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“200 PROMPTS FOR ARGUMENTATIVE WRITING”: A GIFT FROM THE NY TIMES
Here’s the link to “200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing,” by Michael Gonchar, Feb. 4, 2014, in the NY Times .
Many thanks to the folks at the NY Times Learning Network for this resource and many others!!!
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The New York Times
The learning network | 500 prompts for narrative and personal writing.
500 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing
Updated, March 2, 2017 | We published an updated version of this list, “650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing,” as well as a companion piece, “401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing.”
Every school day since 2009 we’ve asked students a question based on an article in The New York Times. Now, five years later, we’ve collected 500 of them that invite narrative and personal writing and pulled them all together in one place (available here as a PDF ).
The categorized list below touches on everything from sports to travel, education, gender roles, video games, fashion, family, pop culture, social media and more, and, like all our Student Opinion questions , each links to a related Times article and includes a series of follow-up questions. What’s more, all these questions are still open for comment by any student 13 or older.
So dive into this admittedly overwhelming list and pick the questions that most inspire you to tell an interesting story, describe a memorable event, observe the details in your world, imagine a possibility, or reflect on who you are and what you believe.
- What Was Your Most Precious Childhood Possession?
- What Were Your Favorite Childhood Shows and Characters?
- What Were Your Favorite Picture Books When You Were Little?
- What Things Did You Create When You Were a Child?
- What Places Do You Remember Fondly From Childhood?
- Have You Ever Felt Embarrassed by Things You Used to Like?
- Do You Wish You Could Return to Moments From Your Past?
- Was There a Toy You Wanted as a Child but Never Got?
- What Objects Tell the Story of Your Life?
- What Are Your Best Sleepover Memories?
- What’s the Best Gift You’ve Ever Given or Received?
- What’s the Most Memorable Thing You Ever Got in the Mail?
- What Nicknames Have You Ever Gotten or Given?
Coming of Age
- What Have You Learned in Your Teens?
- What Personal Achievements Make You Proud?
- What Are Some Recent Moments of Happiness in Your Life?
- What Are You Grateful For?
- What Rites of Passage Have You Participated In?
- What Advice Would You Give Younger Kids About Middle or High School?
- What Can Older People Learn From Your Generation?
- What Do Older Generations Misunderstand About Yours?
- Who Is Your Family?
- What Have You and Your Family Accomplished Together?
- What Events Have Brought You Closer to Your Family?
- What’s Your Role in Your Family?
- Have You Ever Changed a Family Member’s Mind?
- How Do You Define ‘Family’?
- What Are Your Family Stories of Sacrifice?
- What Possessions Does Your Family Treasure?
- What Hobbies Have Been Passed Down in Your Family?
- How Much Do You Know About Your Family’s History?
- Did Your Parents Have a Life Before They Had Kids?
- How Close Are You to Your Parents?
- How Are You and Your Parents Alike and Different?
- Do Your Parents Support Your Learning?
- What Have Your Parents Taught You About Money?
- Do You Expect Your Parents to Give You Money?
- How Permissive Are Your Parents?
- Do You Have Helicopter Parents?
- How Do Your Parents Teach You to Behave?
- How Do You Make Parenting Difficult for Your Parents?
- If You Drink or Use Drugs, Do Your Parents Know?
- Do You Talk About Report Cards With Your Parents?
- Would You Mind if Your Parents Blogged About You?
- How Well Do You Get Along With Your Siblings?
- How Well Do You Know Your Pet?
- What Role Do Pets Play in Your Family?
- What Is Your Racial and Ethnic Identity?
- Have You Ever Tried to Hide Your Racial or Ethnic Identity?
- How Do You Feel About Your Last Name?
- What’s the Story Behind Your Name?
- What Are Your Favorite Names?
- How Have You Paid Tribute to Loved Ones?
Community and Home
- Would You Most Want to Live in a City, a Suburb or the Country?
- How Much Does Your Neighborhood Define Who You Are?
- What’s Special About Your Hometown?
- What Would You Name Your Neighborhood?
- Who Is the ‘Mayor’ of Your School or Neighborhood?
- Who Are the ‘Characters’ That Make Your Town Interesting?
- What Would a TV Show About Your Town Spoof?
- What ‘Urban Legends’ Are There About Places in Your Area?
- What Local Problems Do You Think Your Mayor Should Try to Solve?
- Do You Know Your Way Around Your City or Town?
- Have You Ever Interacted With the Police?
- How Often Do You Interact With People of Another Race or Ethnicity?
- Who Would Be the Ideal Celebrity Neighbor?
- What Is Your Favorite Place?
- How Much Time Do You Spend in Nature?
- What Small Things Have You Seen and Taken Note Of Today?
- What Would Your Dream Home Be Like?
- What is Your Favorite Place in Your House?
- How Important Is Keeping a Clean House?
- Is Your Bedroom a Nightmare?
- Do You Plan on Saving Any of Your Belongings for the Future?
- With Your Home in Danger, What Would You Try to Save?
- What Would You Put in Your Emergency ‘Go-Bag’?
- Have You Ever Lost (or Found) Something Valuable?
- What Is Your Personal Credo?
- What Motivates You?
- What Makes You Happy?
- What Are You Good At?
- How Much Self-Control Do You Have?
- How Good Are You at Waiting for What You Really Want?
- What Role Does Procrastination Play in Your Life?
- When in Your Life Have You Been a Leader?
- How Well Do You Perform Under Pressure?
- How Well Do You Take Criticism?
- Are You Hard or Easy on Yourself?
- How Full Is Your Glass?
- Do You Have a Hard Time Making Decisions?
- How Good Are You at Time Management?
- How Productive and Organized Are You?
- How Would Your Life Be Different if You Had Better Listening Skills?
- How Competitive Are You?
- Do You Perform Better When You’re Competing or When You’re Collaborating?
- Do You Take More Risks When You Are Around Your Friends?
- Do You Unknowingly Submit to Peer Pressure?
- How Much of a Daredevil Are You?
- What Pranks, Jokes, Hoaxes or Tricks Have You Ever Fallen For or Perpetrated?
- How Do You React When Provoked?
- How Often Do You Cry?
- Do You Think You’re Brave?
- What Are You Afraid Of?
- What Are Your Fears and Phobias?
- What Are Your Personal Superstitions?
- Do You Like Being Alone?
- How Impulsive Are You?
- Are You a Novelty-Seeker?
- What Annoys You?
- Do You Apologize Too Much?
- Do You Have Good Manners?
- Are You a Saver or a Tosser?
- Are You More Introvert or Extrovert?
- Are You Popular, Quirky or Conformist?
- Are You a Nerd or a Geek?
- What Would Your Personal Mascot Be?
- What Assumptions Do People Make About You?
- What Challenges Have You Overcome?
- What Do You Do When You Encounter Obstacles to Success?
- What Are Your Secret Survival Strategies?
- How Do You Find Peace in Your Life?
- How Have You Handled Being the ‘New Kid’?
- Do You Ever Feel Overlooked and Underappreciated?
- How Stressed Are You?
- How Do You Relieve Stress?
- Does Stress Affect Your Ability to Make Good Decisions?
- What Challenges Have You Set for Yourself?
- How Often Do You Leave Your ‘Comfort Zone’?
- What Did You Once Hate but Now Like?
- Does Your Life Leave You Enough Time to Relax?
- Do You Set Rules for Yourself About How You Use Your Time?
- Is ‘Doing Nothing’ a Good Use of Your Time?
- What’s Cluttering Up Your Life?
- What Work Went Into Reaching Your Most Difficult Goals?
- When Have You Ever Failed at Something? What Happened as a Result?
- When Have You Ever Succeeded When You Thought You Might Fail?
- What Life Lessons Has Adversity Taught You?
- What’s the Most Challenging Assignment You’ve Ever Had?
- What Kind of Feedback Helps You Improve?
- Is Trying Too Hard to Be Happy Making You Sad?
- Do Adults Who Are ‘Only Trying to Help’ Sometimes Make Things Worse?
- What Are Five Everyday Problems That Bother You, and What Can You Do About Them?
Gender and Sexuality
- How Do Male and Female Roles Differ in Your Family?
