Become a Writer Today

Essays About Reading: 5 Examples And Topic Ideas

As a writer, you love to read and talk to others about reading books. Check out some examples of essays about reading and topic ideas for your essay.

Many people fall in love with good books at an early age, as experiencing the joy of reading can help transport a child’s imagination to new places. Reading isn’t just for fun, of course—the importance of reading has been shown time and again in educational research studies.

If you love to sit down with a good book, you likely want to share your love of reading with others. Reading can offer a new perspective and transport readers to different worlds, whether you’re into autobiographies, books about positive thinking, or stories that share life lessons.

When explaining your love of reading to others, it’s important to let your passion shine through in your writing. Try not to take a negative view of people who don’t enjoy reading, as reading and writing skills are tougher for some people than others.

Talk about the positive effects of reading and how it’s positively benefitted your life. Offer helpful tips on how people can learn to enjoy reading, even if it’s something that they’ve struggled with for a long time. Remember, your goal when writing essays about reading is to make others interested in exploring the world of books as a source of knowledge and entertainment.

Now, let’s explore some popular essays on reading to help get you inspired and some topics that you can use as a starting point for your essay about how books have positively impacted your life.

For help with your essays, check out our round-up of the best essay checkers

Examples Of Essays About Reading

  • 1. The Book That Changed My Life By The New York Times
  • 2. I Read 150+ Books in 2 Years. Here’s How It Changed My Life By Anangsha Alammyan
  • 3. How My Diagnosis Improved My College Experience By Blair Kenney

4. How ‘The Phantom Tollbooth’ Saved Me By Isaac Fitzgerald

5. catcher in the rye: that time a banned book changed my life by pat kelly, topic ideas for essays about reading, 1. how can a high school student improve their reading skills, 2. what’s the best piece of literature ever written, 3. how reading books from authors of varied backgrounds can provide a different perspective, 4. challenging your point of view: how reading essays you disagree with can provide a new perspective, 1.  the book that changed my life  by  the new york times.

“My error the first time around was to read “Middlemarch” as one would a typical novel. But “Middlemarch” isn’t really about plot and dialogue. It’s all about character, as mediated through the wise and compassionate (but sharply astute) voice of the omniscient narrator. The book shows us that we cannot live without other people and that we cannot live with other people unless we recognize their flaws and foibles in ourselves.”  The New York Times

In this collection of reader essays, people share the books that have shaped how they see the world and live their lives. Talking about a life-changing piece of literature can offer a new perspective to people who tend to shy away from reading and can encourage others to pick up your favorite book.

2.  I Read 150+ Books in 2 Years. Here’s How It Changed My Life  By Anangsha Alammyan

“Consistent reading helps you develop your  analytical thinking skills  over time. It stimulates your brain and allows you to think in new ways. When you are  actively engaged  in what you’re reading, you would be able to ask better questions, look at things from a different perspective, identify patterns and make connections.” Anangsha Alammyan

Alammyan shares how she got away from habits that weren’t serving her life (such as scrolling on social media) and instead turned her attention to focus on reading. She shares how she changed her schedule and time management processes to allow herself to devote more time to reading, and she also shares the many ways that she benefited from spending more time on her Kindle and less time on her phone.

3.  How My Diagnosis Improved My College Experience  By Blair Kenney

“When my learning specialist convinced me that I was an intelligent person with a reading disorder, I gradually stopped hiding from what I was most afraid of—the belief that I was a person of mediocre intelligence with overambitious goals for herself. As I slowly let go of this fear, I became much more aware of my learning issues. For the first time, I felt that I could dig below the surface of my unhappiness in school without being ashamed of what I might find.” Blair Kenney

Reading does not come easily to everyone, and dyslexia can make it especially difficult for a person to process words. In this essay, Kenney shares her experience of being diagnosed with dyslexia during her sophomore year of college at Yale. She gave herself more patience, grew in her confidence, and developed techniques that worked to improve her reading and processing skills.

“I took that book home to finish reading it. I’d sit somewhat uncomfortably in a tree or against a stone wall or, more often than not, in my sparsely decorated bedroom with the door closed as my mother had hushed arguments with my father on the phone. There were many things in the book that went over my head during my first time reading it. But a land left with neither Rhyme nor Reason, as I listened to my parents fight, that I understood.” Isaac Fitzgerald

Books can transport a reader to another world. In this essay, Fitzgerald explains how Norton Juster’s novel allowed him to escape a difficult time in his childhood through the magic of his imagination. Writing about a book that had a significant impact on your childhood can help you form an instant connection with your reader, as many people hold a childhood literature favorite near and dear to their hearts.

“From the first paragraph my mind was blown wide open. It not only changed my whole perspective on what literature could be, it changed the way I looked at myself in relation to the world. This was heavy stuff. Of the countless books I had read up to this point, even the ones written in first person, none of them felt like they were speaking directly to me. Not really anyway.” Pat Kelly

Many readers have had the experience of feeling like a book was written specifically for them, and in this essay, Kelly shares that experience with J.D. Salinger’s classic American novel. Writing about a book that felt like it was written specifically for you can give you the chance to share what was happening in your life when you read the book and the lasting impact that the book had on you as a person.

There are several topic options to choose from when you’re writing about reading. You may want to write about how literature you love has changed your life or how others can develop their reading skills to derive similar pleasure from reading.

Topic ideas for essays about reading

Middle and high school students who struggle with reading can feel discouraged when, despite their best efforts, their skills do not improve. Research the latest educational techniques for boosting reading skills in high school students (the research often changes) and offer concrete tips (such as using active reading skills) to help students grow.

It’s an excellent persuasive essay topic; it’s fun to write about the piece of literature you believe to be the greatest of all time. Of course, much of this topic is a matter of opinion, and it’s impossible to prove that one piece of literature is “better” than another. Write your essay about how the piece of literature you consider the best positive affected your life and discuss how it’s impacted the world of literature in general.

The world is full of many perspectives and points of view, and it can be hard to imagine the world through someone else’s eyes. Reading books by authors of different gender, race, or socioeconomic status can help open your eyes to the challenges and issues others face. Explain how reading books by authors with different backgrounds has changed your worldview in your essay.

It’s fun to read the information that reinforces viewpoints that you already have, but doing so doesn’t contribute to expanding your mind and helping you see the world from a different perspective. Explain how pushing oneself to see a different point of view can help you better understand your perspective and help open your eyes to ideas you may not have considered.

Tip: If writing an essay sounds like a lot of work, simplify it. Write a simple 5 paragraph essay instead.

If you’re stuck picking your next essay topic, check out our round-up of essay topics about education .

essay prompts for reading

Amanda has an M.S.Ed degree from the University of Pennsylvania in School and Mental Health Counseling and is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. She has experience writing magazine articles, newspaper articles, SEO-friendly web copy, and blog posts.

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The Write Life


essay prompts for reading


essay prompts for reading


Writing Prompts: 52 Places to Find Them When You Need Inspiration

by Emily Withnall | Nov 1, 2023

essay prompts for reading

If you feel like you are stuck in your writing, writing prompts might be just what you need to get out of your rut.

Whether you’re experiencing writer’s block or you’re tired of your own voice, style or subject-matter, writing prompts can give you a creative jolt to help you begin something new. 

In addition to being a writer and editor, I teach writing in public schools and in a nearby detention center. This means I regularly use writing prompts with students of all ages. 

Table of contents, what is a writing prompt .

A writing prompt is a brief image or topic that can help writers generate new ideas. Writing prompts can be a great way to inspire ideas in any genre of writing. 

They can also take a huge variety of forms. Whether you’re inspired by news headlines, objects, one-word prompts, detailed questions or reading a poem or full work of prose, writing prompts can help you explore a particular topic, engage in a “conversation” with other writers or get through writer’s block. 

Writing prompts can also help you make new or unusual connections between things. I was once asked to write an essay that incorporated a dog, a wristwatch and scuba diver. This prompt resulted in an essay that was published in a magazine.

Where to find writing prompts

Writing classes can be wonderful places to encounter interesting prompts, but the internet is also swimming with more prompts than you can ever use. 

The following list is a collection of some of the resources that can help you generate new work no matter what genre you’re working in.

While these prompts are grouped in categories, many of the websites offer prompts in multiple genres. Remember that a genre-specific prompt can often be used to generate interesting ideas or connections in other genres, too.

Here’s where to find writing prompts.

Fiction writing prompts and creative writing prompts

1. Poets & Writers: The Time is Now

Poets & Writers Magazine  publishes a new fiction prompt online every Wednesday. These prompts are typically a paragraph in length and they encourage ideas through a series of questions and suggestions.

2. Self-Publishing School: 400+ Creative Writing Prompts to Find Your Next (Best) Book Idea

These prompts are aimed at inspiring plot and character development and are meant to generate the sparks needed to fuel writing a book. Sets of prompts are grouped into genres of fiction writing such as mystery, dystopian, fantasy, and more. Each group of prompts is also accompanied by a series of tips for how to write in a particular genre.

The Write Life has teamed up with Self-Publishing School to create this presentation, “How to Write & Publish Your Book in 90 Days.” In it, you’ll learn how to finish your book in just 30 minutes per day. To sign up for this free training, click here.

3.   12 Nature-Inspired Creative Writing Prompts

Nature writing typically brings to mind nonfiction writing, but this list of prompts encourages nature- and place-based storytelling. The prompts contain detailed visual descriptions to help you jump into a particular place or scene. 

4. Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompts

These prompts are posted weekly and help to generate specific scenes or ideas you can expand on. Most of the prompts are a series of questions to help generate details about plot and character development.

5. 21 Writing Prompts to Help You Finish an Entire Novel This Summer

These short prompts offer a topic, scenario or structure broad enough to build a book around. Each prompt is accompanied by a gif that works as an additional prompt for people who are inspired by visual imagery.

6. Plot Prompts for Fiction: Writer Igniter

This simple but innovative website offers digital flashcards to help writers explore character, situation, prop, and setting. Four specific cards are offered to the writer and when you finish (or if you want a different idea) you can just press the “shuffle” button and get an entirely new combination to write about. 

7. Creative Writing Now: Fiction Writing Prompts

The heart of any story often involves a character’s internal or personal journey. These prompts offer a full paragraph to flesh out a particular character and the personal or relational challenges they are facing.

8. Creative Writing Now: 44 Short Story Ideas

Designed for shorter works of fictions, these short story prompts offer brief scenarios for inspiration. Each set of ideas comes with a writing challenge, and you are encouraged to mix and match ideas from each of the prompt lists. There’s even one set of prompts that helps you brainstorm personal fears and habits and helps you fictionalize them. 

9. ServiceScape Fiction Writing Prompt Generator

Scroll through a list of fiction sub-genres, such as “utopia,” “space opera,” “science fiction romance,” or many other sub-genres, to pull up a carousel of prompts. Each prompt is about a paragraph long to set the scene and situation—perfect for any fiction writer who just needs a nudge to get them off and running. 

10. Fiction Prompts on StoryADay with Julie Duffy

The prompts provided on StoryADay often ask writers to imagine a momentous moment and dive right into the action. These prompts can be great for helping writers craft plot. Each prompt is paired with a photograph, too, which can be another boon for anyone who derives inspiration from imagery. 

11. The Writer: Writing Prompts

Writers looking to combine mundane, everyday life with secrets, mysteries, or other strange twists will likely find these prompts intriguing. Paired with colorful and engaging images, these prompts are updated weekly on Fridays.

12. 40 Short Story Prompts You Can Write in a Day

If all you need is a scenario, these prompts should do the trick. Each prompt sets up the situation, and it’s up to you to provide the story! 

13. Random Story Prompt Generator

Click a button and receive a few random prompts! These work well for writers who just need a handful of objects and archetypal characters for inspiration to strike. And for even more random story prompts, check out the links to other story generators below the prompt box. 

14. Giant Golden Buddha & 364 More 5-Minute Writing Exercises

For fiction writers who need inspiration for how to begin, these prompts are detailed and focused enough to help you zero in on an opening paragraph, a brief scene, or a vivid description of a character.

Flash Fiction Prompts

15. Laurie Stone’s Flash Fiction Prompts

The prompts on this website are creative and include sentence fragments, excerpts of poems, and sentences with fill-in-the blank spots. The variety makes these prompts unusual and great for experimentation. 

16. Bookfox: 50 Flash Fiction Prompts

Designed for fiction 1,000 words or under, these prompts will likely spark ideas for short stories or even novels. The prompts are grouped by category and each prompt introduces the main character and the tension for a writer to run with. 

17. 62 of the Best Flash Fiction Story Prompts

This list of prompts is perfect for fiction writers who want to try their hand at writing flash fiction. Steph Fraser provides an overview of flash fiction and tips for how to write flash stories successfully. This introduction is followed by prompts which are grouped by sub-genres such as “horror” and “romance.” 

18. 99 Days of Flash Fiction Prompts

If you need a little more to go on than a few words, but don’t need a full paragraph, these prompts provide brief dialogue and just enough sensory detail to spark a flash story idea.

19. 100 Days of Fun Flash Fiction Prompts

These brief prompts created by Eva Deverell are designed to keep you writing every day, but can be used at random, too. As a bonus, her website offers a number of other free writing resources, too! 

Nonfiction writing prompts

20. Submittable Prompts

Writers who submit work to literary magazines are likely familiar with Submittable — but did you know their blog has an archive of writing prompts? Each blog post is accompanied by an image that relates to the theme of the prompts. There are 8-10 prompts focused on a particular idea or theme. Most of these prompts can easily be used for other genres. 

21. Poets & Writers: The Time is Now

Poets & Writers Magazine publishes a new nonfiction prompt every Thursday. Writers can also subscribe to the Time is Now weekly e-newsletter to receive prompts for nonfiction as well as fiction and poetry.

22. The New York Times Learning Network: 550 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing

Not only are these prompts grouped in easy-to-navigate categories, but each prompt is linked to background information, a brief summary of someone’s story as it pertains to the topic, and a series of questions aimed at helping a writer think through the various aspects of a particular prompt. This is a great option for writers who need more than one-word prompts!

23. Bad-Ass Writing Prompts to Kick-Start Your Creativity

Each of these prompts lays out a brief scenario and asks a question aimed at self-discovery or introspection. These would be particularly useful for  personal essayists  or memoirists who are trying to find a way into writing about their bad or regrettable behaviors. 

24. 10 Ways to Inspire Personal Writing with The New York Times

Writers with years of expertise and a keen eye for structure and tone will benefit from these advanced writing prompts. Each prompt provides loose guidelines for modeling a piece on the writing published in particular sections of The New York Times. The prompts include links to published work writers might reference as good examples.

25. Creative Nonfiction Prompts

The 50 prompts on this list are pulled from Melissa Donovan’s book, “1200 Creative Writing Prompts.” The list is made up of strings of questions that ask writers to recall various types of memories, or to engage with emotional or intellectual responses to music, art, and media. 

26. Bookfox: 50 Creative Nonfiction Prompts Guaranteed to Inspire

Most memoirists and personal essayists explore relationships in their writing and this list of prompts is bound to jog particular kinds of memories. Most of the prompts relate to childhood or family relationships, but some prompts focus on other types of relationships, too.

27. Event: 30 Non-Fiction Writing Prompts

While some people prefer a word or phrase to spark an idea, others benefit from paragraphs and series of questions, and some enjoy reading a full essay or article before beginning to write. This list of prompts offers all three options for each of the 30 ideas. Some prompts suggest a straightforward retelling, but others suggest looser associations and experimental nonfiction writing.

28. 11 Strange Fiction/Nonfiction Prompts

Derived from the quotes of renowned writers, these prompts ask writers to dig deep and consider the connections between small, detailed moments and larger themes or events. The prompts can easily be used for either fiction or nonfiction. 

29. 10 Easy Writing Prompts to Get Your Life Story Started

It can be difficult to write about your complex life story in a clear way. Each of these ten prompts provides a frame so that you can dive into one aspect of your life story that will likely illuminate larger themes as you keep writing. 

30. Writing Class Radio

Perfect for people who prefer a minimalist approach, Writing Class Radio provides daily prompts of one or two words. The website also hosts a nonfiction writing podcast that features writers sharing work and discussing craft.

31. Writing Our Lives Personal Essay Prompts

Writer Vanessa Martír posts prompts weekly. Each prompt invites writers to reflect deeply on a particular memory or set of memories and most prompts include a quote from a book or movie that connects to the topic. Many of the prompts are focused on reflection and healing. 

32. Journal Writing Prompts for Beginners: 119 Journal Prompts

You don’t have to seek publication to be a writer. Writing for yourself counts, too! People who want to journal but aren’t sure where to start or what to write each day (or week) will find this list of prompts to be helpful in sparking ideas for topics.

33. Bernadette Mayer’s List of Journal Ideas

For beginners and advanced journalers and nonfiction writers, this list is divided into categories to give you ideas for themed journals, topic ideas, and quote fragments meant to inspire. There are also longer prompts that encourage experimentation with structure, form, and collaboration.

