Persuasive essays require the writer to convince the reader to see an issue from their side. These topics don’t involve much research, which makes them great for elementary school or as quick persuasive writing assignments for older students.
Students are experts on school – especially when it comes to their opinions about school. These persuasive topics about school are great for expressing views about dress codes, bullying, and school schedules.
- What should the punishment for cheating be?
- Should students be allowed to have phones at school?
- What’s the most interesting subject to learn?
- Should homework be required?
- Does your school handle bullying well?
- Are dress codes a good idea for schools?
- Is the school day too long?
- Should students get to choose what they study?
- What school rule would you change?
- Is it a good idea for friends to sit together in class?
- Does school start too early?
- Should students take a self-defense class?
It’s easy to form an opinion on food but not as easy to convince others to agree with it. Try these persuasive prompts that range from junk food to healthy eating.
- What’s better: pizza or hot dogs?
- Should kids learn how to cook their own food?
- Is it more fun to eat in a restaurant or at home?
- What is the best dessert?
- Should healthy food cost less than junk food?
- Is eating meat a good idea?
- Is it better to snack all day or have three set meals?
- Should sugary drinks be allowed at school?
- Should kids have to eat foods they don’t like?
- What is the best food to serve at a party?
People care a lot about animals. Whether it comes to their favorite animals or where animals should be allowed to go, they’ve got something to say. See if these topics interest you enough to write a persuasive essay.
- If you want an animal to train, what is the best animal to pick?
- Should it be okay to keep wild animals as pets?
- Should pets be allowed in school?
- What animal makes the best pet?
- What animal makes the worst pet?
- Are big dogs better than small dogs?
- Should you adopt your pet from an animal shelter?
What’s the best sport? Is it more fun to play or watch an activity? Sports is another area in which people have strong opinions. Check out these sports-themed persuasive writing prompts for your next essay.
- Who is the best athlete in the world?
- What is the easiest hobby to learn?
- What is the best sport to play?
- Should girls be allowed to play on boys’ sports teams?
- Are team sports better than individual sports?
- Is it more fun to play sports or watch them?
- Are summer sports better than winter sports?
- Should students have to stop playing a sport if their grades aren’t high enough?
- Are professional athletes paid too much?
- What’s the best activity to do on a rainy day?
The world of movies, books, and music is an engaging place to be. But what’s the best – and worst – of the entertainment world? Some possible essay topics include:
- What’s the best music to listen to when you’re sad?
- Should music and movies be free?
- Are good guys or bad guys more interesting?
- What is the funniest movie you’ve ever seen?
- Are reality shows better than other shows?
- What is the best book ever written?
- Are scary movies enjoyable to watch?
- Are comedies better than action movies?
- What is the best superpower to have?
- Should audience members be able to film live concerts?
- Is it better to see a movie in the theater or stream it at home?
Forming an argument about a more complex issue can be challenging. It involves backing up your stance with evidence while expressing yourself in a convincing way. The following persuasive essay prompts pose questions about politics, education, health, and more.
You probably hear arguments about modern social issues every day. Examine crime and punishment, the consequences of social media, overpopulation policies, and more with these topics on social issues.
- Should wealthy people pay more taxes?
- Are teenagers more impolite than other generations?
- Are people with mental illnesses treated fairly by society?
- Is social media beneficial or harmful?
- Do violent video games make people more violent?
- Is capital punishment ethical?
- Should we give money to homeless people?
- Should countries use a military draft?
- If countries are overpopulated, should the government be able to limit the number of children in each family?
- Are drunk drivers punished appropriately?
Writing about issues in one’s school is less complex than writing about the educational system as a whole. See if these persuasive prompts about education inspire you to write about free college, grading systems, school choice, and online learning, among others.
- How much should parents be involved in their children’s education?
- Should families be able to choose the schools that their children attend?
- Is classroom learning better than online learning?
- Which is better: year-round school or summer vacation?
- Should teachers use social media to communicate with their students?
- Do students deserve the same rights as adults?
- Should college be free?
- Which is better: letter grading systems or pass/fail?
- Should students have to learn sex education in school?
- Is having a college education required to have a good career?
- Should schools have security guards?
- Are tests the best way to see what students are learning?
Perfect for social studies papers, these persuasive topics ask students to consider government policies in the past and present. Some questions may not be as straightforward as they seem.
- Was early European exploration a good thing or a harmful thing?
- Was America’s use of the atomic bomb in World War II necessary?
- Should companies be allowed to donate to political candidates?
- Is democracy the best form of government?
- Should children who are born in another country have citizenship there?
- Are there limits to the freedom of speech?
- Should members of Congress receive a salary during government shutdowns?
- If a felon has completed their sentences, should they be allowed to vote?
- What is the most unjust law in the country?
- Is America the most powerful country in the world?
The ever-changing world of science and technology brings lots of practical and ethical questions. See what you think about animal testing, genetic engineering, and climate change with these thought-provoking persuasive prompts.
- Should America fund another trip to the moon?
- Is too much screen time harmful to children?
- Is climate change real?
- Should companies be allowed to create pollution if they’re making goods that benefit society?
- What is the most important scientific breakthrough of your lifetime?
- Is it okay for companies to sell their customers’ information?
- Should the government spend time and resources on renewable energy?
- Are clinical trials that use placebos ethical?
- Is animal testing ethical?
- Should parents be able to choose their babies’ traits before they’re born?
Public health is an important issue in any society. But how much should the government be involved? Express your opinion with the following prompts:
- Should schools sell only healthy food?
- Is legalizing marijuana a good idea?
- Should parents be required to vaccinate their children?
- Should doctors and teachers screen teenagers for depression?
- Are genetically modified foods safe?
- Should physical education be required in schools?
- Should schools be allowed to drug test students whenever they want? What about companies and their employees?
- Are professional sports too dangerous?
- Should healthcare be universal?
- How could you convince someone to be more physically active?
- Should healthy people pay less for healthcare?
If none of the above topics appeal to you, see if these prompts would make an interesting persuasive essay. Remember to choose an issue you care about and one that you can back up with additional information.
- How much should the public know about a celebrity’s personal life?
- Is there ever a good reason for war?
- Is it ethical to train dogs as service animals?
- Is it better to listen to music while working, or to work in silence?
- What is the best career to have?
- Do zoos protect animals or exploit them?
- Is it better to be 2, 12, 22, or 32?
- Should people be allowed to clone themselves?
- What is the worst season?
- Is it better to be a morning person or a night person?
- Is loving your job more important than making a lot of money?
- What is the most important crop to the modern economy?
- Should you make new friends as you get older or focus on keeping the friends you have?
- If aliens came to Earth, should we befriend them?
- Is print news still important in a technological world?
- Is it better to be rich and alone or poor and have friends?
- Should parents teach their children old-fashioned manners?
- Is life better than it was 50 years ago?
- How would you convince your mayor to build a skate park?
Choosing an easy, challenging, or unique topic is the easy part. When you’re ready to build an argument, you’ll need to gather evidence, consider counterarguments, and draft your essay. Check out a template for a basic argumentative or persuasive essay, complete with a sample outline PDF.