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Heard it through the grapevine, write a story about an unconventional teacher., what was the last daydream that you dreamt while in class (be honest.) turn that into a short story..

High School

Write a story inspired by your favorite Tiktok reel.

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writing prompts about high school

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The best writing prompts for high school

Ah, high school. The birthplace of future geniuses, the setting of a million Young Adult books — and the cutting ground of many a brilliant young author. Writing in the classroom is often the best outlet of creativity for kids, and what better way to get your students excited about it than through creative writing prompts for high school students?

Whether you use journal prompts or story ideas to kickstart your high school student’s imagination, writing prompts are sure to help broaden their thinking, sharpen their writing skills, record their thoughts, and get them to engage with the world around them.

If you're looking to cut to the chase, here's a top ten list of writing prompts for high school students:

If you have a high school student who’s interested in becoming an author, check out our free resources on the topic:

Develop a Writing Routine (free course) — Any high schooler who’s serious about becoming a published author should know that writing a book doesn’t just take talent. 90% of the process is sitting in front of a blank piece of paper, and having the drive and commitment to put words to paper. That’s why we created this free course, which shows people of any age how to develop a writing routine that works for you. It’s never too early to start the process today!

Want to encourage your high school students to start writing? Check out Reedsy’s weekly short story contest , for the chance of winning $250! You can also check out our list of writing contests or our directory of literary magazines for more opportunities to submit your story.

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Explore more writing prompt ideas:

Adults Writing Prompts ⭢

Adventure Writing Prompts ⭢

Angst Writing Prompts ⭢

Character Writing Prompts ⭢

Christmas Writing Prompts ⭢

Dark Writing Prompts ⭢

Dialogue Writing Prompts ⭢

Dramatic Writing Prompts ⭢

Dystopian Writing Prompts ⭢

Fall Writing Prompts ⭢

Fantasy Writing Prompts ⭢

Fiction Writing Prompts ⭢

Fluff Writing Prompts ⭢

Funny Writing Prompts ⭢

Halloween Writing Prompts ⭢

High School Writing Prompts ⭢

Historical Fiction Writing Prompts ⭢

Holiday Writing Prompts ⭢

Horror Writing Prompts ⭢

Kids Writing Prompts ⭢

Middle School Writing Prompts ⭢

Mystery Writing Prompts ⭢

Narrative Writing Prompts ⭢

Nonfiction Writing Prompts ⭢

Novel Writing Prompts ⭢

Poetry Writing Prompts ⭢

Romance Writing Prompts ⭢

Sad Writing Prompts ⭢

Science Fiction Writing Prompts ⭢

Short Story Writing Prompts ⭢

Spring Writing Prompts ⭢

Summer Writing Prompts ⭢

Teens Writing Prompts ⭢

Thanksgiving Writing Prompts ⭢

Thriller and Suspense Writing Prompts ⭢

Valentine's Day Writing Prompts ⭢

Vampire Writing Prompts ⭢

Winter Writing Prompts ⭢

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144 Picture Prompts to Inspire Student Writing

A school year’s worth of short, accessible image-driven posts that invite a variety of kinds of writing.

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As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.

writing prompts about high school

By The Learning Network

We’ve been publishing our Picture Prompts series four days a week since 2016. These short, accessible, image-driven prompts invite students to create short stories, poems and memoirs; share experiences from their lives; analyze illustrations, graphs and charts; and weigh in on hot-button issues.

Here, we’ve rounded up all the Picture Prompts we published for the 2019-20 school year and organized them by the type of writing they ask students to do. You can find even more in our roundups for the 2016-17 , 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. That’s over 600 prompts in all. And many are still open for comment by students 13 and up.

To learn how you can use Picture Prompts to build literacy skills, promote critical thinking, spark discussion and foster creativity in your classroom — physical or virtual — watch our on-demand webinar, “ A Picture Prompt Is Worth a Thousand Words .” For dozens more ideas, see our lesson plan, “ How to Teach With Our Picture Prompts (and Other Times Images) .”

If you use this feature with your students, or if you have other ideas for how to use photos, illustrations and graphics to encourage writing, let us know in the comments.

What story does this image inspire for you?

Trapped Inside Wilderness Wayfaring Magical Chores I’m Sorry Dollar Bills Dinosaurs Endless Conversation Looking Back Social Distancing Vibrant Youth Fake Ice United States of Love Over the Falls Marching Band Heavy Head Night Circus Submerged Subway Ride Subway Balloons Under the Ice Resourceful Raccoon Calendar Vivid Voices Writing a Novel Passport Scramble Racing Pug Castle on a Hill Clowns Travel In the Hallway Striking Out Meeting in the City

Share experiences from your own life.

Collect Them All The Stories Maps Can Tell Strange Times, Strange Dreams Songs of Hope Drawing Ramadan in Isolation Across Divides Instagram Challenges Book Updates Funny Flicks Stuck in Paradise Pandemic Projects Home Cooking Your Learning Space Empty Spaces Helpers Favorite Flops St. Patrick’s Day Birthdays The Agony of Defeat Alligators in the Sewers In Memoriam Sibling Dynamics Slumber Parties Food Favors Super Bowl LIV Morning Moods Lunar New Year Internet Affirmation Pet Keepsakes Stargazing New Year, New You? Last-Minute Shopping Car-Free Travel Feasting With Family Mister Rogers ‘No.’ Dream House Strange Cuisine Multitasking Headless Horseman Music Therapy The Heroic Ideal A Place of Solace Pet Pampering Notes of Lavender Neighborhood Celebrations Fashion Idols Tributes Family Cooks Favorite Season Back to School

What do you think this image, chart or cartoon is saying?

‘OK Boomer’ Shadows Open and Shut Baseball Eyeballs Protesting Carrying the Weight Music Notes Flickering Sign Helping Hands Brick Wall Inside a Book Talking and Listening Maze Credit and Blame Newspaper City Pack of People ‘A 📖 of Two 🏙’ Head Spinning You Love You, Bro The President’s Tweets Split Reflections Forest in a Stadium Chasing ‘They’ Missiles, Hummers and Tanks Looking Over the Edge

What’s your opinion on this issue?

Masks The Front Page Teenage Drivers Graduation in a Pandemic Most Challenged Books Brady’s Big Move Mascot Working From Home Mall Rats ‘Bracelet of Silence’ Optimism Government Buildings Valentine’s Day Prizewinning Poodle Library Books Oscar Nominations 2020 Hologram Musicians Baby Yoda Hit Holiday Songs 2019 in Pictures World’s Big Sleep Out Snow Days Tesla’s ‘Cybertruck’ Fortune Tellers Scooters Everywhere Popeyes Chicken Sandwich World Series Champions Small Talk Big City, Small Town Tipping Summer Hits

Lindsey Ann Learning

Raise Rigor, Create Learners, Embrace Creativity

writing prompts about high school

55 Journal Writing Prompts High School Students Love


September 28, 2020 //  by  Lindsay Ann //   8 Comments

Sharing is caring!


Do you use a writer’s notebook in your English classroom? Do you find yourself wishing that you had a list of journal writing prompts high school students will like? 

In this post, I will be sharing 55 different journal prompts. That’s enough for the whole year of fun writing prompts, used 1x per week, for the whole semester if used 2-3x per week, and enough for the whole quarter if used every day.

Digital vs. Paper Writer’s Notebooks

Two years ago, I was determined to have my students write. Every day. Inspired by 180 Days, I wanted to be the writer’s notebook queen of the world and change students’ lives through journal writing prompts. 


I went to the nearest Staples store and bought .20 cent composition notebooks. I gave them to students on the first day of school. We wrote in them, pasting in mentor texts for the first three weeks of school. Then, for various reasons, the writer’s notebooks stayed closed more often than not. It was not sustainable for me. 

Now, I’ve written in a previous post about choosing ONE thing to be your precious at the beginning of each school year. If paper writer’s notebooks are your jam, then rock on, friend! 

As for me, I now use and love digital writer’s notebooks. These fun writing journal prompts notebooks are created in Google Slides and shared with students via Classroom. These writing prompts for journals never get lost, are less time-consuming than regular writer’s notebooks, and can use all sorts of colors and design elements to capture students’ attention.

Journal Writing Prompts for High School Students

Below you’ll find 55 journal writing prompts. High school students will find plenty to say about these topics, but I suggest setting ground rules for writing and setting a time limit (with timer projected). 

First: Write for the whole time. 

Second: Don’t worry about making sense or making sure what you write is perfectly-edited. 

Third: Be honest and be specific. 

1st Set: Imaginative Journal Writing Prompts High School Students 💜


2nd Set: Past, Present, Future Journal Prompts


3rd Set: Personal Beliefs Writing Prompts


4th Set: Top Ten Lists as Journal Prompts


5th Set: Hard Questions for Journal Writing


Wrapping Up Writing Prompts for Journals

Feel free to save the images for each set of fun writing prompts questions and use them in an agenda slideshow or to post on Google Classroom.

If you are interested in ready-made digital journals, please take a moment to check out these popular journal prompts resources! I appreciate your support!

Hey, if you loved this post, I want to be sure you’ve had the chance to grab a FREE copy of my guide to streamlined grading . I know how hard it is to do all the things as an English teacher, so I’m over the moon to be able to share with you some of my best strategies for reducing the grading overwhelm.  Click on the link above or the image below to get started!


About Lindsay Ann

Lindsay has been teaching high school English in the burbs of Chicago for 18 years. She is passionate about helping English teachers find balance in their lives and teaching practice through practical feedback strategies and student-led learning strategies. She also geeks out about literary analysis, inquiry-based learning, and classroom technology integration. When Lindsay is not teaching, she enjoys playing with her two kids, running, and getting lost in a good book.

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Reader Interactions

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March 3, 2022 at 3:46 am

Hi Lindsay, I think that these writing prompts you have come up with are just brilliant. I mean granted these are merely thoughts and questions we either ask ourselves, others or just think about and never bring out. I personally think it is important for people to actualize and put thoughts out verbally and visually. In this case, fellow writers and English students and anyone for that matter are able to see it and realize that these are actually not silly ideas that you might have thought of and overlooked at some point in your lives. But good reflective pannels for us to channel our inner writers and inquisitive thinking into and curiosity upon. I am still a beginner English teacher but have always been fascinated with power of what a few words put together becoming, a sentence, a sentence becomes a paragraph, a paragraph becomes an essay, an essay becomes a thesis, a thesis becomes a spark of curiosity and that curiosity becomes a revolution that bit by bit becomes the answer to a question being asked somewhere. Thank you for the ideas!

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March 20, 2022 at 1:10 pm

My pleasure, William! You’ve put into words the beauty of inquiry and writing, even if it is only for one’s own eyes. Thank you for reading!

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March 23, 2022 at 11:02 pm

i really hope these work i really think they will thanks so much

April 7, 2022 at 7:22 pm

You’re welcome! I hope that they work well for you. 🙂

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April 26, 2022 at 8:13 pm

I really just LOVE these writing prompts! They are very concise and spark my imagination. Been teaching since fall Y2K and visited many of these types of posts. Yours are a cut above the rest.

April 30, 2022 at 8:23 pm

Thank you, James! I hope that you and your students have fun with these. 🙂

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June 3, 2022 at 1:08 pm

Do you have a TpT store where we can buy your digital writer’s notebook?

June 4, 2022 at 5:56 pm

Yes, absolutely! Here are a couple of options:

1. 2. 3.

Hope this helps! Lindsay

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50 Writing Prompts For High School Sophomores [PDF Included]

Greetings, young scribes, and literary daredevils! Are you ready to soar through the clouds of creativity and dive into the depths of your imagination? Well, grab your feather quills and boundless journals because we’re about to embark on a whimsical adventure of writing prompts designed specifically for high schoolers and sophomores! 

