Paragraph Writing Prompts

1. Most people have strong feelings for certain types of music. The easy availability of radios, tape decks, cd players and stereos enables most people to hear music almost every day. In addition, many people enjoy playing their own instruments or singing in order to create their own music. Others just enjoy music as a background. What role does music play in your life?

2. People communicate in many ways. Writing a letter or a computer program, speaking to friends or fellow workers -- even smiling, shaking hands, bowing or honking an automobile horn are forms of communication. In your essay, describe an incident that involved unsuccessful communication. Why was the communication unsuccessful? What could have been done to make the interchange more successful?

3. The number of cars on city streets throughout the world is steadily increasing. Regional planners see a time when present roadways will be unable to handle the crush of traffic. Mass transit systems often fail, however, because people are attached to their cars. How do you think you would be able to get along without an automobile? What changes would you need to make if you could not drive a car? (If you do not own an automobile right now, explain how you manage to get by without driving.)

4. Almost every part of the world is sometimes hit by a disaster: earthquakes, flood, hurricanes, tornadoes or fires. In your essay, focus on one type of disaster that has been known to hit a particular area with which you are familiar. What kinds of problems should people be prepared for when such a disaster hits. What should people do to prepare themselves for such a disaster?

5. We tend to learn from our experience, from both successes and mistakes. As a student who has been in high school for some time now, you have undoubtedly learned some important lesson about how to be successful, how to organize your time, how to choose the right courses, how to enjoy yourself. Imagine you are giving advice to a friend coming into high school for the first time. What experiences would you relate to your friends to help them avoid the problems you encountered and to help them have a successful time in school?

6. Millions of people throughout the world move from one community to another, even from one country to another. Many people find this type of life exciting and stimulating. Others may suffer from a sense of rootlessness, loss or isolation. Based upon your own experience and what you might have observed in others, discuss the pros and cons of a "mobile" way of life. What type do you prefer? In countries throughout the world people suffer from serious addictions, particularly to drugs and alcohol. Many of us, however, experience less serious dependencies. For example, some people feel the need daily to have a particular type of food. Others claim they cannot exist without a daily dose of their favorite television program. Describe one such minor dependency that you or someone you know has experienced. Discuss how that dependency has affected the person's life.

7. Every culture has heroes and heroines, people that embody certain ideals of the culture. These heroes or heroines seem to surpass the common person and to stand apart as models of excellence. Discuss someone (real or fictional) who represents, for you, the heroic ideal.

8. Most people these days are conscious of their health. Many people are exercising regularly and paying more attention to what they eat. How has this attention to health and fitness affected your life or the life of someone you know?

9. Although the likelihood of it is very small, you could, at some point, win millions of dollars in a lottery. What do you suppose would be some of the effects, both positive and negative, of such a stroke of good fortune? (Assume you would receive your winnings in annual investments of $250,000 over a 20-year period.)

10. Nowadays most people pay attention to what they eat and drink. Many people are concerned about cholesterol, caffeine, sugar, salt, chemical additives, preservatives, pesticide residues, and toxice contaminants. Do you find yourself thinking about or worrying about what you eat and drink? If not, why not? If so, explain what you have done to change the way you eat and drink.

11. Most of us find we either tend to be competitive or co-operative in our work, school, and personal lives. Do you find that it is more beneficial to be competitive or co-operative? Do you try and maintain a balance and if so, how does it workout? Explain fully.

12. In many colleges and universities in the United States, students are required to study a language other than English. Students must either study this language before they come to college or complete language requirements after they are enrolled incollege. Do you think it is a reasonable requirement that students in U.S. colleges study a language other than English? Explain.

13. Although no two of your friends will be exactly alike, there are probably some qualities that you demand of all your friends. Discuss two or three of these qualities and why they are important to you. One factor crucial to the success of every high school and college student is the development of effective and efficient study habits. How would you evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of your study habits? Explain.

14. Some instructors provide most of their information by lecturing. Other instructors prefer that students learn through class discussion. What are the strong and weak points of each of these methods? Which method do you think is more rewarding for students? Explain with examples.

15. At times we engage in behaviors that can harm us. People continue to smoke despite warnings; some drive too fast. Describe a behavior that you or someone you know has engaged in even though it could have been harmful. What advice could you give to someone else to help that person avoid the behavior or stop from doing it?

16. The quest for greater equality of the sexes has been one of the great themes of the past decade in many countries throughout the world. Many people encounter problems regarding equality of the sexes at work, in school, or in their family life. Have you found this to be a problem in your relationships with the people around you? Have you noticed the problem around you possibly happening to others? Explain with examples.

17. There is a lot of debate these days about the role of colleges in the modern world. Some people believe a university degree should simply prepare strudents for lucrative jobs. Others believe a college should be helping students develop a broad intellectual curiosity and a sense of social responsibility. What do you believe is the main purpose for obtaining a college education? Explain.

18. We all have memories of people we knew in our childhood. In your essay, consider how your classmates or friends probably remember you now as they look back on their young childhoods. How do they remember your appearance? Your actions? Your attitudes? Use an event from your childhood they might remember most vividly.

Assignments OR Home