Essays About Values: 5 Essay Examples Plus 10 Prompts

Similar to how our values guide us, let this guide with essays about values and writing prompts help you write your essay.

Values are the core principles that guide the actions we take and the choices we make. They are the cornerstones of our identity. On a community or organizational level, values are the moral code that every member must embrace to live harmoniously and work together towards shared goals. 

We acquire our values from different sources such as parents, mentors, friends, cultures, and experiences. All of these build on one another — some rejected as we see fit — for us to form our perception of our values and what will lead us to a happy and fulfilled life.

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5 Essay Examples

1. What Today’s Classrooms Can Learn From Ancient Cultures by Linda Flanagan

“Connectedness is another core value among Maya families, and teachers seek to cultivate it… While many American teachers also value relationships with their students, that effort is undermined by the competitive environment seen in many Western classrooms.”

Ancient communities keep their traditions and values of a hands-off approach to raising their kids. They also preserve their hunter-gatherer mindsets and others that help their kids gain patience, initiative, a sense of connectedness, and other qualities that make a helpful child.

2. Stand Out To Your Hiring Panel With A Personal Value Statement by Maggie Wooll

“How do you align with the company’s mission and add to its culture? Because it contains such vital information, your personal value statement should stand out on your resume or in your application package.”

Want to rise above other candidates in the jobs market? Then always highlight your value statement. A personal value statement should be short but still, capture the aspirations and values of the company. The essay provides an example of a captivating value statement and tips for crafting one.

3. Make Your Values Mean Something by Patrick M. Lencioni

“Values can set a company apart from the competition by clarifying its identity and serving as a rallying point for employees. But coming up with strong values—and sticking to them—requires real guts.”

Along with the mission and vision, clear values should dictate a company’s strategic goals. However, several CEOs still needed help to grasp organizational values fully. The essay offers a direction in setting these values and impresses on readers the necessity to preserve them at all costs. 

4. How Greed Outstripped Need by Beth Azar

“‘He compared the values held by people in countries with more competitive forms of capitalism with the values of folks in countries that have a more cooperative style of capitalism… These countries rely more on strategic cooperation… rather than relying mostly on free-market competition as the United States does.”

The form of capitalism we have created today has shaped our high value for material happiness. In this process, psychologists said we have allowed our moral and ethical values to drift away from us for greed to take over.

5. A Shift in American Family Values Is Fueling Estrangement by Joshua Coleman

“From the adult child’s perspective, there might be much to gain from an estrangement: the liberation from those perceived as hurtful or oppressive, the claiming of authority in a relationship, and the sense of control over which people to keep in one’s life. For the mother or father, there is little benefit when their child cuts off contact.”

It is most challenging when the bonds between parent and child weaken in later years. Psychologists have been navigating this problem among modern families, which is not an easy conflict to resolve. It requires both parties to give their best in humbling themselves and understanding their loved ones, no matter how divergent their values are. 

10 Writing  Prompts On Essays About Values

1. My Core Values

For this topic prompt, contemplate your non-negotiable core values and why you strive to observe them at all costs. For example, you might value honesty and integrity above all else. Expound on why cultivating fundamental values leads to a happy and meaningful life. Finally, ponder other values you would like to gain for your future self. Write down how you have been practicing to adopt these aspired values. 

2. How My Upbringing Shaped My Values

Essays About Values: How my upbringing shaped my values
In your essay, discuss the essential values you gained from your parents or teachers while growing up

Many of our values may have been instilled in us during childhood. This essay discusses the essential values you gained from your parents or teachers while growing up. Expound on their importance in helping you flourish in your adult years. Then, offer recommendations on what households, schools, or communities can do to ensure that more young people adopt these values.

3. Values of Today’s Youth

Is today’s youth lacking essential values, or is there simply a shift in what values generations uphold? Strive to answer this and write down the healthy values that are emerging and dying. Then think of ways society can preserve healthy values while doing away with bad ones. Of course, this change will always start at home, so also encourage parents, as role models, to be mindful of their words, actions and behavior.  

4. Values of A Good Friend

The greatest gift in life is friendship. In this essay, enumerate the top values a friend should have. You may use your best friend as an example. Then, cite the best traits your best friend has that have influenced you to be a better version of yourself. Finally, expound on how these values can effectively sustain a healthy friendship in the long term. 

5. An Experience That Shaped Your Values

We all have that one defining experience that has forever changed how we see life and the values we hold dear. Describe yours through storytelling with the help of our storytelling guide. This experience may involve a decision, a conversation you had with someone, or a speech you heard at an event.  

6. Remembering Our Values When Innovating

With today’s innovation, scientists can make positive changes happen. But can we truly exercise our values when we fiddle with new technologies whose full extent of positive and adverse effects we do not yet understand such as AI? Contemplate this question and look into existing regulations on how we curb the creation or use of technologies that go against our values. Finally, assess these rules’ effectiveness and other options society has. 

7. Important Values of School Culture

Essays About Values: Important values of school culture
In your essay, identify which best practices distinct in your school are helping students develop their values

Highlight a school’s role in honing a person’s values. Then, look into the different aspects of your school’s culture. Identify which best practices distinct in your school are helping students develop their values. You could consider whether your teachers exhibit themselves as admirable role models or specific parts of the curriculum that help you build good character. 

8. Books That Influenced Your Values

In this essay, recommend your readers to pick up your favorite books, particularly those that served as pathways to enlightening insights and values. To start, provide a summary of the book’s story. It would be better if you could do so without revealing too much to avoid spoiling your readers’ experience. Then, elaborate on how you have applied the values you learned from the book.

9. Religious Faith and Moral Values

For many, religious faith is the underlying reason for their values. For this prompt, explore further the inextricable links between religion and values. If you identify with a certain religion, share your thoughts on the values your sector subscribes to. You can also tread the more controversial path on the conflicts of religious values with socially accepted beliefs or practices, such as abortion. 

10. Schwartz’s Theory of Basic Values

Dive deeper into the ten universal values that social psychologist Shalom Schwartz came up with: power, achievement, hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, universalism, benevolence, tradition, conformity, and security. Look into their connections and conflicts against each other. Then, pick your favorite value and explain how you relate to it the most. Also, find if value conflicts within you, as theorized by Schwartz.

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Author

  • 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.