- Do Parents Have Different Hopes and Standards for Their Sons Than for Their Daughters?
- Is There Too Much Pressure on Girls to Have ‘Perfect’ Bodies?
- How Much Pressure Do Boys Face to Have the Perfect Body?
- How Did You Learn About Sex?
- How Should Parents Address Internet Pornography?
- What Experiences Have You Had With Gender Bias in School?
- What Have Been Your Experiences With Catcalling or Other Kinds of Street Harassment?
- Do You Know Boys Who Regard Girls as ‘Prey’?
- Do You Consider Yourself a Feminist?
Morality and Religion
- How Do You Help?
- What Ethical Dilemmas Have You Faced?
- Would You Help an Injured Stranger?
- When Is the Last Time You Did Something Nice for a Stranger?
- Have You Ever ‘Paid It Forward’?
- How Much Do You Gossip?
- How Comfortable Are You With Lying?
- Have You Ever Taken Something You Weren’t Supposed To?
- What Could You Live Without?
- Do You Ever Feel Guilty About What, or How Much, You Throw Away?
- Do You Ever Eavesdrop?
- How Important Is Your Spiritual Life?
- Do You Believe That Everything Happens for a Reason?
- Can You Be Good Without God?
- Are You Less Religious Than Your Parents?
- Can You Pass a Basic Religion Test?
- What Can You Learn From Other Religions?
- Who Is Your Role Model?
- Who Are Your Heroes?
- Who Inspires You?
- What’s the Best Advice You’ve Gotten?
- Who Outside Your Family Has Made a Difference in Your Life?
- If You Had Your Own Talk Show, Whom Would You Want to Interview?
- To Whom, or What, Would You Like to Write a Thank-You Note?
- What Leader Would You Invite to Speak at Your School?
- What Six People, Living or Dead, Would You Invite to Dinner?
Technology and Video Games
- Are You Distracted by Technology?
- Do You Always Have Your Phone or Tablet at Your Side?
- What Tech Tools Play the Biggest Role in Your Life?
- What New Technologies or Tech Toys Are You Most Excited About?
- To What Piece of Technology Would You Write a ‘Love Letter’?
- Does Your Digital Life Have Side Effects?
- Do Apps Help You or Just Waste Your Time?
- Do You Spend Too Much Time on Smart Phones Playing ‘Stupid Games’?
- When Do You Choose Making a Phone Call Over Sending a Text?
- Do You Know How to Code? Would You Like to Learn?
- Whom Would You Share Your Passwords With?
- What Are Your Favorite Video Games?
- What Have You Learned Playing Video Games?
- Do You Play Violent Video Games?
- When Should You Feel Guilty for Killing Zombies?
- Who Are Your Opponents in Online Gaming?
- Do You Like Watching Other People Play Video Games?
- How Careful Are You Online?
- Do You Ever Seek Advice on the Internet?
- How Do You Know if What You Read Online Is True?
- How Much Do You Trust Online Reviews?
- How Do You Use Wikipedia?
- What Are Your Favorite Internet Spoofs?
- What Are Your Favorite Viral Videos?
- What Would You Teach the World in an Online Video?
- What Are Your Experiences With Internet-Based Urban Legends?
- What Story Does Your Personal Data Tell?
- Do You Worry About the Lack of Anonymity in the Digital Age?
- Do You Wish You Had More Privacy Online?
- California Notice
- Have You Ever Been Scammed?
- How Do You Use Facebook?
- What Is Your Facebook Persona?
- What Memorable Experiences Have You Had on Facebook?
- Does Facebook Ever Make You Feel Bad?
- Would You Consider Deleting Your Facebook Account?
- Do You Have ‘Instagram Envy’?
- Do You Use Twitter?
- Why Do You Share Photos?
- How Do You Archive Your Life?
- Have You Ever Posted, Emailed or Texted Something You Wish You Could Take Back?
- Have You Ever Sent an Odd Message Because of Auto-Correct?
- Would You Want Your Photo or Video to Go Viral?
- Do You Worry Colleges or Employers Might Read Your Social Media Posts Someday?
- What Are You Listening To?
- Who in Your Life Introduces You to New Music?
- How Much Is Your Taste in Music Based on What Your Friends Like?
- What Music Inspires You?
- How Closely Do You Listen to Lyrics?
- Which Pop Music Stars Fascinate You?
- Who Is Your Favorite Pop Diva?
- What’s Your Karaoke Song?
- What Song/Artist Pairings Would You Like to Hear?
Movies, Theater and Television
- What Were the Best Movies You Saw in the Past Year?
- What Movies Do You Watch, or Reference, Over and Over?
- What Movies, Shows or Books Do You Wish Had Sequels, Spinoffs or New Episodes?
- Do You Like Horror Movies?
- Who Are Your Favorite Movie Stars?
- Would You Pay Extra for a 3-D Movie?
- What Is Your Favorite Comedy?
- What Are the Best Live Theatrical Performances You’ve Ever Seen?
- Have You Ever Stumbled Upon a Cool Public Performance?
- What Role Does Television Play in Your Life and the Life of Your Family?
- What Television Shows Have Mattered to You?
- Do Your Television Viewing Habits Include ‘Binge-Watching’?
- How Often Do You Watch a Television Show When It Originally Airs?
- What Old Television Shows Would You Bring Back?
- Why Do We Like Reality Shows So Much?
- What Ideas Do You Have for a Reality Show?
- What Are Your Favorite Commercials?
- How Much Are You Influenced by Advertising?
Reading, Writing and Fine Arts
- Read Any Good Books Lately?
- Do You Read for Pleasure?
- What Are Your Favorite Books and Authors?
- What Are the Best Things You’ve Read, Watched, Heard or Played This Year?
- What Are Your Favorite Young Adult Novels?
- What’s on Your Summer Reading List?
- What Memorable Poetry Have You Ever Read or Heard?
- What Are Your Favorite Cartoons?
- What Magazines Do You Read, and How Do You Read Them?
- Do You Enjoy Reading Tabloid Gossip?
- When Have You Seen Yourself and Your Life Reflected in a Book or Other Media?
- Do You Prefer Your Children’s Book Characters Obedient or Contrary?
- Do You Read E-Books?
- Would You Trade Your Paper Books for Digital Versions?
- To What Writer Would You Award a Prize?
- Why Do You Write?
- Do You Keep a Diary or Journal?
- Do You Have a Blog?
- Do You Want to Write a Book?
- When Do You Write by Hand?
- Do You Write in Cursive?
- Do You Write in Your Books?
- What ‘Mundane Moments’ From Your Life Might Make Great Essay Material?
- What’s the Coolest Thing You’ve Ever Seen in a Museum?
- What Are the Most Memorable Works of Visual Art You Have Seen?
- What Are Your Favorite Works of Art?
Language and Speech
- What Are Your Favorite and Least Favorite Words?
- What Words or Phrases Do You Think Are Overused?
- How Much Slang Do You Use? What Are Your Favorite (Printable) Words?
- How Much Do You Curse? Why?
- Why Do So Many People Say ‘Like’ and ‘Totally’ All the Time?
- Do You Sometimes ‘Hide’ Behind Irony?
- How Good Is Your Grammar?
- What New Emoticons Does the World Need?
- Are You Fluent in Vocal Fry, Creaky Voice or Uptalk?
- How Much Information Is ‘Too Much Information’?
- When Did You Last Have a Great Conversation?
- Do You Speak a Second, or Third, Language?
- When Do You Remember Learning a New Word?
School and Teachers
- Do You Like School?
- What Are You Really Learning at School?
- What Are You Looking Forward To, or Dreading, This School Year?
- Would You Want to Be Home-Schooled?
- Would You Like to Take a Class Online?
- Would You Rather Attend a Public or a Private High School?
- How Would You Grade Your School?
- What Can Other Schools Learn — and Copy — From Your School?
- Is Your School Day Too Short?
- What Do You Hope to Get Out of High School?
- Do You Have Too Much Homework?
- Does Your Homework Help You Learn?
- What Is Your Best Subject?
- What Memorable Experiences Have You Had in Learning Science or Math?
- Are You Afraid of Math?