Flash Nonfiction Prompts

34. Flash Nonfiction Lessons in Concision and Revision

As a writing instructor, Zoë Bossiere has a lot of wisdom to share about the various kinds of flash nonfiction and the elements that make flash writing different than longer types of writing. Although this is essentially a lesson plan on Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, writers can learn a lot about the four main types of flash nonfiction, and gain inspiration for their own flash pieces from the many examples and resources that Boossiere provides. 

35. Documenting Life, Briefly: Flash Nonfiction Prompts

In each of these prompts, the writer is invited to approach the truth of the world or themselves from a different angle, whether it’s a memorable phone call or something from the news you just can’t shake. Some prompts walk you through a series of steps, and others offer just a couple of lines to help you begin. 

Poetry writing prompts

36. Poets & Writers: The Time is Now

Poets & Writers Magazine  releases a new poetry prompt once a week on Tuesdays. You can access these on the website or sign up to receive the prompts in their weekly writing prompt e-newsletter. These prompts are typically in the form of a paragraph with excerpts of poems or quotes accompanied by a series of questions or suggestions.

37. Think Written: 101 Poetry Writing Prompts

If you want to jump right into a poem, these prompts are a great way to start. Each prompt is one short sentence and the list is filled with suggestions that will evoke memories or spark your imagination. 

38. Writer’s Relief: 125 of the Best Writing Prompts for Poets

These prompts consist of two words or a short phrase or image meant to evoke life memories. The prompts are grouped in categories like “Momentous Occasions” and “Mysterious Places.”

39. Creative Writing Now: Prompts for Poetry

These short prompts are open-ended and each one might be used repeatedly to produce different kinds of poems. Many of the prompts suggest using a set of specific words. Using words you might not use ordinarily can help you stretch creatively as a writer!

40. Poetry Prompt Generator

Choose the number of words you want to appear on this page, and the number of challenges. Then decide whether you’d like to draw inspiration from an image, and press the “Get Prompt” button. Voila! You now have a set of instructions, a list of words to try to use in your poem, and an image to get your creative juices flowing. 

41. The Poetry Writing Society: Poetry Writing Prompts

Each of these prompts involves a series of instructions or steps. For poets who are feeling particularly stuck or benefit from structure, the prompts here just may do the trick. 

42. Writing Forward Poetry Prompts

The 25 prompts on this list are pulled from Melissa Donovan’s book, “1200 Creative Writing Prompts.” Books can be great resources for writing prompts and many authors make some of these printed prompts available online. Many of these prompts suggest writing poems that use a specific set of images or sounds.

43. 30 Writing Prompts for National Poetry Month

Take your shoes off, grab the nearest book, or find a recipe: Many of these prompts derive inspiration from the objects and ideas that surround you. 

44. CAConrad’s (Soma)tic Poetry Exercises

How do you feel about putting a penny under your tongue before writing? For poets or other creative writers looking for embodied experiences to inspire their writing, these exercises are more than just prompts. Each exercise calls on writers to engage in a particular activity while thinking about particular memories and ideas.  

Writing prompts on social media (including Reddit writing prompts)

45. Reddit Writing Prompts

You can find anything on Reddit — including writing prompts. Most of the prompts on Reddit are for fiction writers, but the search bar will turn up other genres, too. Reddit prompts are great for people who want to write and get feedback in an online community.

46. Tumblr Writing Prompts: Story Prompts

Tumblr is a virtual treasure trove of writing prompts of any genre and topic you can imagine. Story Prompts curates prompts from across many different Tumblr accounts, but you can also search for specific blogs or genre types.

47. Facebook Writing Prompts: Windcatchers

Windcatchers is one of many writing prompt Facebook groups and it is run by writer Michelle Labyrinth. Prompts are posted about once a week and other articles and resources for writers are posted, too. The prompts are generally targeted to nonfiction writers.

48. Twitter #Writing Prompts

Hashtags make it easier than ever to find the kind of prompts you are looking for. #writingprompts generates lots of different kinds of prompts, but there are also Twitter accounts you can follow that are devoted to particular kinds of prompts.

49. TikTok Writing Prompts

Obsessed with TikTok? You can find writing prompts there, too! Type “writing prompts” into the search feature and you will find a list of the top accounts posting writing prompts. Some accounts post multiple times a day, and others post less frequently but have an archive of prompts you can scroll through. 

50. YouTube Writing Prompts

Do you squander valuable writing time by watching too many cat videos on YouTube? Not to worry—there are tons of writing prompt videos on YouTube. Often, the key to inspiration is looking for it in the places you spend the most time.

51. Instagram #WritingPrompts

Like Twitter, you can easily find any kind of writing prompt by searching for a specific hashtag. However, Instagram is ideal for the image-oriented writer; many prompts are accompanied by an image or background that can provide additional inspiration.

52. Pinterest Writing Prompts

Pinterest is not the first place most writers would think of when searching for prompts, but like Instagram, it has a wealth of image-oriented prompts across all genres. For people who already spend time on Pinterest, this can be a great way to find writing inspiration, too.

Photo via frantic00 / Shutterstock  

Teacher's Notepad

11 Writing Prompts about Reading

From before I could read I enjoyed having stories read to me. But once I started reading from a very early age there was no stopping me!

Reading books transported me into other worlds and other times, taught me about the wonder of possibility, helped me improve my understanding of the English language, and more.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this, and it’s something I’d love for our daughter to have as an interest as she learns to read as well.

Today we’re taking a look into how thinking about our relationship with reading can inspire our own writing.

Let’s dive in…

How to use:

There are a hundred ways to use writing prompts, and here are some suggestions…

Try picking out a random prompt each day for a week – write a few hundred words on your topic each day.

Take two prompts at random, and combine them into a cohesive written piece.

Read through the list of prompts until you hit one which jumps out at you, and get writing straight away!

The writing prompts about reading:

  • What was the earliest book you read which you remember enjoying? What about it made it enjoyable?
  • Reading books can transport us into different places, and even to different types of people or characters. Write about how this can change our views.
  • Do you prefer reading a physical book, or on a screen like a Kindle or ipad? Why?
  • Often a book will have more detail than a movie based on that book. Would you prefer to read the book first, or watch the movie first? Or only one of the two? Why?
  • Science fiction stories often have elements that come true in the real world decades later. How do you think that happens? Is there anything in science fiction that you’ve read which you think will become a reality when you’re older?
  • Do you think it helps to start reading from a young age? What will that early love of reading do for a person?
  • How has reading fiction and non-fiction helped you in your life so far, and how will it help you into your future?
  • Do you always finish reading a book you start? Why?
  • Do you prefer reading a book yourself, or listening to the audio book version? Why?
  • What is a book you plan to read, but haven’t yet? What made you add it to your reading list?
  • Have you ever started reading a book which you didn’t find very interesting at first, but which captured your imagination the more you read of it? How do you think that happened?

Looking for more?

I’ve got some good news for you! We have thousands more for you, to inspire your own writing or that of your students .

We’ve also got plenty of visual prompts and other printables – just take a look around our site, or use the site search box to look for something specific if you like.

Any suggestions on what you’d like us to make next? Let us know!

Stay tuned for more prompts and other free resources that we’re publishing each day.

Yours, Matt & Hayley

essay prompts for reading

The Literacy Loft

Opinion and Informational Text Sets: Reading and Writing from One Text Set (+ a Freebie)

This past year I have been wrapping up a project that has been quite the labor of love: Monthly Text Sets. The monthly text sets solve a list of problems I consistently ran into when teaching 4th Grade ELA. But first, what are the monthly text sets? The monthly text sets are a set of nonfiction passages based around one topic. Students use the passages/articles to write in response to reading. The text set includes an opinion or informational writing prompt and reading comprehension questions. This means that you can use ONE set of texts to teach both reading and writing. 

What does each monthly text set include? 

  • 2 – 3 Nonfiction Passages based around one topic
  • Comprehension Questions aligned to standards
  • Writing Prompt for Opinion or Informational Text-based writing in response to reading
  • Graphic Organizer for Students
  • Teacher Model Graphic Organizer
  • Teacher Model Essay
  • Differentiated for Grades 3-5

Reading Comprehension

Each text set includes 2 – 3 passages/articles (texts). They are nonfiction topics and the texts are differentiated for grades 3-5. The 4th and 5th grade articles sometimes remain the same, but the questions are different for each grade level. The questions follow the type of questions students might see on a state test such as the Florida State Assessment, and are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Even if your state doesn’t exactly follow common core standards and they have their own, the questions are based on skills as well such as main idea, text structure, cause and effect, etc. 

Sharks Text Set freebie

You can see examples of the question types below. Each grade level is included. I kept it this way so that even if you teach another grade level, you can differentiate for your students if needed. Don’t forget to grab this  free shark text set before you go! Click here or on any of the images. 

3rd Grade Reading Comprehension

essay prompts for reading

4th Grade Reading Comprehension

essay prompts for reading

5th Grade Reading Comprehension

essay prompts for reading

You will also get a link that gives you access to the Standards Alignment Google Sheet. This way you can keep track of which standards each text set is covering. If you wanted to cover a specific skill, you have an easy way to track and access which standards are covered in which text set. 

The writing portion includes a prompt in which students will write using both texts to respond. The prompt for this text set is an informational writing prompt:

Write an essay in which you explain the importance of sharks in the ocean ecosystem. 

essay prompts for reading

If you are familiar with my writing units, then you know that boxes and bullets are the standard around here. I have a lot of thoughts about that, but the gist is that they are so simple and provide a consistent structure for your students. Each text set includes a boxes and bullets graphic organizer for students and a teacher example to model or guide your students. Depending on where you are in your writing instruction, you can also have students do this in their notebook.

essay prompts for reading

Writing paper is also included for a final published piece. Depending on how long you have and/or if you are in test-prep mode, you may choose to have students write a rough draft on notebook paper or in their writing notebook and then write a final copy on the publishing paper. Then, display in your classroom or hallway for the world to see all of your students’ amazing writing! 

The plan and example essay includes 2-3 body paragraphs. So your students will be writing 4 – 5 paragraph essays. Depending on which you prefer to have your students write, you’ll just add/remove a body paragraph.

  • Paragraph 1: Introduction
  • Paragraph 2: Body Paragraph 1
  • Paragraph 3: Body Paragraph 2
  • Paragraph 4: Conclusion

There is also an editable teacher plan and essay available as a PowerPoint and Google doc so that you can edit and adapt the essay to your needs.

You might also use a Google Doc/PowerPoint to write the essay with your students and use the example as a guide. 

essay prompts for reading

What are the topics for each month? 

One of my favorite parts about these text sets is that they have a monthly theme. HOWEVER, most topics can be used at any point in the year. Some topics are month-specific such as “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day” in January and “The Benefits of Bees” in April (it mentions Earth Day), but you can definitely fit these into to your current curriculum. And I have to tell you that even though all 12 months have been released, we’re still creating these each month. 

  • January:   MLK Day (Opinion Writing Prompt)  → Read the blog post here.
  • February: Equality in Education: Mary McLeod Bethune and Thurgood Marshall (Informational Writing Prompt)
  • March: Ants: Perk or Pest? (Opinion Writing Prompt)
  • April: The Benefits of Bees (Informational Writing Prompt)
  • May: Save the Sea Turtles (Informational Writing Prompt)
  • June: Shark Shenanigans (Informational Writing Prompt) Grab this one for FREE here or at the end of this post.
  • July:  Hurricanes (Informational Writing Prompt)
  • August: Video Games: Helpful or Harmful? (Opinion Writing Prompt)
  • September: Homework: Helpful or Harmful? (Opinion Writing Prompt)
  • October: Bats: Benefit or Bother? (Opinion Writing Prompt)
  • November: Paid to Play: Should College Athletes be Paid? (Opinion Writing Prompt)
  • December: Polar Bear Problems (Informational Writing Prompt)

essay prompts for reading

WHY use monthly text sets? 

Let’s talk about WHY you might want to use text sets in your classroom. While teaching 4th grade in a self-contained classroom, I consistently felt like we were giving our students too many texts to grapple with. At any point in time, we juggled some (and sometimes ALL ) of the following texts: 

  • Read Aloud (chapter book)
  • Read Aloud (picture book)
  • Writing Mentor Text (picture book)
  • Reading Text Sets (passages as part of a center or independent practice)
  • Guided Reading Text (small groups)
  • Shared Reading Text (textbook used in whole groups or small groups)

        (This is  JUST  for Reading)

  • Writing Text Sets for test prep or writing in response to reading (In 4th and 5th Grade, this was ALLLLL the time.)
  • Science Textbook
  • Social Studies Text

When you list it out like that, it’s a LOT of texts. And they all serve a purpose. And they’re all important.  But we continuously ran into problems. 

❌We couldn’t fit them all in. (Shocking, right?)

❌We felt behind or overwhelmed because we were trying to do too much and unable to get in #allthethings.

❌Science and social studies were not getting the time they deserved. And honestly, I don’t think the future of our world can afford to not make science and social studies a priority.

The bottom line is we were trying to use TOO. MANY. TEXTS. One big issue that I began to see is that we treated the texts that we were using for writing as if we didn’t have to actually read them. As if we didn’t have to read them closely, dissect, analyze, and synthesize to produce a clear and concise essay with a controlling idea, supporting details, voice, etc. And, of course, in a way that did not copy the text. You and I both know that’s a lot to ask of a 4th grader (or 3rd grader or 5th grader or quite frankly – an adult.)

There had to be a better way.  So I decided to ELIMINATE or INTEGRATE.

✅Eliminate  the texts that we didn’t  need to use, that didn’t support other content area standards or that didn’t offer high-engaging content or just weren’t the best quality of texts in the first place. If my students weren’t interested in it and it didn’t align to other content area standards – I needed to find better texts. 

✅ Integrate  Science and Social Studies into our ELA curriculum.

essay prompts for reading

How do the monthly text sets fit into this? 

Each monthly text set can be used for both Reading and Writing. The topic of each text set is either high-engaging or supports Social Studies/Science standards. It may not directly align with science or social studies standards, but topics support those areas. For example, many of the animal topics discuss life cycles and roles in the ecosystem.  

HOW do I teach writing using the text sets? 

If you’re looking for more support in  teaching writing, then you may be interested in the complete writing units . Both the  informational and opinion writing unit include daily lesson plans, PowerPoints that help you navigate writing workshop. 

Are you ready to try the monthly text sets?

If you’re ready to give the monthly text sets a try in your classroom, you can grab the Sharks Text Set freebie by clicking on the button below.

essay prompts for reading

Just click here or on the image below to snag them.

essay prompts for reading

55 Reading journal prompts that work for ANY book (+free printable)

essay prompts for reading

Written by Michelle Watson

Book journaling | freebie | reading for pleasure, february 20, 2022.

If you’re here for reading journal prompts, then you’re likely:

  • a parent searching for your kid
  • an avid reader (like me!) who keeps a book journal

Either way, you’re in the right place, and you’ll find loads of thought-provoking prompts here in this blog post.

Keeping a reading journal is a great way to remember what you’ve read, but it’s also one way to dialogue with your book and the author, like having a conversation. 

And it doesn’t have to be hard work—on the contrary, it should be easy and fun!

Scroll down and you’ll find reading journal prompts for:

  • Students 
  • Adult fiction
  • Adult nonfiction

Before we dive in, you need to know that you can grab a free printable with all of these prompts ready to go!

What is a reading journal, anyway?

It’s a notebook, bullet journal, or three-ring binder where you write things about the book you’re reading. That’s it!

If you’re an adult reader who simply wants to journal, then you do this for the sheer delight of it. A reading journal is a private, safe space (offline) where you can jot down your true feelings about a book, as they pop into your mind, without the pressure of anyone else reacting to you. 

For kids and students, it’s usually an assignment for language arts class. Why, oh heavens, WHY? To help students get into the habit of not just passively reading but responding to what they’ve read. That’s why it’s often called a “reading response journal.” And it’s the best way for busy English teachers with big classes to facilitate this learning activity (and grade it). 

But what to actually write in a reading journal? The possibilities are endless and therefore immobilizing. That’s why it’s super helpful to have prompt ideas at the ready.

Now for the good stuff!

essay prompts for reading

Reading journal prompts for students

Here are my favorite prompts for your student’s reading response journal (or narrative journal, dialectical journal, independent reading enrichment, etc.) Use these to support your homeschool reading curriculum OR (my favorite) foster a book club atmosphere in your home.

11 Easy, imaginative reading journal prompts for kids

This is a non-traditional list of prompts with more of a book club vibe to them. The goal is for kids to respond with their own thoughts (instead of trying to get the “right” answer). 

