227 Amazing College Persuasive Essay Topics [Free Ideas]

college level persuasive essay

Ever wondered what a persuasive essay is? Are you struggling to differentiate it from an argumentative one? Do you think it’s impossible to find original persuasive speech topics for college students?

If you have answered yes to any question, you’ve come to the right place. Our team can help you!

A persuasive essay is a piece of academic writing that convinces readers to accept the author’s position and agree with their ideas. Through clear arguments and examples, the writer demonstrates the legitimacy of their point of view.

Below, we have provided a list of the most interesting and unique college persuasive essay topics. So, don’t waste any more of your time searching for the right title. Use our ideas and create an outstanding persuasive essay!

  • 👉 How to Choose?
  • ✨ Best Speech Topics
  • 🎓 Ideas on Education
  • 📜 Topics on History
  • ⚖ Ideas on Politics
  • 👍 Topics on Sociology
  • 💰 Ideas on Economics
  • 🚌 Transportation
  • 🌿 Environment
  • ⚙ Technology
  • 🌍 Traveling
  • ✌ Lifestyle
  • 🏫 Teenagers
  • 📚 Literature
  • 🖐 25 More Topics

👉 How to Choose a Persuasive Essay Topic for College?

The main secret of the successful persuasive essay is a compelling topic. Therefore, when choosing the right persuasive topic, follow these few simple pieces of advice:

  • Re-read the assignment . The task that you’ve received from your tutor can be of great assistance. You just have to read it correctly. Unfortunately, college students tend to underestimate the power of the question. Don’t make this mistake. Read your assignment carefully because it can provide clues on the topic to look for.
  • Brainstorm ideas. Before writing any paper, college students have to research. It will ensure the argumentative part of the persuasive essay. To understand what to examine, have an ideation session, and consider a variety of ideas. Picking the most appropriate one, you’ll see where to start your research. Try to find as many topics as you can. Free college essays collection is a good place to check out as a part of your session. You’ll be able to see what topics are already covered, and what you can expand upon. It will make your investigation and writing processes easier!
  • Don’t pick an idea if it’s too broad . You may think that in this case, you’ll have plenty of things to argue about. Well, maybe a bit too many. In your essay, you should cover an entire topic so that it sounds convincing. When the idea is too broad, you can’t fit every argument in one paper. So, specify your title. For instance, you want to persuade your readers to stay healthy. Then don’t investigate all the aspects of maintaining health. Focus on one specific issue. For example, explore the positive influence of sport on the general health condition of a human being.
  • Ensure that you have credible sources. In some colleges, even the smallest essays may require a list of references. Thus, make sure you have materials to research and later list as your sources. Remember: Good persuasive paper topics for college have to offer a wide variety of sources to investigate. So, if you are not confident in your materials, better change the title. It will prevent you from a lack of evidence to support your arguments.
  • Choose a topic of personal interest. We’re not compelling you to write something that you enjoy when it contradicts the assignment. But try to select an idea that doesn’t bore you from reading it out loud. It is always more pleasurable to write on a topic you are passionate about. Don’t miss your chance to make turn your essay writing process into an exciting activity.
  • Select something you have an opinion about, but open to debate. Your tutors can disagree with your position. Nevertheless, it is not a reason to give up. It’s the right time to show your critical thinking skills. State your position clearly and provide convincing arguments to support it. Show your readers that you can change your position if you see some compelling data. It can give you some extra credit. The best persuasion topics for college create an environment for debates and discussions.
  • Be unique! In colleges, the amount of papers done daily is enormous. Don’t make your professors read about the importance of waste sorting, for example, yet again. The topic of environmental protection is undoubtedly extremely significant. However: It is way too overused. The professors are tired of reading essays on the same issues again and again. Surprise them and stand out.

Finding an original topic for a persuasive essay is tricky.

✨ 12 Best Persuasive Speech Topics for College Students

  • How important is mental health?
  • Is online school more effective?
  • Are GMO products good?
  • Is social media dangerous?
  • What’s wrong with the education system?
  • Does recycling work?
  • Is veganism bad for the environment?
  • Should foreign policy be feminist?
  • Is marriage an obsolete institution?
  • Can protests and demonstrations bring change?
  • Can alternative medicine actually work?
  • Is modern advertising unethical?

🔑 Essential College Persuasive Essay Topics

We bet, every college student at least once had an assignment to write a persuasive essay. Haven’t you had yet? The best is yet to come! Thus, you have to be prepared to face all the challenges of a persuasive essay composing.

Searching for interesting persuasive essay topics is a complicated issue. However, you don’t have to worry about it. Our team of experts gathered the most popular and effective ideas in one place.

Don’t stress out about the topic:

Take a look at our list of persuasive essay topics for college students. We divided our ideas into sections so that you can find the most appropriate one. So, you can easily navigate throughout our page for a more effective search.

🎓 College Persuasive Essay Ideas on Education

  • An educational system should encourage creativity .
  • Student diversity should be present in a school classroom .
  • Why should college students care about their mental and physical health?
  • Why should we stop girls’ discrimination in the modern educational system?
  • Why should computer science programs be taught in colleges and universities?
  • Why should parents take part in their children’s education?

Parents should participate in their children's studying for numerous reasons.

  • Why reading performance of students with learning disabilities should be improved?
  • Studying abroad results in better education.
  • Homework does not help in the learning process.
  • The costs of higher education should be reduced.
  • A grade does not show a student’s knowledge.
  • The Internet overuse blocks the mental development of a modern teenager.
  • Education should not depend on technologies.
  • Essay writing develops the critical thinking skills of students.
  • Foreign language learning should be mandatory in school . Conduct research on how foreign languages influence children and teenagers. What are the positive sides of such education? Then, persuade your readers that foreign languages are essential in the school core curriculum.
  • Art classes should be a priority in middle school . Elaborate on the importance of the development of the sense of art for children and teenagers. Why should art classes be higher in the list of priorities than technical or science courses? How can the right perception of art help pupils in future life?
  • The core curriculum of the high school should not be too broad. Why do we have to narrow down our focus in high school? Explain how teenagers will benefit from studying particular subjects instead of getting general knowledge. Convince your readers about the importance of focusing on a specific field in high school.
  • A gap year before entering the university is beneficial. Give persuading evidence why students should take a gap year. What are the advantages? Make your readers debate whether a gap year is worth considering. Finally, convince them that it is worth it.
  • Mobile phones should not be allowed in school. State your position regarding the usage of smartphones during the learning process. What adverse ramifications do the mobile phones have on the academic results of pupils? Persuade your readers to prohibit phone usage in school.
  • Traditional education is more effective than remote learning . How the benefits of the conventional way of learning outweigh the advantages of remote education? Compare the aspects of remote learning for different age groups: 1st grade age, 6th grade age, and a college student.

📜 College Persuasive Essay Topics on History

  • The American Revolution was a turning point in USA history.
  • The year 1763 is crucial in US history.
  • The media played a crucial role in promoting the Vietnam War .
  • We shouldn’t underestimate the significance of African-American social reform.
  • Technological advancement of the 17th century was a new era in world history.
  • Without Enlightenment and Romantic Age , the European culture wouldn’t be so progressive nowadays.

Enlightenment took over the period of the 17th and 18th centuries.

  • People should’ve stopped the propaganda of Adolf Hitler and Jim Jones before the intensive development.
  • The historical influence of Abraham Lincoln should become a role model for modern political figures.
  • Americans should have abolished slavery in the United States way earlier.
  • The four voyages by Christopher Columbus are crucial in the progress of world history.
  • Cultural exchanges in the medieval period significantly impacted the civilizations.
  • Protestant reformation was the most influential Christian movement.
  • Japanese women in the Middle Ages should have been more powerful.
  • The world war should never happen again.
  • The age of exploration . Who are the key figures? How did they impact world history formation? Convince your readers of the importance of the age of exploration.
  • The Mayan calendar system did not predict the end of the world . Investigate the Mayan calendar system. What is your explanation of the fact that the calendar system ended in the year 2012? Persuade your readers that the suggestions about the end of the world in 2012 are false.
  • Racial discrimination in America violated human rights to a great extend . Give a brief overview of racial discrimination in the USA. Persuade the readers to perceive racial discrimination as an act of human rights violation.
  • Apollo 11 – the first spaceflight that landed people on the Moon . Discuss the importance of this event. Convince your readers about the significance of the Moon exploration.
  • History studying should become the top priority for students. The knowledge of history may help to prevent mistakes from the past. So, persuade your readers to explore historical events.
  • Holocaust should not be justified and denied . What are the horrible consequences of holocaust tragedy? Analyze an opinion regarding the denial of the holocaust. Persuade the readers not to support this idea.

⚖ College Persuasive Essay Ideas on Politics

  • Civil rights of black Americans should not be limited.
  • Migration should not be restricted because it has certain benefits to modern countries .
  • In the battle of socialism vs. democracy , the second one should win.

Why is socialism becoming so popular in democratic states?

  • Nationalism in international relations should be accepted.
  • E-government should become transparent and accountable for the citizens .
  • Celebrities should stay aside from political activities.
  • The laws for each state of America should become common.
  • A voting system should be transparent.
  • Ordinary people should not be allowed to own guns.
  • The federal tax return process should become more manageable.
  • Individual rights versus the common good . Express your position regarding the issue. What do you support: individual rights or common good? Persuade the readers to follow your ideas.
  • Gay marriage should be allowed . If you don’t agree with the topic, express the opposing opinion. Elaborate on your arguments and provide counterarguments. Exclude harsh comments and offensive language from the narrative.
  • The death penalty cannot be justified . Why do you think so? Give clear arguments to support your opinion. If you believe that the death penalty is justifiable, prove your position.
  • Electronic voting in the United States should not be banned . Present the positive sides of this way of voting and convince the readers in your rightness. Don’t you agree with this opinion? Then, provide counterarguments.
  • Abortion should be legal . Provide clear arguments to express your position. Or provide counterarguments to contradict the idea of abortion legalization.

👍 College Persuasive Essay Topics on Sociology

  • Community services should be provided for mentally disabled people .
  • Equality and diversity are the main social issues .
  • Interpersonal communication skills are crucial in modern society.
  • Gender inequalities in the 21st century should be overcome .
  • Should the Canadian government legalize prostitution?
  • Max Weber’s rationality theory should be accepted by society .
  • China should take specific steps to overcome the overpopulation problem .
  • Gender stereotypes in a family should be dismantled.

Present studies aim to fill a gap in the literature on gender role attitudes and family dynamics.

  • Abusive relationships in a family should not be hidden.
  • Implementing more tough punishments on the lawbreakers should reduce the crime rates of the USA.
  • Does family promote or limit mobility? Choose one side of the issue and provide clear arguments to support your ideas.
  • Divorce has negative effects on children . Do you agree with this statement? Convince the readers to accept your point of view by stating your position clearly and powerfully.
  • Birth control should be monitored on a governmental level. Express your opinion regarding birth control in modern society. Conduct a study on the cultural, religious, and political aspects of the birth control issue.
  • Is there the right age to get married? Decide if there are any age suggestions to create a family or no? Support your choice with bright ideas and appropriate examples.
  • To resolve the conflict, we need to know the nature of the conflict . Do you agree or disagree with this idea? Provide strong arguments to make people believe in your point of view. How do you think psychology works while resolving the conflict?

💰 College Persuasive Essay Ideas on Economics

  • Competing theories are the core of economic development.
  • We have to consider John Locke’s and Karl Marx’s economic ideas nowadays.
  • Demand and supply correlation in the market matters a lot.
  • Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” concept can improve modern economics .
  • If we want to stabilize the economy, we have to implement the monetary policy .
  • Should big banks be broken up?
  • We should consider the relationship between money supply and inflation while preventing the high level of inflation.
  • We shouldn’t take the Keynesian explanation of the recession too seriously.
  • Industrialization plays a significant role in economic development.
  • Small business owners should receive financial support during the period of crisis.

As an example or evidence for this persuasive topic, talk about the COVID-19 crisis.

  • The governments should reduce monopoly power.
  • The role of understanding the goals of human resource management in the context of human capital theory . Explain the significance of effective HR management for a business flourishing. Persuade your readers to invest enough resources in human capital.
  • Exchange regimes have a significant impact on macroeconomic performance . Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Provide well-developed arguments to prove your point of view. Persuade your readers to accept your position.
  • Consumer behavior is different in every country. If you agree, develop this idea by providing strong arguments. If you don’t, state your position. Either way, support your arguments with supporting evidence. Make your readers follow your opinion.
  • The understanding of the basic concepts of economics is essential for every person . Explain how the knowledge of economics can help people to manage their money wisely. How to survive during the crisis? How to lead a business successfully, etc. Persuade your readers to study the basics of economics.

💡 Interesting College Persuasive Essay Topics

Are you already impressed with a diversity of topics our team collected for you? But don’t think that’s all we have to offer for you. Since our mission is to help you, we have more persuasive essay ideas for college to share.

Below, you can find more fascinating ideas for your assignments. For your convenience, we divided persuasive essay topics for college into several sections. Investigate our ideas and don’t hesitate to use them.

🚌 Transportation Persuasive Essay Topics

  • Planes should newer take off if weather conditions are inappropriate .
  • Never drive a car if you are under the alcohol or drug effect .
  • Hybrid cars are environmentally friendly, so they should become the future of the transportation industry .
  • Why should people study driving?
  • The usage of alternative energy resources should reshape the global transportation infrastructure .
  • The governments should invest enough money in public transport advancement .
  • Cars usage should be regulated .
  • A school bus should be checked at least once a month to ensure the safety of pupils.
  • The reserves of petroleum should be replenished to provide a proper transportation industry operation.
  • The shipping of essential goods during the state of emergency (quarantine, dangerous natural conditions, etc.) should be free.
  • We should use public transport instead of private cars to save the environment.
  • Hybrid engine vs. standard engine . Examine the positive and negative aspects of both of them. Which one would you prefer? Persuade your readers to support your opinion by giving clear arguments.
  • Information technology influences the logistics industry to a great extent . Provide appropriate examples of the IT impact on logistics. Convince your readers of the importance of your opinion.
  • The role of transportation in the development of tourism . Prove your audience that transportation progress has a direct impact on tourism opportunities.

Transportation plays a vital role in tourism.

  • We have to reduce the use of crude oil in the transportation industry . What are the possible adverse ramifications of such oil usage? Persuade your readers to limit applying this type of fuel. If you don’t agree with the idea, express the opposing opinion. Elaborate on your arguments and provide counterarguments.

🌿 Environmental Persuasive Essay Topics

  • The government should control the overpopulation to prevent consequences for the environment .
  • Human activity should be limited to preserve biodiversity .
  • We have to examine an ecologically sustainable approach .
  • Alternative energy sources are essential for saving the planet .
  • We should try our best to live a zero-waste lifestyle .
  • Saving endangered species must be a top priority issue for environmental organizations.
  • Solar energy can save the environment.
  • Hunting sports should be banned because they harm biodiversity.
  • The conservation of global resources is necessary for maintaining the lifecycle of the planet.
  • Waste sorting should be mandatory all around the world.
  • Stopping deforestation will prevent the loss of natural habitat for animals.
  • Tourism negatively affects wildlife. Comment no the negative consequences of traveling on nature. If you believe that tourism does not harm wildlife, provide counterarguments to claim your position.
  • Farming has to be wise. Explain how intensive farming damages nature. Convince your readers about the importance of following the farming rules. They can help to prevent intensive farming’s adverse ramifications.
  • The Prime Days on Amazon should be banned . Explain how the incredibly low prices on items during the Prime Days result in extremely high costs for the environment. Persuade your readers to resist the desire to buy unnecessary goods from Amazon.
  • Without rainforests, our planet will suffocate . Prove the significance of the preservation of the rainforests for the environment.

Tropical forests are responsible for around 34 percent of photosynthesis occurring on land.

⚙ Technology Persuasive Essay Ideas

  • Globalization influences computer technologies to a great extent .
  • The government should implement Internet censorship .
  • Cloud computing is an innovative era in computer science .
  • Cyberbullying should be controlled to prevent a negative influence on youth .
  • Dependency on computers is a considerable threat to human well-being .
  • Data and information security should be a top concern of every internet user .
  • Investing money in developing information technology systems is profitable for companies.
  • The internet blocks the development of human intelligence.
  • To prevent the development of serious illnesses, we should use genetic technology.
  • Technological advancement should focus on the improvement of the health sector.
  • We have to use technology wisely to make people smarter.
  • A scientific revolution started the technological advancement. Convince your readers about the importance of the scientific revolution in technological development. If you don’t agree with the topic, express the opposing opinion, providing counterarguments.
  • E-books or audiobooks will never replace paper books. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? State your position clearly and make your readers accept it.
  • Nowadays, society is too dependent on computer technologies . Comment on its negative and positive sides in the life of modern people. Persuade the readers not to overuse technology in everyday life.
  • Technology and science complement each other. Provide clear arguments to prove this idea or counterarguments to disprove it.

😃 Easy College Persuasive Topics

Do you think that persuasive essays have to cover only serious or global issues? Do you feel as if you have to be overwhelmed with the complexity of the subject? You are mistaken. A paper won’t become less successful if it explores even everyday life topics.

That’s why:

We prepared the next section of the article for you. Here you can find simple persuasive essay ideas for college students. Select a fascinating topic and compose an outstanding essay.

🎶 Persuasive Essay Ideas for College about Music

  • Music has a significant impact on culture .
  • Music preferences depend on personality type .
  • Music can influence our behavior .

Research suggests music can influence us a lot. It can impact illness, depression, spending, productivity, and our perception of the world.

  • Songs with lyrics that promote violent behavior should be banned.
  • A musician is not just a job; it is a vocation.
  • Medical workers should investigate the positive effect of music on mental illnesses’ treatment.
  • Music can be helpful in the learning process.
  • Good song lyrics can inspire people . Provide a sample of inspiring verses. How can it motivate listeners? Persuade the readers to pay attention to the song lyrics while listening to music.
  • A guitar is always a good idea for friendly gatherings . Prove to your readers that several songs played on a guitar can create a warm and cozy atmosphere.
  • Rap reflects violence. This is a generally accepted opinion. Do you agree or disagree with it? Prove your point of view by providing well-developed arguments.

🌍 Persuasive Topics for College on Traveling

  • While traveling, health and safety issues should be a top priority .
  • Tourism should be sustainable .
  • A trip to India will make you see the world from the other side.
  • Summer will become more memorable and fascinating if you travel.
  • Traveling broadens people’s minds.
  • Traveling with family or friends is an essential part of a happy life.
  • Spending a holiday on a trip is always more pleasurable than in front of a TV or computer.
  • Every person should visit Europe at least once in life. Explain why Europe is a must-see destination for every tourist.
  • People should travel as much as they want. Persuade people not to resist the desire to explore new places by listing the advantages of traveling.
  • Traveling is affordable for everyone. Persuade people to visit various countries, even with a limited budget.

Give some useful tips to persuade your reader to travel more.

✌ Persuasive Essay Ideas for College about Lifestyle

  • Parents should be responsible for their children’s obesity .
  • Proper nutrition and positive behavior prevent cancer .
  • A healthy lifestyle prevents aging .
  • Weight management programs and hypnotherapy are useful in maintaining good shape and a healthy organism .
  • An active way of life should replace a sedentary lifestyle to prevent heart diseases.
  • You should plan your weight loss process wisely.
  • Well-balanced nutrition is a way to a healthy and beautiful body.
  • Regular yoga and fitness will help you to maintain mental and physical wellness.
  • Regular physical activities and enough sleep can help students to study better.
  • Media influences the development of eating disorders . Explain the mechanisms media’s effect on eating disorders. Persuade your readers to pay enough attention to the information on social media.

📺 Persuasive Topics for College about Media

  • The role of mass media in modern society shouldn’t be underestimated .
  • Media affects the way people look at society .

Dr. Pamela Rutledge says about the media's influence on society.

