Academic Writing AdviceAcademic, Writing, Advice
ServiceScape Incorporated
ServiceScape Incorporated
2018

75 Persuasive Essay Topic Ideas


The persuasive essay is one type of writing that you will likely come across in your academic career. A persuasive essay, if you're unfamiliar, is one in which you have to make an argument. You need to choose a side and prove why you're correct by using hard evidence and convincing language. The idea is that you want to convince the reader that your argument is the right one, so you'll definitely want to pick a topic that you're passionate about and something that you'll get excited about researching and writing. This exercise is designed so that you can clearly articulate your opinion and understand why it's important to have evidence to back up your claim.

Your teacher or instructor will probably have specific guidelines on what your essay should entail, but you might have a little bit of free reign on what kinds of topics you can explore and argue about in your essay. With so many things to argue about and for, it might be a little overwhelming to come up with a topic on your own. When you feel like you're stuck on brainstorming ideas, take a look at the following list of 75 persuasive essay topics. You may find something you can use, or something you can adapt for the specific guidelines of your paper. Happy writing!

Educational persuasive essay topics

There are so many things that can be discussed when it comes to education. In our country (and globally), there are many different opinions on how education should be handled and what tactics teachers or academic administrators should use. Here are a few topics on education (which could be expanded or changed to fit your teacher's guidelines) that might be of interest to you.

  1. Should soda be offered in school cafeterias?
  2. Should schools teach abstinence-only education?
  3. Why should schools teach financial literacy?
  4. Do all students need to go to college?
  5. Should students take a gap year after high school?
  6. Do all students need to learn a foreign language?
  7. Is online or homeschool an effective way to learn?
  8. Should standardized tests determine whether or not you go on to another grade level?
  9. Should all students be required to participate in the arts?
  10. Should a college education be free?
  11. Should high school journalists be protected under the First Amendment?
  12. Some universities just have pass/fail grades instead of letter grades. How do you feel about this?
  13. Should teachers/professors be unbiased in the classroom?
  14. Should you still learn cursive in elementary school? What are the disadvantages/ advantages?
  15. Many college campuses have speakers come in occasionally. These speakers can range in political opinion and some can be controversial. Should you let speakers come to schools that have controversial rhetoric or ideas to uphold free speech?

Political persuasive essay topics

They say that you should never talk about politics or religion because it's not polite. But in a persuasive essay, that rule is completely extinguished. Politics and religion are hotbed subjects for a reason—because so many people have radically different ideas of how a society and a country should operate. What side of these political persuasive topics are you on? Take a stab at one of these and the paper will likely fly out onto the keyboard.

  1. Should protesters be allowed to block traffic? Do they pose a threat to public safety?
  2. Why should you vote?
  3. Should same-sex marriage be legal?
  4. What is your opinion on protecting religious liberties?
  5. What is your opinion on separating church and state?
  6. Why has the country become so divided politically over the past few years? Can it be fixed?
  7. Many industries (like coal and manufacturing) are tough to find a job in and many Americans are out of work. How should we solve this problem?
  8. Should citizens under 18 be able to vote?
  9. Should a National Voter ID law be passed to avoid voter fraud?
  10. What does the phrase "fake news" mean?
  11. Local newspapers are dwindling. What should be done, if anything, about this problem?
  12. Should local municipalities do more to combat global warming? If so, how?
  13. How should we reduce the threat of terrorism in the United States?
  14. Females have traditionally lower participation in politics. Why do you think that is?
  15. Some people say that the top 1% of earners don't pay enough taxes. How do you feel about this?
  16. Will a huge wall on the southern border with Mexico solve the United States' immigration problem?
  17. How should we solve the United States' immigration problem?
  18. The voter turnout for the 2016 presidential election was less than 60%, which is much lower than in other democratic societies. Why do you think this is and what can be done about it (or should anything be done about it)?
  19. Millennials are graduating college with a lot of student loan debt. What should be done to avoid a debt crisis?
  20. Many say that minimum wage jobs are low skill and the workers in them shouldn't be compensated more for their work, but others claim that a minimum wage job isn't enough money to live off of. Which side do you land on?
  21. What do you think of celebrities who are vocal about environmental issues but who frequently fly on private, and not commercial, jets?

