Writing Passion Projects for High Schoolers: 20 Ideas to Include in Your College Application

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While summer may be drawing to a close, the new semester brings a fresh opportunity for high school students to delve into their interest aka a passion project that can enrich their academic journeys.

From starting a community writing workshop to conducting rigorous research, there are countless ways students can utilize their time to ignite their passions and embark on meaningful passion projects that can be highlighted in their college applications.

So whether you’re an aspiring writer, a budding researcher, or simply someone with a penchant for giving back to the community, this guide full of passion project ideas will assist you in crafting a memorable and impactful experience.

Let’s jump into these 20 ideas for your writing passion project!

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1. Conducting Original Research Endorsed by Pioneer Academics, the Highly Respected Online Research institute

High school students worldwide compete to get into Pioneer Academics, the highly respected online research institute. At Pioneer, high school students can elevate their passion projects to  a collection of research papers on a topic they develop on their own.

Emphasizing rigorous standards, the Pioneer research program equips students with advanced academic  resources and mentors, enabling them to embark on independent research projects with real-world significance.

Through Pioneer Academics, students can channel their passion into research and discover new passions.

2. Writing a Historical Fiction Novel Based on Extensive Research

For high school students eager to merge their love for history with creative writing, embarking on a historical fiction novel as a passion project can be an enriching and academically fulfilling endeavor. This type of project allows students to conduct independent research into a specific historical era or event, diving deep into the facts, cultures, and characters of the time. By doing so, students develop essential research and writing skills, both vital for college applications and future academic pursuits.

Crafting a historical fiction novel not only ignites a passion for learning but also cultivates an understanding of human nature and societal development. The extensive research needed promotes analytical thinking, problem-solving, and attention to detail.

More than just an extracurricular activity, this passion project idea can become a stepping stone to a successful academic journey and inspire students to explore their favorite subjects in new and innovative ways.

Lastly, students can involve their history teachers in this project or share their work with local or online history clubs.

3. Creating a Poetry Anthology Exploring Themes in Modern Literature

open book of poetry

Students with a love for poetry can create a poetry anthology as a passion project, exploring various themes prevalent in modern literature. From identity and social justice to love and existentialism, students can curate or compose poems that resonate with contemporary readers.

Collaborating with peers, teachers, or local poets, they can craft a collection that showcases diverse voices and artistic expressions. This anthology not only serves as a testament to creativity and literary appreciation but also makes a thoughtful contribution to the literary community. It’s a project you’ll be proud to highlight in your college applications.

4. Developing a Collection of Short Stories Inspired by Cultural Myths

Students with a flair for storytelling can find inspiration in cultural myths for their passion project. Developing a collection of short stories based on these ancient tales offers a unique blend of creativity and scholarly exploration. In researching different myths from various cultures, students can create contemporary narratives that resonate with today’s readers.

This project nurtures creativity and deepens understanding of different civilizations, ethics, and social norms. It offers an engaging way for students to connect with their favorite subjects while honing skills in research and writing. As they craft their stories, they build an impressive portfolio that can enhance their college applications while also forming a meaningful connection to the world’s rich literary heritage.

5. Crafting a Play or Screenplay Addressing Social or Ethical Issues

sheaf of papers with the word Script printed on top as an example of a passion project idea

Students with an interest in drama and social change can embark on a passion project by crafting a play or screenplay. Addressing pressing social or ethical issues, such as equality, environmental sustainability, or human rights, students can create compelling narratives that provoke thought and inspire action.

Collaborating with drama clubs or local theaters may even lead to a staged reading or production. This project not only hones writing and storytelling skills but also fosters social awareness, making it a significant endeavor for personal growth and college applications.

6. Analyzing and Writing Critical Essays on Classical Literary Works

A scholarly passion project for students interested in literature can involve analyzing and writing critical essays on classical literary works. Exploring themes, characters, and historical context, students can develop a deeper understanding of renowned literature, enhancing their analytical skills.

This project can lead to submissions to student journals or local library presentations, showcasing their academic prowess. With guidance from teachers or literary experts, students can create a portfolio of critical essays, reflecting their intellectual curiosity and literary acumen, a valuable asset you can consider including in college applications and future academic endeavors.

7. Starting a Literary Magazine or Journal for Local High School Writers

a stack of literary magazines

Students with a love for writing and community engagement can launch a literary magazine or journal as a passion project. This endeavor not only showcases the talents of local high school writers but also fosters a sense of community and collaboration.

Students can take on various roles, from editor to designer, learning valuable skills in project management, teamwork, and creativity. Organizing workshops and live events can further enhance the literary culture within the school and local area.