- Do We Need a New Way to Teach Math?
- What Are the Best Ways to Learn About History?
- How Would You Do on a Civics Test?
- How Important Is Arts Education?
- What Is Your Most Memorable Writing Assignment?
- What Would You Like to Have Memorized?
- Does Your School Value Students’ Digital Skills?
- What Was Your Favorite Field Trip?
- Do You Participate in Class?
- What Are Your Best Tips for Studying?
- Do You Use Study Guides?
- Is Everything You’ve Been Taught About Study Habits Wrong?
- How Well Do You Think Standardized Tests Measure Your Abilities?
- Do You Have a Tutor?
- Are Your Grades Inflated?
- When Has a Teacher Inspired You?
- What Teacher Do You Appreciate?
- What Teacher Would You Like to Thank?
- What Do You Wish Your Teachers Knew About You?
- Do Your Test Scores Reflect How Good Your Teachers Are?
- Do Your Teachers Use Technology Well?
School Social Environment
- What Role Do School Clubs and Teams Play in Your Life?
- Who Has the Power in School Social Life?
- How Big a Problem Is Bullying or Cyberbullying in Your School or Community?
- Does Your School Seem Integrated?
- What’s the Racial Makeup of Your School?
- Do You Ever ‘Mix It Up’ and Socialize With Different People at School?
- Can Students at Your School Talk Openly About Their Mental Health Issues?
- Is Your School a ‘Party School’?
- How Common Is Drug Use in Your School?
- Do You Know People Who Cheat on High-Stakes Tests?
- How Does Your School Deal With Students Who Misbehave?
- How Much Does Your Life in School Intersect With Your Life Outside School?
- Would You Ever Go Through Hazing to Be Part of a Group?
Senior Year, College and Applications
- Where Do You Want to Go to College?
- What Are Your Sources for Information About Colleges and Universities?
- Is College Overrated?
- How Much Does the SAT or ACT Matter in Your Life?
- What Personal Essay Topic Would You Assign to College Applicants?
- What Qualities Would You Look For in a College Roommate?
- What Would You Do With a Gap Year?
- What Makes a Graduation Ceremony Memorable?
- How Do You Feel About Proms?
Work and Careers
- What Are Your Longtime Interests or Passions?
- Do You Have a Life Calling?
- What Do You Want to Do With Your Life?
- Do You Think You Will Have a Career That You Love?
- What Investment Are You Willing to Make to Get Your Dream Job?
- Would You Consider a Nontraditional Occupation?
- Would You Want to Be a Teacher?
- What Hidden Talents Might You Have?
- What Do You Hope to Be Doing the Year After You Graduate From College?
- Would You Rather Work From Home or in an Office?
- What Career or Technical Classes Do You Wish Your School Offered?
- What ‘Back-to-the-Land’ Skills Do You Have, or Wish You Had?
- What Have You Made Yourself?
- What Would You Create if You Had Funding?
- How Did You Start Doing Something You Love?
- Did You Ever Take a Break From Doing Something You Love?
- What Have You Done to Earn Money?
- Do You Have a Job?
- Would You Quit if Your Values Did Not Match Your Employer’s?
- What Are Your Attitudes Toward Money?
- Can Money Buy You Happiness?
- Where Do You See Yourself in 10 Years?
- What Do You Want to Be Doing When You’re 80?
- Do You Want to Live to 100?
- What Do You Want Your Obituary to Say?
Dating and Friendship
- Have You Ever Been in Love?
- What Are the Most Meaningful Relationships in Your Life?
- What Advice Would You Give to Somebody Who Just Started Dating?
- What Are the Basic ‘Rules’ for Handling Breakups?
- What Are Your Beliefs About Marriage?
- Are You Allowed to Date?
- Is Dating a Thing of the Past?
- Do You Have a Best Friend?
- How Do You Feel About Introducing Friends from Different Parts of Your Life?
- How Should You Handle the End of a Friendship?
- How Often Do You Have ‘Deep Discussions’?
Sports, Exercise and Games
- Do You Like to Exercise?
- How Has Exercise Changed Your Health, Your Body or Your Life?
- Why Do You Play Sports?
- What Is the Most Memorable Sporting Event You’ve Ever Watched or Played In?
- What’s the Most Impressive Sports Moment You’ve Seen?
- When Has a Sports Team Most Disappointed You?
- What Sports Teams Do You Root For?
- Does Being a Fan Help Define Who You Are?
- How Far Would You Go to Express Loyalty to Your Favorite Teams?
- What Fan Memorabilia Would You Pay Big Bucks For?
- What Rules Would You Like to See Changed in Your Favorite Sports?
- What Game Would You Like to Redesign?
- What Are Your Favorite Games?
- Where in the World Would You Travel if You Could?
- What Is Your Fantasy Vacation?
- What Would Your Fantasy Road Trip Be Like?
- What Crazy Adventure Would You Want to Take?
- How Has Travel Affected You?
- What Famous Landmarks Have You Visited?
- What’s the Coolest Thing You’ve Ever Seen in Nature?
- What Are the Best Souvenirs You’ve Ever Collected While Traveling?
- Would You Like to Live in Another Country?
- Would You Want to Be a Space Tourist?
Looks, Fashion and Health
- What Does Your Hairstyle Say About You?
- How Far Would You Go for Fashion?
- What Are the Hot Fashion Trends at Your School Right Now?
- Do You Have a Signature Clothing Item?
- Has Anyone Ever Said That You Look Like Someone Famous?
- Would You Ever Consider Getting a Tattoo?
- What Are Your Opinions on Cosmetic Surgery?
- Do Photoshopped Images Make You Feel Bad About Your Own Looks?
- What Are Your Sleep Habits?
- How Much of a Priority Do You Make Sleep?
- Do You Get Enough Sleep?
- What Health Tips Have Worked for You?
Shopping and Driving
- What’s Your Favorite Store? Why?
- To What Company Would You Write a Letter of Complaint or Admiration?
- To What Business Would You Like to Give Advice?
- How Would You Make Over Your Mall?
- Do You Shop at Locally Owned Businesses?
- What Are the Best Things You’ve Acquired Secondhand?
- How Important Is It to Have a Driver’s License?
- Are You a Good Driver?
Food and Eating
- What Are the Most Memorable Meals You’ve Ever Had?
- What’s Your Favorite Holiday Food Memory?
- What’s Your Comfort Food?
- What Are Your Favorite Junk Foods?
- What Food Would You Like to Judge in a Taste-Off?
- Do You Prefer Your Tacos ‘Authentic’ or ‘Appropriated’?
- Do You Pay Attention to Nutrition Labels on Food?
- How Concerned Are You About Where Your Food Comes From?
- Are Your Eating Habits Healthy?
- What Are Your ‘Food Rules’?
- Do You Eat Too Quickly?
- What Do You Eat During the School Day?
- Do You Eat Cafeteria Food?
- How Much Food Does Your Family Waste?
- What Messages About Food and Eating Have You Learned From Your Family?
- What’s Your Favorite Restaurant?
- What Restaurant Would You Most Like to Review?
- Do You Cook?
- What Would You Most Like to Learn to Cook or Bake?
Holidays, Seasons, Weather and Weekends
- How Can People Make the Most of Long Holiday Weekends?
- What’s Your Sunday Routine?
- What’s on Your Fall Fashion Shopping List?
- Will You Be Wearing a Halloween Costume This Year?
- Do You Like Scary Movies and Books?
- Do You Believe in Ghosts?
- What Are Your Thanksgiving Traditions?
- What Are Your Tips for Enjoying the Holiday Season?
- How Will You Spend the Holiday Break?
- Do You Make New Year’s Resolutions?
- How Do You Fight the Winter Blues?
- What Are Your Experiences With Severe Weather?
- How Do You Feel About Valentine’s Day?
- How Do You Celebrate Spring?
- What Would Your Fantasy Spring Break Be Like?
- How Careful Are You in the Sun?
- What Are You Looking Forward to This Summer?
- What Would Your Ideal Summer Camp Be Like?
- What Are Your Favorite Summer Hangouts?
- What’s Your Favorite Summer Food?
- What Is Your Favorite Summer Movie?
