Pre-packaged and Teacher Custom Prompts

Under the Prompts tab, teachers can manage pre-packaged prompts and create their own custom prompts.

Does your school block YouTube access? 

Some of our prompts include stimulus videos from YouTube. Below is a list of prompts that contain YouTube videos. Please get the YouTube video files approved, so that your class will be able to access the stimuli for the following prompts.

Grade 3: How Roller Coasters Work

Grade 4: Camels:  Ships of the Desert and Help from Clouds

Grade 5: How do Geysers Change the Earth’s Surface?, Making Buildings Safer, Why Study Animals?, The Pony Express, and Why is Minecraft So Popular?

Grade 6: Analysis: "The Walrus and the Carpenter" and That's Too Noisy!

Grade 7: Poem to Narrative: "The Highwayman"

Grade 8: Becoming an Entrepreneur

Grade 9: Is West Side Story Shakespeare?

Grade 12: Sweet and Right? Poison Gas in WWI

Pre-packaged Prompts

Prompt List

  • Click on the Prompts tab to see the list of available pre-packaged prompts assigned to the grade level of the course.
  • Prompts are labeled as enabled/disabled, genre, stimulus material, level, and content area, title and a description. Teachers can hover over the icons to read the description of what it represents and click on the plus sign next to the prompt description to read the full prompt.
  • Click on the name of the prompt to view details of the prompt and set the Advanced Options.
  • Click on the filters to narrow the list of prompts by status, genre, level, sub-genre, and content area.  Icons denote writing genre, level, and inclusion of stimulus material.
  • To search for a specific prompt, type a word in the Search box. Any prompt title or description that contains this word will appear in the prompt list.

Adding a Custom Prompt

Adding a Custom Prompt

  • To create and add a writing prompt, click the Add button.
  • Enter the title and prompt, then select the genre from the drop-down list. You can also select a sub-genre and content area for the prompt. Click Save.
  • If you would like to add stimulus material such as reading passages, website URLs, or graphics, click the Save and Add Stimulus Material button.

Saving and Adding Stimulus Material

  • Click here for information on writing custom prompts.
  • Create Prompt and Save and Add Stimulus Material
  • To add a document or an image, enter a label for the document, select the document file and click Choose File button to upload the document. To add a website URL, enter a label, select URL, and paste in the website address.
  • ​For our recommended best practices on creating teacher prompts, review our guide!

Advanced Options

Advanced Options for Prompts


Optional features for each prompt can be found by selecting the prompt and clicking on the plus sign next to Advanced Options.  Click each feature in the list below to learn more.



  • To set the timer for a student essay, select Enabled and enter the number of minutes allowed, between 30 and 90.
  • To disable it entirely, select Disabled.



Essay Drafts

  • To allow students to resubmit an essay, click Enabled and enter the number of retries allowed, between 1 and 99.
  • To prohibit students from resubmitting a new draft of an essay, click Disabled.



Essay Format

  • To allow students to format and finalize an essay for publication, click Enabled and enter the number of drafts that must be completed before seeing the Format button, between 1 and 99.
  • To prohibit students from formatting and finalizing an essay, click Disabled.



Grammar and Spelling Feedback

  • To specify the number of drafts that must be completed before seeing spelling/grammar feedback, enter the number of drafts required, between 1 and 99.



Peer Review

  • By default, each prompt is enabled for peer reviews and the names of the student writers and reviewers are shown. To turn off the peer review feature for a specific prompt, select Disabled.
    NOTE: Peer review is not available for constructed response prompts.
  • To keep the student author's name anonymous for peer reviews, select Hidden.
  • To keep the reviewer's name anonymous for peer reviews of this prompt, select Hidden.
  • Click Save.



  • To recommend a prompt to a specific student or group of students, click in the box next to Recommended.
  • Select the student, or students to whom you wish to recommend this prompt.
  • Click Save. Upon saving, the prompt will appear under Recommended by your Teacher for the student when they login.



Specialized Vocabulary List

The Specialized Vocabulary List can be used to prevent the scoring engine from flagging specific words as misspellings for this prompt. Only words that should NOT be marked as misspelled should be added to this field. These are typically technical or content-related words that would otherwise be marked as misspelled even though they are correct.

The following words are examples of ones students might use in essays. Normally, these words would be marked as misspelled. However, if they are added to the Specialized Vocabulary List, they will not be flagged.

Remember that PEG ignores misspelled proper nouns in the middle or at the end of a sentence, but offers spelling suggestions for sentence-initial ones.

From Tom Sawyer

  • reg’lar
  • ain’t
  • hain't
  • clayey

From Shakespeare

  • ‘twere
  • prenominate
  • encompassment
  • soil’d
  • if’t

Scientific/Technical Terms

  • geolocation
  • edutainment
  • denary
  • histone
  • methyltransferase

NOTE: The scoring engine will still consider these misspelled words, but with minimal (if any) impact on the score. Words added to this field will be considered for inclusion in the permanent lexicon in order to avoid scoring impacts in the future. All words in this field are case sensitive.



Removing a Prompt

  • To remove a custom prompt you have built, click Remove Prompt. This option is only available for prompts you have created and that have not been shared.


Sharing Prompts

To share a prompt that you have created with teachers in your school, select the prompt and click Share. 

Sharing Prompt

Please remember, once you share a prompt, it is permanent. 

Managing the Student Prompt List

Enabled prompts are labeled with a green checkmark icon and disabled prompts are labeled with a red NO icon.

NOTE: All prompts are enabled by default.

  • To disable a prompt, click on the box next to the name of the prompt and click Disable.
  • To enable a prompt, click on the box next to the name of the prompt and click Enable.
  • Or, to enable or disable all prompts, click on More, and select either Enable All or Disable All.