Essays About Writing: Top 5 Examples and 9 Prompts

The pen can be mightier than the sword. If you are looking for your next essay topic, tap into creativity with our essays about writing plus writing prompts. 

Strong writing skills are essential to communicate effectively, and through writing, we can share our stories with the world. Contrary to what many think, writing is more than just the mastery of the language. Writing requires creativity, clarity, analytical skills, and research to deliver quality pieces that inspire, entertain or inform.

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5 Awe-Inspiring Essays

1. Obama, The Best-Selling Author, On Reading, Writing And Radical Empathy by Michiko Kakutani

“He discussed authors he’s admired and learned from, the process of finding his own voice as a writer, and the role that storytelling can play as a tool of radical empathy to remind people of what they have in common — the shared dreams, frustrations and losses of daily life that exist beneath the political divisions.”

Obama‘s voracious reading habits as a teenager allowed him to explore different philosophies, biographies, histories, artistic worlds, and political views. All these have rewarded him by helping him build his voice, writing style, and a deep sense of optimism and empathy that resonated throughout his reign as US president.

2. Why I Write by George Orwell

“When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art’. I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing. But I could not do the work of writing a book, or even a long magazine article, if it were not also an aesthetic experience.“

One of the most influential writers, Orwell, believes four motivations drive writers to varying degrees in a given time: sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse, and political purpose. Orwell exemplifies himself as a case in point; he is affected most by political motivations but also recognizes the need for a few aesthetic touches to motivate readers to read his works thoroughly.

3. How To Write With Style by Kurt Vonnegut

“The most damning revelation you can make about yourself is that you do not know what is interesting and what is not… Did you ever admire an empty-headed writer for his mastery of the language? No! So your own winning style must begin with ideas in your head.”

Vonnegut wrote about his eight hard rules for anyone to possess an admirable writing style in this concise but humorous essay. He underscores that the shorter the writing, the more human it can be, contrary to the intricate and glittery sentence that could pass for Cleopatra’s necklaces. 

4. On Keeping A Notebook by Joan Didion

“My first notebook was a Big Five tablet, given to me by my mother with the sensible suggestion that I stop whining and learn to amuse myself by writing down my thoughts.”

This timeless essay by Didion can convince people who read it to start journaling their everyday lives and be more observant of the things around them. The essay takes us into the lens of Didion’s view of the world and the events she records in her notebook, which she may or may not have a reason for journaling.

5. Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully: in Ten Minutes by Stephen King

“This editor was the man who taught me everything I know about writing in ten minutes. His name was John Gould – not the famed New England humorist or the novelist who wrote The Greenleaf Fires, but a relative of both, I believe.”

The king of horror novels, Stephen King shares his tips in writing, all learnings of which he attributes to his sports editor in his younger years and his years as a published writer. It seems he has squeezed writing webinars that run on hours end to a 10-minute guide, with essential tips that writers may overlook, such as evaluating criticism.

9 Writing Prompts on Essays About Writing

1. How To Write About Someone

In this essay, create a “how to” guide for your readers, explaining how to write about another person. Describe how to conduct interviews, the importance of accurate information, and the best language style. 

When writing about a historical figure, eyewitness accounts will be great sources for your essays. In writing profile features, make sure to highlight defining traits of the person while creatively telling their story – the challenges along the way and the triumph that made the story worth telling. Use this essay to show how your readers can write about different kinds of people.

2. News Writing in an Age of Fake News

The fight for truth has never been fiercer in the current age of fake news and propaganda. For this essay, take a deep dive into how journalists and writers have been leading the battle against fake news. Then, help readers distinguish news from fake news based on how they are written. 

3. Business Writing

Essays About Writing: Business writing
In this essay, write a comprehensive guide on the important elements of an impressive business write-up

Business writing refers to communicating business ideas, proposals, invitations, and other messages to business clients, partners, and even the public. In this essay, write a comprehensive guide on the important elements of an impressive business write-up. Then, discuss the style of professional writing and help readers find stories in the data as the most influential business write-ups use data to support their main idea and thesis statement.

4. Techniques for Writing Fast

Completing essays in a few hours may be achieved through years of expertise. But such a gift is not only granted to writers by profession as it can be practiced. Let your readers in on a secret to fast but still clear writing. For example, one step is to take time planning. Planning would entail structuring the essay topics in your head and laying them down into sections organized based on your deemed priorities of what you think the readers should know.

5. The Future of Writing Careers

A few years back, everyone had suspected that writers would be obsolete as computers with artificial intelligence might take over. To start, breeze your readers through existing writing applications threatening the future of writers. Try to craft an answer on whether you believe these platforms will wipe out writers soon or are already starting to conquer writers’ territory. Then, tackle what writers should do to remain relevant in their craft and step up their game.

6. Why Writing Improves Mental Health

Writing can heal the broken and provide relief to the anxious. Citing studies such as this help your readers understand the healing powers of writing and how they can tap into it. You can also tackle poetry writing and cite these poems about depression. When writing about mental health, always remind your readers of the importance of getting professional assistance from mental health experts when they suspect they are depressed.

7. Challenges of Writing Fiction

Aside from the usual mental block all writers experience from time to time, what are fiction writers’ greatest obstacles to publishing a new short story or book? Enumerate these in your essay. Then, research how writers overcome their writer’s block and consolidate the best answers. If you’re a writer, you can also provide techniques that stimulate creativity even in the most uninspiring times.

8. Impact of Digital Tools on Students’ Writing

A Pew Research Center survey shows that digital technologies offer benefits and challenges in shaping how students write. You can build on this research by interviewing some teachers and education experts to see if the findings still hold today or if the situation has improved or worsened. For example, one challenge cited in the study is blurring the lines between formal and informal writing. Find out how schools have addressed this and other challenges, and add what other solutions must be carried out.

9. Developing Children’s Writing Skills

Essays About Writing: Developing children’s writing skills
Cite programs schools should have to encourage reading and share what your school is doing to make readers out of the next generation of leaders

Count the many ways children can hone their writing skills, such as expanding their vocabulary. You can also link the influence of story-telling on children’s interest to take a pen and write their own stories. Next, cite programs schools should have to encourage reading and share what your school is doing to make readers out of the next generation of leaders. 

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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.