Buckle up, because these prompts are as quirky as a unicycling giraffe, as imaginative as a time-traveling taco, and as unexpected as a disco-dancing dinosaur! So let’s unleash your inner bard, and let the words flow like a river of pure creative genius!

Unique and creative writing prompts for sophomores

Writing prompts can be incredibly helpful for both experienced and inexperienced writers. They provide a starting point for your writing, giving you a topic or idea to build upon. Furthermore, they can also be used in many creative writing activities.   So, here’s a list of 50 creative writing prompts to help young sophomores experiment with their creativity!

Writing prompts

Writing prompts: Helping develop a daily practice

Developing a daily writing practice is a fantastic way for sophomores to boost their creativity and improve their writing skills. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of writing prompts.

Writing prompts are creative and quirky suggestions for what to write about. They can range from serious and introspective to whimsical and fantastical, and they provide a structure for daily writing that can help students develop their own writing style and voice.

For example, a writing prompt might ask the writer to imagine a world where everyone can control the elements, and then write a story about a young boy who must use his powers to save his village from a natural disaster. This type of prompt not only provides a specific topic to write about but also encourages the writer to think outside the box and be creative in their writing.

In short, incorporating writing prompts into a daily writing practice can be a fun and effective way for sophomores to build their writing skills, expand their creativity, and explore new and exciting ideas. So why not give it a try today! Furthermore, if you came across during a career exploration session or activity, that you wish to establish a career in writing, then these prompts can be all the more useful for a budding writer like you! 

By using writing prompts, you can unlock your creativity, build your confidence as a writer, and explore new genres and styles of writing. Writing prompts can also help one overcome writer’s block and get their creative juices flowing. So if you’re looking to improve your writing, break out of a creative rut, or just have some fun, try incorporating writing prompts into your writing routine. Who knows what amazing stories, poems, or essays you’ll create!

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Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers

We Are Teachers

The Big List of Essay Topics for High School (100+ Ideas!)

Ideas to inspire every young writer!

Jill Staake

Writing essays is a big part of high school education, and for good reason. Learning to write clearly, concisely, and persuasively provides big benefits throughout your life. Sometimes, though, the hardest part is just deciding what to write about. If you’re looking for ideas, check out this huge round-up of essay topics for high school. There’s something here for every type of essay, so choose one and start writing!

Argumentative Essay Topics for High School

When writing an argumentative essay, remember to do the research and lay out the facts clearly. Your goal is not necessarily to persuade someone to agree with you, but to encourage your reader to accept your point of view as valid. Here are some possible argumentative topics to try.

Should physical education be part of the standard high school curriculum?

Cause-Effect Essay Topics for High School

A cause-and-effect essay is a type of argumentative essay. Your goal is to show how one specific thing directly influences another specific thing. You’ll likely need to do some research to make your point. Here are some ideas for cause-and-effect essays.

Describe the effects social media has on young adults.

Compare-Contrast Essay Topics for High School

As the name indicates, in compare-and-contrast essays, writers show the similarities and differences between two things. They combine descriptive writing with analysis, making connections and showing dissimilarities. The following ideas work well for compare-contrast essays.

Dogs vs. cats as pets

Descriptive Essay Topics for High School

Bring on the adjectives! Descriptive writing is all about creating a rich picture for the reader. Take readers on a journey to far-off places, help them understand an experience, or introduce them to a new person. Remember: Show, don’t tell. These topics make excellent descriptive essays.

What is your earliest memory?

Expository Essay Topics for High School

Expository essays set out clear explanations of a particular topic. You might be defining a word or phrase or explaining how something works. Expository essays are based on facts, and while you might explore different points of view, you won’t necessarily say which one is “better” or “right.” Remember: Expository essays educate the reader. Here are some expository essay topics to explore.

What does it mean to be a good teacher?

Humorous Essay Topics for High School

Humorous essays can take on any form, like narrative, persuasive, or expository. You might employ sarcasm or satire, or simply tell a story about a funny person or event. Even though these essay topics are lighthearted, they still take some skill to tackle well. Give these ideas a try.

Explain why it's important to eat dessert first.

Narrative Essay Topics for High School

Think of a narrative essay like telling a story. Use some of the same techniques that you would for a descriptive essay, but be sure you have a beginning, middle, and end. Remember that you don’t necessarily need to write narrative essays from your own point of view. Take inspiration from these narrative topics.

Write about a time when you or someone you know displayed courage.

Persuasive Essay Topics for High School

Persuasive essays are similar to argumentative , but they rely less on facts and more on emotion to sway the reader. It’s important to know your audience, so you can anticipate any counterarguments they might make and try to overcome them. Try these topics to persuade someone to come around to your point of view.

What is one book that everyone should be required to read?

What are some of your favorite essay topics for high school? Come share your prompts on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, check out the ultimate guide to student writing contests .

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Jill Staake is a Contributing Editor with WeAreTeachers. She has a degree in Secondary English Education and has taught in middle and high school classrooms. She's also done training and curriculum design for a financial institution and been a science museum educator. She currently lives in Tampa, Florida where she often works on her back porch while taking frequent breaks for bird-watching and gardening.

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writing prompts about high school

50 Writing Prompts for All Grade Levels

Sometimes students need a little push to activate their imaginations.

a row of colored pencils

The collection of prompts below asks young writers to think through real or imagined events, their emotions, and a few wacky scenarios. Try out the ones you think will resonate most with your students. 

As with all prompts, inform students that their answers should be rated G and that disclosing dangerous or illegal things they’re involved in will obligate you to file a report with the administration or school counselors. Finally, give students the option of writing “PERSONAL” above some entries that they don’t want anyone to read. We all need to let scraggly emotions run free in our prose sometimes.

If your class uses daybooks (an approach recommended in Thinking Out Loud: The Student Daybook as a Tool to Foster Learning ), wait for composition notebooks to go on sale at Target, the Dollar Store, or Walmart for $0.50 a piece. To organize the daybook, direct young writers to leave the first three pages blank and number and date each entry—adding these entries to a table of contents that they create as they work so they can return to specific entries later. 

High School Prompts

Middle School Prompts

Elementary School Prompts

After they’ve finished an entry, ask students to read their work aloud or exchange daybooks for a read-around. If you give the entries written feedback, show that their work is respected by using a sticky note or scratch paper. 

You might also incorporate background writing music one day a week—say on “Music Monday.” For some examples of music you might use in class, Pitchfork has an article called “ The 50 Best Ambient Albums of All Time .” My favorite album for composing is the Birdy soundtrack by Peter Gabriel—a good one for older kids. Other Edutopia staff and bloggers like writing to Coffitivity , Noisli , Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Alcest’s Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde .

Don’t forget to write along with your students. Why should they have all the fun?

What are your students’ favorite writing prompts?

100 Fun Writing Prompts for High School

Post thumbnail

The fun writing prompts for high school collected in this article will facilitate a more enjoyable and effective writing process for you. With creative writing prompts for high school, you can come up with new ideas for your papers, see the assignments from a new angle and produce impressive pieces of writing. Moreover, you will gain better writing skills through practice and learn new techniques of arranging the papers. The fresh writing prompts for high school can help you achieve much better results from your writing.

The masterfulness of your writing is closely related to the theoretical knowledge you have and to the practical exercises you do. The writing prompts for high school fun are sometimes difficult to comprehend and often require additional explanations. Therefore, it is important to clarify the prompts before taking up the writing. The key information and directions for your paper are always included in the prompts, so their decoding will show you the way you need to follow.

Understanding the Writing Prompts

Even the fun writing prompts for high school students can be confusing, so to avoid any misunderstandings, ask yourself the following questions about your prompt:

Once you give clear and accurate answers to the mentioned questions, you will have a basis for your paper. At this point, when you know what your paper is aimed at and how it should be arranged, it is time to plan your paper by preparing an outline. It will help you to control the structure of your paper, stay within the word limit, and address all the most significant issues in your essay.

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Creative Writing Prompts for Everyone

For better or for worse, it is only possible to acquire skills of any kind through intensive practice. If you would like to excel at writing, you should take up a writing prompt every day and work on it. If you are out of creative ideas at the moment, you can use the fun writing prompts for high school provided in the list below. All you need to do is simply choose one and start writing!

Find 10 top prompts for high school students listed below.

You may be interested: Poem Writing Help

TOP 7 Fun Writing Prompts for High School Students

Coming up with fun writing prompts for high school can be hard if you are overwhelmed with many tasks and lack time to prepare some engaging activities. That is why, it is good to have a good old list of prompts prepared for the times when you need a solution that will not fail you. Below are the top writing prompts that will interest every high school student:

Share about your family holiday traditions.

How would communication on Earth change if telepathy would be available to everyone?

Write a poem about your favorite objects at home.

Write a poem to wish your friends happy holidays.

Write a short story about the adventures you had with your friends.

Write about mishaps that happened to you and your way of overcoming them.

Write a descriptive essay that presents your personality.

These prompts may seem simple, but the secret of their effectiveness lies in their familiarity to everyone and everywhere. Even when the students are drained out of any creative ideas, they can turn to one of these topics and have something to say about either of them. Besides, writing about trivial things in a new, original way is the best exercise for improving one’s writing skills. Moreover, it develops a deeper understanding of things and non-standard perception of the world.

23 Fun Writing Prompts for High School

Write a formal letter to a colleague informing about a change in the company’s policy.

Imagine you have appeared in 50 years future time. Describe what you see and how the world has changed.

If you had a chance to become your native town’s mayor, what would you do on that post?

Write about the pets you had during your life.

Do you like superheroes? Why? How do you think they impact children’s mindset?

Write about the unusual places you would like to visit.

What is the book you liked to read as a child?

Write about your childhood friendships.

Which plant do you associate yourself with and why?

Do you see interesting or weird dreams? Give examples.

What would you do if you could be invisible for one day?

Would you like to travel to other planets? What do you expect to see there?

Imagine you have woken up in 19 th century. Describe your experiences.

What do you think your future family will look like?

Write a poem about your first love.

What would you suggest to the ten-years-old yourself?

What are you afraid of?

How do you imagine yourself when you grow old?

Which traces of character you cannot tolerate in others?

Write about the luckiest coincidences that happened to you.

Have you ever been embarrassed? Tell about some situations.

What would you like to say to the 70-years-old yourself?

Did you ever do anything you regret?

13 Social Media Writing Prompts

13 social media writing prompts

Do you think people have a higher or a lower self-esteem because of social media use?

How are the real personalities different from the ones presented in their online profiles?

From what age do you think children should be allowed to use social media?

Do you think the underage persons should have a restricted access to certain features online?

How much time do you spend in social nets? Would you like to change this amount of time?

Do you keep in touch with all your online friends?

How important is self-presentation in social media for socialization?

Have you met any real life friends through online media?

Have you ever felt underrated in social media?

How important is the number of likes in social nets?

Which social net is the most popular among your peers? What makes it convenient?

What could be the reason for you to close your social media accounts?

Have you ever had a fake account online? How did you use it?

5 Internet & Tech Writing Prompts

internet&tech writing prompts

Should programming be taught in basic school programs?

How safe do you think Internet surfing is?

Do you share personal information through the web?

How do you protect your data online?

Is it possible to remain anonymous in the Internet today?

7 Music Writing Prompts

7 music writing prompts

What are the top 5 songs you have been listening to lately?

Which music style do you prefer? What exactly fascinates you about it?

Has music ever facilitated any emotions for you? Give examples.

Where do you get the new music from?

Does one’s taste in music depend on what they have heard at home as children?

