20 great persuasive essay topics for students

persuasive essays

Writing an effective persuasive essay demonstrates a range of skills that will be of great use in nearly all aspects of life after school.

In essence, if you can influence a person to change their ideas or thoughts on a given topic though the manner in which you structure your words and thoughts you possess very powerful skill.

Be careful not to rant wildy.  Use facts and other peoples ideas who think similarly to you in your essay to strengthen your concepts.

Your biggest challenge in getting started may well be choosing a suitable persuasive essay topic.  These 25 ideas should make this process a little easier.

If you have any other suggestions please add them below.

  1. WHY ARE WE FASCINATED WITH CELEBRITIES AND WEALTHY PEOPLE ON TELEVISION AND SOCIAL MEDIA?

  2. IS IT RIGHT FOR SCHOOLS TO RAISE MONEY BY SELLING CANDY AND UNHEALTHY FOODS TO STUDENTS?

  3. SHOULD GIRLS BE ALLOWED TO PLAY ON BOYS SPORTING TEAMS?

  4. IS TEACHING HANDWRITING A WASTE OF TIME IN THIS DAY AND AGE?

  5. SHOULD THERE BE FAR GREATER RESTRICTIONS AROUND WHAT CAN BE POSTED ON THE INTERNET?

  6. SHOULD PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES HAVE TO TAKE DRUG TESTS?

  7. ARE TEENAGE PREGNANCY SHOWS A NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE INFLUENCE UPON VIEWERS?

  8. SHOULD GAMBLING BE PROMOTED IN ANY WAY IN SPORTS EVEN THOUGH IT BRINGS IN LARGE AMOUNTS OF REVENUE?

  9. SHOULD SPORTING TEAMS THAT LOSE BE REWARDED BY RECEIVING INCENTIVES SUCH AS HIGH DRAFT PICKS AND / OR FINANCIAL BENEFITS?

  10. SHOULD SHARKS THAT ATTACK PEOPLE BE DESTROYED?

  11. SHOULD WE GET INVOLVED IN FOREIGN CONFLICTS AND ISSUES THAT DON’T DIRECTLY AFFECT OUR COUNTRY?

  12. COULD VIDEO GAMES BE CONSIDERED AS A PROFESSIONAL SPORT?

  13. IF YOU WERE THE LEADER OF YOUR COUNTRY AND HAD A LARGE SURPLUS TO SPEND WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH IT?

  14. WHEN SHOULD A PERSON BE CONSIDERED AND TREATED AS AN ADULT.

  15. SHOULD SMOKING BECOME AN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY?

  16. SHOULD THE VOTING AGE BE LOWERED?

  17. DOES PROTECTIVE PADDING IN SPORT MAKE IT MORE DANGEROUS?

  18. SHOULD CELL PHONES BE ALLOWED IN THE CLASSROOM?

  19. IS TEACHING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE A WASTE OF TIME?

  20. SHOULD WE TEACH ETIQUETTE IN SCHOOLS?

Common Application Essay Topics for 2014 -2015

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The Common Application Group is a non profit committed to to providing reliable services that promote equity, access, and integrity in the college application process.

Every two years they release a set of essay prompts that can be accessed by prospective students to be submitted alongside a college application to give schools an idea of the quality of candidate they are considering.

This is a great opportunity for senior students to complete a common writing task that may well be useful for them in further education opportunities.

The word limit is capped at 650.  It is very difficult to write an excellent essay with such a short word limit so every word needs to count.

The common prompts for 2014 and 2015 are

These three tips may help you if you are stuck for inspiration.

  • Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.   

  • Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure.  How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?

  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea.  What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

  • Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content.  What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?

  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

  • Brainstorm some of your favorite memories. Why have these stuck with you? What do they mean to you and what do they say about who you are? Do you see a theme running through them?
  • When writing about these memories, describe them in as much detail as possible. What color was the shirt you were wearing? Was it raining outside? How did you feel? The more you remember the more it means to you.
  • Most importantly, be honest with yourself. Don’t write about what you think the college admissions board wants to hear. Write about something you really feel strongly about. Your passion and true self will shine through. That is what they want to see.

Writing prompts about Melissa Bachman and her lion hunt.

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This above image has caused outrage and heated discussion around the world.  

Melissa Bachman posted this photo on twitter with the following statement.  "An incredible day hunting in South Africa! Stalked inside 60-yards on this beautiful male lion...what a hunt!"

You have probably never heard of this woman before, but she has forged a career in the media from hunting large endangered species in scantily clad clothing including Grizzly Bears, Zebras, Alligators, Elk and now the king of the jungle, the Lion.

The lion was killed legally in a contained park at an expense estimated at around $20,000 USD which is an entirely separate issue again, but the arrogance and ignorance of publicising the senseless slaughter of an endangered and noble beast has backfired turning the hunter into the hunted.

Millions have voiced their disgust at Bachman and many threats have been made on her own life as a result of here actions.

This is a great topic for writing and will easily inspire action on their behalf.  Here are some writing topics to consider around this topic.

  • Does the hunting of wildlife have any place in this day and age?
  • Is pulling the trigger on a defenceless creature from a secure location hunting or murder?
  • Is there any coming back from an action like this?  Write an apology from Bachman's perspective that might in some way satisfy her aggressors.
  • This woman has a right to earn a living any way she wants write a letter justifying her actions.
  • How could we use this as a positive to stop paid African big game hunting in future?  Write a letter to the African government expressing your opinions around this issue. 
  • Does paid big game hunting actually save wild animals?  Write an argumentative essay supporting your view

Please write in your own ideas in the section below.

Three great guides on how to write an essay

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Writing an essay can be a difficult task to both teach and learn as it relies on so many language skills to succeed.

There are numerous guides available on the web that will tell you 'How to write an essay in 5 minutes.'  But essentially this promise is about as effective as promising someone they can drop three dress sizes in a week by going on a 'nicotine' diet. 

I have found three resources below from three recognized universities that don't assume you have already mastered the English language before you begin.  They are quite thorough but contain all the elements that will genuinely assist you.

They are definitely worth a look. 

 

Writing an Essay -  Charles Sturt University 

This guide does great job at highlighting what your assessors will be looking for and emphasizing those points throughout the writing process.  Sourced:  CSU

A helpful guide to Essay Writing - Anglia Ruskin University 

This is definitely one of the more thorough guides and would be a good starting point for students who have a limited knowledge of the English language.  it is very structured in the process of walking you through writing a tertiary standard essay Sourced: ARU

The 5 step Personal Essay Writing Guide - Baylor University

This is essay writing in it's simplest form done well.  It is more of a planning tool than a full background study on the process.  It is definitely useful for high school students and those that struggle to make a start but will not be rich enough for advanced writers looking for a little more context. Sourced Baylor