After years of teaching how to write essays, it has become apparent many students need help in choosing a persuasive essay topic. One thing to remember is that there are no right or wrong topics. Any topic that has pros and cons can be made into a written or oral persuasive essay or debate. Topics for writing papers vary by educational level and interests. At the middle school level, when students are first learning how to write a five paragraph essay, interesting topics for persuasive essays are usually at a local, personal level. As students move into high school writing, they begin choosing more global topics. At the college and university level writing, topics are as varied as the students and their ideals. These ideas are by no means exhaustive, but rather will serve as a jumping off point for more ideas. The levels are also not mandatory; these topics are debated at all levels. Middle School Persuasive Essay Topics Should schools ban junk food? Should schools have a dress code policy? Should students be required to wear school uniforms? Should homework be banned? Should recycling be mandatory? Should students be allowed to use cell phones at school? Should drug testing be mandatory for all extracurricular activities? High School Essay Topics Is universal health care a responsibility of the government? Will universal health care solve the crisis in America? Should voting be mandatory for all citizens? Do zoos do more harm than good? Should the government continue farm subsidies? Should a school voucher system be initiated nationwide? Should the electoral college be done away with to allow a popular vote for the president? Is the war in Afghanistan, (or another country) justified? Should the drinking age be lowered to 18 nationwide? College and University Academic Writing Topics Should a universal health care plan be set up by the government? Should frivolous lawsuits be thrown out of court? Should people have the right to own automatic weapons? Should the Supreme Court Justices be limited to a term, rather than life appointments? Should stem cell research be expanded? Should cloning of human body parts be allowed? Should companies be limited by how much they pay their CEOs? Should large companies be rescued from financial disaster by the government and taxpayers? Is democracy in America eroding? Are race relations getting better or worse? In addition, any current events topics can become the thesis for writing a persuasive essay.
Bonds and measures presented to voters are perfect for essays. Reading the newspaper will uncover a wealth of ideas for an essay topic. What if a Student Doesn't Have an Opinion for a Persuasive Essay? Many times students either don't have an opinion, or are timid about expressing opinions. For a persuasive essay, the student doesn't have to agree with the position presented. The object of the paper is to convince the readers of something. This doesn't require changing a belief system. When the student does not have a personal opinion, then he or she should simply make a decision to choose a topic, and choose pro or con. Next, prepare arguments to support that position. This is the protocol in debate classes, and works equally well in essay writing. Academic essay writing needn't be painful or difficult. This primer on how to write an essay sheds light on the process and helps the writer get organized. Starting with any essay topic, creating a thesis, and using the essay outline will help the student create a convincing paper.