Does your choice of music depend on its popularity?

How does the development of technology impact the development of music styles?

5 Video Games Writing Prompts

video games writing prompts

Are esports good for the players? In what ways?

Which video games have you mastered?

Which qualities have you gained through playing video games?

Is violence in esports acceptable?

Are the age limitations for games always adequate?

10 Books & Reading Writing Prompts

books&reading writing prompts

Name the top 3 books that have formed your personal philosophy.

What is the book you are reading currently?

Is there a particular genre you prefer? Why?

Who is your favorite author?

Make a list of 10 books every peer of yours must read.

If you were to write a book, what would it be about?

Do you read all the books required at school? Do you like them all?

Have electronic books replaced the printed ones?

Why do people need to read?

Did any book help you with any hard experiences in your life?

5 Prompts on Arts

Writing Prompts on Arts

Is art important for you personally? Why?

Is art important for the mankind? Why?

Which art mediums and styles do you prefer?

Do you think understanding art is important?

Should art in museums be in open access to everyone?

5 Prompts about School

writing prompts about school

What would you change in your studying schedule?

How do you think students should be motivated to study better?

Are after class activities important? Why?

Which time of the day do you think is the best for effective learning?

What do all students dream about?

10 Learning & Studying Prompts

learning writing prompts

Do you think students should study at home after classes?

Is individual work better than group projects? Why?

Do you often need help with your home task?

Have you ever had a tutor? Did they help you?

Are you active during the class?

What kind of testing do you think is the most important?

Do you think the class has to be divided based on the students’ success?

How many students should be in class for an effective learning?

What is your favorite discipline?

Do you have enough time to socialize and rest after your home assignments?

All the mentioned fun writing prompts for high school will definitely add inspiration to your writing process. The last suggestion to consider for you is to practice writing as much as possible. Even if you have no topic and no one to check your paper , simply write your flow of thoughts down. This simple everyday exercise will help you to polish your skills and develop your understanding of the writing process.

In any case, never make long pauses waiting for inspiration to dawn on you: it is your responsibility to find some engaging ideas to write about!

How To Write Essay Conclusion

writing prompts about high school

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2 Branford High School Juniors Win National Writing Contest

"incredibly thoughtful, creative thinkers," lucy peterson and clare barnett were honored for writing by national council of english teachers.

Ellyn Santiago's profile picture

Ellyn Santiago , Patch Staff

Branford High School juniors Clare Barnett, (l.) and Lucy Peterson, (r.) were recently honored for their writing in a national writing contest.

BRANFORD, CT — Clare Barnett and Lucy Peterson, both juniors at Branford High School, have been selected for a 2023 Achievement Award for Writing, given by the National Council of Teachers of English. Peterson received a First Class designation , while Barnett was awarded a Superior designation.

This year, schools across the country nominated 360 students. Of those, 114 received First Class designations and 131 received a Superior designation. In Connecticut, Peterson was one of five students who earned the highest distinction of First Class. Barnett received a distinction of Superior.

Each student submitted a piece of writing around the prompt “Education First.” Two independent judges scored each submission on the expression of ideas, language use, and unique perspective and voice.

Find out what's happening in Branford with free, real-time updates from Patch.

“The two of them are also very curious and diligent. Neither one of them shies away from hard work or constructive feedback on their writing," said BHS educator Bing Miller, who teaches American Literature. "It has been a joy working with them this year."

The NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing is a school-based writing program established in 1957 to encourage high school students to write and to recognize some of the best student writers in the nation. Schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, American schools abroad, and the Virgin Islands are eligible to nominate students for the writing program.

“Both Clare and Lucy are incredibly thoughtful and creative thinkers. During the year, they both exhibited a passion for writing, which was evident in the work they did for the NCTE contest,” Miller said. He nominated both writers.

About Lucy Peterson

A junior in high school, Peterson lives with her parents and her older sister when she is home from college. She is very close with her family and enjoys spending time with them and discussing philosophical topics and ideas. She enjoys riding horses, and she is the manager of a nearby barn, where she also gives riding lessons. She has always enjoyed reading and writing, and loves learning new things through the written work of others. Starting in about 7th grade, writing became an outlet for her and has helped her express complex emotions that she would not be able to convey without writing. Peterson hopes to inspire others also to write, and she hopes to share her passion with the world more in the future.

“In her essay, Lucy told a personal story about her efforts at overcoming a learning disability that has helped motivate her in school,” Miller said. "She worked hard to effectively present an immediate point of view in the story that brought her struggles poignantly to life on the page.”

About Clare Barnett

Barnett is a high school student enthralled by most things historical, and she interns at the Madison Historical Society with the costume collection housed there. Out of this work reorganizing and cataloging the collection has come the publication Costume in Detail, a bi-monthly newsletter highlighting historical contexts from which garments emerge. The newsletter can be accessed here. Her other interests include art and music history, painting, sewing historical reproduction garments, and making her own daily clothing.

“Clare’s writing is very sophisticated and insightful,” said Miller, who is also advisor for the BHS student newspaper, The Buzz. "The piece she submitted to NCTE was a combination of a scholarly approach to some theories of education that were blended with her own personal experiences as a student.”

Read the Branford Buzz story here.

About the National Council of Teachers of English

The National Council of Teachers of English is the nation’s most comprehensive literacy organization, supporting more than 25,000 teachers across the preK–college spectrum. Through the expertise of its members, NCTE has served at the forefront of every major improvement in the teaching and learning of English and the language arts since 1911.

For more information about the NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing, including past winners, click here.

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The 31 best high school graduation gifts for him, from a quality speaker to dorm essentials

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Graduating from high school is one of the first major life events that feels appropriately "major." To commemorate this significant milestone, finding the best high school graduation gifts for him is essential.

It's also a time when the requirements for the scary and exciting years to come likely outstrip his budget. When I graduated high school, the money I made at the upscale pizza restaurant in town didn't seem adequate for textbooks and the simple pleasures, like nice headphones to block out noise in the library, or more adult accessories like a nice messenger bag, presentable blazer, or office-appropriate backpack.

The good news is that gifts for recent high school graduates can solve a lot of problems (or just offer a fun way to celebrate a big milestone). With that in mind, we rounded up 40 thoughtful and practical high school graduation gifts for him below.

A coffee maker for their morning cup

writing prompts about high school

KitchenAid Showerhead Coffee Maker

If his future includes work or study (or, honestly, just everyday life), he'll probably love a brand-new coffee maker that makes an excellent cup of drip coffee in the morning. This one is the best version you can buy on a budget, but you can read more about it — and other models we like — in our buying guide to the best coffee makers .

A packable blanket for hanging in the quad

writing prompts about high school

Rumpl Blanket

If he's headed to college, he will probably be spending a fair share of Saturdays sprawled out on the quad's grass. This blanket is perfect for the occasion — it's packable, machine- and dryer-safe, and water-resistant.

Read our full review on camping essentials.

School spirit merch for game days

writing prompts about high school

Fanatics Gift Card

If your graduate is headed to college, give him the college gear he'll wear on game days, like a sweatshirt, tee, or baseball cap. We recommend browsing Fanatics — it's full of clothing, hats, bags, balls, games, and drinkware for NCAA schools. 

A backpack they can carry work or schoolwork in

writing prompts about high school

Bellroy Transit Workpack

Gift them a comfortable, no-nonsense backpack they can take from school to an internship. If you are interested in other products from them check out our Bellroy review .

Money for ordering takeout

writing prompts about high school

GrubHub Gift Card

No one wants to cook a well-rounded meal every night after work or schoolwork. Give him the gift of takeout every once in a while. 

A great streaming device

writing prompts about high school

The Roku Ultra stands out from other streaming device options thanks to its 4K and HDR support, speed, reliability, and large library of streaming services (Netflix, HBO Max, Rakuten Viki, and more.). Plus, if your graduate wants to watch TV on the big screen without disturbing anyone, it comes with headphones for private listening.

Read the full review of the Roku Ultra in our best streaming stick guide.

A Bluetooth speaker his friends will appreciate

writing prompts about high school

The Sonos Move is the best Bluetooth speaker you can buy, according to our experts. It has excellent sound quality, a good battery life that can last up to 11 hours on the go, and convenient smart features such as connecting to smart assistants from Amazon and Google. It'll be useful for hosting friends at their place.

A convenient bedside caddy

writing prompts about high school

Za fit Five Pockets Bedside Caddy

An ideal gift for the graduate who loves to lounge in bed. This five-pocket bedside caddy keeps his computer, water, snacks, and more within arm's reach. 

A multicooker

writing prompts about high school

Instant Pot DUO 60 7-in-1 Multicooker

The Instant Pot is great because it makes delicious meals accessible to anyone, no matter their experience or space constraints. Plus, it comes with an app that features 100s of easy-to-follow step-by-step recipes, including roast chicken and mac-and-cheese. And, don't worry: today's pressure cookers are much safer than the old-fashioned stovetop models.

Check out our guide to the best pressure cookers .

A Disney Plus subscription

writing prompts about high school

Disney Plus Subscription

Moving on to college is all about academics and socializing, but he'll definitely have some downtime in the dorm room. With everything from classic Disney movies and shows to "Star Wars" and Marvel movies, a Disney Plus subscription is a sure way to stay entertained.

Learn more about Disney Plus in our review.

Comfortable pants for lounging

writing prompts about high school

MeUndies Lounge Pant

No matter if he's living at home and commuting to college or living in a dorm room on campus, MeUndies Lounge Pants have a place in every man's wardrobe. When he's not caught up in the rigors of schoolwork, he can wear these to relax.

If you are interested in more of their products check out our MeUndies review .

An iPad for easy, lightweight note-taking or watching shows

writing prompts about high school

It's up to his personal preference if he wants to use a laptop in class or not, but it can be a huge blessing to only need to lug around an iPad. 

If you are interested in other generations check out our guide on the best Apple iPads .

A nice watch as an adult accessory

writing prompts about high school

MVMT Classic 45mm Watch

Traditional watches can be expensive, but startups are changing that. MVMT is probably the best-known watch industry disruptor. 

You can get this classic, work-appropriate accessory that makes outfits look a bit more competent and established for as little as $95, and he'll be happy he didn't have to shell out for this small but meaningful luxury. It'll likely come in handy for his first internship.

A pair of the world's most comfortable shoes

writing prompts about high school

Allbirds Wool Runners

We've covered Allbirds many times at Insider Reviews, and for good reason: they might actually be the most comfortable shoes in the world. The originals are all made from Merino Wool, which is not only sustainable but also temperature regulating and unusually soft. He'll probably wear these until the day they finally give out on him, but until then, they're machine-washable and easy to clean.

Check out our full review on the Allbirds wool runners .

A smart suitcase that charges devices and has 360° wheels

writing prompts about high school

Away Carry On

The Away suitcase has become extremely popular for a few good reasons. It's lightweight, comes in a variety of colors, and has both an ejectable battery built-in to charge all devices and 360° wheels. Especially if he's headed more than a car's drive away after high school, he'll be extremely grateful for a nice suitcase. It'll also come in handy when the time comes to travel.  

Check out why it is our favorite in the Away Carry-On luggage review.

Stylish button-up dress shirts

writing prompts about high school

Tie Bar Dress Shirts

While graphic T-shirts and hoodies are perfectly fine for wearing every day in high school, a new graduate is going to need some fresh button-up shirts. The Tie Bar makes it very affordable to stock up on different colors and styles — and you'll find troves of other accessories for him, too. 

A yearlong membership to boutique audio fitness classes and certified personal trainers

writing prompts about high school

12-Month Aaptiv Membership

If he's headed to college, he'll likely get access to the university gym automatically as a student, but anything guided or more arduous might come with a big added expense or tricky logistics. 

