FTCE English 6-12 Essay Prompts

Instructor: Elisha Madison

Elisha is a writer, editor, and aspiring novelist. She has a Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology and another Masters in Museum Studies.

This lesson focuses on the Florida Teacher Certification Examination for English writing prompts that can be used to practice for the one essay that is required within the exam.


The Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE) is the exam required for teachers to qualify to teach K-12 students in the state of Florida. The English examination has a multiple choice section, but we will be focusing on the written part for student grades 6-12. It is important to keep in mind that the essays are graded on:

  • Understanding and comprehension of English
  • Writing methods, skills, and techniques
  • Knowledge of the subject

The essay is graded on a 1-12 scale, with 8 being the lowest score you can receive and still pass. The essay is read and graded by two readers, who will each provide their own score. The final score will be an average of the two.

English Writing Prompts

In the English 6-12 exam, you will be given two writing prompts to pick from to write your essay. The writing prompts provide quotes or paragraphs from different famous pieces of literature, then asks you to do the following, as stated on the exam: ''Using any critical approach, discuss in an essay how the language and/or other elements contribute to the overall effect of the selection. Support your discussion with specific references to the text.''

Sample Prompt One

On Aging

''When you see me sitting quietly,
Like a sack left on the shelf,
Don't think I need your chattering.
I'm listening to myself.
Hold! Stop! Don't pity me!
Hold! Stop your sympathy!
Understanding if you got it,
Otherwise I'll do without it!
When my bones are stiff and aching,
And my feet won't climb the stair,
I will only ask one favor:
Don't bring me no rocking chair.
When you see me walking, stumbling,
Don't study and get it wrong.
'Cause tired don't mean lazy
And every goodbye ain't gone.
I'm the same person I was back then,
A little less hair, a little less chin,
A lot less lungs and much less wind.
But ain't I lucky I can still breathe in.''

~Maya Angelou

With this sample, analyze the work as the exam expects, then walk away from your essay for a a few hours, even a few days. Then go back and read it again. This break will help you look at your work with more of an objective eye.

Sample Prompt Two

The Miser

''A MISER sold all that he had and bought a lump of gold, which he buried in a hole in the ground by the side of an old wall and went to look at daily. One of his workmen observed his frequent visits to the spot and decided to watch his movements. He soon discovered the secret of the hidden treasure, and digging down, came to the lump of gold, and stole it. The Miser, on his next visit, found the hole empty and began to tear his hair and to make loud lamentations. A neighbor, seeing him overcome with grief and learning the cause, said, 'Pray do not grieve so; but go and take a stone, and place it in the hole, and fancy that the gold is still lying there. It will do you quite the same service; for when the gold was there, you had it not, as you did not make the slightest use of it.''


With this sample prompt, I would suggest having a friend look over your essay. Make sure they are checking for grammar and clarity. Then when they give it back to you, take the time to re-write it. This practice will give you more of an idea of what to do when you are taking the exam.

Sample Prompt Three

Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Seeking Truth in the Sciences

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