  • What’s something from this book that you never want to forget?
  • Would you call this an “easy” book or a “hard” book? Why?
  • What character in this book is most like (or unlike) you?
  • Without thinking too much, write a list of words that describe how this book (or this chapter) made you feel.
  • Does something in this book (a character, place, or object) remind you of something else from another book (or from your life)?
  • Example: What would’ve happened if Marilla hadn’t kept Anne Shirley?
  • Would you like to live in this story world? Why or why not?
  • Did this book teach you something new?
  • Was this book what you expected it was going to be? Did it surprise you at all?
  • If you could ask the author a question, what would it be?
  • Would this book be more interesting if the events were NOT presented in chronological order?

If you’re a homeschool parent or if you simply want to connect with your kids through books, then you MUST check out Sarah MacKenzie at Read-Aloud Revival . 

10 Academic reading journal prompts for kids

This is a more traditional list of schoolish prompts that should satisfy your child’s reading teacher (but that won’t torture your student). To add more academic rigor to the mix, ask the student to provide textual evidence (quotes, page numbers) to support their answers. 

  • At the beginning of the book, what does the main character want most? Does this change by the end of the book and how?
  • Who (or what) is the antagonist (or antagonistic force)? What is it trying to stop the main character from doing? 
  • Why do you think the author chose this title for the book?
  • Was this book believable? Could it have happened in real life? Did the characters act like real humans act?
  • Does a character’s name have special significance?
  • For example, are there any Cinderellas in this book? Is there a Christ figure who sacrifices for others? 
  • Read the book’s back cover or inside flap. Does it accurately reflect the book or not?
  • Which character had the biggest impact on the story and why?
  • How would the story feel different if it was written from a different point of view?
  • Would this book make a good TV show or movie? Why or why not?

BONUS! Reading-writing activities for homeschooling and distance learning

Take journaling to the next level with these creative writing prompts for kids. Use these in place of a tired, ol’ book report.

  • Go to the library and check out a stack of wordless books . Invite your students to add words to the book based on the illustrations. Challenge them to write the book in a creative narrative format (for example, as a stage play, in epistolary form, or from the perspective of the bad guy). 
  • Go to the library and check out a stack of books that are a few reading levels below where your child is at. Have your student rewrite the story for an older audience. Wouldn’t it be fun to read the 6th grade version of a super-simple Frog and Toad story? Or the 10th grade version of Strega Nona?
  • Buy an inexpensive used copy of a book and have your student write their reading responses directly in the margins . You can even supply your student with emoji stickers that they can use to describe how they feel while reading certain passages.
  • Try an interactive reading journal . This is where more than one student shares a reading journal, responding to the text but also responding to each other’s responses.

essay prompts for reading

17 Reading journal prompts for adults (fiction)

You love to read books AND discuss what you’ve read. But you don’t always have another human being who is ready and willing to dive deep into your latest novel with you. The solution? A reading journal! Think of it as your own little Booklandia. 

Here are some of my favorite writing prompts for when I’m reading a novel.

  • Why did you pick THIS book to read right NOW?
  • Why is the title of this book the title? Is it straightforward or does it have shades of meaning?
  • Do any of the characters’ names carry any special significance?
  • Do any of the characters strongly remind you of people in your life? 
  • Did this book hit on any of your “soft spots” or “sweet spots” as a reader? These are things that you just love and can’t resist. 
  • Did this book hit on any of your pet peeves as a reader? 
  • How would you describe the writing? Flowery, plain, poetic, emotional?
  • Did you speed through this book or was it a slog?
  • What morals underpin the story? Are they similar to or different from your own values?
  • What does this book praise? Do you agree?
  • What does this book put down? Do you agree?
  • In what ways does the book nail its genre? In what ways does it depart from the typical genre conventions?
  • Would you consider this a favorite book? If not, what would it need to have (or what would need to improve) for it to make your list of favorites?
  • What personality traits make the protagonist likeable? Unlikeable?
  • What personality traits make the book’s villain likeable? Unlikeable? 

Starting a reading journal is a great way to get back into reading books if you’re rebounding from a slump. Also, many readers enjoy journaling at the end of the day. Responding to a couple of bedtime journal prompts is a great (screen-free) way to wind down, declutter your brain, and prepare for slumber.

essay prompts for reading

11 Reading journal prompts for nonfiction books

It’s easy to inhale nonfiction—I’m talking business books, self-help books, and hobby books—and then completely forget what you learned or what you wanted to implement. Journaling as you go is one way to make meaningful connections to your life and get your creative juices flowing.

  • Without thinking too much, quickly write a list of Ah-ha moments you had when reading this book. Do it from memory first, and then flip through the book to remember any that you forgot. 
  • Did this book teach you a lot of new concepts, or did it reinforce things you already knew?
  • In what ways did this book inspire you (emotionally or spiritually)?
  • Are you going to think differently or make any changes based on this book?
  • What important information from this book do you NOT want to forget?
  • Did this book turn you on to other books or resources that you want to explore or check out?

essay prompts for reading

6 Reading journal prompts to spice up your book club (FUN!)

Giving your book club members a few reading journal prompts upfront is an easy way to spark discussion when it comes time to meet up and actually discuss the book. First off, it gives you a place to start. And second, people arrive preloaded with a LOT to say because they’ve already been thinking about the questions.

The LAST thing you want is for your book club discussion questions to feel like a school assignment. Oh, no no no no. That’s why I’m giving you juicy questions that still manage to feel lighthearted and fun. 

You can print these prompts onto a journal page and give each member a copy to reference as they read. Or, if you’ve got a tech-savvy group, you can send out a Google form that contains all of the prompts, and everyone can respond electronically. Wouldn’t it be fun to read the responses aloud at your meeting but make everyone guess which response is whose?

  • Do any of the characters in this book remind you of someone in our book club? BE NICE!
  • If our book club could take the main character out for a night on the town, where would we go and what would we do?
  • Pretend this book is being made into a movie or TV show , and you’re the casting director. Which actors would you pick to portray each character?
  • Which type of social media account would each character in this book use the most?
  • Which emoji (or gif or meme) best describes how you feel about this book?
  • This was a good book, and I liked it.
  • This was a bad book, but I liked it anyway.
  • This was a good book, but I didn’t like it.
  • This was a bad book, and I didn’t like it.

I hope that these reading journal prompts have you itching to grab your favorite pen and start scribbling! If you want to save these prompts for later, then by all means grab the free printable version!

essay prompts for reading

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162 Persuasive Writing Prompts & Topics: Examples & Tips

essay prompts for reading

Writing a persuasive essay can be a challenging task. While it is excellent for improving a student’s critical thinking and rhetoric skills, coming up with a good topic might be difficult.

The easiest way to kickstart the writing process is to find persuasive writing prompts. Are you passionate about some controversial issue? Want to express your opinion? A prompt will help you to start thinking about it critically. It may contain a set of questions or a brief guideline for your discussion.

Our team will help you!

There is plenty of persuasive writing prompts for high school and college that deserve attention. So, we’ve prepared a list of such. Once you choose one to your liking, remember to read a prompt thoroughly. The controversy of an issue is usually apparent. It is crucial to find a prompt that states the main aspects of the topic clearly.

Believe us—writing a persuasive essay is elementary with prompts at your disposal!

  • 🤷 Writing with Prompts
  • 💡 How to Write?
  • ⭐ 12 Best Prompts
  • 🧒 Elementary School
  • 🎒 Middle School
  • 🖊️ High School
  • 🌊 Environment
  • 🕹️ Video Games
  • 🔌 Technology

🤷 Persuasive Writing with Prompts

Before we dive into the prompts, let’s answer a few vital questions.

What is a persuasive essay?

A persuasive essay is a type of academic writing where you try to persuade your reader using arguments and supporting evidence. You provide facts and examples that explain why your position is the correct one. Describe the issue in the introduction, and express your stance on it in your thesis statement.

Remember to include the other side of the argument in your essay. It is essential to consider different perspectives on the problem. You can find numerous examples of persuasive papers in a free essay database . Not only will it serve as a sample, but can act as a source of writing prompts, too.

What is a writing prompt?

A writing prompt is a short passage that describes an idea for an essay, report, article, or some other piece of writing. It can be as short as one sentence, although it is usually more elaborate.

Some prompts can be presented in the form of an image. The most crucial thing is that they give a clear understanding of the topic.

Re-read the writing prompt when to ensure that you should write a persuasive essay.

How does a persuasive writing prompt look like?

The main goal of persuasive writing is to convince the reader that your side of an argument is the most legitimate one. Unlike in expository or descriptive writing, persuasive essay prompts express the duality of a dispute.

Persuasive letter prompts should be pertinent to the audience’s concerns. A prompt should ultimately convey your stance on the subject. Use words like convince , persuade , and why . Avoid using how in a persuasive essay prompt as it distracts from the purpose of such writing.

💡 How to Write a Persuasive Essay Using a Prompt?

Persuasive writing prompts help produce a good quality essay. Here is a list of things you should do to write an essay using a prompt:

  • Read it and learn what issue the prompt states. What should you elaborate on? Look out for words that you find especially important or problematic.
  • Understand what the prompt wants you to do. See whether you should discuss causes and effects or your opinion. In the case of persuasive writing prompt, it asks you to convince your reader in something. In what? Should you discuss both sides of an argument or state your opinion immediately?
  • Divide the prompt. Look deeper into what it’s saying. Write down your initial thoughts on the subject.
  • Compose a thesis statement . Outline the question or the situation the prompt states and elaborate on it in one topic sentence.
  • Write arguments and supporting evidence. Dedicate one body paragraph to describing the opposing argument. Remember to use transition words to ensure good writing flow.
  • Revise if you have time for it. Check with the prompt not to miss anything. That’s why writing drafts is always a good idea. This way, you can change your text without making a mess out of your paper.

⭐ 12 Persuasive Writing Prompts for High School

  • Cooking as art — a delicate craft.
  • 4-Day work week.
  • Facebook vs. Instagram: visual design.
  • Winter holidays — a time for friends.
  • Is living in a village stressful?
  • Beef production.
  • Is kindergarten education importnat?
  • Hobby as a job is a bad idea.
  • High school students and independence.
  • Allowance for kids: how much?
  • Reptiles as pets — a lifelong commitment.
  • Outside classes and fresh air benefits.

✔ 50 Persuasive Essay Writing Prompts

If you have trouble coming up with ideas for writing a persuasive essay, here is our prompts list. Whether you’re in school or college, we’re sure here you’ll find a topic that interests you!

Ask someone to proofread your persuasive essay.

🧒 Persuasive Writing Prompts for Elementary Students

  • Your parents should go to bed at 9 pm every day. They say that it’s your time to fall asleep, but why? This way, they get to have a good night’s rest to feel energized the next morning. And your parents need it as their jobs are tedious and stressful. While you would like to have more spare time before going to bed. Persuade your parents that going to bed at 9 pm is perfect for them, not for you.
  • We should stop wearing a uniform to school. If not every day, at least once a week, students should be allowed to wear casual clothes to school. Discuss why it is a fun and useful initiative.
  • You need to move to another country for a year. Explain why you think that studying abroad is essential for you. Which country would you pick and why? Discuss what made you choose this country.
  • Every child needs a pet. Some parents don’t allow animals at home. Explain why it is vital to have a pet in a family. Convince that a pet of your choice is the perfect option for any kid.
  • Pupils should select their seats in the class . Your teacher always tells you where to sit in class. Would it be better if you get to pick your place? What is your opinion on that?
  • Playing music is an educating activity that is crucial for child development. What musical instrument is the most fun to play? Convince your reader that the music instrument of your choice is the best one.
  • The summer break has to be longer. Do you believe the summer holidays are long or short? Is it enough for you to get rest and find the strength to start a new term? Convince your reader that your point of view is the right one.
  • The ability to read people’s minds in both the worst and best superpower. Imagine that you get to have this superpower. What are its advantages and disadvantages? When can you use it? Is it ethical? Discuss your opinion in your essay.
  • Pupils should select their tutors. In school, you don’t get to choose your teacher. Would it be better if you could? Can students change teachers based on their personal preferences? Discuss why or why not.
  • We should manage our budget from an early age. Do your parents give you pocket money? Well, they’re better to start. Some parents think they should give their kids pocket money even if they misbehaved. Others wouldn’t give allowance to their children if they did something wrong. What position do you think is fairer, and why?

Giving a set budget for a specific task teaches teenagers responsibility.

🎒 Persuasive Writing Prompts for Middle School Students

  • Tutors should wear uniforms to schools, just like students do. Imagine there is an initiative that wants teachers to do so. Some people believe it is a sign of equality and professional attire. Others think that just a formal dress code is enough. What is your opinion on this?
  • Every school has to initiate school trips. Some individuals think they are disruptive to the study process. Other people claim that such trips unite students and are an essential part of education. What do you think? Explain your point of view and why it is the right one.
  • Students should learn from famous people from time to time. There is an opportunity for one famous person to come to your school with a motivational speech. Who would you want to come, and why? Discuss why your school can benefit if a celebrity of your choice gives a speech there.,
  • Single-sex schools are better than mixed ones. Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not? Talk about your point of view using convincing argumentation.
  • Some individuals should lack money. What’s better: enough money to get by or too much money and more problems? Some think that too much money makes you forget about more straightforward and essential things in life. Yes, cash gives more opportunities, but people tend to strive for more money than necessary. What’s the point of millionaires in the 21st century? What is your opinion on this?
  • Fast food damages children’s health and should be excluded from the school meal plan. Do you agree or disagree? What are some benefits of having fast food as a meal option at school? Discuss which opinion is more legitimate.
  • Educational institutions have to support the arts and sciences more. Imagine there is a new building opening up in your school. The school administration hasn’t decided what is going to be there. It could be an art studio, a new sports center, or a computer class. Explain why it should belong to the arts and sciences. Talk about how such disciplines motivate students to evolve.
  • We should study for four days a week. There is a law that considers implementing a more extended weekend. Do you think three days would be too much? Why or why not? Support your point of view with thoughtful arguments.

25 US states have at least one district using a four-day school week.

  • Teachers should be required to turn off their mobiles during the classes. You can’t use your phone during the course (or at school). It’s a law in various educational institutions and for obvious reasons. Should teachers be prohibited from using their phones as well? Is it fair?
  • It is better to have PE lessons as the first classes of the day. Some people think it is an excellent way to kickstart the day. Others believe that students will be physically tired to carry on with other classes. Which opinion is the right one?
  • Plagiarism and cheating should be punished more strictly. Copying others’ works or using crib notes in class is strictly prohibited, yet it happens. Should schools implement more measures to ensure there is no cheating? How can they work?
  • Students should select their courses according to their performance. Some people are better at science, while others excel at arts. Would it be better if we were allowed only to study things we are naturally good at? Why or why not? Convince your reader that your opinion is valid.
  • You shouldn’t eat in class. Teachers generally think that it interrupts the lesson and distracts other students. At the same time, eating a snack can help you concentrate better and stay energized. Discuss your opinion on this in your essay.
  • There should be mixed sports teams at school. Girls often like to play the same sports as boys. Should schools let them play in the same groups? Why or why not? Support your opinion with argumentation.
  • Teachers should treat every student equally. It seems like an obvious thing, but the reality is often different. What would you do to make sure everyone is respected? Why?

🖊 Persuasive Writing Prompts for High School Students

  • In the US, the 18-year-olds should be allowed to drink alcohol. In the country, driving is permitted after age 16, while drinking becomes legal after 21. How fair are these age thresholds? Statistics show that countries with integrated drinking culture (like France or Italy) have lower alcoholism rates. Would it be better to bring the legal drinking age down to 18? Discuss why or why not, using supportive argumentation.
  • The “book of your choice” is fantastic, and here is why. Write a persuasive essay explaining why your favorite book deserves attention. Convince your audience it is worth reading it.
  • Time management skill is vital for a successful adult life. It’s what you acquire in school and use for a job. Why is being organized so important? And why should you learn this already in school? Talk about your opinion on this subject.
  • What’s more important in school – discipline or an ability to self-express? Some think that you come to school to get knowledge and acquire social skills. However, some students thrive in a less harsh environment. Discuss your point of view and why it is valid.
  • Educational institutions should implement anti-bullying policies. School authorities should intervene if a student is bullied by other students, even outside of school. Do you agree or disagree? Convince your reader that your opinion is the most legitimate.

The definition of bullying includes three characteristics.