Crime and legal persuasive essay topics

Crime in any society is an unfortunate inevitability. Why does crime happen and what should be done about it? These are just a few of the things to explore in these crime/legal persuasive essay topics.

  1. What should we do about a city with a high crime rate like Chicago?
  2. Should guns be allowed on college campuses?
  3. Should gun laws be more restrictive?
  4. Do we have a right to privacy?
  5. Trends have shown that many recent terrorists have been convicted or accused of domestic violence. What should be done and how do you feel about this?
  6. Should we have the death penalty? If so, when should it be used?
  7. Many prisoners are incarcerated for minor drug charges (such as possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia). Should we try to rehabilitate these prisoners or should they serve their full sentences?
  8. Colorado has legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. What is your opinion of this?
  9. Do you think marijuana is a gateway drug which leads some users to harder drugs?
  10. Can criminals be rehabilitated?
  11. Many prisoners who enter the system are likely to have a high recurrence of criminal activity. What can be done to solve this?
  12. Many people are starting to use drones for recreational activity. Should there be restrictions on where and how you can use your personal drone?
  13. Self-driving cars are expected to become increasingly used on city roads. If a self-driving car gets into an accident, whose fault is it? The engineer's?

Health persuasive essay topics

Health is something that we all have to worry about. Whether it's our own health or the health of a loved one, there are many things to think about and research on. What's your opinion on the healthcare system in our country? Should we treat drug addiction like a disease? How should we handle end-of-life care? Try out one of these essay topics to research and gain insight on some of the biggest challenges and questions that our society faces when it comes to health.

  1. Opioid addiction is at an all-time high in states like Ohio. What should we do to combat this?
  2. Should healthcare be universal?
  3. How do you feel about paternity leave?
  4. Should women get guaranteed maternity leave?
  5. The state of California requires that you display nutrition facts about menu items in restaurants. Should all states do this?
  6. Should fast food be "sin taxed" like cigarettes are?
  7. There is an effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Should we do this or not? If we should, what improvements can be made to a replacement act?
  8. Many soldiers are coming back from warfare with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. What should we do to help them?
  9. Many Americans are overweight. What has caused this health crisis and what can be done about it?
  10. Should vitamins and supplements be more tightly regulated?
  11. Should health insurance companies provide more financial incentives for subscribers to work out and eat more healthfully?

Women's and gender persuasive essay topics

Are there inherent differences between men and women or is that just a societal myth? Women have gained a lot more rights over the last 100 years in America, but some say they still have a long way to go before they achieve equal rights. How do you feel about this and other women's and gender issues? Explore the following fascinating topics.

  1. Women have what is known as the "second shift" (meaning that as soon as they get home from work they have additional responsibilities that require their attention immediately). What do you think about this concept and should anything be done about it?
  2. There are many women's rights and minority rights advocates. Should there be men's rights advocacy groups? What about Caucasian advocacy groups?
  3. Some people say that gender is a socially constructed norm. What do you think?
  4. Women who participate in body building competitions are trying to build the "ideal" figure, which some claim is an outdated, sexist idea. But some argue that building muscles is considered a sport and a traditionally "masculine" idea. Which side do you agree with?
  5. Some people think that beauty pageants are outdated and anti-feminist and shouldn't be televised anymore. How do you feel?
  6. New wave feminism is the idea that feminism can encompass many different ideas of what it is to be a feminist. It's the idea that you can have choices (whether that's staying at home with children or trying to be a CEO). How do you feel about new wave feminism?

Miscellaneous persuasive essay topics

Of course, there are more categories of essay topics than what are listed above. Here are some additional essay topics if you haven't found one yet that captures your interest.

  1. Does social media improve or hurt our society?
  2. Is it important or frivolous to travel the world?
  3. Many Americans watch a lot of reality TV shows. Why do you think this is?
  4. With many people reading digital copies of books, are libraries necessary anymore?
  5. Should anything be done to curb the rise in offensive lyrics in music?
  6. Should pregnant women be allowed to park in handicapped parking spots?
  7. Recent studies have shown that pets improve the mental and the physical health of their owners. Should pet-related expenses be tax-deductible?
  8. What do you think about net neutrality?
  9. With the rise in selfies and Instagram photo filtering apps, do you think we have become a more self-obsessed society?
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