The only way to get better at anything is to do it—over and over again. In addition to practicing your English conversational skills, you should also practice your writing skills on a regular basis.
The good news is that writing in English doesn’t need to be a painful experience. By choosing topics that you’re passionate about or focusing on prompts that will put different grammar lessons into practice, you can ensure that writing is an engaging and enjoyable experience.
Here are twenty-two potential essay topics to get you started, but don’t be afraid to branch out and come up with your own topics, as well.
- Describe your favorite place in as much detail as possible.
- What do you do outside of school and work? Describe any hobbies you have, sports you participate in, or other activities you regularly enjoy.
- If you could invite five people to a dinner party, who would they be? What is each guest like?
- Describe your favorite fictional character in as much detail as possible.
- If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Describe it and explain why you’d choose it.
- Give directions for getting from one point to another. Explain what landmarks someone might see along the way.
- Explain how to entertain guests who unexpectedly arrive at your home.
Verb tense practice
- What’s one thing you could never live without and why?
- Describe your ideal town or city, why you would want to live there, and what you would do there.
- Write about a time in the past when you had to make a difficult decision, and explain what you did.
- Talk about five specific goals you want to accomplish this year, and explain how you are going to accomplish them.
- Imagine you’re babysitting a child who breaks the kitchen table. Explain to the child how they could have avoided doing this if they had behaved differently.
Practical vocabulary practice
- Write a review of a new restaurant (either fictional or real) in your area.
- Describe the best party or large-scale event you’ve ever attended.
- If you could get one gift for everyone in your family, regardless of the cost, what would you get them and why?
- Choose a form of transportation (such as cars, trains, boats, planes, or subways) and explain how it has changed people’s lives.
- Write a pitch for a new blockbuster movie. Explain what will happen in the movie and why it will draw crowds to the theater.
Persuasive writing practice
- Do you think our society is too dependent on technology like smartphones? Why or why not?
- Imagine that a big new department store is being built in your hometown. Do you support this development or not?
- Do you think it’s better for students to have a long summer break or be in a year-round school system with more breaks throughout the year? Explain your position.
- Should employers set aside time during the day for their employees to exercise? What might be some of the advantages or disadvantages of this?
- What is your favorite book or movie, and why should people read or watch it?
What are some great ESL essay topics you've encountered? Let us know in the comments.
As ESL teachers, we’ve all had those students who do great on their grammar exams, speak up confidently in class, and are always first to raise their hands for activities - and yet, when it comes time for a writing assignment, they can barely squeeze out a few short sentences. This can be frustrating for the student and teacher alike - but it’s the symptom of a problem that’s well-known in every teaching community: Speaking and writing are two very different skills.
As with any new skill, practice is key - but students who have trouble writing aren’t usually keen to take on even more writing practice. After all, they might think, if their grammar and vocabulary are correct, and they don’t need to write in English for their jobs, what’s the point of drilling this skill? The answer is, of course, that the ability to write in English is key in the world and the workplace - from writing cover letters and CVs to drafting emails and client presentations. The responsibility is at least partly on you, the teacher, to provide assignments that draw your students into the writing process.
BusyTeacher.org is your number-one stop for exactly those kinds of assignments. Our 730 writing worksheets will provide your students with intriguing writing prompts, and with a variety of writing exercises that’ll help them watch their own improvement as it happens. Our worksheets even break down the writing process into its core components, so you can figure out exactly where in the process each student is struggling, and intervene with exercises to help him or her through that trouble spot.
The writing worksheets here on BusyTeacher.org will help familiarize your students with all the sub-skills involved in writing - from choosing a topic and constructing that first paragraph, all the way to writing movie reviews and short poems. Some of our worksheets even cover basics like handwriting and sentence structure - so no matter how much your students need to brush up on their fundamentals, we’ve got worksheets to meet them where they are.
You’ll find worksheets on any topic you can imagine, from daily routines and holidays to pop culture, news, and even poetry and song lyrics. Some worksheets just help you lead simple fill-in-the-blank exercises, while others present thought-provoking topics for full essays, or include plans for your students to create their own newsletters. And for students who need help with English school assignments, you’ll also find worksheets on writing essays and test responses.
You can browse all of our 730 writing worksheets in thumbnail view, so you don’t have to wait for any of them to load to get an idea of what they’re like. As you scroll down the page, just click on any worksheet that catches your eye - they’re all completely free to download, print, and share in any way you like. And they’re all created and classroom-tested by real ESL teachers all over the world - which means you can be confident they’ll work in your classroom, too. If you’ve got a worksheet of your own that you’d like to share with your fellow ESL teachers in the BusyTeacher.org community, just click the “Submit a worksheet” button at the bottom of this page.
All of these writing worksheets are here to help you - so pick out a few that look interesting, and give them a try in your classroom today. We’re sure you’ll love them as much as the other ESL teachers in our community already do.