  • Parents shouldn’t raise their children the same way they’ve been raised. Some people think there are universal values and principles that parents should teach their kids. While this is true, times change tremendously as generations grow up. What do you think is more just? Discuss your point of view in your essay.
  • Your neighborhood requires a renovation. Imagine city authorities are planning on improving your area. What would you change in particular, and why? Write an essay using the appropriate argumentation.
  • The importance of community is overrated. Some people are naturally more outgoing and thrive in such environments. Others often feel pressured and may feel out of place. Talk about your opinion on that subject.
  • Are fictional books useless? Some people believe fiction improves imagination and teaches empathy. Others consider it a waste of time since there is no actual value in it. Which stance is more valid?
  • Life is fair because it is unfair to everyone. Do you think this statement is true? Discuss the issue of class privilege. Do you think modern society gives everyone equal opportunities? Why or why not?
  • Community service should be mandatory for high school students. Do you agree or disagree? What kind of activities would be included? Discuss your point of view in your essay.
  • Classic literature should be an integral part of the high school curriculum. Should students be required to read old texts like Homer’s Odyssey or Shakespeare’s tragedies? Why or why not?
  • You can make a career out of a hobby. True or not? Pick your side of an argument and convince a reader it’s valid.
  • It would be better if all countries in the world switched to one currency. There are many aspects to consider when talking about this argument. Which side of it would you support? Why?
  • Safety on school property should be a primary concern. Some institutions offer inefficient security services, which can result in tragedies. They may lack funds to ensure their students are safe. Should the government prioritize these issues? Discuss your opinion on this.

🎓 Persuasive Writing Prompts for College Students

  • Abortions should be legal in all US states. Some religious communities are vehemently opposed to abortions. People with more liberal beliefs claim that it should be a mother’s personal choice. Discuss your opinion in an essay.
  • The military should be voluntary. Military service is a civic duty is some countries. Should it be obligatory everywhere? Why or why not? Persuade your reader that your opinion is the most legitimate.
  • Veganism and vegetarianism should become a new norm. They start to gain popularity in Western society. Some people consider it beneficial for health and the environment. Others switch to these diets because good meat is often too pricey. What are the real advantages? Or are they a myth? Discuss your opinion.
  • The education system in the Western world has become outdated. Do you agree or disagree? What should be changed to make it more suitable for modern times?
  • Your parents shouldn’t be your buddies. What’s better: a parent who is your mentor or best friend? Choose your stance on the subject and defend it using appropriate reasoning.
  • Soft skills are more important than hard skills. It is thought that employers often prioritize your personal skills over professional ones at first. Do you think this is the right position? Express your opinion and support it with facts.

Technical skills alone are not enough to be truly effective.

  • Social media is a major frustrating factor in the lives of many people. Have you ever gotten FOMO looking at other’s picture-perfect lives? Why is it so easy to succumb to this illusion of ideal life? Discuss your opinion on the subject and support your point of view with pertinent facts.
  • Democracy has proven to be the most sustainable governmental form. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Express your opinion and use relevant argumentation in your essay.
  • United Nations have become inefficient over time. There is an opinion that the UN does not function properly anymore. Would you agree with this statement?
  • Are genderless pronouns a good idea? They have become a crucial tool for transgender and genderfluid people to express their identity. Or does society overthink about words instead of actions? Do you agree or disagree?

💯 Persuasive Essay Writing Topics

If you feel more confident and inspired after reading our prompts list, check out some persuasive writing topics!

🎤 Persuasive writing: Music

  • Hip-hop music objectifies women .
  • Jazz does not exist anymore.
  • Music festivals involve too many drugs.
  • Classical music is the most sophisticated genre.
  • The music culture of other societies does not get enough attention because of Western dominance .
  • Musical therapy is not efficient.
  • Patriotic songs can have a stimulating effect on people.
  • Listening to music can increase one’s productivity.
  • Anyone can learn how to sing.
  • Humanity cannot imagine itself without the art of music.
  • Music is the most influential form of art.
  • Rap should be considered a form of poetry .
  • Jazz sounds the best at a live concert .
  • A piano is the best musical instrument.
  • All children should have musical training at school.
  • Music can unite people from all over the world.
  • Specific lyrics can trigger aggression in people.
  • Queen is the most influential band in Western history.
  • To some extent, all music reflects a creator’s personal experience.
  • Is the bell ringer a musician?

🦙 Persuasive Writing: Animals

  • Wild animals should not be kept in a zoo.
  • Animal fights should be illegal.

Three most common types of animal fighting in the US.

  • Hybrid animals are unnatural.
  • Agricultural production puts endangered species at more significant risk .
  • Slaughtering farm animals for food does not justify their killing .
  • Animal hunts should be illegal everywhere.
  • There is no better alternative than animal experimentation for some medicine.
  • Exotic animals should not be kept as pets.
  • Animals should not be treated as objects—they are meant to cohabitate with humans .
  • Cow milk is terrible for human health.
  • Dolphins are the most intelligent animals.
  • Using animals for medical research is unethical.
  • There are better alternatives than cosmetic testing on animals .
  • Poaching has multiple adverse effects on the economy.
  • Farming is a form of animal abuse .
  • Zoos can help in preserving endangered animals.
  • All makeup brands should switch to cruelty-free policies.
  • The use of elephants in the entertainment industry can lead to their extinction .
  • Children should be taught how to treat animals.
  • A dog is the best animal companion for a human.

🌊 Persuasive Writing: Environment

  • Governments should advocate for the use of renewable energy sources.
  • Garbage recycling should be obligatory.
  • Humanity should take rainforest conservation more seriously.
  • Urban areas should implement environment-friendly design and policies .
  • There is a connection between waste management and global warming.

Fuel buyers in the United States could be convinced to buy back their carbon.

  • If proper measures are not taken, the loss of biodiversity in coral reefs will be devastating .
  • Greta Thunberg is the voice of her generation . The girl’s letter to the UN was one of the most discussed events of 2019. Talk about why her call to enhance environmental protection is more than timely.
  • Sustainable clothing is the best fashion trend in 2023.
  • Poor farming technologies accelerate climate change .
  • Water pollution will soon become a more significant issue than air pollution.
  • Environmental conservation is an essential element of economic growth in developing countries .
  • First-world countries should implement a carbon tax.
  • It is impossible to decrease environmental pollution without severe damage to the world’s economy .
  • Weather forecasts are too inaccurate.
  • Climate change trends have made the risk of natural disasters worse.

🌽 Persuasive writing: Food

  • Parents in America should take better care of their children’s diets . Childhood obesity is a growing concern in the US.
  • Healthy eating is more important than exercise.
  • Overeating junk food affects mental health.
  • Restaurants should be transparent about the nutritional value of the food they serve.
  • There is no harm in consuming GMOs .
  • Addiction to sugar can be worse than drug addiction.
  • The fast-food industry isn’t entirely responsible for consumers’ health . It is up to every individual to take care of their diet.
  • Food is not just fuel; it’s a leisure experience .
  • Schools must provide students with healthy food options.
  • Intuitive eating is the best diet.
  • The downsides of sugar substitutes aren’t thoroughly researched .
  • Being underweight is more dangerous than being overweight.
  • Social and psychological factors have a notable role in obesity development .
  • Eating meat is bad for health.
  • Food supplements are harmful.

🕹 Persuasive Writing: Video Games

  • Violence in video games causes behavioral problems in kids .
  • Board games will never go out of fashion.
  • Playing computer games can develop one’s cognitive skills .
  • Game addiction is a more prominent concern than most of us realize.
  • Virtual reality can disrupt one’s social skills .
  • Children should have limited access to certain video games.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests the time for video games should be limited.

  • There is no place for gaming in education.
  • Certain video games can be beneficial for human health and brains.
  • Hunger Games should not have been turned into a franchise.
  • Gaming will become the most popular leisure activity in 30 years.
  • You can earn a fortune by playing online games.
  • Video games have multiple adverse effects on children .
  • Gaming is just a way to escape reality.
  • First-person shooter games improve one’s reaction and reflexes.
  • Playing video games too much affects one’s academic and life performance.

🔌 Persuasive Writing: Technology

  • Siri is the best example of publicly available Artificial intelligence .
  • Computer science classes at school should incorporate beginner-level software engineering.
  • Internet is humanity’s greatest invention.
  • E-learning in medicine is still too expensive .
  • Nowadays, nobody’s personal data is protected.
  • If World War III happens, it will be a war of modern technology and information, not nuclear power.
  • Genetically modified organisms are science’s big mistake.
  • Cloning should be illegal.
  • Cell phone addiction will soon become humanity’s worst challenge.
  • Cyberbullying leads to drug and alcohol abuse among the youth .
  • Robots will never be able to replace humans .
  • Technology can help individuals with learning disabilities .

Assistive technology is available to help individuals with many types of disabilities.

  • Drones are an invasion of privacy and should be illegal.
  • Apple is the best technology brand on the market.
  • Data mining is an essential part of every company’s marketing strategy .

Thank you for reading the article! Leave a comment below to let us know what you think. Share the page with friends who may find the persuasive writing prompts and topics useful.

🔗 References

  • 15 Awesome Persuasive Writing Prompts: Thoughtful Learning, K-12
  • 200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing: Michael Gonchar, The New York Times
  • English II Persuasive Essay [10th grade]: Brianna Johnson, Trinity College
  • Writing Prompt (Composition): Richard Nordquist, ThoughtCo
  • What Is a Writing Prompt: Karen Frazier, LoveToKnow
  • What Makes a Great Writing Prompt: Laura Davis, Kripalu
  • Writing Prompts for Middle School: Holt McDougal Online
  • Persuasive Essay Outline: Houston Community College Learning Web
  • Tips To Write An Effective Persuasive Essay: Melissa Burns, The College Puzzle
  • Counterargument: Gordon Harvey for the Writing Center at Harvard University
  • Persuasive Essay: EssayInfo, Writing Guides
  • Ten Timeless Persuasive Writing Techniques: Brian Clark, CopyBlogger
  • 31 Powerful Persuasive Writing Techniques: Karri Stover, Writtent
  • A CS Research Topic Generator or How To pick A Worthy Topic In 10 Seconds: Department of Computer Science, Purdue University
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Engaging Writing Prompts for Middle School Students

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Nurturing creativity is essential to help middle school students explore their potential and prepare for future challenges. One effective method of promoting creativity in the classroom is through engaging writing prompts. These prompts not only spark imaginative thinking but also enhance skills, such as world-building, descriptive language, and point of view.

While writing prompts can be used with all grade levels, middle school is a prime opportunity to use them to bridge foundational skills and knowledge learned in elementary school with critical thinking and analysis that will be used in high school. Middle school students are at an age in their learning where they can explore creativity and writing in a setting that primes them for the higher level of thinking that will come in later years. The benefits of using writing prompts in middle school validates the argument that they should be regularly integrated into the curriculum throughout the school year. Here, we’ll explore the different benefits of writing prompts, engaging writing activities, and even specific writing prompts that can be used with young writers.  

The Role of Writing Prompts

Writing prompts are brief, thought-provoking statements or questions that inspire students to write clearly and creatively. They serve as the ignition for the creative fire within students, encouraging them to explore new horizons through writing. Writing prompts for middle school students also serve as invaluable tools for fostering literacy skills .

Writing prompts, such as creative writing prompts and personal journal prompts , offer a structured framework within which students can explore a wide range of writing ideas and literacy skills. For example, fun writing prompts can be used as hooks or bellringers to engage students in creative and critical thinking before reading a challenging text.

In addition to playing a role in general classroom instruction, writing prompts can also be used in reading and writing interventions. For example, teachers can provide students who may need extra guidance with sentence starters or story starters to help guide analysis or jumpstart creativity. 

Unlocking Creativity Through Engaging Writing Prompts

Writing prompts can also be used for informative and explanatory writing but as discussed already, they play a pivotal role in fostering creativity. In fact, engaging writing prompts are a powerful tool that can unlock the doors to imaginative thinking and self-expression. Let’s take a closer look at the creative benefits of using engaging writing prompts :

Encouraging Imagination and Originality : Writing prompts challenge students to think beyond the ordinary and come up with original ideas. By exploring diverse topics, they can tap into their unique perspectives and unleash their creativity. 

Inspiring Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills : Some writing prompts present real-life situations or dilemmas, prompting students to analyze and devise solutions. This process nurtures critical thinking abilities, preparing students for future problem-solving challenges.

Promoting Emotional Expression and Empathy : Writing prompts that evoke emotions encourage students to express their feelings and develop empathy toward others. This emotional exploration contributes to their holistic growth as individuals.

Enhancing Communication and Language Abilities : As students respond to writing prompts, they refine their communication skills, learning how to articulate their thoughts effectively. Additionally, they expand their vocabulary and command of the language.

Reinforced Reading Skills : Effective writing prompts can be used to support reading instruction and intervention as well. According to Dr. Jason DeHart in Connecting to the Written Word: Intentional Writing with Older Readers , “Older readers are also keenly aware of their own need for additional support, which can result in avoidance behaviors. Teachers who invite students to comfortably engage in writing and composing can gain knowledge of and build relationships with students who would otherwise stay ‘under the radar.’” From techniques like dialogic reading with young readers to intentional writing with older readers, an integrative approach to reading and writing deepens skill levels and understanding.

Integrating Writing Prompts in the Middle School Curriculum

Integrating creativity and self-expression into the curriculum is a fundamental aspect of nurturing well-rounded and confident individuals. Therefore, the integration of writing prompts in the middle school curriculum is not just about fostering better writers; it’s about empowering students to become effective communicators, critical thinkers, and confident individuals.

Writing prompts can be designed to align with educational standards, ensuring they contribute to the overall learning objectives. Writing prompts can also be tailored to various subjects, making them a versatile tool across the curriculum. 

One of the main concepts that writing reinforces is reading. In The Writing Rope: A Framework for Evidence-Based Writing Instruction podcast episode, Joan Sedita, founder of Keys to Literacy and author of The Writing Rope , explores the notion that writing is a task as complex and multifaceted as reading—but it’s often taught as a single skill. Sedita states, “There is this relationship between reading and writing. And what I found in writing this ( The Writing Rope ) and in the professional development work that I do, is that many of the components that we need to teach to students, skills, strategies, are things that also usually support their reading comprehension.” This is just another reason why writing prompts need to be a foundational part of middle school curriculum. 

Writing Prompt Activities for Middle School Students

Here, we’ve included a list of different writing activities, as well as a specific prompt that can be used with each idea.

Diverse Genre Exploration

Writing prompt activities expose middle school students to various literary genres. This diversity broadens their understanding of the written word and empowers them to find their unique writing voice. 

Some genres students can explore include imaginative fiction, personal reflection, mystery and suspense, historical fiction, and poetry and verse. Through these, students can develop the ability to craft suspenseful plots, create vibrant characters, and build intricate worlds that captivate readers’ imaginations. Moreover, as they step into genres like poetry, they can embrace the rhythmic cadence of language, painting emotions and experiences with words in a way that resonates deeply.

PROMPT : Imagine you have the opportunity to blend two different genres together to create a brand-new story. Choose any two genres (e.g., fantasy, mystery, science fiction, historical fiction, romance, adventure, horror) and combine them in a creative and unexpected way. Write a short story that incorporates elements from both genres.

Imagination Ignited

Prompts that delve into fantastical scenarios, futuristic worlds, or magical realms stimulate students’ imaginations. This activity is especially important for exploring the five senses and having students practice the writing skill of showing, not telling. 

PROMPT : Close your eyes and imagine stepping into an enchanted forest. This forest is no ordinary place—it’s a realm of magic, mystery, and unexpected wonders. As you venture deeper into the forest, describe what you see, hear, and feel. What kind of magical creatures do you encounter? Are there hidden secrets waiting to be discovered? 

Real-Life Relevance

Some prompts present real-life situations or dilemmas relevant to middle school students. Writing about familiar experiences allows students to relate more deeply to the subject matter and encourages them to reflect on their daily lives, maybe even stirring up a favorite memory.

Writing prompt exercises for middle school students go well beyond the boundaries of the classroom, incorporating real-world applicability into the educational process. These activities work as vibrant platforms that help students develop their literary abilities while also forging significant connections with their surroundings. 

PROMPT : Imagine you are a young inventor with a mission to create innovative solutions for a more sustainable future. Choose one real-world environmental challenge, such as plastic pollution, energy conservation, water scarcity, or air quality. Write a persuasive essay explaining your inventive solution to address this challenge. Consider how your solution could make a positive impact on the environment and inspire positive change.

Visual Prompts

Visual prompts, such as pictures or videos, act as powerful catalysts for creativity. These stimuli spark inspiration and help students visualize their ideas, leading to descriptive and vivid writing. A few popular visual prompts for middle school students include: enchanted forest, desert island, abandoned amusement park, hidden doorway, and journey through a wormhole.

PROMPT : Examine the image of a person discovering an object in an unexpected place. It depicts a person stumbling upon an unexpected object in an unlikely place. Write a short story inspired by this limited imagery. Consider who the person is, what the object is, and how they react to this surprising discovery.

Character Building

Writing prompts that focus on character development allow students to create intricate and relatable personas. This activity fosters empathy and an understanding of human emotions and behaviors. Some activities include empathy exploration, personal heroes, character evolution, reflective essays, and acts of kindness narratives. Whether reflecting on real people, analyzing fictional characters, or creating characters of their own, students can think both creatively and critically about the people they experience in the world around them as well as their own character traits. 

