Autobiographical Writing Prompts for High School

Instructor: David Raudenbush
An important part of writing well is drawing from your own experience, and autobiographical writing gives students this chance. However, sometimes they still need a little prompting. Use these prompts to engage students in autobiographical writing.

Autobiographical Writing

This is a frustrating moment for a teacher: you assign an autobiographical writing piece, and at least one student says, 'I don't have anything to write about. Nothing interesting has ever happened to me.'

These prompts will help with that. They provide students with a number of topics they should be able to relate to.

Remember, just because it's autobiographical, it doesn't mean students have to tell their entire life story. They can narrow their writing down to a particular event. Personal narratives and personal essays will suffice for most autobiographical tasks. What matters most is that students are telling true stories and writing from the first person point of view.

Social Media Prompts

  • Like most high school kids, you probably spend a great deal of your time on social media. It's a great way to stay connected to your friends. However, sometimes what gets posted on social media leads to misunderstandings, miscommunication, and even fights. Write about a time when something went wrong on social media and explain how you resolved the problem.
  • You may not remember a time when social media wasn't around. By now, for you, it may seem like a natural part of life. Social media definitely has its benefits. Write about a time when you were uplifted or helped in some way by someone on social media? What was it that helped? An inspirational message? A few kind words?
  • When have you regretted something you posted on social media? Did you give away a secret or share too much information? Did you say something unkind that you didn't mean to say? Explain your greatest social media regret.
  • Have you ever experienced cyberbullying? It's a common problem, particularly around high schools. Students make threatening or intimidating posts on social media. How did you handle your cyberbullying situation? What was the eventual outcome for the bully and yourself?
  • How has social media benefited your life? Write about a positive experience in your life that was the direct result of social media contact. Did it bring you together with an old friend? Help resolve a problem? Save you from some sort of embarrassment? Tell an upbeat social media story.

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