Persuasive Writing Prompts: High School

Instructor: Adam Nystrom

Adam owns a Master's degree in Professional and Digital Media Writing. During his time as a graduate assistant, he developed lesson plans for upper-level English courses.

Your persuasive writing skills will be tested at many points in high school, whether through class assignments or on college admissions exams. If you're looking to develop your abilities in this area through practice, take a look at the prompts included below.

The Role of Technology

Technology continues to take on a greater role in our lives, not just in the classroom but in our everyday activities as well. Think about how the increasing use of devices like smartphones and tablets has affected your ability to learn. Is this technology a distraction or a valuable resource? You will need to provide examples when you pick a side, such as the disruptions phones can cause in a learning environment or how the internet provides resources that teachers didn't have in previous decades.

Exit Exams

Consider the possibility that, along with your normal final exams, you will now be required to take state-mandated exit exams that prove your academic ability. Why is this idea good or bad? What have you learned in class that can or cannot be measured by standardized testing? What are advantages and disadvantages of the standardized format?

Schedule Changes

The school board proposes eliminating summer break and switching to a year-round schedule that includes more breaks throughout the year. Explain why this would be beneficial or detrimental to the student body. What could happen to disrupt the learning process if students are not given three months off for the summer? How could it help their education if students were kept on a more regular schedule?

Age Limits

Currently, students are eligible to drop out of high school when they turn sixteen. Imagine your state is writing legislation that would change the age to eighteen. Decide whether this idea has merit and why it should be signed into law or vetoed once it reaches the governor's office. What opportunities are there for someone who leaves high school? Why should someone continue to get a diploma if he or she isn't interested?

Resources to Strengthen Your Writing

While developing your essay responses, take advantage of the writing chapters included in these courses. The short video lessons and quizzes are self-paced and can accompany you through each stage of the writing process:

You can also find courses designed to help you answer essay questions on college admissions exams:

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