A List of General Essay Writing Prompts

If you get to choose the type of essay you’re writing then you’re lucky. Usually the teacher assigns whether it will be persuasive, narrative, literary, expository, or some other kind. If you choose persuasive, you will be arguing a point. Expository is an explanatory style of writing. Narrative tells a story and with literary response you will be analyzing someone else’s writing.

Writing prompts exist to encourage you answer to questions, get your mind going and also to get started writing. They usually have a statement or two and then a question. Here are some examples for each type of essay.


  1. It is generally considered that teenagers who play violent video games are more likely to be violent towards other people. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? What are your specific reasons and some examples to support your view?
  2. Many people are actively involved in supporting the protection of the environment. What are the strategies they use? Do you agree with them? What would you do to convince people to protect the environment?


  1. Describe your idea of the perfect summer vacation. Explain in detail how this vision looks to you.
  2. Describe how someone could achieve fame and amass a fortune. Discuss in detail how it would change a person’s life.


  1. A person’s dreams are often a reflection of their subconscious desires and fears. Tell a story about a very enlightening or frightening dream you had.
  2. Music has the capability to elicit powerful memories. Tell about how a certain song triggered some memory for you and what your experience was.

Literary Response

  1. Choose your favorite poet and select a poem that you can write a passionate response about. Does this poem elicit feelings in the reader? In what way is this accomplished?
  2. The central idea of a piece of literary work is referred to as the theme or message. Choose a specific piece of literature and discuss its theme.

These are some essay writing prompts you can use, or you can make your own. The internet is a rich resource to find more prompts if you feel you still need to search to find the perfect one. Choosing a great prompt is the key to writing a great essay. The prompt should be able to get your creative juices flowing and the words should just spill out.