Note: We have 300 new argumentative writing prompts to add to this list.
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Of all the resources we publish on The Learning Network, perhaps it’s our vast collection of writing prompts that is our most widely used resource for teaching and learning with The Times.
We’ve published iterations of this post in the past — 200, 401 and even 650 prompts — but never before have we gathered all our prompts, for both personal and argument writing, into one categorized list.
Admittedly, the list is huge. In fact, there are 1,219 questions below on everything from video games and fashion to smartphones and parenting, and each prompt links to a Times article as well as to additional subquestions that can encourage deeper thinking.
Science & Environment
1,060. How Green Are You?
1,061. How Do You Try to Reduce Your Impact on the Environment?
1,062. Do You Ever Feel Guilty About What, or How Much, You Throw Away?
1,063. What Could You Live Without?
1,064. Should Single-Use Plastic Shopping Bags Be Banned?
1,065. What Are Your Thoughts About Wind Power?
1,066. Do We Crank Up the A.C. Too High?
1,067. How Concerned Are You About Climate Change?
1,068. How Should Nations and Individuals Address Climate Change?
1,069. If You Were President, What Would You Do About Climate Change?
1,070. Should Schools Teach About Climate Change?
1,071. How Do You Celebrate Earth Day?
1,072. Should Developers Be Allowed to Build in and Near the Grand Canyon?
1,073. Should Scientists Try to Help People Beat Old Age So We Can Live Longer Lives?
1,074. Should Extinct Animals Be Resurrected? If So, Which Ones?
1,075. How Do You Think Dinosaurs Went Extinct?
1,076. Given Unlimited Resources, What Scientific or Medical Problem Would You Investigate?
1,077. What Are the Five Greatest Inventions of All Time?
1,078. What Would You Invent to Make the World a Better Place?
1,079. When Is It O.K. to Replace Human Limbs With Technology?
1,080. Should Fertilized Eggs Be Given Legal ‘Personhood’?
1,081. Do You Think Life Exists — or Has Ever Existed — Somewhere Besides Earth?
1,082. Do You Believe in Intelligent Alien Life?
1,083. Will Humans Live on Mars Someday?
1,084. Would You Want to Be a Space Tourist?
1,085. What Would You Name a New Star or Planet?
Animals & Pets
1,086. How Do You Feel About Zoos?
1,087. Do Gorillas Belong in Zoos?
1,088. Is It Unethical for a Zoo to Kill a Healthy Giraffe?
1,089. Should Farm Animals Have More Legal Protections?
1,090. Is It Wrong to Focus on Animal Welfare When Humans Are Suffering?
1,091. Is It Ethical to Genetically Engineer Animals?
1,092. When Is Animal Testing Justified?
1,093. Should Certain Animals Have Some of the Same Legal Rights As People?
1,094. Should Circuses Be Animal Free?
1,095. Is This Exhibit Animal Cruelty or Art?
1,096. Should You Go to Jail for Kicking a Cat?
1,097. Should You Feel Guilty About Killing Spiders, Ants or Other Bugs?
1,098. Should Emotional Support Animals Be Allowed on College Campuses?
1,099. Are Emotional-Support Animals a Scam?
1,100. What Are the Animals in Your Life?
1,101. What’s Your Relationship Like With Your Pet?
1,102. How Well Do You Know Your Pet?
1,103. Should We Be Concerned With Where We Get Our Pets?
1,104. What Does a President’s Choice of Pet — or Choice Not to Have a Pet at All — Say About Him?
1,105. What Have You Learned From Animals?
1,106. What Are Your Thoughts on Cats?
1,107. Would You Want to Hang Out at a Cat Cafe?
1,108. Why Do We Love Watching Animal Videos So Much?
1,109. What Are Your Most Memorable Stories About Wildlife?
Exercise & Health
1,110. Do You Like to Exercise?
1,111. Do You Get Enough Exercise?
1,112. How Has Exercise Changed Your Health, Your Body or Your Life?
1,113. How Much Do You Think About Your Weight?
1,114. How Often Do You Engage in ‘Fat Talk’?
1,115. What Are Your Healthy Habits?
1,116. What Health Tips Have Worked for You?
1,117. What Rules Do You Have for Staying Healthy?
1,118. What Habits Do You Have, and Have You Ever Tried to Change Them?
1,119. Do You Have Any Bad Health Habits?
1,120. How Careful Are You in the Sun?
1,121. Do We Worry Too Much About Germs?
1,122. How Well Do You Sleep?
1,123. What Are Your Sleep Habits?
1,124. How Much of a Priority Do You Make Sleep?
1,125. Do You Get Enough Sleep?
1,126. Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered?
1,127. Should the Legal Age to Purchase Tobacco Be Raised From 18 to 21?
1,128. Should E-Cigarettes Be Banned for Teenagers?
