. So, I pretended to be concentrated and high-mood not to worry him. My support was the only thing I could do for one of the dearest people in my life.

It was not long before both my grandfather and I felt relaxed and ready for the surgery, as we forgot the high degree of nervousness. We had felt just a few moments earlier. I have always had this fear of doctors and injections, so even as I began to relax, thoughts of the impending surgery were drilling into my mind. I knew the surgery would be more serious than the injections that I feared so much as well. In an hour or so, I was just sitting on the couch and waiting while the nurses were preparing my grandfather for the surgery. All of a sudden, a cup of coffee appeared before my eyes. It was an old lady with shiny gray hair and a kind smile that I saw in one of the hospital rooms. At first sight, I was impressed by the fact that she looked very much like my grandmother. The lady told me that her husband was on an operating table and that nurses told her that he probably wouldn’t be able to use his hand anymore. So, not knowing what to do, she saw me and decided to cheer me up with a hot cappuccino. Of course, her coffee didn’t change a thing in my current situation, but having someone so selflessly supporting you is always something that warms your heart. It turned out that she was a retired doctor. There’s something that she said, and that still lingers in my head even today, “You can’t save every patient, but the way you respond to this person can ease the illness.”

I watched many movies where people lost track of time while waiting for the end of surgery. So, I was drawing a picture of myself sitting in an empty room and watching the clock that seemed to have frozen forever. Interestingly, the whole surgery lasted only an hour, and my grandfather was wheeled out of the operating room with a bandage on the operated eye. However, he was conscious and in very high spirits. I cannot forget the look on my grandfather’s face and the feeling of relief he expressed, knowing that the problem with his eye was finally over.

At that very moment, my fear of doctors vanished, and I began appreciating the important role that doctors play in everyday life. That is the moment I decided that I wanted to be a doctor, and currently, I am pursuing a course in medicine.

Do’s and Don’ts in Repeating a Memorable Incident Essay Like This One

When analyzing an essay, we usually start with the vital question of what the task was and whether it was completed successfully. A narrative essay about the memorable incident should be like a demo-version film for the readers. Let it be played on the inner side of their eyelids, creating a “diving-in” experience, like they see their own memories. Evidently, the essay example you have just read is quite realistic and engaging. But it never hurts to apply some more criteria.

Pro tip

We did step into the footprints of a boy, carefully holding his grandpa by hand in the hospital. Is it enough? 

Demonstrate the importance of a memorable event

For the boy in the story, the event was important for three reasons. First, he loves his grandfather, and they easily get along, as it seems. Second, they both hated hospitals and were utterly afraid and confused as they got there. Third, he confessed how the event revealed his purpose in life and profession. Here is the check-list of questions to ask yourself when writing an incident essay

  • How exactly this event changed my life?
  • What were my expectations about the event? Did they change?
  • What makes it a memorable event in my life? What sphere it changed, and what I learned from this experience?
  • How that changed my beliefs, fears, and wishes for life?

Recall the memorable day in my life in vivid details

It’s not enough to dryly retell the narration for the event in my life essay type. Let`s come back to the essay sample. How the boy describes his fear? He describes anxiety symptoms, and it was “hard to breathe and think clearly.” He provides soma random facts that came to mind during the preparation stage. Have you ever noticed how the mind obsesses over silly songs or swords under stress, like “nosocomephobia? Here are some ideas of what to try to remember: 

  • What objects, emotions, and sounds can I remember of the most memorable day of my life
  • Can I remember any particular thoughts before and after the event that changed my life
  • Do other people remember this memorable day of my life? How do they describe it? 
  • Are there any unpleasant memories I don`t want to include in my life essay?

Do not concentrate solely on the memorable event

The narrator of the story above does not start by entering the hospital’s doors. We, as readers, instead have some pre-words to catch on to what is going on there. As a good fiction book, let the readers meet the actors of your small story and step into the decorations of a memorable event in your life. Here is how to make that easier: 

  • Think about a memorable event in my life essay as a page of your personal diary. For instance, “ The first thing that I remember that event is…” or “ It all started long before I understood what a memorable day in my life it was.
  • An event that changed my life would probably run through my head over a million times in years. If that is true, consider how the time distance distorted your perspective and memories. For example, “ When this happened, all I could think about was my grandpa`s health. However, now I see how this memorable event in my life changed my future.”

Jacob Lee Top-10 Writer at

Each specific essay type seems logical when reading a writing tutorial. Yet, it does not feel so when you see a blank page. Guiding questions such as these are essential for an essay on memorable day.   

