Persuasive Essay Topic Ideas – Everybody's Got an Opinion!

posted by Laura Callisen 07 Apr 2015
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The persuasive essay can actually be an enjoyable experience, if you have a topic about which you feel strongly. Before you “put pen to paper,” however, you need to understand the purpose of a persuasive essay and how you construct one that is effective and compelling.

The persuasive is not the same as an argumentative essay. That type address two sides of a controversial essay, although you may have a definite opinion on the topic. The purpose of a persuasive essay, on the other hand, is to take a position and persuade the reader to agree with you by presenting sound arguments that are convincing.

As students progress through school, topic ideas for persuasive essays become more complex, more sophisticated, and more controversial. As well, the expectation that one’s opinion will be supported by factual information and data becomes greater as higher academic levels are reached. Consider the following ideas for persuasive essays at various levels of study, and you will understand how research and data become more critical to an effective persuasive essay.

Persuasive Essay Ideas for Kids

Elementary school children have opinions about a lot of things; however, their sense of employing sound arguments and reasons is really not developed. Therefore the typical persuasive essays ideas will involve simple topics, and the teacher will need push them to come up with reasons for their opinions and help them translate them into written words. Here are a few common topics for kids:

  • Should students be required to wear uniforms to school?
  • Should students be allowed to eat in class?
  • Should more be done to protect endangered animals?
  • What should schools do the prevent bullying?

Persuasive Essay Ideas for High Schools

By the time students reach high school, they should be required to conduct the research and gather the factual information that will support their position in a persuasive essay. Again, students should select topics for which they have strong feelings. For example, an important issue right now is the start times of high schools – most are quite early. A student might write a persuasive essay advocating a later start time. While s/he is aware that there is great opposition to this, particularly by coaches and other sponsors of after-school activities (the day would go much longer into the evening) and some parents who rely on older children to “babysit” younger ones after school, there is a great deal of research that indicates adolescents perform far better when they sleep later and begin their school days later. The student would need to find that research and use it in his/her essay. Good persuasive essay ideas at the highs school level, that will require research and careful thought and organization, would include the following possibilities:

  • Should we have an 11-12 month school year?
  • Should there be a foreign language requirement for all high school students?
  • In the interest of school safety, should the administration be allowed to conduct unannounced locker and book bag searches?
  • Should all students be required to complete a community service project before graduation?
  • Should state colleges be free?
  • Should marijuana be legalized, if only for medical purposes?
  • Should textbooks be replaced by tablets?
  • Should the P.E. grade be included in GPA calculation?
  • Should college athletes be paid?
  • Are there two systems of justice – one for the rich and one for the poor?

Writing Persuasive Essays in College

Every academic discipline at the college level has its issues from which persuasive essays can be written. The expectations, however, are high. Not one point can be made without sufficient factual backup, or it will result in a poor grades. Your professors are not interested in your positions unless you can back them up on an intellectual level. So, when you are given a persuasive essay assignment, you will probably have options with the coursework. You need to consider the following tips:

  • Choose a topic that is of greatest interest to you, for you will not enjoy producing the piece if you do not.
  • Do some initial research on your topic to be certain that there is enough information and data to back up your opinion and that it is compelling enough to persuade others.
  • Spend a good deal of time on your introduction – introduce a shocking fact or provide a really poignant or emotion-inducing anecdote. Make your reader sad, angry, or ecstatic, etc. from the very beginning.

Some good ideas for persuasive essays for college students are as follows:

  • Should we have universal health care in America?
  • Should there be stiffer penalties for illegal music downloading?
  • Should people be allowed to keep exotic animals?
  • Should people with terminal illnesses be allowed assisted suicide?
  • What types of research and/or regulations should be implemented related to GMO’s?
  • Is the Iran nuclear agreement a good deal for the U.S.?
  • Should net neutrality be maintained at all costs?
  • Should the government have energy requirements for homes as it does emissions controls on cars?

You have a right to your opinions. And yet they are only opinions unless they are supported by facts and data. Our politicians could learn this lesson! If you have ideas for persuasive essay topics, have a strong opinion on them, and you have even conducted your research, you are well on your way to producing a solid essay. If you need to improve your essay writing in general, you are welcome to read our article How to Improve your Essay Writing. If, however, you experience difficulty translating your thoughts into compelling and scholarly composition, then get the “help with my essay” you need from

Laura Callisen

Blog writer for GrabMyEssay


Hello there! I am Laura Callisen, and I fancy myself to be a modern “Renaissance person.” I suppose my 30-something self began my incredible journey after having been born in Stavanger, Norway and then immigrating to the U.S. (Utah, actually) at the age of 5. I am certain that this change was more of a cultural “shock” for my parents than for me, because I quickly mastered the language and was clever enough to “play the game” of public education in America. After graduating from Skyline High School, where I spent two years as the school newspaper editor, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in English and journalism from the University of Utah was a natural culmination of my love for writing.

My inclination to be socially conscious led me to lots of community outreach and volunteering during my college years, especially in the areas of educational and housing improvement for the poor and a number of environmental crusades. My passion for philosophy and travel have now taken over, and I am enthralled with the widely varied value systems of all cultures in which I can immerse myself, if only temporarily. My life as a freelance writer allows a freedom I never want to sacrifice for a stuffy office!

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