  • TV shows have a negative influence on children .
  • Parents should control the effects of mass media advertising on teenagers .
  • Professional psychologists should review every cartoon before being released on television.
  • The information on the internet should be filtered to avoid the spreading of fake news.
  • Censorship is a must-have for modern television.
  • Old cartoons are more insightful than modern ones. Compare and contrast old and new animated films. Prove the usefulness of old ones. Convince the audience to make their children familiar with old cartoons.
  • Social media develops an inferiority complex among teenagers . How pictures of luxurious life in social networking sites influence adolescents’ self-esteem? Persuade the readers to filter the information seen in social media.
  • Mass media in the 1950s was more ethical than contemporary mass media. Analyze the ethical issues that are present in modern media. Why is following the ethical rules while sharing the information through the mass media vital?

🏫 Persuasive Essay Ideas for College on Teens

  • Both abstinence and sex education should be taught in high schools .
  • Professional psychologists or psychiatrists should treat anxiety disorders in children and adolescents .
  • Cheating in schools should be strictly punished.
  • Understanding teen depression is a crucial step in overcoming it.
  • The federal government should enact anti-bullying laws .
  • Bullying in school should be the main issue to deal with for the headteacher.
  • The teenage period requires constant monitoring of children’s behavior by parents and teachers.
  • Parents should have access to teenagers’ academic results.
  • The mental health of teens is precarious. Convince the readers to monitor and maintain adolescents’ mental health.
  • Parents should control social media usage by teenagers. Why should parents monitor the social networking accounts of their children? Explain why it is useful to teach teens how to behave on social media.

Persuade the parents to keep track of kids’ social networking activity.

📚 Persuasive Topics for College on Literature

  • Literature studying should be mandatory in schools.
  • Literature teaches us how to live a worthy life.
  • Robin Hood should become an example to follow.
  • You have to read some books several times throughout life to get the idea.
  • Lyric poetry may help in dealing with inner conflicts.
  • William Shakespeare is an outstanding figure of English literature that should always be appreciated.
  • Every person should have one book that will always remain their favorite one.
  • The theme of Romeo and Juliet will always remain relatable. Support this idea by providing compelling arguments and examples from the play. If you don’t agree with the statement, present clear counterarguments to prove your point of view.
  • The parents should read fairy tales to their children from early childhood. Persuade your audience to make their kids familiar with the fairy tales. Explain the importance of positive aspects of this genre of literature.
  • Dorian Gray and Oscar Wilde are connected. Describe Oscar Wilde’s background. Analyze how the author reflected his personality in the character of Dorian Gray. Convince your readers to accept your point of view. Propose examples from the book and the author’s biography.

🖐 25 More Topics to Persuade College Students

Here you can find a pleasant bonus from our team—25 more ideas to write about. You can use them not only for essays but also as persuasive speech topics for college.

So, take the benefit of our list of topics. Show an outstanding academic performance in the college.

College Persuasive Essay Topics: Family

  • A happy relationship should be based on trust and honesty.
  • In small and big families, parents should treat their children equally.
  • After giving birth, motherhood should become the primary concern of a woman’s life.
  • Parents should be the most significant support for their kids when they are sad, confused, or lost in life.
  • Children should take their retired parents to their home instead of the nursing home.

Support your position by providing strong arguments.

College Persuasive Essay Topics: Health

  • Physical activity is an effective way to prevent heart diseases.
  • People should quit smoking .
  • Mental health is not less important than physical health.
  • Well-balanced nutrition is key to a healthy body.
  • Taking care of general wellness should be everyone’s primary concern.

College Persuasive Essay Topics: Medicine

  • Strong pain killers should be sold by prescription only.
  • Drug prices should be set ethically .
  • Herbal medications are the safest.
  • Self-medication is extremely dangerous, even in the case of a simple cold or an allergy.
  • Differentiating various forms of medicines is essential . What is the working principle of a capsule, pill, syrup, etc.? Prove that the inappropriate application will not have an appropriate effect.

College Persuasive Essay Topics: Sports

  • Visiting a gym is extremely useful for our health .
  • Physical education should be mandatory in high school.
  • Extreme sports are only for professional athletes.
  • The governments should invest enough money in the development of sports schools.
  • Football is not only for boys. Women can create a successful football team, as well.

College Persuasive Essay Topics: Religion

  • Discrimination by religion or culture should not be acceptable in modern society.
  • Every person should have a right to choose a god or goddess to worship.
  • The representatives of different religions should be tolerant of each other.
  • The attitude towards wealth in Christianity differs from the perception of wealth in Islam.
  • Any other religious representatives should not criticize the central beliefs of Judaism .

Select a persuasive topic on a touchy subject with care.

Thank you for visiting our page! We hope the information was useful to you. Don’t forget to leave your comments and share the article with other students.

🔗 References

  • Persuasive Essays, Writing Resources, Hamilton College
  • Persuasive Essay Outline: HCC Learning Web, Houston Community College
  • Choosing a Topic for Your College Essay: Essay Writing Center, International Student
  • Choosing College Essay Topics: Accepted
  • 35 College Essay Prompts and Topics: Kayla Rutledge, SignUpGenius
  • How to Write a College Essay: Kelly Mae Ross, Devon Haynie, and Josh Moody for U.S. News
  • How To Answer the 2022-23 Common App Essay Prompts: College Essay Advisors
  • Writing a Political Science Essay: Charles King, Georgetown University
  • Writing a Paper about an Environmental Issue: Frederic Beaudry, ThoughtCo
  • Evidence: The Writing Center, the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill
  • Introducing Quotations and Paraphrases: UNSW Current Students
  • How Do I Write an Intro, Conclusion, & Body Paragraph: College of Literature, Science, and Arts, University of Michigan
  • Essay Writing Guide for Psychology Students: Saul McLeod, Simply Psychology
  • How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Writing Guides, Ultius
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Are you looking to improve your persuasive writing skills?

One of the best ways to do that is by reading persuasive essay examples. These examples can show you how to structure your arguments effectively.

But finding good examples can be a challenge. Don't worry, though – we've gathered some helpful persuasive essays for you right here!

So, if you're in search of persuasive essay examples to help you write your own, you're in the right place. 

Keep reading this blog to explore various examples

Arrow Down

  • 1. Persuasive Essay Examples For Students
  • 2. Persuasive Essay Examples for Different Formats
  • 3. Persuasive Essay Outline Examples
  • 4. Persuasive Essay Format Example
  • 5. How to Write A Persuasive Essay With Examples
  • 6. How to End a Persuasive Essay Examples
  • 7. Catchy Persuasive Essay Topics

Persuasive Essay Examples For Students

A persuasive essay aims to convince the reader of the author’s point of view. 

To find the right path for your essay, it's helpful to go through some examples. Similarly, good essay examples also help to avoid any potential pitfalls and offer clear information to the readers to adopt. 

Here are some persuasive essay examples pdf:

3rd-grade Persuasive Essay Example

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7th-grade Persuasive Essay Example

8th-grade Persuasive Essay Example

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11th-grade Persuasive Essay Example

Persuasive Writing Example For Kids

Persuasive Essay Examples High School

The following are good persuasive essay examples for high school. Having a look at them will help you understand better.

High-school Persuasive Essay Example

Examples of Persuasive Essay in Everyday Life

Persuasive Essay Examples for Middle School

Check out these persuasive essay examples for middle school to get a comprehensive idea of the format structure. 

Persuasive Essay Examples Middle School

Short Persuasive Essay Example

Persuasive Essay Examples for College Students

Essay writing at the college level becomes more difficult and complicated. We have provided you with top-notch college persuasive and argumentative essay examples here.

Read them to understand the essay writing process easily. 

Persuasive Essay Examples College

Higher English Persuasive Essay Example

Persuasive Essay About Smoking

Argumentative and Persuasive Examples

Persuasive Essay Examples For University

It becomes even more challenging to draft a perfect essay at the university level. Have a look at the below examples of a persuasive essay to get an idea of writing one.

University Persuasive Essay Example

5 Paragraph Persuasive Essay Example

Persuasive Essay Examples for Different Formats

A persuasive essay can be written in several formats. For instance, you can write the usual 5-paragraph essay, or even something longer or shorter.

Below are a few sample essays in various common formats.

Persuasive Essay Examples 5 Paragraph

Persuasive Essay Examples 3 Paragraph

Short Persuasive Essay Examples

These examples tell you how to remain convincing and persuasive regardless of the essay format you use.

Persuasive Essay Outline Examples

Creating an impressive outline is the most important step for writing a persuasive essay. It helps to organize thoughts and make the writing process easier.

 A standard outline consists of the following sections.

  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraphs

Have a look at the following persuasive essay outline template examples.

Persuasive Essay Outline

Persuasive Essay Template

Persuasive Essay Format Example

A persuasive essay outline is bound to follow a specific format and structure. The main elements of a persuasive essay format are as follows.

  • Font: Times New Roman, Georgia, or Arial
  • Font Size: 16pt for the headlines and 12pt for the rest of the text
  • Alignment: Justified
  • Spacing: Double spacing
  • Word Count: It usually contains 500 to 2000 words

How to Write A Persuasive Essay With Examples

Planning an essay before starting writing is essential to produce an organized and structured writing piece. So, it is better to understand the concept beforehand to impress your instructor.  

The below example will show a good starting to an essay.

A Good Start for a Persuasive Essay - Short Example

How to Start a Persuasive Essay Examples

The introduction is the first part of an essay and your first chance to grab the reader's attention. It should clearly state the essay's purpose and give the reader a clear idea of what to expect.

A compelling persuasive essay introduction must have the following elements.

  • Hook statement + topic
  • A strong thesis statement
  • Your arguments

Here are some examples of persuasive essay introductions to help you make a compelling start:

Introduction Persuasive Essay Example

Persuasive Essay Thesis Statement Examples

Persuasive Essay Hook Examples

How to End a Persuasive Essay Examples

Just like the introduction, the conclusion of the persuasive essay is equally important. It is considered as the last impression of your writing piece to the audience.

A good conclusion paragraph must include the following aspects.

  • Restate the thesis statement or hypothesis
  • Summarize the key arguments
  • Avoid being obvious
  • Include a call to action

Have a look at the document to explore the sample conclusions of a persuasive essay.

Conclusion Persuasive Essay Examples

Catchy Persuasive Essay Topics

Now that you have read some good examples, it's time to write your own persuasive essay.

But what should you write about? You can write persuasive essays about any topic, from business and online education to controversial topics like abortion , gun control , and more.

Here is a list of ten persuasive essay topics that you can use to grab your reader's attention and make them think:

  • Should the government increase taxes to fund public health initiatives?
  • Is the current education system effective in preparing students for college and the workplace?
  • Should there be tighter gun control laws?
  • Should schools have uniforms or a dress code?
  • Are standardized tests an accurate measure of student performance?
  • Should students be required to take physical education courses?
  • Is undocumented immigration a legitimate cause for concern in the United States?
  • Is affirmative action still necessary in today’s society?
  • How much, if any, regulation should there be on technology companies?
  • Is the death penalty an appropriate form of punishment for serious crimes?

Check out two examples on similar topics:

Political Persuasive Essay Examples

Persuasive Essay Examples About Life

Need more topic ideas? Check out our extensive list of unique persuasive essay topics and get started!

But if you're still feeling stuck, don't worry. Our persuasive essay writing service is here to the rescue!

Our experienced writers specialize in creating top-notch essays on a wide range of topics. Whether it's a challenging persuasive essay or any other type, we've got you covered.

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Persuasive Essay

How to Write a Persuasive Essay (This Convinced My Professor!)

How to Write a Persuasive Essay (This Convinced My Professor!)

Table of contents

college level persuasive essay

Meredith Sell

You can make your essay more persuasive by getting straight to the point.

In fact, that's exactly what we did here, and that's just the first tip of this guide. Throughout this guide, we share the steps needed to prove an argument and create a persuasive essay.

This AI tool helps you improve your essay > This AI tool helps you improve your essay >

persuasive essay

Key takeaways: - Proven process to make any argument persuasive - 5-step process to structure arguments - How to use AI to formulate and optimize your essay

Why is being persuasive so difficult?

"Write an essay that persuades the reader of your opinion on a topic of your choice."

You might be staring at an assignment description just like this 👆from your professor. Your computer is open to a blank document, the cursor blinking impatiently. Do I even have opinions?

The persuasive essay can be one of the most intimidating academic papers to write: not only do you need to identify a narrow topic and research it, but you also have to come up with a position on that topic that you can back up with research while simultaneously addressing different viewpoints.

That’s a big ask. And let’s be real: most opinion pieces in major news publications don’t fulfill these requirements.

The upside? By researching and writing your own opinion, you can learn how to better formulate not only an argument but the actual positions you decide to hold. 

Here, we break down exactly how to write a persuasive essay. We’ll start by taking a step that’s key for every piece of writing—defining the terms.

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

A persuasive essay is exactly what it sounds like: an essay that persuades . Over the course of several paragraphs or pages, you’ll use researched facts and logic to convince the reader of your opinion on a particular topic and discredit opposing opinions.

While you’ll spend some time explaining the topic or issue in question, most of your essay will flesh out your viewpoint and the evidence that supports it.

The 5 Must-Have Steps of a Persuasive Essay

If you’re intimidated by the idea of writing an argument, use this list to break your process into manageable chunks. Tackle researching and writing one element at a time, and then revise your essay so that it flows smoothly and coherently with every component in the optimal place.

1. A topic or issue to argue

This is probably the hardest step. You need to identify a topic or issue that is narrow enough to cover in the length of your piece—and is also arguable from more than one position. Your topic must call for an opinion , and not be a simple fact .

It might be helpful to walk through this process:

  • Identify a random topic
  • Ask a question about the topic that involves a value claim or analysis to answer
  • Answer the question

That answer is your opinion.

Let’s consider some examples, from silly to serious:

Topic: Dolphins and mermaids

Question: In a mythical match, who would win: a dolphin or a mermaid?

Answer/Opinion: The mermaid would win in a match against a dolphin.

Topic: Autumn

Question: Which has a better fall: New England or Colorado?

Answer/Opinion: Fall is better in New England than Colorado.

Topic: Electric transportation options

Question: Would it be better for an urban dweller to buy an electric bike or an electric car?

Answer/Opinion: An electric bike is a better investment than an electric car.

Your turn: Walk through the three-step process described above to identify your topic and your tentative opinion. You may want to start by brainstorming a list of topics you find interesting and then going use the three-step process to find the opinion that would make the best essay topic.

2. An unequivocal thesis statement

If you walked through our three-step process above, you already have some semblance of a thesis—but don’t get attached too soon! 

A solid essay thesis is best developed through the research process. You shouldn’t land on an opinion before you know the facts. So press pause. Take a step back. And dive into your research.

You’ll want to learn:

  • The basic facts of your topic. How long does fall last in New England vs. Colorado? What trees do they have? What colors do those trees turn?
  • The facts specifically relevant to your question. Is there any science on how the varying colors of fall influence human brains and moods?
  • What experts or other noteworthy and valid sources say about the question you’re considering. Has a well-known arborist waxed eloquent on the beauty of New England falls?

As you learn the different viewpoints people have on your topic, pay attention to the strengths and weaknesses of existing arguments. Is anyone arguing the perspective you’re leaning toward? Do you find their arguments convincing? What do you find unsatisfying about the various arguments? 

Allow the research process to change your mind and/or refine your thinking on the topic. Your opinion may change entirely or become more specific based on what you learn.

Once you’ve done enough research to feel confident in your understanding of the topic and your opinion on it, craft your thesis. 

Your thesis statement should be clear and concise. It should directly state your viewpoint on the topic, as well as the basic case for your thesis.

Thesis 1: In a mythical match, the mermaid would overcome the dolphin due to one distinct advantage: her ability to breathe underwater.

Thesis 2: The full spectrum of color displayed on New England hillsides is just one reason why fall in the northeast is better than in Colorado.

Thesis 3: In addition to not adding to vehicle traffic, electric bikes are a better investment than electric cars because they’re cheaper and require less energy to accomplish the same function of getting the rider from point A to point B.

Your turn: Dive into the research process with a radar up for the arguments your sources are making about your topic. What are the most convincing cases? Should you stick with your initial opinion or change it up? Write your fleshed-out thesis statement.

3. Evidence to back up your thesis

This is a typical place for everyone from undergrads to politicians to get stuck, but the good news is, if you developed your thesis from research, you already have a good bit of evidence to make your case.

Go back through your research notes and compile a list of every …

… or other piece of information that supports your thesis. 

This info can come from research studies you found in scholarly journals, government publications, news sources, encyclopedias, or other credible sources (as long as they fit your professor’s standards).

As you put this list together, watch for any gaps or weak points. Are you missing information on how electric cars versus electric bicycles charge or how long their batteries last? Did you verify that dolphins are, in fact, mammals and can’t breathe underwater like totally-real-and-not-at-all-fake 😉mermaids can? Track down that information.

Next, organize your list. Group the entries so that similar or closely related information is together, and as you do that, start thinking through how to articulate the individual arguments to support your case. 

Depending on the length of your essay, each argument may get only a paragraph or two of space. As you think through those specific arguments, consider what order to put them in. You’ll probably want to start with the simplest argument and work up to more complicated ones so that the arguments can build on each other. 

Your turn: Organize your evidence and write a rough draft of your arguments. Play around with the order to find the most compelling way to argue your case.

4. Rebuttals to disprove opposing theses

You can’t just present the evidence to support your case and totally ignore other viewpoints. To persuade your readers, you’ll need to address any opposing ideas they may hold about your topic. 

You probably found some holes in the opposing views during your research process. Now’s your chance to expose those holes. 

Take some time (and space) to: describe the opposing views and show why those views don’t hold up. You can accomplish this using both logic and facts.

Is a perspective based on a faulty assumption or misconception of the truth? Shoot it down by providing the facts that disprove the opinion.

Is another opinion drawn from bad or unsound reasoning? Show how that argument falls apart.

Some cases may truly be only a matter of opinion, but you still need to articulate why you don’t find the opposing perspective convincing.

Yes, a dolphin might be stronger than a mermaid, but as a mammal, the dolphin must continually return to the surface for air. A mermaid can breathe both underwater and above water, which gives her a distinct advantage in this mythical battle.

While the Rocky Mountain views are stunning, their limited colors—yellow from aspen trees and green from various evergreens—leaves the autumn-lover less than thrilled. The rich reds and oranges and yellows of the New England fall are more satisfying and awe-inspiring.

But what about longer trips that go beyond the city center into the suburbs and beyond? An electric bike wouldn’t be great for those excursions. Wouldn’t an electric car be the better choice then? 

Certainly, an electric car would be better in these cases than a gas-powered car, but if most of a person’s trips are in their hyper-local area, the electric bicycle is a more environmentally friendly option for those day-to-day outings. That person could then participate in a carshare or use public transit, a ride-sharing app, or even a gas-powered car for longer trips—and still use less energy overall than if they drove an electric car for hyper-local and longer area trips.

Your turn: Organize your rebuttal research and write a draft of each one.

5. A convincing conclusion

You have your arguments and rebuttals. You’ve proven your thesis is rock-solid. Now all you have to do is sum up your overall case and give your final word on the subject. 

Don’t repeat everything you’ve already said. Instead, your conclusion should logically draw from the arguments you’ve made to show how they coherently prove your thesis. You’re pulling everything together and zooming back out with a better understanding of the what and why of your thesis. 

A dolphin may never encounter a mermaid in the wild, but if it were to happen, we know how we’d place our bets. Long hair and fish tail, for the win.

For those of us who relish 50-degree days, sharp air, and the vibrant colors of fall, New England offers a season that’s cozier, longer-lasting, and more aesthetically pleasing than “colorful” Colorado. A leaf-peeper’s paradise.

When most of your trips from day to day are within five miles, the more energy-efficient—and yes, cost-efficient—choice is undoubtedly the electric bike. So strap on your helmet, fire up your pedals, and two-wheel away to your next destination with full confidence that you made the right decision for your wallet and the environment.

3 Quick Tips for Writing a Strong Argument

Once you have a draft to work with, use these tips to refine your argument and make sure you’re not losing readers for avoidable reasons.

1. Choose your words thoughtfully.

If you want to win people over to your side, don’t write in a way that shuts your opponents down. Avoid making abrasive or offensive statements. Instead, use a measured, reasonable tone. Appeal to shared values, and let your facts and logic do the hard work of changing people’s minds.

