Writing Prompts for High School

Instructor: Nicky Davis
Eloquence and articulacy in writing are essential not just to college preparedness, but also for careers in a variety of fields. Keep reading for high school writing prompts to help you practice and refine your skills.

High School Writing Prompts

Practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to essay writing. Below, find prompts to help you practice writing argumentative, descriptive and narrative essays.

Persuasive Writing Prompts

  • Art: Some people believe art is an essential part of society. Do you agree or disagree with that sentiment? Write an essay defending your stance, using specific reasons and examples.
  • The Internet: Do you believe that the Internet and social media help bring people together? Why or why not? Craft an essay explaining your position on the effect of these new technologies.
  • College Majors: Should students choose their major before entering college? Argue your position in an essay, being sure to use clear details and explanations to make your point.

Tips for Persuasive Writing

  • Be thorough in your supporting details. Make sure that you have clear evidence to support your point.
  • Stay focused. Don't get distracted by tangential points that aren't connected to your main argument.
  • Use vivid and creative language. Writing with bright and interesting vocabulary is a great way to engage your reader with your argument.

Expository Writing Prompts

  • Family Tradition: Describe a holiday, important occasion or tradition in your family.
  • Where You're From: Describe your hometown, or childhood home, to someone who has never visited.
  • Good Teacher: Describe a favorite teacher you have had. Explain the methods and techniques he or she used that were particularly effective.

Tips for Expository Writing

  • Use creative and varied language. Strengthen your description with bold adjectives and active verbs.
  • Get specific. The more unique details you can include in your description, the more your reader will be able to imagine your subject.
  • Focus on the five senses. Think about the complete sensory experience of the event, place or experience you're describing.

Narrative Writing Prompts

  • The Truth: People often say, 'the truth will set you free'. Tell the story of a time when you felt liberated by telling someone the truth.
  • Say Yes: It's hard sometimes to face your fears. Recount a time in your life when you said yes to something you were afraid of and explain why it worked out for the best.
  • Goals: In life, everyone must overcome obstacles to achieve their goals. Write about a time in your life when you overcame a challenge and what goal it helped you achieve.

Tips for Narrative Writing

  • Develop your characters. Even in a personal anecdote, characters should be well drawn with clear motivations.
  • Focus your plot. Especially when telling personal stories, it can be hard to narrow down the story to a specific arc. Refine your plot to the essential story elements, so it will be easy to follow.
  • Find a central theme for your story. Think about what your story is truly about. Having a theme for your story will help you to know which details are key to the narrative and which are superfluous.

Writing Resources

No matter what style of writing you're taking on, the Study.com resources below include fundamental lessons on the craft of writing, from grammar to essay structure. Check out the following chapters to brush up on and hone your writing skills.

Video lessons and quizzes designed to help you develop a better understanding of the writing process as a whole are also included in these comprehensive high school English courses:

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