- Do You Have a Summer Job?
- Do You Choose Summer Activities to Look Good on Applications?
- What Are the Best Things You Did This Summer?
- How Do You Prepare to Go Back to School?
Beliefs, Politics and Current Events
- How Would You Like to Help Our World?
- What Cause Would Get You Into the Streets?
- What Would You Risk Your Life For?
- When Have You Spoken Out About Something You Felt Had to Change?
- What Would You Invent to Make the World a Better Place?
- How Do You Feel About Zoos?
- What Is Your Relationship With Guns?
- Do You Trust Your Government?
- Do You Know Your First Amendment Rights?
- Do You Worry About Terrorism?
- Do You Believe in Intelligent Alien Life?
- Given Unlimited Resources, What Scientific or Medical Problem Would You Investigate?
- What Would You Do if You Were President?
- Would You Vote This Year if You Could?
- Do You Consider Yourself a Republican, Democrat or Independent?
- What Event in the Past Do You Wish You Could Have Witnessed?
- What Are the Most Important Changes, in Your Life and in the World, in the Last Decade?
- What Do You Remember About Sept. 11, 2001?
- What News Stories Are You Following?
- How Do You Get Your News?
- Why Should We Care About Events in Other Parts of the World?
- What Questions Do You Have About How the World Works?
- What Big Questions Do You Have?
- What Would You Do if You Won the Lottery?
- What Superpower Do You Wish You Had?
- What Era Do You Wish You Had Lived In?
- Would You Want to Be a Tween or Teen Star?
- Would You Want to Grow Up in the Public Eye?
- What Kind of Robot Would You Want?
- What Would You Outsource if You Could?
- What Would You Like to Learn on Your Own?
- What Would You Wait in Line For?
This resource may be used to address the academic standards listed below.
Common Core E.L.A. Anchor Standards
3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
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This is such a fabulous resource for inspiration! Thank you so much for putting this list together. I’ll refer to it often and share it with my readers on my poetry and writing blog.
These are great writing prompts. These remind me of the questions on StoryShelter.com. It’s nice to write there and have all your personal stories in one place where you can share them with friends or post anonymously. Anyone who does narrative or personal writing will find it really useful.
For example, this is how a bunch of people answered the question: “What would you do if you won the lottery?” https://www.storyshelter.com/question/what-if-i-won-the-lottery
Wonderful list! The topics are thought-provoking and exciting to write. I can go writing on and on, on these topics.
How much do you know about your family history?
I know a little bit about my family history. My grandma talks about our religion sometimes, not every day. So I get to hear some facts about my religion. For example what we do on New Year’s or what happened when I wasn’t born yet. My family history is very interesting.
My mom she is Cambodian and my dad is Thai so I’m mixed Asian. Everybody say that I mostly look like my dad than my mom, and that’s interesting to me.
My dad side of the family, my great great grandma, grandpa and aunts and uncles. They are living in Thailand. I want to go to Thailand really bad. My mom side of the family, my great great grandpa, grandma and my grandma siblings. They are living in Cambodia. My grandma took some pictures in Asia. It looks so different than the United States of America.
So first off, my dad he was born in Thailand and my mom I think she was born in Cambodia. She said that she didn’t went to Cambodia so I really don’t know. So my family (parents, grandparents, aunts and uncle immigrated to the United States of America and became citizens. That time they lived in Stockton, California. I could of live there still. But my dad he went to school in New Hampshire and got a job here and the job over here paid a lot more money than California. So Then my mom side of the family came with my parents, and my dad side of the family stayed in California that was in the 1990s when they moved to New Hampshire. Then they separated, so now we don’t live together anymore.
Now my aunt lives in Massachusetts and my other aunt lives in Rhode Island. So when my parents lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, I wasn’t born yet. But I wish that we still lived in California. So we
My life is interesting to me. I have families in Cambodia and Thailand, and I haven’t met them yet. Also the things we do on New Year’s and other occasions. So that’s what I know about my family history.
OMG!! Where have you been all my life I am very excited about this!!
I wish I was more of a journaler. These are some fantastic prompts for writing personal stories. With 500 listed here, there’s no way you wouldn’t find an inspiring prompt.
I’m more of a fiction writer, and I’ve chosen to write prompts that help fiction writers expand their imagination.
200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing - The New York Times
200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing Education 1. Is cheating getting worse? 2. Should students be able to grade their teachers? 3. Does your school hand out too many a s? 4. Should middle school students be drug tested? 5. Should reading and math be taught in gym class too? 6. How seriously should we take standardized tests? 7. How well do you think standardized tests measure your abilities? 8. Do you spend too much time preparing for standardized tests? 9. Should schools offer cash bonuses for good test scores? 10. Should we rethink how long students spend in high school? 11. Do schools provide students with enough opportunities to be creative? 12. What are you really learning at school? 13. How important is arts education? 14. Does gym help students perform better in all their classes? 15. Who should be able to see students records? 16. Are children of illegal immigrants entitled to a public education? 17. What is the right amount of group work in school? 18. Is your school day too short?
75. Should video games be considered a sport? 76. Should stores sell violent video games to minors? 77. Can a video game be a work of art? 78. Do violent video games make people more violent in real life? 79. When should you feel guilty for killing zombies? 80. What game would you like to redesign? 81. What were the best movies you saw in the ...
Video , Games , Violent , Video games , Violent video games
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Transcription of 200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing - The New York Times
1 200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing Education 1. Is cheating getting worse? 2. Should students be able to grade their teachers? 3. Does your school hand out too many a s? 4. Should middle school students be drug tested? 5. Should reading and math be taught in gym class too? 6. How seriously should we take standardized tests? 7. How well do you think standardized tests measure your abilities? 8. Do you spend too much time preparing for standardized tests? 9. Should schools offer cash bonuses for good test scores? 10. Should we rethink how long students spend in high school? 11. Do schools provide students with enough opportunities to be creative? 12. What are you really learning at school? 13. How important is arts education? 14. Does gym help students perform better in all their classes? 15. Who should be able to see students records? 16. Are children of illegal immigrants entitled to a public education? 17. What is the right amount of group work in school? 18. Is your school day too short?
2 19. Do you think a longer school calendar is a good idea? 20. Should the dropout age be raised? 21. Should students be allowed to skip senior year of high school? 22. How does your school deal with students who misbehave? 23. Should schools be allowed to use corporal punishment? 24. How big a problem is bullying or cyberbullying in your school or community? 25. How should schools address bullying? 26. Should schools put tracking devices in students id cards? 27. What do you think of grouping students by ability in schools? 28. Do we need a new way to teach math? 29. Does class size matter? 30. Should all students get equal space in a yearbook? 31. Is prom worth it? 32. How important are parent-teacher conferences? 33. Should all children be able to go to preschool? 34. Should colleges use admissions criteria other than sat scores and grades? 35. What criteria should be used in awarding scholarships for college? 36. Do you support affirmative action? 37. Do college rankings matter?
3 38. How necessary is a college education? 39. Should engineers pay less for college than English majors? Technology and Social Media 40. Are the web filters at your school too restrictive? 41. Does technology make us more alone? 42. Are you distracted by technology? 43. Do apps help you or just waste your time? 44. Do you spend too much time on smart phones playing stupid games ? 45. Has Facebook lost its edge? 46. Does Facebook ever make you feel bad? 47. Should what you say on Facebook be grounds for getting fired? 48. Should people be allowed to obscure their identities online? 49. What should the punishment be for acts of cyberbullying? 50. Is online learning as good as face-to-face learning? 51. Do your teachers use technology well? 52. Should tablet computers become the primary way students learn in class? 53. Can cellphones be educational tools? 54. Should computer games be used for classroom instruction? 55. How young is too young for an iPhone? 56. Should companies collect information about you?