PROMPT : Imagine a character who faces a situation that requires immense courage. This could be standing up to a bully, facing a fear, or defending a friend. Write a short story that follows this character’s journey as they navigate their fear and find the inner strength to overcome the challenge. Explore their thoughts, emotions, and the growth they experience along the way.

Time Travel Through History

Historical writing prompts transport students to different eras, enabling them to experience the past through the eyes of historical figures. Such activities blend storytelling with historical context, making history come alive. This offers middle school students a portal to the past and an opportunity to connect with the people and events that have shaped our world. Students can transport themselves to the courts of ancient civilizations, walk alongside figures of significance, and experience pivotal events that have left an indelible mark.

PROMPT : Imagine you have a time machine that can transport you to any ancient civilization in history. Choose a specific civilization (e.g., Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, the Mayan Civilization) and write a detailed account of a day in the life of a young person living during that time. Describe their surroundings, daily activities, challenges, and interactions with others. What do they eat? What do they wear? What adventures do they embark on? 

Writing in Different Tenses and Points of View

Writing prompt activities that require students to experiment with different tenses and points of view expand their narrative skills. From the immediacy of the present tense to the reflective nature of the past tense, and even the speculative intrigue of the future tense, each tense holds a unique charm that can transform a narrative’s tone and texture. This practice prepares them for tackling complex storytelling techniques.

The choice of point of view shapes the reader’s connection to characters and events. Middle school students can experiment with different perspectives, forging intimate bonds or granting omniscient insight that illuminate the narrative in distinct ways. As they use writing prompt activities, let students explore tenses and perspectives. For example, students may be asked to write from the perspective of a best friend, family member, famous person, or main character. By doing so, they not only refine their writing skills but also cultivate empathy for others, new facts or information, and an appreciation for the language.

PROMPT : Write a short story about an unforgettable adventure. Start by describing the adventure in the first person, using the present tense to immerse the reader in the moment. Then, switch to the third person and past tense to recount the same adventure from an outsider’s perspective. Compare the two versions, considering how the choice of tense and point of view impacts the reader’s experience.

Nature and Environmental Themes

Writing prompts inspired by nature and environmental themes promote ecological awareness and encourage students to contemplate their relationship with the natural world. Some nature and environmental themes to spark imaginative writing activities for middle school students include eco-friendly adventures, a letter to future generations, an imaginary ecosystem, an unexpected encounter, and a day without technology.

PROMPT : Step into the shoes of a young explorer who enters a mystical forest known as “The Whispering Woods.” This forest is said to hold ancient secrets and a strong connection to nature. Write a short story that captures your journey through the woods, describing the sights, sounds, and encounters you experience.

The power of writing prompts for middle school students goes beyond honing writing skills; it encourages them to explore their thoughts, express their creativity, and develop a strong voice in the world of words. By providing a diverse array of prompts that resonate with their interests, challenges, and curiosities, educators can inspire young minds to embark on literary journeys filled with self-discovery and growth.

Voyager Sopris Learning’s writing instruction programs include engaging writing prompts and provide an explicit, multisensory approach to writing instruction. For example, Step Up to Writing ® instructional strategies help students understand the importance of each step in the writing process for increased writing success in all content areas. Download free Step Up to Writing lesson samples to explore the program.

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Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, sat essay prompts: the complete list.

SAT Writing , SAT Essay


On every SAT Essay, you'll have to read an argument meant to persuade a broad audience and discuss how well the author argues his or her point. The passage you'll have to read will change from test to test, but you'll always need to analyze the author's argument and write a coherent and organized essay explaining this analysis.

In this article, we've compiled a list of the 14 real SAT essay prompts that the College Board has released (either in The Official SAT Study Guide or separately online) for the new SAT. This is the most comprehensive set of new SAT essay prompts online today.

At the end of this article, we'll also guide you through how to get the most out of these prompts and link to our expert resources on acing the SAT essay. I'll discuss how the SAT essay prompts are valuable not just because they give you a chance to write a practice essay, but because of what they reveal about the essay task itself.

UPDATE: SAT Essay No Longer Offered

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In January 2021, the College Board announced that after June 2021, it would no longer offer the Essay portion of the SAT (except at schools who opt in during School Day Testing). It is now no longer possible to take the SAT Essay, unless your school is one of the small number who choose to offer it during SAT School Day Testing.

While most colleges had already made SAT Essay scores optional, this move by the College Board means no colleges now require the SAT Essay. It will also likely lead to additional college application changes such not looking at essay scores at all for the SAT or ACT, as well as potentially requiring additional writing samples for placement.

What does the end of the SAT Essay mean for your college applications? Check out our article on the College Board's SAT Essay decision for everything you need to know.

SAT essay prompts always keep to the same basic format. Not only is the prompt format consistent from test to test, but what you're actually asked to do (discuss how an author builds an argument) also remains the same across different test administrations.

The College Board's predictability with SAT essay helps students focus on preparing for the actual analytical task, rather than having to think up stuff on their feet. Every time, before the passage, you'll see the following:

  • evidence, such as facts or examples, to support claims.
  • reasoning to develop ideas and to connect claims and evidence.
  • stylistic or persuasive elements, such as word choice or appeals to emotion, to add power to the ideas expressed.

And after the passage, you'll see this:

"Write an essay in which you explain how [the author] builds an argument to persuade [her/his] audience that [whatever the author is trying to argue for]. In your essay, analyze how [the author] uses one or more of the features listed in the box above (or features of your own choice) to strengthen the logic and persuasiveness of his argument. Be sure that your analysis focuses on the most relevant features of the passage.

Your essay should not explain whether you agree with [the author]'s claims, but rather explain how [the author] builds an argument to persuade [her/his/their] audience."

Now that you know the format, let's look at the SAT essay prompts list.

14 Official SAT Essay Prompts

The College Board has released a limited number of prompts to help students prep for the essay. We've gathered them for you here, all in one place. We'll be sure to update this article as more prompts are released for practice and/or as more tests are released.

SPOILER ALERT : Since these are the only essay prompts that have been released so far, you may want to be cautious about spoiling them for yourself, particularly if you are planning on taking practice tests under real conditions . This is why I've organized the prompts by the 10 that are in the practice tests (so you can avoid them if need be), the ones that are available online as sample prompts, and the ones that are in the text of the Official SAT Study Guide (Redesigned SAT), all online for free.

Practice Test Prompts

These 10 prompts are taken from the practice tests that the College Board has released.

Practice Test 1 :

"Write an essay in which you explain how Jimmy Carter builds an argument to persuade his audience that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should not be developed for industry."

Practice Test 2 :

"Write an essay in which you explain how Martin Luther King Jr. builds an argument to persuade his audience that American involvement in the Vietnam War is unjust."

Practice Test 3 :

"Write an essay in which you explain how Eliana Dockterman builds an argument to persuade her audience that there are benefits to early exposure to technology."

Practice Test 4 :

"Write an essay in which you explain how Paul Bogard builds an argument to persuade his audience that natural darkness should be preserved."

Practice Test 5 :

"Write an essay in which you explain how Eric Klinenberg builds an argument to persuade his audience that Americans need to greatly reduce their reliance on air-conditioning."

Practice Test 6 :

"Write an essay in which you explain how Christopher Hitchens builds an argument to persuade his audience that the original Parthenon sculptures should be returned to Greece."

Practice Test 7 :

"Write an essay in which you explain how Zadie Smith builds an argument to persuade her audience that public libraries are important and should remain open"

Practice Test 8 :

"Write an essay in which you explain how Bobby Braun builds an argument to persuade his audience that the US government must continue to invest in NASA."

Practice Test 9 :

"Write an essay in which you explain how Todd Davidson builds an argument to persuade his audience that the US government must continue to fund national parks."

Practice Test 10 :

"Write an essay in which you explain how Richard Schiffman builds an argument to persuade his audience that Americans need to work fewer hours."

Special note: The prompt for Practice Test 4 also appears on the College Board's site with real sample essays written in response. If you've written a practice essay for practice test 4 and want to see what essays of different score levels look like for that particular prompt, you can go there and look at eight real student essays.


Free Online Practice

This prompt comes from the College Board website .

"Write an essay in which you explain how Dana Gioia builds an argument to persuade his audience that the decline of reading in America will have a negative effect on society."

This prompt comes from Khan Academy , where it is listed as an alternate essay prompt to go along with Practice Test 2:

"Write an essay in which you explain how Leo W. Gerard builds an argument to persuade his audience that American colleges and universities should be affordable for all students."

The Official SAT Study Guide 2020

The Official SAT Study Guide (editions published in 2015 and later available online for free) contains all 10 of the previously mentioned practice tests at the end of the book. In the section about the new SAT essay , however, there are two additional sample essay prompts (accompanied by articles to analyze).

Sample Prompt 1:

"Write an essay in which you explain how Peter S. Goodman builds an argument to persuade his audience that news organizations should increase the amount of professional foreign news coverage provided to people in the United States."

Sample Prompt 2:

"Write an essay in which you explain how Adam B. Summers builds an argument to persuade his audience that plastic shopping bags should not be banned."


Ready to go beyond just reading about the SAT? Then you'll love the free five-day trial for our SAT Complete Prep program . Designed and written by PrepScholar SAT experts , our SAT program customizes to your skill level in over 40 subskills so that you can focus your studying on what will get you the biggest score gains.

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How Do You Get the Most Out of These Prompts?

Now that you have all the prompts released by the College Board, it's important to know the best way to use them. Make sure you have a good balance between quality and quantity, and don't burn through all 14 of the real prompts in a row— take the time to learn from your experiences writing the practice essays.

Step By Step Guide on How to Practice Using the Article

#1: Understand how the SAT essay is graded .

#2: Follow along as we write a high-scoring SAT essay, step by step .

#3: Plan a set of features you'll look for in the SAT essay readings and practice writing about them fluidly. This doesn't just mean identifying a technique, like asking a rhetorical question, but explaining why it is persuasive and what effect it has on the reader in the context of a particular topic. We have more information on this step in our article about 6 SAT persuasive devices you can use .

#4: Choose a prompt at random from above, or choose a topic that you think is going to be hard for you to detach from (because you'll want to write about the topic, rather than the argument) set timer to 50 minutes and write the essay. No extra time allowed!

#5: Grade the essay, using the official essay rubric to give yourself a score out of 8 in the reading, analysis, and writing sections.

#6: Repeat steps 4 and 5. Choose the prompts you think will be the hardest for you so that you can so that you're prepared for the worst when the test day comes

#7: If you run out of official prompts to practice with, use the official prompts as models to find examples of other articles you could write about . Start by looking for op-ed articles in online news publications like The New York Times, The Atlantic, LA Times , and so on. For instance, the passage about the plastic bag ban in California (Official SAT Study Guide sample essay prompt 2, above) has a counterpoint here —you could try analyzing and writing about that article as well.

Any additional articles you use for practice on the SAT essay must match the following criteria:

  • ideally 650-750 words , although it'll be difficult to find an op-ed piece that's naturally that short. Try to aim for nothing longer than 2000 words, though, or the scope of the article is likely to be wider than anything you'll encounter on the SAT.
  • always argumentative/persuasive . The author (or authors) is trying to get readers to agree with a claim or idea being put forward.
  • always intended for a wide audience . All the information you need to deconstruct the persuasiveness of the argument is in the passage. This means that articles with a lot of technical jargon that's not explained in the article are not realistic passage to practice with.

What's Next?

We've written a ton of helpful resources on the SAT essay. I f you're just getting started, we recommend beginning with our top SAT essay tips for a quick overview of the essay task and what you need to know.

A little more familiar with the SAT essay but still not quite sure how to write one? Follow along with our step-by-step guide to writing the SAT essay .

Looking to earn a high score? Learn what it takes to get the highest score possible on the SAT essay here .

Plus, if you want a reference linking you to all of our great articles on the SAT essay, be sure to check out our ultimate SAT essay guide .

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points?

Check out our best-in-class online SAT prep program. We guarantee your money back if you don't improve your SAT score by 160 points or more.

Our program is entirely online, and it customizes your prep program to your strengths and weaknesses. We also have expert instructors who can grade every one of your practice SAT essays, giving feedback on how to improve your score.

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Laura graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College with a BA in Music and Psychology, and earned a Master's degree in Composition from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She scored 99 percentile scores on the SAT and GRE and loves advising students on how to excel in high school.

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Student Opinion

310 Prompts for Argumentative Writing

Questions on everything from mental health and sports to video games and dating. Which ones inspire you to take a stand?

Breanna Campbell and Nathaniel Esubonteng, in “Vote 16” sweatshirts, are interviewed by a television reporter at Newark City Hall.

By Natalie Proulx

Does social media harm young people’s mental health? Do video games deserve the bad rap they often get? Should parents track their children? Who is the greatest athlete of all time?

Every school day, we publish new questions for students based on the news of the day, including prompts, like these, that inspire persuasive writing.

Below, we’ve rounded up over 300 of those argumentative prompts, organized by topic, all in one place. They cover everything from parenting and schools to music and social media. Each one, drawn from our Student Opinion column , links to a free New York Times article as well as additional subquestions that can help you think more deeply about it.

You can use these prompts however you like, whether to inspire an entry for our new Open Letter Contest , to hone your persuasive writing skills or simply to share your opinions on the issues of today. So scroll through the list below and see which ones inspire you to take a stand.

If you enjoy these questions, know that you can find all of our argumentative writing prompts, as they publish, here . Students 13 and up from anywhere in the world are invited to comment.

Argumentative Prompt Topics

Technology and social media, college, work and money, health and relationships, gender and race, arts and entertainment, parenting and childhood, government and politics, animals, science and time.

Social Media

1. Does Social Media Harm Young People’s Mental Health? 2. How Much Should Speech Be Moderated on Social Media? 3. Should the United States Ban TikTok? 4. How Young Is Too Young to Use Social Media? 5. Should Kids Be Social Media Influencers? 6. What Should Be Done to Protect Children Online? 7. Should There Be Separate Social Media Apps for Children? 8. Are You a Fan of ‘School Accounts’ on Social Media? 9. Will Social Media Help or Hurt Your College and Career Goals? 10. Is It Ever OK to Use Strangers as Content for Social Media?

Phones and Devices

11. Should More Teenagers Ditch Their Smartphones? 12. Should the Adults in Your Life Be Worried by How Much You Use Your Phone? 13. Should Phones Ever Be a Part of Family or Holiday Gatherings? 14. What Are Your Texting Dos and Don’ts? 15. Does Grammar Still Matter in the Age of Twitter? 16. Is Your Phone Love Hurting Your Relationships? 17. Should Texting While Driving Be Treated Like Drunken Driving? 18. How Young Is Too Young for an Apple Watch?

The Internet

19. Do Memes Make the Internet a Better Place? 20. How Excited Are You About the Metaverse? 21. Should Websites Force Users to Prove How Old They Are? 22. What Is the Best Way to Stop Abusive Language Online? 23. How Do You Feel About Cancel Culture? 24. Does Online Public Shaming Prevent Us From Being Able to Grow and Change? 25. Do You Think Online Conspiracy Theories Can Be Dangerous? 26. Does Technology Make Us More Alone?

School Discipline and Attendance

27. Should Schools Ban Cellphones? 28. How Should Schools Hold Students Accountable for Hurting Others? 29. What Are Your Thoughts on Uniforms and Strict Dress Codes? 30. Should Schools Test Their Students for Nicotine and Drug Use? 31. How Can Schools Engage Students Who Are at Risk of Dropping Out? 32. Should Students Be Allowed to Miss School for Mental Health Reasons? 33. Should Your School Day Start Later? 34. Should There Still Be Snow Days? 35. Do Kids Need Recess? 36. Should Students Be Punished for Not Having Lunch Money?

School Quality and Effectiveness

37. How Do You Think American Education Could Be Improved? 38. Do Schools Need to Do More to Hold Students Accountable? 39. Are Straight A’s Always a Good Thing? 40. Should Students Have the Same Teachers Year After Year? 41. Do Teachers Assign Too Much Homework? 42. Should We Get Rid of Homework? 43. Should We Eliminate Gifted and Talented Programs? 44. Is It Time to Get Rid of Timed Tests? 45. What Role Should Textbooks Play in Education? 46. How Should Senior Year in High School Be Spent? 47. Does Your School Need More Money? 48. Do School Employees Deserve More Respect — and Pay? 49. Should Public Preschool Be a Right for All Children?

