Quick Links to Navigate This Website














Quotations make a great source to encourage writing. A writing prompt based on a quote can be general, in which the writer makes his or her own connections to the quote. Or a writing prompt based on a quote can be more directed, so that the instructor can help the writer make a connection. These more directed writing prompts offer scaffolding for students who are struggling with learning how to use a quote as an introductory "hook" for an essay effectively. Below are some examples of how you can write prompts to help scaffold students or to provide less support for more developed writers.
WRITING PROMPTS FOR SPECIFIC QUOTES


  • "History is written by winners" (Alex Haley).

    • Alex Haley wrote "History is written by winners." Explain what this quote means to you.

    • Alex Haley, author of Roots, wrote "History is written by winners." Do you think he is correct? Why or why not? Make sure to use the quote in your response.


  • "The best road to progress is freedom's road" (John F. Kennedy).

    • John F. Kennedy said, "The best road to progress is freedom's road." Explain what this quote means to you.

    • President Kennedy once said, "The best road to progress is freedom's road." Because of when Kennedy was President, this quote probably refers to the Civil Rights Movement. Explain how the Civil Rights Movement was a road to progress. Make sure to use the quote in your response.


  • "Success isn't measured by the position you reach in life. It's measured by the obstacles you overcome" (Booker T. Washington).

    • Booker T. Washington wrote, "Success isn't measured by the position you reach in life. It's measured by the obstacles you overcome." Explain what this quote means to you.

    • Booker T. Washington wrote, "Success isn't measured by the position you reach in life. It's measured by the obstacles you overcome." At some time or other, we all face obstacles. Think of a time that you faced an obstacle and overcame it. Explain what happened and what you did to overcome the obstacle. Make sure to use the quote in your response.


  • "Never lose a chance to say a kind word" (William Thackeray).

    • William Thackeray wrote, "Never lose a chance to say a kind word." Explain what this quote means to you.

    • William Thackeray wrote, "Never lose a chance to say a kind word." Has there ever been a time when someone was especially kind to you? Describe this experience. How did this experience make your life better? Make sure to use the quote in your response.


  • "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand" (Chinese Proverb).

    • There is an old Chinese Proverb that says, "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Explain what this quote menas to you.

    • There is an old Chinese Proverb that says, "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Do you remember a time when someone had you do something so you understood? Did a parent help you make something, or did a teacher encourage you to complete a task on your own? Describe this experience and explain why it helped you understand an important concept or process. Make sure to use the quote in your response.


  • "Many hands make light work" (Heywood).

    • Heywood wrote, "Many hands make light work." Explain what this quote means to you.

    • Heywood wrote, "Many hands make light work." Do you remember a time when someone helped you do something? When did this happen? How did the help make you feel? Why? Make sure to use the quote in your response.


  • "Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success" (Joyce Brothers).

    • Dr. Joyce Brothers said, "Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success." Explain what this quote means to you.

    • Dr. Joyce Brothers said, "Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success." Think about what you want to do in the future. What do you look like as a success? Describe yourself as successful. Make sure to use the quote in your response.


  • "Nine-tenths of education is encouragement" (Anatole France).

    • Anatole France wrote, "Nine-tenths of education is encouragement." Explain what this quote means to you.

    • Anatole France wrote, "Nine-tenths of education is encouragement." Do you remember a time when a teacher encouraged you and you were able to do something you didn't think you could? Explain what happened. Make sure to use the quote in your response.


  • "You aren't learning anything when you're talking" (Lyndon B. Johnson).

    • President Lyndon B. Johnson wrote, "You aren't learning anything when you're talking." Explain what this quote means to you.

    • President Lyndon B. Johnson wrote, "You aren't learning anything when you are talking." Do you remember a time when you were trying to explain something but the other person kept interrupting and wouldn't listen? Explain what happened. How did you feel? Make sure to use the quote in your response.


  • "Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself" (Richard Box).

    • Richard Box once said, "Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself." Explain what this quote means to you.

    • Richard Box said, "Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself." Everyone lies at one time or another, but sometimes people even lie to themselves. Has there ever been a time when you convinced yourself of something that you knew was not true? Did this cause problems for you? Explain what happened and why you think you lied to yourself. Make sure to use the quote in your response.


  • "Remember happiness doesn't depend upon who you are or what you have. It depends solely upon what you think" (Dale Carnegie).

    • Dale Carnegie wrote, "Remember happiness doesn't depend upon who you are or what you have. It depends solely upon what you think." Explain what this quote means to you.

    • Dale Carnegie wrote, "Remember happiness doesn't depend upon who you are or what you have. It depends solely upon what you think." Has there ever been a time when something was going wrong, but you decided to be happy anyway? Describe this time. Make sure to use the quote in your response.


  • "I can't go back to yesterday - because I was a different person then" (Lewis Carroll).

    • Lewis Carroll wrote, "I can't go back to yesterday - because I was a different person then." Explain what this quote means to you.

    • Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland, wrote, "I can't go back to yesterday - because I was a different person then." When you think about who you were just three years ago, have you changed? Explain how you have changed or explain how you have remained the same.






Click on the links below to navigate within this website:




Easy Literacy Home

BCC Course Information and Support

Quotable Quotes for Writing Inspiration

Power Points for Reading and Writing Instruction

Amistad Grant Lesson Plans and Information

Writing Scholarship Essays





Copyright © 2009 by Catherine M. Wishart. All rights reserved.