Aaptiv is a popular app that lets users listen in on thousands of workout classes led by certified personal trainers so they can get the same workout as in a class without paying the exorbitant entry prices or figuring out how to get there without a car on a Sunday afternoon. Especially if he's adjusting to college after playing sports in high school, this is a nice way to have the best of both worlds and get a really great workout.

Apple AirPod Bluetooth earphones

writing prompts about high school

Apple AirPods (2nd Gen)

Whether he commutes or is heading back to school and therefore the library, he's bound to use Bluetooth earbuds a fair amount (especially now that all the new iPhones more or less require them). The Apple AirPods are a popular choice he's likely to love.

A microwave-safe ramen cooker for the most rushed nights

writing prompts about high school

Rapid Ramen Cooker

There will be plenty of late nights filled with cheap and tasty ramen. If they're going to eat it anyway, at least let them make it quickly and perfectly every time.

A custom rambler

writing prompts about high school

Custom College Logo Yeti Rambler

Yeti makes the kind of powerfully insulated mugs built for cold mornings outdoors, and they hold up exceptionally well around campus. They also offer just over 180 colleges to choose from to help him show some collegiate spirit. 

A nice toiletry bag, which you can monogram for him

writing prompts about high school

Leatherology Double Zip Toiletry Bag

If he's heading to college, his freshman year will almost undoubtedly feature many trips from his dorm room to a communal bathroom. A nice toiletry bag makes it easier to schlep everything at once, and it looks a lot nicer than one of those plastic caddies. 

If you're not looking to spend that much, consider this less expensive unisex option made by another one of our favorite companies to watch. 

A custom map print to remind him of home

writing prompts about high school

Grafomap Custom Map Print

If your high school grad is leaving home for a new place, it doesn't hurt to give him some cool, low-key decorations for his dorm that will remind him of his hometown (or another special place). It can be tough to find the right decor for a teen's room, but this is one you can feel confident about giving.

Check out our full Grafomap review .

A blazer he can wear to interviews and internships

writing prompts about high school

Bonobos Italian Knit Blazer

Most college students probably don't have a wealth of professional clothing to pull from for high-pressure situations like interviews and a big internship. Help him make a good impression, and see your money go to good use, with a blazer he can use repeatedly and for years to come. 

A card game they can share with friends

writing prompts about high school

Cards Against Humanity

An easy way to make friends in college (or anywhere) and the best way to pass a snow day, he'll get more use out of this classic and irreverent card game than you probably think.

An extra-long charging cable for his phone

writing prompts about high school

Anker PowerLine+ Lightning Cable (6 ft)

It might seem like an add-on gift (and maybe it will be for you) but I guarantee he'll appreciate an extra-long, extra-durable lightning cable to charge his phone with. No matter if he ends up on the bottom or top bunk at the dorm, he won't have to inconvenience himself or buy a new charger every month.

An external battery

writing prompts about high school

Anker PowerCore 10000 External Battery

Perhaps the most convenient gift is as simple as a solid external battery. He's bound to use this countless times, and it might even keep him safer. This one comes with over 8,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, and it'll charge an iPhone 8 three-and-a-half times and a Galaxy S8 two-and-a-half times. 

A waterproof speaker that's built to be durable

writing prompts about high school

JBL Flip 6 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

This rugged, portable Bluetooth speaker should be able to take whatever is thrown at it or, perhaps more accurately, spilled on it in the years to come. He'll be thankful for something convenient, compact, highly-rated, and durable.

A nice leather wallet, which you can monogram for him

writing prompts about high school

Leatherology Bifold Wallet

He's probably outgrown the scuffed wallet he has now — and anyway, Velcro doesn't transfer as well to 19 as it did to 12. You can gift him a nice new leather wallet to enter adulthood with, and you can even monogram it for him for added personalization.

A Kindle for lightweight, cost-effective reading

writing prompts about high school

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Whether he loves to read or might appreciate the lightness and compactness of an e-reader, a Kindle is a great gift for recent graduates. He can read in broad daylight without a glare with the Paperwhite version, and store thousands of books for the same forgettable weight. 

Check out why it is our favorite in the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review .

Framed memories he'll appreciate seeing and owning

writing prompts about high school

Framebridge Gift

It doesn't hurt to have a photo of the family or a few of their favorite memories from high school, especially since those are the artifacts that gain importance and value the older we get. This service will take care of printing, matting, and framing for you so you can spend as little time as necessary on the task itself. 

A toolkit, which he'll definitely need in the next four years and beyond

writing prompts about high school

Cartman 148-Piece Tool Kit

Whether he's moving out right away or not, his future will almost certainly include putting together furniture and Googling how to fix a leaky faucet when his landlord avoids his calls. He'll be glad he has the tools to handle whatever life throws at him confidently, and this is one gift he may not immediately buy for himself, but which he'll really want to have before the very second he needs it. He's also going to be a huge help to his friends.

Sign up for Insider Reviews' weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals. You can purchase logo and accolade licensing to this story here . Disclosure: Written and researched by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partners. We may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected] .

writing prompts about high school

writing prompts about high school

  • Young Writers
  • Writers in Action
  • Writers' Week
  • Write Wilmington

The Young Writers Workshop (YWW) is a four-night, three-day camp that brings together up to 45 high school students to study the craft of writing on the UNC Wilmington campus. The workshop is organized and operated by UNCW's Department of Creative Writing, and camp participants have the opportunity to study with published, working writers — faculty members and graduate students in the department's Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program.

Summer 2023

Tuesday, July 11 - Saturday, July 15

The Young Writers Workshop provides a place for aspiring writers to experiment, meet other writers, and follow their creative interests in a safe, nonjudgmental environment. YWW participants take part in daily creative writing exercises, craft lectures, writing workshops, and readings.

The camp offers a valuable and exciting experience for young writers interested in learning more about their craft. Although YWW students are asked to submit a work of creative writing in one genre (poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction), they receive instruction in all genres. Participants spend approximately six hours every day in writing exercises, peer workshops, and craft presentations.

Cost & Registration

The workshop fee of $510 covers tuition, room and board. Payment is due upon registration. In the event of cancellation, a $50 fee will be withheld from the refund. Fees may be paid by check (payable to UNCW) or credit card (Visa or MasterCard only).

Register for YWW 2023

After registering via the link above, please make your payment .

Once registered and paid, please find your 2023 information packet, including instructions and deadline for pre-workshop manuscript submission (p. 3), linked on the same webpages as the registration and payment.

Finally, see the camper code of conduct here and submit your release form e-signature.


Applications for a scholarship to attend Young Writers Workshop are currently open. To be considered, the student (or parent) must submit a brief statement of financial need, up to 150 words, in the body of an email along with pertinent contact information (name, phone number, etc.). Attachments will not be opened. Use "Scholarship Statement" as the e-mail’s subject line. The email should be sent to [email protected] by July 7 at the latest.

For more information, please email us .


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Entertainment And News

High School Teacher Asked To Resign After Writing Students Up For Cheating, Stealing & Sleeping In Class

A teacher was asked to resign for doing his job: teaching..

By Isaac Serna-Diez — Written on May 25, 2023

Teacher talking about being asked to resign TikTok

A high school teacher who was recently asked to resign spoke loudly and proudly on his TikTok account after he believes he was being treated unjustly by the school administration and the children he was teaching.

Jeff Yalden (@jeff_yalden) made a two-part video series and uploaded them to TikTok where he explained the reasons he was asked to resign, as well as his actions that led up to pushback from the administration.

The teacher claims he was asked to resign because he was writing students up.

According to Yalden, the school asked him to resign because he was reprimanding students but he doesn't go into too much detail. “With six weeks left to go in the school year, I was invited to be a World History and U.S. Government teacher and help these kids finish with their final exam,” but as we know, that didn’t end well.

He claims that two days ago, on May 9th now, things had gotten so out of hand that a parent threatened him over email, and eventually boiled over into the administration asking him to resign. “I guess I was writing kids up and I was emailing all the parents,” he explains, proving that he was simply doing his job.

RELATED:  Boss Tells Employee To Start Arriving 15 Minutes Before His Shift But Refuses To Let Him Clock-In Early

Yalden claims he was treated unfairly in his job, explaining that he doesn’t “regret” the teacher that he was. “We need to stop making the excuses for our children and start holding them accountable for their words, their actions, their behaviors, the choices they make and stop minimizing these things.”

“I will not compromise my character and my integrity and who I am to just give kids free grades to let them sleep in class, to have no discipline to respect…” he explains. “You will not lie to me, you will not cheat, steal, you will not sleep in my class.” He expects kids to be prepared, to stay in class and not walk out whenever they want, all normal things that a teacher would do, but it didn’t matter.

This is where things get a little complicated — its possible Yalden was let go unfairly but it's also possible that kids who are sleeping in class need assistance beyond "writing them up." 

RELATED:  Server Learns Boss Has Been Paying Her $17 An Hour But Kept All Her Tips — 'I Just Rage Quit'

Yalden touches on an important subject regarding teacher burnout.

These days, teachers are feeling more and more burnt out about their careers and jobs as teachers, and a lot of it has to do with how the kids treat them. 

According to education research non-profit Chalkbeat , teacher resignations at the end of the 2021-2022 school year were at an all-time high in many parts of the country. Morale to continue working has also been at an all-time low, with just 12% of teachers being satisfied with their job, and a staggering 55% considering leaving the field, according to a 2022 study by the Education Weekly Research Center .

One veteran teacher on TikTok explained that it’s because of the kids, but that it’s also not entirely the kids’ fault either. "This is not a money problem. It's not an admin problem. It's not a parent problem," Teresa Kaye Newman said. "It is an emotional dysregulation problem."

Yalden says as much as well. In a separate video, he claims that he specializes in “teen mental health” and “teen suicide crisis intervention” and explains that these days, it’s hard growing up as a teenager.

Related Stories From YourTango:

He also says being a teacher is harder than it’s ever been, and that this resignation has now given him even more motivation to advocate for others.

RELATED:  Student Sends A Mass Email To Professors Before Semester Begins So Her Name Won't Be Said 'Incorrectly' In Class But Gets Told She's Wasting Their Time

More for You:

Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.

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  • >> Local
  • >> Education

Nazi quote prompts Summerlin school to recall yearbooks

The school says the quote, from American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell, runs counter to its “core values.”

(Review-Journal file)

A prominent private school in Las Vegas is recalling its yearbooks after administrators learned a student used a quote from the founder of the American Nazi Party in its pages.

The yearbook for the Meadows School, located in Summerlin, featured a photo of a student with a quote: “Being prepared to die is one of the great secrets of living,” according to a copy of the yearbook page obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The quote, attributed anonymously, was taken from a 1966 interview that George Lincoln Rockwell, a notorious American white supremacist, gave to “Roots” author Alex Haley.

In another response on the student’s yearbook page, when asked, “How can I influence others?” the student replied, “Take control of a country.”

The student also listed politics, history and human biology as interests on the yearbook page.

Lauren Walker, a spokeswoman for the Meadows School, said the school is investigating the matter.

“We are collecting our yearbooks due to a quote that was included with an anonymous attribution that runs counter to our school’s core values,” Walker wrote in an email Thursday. “We are taking this very seriously, and cannot provide further details until our investigation is complete.”

On Friday, Meadows’ Interim Head of School Claude Grubair and Board Chair Matthew Chilton released a statement saying they do not condone hate speech or racism and would not allow a quote from a “known hate group leader” to remain in the yearbook.

The school said it had consulted with the Anti-Defamation League — a Jewish civil rights organization that works to combat antisemitism — and other community leaders on its response and support for students. Representatives with the ADL did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday afternoon.

