23 Persuasive writing Prompts for high School students

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Writing a persuasive essay can be a difficult task for teachers and students if you don’t have a great idea to help get those creative juices flowing.  These prompts cover a range of issues and topics that are pertinent to middle school and high school students and can be easily adapted to work with a topic you have been teaching in your own class.

Students really enjoy the opportunity to try and change the world in which they live and hopefully these prompts might be a great starting point.

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Remember that if you are looking for more great free resources and structured guides to teaching all aspects of English especially writing be sure to visit literacyideas.com


  1. Some parents give children a weekly or monthly allowance regardless of their behavior because they believe an allowance teaches children to be financially responsible. Other parents only give children an allowance as a reward for completing chores or when they have behaved properly. Explain what you think parents should do and why.
  2. Many schools now require teenagers to spend a certain number of hours each term doing volunteer work or community service. Some people believe this is an excellent idea as it promotes good citizenship and cultivates compassion. Others feel that forced volunteerism is not volunteering at all. How do you feel about this issue? Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.
  3. Some parts of the world allow people to get a driver’s license at age  sixteen.  Many feel this age is much too young for the responsibility that comes with driving a car and that teenagers should not be allowed to drive until the age of 18. In your opinion, at what age should people be allowed to drive, and why?
  4. What is your all-time favorite book or movie and why? Write an essay persuading readers to watch this film or read this book.
  5. Have you ever made a life changing action that has had a positive effect on you or the lives of others? Write an essay that convinces readers to make a change for the better.
  6. You have been asked to write a letter that would convince a organizers of a major event to be hosted in your hometown.   Write an essay that convinces these delegates that your town would be great host.
  7. Top professional athletes often have salaries and bonuses in the tens of millions of dollars. Do you think these athletes deserve this type of income? Why or why not? Explain your position and use specific reasons and examples.
  8. Humans have always wondered about the possibility of life   on other planets in the universe. Do you believe extraterrestrial life exists? Write an essay persuading others to share your point of view.
  9. If someone discovered the ‘Elixir of life’ that would enable us to live forever, would it be a blessing or a curse? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
  10. If you have you ever traveled to a place that you found very meaningful and rewarding? Write an essay that persuades others to visit this important place.
  11. Nearly all private schools require students to wear uniforms. Should public school students wear uniforms too? Argue for or against school uniforms for public school students. Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.
  12. You are to select one item from the twenty-first century to place in a time capsule for future generations, what would you choose? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice, explaining both the item’s significance and the reasons why it embodies the culture of the early twenty-first century.
  13. What would improve your town or city? Write an essay convincing officials to make a change that would improve your neighborhood.
  14. Some studies have shown students often perform better on exams if music is played softly in the background. However, some students may find the music distracting. Should schools play classical music during exams and/or allow students to listen to headphones whilst working? Take a position and explain your answer.
  15. Should parents be a child’s disciplinarian, or their best friend?
  16. Take a position and explain your answer using specific reasons and examples.
  17. Millions of people visit zoos around the world. But some people believe that zoos are inhumane and that animals should not be kept in captivity. Do you agree? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.
  18. In most countries people pay taxes based upon how much they earn: the higher their income, the higher the percentage of that income they must pay in taxes. Many people argue that a flat tax, in which everyone pays the same rate regardless of income, would be a more equitable and desirable tax system. Which of these two tax systems do you think is best, and why? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
  19. Is it wise to devote time and money to building a space station on the moon or Mars? Why or why not? Explain your answer.
  20. An ancient Greek proverb states, “All things good to know are difficult to learn.” Do you agree? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your answer.
  21. Imagine that you know someone who is unfamiliar with computers and has never been on the Internet. Write an essay convincing this relative to get a computer and get online.
  22. Imagine that you have made it to the final round of interviews for your dream job. Convince your prospective employers that you are the one who most deserves the position.
  23. Is there something that you believe is truly worth fighting for?  Write an essay persuading others that this cause is worth a fight.

If you have any other great ideas for persuasive prompts please post them in the comments section below.