Short Essay Prompts For Seventh Graders

The ability to provide information in different contexts is essential to effective communication. Students must practice expository writing throughout their academic careers. The sooner they start, the better. Below are some descriptive, sequential, compare and contrast, cause and effect, and problem/solution writing prompts to help you give your students the practice they need.


  1. Write an essay describing your school to a potentially new student.
  2. Write an essay describing the appeal of reality TV shows.
  3. Write an essay describing a rainy night.
  4. Write an essay describing your first pet.
  5. Write an essay describing your first memory.
  6. It’s Christmas morning and there is a package under the tree containing exactly what you requested. Describe the contents of your package..
  7. Write an essay describing how you feel when you wake up and discover snow on the ground outside — and school has been cancelled.


  1. Writing an essay explaining the process you use to style your hair in the morning.
  2. You have invited your two best friends to spend the afternoon at your home. Write an essay telling how your prepare for their visit.
  3. Everyone has lost something at one time or another. Write an essay telling what you did to find what you had lost.
  4. Describe how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  5. Tell how you wash your hair.
  6. Describe the plot of your favorite book.

Compare and Contrast

  1. Write an essay comparing and contrasting ownership of cats and dogs.
  2. Compare and contrast this year in school to last year.
  3. Compare and contrast your two favorite characters.
  4. Compare and contrast your family’s home and the home of your dreams.
  5. Compare and contrast a typical day in your life today and what you think a typical day in your life will be like when you are 25.
  6. Compare and contrast your two favorite teachers.

Cause and Effect

  1. Write an essay telling how peer pressure has affected you this year.
  2. Write an essay explaining what causes students to drop out of high school.
  3. Discuss the causes and effects of bullying in schools.
  4. Discuss the causes and effects of poverty in rural (urban) areas.
  5. Discuss the causes and effects of drug or alcohol use on families.


  1. Most students do not read or watch news, resulting in a lack of knowledge about the world outside of their immediate neighborhood. Write an essay describing why this is a problem and telling how this problem might be solved.
  2. Think about the community in which you live. What could you do to make it a better place? Choose one problem that needs to be solved to make your community a better place to live. Write a letter to the editor describing how solving this problem would make your community a better place, and tell what you would do. Give reasons why you think your plan would work.
  3. Think about what you could do to make your school more beautiful. Think about how you would do this. How could you persuade the people in your school that your idea is a good one? Write a letter to the principal of your school asking for support for your plan for making your school more beautiful. Tell what you would do and how you would do it. Explain why you think your plan is important and why it would work.
  4. Think about animal abuse. Some people abuse animals by being intentionally cruel to them or neglecting their basic needs; others abuse animals out of ignorance. Think about what could be done to prevent both kinds of animal abuse. Write a letter to leaders in your community describing how you would solve this problem, and how treating animals better would improve the lives of animals and people. Explain why you think your plan will work.

I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma graduate student, and a NBPTS candidate. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify my students’ voices and choices.

Filed Under: PedagogyTagged With: expository writing prompts

These 7th-grade writing prompts (or seventh grade essay topics) are written for students in grade seven. They are free to use under a Creative Commons License.

