20 Persuasive Essay Topics to Write a Well-Researched Paper


Middle school and high school students are often assigned to write persuasive essays. Although most of them are experts at “working” their parents in order to get a forbidden privilege, for example, go to the movies during weekdays, many students find the task to write persuasive essays too tricky.

Indeed, writing an impressive persuasive essay is not easy even for college students because you have to consider several issues and develop a strong argument and persuade your readers to accept your point of view.

If you have no idea how to choose a good topic for your persuasive essay or don’t know how to approach a topic provided by your teacher, keep reading this article where you’ll find a list of good persuasive essay topics and a detailed writing guide with particular steps.

Cover the Best Persuasive Essay Topics

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

The goal of persuasive writing is to persuade “disinterested” or neutral audience that certain ideas are more valid than others. When thinking how to organize your argument to pull readers towards your point of view, you may imagine that you are a lawyer who is arguing a case before a jury.

You have to take a stand on a specific issue and build a strong argument to win over the readers. Your task is to convince your readers to accept a particular point of view or to take a certain action.

Persuasive writing is very common in real life. For example, people use persuasion in cover letters trying to convince potential employers to hire them. You used elements of persuasion in your admission essay trying to impress admission officers and convince them to admit you. Other examples of persuasive writing include:

  • business proposals;
  • letters to bank;
  • correspondence with officials;
  • emails to companies;
  • political and Christian speeches;
  • advertising;
  • blogs;
  • newspaper editorials.

Of course, your essay should be based on logic and your argument has to be supported by relevant factual evidence but that is not enough to write an effective persuasive essay that can get you a high grade. You should focus on why your audience may want to adopt a given point of view. You should think why your readers might be interested in supporting your viewpoint and appeal not only to their logic but to their common sense, emotions, and feelings.

You should use the methods of persuasion or rhetorical appeals suggested by Aristotle:

 ✍ ethos – an authoritative appeal (credibility);

 ✍ pathos – an emotional appeal (empathy);

 ✍ logos – appeal to logic (reason).

The good idea is to use certain rhetorical devices to evoke emotions in your readers such as:

  • metaphor;
  • antithesis;
  • hyperbole;
  • epithet;
  • oxymoron;
  • simile, and others.

An impressive persuasive essay should include:

  ✏ a clear thesis statement – you should take a stance and defend it to the end;

  ✏ call to action – clearly express what you want your audience to do;

  ✏ reasons for acting in a certain way – explain your readers why they should do this;

  ✏ potential benefits of acting – explain what your readers gain if they take a specific action.

Now you know what persuasive essay is so it’s time to choose a topic and hone your writing skills.

How to Choose a Great Topic?

Choosing a good topic for a persuasive essay takes time and effort. If you want to impress your audience, you should do a research and find controversial issues that are debated in the contemporary society. You can also brainstorm topic ideas with your classmates.

Make sure that your topic is not too broad to make it manageable. It’s better to discuss some specific issues concerning, for example, modern education, technology, health problems. Such topics are often discussed in social media so your essay will be of interest to your audience. But of course, you can write about controversial facts from American history – there are a lot of different opinions about the American Civil War.

It is important to choose a topic that you really care about because you are likely to enjoy writing and it will be easier for you to take a stand on that issue and defend your point of view. You will be more passionate about your topic and are more likely to succeed in finding words that will persuade your readers.

Make sure that the topic is complex enough to discuss it in your academic essay and that it is interesting to your audience. There is no need to write about something that nobody cares about. So, you’d better write about current events or current trends. On the other hand, if your audience is interested in the subject of your essay, it will be easier to keep them engaged and appeal to their emotions. You’d better avoid topics that are too narrow and those that have been discussed over and over again, for example, LGBT rights, abortion or guns control.

Still not sure which topic to choose? Have a look at our short list of amazing persuasive essay topics. They are relevant to today’s society and are sure to spark your critical thinking. Feel free to use them for inspiration when selecting a topic for your next essay.

20 Persuasive Essay Ideas for Topics

  1. Does Love Make Us Stupid?
  2. Have People Become Too Dependent on Technology?
  3. Should People Be Imprisoned When They Abandon Their Pets?
  4. Should Surveillance Without a Warrant Be Legal?
  5. Should Dangerous Professional Sports Be Banned?
  6. Is “American Dream” Attainable in the Contemporary Society?
  7. What Is Better: To Be an Early Bird or a Night Owl?
  8. If You Had a Lot of Money, Which Cause Would You Choose to Donate Your Money to Charity?
  9. Would You Take Part in a Reality Television Show? Why?
  10. Is It Important to Buy Local Food?
  11. Is Eating Less the Best Way to Lose Weight?
  12. Is Genetic Engineering on Humans Good or Bad?
  13. Should Everyone Sign Up to Be a Donor for Organ Transplantation?
  14. Should Everyone Be Tested for Genetic Disorders?
  15. Is Organic Food Worth the Higher Price?
  16. Can You Eat Healthy Without Learning to Cook?
  17. Can Money Make You Happy?
  18. Should Every Couple Think about Adopting a Child?
  19. Should People Be Allowed to Keep Exotic Animals at Home?
  20. Can We Really Get Prepared for Global Warming?

How to Write a Persuasive Essay in 5 Steps

Step #1

When you have chosen an interesting topic, you should do a research and gather evidence to support your point of view. You may find relevant statistics, scientific facts, reports of current events, cases studies that you can mention as a logical proof of your own ideas. Besides, you should identify the key points of the opposing view. You should use only credible sources – scientific journals, reputable newspapers and online resources, dictionaries, and encyclopedias.

Step #2

When you have gathered enough material, you should brainstorm your ideas and create a mind map or an outline of your essay that will help you stay focused on your topic and make your argument more convincing. Think about your essay’s structure which typically consists of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Step #3

Write the introduction. Grab your reader's’ attention with a hook. You may start your essay with an interesting fact or a funny joke, statistics, a provocative question or an anecdote. Then you need to provide some background information about the subject of your paper. Choose a strong stance for your thesis statement. You have to decide what your position is and write one strong sentence that will express the main idea of your essay. Don’t try to play on both sides because in this case, you will not be able to persuade your audience. Your thesis should leave no doubt about your position.

Step #4

Body paragraphs should present the argument that supports your thesis. Devote each body paragraph to a separate point. Start each paragraph with clear and directed topic sentence. Use facts, references, real-life examples, and quotes from experts to backup your claims but keep in mind that you should present your argument in a way that appeals to human emotions.

Step #5

Write the concluding paragraph. You need to summarize your key points and the most important evidence and encourage your audience to adopt your position or take some action. Your task is to convert your readers into your point of view so your last sentence should be also strong. It may be a recommendation or suggestion what your readers should do, a question that encourages your audience to think seriously about a problem or dramatic plea.

Persuasive Essay Topics

You can easily write your persuasive essay if you follow these steps. But if you lack experience in academic writing, it is better to see a really good sample of a persuasive essay written by our qualified specialists. You can analyze it and get a better understanding of how an impressive essay should be arranged. You can order such well-written sample from our professional custom writing service.

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Author: Patricia Jenkins

Patricia Jenkins is the senior writing advisor at FastEssay blog for international students that seek quick paper assistance. In her blog, Patricia shares useful tips on productivity, writing, research, references. Sometimes Patricia goes off topic by sharing her personal experience peppered with lively humor and healthy irony.