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Essay Prompts For Middle Schoolers

The ability to provide information in different contexts is essential to effective communication. Students must practice expository writing throughout their academic careers. The sooner they start, the better. Below are some descriptive, sequential, compare and contrast, cause and effect, and problem/solution writing prompts to help you give your students the practice they need.

Descriptive

  1. Write an essay describing your school to a potentially new student.
  2. Write an essay describing the appeal of reality TV shows.
  3. Write an essay describing a rainy night.
  4. Write an essay describing your first pet.
  5. Write an essay describing your first memory.
  6. It’s Christmas morning and there is a package under the tree containing exactly what you requested. Describe the contents of your package..
  7. Write an essay describing how you feel when you wake up and discover snow on the ground outside — and school has been cancelled.

Sequential

  1. Writing an essay explaining the process you use to style your hair in the morning.
  2. You have invited your two best friends to spend the afternoon at your home. Write an essay telling how your prepare for their visit.
  3. Everyone has lost something at one time or another. Write an essay telling what you did to find what you had lost.
  4. Describe how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  5. Tell how you wash your hair.
  6. Describe the plot of your favorite book.

Compare and Contrast

  1. Write an essay comparing and contrasting ownership of cats and dogs.
  2. Compare and contrast this year in school to last year.
  3. Compare and contrast your two favorite characters.
  4. Compare and contrast your family’s home and the home of your dreams.
  5. Compare and contrast a typical day in your life today and what you think a typical day in your life will be like when you are 25.
  6. Compare and contrast your two favorite teachers.

Cause and Effect

  1. Write an essay telling how peer pressure has affected you this year.
  2. Write an essay explaining what causes students to drop out of high school.
  3. Discuss the causes and effects of bullying in schools.
  4. Discuss the causes and effects of poverty in rural (urban) areas.
  5. Discuss the causes and effects of drug or alcohol use on families.

Problem/Solution

  1. Most students do not read or watch news, resulting in a lack of knowledge about the world outside of their immediate neighborhood. Write an essay describing why this is a problem and telling how this problem might be solved.
  2. Think about the community in which you live. What could you do to make it a better place? Choose one problem that needs to be solved to make your community a better place to live. Write a letter to the editor describing how solving this problem would make your community a better place, and tell what you would do. Give reasons why you think your plan would work.
  3. Think about what you could do to make your school more beautiful. Think about how you would do this. How could you persuade the people in your school that your idea is a good one? Write a letter to the principal of your school asking for support for your plan for making your school more beautiful. Tell what you would do and how you would do it. Explain why you think your plan is important and why it would work.
  4. Think about animal abuse. Some people abuse animals by being intentionally cruel to them or neglecting their basic needs; others abuse animals out of ignorance. Think about what could be done to prevent both kinds of animal abuse. Write a letter to leaders in your community describing how you would solve this problem, and how treating animals better would improve the lives of animals and people. Explain why you think your plan will work.

I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma graduate student, and a NBPTS candidate. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify my students’ voices and choices.

Filed Under: PedagogyTagged With: expository writing prompts

20 Argumentative Essay Topics For Middle School


An argumentative essay is designed to explain to your reader information about one side of an argument. It is a lot like a persuasive essay because the idea is to explain one side of an issue but the idea is to present the facts without your opinion involved. A persuasive essay would display personal opinions. So for an argumentative essay simply state which side of the issue you believe in and then give your reasoning as to why you believe it.

There are some great topics to consider when choosing a topic for your argumentative essay. You would choose a topic that interests you. Once you have the topic, answer the question and then support your answer with at least three reasons why you believe it. For example, if you take the first option on the list, you can write that sports should not be coed and then tell your reader three reasons why it shouldn’t be coed.

  1. Should sports be coed?
  2. Should schools sell fast food?
  3. Should students wear school uniforms?
  4. Should there be harsher punishments for bullying?
  5. Is it fair to ban preteenagers and teenagers from the mall without adult supervision?
  6. Should there be less homework?
  7. When are you old enough to stay home alone?
  8. Should middle school students still have a bed time?
  9. Does summer school benefit the student?
  10. How would you change the school lunch menu?
  11. Should school sports be mandatory?
  12. Do kids watch too much television?
  13. Should kids have chores?
  14. Should you have to wear your seat belt on the bus?
  15. Should students who play sports still have to take Gym class?
  16. Should children be more concerned with what they eat so that they don’t have health problems when they get older?
  17. Should you get a larger allowance?
  18. Should school be year round with more breaks to improve education?
  19. Do violent games and television shows make kids violent?
  20. Should your school have a school newspaper?

Any one of these topics would work well. They are designed to establish a question pertaining to a conflicted view and then challenge yourself to prove your stance. Therefore, you would tell your side of the dispute and then for each body paragraph talk about a different reason why you believe it.

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