“It is our job to help our students navigate what is morally right and wrong, and we have let not only our student-led yearbook staff down but our community as a whole,” the statement read.

Grubair and Chilton said the student had been removed from campus and “is no longer a part of our Meadows community.”

Walker said Friday there hasn’t yet been a determination as to whether the student would still be able to graduate and that the school would not divulge additional information until it had consulted with the student’s family.

When reached for comment, a man identifying himself as the student’s father said they are working with the school and declined to comment further.

‘Unfortunate, regrettable mistakes’

Rockwell was a notorious provocateur in the 1960s, known for inflaming controversy on college campuses, leading a violent counterprotest to Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago and his harassing of the Freedom Riders. He was assassinated by a disgruntled former member of his own movement in 1967.

The Meadows School was founded in 1984 by Carolyn Goodman, the current mayor of Las Vegas. The nonprofit school serves grades pre-K through high school. The upper school costs more than $31,000 a year to attend.

Goodman could not be reached for comment Friday.

In a Wednesday email to parents obtained by the Review-Journal, Dana Larson, director of the Meadows’ upper school, said the yearbooks were being recalled to correct “unfortunate, regrettable mistakes.”

Larson requested that students bring back their yearbooks to their advisers.

“Please know that we will return them to you (with your personal notes, etc.) as soon as possible, but we need all of them back first,” Larson said.

A previous version of this story misspelled the first name of Matthew Chilton.

Contact Christian Casale at [email protected] or 702-380-4551. Follow @vanityhack on Twitter.

A’s Las Vegas Strip ballpark images released

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Gov. Joe Lombardo signs Assembly Bill 73 Thursday, May 25, 2023, in Carson City. (Courtesy photo)

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Debate silhouette

My four years on a high school debate team in Broward County, Florida, taught me to challenge ideas, question assumptions and think outside the box.

It also helped me overcome a terrible childhood stutter.

And I wasn’t half-bad: I placed ninth my first time at the National Speech & Debate Association nationals, sixth at the Harvard national and was runner-up at the Emory national.

After college, between 2017 and 2019, I coached a debate team at an underprivileged high school in Miami.

There, I witnessed the pillars of high school debate start to crumble.

Since then, the decline has continued, from a competition that rewards evidence and reasoning to one that punishes students for what they say and how they say it.

First, some background.

Imagine a high school sophomore on the debate team.

She’s been given her topic about a month in advance, but she won’t know who her judge is until hours before her debate round.

During that time squeeze — perhaps she’ll pace the halls as I did at the 2012 national tournament in Indianapolis — she’ll scroll on her phone to look up her judge’s name on Tabroom, a public database maintained by the NSDA.

American politicians at the debate, shaking hands, we see them against the blue background with American flags

That’s where judges post “paradigms,” which explain what they look for during a debate.

If a judge prefers competitors not “spread” — speak a mile a minute — debaters will moderate their pace.

If a judge emphasizes “impacts” — the reasons why an argument matters — debaters adjust accordingly.

But let’s say when the high school sophomore clicks Tabroom, she sees that her judge is Lila Lavender, the 2019 national debate champion, whose paradigm reads, “Before anything else, including being a debate judge, I am a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist.  . . . I cannot check the revolutionary proletarian science at the door when I’m judging. . . . I will no longer evaluate and thus never vote for rightest capitalist-imperialist positions/arguments. . . . Examples of arguments of this nature are as follows: fascism good, capitalism good, imperialist war good, neoliberalism good, defenses of US or otherwise bourgeois nationalism, Zionism or normalizing Israel, colonialism good, US white fascist policing good, etc.”

Group of young people, multi-ethnic and mixed age, working in modern office, developing new start-up business ideas suitable for crowdfunding

How does that sophomore feel as she walks into her debate round?

How will knowing that information about the judge change the way she makes her case?

Traditionally, high school students would have encountered a judge like former West Point debater Henry Smith, whose paradigm asks students to “focus on clarity over speed” and reminds them that “every argument should explain exactly how [they] win the debate.”

In the past few years, however, judges with paradigms tainted by politics and ideology are becoming common.

Debate judge Shubham Gupta’s paradigm reads, “If you are discussing immigrants in a round and describe the person as ‘illegal,’ I will immediately stop the round, give you the loss with low speaks” — low speaker points — “give you a stern lecture, and then talk to your coach. . . . I will not have you making the debate space unsafe.”

Debate Judge Kriti Sharma concurs: under her list of “Things That Will Cause You To Automatically Lose,” number three is “Referring to immigrants as ‘illegal.’ ”

Should a high school student automatically lose and be publicly humiliated for using a term that’s not only ubiquitous in media and politics but accurate?

Once students have been exposed to enough of these partisan paradigms, they internalize that point of view and adjust their arguments going forward.

That’s why you rarely see students present arguments in favor of capitalism, defending Israel or challenging affirmative action.

Most students choose not to fight this coercion.

They see it as a necessary evil that’s required to win debates and secure accolades, scholarships and college acceptance letters.

Businesspeople in committee meeting, looking at camera

On paper, the NSDA rejects what Lavender, Gupta and Sharma are doing.

Its rules state, “Judges should decide the round as it is debated, not based on their personal beliefs.”

Founded in 1925, the NSDA chooses the debate topics and facilitates hundreds of tournaments, including the annual national tournament, starting June 11 in Arizona, where six thousand students will compete.

(The NSDA did not respond to emails and phone calls asking for comment.)

A random scroll through Tabroom reveals there are still sane judges out there.

“I have been a trial lawyer for 25 years,” reads Amanda Marshall’s paradigm.

“I like clash, quality evidence from qualified sources, comparative analysis, and crystallization in last rebuttals. Don’t take anything for granted. You have to explain your arguments, why your evidence is compelling, and how the arguments weigh in the round. It’s your job to persuade me and communicate your positions in a way that is effective—that is how you will win my ballot.”

Unfortunately for students and their parents, there are countless judges at tournaments across the country whose biased paradigms disqualify them from being impartial adjudicators of debate.

From “I will drop America First framing in a heartbeat” to “I will listen to conservative-leaning arguments, but be careful,” judges are making it clear they are not only tilting the debate in a left-wing direction, they will also penalize students who don’t adhere to their ideology.

In the past year, Lindsey Shrodek has judged over 120 students at tournaments in Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.

The NSDA has certified her with its “Cultural Competency” badge, which indicates she has completed a brief online training module in evaluating students with consideration for their identity and cultural background.

Until last month, Shrodek’s paradigm told debaters, “If you are white, don’t run arguments with impacts that primarily affect POC [people of color]. These arguments should belong to the communities they affect.”

Recently, her paradigm was updated to eliminate that quote.

When I asked Shrodek why, she told me she didn’t “eliminate the idea itself” and that she “doesn’t know if it’s exactly my place to say what arguments will or won’t make marginalized communities feel unsafe in the debate space.”

I disagree. In debate, “unsafe” conversations should be encouraged, even celebrated.

How better for young people from all backgrounds to bridge the divides that tear us apart, and to discover what unites them?

The debate I knew taught me to think and learn and care about issues that affected people different from me.

We’ve come a long way from the 2004 Democratic National Convention, when an obscure state senator from Illinois named Barack Obama said, “If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. . . . If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without the benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It’s that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper — that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family.”

Twenty years ago, the NSDA I knew encouraged me to think and speak about how policies and issues impacted different communities.

Not anymore.

One judge gives people of color priority in her debates.

In general, students voluntarily, and mutually, disclose their evidence to their opponents before the debate round, as both teams benefit from spending more time with the other team’s evidence.

But X Braithwaite, who’s judged 169 debate rounds with 340 students, has her own disclosure policy in her paradigm, which uses a racial epithet: “1. N s don’t have to disclose to you. 2. Disclose to n s.”

This is racial discrimination , of course: If you’re black, you get to keep your evidence to yourself and have a competitive advantage.

If you’re not black, you must disclose all of your evidence to your opponent and accept a competitive disadvantage.

Students who win under this rubric may view their victory as flawed, as if their win isn’t a reflection of their hard work.

Those who lose may view this as the singular reason for their loss, even if it wasn’t.

Students suffer and so do the sportsmanship and camaraderie that high school debate was once known for.

It’s not just that certain arguments are no longer welcome; it’s also the students who make those arguments.

At the 2018 NSDA National Tournament in Fort Lauderdale, a student was publicly ridiculed by peers for making conservative arguments.

She later posted an “Open Letter From A Deplorable Shitbag” on Reddit, which read, “To the judge(s) and student(s) wearing the “fuck trump” shirt(s), Tears stream down my face as I write this. I have never felt so hurt in my entire life. I really did not appreciate your words towards me after the round. I did not appreciate the spectators/competitors wearing shirts with matching sentiment with you following me to my next rounds. . . . I understand I speak fast sometimes, and that I often unknowingly use words that offend certain groups of people. . . . Also, I am sorry that my attire did not fit your standards. I know about the stain on my shirt, but it really is all I had.”

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As a coach, I saw many students lose interest and quit.

They’d had enough of being told what they could and couldn’t say.

A black student I coached was told by a judge that he would have won his round if he hadn’t condemned Black Lives Matter .

In 2019, I gave up on the NSDA and formed a new debate league, Incubate Debate.

To judge debates, we recruit elected officials, members of the armed forces, business executives, faith-based leaders and others.

At the 18 no-cost tournaments we’ve hosted this year, thousands of students have come together to debate, have fun and learn from each other.

Think back to that high school sophomore who’s nervously pacing before an NSDA debate.

Before she enters her round, she reads her judge’s paradigm and says to herself, “I’m going to lose.”

Her loss won’t be because her argument lacked evidence or support.

Her argument simply doesn’t conform to her judge’s ideology.

Imagine her disappointment and hopelessness, imagine her weeks of research and rehearsal.

She never had a shot.

Reprinted with permission from The Free Press.

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writing prompts about high school

30 best high school graduation gifts of 2023

These are the best gifts to give your 2023 high school graduate.

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us and our publishing partners a commission.

Graduating from high school is a major accomplishment. After years of hard work, your grad is ready to take on the real world with college and work. They deserve to be rewarded for the time and effort they have sacrificed, so we've rounded up some of the best gifts to give to your 2023 graduate.

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For every graduate, there is a diversity of interests. That's why we've found gifts like a coffee machine for the grad who loves coffee, or a portable speaker for the grad who loves music. Whatever fascinates your proud graduate, there's something here for anyone.

1. For the grad learning how to cook on their own: A cookbook

For graduates trekking off to college, learning how to cook is a life skill they have to learn. Lucky for them, this Half Baked Harvest cookbook by Tieghan Gerard has everyday recipes that are perfect for beginner cooks. They're balanced meals to help your graduate stay healthy and keep their minds sharp for college.

2. For the graduate who loves jewelry: A personalized jewelry box

If your grad loves wearing chunky or dainty pieces of jewelry, they most likely need somewhere to keep them organized. This personalized glass jewelry box is something they can use years down the line. The clear and beveled box has an antique but classy look to it, making it the perfect space to hold cherished jewelry.

3: For the graduate on the go: Yeti Rambler

Treat your grad to a Yeti Rambler that they can store cool and hot drinks it. It's leakproof and convenient for anyone on the go. They can bring it with them around campus to stay warm with some coffee, or stay cool in the summer with some icy water.

4. For the grad who needs a new laptop for college: HP ENVY Convertible Laptop

If your graduate needs a reliable, new laptop at an affordable price point before they head off to college, this one is perfect. The HP ENVY x360 Convertible Laptop is the  best budget laptop  we tested because of its premium performance, beautiful design and sturdy hinges. Your grad will definitely send you a thoughtful "thank you" email from their new computer.

