Of all the resources we publish on The Learning Network, perhaps it’s our vast collection of writing prompts that is our most widely used resource for teaching and learning with The Times.
This list of 401 prompts (available here in PDF) is now our third iteration of what originally started as 200 prompts for argumentative writing, and it’s intended as a companion resource to help teachers and students participate in our annual Student Editorial Contest. (In 2017, the dates for entering are March 2 to April 4.)
So scroll through the hundreds of prompts below that touch on every aspect of contemporary life — from social media to sports, politics, gender issues and school — and see which ones most inspire you to take a stand. Each question comes from our daily Student Opinion feature, and each provides links to free Times resources for finding more information. And for even more in-depth student discussions on pressing issues like immigration, guns, climate change and race, please visit our fall 2016 Civil Conversation Challenge.
What’s your favorite question on this list? What questions should we ask, but haven’t yet? Tell us in the comments.
And visit our related list as well: 650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing.
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Social issues essay topics for high school students
In high school, an essay can serve as a ticket in earning an outstanding GPA or a great scholarship for your dream college. A lot of times, this means you have to know about popular topics. The curriculum demands that students are aware of current social issues, and they often become a writing theme. Here is a reliable set of social issue topics and how to tackle them.
Teasing, gossiping, misleading editing of photos and videos, etc. are all new concerns called cyber bullying. The best way to tackle this social issue is defining the events that victims go through and comparing it to actual bullying. The effects and statistics within your community would have a unique quality that your critics can admire.
- Gender Roles in Society
History has several recent changes that have redefined gender roles in society. It would be impressive to point out areas which have had made large bends in their culture because of these changes along with areas which still need improvement. This topic may be considered sensitive, but it is part of the writing challenge. The key is being able to balance general views when presenting facts on gender roles.
- Racial Differences and Challenges
Racial differences are often discussed in English class with references to classic books or History class. It would be interesting to write about racial differences and challenges of the present. You can question how far minor races have made success regarding equality with employment, housing, and the law. You can also tackle recent events that clearly show conflict with racial prejudice remains or prove it does not remain.
- Community Cleanliness
Global warming is a major concern but can turn into an output with unrealistic actions. You can tackle this popular topic by narrowing it down to community cleanliness. You can provide concrete and simple solutions that can improve pollution within your neighborhood. You can also describe how the solutions can be quickly applied by other communities nearby. You can also promote your solutions to your peers and volunteer organizations to make your writing persuasive.
- Game Addiction
Game addiction has become an issue in the height of video game popularity. But nowadays, even more, addicting games have been established on PCs and mobile phones. With this topic, you can discuss these new games about the exposure to violence or its effects to an addicted victim’s lives. The comparison and solutions can also be good characteristics.
- General Help for Writing on Social Issues
When writing about social issues, you should know the topics in depth. You can assess your knowledge with the right questions. You can use this quick guide to making sure your output is perfect:
- Have I read news articles related to my topic?
- What are the similar facts that appear on these articles?
- What do these facts say about my topic? Do they defend a particular group? Do they show long-lasting conflicts? Do they show the possibility of a solution?
- Do I have statistics that would help me prove my arguments?
- How can I summarize the news and facts about my topic? What are my own conclusions on the research?
- Has perspective changed after reading about the events? How so?
Social issues are everything and anything around you that affect the welfare of your community. To compose an essay worthy for your readers, all you have to do is observe your surroundings and find facts that can be useful for an argument. You can graduate high school with skills of a recognized author with these topics and tips in mind.