4 57. Would you trade your paper books for digital versions? 200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing 58. Are digital photographs too plentiful to be meaningful? 59. Do you worry we are filming too much? 60. Would you want a pair of Google s computer glasses? 61. How would you feel about a computer grading your essays? 62. What role will robots play in our future? 63. How many text messages are too many? 64. How much do you trust online reviews? Arts and Media: TV, Music, video games and Literature 65. Why do we like to watch rich people on TV and in the movies? 66. Do TV shows like 16 and Pregnant promote or discourage teenage pregnancy? 67. Does TV capture the diversity of America yet? 68. Is TV too white? 69. Is TV stronger than ever, or becoming obsolete? 70. Does reality TV promote dangerous stereotypes? 71. What current musicians do you think will stand the test of time? 72. What artists or bands of today are destined for the rock and roll hall of fame? 73. What musician, actor or author should be a superstar, but hasn t quite made it yet?
5 74. Will musical training make you more successful? 75. Should video games be considered a sport? 76. Should stores sell violent video games to minors? 77. Can a video game be a work of art? 78. Do violent video games make people more violent in real life? 79. When should you feel guilty for killing zombies? 80. What game would you like to redesign? 81. What were the best movies you saw in the past year? 82. To what writer would you award a prize? 83. Do you prefer your children s book characters obedient or contrary? 84. Where is the line between truth and fiction? 85. Can graffiti ever be considered art? 86. Do we need art in our lives? 87. What makes a good commercial? 88. Why did a cheerios ad attract so many angry comments online? 89. Does pop culture deserve serious study? Gender Issues 90. Do parents have different hopes and standards for their sons than for their daughters? 91. Is school designed more for girls than boys? 92. Is there too much pressure on girls to have perfect bodies?
6 93. How much pressure do boys face to have the perfect body? 94. Do Photoshopped images make you feel bad about your own looks? 95. Is it for men and boys to comment on women and girls on the street? 96. What should we do to fight sexual violence against young women? 97. How do you feel about Rihanna and Chris Brown getting back together? 98. Do fraternities promote misogyny? 99. Why aren t there more girls in leadership roles? 100. Why aren t more girls choosing to pursue careers in math and science? 101. Should women be allowed to fight on the front lines alongside men? 102. Do you believe in equal rights for women and men? 103. Are women better at compromising and collaborating? 104. Do boys have less intense friendships than girls? Sports and Athletics 105. If football is so dangerous to players, should we be watching it? 106. Should parents let their children play football? 107. Should college football players get paid? 108. When do pranks cross the line to become bullying?
7 109. Has baseball lost its cool? 110. Are some youth sports too intense? 111. Is it offensive for sports teams to use Native American names and mascots? 112. Where should colleges and sports teams draw the line in selling naming rights? 113. Should colleges fund wellness programs instead of sports? 200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing 114. Is cheerleading a sport? 115. How big a deal is it that an player came out as gay? 116. Should there be stricter rules about how coaches treat their players? 117. Should athletes who dope have to forfeit their titles and medals? 118. Should sports betting be legal everywhere? 119. Should home-schoolers be allowed to play public school sports? 120. Would you want a bike share program for your community? Politics and the Legal System 121. What local problems do you think your mayor should try to solve? 122. If you were governor of your state, how would you spend a budget surplus? 123. When is the use of military force justified?
8 124. What is more important: our privacy or national security? 125. Should the be spying on its friends? 126. Do you trust your government? 127. What do you think of the police tactic of stop-and-frisk? 128. Do rich people get off easier when they break the law? 129. Should rich people have to pay more taxes? 130. Do laws that ban offensive words make the world a better place? 131. Is it principled, or irresponsible, for politicians to threaten a shutdown? 132. Do leaders have moral obligations? 133. Do great leaders have to be outgoing? 134. How should we prevent future mass shootings? 135. Should guns be permitted on college campuses? 136. Would you feel safer with armed guards patrolling your school? 137. What is your relationship with guns? 138. Do you support or oppose the death penalty? 139. When should juvenile offenders receive life sentences? Parenting and Childhood 140. Do we give children too many trophies? 141. When do you become an adult? 142. When should you be able to buy cigarettes, drink alcohol, vote, drive and fight in wars?
9 143. Should the morning-after pill be sold over the counter to people under 17? 144. Should birth control pills be available to teenage girls without a prescription? 145. Is modern culture ruining childhood? 146. Are adults hurting young children by pushing them to achieve? 147. How, and by whom, should children be taught appropriate behavior? 148. What can older people learn from your generation? 149. Do shame and blame work to change teenage behavior? 150. How should children be taught about puberty and sex? 151. Is dating a thing of the past? 152. How should parents handle a bad report card? 153. Should children be allowed to wear whatever they want? 154. How should educators and legislators deal with minors who sext ? 155. Do you think child stars have it rough? Health and Nutrition 156. Is smoking still a problem among teenagers? 157. Are antismoking ads effective? 158. Is drinking and driving still a problem for teenagers? 159. Do you think a healthier school lunch program is a lost cause?
10 160. How concerned are you about where your food comes from? 161. Is it ethical to eat meat? 162. Do you prefer your tacos authentic or appropriated ? 163. Should the government limit the size of sugary drinks? 164. Should marijuana be legal? 165. Should students be required to take drug tests? 200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing Personal Character and Morality Questions 166. Do bystanders have a responsibility to intervene when there is trouble? 167. Should you care about the health and safety of those making your clothing? 168. Can money buy you happiness? 169. Does buying and accumulating more and more stuff make us happier? 170. Are we losing the art of listening? 171. Do people complain too much? 172. Can kindness become cool? 173. Which is more important: talent or hard work? 174. How important is keeping your cool? 175. When should you compromise? 176. Is your generation more self-centered than earlier generations? 177. Can you be good without God? 178.
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100 Thought-Provoking Argumentative Writing Prompts for Kids and Teens
Practice making well-reasoned arguments using research and facts.
Writing a strong argumentative essay teaches students to make a case for their own point of view without relying on emotion or passion. These argumentative essay topics provide options for kids of all ages, including controversial subjects and some that are just for fun.
School and Education Argumentative Essay Topics
Science and history argumentative essay topics, life and ethics argumentative essay topics, social justice and civics argumentative essay topics, more argumentative essay topics, what’s the difference between argumentative and persuasive essays.
These two types of essays are similar, but there are some subtle and important differences .
- Author’s purpose: In an argumentative essay, your job is to simply convince the reader that the point of view you’re presenting is valid, even if it doesn’t change their mind. Persuasive essays seek to sway the reader to adopt your point of view over any others.
- Method: Argumentative essays rely heavily on well-researched facts and logical assertions. In a persuasive essay, the writer may use a blend of emotion and facts to win over the reader.
- Audience: Persuasive essays require a specific audience, since the writer must acknowledge and attempt to overcome their potential objections. The writer of an argumentative essay is simply making a statement, so knowing their audience is less important.
- Viewpoint: A persuasive essay writer should believe their point of view is the only correct one, and try to persuade the reader to agree. Argumentative essays acknowledge other points of view, but use reason and logic to argue that the writer’s point of view is best.
Persuasive and argumentative essay topics often overlap. The difference is in how the writer approaches the topic. When you assign one of the topics below as an argumentative essay, remind students to use research, reason, and logic to make a strong but dispassionate argument.
- Should physical education be part of the standard high school curriculum?
- Schools should require recommended vaccines for all students, with very limited exceptions.
- Should all students have the ability to attend college for free?
- What one class should all high schools students be required to take and pass in order to graduate?
- Do you think homework should be required, optional, or not given at all?
- Students should/should not be able to use their phones during the school day.
- Should schools have dress codes?
- If I could change one school rule, it would be …
- Is year-round school a good idea?
- Which is better, private schools or public schools?
- Should every student have to participate in athletics?
- Do you think schools should ban junk food from their cafeterias?
- Should students be required to volunteer in their communities?
- What is the most important school subject?
- Are letter grades helpful, or should we replace them with something else?
- Should schools be allowed to ban some books from their libraries?
- Which is better, book smarts or street smarts?
- Are single-gender schools better or worse for students?
- Are computers making teachers obsolete?
- Students who fail a test should be given a chance to take it again.
- Is it acceptable to use animals for experiments and research?
- Vaping is less harmful than smoking tobacco.
- Do we really learn anything from history, or does it just repeat itself over and over?
- Is it OK to keep animals in zoos?
- Should we ban plastic bags and bottles?
- Should we still consider Pluto a planet?
