49 Opinion Writing Prompts for Students

Opinion Writing Prompts for Students
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One of the most common essay types is the opinion, or persuasive, essay. In an opinion essay, the writer states a point of view, then provides facts and reasoned arguments to support that viewpoint. The goal of the essay is to convince the reader to share the writer’s opinion.

Students aren't always aware of how many strong opinions they already hold. Use the following opinion writing prompts to inspire them to start thinking and writing persuasively.

Prompts About School and Sports

School- and sports-related topics often elicit strong opinions in students. Use these writing prompts to kick off the brainstorming process.

  1. Ch-ch-ch-changes. What is one thing about your school that needs to change? Is bullying an issue? Do students need longer breaks or a dress code? Choose one vital issue that needs to change and convince school leaders to make it happen.
  2. Special guest. Your school is trying to decide on a famous person to give a speech or presentation to students. Who do you think they should choose? Write an essay to convince your principal.
  3. Oxford or bust. Is the Oxford comma essential or obsolete?
  4. Scribble scrabble. Do students still need to learn cursive handwriting?
  5. Co-ed conflict. Would students perform better if more schools were single-gender rather than co-ed? Why or why not?
  6. Participation awards. Should there be winners and losers in sports, or is participation the ultimate goal?
  7. Homework overload. Write an essay to convince your teacher to assign less homework.
  8. Sports. Which sport (or team) is the best? What makes it better than the others?
  9. No slacking. Write an essay persuading a fellow student to do their homework.
  1. Class trip. This year, students get to vote on where to go for a class trip. Write an essay convincing your fellow students to vote for the place you’d like to go.
  2. Superlatives. Which would you rather be: a top student, a talented athlete, or an accomplished artist?
  3. Virtual athletes. Video games competitions are often aired on TV and treated like sports competitions. Should video games be considered sports?
  4. Class debate. Should classes that students may not use or that don’t interest them (such as physical education or foreign language) be required?

Prompts About Relationships

Friendships, dating, and other relationships can be both rewarding and exasperating. These writing prompts about relationships will help students explore their feelings about both the positive and the negative moments.

  1. Snitch. Your best friend tells you about his plan to cheat on a test. Should you tell an adult? Why or why not?
  2. Give it a chance. Your best friend is convinced that she would hate your favorite book, even though she's never read it. Convince her to read it.
  3. Friendships vs. relationships. Are friendships or romantic relationships more important in life? Why?
  4. Driving age. What age do kids start driving in your state? Is that age too old, too young, or just right? Why?
  5. Truth or consequences. Your best friend asks your opinion about something, but you know that a truthful answer will hurt her feelings. What do you do?
  6. Who chooses? Your best friend is visiting, and you want to watch TV together, but his favorite show is at the same time as your favorite show. Convince him that your show is a better choice.
  7. Fun times. What is the most fun thing you and your best friend have ever experienced together? Why does it deserve the top spot?
  8. Dating. Are long-term dating relationships good or bad for teens?
  1. New friends. You want to spend time with a new student at school, but your best friend is jealous. Convince your friend of the importance of including the newcomer.
  2. Be mine. Is Valentine’s Day worthwhile or just a scheme for the greeting card and chocolate industry to make more money?
  3. Debbie Downer. Should you cut ties with friends or relatives who are always negative?
  4. He loves me not. Is it really better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?
  5. Elders. Should you respect your elders merely because they are older, or is respect something that must be earned?

Prompts About Family, Pets, and Leisure Time

The following writing prompts related to family, furry friends, and free time will help students reflect on preferences, ethics, and integrity.

  1. Self-reflection. This time, you're the one who needs convincing! Write an essay to persuade yourself to start a healthy habit (or kick a bad habit).
  2. Paper wars. Should toilet paper hang with the loose end resting on the top of the roll or hanging from the bottom?
  3. Movie vs. book. Choose a book that has been made into a movie. Which version is better, and why?
  4. Weekend wanderings. Do you prefer to stay home on the weekends or get out and do things around town? Write an essay to convince your parents to let you do what you prefer this weekend.
  5. Sweepstakes. A travel agency is hosting an essay contest to give away an all-expenses-paid trip to the one place in the world you’d most love to visit. Craft a winning essay that convinces them they need to choose you.
  6. Zoo debate. Is it ethical to keep animals in zoos? Why or why not?
  7. Presence of pets. Should there be limits on the types of places pets can go (e.g. airplanes or restaurants)? Why or why not?
  8. Inspiring stories. What is the most inspiring book you’ve ever read? Why is it so inspiring?
  1. Dollar discovery. You find a $20 bill in the parking lot of a crowded store. Is it okay to keep it, or should you turn it in to customer service?
  2. Vacation day. What is the very best way to spend an unexpected day off from school and why is it the best?
  3. Digital or print? Is it better to read books in print or digitally? Why?

Prompts About Society and Technology

The people and technology around us have a significant impact on our lives. These writing prompts encourage students to consider the effect that society and technological advances have on our day-to-day lives.

  1. Reverse technology. Pick one technological advancement that you think the world would be better off without. Explain your reasoning and persuade the reader.
  2. Out of this world. Do aliens exist? Why or why not?
  3. Social media. Is social media good or bad for society? Why?
  4. Emoji. Has the use of emoji stunted our ability to express ourselves in writing, or does it help us identify our emotions more precisely?
  5. Auto safety. Have advancements like self-driving cars, blind spot indicators, and lane departure warning systems made driving safer, or have they just made drivers less attentive?
  6. Exploration Mars. Write a letter to Elon Musk convincing him that you should be part of a colony to Mars.
  7. Fundraisers. Is it okay for kids to stand outside stores and ask shoppers for money for their sports teams, clubs, or band? Why or why not?
  8. Inventions. What is the greatest invention ever made? Why is it the best?
  9. Important cause. In your opinion, what global problem or issue deserves more attention than it currently receives? Why should more time and money be invested in this cause?
  1. Minimalism. Does living a minimalist lifestyle make for a happier life? Why or why not?
  2. Gaming gains. Are video games generally a positive or a negative influence? Why?
  3. Rose-colored glasses. Is the current decade the best era in history? Why or why not?
  4. Paper or plastic. Should plastic bags be outlawed?