Brian Rock is a social studies teacher in New Jersey. He's always interested in ways to do a better job of teaching civics.
"This is Boring!"
"I'm tired of writing essays. They're boring!"
Sound familiar? Some kids like to find excuses for not working, and "This is boring!" is one of the top excuses they throw out there. If you're trying to teach your students how to write, one of the toughest tasks is to come up with interesting and stimulating writing prompts.
Find the right topic, and all of a sudden they'll be happy to write something! Persuasive writing prompts are great for this. They tap into issues and problems that kids genuinely care about and they create an authentic outlet for student writing.
In this hub, you'll find a list of ideas for persuasive writing essays, all revolving around school rules. While there are plenty of topics and prompts you could use, the advantage of school rules is that every student is going to have an opinion on things like a dress code and cell phone usage.
The writing prompts are organized into four shorter lists: rules about technology, rules about clothing, rules about sports, and other school rules.
Writing Tasks on Technology in Schools
The first set of writing prompts is based around school rules related to technology usage. Try these, and I'm sure you'll get lots of fired-up students!
- Should students be allowed to carry cell phones in school, or should they be completely banned from the building?
- Should students be able to listen to music on an MP3 player while they're working independently?
- Should students be allowed to bring their own laptops to school, or should they only be allowed to use school computers?
- Should the school network have a filter on it to prevent users from accessing inappropriate material?
- Should students be allowed to use Facebook and Twitter during their study hall, or should social networks be completely banned from schools?
Persuasive Prompts About Clothing In Schools
In the area I teach, school uniforms or "structured dress codes" are becoming the norm. Principals love it. Students hate it. And these questions can elicit all types of great responses from your little writers.
- Should students be required to wear a uniform to school, or should they be able to choose their clothing?
- Should student dress codes be different for boys and girls, or should they have identical rules?
- Should students be allowed to wear tee shirts with unpopular messages, or should the school be able to prohibit certain types of clothing?
- Should students be allowed to wear hoodies and jackets in school, or should they have to put them in their lockers?
- Should boys be allowed to cross-dress and wear skirts, or should they be forced to wear pants?
Persuasive Writing Prompts And School Sports
Sports are an important part of school culture, and there are a lot of questions that people will disagree about. Try these writing prompts to get your students going.
- Should girls be allowed to play on the football and wrestling teams, or should they be "boy only" sports?
- Should athletes be benched if their grades are too low, or should they be allowed to play anyway?
- Should the school invest money in its football team, or should it invest money in its marching band?
- Should anyone be allowed to participate on a sports team, or should there be competitive tryouts?
- Should high school sports be mostly concerned with winning, or should they be mostly concerned with character-building?
Persuasive Tasks About Other School Rules
Let's round the list out with a few other random rules to question. These didn't fit neatly into any of the other categories, but they're still interesting questions that students can respond to.
- Should students be able to leave the building for lunch, or should they have to eat in the cafeteria?
- Should there be restrictions on when students can go to the bathroom, or should bathrooms be open at all times?
- Should students be able to eat and drink in class, or should food be prohibited outside the cafeteria?
- Should school parties and dances be open to the public, or should they only be open to current students?
- Should administrators be able to search students' lockers, or should students' lockers be private?
Modify, Adapt, and Implement These Writing Tasks
To get the most out of these persuasive writing prompts and your students, you should modify and adapt these to your own situation. You may want to read over these tips for writing your own persuasive writing tasks.
Read More From Owlcation
For example, the question about sports, athletes, and academics would be very useful if your school recently had a public debate about its' athletes' grades. Add a little context to your prompt and describe what's going on in the school community, and then present the students with the question. You'll also want to come up with some kind of graphic organizer to help students organize their thoughts, like this interactive essay map.
So what are you waiting for? Select some prompts, and have your kids write a persuasive essay in class tomorrow!
Also, here are a couple of other lists of persuasive writing prompts and essay topics that you might find useful:
- 10 Persuasive Writing Tasks and Prompts About Politics and Government
- 5 Persuasive Writing Essay Prompts About Health Care Reform
- 10 Persuasive Writing Prompts for Third Graders
What's Your Favorite Persuasive Essay Prompt?
blood-png-4 on July 27, 2020:
SonicDude on May 14, 2020:
It has good ideas.
A School Magazine on September 16, 2019:
Hi on April 02, 2019:
HubCaps on February 21, 2018:
Great ideas! They are also quite useful for Mass Comm./ Reporter Society to write about since they are related to school!
DaisysJourney from Midwest, USA on July 10, 2014:
Thank you for some useful ideas. The district has given the same writing prompts for several years and if I read the same topic again, I may seriously lose my lunch! I am shamelessly adding (stealing) these to my teacher tool kit and plan to use them. Great topics! And I have to agree with Marie when students are passionate about something that impacts them, they can generate more content, and sometimes end up writing better.
Brian Rock (author) from New Jersey on March 09, 2013:
Thanks Marie! And yup, kids are never shy about expressing their feelings about things that impact them directly.
Marie Alana from Ohio on March 09, 2013:
These are great prompts! When you give the students a chance to write what they truly think about the school rules, they may really write their true thoughts. Great ideas!