- It’s important to spend tax dollars exploring space, instead of on other things.
- Is there life on other planets?
- Who was the best/worst American president?
- Should vaccines be mandatory?
- Are GMOs more helpful than harmful?
- Is animal cloning ethical?
- Should human cloning be legal?
- Should we use stem cells from human embryos for scientific research?
- Is it better to provide drug addicts with treatment instead of punishment?
- Should we ban the use of fossil fuels?
- Can we truly do anything about human-caused global warming?
- Are electric vehicles better than gas-powered ones?
- Was life really better “back in the day”?
- Choose a foreign conflict (e.g., Vietnam or Afghanistan) and argue whether or not the United States was justified in getting involved.
- The most important challenge our country is currently facing is … (e.g., immigration, gun control, economy)
- Does social media do more harm than good?
- The best country in the world is …
- Are men and women treated equally?
- Is it better to be vegetarian/vegan than to eat meat?
- Should little kids be allowed to play competitive sports?
- Who faces more peer pressure, girls or boys?
- Should kids have set bedtimes or just go to bed whenever they’re sleepy?
- Which is better, artificial Christmas trees or real ones?
- Playing violent video games is bad for kids and teens.
- Parents should track their kids using their cell phones.
- Are paper books better than e-books?
- All kids should play on the same sports teams, regardless of gender.
- All paper documents should be replaced with electronic versions.
- Is conflict necessary for change?
- Is war ever justified?
- A strong middle class is vital to the economy.
- Is the local minimum wage truly a living wage?
- Should we do away with gender-specific public bathrooms?
- Is a progressive income tax better than a flat tax?
- Capital punishment does/does not deter crime.
- Would it be better to legalize, tax, and regulate all drugs (including alcohol and cigarettes) instead of banning them?
- Parents should be punished for their minor children’s crimes.
- The government should provide free internet access for every citizen.
- Is democracy the best form of government?
- Is capitalism the best form of economy?
- Should all Americans be required to vote?
- Should we change the minimum driving age in the United States?
- Do you think the government should find a way to provide free health care for everyone?
- School-age children should be allowed to vote.
- We should/should not abolish the electoral college.
- Are “Stand Your Ground” laws effective?
- Supreme Court judges should be appointed for fixed terms.
- Does segregation still exist in the United States?
- We should/should not continue building a wall between the United States and Mexico.
- Will stricter gun control laws help control mass shootings?
- Should we make the path to American citizenship easier?
- Is the American justice system inherently racist?
- Should we redirect some or all police force funding to social services?
- Should the United States implement a universal basic income?
- Choose a fictional character and explain why they should be the next president.
- What animal makes the best pet?
- Who is the world’s best athlete, present or past?
- Which is better, reading books or watching TV?
- Is a taco a sandwich?
- Should kids be allowed to stay up as late as they want?
- What’s the best video game system?
- Kids shouldn’t have to go to school on their birthdays.
- Is video gaming a sport?
- Are beauty pageants sexist?
- Should kids get participation trophies for sports?
- Are stereotypes ever right?
- Is there any benefit to teaching proper grammar and spelling, or should we allow language to be descriptive instead of prescriptive?
- All teenagers should have part-time jobs.
- Should kids have limits on screen time?
- Is it better to read fiction or nonfiction?
- Should kids have to eat everything on their plate, even if they really don’t like something?
- Is it better to spend an hour a day reading or exercising?
- Is graffiti an act of vandalism or an art form?
- Should society hold celebrities to a high moral standard?
What are your favorite argumentative writing prompts? Come share your thoughts in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .
Also check out 100 intriguing cause and effect essay topics for students ..
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300 Questions and Images to Inspire Argument Writing
Recent Student Opinion and Picture Prompts, categorized by topic, to help students discover the issues that matter to them.
By The Learning Network
Update: This list is available as a PDF .
If you’ve taught argument writing with our resources in the past, you already know we ask a fresh question every day as part of our long-running Student Opinion series . Teenagers around the world are invited to visit and post their thoughts on topics including politics, medical ethics, fashion, sports and entertainment.
We’ve rounded up lists of these prompts in the past, but this year we’re doing something new: Below you can find a categorized collection of all our recent, relevant Student Opinion questions, but alongside them we’re also including related Picture Prompts. These short, image-based forums are accessible to learners of all ages, but still provide engaging jumping-off points to help students make and support claims.
For instance, let’s say your class is interested in meme culture. A Student Opinion question asks, “ Do Memes Make the Internet a Better Place? ” and invites students to read and weigh in on a New York Times article that examines the role of memes in how teenagers process world events. Over 700 students have already submitted their thoughts .
But if you scan the “Technology and Social Media” category below, you’ll see we also have a Picture Prompt that asks a more direct, concrete question: “ What are your favorite memes? ” For many, that may be a fun, comfortable place to start.
So give your students both “voice and choice” by inviting them to find the questions and format that speak to them. All the prompts below are still open for comment. We look forward to seeing which ones inspire the most passionate arguments, and we invite your class to submit the results to our Eighth Annual Editorial Contest .
Argumentative Prompt Topics
Technology & social media, coronavirus, college & career, mental & physical health, race & gender, parenting & childhood, ethics & morality, government & politics, other questions.
1. How Worried Should We Be About Screen Time During the Pandemic? 2. How Do You Feel About Cancel Culture? 3. Do Memes Make the Internet a Better Place? 4. Does Online Public Shaming Prevent Us From Being Able to Grow and Change? 5. How Young Is Too Young to Use Social Media? 6. Where Should We Draw the Line Between Community Health and Safety and Individual Liberty and Privacy? 7. Do You Think Online Conspiracy Theories Can Be Dangerous? 8. What Do You Think of the Decision by Tech Companies to Block President Trump? 9. Should the Adults in Your Life Be Worried by How Much You Use Your Phone? 10. Is Your Phone Love Hurting Your Relationships? 11. Do You Trust Facebook? 12. Do You Think Recreational Drones Are Safe? 13. Should Kids Be Social Media Influencers? 14. Does Grammar Still Matter in the Age of Twitter? 15. Should Texting While Driving Be Treated Like Drunken Driving? 16. How Do You Think Technology Affects Dating?
17. Online Video Games : Does more need to be done to make online gaming communities safer? 18. A Computer in Everything : Do “smart” devices worry you? 19. Snail Mail : Do you think handwritten cards and letters still have value in the digital age? 20. Cyberbullying : Should social media companies do more to prevent online harassment? 21. Phone Manners : Are there times when you think using your phone while you’re with other people is rude? 22. Alarm Clocks : Are there any “dumb” devices that you think are better than “smart” devices? 23. Phone Warnings : Should tech devices come with addiction advisories? 24. Phones in Church : Are there some places where phones just don’t belong? 25. Driverless Cars : What do you think about driverless cars? 26. Texting While Walking : Should looking at your phone while crossing the street be illegal? 27. Device Addiction? : As a society, are we too addicted to our devices? 28. ‘A Man Needs His Nuggs’ : What do you think of Carter Wilkerson’s quest, and its results? 29. Soothing Video Games : Can video games intended to calm the mind be fun? Worthwhile? 30. Our Lives on Social Media : How much do you think we can judge our collective happiness by what is posted on social media? 31. ‘Bracelet of Silence’ : Would you wear privacy armor? 32. Baby Yoda : What are your favorite memes? 33. Tesla’s ‘Cybertruck’ : What do you think of this “pickup of the future”? 34. The ‘Bird Box’ Challenge : What do you think of social media challenges like this one?
