Music (Compare & Contrast—Expository) Most people have a favorite type of music. What type do you like? What type does your parent or guardian prefer? Choose two different types of music and write an essay comparing and contrasting them. Provide specific details that show the similarities and differences between the types.
My Treasure (Expository) Each of us owns something we treasure. Your object may not seem special to anyone else, but it has meaning to you. Write an essay explaining why this object is so important in your life. Use details and anecdotes to indicate the object’s importance.
Someone to Admire (Expository) Whom do you admire? The person might be a coach, a teacher, a star, or a friend. Write an essay explaining why a certain person is deserving of your admiration. You may or may not personally know this individual, but provide details that explain why this person has earned your admiration.
Letter to Mentor (Narrative) Think of a school-related event that you enjoyed and select a friend or relative to tell about the event. Write an e-mail message to the person, narrating your experience. Use specific anecdotes and details as you narrate the event
Wagon Train (Narrative) Imagine that you’re a young person traveling west in a wagon train during the 1800s. Narrate what happens along the way, what you experience, and how you feel about the trip. Write your story using history you can recall and sensory details that make the events seem as real as possible.
School Rule (Persuasive) If you could change one rule at your school, what would it be? Write a letter to your school board asking for a school rule to be changed. Make sure to give reasons why the change should happen and answer a possible objection to your idea.
Big Vacation (Persuasive) Your parent or guardian is planning a big vacation. Where would you most like to go? Write an essay proposing a trip you would like to take and why it would be the best choice for your family. Use a variety of reasons to support your proposal.
Save Our Sports! (Persuasive) Suppose that several public sports facilities in your area need repair, but the city has money to repair only one. Which facility should receive the money? In a persuasive editorial for a local newspaper, give your opinion about which sport facility should by repaired. Provide strong reasons to support your opinion.
Imagine you wake up and you are no longer in your own bed at home. Instead you are freezing cold, lying on your back and gazing at the stars. Slowly you stand and notice you are on a large ocean liner; its funnels clear against the moonlight. You turn to read the name on one of the lifeboats and your heart lurches; 'HMS Titanic'. Describe what happens next.
If there were no laws, what is the one thing you'd choose to do?
Free your mind. Think of nothing, nothing at all. Then listen to your thoughts pop into your head, like magic. Where do these thoughts come from? Are we really in control of what we think next?
Imagine you are watching the marathon on TV. A runner who looks like a relative of yours who died last year stops in front of the camera. He silently takes a sign out of his pocket. The camera picks out the words, 'help me' and your name. Describe, in the first person narrative, what happens next.
If you had a time machine, what famous moment in history would you like to witness?
If you could walk into and interact with the people in any photograph you have at home, which one would it be and why?
If you were writing a short story, tell me how you might show that your hero(ine) is afraid, without actually saying it. For example, maybe his/her hands trembled as they poured a drink. See if you can think of your own examples.
If you could not use your cell phone for a month, what would it be like? Would there be any advantages?
If you worked in the accident department of a hospital, what might your views be on alcohol?
Tell me about a type of music you detest and why. Is this music just trash, or is it merely that you don't like it?