Over 100 writing prompts to explore common themes in literature and life

Update, February 15, 2019: Learn more about using our thousands of writing prompts by watching our free on-demand webinar: “Give Them Something to Write: Teach throughout the program with New York Times inspired daily prompts.


Every day since 2009, we’ve asked students a question based on an article, essay, video, or New York Times article.

Periodically, we sort these questions into lists to make it easier to find what you need, like these previous prompt lists for personal or narrative writing and for argumentative writing, or like this monstrous list of over 1,000. prompts, all sorted by subject.

This time, however, we’re putting together a list to help your students more easily connect the literature they read to the world around them – and to help teachers find great works of non-fiction that can echo themes. current literary works.

Below, we’ve picked the best prompts – the ones that ask the most relevant questions and link to the richest Times documents – from our Student Opinion collection that covers all stages of life from coming of age. and from struggling with one’s identity to understanding. his role in a family; to make friends; get an education; to fall in love; job; and the experience of old age. We hope they can provide some starting points for discussion and writing, and inspiration for further reading.

Most teachers know that our Student Opinion Questions are free and outside of The Times digital subscription service, but what you might not realize is if you access the Times articles that we are linked from these issues through our site, the articles are also free. So in this list, we hope we don’t just suggest 100+ interesting questions, we hope we’ve also helped you find 100+ great non-fiction books that can talk about the literature your students are reading.

So whether you are interested in classic works like “The Catcher in the Rye”, “Romeo and Juliet” or “1984”, or whether you teach more contemporary literature like “The Poet X”, “Speak”, “Refugee “or” Over there, “we hope there are more than a few items on this list that resonate.

Please note: All our recent questions, from the end of 2016, are still open for comments on our site. While questions posted on an older version of The Learning Network are no longer open for comment, the questions and associated Times documents are still available through the link.

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