Note: we have 300 new argumentative writing prompts to add to this list.
Sign up for our free Learning Network newsletter. Receive new write prompts to your inbox every week.
Of all the resources we publish on The Learning Network, it is perhaps our extensive collection of writing prompts that is our most widely used resource for teaching and learning with The Times.
We have posted iterations of this article in the past – 200, 401, and even 650 prompts – but never before have we gathered all of our prompts, both personal writing and argument writing, into a categorized list.
Certainly the list is enormous. In fact, there are 1,225 questions below on everything from video games and fashion to smartphones and parenting, and each prompt links to a Times article as well as additional sub-questions that may encourage further discussion. further reflection.
Firearms and the justice system
1,147. What are the responses to American gun violence?
1 148. What should lawmakers do about guns and gun violence?
1,149 Can High School Students Make a Real Impact on the Problem of Gun Violence in the United States?
1150. What do you think of the #WalkUpNotOut movement?
1,151. How should we prevent future mass shootings?
1 152. Are we becoming “insensitive” to school shootings?
1,153. Would you feel safer with armed guards patrolling your school?
1 154. Should teachers be armed with firearms?
1,155. Should firearms be allowed on college campuses?
1,156. Would arming college students help prevent sexual assault on campus?
1,157. Where do you fit in on non-concealed handguns?
1,158. What is your relationship with firearms?
1,159. What should be the purpose of prison?
1 160. Should prisons provide educational opportunities for prisoners?
1,161. Should criminals be allowed to vote after serving their sentence?
1,162. Should the United States Stop Using the Death Penalty?
1,163. What do you think of police stop-and-frisk tactics?
1,164. When should juvenile offenders be sentenced to life?
1,165. Do the rich get away with it easier when they break the law?
1,166. Should all police officers wear body cameras?
1 167. Does prostitution have to be legal?
1 168. Should physician-assisted suicide be legal in all states?
1,169. Should terminally ill patients be allowed to die on their own terms?
1170. What is your faith in American democracy?
1,171. Is America heading in the right direction?
1 172. What do American values mean to you?
1 173. Do you think it is important for adolescents to participate in political activism?
1,174. How would you like to help our world?
1,175. What cause would put you on the street?
1,176. Have you ever participated in a demonstration?
1,177. What would you risk your life for?
1,178. When did you talk about something you thought needed to be changed?
1,179. Should the voting age be lowered to 16?
1180. Should voting be compulsory?
1 181. Does voting for a third party candidate mean casting your vote?
1,182. Do you see yourself as a Republican, Democrat, or Independent?
1,183. If you were governor of your state, how would you spend a budget surplus?
1,184. What local issues do you think your mayor should try to solve?
1,185. Should the United States be concerned that it is not No. 1?
1,186. Do you trust your government?
1 187. What do you think of President Trump’s use of Twitter?
1 188. In your opinion, what should be the role of the first lady – or the first spouse – today?
1,189. What is more important: our privacy or our national security?
1190. When is the use of military force justified?
1,191. When should countries negotiate with their traditional enemies?
1 192. Should the United States spy on their friends?
1 193. Should countries pay ransoms to free hostages held by terrorists?
1 194. What responsibility do we have to welcome refugees from global humanitarian crises?
1,195. Should millions of undocumented immigrants be allowed to live in the United States without fear of deportation?
1 196. Should the government allow “dreamers” to stay in the United States without fear of deportation?
1,197. Do children of illegal immigrants have the right to public education?
1,198. What do we owe our veterans?
History & News
1199. What event in the past would you like to witness?
1200. What are the most important changes in your life and the world over the past decade?
1 201. Which national or international events do you remember best?
1 202. Which famous figure from the past fascinates you the most?
1 203. What does Dr. King’s legacy mean to you?
1,204. Who do you think has been “overlooked” by history?
1,205. What recent events will most likely be featured in history museums someday?
1,206. Why should we care about events in other parts of the world?
1 207. What news do you follow?
1 208. How do you get your news?
1 209. Do you have more conversations with friends and family about politics?
1210. What is your reaction to the recent flood of political news?
1 211. Have you ever had the “Bad News Blues”?
1 212. Are we bad citizens if we don’t keep up with the news?
1 213. Is your online world just a “filter bubble” of like-minded people?
1214. Do your friends on social media all have the same political views as you?
1215. How do you know if what you read online is true?
1216. Do you think you can tell when something is “fake news”?
1 217. Do you believe in online conspiracy theories?
1218. What are your experiences with internet-based urban legends?
1219. Are political memes dangerous for democracy?
1220. Should national monuments be protected by the government?
1 221. Should Confederate statues be abolished or remain in place?
1 222. Which Supreme Court cases, current or past, are you most interested in?
1 223. Should protections against freedom of expression include self-expression that is discriminatory?
1224. Is it okay to refuse to serve same-sex couples on the basis of religious beliefs?
1225. What will you take away from President Obama and his legacy?
Most of the above questions are still open for comment, but not all.
Teachers, please let us know in the comments how you use this list, or any of our previous prompt lists, in your lessons.