Often, essay prompts refer to specific statements that dictate the type and topic of an essay assignment. A typical prompt from an instructor, for example, might be, “There is a significant difference between day and night grocery shoppers.” Based on this, the student then understands that the type of essay to write will be comparison/contrast and the topic will be the behaviors of shoppers.
For our purposes, however, we will define essay prompts as tips provided so that you fully understand the nature of each type of essay and can therefore organize the thought and content accordingly. It is important to note, moreover, that high school essay prompts and college essay prompts are the same because the nature of each type of essay does not change with academic level, only the rigor of topics.
University Admissions Essays
1) stick to the topic and length requirements
2) be creative in the introduction – grabbing attention immediately is critical
3) promote one’s qualities without the appearance of egotism.
Persuasive Essay Prompts
1) Make a list of the reasons for your opinion, beginning with the most compelling one and working down to the least important. This will provide the sequence in which the points will be made.
2) Consider an opponent’s views on each of your points and note how you will counter those views.
3) Do not skip the research aspect of preparation. An argument is not compelling without factual data to support a point of view
Cause and Effect Essay
1) Consider that there may be multiple causes for one effect. The Civil War, for example, was the result of several significant political and economic situations.
2) If there are multiple causes, treat them in order of importance.
3) Understand that an effect may, in turn, become the cause of a new effect. Dependent upon the topic and depth of coverage, this may have to be addressed.
The Classification Essay
1) Define the categories to be addressed,
2) be prepared to explain the reasoning for the category selections, and
3) be certain to include plenty of examples within each category. If one were asked to categorize or classify types of government assistance, for example, categories might include housing, food, medical care, and miscellaneous.
Comparison/Contrast Essay Prompts
1) The use of a Venn diagram will organize similarities and differences, and provide a solid graphic organizer for writing.
2) Select the method of organization that best suits the topic. Will you address all of the similarities first and then the differences or will you address each specific sub-topic and state the similarities and differences?
3) Be certain that each category of comparison or contrast is clearly defined.
4) For complex and/or lengthy topics, factual data will be required.
The Critical Essay
1) Criteria for the critical analysis should be stated in the introduction.
2) Every subtopic should relate to one criterion.
3) The conclusion should be a generalized summation of the criticism.
4) Avoid emotional responses.
The Definition Essay
1) List all aspects of the concept to be defined, for these become the sub-topics covered in the body paragraphs,
2) conduct a bit of research to examine how others define the term
3) Write the introduction last, so that you are able to synthesize all aspects of the definition.
The Descriptive Essay
1) Devise a list of the sub-topics to be included in the description
2) Consider each item on the list and determine if similes, metaphors, alliteration, or other types of figurative language can be used, for these make an otherwise boring piece exciting and appealing to the reader’s senses.
The Character Sketch
1) To “show”, not “tell”. If a character is unselfish, for example, you must give examples of actual unselfish acts.
2) Sequence the character traits from most important to least important and limit the traits to three or four.
3) An introduction may address the “simplicity” or the “complexity” of the character.
1) A graphic organizer of sequential boxes will assist in organizing the storyline and ensure that no key elements are ignored.
2) In the case of a personal narrative, the introduction should provide reflection on the impact of the events shaping one’s current station, character, or belief.
1) Prepare a comprehensive but succinct list of questions to be asked.
2) Take detailed notes or record the entire interview.
3) Organize the interview responses in a coherent manner and eliminate extemporaneous content.
4) Provide personal responses in the introduction and conclusion.
The Process Essay
1) clearly delineate the steps of the process in a graphic organizer
2) stick to the organizer as the essay is written and
3) be certain that the introduction grabs the attention of the reader, because these types of essays can be a bit boring.
1) What went well? What did not go well?
2) What would I do differently next time?
3) How has this experience altered my perspective or how will it influence future action or thought? Reflective essays are personal, and the individual’s thoughts are the subject of all body paragraphs.
The Response Essay
1) lists important points in the original document or verbal presentation to which s/he plans to respond to and
2) makes an outline of the responses to these points.It is the goal of BestEssayWriting.org to assist students as they struggle with written essay assignments. Of course, if these essay prompts are not enough, a student is welcome to contact us to receive customized assistance with essay writing of any type.