What is a Persuasive Essay?
A persuasive essay is a common type of writing task assigned to students in school, college, and university throughout the course of their education.
According to the definition, a persuasive (also referred to as argumentative) essay is a type of academic paper that implies using valid facts, clear logic, and reasoning to convince readers of the validity of an author’s viewpoint.
Why do you need to master this type of writing? From an academic perspective, mastering the art of persuasive writing is vital to be able to handle such tasks at school or college and maintain good performance. At the same time, this skill also has real-life value. Thus, learning how to write a persuasive essay teaches students how to develop their own viewpoints on a given subject matter and how to use arguments to prove its correctness. This type of writing also helps in acquiring vital life skills such as critical thinking, reasoning, logic, and persuasion.
How to Write a Persuasive Essay?
Here are some key persuasive writing prompts to keep in mind while working on such tasks:
- Choose an engaging topic. Choosing a relevant, manageable, and interesting topic can be hard, but it is one of the most vital steps in making your essay successful or unsuccessful (if it is not engaging).
- Take a clear position on a given topic. Writing a persuasive essay requires choosing a specific side you are going to advocate for in your paper.
- Know your audience. Since the main purpose of this form of writing is to persuade readers, it is vital to know the audience you are writing for and understand their perspective—to create an effective paper.
- Do thorough research to identify the arguments you can use in your essay. Then, prioritize arguments according to their validity and value.
- Use the most convincing and logical evidence.
- Make it engaging. Use a catchy hook in the introduction to grab your readers’ attention, and try your best to keep them interested through the whole piece.
- Keep it clear and straight to the point.
Difference Between a Persuasive Speech and a Persuasive Essay
Another common form of persuasive writing is persuasive speech. This form of writing can also be assigned within an academic course. However, it is also widely used in the professional world, for example, when presenting a new idea to investors with the goal of persuading them to invest their money in a project.
Is writing a persuasive speech any different from writing an essay? To begin with, writing an essay and a speech are two completely different experiences. Even though the ultimate goal is the same, to convince the audience of something, the steps of writing, style, tone of voice, and techniques used by the author can be quite different.
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Here are the key differences between a persuasive speech and a persuasive essay:
- Audience. Obviously, by writing a speech you intend to communicate with a live audience, meanwhile, an essay addresses a reading audience.
- Tone. Due to the difference in audience, the tone of these two persuasive pieces is also different. A speech aims to generate a strong emotional effect. To create it, authors often use a particular diction full of grave, hopeful, or uplifting tones. An essay also relies on evoking emotions; however, in this case, a writer will fulfill this goal with the help of making the right points.
- Format. Most essays follow a standard format: introduction, body, and conclusion. A speech also generally follows the same structure. However, often speechwriters draw a separate conclusion from every point made in the body to ensure that the audience is on the same page with the speaker.
- Presentation. A speech gives a speaker a wider range of tools to use during a presentation. Thus, when writing a speech, you can expect a speaker to further strengthen its effect with the help of eye contact, body language, intonation, gestures, etc. On the contrary, when writing an essay, the whole effect a piece makes depends on the word choice and the way you use them.
Components of a Persuasive Essay
Here we have compelled an extensive list of good persuasive essay topics divided into popular categories to help you get started with your paper.
A persuasive essay should be well-organized and follow a clear and logical structure. As a rule, the length of this essay is between 5-6 paragraphs. What are the components of a persuasive essay? This type of work follows the standard essay structure – that is, a catchy intro; the main body which includes the main ideas, with arguments to support them; and a logical conclusion. Now, let’s look at each of the three components closer:
- Introduction: An introduction is the opening paragraph of an essay. It is the first thing that gets presented to readers’ eyes, which is why it has to be clear and attention-grabbing. To drive readers’ attention, an introduction should contain a hook – an intriguing fact, statement, or argument. Also, an introductory paragraph has to contain a strong thesis statement that reflects the main idea that you will be examining in the next part.
- Body: An essay’s main body is its heart. As a rule, it consists of 3-4 paragraphs. Each paragraph reflects a specific point and provides supporting evidence for it.
- Conclusion: The closing part of your essay is used to sum up the key ideas discussed in its main body and connects them to the thesis statement in the introduction. In persuasive writing, the conclusion is used to strengthen the persuasive effect of the whole piece.
Persuasive Essay Topics
So, you were assigned to write a persuasive essay, where should you start? The first step in preparation for writing is the choice of a topic. A lot depends on this step. If you manage to pick a good topic, the writing process will be much simpler and you will also have higher chances to get a really good grade. At the same time, if a topic is not relevant or engaging enough, it can ruin everything.
Although having freedom of choice is seemingly a good thing, many students feel rather confused about which persuasive topics are good ones. If you are wondering how to pick a good subject, here are the main criteria that define good persuasive topics:
- The topic is engaging. A great topic should not only be interesting for your audience, but for you as well. If you find something you are interested in, the writing process will become more pleasant and less stressful to research.