Choose words with AI

college level persuasive essay

You can use AI to turn your general point into a readable argument. Then, you can paraphrase each sentence and choose between competing arguments generated by the AI, until your argument is well-articulated and concise.

2. Prioritize accuracy (and avoid fallacies).

Make sure the facts you use are actually factual. You don’t want to build your argument on false or disproven information. Use the most recent, respected research. Make sure you don’t misconstrue study findings. And when you’re building your case, avoid logical fallacies that undercut your argument.

A few common fallacies to watch out for:

  • Strawman: Misrepresenting or oversimplifying an opposing argument to make it easier to refute.
  • Appeal to ignorance: Arguing that a certain claim must be true because it hasn’t been proven false.
  • Bandwagon: Assumes that if a group of people, experts, etc., agree with a claim, it must be true.
  • Hasty generalization: Using a few examples, rather than substantial evidence, to make a sweeping claim.
  • Appeal to authority: Overly relying on opinions of people who have authority of some kind.

The strongest arguments rely on trustworthy information and sound logic.

Research and add citations with AI

college level persuasive essay

We recently wrote a three part piece on researching using AI, so be sure to check it out . Going through an organized process of researching and noting your sources correctly will make sure your written text is more accurate.

3. Persuasive essay structure

Persuasive essay structure

If you’re building a house, you start with the foundation and go from there. It’s the same with an argument. You want to build from the ground up: provide necessary background information, then your thesis. Then, start with the simplest part of your argument and build up in terms of complexity and the aspect of your thesis that the argument is tackling.

A consistent, internal logic will make it easier for the reader to follow your argument. Plus, you’ll avoid confusing your reader and you won’t be unnecessarily redundant.

The essay structure usually includes the following parts:

  • Intro - Hook, Background information, Thesis statement
  • Topic sentence #1 , with supporting facts or stats
  • Concluding sentence
  • Topic sentence #2 , with supporting facts or stats
  • Concluding sentence Topic sentence #3 , with supporting facts or stats
  • Conclusion - Thesis and main points restated, call to action, thought provoking ending

Are You Ready to Write?

Persuasive essays are a great way to hone your research, writing, and critical thinking skills. Approach this assignment well, and you’ll learn how to form opinions based on information (not just ideas) and make arguments that—if they don’t change minds—at least win readers’ respect. ‍

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement . The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.

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Table of contents

When do you write an argumentative essay, approaches to argumentative essays, introducing your argument, the body: developing your argument, concluding your argument, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about argumentative essays.

You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.” It will frequently take the form of a question.

The prompt may also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you could make.

Argumentative writing at college level

At university, the vast majority of essays or papers you write will involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts.

In this context, you won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing, and this should be your default approach unless you’re told otherwise.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts

At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response.

Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

  • Don’t just list all the effects you can think of.
  • Do develop a focused argument about the overall effect and why it matters, backed up by evidence from sources.
  • Don’t just provide a selection of data on the measures’ effectiveness.
  • Do build up your own argument about which kinds of measures have been most or least effective, and why.
  • Don’t just analyze a random selection of doppelgänger characters.
  • Do form an argument about specific texts, comparing and contrasting how they express their thematic concerns through doppelgänger characters.

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college level persuasive essay

An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion.

There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

Toulmin arguments

The Toulmin model consists of four steps, which may be repeated as many times as necessary for the argument:

  • Make a claim
  • Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim
  • Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim)
  • Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives

The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don’t have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.

Say you’re making an argument about the effectiveness of workplace anti-discrimination measures. You might:

  • Claim that unconscious bias training does not have the desired results, and resources would be better spent on other approaches
  • Cite data to support your claim
  • Explain how the data indicates that the method is ineffective
  • Anticipate objections to your claim based on other data, indicating whether these objections are valid, and if not, why not.

Rogerian arguments

The Rogerian model also consists of four steps you might repeat throughout your essay:

  • Discuss what the opposing position gets right and why people might hold this position
  • Highlight the problems with this position
  • Present your own position , showing how it addresses these problems
  • Suggest a possible compromise —what elements of your position would proponents of the opposing position benefit from adopting?

This model builds up a clear picture of both sides of an argument and seeks a compromise. It is particularly useful when people tend to disagree strongly on the issue discussed, allowing you to approach opposing arguments in good faith.

Say you want to argue that the internet has had a positive impact on education. You might:

  • Acknowledge that students rely too much on websites like Wikipedia
  • Argue that teachers view Wikipedia as more unreliable than it really is
  • Suggest that Wikipedia’s system of citations can actually teach students about referencing
  • Suggest critical engagement with Wikipedia as a possible assignment for teachers who are skeptical of its usefulness.

You don’t necessarily have to pick one of these models—you may even use elements of both in different parts of your essay—but it’s worth considering them if you struggle to structure your arguments.

Regardless of which approach you take, your essay should always be structured using an introduction , a body , and a conclusion .

Like other academic essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction . The introduction serves to capture the reader’s interest, provide background information, present your thesis statement , and (in longer essays) to summarize the structure of the body.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in detail. Here you’ll present evidence, analysis, and reasoning to convince the reader that your thesis statement is true.

In the standard five-paragraph format for short essays, the body takes up three of your five paragraphs. In longer essays, it will be more paragraphs, and might be divided into sections with headings.

Each paragraph covers its own topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Each of these topics must contribute to your overall argument; don’t include irrelevant information.

This example paragraph takes a Rogerian approach: It first acknowledges the merits of the opposing position and then highlights problems with that position.

Hover over different parts of the example to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

An argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the arguments made in the body.

No new arguments or evidence appear here, but in longer essays you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and suggest topics for future research. In all conclusions, you should stress the relevance and importance of your argument.

Hover over the following example to see the typical elements of a conclusion.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

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Writing a Persuasive Essay

View in pdf format, the introduction.

Simply enough, the introductory paragraph introduces the argument of your paper. A well-constructed introductory paragraph immediately captures a reader’s interest and gives appropriate background information about the paper’s topic. Such a paragraph might include a brief summary of the ideas to be discussed in body of the paper as well as other information relevant to your paper’s argument. The most important function of the introductory paragraph, however, is to present a clear statement of the paper’s argument. This sentence is your paper’s thesis. Without a thesis, it is impossible for you to present an effective argument. The thesis sentence should reflect both the position that you will argue and the organizational pattern with which you will present and support your argument. A useful way to think about the construction of a thesis sentence is to view it in terms of stating both the “what” and the “how” of the paper’s argument. The “what” is simply the basic argument in your paper: what exactly are you arguing? The “how” is the strategy you will use to present this argument. The following are helpful questions for you to consider when formulating a thesis sentence:

  • What is the argument that I am trying to convince the reader to accept?
  • How exactly do I expect to convince the reader that this argument is sound?

Once you have answered these questions, the next step is to synthesize these answers into a single thesis sentence, or, if necessary, two thesis sentences.

For example: You want to convince your reader that the forces of industry did not shape American foreign policy from the late 19th century through 1914, and you plan to do this by showing that there were other factors which were much more influential in shaping American foreign policy. Both of these elements can be synthesized into a thesis sentence:

Fear of foreign influence in the Western hemisphere, national pride, and contemporary popular ideas concerning both expansion and foreign peoples had significantly more influence on American foreign policy than did the voices of industrialists.

This sentence shows the position you will argue and also sets up the organizational pattern of your paper's body.

The body of your paper contains the actual development of your paper’s argument. Each body paragraph presents a single idea or set of related ideas that provides support for your paper’s argument. Each body paragraph addresses one key aspect of your paper’s thesis and brings the reader closer to accepting the validity of your paper’s argument. Because each body paragraph should be a step in your argument, you should be mindful of the overall organization of your body paragraphs. The first step in writing an effective body paragraph is the construction of the first sentence of this paragraph, the topic sentence. Just as the thesis sentence holds together your essay, the topic sentence is the glue binding each individual body paragraph. A body paragraph’s topic sentence serves two main purposes: introducing the content of the paragraph and introducing the next step of your argument. It is important to keep in mind that the goal of the topic sentence is to advance your paper's argument, not just to describe the content of the paragraph. For example: The first part in your thesis on page two states that fear of foreign influence in the Western Hemisphere had more influence on American foreign policy than did industry. Thus, you need to elaborate on this point in your body paragraphs. An effective topic sentence for one of these paragraphs could be:

American fear of foreign influence was a key factor in the United States’ actions in the Spanish-American War. Subsequent body paragraphs might offer further evidence for the idea presented in this body paragraph.

A good way to test the strength of both your topic sentences and your argument as a whole is to construct an outline of your paper using only your paper's thesis statement and topic sentences. This outline should be a logical overview of your paper's argument; all of your paper’s topic sentences should work together to support your thesis statement.

The Conclusion

A basic purpose of your paper’s concluding paragraph is both to restate the paper’s argument and to restate how you have supported this argument in the body of the paper. However, your conclusion should not simply be a copy of your introduction. The conclusion draws together the threads of the paper’s argument and shows where the argument of your paper has gone. An effective conclusion gives the reader reasons for bothering to read your paper. One of the most important functions of this paragraph is to bring in fresh insight. Some possible questions to consider when writing your conclusion are:

  • What are some real world applications of this paper’s argument?
  • Why is what I am writing about important?
  • What are some of the questions that this paper’s argument raises?
  • What are the implications of this paper’s argument?

While the organization and structure described in this handout are necessary components of an effective persuasive essay, keep in mind that writing itself is a fluid process. There are no steadfast rules that you need to adhere to as you write. Simply because the introduction is the first paragraph in your essay does not mean that you must write this paragraph before any other. Think of the act of writing as an exploration of ideas, and let this sense of exploration guide you as you write your essay.

by Adam Polak ’98 and Jen Collins ’96

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college level persuasive essay

Persuasive Essay Topics: Top 150 Choices

college level persuasive essay

Did you know that the word 'persuade' is derived from the Latin word 'persuadere,' which means 'to make someone agree or believe through argument or reasoning'? It's a fascinating linguistic connection to the art of writing a persuasive essay, a skill that has the potential to shape opinions, spark discussions, and even drive change.

In this article, our persuasive essay writer will delve into a carefully curated selection of 150 essay topics that are designed to ignite debate, stimulate critical thinking, and empower you to make a compelling case for your viewpoint. Whether you're a student looking for a captivating, persuasive essay idea for your next assignment or an advocate seeking to raise awareness about critical issues, our list offers a diverse range of ideas that can serve as a powerful catalyst for meaningful discourse and positive transformation.

A Comprehensive List of Persuasive Essay Topics

In this comprehensive list, our paper writing service experts have compiled an extensive range of persuasive essay topics to suit various interests and academic levels. Whether you're a college student seeking to engage in complex debates, a high school student eager to make a compelling case, or an advocate looking to address critical issues, we've got you covered. Our topics span across diverse categories such as education, history, society, health, and more. This article is your one-stop resource for finding the perfect topic that aligns with your passion and purpose, ensuring your persuasive essays stand out.

Good Persuasive Essay Topics

In our pursuit of engaging and impactful essay subjects, let's begin by delving into ten distinctive topics that transcend the commonplace. These choices not only provide fresh perspectives but also present an opportunity to learn how to research a topic effectively.

  • Contemplating the Art of Mindful Consumption : Discuss the ethical implications of our consumer choices and how conscious shopping can transform our world.
  • Digital Privacy in the Age of Big Data: Analyze the trade-offs between personal privacy and data collection in our increasingly interconnected world.
  • The Future of Work: Universal Basic Income: Delve into the concept of universal basic income and its potential to address economic inequality and job displacement in the age of automation.
  • Cryptocurrency Adoption and Its Impact on Traditional Banking: Examine how the rise of cryptocurrencies is reshaping the financial landscape and challenging traditional banking systems.
  • Sustainable Fashion: Balancing Style and Environmental Responsibility: Discuss the fashion industry's ecological footprint and the importance of sustainable clothing practices.
  • Decoding Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Explore the transformative potential of AI in revolutionizing healthcare and its implications for medical professionals and patients.
  • The Power of Solar Roadways: Investigate the concept of solar roadways as an innovative solution for both energy generation and sustainable infrastructure.
  • The Intersection of Virtual Reality and Education: Analyze the benefits and challenges of integrating virtual reality technology into the classroom for enhanced learning experiences.
  • Reimagining Urban Planning: The 15-Minute City Concept: Delve into the urban planning movement that aims to create more sustainable and livable cities by emphasizing short commutes and community-centric design.
  • The Impact of Eco-Anxiety on Mental Health: Discuss the psychological effects of climate change-related anxiety and ways to address and mitigate its impact on individuals and society.

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Hopefully this guide will help you discover good topics for a persuasive speech or essay and write a top-notch paper. Looking for more advice or professional help?

Persuasive Essay Topics for College

When it comes to persuasive essay topics for students, the expectation is high. College-level writing demands critical thinking, compelling arguments, and well-researched positions. Here are ten thought-provoking topics tailored for the academic environment:

  • The Ethics of Cloning and Genetic Engineering in Higher Education: Explore the moral and scientific considerations of cloning and genetic engineering research conducted in university settings.
  • Quantum Computing and Its Implications for Computer Science Education: Delve into the potential of quantum computing and its influence on computer science programs in colleges and universities.
  • Deconstructing the Prison-Industrial Complex: A Call for Education Reform: Discuss how higher education institutions can play a role in addressing the social and economic issues related to mass incarceration.
  • Space Exploration and University Research: Analyze the contributions of universities to space exploration and their potential impact on future interstellar exploration.
  • The Intersection of Art and Artificial Intelligence: Examine the collaboration between artists and AI technology in creating innovative and thought-provoking works of art.
  • The Philosophy of Time Travel: Academic Approaches and Paradoxes: Explore the theoretical aspects of time travel from a philosophical and scientific perspective.
  • Biodiversity Conservation in University Campuses: Discuss the role of colleges in preserving local biodiversity and creating sustainable environments within their campuses.
  • The Influence of Virtual Reality on Archaeological Studies: Investigate how VR technology is transforming archaeological research and preservation efforts.
  • The Philosophy of Mind in the Age of Brain-Computer Interfaces: Explore the ethical and philosophical implications of brain-computer interface technology in academic and research settings.
  • Transhumanism and the Future of Human Enhancement: Discuss the ethical, social, and philosophical aspects of transhumanism within the context of higher education.

Persuasive Essay Topics High School

High school students often engage with a wide range of issues and concerns. Here are some essay topics tailored to their interests and age groups:

  • Promoting Financial Literacy in High Schools: Discuss the importance of including comprehensive financial literacy education in high school curriculums to equip students with essential life skills.
  • Social Media's Impact on Teen Mental Health: Explore the influence of social media on the mental well-being of high school students and advocate for responsible usage.
  • The Need for Racial and Cultural Diversity in High School Reading Lists: Analyze the benefits of incorporating more diverse voices and perspectives in the required reading list.
  • Youth Activism and Its Impact on Social Change: Highlight the role of young activists in shaping social and political movements, both historically and in the present.
  • The Effects of Violent Video Games on Adolescent Behavior: Discuss the potential impact of violent video games on high school students and the debate over-regulation.
  • Promoting Healthy Eating Habits in Schools: Advocate for better nutritional standards in high school cafeterias to combat childhood obesity and encourage healthy eating.
  • Cyberbullying Prevention and High School Policies: Examine the issue of cyberbullying and the role of high schools in preventing and addressing this problem.
  • The Pros and Cons of School Uniforms: Debate the advantages and disadvantages of implementing school uniforms in high schools.
  • Youth Voting Rights and Civic Engagement: Discuss the benefits of lowering the voting age to 16 and increasing youth participation in elections.
  • Climate Change Education in High Schools: Explore the need for comprehensive climate change education in high schools to prepare the next generation for environmental challenges.

Persuasive Essay Topics on Education

Education is a dynamic and crucial field that constantly evolves. Here are ten topics related to education:

  • The Impact of Inclusive Education on Student Development: Explore the advantages of inclusive classrooms where students with diverse abilities learn together.
  • The Role of Teachers in Fostering Critical Thinking: Discuss how educators can nurture critical thinking skills in students, preparing them for a rapidly changing world.
  • Standardized Testing: Is it a True Measure of Student Ability? Debate the effectiveness and limitations of standardized testing in assessing student knowledge and readiness.
  • Digital Learning Tools in the Classroom: Analyze the benefits and challenges of integrating digital technology into the education system.
  • The Importance of Arts Education in Schools: Advocate for the inclusion of arts education as a fundamental part of the curriculum, promoting creativity and well-rounded development.
  • Homeschooling vs. Traditional Schooling: A Comparative Analysis: Examine the pros and cons of homeschooling in contrast to traditional classroom education.
  • The Role of Education in Combating Cyberbullying: Discuss how schools can address the issue of cyberbullying and promote safe online behavior.
  • The Necessity of Physical Education: Encouraging Active Lifestyles: Explore the importance of physical education in high schools and its contribution to students' health.
  • The Impact of Early Childhood Education on Future Success: Discuss the long-term benefits of quality early childhood education programs.
  • Environmental Education: Preparing Students for a Sustainable Future: Advocate for the inclusion of environmental education in school curriculums to raise awareness about sustainability and ecological responsibility.

persuasive essay topics

Persuasive Essay Topics on Society

The topics that follow provide distinctive viewpoints on society, offering a novel vantage point from which to delve into the complexities of human culture, behavior, and interpersonal dynamics.

  • The Influence of Culinary Culture on Society: Delve into how culinary traditions, food choices, and dining habits shape our cultural identity and social interactions.
  • Understanding Society Through Foreign Language Semiotics: Examine how symbols and signs in everyday life convey meaning, reflect societal values, and influence communication.
  • The Role of Festivals and Celebrations in Building Community: Explore how communal celebrations and festivals foster a sense of togetherness and unity within societies.
  • The Art of Storytelling: Oral Traditions and Their Impact on Culture: Analyze the significance of oral storytelling traditions in preserving cultural heritage and passing down knowledge from generation to generation.
  • Collective Memory and Historical Narratives: Discuss how societies construct and maintain collective memories and the impact of these narratives on their sense of identity and unity.
  • Urban Planning and the Psychology of Space: Examine the psychological effects of urban environments, architectural design, and city planning on the well-being and behavior of residents.
  • The Societal Significance of Public Transportation: Explore how public transportation systems shape social interactions, reduce environmental impact, and influence urban development.
  • Fashion as a Mirror of Society: Discuss how clothing, styles, and fashion trends reflect cultural values, historical influences, and societal changes.
  • The Rituals of Everyday Life: Examining Mundane Practices: Analyze the significance of daily rituals and mundane practices in creating a sense of order and meaning in society.
  • Digital Subcultures and Online Communities: Investigate how online communities and subcultures have emerged as significant facets of modern society, influencing the way people connect, share interests, and form identities.

Persuasive Essay Topics on History

When considering how to write persuasive essay on history, these topics will provide you with a platform to delve into the past, draw valuable lessons, and make compelling arguments about the significance of historical events, figures, and movements in our world today.

  • The Significance of Historical Preservation: Discuss the importance of preserving historical sites and artifacts for future generations.
  • The Impact of World War II on Global Politics: Analyze how World War II redefined international relations and its lasting effects on the world.
  • The Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement: Explore the achievements and ongoing challenges related to the civil rights movement in the United States.
  • The Role of Ancient History in Modern Society: Discuss the relevance of studying ancient civilizations and their impact on contemporary culture and politics.
  • The Cultural Significance of the Renaissance Period: Analyze the contributions of the Renaissance era to art, science, and human thought.
  • The Causes and Consequences of the Industrial Revolution: Examine the factors that led to the Industrial Revolution and its effects on society.
  • The Impact of Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples: Discuss the long-term consequences of European colonialism on indigenous populations and their cultures.
  • The Lessons of the Cold War: Analyze the Cold War's influence on geopolitics and diplomacy and what lessons can be drawn from it for current international relations.
  • The Role of Historical Truth in Reconciliation: Discuss the importance of acknowledging historical injustices in the process of reconciliation and healing.
  • The Influence of Historical Figures on Modern Political Thought: Explore how historical figures have shaped contemporary political ideologies and movements.

