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What Is A Writing Prompt?

When you are working your way through high school or college, your professor will often provide you with a writing prompt. Or if you are a writer yourself, you make your own writing prompt. 

What Is A Writing Prompt

Think of them as a starting point to get inspired and to help those creative juice flow. They come in handy when you find yourself hitting against writer’s block. 

However, many people don’t know what a writing prompt actually is or how to use them.

Below you will find everything you need to know about writing prompts including how to make them and use them to get the most out of your writing. 

Let’s get started!

What Is A Writing Prompt? 

A writing prompt is a phrase, a paragraph, or—much less frequently—a picture that serves as motivation and direction for imaginative writing.

It could serve as the subject or thesis statement for a unique essay, report, journal entry, short fiction, poetry, etc.

They are extremely helpful tools in expanding a writer’s skills in analysis, structure, and expression. 

Students’ ability to concentrate on a particular subject, idea, or concept is developed through the use of writing prompts in the classroom.

Additionally, they allow pupils the ability to voice their own ideas on a particular subject. 

Students are given the chance to respond to the position of another writer by developing a well-reasoned, well-organized argument in response to a prompt.

Understanding Writing Prompts 

When handed an essay or a creative writing assignment, the words on the page can end up staring back at you with no meaning.

A helpful tip is to highlight the most important words of the prompt. Here are the type of words you want to highlight:

  • Compare: This is when you are prompted to determine the similarities and differences between two or more theories. 
  • Describe: Here you want to give a detailed description of the event, person, place, or thing mentioned in the text. 
  • Argue: This prompt wants you to present the specific facts that support your point of view. 
  • Define: Make sure to give a detailed dentition of a theory or subject. 
  • Discuss: Here you should explain the various points of a subject and reach a solid conclusion

The prompt is the action word within the question. This will help give you guidance when answering a question or when writing your own work. 

By giving you practice with brainstorming, planning, drafting, revising, and editing, prompts can help you become a better writer.

Daily writing exercises can aid in improving your grammar knowledge when learning a new language.

Different Kinds Of Writing Prompts 

What Is A Writing Prompt (1)

Whether you are a student or simply want to challenge yourself, there are different types of writing prompts you may come across:

1. Expository/ Informative 

For teenagers and college students, expository writing exercises are a useful writing exercise. Typical expository writing prompts urge the writer to define, compare, contrast, weigh the pros and drawbacks, and/or describe the subject.

Expository writing has a specific goal and audience in mind, therefore the tone and voice must fit the subject and readership. Why, how, what, and explain are employed as signals to draw out expository responses.

2. Opinion

The writers are asked to convey their opinions on a certain topic in this type of writing prompt, followed by logical justification and facts. This could be a contentious topic or something amusing and pleasant.

The trick to mastering an opinion-based writing prompt is to be clear and to the point. You want your readers to know exactly what is going on and how your opinion is valid. 

3. Research 

The research method of the daily writing prompts encourages authors to investigate a topic by using publications, websites, movies, etc. Students must research all the information for such writing assignments and supply the sources, sometimes in the form of a bibliography.

This is a common writing prompt for educational essays and assignments. Make sure to reference each piece of work you use to support your points. 

4. Descriptive 

Cue words like “describe in detail,” “describe how something looked/felt/smelled/tasted,” and others are frequently used in descriptive prompts. The reader should be able to visualize what you’re writing about in this kind of writing.

In exercises requiring descriptive writing, writers are typically asked to provide information that will enable the reader to create a realistic image by using sensory details like sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste.

Make Your Own Writing Prompts 

On the days when you can’t seem to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, you may want to create your own writing prompt. And we can show you how!

Firstly, you are going to need Prompt Construction. This involves breaking down the writing prompt into three elements:

  • Introducing the subject.
  • Encourage yourself to think about the subject. 
  • Explain what needs to be written. 

Next, you are going to need the prompt to be clear. You must give enough information to ensure the student or writer is writing about the correct subject without giving them too much. 

Lastly, you need to avoid bias and be inclusive of all potential writers. Regardless of the writers’ cultural background or other factors, the prompts should be designed so that they are simple to understand.

When creating prompts, it’s critical to disregard any bias based on culture, ethnicity, gender, or any other factor.

Writing prompts are simple to create and understand once you know what to look for. Perfect if you need something to get you started. 

Final Thoughts 

Writing prompts are a great tool if you need a way to feel inspired or to give your mind a break. They are also a great way to educate your students on the important factors in writing. Especially within academic writing. 

When it comes to creating your own writing prompts there are only a few things to consider. So long as they are clear, informative, and unbiased, you can spark creativity in even the most troubled of writers. 

Now, get out your pen and paper or your laptop and begin learning incredible ideas that are trapped in your mind!

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