- You have an opinion about it. In order to persuade readers of something, you need to define your position first. Thus, it is vital to pick a persuasive topic you have an opinion about.
- It is controversial. Obviously there should be two sides of the argument in order to have something to convince your audience about. Thus, you need to pick a topic you can examine both sides of.
- The topic is manageable. Finally, a perfect persuasive topic is one for which there are enough arguments to provide. Therefore, before you stop on a specific topic, be sure to conduct enough research to see if you can find sufficient supporting evidence for your ideas.
Following these tips, you can generate brilliant persuasive speech topics for college and school with ease. Need some extra prompts to get started? In the list below, we have included some of the most relevant and interesting persuasive speech topics—divided into categories:
Persuasive Essay Topics for Kids
- I Should Be Allowed to Go to Bed Later
- I Should Be Allowed to Have a Pet
- I Should Be Allowed to Eat Sweets Every Day
- Dogs Are Better Pets than Cats
- Superheroes Are Real
- Vegetables Should Not Be Eaten Regularly
- I Should Be Allowed to Stay Home Alone
- I Should Be Allowed to Watch TV as Much as I Want
- I Should Be Allowed to Play Video Games as Much as I Want
- My Allowance Should be Bigger
Persuasive Essay Topics for Elementary Students
- Schools Should Cancel Dress Codes
- Homework Should Be Optional
- Elementary Students Should Be Allowed to Bring Their Pets to School
- Students Should Be Allowed to Use Cellphones in School
- The School Day Should Be Shortened
- Why School Breaks Need to Be Longer
- All Classrooms Should Have a TV
- We Need to Have Longer Summer Holidays
- Schools Should Have Play Time in Between Classes
- Every Classroom Should Have a Pet
Persuasive Essay Topics for Middle School
- The Best Vacation Destinations
- Does a Home Environment Influence Pupils’ Academic Performances?
- Should There Be Harsher Punishments for Bullying?
- Is Less Homework Really a Good Idea?
- The Pros and Cons of Summer Schooling
- Field Trips Should Be Organized Every Week
- The Impact of Violent TV Shows on the Population
- The Role of Social Media on the Lives of Younger Generations
- Do Violent Computer Games Hurt Kids?
- Should Students Be Held in Detention?
Good Persuasive Essay Topics for High School
- College Education: Is it Still a Necessity?
- Should Students Take a Gap Year After High School?
- Cyber Bullying Is a Big Issue in High School
- Students Should Be Allowed to Wear Whatever Clothing They Wish
- The Current Grading System Is Irrelevant in the Modern World: Grades Don’t Reflect Students’ Knowledge
- Should the Voting Age Be Lowered?
- The Pros of Free Condoms Being Available to Students
- Couples Expecting a Baby Should Receive Lessons about Parenting
- Sex Education Should Be Available in Schools
- Do We Need to Lower the Drinking Age?
Persuasive Speech Topics for College Students
- Standardized Examinations Should Be Banned
- Are Student Loans a Good or Bad Thing?
- Drug and Alcohol Consumption on Campus: an Experiment or a Real Problem?
- Are Relationships Built in College Long-Lasting?
- Students Should Not Be Allowed to Bring Children to College Classes
- The Negative Impact of Fraternities on Students’ Performance and Behavior
- Gap Year: When Is It a Good Idea?
- College Athletes Should Have More Benefits in their Academic Lives
- Most University Programs Are Already Outdated and Irrelevant to the Modern World
- Accommodation on Campus Should Be Free of Charge
Easy Persuasive Speech Topics
- Celebrities Should Not Be Role Models for Teenagers
- Obsession with Dieting Can Lead to Various Eating Disorders and Health Problems
- School Uniforms Should Be Obligatory
- Friendship between Women and Men Can Be Just That
- Vegetarianism Is Not a Healthy Lifestyle
- Democracy Is the Most Reasonable Government System To-date
- GMO Foods Are Not as Dangerous as We Have Believed
- Horror Movies Can Negatively Affect Mental Health
- Junk Food Should Be Restricted from School Lunch Menus
- Alcohol Consumption Not Only Negatively Affects Health, But Also Other Spheres of Life
Science Persuasive Essay Topics
- Investing in Space Exploration Has the Potential to Improve Life on Earth
- The Moral Issue of Cloning
- The Pros of Genetic Engineering and How It Can Influence the World
- Colleges Should Invest More in Scientific Programs
- How Do New Scientific Findings Influence Our Daily Lives?
- Are New Technologies Safe for Our Health?
- Conducting Scientific Research on Animals Should Be Prohibited
- The Science Behind the Curing Effect of Medical Marijuana
- Genetically Modified Food: Is It Good or Bad for Us?
- Why Everyone Should Study Science
Fun Persuasive Speech Topics
- Home Schooling Is the Best Alternative to Regular Schooling
- Students Should Have Nine Months of Holidays and Only Three Months of Studies
- Engaging in Sports Is a Good Way to Change Your Life
- Lying Is an Important Part of a Healthy Relationship
- Aliens Are Real
- Keeping a Journal Is a Fun Way to Cope with Stress
- Colleges Should Have Medical Rooms to Help Students Combat Stress and Depression
- Video Games Can Teach You Vital Life Skills
- Owning a Pet Is a Way To Become Happier
- Renting a House Is Better Than Buying One
Most Controversial Topics
- Abortion: Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice
- Is There Still a Place for Racial Profiling in the Modern World?