Teaching and Learning

50. Do You Think We Need to Change the Way Math Is Taught? 51. Should Financial Literacy Be a Required Course in School? 52. Should Schools Teach Students Kitchen and Household Skills? 53. Do We Need Better Music Education? 54. What Are the Most Important Things Students Should Learn in School? 55. What Is the Purpose of Teaching U.S. History? 56. Do Schools Need to Do More to Support Visual Thinkers? 57. Is School a Place for Self-Expression? 58. Should Media Literacy Be a Required Course in School? 59. Can Empathy Be Taught? Should Schools Try to Help Us Feel One Another’s Pain? 60. Should Schools Teach You How to Be Happy? 61. Should All Schools Teach Cursive? 62. Should Kids Still Learn to Tell Time? 63. How Important Is Knowing a Foreign Language

Technology in School

64. How Should Schools Respond to ChatGPT? 65. Does Learning to Be a Good Writer Still Matter in the Age of A.I.? 66. Is Online Learning Effective? 67. Should Students Be Monitored When Taking Online Tests? 68. Should Schools Be Able to Discipline Students for What They Say on Social Media? 69. Can Social Media Be a Tool for Learning and Growth in Schools? 70. Should Facial Recognition Technology Be Used in Schools? 71. Is Live-Streaming Classrooms a Good Idea? 72. Should Teachers and Professors Ban Student Use of Laptops in Class? 73. Are the Web Filters at Your School Too Restrictive?

Education Politics

74. Do You Feel Your School and Teachers Welcome Both Conservative and Liberal Points of View? 75. Should Students Learn About Climate Change in School? 76. Should Teachers Provide Trigger Warnings for ‘Traumatic Content’? 77. Should Teachers Be Allowed to Wear Political Symbols? 78. What Do You Think About Efforts to Ban Books From School Libraries? 79. What Is Your Reaction to the Growing Fight Over What Young People Can Read? 80. What Do You Think About the Controversy Surrounding the New A.P. Course on African American Studies? 81. Should Schools or Employers Be Allowed to Tell People How They Should Wear Their Hair? 82. Does Prayer Have Any Place in Public Schools? 83. Should Schools Be Allowed to Censor Student Newspapers?

College Admissions

84. Should Colleges Consider Standardized Tests in Admissions? 85. Should Students Let ChatGPT Help Them Write Their College Essays? 86. What Is Your Reaction to the End of Race-Based Affirmative Action in College Admissions? 87. Are Early-Decision Programs Unfair? Should Colleges Do Away With Them? 88. Is the College Admissions Process Fair? 89. How Much Do You Think It Matters Where You Go to College? 90. Should Everyone Go to College? 91. Should College Be Free? 92. Is Student Debt Worth It? 93. Should High Schools Post Their Annual College Lists?

Campus Life

94. What Should Free Speech Look Like on Campus? 95. Should Greek Life on College Campuses Come to an End? 96. Should Universities Work to Curtail Student Drinking? 97. How Should the Problem of Sexual Assault on Campuses Be Addressed? 98. Are Lavish Amenities on College Campuses Useful or Frivolous? 99. Should ‘Despised Dissenters’ Be Allowed to Speak on College Campuses? 100. Should Emotional Support Animals Be Allowed on College Campuses?

Jobs and Careers

101. Is High School a Good Time to Train for a Career? 102. Is There Such a Thing as a ‘Useless’ College Major? 103. Should All High School Students Have Part-Time Jobs? 104. Should National Service Be Required for All Young Americans? 105. Is It OK to Use Family Connections to Get a Job?

Money and Business

106. Do You Think the American Dream Is Real? 107. Should All Young People Learn How to Invest in the Stock Market? 108. Should We All Go Cashless? 109. When Should You Tip? 110. Should We End the Practice of Tipping? 111. Are You a Crypto Optimist or Skeptic? 112. Do Celebrities and Influencers Make You Want to Buy What They’re Selling? 113. Is $1 Billion Too Much Money for Any One Person to Have? 114. Are C.E.O.s Paid Too Much? 115. Is It Immoral to Increase the Price of Goods During a Crisis? 116. What Should Stores Do With Unsold Goods? 117. Is There a ‘Right Way’ to Be a Tourist? 118. Who Should We Honor on Our Money?

Mental Health

119. Is Teen Mental Health in a State of Crisis? 120. ‘Love-Bombing.’ ‘Gaslighting.’ ‘Victim.’ Is ‘Trauma Talk’ Overused? 121. Does Achieving Success Always Include Being Happy? 122. Is Struggle Essential to Happiness? 123. Should Schools Teach Mindfulness? 124. How Can We Bring an End to the ‘Epidemic of Loneliness’? 125. Does Every Country Need a ‘Loneliness Minister’? 126. What Ideas Do You Have to Bring Your Community Closer Together? 127. Are Emotional-Support Animals a Scam? 128. Is It OK to Laugh During Dark Times?

Dating and Relationships

129. Who Should Pay for Dates? 130. Do Marriage Proposals Still Have a Place in Today’s Society? 131. Should Your Significant Other Be Your Best Friend? 132. How Do You Think Technology Affects Dating?

Physical Health

133. Should Governments Do More to Discourage People From Smoking and Vaping? 134. How Should Adults Talk to Kids About Drugs? 135. Can Laziness Be a Good Thing? 136. Should There Be Requirements for Teens Who Want to Ride E-Bikes? 137. What Advice Should Parents and Counselors Give Teenagers About Sexting? 138. Should All Children Be Vaccinated? 139. Do We Worry Too Much About Germs?

140. Is It Becoming More Acceptable for Men and Boys to Cry? 141. Is It Harder for Men and Boys to Make and Keep Friends? 142. Should Award Shows Eliminate Gendered Categories? 143. Should There Be More Gender Options on Identification Documents? 144. Justice Ginsburg Fought for Gender Equality. How Close Are We to Achieving That Goal? 145. What Should #MeToo Mean for Teenage Boys? 146. What Is Hard About Being a Boy? 147. Should There Be More Boy Dolls? 148. Is Single-Sex Education Still Useful? 149. Are Beauty Pageants Still Relevant? 150. Should Period Products Be Free? 151. What Are Your Thoughts on Last Names? 152. What Rules Should Apply to Transgender Athletes When They Compete? 153. What Is Your Reaction to the Recent Wave of Legislation That Seeks to Regulate the Lives of Transgender Youths? 154. What Do You Wish Lawmakers Knew About How Anti-L.G.B.T.Q. Legislation Affects Teenagers?

Identity, Race and Ethnicity

155. How Should Schools Respond to Racist Jokes? 156. How Should Parents Teach Their Children About Race and Racism? 157. What Is Your Reaction to Efforts to Limit Teaching on Race in Schools? 158. How Should Racial Slurs in Literature Be Handled in the Classroom? 159. Should Confederate Statues Be Removed or Remain in Place? 160. Should We Rename Schools Named for Historical Figures With Ties to Racism, Sexism or Slavery? 161. How Should We Remember the Problematic Actions of the Nation’s Founders? 162. Does the United States Owe Reparations to the Descendants of Enslaved People? 163. What Can History Teach Us About Resilience? 164. Should All Americans Receive Anti-Bias Education? 165. Is Fear of ‘The Other’ Poisoning Public Life? 166. What Stereotypical Characters Make You Cringe? 167. When Talking About Identity, How Much Do Words Matter? 168. How Useful Is It to Be Multilingual?

TV and Movies

169. Is True Crime As a Form of Entertainment Ethical? 170. Should Old TV Shows Be Brought Back? 171. Does Reality TV Deserve Its Bad Rap? 172. How Closely Should Actors’ Identities Reflect the Roles They Play? 173. In the Age of Digital Streaming, Are Movie Theaters Still Relevant? 174. Do We Need More Female Superheroes? 175. Is Hollywood Becoming More Diverse? 176. When Does Lying in Comedy Cross a Line? 177. How Do You Feel About ‘Nepotism Babies’?

Music and Video Games

178. Will A.I. Replace Pop Stars? 179. If Two Songs Sound Alike, Is It Stealing? 180. Should Musicians Be Allowed to Copy or Borrow From Other Artists? 181. How Do You Feel About Censored Music? 182. What Are the Greatest Songs of All Time? 183. Do Video Games Deserve the Bad Rap They Often Get? 184. Should There Be Limits on How Much Time Young People Spend Playing Video Games? 185. Should More Parents Play Video Games With Their Kids?

186. Are A.I.-Generated Pictures Art? 187. What Work of Art Should Your Friends Fall in Love With? 188. If Artwork Offends People, Should It Be Removed? 189. Should Museums Return Looted Artifacts to Their Countries of Origin? 190. Should Art Come With Trigger Warnings? 191. Is the Digital Era Improving or Ruining the Experience of Art? 192. Are Museums Still Important in the Digital Age? 193. Can You Separate Art From the Artist? 194. Are There Subjects That Should Be Off-Limits to Artists, or to Certain Artists in Particular? 195. Should Graffiti Be Protected?

Books and Literature

196. Is Listening to a Book Just as Good as Reading It? 197. Should Classic Children’s Books Be Updated for Today’s Young Readers? 198. Should White Writers Translate a Black Author’s Work? 199. Is There Any Benefit to Reading Books You Hate? 200. Should Libraries Get Rid of Late Fees?

201. What’s the Best — and Worst — Part of Being a Sports Fan? 202. Who Is the GOAT? 203. Do Women’s Sports Deserve More Attention? 204. What Should Be Done About the Gender Pay Gap in Sports? 205. Should Girls and Boys Sports Teams Compete in the Same League? 206. Should More Sports Be Coed? 207. College Athletes Can Now Be Paid. But Not All of Them Are Seeing Money. Is That Fair? 208. Should High School-Age Basketball Players Be Able to Get Paid? 209. Are Some Youth Sports Too Intense? 210. Are Youth Sports Too Competitive? 211. Is It Bad Sportsmanship to Run Up the Score in Youth Sports? 212. Is It Ethical to Be a Football Fan? 213. Does the N.F.L. Have a Race Problem? 214. What New Rules Would Improve Your Favorite Sport? 215. What Sports Deserve More Hype? 216. How Should We Punish Sports Cheaters? 217. Should Technology in Sports Be Limited? 218. Does Better Sports Equipment Unfairly Improve Athletic Ability? 219. Is It Offensive for Sports Teams and Their Fans to Use Native American Names, Imagery and Gestures? 220. Is It Selfish to Pursue Risky Sports Like Extreme Mountain Climbing? 221. Should Cheerleading Be an Olympic Sport?

essay prompts for reading

Related Writing Prompt

222. Should Parents Ever Be Held Responsible for the Harmful Actions of Their Children? 223. Where Is the Line Between Helping a Child Become More Resilient and Pushing Them Too Hard? 224. Should Parents Give Children More Responsibility at Younger Ages? 225. Should Parents Tell Children the Truth About Santa? 226. Should Parents Weigh in on Their Kids’ Dating Lives? 227. Should Parents Track Their Children? 228. How Should Parents Support a Student Who Has Fallen Behind in School? 229. Do Parents Ever Cross a Line by Helping Too Much With Schoolwork? 230. What’s the Best Way to Discipline Children? 231. What Are Your Thoughts on ‘Snowplow Parents’? 232. Should Stay-at-Home Parents Be Paid? 233. Should Parents Bribe Their Children?

Childhood and Growing Up

234. Is It Harder to Grow Up in the 21st Century Than It Was in the Past? 235. Is Childhood Today Over-Supervised? 236. When Do You Become an Adult? 237. Who Should Decide Whether a Teenager Can Get a Tattoo or Piercing? 238. Do We Give Children Too Many Trophies? 239. What Can Older Generations Learn From Gen Z? 240. What Is the Worst Toy Ever?

Legislation and Policy

241. Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished? 242. Should Marijuana Be Legal? 243. Should the United States Decriminalize the Possession of Drugs? 244. What Is Your Reaction to the State of Abortion Rights? 245. Should the Government Cancel Student Debt? 246. Should Public Transit Be Free? 247. Should There Be More Public Restrooms? 248. Should the U.S. Be Doing More to Prevent Child Poverty? 249. Should the Government Provide a Guaranteed Income for Families With Children? 250. Should Law Enforcement Be Able to Use DNA Data From Genealogy Websites for Criminal Investigations?

Gun Violence

251. Are You Concerned About Violence in America? 252. How Should Americans Deal With the Problem of Gun Violence? 253. What Should Lawmakers Do About Guns and Gun Violence? 254. Should the U.S. Ban Military-Style Semiautomatic Weapons? 255. Should Teachers Be Armed With Guns?

Voting and Elections

256. How Much Faith Do You Have in the U.S. Political System? 257. Is the Electoral College a Problem? Does It Need to Be Fixed? 258. Does Everyone Have a Responsibility to Vote? 259. Should We All Be Able to Vote by Mail? 260. Should There Be a Minimum Voting Age? 261. Should the Voting Age Be Lowered to 16? 262. Should Ex-Felons Have the Right to Vote? 263. Are Presidential Debates Helpful to Voters? Or Should They Be Scrapped?

Freedoms and Rights

264. How Important Is Freedom of the Press? 265. Why Does the Right to Protest Matter? 266. Does the U.S. Constitution Need an Equal Rights Amendment? 267. Do You Care Who Sits on the Supreme Court? Should We Care? 268. Should You Have a Right to Be Rude? 269. Should Prisons Offer Incarcerated People Education Opportunities?

Civic Participation

270. Are You Optimistic About the State of the World? 271. If You Could Take On One Problem Facing Our World, What Would It Be? 272. If You Were Mayor, What Problems Facing Your Community Would You Tackle? 273. Do You Think Teenagers Can Make a Difference in the World? 274. Do You Think It Is Important for Teenagers to Participate in Political Activism? 275. Is Your Generation Doing Its Part to Strengthen Our Democracy? 276. How Is Your Generation Changing Politics? 277. Why Is It Important for People With Different Political Beliefs to Talk to Each Other? 278. Are We Being Bad Citizens If We Don’t Keep Up With the News? 279. Why Do Bystanders Sometimes Fail to Help When They See Someone in Danger? 280. When Is It OK to Be a Snitch? 281. Should Reporters Ever Help the People They Are Covering? 282. Should Celebrities Weigh In on Politics? 283. Should Athletes Speak Out On Social and Political Issues? 284. Should Corporations Take Political Stands? 285. What Do You Think the Role of the First Lady — or First Spouse — Should Be Today?

286. Is Animal Testing Ever Justified? 287. What Is Our Responsibility to Lab Animals? 288. What Are Your Thoughts About Hunting Animals? 289. Should We Be Concerned With Where We Get Our Pets? 290. What Do You Think of Pet Weddings? 291. Is It Wrong to Focus on Animal Welfare When Humans Are Suffering? 292. Should We Bring Back Animals From Extinction? 293. Are Zoos Immoral? 294. Do Bugs Deserve More Respect?

Environment and Science

295. What Role Should Young People Play in the Fight Against Climate Change? 296. Should We Be More Optimistic About Efforts to Combat Climate Change? 297. How Far Is Too Far in the Fight Against Climate Change? 298. Should Plastic Bags Be Banned Everywhere? 299. Is It Ethical to Create Genetically Edited Humans? 300. Should We Still Be Sending Astronauts to Space? 301. Do You Think Pluto Should Be a Planet? 302. Should We Treat Robots Like People?

Time and Seasons

303. What Is the Best Month of the Year? What Is the Worst? 304. Would Life Be Better Without Time Zones? 305. Do You Think It Is Time to Get Rid of Daylight Saving Time? 306. When Do Holiday Decorations Go From Festive to Excessive? 307. Should We Rethink Thanksgiving? 308. When Does a Halloween Costume Cross the Line? 309. Should School Be a Place to Celebrate Halloween? 310. Should the Week Be Four Days Instead of Five?

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public and may appear in print.

Find more Student Opinion questions here. Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate these prompts into your classroom.

Natalie Proulx joined The Learning Network as a staff editor in 2017 after working as an English language arts teacher and curriculum writer. More about Natalie Proulx

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100 Best Fun Writing Prompts for 5th Grade: Journal Prompts

Kids Reading Books

  • Prompts for Narrative Essays
  • Prompts for Informative Essay Writing
  • Prompts for Research Writing
  • Funny Fifth Grade Writing Prompts
  • 5th Grade Poetry Writing Prompts
  • Prompts for 5th Grade Fiction Writing
  • 5th Grade Animal Writing Prompts
  • 5th Grade Emotion Writing Prompts
  • Journal Writing Prompts for Fifth Graders
  • 5th Grade Descriptive Writing Prompts

As parents and teachers, we recognize the significance of writing as a fundamental skill that enables children to express their thoughts, emotions, and ideas. However, generating ideas and inspiration for writing can be challenging for many 5th-grade students. To aid students in this process, 5th grade writing prompts prove to be a valuable resource. Furthermore, Science Daily published an article that highlights the crucial connection between handwriting and brain activity. Writing can increase brain activity, leading to better memory retention and cognitive development. This is particularly important for students as it can positively impact their academic performance.

“Writing is the painting of the voice.” – Voltaire

By using writing prompts, children can explore various topics, develop their imagination, and hone their writing skills. In this collection, we have compiled various writing prompts that are engaging, entertaining, and sure to inspire creativity in 5th grade students. This collection has something for everyone: Persuasive writing, descriptive essays, narrative stories, and imaginative writing. Fifth grade journal prompts can help inspire creativity and reflection in their writing. So, let’s get started and explore these exciting 5th Grade writing prompts.

