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Interesting Writing Prompts For ESL Students

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Just like speaking, reading, and listening, writing is an essential element of learning a language. That’s why it’s so important that ESL students pay special attention to their writing skills while teachers assess their progress.

Unarguably, the best way to learn and improve these very writing skills is through practice. The more a student practices writing, the better their skills will get. Consequently, teachers need to provide their students with opportunities to practice their writing – and this can be done with the help of interesting writing prompts.

Why Should You Use Writing Prompts?

Why exactly do you need to use writing prompts? In fact, do you need them at all? As mentioned earlier, writing can be improved through practice. If you decide to write about whatever comes to your mind, you can technically improve your writing. However, you will see better results if you write with more intention.

Using writing prompts poses a challenge to the students as these prompts make them think in a particular direction and try to phrase their thoughts in relation to the topic at hand. By choosing more and more complicated writing prompts every time, you (or your student, if you are a teacher) will gradually improve their writing skills.

Descriptive Writing Prompts

Instead of only using writing prompts of one type, it’s worth trying out a variety of writing prompts. Experts from the top rated research paper writing services explain, “Variety in the writing prompts you choose will help you develop different writing subskills. You should be able to describe as much as you should be able to argue your point.”

Hence, here are some descriptive writing prompts to start from:

  • Describe your favorite place using as many details as possible. This can be anything from your childhood hideout to your writing desk to your family’s summer home.
  • Pick and describe your favorite food. Focus on such characteristics as its taste, smell, look, and so on.
  • Choose and describe your favorite activity, hobby, or passion. It could be anything from reading to swimming to going on picnics with friends.
  • Write about your favorite fictional character or famous person. Describe their appearance, personality, accomplishments, and so on.
  • Describe your most memorable holiday. It could be one you went on with friends or family or even alone.

Explanatory Writing Prompts

Another type of writing prompts you should try out are explanatory ones. While descriptive prompts only ask you to describe something, explanatory prompts urge you to go into more detail with your descriptions. Here are some explanatory prompts to try:

  • Pick your favorite meal or food and explain how to make it by laying everything out in the form of step-by-step instructions.
  • Think about your hometown, choose your favorite places around it, and give directions on how to get to each place.
  • Explain how your favorite computer game works. Talk about the concept, the characters, the plot, the locations, the music, the functionality, and so on.
  • Choose some kind of skill you have and explain how someone could learn to do it. For example, if you know how to create paper planes, explain how to do them.

Argumentative Writing Prompts

Experts from the best writing services reviews sites put it this way, “Descriptive and explanatory prompts ask you to be somewhat indifferent and take more of an objective stance on different topics. Argumentative prompts, on the other hand, ask you to take a subjective point of view and support your opinion with valid points.”

Here are some argumentative prompts to use:

  • Choose your favorite book, movie, show, etc. and try to convince others to check it out by writing about it.
  • Consider space exploration. Should money be spent on it? Write about your opinion on the matter and use relevant arguments to support it.
  • What’s better: reading books or watching movies? Write about your opinion on the matter and use relevant arguments to support it.
  • Should more people use public transport instead of cars or should more people get their own cars? Write about your opinion on the matter and use relevant arguments to support it.

Hypothetical Writing Prompts

Last but not least, there is one more type of prompts you will find useful – hypothetical. These prompts ask you to consider a particular situation and explore it through writing. Here are some hypothetical prompts to practice your writing:

  • If you could change one thing about your own past, what would that thing be?
  • If you could have any superpower, what would this superpower be and what would you do with it?
  • If you could travel back in time, to which point in time would you travel and what would you do then?
  • If you could meet any dead person, what would you do?
  • If you one day won the lottery, how would you spend the money?
  • If you had the power to solve one world issue (e.g. hunger, global warming), what would this be and how would the world change once the issue is solved?

Final Thoughts

All in all, writing prompts for ESL students are somewhat different from those native speakers get for practicing their writing skills. This is because ESL students are usually older when they study the same topics that native speakers study at a younger age.

That being said, by using the topics listed in this article, you will be able to provide ESL students with the most interesting writing prompts. Or, if you are a student, you will be able to practice your writing skills either on your own or with the guidance of your teacher.

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