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  1. If the world suddenly stopped spinning, what would you actually see and hear during your last seconds, or minutes?
  2. Imagine this situation: Tom was sure his leg was broken and there was no way he could climb out of the well. It was also miles from anywhere, why had he been so stupid to climb down alone? With a deep breath and a quick prayer, he flicked open his mobile phone. Describe what happens next.
  3. Have you ever bumped into someone you really wanted to impress when you were looking at your worst?
  4. Do unborn babies get bored in the womb?
  5. Imagine if it didn't get dark tonight. What would people do, what might they imagine had caused it?
  6. Is too much money spent on hosting the Olympics? Give reasons for your answer.
  7. Imagine this: On 6th June 2012, nobody dies in the world, anywhere. On the 7th June, the same thing happens; the media and politicians are baffled. Then on the 8th, something even more incredible occurs. Write about what happens next.
  8. Why do we feel such joy when our 'team' wins?
  9. Think about this phrase: 'Why me?' Now write about whatever comes into your mind.
  10. The internet is the 'moon landings' of our generation. Discuss.
  11. Where do our thoughts come from?
  12. If you could live to be ANY age, what would you choose? Living forever is an option too, but think very carefully, would you really want to go on for eternity?
  13. Imagine you knew you had lived a past life, but your parents just would not believe you. Write about what might happen next.
  14. When creating fictional characters, a good way to stop them being one dimensional is to give them personality traits of different people you know. Using the name, Boris Botterlittle, give him habits, characteristics etc of at least five different people you know.
  15. Imagine that a girl finds a suitcase full of money hidden under a bridge. She decides to keep it for herself. Describe what happens next.
  16. Tell me about something you enjoy now that you hated as a young child.
  17. Showing not telling is a great writing technique. Write a paragraph showing me that a character called Annie is very angry. Do not tell me she is, show it, for example, maybe she throws a chair. When you have done it, think about why showing is sometimes better than telling in fiction.
  18. Do you think real life detectives worry about their job when they are at home with their family? What problems might this cause?
  19. Recall a very important day for your family and then write about it as though you were a reporter covering the event. Maybe look at a real piece of journalism to get you in the mood!
  20. When describing somewhere in our writing, it is often better to actually visit that place. So, go to a public building you know, write down a description of it. Then look at what you have written, what would you not have noticed had you just sat at home and done this exercise?
  21. Imagine if you lived in one of the last unreached tribes of the rainforest. Describe your daily routine.
  22. Describe what happened when you met your best friend for the first time. Did you like him/her straight away?
  23. Pretend you are writing a diary which will be read by someone 500 years in the future. Write about your day today in a way you will think they will understand.
  24. Imagine you spent all day in a tree-house and nobody knew you were there. What sort of surprising things do you think you might see?
  25. Write about a time when you did something unkind, but did not feel guilty about it. Why did you not feel guilty, do you think?
  26. Is prison the best way to deal with criminals? What might be better?
  27. Imagine what might happen if the bank accidentally put $1 million dollars in your account and you decided to keep it. Write about it – what you might spend the money on, how you might feel, what the consequences might be.
  28. Tell me about a news event you found really interesting.
  29. Think about the oldest building you know and then try and describe what life was like whilst it was being built. How would it differ from your own life?
  30. Write about what comes to mind when you think about the phrase, 'odd one out.'
  31. Your mobile phone rings and you answer it. The voice on the other end you recognize, but you are utterly shocked that this person should be calling you. Continue this idea describing who the person is and what might they want.
  32. Should all shops close on a Sunday? What might be the advantages of having one day a week when you cannot 'do retail?'
  33. If you could see the secret government files of your country, what one thing would you like to know and why?
  34. Imagine if you found out your grandpa was working for another country as a spy and you found out. Write about what might happen.
  35. Tell me about something which makes you feel really nervous.
  36. If you went to a family party and everyone had to take turns entertaining the rest, what would you do?
  37. Think back to the first teacher you ever had. Write a pretend letter to them telling them how you have progressed.
  38. Image showing a famous character from the past the modern version of where they once lived. What would you have to explain, what might they think?
  39. Imagine being a nice vampire, what steps would you take to ensure you did not 'fang' anyone. Write about what would happen.
  40. They say bats are blind, how come they don't fly into walls? Research the science behind this and write a short piece outlining the answer to the above.
  41. You have been given $1million, but you have to spend it within 15 minutes of NOW and you cannot use a computer, or telephone. What would you do?
  42. They say the vast majority of our seas remain unexplored. Write about the most amazing thing down there which has yet to be discovered.
  43. Imagine you can read people's minds. Write about a situation when this was definitely NOT a good thing!
  44. Why might it be better to holiday in a tent than a luxury hotel?
  45. One day walking down the street, you find something incredibly valuable. Write about this and what happens next.
  46. Talk to an elderly member of your family and ask him/her what they did for fun when they were your age. Then try it out for yourself and write up a piece about your experience and thoughts.
  47. A scientist has worked out what definitely happens to us after we die. Would he/she be better sharing this news with everyone, or keeping quiet? Explain your thinking.
  48. Describe your idea of the best party possible.
  49. Can you explain why top sportsmen and women are paid so much when most of us would do what they do just for fun?
  50. Tell me about something which fascinates you, but not most people. What is it that really interests you in this subject/thing?

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