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Explore 5th Grade educational resources !

10 Prompts for Narrative Essays

Writing Narrative Essays? Here Are Ten 5th grade narrative writing prompts:

“A great story can lead us to new worlds, new ideas, and new ways of thinking.” – Neil Gaiman
  • Write about a time when you faced a difficult decision.
  • Imagine you are stranded on a deserted island. Describe what you would do?
  • Create a narrative about a magical adventure.
  • Write about a time when you learned something important.
  • Think about the prospect of time travel. How would you react, and where would you go?
  • Develop a narrative about a superhero you create.
  • Describe a time when you overcame a fear.
  • Imagine you can do whatever you want. Tell me what it would be and how you’d use it.
  • Create a narrative about a day in the life of your pet.
  • Write about a time when you had to stand up for what you believe in.

10 Prompts for Informative Essay Writing

A list of ten 5th grade writing prompts to get you started on an informative essay:

  • Write an essay about a famous person who inspires you.
  • Research and write an essay about a historical event that interests you.
  • Write about the benefits of physical activity and exercise.
  • Write an essay about the effects of technology on society.
  • Research and write an essay about a country you would like to visit.
  • Write about the importance of reading books .
  • Write an essay about the positive and negative effects of social media.
  • Research and write an essay about an animal species that is endangered.
  • Write about the importance of recycling and conserving natural resources.
  • Please write an essay about the role of education in shaping our future.

10 Prompts for Research Writing

Here are ten Research writing prompts for 5th grade:

“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” -Zora Neale Hurston, author and anthropologist.
  • Research and write about your favorite historical figure.
  • Choose a famous landmark and research its history and significance.
  • Investigate and write about an important event in history.
  • Research and write about a unique and interesting animal species.
  • Study and write about famous inventors and their inventions.
  • Research and write about the culture and traditions of a country you are interested in.
  • Explore and write about a current scientific discovery or innovation.
  • Investigate and write about the effects of climate change on a particular region or ecosystem.
  • Research and write about a famous artist and their artwork.
  • Study and write about a significant moment in space exploration history.

10 Funny Fifth Grade Writing Prompts

Kids laughing in a classroom

Here are ten prompts for Fun Writing Prompts for 5th Grade:

  • Write a funny story about a talking animal.
  • Imagine speaking to your pet and writing about what you would say.
  • Write a comic dialog between two unlikely characters.
  • Write a humorous story about a mischievous character getting into trouble.
  • Create a funny story using three random objects.
  • Write a funny kids’ poem . This can be about your favorite food.
  • Imagine a world where everything is opposite, and develop a narrative about it.
  • Develop a narrative about a silly superhero with extraordinary power.
  • Create a funny dialog between a parent and a child.
  • Develop a narrative about a funny and unexpected event that happened to you.

10 5th Grade Poetry Writing Prompts

The following are ten writing topics for 5th graders seeking poetry writing prompts:

  • Write a poem about your favorite season.
  • Imagine you are a raindrop falling from the sky. Write a poem describing your journey.
  • Write a poem about a place that makes you happy.
  • Choose an object in the room and write a poem about it.
  • Write a poem about a dream you had.
  • Create a poem that includes the words “whisper,” “twist,” and “moon.”
  • Write a poem about a memorable moment with a friend.
  • Describe a beautiful sunset in a poem.
  • Write a poem about the ocean and all its wonders.
  • Create a poem about your favorite animal.

10 Prompts for 5th Grade Fiction Writing

Opinion writing prompts 5th grade to help encourage critical thinking and self-expression in young students. Here are ten 5th grade writing prompt ideas to get them started:

  • Create a story about a mysterious package that arrives in the mail.
  • Develop a narrative about a person who can time travel.
  • Create a story about a magic tree that grants wishes.
  • Imagine being lost in the forest and creating a story about your adventure.
  • Develop a narrative about a group of friends who discover a hidden treasure.
  • Create a story about a person who can talk to animals.
  • Create a narrative about a family vacation gone wrong.
  • Imagine you could shrink to the size of an ant. Develop a narrative about your adventures.
  • Create a story about a person who wakes up one day with superpowers.
  • Develop a narrative about a group of people stranded on a deserted island.

10 5th Grade Animal Writing Prompts

Here are ten writing ideas for 5th grade for animal-themed assignments:

  • If you could be any animal for a day, which animal would you choose and why?
  • Create a narrative told from the point of view of a bear family as they emerge from their hibernation period.
  • Describe the life of a whale in the deep sea.
  • Write a persuasive essay on why zoos are important for conserving endangered animals.
  • Describe the life of a squirrel gathering nuts for winter.
  • Write a fictional story about a fox trying to outsmart a group of chickens.
  • Describe the life of a butterfly from caterpillar to butterfly.
  • Write a research paper on the migration patterns of birds.
  • Describe the life of a lion in the savannah.
  • Write a poem about the beauty of nature and the animals that live in it.

10 5th Grade Emotion Writing Prompts

Here are ten prompts for 5th grade writing prompts About Emotion:

  • Describe a moment when you experienced a strong sense of self-satisfaction and accomplishment.
  • Describe a moment when you felt scared and how you overcame your fear.
  • Create a narrative about a character who overcomes a difficult challenge.
  • Describe a time when you felt happy for someone else.
  • Write a letter to your future self about your dreams and aspirations.
  • Describe a time when you felt angry and how you managed your anger.
  • Develop a narrative about a character who learns the importance of forgiveness.
  • Describe a moment when you felt grateful for something or someone.
  • Write a poem about the different emotions that people feel.
  • Describe when you felt sad and how you coped with your sadness.

10 Journal Writing Prompts for Fifth Graders

The following are ten suggestions for 5th grade journal prompts to use:

  • Describe an instance where you successfully conquered a challenging obstacle.
  • Describe a moment when you felt proud of yourself and why.
  • Write about a place that is special to you and why it is important.
  • Describe a time when you helped someone else and how it made you feel.
  • Write about your favorite book and what you learned from it.
  • Describe an instance where you made a mistake and what you learned from it.
  • Write about a person who inspires you and why.
  • Describe a time when you felt grateful for something or someone.
  • Write about your favorite hobby and why you enjoy it.
  • Describe when you tried something new and what you learned from the experience.

When choosing 5th grade journal topics, consider selecting prompts that encourage students to explore their interests, emotions, and experiences in a safe and supportive environment.

10 5th Grade Descriptive Writing Prompts

Here are ten topics to consider when looking for descriptive writing prompts for 5th grade:

  • Describe your favorite outdoor place and explain why it is special to you.
  • Write a descriptive paragraph about a delicious meal you recently enjoyed.
  • Imagine you’re walking through a spooky forest. Describe what you see, hear, and feel.
  • Describe the view from your bedroom window. What can you see in the distance?
  • Write a paragraph describing a character from your favorite book. What do they look like, and what makes them interesting?
  • Describe your dream bedroom. What colors would you use, and what kind of furniture would you have?
  • Imagine you’re on a deserted island. Describe the island and the environment around you.
  • Write a paragraph describing a memorable moment from a family vacation.
  • Describe a special item you keep in your room. Why is it important to you?
  • Imagine you’re in a bustling city. Describe the sights, sounds, and smells you experience.

Encourage Fifth Graders in Becoming Writers

Writing is a significant skill that is essential for communication, expression, and personal growth. As highlighted in an article published by UCONN , writing prompts play a crucial role in engaging students’ interest in a particular topic and encouraging them to write thoughtfully and creatively. While effective prompts should introduce and limit the writing topic, they should also provide clear instructions about the writing task. It is imperative to equip 5th graders with resources and guidance to help them develop their writing skills. 

Educators and parents can provide 5th grade journal prompts and creative exercises to assist students in exploring various forms of writing and finding their unique voice. Additionally, feedback and constructive criticism can help students improve their strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, teaching 5th graders to write improves their academic and personal lives by promoting self-expression, creativity, and critical thinking.

Fifth Grade Writing Prompts for Developing Young Writers

Teacher Teaching in Classroom

5th-grade writing prompts can be a powerful tool for parents and teachers to help students develop their writing skills and creativity. By providing a starting point for writing, prompts can help students overcome writer’s block and find inspiration for their ideas. The prompts in this collection cover a wide range of topics and genres, encouraging students to explore their interests and experiences through writing.

“A well-crafted writing prompt can spark creativity and lead to a deeper understanding of oneself and the world around us.” – Laura Robb

Parents and teachers can inspire students to develop regular writing habits and enhance their skills by utilizing 5th grade journal prompts. According to an article published by the Journal of Instructional Research , both approaches of writing i.e. direct and indirect, have positive effects on students’ writing abilities. This article dived into exploring these approaches for promoting writing. The direct approach focuses on teaching writing skills explicitly and providing feedback on children writing. The indirect approach, on the other hand, emphasizes creating a supportive environment that encourages writing.

We can motivate students to write on a variety of topics, experiment with different writing styles, and share their work with others. By nurturing a passion for writing, we can help our students become confident, creative, and effective communicators. Why not give these prompts a try and see where they take you? Let’s encourage our young writers to unleash their creativity and express themselves through the power of writing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are these prompts suitable for all 5th class students.

These 5th grade writing prompts are designed to be accessible to most students, but they may need to be modified or adapted for students with special needs or English language learners.

How can I implement these ideas into my lesson plans?

Creative writing prompts 5th grade to use it for anything from journal entries to class discussions. Teachers can also have their students use these as a springboard for creative thinking and topic development.

Can these prompts be used for other grade levels?

Yes, many of these prompts can be adapted for other grade levels depending on the level of complexity and difficulty. Teachers can also modify the prompts better to fit the interests and abilities of their students.

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  • Importance Of Reading Essay

Importance of Reading Essay

500+ words essay on reading.

Reading is a key to learning. It’s a skill that everyone should develop in their life. The ability to read enables us to discover new facts and opens the door to a new world of ideas, stories and opportunities. We can gather ample information and use it in the right direction to perform various tasks in our life. The habit of reading also increases our knowledge and makes us more intellectual and sensible. With the help of this essay on the Importance of Reading, we will help you know the benefits of reading and its various advantages in our life. Students must go through this essay in detail, as it will help them to create their own essay based on this topic.

Importance of Reading

Reading is one of the best hobbies that one can have. It’s fun to read different types of books. By reading the books, we get to know the people of different areas around the world, different cultures, traditions and much more. There is so much to explore by reading different books. They are the abundance of knowledge and are best friends of human beings. We get to know about every field and area by reading books related to it. There are various types of books available in the market, such as science and technology books, fictitious books, cultural books, historical events and wars related books etc. Also, there are many magazines and novels which people can read anytime and anywhere while travelling to utilise their time effectively.

Benefits of Reading for Students

Reading plays an important role in academics and has an impactful influence on learning. Researchers have highlighted the value of developing reading skills and the benefits of reading to children at an early age. Children who cannot read well at the end of primary school are less likely to succeed in secondary school and, in adulthood, are likely to earn less than their peers. Therefore, the focus is given to encouraging students to develop reading habits.

Reading is an indispensable skill. It is fundamentally interrelated to the process of education and to students achieving educational success. Reading helps students to learn how to use language to make sense of words. It improves their vocabulary, information-processing skills and comprehension. Discussions generated by reading in the classroom can be used to encourage students to construct meanings and connect ideas and experiences across texts. They can use their knowledge to clear their doubts and understand the topic in a better way. The development of good reading habits and skills improves students’ ability to write.

In today’s world of the modern age and digital era, people can easily access resources online for reading. The online books and availability of ebooks in the form of pdf have made reading much easier. So, everyone should build this habit of reading and devote at least 30 minutes daily. If someone is a beginner, then they can start reading the books based on the area of their interest. By doing so, they will gradually build up a habit of reading and start enjoying it.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Importance of Reading Essay

What is the importance of reading.

1. Improves general knowledge 2. Expands attention span/vocabulary 3. Helps in focusing better 4. Enhances language proficiency

What is the power of reading?

1. Develop inference 2. Improves comprehension skills 3. Cohesive learning 4. Broadens knowledge of various topics

How can reading change a student’s life?

1. Empathy towards others 2. Acquisition of qualities like kindness, courtesy

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Reading Practices for Assignment Prompts

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Understanding Writing Assignments: Reading Practices

This resource provides student-writers with a toolkit to help them better understand writing assignments and writing prompts at the university level. It begins with a clear overview of strategies to help with writing assignments. It also includes a number of annotated assignment sheets.

Part of understanding what the assignment asks is to practice careful reading skills to ensure that you know what each part of the prompt says. Below are some suggestions for careful reading that should help you to understand assignment prompts from any course.

Read the Prompt More Than Once

Read through the assignment prompt at least twice . The first time, mark any words or phrases that you don’t understand, then attempt to use context clues or use other resources to figure out what they mean. Once you figure out those missing pieces, read the prompt again. This time, mark the key ideas with a different color of pen. This will allow you to make sure that you understand all of the parts of the assignment, and that you focus on the important aspects of the prompt.

Notice the Important or Key Phrases

Finding the key goal for an assignment is often the first and most difficult step when reading an assignment prompt. One way to begin is to find all of the verbs in the prompt, because the verbs will give you directions.

Some commonly used verbs used or tasks in assignment prompts are:

*Genres adapted from Genre, Style and Writing (Purdue OWL).

Each of these terms can mean something slightly different, depending on the context of the course and the assignment. Again, ask your instructor if you are not sure what the assignment asks you to do.

Questions to Ask Yourself

As you read (or re-read) the prompt, it is always good to write down questions, concerns, or thoughts that you have about the assignment so that you don’t forget them later.

There are also some questions that you should ask after you have finished reading the prompt, to check for comprehension.

• What am I being asked to do?

• Who is my audience?

• What sources or ideas do I need to include?

• How can I schedule my writing time (including research time, if applicable) around my own schedule?

• What concepts do I need to hone in on to understand?

For more information on this topic, click here .

After You Read the Prompt

Sometimes, after you read an assignment prompt, you have a lot of ideas in your head—and sometimes, not very many at all. So, it can be beneficial to engage in some pre-writing activities that can help you come up with some initial ideas about your essay.

You could…

• Write a list of everything you know about the topic

• Compose as many questions as you can about the topic and begin to try and answer them

• Search online for information about the topic

More suggestions can be found by clicking here .


Should college essays touch on race? Some feel the affirmative action ruling leaves them no choice

The Associated Press

March 27, 2024, 2:51 PM

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essay prompts for reading

CHICAGO (AP) — When she started writing her college essay, Hillary Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. About being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana and growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. About hardship and struggle.

Then she deleted it all.

“I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping,” said the 18-year-old senior at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago. “And I’m just like, this doesn’t really say anything about me as a person.”

When the Supreme Court ended affirmative action in higher education, it left the college essay as one of few places where race can play a role in admissions decisions. For many students of color, instantly more was riding on the already high-stakes writing assignment. Some say they felt pressure to exploit their hardships as they competed for a spot on campus.

Amofa was just starting to think about her essay when the court issued its decision, and it left her with a wave of questions. Could she still write about her race? Could she be penalized for it? She wanted to tell colleges about her heritage but she didn’t want to be defined by it.

In English class, Amofa and her classmates read sample essays that all seemed to focus on some trauma or hardship. It left her with the impression she had to write about her life’s hardest moments to show how far she’d come. But she and some of her classmates wondered if their lives had been hard enough to catch the attention of admissions offices.

“For a lot of students, there’s a feeling of, like, having to go through something so horrible to feel worthy of going to school, which is kind of sad,” said Amofa, the daughter of a hospital technician and an Uber driver.

This year’s senior class is the first in decades to navigate college admissions without affirmative action . The Supreme Court upheld the practice in decisions going back to the 1970s, but this court’s conservative supermajority found it is unconstitutional for colleges to give students extra weight because of their race alone.

Still, the decision left room for race to play an indirect role: Chief Justice John Roberts wrote universities can still consider how an applicant’s life was shaped by their race, “so long as that discussion is concretely tied to a quality of character or unique ability.”

“A benefit to a student who overcame racial discrimination, for example, must be tied to that student’s courage and determination,” he wrote.

Scores of colleges responded with new essay prompts asking about students’ backgrounds. Brown University asked applicants how “an aspect of your growing up has inspired or challenged you.” Rice University asked students how their perspectives were shaped by their “background, experiences, upbringing, and/or racial identity.”


When Darrian Merritt started writing his essay, he knew the stakes were higher than ever because of the court’s decision. His first instinct was to write about events that led to him going to live with his grandmother as a child.

Those were painful memories, but he thought they might play well at schools like Yale, Stanford and Vanderbilt.

“I feel like the admissions committee might expect a sob story or a tragic story,” said Merritt, a senior in Cleveland. “And if you don’t provide that, then maybe they’re not going to feel like you went through enough to deserve having a spot at the university. I wrestled with that a lot.”

