Do you wish it were easier to write in English?
You probably know that the more you write, the easier it will get.
But sometimes simply starting is the hardest part.
After all, what should you even write about?
The Internet can help us out!
With the following online resources and 20 writing prompt websites, you’ll never run out of ideas to write about. Plus, you’ll learn how to become a better writer, and I promise it will get easier!
Online Resources for Learning to Write in English
You can find tons of resources online for improving your English writing skills. Here are just a few:
Enroll in a MOOC
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are free online courses from institutes and universities, and there are lots of English writing courses you can take right from your home.
The great thing about MOOCs is that you can choose courses that best fit your needs and schedule. Decide if you’d rather work for two hours a week for six weeks, or just sit down and work at your own pace whenever you want. There are MOOCs for everyone.
One interesting course for anyone looking to improve their writing is Future Learn’s “Exploring English: Language and Culture,” which aims to improve student speaking and writing skills by learning about British culture. Another upcoming class is called “How to Write an Essay,” and will teach you exactly that.
If you’re interested in exploring MOOCs more, here’s a list of MOOCs to get you started.
Join a learning community
The Internet makes it easy to find other English learners like you. Learning with others is effective and fun! Join a community like Learning English or Fluent in 3 Months and start learning.
By joining a community, you gain access to their forums, and many other English learners. You can use these forums like your own personal classroom, where other students and teachers gather to talk.
You can use the communities to post specific questions, ask for feedback or help on your writing, and meet others who might be interested in working together to improve each other’s writing.
There are also many blogs with writing tips—too many for us to list them all here! Grammar Girl and Grammarly are two good places to get started.
Many authors have their own blogs, as do ESL teachers. Below is are just a few—there are also many more ESL teacher blogs for you to find and follow, so do some exploring on your own as well!
- Aliventures is a blog where author Ali Luke shares writing tips.
- Christina Katz teaches writers to become better through inspiration and life advice along with writing tips.
Find the one that helps you the most, and watch for new posts.
Lastly, you can use writing prompts to help you improve your writing.
What Are Writing Prompts?
A writing prompt is an idea that’s meant to get you writing. A writing prompt can be a word, a sentence, a conversation or even a picture.
Writing prompts can be useful for many reasons. The best writing prompts make you think. They give you something to write about when you can’t think of any ideas. Best of all, they give you a fun way to write every day.
As we know, practice makes perfect! The more you write, the better you will get at it. Using fun writing prompts makes it feel less like a chore (something boring that you have to do), and almost like a game instead.
But these are just story starters, you might be thinking. How do I use them to actually learn?
How Can I Learn to Write in English with Writing Prompts?
Using writing prompts forces you out of your comfort zone. This means that you’ll write about something that you might not normally write about. When you write about a large variety of topics, you’ll need to know many different words.
You can also use these prompts as a daily English practice, especially if you’re learning on your own. Setting aside just 15 minutes per day to write something will be excellent English practice, even if you don’t have time for any other English learning for the rest of the day.
Use these writing prompts in addition to your usual study habits to learn even more. If you’re working through a weekly vocabulary list, try to use some of your vocab words when you write. If you’re interested in being a stronger speaker, you can start by writing down your thoughts. Knowing how to write sentences is one step towards knowing how to say them out loud.
You can start learning how English works internally with FluentU.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.With FluentU, you’ll learn how to build sentences naturally while you improve your pronunciation. Give it a free try and see for yourself!
In the meantime, you can find many writing prompts online, for everything from creative story writing to nonfiction writing about yourself and the world you live in. We’ve picked out the 20 best websites for sparking your imagination and getting your pen (or keyboard) working.
20 Creative Writing Prompt Sites to Make Your English Fly High
1. Writer’s Digest
The Writer’s Digest website and magazine is full of tips and tricks for writing, interviews with authors, and insight into what it’s like to be in the writing business. The prompts section contains mostly fiction and creative writing prompts, and is updated every week with a new prompt.
Reddit is a huge community of people who love to share things they find around the Internet, and have conversations. The Writing Prompts section has some really creative ideas, and you can even see what other people have written in the comments.