Persuasive Essay Topics About Social Issues

Social issues encompass a wide range of concerns that affect individuals and communities. Here are topics related to social issues:

  • Addressing Homelessness in Urban Areas: Discuss strategies to combat homelessness and support those in need in cities and urban environments.
  • The Impact of Bullying in Schools: Analyze the consequences of bullying and explore ways to create a safer and more inclusive school environment.
  • Youth Substance Abuse and Prevention: Advocate for effective prevention programs and support for young people struggling with substance abuse.
  • Racial Profiling and Police Violence: Discuss racial profiling and excessive use of force by law enforcement and advocate for reforms.
  • Access to Affordable Healthcare: Explore the challenges and solutions for providing affordable and accessible healthcare for all.
  • Gender and LGBTQ+ Rights: Advocate for gender equality and the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, including issues like marriage equality and transgender rights.
  • Combating Human Trafficking: Discuss the global issue of human trafficking and propose solutions to combat it effectively.
  • Mental Health Stigma and Awareness: Explore the stigma surrounding mental health and ways to promote awareness and destigmatization.
  • The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health: Analyze the relationship between social media use and mental health concerns, such as anxiety and depression.
  • Environmental Justice and Access to Clean Water: Advocate for equitable access to clean water and address environmental disparities in vulnerable communities.

Crime and Legal Persuasive Essay Topics

Issues related to crime and the legal system are often the subject of intense debate. These topics provide a platform for students to examine complex issues in criminal justice, law, and ethics while presenting well-researched arguments and potential solutions.

  • The Efficacy of Restorative Justice Programs: Explore the effectiveness of restorative justice as an alternative to traditional punitive measures in the criminal justice system.
  • Sentencing Reform and the Need for Second Chances: Advocate for reevaluating sentencing guidelines and promoting rehabilitation over lengthy prison sentences.
  • Cybersecurity and Digital Privacy Laws: Examine the importance of legal measures to protect digital privacy and combat cybercrimes.
  • Capital Punishment: Abolition or Reform? Analyze the arguments for and against the death penalty and consider potential reforms.
  • Criminal Profiling and Ethical Considerations: Explore the use of criminal profiling in law enforcement and the ethical questions it raises.
  • Hate Crimes Legislation and Protection: Advocate for stronger hate crime laws and measures to protect vulnerable communities.
  • Juvenile Justice Reform: Discuss the need for improvements in the juvenile justice system, including alternatives to incarceration for young offenders.
  • Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform: Discuss the practice of civil asset forfeiture and advocate for reforms to address potential abuses and protect property rights.
  • Mandatory Minimum Sentences: A Review and Reform: Analyze the impact of mandatory minimum sentencing laws and propose potential reforms for a more equitable criminal justice system.
  • The Role of Mental Health Courts: Explore the benefits and challenges of mental health courts as an alternative approach to addressing criminal cases involving individuals with mental illnesses.

Health Persuasive Essay Topics

These health-related essay topics encompass a wide range of issues, from public health policies to individual health and well-being, providing opportunities for students to explore critical topics and propose meaningful solutions.

  • Universal Healthcare: A Right or a Privilege? Debate the merits of universal healthcare and its implications for society and the economy.
  • The Obesity Epidemic and Public Health: Discuss strategies to combat obesity, promote healthy lifestyles, and reduce the associated health risks.
  • Vaccination Mandates and Public Health: Analyze the controversy surrounding vaccination mandates and their impact on public health.
  • Digital Wellness in the Age of Screens : Examine the impact of constant screen exposure on physical and mental health.
  • The Role of Nutrition Education in Schools: Advocate for the inclusion of comprehensive nutrition education in the school curriculum to combat childhood obesity and promote healthy eating habits.
  • The Opioid Crisis and Addiction Treatment: Explore strategies for addressing the opioid epidemic and improving access to addiction treatment.
  • Reproductive Health and Women's Rights: Discuss the importance of women's reproductive health rights and access to healthcare services.
  • Healthcare Disparities in Underserved Communities: Analyze the disparities in healthcare access and outcomes in underserved and marginalized communities and propose solutions.
  • Telemedicine and the Future of Healthcare: Examine the growth of telemedicine and its potential to improve healthcare access, especially in rural areas.
  • The Impact of Aging Populations on Healthcare Systems: Discuss the challenges and innovations needed to address the healthcare needs of an increasingly aging population.

Women's and Gender Persuasive Essay Topics

Gender and women's issues are essential topics for discussion and advocacy, inviting students to address crucial matters related to gender and work toward a more equitable and inclusive society.

persuasive essay topics

  • Equal Pay for Equal Work: Advocate for closing the gender pay gap and ensuring equal pay for women in the workplace.
  • Women in Leadership: Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Discuss the barriers women face in reaching leadership positions and strategies to promote gender equality in leadership roles.
  • Reproductive Rights and Access to Healthcare: Explore the importance of women's reproductive rights and access to comprehensive healthcare services, including contraception and family planning.
  • Violence Against Women: Prevention and Support: Discuss the prevalence of violence against women, including domestic violence and sexual assault, and propose strategies for prevention and support for survivors.
  • Women in STEM Fields: Encouraging Gender Diversity: Analyze the challenges women face in STEM careers and advocate for increased gender diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
  • Gender Stereotypes and Their Impact: Examine the influence of gender stereotypes on society and discuss strategies to challenge and overcome these biases.
  • The Representation of Women in Media: Discuss the portrayal of women in the media and the need for more diverse and empowering representations.
  • Intersectionality and Women's Rights: Explore how race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and other factors intersect with gender, affecting women's experiences and rights.
  • Child Marriage and Gender-Based Violence: Advocate for ending child marriage and addressing gender-based violence against girls and young women.
  • The Role of Men in Feminism: Discuss the importance of male allies in the feminist movement and how they can support gender equality.

Ethics Persuasive Essay Topics

Ethical issues are at the core of many important debates and decisions in society. Here are some interesting suggestions from our online essay writer that explore various ethical dilemmas:

  • Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and Automation: Discuss the ethical considerations surrounding AI, automation and their impact on the workforce and decision-making.
  • Bioethical Dilemmas: Genetic Engineering and Designer Babies: Analyze the ethical concerns raised by genetic engineering and the creation of designer babies.
  • Ethics in Animal Testing and Research: Debate the ethical considerations of using animals for scientific experiments and research.
  • Euthanasia and the Right to Die with Dignity: Discuss the ethical aspects of euthanasia and whether individuals have the right to make end-of-life decisions.
  • Environmental Ethics and Conservation: Explore the ethical principles underpinning environmental conservation and sustainability efforts.
  • Ethical Implications of Privacy in the Digital Age: Analyze the ethical dilemmas related to data privacy, surveillance, and digital information sharing.
  • Ethics in Journalism and Media Integrity: Discuss the ethical responsibilities of journalists and media outlets in reporting news and information accurately.
  • Ethical Considerations in Healthcare Resource Allocation: Explore the ethical challenges healthcare professionals face when allocating limited resources, such as during a public health crisis.
  • Ethical Implications of Cloning and Stem Cell Research: Examine the ethical concerns and potential benefits of cloning and stem cell research.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethical Business Practices: Advocate for ethical standards and social responsibility in business practices, including issues related to sustainability and fair labor practices.

Science Persuasive Essay Topics

These science-related topics allow college students to engage in discussions about the role of science in addressing critical global issues and how scientific knowledge can shape our understanding of the world and improve our lives.

  • Climate Change and Urgent Action: Advocate for the importance of addressing climate change and the role of scientific research in finding solutions.
  • Space Exploration: The Quest for Knowledge and Discovery: Discuss the value of space exploration and the knowledge gained from missions to the cosmos.
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and Food Security: Explore the benefits and risks of GMOs in agriculture and their role in food security.
  • The Role of Science in Addressing Public Health Crises: Analyze the significance of science in responding to public health crises, such as pandemics and infectious diseases.
  • The Untapped Potential of Mycorrhizal Fungi in Enhancing Sustainable Agriculture : Explore the largely uncharted territory of harnessing mycorrhizal fungi to improve soil health, nutrient absorption, and crop yields.
  • The Importance of STEM Education: Advocate for the promotion of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in schools to prepare future generations for scientific and technological challenges.
  • Artificial Intelligence and its Ethical Implications: Explore the ethical concerns related to AI technology, such as decision-making algorithms and machine learning.
  • The Impact of Scientific Discoveries on Medical Ethics: Discuss how scientific advances, such as gene editing and organ transplantation, influence medical ethics and healthcare decision-making.
  • Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Health: Analyze the role of science in preserving biodiversity and maintaining the health of ecosystems.
  • The Role of Scientific Skepticism in Critical Thinking: Advocate for the importance of scientific skepticism in evaluating claims, combating pseudoscience, and fostering critical thinking.

Persuasive Essay Topics on AI Impact

These essay topics on AI impact suggested by our dissertation service writers provide students with an opportunity to critically examine the various ways AI is reshaping our world, considering both the benefits and challenges it presents.

  • AI in Literature and Creative Writing: A New Era of Storytelling: Explore the use of AI in generating creative content, such as poems, stories, and novels, and its potential impact on the literary world.
  • AI in Archaeology and Historical Preservation: Discuss how AI technologies are aiding in archaeological discoveries, historical research, and the preservation of cultural heritage.
  • AI and the Future of Personal Relationships: From Virtual Companions to AI Love: Examine the ethical and emotional implications of AI-powered virtual companions and their potential influence on human relationships.
  • AI in the Workplace: Job Automation and the Future of Employment: Analyze the impact of AI on the workforce, considering job displacement and the need for new skill sets.
  • AI and Privacy Concerns: Balancing Innovation with Data Protection: Debate the ethical and privacy considerations related to AI technologies and data collection.
  • AI and Mental Health: Chatbots and Supportive Technologies: Explore the use of AI in providing mental health support, including chatbots and virtual therapists.
  • AI and Criminal Justice: Predictive Policing and Bias Mitigation: Analyze the role of AI in criminal justice, including predictive policing and efforts to address bias.
  • AI in Art and Creativity: Tools, Innovations, and Copyright: Discuss the impact of AI in creative fields, raising questions about copyright and the definition of art.
  • AI in Environmental Conservation: Enhancing Conservation Efforts: Explore how AI technologies are used to monitor and protect endangered species and natural ecosystems.
  • AI and Accessibility: Empowering Individuals with Disabilities: Advocate for the use of AI to improve accessibility and inclusivity for individuals with disabilities.

Persuasive Essay Topics on Racism

These persuasive writing prompts on racism provide opportunities to engage in important discussions and advocate for social justice, equity, and change. They encourage college students to address the multifaceted issues related to racism and contribute to the ongoing fight against discrimination.

  • The Impact of Systemic Racism on Communities of Color: Discuss the pervasive effects of systemic racism on individuals and communities, including disparities in education, healthcare, and criminal justice.
  • Racial Profiling and Police Violence: Analyze the issues of racial profiling and the use of force by law enforcement, as well as strategies for reform.
  • Hate Crimes and Discrimination: Explore the prevalence of hate crimes based on race, religion, or ethnicity and advocate for measures to combat discrimination.
  • The Importance of Diverse Representation in Media: Discuss the need for more diverse and accurate portrayals of racial and ethnic minorities in film, television, and advertising.
  • Affirmative Action: Balancing Equal Opportunity and Meritocracy: Debate the role of affirmative action policies in addressing historical injustices and promoting diversity in education and employment.
  • Race and Education: Addressing the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Examine the disproportionate impact of disciplinary policies on students of color and the need to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline.
  • The Role of Allyship in Combating Racism: Discuss the importance of allyship in supporting marginalized communities and dismantling racist systems.
  • Racial Health Disparities: A Call for Equity in Healthcare: Analyze the disparities in healthcare access and outcomes among racial and ethnic groups and advocate for equitable healthcare solutions.
  • Microaggressions and Unconscious Bias: Explore the impact of microaggressions and unconscious bias on marginalized communities and strategies for raising awareness.
  • Reparations for Historical Injustices: Debate the need for reparations to address the historical injustices inflicted on communities of color, particularly the descendants of enslaved individuals.

Unique Persuasive Essay Ideas

These persuasive essay ideas offer opportunities to explore unconventional and fascinating topics, encouraging critical thinking and in-depth examination of issues that may not be as widely discussed but are nonetheless thought-provoking.

  • The Ethics of Space Colonization: Explore the ethical considerations and responsibilities of humanity as we venture into space and potentially colonize other planets.
  • The Impact of Digital Immortality: Discuss the ethical and existential questions raised by advancements in digital technology that allow individuals to preserve their personalities and memories beyond their lifetimes.
  • The Necessity of Emotional Education: Advocate for the inclusion of emotional intelligence and empathy education in schools to promote healthy relationships and emotional well-being.
  • The Role of Psychedelics in Mental Health Treatment: Examine the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelics, such as psilocybin, in the treatment of mental health disorders.
  • The Art and Science of Laughter: Explore the physiological and psychological benefits of laughter and its potential as a form of therapy.
  • The Future of Sustainable Fashion: Discuss innovations in sustainable fashion, including circular fashion, eco-friendly textiles, and ethical fashion practices.
  • The Impact of Silence on Mental Health: Examine the importance of silence and solitude in maintaining mental well-being in a noisy and interconnected world.
  • The Philosophy of Time Travel: Paradoxes and Possibilities: Delve into the philosophical questions and paradoxes related to time travel and its feasibility.
  • Human Augmentation and Cyborg Ethics: Explore the ethical considerations surrounding human augmentation technologies and the blurring of boundaries between humans and machines.
  • The Art of Procrastination: Creativity and Productivity: Discuss the potential benefits of procrastination in fostering creativity and innovation.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, this article has presented a diverse array of persuasive essay topics, spanning from pressing social issues to the ethical implications of AI and beyond. It highlights the importance of engaging in critical discourse, fostering empathy, and advocating for positive change in our ever-evolving world.

At the same time, if you find yourself seeking assistance with your academic endeavors, remember that we can help you with your homework, ensuring you stay on top of your studies and coursework. Whether it's tackling complex essays or asking for support like ' do my homework ,' our resources are here to aid you on your academic journey.

What if Your Essay Could Change Minds and Transform Ideas?

Explore the endless possibilities of interesting persuasive essay topics that elevate your writing and inspire change.

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Argumentative Essay Examples & Analysis

July 20, 2023

college level persuasive essay

Writing successful argumentative or persuasive essays is a sort of academic rite of passage: every student, at some point in their academic career, will have to do it. And not without reason—writing a good argumentative essay requires the ability to organize one’s thoughts, reason logically, and present evidence in support of claims. They even require empathy, as authors are forced to inhabit and then respond to viewpoints that run counter to their own. Here, we’ll look at some argumentative essay examples and analyze their strengths and weaknesses.

What is an argumentative essay?

Before we turn to those argumentative essay examples, let’s get precise about what an argumentative essay is. An argumentative essay is an essay that advances a central point, thesis, or claim using evidence and facts. In other words, argumentative essays are essays that argue on behalf of a particular viewpoint. The goal of an argumentative essay is to convince the reader that the essay’s core idea is correct.

Good argumentative essays rely on facts and evidence. Personal anecdotes, appeals to emotion , and opinions that aren’t grounded in evidence just won’t fly. Let’s say I wanted to write an essay arguing that cats are the best pets. It wouldn’t be enough to say that I love having a cat as a pet. That’s just my opinion. Nor would it be enough to cite my downstairs neighbor Claudia, who also has a cat and who also prefers cats to dogs. That’s just an anecdote.

For the essay to have a chance at succeeding, I’d have to use evidence to support my argument. Maybe there are studies that compare the cost of cat ownership to dog ownership and conclude that cat ownership is less expensive. Perhaps there’s medical data that shows that more people are allergic to dogs than they are to cats. And maybe there are surveys that show that cat owners are more satisfied with their pets than are dog owners. I have no idea if any of that is true. The point is that successful argumentative essays use evidence from credible sources to back up their points.

Argumentative essay structure

Important to note before we examine a few argumentative essay examples: most argumentative essays will follow a standard 5-paragraph format. This format entails an introductory paragraph that lays out the essay’s central claim. Next, there are three body paragraphs that each advance sub-claims and evidence to support the central claim. Lastly, there is a conclusion that summarizes the points made. That’s not to say that every good argumentative essay will adhere strictly to the 5-paragraph format. And there is plenty of room for flexibility and creativity within the 5-paragraph format. For example, a good argumentative essay that follows the 5-paragraph template will also generally include counterarguments and rebuttals.

Introduction Example

Now let’s move on to those argumentative essay examples, and examine in particular a couple of introductions. The first takes on a common argumentative essay topic —capital punishment.

The death penalty has long been a divisive issue in the United States. 24 states allow the death penalty, while the other 26 have either banned the death penalty outright or issued moratoriums halting the practice. Proponents of the death penalty argue that it’s an effective deterrent against crime. Time and time again, however, this argument has been shown to be false. Capital punishment does not deter crime. But not only that—the death penalty is irreversible, which allows our imperfect justice system no room for error. Finally, the application of the death penalty is racially biased—the population of death row is over 41% Black , despite Black Americans making up just 13% of the U.S. population. For all these reasons, the death penalty should be outlawed across the board in the United States.

Why this introduction works: First, it’s clear. It lays out the essay’s thesis: that the death penalty should be outlawed in the United States. It also names the sub-arguments the author is going to use to support the thesis: (1), capital punishment does not deter crime, (2), it’s irreversible, and (3), it’s a racially biased practice. In laying out these three points, the author is also laying out the structure of the essay to follow. Each of the body paragraphs will take on one of the three sub-arguments presented in the introduction.

Argumentative Essay Examples (Continued)

Something else I like about this introduction is that it acknowledges and then refutes a common counterargument—the idea that the death penalty is a crime deterrent. Notice also the flow of the first two sentences. The first flags the essay’s topic. But it also makes a claim—that the issue of capital punishment is politically divisive. The following sentence backs this claim up. Essentially half of the country allows the practice; the other half has banned it. This is a feature not just of solid introductions but of good argumentative essays in general—all the essay’s claims will be backed up with evidence.

How it could be improved: Okay, I know I just got through singing the praises of the first pair of sentences, but if I were really nitpicking, I might take issue with them. Why? The first sentence is a bit of a placeholder. It’s a platitude, a way for the author to get a foothold in the piece. The essay isn’t about how divisive the death penalty is; it’s about why it ought to be abolished. When it comes to writing an argumentative essay, I always like to err on the side of blunt. There’s nothing wrong with starting an argumentative essay with the main idea: Capital punishment is an immoral and ineffective form of punishment, and the practice should be abolished .

Let’s move on to another argumentative essay example. Here’s an introduction that deals with the effects of technology on the brain:

Much of the critical discussion around technology today revolves around social media. Critics argue that social media has cut us off from our fellow citizens, trapping us in “information silos” and contributing to political polarization. Social media also promotes unrealistic and unhealthy beauty standards, which can lead to anxiety and depression. What’s more, the social media apps themselves are designed to addict their users. These are all legitimate critiques of social media, and they ought to be taken seriously. But the problem of technology today goes deeper than social media. The internet itself is the problem. Whether it’s on our phones or our laptops, on a social media app, or doing a Google search, the internet promotes distracted thinking and superficial learning. The internet is, quite literally, rewiring our brains.

Why this introduction works: This introduction hooks the reader by tying a topical debate about social media to the essay’s main subject—the problem of the internet itself. The introduction makes it clear what the essay is going to be about; the sentence, “But the problem of technology…” signals to the reader that the main idea is coming. I like the clarity with which the main idea is stated, and, as in the previous introduction, the main idea sets up the essay to follow.

How it could be improved: I like how direct this introduction is, but it might be improved by being a little more specific. Without getting too technical, the introduction might tell the reader what it means to “promote distracted thinking and superficial learning.” It might also hint as to why these are good arguments. For example, are there neurological or psychological studies that back this claim up? A simple fix might be: Whether it’s on our phones or our laptops, on a social media app, or doing a Google search, countless studies have shown that the internet promotes distracted thinking and superficial learning . The body paragraphs would then elaborate on those points. And the last sentence, while catchy, is a bit vague.

