Essay Topics For Intermediate Students

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The only way to get better at anything is to do it—over and over again. In addition to practicing your English conversational skills, you should also practice your writing skills on a regular basis.

The good news is that writing in English doesn’t need to be a painful experience. By choosing topics that you’re passionate about or focusing on prompts that will put different grammar lessons into practice, you can ensure that writing is an engaging and enjoyable experience.

Here are twenty-two potential essay topics to get you started, but don’t be afraid to branch out and come up with your own topics, as well.

Descriptive topics

  1. Describe your favorite place in as much detail as possible.
  2. What do you do outside of school and work? Describe any hobbies you have, sports you participate in, or other activities you regularly enjoy.
  3. If you could invite five people to a dinner party, who would they be? What is each guest like?
  4. Describe your favorite fictional character in as much detail as possible.
  5. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Describe it and explain why you’d choose it.


  1. Give directions for getting from one point to another. Explain what landmarks someone might see along the way.
  2. Explain how to entertain guests who unexpectedly arrive at your home.

Verb tense practice

  1. What’s one thing you could never live without and why?
  2. Describe your ideal town or city, why you would want to live there, and what you would do there.
  3. Write about a time in the past when you had to make a difficult decision, and explain what you did.
  4. Talk about five specific goals you want to accomplish this year, and explain how you are going to accomplish them.
  5. Imagine you’re babysitting a child who breaks the kitchen table. Explain to the child how they could have avoided doing this if they had behaved differently.

Practical vocabulary practice

  1. Write a review of a new restaurant (either fictional or real) in your area.
  2. Describe the best party or large-scale event you’ve ever attended.
  3. If you could get one gift for everyone in your family, regardless of the cost, what would you get them and why?
  4. Choose a form of transportation (such as cars, trains, boats, planes, or subways) and explain how it has changed people’s lives.
  5. Write a pitch for a new blockbuster movie. Explain what will happen in the movie and why it will draw crowds to the theater.

Persuasive writing practice

  1. Do you think our society is too dependent on technology like smartphones? Why or why not?
  2. Imagine that a big new department store is being built in your hometown. Do you support this development or not?
  3. Do you think it’s better for students to have a long summer break or be in a year-round school system with more breaks throughout the year? Explain your position.
  4. Should employers set aside time during the day for their employees to exercise? What might be some of the advantages or disadvantages of this?
  5. What is your favorite book or movie, and why should people read or watch it?

What are some great ESL essay topics you've encountered? Let us know in the comments.

Writing Topics

Academic Topics for Timed Writing --
On the SAT, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, test takers get 30 minutes to write an opinion essay, so practice with these 30+ opinion topics with a timer if you like

Academic Writing Topic 1  
If you could travel to 3 countries, where would you go and what would you do? (Opinion)  

Academic Writing Topic 2  
In order to have a successful marriage, what steps should a couple take before getting married? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 3  
Is book learning or experience more significant in a person’s life? Why? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 4  
Is luck or effort more important in one’s life? Why do you think so? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 5  
Should art be taught in public schools? Why or why not? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 6  
Should businesses that pay for healthcare require employees to exercise? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 7   
Should caps or limits be put on the salaries that professional athletes can earn? Why or why not? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 8  
Should everyone go to college? Why or why not? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 9  
Should grades in school be given? Why or why not? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 10  
What are 3 common fears and how can people overcome them? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 11  
What are 3 fun vacation places that most anyone would enjoy? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 12  
What are 3 good hobbies or sports? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 13  
What are 3 important cultural norms or traditions from your cultural background? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 14  
What are 3 of the most significant news stories this year? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 15  
What are advantages and disadvantages of cars? (Opinion)
Academic Writing Topic 16   
What are the 3 most important characteristics of a leader? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 17   
What are the 3 most important subjects that students should study in high school to prepare them for the future? Why? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 18   
What are the 3 most important subjects that students should study in college to prepare them for the future? Why? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 19   
Do movies stars have a responsibility to be good role models? Why or why not? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 20   
Do sports stars have a responsibility to be good role models? Why or why not? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 21  
What are the advantages and disadvantages of computers? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 22   
What are the benefits of gardening? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 23   
What are the benefits of knowing your family history? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 24   
What are the benefits of personal goal setting? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 25    
What are the benefits of space exploration? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 26    
What are the differences between long-time friends and new acquaintances? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 27   
What are the steps that can be taken to achieve world peace? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 28    
What are your top 3 to-dos on your life’s list? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 29   
What is independence and why have so many wars been fought over it? (Opinion)

Academic Writing Topic 30   
What is the government’s role in providing assistance to survivors of natural disasters? (Opinion)

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