The WordSmith Prompts

The WordSmith Prompts

ISBN 978-0-9756709-4-1

'These prompts are a terrific tool for generating class discussions, creating short answer exams, or longer essay assignments. I have purchased a number of them and am impressed with each one.'

                                            From our Commendations section


SAMPLE MATERIAL: Use either the Things Fall Apart link below or the Sample Section link at the foot of the page. (They will take you to the same place.)  


The Prompts are not book-length study commentaries like The WordSmith Guides. Rather, they are question-driven outline resources, consisting of a range of study tasks (predominantly short pieces of writing) designed to take students into the heart of each chapter of a novel (or each scene of a play, or each poem in a collection) as they have finished reading it. Together they help build up an overview of each of the five SCASI aspects of the whole piece of writing (Setting, Character, Action, Style and Ideas - the fundamental structure of The WordSmith Guides themselves).

They also include a range of more formal essay questions, varying in style and difficulty and easily adaptable to meet the demands of all major literature examinations (in particular The International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement and GCE Advanced Level) for the 15-18 age range.

IB students and teachers will find that the Prompts offer an insightful approach to their selected texts, helping students to respond thoughtfully within all components of the Language A assessment process for both the Literature and the Language and Literature courses – the Paper 2 Essay; the Written Assignment (Written Task); the Individual Oral Commentary; and the Individual Oral Presentation (Further Oral Activity).

The Prompts make use of past IB examination questions, re-focused as appropriate, to ensure the usefulness of the resource for IB purposes.

Taken together, the two sets of guiding questions encourage AP students to think about texts in ways that will help them prepare for the Free-Response section of the final examination. Many of the full essay questions, in fact, are derived from past Advanced Placement Free-Response exam prompts, carefully selected (and modified as necessary) to match particular texts.

The Prompts also provide a framework within which GCE A Level students can develop a detailed understanding of texts set by their Examining Board.

Throughout, there is a focus not only on what has been written (the finished text) but also on why it has been written in that way, and how it functions as a piece of working literature.

If you would like to examine a typical set of study tasks, click on the link below:  

                                        Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart

The price for a selection of any three Prompts is US$8.95. They can not be purchased individually (transaction costs make that non-viable). If you wish to order a second selection after adding a first to your basket, please clear your original three texts, make a fresh selection and add it, too, to the basket.

Please note that the Shakespeare Prompts are derived largely from our much fuller and more detailed resources, The WordSmith Guides (see the right-hand panel).


The Wordsmith Prompts

Please select 3 texts and press the 'Add to Basket' button to include the matching Prompts in your purchase

A Bend in the River
A Christmas Carol
A Clockwork Orange
A Doll's House
A Farewell to Arms
A Lesson Before Dying
A Modest Proposal
A Passage to India
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
A Raisin in the Sun
A Separate Peace
A Streetcar Named Desire
A Thousand Splendid Suns
A View from the Bridge
Across the River and into the Trees
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
All My Sons
An Enemy of the People
Angela's Ashes
Animal Farm
Antony and Cleopatra
As I Lay Dying
Chaucer's General Prologue
Death of a Salesman
Dr. Faustus
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Fahrenheit 451
Far From the Madding Crowd
Fiela's Child
God's Bits of Wood
Great Expectations
Gulliver's Travels
Hamlet - 'To Be or Not To Be' Workshop Analysis
Hard Times
Heart of Darkness
Heat and Dust
His Illegal Self
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
In Cold Blood
Invisible Man
J.M. Synge - Plays
Jane Eyre
Jude the Obscure
Julius Caesar
King Lear
Life & Times of Michael K
Life of Pi
Like Water for Chocolate
Look Back in Anger
Lord of the Flies
Love in the Time of Cholera
Madame Bovary
Master Harold and the Boys
Mystic River
Native Son
Never Let Me Go
Northanger Abbey
Oedipus the King
Of Mice and Men
On the Yankee Station
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Oscar and Lucinda
Pride and Prejudice
Remembering Babylon
Robert Frost Selected Poems
Robinson Crusoe
Romeo and Juliet
Silas Marner
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Sizwe Bansi Is Dead
Snow Falling on Cedars
So Long a Letter
Some Monday for Sure
Such a Long Journey
Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Tess of the d'Urbervilles
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
The Awakening
The Bean Trees - Close Textual Analysis Unit
The Bean Trees
The Bell Jar - Close Textual Analysis Unit
The Bell Jar
The Book Thief
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
The Bride Price
The Catcher in the Rye
The Chosen
The Color Purple
The Crucible
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The English Patient
The Glass Menagerie
The Grapes of Wrath
The Grass is Singing
The Great Gatsby
The Handmaid's Tale
The Hobbit
The House on Mango Street
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Jungle Books
The Kite Runner
The Mayor of Casterbridge
The Merchant of Venice
The Mosquito Coast
The Name of the Rose
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Nun's Priest's Tale
The Old Man and the Sea
The Outsider
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Poisonwood Bible
The Quiet American
The Remains of the Day
The Return of the Native
The Revenant
The Road
The Scarlet Letter
The School for Scandal
The Shipping News - Close Textual Analysis Unit
The Shipping News
The Siege of Krishnapur
The Sun Also Rises
The Tempest
The Thief and the Dogs
The Things They Carried
The Turn of the Screw
The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Thérèse Raquin
Things Fall Apart
To Have and Have Not
To Kill a Mockingbird
True at First Light
Waiting for Godot
Water for Elephants
We Need to Talk About Kevin
When Rain Clouds Gather
When We Were Orphans
Wide Sargasso Sea
Wilfred Owen Collected Poems
Wuthering Heights

Price for the 3 Prompts : US$8.95

n.b. When you have selected your three texts, click on the Add to Basket button.

If you wish to purchase further Prompts, for a wholly different set of three texts, return to the list, uncheck your original choices, and make your new selection, then click on the Add to Basket link once more.

When you use the Purchase link below or the Shopping Basket link at the top of the page to review your purchases, the Number column alongside the Prompts item will reflect the number of sets of Prompts you have placed in your basket, not the number of texts you have selected. Please do not change that number.


We’d be pleased to have your comments on any of the material: If you yourself have developed resources in a similar style for other texts, and would like to have them considered for inclusion under the WordSmith Prompts banner (with an authorship acknowledgment), please do get in touch. Contributors will be given free access to the whole range of Prompts


                                    SAMPLE MATERIAL: See below


Click on Sample Section if you wish to preview the resource.


Click on Purchase to checkout your shopping basket items.

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Textual Analysis

Workbook Editions

The WordSmith Prompts