Body Paragraph Example

Let’s stick with our essay on capital punishment and continue on to the first body paragraph.

Proponents of the death penalty have long claimed that the practice is an effective deterrent to crime. It might not be pretty, they say, but its deterrent effects prevent further crime. Therefore, its continued use is justified. The problem is that this is just not borne out in the data. There is simply no evidence that the death penalty deters crime more than other forms of punishment, like long prison sentences. States, where the death penalty is still carried out, do not have lower crime rates than states where the practice has been abolished. States that have abandoned the death penalty likewise show no increase in crime or murder rates.

Body Paragraph (Continued)

For example, the state of Louisiana, where the death penalty is legal, has a murder rate of 21.3 per 100,000 residents. In Iowa, where the death penalty was abolished in 1965, the murder rate is 3.2 per 100,000. In Kentucky the death penalty is legal and the murder rate is 9.6; in Michigan where it’s illegal, the murder rate is 8.7. The death penalty simply has no bearing on murder rates. If it did, we’d see markedly lower murder rates in states that maintain the practice. But that’s not the case. Capital punishment does not deter crime. Therefore, it should be abolished.

Why this paragraph works: This body paragraph is successful because it coheres with the main idea set out in the introduction. It supports the essay’s first sub-argument—that capital punishment does not deter crime—and in so doing, it supports the essay’s main idea—that capital punishment should be abolished. How does it do that? By appealing to the data. A nice feature of this paragraph is that it simultaneously debunks a common counterargument and advances the essay’s thesis. It also supplies a few direct examples (murder rates in states like Kentucky, Michigan, etc.) without getting too technical. Importantly, the last few sentences tie the data back to the main idea of the essay. It’s not enough to pepper your essay with statistics. A good argumentative essay will unpack the statistics, tell the reader why the statistics matter, and how they support or confirm the essay’s main idea.

How it could be improved: The author is missing one logical connection at the end of the paragraph. The author shows that capital punishment doesn’t deter crime, but then just jumps to their conclusion. They needed to establish a logical bridge to get from the sub-argument to the conclusion. That bridge might be: if the deterrent effect is being used as a justification to maintain the practice, but the deterrent effect doesn’t really exist, then , in the absence of some other justification, the death penalty should be abolished. The author almost got there, but just needed to make that one final logical connection.

Conclusion Example

Once we’ve supported each of our sub-arguments with a corresponding body paragraph, it’s time to move on to the conclusion.

It might be nice to think that executing murderers prevents future murders from happening, that our justice system is infallible and no one is ever wrongly put to death, and that the application of the death penalty is free of bias. But as we have seen, each of those thoughts are just comforting fictions. The death penalty does not prevent future crime—if it did, we’d see higher crime rates in states that’ve done away with capital punishment. The death penalty is an irreversible punishment meted out by an imperfect justice system—as a result, wrongful executions are unavoidable. And the death penalty disproportionately affects people of color. The death penalty is an unjustifiable practice—both practically and morally. Therefore, the United States should do away with the practice and join the more than 85 world nations that have already done so.

Why this conclusion works: It concisely summarizes the points made throughout the essay. But notice that it’s not identical to the introduction. The conclusion makes it clear that our understanding of the issue has changed with the essay. It not only revisits the sub-arguments, it expounds upon them. And to put a bow on everything, it restates the thesis—this time, though, with a little more emotional oomph.

How it could be improved: I’d love to see a little more specificity with regard to the sub-arguments. Instead of just rehashing the second sub-argument—that wrongful executions are unavoidable—the author could’ve included a quick statistic to give the argument more weight. For example: The death penalty is an irreversible punishment meted out by an imperfect justice system—as a result, wrongful executions are unavoidable. Since 1973, at least 190 people have been put to death who were later found to be innocent.

An argumentative essay is a powerful way to convey one’s ideas. As an academic exercise, mastering the art of the argumentative essay requires students to hone their skills of critical thinking, rhetoric, and logical reasoning. The best argumentative essays communicate their ideas clearly and back up their claims with evidence.

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Dane Gebauer

Dane Gebauer is a writer and teacher living in Miami, FL. He received his MFA in fiction from Columbia University, and his writing has appeared in Complex Magazine and Sinking City Review .

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College Admissions , College Essays

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The personal statement might just be the hardest part of your college application. Mostly this is because it has the least guidance and is the most open-ended. One way to understand what colleges are looking for when they ask you to write an essay is to check out the essays of students who already got in—college essays that actually worked. After all, they must be among the most successful of this weird literary genre.

In this article, I'll go through general guidelines for what makes great college essays great. I've also compiled an enormous list of 100+ actual sample college essays from 11 different schools. Finally, I'll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work. With links to 177 full essays and essay excerpts , this article is a great resource for learning how to craft your own personal college admissions essay!

What Excellent College Essays Have in Common

Even though in many ways these sample college essays are very different from one other, they do share some traits you should try to emulate as you write your own essay.

Visible Signs of Planning

Building out from a narrow, concrete focus. You'll see a similar structure in many of the essays. The author starts with a very detailed story of an event or description of a person or place. After this sense-heavy imagery, the essay expands out to make a broader point about the author, and connects this very memorable experience to the author's present situation, state of mind, newfound understanding, or maturity level.

Knowing how to tell a story. Some of the experiences in these essays are one-of-a-kind. But most deal with the stuff of everyday life. What sets them apart is the way the author approaches the topic: analyzing it for drama and humor, for its moving qualities, for what it says about the author's world, and for how it connects to the author's emotional life.

Stellar Execution

A killer first sentence. You've heard it before, and you'll hear it again: you have to suck the reader in, and the best place to do that is the first sentence. Great first sentences are punchy. They are like cliffhangers, setting up an exciting scene or an unusual situation with an unclear conclusion, in order to make the reader want to know more. Don't take my word for it—check out these 22 first sentences from Stanford applicants and tell me you don't want to read the rest of those essays to find out what happens!

A lively, individual voice. Writing is for readers. In this case, your reader is an admissions officer who has read thousands of essays before yours and will read thousands after. Your goal? Don't bore your reader. Use interesting descriptions, stay away from clichés, include your own offbeat observations—anything that makes this essay sounds like you and not like anyone else.

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Technical correctness. No spelling mistakes, no grammar weirdness, no syntax issues, no punctuation snafus—each of these sample college essays has been formatted and proofread perfectly. If this kind of exactness is not your strong suit, you're in luck! All colleges advise applicants to have their essays looked over several times by parents, teachers, mentors, and anyone else who can spot a comma splice. Your essay must be your own work, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting help polishing it.

And if you need more guidance, connect with PrepScholar's expert admissions consultants . These expert writers know exactly what college admissions committees look for in an admissions essay and chan help you craft an essay that boosts your chances of getting into your dream school.

Check out PrepScholar's Essay Editing and Coaching progra m for more details!

Want to write the perfect college application essay?   We can help.   Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will help you craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay to proudly submit to colleges.   Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

Links to Full College Essay Examples

Some colleges publish a selection of their favorite accepted college essays that worked, and I've put together a selection of over 100 of these.

Common App Essay Samples

Please note that some of these college essay examples may be responding to prompts that are no longer in use. The current Common App prompts are as follows:

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. 2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? 3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? 4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you? 5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. 6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Now, let's get to the good stuff: the list of 177 college essay examples responding to current and past Common App essay prompts. 

Connecticut college.

  • 12 Common Application essays from the classes of 2022-2025

Hamilton College

  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2026
  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2022
  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2018
  • 8 Common Application essays from the class of 2012
  • 8 Common Application essays from the class of 2007

Johns Hopkins

These essays are answers to past prompts from either the Common Application or the Coalition Application (which Johns Hopkins used to accept).

  • 1 Common Application or Coalition Application essay from the class of 2026
  • 6 Common Application or Coalition Application essays from the class of 2025
  • 6 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2024
  • 6 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2023
  • 7 Common Application of Universal Application essays from the class of 2022
  • 5 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2021
  • 7 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2020

Essay Examples Published by Other Websites

  • 2 Common Application essays ( 1st essay , 2nd essay ) from applicants admitted to Columbia

Other Sample College Essays

Here is a collection of essays that are college-specific.

Babson College

  • 4 essays (and 1 video response) on "Why Babson" from the class of 2020

Emory University

  • 5 essay examples ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ) from the class of 2020 along with analysis from Emory admissions staff on why the essays were exceptional
  • 5 more recent essay examples ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ) along with analysis from Emory admissions staff on what made these essays stand out

University of Georgia

  • 1 “strong essay” sample from 2019
  • 1 “strong essay” sample from 2018
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2023
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2022
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2021
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2020
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2019
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2018
  • 6 essays from admitted MIT students

Smith College

  • 6 "best gift" essays from the class of 2018

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Books of College Essays

If you're looking for even more sample college essays, consider purchasing a college essay book. The best of these include dozens of essays that worked and feedback from real admissions officers.

College Essays That Made a Difference —This detailed guide from Princeton Review includes not only successful essays, but also interviews with admissions officers and full student profiles.

50 Successful Harvard Application Essays by the Staff of the Harvard Crimson—A must for anyone aspiring to Harvard .

50 Successful Ivy League Application Essays and 50 Successful Stanford Application Essays by Gen and Kelly Tanabe—For essays from other top schools, check out this venerated series, which is regularly updated with new essays.

Heavenly Essays by Janine W. Robinson—This collection from the popular blogger behind Essay Hell includes a wider range of schools, as well as helpful tips on honing your own essay.

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Analyzing Great Common App Essays That Worked

I've picked two essays from the examples collected above to examine in more depth so that you can see exactly what makes a successful college essay work. Full credit for these essays goes to the original authors and the schools that published them.

Example 1: "Breaking Into Cars," by Stephen, Johns Hopkins Class of '19 (Common App Essay, 636 words long)

I had never broken into a car before.

We were in Laredo, having just finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site. The Hotchkiss volunteers had already left, off to enjoy some Texas BBQ, leaving me behind with the college kids to clean up. Not until we were stranded did we realize we were locked out of the van.

Someone picked a coat hanger out of the dumpster, handed it to me, and took a few steps back.

"Can you do that thing with a coat hanger to unlock it?"

"Why me?" I thought.

More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame. Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. (I actually succeeded in springing it.) The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation.

My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally. My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of water. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed. "The water's on fire! Clear a hole!" he shouted, tossing me in the lake without warning. While I'm still unconvinced about that particular lesson's practicality, my Dad's overarching message is unequivocally true: much of life is unexpected, and you have to deal with the twists and turns.

Living in my family, days rarely unfolded as planned. A bit overlooked, a little pushed around, I learned to roll with reality, negotiate a quick deal, and give the improbable a try. I don't sweat the small stuff, and I definitely don't expect perfect fairness. So what if our dining room table only has six chairs for seven people? Someone learns the importance of punctuality every night.

But more than punctuality and a special affinity for musical chairs, my family life has taught me to thrive in situations over which I have no power. Growing up, I never controlled my older siblings, but I learned how to thwart their attempts to control me. I forged alliances, and realigned them as necessary. Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient elder. Different things to different people, as the situation demanded. I learned to adapt.

Back then, these techniques were merely reactions undertaken to ensure my survival. But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose?"

The question caught me off guard, much like the question posed to me in Laredo. Then, I realized I knew the answer. I knew why the coat hanger had been handed to me.

Growing up as the middle child in my family, I was a vital participant in a thing I did not govern, in the company of people I did not choose. It's family. It's society. And often, it's chaos. You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the unexpected with confidence, optimism, and preparedness. My family experience taught me to face a serendipitous world with confidence.

What Makes This Essay Tick?

It's very helpful to take writing apart in order to see just how it accomplishes its objectives. Stephen's essay is very effective. Let's find out why!

An Opening Line That Draws You In

In just eight words, we get: scene-setting (he is standing next to a car about to break in), the idea of crossing a boundary (he is maybe about to do an illegal thing for the first time), and a cliffhanger (we are thinking: is he going to get caught? Is he headed for a life of crime? Is he about to be scared straight?).

Great, Detailed Opening Story

More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame.

It's the details that really make this small experience come alive. Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. The volunteers aren't going to get food or dinner; they're going for "Texas BBQ." The coat hanger comes from "a dumpster." Stephen doesn't just move the coat hanger—he "jiggles" it.

Details also help us visualize the emotions of the people in the scene. The person who hands Stephen the coat hanger isn't just uncomfortable or nervous; he "takes a few steps back"—a description of movement that conveys feelings. Finally, the detail of actual speech makes the scene pop. Instead of writing that the other guy asked him to unlock the van, Stephen has the guy actually say his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking.

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Turning a Specific Incident Into a Deeper Insight

Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. (I actually succeeded in springing it.) The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation.

Stephen makes the locked car experience a meaningful illustration of how he has learned to be resourceful and ready for anything, and he also makes this turn from the specific to the broad through an elegant play on the two meanings of the word "click."

Using Concrete Examples When Making Abstract Claims

My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally.

"Unpredictability and chaos" are very abstract, not easily visualized concepts. They could also mean any number of things—violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability. By instantly following up with highly finite and unambiguous illustrations like "family of seven" and "siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing," Stephen grounds the abstraction in something that is easy to picture: a large, noisy family.

Using Small Bits of Humor and Casual Word Choice

My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of water. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed.

Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not high on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by bringing up a situation that is clearly over-the-top: "in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed."

The humor also feels relaxed. Part of this is because he introduces it with the colloquial phrase "you know," so it sounds like he is talking to us in person. This approach also diffuses the potential discomfort of the reader with his father's strictness—since he is making jokes about it, clearly he is OK. Notice, though, that this doesn't occur very much in the essay. This helps keep the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant.

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An Ending That Stretches the Insight Into the Future

But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose?"

The ending of the essay reveals that Stephen's life has been one long preparation for the future. He has emerged from chaos and his dad's approach to parenting as a person who can thrive in a world that he can't control.

This connection of past experience to current maturity and self-knowledge is a key element in all successful personal essays. Colleges are very much looking for mature, self-aware applicants. These are the qualities of successful college students, who will be able to navigate the independence college classes require and the responsibility and quasi-adulthood of college life.

What Could This Essay Do Even Better?

Even the best essays aren't perfect, and even the world's greatest writers will tell you that writing is never "finished"—just "due." So what would we tweak in this essay if we could?

Replace some of the clichéd language. Stephen uses handy phrases like "twists and turns" and "don't sweat the small stuff" as a kind of shorthand for explaining his relationship to chaos and unpredictability. But using too many of these ready-made expressions runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring.

Use another example from recent life. Stephen's first example (breaking into the van in Laredo) is a great illustration of being resourceful in an unexpected situation. But his essay also emphasizes that he "learned to adapt" by being "different things to different people." It would be great to see how this plays out outside his family, either in the situation in Laredo or another context.

Want to build the best possible college application?   We can help.   PrepScholar Admissions combines world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've guided thousands of students to get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit and are driven to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in:

Example 2: By Renner Kwittken, Tufts Class of '23 (Common App Essay, 645 words long)

My first dream job was to be a pickle truck driver. I saw it in my favorite book, Richard Scarry's "Cars and Trucks and Things That Go," and for some reason, I was absolutely obsessed with the idea of driving a giant pickle. Much to the discontent of my younger sister, I insisted that my parents read us that book as many nights as possible so we could find goldbug, a small little golden bug, on every page. I would imagine the wonderful life I would have: being a pig driving a giant pickle truck across the country, chasing and finding goldbug. I then moved on to wanting to be a Lego Master. Then an architect. Then a surgeon.

Then I discovered a real goldbug: gold nanoparticles that can reprogram macrophages to assist in killing tumors, produce clear images of them without sacrificing the subject, and heat them to obliteration.

Suddenly the destination of my pickle was clear.

I quickly became enveloped by the world of nanomedicine; I scoured articles about liposomes, polymeric micelles, dendrimers, targeting ligands, and self-assembling nanoparticles, all conquering cancer in some exotic way. Completely absorbed, I set out to find a mentor to dive even deeper into these topics. After several rejections, I was immensely grateful to receive an invitation to work alongside Dr. Sangeeta Ray at Johns Hopkins.

In the lab, Dr. Ray encouraged a great amount of autonomy to design and implement my own procedures. I chose to attack a problem that affects the entire field of nanomedicine: nanoparticles consistently fail to translate from animal studies into clinical trials. Jumping off recent literature, I set out to see if a pre-dose of a common chemotherapeutic could enhance nanoparticle delivery in aggressive prostate cancer, creating three novel constructs based on three different linear polymers, each using fluorescent dye (although no gold, sorry goldbug!). Though using radioactive isotopes like Gallium and Yttrium would have been incredible, as a 17-year-old, I unfortunately wasn't allowed in the same room as these radioactive materials (even though I took a Geiger counter to a pair of shoes and found them to be slightly dangerous).

I hadn't expected my hypothesis to work, as the research project would have ideally been led across two full years. Yet while there are still many optimizations and revisions to be done, I was thrilled to find -- with completely new nanoparticles that may one day mean future trials will use particles with the initials "RK-1" -- thatcyclophosphamide did indeed increase nanoparticle delivery to the tumor in a statistically significant way.

A secondary, unexpected research project was living alone in Baltimore, a new city to me, surrounded by people much older than I. Even with moving frequently between hotels, AirBnB's, and students' apartments, I strangely reveled in the freedom I had to enjoy my surroundings and form new friendships with graduate school students from the lab. We explored The Inner Harbor at night, attended a concert together one weekend, and even got to watch the Orioles lose (to nobody's surprise). Ironically, it's through these new friendships I discovered something unexpected: what I truly love is sharing research. Whether in a presentation or in a casual conversation, making others interested in science is perhaps more exciting to me than the research itself. This solidified a new pursuit to angle my love for writing towards illuminating science in ways people can understand, adding value to a society that can certainly benefit from more scientific literacy.

It seems fitting that my goals are still transforming: in Scarry's book, there is not just one goldbug, there is one on every page. With each new experience, I'm learning that it isn't the goldbug itself, but rather the act of searching for the goldbugs that will encourage, shape, and refine my ever-evolving passions. Regardless of the goldbug I seek -- I know my pickle truck has just begun its journey.

Renner takes a somewhat different approach than Stephen, but their essay is just as detailed and engaging. Let's go through some of the strengths of this essay.

One Clear Governing Metaphor

This essay is ultimately about two things: Renner’s dreams and future career goals, and Renner’s philosophy on goal-setting and achieving one’s dreams.

But instead of listing off all the amazing things they’ve done to pursue their dream of working in nanomedicine, Renner tells a powerful, unique story instead. To set up the narrative, Renner opens the essay by connecting their experiences with goal-setting and dream-chasing all the way back to a memorable childhood experience:

This lighthearted–but relevant!--story about the moment when Renner first developed a passion for a specific career (“finding the goldbug”) provides an anchor point for the rest of the essay. As Renner pivots to describing their current dreams and goals–working in nanomedicine–the metaphor of “finding the goldbug” is reflected in Renner’s experiments, rejections, and new discoveries.

Though Renner tells multiple stories about their quest to “find the goldbug,” or, in other words, pursue their passion, each story is connected by a unifying theme; namely, that as we search and grow over time, our goals will transform…and that’s okay! By the end of the essay, Renner uses the metaphor of “finding the goldbug” to reiterate the relevance of the opening story:

While the earlier parts of the essay convey Renner’s core message by showing, the final, concluding paragraph sums up Renner’s insights by telling. By briefly and clearly stating the relevance of the goldbug metaphor to their own philosophy on goals and dreams, Renner demonstrates their creativity, insight, and eagerness to grow and evolve as the journey continues into college.

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An Engaging, Individual Voice

This essay uses many techniques that make Renner sound genuine and make the reader feel like we already know them.

Technique #1: humor. Notice Renner's gentle and relaxed humor that lightly mocks their younger self's grand ambitions (this is different from the more sarcastic kind of humor used by Stephen in the first essay—you could never mistake one writer for the other).

My first dream job was to be a pickle truck driver.

