Essays About Discipline: Top 5 Examples And 10 Prompts

Looking for inspiration? Discover our helpful examples of essays about discipline and inspiring writing prompts to guide you in your writing.

The power of discipline is related to extreme focus, self-control and resilience. Having discipline allows people to abide by standards that can help improve their lives.  On an individual level, discipline extremely helps in developing self-control, allowing one to resist present gratifications and achieve something much better in the future.  In the larger society, discipline among members is crucial to maintain good behavior and allow communities to follow rules and achieve common goals. 

For your essay about discipline, take inspiration from our essay examples and prompts below:

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1. Is School-Discipline Reform Moving Too Fast? by Wayne D’Orio

“While some districts were already working to reduce suspensions, the federal push spurred more schools to revamp their disciplinary procedures. So, too, did the growing body of evidence documenting the harm associated with pulling students out of school,”

Schools have been moving back and forth when introducing reforms on discipline. Moving from an extremely tough stance to an extremely lax one, schools continue to find the right balance on how to discipline students both generally and on a case-to-case basis. In between reforms, teachers are in the thick of adjusting their approaches with minimal guidance, creating a bigger mess that drives a high turnover among teachers. 

2. How Self-Control Can Actually Unleash Your Dark Side by David Robson

“…[S]omeone with high self-control is more likely to act ruthlessly when group cohesion starts to fall apart, including times when their own sense of power or authority is threatened, or when they feel in competition with others… If so, we might start to appreciate the people around us who are a little bit less disciplined and agreeable than the rest.”

For decades, self-discipline has been considered an admirable part of good character that should be developed at a young age. But new studies and experiments are showing that being highly disciplined can turn into toxic traits and even encourage immoral acts. 

3. Physical Discipline Is Harmful And Ineffective by Eve Glicksman

“Parents who use physical discipline may be teaching their child to resolve conflicts with physical aggression. Researchers found that spanking can elevate a child’s aggression levels as well as diminish the quality of the parent-child relationship. Other studies have documented that physical discipline can escalate into abuse.”

The American Psychological Association (APA) brings to light new evidence that physical punishment can cause lasting harm to children. While spanking gets children’s attention and would stop a wrong deed in an instant, the act bears dangerous effects that stretch up to a child’s adult years. The APA, hence, offers an alternative approach to parenting — one defined by “respectful communication, collaborative conflict resolution and parental modeling.”

4. Discipline As A Vital Tool To Maintain The Army Profession by Maj. Michael Petrusic

“If Army leaders inadequately police misconduct within the force by failing to consider and exercise their range of disciplinary options when appropriate, they will create a perception that the Army is unable or unwilling to address misconduct within the ranks. That perception will both contribute to a culture of impunity regarding misconduct and erode the public’s trust in the Army’s disciplinary systems and its ability to self-police.”

The military has been embroiled in several controversies that make the public suspect a decline in discipline and corrective measures within the army. The essay indeed shows a decline in the use of disciplinary options and takes readers through the reforms and proposed interventions that have emerged to restore civic trust in the military. 

5. The Key To Mental Discipline by Owen Fitzpatrick

“[Mental discipline] is about making a daily, committed decision as to what you are going to pay attention to and how you are going to think. It is a committed effort to keep using what you learn to maintain a healthy attitude and build the kind of emotions that serve you well.”

Just as the body needs exercise, so does the human mind. Mental discipline is a kind of discipline where you consistently engage in a mental activity that you want to be good at. As strengthening your mind to have discipline takes a lot of practice and will, the essay offers helpful tips.

10 Writing Prompts For Essays About Discipline

Read on to see essay prompts on the topic of discipline that can help you:

1. How To Build Self-Discipline

Essays About Discipline: How to build self-discipline
For this prompt, round up first the biggest benefits of developing self-discipline based on what existing studies show

Achieving self-discipline requires a lot of practice every day. For this prompt, round up first the biggest benefits of developing self-discipline based on what existing studies show. Then, draw up a list of tips on how one can commit to a routine that promotes discipline. Finally, offer some words of encouragement, such as reminding that the small things done every day could build up to something big. 

2. Self-Discipline As A Key To Success

Theodore Roosevelt once said: “With self-discipline, almost anything is possible.” In your essay, explain why you think people value self-discipline as a hallmark of successful people. Find studies that show links between self-discipline and the achievement of goals and include these in your essay.

3. Review Of Self-Discipline Books

If your life has been moved by a book on self-discipline, it might be great to highlight this book in your essay. Describe how the book helped you develop a certain level of self-restraint to delay short-term desires. Elaborate on how it helped you set your sights on the bigger trophy waiting in your future. List down the author’s most helpful tips and don’t forget to include your favorite quotes from the book.

4. Discipline In Your School

First, define what discipline is for you as a student and the role schools play in developing discipline among the younger generations. Then, highlight the disciplinary strategies undertaken by your school. Elaborate cases in which school suspension is deemed necessary. And finally, provide your own insights on the effectiveness of your school’s discipline strategies and ways in which they can be improved. 

5. Your Parents’ Discipline Methods

What are your parents’ rules at home and how do they discipline you when you disobey? To answer this in your essay, find out first the different methods of discipline. Then, identify which category best suits your parent’s ways of discipline. Share your inputs as to how your parents’ methods have helped you build discipline. 

6. What Is Positive Discipline?

Positive discipline moves away from the punishing forms of disciplinary action such as spanking and yelling. First, write about the beginnings of the concept of positive discipline. Then, list down the most common techniques in positive discipline. Cite studies that show how positive discipline compares against punishment-based discipline in effectively changing behaviors. Finally, answer whether parents and schools should start listening more to advocates of positive discipline and why so. 

7. Employee Discipline

Having high disciplinary standards is imperative for organizations to maintain stability and productivity. For your essay, delineate first the roles of the human resource unit, managers and supervisors in implementing disciplinary policies and the code of conduct. Then, offer recommendations on how each can improve their roles to consistently enforce rules, ensure due process in disciplinary cases and strengthen the organization’s values. 

8. Discipline In Ancient Civilizations.

In ancient Rome, children endured corporal punishment such as beating and whipping. Research the pros and cons historians discovered from this practice. Investigate what were the kind of people that came out of such childhood during the early civilizations. Finally, find out why corporal punishment has declined since then.

9. Self-Discipline For Weight Loss

In an age where ordering fast food can be done in a jiffy, many of us have gained the extra pounds that we now regret and badly want to lose. Write a motivational essay on how your readers can keep on track of their fitness journey. Offer tips on how they can change their eating habits to how they can add exercise into their daily routine even if they feel that don’t have time for a workout.

10. The Lack Of Discipline

For this essay, point out how a child’s lack of discipline can affect him or her. Segment how these disadvantages appear in three settings or scenarios: home, school and the future. For example, a lack of discipline makes it challenging for children to disobey rules and regulations. If they violate rules repeatedly, the worst consequence could be suspension or even expulsion, depending on the graveness of the misconduct. 

For more writing tips, check out our guide on transition words .Looking for more? Read our guide on persuasive writing.

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  • Yna Lim is a communications specialist currently focused on policy advocacy. In her eight years of writing, she has been exposed to a variety of topics, including cryptocurrency, web hosting, agriculture, marketing, intellectual property, data privacy and international trade. A former journalist in one of the top business papers in the Philippines, Yna is currently pursuing her master's degree in economics and business.