5. For the proud graduate: A diploma frame

Made from solid wood and real glass, this diploma and tassel shadow box with a double mat is a beautiful way to show off that hard-earned diploma. The sturdy frame with three hangers can be displayed horizontally or vertically, and makes a great addition to a new office or workspace.

6. For the graduate who deserves something extra: A necklace

Treat your graduate to something truly special! These affordable gold plated initial necklaces are timeless. You can choose between yellow or white gold plated finishings, both equally as stunning. The material is nickel free, lead free and hypoallergenic.

7. For the graduate who loves versatility: A laptop sleeve

This pastel pink laptop sleeve contains handy pockets so your graduate can fit more than just a laptop. It has shock resistant bubble foam padding layer, to fully protect a computer. The best part? This case has an extendable handle so your grad can carry around their laptop with ease.

8. For the graduate hosting a grad party: A guest book

Signing an end of the year yearbook is old news! This creative guestbook alternative poster will surely have your guests flocking over to sign cute notes and designs. It's professionally printed to fit any 11x17 inch frame. Treat your graduate to something they can proudly hang on their wall and look back to cherish the memories.

9. For the graduate who loves to relax: A scented candle

As a candle lover myself, receiving candles as a gift is top notch. Candles are something that bring warmth and comfort. This "Congrats!" candle is sure to bring a smile to your grads face. The fruits and sugared citrus island scented candle burns for 40 hours and is perfect for summer.

10. For the graduate who has big dreams: An inspirational necklace

Etsy is a hotspot to find unique pieces of jewelry. This rose gold necklace writes "She believed she could so she did," which is the perfect statement for any grad. You can choose to engrave both sides of the necklace or just one. This piece is customizable, dainty and beautiful.

11. For the timely graduate: Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 7 is one of the best smartwatches of 2023 . Our reviewers found the product to offer a stunning design and contains stellar advanced features like blood oxygen tracking. Your graduate can put this watch to use for years to come. They can be sure ​​​to make it to class on time while also keeping track of their fitness.

12. For the graduate moving out: A crate set

It's a big step to move out of your home after graduating! One thing that graduates have to master is keeping their apartment or dorm room organized. There's no better way to do this than with a good stack of baskets . These will help your grad ensure that their space is never cluttered. The colorful basket set is youthful and is sure to fit any aesthetic!

13. For the graduate who's stocking their living space: A set of bath towels

These Classic Turkish Cotton Towels check all the boxes for texture, performance, and overall experience. For your graduate who is moving into a new place and needs everyday essentials, these towels fit the bill. They come in various shades of blue and nudes, colors that are sure to fit any vibe.

14. For the graduate ready to pack those textbooks: A new backpack

Finding the right backpack to fit heavy college textbooks is tough! Help your graduate out and gift them a Nixon backpack , which has a sleek and simple design but is very sturdy. They have a wide selection in different colors like black or a swampy green, so it will be easy to choose which style best suits your grad.

15. For the graduate who is low-key a photographer: Kodak Photo Printer

The best part of the college experience is to capture moments. Luckily with technology these days, you can print pictures straight from your phone. With this Kodak smartphone printer, your graduate can snap memories and print them out quickly. It comes with an 80 sheet bundle and uses bluetooth to connect to your device, so no messy wires to worry about!

16. For the graduate who loves to jam out: Sonos speaker

This Sonos Roam has earned a spot as one of the best portable speakers of 2022 . Through WiFi, this portable Bluetooth speaker will definitely be used by your grad. It contains automatic Trueplay tuning, gets up to 10 hours of play time and all you need is a handy USB cable to charge it. Your graduate will be able to create whatever ambiance they want, wherever they go.

17. For the graduate who needs quick meals: An air fryer

With an air fryer, you can make a quick meal in the flash of a few minutes. For graduates headed to college who don't have much time in between classes to cook a full meal, an air fryer is the perfect gift for them to quickly heat up frozen items. This Dash Deluxe air fryer is simple to operate so your grad won't have to waste time fidgeting with too many buttons.

18. For the grad who likes personalized gifts: A personalized tumbler

These cute tumblers can be customized with several different skin, hair and hood colors in addition to the graduates' name and quote options to choose from. The skinny size is convenient for taking on the road, and the stainless steel, double wall insulated cups are an eco-friendly alternative to plastic bottles and cups.

19. For the sneaker head graduate: Puma sneakers

If there's one thing your graduate is going to do a lot of in college, it's walking. Gift your grad these unisex Puma shoes ! These casual athletic sneakers will pair perfectly with any kind of style, feminine or masculine. They come in different colors like black and white or blue and navy.

20. For the coffee lover graduate: Breville Coffee Maker

If your graduate loves drinking coffee as much as they love making it, then this is the perfect gift. This Breville precision brewer thermal is a 60 oz drip coffee maker. It's been commended to be capable of packing a few gadgets into one . The machine can make cold brew, iced coffee, and even-pour using an adapter.

21. For the graduate who loves reading: A new book

A huge part of graduating is adulting and becoming a more mature part of yourself. This  Four Agreements book is filled with powerful words of wisdom. It explores a code of conduct that can transform life experiences of freedom, happiness and love.

22. For the graduate who loves games: Wavelength board game

Board games can make for a fun bonding experience. If your graduate loves gathering friends and family to play games, get them this Wavelength Board Game . Up to 12 players can play the game which sparks discussion and laughter.

23. For the graduate that loves to jam out: Sony headphones

We love these Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Premium Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones for excellent audio quality and all-day comfort. Your graduate will think of you every time they put these headphones on to listen to music or a podcast.

24. For the dorm: Soda mini fridge

This Soda Mini Refrigerator holds up to 6 12 oz cans or 4 16.9 oz bottles. If your graduate is living in a dorm for college, then gift them a mini refrigerator they can keep in their room. They'll be able to grab a cold drink whenever they want.

25. For the graduate who loves scents: Incense sticks

Incense sticks bring a freshness and beautiful aura to any space. This Natural Surf Incense Stick Set can create a relaxing ambiance for your giftee. They will enjoy lighting these sticks that have a lasting scent.

26. For the graduate that loves to capture moments: Kodak film camera

Gift your graduate a one-of-the-kind Acme Camera Co. Vintage Kodak Fisher-Price 110 Film Camera . From 1984, this is a super adorable blue Fisher-Price 110 camera from Kodak. The film for this 1984 camera is still produced and is functional. Your graduate can capture the best memories.

27. For the organized graduate: A planner

The Smart Planner Pro is every organized person's dream. It's a 13 month planner that has a simple aesthetic. If your graduate is looking to better their time management and optimize their productivity, gift them this planner to help get them on track.

28. To remind your graduate of home: Homesick Candles

If your graduate is going out of state for college, then remind them of home with a Homesick Candle . Each state has its own unique scent. Your graduate can think of you and of home every time they light the candle.

29. For the sweet tooth: Shortbread cookies

Write congratulations on these Custom Message Shortbread Cookies . It's a box of 24 cookies so your graduate can enjoy this with family or eat the whole box themselves.

30. For the career-focused graduate: The Epic Mentor Guide

The Epic Mentor Guide has empowering advice from 180 women at the top of their game. The careers include tech, finance, media, sports and more. This book can inspire your graduate with advice they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , TikTok or Flipboard for the latest deals, product reviews and more.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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Latest Market News

Marketplace Asia

Japan’s long-suffering stock market is back. This boom may have ‘staying power’

April 2023, Mazda museum, Hiroshima, Japan (Marketplace Asia ep.23)

Japan’s stock market has waited more than three decades for its moment in the sun.

The country’s major stock indexes are trading at highs not seen since 1990, when its infamous asset bubble of the late 1980s was just deflating.

So far this year, the benchmark Topix has jumped almost 14%, and the Nikkei 225 (N225) , which tracks Japan’s blue-chip companies, has leapt nearly 17%. The indexes have outpaced the United States’ S&P 500 and Europe’s Stoxx 600 benchmark indexes, which have both risen 8% in that time.

“In my 33 years in the market, things do seem probably more positive now than they’ve seemed at any time in that whole period,” said Jeffrey Atherton, an investment manager at Man GLG, a subsidiary of hedge fund giant Man Group. “It’s not based on hype.”

Investors say Japanese stocks have benefited from relatively cheap valuations, a long-awaited return of inflation , and a weakening currency.

An endorsement by Warren Buffett probably didn’t hurt either — the legendary investor told Japanese publication Nikkei in April that his flagship investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, planned to increase its holdings in five Japanese companies.

Foreign investors bought $15.6 billion worth of Japanese stocks last month, the highest monthly amount since October 2017, according to the Japan Exchange Group.

For years, investors have hoped modest rallies in Japanese stocks would translate into a sustained market revival for the world’s third-largest economy, which is also home to a raft of household-name electronics companies and carmakers, like Sony (SNE) and Toyota (TM) . But they never did.

But this time, investors tell CNN, really is different.

Change from the top

Japanese stocks have received their biggest bump from an overhaul of corporate governance rules that has compelled company executives to improve shareholder returns. JPMorgan analysts said last week that the “structural change” taking root in Japan could give the current market rally “staying power.”

Earlier this year, the Tokyo Stock Exchange began telling companies to pay more attention to their stock price. It urged them to come up with plans to boost their price-to-book (PTB) ratios — that is, the firm’s share price relative to its net assets.

Half of companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange trade at a PTB ratio of less than one, according to Man Group data from February, compared with just 3% of firms on the S&P 500.

A low ratio means the stock is a bargain. The problem is that at least half of Japan’s companies have been stuck trading at a ratio of below one for most of the past 20 years. As a result, there has been little incentive for investors to buy the stocks if they don’t believe they can sell them at a higher price later on.

An electronic board showing the closing numbers on the Tokyo Stock Exchange

“There’s long been a lot of undervalued companies in Japan,” Atherton noted. “We take it for granted in the US and Europe that corporate management is trying to maximize the share price, but that’s by no means been the case in Japan for the last 30-odd years.”

That may now be changing.

Companies tracked by the Nikkei index paid out record dividends in 2022. At the same time, a spate of share buybacks has helped swell stock prices.

Japanese firms bought back 9.7 trillion Japanese yen ($7 billion) worth of their own stock in the fiscal year ending March 2022, according to Frank Benzimra, head of Asia equity strategy at Societe Generale. That’s the most since he started tracking the data 24 years ago.

For the 2023 fiscal year, share buybacks have totaled around 8.6 trillion Japanese yen ($6.2 billion). That number could rise because a few companies are still to report their earnings.

Inflation is back

A recent spate of encouraging economic data in Japan has lifted investors’ spirits, while a weakening currency has made the country’s exports more competitive.

What central banks in other major economies have been fighting over the past year — soaring inflation — has been welcomed by Japan’s policymakers.

Following decades of deflation, the country’s consumer prices rose in January at the fastest annual pace in 41 years . Inflation has since slowed down a little, but remains well above the Bank of Japan’s 2% target.

Still, the central bank has kept its main interest rate below zero while its counterparts in the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union have jacked up borrowing costs at a record clip to keep prices in check.

“[Japan] is an economy where policymakers have been beating on the inflation beehive for decades, hoping the bees would come out,” Jack Ablin, chief investment officer and founding partner of Chicago-based Cresset Capital Management, told CNN. “And now it appears, finally, they’re getting the inflation.”

That difference in monetary policies has driven down the value of the Japanese yen against most other major currencies. The currency has fallen almost 9% from a year ago to trade at 139 to the US dollar — “table-poundingly cheap,” according to Ablin. A weaker currency makes the country’s exports relatively cheaper on the world market, a particular boon for a major exporting nation like Japan.