I would imagine the wonderful life I would have: being a pig driving a giant pickle truck across the country, chasing and finding goldbug. I then moved on to wanting to be a Lego Master. Then an architect. Then a surgeon.

Renner gives a great example of how to use humor to your advantage in college essays. You don’t want to come off as too self-deprecating or sarcastic, but telling a lightheartedly humorous story about your younger self that also showcases how you’ve grown and changed over time can set the right tone for your entire essay.

Technique #2: intentional, eye-catching structure. The second technique is the way Renner uses a unique structure to bolster the tone and themes of their essay . The structure of your essay can have a major impact on how your ideas come across…so it’s important to give it just as much thought as the content of your essay!

For instance, Renner does a great job of using one-line paragraphs to create dramatic emphasis and to make clear transitions from one phase of the story to the next:

Suddenly the destination of my pickle car was clear.

Not only does the one-liner above signal that Renner is moving into a new phase of the narrative (their nanoparticle research experiences), it also tells the reader that this is a big moment in Renner’s story. It’s clear that Renner made a major discovery that changed the course of their goal pursuit and dream-chasing. Through structure, Renner conveys excitement and entices the reader to keep pushing forward to the next part of the story.

Technique #3: playing with syntax. The third technique is to use sentences of varying length, syntax, and structure. Most of the essay's written in standard English and uses grammatically correct sentences. However, at key moments, Renner emphasizes that the reader needs to sit up and pay attention by switching to short, colloquial, differently punctuated, and sometimes fragmented sentences.

Even with moving frequently between hotels, AirBnB's, and students' apartments, I strangely reveled in the freedom I had to enjoy my surroundings and form new friendships with graduate school students from the lab. We explored The Inner Harbor at night, attended a concert together one weekend, and even got to watch the Orioles lose (to nobody's surprise). Ironically, it's through these new friendships I discovered something unexpected: what I truly love is sharing research.

In the examples above, Renner switches adeptly between long, flowing sentences and quippy, telegraphic ones. At the same time, Renner uses these different sentence lengths intentionally. As they describe their experiences in new places, they use longer sentences to immerse the reader in the sights, smells, and sounds of those experiences. And when it’s time to get a big, key idea across, Renner switches to a short, punchy sentence to stop the reader in their tracks.

The varying syntax and sentence lengths pull the reader into the narrative and set up crucial “aha” moments when it’s most important…which is a surefire way to make any college essay stand out.

body-crying-upset-cc0

Renner's essay is very strong, but there are still a few little things that could be improved.

Connecting the research experiences to the theme of “finding the goldbug.”  The essay begins and ends with Renner’s connection to the idea of “finding the goldbug.” And while this metaphor is deftly tied into the essay’s intro and conclusion, it isn’t entirely clear what Renner’s big findings were during the research experiences that are described in the middle of the essay. It would be great to add a sentence or two stating what Renner’s big takeaways (or “goldbugs”) were from these experiences, which add more cohesion to the essay as a whole.

Give more details about discovering the world of nanomedicine. It makes sense that Renner wants to get into the details of their big research experiences as quickly as possible. After all, these are the details that show Renner’s dedication to nanomedicine! But a smoother transition from the opening pickle car/goldbug story to Renner’s “real goldbug” of nanoparticles would help the reader understand why nanoparticles became Renner’s goldbug. Finding out why Renner is so motivated to study nanomedicine–and perhaps what put them on to this field of study–would help readers fully understand why Renner chose this path in the first place.

4 Essential Tips for Writing Your Own Essay

How can you use this discussion to better your own college essay? Here are some suggestions for ways to use this resource effectively.

#1: Get Help From the Experts

Getting your college applications together takes a lot of work and can be pretty intimidatin g. Essays are even more important than ever now that admissions processes are changing and schools are going test-optional and removing diversity standards thanks to new Supreme Court rulings .  If you want certified expert help that really makes a difference, get started with  PrepScholar’s Essay Editing and Coaching program. Our program can help you put together an incredible essay from idea to completion so that your application stands out from the crowd. We've helped students get into the best colleges in the United States, including Harvard, Stanford, and Yale.  If you're ready to take the next step and boost your odds of getting into your dream school, connect with our experts today .

#2: Read Other Essays to Get Ideas for Your Own

As you go through the essays we've compiled for you above, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you explain to yourself (or someone else!) why the opening sentence works well?
  • Look for the essay's detailed personal anecdote. What senses is the author describing? Can you easily picture the scene in your mind's eye?
  • Find the place where this anecdote bridges into a larger insight about the author. How does the essay connect the two? How does the anecdote work as an example of the author's characteristic, trait, or skill?
  • Check out the essay's tone. If it's funny, can you find the places where the humor comes from? If it's sad and moving, can you find the imagery and description of feelings that make you moved? If it's serious, can you see how word choice adds to this tone?

Make a note whenever you find an essay or part of an essay that you think was particularly well-written, and think about what you like about it . Is it funny? Does it help you really get to know the writer? Does it show what makes the writer unique? Once you have your list, keep it next to you while writing your essay to remind yourself to try and use those same techniques in your own essay.

body-gears-cogs-puzzle-cc0

#3: Find Your "A-Ha!" Moment

All of these essays rely on connecting with the reader through a heartfelt, highly descriptive scene from the author's life. It can either be very dramatic (did you survive a plane crash?) or it can be completely mundane (did you finally beat your dad at Scrabble?). Either way, it should be personal and revealing about you, your personality, and the way you are now that you are entering the adult world.

Check out essays by authors like John Jeremiah Sullivan , Leslie Jamison , Hanif Abdurraqib , and Esmé Weijun Wang to get more examples of how to craft a compelling personal narrative.

#4: Start Early, Revise Often

Let me level with you: the best writing isn't writing at all. It's rewriting. And in order to have time to rewrite, you have to start way before the application deadline. My advice is to write your first draft at least two months before your applications are due.

Let it sit for a few days untouched. Then come back to it with fresh eyes and think critically about what you've written. What's extra? What's missing? What is in the wrong place? What doesn't make sense? Don't be afraid to take it apart and rearrange sections. Do this several times over, and your essay will be much better for it!

For more editing tips, check out a style guide like Dreyer's English or Eats, Shoots & Leaves .

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What's Next?

Still not sure which colleges you want to apply to? Our experts will show you how to make a college list that will help you choose a college that's right for you.

Interested in learning more about college essays? Check out our detailed breakdown of exactly how personal statements work in an application , some suggestions on what to avoid when writing your essay , and our guide to writing about your extracurricular activities .

Working on the rest of your application? Read what admissions officers wish applicants knew before applying .

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points?   We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download them for free now:

The recommendations in this post are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links PrepScholar may receive a commission.

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Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education.

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50 Persuasive Essay Topics to Help You Ace Your Next Assignment

50 Persuasive Essay Topics to Help You Ace Your Next Assignment

  • 5-minute read
  • 19th January 2023

Welcome to your ultimate guide to persuasive essay topics! 

In this post, we’ll provide a list of 50 persuasive essay topics to help you get started on your next assignment. 

We’ll also include some tips for writing a persuasive essay to help you craft a strong and effective argument. Whether you’re a student or a professional writer, these persuasive essay topics are sure to inspire and challenge you.

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

Persuasive essays are a type of argumentative essay that encourage the reader to accept a particular point of view or take a specific action.

They typically open with a question, followed by a series of arguments intended to persuade the reader to take the same side as the author.

In a persuasive essay, the author will usually appeal to the readers’ emotions in order to prove that their opinion is the correct one. But this doesn’t mean that persuasive essays ignore evidence , facts, and figures; an effective persuasive essay makes use of a combination of logical argument and emotive language to sway the audience.

A persuasive essay can cover just about anything from pop culture to politics. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of 50 persuasive essay topics to inspire your next assignment!

Top 50 Persuasive Essay Topics

  • Should the government censor the internet?
  • Should the government regulate the sale of violent video games?
  • Should self-driving cars be banned?
  • Is facial recognition software unethical?
  • Should mental health apps collect users’ personal data?
  • Should children under 13 have cell phones?
  • Should internet access be treated as a human right?
  • Should all paperwork be digitized?

Science and the Environment

  • Should the use of plastic bags be banned?
  • Should genetically modified organisms be labeled?
  • Should we clone human beings?
  • Should animal testing be allowed?
  • Should the government fund space exploration?
  • Should the government regulate the use of pesticides in farming?
  • Should the government regulate the use of antibiotics in livestock?
  • Should the government fine people who drive gas-powered vehicles?
  • Should climate change be declared a national emergency?

Crime and Politics

  • Should the death penalty be abolished?
  • Should all American citizens have to serve a year of community service?
  • Should the US voting age be lowered to 16?
  • Should the government adopt a tougher immigration policy?
  • Should the government cut its military spending?
  • Should the government introduce a national living wage?
  • Should politicians be banned from social media?
  • Should the electoral college be abolished?

Health and Fitness

  • Should the government provide universal healthcare?
  • Should the government ban the use of certain chemicals in cosmetics?
  • Should parents be allowed to choose the gender of their unborn child?
  • Should physical exercise be mandatory at work?
  • Should employees have to disclose health conditions to their employers?
  • Should fast food commercials be banned?
  • Should herbal medicines be better regulated?
  • Should regular mental health checkups be mandatory?
  • Should schools offer fast food options like McDonald’s or Taco Bell?
  • Should students be required to wear uniforms?
  • Should the government provide free college education?
  • Should schools offer comprehensive sex education?
  • Are high school students given too much homework?
  • Should humanities and arts subjects receive more funding?
  • Should military recruiters be allowed on school grounds?
  • Is the school day too long?
  • Should every US citizen be required to learn another language?

Lifestyle and Culture

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  • Should the drinking age be lowered or raised?
  • Should the use of tobacco be banned?
  • Should marijuana be legalized?
  • Should all museums and art galleries be free?
  • Should kids be encouraged to read more?
  • Should public spaces provide unisex bathrooms?
  • Is pet ownership a human right?
  • Should extreme sports be banned?

Tips for Writing a Persuasive Essay

Once you’ve chosen your topic, it’s time to start writing your persuasive essay. Here are our tips:

Choose a Side

When you’ve picked the question you’re going to address in your essay, you also need to choose one side – or answer – that you’re going to write in favor of.

It helps if you’re passionate about the topic, as this will enable you to write from an emotional perspective.

Do Your Research

In order to write persuasively , you need to understand the topic you’re writing about. 

Make sure you know the details of your subject matter, and can provide facts and figures to back up your appeal to your readers’ emotions.

You should also read up about different points of view on the topic, so that you can bring them up in the form of counterarguments and rebuttals .

Keep Your Audience in Mind

When you’re writing your essay, think about who it is you’re trying to persuade. The way you speak to a student, for example, will be different to how you address a parent.

Consider what your potential audience will value, and how you can reach them on an emotional level. 

Outline Your Essay

Now you’ve got all the information you need, it’s time to plan and write your essay.

You should break it down into the follow sections:

  • An introduction, which sets up the question you’re going to answer and what side of the argument you are aiming to persuade the reader of.
  • The body of the essay, with a paragraph for each of the points you want to make.
  • A conclusion, where you summarize your points and main arguments.

Get It Proofread

As with any essay, your finished persuasive essay will need proofreading to make sure it’s the best it can be.

Our academic proofreading team here at Proofed can help with that. You can even get your first 500 words proofread for free !

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130 New Prompts for Argumentative Writing

Questions on everything from mental health and sports to video games and dating. Which ones inspire you to take a stand?

college level persuasive essay

By The Learning Network

Note: We have an updated version of this list, with 300 new argumentative writing prompts .

What issues do you care most about? What topics do you find yourself discussing passionately, whether online, at the dinner table, in the classroom or with your friends?

In Unit 5 of our free yearlong writing curriculum and related Student Editorial Contest , we invite students to research and write about the issues that matter to them, whether that’s Shakespeare , health care , standardized testing or being messy .

But with so many possibilities, where does one even begin? Try our student writing prompts.

In 2017, we compiled a list of 401 argumentative writing prompts , all drawn from our daily Student Opinion column . Now, we’re rounding up 130 more we’ve published since then ( available here as a PDF ). Each prompt links to a free Times article as well as additional subquestions that can help you think more deeply about it.

You might use this list to inspire your own writing and to find links to reliable resources about the issues that intrigue you. But even if you’re not participating in our contest, you can use these prompts to practice the kind of low-stakes writing that can help you hone your argumentation skills.

So scroll through the list below with questions on everything from sports and mental health to dating and video games and see which ones inspire you to take a stand.

Please note: Many of these prompts are still open to comment by students 13 and up.

Technology & Social Media

1. Do Memes Make the Internet a Better Place? 2. Does Online Public Shaming Prevent Us From Being Able to Grow and Change? 3. How Young Is Too Young to Use Social Media? 4. Should the Adults in Your Life Be Worried by How Much You Use Your Phone? 5. Is Your Phone Love Hurting Your Relationships? 6. Should Kids Be Social Media Influencers? 7. Does Grammar Still Matter in the Age of Twitter? 8. Should Texting While Driving Be Treated Like Drunken Driving? 9. How Do You Think Technology Affects Dating?

10. Are Straight A’s Always a Good Thing? 11. Should Schools Teach You How to Be Happy? 12. How Do You Think American Education Could Be Improved? 13. Should Schools Test Their Students for Nicotine and Drug Use? 14. Can Social Media Be a Tool for Learning and Growth in Schools? 15. Should Facial Recognition Technology Be Used in Schools? 16. Should Your School Day Start Later? 17. How Should Senior Year in High School Be Spent? 18. Should Teachers Be Armed With Guns? 19. Is School a Place for Self-Expression? 20. Should Students Be Punished for Not Having Lunch Money? 21. Is Live-Streaming Classrooms a Good Idea? 22. Should Gifted and Talented Education Be Eliminated? 23. What Are the Most Important Things Students Should Learn in School? 24. Should Schools Be Allowed to Censor Student Newspapers? 25. Do You Feel Your School and Teachers Welcome Both Conservative and Liberal Points of View? 26. Should Teachers and Professors Ban Student Use of Laptops in Class? 27. Should Schools Teach About Climate Change? 28. Should All Schools Offer Music Programs? 29. Does Your School Need More Money? 30. Should All Schools Teach Cursive? 31. What Role Should Textbooks Play in Education? 32. Do Kids Need Recess?

College & Career

33. What Is Your Reaction to the College Admissions Cheating Scandal? 34. Is the College Admissions Process Fair? 35. Should Everyone Go to College? 36. Should College Be Free? 37. Are Lavish Amenities on College Campuses Useful or Frivolous? 38. Should ‘Despised Dissenters’ Be Allowed to Speak on College Campuses? 39. How Should the Problem of Sexual Assault on Campuses Be Addressed? 40. Should Fraternities Be Abolished? 41. Is Student Debt Worth It?

Mental & Physical Health

42. Should Students Get Mental Health Days Off From School? 43. Is Struggle Essential to Happiness? 44. Does Every Country Need a ‘Loneliness Minister’? 45. Should Schools Teach Mindfulness? 46. Should All Children Be Vaccinated? 47. What Do You Think About Vegetarianism? 48. Do We Worry Too Much About Germs? 49. What Advice Should Parents and Counselors Give Teenagers About Sexting? 50. Do You Think Porn Influences the Way Teenagers Think About Sex?

Race & Gender

51. How Should Parents Teach Their Children About Race and Racism? 52. Is America ‘Backsliding’ on Race? 53. Should All Americans Receive Anti-Bias Education? 54. Should All Companies Require Anti-Bias Training for Employees? 55. Should Columbus Day Be Replaced With Indigenous Peoples Day? 56. Is Fear of ‘The Other’ Poisoning Public Life? 57. Should the Boy Scouts Be Coed? 58. What Is Hard About Being a Boy?

59. Can You Separate Art From the Artist? 60. Are There Subjects That Should Be Off-Limits to Artists, or to Certain Artists in Particular? 61. Should Art Come With Trigger Warnings? 62. Should Graffiti Be Protected? 63. Is the Digital Era Improving or Ruining the Experience of Art? 64. Are Museums Still Important in the Digital Age? 65. In the Age of Digital Streaming, Are Movie Theaters Still Relevant? 66. Is Hollywood Becoming More Diverse? 67. What Stereotypical Characters Make You Cringe? 68. Do We Need More Female Superheroes? 69. Do Video Games Deserve the Bad Rap They Often Get? 70. Should Musicians Be Allowed to Copy or Borrow From Other Artists? 71. Is Listening to a Book Just as Good as Reading It? 72. Is There Any Benefit to Reading Books You Hate?

73. Should Girls and Boys Sports Teams Compete in the Same League? 74. Should College Athletes Be Paid? 75. Are Youth Sports Too Competitive? 76. Is It Selfish to Pursue Risky Sports Like Extreme Mountain Climbing? 77. How Should We Punish Sports Cheaters? 78. Should Technology in Sports Be Limited? 79. Should Blowouts Be Allowed in Youth Sports? 80. Is It Offensive for Sports Teams and Their Fans to Use Native American Names, Imagery and Gestures?

81. Is It Wrong to Focus on Animal Welfare When Humans Are Suffering? 82. Should Extinct Animals Be Resurrected? If So, Which Ones? 83. Are Emotional-Support Animals a Scam? 84. Is Animal Testing Ever Justified? 85. Should We Be Concerned With Where We Get Our Pets? 86. Is This Exhibit Animal Cruelty or Art?

Parenting & Childhood

87. Who Should Decide Whether a Teenager Can Get a Tattoo or Piercing? 88. Is It Harder to Grow Up in the 21st Century Than It Was in the Past? 89. Should Parents Track Their Teenager’s Location? 90. Is Childhood Today Over-Supervised? 91. How Should Parents Talk to Their Children About Drugs? 92. What Should We Call Your Generation? 93. Do Other People Care Too Much About Your Post-High School Plans? 94. Do Parents Ever Cross a Line by Helping Too Much With Schoolwork? 95. What’s the Best Way to Discipline Children? 96. What Are Your Thoughts on ‘Snowplow Parents’? 97. Should Stay-at-Home Parents Be Paid? 98. When Do You Become an Adult?

Ethics & Morality

99. Why Do Bystanders Sometimes Fail to Help When They See Someone in Danger? 100. Is It Ethical to Create Genetically Edited Humans? 101. Should Reporters Ever Help the People They Are Covering? 102. Is It O.K. to Use Family Connections to Get a Job? 103. Is $1 Billion Too Much Money for Any One Person to Have? 104. Are We Being Bad Citizens If We Don’t Keep Up With the News? 105. Should Prisons Offer Incarcerated People Education Opportunities? 106. Should Law Enforcement Be Able to Use DNA Data From Genealogy Websites for Criminal Investigations? 107. Should We Treat Robots Like People?

Government & Politics

108. Does the United States Owe Reparations to the Descendants of Enslaved People? 109. Do You Think It Is Important for Teenagers to Participate in Political Activism? 110. Should the Voting Age Be Lowered to 16? 111. What Should Lawmakers Do About Guns and Gun Violence? 112. Should Confederate Statues Be Removed or Remain in Place? 113. Does the U.S. Constitution Need an Equal Rights Amendment? 114. Should National Monuments Be Protected by the Government? 115. Should Free Speech Protections Include Self Expression That Discriminates? 116. How Important Is Freedom of the Press? 117. Should Ex-Felons Have the Right to Vote? 118. Should Marijuana Be Legal? 119. Should the United States Abolish Daylight Saving Time? 120. Should We Abolish the Death Penalty? 121. Should the U.S. Ban Military-Style Semiautomatic Weapons? 122. Should the U.S. Get Rid of the Electoral College? 123. What Do You Think of President Trump’s Use of Twitter? 124. Should Celebrities Weigh In on Politics? 125. Why Is It Important for People With Different Political Beliefs to Talk to Each Other?

Other Questions

126. Should the Week Be Four Days Instead of Five? 127. Should Public Transit Be Free? 128. How Important Is Knowing a Foreign Language? 129. Is There a ‘Right Way’ to Be a Tourist? 130. Should Your Significant Other Be Your Best Friend?

