Ah, the wonders of the five-paragraph essay. Here is a collection of 10 essay writing prompts that you can use in your classroom, household or for yourself. As a writer who is over six years removed from his last college course, it is strange to think how far removed I am from writing essays. That being said, I enjoyed both outlining and writing essays, crafting thesis statements and coming up with pertinent, interesting conclusions. Perhaps these essay writing prompts can help your students to do the same by focusing on subject areas in which they might have something to write.
1. Some people say that school doesn't teach people about the real world. Do you agree or disagree? Argue your point and include some examples of "real world classes" that you think might be of more use than calculus.
2. What is the value you place on your current friendships? Do you think that your middle or high school friends will be part of your life forever or that they'll fade as you get older? Write an essay about your beliefs on this subject in the context of how important friendship is in general.
3. What is your definition of success? Some people think it has to do with perfection while others are concerned about achieving goals that are worthy in the eyes of society. Explain how you have or have not been successful thus far in life and if you think you will be in the future.
4. Teachers in school have a lot of different teaching styles. Some are more hands on while others want you to memorize as many facts as you can. Describe in an essay the most effective and the least effective teaching styles in your opinion.
5. You may or may not have an idea of what you to do for a living when you enter adulthood. Many adults don't themselves. Describe in a five-paragraph essay, at least three different potential career paths for yourself and why you think they would be a good use of your time.
6. There has been a lot of talk lately about how advertisements are showing children dressed more like adults and thus putting them in a sexualized context. Write about how you think these advertisements have affected you and society as a whole.
7. One of the big differences in entertainment these days is that it's possible to watch television and movies or listen to music almost anywhere that you can bring a phone or a computer. Write an essay about whether you think this constant access to amusement has a positive or negative effect on society.
8. Some education experts have said that the current educational system is weeding out creativity in younger students. Write a five-paragraph essay on the importance of creativity and imagination in school and life and how it would best be fostered in the classroom.
9. Write an essay about what it would have been like to go to school fifty years ago without cell phones, video games and Facebook. How would your educational experience have been different?
10. Imagine that you had to convince someone to live in your town or neighborhood. Write a persuasive essay to convince that person of its value. If you don't like where you live, pick another place and write your essay on that location.
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.