The ability to provide information in different contexts is essential to effective communication. Students must practice expository writing throughout their academic careers. The sooner they start, the better. Below are some descriptive, sequential, compare and contrast, cause and effect, and problem/solution writing prompts to help you give your students the practice they need.
- Write an essay describing your school to a potentially new student.
- Write an essay describing the appeal of reality TV shows.
- Write an essay describing a rainy night.
- Write an essay describing your first pet.
- Write an essay describing your first memory.
- It’s Christmas morning and there is a package under the tree containing exactly what you requested. Describe the contents of your package..
- Write an essay describing how you feel when you wake up and discover snow on the ground outside — and school has been cancelled.
- Writing an essay explaining the process you use to style your hair in the morning.
- You have invited your two best friends to spend the afternoon at your home. Write an essay telling how your prepare for their visit.
- Everyone has lost something at one time or another. Write an essay telling what you did to find what you had lost.
- Describe how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
- Tell how you wash your hair.
- Describe the plot of your favorite book.
Compare and Contrast
- Write an essay comparing and contrasting ownership of cats and dogs.
- Compare and contrast this year in school to last year.
- Compare and contrast your two favorite characters.
- Compare and contrast your family’s home and the home of your dreams.
- Compare and contrast a typical day in your life today and what you think a typical day in your life will be like when you are 25.
- Compare and contrast your two favorite teachers.
Cause and Effect
- Write an essay telling how peer pressure has affected you this year.
- Write an essay explaining what causes students to drop out of high school.
- Discuss the causes and effects of bullying in schools.
- Discuss the causes and effects of poverty in rural (urban) areas.
- Discuss the causes and effects of drug or alcohol use on families.
- Most students do not read or watch news, resulting in a lack of knowledge about the world outside of their immediate neighborhood. Write an essay describing why this is a problem and telling how this problem might be solved.
- Think about the community in which you live. What could you do to make it a better place? Choose one problem that needs to be solved to make your community a better place to live. Write a letter to the editor describing how solving this problem would make your community a better place, and tell what you would do. Give reasons why you think your plan would work.
- Think about what you could do to make your school more beautiful. Think about how you would do this. How could you persuade the people in your school that your idea is a good one? Write a letter to the principal of your school asking for support for your plan for making your school more beautiful. Tell what you would do and how you would do it. Explain why you think your plan is important and why it would work.
- Think about animal abuse. Some people abuse animals by being intentionally cruel to them or neglecting their basic needs; others abuse animals out of ignorance. Think about what could be done to prevent both kinds of animal abuse. Write a letter to leaders in your community describing how you would solve this problem, and how treating animals better would improve the lives of animals and people. Explain why you think your plan will work.
I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma graduate student, and a NBPTS candidate. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify my students’ voices and choices.
Filed Under: PedagogyTagged With: expository writing prompts
Prompt: All animals have adaptations that help them to survive. These adaptations have occurred over years and years of evolution and let animals thrive in different environments. The tundra is a cold, harsh climate to live in. Describe an animal that is adapted to survive in the tundra. Be sure to give examples describing what makes the animal able to live in this environment.
Example - A Desert Traveler
The camel is an intriguing kind of animal - unlike anything that lives in North America. The camel is an animal that eats plants and lives in the desert. Camels are mammals and mainly survive by eating plants and other vegetation. Camels have many adaptations that help them to live in the desert. Because of these features, many people use camels to get around the desert safely over long distances. Camels are the ultimate "desert travelers" because of their nutritional, facial, and transportation features.
Camels have many different adaptations that allow them to not only live, but thrive in the desert. An adaptation is something that has evolved in an animal to help it survive. Adaptations help animals live in their specific climates. Because the desert is very dry, there is not much water or food. Camels eat many plants that live in the desert, like grasses and leaves. This helps them to survive by giving them the energy they need to move and work. Similarly, camels can survive for a long time without water. They can go over a week without water, which helps them live in a place without a lot of water to drink. When camels do drink water, they consume many gallons at one time so they can survive for a week without this important resource.
Another way camels are adapted to live in the desert is because of specific features on their faces. Deserts have a lot of sand, and wind can blow that sand into the eyes of people and animals. Camels have long eyelashes that help keep the sand out of their eyes. Having long eyelashes helps camels see and prevents them from getting lost during dangerous sandstorms. Their nostrils also open and close, so they do not have to breathe in sand. These facial features let camels survive in harsh desert conditions, making them a great choice for transportation in this difficult part of the world.
Because of the adaptations mentioned before, many people have used camels to get around the desert for thousands of years. Similarly, camels have wide, huge feet that stop them from sinking in the sand. The desert is covered in sand, so having feet that can cross the desert without trouble is a very important feature in transportation. And indeed, for many hundreds of years, travelers across deserts have used camels because their adaptations let camels live and move successfully in this type of harsh climate.
Why are camels good desert travelers? They have many adaptations that allow them to live in the desert. They can survive for a long time without water, and have features on their faces that protect them from sand. Similarly, camels have wide, big feet that make them the great desert travelers. Adaptations have made camels the perfect animals to get around the dry, hot desert! Thousands of years ago, when travelers did not have technology like cars or airplanes to take them over long distances quickly, camels were hardy enough to make the long, dry trips. It makes sense that they were used to transport people and goods across places like the Sahara Desert. Even today, camels remain an important asset to people who need to move themselves or their belongings in one of the world's harshest climates.