175 Writing Prompts to Spark Discussion and Reflection

Here are all of our Student Opinion questions from the 2022-23 school year. Each question is based on a different New York Times article, interactive feature or video.  Source The New Times July 19, 2023

Each day of the school year we publish a Student Opinion question: an invitation for students to share their own opinions and experiences in response to New York Times stories on the news of the day. Each of these prompts is introduced with an article, interactive feature or video produced by The Times.

The 175 questions we asked during the 2022-23 school year are available below and in this PDF. The prompts are organized into two sections: questions that lend themselves well to persuasive writing, and questions that encourage narrative writing.

For ideas on how to use these Student Opinion prompts in your classroom, you might consult this comprehensive teacher’s guide, which includes practical strategies from a dozen educators.

Questions for Debate and Persuasive Writing

1. Does Social Media Harm Young People’s Mental Health?
2. How Should Schools Respond to ChatGPT?
3. Should We Get Rid of Homework?
4. If You Were Mayor, What Problems Facing Your Community Would You Tackle?
5. Should All High School Students Have Part-Time Jobs?
6. What Is Our Responsibility to Lab Animals?
7. How Should Americans Deal With the Problem of Gun Violence?
8. What Is Your Reaction to the Recent Wave of Legislation That Seeks to Regulate the Lives of Transgender Youths?
9. Are A.I.-Generated Pictures Art?
10. Are Beauty Pageants Still Relevant?
11. How Should Adults Talk to Kids About Drugs?
12. What Is Your Reaction to the Growing Fight Over What Young People Can Read?
13. Should Teachers Provide Trigger Warnings for ‘Traumatic Content’?
14. What Should Free Speech Look Like on Campus?
15. What Are Your Thoughts on Uniforms and Strict Dress Codes?
16. Should You Have a Right to Be Rude?
17. Should the United States Ban TikTok?
18. Will A.I. Replace Pop Stars?
19. How Can We Bring an End to the ‘Epidemic of Loneliness’?
20. What New Rules Would Improve Your Favorite Sport?
21. How Much Do You Think It Matters Where You Go to College?
22. Is Homelessness an Issue Where You Live?
23. Do School Employees Deserve More Respect — and Pay?
24. Should Old TV Shows Be Brought Back?
25. Should More Sports Be Coed?
26. How Can Schools Engage Students Who Are at Risk of Dropping Out?
27. Do Bugs Deserve More Respect?
28. Should Classic Children’s Books Be Updated for Today’s Young Readers?
29. Should Award Shows Eliminate Gendered Categories?
30. If You Could Take On One Problem Facing Our World, What Would It Be?
31. What Are Your Thoughts About a Year of War in Ukraine?
32. If Artwork Offends People, Should It Be Removed?
33. College Athletes Can Now Be Paid. But Not All of Them Are Seeing Money. Is That Fair?
34. What Do You Think About the Controversy Surrounding the New A.P. Course on African American Studies?
35. Should More Teenagers Ditch Their Smartphones?
36. Is It Harder for Men and Boys to Make and Keep Friends?
37. Should Students Learn About Climate Change in School?
38. What Should Stores Do With Unsold Goods?
39. Would You Like to Work Among Robots Someday?
40. Should We All Go Cashless?
41. Should We Still Be Sending Astronauts to Space?
42. Do You Support Race-Conscious College Admissions Policies?
43. What Issues Are Most Important for You Leading Up to the Midterm Elections?
44. How Young Is Too Young for an Apple Watch?
45. What Is Your Reaction to the State of Abortion Rights in 2022?
46. What Is the Purpose of Teaching U.S. History?
47. Should Aaron Judge Be Considered the New Home Run King?
48. What Do You Think About the Controversy Surrounding the New A.P. Course on African American Studies?
49. Are Driverless Cars the Future of Transportation?
50. The Death of Tyre Nichols: A Place for Teenagers to Respond
51. If You Could Change the Laws of Nature, What Would You Change?
52. What Are Your Reactions to the Results of the Midterm Elections?
53. Should Period Products Be Free?
54. Should the Government Cancel Student Debt?
55. Should More Parents Play Video Games With Their Kids?
56. How Far Is Too Far in the Fight Against Climate Change?
57. Do Schools Need to Do More to Support Visual Thinkers?


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