43 Dynamic Writing Prompts for High School

Writing is a big part of the high school English curriculum. With so many potential topics for students to write about, it can be helpful to provide your students with a selection of dynamic writing prompts. Explore these writing prompts for high school students to discover plenty of interesting writing topics suitable for teens.

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Descriptive Writing Prompts for Teens

Many high school composition assignments focus on descriptive writing. Challenge students to make good use of all of the descriptive vocabulary words they've learned over the years to come up with powerful prose packed with vivid descriptions.

  • Explain to a seventh or eighth grader how high school is different than middle school.
  • List and describe the character traits you value the most in a friend.
  • Use words to describe the genre of music that you enjoy the most.
  • Recount examples of symbolism from your favorite book or movie.
  • Use words to allow readers to visualize what your favorite place looks like.
  • Describe bullying behaviors that you have observed or experienced.
  • Describe the study strategies that are most effective for you.
  • How would you use words to illustrate what your town is like to someone who has never been there?
  • Use words to describe what joy feels like.
  • Think about your best day in high school. Describe what made it so great.

Persuasive Writing Prompts for High School

It's important for high school students to master the art of persuasive writing. There are many persuasive essay topics to consider. Use these prompts to prepare students to pen powerful persuasive prose.

  • Convince a scholarship committee that you should receive funding to help pay for college.
  • Try to talk your parents into extending your curfew by a few hours.
  • Coax a friend who is better than you in a particular subject to volunteer to tutor you.
  • Influence your classmates to vote for you as president of the student council.
  • Sway a friend to join a school club or organization with you.
  • Convince your older sibling to loan you his or her favorite jacket.
  • Try to get your parents to give you permission to get an after-school job.
  • Illustrate why your parents should allow you to drive their car.
  • Encourage your parents to put you in charge of family meal preparation one evening each week.
  • Convince your parents to let you get a new pet.
  • Pitch the school principal on why a class that you'd really like to take should be added to the curriculum.

Teenage Issues to Write About

It's often easiest to write about things that are familiar to you. Providing teens with promotes to write about that are relevant to real issues that teenagers face can be a good way to help reduce the intimidation factor associated with writing assignments.

  • Explain the benefits and drawbacks of video games.
  • Identify career options for young people that don't require college.
  • Discuss how to choose the best college for you.
  • Explore how teenagers should help out around the house.
  • Write about careers related to your favorite subject in school.
  • Explain what it's like to experience bullying.
  • Discuss the most important safety concerns for high school students.
  • Clarify how teenagers can recognize predatory online behavior.
  • Explore the risks of underage drinking and/or illegal drug use.
  • Provide insights into what it's like to experience peer pressure.
  • How is your generation misunderstood by people who are in older generations?

Thought-Provoking Writing Prompts for Teens

While writing about familiar topics can be a good idea, sometimes high schoolers should write about things that require critical thinking and/or research. Assigning thought-provoking writing prompts is a great way to encourage learners to step outside of their comfort zone and stretch their writing abilities.

  • What would you do if you were elected to Congress?
  • Which political office would you most like to hold? Why?
  • If you were responsible for your family's budget, what changes would you make?
  • What are the most important factors to consider when choosing a career?
  • What's the most valuable life lesson you have learned so far?
  • If you could move to another country, which one would you choose? Why?
  • What changes can you make in your daily life that would help reduce carbon impact?
  • Do standardized tests really measure how smart someone is?
  • Should high school students be required to wear uniforms to school?
  • Should student-athletes who play sports in college be paid for doing so?
  • What should be included in a code of ethics for high school students?

Printable High School Writing Prompt List

If you'd like a printable list featuring some of the above writing prompts, just download the printable provided below. Keep it in your lesson binder, or even give a copy to your students and allow them to select a subject to cover in their next writing assignment.

high school writing prompts

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Building Creative Writing Skills in High School

Developing strong writing skills in high school will help prepare students for success later in life, no matter what path they take after leaving your class. Virtually every occupation requires the ability to communicate effectively in writing. These writing prompts for high school provide a great deal of variety that students are sure to find both dynamic and educational.

When you introduce engaging topics into classroom writing assignments, students are sure to be inspired to do their best work. For even more ideas, explore some journal prompts for teens. As students become more advanced, suggest some uncommon compelling cause-and-effect essay topics.

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