Persuasive Essay Writing

Persuasive Essay Topics

Cathy A.

Easy and Unique Persuasive Essay Topics with Tips

15 min read

Published on: Jan 4, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 29, 2024

persuasive essay topics

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You're staring at a blank screen, trying to come up with a topic for your persuasive essay. You know you need to pick something interesting, but you're unsure where to start. 

It's hard to get motivated when it feels like everything has already been said on the topic you're considering. You are wondering how can you make your essay stand out.

The good news is that CollegeEssay.org  is here to help. 

We have compiled a list of potential persuasive essay topics to get your creative juices flowing. Whether you are looking for something controversial, humorous, or informative – we have it all. 

Take a look at our list of persuasive essay topics below to get started.

On This Page On This Page -->

Unique Persuasive Essay Topics for Students

Writing a persuasive essay can be quite an interesting task for students. It allows them to showcase their research and analytic skills and present their thoughts orderly. 

Choosing the right topic is key to making the writing process more enjoyable. 

Here are some great ideas that you can use for your essay: 

Persuasive Essay Topics for Middle School 

  • Should students be required to wear uniforms in school? 
  • What are the benefits of a longer school day? 
  • How can technology help improve student engagement and learning? 
  • Is it important for all schools to have equal access to resources? 
  • Should physical education be mandatory in all schools? 
  • How can schools better prepare students for entering the job market?
  • Should a student’s grade be based solely on test performance?
  • Is it important to limit screen time, or should there not be restrictions? 
  • Should recess time be increased or decreased in school? 
  • Is it beneficial for students to take part in after-school activities?

Persuasive Essay Topics for Grade 6 

  • Should school lunch prices be lowered to make it more accessible for all students? 
  • Is there an argument for allowing cell phone usage in the classroom? 
  • Should schools offer a wider variety of electives? 
  • Is there a persuasive case for requiring physical education classes in elementary and middle schools? 
  • Should students be allowed to opt-out of standardized testing? 
  • Is the current homework load for elementary and middle school students too much? 
  • Should school provide free breakfast and lunch to all students, regardless of financial status?
  • Should sixth-grade classes have more field trips and outdoor activities? 
  • Should students have access to more technology in the classroom? 
  • Is there an argument for making recess mandatory for all grade levels? 

Persuasive Essay Topics for Grade 7

  • Should schools have a dress code? 
  • Should students be required to do community service projects to graduate? 
  • Is it necessary for all student-athletes to take mandatory drug tests? 
  • Are the current laws on gun control sufficient enough? 
  • Should same-sex marriage be legal? 
  • Should teenage drivers be allowed to have passengers in their cars? 
  • Is standardized testing an effective measure of student success?
  • Should homework be abolished in schools? 
  • Should young children be allowed to use mobile phones or tablets at school? 
  • Are video games too violent for young children?

Tough Essay Due? Hire a Writer!

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Persuasive Essay Topics for High School 

  • Should physical education classes be mandatory in high school?
  • Is a strict dress code necessary for student success?
  • Are standardized tests an effective measure of student achievement?
  • Does social media have a positive or negative impact on teenagers?
  • Should students be allowed to grade their teachers? 
  • Should cell phones be prohibited in the classroom?
  • Should schools offer fast food options like McDonald's or Taco Bell?
  • Is competitive sports necessary for a well-rounded education? 
  • Are after-school activities essential to a student’s development?
  • Should students be allowed to choose their classes?

Persuasive Essay Topics for College 

  • Should universities require all students to take at least one course in diversity studies? 
  • Should universities implement free speech zones on campuses? 
  • Should college athletes be paid for their performance? 
  • Is it ethical for employers to ask about an applicant’s criminal history during the hiring process? 
  • Should college students be required to take a foreign language course? 
  • Should the US government provide free tuition for all qualifying students? 
  • Is it ethical to use animals in scientific research? 
  • Are standardized tests an adequate measure of academic aptitude and ability? 
  • Should paper textbooks be replaced with e-books? 
  • Should all students be required to learn coding and computer science in school? 

Persuasive Essay Topics for University 

  • Should universities offer free tuition to all students?
  • Are special scholarships beneficial for university students?
  • Should college athletes be paid for their services?
  • Is it important for universities to provide mental health resources to their students? 
  • How can universities help prevent cheating and plagiarism among students?
  • Should universities be required to provide online courses?
  • Are university degree requirements outdated and irrelevant?
  • Is it necessary for university students to take physical education classes? 
  • Does the presence of social media in academia positively or negatively impact learning? 
  • Should universities prioritize research over teaching?

Interesting Persuasive Essay Topics from Different Fields 

When choosing essay topics, there is no shortage of interesting persuasive essay topics from different fields available.

Here are some examples of interesting persuasive essay topics from different fields:

Arts & Culture 

  • Should museums be more inclusive of diverse cultures?
  • Should the government fund public art programs?
  • Are comic books an important form of literature?
  • Does graffiti have any value as an art form?
  • Is the traditional concept of beauty outdated in today’s society? 
  • Is it important for the public to have access to art galleries and museums?
  • Do modern movies have any real artistic value?
  • Are video games a form of art?
  • Should government funding be given to the performing arts?
  • Does the music industry put too much emphasis on image rather than talent?
  • Should governments guarantee a minimum wage?
  • Should the government subsidize green energy projects?
  • Is it necessary to introduce higher taxes on wealthy people?
  • Are free trade agreements beneficial or detrimental to developing countries?
  • Can economic growth be sustained without harming the environment?
  • Is immigration beneficial or detrimental to a country’s economic growth?
  • Should governments limit the size of banks and financial institutions?
  • Is it necessary for countries to regulate their currency markets?
  • Should governments invest in renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels?
  • Should high officials pay more taxes?
  • Should students be required to complete a certain number of community service hours to graduate?
  • Should school uniforms be mandatory for all public schools?
  • Are textbooks becoming obsolete due to technological advances?
  • Should the education system focus more on practical subjects such as coding and programming?
  • Is the current grading system in public schools fair and effective?
  • Is homeschooling a viable alternative to traditional schooling?
  • Should standardized testing be abolished from the education system?
  • Should teachers receive bonuses for good performance in the classroom?
  • Are students more likely to succeed if they attend a private school or university?
  • Should all students have access to free college tuition?
  • Is using animals in medical research ethical?
  • Should parents be allowed to choose their child’s gender?
  • Should companies be held responsible for the pollution they create? 
  • Are businesses obligated to act ethically when conducting business abroad? 
  • Is it ethical to censor content on the internet?
  • Should the government enforce stricter regulations on genetically modified food?
  • Is it ethical to use artificial intelligence in decision-making processes?
  • Should corporations be allowed to have their own private security forces? 
  • Are restrictions on freedom of speech necessary for public safety? 
  • Do companies have an ethical responsibility to pay fair wages?

Government and Politics 

  • Should the government regulate social media?
  • Should term limits be placed on members of Congress?
  • Are taxes too high in the United States?
  • Should voting be mandatory for all citizens?
  • Is the Electoral College still relevant today?
  • Does the death penalty serve as a deterrent to crime?
  • Should the US switch to a single-payer health care system?
  • Should there be limits on campaign spending?
  • Should the United States adopt a flat tax system?
  • Is it time to repeal the Second Amendment?
  • Is legalizing marijuana an ethical practice?
  • Should parents be allowed to choose the gender of their child? 
  • Is it ethical to test medicines on animals? 
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of genetic engineering? 
  • Are there any health risks associated with using digital screens too often? 
  • Should physical education be mandatory in every school? 
  • Is the healthcare system in your country adequate for your needs? 
  • Are there any benefits to eating organic food? 
  • How does mental health affect physical health? 
  • Should vaccinations be mandatory for all children? 
  • Was the Spanish Inquisition justified? 
  • Were the American Colonists justified in rebelling against Great Britain? 
  • Did Christopher Columbus’ discoveries benefit or harm indigenous populations? 
  • What effect did Genghis Khan have on world history? 
  • Did World War I significantly change the course of history? 
  • Was the Treaty of Versailles fair to Germany? 
  • Did Napoleon Bonaparte’s rule bring about positive or negative changes for France and Europe? 
  • Should the United States annexed the Philippines in 1898? 
  • How did the Great Depression shape world history? 
  • Is there any validity to the theory of a “clash of civilizations”? 
  • Should artificial intelligence be regulated?
  • Should autonomous vehicles be allowed on public roads?
  • Is the internet making us less social?
  • Should research into cloning be banned?
  • Are there moral issues related to genetic engineering?
  • Should governments fund space exploration programs?
  • Are smart home devices making us more vulnerable to cyberattacks?
  • Should the government regulate social media use?
  • Are robots taking away jobs from humans?
  • Should nuclear energy be used as an alternative to fossil fuels?
  • Should professional athletes be drug tested?
  • Is there a gender gap in sports?
  • Should college athletes be paid for their performances?
  • Does skill or luck decide the outcome of sports competitions?
  • Are sporting events becoming too commercialized? 
  • Is it necessary to increase public funding for sporting events?
  • Is the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports cheating or fair?
  • Should college students be able to choose their own sports teams?
  • Do professional sports hurt young people?
  • Should parents allow children to play violent video games?
  • Should schools replace textbooks with tablets?
  • Are algorithms replacing human decision-making in the workplace?
  • Is it time to regulate the use of facial recognition technology?
  • Can artificial intelligence and robots be used to improve healthcare outcomes?
  • Should autonomous vehicles be allowed on public roads? 
  • Should Internet access be a basic human right?
  • Should social media platforms do more to protect user privacy?
  • Is blockchain technology the future of banking and finance? 
  • Are virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa invading privacy? 
  • Can we trust that autonomous weapons system will make ethical decisions in war?

Social Media

Here are a few social media persuasive essay topics. Take a look at them.

  • Is social media a positive or negative influence on society?
  • Should employers be able to access an employee's social media accounts?
  • Should people be allowed to post anonymously online?
  • How can parents protect their children from the risks of using social media?
  • Does the spread of fake news on social media hurt society?
  • Should governments regulate online speech on social media?
  • Should employers be allowed to conduct background checks using social media?
  • Is the personal data of individuals safe from exploitation by corporate interests on social media platforms?
  • Are people spending too much time on their digital devices?
  • Is the use of social media by young people making them more isolated?

Controversial Persuasive Essay Topics 

  • Should the death penalty be reinstated in all states?
  • Should gun control laws be stricter? 
  • Is global warming a real threat? 
  • Are vaccinations safe for children? 
  • Should prostitution be legalized? 
  • Should marijuana be made legal? 
  • Does school uniform violate personal freedom? 
  • Should genetically modified foods be allowed in the market? 
  • Should sex education in school be mandatory? 
  • Should animal testing be banned?

Fun Persuasive Essay Topics 

  • Should cats be allowed to go to school?
  • Should people have a minimum number of friends before they can graduate?
  • Is it okay to laugh at your own jokes?
  • Should parents be required to take parenting classes?
  • Are video games the best way to spend free time?
  • Should kids be allowed to wear pajamas in public places?
  • Should students have to pass a test before they can drive a car?
  • Are cell phones essential for teenagers or should they be limited?
  • Should everyone learn how to cook their meals?
  • Would it be better if all schools had the same uniform?

Argumentative Persuasive Essay Topics 

  • Should the electoral college be abolished? 
  • Is it ethical to eat meat? 
  • Should the internet have censorship? 
  • Are genetically modified foods safe for human consumption? 
  • Is social media good or bad for society? 
  • Should the drinking age be lowered or raised? 
  • Should school attendance be mandatory for students? 
  • Are video games too violent and negatively influencing children?  
  • Should religious education be banned from public schools?

How to Choose a Good Persuasive Essay Topic? 

Choosing a writing topic for your persuasive essay writing is essential. 

The right topic will let you draft an exceptional and well-written essay. Selecting a persuasive essay topic might sound easy, but it can be challenging. 

You cannot randomly start writing a persuasive essay about any topic and expect your essay to be brilliant. 

To select the best topic for your essay, take these essential steps:

1. Know your Interests -   You can only draft an effective essay if you are writing about something that interests you. When you write something you are passionate about, the enthusiasm helps to persuade the readers.

2. Narrow Down Ideas - Make a rough list of the topic of your interest. Then, analyze all the issues and identify topics you think you can present well.

3. Pick your Stance - Now that you know the information is sufficient on a topic, decide your stance. Pick a side to support with evidence and logic. 

4. Controversy is the Best Policy - People love to read about controversial stuff. It is more likely that the readers will go through the entire essay to ease their curiosity. 

After passing your ideas through these filters, you will have a strong and arguable topic to draft an essay on.

Tips for Writing a Compelling Persuasive Essay 

Whether you are in school, college, or university, crafting an effective persuasive essay can be difficult.

Fortunately, with a few tips and tricks, you can create a compelling, persuasive essay that will make your readers take notice. 

Here are six tips to help you write a compelling, persuasive essay:

1. Choose Your Topic Carefully

You need to select a relevant and interesting topic for your audience. Make sure you feel passionate about it and can present it logically and convincingly.

2. Do Extensive Research

Before beginning your essay, research your topic as much as possible. So you can present both sides of the argument in an informed, balanced way.

3. Identify Your Audience

 Before writing your persuasive essay, consider who will be reading it and their interests. 

This will help you write in a language that resonates with them and ensure that your arguments suit their understanding.

4. Use Logical Arguments

It is important to provide logical and compelling arguments to be persuasive. Make sure you use facts, statistics, and other evidence to make your points more convincing.

5. Structure Your Essay Well

An effective persuasive essay should be well-organized. Divide it into an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. 

Pay attention to the structure of your essay, as it can help you make your points more effectively.

Learn how to make a perfect persuasive essay outline with the help of our blog. 

6. Make It Engaging

An engaging, persuasive essay will capture your audience’s attention from beginning to end. 

Use various techniques to make your essay interesting and engaging, such as using examples, analogies, and persuasive language.

We hope you are inspired by our comprehensive list of topics. Pick up a topic that entices you and start working on it. By following these amazing tips and tricks, you can surely compose an essay that will wow your professor.

Still not sure how to draft a perfect essay? Well, leave it to us. Our essay writing service helps you craft your argument in the most effective way possible to get the desired results.

 Don't let yourself get overwhelmed with the process! Trust our professional persuasive essay writer. 

Let CollegeEssay.org's best essay writing service guide you on your journey and take your writing to the next level. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can i choose a good persuasive essay topic.

When selecting a persuasive essay topic, consider an issue that is interesting to you and has two or more opposing viewpoints. Research various resources about the topic to gain a better perspective

What strategies can I use for writing a persuasive essay?

When writing a persuasive essay, establish facts from reliable sources to support your argument. Be concise but thorough, and use persuasive language to strengthen your argument.

How can I make my persuasive essay stand out?

To make your persuasive essay stand out, use vivid language and strong, specific evidence to support each point. Make sure all sources are current and relevant to the argument being made. With these elements, your persuasive essay will stand out from the rest!

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college level persuasive essay

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Developing Strong Thesis Statements

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These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing.

The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable

An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people.

Example of a non-debatable thesis statement:

This thesis statement is not debatable. First, the word pollution implies that something is bad or negative in some way. Furthermore, all studies agree that pollution is a problem; they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is unambiguously good.

Example of a debatable thesis statement:

This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. Still others could argue that corporations, not the government, should be paying to limit pollution.

Another example of a debatable thesis statement:

In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy.

The thesis needs to be narrow

Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start, generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. The broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right.

Example of a thesis that is too broad:

There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. First, what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use, recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes), or all uses of medication in general? Second, in what ways are drugs detrimental? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence)? Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline? Finally, what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above, yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate.

Example of a narrow or focused thesis:

In this example the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down to gang violence. This is a much more manageable topic.

We could narrow each debatable thesis from the previous examples in the following way:

Narrowed debatable thesis 1:

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used but also how the money could actually help to control pollution.

Narrowed debatable thesis 2:

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a national anti-pollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus.

Qualifiers such as " typically ," " generally ," " usually ," or " on average " also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule.

Types of claims

Claims typically fall into one of four categories. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic, or, in other words, what type of claim you want to make, is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of your broader topic.

Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Example:

Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person, thing, or event caused another thing or event to occur. Example:

Claims about value: These are claims made of what something is worth, whether we value it or not, how we would rate or categorize something. Example:

Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. Example:

Which type of claim is right for your argument? Which type of thesis or claim you use for your argument will depend on your position and knowledge of the topic, your audience, and the context of your paper. You might want to think about where you imagine your audience to be on this topic and pinpoint where you think the biggest difference in viewpoints might be. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to utilize it is key to identify the controversy or debate you are addressing and to define your position early on in the paper.

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college level persuasive essay

112 Persuasive Speech Topics That Are Actually Engaging

What’s covered:, how to pick an awesome persuasive speech topic, 112 engaging persuasive speech topics, tips for preparing your persuasive speech.

Writing a stellar persuasive speech requires a carefully crafted argument that will resonate with your audience to sway them to your side. This feat can be challenging to accomplish, but an engaging, thought-provoking speech topic is an excellent place to start.

When it comes time to select a topic for your persuasive speech, you may feel overwhelmed by all the options to choose from—or your brain may be drawing a completely blank slate. If you’re having trouble thinking of the perfect topic, don’t worry. We’re here to help!

In this post, we’re sharing how to choose the perfect persuasive speech topic and tips to prepare for your speech. Plus, you’ll find 112 persuasive speech topics that you can take directly from us or use as creative inspiration for your own ideas!

Choose Something You’re Passionate About

It’s much easier to write, research, and deliver a speech about a cause you care about. Even if it’s challenging to find a topic that completely sparks your interest, try to choose a topic that aligns with your passions.

However, keep in mind that not everyone has the same interests as you. Try to choose a general topic to grab the attention of the majority of your audience, but one that’s specific enough to keep them engaged.

For example, suppose you’re giving a persuasive speech about book censorship. In that case, it’s probably too niche to talk about why “To Kill a Mockingbird” shouldn’t be censored (even if it’s your favorite book), and it’s too broad to talk about media censorship in general.

Steer Clear of Cliches

Have you already heard a persuasive speech topic presented dozens of times? If so, it’s probably not an excellent choice for your speech—even if it’s an issue you’re incredibly passionate about.

Although polarizing topics like abortion and climate control are important to discuss, they aren’t great persuasive speech topics. Most people have already formed an opinion on these topics, which will either cause them to tune out or have a negative impression of your speech.

Instead, choose topics that are fresh, unique, and new. If your audience has never heard your idea presented before, they will be more open to your argument and engaged in your speech.

Have a Clear Side of Opposition

For a persuasive speech to be engaging, there must be a clear side of opposition. To help determine the arguability of your topic, ask yourself: “If I presented my viewpoint on this topic to a group of peers, would someone disagree with me?” If the answer is yes, then you’ve chosen a great topic!

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork for what it takes to choose a great persuasive speech topic, here are over one hundred options for you to choose from.

  • Should high school athletes get tested for steroids?
  • Should schools be required to have physical education courses?
  • Should sports grades in school depend on things like athletic ability?
  • What sport should be added to or removed from the Olympics?
  • Should college athletes be able to make money off of their merchandise?
  • Should sports teams be able to recruit young athletes without a college degree?
  • Should we consider video gamers as professional athletes?
  • Is cheerleading considered a sport?
  • Should parents allow their kids to play contact sports?
  • Should professional female athletes be paid the same as professional male athletes?
  • Should college be free at the undergraduate level?
  • Is the traditional college experience obsolete?
  • Should you choose a major based on your interests or your potential salary?
  • Should high school students have to meet a required number of service hours before graduating?
  • Should teachers earn more or less based on how their students perform on standardized tests?
  • Are private high schools more effective than public high schools?
  • Should there be a minimum number of attendance days required to graduate?
  • Are GPAs harmful or helpful?
  • Should schools be required to teach about standardized testing?
  • Should Greek Life be banned in the United States?
  • Should schools offer science classes explicitly about mental health?
  • Should students be able to bring their cell phones to school?
  • Should all public restrooms be all-gender?
  • Should undocumented immigrants have the same employment and education opportunities as citizens?
  • Should everyone be paid a living wage regardless of their employment status?
  • Should supremacist groups be able to hold public events?
  • Should guns be allowed in public places?
  • Should the national drinking age be lowered?
  • Should prisoners be allowed to vote?
  • Should the government raise or lower the retirement age?
  • Should the government be able to control the population?
  • Is the death penalty ethical?

