Writing Prompts

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Technology and Social Media

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Arts and Media: TV, Music, Video Games and Literature

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Gender Issues

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Sports and Athletics

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Politics and the Legal System

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Parenting and Childhood

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Health and Nutrition

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Personal Character and Morality Questions

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Other Questions

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  1. Is Cheating Getting Worse?
  2. Should Students Be Able to Grade Their Teachers?
  3. Does Your School Hand Out Too Many A’s?
  4. Should Middle School Students Be Drug Tested?
  5. Should Reading and Math Be Taught in Gym Class Too?
  6. How Seriously Should We Take Standardized Tests?
  7. How Well Do You Think Standardized Tests Measure Your Abilities?
  8. Do You Spend Too Much Time Preparing for Standardized Tests?
  9. Should Schools Offer Cash Bonuses for Good Test Scores?
  10. Should We Rethink How Long Students Spend in High School?
  11. Do Schools Provide Students With Enough Opportunities to Be Creative?
  12. What Are You Really Learning at School?
  13. How Important Is Arts Education?
  14. Does Gym Help Students Perform Better in All Their Classes?
  15. Who Should Be Able to See Students’ Records?
  16. Are Children of Illegal Immigrants Entitled to a Public Education?
  17. What Is the Right Amount of Group Work in School?
  18. Is Your School Day Too Short?
  19. Do You Think a Longer School Calendar Is a Good Idea?
  20. Should the Dropout Age Be Raised?
  21. Should Students Be Allowed to Skip Senior Year of High School?
  22. How Does Your School Deal With Students Who Misbehave?
  23. Should Schools Be Allowed to Use Corporal Punishment?
  24. How Big a Problem Is Bullying or Cyberbullying in Your School or Community?
  25. How Should Schools Address Bullying?
  26. Should Schools Put Tracking Devices in Students’ ID Cards?
  27. What Do You Think of Grouping Students by Ability in Schools?
  28. Do We Need a New Way to Teach Math?
  29. Does Class Size Matter?
  30. Should All Students Get Equal Space in a Yearbook?
  31. Is Prom Worth It?
  32. How Important Are Parent-Teacher Conferences?
  33. Should All Children Be Able to Go to Preschool?
  34. Should Colleges Use Admissions Criteria Other Than SAT Scores and Grades?
  35. What Criteria Should Be Used in Awarding Scholarships for College?
  36. Do You Support Affirmative Action?
  37. Do College Rankings Matter?
  38. How Necessary Is a College Education?
  39. Should Engineers Pay Less for College Than English Majors?
  40. Are the Web Filters at Your School Too Restrictive?
  41. Does Technology Make Us More Alone?
  42. Are You Distracted by Technology?
  43. Do Apps Help You or Just Waste Your Time?
  44. Do You Spend Too Much Time on Smart Phones Playing ‘Stupid Games’?
  45. Has Facebook Lost Its Edge?
  46. Does Facebook Ever Make You Feel Bad?
  47. Should What You Say on Facebook Be Grounds for Getting Fired?
  48. Should People Be Allowed to Obscure Their Identities Online?
  49. What Should the Punishment Be for Acts of Cyberbullying?
  50. Is Online Learning as Good as Face-to-Face Learning?
  51. Do Your Teachers Use Technology Well?
  52. Should Tablet Computers Become the Primary Way Students Learn in Class?
  53. Can Cellphones Be Educational Tools?
  54. Should Computer Games Be Used for Classroom Instruction?
  55. How Young Is Too Young for an iPhone?
  56. Should Companies Collect Information About You?
  57. Would You Trade Your Paper Books for Digital Versions?
  58. Are Digital Photographs Too Plentiful to Be Meaningful?
  59. Do You Worry We Are Filming Too Much?
  60. Would You Want a Pair of Google’s Computer Glasses?
  61. How Would You Feel About a Computer Grading Your Essays?
  62. What Role Will Robots Play in Our Future?
  63. How Many Text Messages Are Too Many?
  64. How Much Do You Trust Online Reviews?
  65. Why Do We Like to Watch Rich People on TV and in the Movies?
  66. Do TV Shows Like ‘16 and Pregnant’ Promote or Discourage Teenage Pregnancy?