35. Should Media Literacy Be a Required Course in School? 36. Should Schools Be Able to Discipline Students for What They Say on Social Media? 37. How Should Schools Hold Students Accountable for Hurting Others? 38. Should Schools Provide Free Pads and Tampons? 39. Can Empathy Be Taught? Should Schools Try to Help Us Feel One Another’s Pain? 40. When the Pandemic Ends, Will School Change Forever? 41. Should Schools Change How They Grade Students During the Pandemic? 42. Should Students Be Monitored When Taking Online Tests? 43. Should There Still Be Snow Days? 44. How Should Racial Slurs in Literature Be Handled in the Classroom? 45. Should Teachers Be Allowed to Wear Political Symbols? 46. Should Schools or Employers Be Allowed to Tell People How They Should Wear Their Hair? 47. Are Straight A’s Always a Good Thing? 48. Should Schools Teach You How to Be Happy? 49. How Do You Think American Education Could Be Improved? 50. Should Schools Test Their Students for Nicotine and Drug Use? 51. Can Social Media Be a Tool for Learning and Growth in Schools? 52. Should Facial Recognition Technology Be Used in Schools? 53. Should Your School Day Start Later? 54. Should Yearbooks Include Political News? 55. How Should Senior Year in High School Be Spent? 56. Should Teachers Be Armed With Guns? 57. Is School a Place for Self-Expression? 58. Should Students Be Punished for Not Having Lunch Money? 59. Is Live-Streaming Classrooms a Good Idea? 60. Should Gifted and Talented Education Be Eliminated? 61. What Are the Most Important Things Students Should Learn in School? 62. Should Schools Be Allowed to Censor Student Newspapers? 63. Do You Feel Your School and Teachers Welcome Both Conservative and Liberal Points of View? 64. Should Teachers and Professors Ban Student Use of Laptops in Class? 65. Should Schools Teach About Climate Change? 66. Should All Schools Offer Music Programs? 67. Does Your School Need More Money? 68. Should All Schools Teach Cursive? 69. What Role Should Textbooks Play in Education? 70. Do Kids Need Recess? 71. Should Public Preschool Be a Right for All Children?
72. Graduation in a Pandemic : Is your school doing enough to honor seniors? 73. Most Challenged Books : Are there books that don’t belong in schools or public libraries? 74. Mascot : If you could choose one mascot to represent your school, what would it be? 75. Math : How do you feel about math? 76. Sleep Deprivation : Do you think school should start later for teenagers? 77. Standardized Tests : Is there too much testing at your school? Why or why not? 78. Teacher Walkouts : Do you think teachers should be paid more? Why or why not? 79. Mermaid School : If there could be a special school that would teach you something you really want to learn, what would that school be?
Article-Based Prompts 80. What Weaknesses and Strengths About Our World Are Being Exposed by This Pandemic? 81. As Coronavirus Cases Surge, How Should Leaders Decide What Stays Open and What Closes? 82. How Should We Balance Safety and Urgency in Developing a Covid-19 Vaccine? 83. Do You Want Your Parents and Grandparents to Get the New Coronavirus Vaccine? 84. Do You Think People Have Gotten Too Relaxed About Covid? 85. How Do You Feel About Mask-Slipping?
86. Surge : How should the United States keep the coronavirus pandemic at bay? 87. Masks : What “civic rules” do you think we should all follow now? 88. Paid to Laugh : Would you attend a live TV show taping — if you got money for it? 89. Dolly’s Donation : How do you feel about celebrity philanthropy? 90. Crowds and Covid : How do you feel about crowds during the pandemic? 91. Going Nowhere Fast : Would you take a flight to nowhere?
92. Should Students Be Required to Take the SAT and ACT to Apply to College? 93. Should National Service Be Required for All Young Americans? 94. What Is Your Reaction to the College Admissions Cheating Scandal? 95. Is the College Admissions Process Fair? 96. Should Everyone Go to College? 97. Should College Be Free? 98. Are Lavish Amenities on College Campuses Useful or Frivolous? 99. Should ‘Despised Dissenters’ Be Allowed to Speak on College Campuses? 100. How Should the Problem of Sexual Assault on Campuses Be Addressed? 101. Should Fraternities Be Abolished? 102. Is Student Debt Worth It? 103. Do Other People Care Too Much About Your Post-High School Plans? 104. Should All Young People Learn How to Invest in the Stock Market?
105. Jack-of-All-Trades : Is it better to focus on one thing early in life and get really good at it?
106. Should Students Get Mental Health Days Off From School? 107. Is Struggle Essential to Happiness? 108. Does Every Country Need a ‘Loneliness Minister’? 109. Should Schools Teach Mindfulness? 110. Should All Children Be Vaccinated? 111. What Do You Think About Vegetarianism? 112. Do We Worry Too Much About Germs? 113. What Advice Should Parents and Counselors Give Teenagers About Sexting? 114. Are Emotional-Support Animals a Scam? 115. Do You Believe in Manifesting?
116. Optimism : Is your glass half-empty or half-full? 117. Cursing : Is it ever OK, useful or even healthy to curse? Or is it always inappropriate? 118. Anger Rooms : Do you think places like this are a good idea?
119. What Is Your Reaction to the Days of Protest That Followed the Death of George Floyd? 120. How Should Parents Teach Their Children About Race and Racism? 121. Is America ‘Backsliding’ on Race? 122. Should All Americans Receive Anti-Bias Education? 123. Should All Companies Require Anti-Bias Training for Employees? 124. Should Columbus Day Be Replaced With Indigenous Peoples Day? 125. Is Fear of ‘The Other’ Poisoning Public Life? 126. Justice Ginsburg Fought for Gender Equality. How Close Are We to Achieving That Goal? 127. What Should #MeToo Mean for Teenage Boys? 128. Should There Be More Boy Dolls? 129. Should the Boy Scouts Be Coed? 130. What Is Hard About Being a Boy?
131. Fashion-Show Diversity : What other industries or aspects of life need more diversity? 132. A Town’s New Seal : Why do you think Whitesboro, N.Y., decided to change its seal? 133. Gender Expectations : Do you ever find gender expectations or norms confining? 134. Women’s History Month : What does this holiday mean to you? 135. Boys and Men : What does it mean to “be a man”? 136. Women in Movies : Should some movies dominated by male actors be remade with largely female casts? 137. Unisex Clothing : Should clothing labeling be unisex? 138. Feminism : Do you consider yourself a feminist? 139. Gender and ‘Genderless’ : Do you think that gender is binary?
140. What Are the Greatest Songs of All Time? 141. Should Museums Return Looted Artifacts to Their Countries of Origin? 142. How Do You Feel About Censored Music? 143. What Role Should Celebrities Have During the Coronavirus Crisis? 144. Can You Separate Art From the Artist? 145. Are There Subjects That Should Be Off-Limits to Artists, or to Certain Artists in Particular? 146. Should Art Come With Trigger Warnings? 147. Should Graffiti Be Protected? 148. Is the Digital Era Improving or Ruining the Experience of Art? 149. Are Museums Still Important in the Digital Age? 150. In the Age of Digital Streaming, Are Movie Theaters Still Relevant? 151. Is Hollywood Becoming More Diverse? 152. What Stereotypical Characters Make You Cringe? 153. Do We Need More Female Superheroes? 154. Do Video Games Deserve the Bad Rap They Often Get? 155. Should Musicians Be Allowed to Copy or Borrow From Other Artists? 156. Is Listening to a Book Just as Good as Reading It? 157. Is There Any Benefit to Reading Books You Hate?
158. Hologram Musicians : Which departed artists would you like to see perform live? 159. Movie Theaters : In the age of digital streaming, are movie theaters still relevant? 160. ‘The Image of the Revolution’ : What is it about this photograph that makes it so powerful? 161. Book Covers : What are your favorite book covers? Why? 162. Fashion Trends : What are your favorite fashion trends? What trends do you hate? 163. Fashion Comebacks : What trends from the past would you like to see revived? 164. Murals : Can art be an act of resistance? 165. An 18-Karat Throne : Is this art? 166. A Hug Seen Around the World : Why do you think this image became so popular so quickly? 167. The Role of Public Broadcasting : Do you think programs like “Sesame Street” make the U.S. smarter, stronger and safer? 168. Best Books? : What have you read and loved this year?
169. Should Girls and Boys Sports Teams Compete in the Same League? 170. Should College Athletes Be Paid? 171. Are Youth Sports Too Competitive? 172. Is It Selfish to Pursue Risky Sports Like Extreme Mountain Climbing? 173. How Should We Punish Sports Cheaters? 174. Should Technology in Sports Be Limited? 175. Should Blowouts Be Allowed in Youth Sports? 176. Are Some Youth Sports Too Intense? 177. Does Better Sports Equipment Unfairly Improve Athletic Ability? 178. Is It Offensive for Sports Teams and Their Fans to Use Native American Names, Imagery and Gestures?
