ELI  Prompts


Personal Reflections


    1/Me, Myself, and I

Who am I? Who Will I Become? How will I become the new me?        



Write about a moment where different parts of your world intersected, such as friends and family, home and work. How did it feel? What did you learn about yourself?



To what memorable places have the currents of traffic taken you? Through what rapids and still waters? To what shores?


4/Ten Things I Need To Know (and Why)

Consider your goals for college, career, or family. List ten thing you will need to learn to be successful in one of these areas.

Under each item tell us why you need to learn that particular bit of knowledge or specific skill.


5/The Model Business Leader

Describe the model “business leader.” Now describe why that model is so hard to achieve.


6/Avatar for an Education

Imagine you are a character in a video game called “The International Student.” Draw a picture of this character. Now list all the skills and powers they will need to succeed.


Directions/Reasons, Examples


7/The Playlist

A playlist is a list of songs that share a common theme, such as love, ordered in such a way as to create a particular feeling, such as romance. Create a list of songs designed to make us fall in love with your current neighborhood or homeland. After each song, tell us why it was chosen and how it was meant to make us feel. 



Home may be place in your heart or in your memory. It might be a room, a house, or a building. You may feel a sense of it only with certain people. Perhaps you get home by bus, by walking, or by plane. Draw a map of how travel home. Based on your drawing, tell us a about a particularly important time when you “went home.” 


9/The City Tour Guide

Imagine you own a company that provides city tours.  Choose a location, such as SU’s campus, the city of Syracuse, or a place that is particularly important to you. Find a map of that location.  Develop a tour of the city by numbering different locations on the map, then on a separate sheet of paper, write a brief paragraph on what the tourist will see at that site. What can you highlight to visitors they might expect? What can you highlight that might surprise them? In what order will they visit these sites? What are you trying to teach them about the city?



Cause, Effect        


10/A Bachelor of Arts in Video Games

Colleges in the United States have started to give scholarships to students who are excellent video game player. Other schools are creating programs where students can study how to make video games. Imagine your class has been asked to develop a video game named after a country, such as “The United States” or “Saudi Arabia.”  What characters will populate the game? What challenges will they face? How will the players win? 


11/Strange Angel

Perhaps all of us have met a stranger on the bus, on the train, or waiting in line in the market who left us with more than we expected. He may have eased his way past our inhibitions our guards up, and actually managed to adorn our ears with gems of wisdom. Maybe you came across a stranger who became a family member in a matter of minutes. Someone who changed the tide of your morning, your afternoon. You smiled once that day. Maybe you caught her name, maybe you didn’t. Remember. Then write your own story with a strange angel. 



Comparison, Contrast/Argumentative Essay


12/Object America

Choose the most “American” object in your room or apartment. Describe the object as well as the room in which it sits. 

Now imagine the same object in your room or apartment in your home country. Be sure to describe both places in detail. How does its meaning change as it travels across oceans to you home? 


13/The Clothes Make the Man (or Woman)

Imagine the “perfect” outfit for an American. Now imagine the “perfect” outfit for someone from your home county. Describe each outfit. What can these outfits tell us about how the cultures of both countries are the same, how they are different.  


14/The First Marriage Contract

On the path to civilization, there are many firsts. The first cooked meal, the first house built of stone, the first automobile. Imagine you are the first person to ever asked write a marriage contract between two people. What would that contract look like? What would it say? Write that contract. Now make a copy of that contract and physically write the revisions people today might make on that contract. Finally, on a separate sheet of paper, tell us why these changes had to be made.  


15/Recipe for a Brave New World

More than just a cooking guide, a recipe is a formula for a desired end. We ask you to take any concept or idea and reinvent it through a recipe. Create a moveable feast, explore new means of sustenance. Send us your recipe for love, ecstasy, heaven, insomnia, faith, the sublime, civilization, birth, poverty, or exile – any recipe will do, as long as it whets our appetite for new world living. We’ve included a sample below.




Recipe for a Brave New World

 1 lb rage

1/2c impatience

1T righteousness

1 large coup

100 downtrodden masses

A pinch of thickening pot

a dozen tyrants

assorted picket signs

the roar of the crowd 

stamping of feet


Assemble downtrodden masses in rows.

Sprinkle generously with rage

Add contents to a large coup

Add thickening plot and simmer until mixture boils.

Fold in impatience and righteousness. Remove picket signs from their packaging and baste with the roar of the crowd. Spread mixure liberally over tyrants. Garnish with stamping feet. 




16/Open City

The city is open with possibilities. Joy, curiosity, excitement, confusion, intimacy, and isolation walk the streets with us crowding us together. The city is full of us all, our aspirations and inspirations, our need to be both with and apart from others. Whether you have grown up here or came by Greyhound in recent months, being in a city has a peculiar way of exciting all of your senses and numbing you at the same time. All kinds of people have come here in search of something – opportunity, family, novelty, or just something to write down in their journal or tape into their scrap book.


If you could create your own doors to the city, what would they look like? What makes the city open to you? When the key to the city is turned, what likes on the other side? And if the city like a book for you, what is on its pages. Show us your perfect city door, draw it. Tell us where it leads, who will meet there.  Convey to us your vision of the city as if it was open for the very first time. 


17/A Manifesto for Education

A manifesto is a public argument about an issue of vital importance. Its language is bold and declarative. Using your experience as a student, write a manifesto about the goals of a university education. These goals can be a broad as learning about what it means to be a global citizen to as specific what future business leaders must understand for a 21st century economy. The manifesto can an extended essay or a list of specific demands. No matter the topic or form, however, the manifesto should announce your vision of what it means to be “educated.”