1,129. Do You Vape?Is Smoking Still a Problem Among Teenagers?
1,130. Are Antismoking Ads Effective?
1,131. Should Marijuana Be Legal?
1,132. Should Students Be Required to Take Drug Tests?
1,133. Should Middle School Students Be Drug Tested?
1,134. How Common Is Drug Use in Your School?
1,135. If You Drink or Use Drugs, Do Your Parents Know?
1,136. Is Your School a ‘Party School’?
1,137. Have You Been To Parties That Have Gotten Out of Control?
1,138. Why Is Binge Drinking So Common Among Young People in the United States?
1,139. Should Universities Work to Curtail Student Drinking?
1,140. Would You Ever Go Through Hazing to Be Part of a Group?
Civics & History
1,164. How Strong Is Your Faith in American Democracy?
1,165. Is America Headed in the Right Direction?
1,166. What Do American Values Mean to You?
1,167. Do You Think It Is Important for Teenagers to Participate in Political Activism?
1,168. How Would You Like to Help Our World?
1,169. What Cause Would Get You Into the Streets?
1,170. Have Your Ever Taken Part in a Protest?
1,171. What Would You Risk Your Life For?
1,172. When Have You Spoken Out About Something You Felt Had to Change?
1,173. Should the Voting Age Be Lowered to 16?
1,174. Should Voting Be Mandatory?
1,175. Does Voting for a Third-Party Candidate Mean Throwing Away Your Vote?
1,176. Do You Consider Yourself a Republican, Democrat or Independent?
1,177. If You Were Governor of Your State, How Would You Spend a Budget Surplus?
1,178. What Local Problems Do You Think Your Mayor Should Try to Solve?
1,179. Should the United States Care That It’s Not No. 1?
1,180. Do You Trust Your Government?
1,181. What Do You Think of President Trump’s Use of Twitter?
1,182. What Do You Think the Role of the First Lady — or First Spouse — Should Be Today?
1,183. What Is More Important: Our Privacy or National Security?
1,184. When Is the Use of Military Force Justified?
1,185. When Should Countries Negotiate With Their Traditional Enemies?
1,186. Should the U.S. Be Spying on Its Friends?
1,187. Should Countries Pay Ransoms to Free Hostages Held by Terrorists?
1,188. What Responsibility Do We Have to Take In Refugees From Global Humanitarian Crises?
1,189. Should Millions of Undocumented Immigrants Be Allowed to Live in the U.S. Without Fear of Getting Deported?
1,190. Should the Government Allow ‘Dreamers’ to Stay in the U.S. Without Fear of Being Deported?
1,191. Are Children of Illegal Immigrants Entitled to a Public Education?
1,192. What Do We Owe Our Veterans?
History & News
1,193. What Event in the Past Do You Wish You Could Have Witnessed?
1,194. What Are the Most Important Changes, in Your Life and in the World, in the Last Decade?
1,195. What National or International Events That You Lived Through Do You Remember Best?
1,196. What Famous Figure From the Past Fascinates You Most?
1,197. What Does Dr. King’s Legacy Mean to You?
1,198. Who Do You Think Has Been ‘Overlooked’ By History?
1,199. What Recent Events Will Most Likely Be Featured in History Museums Someday?
1,200. Why Should We Care About Events in Other Parts of the World?
1,201. What News Stories Are You Following?
1,202. How Do You Get Your News?
1,203. Are You Having More Conversations With Friends and Family About Politics?
1,204. What Is Your Reaction to the Recent Flood of Breaking Political News?
1,205. Do You Ever Get the ‘Bad News Blues’?
1,206. Are We Being Bad Citizens If We Don’t Keep Up With the News?
1,207. Is Your Online World Just a ‘Filter Bubble’ of People With the Same Opinions?
1,208. Do Your Friends on Social Media All Have the Same Political Opinions You Do?
1,209. How Do You Know if What You Read Online Is True?
1,210. Do You Think You Can Tell When Something Is ‘Fake News’?
1,211. Do You Believe in Online Conspiracy Theories?
1,212. What Are Your Experiences With Internet-Based Urban Legends?
1,213. Are Political Memes Dangerous to Democracy?
1,214. Should National Monuments Be Protected by the Government?
1,215. Should Confederate Statues Be Removed or Remain in Place?
1,216. What Supreme Court Cases, Now or in the Past, Interest You Most?
1,217. Should Free Speech Protections Include Self Expression That Discriminates?
1,218. Is It O.K. to Refuse to Serve Same-Sex Couples Based on Religious Beliefs?
1,219. What Will You Remember About President Obama and His Legacy?
Many of the questions above are still open to comment, though not all.
A few questions have been removed from this list since it was originally published.
Teachers, please let us know in the comments how you use this list, or any of our previous prompts lists, in your classes.