179. Brady’s Big Move : How do you feel about Tom Brady leaving the Patriots? 180. Tiger Woods Wins : What are the greatest comebacks in history? 181. Referees : Do sports officials deserve more respect? 182. $430 Million Deal : Is any athlete worth that amount of money? 183. Super Bowl Commercials : Was it smart for advertisers to steer clear of controversy in 2019? 184. Champions : What team in any sport would you like to see win a championship? 185. The Outspoken N.B.A. : Should all sports leagues treat political speech as a right for their players? 186. Gymnastics on Horseback : What is the world’s most difficult sport? 187. Tackle Football : Should children under the age of 12 play tackle football, in your opinion? 188. Breakdancing : Should dance be an Olympic event? 189. Coed Sports : Do you think women and men should compete against each other in sports? 190. Super Bowl Halftime Performer : Whom would you choose to perform at the Super Bowl, and why? 191. Colin Kaepernick’s Protest : What do you think of this protest?
192. Should Parents Track Their Children? 193. Who Should Decide Whether a Teenager Can Get a Tattoo or Piercing? 194. Is It Harder to Grow Up in the 21st Century Than It Was in the Past? 195. Is Childhood Today Over-Supervised? 196. How Should Parents Talk to Their Children About Drugs? 197. What Should We Call Your Generation? 198. Do Parents Ever Cross a Line by Helping Too Much With Schoolwork? 199. What’s the Best Way to Discipline Children? 200. What Are Your Thoughts on ‘Snowplow Parents’? 201. Should Stay-at-Home Parents Be Paid? 202. When Do You Become an Adult?
203. Household Chores : Do you think children should help out around the house? 204. Spy Cams : Should parents use smart devices to keep tabs on their children when they’re home alone? 205. Adults With Rainbow Hair : Are there some trends adults just should not try? 206. Parenting Skills : Should parents say “no” more often when their children ask for new things?
207. Should Students Be Monitored When Taking Online Tests? 208. What Makes a Great Leader? 209. Is It OK to Laugh During Dark Times? 210. Is It Immoral to Increase the Price of Goods During a Crisis? 211. Would You Allow an Ex-Prisoner to Live With You? 212. Would You Return a Lost Wallet? (What if It Had Lots of Money in It?) 213. Is It Wrong to Focus on Animal Welfare When Humans Are Suffering? 214. Is Animal Testing Ever Justified? 215. Should We Be Concerned With Where We Get Our Pets? 216. Is This Exhibit Animal Cruelty or Art? 217. Should Extinct Animals Be Resurrected? If So, Which Ones? 218. Why Do Bystanders Sometimes Fail to Help When They See Someone in Danger? 219. Is It Ethical to Create Genetically Edited Humans? 220. Should Reporters Ever Help the People They Are Covering? 221. Is It OK to Use Family Connections to Get a Job? 222. Is $1 Billion Too Much Money for Any One Person to Have? 223. Are We Being Bad Citizens If We Don’t Keep Up With the News? 224. Should Prisons Offer Incarcerated People Education Opportunities? 225. Should Law Enforcement Be Able to Use DNA Data From Genealogy Websites for Criminal Investigations? 226. Should We Treat Robots Like People?
227. World’s Big Sleep Out : What lengths would you go to in support of a worthy cause? 228. Tipping : Do you leave a tip whenever you’re asked to? 229. Cash Reward : Should you accept a cash reward for doing the right thing? 230. Cheating : Would you tell if you caught your classmates cheating? 231. Do Not Resuscitate : Should doctors have tried to revive this man? 232. Hitler and History : Should the bunker where Hitler killed himself be a tourist attraction? 233. Solving Global Problems : As the head of a global foundation, what problem would you solve?
234. Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished? 235. If You Were a Member of Congress, Would You Vote to Impeach President Trump? 236. Who Do You Think Should Be Person of the Year for 2020? 237. Should the United States Decriminalize the Possession of Drugs? 238. What Would You Do First if You Were the New President? 239. Does Everyone Have a Responsibility to Vote? 240. How Should We Remember the Problematic Actions of the Nation’s Founders? 241. Do You Care Who Sits on the Supreme Court? Should We Care? 242. Is the Electoral College a Problem? Does It Need to Be Fixed? 243. Are Presidential Debates Helpful to Voters? Or Should They Be Scrapped? 244. Is Your Generation Doing Its Part to Strengthen Our Democracy? 245. Should We All Be Able to Vote by Mail? 246. What Issues in the 2020 Presidential Race Are Most Important to You? 247. Do You Think the American Dream Is Real? 248. Should Plastic Bags Be Banned Everywhere? 249. Does the United States Owe Reparations to the Descendants of Enslaved People? 250. Do You Think It Is Important for Teenagers to Participate in Political Activism? 251. Should the Voting Age Be Lowered to 16? 252. What Should Lawmakers Do About Guns and Gun Violence? 253. Should Confederate Statues Be Removed or Remain in Place? 254. Does the U.S. Constitution Need an Equal Rights Amendment? 255. Should National Monuments Be Protected by the Government? 256. Should Free Speech Protections Include Self Expression That Discriminates? 257. How Important Is Freedom of the Press? 258. Should Ex-Felons Have the Right to Vote? 259. Should Marijuana Be Legal? 260. Should the United States Abolish Daylight Saving Time? 261. Should the U.S. Ban Military-Style Semiautomatic Weapons? 262. Should the U.S. Get Rid of the Electoral College? 263. What Do You Think of President Trump’s Use of Twitter? 264. Should Celebrities Weigh In on Politics? 265. Why Is It Important for People With Different Political Beliefs to Talk to Each Other? 266. Should Athletes Speak Out On Social and Political Issues?
267. Government Buildings : Should they all look like the Lincoln Memorial? 268. Oprah for President : Would you vote for her if you could? 269. Peaceful Protesting : In what ways can you demonstrate peacefully to express your views? 270. Student Climate Strikes : What issues do you think deserve more attention? 271. Pennies : Should the United States get rid of the penny? 272. Mandatory Voting? : Should citizens who are 18 or older be required to vote? 273. Dabbing in Congress : Should this teenager have dabbed in his father’s official swearing-in photo? 274. Baby Bonds : Should the government give money to babies?
275. We Document Life’s Milestones. How Should We Document Death? 276. Does Reality TV Deserve Its Bad Rap? 277. Do Marriage Proposals Still Have a Place in Today’s Society? 278. Should We Rethink Thanksgiving? 279. How Do You Decide What News to Believe, What to Question and What to Dismiss? 280. Should the Week Be Four Days Instead of Five? 281. Should Public Transit Be Free? 282. How Important Is Knowing a Foreign Language? 283. Is There a ‘Right Way’ to Be a Tourist? 284. Should Your Significant Other Be Your Best Friend? 285. What Do You Think of the #WalkUpNotOut Movement?
286. Teenage Drivers : What do you think of Georgia’s decision to issue driver’s licenses without road tests? 287. Snow Days : How do you feel about winter weather? 288. Fortune Tellers : Do you believe in psychics? 289. Big City, Small Town : Which would you rather live in? Why? 290. Game Show Winner : Would you ever want to be a contestant on a game show? 291. Fast-Food Buffet : Is this the feast of your dreams or your nightmares? 292. Public Libraries : Are libraries still relevant and important today? 293. Trans Fats : Should trans fats be banned around the world? 294. Dolls : If you could have your favorite toy company make a doll of someone, who would it be and why? 295. Creepy Clowns : How do you feel about clowns? 296. Tattoos : How do you feel about tattooing in general? 297. Brushing Beagle : What are the best dog breeds, in your opinion? 298. U.F.O.s : Do you believe that U.F.O.s are signs of alien life? 299. Small Talk : Do you have the gift of gab? 300. Lottery Winnings : Would you want to win the lottery? Why or why not?
- Emily Merritt
- Topic 3: Reaction/Response
New York Times - 200 Argumentative Essay Prompts
Eng-111-hrm2-2023fa-merritt, 200 prompts for argumentative writing.