Japan’s improving economic fortunes have also made its companies more attractive.

Gross domestic product grew 0.4% in the first quarter this year compared with the last three months of 2022, beating analysts’ expectations of a 0.1% bump.

Activity in Japan’s private sector also grew in May at the fastest pace since late 2013, according to preliminary PMI data from au Jibun Bank, a Japanese lender, compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Challenges ahead

Japan’s economy still faces some enormous hurdles. It has a rapidly aging population — almost one-third of its people are over the age of 65 — and a shrinking labor force, not helped by the government’s restrictive stance on immigration.

More immediately, the country’s market rally could stall if the US Federal Reserve decides to put a brake on its rate hike cycle, says Eddie Cheng, head of international portfolio management at Allspring Global Investments.

“We have already seen US kind of getting into the peak of their hiking cycle,” he said, adding that if central banks began to cut rates, the value of their currencies would fall, meaning the Japanese yen would be “no longer cheap” by comparison.

— Laura He contributed reporting.

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AI Writing Detection Capabilities - Frequently Asked Questions

writing prompts about high school

How do Turnitin’s AI writing detection capabilities work?

1. does turnitin offer a solution to detect ai writing .

Yes. Turnitin has released its AI writing detection capabilities to help educators uphold academic integrity while ensuring that students are treated fairly.

We have added an AI writing indicator to the Similarity Report. It shows an overall percentage of the document that AI writing tools, such as ChatGPT, may have generated. The indicator further links to a report which highlights the text segments that our model predicts were written by AI. Please note, only instructors and administrators are able to see the indicator.

While Turnitin has confidence in its model, Turnitin does not make a determination of misconduct, rather it provides data for the educators to make an informed decision based on their academic and institutional policies. Hence, we must emphasize that the percentage on the AI writing indicator should not be used as the sole basis for action or a definitive grading measure by instructors.

2. How does it work? 

When a paper is submitted to Turnitin, the submission is first broken into segments of text that are roughly a few hundred words (about five to ten sentences). Those segments are then overlapped with each other to capture each sentence in context.

The segments are run against our AI detection model and we give each sentence a score between 0 and 1 to determine whether it is written by a human or by AI. If our model determines that a sentence was not generated by AI, it will receive a score of 0. If it determines the entirety of the sentence was generated by AI it will receive a score of 1.

Using the average scores of all the segments within the document, the model then generates an overall prediction of how much text in the submission we believe has been generated by AI.

Currently, Turnitin’s AI writing detection model is trained to detect content from the GPT-3 and GPT-3.5 language models, which includes ChatGPT. Because the writing characteristics of GPT-4 are consistent with earlier model versions, our detector is able to detect content from GPT-4 (ChatGPT Plus) most of the time. We are actively working on expanding our model to enable us to better detect content from other AI language models.

3. What parameters or flags does Turnitin’s model take into account when detecting AI writing? 

GPT-3 and ChatGPT are trained on the text of the entire internet, and they are essentially taking that large amount of text and generating sequences of words based on picking the next highly probable words. This means that GPT-3 and ChatGPT tend to generate the next word in a sequence of words in a consistent and highly probable fashion. Human writing, on the other hand, tends to be inconsistent and idiosyncratic, resulting in a low probability of picking the next word the human will use in the sequence.

Our classifiers are trained to detect these differences in word probability and are adept to the particular word probability sequences of human writers.

4. How was Turnitin’s model trained? 

Our model is trained on a representative sample of data that includes both AI-generated and authentic academic writing. While creating our sample dataset, we took into account statistically under-represented groups like second-language learners, English users from non-English speaking countries, students at colleges and universities with diverse enrollments, and less common subject areas such as anthropology, geology, sociology, and others.

5. Can I check past submitted assignments for AI writing? 

Yes. Previously submitted assignments can be checked for AI writing detection if they’re re-submitted to Turnitin. Only assignments that are submitted after the launch of our capability (4th April 2023) are automatically checked for AI writing detection.

6. What languages are supported? 

English. For the first iteration of Turnitin’s AI writing detection capabilities, we are able to detect AI writing for documents submitted in long-form English only.

7. What will happen if a non-English paper is submitted? 

If a non-English paper is submitted, the detector will not process the submission. The indicator will show an empty/error state with ‘in-app’ guidance that will tell users that this capability only works for English submissions at this time. No report will be generated if the submitted content is not in English.

8. Can my institution get access to AI detection to be able to trial this new capability? 

Yes, admins can set-up test accounts and allow instructors to use and assess the feature. If you’re an existing TFS customer, your admin will be able to create a sub-account and enable AI writing for only that account for testing purposes.

If you’re an Originality, Similarity or Simcheck customer, you can request test accounts by contacting your account manager or CSM.

New customers should speak to a Turnitin representative about getting a test account.

9. Can I or my admin suppress the new indicator and report if we do not want to see it? 

Yes, admins have the option to enable/disable the AI writing feature from their admin settings page. Disabling the feature will remove the AI writing indicator & report from the Similarity report and it won’t be visible to instructors and admins until they enable it again.

10. Will the addition of Turnitin’s AI detection functionality to the Similarity report change my workflow or the way I use the Similarity report? 

No. This additional functionality does not change the way you use the Similarity report or your existing workflows. Our AI detection capabilities have been added to the Similarity report to provide a seamless experience for our customers.

11. Will the AI detection capabilities be available via LMSs such as Moodle, Blackboard, Canvas, etc? 

Yes, users will be able to see the indicator and the report via the LMS they’re using. We have made AI writing detection available via the Similarity report. There is no AI writing indicator or score embedded directly in the LMS user interface and users will need to go into the report to see the AI score.

12. Does the MS Teams integration support the AI writing detection feature? 

AI writing detection is only available to instructors using the new Turnitin Feedback Studio integration . Since the MS Teams Assignment Similarity integration does not offer an instructor view due to Turnitin not receiving user metadata, AI writing detection is unavailable.

If an instructor using the Similarity integration has a concern that a report may have been written with an AI writing tool, they can request that their administrator use the paper lookup tool to view a full report.

13. How is authorship detection within Originality different from AI writing detection? 

Turnitin’s AI writing detection technology is different from the technology used within Authorship (Originality). Our AI writing detection model calculates the overall percentage of text in the submitted document that was likely generated by an AI writing tool. Authorship, on the other hand, uses metadata as well as forensic language analysis to detect if the submitted assignment was written by someone other than the student. It will not be able to indicate if it was AI written; only that the content is not the student’s own work.

AI detection results & interpretation

1. what does the percentage in the ai writing detection indicator mean .

The percentage indicates the amount of qualifying text within the submission that Turnitin’s AI writing detection model determines was generated by AI. This qualifying text includes only prose sentences, meaning that we only analyze blocks of text that are written in standard grammatical sentences and do not include other types of writing such as lists, bullet points, or other non-sentence structures.

This percentage is not necessarily the percentage of the entire submission. If text within the submission is not considered long-form prose text, it will not be included.

2. What is the accuracy of Turnitin’s AI writing indicator? 

We strive to maximize the effectiveness of our detector while keeping our false positive rate - incorrectly identifying fully human-written text as AI-generated - under 1% for documents with over 20% of AI writing. In other words, we might flag a human-written document as AI-written for one out of every 100 fully-human written documents. 

To bolster our testing framework and diagnose statistical trends of false positives, in April 2023 we performed additional tests on 800,000 additional academic papers that were written before the release of ChatGPT to further validate our less than 1% false positive rate.

In order to maintain this low rate of 1% for false positives, there is a chance that we might miss 15% of AI written text in a document. We’re comfortable with that since we do not want to incorrectly highlight human-written text as AI-written. For example, if we identify that 50% of a document is likely written by an AI tool, it could contain as much as 65% AI writing.

We’re committed to safeguarding the interests of students while helping institutions maintain high standards of academic integrity. We will continue to adapt and optimize our model based on our learnings from real-world document submissions, and as large language models evolve to ensure we maintain this less than 1% false positive rate. 

3. How does Turnitin ensure that the false positive rate for a document remains less than 1%? 

Since the launch of our solution in April, we tested 800,000 academic papers that were written before the release of ChatGPT. Based on the results of these tests, we made the below updates to our model in May to ensure we hold steadfast on our objective of keeping our false positive rate below 1% for a document.

  • Added an additional indicator for documents with less than 20% AI writing detected We learned that our AI writing detection scores under 20% have a higher incidence of false positives.This is inconsistent behavior, and we will continue to test to understand the root cause. In order to reduce the likelihood of misinterpretation, we have updated the AI indicator button in the Similarity Report to contain an asterisk for percentages less than 20% to call attention to the fact that the score is less reliable.
  • Increased the minimum word count from 150 to 300 words Based on our data and testing, we increased the minimum word requirement from 150 to 300 words for a document to be evaluated by our AI writing detector. Results show that our accuracy increases with just a little more text, and our goal is to focus on long-form writing. We may adjust this minimum word requirement over time based on the continuous evaluation of our model.
  • Changed how we aggregate sentences in the beginning and at the end of a submission We observed a higher incidence of false positives in the first few or last few sentences of a document. Usually, this is the introduction and conclusion in a document. As a result, we changed how we aggregate these specific sentences for detection to reduce false positives.

4. The percentage shown sometimes doesn’t match the amount of text highlighted. Why is that? 

Unlike our Similarity Report, the AI writing percentage does not necessarily correlate to the amount of text in the submission. Turnitin’s AI writing detection model only looks for prose sentences contained in long-form writing. Prose text contained in long-form writing means individual sentences contained in paragraphs that make up a longer piece of written work, such as an essay, a dissertation, or an article, etc. The model does not reliably detect AI-generated text in the form of non-prose, such as poetry, scripts, or code, nor does it detect short-form/unconventional writing such as bullet points, tables, or annotated bibliographies.

This means that a document containing several different writing types would result in a disparity between the percentage and the highlights.

5. What do the different indicators mean? 

Upon opening the Similarity Report, after a short period of processing, the AI writing detection indicator will show one of the following:

  • Blue with a percentage between 0 and 100: The submission has processed successfully. The displayed percentage indicates the amount of qualifying text within the submission that Turnitin’s AI writing detection model determines was generated by AI. As noted previously, this percentage is not necessarily the percentage of the entire submission. If text within the submission was not considered long-form prose text, it will not be included. To explore the results of the AI writing detection capabilities, select the indicator to open the AI writing report. Our testing has found that there is a higher incidence of false positives when the percentage is less than 20. In order to reduce the likelihood of misinterpretation, the AI indicator will display an asterisk for percentages less than 20 to call attention to the fact that the score is less reliable. To explore the results of the AI writing detection capabilities, select the indicator to open the AI writing report. The AI writing report opens in a new tab of the window used to launch the Similarity Report. If you have a pop-up blocker installed, ensure it allows Turnitin pop-ups.
  • Gray with no percentage displayed (- -): The AI writing detection indicator is unable to process this submission. This can be due to one, or several, of the following reasons: - The submission was made before the release of Turnitin’s AI writing detection capabilities. The only way to see the AI writing detection indicator/report on historical submissions is to resubmit them. - The submission does not meet the file requirements needed to successfully process it for AI writing detection. In order for a submission to generate an AI writing report and percentage, the submission needs to meet the following requirements:      - File size must be less than 100 MB      - File must have at least 300 words of prose text in a long-form writing format      - Files must not exceed 15,000 words      - File must be written in English      - Accepted file types: .docx, .pdf, .txt, .rtf
  • Error ( ! ): This error means that Turnitin has failed to process the submission.  Turnitin is constantly working to improve its service, but unfortunately, events like this can occur. Please try again later. If the file meets all the file requirements stated above, and this error state still shows, please get in touch through our support center so we can investigate for you.

