50 Writing Prompts for Adults and English Language Learners


List Order Essays

  1. Characteristics/skills needed to get your dream job.
  2. How to take care of a pet.
  3. How to stay fit and healthy.
  4. How to get over a breakup.
  5. Ways to impress your boss.

Time Order Essays

  1. How to construct a piñata.
  2. How to hunt with a falcon.
  3. How to build a freshwater fish tank.
  4. How to prepare your favorite food.
  5. How to plan a garden.

Descriptive Essays


  1. Describe a world leader. What kind of legacy did they leave behind? How did they help or hurt their people?
  2. Describe your best friend.
  3. Describe a family member.
  4. What do you look for in a spouse?
  5. Describe your pet.


  1. Describe your dream home.
  2. Describe your hometown or where your family is from.
  3. Describe a garden.
  4. Describe the contents in your purse/wallet/backpack.

Space Order Essay

  1. Describe your room. Choose a direction: top to bottom, front to back, or clockwise.
  2. Describe your hometown. Be sure to focus on specific landmarks and in order of direction.
  3. Describe the classroom.
  4. Give me directions to your house (or a nearby park or store).
  5. You’re sitting on the beach – what do you see?

Narrative Essay

  1. Tell a story about the best or worst vacation of your life.
  2. Describe your first date.
  3. Describe a time you lost power. How did you spend your time with no electricity?
  4. Write about your experience seeing a live band perform.
  5. Tell a ghost story.

Compare/Contrast Essay

  1. Compare and contrast two inventions that have changed society.
  2. Compare and contrast the city you live in now and your hometown.
  3. Compare and contrast two types of food.
  4. Compare and contrast living in the city versus living in the country.
  5. Compare and contrast life with children and life without.

Argumentative Essay

  1. What is your favorite kind of music and why is it better than others?
  2. Do you think women have equal rights to men today? Why or why not? What needs to be changed or improved?
  3. Trump should be impeached.
  4. Guns should be banned in the United States.
  5. College tuition should be free in the United States.

Cause and Effect Essay

  1. The causes of low voter participation in elections.
  2. The effects of the civil rights movement.
  3. The causes of the high divorce rate in some countries.
  4. The effects of the Internet on how businesses are run.
  5. The impact of technology on education.
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