Essay Prompts

If you choose to take the Timed Writing Exam in the PEL office, you may choose from among these six prompts.

  1. Select a twentieth century world, national or local figure that has had an important influence in one area, such as politics, science, sports, or the arts. Explain the positive or negative impact of this person and give examples to support your view.
  2. Recall the very best experience you have ever had of any work of art, literature, dance, or theatre. Describe the experience and help your reader to understand why you remember it as the best.
  3. Individuals react differently to stress. Discuss several ways people deal with stress and indicate why such methods are either effective or ineffective.
  4. What’s the wisest advice you’ve been given so far? Give examples of varied ways that advice has guided you through the years. Compare and contrast it to other words of wisdom that didn't help you.
  5. As objectively scientific as we try to be, we cannot escape our own emotional and ethical responses to natural events, such as hurricanes, springtime, sunsets over the gulf, and death. Choose a natural event and write a narrative that recreates the event and your responses to it.
  6. Select a word that has always bothered you or has had significant meaning in your life, personally, professionally, academically, or spiritually. Using your own experience, trace the development of this word’s meaning for you and compose an original definition.

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