By creating this platform, students not only develop their own business but also provide opportunities for others to express themselves, share ideas, and gain recognition. It’s a vibrant and impactful passion project that resonates with colleges and helps students feel excited about literature and writing.

8. Designing a Children’s Book Series with Educational Themes

High school students with a passion for education and creativity can embark on a meaningful passion project by designing a children’s book series with educational themes. This project allows students to combine art and storytelling to create engaging learning materials for younger readers. Whether focusing on mathematics, science, or cultural awareness, students can craft stories that make learning fun and accessible.

Collaborating with teachers or organizing workshops with fellow students can enhance the project’s impact. By distributing these books to local libraries, and schools, or even creating an online platform, students not only contribute to community education but also build a portfolio that can be added proudly to in college applications.

This passion project nurtures creativity, empathy, and a commitment to education, reflecting the students’ ability to think innovatively and make a positive impact.

9. Collaborating on a Peer-Reviewed Academic Journal for Student Research

stack of academic publications and a pair of glasses on top of a table

Collaborating on a peer-reviewed academic journal for student research is a remarkable passion project for high school scholars. It offers students a platform to publish their research projects and engage in intellectual discourse. By organizing workshops and partnering with local universities, students can create a journal that highlights diverse academic interests.

This project not only enhances college applications but also builds a community of young scholars. It’s a testament to leadership, innovation, and commitment to academic excellence, embodying the spirit of successful passion projects.

10. Organizing a Writing Workshop Series for Community Education

High school students with a desire to share their love of writing can embark on a passion project by organizing a writing workshop series for community education. This endeavor provides an opportunity to engage with various age groups, teaching writing techniques and encouraging self-expression. Students can partner with local nonprofits, libraries, or schools, creating workshops tailored to different interests and skill levels.

Whether helping children craft their first stories or assisting adults in developing new skills, this community project resonates with both personal and academic growth. It showcases leadership, empathy, and the ability to adapt teaching methods to diverse audiences.

Not only does this passion project help students stand out in college applications, but it also fosters a love for writing within the community, leaving a lasting impact that goes beyond the classroom.

11. Composing a Biographical Work on a Historical or Influential Figure

Snapshot of a dictionary description of the word biography

High school students with a keen interest in history or social studies can undertake a passion project by composing a biographical work on a historical or influential figure. Through in-depth research, students can uncover the life, achievements, and impact of a person who has shaped the world in some way.

This project offers an opportunity to delve into primary sources, interviews, and archival materials, honing research skills that will be valuable in college and beyond. By presenting the biography in an engaging narrative, students also enhance their storytelling abilities.

This independent research project not only contributes to academic excellence but also helps students connect with their historical roots, understand human complexities, and gain insights into leadership and innovation. It’s an enriching passion project that reflects dedication, curiosity, and a desire to explore the facets of human achievement.

12. Creating a Blog to Explore and Analyze Contemporary Literary Trends

High school students with an eye on contemporary literature can create a blog as a passion project, offering a platform to explore and analyze literary trends. Whether dissecting the rise of dystopian novels, spotlighting emerging authors, or investigating the intersection of literature and social issues, this project enables students to dive into the dynamic literary landscape.

By writing regular blog posts, students can sharpen their analytical skills, engage with an online community, and even attract the attention of scholars and enthusiasts. This independent project showcases creativity, critical thinking, and the ability to communicate complex ideas to a broader audience.

It’s a valuable addition to college applications and a pathway to connect with others who share similar passions. Ultimately, it’s a project that promotes a deeper understanding of literature and its role in reflecting and shaping our world.

13. Writing and Publishing a Guidebook on Effective Study Techniques

Color magazine with the title, Guest Guidebook

High school students looking to support their peers in academic success can embark on a passion project by writing and publishing a guidebook on effective study techniques. This undertaking requires research into various learning styles, study methods, and educational psychology, culminating in a practical and user-friendly guide.

Students can share their own experiences, conduct interviews with successful scholars, and even organize workshops to test different techniques. In distributing this guidebook within their school or publishing it online, students create a valuable resource that helps others achieve good grades and become more efficient learners.

This passion project not only enhances the author’s understanding of effective learning but also demonstrates leadership, empathy, and the ability to translate complex ideas into actionable advice. It’s an initiative that resonates with colleges and contributes positively to the academic community.

14. Developing an Online Course on Creative Writing for High School Students

High school students with a flair for creative writing can share their skills with others by developing an online course as a passion project. This innovative endeavor enables students to design lessons, exercises, and assignments that nurture creativity and hone writing techniques.

By creating video tutorials, written guides, and interactive forums, students can offer an engaging learning experience accessible to fellow high school writers. By collaborating with teachers or utilizing platforms that support online education, they can reach a wider audience and make a positive impact.

