Esl Essay Topics For Teenagers

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The only way to get better at anything is to do it—over and over again. In addition to practicing your English conversational skills, you should also practice your writing skills on a regular basis.

The good news is that writing in English doesn’t need to be a painful experience. By choosing topics that you’re passionate about or focusing on prompts that will put different grammar lessons into practice, you can ensure that writing is an engaging and enjoyable experience.

Here are twenty-two potential essay topics to get you started, but don’t be afraid to branch out and come up with your own topics, as well.

Descriptive topics

  1. Describe your favorite place in as much detail as possible.
  2. What do you do outside of school and work? Describe any hobbies you have, sports you participate in, or other activities you regularly enjoy.
  3. If you could invite five people to a dinner party, who would they be? What is each guest like?
  4. Describe your favorite fictional character in as much detail as possible.
  5. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Describe it and explain why you’d choose it.


  1. Give directions for getting from one point to another. Explain what landmarks someone might see along the way.
  2. Explain how to entertain guests who unexpectedly arrive at your home.

Verb tense practice

  1. What’s one thing you could never live without and why?
  2. Describe your ideal town or city, why you would want to live there, and what you would do there.
  3. Write about a time in the past when you had to make a difficult decision, and explain what you did.
  4. Talk about five specific goals you want to accomplish this year, and explain how you are going to accomplish them.
  5. Imagine you’re babysitting a child who breaks the kitchen table. Explain to the child how they could have avoided doing this if they had behaved differently.

Practical vocabulary practice

  1. Write a review of a new restaurant (either fictional or real) in your area.
  2. Describe the best party or large-scale event you’ve ever attended.
  3. If you could get one gift for everyone in your family, regardless of the cost, what would you get them and why?
  4. Choose a form of transportation (such as cars, trains, boats, planes, or subways) and explain how it has changed people’s lives.
  5. Write a pitch for a new blockbuster movie. Explain what will happen in the movie and why it will draw crowds to the theater.

Persuasive writing practice

  1. Do you think our society is too dependent on technology like smartphones? Why or why not?
  2. Imagine that a big new department store is being built in your hometown. Do you support this development or not?
  3. Do you think it’s better for students to have a long summer break or be in a year-round school system with more breaks throughout the year? Explain your position.
  4. Should employers set aside time during the day for their employees to exercise? What might be some of the advantages or disadvantages of this?
  5. What is your favorite book or movie, and why should people read or watch it?

What are some great ESL essay topics you've encountered? Let us know in the comments.

This evening I was looking through some of our homeschooling materials from our last year of homeschooling (yes I still miss it) and I came across the list of writing prompts that my son used during his junior high years. I thought some of you who homeschool might like this list. I had this list for my son to use for ideas for his daily journal writing if he could not think of something on his own. I’m not sure where this list or compilation of lists came from – it is probably a mix of things knowing me.  There are some great prompts in here that would work well for bloggers too I think.

August 20, 2014
I just created a new post with 77 More Writing Prompts. Take a look at that post too!

Teen Writing Prompts

  1. What is something you dislike about yourself?
  2. What is something you do well?
  3. What is your favorite room in your home and why?
  4. What is a good neighbor?
  5. What is your favorite time of day?
  6. What is something you are optimistic about?
  7. What is something you are pessimistic about?
  8. What is your most indispensable possession and why?
  9. What is your favorite song and why?
  10. What is the best birthday present you ever received?
  11. What is the best birthday present you could receive?
  12. What is something that makes you feel sad?
  13. What is your favorite book and why?
  14. What is something that really bugs you?
  15. What is something that really makes you angry?
  16. What is the best advice you ever received?
  17. What is your favorite holiday? What makes this holiday special?
  18. What is your favorite day of the week? Why?
  19. What is your favorite month? Why?
  20. What would happen if you could fly whenever you wanted? When would you use this ability?
  21. What would happen if there were no television? Why would this be good? bad?
  22. What would happen if everyone lived in space? What type of houses would they live in?
  23. What type of clothing would they wear? What type of food would they eat? How would they travel?
  24. What if cows gave root beer instead of milk?
  25. What if all the streets were rivers? What would be different?
  26. What would happen if it really did rain cats and dogs?
  27. What would happen if animals could talk? What are some of the questions you would like to ask animals?
  28. What would happen if you grew taller than trees? How would this change your life?
  29. What would happen if there were no cars, buses, trains, boats, or planes? How would this change your life?
  30. What would happen if you found gold in your backyard?
  31. What would you do if you did very poorly of a test?
  32. What would you do if a friend borrows things from you but never returns them?
  33. What would you do if you woke up in another country and no one could understand you?
  34. What would you do if someone got in front of you when you were in line at the movies?
  35. What would you do if someone said you did something wrong and you didn’t?
  36. If you could only take 3 people with you on a trip around the world, who would you take and why?
  37. If you were five years older you would…
  38. If you were lost in the woods and it got dark, what would you do?
  39. If you owned a store, what would you do to discourage people from stealing from you?
  40. If you could break the Guinness Book of Records it would be for?
  41. If you had to describe yourself as a color, which would you choose?
  42. If your friend told you of a secret plan to run away from home, what would you do and why?
  43. What do you think about ghosts?
  44. What do you think of someone who has bad manners?
  45. What do you think about people who take advantage of others?
  46. What do you think about when you can’t fall asleep?
  47. What do you think courage means?
  48. What do you think makes a good friend?
  49. What do you think makes a happy family?
  50. What pollutants do you think do the most damage and why?
  51. What things do you think are beautiful?
  52. What do you like most about yourself?
  53. What kind of trophy would you like to win?
  54. What does “The early bird gets the worm” mean to you?
  55. What do we mean when we say, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”?
  56. What do we mean when we say, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”?
  57. What does “There are two sides to every coin” mean to you?
  58. What are junk foods?
  59. What are some nutritious foods that you like?
  60. What is more important to you, appearance or personality?
  61. What is something that makes you melancholy?
  62. What makes you laugh?
  63. What would you invent to make life better?
  64. What would you do to entertain your family without spending any money?
  65. What effects do cigarette and alcohol advertising have on young people?
  66. What has been the most fun activity at school so far this year?
  67. What quality do you like about yourself–creativity, personality, appearance–why?
  68. What eccentric behavior in a friend disturbs you the most?
  69. What parts of nature do you like best?
  70. How do you feel when your parents are upset with you?
  71. How would you change the world to make it better?
  72. Explain how to play your favorite game.
  73. Which place would you most like to visit–Africa, China, Alaska–why?
  74. Which is least important to you–money, power, fame–and why?
  75. Where would you prefer to be right now–mountains, desert, beach–and why?
  76. Why is it important to be honest?
  77. Why is important to have good manners?
  78. Why should or shouldn’t a man stay home to care for the house and children while his wife goes to work?
  79. Why do you think tact is an important quality?
  80. Why is it not wise to squander your money?
  81. Do you think it is necessary to have alcohol at a party in order to have a good time?
  82. Should there be a dress code in places such as school, restaurants, and places of business?
  83. Should animals be used for medical research?

Happy writing!



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