  67. Does TV Capture the Diversity of America Yet?
  68. Is TV Too White?
  69. Is TV Stronger Than Ever, or Becoming Obsolete?
  70. Does Reality TV Promote Dangerous Stereotypes?
  71. What Current Musicians Do You Think Will Stand the Test of Time?
  72. What Artists or Bands of Today Are Destined for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
  73. What Musician, Actor or Author Should Be a Superstar, but Hasn’t Quite Made It Yet?
  74. Will Musical Training Make You More Successful?
  75. Should Video Games Be Considered a Sport?
  76. Should Stores Sell Violent Video Games to Minors?
  77. Can a Video Game Be a Work of Art?
  78. Do Violent Video Games Make People More Violent in Real Life?
  79. When Should You Feel Guilty for Killing Zombies?
  80. What Game Would You Like to Redesign?
  81. What Were the Best Movies You Saw in the Past Year?
  82. To What Writer Would You Award a Prize?
  83. Do You Prefer Your Children’s Book Characters Obedient or Contrary?
  84. Where Is the Line Between Truth and Fiction?
  85. Can Graffiti Ever Be Considered Art?
  86. Do We Need Art in Our Lives?
  87. What Makes a Good Commercial?
  88. Why Did a Cheerios Ad Attract So Many Angry Comments Online?
  89. Does Pop Culture Deserve Serious Study?
  90. Do Parents Have Different Hopes and Standards for Their Sons Than for Their Daughters?
  91. Is School Designed More for Girls Than Boys?
  92. Is There Too Much Pressure on Girls to Have ‘Perfect’ Bodies?
  93. How Much Pressure Do Boys Face to Have the Perfect Body?
  94. Do Photoshopped Images Make You Feel Bad About Your Own Looks?
  95. Is It O.K. for Men and Boys to Comment on Women and Girls on the Street?
  96. What Should We Do to Fight Sexual Violence Against Young Women?
  97. How Do You Feel About Rihanna and Chris Brown Getting Back Together?
  98. Do Fraternities Promote Misogyny?
  99. Why Aren’t There More Girls in Leadership Roles?
  100. Why Aren’t More Girls Choosing to Pursue Careers in Math and Science?
  101. Should Women Be Allowed to Fight on the Front Lines Alongside Men?
  102. Do You Believe in Equal Rights for Women and Men?
  103. Are Women Better at Compromising and Collaborating?
  104. Do Boys Have Less Intense Friendships Than Girls?
  105. If Football Is So Dangerous to Players, Should We Be Watching It?
  106. Should Parents Let Their Children Play Football?
  107. Should College Football Players Get Paid?
  108. When Do Pranks Cross the Line to Become Bullying?
  109. Has Baseball Lost Its Cool?
  110. Are Some Youth Sports Too Intense?
  111. Is It Offensive for Sports Teams to Use Native American Names and Mascots?
  112. Where Should Colleges and Sports Teams Draw the Line in Selling Naming Rights?
  113. Should Colleges Fund Wellness Programs Instead of Sports?
  114. Is Cheerleading a Sport?
  115. How Big a Deal Is It That an N.B.A. Player Came Out as Gay?
  116. Should There Be Stricter Rules About How Coaches Treat Their Players?
  117. Should Athletes Who Dope Have to Forfeit Their Titles and Medals?
  118. Should Sports Betting Be Legal Everywhere?
  119. Should Home-Schoolers Be Allowed to Play Public School Sports?
  120. Would You Want a Bike Share Program for Your Community?
  121. What Local Problems Do You Think Your Mayor Should Try to Solve?
  122. If You Were Governor of Your State, How Would You Spend a Budget Surplus?
  123. When Is the Use of Military Force Justified?
  124. What Is More Important: Our Privacy or National Security?
  125. Should the U.S. Be Spying on Its Friends?
  126. Do You Trust Your Government?
  127. What Do You Think of the Police Tactic of Stop-and-Frisk?
  128. Do Rich People Get Off Easier When They Break the Law?
  129. Should Rich People Have to Pay More Taxes?
  130. Do Laws That Ban Offensive Words Make the World a Better Place?
  131. Is It Principled, or Irresponsible, for Politicians to Threaten a Shutdown?
  132. Do Leaders Have Moral Obligations?
  133. Do Great Leaders Have to Be Outgoing?
  134. How Should We Prevent Future Mass Shootings?
  135. Should Guns Be Permitted on College Campuses?
  136. Would You Feel Safer With Armed Guards Patrolling Your School?
  137. What Is Your Relationship With Guns?
  138. Do You Support or Oppose the Death Penalty?
  139. When Should Juvenile Offenders Receive Life Sentences?
  140. Do We Give Children Too Many Trophies?
  141. When Do You Become an Adult?