This project demonstrates expertise in creative writing and also showcases leadership, organization, and the ability to teach others. It’s a unique pathway to inspire budding writers, fostering a community of creativity and continuous learning.

15. Writing a Series of Reflective Essays on Philosophical Concepts

Bust of four philosophers

High school students with a curiosity for philosophy can engage in a thought-provoking passion project by writing a series of reflective essays on philosophical concepts. Exploring ideas from ancient wisdom to contemporary thinkers, students can delve into questions about existence, ethics, consciousness, and more.

This project encourages critical thinking, self-reflection, and the ability to articulate complex thoughts. By sharing these essays on a blog, social media, or even submitting them to local journals, students can invite discussions and contribute to intellectual discourse within their community.

It’s a project that not only enhances writing skills but also fosters a deeper understanding of human nature and the world around us. This passion project can reflect intellectual curiosity, analytical prowess, and a dedication to lifelong learning.

16. Crafting a Collection of Science Fiction Stories with Scientific Basis

High school students with a passion for both science and storytelling can embark on an exciting passion project by crafting a collection of science fiction stories with a scientific basis. This creative endeavor requires students to delve into research, exploring current scientific theories, technological advancements, and potential future scenarios.

In weaving scientific facts into imaginative narratives, students can create engaging stories that stimulate thought about the possibilities and ethical dilemmas of science and technology. This project allows students to hone their writing skills, foster scientific curiosity, and contribute to a genre that inspires innovation. It’s a unique blend of creativity and academic rigor that can be showcased in college applications.

This passion project is a pathway to explore the intersection of art and science, capturing the imagination of readers and fostering a dialogue about the future.

17. Creating a Multimedia Project Combining Writing, Art, and Music

Projector and laptop

High school students with a multifaceted artistic inclination can pursue a passion project that combines writing, art, and music into a cohesive multimedia project. Whether creating a visual novel, an animated short film, or an interactive website, students can weave together storytelling, illustrations, and soundscapes to produce a captivating experience.

This collaborative endeavor can involve working with fellow students skilled in different art forms for teamwork and cross-disciplinary creativity. It’s a project that showcases innovation, artistic expression, and technical prowess. By sharing this work through online platforms, local exhibitions, or school events, students can engage with their community and inspire others to explore new creative avenues.

This passion project reflects a blend of talents and a desire to push artistic boundaries, making it a memorable contribution to the artistic community.

18. Writing an Investigative Journalism Piece on a Local or Global Issue

High school students with a keen interest in journalism and social awareness can undertake an investigative journalism piece as a passion project. By choosing a pressing local or global issue, students can dive into in-depth research, conduct interviews, analyze data, and uncover hidden truths.

Whether exploring environmental concerns, social inequalities, political controversies, or community challenges, this project demands critical thinking, ethical considerations, and meticulous attention to detail. Through careful crafting and responsible reporting, students can create an impactful article or series that informs and engages readers.

Publishing this work in local newspapers, school magazines, or online platforms adds to the students’ portfolio and demonstrates a commitment to truth and justice. It’s a powerful way to contribute to societal discourse, develop journalistic skills, and make a meaningful mark that tells colleges how observing and caring you are about the broader community.

19. Developing an Educational Podcast Series on Literary Analysis

A microphone with a smartphone next to it

High school students passionate about literature can create an educational podcast series as a passion project. By analyzing famous works, themes, and literary techniques, students can craft engaging episodes that enlighten listeners about the world of literature.

Collaborating with teachers, authors, or fellow students, they can add diverse perspectives and enrich the content. This project not only sharpens analytical skills but also provides experience in audio production and public speaking. It’s an innovative way to share knowledge and connect with like-minded individuals.

20. Composing a Collection of Personal Essays as a College Readiness Guide

High school students preparing for college can embark on a passion project by composing a collection of personal essays that serve as a college readiness guide. Drawing from personal experiences, challenges, and triumphs, students can craft insightful essays that offer guidance, encouragement, and practical advice for those navigating the process of preparing for colleges .

This collection not only showcases writing talent but also reflects empathy and leadership. By sharing these essays through school forums or online platforms, students can support their peers, creating a meaningful legacy.

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Learn More

Pioneer Academics provides a unique opportunity for talented and passionate high school students to engage in research through the world’s only fully-accredited online research program widely known for its selectivity and rigor.

Whether your interest lies in writing-related research areas like literature or if you’re eager to explore a diverse range of subjects, Pioneer offers an extensive selection of research areas. You can delve into these areas to discover new passions and embark on writing a comprehensive research paper with an original topic of your own.

If you’re a high school student interested in learning more about Pioneer’s research program, we encourage you to attend a free online information session.

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