15 Excellent Topics for Persuasive Essays

Really? You have to write another persuasive essay?

As I see it, you have two choices:

1) Try to persuade your professor that you know all there is to know about writing and there’s no need for you to write this persuasive essay.

2) Assume #1 (see above) won’t work, and write another persuasive essay.

If you actually try the first option and succeed, you can stop reading now. You don’t need to worry about finding a topic. Your powers of persuasion are strong!

Before you start writing, let’s review the essentials of a good persuasive essay, and then I’ll give you 15 topics for persuasive essays.

What You Need to Know

topics for persuasive essays
John Eisenschenk (www.glendaleinquiry.ca)

Before you dive into browsing the topics for persuasive essays to find one that works for you, keep in mind these three key points.

  1. The goal of a persuasive essay is to convince your readers. You want to prove you’re right. You know, like when you’re hanging out with your friends and you Google Alec Guinness to prove that he played Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
  1. Know your audience. Appeal to your audience, and use arguments they’ll understand and relate to. If you’re writing to convince college students to buy the latest iPhone, your word choices and arguments will be different than if you’re trying to convince your grandmother. Sure, grandma might be pretty cool, and she might love her old iPhone, but then again, grandma might not even know what an iPhone is!
  1. Develop convincing evidence. Without credible evidence, no one is going to believe you. You’re not going to convince readers that parking on campus is terrible if the only evidence you have is that you couldn’t find a parking spot yesterday. Do some research. Interview your friends, roommates, and professors. Find some actual statistics to help support your argument (and convince your readers) that there aren’t enough parking spaces on campus.

Ready to find a topic? Good. Here are 15 topics for persuasive essays.

15 Topics for Persuasive Essays

1. Extracurricular school activities

Should extracurricular activities be made mandatory for high school students? Do such programs help develop character and teamwork skills? Should students have the right to choose whether they want to be involved in extracurricular activities?

2. Right to publish religious cartoons

Should magazines be allowed to publish potentially offensive religious cartoons? Is this free speech or hate speech?

3. Felon voting rights

After serving their jail sentences, should felons have the right to vote, or should they lose the right to vote due to their crimes?

5. Soda tax

Will taxing soda help reduce obesity in children and adults? Does adding a tax to soda help raise much needed revenue to help pay for healthcare costs? Will people still buy the same amount of soda even if it is taxed? Would you even care that you had to pay a few more pennies for a Coke?

topics for persuasive essays

6. Body image and plastic surgery

Are more people facing body image concerns and having plastic surgery due to media influences? Do women watch TV and want to look like a Kardashian?

7. Facebook activity and employment

Many people feel they should be able to say what they want on their private Facebook accounts. Do employers have the right to monitor their employees’ Facebook accounts? Should an employer be able to hire or fire someone based on what is posted on a personal account?

Would you feel it was an invasion of privacy if employers (or potential employers) monitored your personal Facebook account?

8.  Recess in elementary schools

Is recess an integral part of childhood development that helps kids learn and play together? Is recess really necessary? Should it be eliminated in favor of more instructional time?

9. Cell phones in schools

Raise your hand if you ever brought your phone to class. Did you ever text or surf the web when you should have been listening to a lecture? Should phones be banned in classrooms because they can be so distracting?

Is it okay for elementary kids to bring phones to school? Should cell phones be banned for younger students, allowed in emergencies only, or are they a necessary form of communication for students?

10. Graffiti as art or vandalism

Can graffiti ever be considered art, or is it simply an act of vandalism?

topics for persuasive essays
Iwan Gabovitch via Flickr (Creative Commons)

11. Fraternities and sororities on college campuses

Do fraternities and sororities promote violence, hate, and substance abuse? If yes, should they be banned? Or are they a unique college tradition that enables students to become involved with the community and develop lifelong friendships? Should fraternities and sororities remain on campus despite the recent negative attention? Why or why not?

12. Parents shaming children for bad behavior

Does disciplining children by shaming them on social media help, or does it simply encourage more destructive behavior? Should teens be forced to hold signs saying things such as, “I stole from my mother. Don’t trust me. I’m a thief.” Does this form of discipline teach a lesson, or is it a form a bullying that damages children’s self-image and creates more bad behavior?

13. Payment for college athletes

Should college athletes be paid for their hard work and dedication to the college? Or should athletes not be paid since they’re often compensated through scholarships and free tuition?

14. Persuasion in advertising

Have you ever seen an ad for fast-food and suddenly felt an urge to make a late-night run for a burger? How does media and advertising persuade people to buy products? What effect does advertising have on people? Can advertising harm a person’s self-image?

15. Teens and plastic surgery

How young is too young to get plastic surgery? Should a 17 year old be allowed to alter her appearance if she hates her nose or the size of her breasts? Can plastic surgery help teens be accepted socially and improve  self-image?

If You Need to Know More

topics for persuasive essays

I don’t know about you, but on more than one occasion, I’ve thought long and hard about a topic for a paper, and when I think I’ve finally found the perfect topic, I realize I still don’t know how I’m supposed to write the paper.

If you feel like that right now, don’t start writing until you read these articles:

Whew! That was a lot of reading. Now that you have an even better understanding of how to write a persuasive essay, is your topic still right for your paper?  Or have you changed your mind—are you still searching for the perfect topic?

If the topics for persuasive essays I’ve listed here just aren’t working for you, check out 20 Persuasive Essay Topics to Get You Started.

Don’t forget to head back to Kibin after you’ve written your essay to have one of our awesome editors help put the finishing touches on your paper.

Happy writing!

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