Tumblr is a great place to find ideas. It’s a place where people can blog about whatever they want, but it’s more visual than most other blogs. (That means it focuses more on pictures.) The “Writing Prompts” Tumblr uses pictures to share prompts, both creative and nonfiction. There’s even one prompt for a song!
4. Daily Teaching Tools
The prompts on this website are meant for school children, but they are excellent writing starters for any age. The page focuses on journal writing, so these prompts are mostly for nonfiction writing.
5. Language Is a Virus
The Writing Prompts Generator on this site has a huge number of ideas for fiction and nonfiction writing, which you can see one at a time. This website also has some fun word games to get you thinking and being creative.
6. Creative Writing Prompts
This website has over 300 prompts for you to try. Just reading through the prompts will give you some new words to learn! Most of these prompts are for creative writing, but there are a small number of nonfiction thoughts in there too.
7. Writer Mag
Writer Mag is another website and magazine for writers, and has many useful articles if you’re interested in writing. The writing prompts here are a little different since many of them are also exercises that will help make you a better writer (with any kind of writing). There’s even a vocabulary exercise!
8. Writing Forward
This list of creative writing prompts has 25 story starters. Just pick a first sentence and see where the story takes you! There are also some questions and ideas to explore. When you’re done here, head over to the Grammar section for some tips from the pros.
9. 21×20 Media
Want to get your prompts in a phone-friendly format? Try the Writing Prompts app from 21×20 Media. It’s not free, but at just $1.99 you get hundreds of prompts organized by type. Look through pictures, place and character ideas, and much, much more.
10. Wrighting Words
You’ll find almost 500 creative writing prompts on Wrighting Words. The long list has everything from interesting story starters to fun with vocabulary words. There are even some titles and dialogue ideas. You’re sure to find something to inspire you here.
11. Warren Wilson
Along with prompts, this page on the Warren Wilson College website has some tips for how to use the prompts. These ideas are more like exercises, so they can be used for any kind of writing. Use this list to really improve your writing.
Pinterest has many great collections of writing ideas and exercises. You can really browse the entire website for ideas and inspiration. For some more focused writing, check out the Writing Picture Prompts board linked to above, which has nearly 400 picture prompts meant to inspire you.
13. Think Written
How about a prompt for each day of the year? Think Written has that. The list here focuses on words and themes, so you can write fiction or nonfiction—it’s up to you. For a real challenge, try following the list, doing one prompt every day. How far down the list can you make it?
14. Visual Prompts
If you prefer to see your prompts and not just read them, you will love the Visual Prompts website. Each prompt is written over a picture that can help you imagine what you’re writing about. There’s also a nice mix of creative and nonfiction prompts here.
15. The Write Prompts
The Write Prompts has almost 2,000 prompts, but you might find the word prompts the most useful. Each prompt comes with a list of vocabulary words that you have to use in your story. Can you string the words along and make an interesting story or essay?
16. Seventh Sanctum
The Seventh Sanctum is a collection of writing generators—websites that create prompts for you. There is a nearly infinite (never-ending) number of possible prompts! You can also try any of the other generators, like the setting (place) one, or the one that asks creative “What if…?” questions. There is so much to play with here!
Buzzfeed is mostly known for its funny picture articles, but this article has an excellent list of prompts for all kinds of writing. These prompts can be used in a school, but they can also be used by adults. Some of these will get you feeling creative, and some will make you think. Have fun with both!
18. The Sits Girls
The Sits Girls publish a list of writing prompts every month, with one prompt for each day of the week. These prompts are perfect if you’re trying to keep a blog and can’t think of what to write. They are mostly made up of nonfiction writing ideas.
19. The Journal
The Journal is another website for nonfiction and blog writing ideas. There is even more here too—get ideas for writing your opinions about topics, your memoirs (writings about yourself), and free-writing, which is when you don’t stop writing for 10 or 15 minutes.
20. Education World
Education World is a website for teachers, so these prompts are meant for the classroom. This means that they will make you think, and each prompt has a helpful tip box with some ideas for what you can write on the topic.
Between these 20 sites, you’ll never run out of ideas. Find your favorites and get writing!
And One More Thing...
If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:
The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or from the Google Play store.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.