Writing Mysteries in Language & ESL Lessons

Writing mystery stories can be an exciting and interesting activity. Getting students exuberant about doing this involves finding prompts that help them develop ideas. They need to think of story lines that pique the interest of their readers. Teachers need to find methods to enhance this creativity within the students.

How to Write a Mystery Story in Class

Teachers can offer the following methods to help students begin to write. They can aid the students by creating imaginative titles for mystery stories, create story beginning cues that will help writers get started, or make up endings for their stories.

Mystery Story Titles are a Good Beginning

The easiest way for the teacher to begin is to give titles. A quick trigger for the writers is to be given a logical start that comes with a name of a story. Here is a list of example titles:

  • The Case of the Fisherman’s Net
  • The Head of the Elephant
  • The Antique Gun
  • The Tomb of the Lion
  • The Mystery of the Missing Key
  • The Case of the Broken Wall Panel
  • Shattered Glass
  • The Knee Bone

Story Starters for Tales of Mystery

Another method of helping students write, is giving them a sentence or even a first paragraph to spur their imagination and create suspense. Here are some examples:

  • It wasn’t in the box, and the stranger was stunned by its emptiness. How was it possible that in a few short hours someone had managed to take it out?
  • The lights went out. Darkness descended. Nobody walked in the streets.
  • The shadow slipped between the parked cars. It moved faster and faster until it reached the door, and then it stopped.
  • The water was icy. She felt herself going down, down, into its depths.

Ending a Mystery Story

Teachers can also write some endings for a mystery story. Students have to create the story that would end with that paragraph or sentence. Below are some ideas for this kind of prompt.

  • And he never came back again. Never.
  • She smiled, but the shadow of her large hat covered her tears as they ran down her face.
  • Behind the wall, the body still lay…and only the dogs of the neighborhood knew it was there.
  • Detective James frowned. His cell-phone rang. “Yes dear,” he said, “I’ll be home at five.”

Reading the Mystery Tales

Listening to all the stories will bring pleasure and enjoyment to the class. Have students read their tales to the class. A nice idea is to have students record their stories, with sound effects, onto CDs or tapes. Students find it fun to hear themselves and others on a listening device. The culmination of the writing, through the reading, is very rewarding for both teachers and students.

Writing practice through creativity, such as mystery writing, encourages students to include imagery, interesting adjectives, and a strong story line in their compositions. These idea prompts will enable students to begin the writing process and ultimately produce an exciting story.

University Personal Statement Tips

University personal statement can be tricky to write because they require your self-analysis that can be painful. Talking broadly about your achievements might seem like arrogant but properly executed objective statement provides all information about your level of interest, motivation and training to admission committee which they need to determine you for admission. A well written personal statement convinces admission committee that you are right person for a program, department or school. Here are some useful guidelines to write compelling objective statement.


A common mistake students make in personal statement believes that admission committees will be convinced that they deserve a place in a program just because it had been their childhood dream. They also think that they can get admission easily because their parents are working in this field or profession. However childhood dream or parental influence can be a compelling description about your motivation to pursue a career path but admission committees like to see initial interest translated into active commitment for career related activity. The key to using a childhood motivation is to make it too brief and ensure its flow with rest of essay.


Students also commit mistake of going into lengthy elaborations of research projects in highly technical language Essays dominated by highly technical language can estrange readers that are outside of their field of your specialization and make writer seem like he/she has difficulty in appropriate communication. Admission committee has to read dozens of essays and they might put aside an essay that is difficult to read or understand in favor of one that is not.


Students often rush through personal statement and submit their first or second draft but it is not fair. If you want to produce an excellent personal statement then an average of five or more drafts is advisable. It is a good idea to get feedback on your personal mission statements from people outside your instant family and friends. You can also seek advice from instructor in writing centre of your school. They have experience helping with personal statement. If you have no access to writing centre then any student or profession in program or school you are applying to can normally be quite helpful.


Usually admission committee is interested in understanding student underneath surface. So simply stating that you are interested in career or you have certain qualities is not sufficient. While writing you should use precise examples to point out qualities you possess and also to show your commitment toward specific career path.

Plagiarism Danger

Plagiarism is noteworthy concern on high school and college campuses today and it is a growing one. Plagiarism is theft of other’s word or ideas in an attempt to pass off as your own or use of another’s work without giving credit. Sometimes plagiarism is intentional, although it can also occur accidently. Work ethically and learn how to cite and give credit where credit is due to avoid damaging your grades and even your future professional reputation.


Sometimes plagiarism is not mindful unethical act but rather result of not giving credit or improper citation. You are required to credit and cite not only quotes or source for facts but also ideas and thoughts. Most effective defense against this sort of plagiarism is simply conscientious work. If thought, ideas or words are not your own then must credit owner of this intellectual property. You can also plagiarize by using too much of another’s work, even with credit citation according to format preferred by your teacher or in your field.


Taking credit for another’s work is one of most common forms of plagiarism. This includes taking credit of their work permission or purchasing rights to use that work. Websites offering essays, book reports and term papers for a price are all supporting plagiarism. You should realize that teachers, professors and others are aware of these essay farms and can recognize work from them. In same vein, hiring someone else to write a paper for you, then turning it in with your name on it is also plagiarism.


Those who have been caught with their hand in proverbial cookie jar and called in no charges of plagiarism will probably see some damage to their grade if their mistake was innocent, fairly minimal and accidental. Learning proper citation and how to give credit is critical part of academic process. The penalties for intentional plagiarism might be much higher like they will fail in assignment. Depending upon their school policies, they might also be subject to academic probation, repeating class and other consequences.