Essay Writing Prompts: Where Do We Go From Here?

If you have been tasked with writing an essay of some kind, you likely are stuck at the starting gate staring at essay writing prompts and having no clue where to go from here. Most essay assignments are handed out with some kind of essay writing prompts, and this includes school assignments, college admissions writing assignments, and more. Typically, this type of writing assignment will ask you to infuse some personal story or opinion into your response.

This requirement of an infusion of yourself and your own life into the story can leave many writers stymied. So many people, especially those in high school and college, have little experience writing personal stories and anecdotes. They, for the most part, have been tasked for years with writing research papers and responses to novels they are reading, but rarely are they asked to devote pages of text to themselves. So the first thing you should do when given essay writing prompts is to spend some time exploring in your mind as well as brainstorming on paper what the prompt makes you think about in terms of your own life experiences.

This initial brainstorming session for your essay writing prompts will serve as a starting point for you, and it will give you several great ideas for how to structure your paper and decide which angles you can take. You may find that you can structure the paper so that it focuses on just one idea that you explore fully, or you may take your reader on a journey that explores several of the ideas with a unique tie-in.

One of the areas where many people lack when responding to essay writing prompts is failing to really show their own personality, opinions, and spirit in their piece. This style of writing, by nature, is one that is personal. It is not meant to sound like a news report or a thesis, but instead it should have plenty of funk and flair to it. This isn’t to say that it shouldn’t be written with correct grammar, syntax, spelling and so forth, but you can be free with word choice. Throw in some bold imagery, and do your best to create emotions like excitement, surprise, intrigue, sadness, or joy in your reader. You want to try to connect with your reader in some unique way that ties into your piece.

As a writer, if you are handed essay writing prompts, you may find that you need to write and re-write your piece several times to really get your own voice into the piece. Because many people are not seasoned in writing about their own lives and experiences, it may take several drafts and revisions before the piece truly speaks from your heart and captures your personality. Through each revision that you do, make an effort to instill more of your voice into the piece. The end result, after this brainstorming and the numerous revisions, will be an amazing piece that responds to the prompt you were given and that also really gives the reader a solid glimpse into who you are as a person.


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