  142. When Should You Be Able to Buy Cigarettes, Drink Alcohol, Vote, Drive and Fight in Wars?
  143. Should the Morning-After Pill Be Sold Over the Counter to People Under 17?
  144. Should Birth Control Pills Be Available to Teenage Girls Without a Prescription?
  145. Is Modern Culture Ruining Childhood?
  146. Are Adults Hurting Young Children by Pushing Them to Achieve?
  147. How, and by Whom, Should Children Be Taught Appropriate Behavior?
  148. What Can Older People Learn From Your Generation?
  149. Do ‘Shame and Blame’ Work to Change Teenage Behavior?
  150. How Should Children Be Taught About Puberty and Sex?
  151. Is Dating a Thing of the Past?
  152. How Should Parents Handle a Bad Report Card?
  153. Should Children Be Allowed to Wear Whatever They Want?
  154. How Should Educators and Legislators Deal With Minors Who ‘Sext’?
  155. Do You Think Child Stars Have It Rough?
  156. Is Smoking Still a Problem Among Teenagers?
  157. Are Antismoking Ads Effective?
  158. Is Drinking and Driving Still a Problem for Teenagers?
  159. Do You Think a Healthier School Lunch Program Is a Lost Cause?
  160. How Concerned Are You About Where Your Food Comes From?
  161. Is It Ethical to Eat Meat?
  162. Do You Prefer Your Tacos ‘Authentic’ or ‘Appropriated’?
  163. Should the Government Limit the Size of Sugary Drinks?
  164. Should Marijuana Be Legal?
  165. Should Students Be Required to Take Drug Tests?
  166. Do Bystanders Have a Responsibility to Intervene When There is Trouble?
  167. Should You Care About the Health and Safety of Those Making Your Clothing?
  168. Can Money Buy You Happiness?
  169. Does Buying and Accumulating More and More Stuff Make Us Happier?
  170. Are We Losing the Art of Listening?
  171. Do People Complain Too Much?
  172. Can Kindness Become Cool?
  173. Which Is More Important: Talent or Hard Work?
  174. How Important Is Keeping Your Cool?
  175. When Should You Compromise?
  176. Is Your Generation More Self-Centered Than Earlier Generations?
  177. Can You Be Good Without God?
  178. Have Curse Words Become So Common They Have Lost Their Shock Value?
  179. What Words or Phrases Should Be Retired in 2014?
  180. What Words or Phrases Do You Think Are Overused?
  181. Should Couples Live Together Before Marriage?
  182. How Important Do You Think It Is to Marry Someone With the Same Religion?
  183. How Long Is It O.K. to Linger in a Cafe or Restaurant?
  184. Does Keeping a Messy Desk Make People More Creative?
  185. How Important Is Keeping a Clean House?
  186. Should Scientists Try to Help People Beat Old Age So We Can Live Longer Lives?
  187. Given Unlimited Resources, What Scientific or Medical Problem Would You Investigate?
  188. When Is It O.K. to Replace Human Limbs With Technology?
  189. Do You Think Life Exists — or Has Ever Existed — Somewhere Besides Earth?
  190. Should Fertilized Eggs Be Given Legal ‘Personhood’?
  191. How Concerned Are You About Climate Change?
  192. Is It Wrong for a Newspaper to Publish a Front-Page Photo of a Man About to Die?
  193. What Causes Should Philanthropic Groups Finance?
  194. Should Charities Focus More on America?
  195. Should the Private Lives of Famous People Be Off Limits?
  196. Did a Newspaper Act Irresponsibly by Publishing the Addresses of Gun Owners?
  197. Would You Rather Work From Home or in an Office?
  198. What Time Should Black Friday Sales Start?
  199. Do You Shop at Locally Owned Businesses?
  200. How Much Does Your Neighborhood Define Who You Are?

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.

MORE Daily    writing prompts

  1.  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.
  2. If there were no laws, what is the one thing you'd choose to do?
  3.  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?
  4.  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.
  5.  If you had a time machine, what famous moment in history would you like to witness?
  6.  If you could walk into and interact with the people in any photograph you have at home, which one would it be and why?
  7.  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.
  8.  If you could not use your cell phone for a month, what would it be like? Would there be any advantages?
  9.  If you worked in the accident department of a hospital, what might your views be on alcohol?
  10.  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?





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