He wrote drafts focusing on his childhood, but it never amounted to more than a collection of memories. Eventually he abandoned the idea and aimed for an essay that would stand out for its positivity.

Merritt wrote about a summer camp where he started to feel more comfortable in his own skin. He described embracing his personality and defying his tendency to please others. The essay had humor — it centered on a water gun fight where he had victory in sight but, in a comedic twist, slipped and fell. But the essay also reflects on his feelings of not being “Black enough” and getting made fun of for listening to “white people music.”

“I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to write this for me, and we’re just going to see how it goes,’” he said. “It just felt real, and it felt like an honest story.”

The essay describes a breakthrough as he learned “to take ownership of myself and my future by sharing my true personality with the people I encounter. … I realized that the first chapter of my own story had just been written.”


Like many students, Max Decker of Portland, Oregon, had drafted a college essay on one topic, only to change direction after the Supreme Court ruling in June.

Decker initially wrote about his love for video games. In a childhood surrounded by constant change, navigating his parents’ divorce, the games he took from place to place on his Nintendo DS were a source of comfort.

But the essay he submitted to colleges focused on the community he found through Word is Bond, a leadership group for young Black men in Portland.

As the only biracial, Jewish kid with divorced parents in a predominantly white, Christian community, Decker wrote he constantly felt like the odd one out. On a trip with Word is Bond to Capitol Hill, he and friends who looked just like him shook hands with lawmakers. The experience, he wrote, changed how he saw himself.

“It’s because I’m different that I provide something precious to the world, not the other way around,” he wrote.

As a first-generation college student, Decker thought about the subtle ways his peers seemed to know more about navigating the admissions process . They made sure to get into advanced classes at the start of high school, and they knew how to secure glowing letters of recommendation.

If writing about race would give him a slight edge and show admissions officers a fuller picture of his achievements, he wanted to take that small advantage.

His first memory about race, Decker said, was when he went to get a haircut in elementary school and the barber made rude comments about his curly hair. Until recently, the insecurity that moment created led him to keep his hair buzzed short.

Through Word is Bond, Decker said he found a space to explore his identity as a Black man. It was one of the first times he was surrounded by Black peers and saw Black role models. It filled him with a sense of pride in his identity. No more buzzcut.

The pressure to write about race involved a tradeoff with other important things in his life, Decker said. That included his passion for journalism, like the piece he wrote on efforts to revive a once-thriving Black neighborhood in Portland. In the end, he squeezed in 100 characters about his journalism under the application’s activities section.

“My final essay, it felt true to myself. But the difference between that and my other essay was the fact that it wasn’t the truth that I necessarily wanted to share,” said Decker, whose top college choice is Tulane, in New Orleans, because of the region’s diversity. “It felt like I just had to limit the truth I was sharing to what I feel like the world is expecting of me.”


Before the Supreme Court ruling, it seemed a given to Imani Laird that colleges would consider the ways that race had touched her life. But now, she felt like she had to spell it out.

As she started her essay, she reflected on how she had faced bias or felt overlooked as a Black student in predominantly white spaces.

There was the year in math class when the teacher kept calling her by the name of another Black student. There were the comments that she’d have an easier time getting into college because she was Black .

“I didn’t have it easier because of my race,” said Laird, a senior at Newton South High School in the Boston suburbs who was accepted at Wellesley and Howard University, and is waiting to hear from several Ivy League colleges. “I had stuff I had to overcome.”

In her final essays, she wrote about her grandfather, who served in the military but was denied access to GI Bill benefits because of his race.

She described how discrimination fueled her ambition to excel and pursue a career in public policy.

“So, I never settled for mediocrity,” she wrote. “Regardless of the subject, my goal in class was not just to participate but to excel. Beyond academics, I wanted to excel while remembering what started this motivation in the first place.”


Amofa used to think affirmative action was only a factor at schools like Harvard and Yale. After the court’s ruling, she was surprised to find that race was taken into account even at some public universities she was applying to.

Now, without affirmative action, she wondered if mostly white schools will become even whiter.

It’s been on her mind as she chooses between Indiana University and the University of Dayton, both of which have relatively few Black students. When she was one of the only Black students in her grade school, she could fall back on her family and Ghanaian friends at church. At college, she worries about loneliness.

“That’s what I’m nervous about,” she said. “Going and just feeling so isolated, even though I’m constantly around people.”

The first drafts of her essay focused on growing up in a low-income family, sharing a bedroom with her brother and grandmother. But it didn’t tell colleges about who she is now, she said.

Her final essay tells how she came to embrace her natural hair . She wrote about going to a mostly white grade school where classmates made jokes about her afro. When her grandmother sent her back with braids or cornrows, they made fun of those too.

Over time, she ignored their insults and found beauty in the styles worn by women in her life. She now runs a business doing braids and other hairstyles in her neighborhood.

“I stopped seeing myself through the lens of the European traditional beauty standards and started seeing myself through the lens that I created,” Amofa wrote.

“Criticism will persist, but it loses its power when you know there’s a crown on your head!”

Ma reported from Portland, Oregon.

The Associated Press’ education coverage receives financial support from multiple private foundations. AP is solely responsible for all content. Find AP’s standards for working with philanthropies, a list of supporters and funded coverage areas at .

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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essay prompts for reading

Make phonics the base of early reading instruction

The push to improve reading instruction will benefit our children...

The push to improve reading instruction will benefit our children and our country. Credit: Getty Images/Klaus Vedfelt

When people read for fun, they look for the good stuff — a bestseller or a friend’s favorite. Lately, I’ve read a lot of texts my friends send my way — specifically, their kids’ school literacy newsletters. These pieces often start similarly: “This year in Room 201, we will focus on improving as readers!” Unfortunately, those inspiring openings often devolve into frightening fiction, outlining approaches to reading instruction that have proved ineffective — the three-cueing method, whole language strategies, kinesthetic instruction, i.e., the “bad stuff.”

In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul is pushing to improve literacy instruction, including a $10 million investment in literacy. I’m grateful, for we will need major resources to revamp reading instruction. State lawmakers also must pass pending legislation requiring that all institutions of higher education in the state undergo an audit on literacy instruction to inform how we improve.

This will be a huge push, but one that will benefit our children and our country. We don’t only need to implement new and improved curriculum for teachers in training, we also need to retrain current teachers so every educator has the proper tools to teach kids to read. As New York’s budget negotiations continue, we need to ensure this priority doesn’t get cut.

As the leader of an institution of higher education, a once-and-future English teacher, and mother of two learning-to-read kids, I see how we teach kids to read in our country, and it’s too often ineffective. There are plenty of reasons why school districts, educators, and parents stand by methods of reading instruction that don’t work.

School districts are beset by publishers who spend a lot of time and money pushing their approach to reading instruction, regardless of its efficacy. Principals and teachers can become “brand loyal” to reading programs and instructional approaches that we learned early in our careers. Parents don’t know what fluent, grade-level reading sounds like, so we don’t know to do extra reading at home, find a tutor, or raise hell when our kids aren’t reading well, and most of our kids aren’t; two-thirds of American fourth-graders cannot read at grade level.

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What should we be doing? Reading research has demonstrated — for several decades — that early reading instruction needs to include systematic phonics. Kindergartners, first-graders, and second-graders (and arguably beyond) should have this as part of their daily literacy instruction. This needs to be embedded every day, for many years. Great teachers and strong curriculum make this a fun and easy portion of reading instruction.

An additional challenge is preparing teachers — both current and new — to teach reading well. A National Council on Teacher Quality analysis last year of more than 700 teacher prep programs found that only 25% present a research-based approach to reading instruction, and 40% still use debunked methods. Only a quarter of the programs earned an ‘A’ on the evaluation; 50% received a failing grade.

How do we change this? We need to pass laws that prioritize kids learning to read above publishers’ profits and education schools’ preferences. As a professional community, we teacher-prep leaders need to hold ourselves and our institutions to higher standards. In sum, we need to ensure school districts can only adopt research-based reading programs and that teachers — current and new — are well prepared and using research-based approaches to reading instruction. This is what many teachers want, and what all kids deserve.

We need to ensure teachers and kids are only getting the “good stuff.”

This guest essay reflects the views of Mayme Hostetter, president of New York City-based Relay Graduate School of Education.


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The Curse of the Strong U.S. Economy

  • Philipp Carlsson-Szlezak,
  • Paul Swartz,
  • Martin Reeves

essay prompts for reading

The booming labor market complicates the Fed’s mission to moderate inflation without recession.

With GDP contracting in the first half of the year and a cratering stock market, it may seem surprising to describe the U.S. economy as “strong.” While the haze of macroeconomic data is exceptionally contradictory, the current reality is that highly profitable firms are employing a record number of workers and paying them rising wages. This would all be good news if it didn’t stoke the fire of inflation. In fighting inflation, the Fed is now much more accepting of the risk of causing a recession. When recession looms, the reaction from executives is often to retreat behind the moat, pull up the drawbridge by cutting orders, production, investment, and the workforce, all with an aim to fortify the balance sheet with liquidity to ride out the storm. But this alone would be a wasted opportunity to improve competitive position at a time when rivals will be distracted.

The U.S. economy, though clearly facing a growing risk of recession, continues to exhibit remarkable strengths, particularly in the labor market, as illustrated by continued job creation and another drop in the unemployment rate in the September 2022 jobs report .

  • Philipp Carlsson-Szlezak is a managing director and partner in BCG’s New York office and the firm’s global chief economist. He is a coauthor of Shocks, Crises, and False Alarms: How to Assess True Macroeconomic Risk (Harvard Business Review Press, 2024).
  • Paul Swartz  is an executive director and senior economist in the BCG Henderson Institute, based in BCG’s New York office. He is a coauthor of Shocks, Crises, and False Alarms: How to Assess True Macroeconomic Risk (Harvard Business Review Press, 2024).
  • Martin Reeves is the chairman of Boston Consulting Group’s BCG Henderson Institute in San Francisco and a coauthor of The Imagination Machine (Harvard Business Review Press, 2021).

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Germany set to add citizenship test questions about Jews and Israel

essay prompts for reading

BERLIN — Those seeking German citizenship could soon have to answer test questions about antisemitism, Germany’s commitment to Israel and Jewish life in Germany.

The catalogue of more than 300 questions from which citizenship test questions can be selected is to be amended shortly, the interior ministry said in a statement, pending final approval. New questions, German magazine Der Spiegel reported , are to include: What is a Jewish house of prayer called? When was the State of Israel founded? What is the reason for Germany’s special responsibility for Israel? How is Holocaust denial punished in Germany? And, somewhat mysteriously: Who can become a member of the approximately 40 Jewish Maccabi sports clubs in Germany? (Anyone, according to the organization’s FAQ.)

The move comes months after the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt made a written commitment for the “right of the State of Israel to exist” a requirement for naturalization.

Germany has cracked down on pro-Palestinian voices and on antisemitism amid Israel’s war in Gaza in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. Germany and German institutions have come under criticism in recent months for enforcing strict speech policies affecting pro-Palestinian protests. Museum shows, book talks and other art events have been canceled .

“One thing is particularly important to me,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told Der Spiegel. “As a result of the German crime against humanity of the Holocaust comes our special responsibility for the protection of Jews and for the protection of the State of Israel. This responsibility is part of our identity today.”

“Anyone who doesn’t share our values can’t get a German passport. We have drawn a crystal clear red line here,” Faeser said. “Antisemitism, racism and other forms of contempt for humanity rule out naturalization.”

The 33-question citizenship test is one of several prerequisites to becoming a German citizen. To pass, applicants must correctly answer at least 17 multiple-choice questions within an hour.

A wave of more than 2,000 antisemitic incidents logged by authorities since Oct. 7 has prompted German leaders to call for better enforcement of the country’s antisemitism laws in recent months.

“Antisemitism has no place in Germany,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in an address to German parliament in late October. “We will do everything to oppose it. We will do this as citizens, and as bearers of political responsibility.”

This includes enforcing existing laws, Scholz said.

While antisemitism itself is not a crime in Germany, antisemitic motivation for a crime can be considered in sentencing. In April 2023, the government announced that it would increase annual payments to the Central Council of Jews in Germany to almost $24 million, in part “to further strengthen the safety and security of Jewish communities.”

Holocaust denial is illegal in Germany, and punishable by prison time.

essay prompts for reading


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    Here are some great ways to use literature response questions: Use alongside your close reading. Use as writing prompts for reading journals. Require students to complete a certain number of responses each week for their independent reading. Great for guided reading groups and literature circles as discussion prompts. Use as prompts for partner ...

  15. 55 Reading journal prompts that work for ANY book (+free printable)

    10 Academic reading journal prompts for kids. This is a more traditional list of schoolish prompts that should satisfy your child's reading teacher (but that won't torture your student). To add more academic rigor to the mix, ask the student to provide textual evidence (quotes, page numbers) to support their answers.

  16. 162 Persuasive Writing Prompts & Topics: Examples & Tips

    💯 Persuasive Essay Writing Topics. If you feel more confident and inspired after reading our prompts list, check out some persuasive writing topics! 🎤 Persuasive writing: Music. Hip-hop music objectifies women. Jazz does not exist anymore. Music festivals involve too many drugs. Classical music is the most sophisticated genre.

  17. Engaging Writing Prompts for Middle School Students

    The Role of Writing Prompts. Writing prompts are brief, thought-provoking statements or questions that inspire students to write clearly and creatively. They serve as the ignition for the creative fire within students, encouraging them to explore new horizons through writing. Writing prompts for middle school students also serve as invaluable ...

  18. SAT Essay Prompts: The Complete List

    No extra time allowed! #5: Grade the essay, using the official essay rubric to give yourself a score out of 8 in the reading, analysis, and writing sections. #6: Repeat steps 4 and 5. Choose the prompts you think will be the hardest for you so that you can so that you're prepared for the worst when the test day comes.

  19. PDF Essay Planning

    essay prompt states the type of essay that the writer is being asked to construct. By understanding what an essay prompt is asking, one can write a more coherent, unified, and organized essay. To write an essay, one must consider the essay type, essay goal, supporting details, form of the conclusion, and appropriate conclusion information. The ...

  20. 310 Prompts for Argumentative Writing

    Below, we've rounded up over 300 of those argumentative prompts, organized by topic, all in one place. They cover everything from parenting and schools to music and social media. Each one, drawn ...

  21. 6th Grade Essay Prompts: A Comprehensive Guide

    Essay Topics. The topic of your essay is important because it sets the tone and direction for your writing. When choosing a topic, consider your audience, your interests, and the purpose of your essay. Some popular essay topics for 6th graders include: The importance of recycling; The effects of social media on teenagers; The benefits of reading

  22. 100 Best Fun Writing Prompts for 5th Grade: Journal Prompts

    Related Reading: Easy Steps to Teach Kids to Read 10 Prompts for Informative Essay Writing. A list of ten 5th grade writing prompts to get you started on an informative essay: Write an essay about a famous person who inspires you. Research and write an essay about a historical event that interests you.

  23. Importance of Reading Essay

    1. Empathy towards others 2. Acquisition of qualities like kindness, courtesy. 500+ Words Essay on Importance of Reading is provided here to help students learn how to write an effective essay on this topic. They must go through this essay in-depth and then try to write their own essay.

  24. Reading Practices for Assignment Prompts

    Finding the key goal for an assignment is often the first and most difficult step when reading an assignment prompt. One way to begin is to find all of the verbs in the prompt, because the verbs will give you directions. Some commonly used verbs used or tasks in assignment prompts are: These terms can be used for any genre.

  25. Beyond "Why us?" Crafting essay prompts that matter

    Clearer and more engaging supplemental essay prompts can promote a more equitable admissions process and help admission offices gather the information they need to admit students who will thrive in their unique campus environment. ... If you don't look forward to reading your applicants' responses, it's likely that they're not looking ...

  26. Should college essays touch on race? Some feel the affirmative ...

    A RULING PROMPTS PIVOTS ON ESSAY TOPICS . Like many students, Max Decker of Portland, Oregon, had drafted a college essay on one topic, only to change direction after the Supreme Court ruling in June.

  27. Make phonics the base of early reading instruction

    A National Council on Teacher Quality analysis last year of more than 700 teacher prep programs found that only 25% present a research-based approach to reading instruction, and 40% still use ...

  28. The Curse of the Strong U.S. Economy

    The Curse of the Strong U.S. Economy. Summary. With GDP contracting in the first half of the year and a cratering stock market, it may seem surprising to describe the U.S. economy as "strong ...

  29. Read-a-Thon to Mark One Year Since Evan Gershkovich's Detainment

    March 27, 2024 12:00 pm ET. Share. Resize. To mark one year since Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was wrongfully detained by Russia, the Journal newsroom is holding a public reading ...

  30. Germany adds citizenship test questions about Jews and Israel

    The catalogue of more than 300 questions from which citizenship test questions can be selected is to be amended shortly, the interior ministry said in a statement, pending final approval.