6. What can I do if I feel that the AI indicator is incorrect? How does Turnitin’s indicator address false positives? 

If you find AI written documents that we've missed, or notice authentic student work that we've predicted as AI-generated, please let us know! Your feedback is crucial in enabling us to improve our technology further. You can provide feedback via the ‘feedback’ button found in the AI writing report.

Sometimes false positives (incorrectly flagging human-written text as AI-generated), can include lists without a lot of structural variation, text that literally repeats itself, or text that has been paraphrased without developing new ideas. If our indicator shows a higher amount of AI writing in such text, we advise you to take that into consideration when looking at the percentage indicated.

In a longer document with a mix of authentic writing and AI generated text, it can be difficult to exactly determine where the AI writing begins and original writing ends, but our model should give you a reliable guide to start conversations with the submitting student.

In shorter documents where there are only a few hundred words, the prediction will be mostly "all or nothing" because we're predicting on a single segment without the opportunity to overlap. This means that some text that is a mix of AI-generated and original content could be flagged as entirely AI-generated. 

Please consider these points as you are reviewing the data and following up with students or others. 

7. Will students be able to see the results? 

The AI writing detection indicator and report are not visible to students.

8. Does the AI Indicator automatically feed a student’s paper into a repository? 

No, it does not.  There is no separate repository for AI writing detection. Our AI writing detection capabilities are part of our existing similarity report workflow. When we receive submissions, they are compared and evaluated via our proprietary algorithms for both similarity text matching and the likelihood of being AI writing (generated by LLMs). Customers retain the ability to choose whether to add their student papers into the repository or not.

When AI writing detection is run on a submission, the results are shared on the similarity report - unless suppressed – and results regarding the percentage AI writing identified by the detector, along with the segments identified highly likely written by AI – are retained as part of the similarity report.

9. What is the difference between the Similarity score and the AI writing detection percentage? Are the two completely separate or do they influence each other? 

The Similarity score and the AI writing detection percentage are completely independent and do not influence each other. The Similarity score indicates the percentage of matching-text found in the submitted document when compared to Turnitin’s comprehensive collection of content for similarity checking. 

The AI writing detection percentage, on the other hand, shows the overall percentage of text in a submission that Turnitin’s AI writing detection model predicts was generated by AI writing tools. 

10. Why do I see the AI Writing score and the corresponding report on the similarity report prior to April 4? 

Our AI writing detection capabilities are part of our existing similarity report workflow to detect unoriginal writing.  While we released AI writing detection capabilities on April 4, 2023, prior to launch, we were preparing for the release and running our AI writing detector on a sampling of papers as part of our QA testing. This allowed us to confirm our readiness for release on April 4.  As a result, you may see the AI writing score along with the corresponding report on some similarity reports submitted between March 8, 2023 and April 4, 2023.

11. Does the Turnitin model take into account that AI writing detection technology might be biased against particular subject-areas or second-language writers? 

Yes, it does. One of the guiding principles of our company and of our AI team has been to minimize the risk of harm to students, especially those disadvantaged or disenfranchised by the history and structure of our society. Hence, while creating our sample dataset, we took into account statistically under-represented groups like second-language learners, English users from non-English speaking countries, students at colleges and universities with diverse enrollments and less common subject areas such as anthropology, geology, sociology, and others.

12. How can I use the AI indicator percentage in the classroom with students? 

Turnitin’s AI detection indicator shows the percentage of text that has likely been generated by an AI writing tool while the report highlights the exact segments that seem to be AI-written. The final decision on whether any misconduct has occurred rests with the reviewer/instructor. Turnitin does not make a determination of misconduct, rather it provides data for the educators to make an informed decision based on their academic and institutional policies.

13. Can I download the AI report like the Similarity report? 

No. At this time the functionality to download the AI report is not available. However, we are actively working on developing this capability, and we should be able to add it as a functionality in the near-term.

Scope of detection

1. which ai writing models can turnitin’s technology detect .

The first iteration of Turnitin’s AI writing detection capabilities have been trained to detect models including GPT-3, GPT-3.5, and variants. Our technology can also detect other AI writing tools that are based on these models such as ChatGPT. We’ve completed our testing of GPT-4 (ChatGPT Plus), and the result is that our solution will detect text generated by GPT-4 most of the time. We plan to expand our detection capabilities to other models in the future.

2. Which model is Turnitin’s AI detection model based on? 

Our model is based on an open-source foundation model from the Huggingface company. We undertook multiple rounds of carefully calibrated retraining, evaluation and fine-tuning. What we must emphasize really is that the unique power of our model arises from the carefully curated data we've used to train the model, leveraging our 20+ years of expertise in authentic student writing, along with the technology developed by us to extract the maximum predictive power from the model trained on that data. In training our model, we focused on minimizing false positives while maximizing accuracy for the latest generation of LLMs ensuring that we help educators uphold academic integrity while protecting the interests of students.

3. Is your current model able to detect GPT-4 generated text? 

Yes it does, most of the time. Our AI team has conducted tests on GPT-4 using our released detector to compare its performance and understand the differences between GPT-3.5 (on which our model is trained), and GPT-4. The result is that our detector will detect text generated by GPT-4 most of the time, but we don’t have further, consistent guidance to share at this time. The free version of ChatGPT is still operating on GPT-3.5, while the paid version, ChatCPT Plus, is operating on GPT-4. 

4. How will Turnitin be future-proofing for advanced versions of GPT and other large language models yet to emerge? 

We recognize that Large Language Models (LLMs) are rapidly expanding and evolving, and we are already hard at work building detection systems for additional LLMs. Our focus initially has been on building and releasing an effective and reliable AI writing detector for GPT-3 and GPT-3.5, and other writing tools based on these models such as ChatGPT. Recently, we conducted tests on GPT-4, the model on which ChatGPT Plus is based, and found that our detection capabilities detected AI-generated text in most cases.  

5. Will the AI percentage change over time as the detector and the models it is detecting evolve? 

Yes, as we iterate and develop our model further, it is likely that our detection capabilities will also change, affecting the AI percentage. However, for a submitted document, the AI percentage will change only if it's re-submitted again to be processed.

6. Can Turnitin detect if text generated by an AI writing tool (ChatGPT, etc.) is further paraphrased using a paraphrasing tool? Will it flag the content as AI-generated even in this instance? 

Our detector is trained on the outputs of GPT-3, GPT-3.5 and ChatGPT, and modifying text generated by these systems will have an impact on our detectors’ abilities to identify AI written text. In our AI Innovation Lab, we have conducted tests using open sourced paraphrasing tools (including different LLMs) and in most cases, our detector has retained its effectiveness and is able to identify text as AI-generated even when a paraphrasing tool has been used to change the AI output. 

7. Does Turnitin have plans to build a solution to detect when students paraphrase content either themselves or through tools such as Quillbot, etc.,? 

Turnitin has been working on building paraphrase detection capabilities – ability to detect when students have paraphrased content either with the help of paraphrasing tools or re-written it themselves – for some time now, and the technology is already producing the desired results in our AI Innovation Lab. In the instance when the student is using a word spinner or an online paraphrasing tool, the student is just running content through a word spinner which uses AI to intentionally subvert similarity detection, not using generative AI tools such as ChatGPT to create content.

We have plans for a beta release in 2023, and we will be making paraphrase detection available to instructors at institutions that are using TFS with Originality and Originality for an additional cost. It will be released first in our TFS with Originality product.

Access & licensing

1. who will get access to this solution will we need to pay more for this capability .

The first iteration of our AI writing detection indicator and report are available to our academic writing integrity customers as part of their existing licenses, so that they’re able to test the solution and see how it works. This includes customers with a license for Turnitin Feedback Studio (TFS), TFS with Originality, Turnitin Originality, Turnitin Similarity, Simcheck, Originality Check, and Originality Check+. It is available for customers using these platforms via an integration with an LMS or with Turnitin’s Core API. Please note, only instructors and administrators will be able to see the indicator and report. 

Beginning January 1, 2024, only customers licensing Originality or TFS with Originality will have access to the full AI writing detection experience.

2. When can customers get access to this solution? 

Turnitin’s AI writing detection capabilities are available now and have been added to the Similarity Report. Customers licensing any of the above Turnitin products should be able to see the indicator and access the AI report. 

3. Is Turnitin’s AI writing detection a standalone solution or is it part of another product? 

The first iteration of Turnitin’s AI writing detection capabilities is a separate feature of the Similarity Report and is available across these products: Turnitin Feedback Studio (TFS), TFS with Originality, Turnitin Originality, Turnitin Similarity, Simcheck, Originality Check, and Originality Check+. The indicator links to a report which shows the exact segments that are predicted as AI-written within the submitted content.

4. Why is AI detection not being added to other Turnitin products like Gradescope and iThenticate? 

We focused our resources on, what we view, as the biggest, most acute problem and that is higher education and K12 long-form writing. We are currently investigating how we can bring AI writing detection to iThenticate customers. We do not currently have plans to add these capabilities to Gradescope, since the primary use case for Gradescope is handwritten text while for AI detection we’re focusing on typed text. However, we are happy to learn more about customer needs for AI writing detection within this product. In addition, we are not pursuing ChatGPT code detection at this time. 

5. Where can I find more information about this new solution? 

You can find information about Turnitin’s AI writing detection capabilities  on this page .

6. I’m offended that Turnitin is making the AI writing detection free for instructors then charging for it later. It feels like Turnitin is advertising to faculty. 

We made the decision to provide free access to our detection capabilities during this preview phase to support educators during this unprecedented time of rapid change. We received a significant amount of positive feedback from customers, and we acted on that feedback.

Our goal has always been to work closely with our customers to create an optimal solution for educators. We need as many educators as possible to use our AI writing detection feature quickly to gather feedback and address any gaps.

We understand that you may be apprehensive about instructors using a tool or feature that the institution may not wish to purchase in the future. However, we have invested heavily in developing and improving our AI writing detection technology over the past two years. We believe that this technology provides significant value to our customers by providing data and insights on when AI-generated content is submitted by students. This enables educators to uphold academic integrity while advancing students' learning. Nonetheless, maintaining and improving our technology requires ongoing investment as AI writing tools evolve and improve at a rapid pace over time.

The decision to move to a paid licensing structure beginning January 2024 was made to ensure that we can continue to provide high-quality AI writing detection features to our customers. This enables us to invest in further research and development and improve our infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of our customers.

7. If I opt-out of AI detection, does it mean that my students’ submissions will not be assessed by the detection tool and data retained by Turnitin? 

Customers come to Turnitin to provide services that detect unoriginal writing, which, with the development of AI writing, now includes both unoriginal writing by humans and non-humans (LLMs).  Our AI writing detection capabilities are part of our existing similarity report workflow.  When we receive submissions, they are compared and evaluated via our proprietary algorithms for both similarity text matching and the likelihood of being AI writing (generated by LLMs). As such, suppressing the appearance of the AI writing indicator does not stop the assessment for AI writing. When AI writing detection is run on a submission, the result is shared on the similarity report, unless suppressed. When the AI writing detection is suppressed, it is simply suppressing the indicator showing the predicted percentage of AI writing; thus, the indicator will not be displayed on the similarity report, and the linking AI writing report showing the segments identified as written by AI will not be showing either.  However, they are retained as part of the similarity report. Therefore when the feature is re-enabled, the AI writing score will appear on the similarity report. 

This process is separate and apart from your designation of whether or not submissions can be stored in the ‘repository.’


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