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Open-Ended Writing Prompts: Persuasive
Writing
Level 5
Prompt 1
Read the following paragraph:
Being part of a community or group may be quite difficult. While people often enjoy
feeling as if they belong, they also do not like to give up their individual freedoms.
Sometimes being part of a community requires people to limit their freedom for the
larger good of the group. Ultimately, a community or group has difficulty functioning
effectively if people are not willing to set aside their personal interests.
Think about the following question: Does the success of a community depend upon a
person’s willingness to make individual sacrifices?
Write an essay in which you state your position and support it with convincing evidence.
Be sure to
• state your position clearly
• use appropriate organization
• provide relevant and specific support for your argument.
Prompt 2
Read the following information:
According to studies conducted by Mary Carskadon of Brown University, “The
biological clock appears to shift during puberty, meaning teens are less able to fall
asleep before 11 p.m. Based on the National Sleep Foundation’s estimate that teens
need as much as 9 1/4 hours of sleep a night, teenagers experience a sleep deficit
of at least two hours a night during the school week since most high schools start
at 7:30 a.m.” (“Pros and Cons of School Starting Later for Teens,” by Lucie K. Lewis)
Later start and end times to the school day for high school students would alleviate
this issue and lead to higher academic performance.
© 2011 College Board. All rights reserved.
Think about the number of hours you sleep and how well you do in school with differing
amounts of sleep.
Write an essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies the assertion that having a later start
and end time to the school day for high school students would lead to higher academic
performance.
Be sure to
• establish a clear thesis or position based on logical reasons supported by precise and
relevant evidence
• present an accurate and honest representation of the range of views on the topic in a
manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns
• use a range of appropriate appeals.
Writing Workshop 8 • Persuasive Writing
8-1
Prompt 3
Read the following quotation:
“Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit.”—Jawaharlal Nehru
Think about Nehru’s viewpoint on culture.
Write a persuasive essay in which you agree or disagree with the statement and use your
experience, observations, or reading to support your argument.
Be sure to
• establish a precise thesis or position based on logical reasons supported by precise
and relevant evidence
• present an accurate and honest representation of the range of views on the topic in a
manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns
• establish and maintain a formal style and a tone that is appropriate to the topic,
audience, and purpose.
Prompt 4
Read the following passage:
“I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I
want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible.
But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.”—Mahatma Gandhi
Think about Gandhi’s point about the interaction among cultures.
Choose a local, national, or global cultural conflict with which you are familiar. Write an
essay that carefully considers the opposing positions on this conflict and proposes a
solution or compromise.
Be sure to
• establish a precise thesis or position based on logical reasons supported by precise
and relevant evidence
• present an accurate and honest representation of the range of views on the topic in a
manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns
© 2011 College Board. All rights reserved.
• establish and maintain a formal style and a tone that is appropriate to the topic,
audience, and purpose.
8-2 Springboard® English Textual Power™ Level 5
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