Environment

  • Should stores charge customers for plastic bags?
  • Should breeding animals (dogs, cats, etc.) be illegal?
  • Is it okay to have exotic animals as pets?
  • Should people be fined for not recycling?
  • Should compost bins become mandatory for restaurants?
  • Should electric vehicles have their own transportation infrastructure?
  • Would heavier fining policies reduce corporations’ emissions?
  • Should hunting be encouraged or illegal?
  • Should reusable diapers replace disposable diapers?

Science & Technology

  • Is paper media more reliable than digital news sources?
  • Should automated/self-driving cars be legalized?
  • Should schools be required to provide laptops to all students?
  • Should software companies be able to have pre-downloaded programs and applications on devices?
  • Should drones be allowed in military warfare?
  • Should scientists invest more or less money into cancer research?
  • Should cloning be illegal?
  • Should societies colonize other planets?
  • Should there be legal oversight over the development of technology?

Social Media

  • Should there be an age limit on social media?
  • Should cyberbullying have the same repercussions as in-person bullying?
  • Are online relationships as valuable as in-person relationships?
  • Does “cancel culture” have a positive or negative impact on societies?
  • Are social media platforms reliable information or news sources?
  • Should social media be censored?
  • Does social media create an unrealistic standard of beauty?
  • Is regular social media usage damaging to real-life interactions?
  • Is social media distorting democracy?
  • How many branches of government should there be?
  • Who is the best/worst president of all time?
  • How long should judges serve in the U.S. Supreme Court?
  • Should a more significant portion of the U.S. budget be contributed towards education?
  • Should the government invest in rapid transcontinental transportation infrastructure?
  • Should airport screening be more or less stringent?
  • Should the electoral college be dismantled?
  • Should the U.S. have open borders?
  • Should the government spend more or less money on space exploration?
  • Should students sing Christmas carols, say the pledge of allegiance, or perform other tangentially religious activities?
  • Should nuns and priests become genderless roles?
  • Should schools and other public buildings have prayer rooms?
  • Should animal sacrifice be legal if it occurs in a religious context?
  • Should countries be allowed to impose a national religion on their citizens?
  • Should the church be separated from the state?
  • Does freedom of religion positively or negatively affect societies?

Parenting & Family

  • Is it better to have children at a younger or older age?
  • Is it better for children to go to daycare or stay home with their parents?
  • Does birth order affect personality?
  • Should parents or the school system teach their kids about sex?
  • Are family traditions important?
  • Should parents smoke or drink around young children?
  • Should “spanking” children be illegal?
  • Should parents use swear words in front of their children?
  • Should parents allow their children to play violent video games?

Entertainment

  • Should all actors be paid the same regardless of gender or ethnicity?
  • Should all award shows be based on popular vote?
  • Who should be responsible for paying taxes on prize money, the game show staff or the contestants?
  • Should movies and television shows have ethnicity and gender quotas?
  • Should newspapers and magazines move to a completely online format?
  • Should streaming services like Netflix and Hulu be free for students?
  • Is the movie rating system still effective?
  • Should celebrities have more privacy rights?

Arts & Humanities

  • Are libraries becoming obsolete?
  • Should all schools have mandatory art or music courses in their curriculum?
  • Should offensive language be censored from classic literary works?
  • Is it ethical for museums to keep indigenous artifacts?
  • Should digital designs be considered an art form? 
  • Should abstract art be considered an art form?
  • Is music therapy effective?
  • Should tattoos be regarded as “professional dress” for work?
  • Should schools place greater emphasis on the arts programs?
  • Should euthanasia be allowed in hospitals and other clinical settings?
  • Should the government support and implement universal healthcare?
  • Would obesity rates lower if the government intervened to make healthy foods more affordable?
  • Should teenagers be given access to birth control pills without parental consent?
  • Should food allergies be considered a disease?
  • Should health insurance cover homeopathic medicine?
  • Is using painkillers healthy?
  • Should genetically modified foods be banned?
  • Should there be a tax on unhealthy foods?
  • Should tobacco products be banned from the country?
  • Should the birth control pill be free for everyone?

If you need more help brainstorming topics, especially those that are personalized to your interests, you can  use CollegeVine’s free AI tutor, Ivy . Ivy can help you come up with original persuasive speech ideas, and she can also help with the rest of your homework, from math to languages.

Do Your Research

A great persuasive speech is supported with plenty of well-researched facts and evidence. So before you begin the writing process, research both sides of the topic you’re presenting in-depth to gain a well-rounded perspective of the topic.

Understand Your Audience

It’s critical to understand your audience to deliver a great persuasive speech. After all, you are trying to convince them that your viewpoint is correct. Before writing your speech, consider the facts and information that your audience may already know, and think about the beliefs and concerns they may have about your topic. Then, address these concerns in your speech, and be mindful to include fresh, new information.

Have Someone Read Your Speech

Once you have finished writing your speech, have someone read it to check for areas of strength and improvement. You can use CollegeVine’s free essay review tool to get feedback on your speech from a peer!

Practice Makes Perfect

After completing your final draft, the key to success is to practice. Present your speech out loud in front of a mirror, your family, friends, and basically, anyone who will listen. Not only will the feedback of others help you to make your speech better, but you’ll become more confident in your presentation skills and may even be able to commit your speech to memory.

Hopefully, these ideas have inspired you to write a powerful, unique persuasive speech. With the perfect topic, plenty of practice, and a boost of self-confidence, we know you’ll impress your audience with a remarkable speech!

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college level persuasive essay

Persuasive Essay Topics: 18 Great Essay Ideas Examples

Girl researching about persuasive essay topics.

A persuasive essay is a type of custom writing that attempts to convince the reader that the opinions presented are correct.

Do you think aliens or vampires are real? How can you convince your reader that they exist? Films achieve this with the help of technology, as seen in the once-popular sci-fi film Avatar and the horror fiction Vampire Diaries . These films take the audience to the surreal world of vampires and strange creatures that are believable to the human eye. Conversely, as a writer, you need to use words to craft a persuasive write-up about your topic.

Persuasive essays are very similar to argumentative essays except that a writer presents a one-sided opinion, giving valid reasons and solid facts on why that opinion or argument is correct. With an argumentative essay, the writer discusses the topic by presenting points on both opposing and proposing sides, as is the case with verbal debates. The writer employs logic to reason with and sway the reader into adopting a particular view. Such essay assignments are commonly given to high school and junior college students. They help students master persuasive skills, which can be helpful for students in all disciplines, including sciences and social studies, as well as in business and their social life.

  • 1 Persuasive Essay Structure
  • 2 Our Sample Persuasive Essays
  • 3.1 Prices Starting At:
  • 4 Qualities of Good Persuasive Essay Topics
  • 5 Some Persuasive Essay Topic Ideas for High School
  • 6 College Level Persuasive Essay Topics
  • 7 The Importance of Research
  • 8 Writing Persuasive Essays
  • 9 Getting Help With Your Persuasive Essay Topics or Essay

Persuasive Essay Structure

Like most academic essays, a persuasive essay has an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion . The introduction gives a sneak peek of the essay, the main body presents arguments supported by facts, and the conclusion summarizes the essay’s main ideas.

Our Sample Persuasive Essays

Before you place your order, you may want to sample some of the example persuasive essays written by our experienced persuasive essay writers to gauge the quality of our writing.

Are Delivery Drones the Future of E-Commerce? (Format: APA 7) Should Mobile Phones Be Banned in the Classroom? (Format: MLA)

Tips for Finding Persuasive Essay Topics

Sometimes, essay topics are not given by the professor. Therefore, writing persuasive essays begins with selecting a topic. In such a case, a student is required to choose appropriate persuasive essay topics to write about. To help you do that, here are a few tips:

  • Think of subjects that interest you . Feel free to select a topic you will enjoy writing about, not just one you think will please your professor. Obviously, you should not purposely pick a topic that will bore your audience. Nonetheless, focusing excessively on what you think your teachers would like to read is a mistake. Most professors want to see you write in your own style and argue your own ideas, supported by facts.
  • Select a topic you are passionate about, not one on which you are conflicted. You will likely be unable to present your views and convince your audience if you are conflicted about the side on which you stand. For example, it may not be wise to argue that every state should abolish the death penalty, but you also think that child molesters deserve the death sentence. The audience of your persuasive essay or speech must not detect any sign of internal conflict in your argument. Being passionate about the persuasive essay topics will also make the research and writing tasks enjoyable, and your emotion will also be reflected in your writing. This will help you persuade and change the reader’s mind.
  • Don’t over-obsess with political correctness . You should avoid playing it too safe and shying away from a controversial issue. However, for a school setting, you may want to strike a balance between boldly expressing your views and not offending your audience with overly inappropriate persuasive essay topics.
  • Think about your personal experiences  or those of people you know. Real-life events can be a source of inspiration to help you formulate an interesting topic.
  • Think about what you know . Start with general subjects that you are familiar with, then narrow down to a specific topic. It will be easier for you to write a good persuasive essay if it is a subject in which you have knowledge. This is especially important if you have limited time to write your essay, as you will do the legwork faster.
  • Read . Topics abound in books, newspapers, journals, and the web if only you conduct research. The importance of research in persuasive writing cannot be overstated. Research is important for formulating your title and finding evidence to back up your ideas . A research paper published in a peer-reviewed journal could present the credible evidence you need. This involves reading widely and sometimes talking to experts in your subject of interest. Sample persuasive essays can also inspire you on topics to write on and serve as examples of how to write your essay. A point to remember as you conduct research is that your institution likely has a strict policy against plagiarism. Therefore, avoid presenting someone else’s work as your own.
  • Brainstorming helps  in coming up with an idea or refining the one you already have. Discuss your ideas with friends or other people around you, but this is not a license to copy someone else’s work. The purpose of brainstorming is to help you get ideas. Weave in your own perspective to make your essay unique.
  • Contemporary issues in society often inspire persuasive essay topics, so pay attention to current trends and events happening around you. It helps to develop a list of several persuasive essay topic ideas and then carefully evaluate them further to pick the best one.

Selecting a good topic for your essay is among the most important and often tricky parts for many students. Here are a few characteristics against which you should evaluate your topic before you start writing the essay.

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Qualities of Good Persuasive Essay Topics

The topic should be specific. The essay topic should be broad enough for you to comfortably meet the required length of the essay but not too narrow that you cannot write more than a few short sentences on it.

  • A great topic should have some complexity and depth.
  • A good topic for a persuasive essay is debatable. Pick persuasive essay topics that society is talking about or arguing about.
  • The topic must not be overdone. Most times, a topic that has been tackled repeatedly is not the best choice because it is likely that society has already reached a consensus on the matter and is no longer being debated.
  • Is there adequate literature to support your opinions/ideas? There should be enough literature to provide facts to back your thoughts in order for you to write a good persuasive essay. You don’t want to start the writing process, then have to find a new topic because you realize that there’s no credible literature to back your ideas.

We have compiled a few appropriate topics for your persuasive essay assignment.

Some Persuasive Essay Topic Ideas for High School

  • Should students perpetrating cyber bullying be expelled?

Cyberbullying can undoubtedly have grave consequences for the victims. There has been agitation in some quarters to have cyberbullies in schools face the consequences, such as expulsion.

  • Is college education the key to a successful life?

There are varying views on whether a college education is required in order to have a successful life. In most cases, employers hire candidates who have a college education even when the job does not require it. Conversely, many people lead successful lives, yet they have no college education. For example, American business mogul, Bill Gates, dropped out of Harvard University to found Microsoft. It raises the question- Is college education important?

  • Should the death penalty be abolished?

The death penalty has been abolished in some states, many more still practice it, and others have the death penalty allowing gubernatorial moratoria. Some people say the death sentence is a fitting deterrent to serious crimes but is it a cruel, dehumanizing practice that should be abolished.

  • Should civilians be allowed to carry guns?

The US has recorded 27 school shootings between January and May 2022. The frequency of these mass shootings has elicited gun control debates. Do civilians with guns help stop crimes such as mass shootings, or does the freedom of civilians to carry guns pose more danger?

  • Should the minimum voting age be lowered?

21, 18, 17, or 16 years? Just how old is old enough to vote? Are teenagers old enough for the responsibility of voting, or should voting be reserved for young adults and older citizens?

  • National security prevails over individual privacy rights.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) asked Apple to grant them access to an iPhone user’s data in 2016. The user was a key suspect in a mass shooting. The US government argued that gaining access to the suspect’s data was vital for investigations and preventing future shootings. This elicited mixed reactions, with some experts saying that the act would violate individual privacy rights. This raises the question, should violations of individual privacy rights be allowed for the sake of national security?

  • Parental consent should not be required for teenage girls to access contraceptives.

Teenagers have free access to contraceptives, but lawmakers have come up with proposals requiring teenage girls to engage their parents before they can get access.  Should the right of teenagers to freely access contraceptives be upheld?

  • Smartphones are killing communication.

Smartphones have changed the way conversations are carried out, but are they killing the art of communication? Are we missing out on the crucial benefits of voice calls and face-to-face conversations?

  • Should medical marijuana be legalized?

Marijuana helps relieve symptoms of various illnesses.  There have been debates on whether marijuana prescribed by a doctor should be legal. Some US states have legalized medical marijuana. Do you think it should be legalized across the US?

  • Is commercial testing on animals right?

Safety tests for products such as drugs and cosmetics are often tested on animals to ascertain their safety. Animal rights activists and other parties disagree with this practice.

  • Should mercy killing be allowed?

Euthanasia, which refers to the killing of patients with painful, incurable diseases or irreversible comas, is done to relieve suffering. The practice is allowed in some states, but it is frowned upon and illegal in many states.  Is it an ethical practice that should be legalized or not?

  • Should mandatory sexuality and parenting classes be taught in school?

Parents are responsible for teaching their children about sexuality, contraceptive use, and parenting. However, do parents sufficiently teach their kids these subjects? Some schools ask parents to fill in consent forms, allowing schools to administer sexuality classes. Some parents do not consent, yet they do not teach their children about these crucial topics. Should there be a law that mandates the teaching of these topics in school?

College Level Persuasive Essay Topics

  • Should guns be allowed on campuses?

Research shows that guns on campuses only pose a greater danger of violence and do very little to stop shooting rampages. Do you think guns should be allowed on college campuses or not?

  • Should breastfeeding in public be allowed?

Mums are given a hard time now and then for breastfeeding their babies in public . However, some people think that breastfeeding in public, just like bottle feeding a baby in public, should not be controversial.

  • Should the travel ban on Muslim-majority countries be implemented?

There have been mixed reactions on whether the executive order to ban visa issuance to travelers from six Muslim-majority countries should be implemented.

  • Should recycling be required by law?

Recycling helps preserve the environment, but not everyone practices it. Some think that by making it a legal requirement, more people will begin to practice recycling. What’s your position on this?

  • Should workplaces have a more relaxed dress code?

Some employers feel that relaxed dress codes negatively impact productivity and should not be allowed in the workplace.  Others think that it improves creativity and productivity in the workplace.

  • Should bench trials replace the jury system?

There have been arguments that juries are not made up of people with the necessary legal expertise; therefore, they should be abolished and replaced with bench trials where judges are solely responsible for making judgments.

These are just a few tips to help you in persuasive essay writing. You can write persuasive essays on various subjects, including health, food, technology, history, law, religion, and governance. Just follow the guidelines stated above, and you’ll be well on your way to writing a good persuasive essay. Alternatively, you can buy an essay paper  from us and use it to further your research.

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The Importance of Research

Whichever topic you choose, always remember the importance of literature sources. These sources enrich knowledge, meet the academic community’s expectations, and identify and support arguments. You must always find out whether a topic has been overdone or has enough literature to back it up. You can only find the answers to these questions by immersing yourself in literature to filter out the overdone persuasive essay topics and find facts, examples, statistics, and quotes to provide supporting evidence for your essay. It requires and demonstrates an ability to research, understand, and integrate information from multiple sources. Common, reliable literature sources include journals, scientific magazines, textbooks, and reports that can be examined for relevance to the topic at hand. There are multiple online resources and databases to find a book or a journal article that you can use to search for relevant information sources. Possessing good research skills and selecting good persuasive essay topics is crucial. However, good writing should accompany a good persuasive essay topic and extensive research. As such, a student must learn the skills of effective writing. Learning good writing skills will help you write better essays that will keep your readers interested and persuaded. This can be difficult for some students, especially those for whom English is their second language, but it is not an impossible task.

Writing Persuasive Essays

Once you settle on the topic and choose the position on which you will base your essay, the rest of the work can then begin. You still need to create an outstanding piece of writing. You will need to research your topic further to provide evidence for your ideas and structure your writing according to the persuasive essay structure. As any guide on how to write a persuasive essay will tell you, your essay must be organized in paragraphs with a logical progression from one paragraph to the next.

  • Introduction: There should be an introductory paragraph that includes a strong, authoritative thesis statement. Begin the introduction paragraph with an attention-grabbing fact, question, or contradiction.
  • Main Body: This section should have at least three paragraphs. Each body paragraph should state a single main point and present evidence that supports the point, view, or argument you are making. Examples may also be included in each body paragraph to clarify and support your main points further. 
  • Conclusion: A good persuasive essay must always have a concluding paragraph where you restate your position and include a summary of the essay text. If your introduction included non-rhetorical questions, you should include answers in this section as well. Focus the conclusion on giving your reader a strong message that will linger in their mind. 

Finally, remember that a big part of being effective in persuasion is the ability to appeal to your audience’s emotions. Be creative and take full advantage of persuasion techniques. As with any type of writing, keep your work clear, concise, and error-free.

Getting Help With Your Persuasive Essay Topics or Essay

If you need help with a research paper , persuasive essay writing, persuasive speech writing, proofreading, formatting, or editing, contact reliable professionals such as WritingElites.net for help. Many students rely on online samples or articles about writing persuasive essays to help them understand how to go about it. Others consider seeking the support of professional writing services provided by online companies, which can prove helpful. However, the problem is that not all companies can be relied upon to deliver quality essays on time, so you have to be careful in selecting one. There are many such companies providing essay writing services, but should you choose this path, due diligence is important to ensure that the job will be done right. You don’t want to spend money but not receive its equivalent in quality of service. Check the terms of service and carefully study their privacy policy and any other policy they have, and whether there are multiple ways of contacting them.

Further, before you take the step of faith and place an order, check the testimonials from other customers. We are a reliable writing service provider and always keep our word by delivering quality academic writing services in a timely manner. We ensure the service you get is worth the money you pay whenever you need help writing a paper . You can trust us to provide expert help for all your academic writing needs.

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    1 Choose wording carefully. Word choice—the words and phrases you decide to use—is crucial in persuasive writing as a way to build a personal relationship with the reader. You want to always pick the best possible words and phrases in each instance to convince the reader that your opinion is right. Persuasive writing often uses strong ...

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  9. Persuasive Essay Guide: How to Write a Persuasive Essay

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  10. Writing Resources

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    College Level Persuasive Essay Example. Snow days! There is no greater human joy than waking up to a winter wonderland that, with its frosty magic, also canceled school. Well, not anymore because some schools are canceling snow days. Some school systems have come to a conclusion that, since distance learning has worked so well, they may as well ...

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    50 Free Persuasive Essay Examples (+BEST Topics) There are plenty of persuasive essay examples available online and you can access them to learn more about what this type of essay is all about. Persuasive essays explain a topic while trying to persuade the readers that your perspective is the most logical, valid, and informed one about the topic.

  21. 112 Persuasive Speech Topics That Are Actually Engaging

    112 Engaging Persuasive Speech Topics. Tips for Preparing Your Persuasive Speech. Writing a stellar persuasive speech requires a carefully crafted argument that will resonate with your audience to sway them to your side. This feat can be challenging to accomplish, but an engaging, thought-provoking speech topic is an excellent place to start.

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