Making a Memorable Event in My Life Essay Emotional 

Writing about a memorable day in your life should sound trustworthy enough and convincing. However, when you recall the event, you rather operate with blurred, vague feelings and inches of memories. To put these feelings and memories into words, consider these expressive adjectives: 

  • Words to use for positive emotions. Joyful, thrilled, ecstatic, delighted, exhilarated, enthusiastic, astonished, blissful, radiant, euphoric

For instance, “The most memorable event in my life happened on the day I went hiking with friends. As I embarked on the journey, the radiant sun illuminated the path ahead, filling my heart with a sense of adventure.

  • Words to use for negative or intense emotions. Heartbroken, anxious, devastated, shocked, taken aback, tormented, exhilarating, overwhelming, rapturous, thrilling

For instance, “Time stood still as the magnitude of the thrilling news sank in. Is that a real event in my life? Is this happening? Am I really, actually, finally accepted into the university of my dream? I could not manage this news for quite some time.”

  • Nice words to highlight the importance of the event. Transformative, pivotal, impactful, monumental, empowering, inspiring, momentous, profound

For example, “I have struggled to fit into the group since my early childhood years. The questions about self-worthiness, presentation, and communication skills were my top suggestions in the YouTube recommendations. I did not expect anything big and fancy to come and change my life. Little did I know about the small discovery’s transformative fire that empowered me with an unwavering belief in my inherent worthiness.

Pro tip

Writing “an event that changed my life” essay type is a short glimpse of the writer`s profession, of being an author. Intrigue the readers, fascinate them, and make them feel the stormy mix of emotions you did while experiencing the event.

More Tips on Writing a Narrative Essay

Writing a narrative essay requires a certain degree of capability to tell stories. In a typical college narrative essay, you should recount your personal experience and share both – what actually happened and the lesson that you have learned.

The definition of the narrative essay usually varies in different colleges and universities. Typically, the paper is used to tell a story to share your personal experience in an inspirational way. Readers enjoy these essays more than the rest of the writing projects because everyone likes stories.

  1. What to Write About?
    Before you choose the topic for your narrative essay, ensure to focus on something interesting for you and your readers. The topic of the narrative essay refers to your experience, which means you don’t have to use any additional information from outside sources.
    There are three main signs of a properly chosen topic for a narrative essay:

    • You don’t see it on the internet;
    • The topic is narrow;
    • It gets your readers interested in reading at least the first line of the essay.
  2. Before you decide on an experience that you’d like to share with the readers, ensure it can be converted into an essay story that matters.
  3. Do some planning. It is hard to write a catchy narrative story from the beginning to the end if you don’t have a solid draft. That’s why you should have a narrative essay outline and draft that you will edit and polish later to meet the paper requirements.
  4. Include storyline ingredients. Every good story includes such elements as setting, plot, description, characters, and the set of other issues that help you hook and keep your readers’ attention. Stuff your narrative essay with all these elements to ensure you write it according to all existing rules of literature.
  5. Integrate the antagonist into your story. The best narrative essays usually have both – a protagonist and an antagonist that fire up the conflict. Usually, the protagonist is the main character of the story, traditionally stressed over something. It might be a force, a condition, or a situation. The antagonist is the one to keep the protagonist (in most stories, that will be you) from getting the desired thing.
  6. Give your viewpoint. Make sure your readers clearly see what your role in the story is. In other words, you have to describe the event in detail and explain why you behaved this or that way in a particular situation.
  7. Prove and support. Your opinion is a must in a narrative essay. However, you also should provide arguments with clear and strong support for each. Your readers want to see references and facts to believe you and your conclusions.
  8. Don’t provide useless details. Before you write anything, ask yourself, “Is it going to mean anything to my story?” Unnecessary details will make your paper wordy and confuse your readers.
  9. Write chronologically. Most of the time, narrative essays are written in chronological order to avoid misunderstandings and let your readers follow your thoughts with interest and effortlessly.
  10. Check some examples of narrative essays. The more you read, the better idea you will have of how to write a winning piece. Check video presentations where people share their stories to see how you can do the same appropriately, in a written form.
  11. Revise your essay. Check your text for plagiarism and grammar errors, rewrite sentences and paragraphs that do not sound well, and ask for editing advice from someone good at writing.

Finally, make sure that your story has a purpose. Sometimes, a simple retelling of particular events is not enough even for a high school project, let alone the piece of a college level.


  1. “Cataracts – Symptoms and Causes.” Mayo Clinic, 2 Sept. 2021,
  2. NHS website. “Cataract Surgery.” Nhs.Uk, 18 Nov. 2021,
  3. “Nosocomephobia (Fear of Hospitals): Symptoms and Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic, Accessed 20 Mar. 2022.
  4. Welby, Melissa, MD. “The Anxious Patient: How to Calm a Patient down to Improve Care.” Wolters Kluwer, 26 Aug. 2020,
  5. Wikipedia contributors. “Nosocomephobia.” Wikipedia, 21 Feb. 2021,
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