- We Should Legalize Euthanasia for Terminally Ill Patients
- Higher Education Should Be Free for Everyone
- Is Donald Trump’s Presidency a Bad or a Good Thing for the US and the Rest of the World?
- Same-Sex Couples Should Be Able to Marry
- Death Penalties: Is There Place for Them in the 21st Century?
- Benefits of the Legalization of Medical Marijuana
- The World Could Be a Better Place without Organized Religion
- Technology Brings More Harm than Good
Environmental Persuasive Essay Topics
- Current Environmental Laws Fail to Prevent Human Encroachment and Habitat Destruction
- Why Countries Should Invest Significantly into Environmental Conservation Programs
- Plant and Animal Lives Are Endangered Due to Human Encroachment
- Global Warming Is Real
- Developed Worlds Are the Main Cause of Global Warming
- Current Farming Methods Need to Be Adjusted to Stop Environmental Degradation
- Vegetarianism Has a Preferable Impact on the Environment
- Industrial Waste and Farming Chemicals Are the Biggest Polluters of Air and Water
- Pollution in Cities Is Caused by Overpopulation
- We Need to Conserve Our Global Resources
Persuasive Speech and Essay Topics About Music
- Music Is a Powerful Cure for Psychological Problems
- Hard Rock Negatively Influences Teens’ Behaviour
- Music Can Be Found in Nature if You Listen Carefully
- Billie Eilish Is Not a Typical Teenage Pop-Star
- Music Positively Affects the Human Brain
- Celtic Music Has a Soothing Effect
- Most of the Music in the 21st Century Is Simply Commercial, Not Art
- Rap Music Provokes Violence
- Classical Music Can Ensure a Better Pregnancy
- Music Helps College Students Have Better Academic Performance
Immigration Persuasive Essay Topics
- Illegal Immigration Is a Pressing Issue in Rich Countries
- People Born within a Specific Country’s Borders Should Always Be Given Citizenship
- Policies Regarding Illegal Immigration Should Be More Strict
- An Increase in Border Security Should Prevent Illegal Immigration
- Poverty Is the Primary Reason for Illegal Immigration
- Most of the Time, Sending Illegal Immigrants Back to Their Countries Is Pointless
- High Rates of Illegal Immigration Can Promote Prostitution
- High Rates of Illegal Immigration Is among the Biggest Triggers of Terrorism
- Lowering the Costs of Immigration Can Prevent Illegal Immigration
- Refuge Seekers Should Not Be Considered Illegal Immigrants
Persuasive Speech Ideas About Medicine
- Health Care Should Be Free for Everyone
- Finding a Universal Cure to AIDS Is Possible
- Art Can Be a Powerful Therapy for Many Health Issues
- Alternative Medicine: Pros and Cons
- The Negative Effects of a Concussion
- Is Coronavirus as Dangerous as the Media Portrays?
- Are E-Cigarettes Safer Than Tobacco?
- Can 3D Printing Benefit Medicine?
- Nanotechnology Can Help Treat Cancer
- How Can Stem Cells Be Used to Cut Death Rates Among Heart Attack Patients?
Sports Persuasive Essay Topics
- Girls Should Be Encouraged to Participate in Sports while Studying as Much as Boys
- College Athletes Should Get Paid
- Women Should Be Allowed to Compete Against Men in Sports
- Hosting the Olympic Games Benefits Countries in Terms of its Economic and Social Impact
- The Coverage of Women Athletes in the Media Is Still Sexist
- Some Kinds of Sports Can Promote Violent Behaviors
- An Athlete’s Mental Health Is Greatly Affected by Injuries
- Eating Disorders Are a Common Problem among Athletes
- Colleges and Schools Should Place a Larger Emphasis on Physical Education
- Sports Can Provide Relaxing and Soothing Effects on the Body and Mind
Good Persuasive Speech Topics for Arts
- The Role of Art in the Development of Our World
- Art Therapy Helps Treat Mental Issues
- Students Engaged in Arts Perform Better Academically
- Digital Art Lacks Soul, Unlike Regular Art
- Everyone Should Take Art Classes in School
- Is Art Really Necessary?
- How Does Kids’ Art Reflect Their Inner Fears?
- The Purpose of Art
- How Did the Image of Woman in Art Change throughout the Centuries?
- Ancient Greece Is the Place Where Most Branches of Art Were Born
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Hopefully this guide will help you discover good topics for a persuasive speech or essay and write a top-notch paper. Looking for more advice or professional writing help? If you are still unsure how to handle persuasive writing assignments, ask for the help of the expert writers and forget about the eternal question: “How to write my essay?” They will help you ease your academic burden and improve your grades.