Yr 8 Essay Topics

Writing an essay can be a daunting task for both teachers and students in terms of creating and crafting a high quality essay,  and finally editing and grading them.

It seems though we may have overlooked one of the toughest steps in writing an essay and that is actually selecting an appropriate and interesting topic for your students.

Thankfully I have put together a list of 25 great essay topics that might just make that process a little easier.  Enjoy.  And remember to add any other great suggestions in the comment section below.

If you are still struggling with the essay writing process and need further guidance be sure to check out our definitive guide to writing a great essay. 

  1. Zoos are sometimes seen as necessary but not poor alternatives to a natural environment.  Discuss some of the arguments for and/or against keeping animals in zoos.
  2. Imaginethat your teacher wants to teach a new subject for the next few weeks.  Your teacher will take suggestions, and then let the students vote on the new subject. What subject should your class choose? Write an essay to support your choice and to persuade the other students to vote for your choice.
  3. Are actors and professional athletes paid too much?
  4.  Should teachers have to wear uniforms or have a dress code?
  5. Since the invention of nuclear weapons we have had a long period of GLOBAL peace and stability.  Are nuclear weapons global peacemakers or killing devices?
  6. Should boys and girls be in separate classes?
  7. Is the death penalty effective?
  8. To what extent is the use of animals in scientific research acceptable?
  9. What age is appropriate for dating?
  10. Pretend you woke up one day and there were no rules. People could suddenly do whatever they wanted! Explain what the world would be like. Use your    imagination!
  11. Should student’s textbooks be replaced by notebook computers?
  12. Should students be allowed to have cell phones in elementary and high schools?
  13. Should wealthy nations be required to share their wealth among poorer nations?
  14. Should money be spent on space exploration?
  15. Is fashion important?
  16. Are we too dependent on computers?
  17. Ifyou had the opportunity to bring any person — past or present, fictional    or nonfictional — to a place that is special to you (your hometown or    country, a favourite location, etc.), who would you bring and why? Tell us    what you would share with that person
  18. Most high level jobs are done by men. Should the government encourage a certain percentage of these jobs to be reserved for women?
  19. Should students be allowed to grade their teachers?
  20. In your opinion what factors contribute to a good movie?
  21. The destruction of the world’s forests is inevitable as our need for land and food grows.  Do you agree?
  22. Many parents give their children certain chores or tasks to do at home. Should    children have to do chores or tasks at home? Be sure to explain why you    think it is a good idea or a bad idea. Include examples to support your    reasons.
  23. Should the voting age be lowered to thirteen?
  24. Should the government place a tax on junk food and fatty snacks?
  25. Should more be done to protect and preserve endangered animals?

These 8th-grade writing prompts (or eighth grade essay topics) are written for students in grade eight. They are free to use under a Creative Commons License.

Want more ideas? Click the "categories" tab at the top of the screen, or visit the homepage.

