Respond to one of these quotes by taking a stand and proving it. Use what you know, but also use hypothetical examples to illustrate and fortify your points.
- School is not always the best place to learn.
- The harder we try the more we come up short.
- Little things can matter most.
- You never really get to know someone.
- Friends should let you lie.
- People talk too much.
- Motivation matters most.
DESCRIPTION: A Busy Place
Recall a place with nonstop activity. It could be classroom or a bus station or a sporting area. In the voice of a tour director, walk the reader through the place. Make your reader find the place as exciting as you do.
Pick a movie that you liked, but most of your friends did not. Pretend you are addressing one of the film's detractors and develop an argument for why the film is both entertaining and important.
Pick a pivotal moment in your life -- a great victory in sports, a loss, a discovery. Tell the story as if it were a short story. Use lots and lots of dialogue.
- Study the morning paper. What's going on? What would surprise someone who has been asleep since 2,000? Shake this deadbeat awake, and describe one obvious way in which the world has changed. This could be a conversation paper.
- Write a blog in which you speak for those young people who share your concern about the way the world is being run. Aim this at a group of older people who just don't "get" what what makes young folks angry.
- Write a story in letters between a young soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan and his father. The two had never gotten along, but the letters bring them together.
- First sentences. Choose one of these and write a short story in which the narrator learns an important lesson about himself:
- At the last minute, I decided to leave my iphone behind."
- Someone had been tampering with my GPS."
- Last night, Granny declared herself "Tech Savvy."
- We were amazed to find out Mr. Simmons, the meekest teacher on the staff, had spent the summer doing emergency work in Haiti."
- For a long time, I couldn't rid my mind of images from 9/11.
- Last week, Dad broke the news that we would be selling our little house and moving into a rental place across town."
- Imagine a panel of people addressing the question: "In America do we overemphasize sports?" Include a NFL quarterback, a sports writer, a concerned parent, a school principal, a hermit, and let them go at it.
- Should school officials and police be allowed to use student cell phone records to track down drug dealers? Never? Always? Under certain conditions? Before you expression your opinion, take a poll of students at your school.
- Study Google Images of Hurricane Katrina. Pick one that's especially troubling and explain why. Do the same thing with 9/11.
- Consider a job that appeals to you. Why does it fit your interests and your abilities? How possible will it be to attain such a job? Will jobs like these be out there thirty years from now?