Essay prompts When a student is asked to write an essay, the person assigning the essay will provide an essay prompt unless he is open and gives the students free rein to write on any subject imaginable. It is suffice to say, this will rarely happen so it is helpful for the student to learn how to interpret essay prompts given by instructors or professors.
An example of a prompt could be a quote. For instance, a Ben Franklin quote said ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’. Or the essay prompt could come in the form of a question such as ‘Are we over fishing our seas?
’ The professor wants the student to read the prompt and interpret what could be written about the prompt. Normally the prompt opens up the flow of thinking for the student and allows him to draw on life experiences or they could even do some research to back up the quote or question.
Much of the time, especially in secondary education, the teacher will merely give an essay prompt that is a statement and allow the student to formulate his own narrative based on the prompt.
For example, a good one most students end up being assigned at the beginning of the year is ‘my summer vacation’. The prompt lets the student choose any subject around the things he did during his summer vacation.
Essay prompts are normally very easy to understand and suggest idea around a certain thought. As a student enters higher education, the professor will most likely require the essay to be written in a certain manner such as a narrative, a compare and contrast essay or maybe a persuasive one.
Instructions will be given and the student will take the prompt and brainstorm and build an outline to meet the criteria expected.
When the essay prompt has been given, one of the first questions the student should ask himself is, ‘do I agree or disagree with the question or statement? ’ This in effect allows the student to develop his perception of the prompt and then make a plan for how he will support his viewpoint with reasons and examples procured from earlier reading, life experiences, research and observations.
From the beginning of learning the art of essay writing, essay prompts were referred to as topics or a thesis. One difference that might be found in the college level is that when given a prompt, there will be a specific time in which the student must complete the essay from the beginning until the end. This means the student must be well aware of how to brainstorm, write an outline, develop the essay and proofread the essay well within the time allowed.