  1. You are in a room with no distractions. The door is locked, the walls are white. There is one chair on which you sit. On the table in front of you is a piece of paper. You know on the reverse side of the paper is written the date you will eventually die. You are in the room for one hour only and can never return to it. Tell me if you would turn the paper over and read it and why/why not?
  2. What are the worst and best qualities of the human race?
  3. If you were sent back in time to 1858 and had to live there, what modern skills and knowledge might you use to help you make enough money to live on?
  4. You awake in the year 2160 as the first successful cryogenic patient ever. What killed you back in 2012 has been reversed. What are your first thoughts and do you feel lucky or blighted?
  5. Continuing on from the above prompt, describe what it was like the day the doctors took you to meet your future relations?
  6. Imagine this is you speaking: 'Despite my sadness, I look up from the park bench and watch a train speed into the tunnel. A passenger in the last compartment waves and I gasp. It can't be, it just can't be?' Describe what happens next.
  7. Will we all live in a kinder, more moral world in 100 years time? Give your reasons for your answer.
  8. What are the main benefits of the internet to society?
  9. You are a teenager, I am 44. I envy you because you have the time to be anything you want to be. Am I right or wrong in thinking this way?
  10. Can you fall in love with someone you have never met? For example, someone you chatted to on the internet?
  11. Imagine you wake up and you are no longer in your own bed at home. Instead you are freezing cold, lying on your back and gazing at the stars. Slowly you stand and notice you are on a large ocean liner; its funnels clear against the moonlight. You turn to read the name on one of the lifeboats and your heart lurches; 'HMS Titanic'. Describe what happens next.
  12. If there were no laws, what is the one thing you'd like to do which is illegal now?
  13. Free your mind. Think of nothing, nothing at all. Then listen to your thoughts pop into your head, like magic. Where do these thoughts come from? Are we really in control of what we think next?
  14. Imagine you are watching the marathon on TV. A runner who looks like a relative of yours who died last year stops in front of the camera. He silently takes a sign out of his pocket. The camera picks out the words, 'help me' and your name. Describe, in the first person narrative, what happens next.
  15. If you had a time machine, what famous moment in history would you like to witness?
  16. If you could walk into and interact with the people in any photograph you have at home, which one would it be and why?
  17. If you were writing a short story, tell me how you might show that your hero(ine) is afraid, without actually saying it. For example, maybe his/her hands trembled as they poured a drink. See if you can think of your own examples.
  18. If you could not use your mobile phone for a month, what would it be like? Would there be any advantages?
  19. If you worked in the accident department of a hospital, what might your views be on alcohol?
  20. Tell me about a type of music you detest and why. Is this music just rubbish, or is it merely that you don't like it?
  21. Is war ever justifiable? Explain your reasoning.
  22. Try to write a short piece of fiction, say 200 words, where you only give away what is really happening at the very end. Have a try and if you need help, ask your tutor.
  23. If we could revisit a moment from our past, just for the joy of reliving it again, what would you choose and why?
  24. Is it ever right to judge someone else when you do not know what it is like to be them and live their life?
  25. Write a letter to yourself to be read by you when you are fifty years old. Tell 'you' things about what it's like to be a teenager. Then seal it and don't open it until your half century!
  26. Tell me what you think makes a good teacher?
  27. Think about someone you have not seen for a few years and write about what you think they are doing now.
  28. Write for 15 minutes about something you wish someone had told you earlier!
  29. Do you believe in astrology? Discuss your reasoning.
  30. Imagine scientists have confirmed that ghosts do exist. What reason might they give for why people 'hang around' after they die?
  31. If you were born blind and at the age of thirteen could suddenly see, would you immediately know what was happening? Think carefully about this one; remember this person has never been able to see in their lives.
  32. Imagine that if a little like Jurassic Park, scientists could bring people back to life from bone DNA. What might happen?
  33. If we decided that politicians should no longer be in charge of the world, which profession would be better at the job and how might they do things differently?
  34. Invent and describe a new event for the Olympics.
  35. Write about what the world's biggest secret might be.
  36. Choose a notorious criminal in your country and imagine you have been granted a ten minute interview with them. What three questions would you want to ask and why?
  37. Tell me about something you really enjoyed doing when you were five years old that you still like now.
  38. Imagine you could control what someone else actually said. What fun might you have? Write about it.
  39. What do you look forward to most about being an adult? What do you think you will miss most about being a child/teenager?
  40. Do one thing today you have never done before and then write about it afterwards.
  41. Is fashion a good thing, or not? Explain your answer.
  42. What do you think intelligence is? Can someone with no education be more intelligent than a person with a degree?
  43. Imagine you have been granted the answers to any two questions of your choosing. One answer you will remember, the other will be wiped from your memory in an hour. You cannot speak to anyone else, or write the answers down. Think of two questions and tell me how you could benefit from knowing the answers to BOTH.
  44. If the world were going to be destroyed by an asteroid in ten years time, how might the world live differently until then?
  45. Tell me about something that happened which made you really excited.
  46. How will most of us get around our country in fifty years time?
  47. Scientists are getting closer to creating a 'thinking' robot. What might be the consequences of this?
  48. Why do people starve in Africa whilst in some other countries people eat too much and have lavish lifestyles? What could be done about this and should something be done?
  49. If you had the chance of being the first person to walk on Mars, would you go for it, or say no thanks!?
  50. If you could change one part of your life, what would you change and why?

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