11th Grade / College Prep

A New Fable (Narrative)

The fable is a familiar type of story in which one or both of the lead characters is often an animal and the action illustrates a life lesson summed up as a moral. Write a fable that illustrates the moral, "Never say anything you wouldn't want everyone to hear." Be sure to show how the main character learns the lesson through the action of the story.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


After-School Jobs (Persuasive)

Many students now take after-school jobs that involve working long hours. Some administrators argue that these jobs are tiring for students and make it difficult for them to complete their schoolwork. Others say that paying jobs are good experience for the future.

Write an essay arguing your point of view about whether or not after-school jobs are beneficial for students. Use specific examples and reasons to support your position.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Body Language (Descriptive)

The body language of a person — movements, posture, facial expressions — can provide all sorts of information about that person's mood, attitude, and personality. Think of a character from a television show, or even someone you know, and write an essay in which you describe that personís body language. Be sure to indicate what information the body language conveys about the person and to include specific examples of how body language reflects the personís personality.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Clean Your Family Room! (Expository)

Cleaning the room where your family spends most of its time is probably not the most enjoyable experience in your life, but chances are good that you've developed your own technique to make the process as painless as possible. Write an essay explaining how you clean the family room, step by step. Be sure to use transitions between steps to help the reader follow along.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Club Advisor (Persuasive)

You have decided to start a new club or interest group at your school and you want your favorite teacher to advise the club. Write a letter to your favorite teacher persuading him or her to advise the club. Be sure to explain what type of club it will be, why you think your teacher is the perfect advisor for the club, and what he or she will get out of the experience.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Community-Service Class (Persuasive)

In many high schools, students can participate in volunteer community-service programs that allow them to earn class credit while helping to improve their community. Imagine that your school is thinking of making "community service" a requirement for all students. Is requiring such a community-service course a good idea or a bad idea? Write an essay to convince other students that your view on this issue is correct. Be sure to include reasons and examples in your argument.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Creating the Right Mood (Descriptive)

Some novels and movies are particularly effective at creating distinctive moods or atmospheres. Write an essay describing a setting that creates a lonely, festive, or magical atmosphere. Use specific details to reinforce the mood youíre trying to create.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Day in the Life of a Door (Narrative)

Think about the different doors you open and close several times a day. One of these doors may be the front door to your home, the passenger's door on your family car, or the double doors of the school cafeteria.

Be creative and tell the story of a hard-working door from the door's point of view. What happens during its day? What does it expect? How does it feel about its job? How does it feel about the people it serves?

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Due Date (Persuasive)

Your history teacher has just assigned a research paper and wants to know whether students would prefer a due date right before your school's two week winter recess or right after it. Some of your classmates would prefer to get the project done before the recess so that they can relax during their time off. Others would like to use the two week recess to complete the project. You and your classmates will take a vote to determine the due date.

Write an essay making a case for your preferred due date. Offer specific reasons and examples to support your position and to address the opposing position.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Fictional Character (Expository)

Fictional characters from any genre (whether in books, movies, video games, etc.) often prove to be unforgettable. Write an essay about any fictional character that has had an effect on you. Fully describe the character, where you discovered him or her, and the effect he or she has had on you.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Fictional Travel Guide (Expository)

Have you ever wished that you could spend time in Narnia, Oz, or some other land you've read about in a book? Choose a fictional world or city that you'd like to visit and write an informational brochure in essay format for tourists traveling there. Your brochure should provide basic information that travelers will need during their visit and offer specific recommendations about things to do and places to see in this land.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Goals (Narrative)

Think about the goals you have for your future. Write an essay about what you will do to reach your goals, whether that is to be a professional athlete, a famous scientist or a happy Mom or Dad. Tell the story of how you will achieve your goals, being as specific as possible in describing the obstacles and challenges you might face on the road to success.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Good Friend (Expository)

What are the qualities of a good friend? Write an essay in which you describe what it takes to be a good friend. Identify the qualities a person must have to be a good friend, and develop those ideas with specific examples and support, citing your own experiences.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Guidelines (Persuasive)

Many high schools have very strict rules about student participation in extra-curricular activities, insisting that students maintain a degree of academic success in order to participate in sports or clubs. In some cases, the students need to maintain a certain grade-point average to take part in extracurricular activities, while in other cases the students can just not have any failing grades in order to participate. Write an essay in which you argue whether or not any guidelines are necessary. Take a position and defend it with specific reasons and examples.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Life Imitates Art (Narrative)

The notion of "life imitating art" is an old one. Think about an experience in which you felt as if you were living out a scene from a book, movie, or television show. Write a story relating your experience.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Luxury or Necessity (Expository)

Cellular phones, home computers, and many other items that were once considered luxuries are now thought of by many people as necessities. Can a luxury become a necessity? Write an essay in which you discuss how to distinguish between the things we need and the things we want. Be sure to use specific examples to illustrate your points.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Military Service (Persuasive)

In many countries, 18 year olds do not go directly from high school to college or the workplace but are instead required to spend a year in their country's military. Write an essay in which you argue for or against such a policy, using specific reasons and examples to support your position.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Movie Critic (Expository)

Think of a movie that you enjoyed watching. What was it about the movie that you liked? Now think of a movie that you did not enjoy at all. Why didn't you enjoy it? Write an essay comparing and contrasting the two movies. Describe elements that the movies have in common as well as those elements that are different.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Mysterious Item (Descriptive)

Think of an object that you have in your home. Without revealing what the item is, write an essay describing it in detail. How does the item look, sound, feel, and smell? Be specific enough that someone could walk into your house and identify the item based on your description.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


News Hound (Narrative)

You're a reporter, and you've just landed the biggest story of your career. What happened? What makes your story so important? Write the news story that will win you a Pulitzer Prize for journalism and make you a household name.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Perfect Place to Study (Descriptive)

Create a mental picture of your ideal study environment. Do you prefer to study inside or outside? Do you prefer to study in a group or by yourself? With music or in silence? Describe your ideal study area in detail, and explain how each element contributes to your learning experience.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Raised Funds (Persuasive)

Your class has made a new year's resolution to raise $1,000 to improve your school. How do you think the money should be spent? Write an essay offering at least one suggestion for improving your school, and explain why you feel the money should be spent on this particular improvement.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Secret in the Old Library (Narrative)

The local paper is sponsoring a story contest with a cash prize for the winner. The only guideline is that the story must be called "The Secret in the Old Library," and the story needs to explain the title. Exactly what is the secret? Why is it important? Write your own "The Secret in the Old Library" story for the newspaper contest. Remember to use descriptive details to illustrate the significance of the title.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Something Beautiful (Descriptive)

What one person finds attractive is not necessarily going to be to everyone else's taste. Write an essay describing something that you think is beautiful. Be as specific as possible in describing it and why you think it's beautiful.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Where in the World? (Expository)

Imagine that a radio station is sponsoring an essay contest for high-school students throughout the county. The prize is a round-trip ticket to anywhere in the world.

Write an essay about the place you would most like to visit. Include the reasons why you would like to go there and what you think you would gain from the experience.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available


Your New Car (Descriptive)

Pretend that you have been given the task of designing a new car to meet your particular needs and desires. Do you need a large trunk for your tuba? Does it need to be small to fit into tight parking spaces? Just say so. Write an essay describing your vehicle, including what it would look like, how it would run, and any special components or qualities that it would have.

link to 6 point scale scoreslink to 4 point scale scores

Sample Essays Available