Virginia has been a university English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier.
Interesting Paper Ideas
- Why is tattoo art becoming increasingly popular?
- Does research done by using Mechanical Turk to post surveys for people to fill out for a few cents really result in good information?
- Is Facebook's decision to restrict access to gun sale information in order to help prevent illegal gun trafficking a good idea?
- If Putin and Edward Snowden can be on the list of Nobel Peace Prize Nominees in 2014, what is the value of this award?
- With the revelation that UK intelligence intercepted millions of Yahoo webcam images, should we be careful what we send over the Internet? How can we protect our privacy?
- Can using an iPad app which gives people tip suggestions cause people to tip more?
- Is Google Fiber a good idea? Will having Google Fiber change a city? How important is fast access to the web for a community?
- What is the definition of privacy in the digital age?
- How will driverless cars change our lives?
- Which is the best city builder video game?
- Are E-sports gamers really athletes?
- What is the future of Bitcoin?
- How can streaming videos be made more efficient?
- Are products like Crowd Control Risk which monitors the use of social media by a company going too far?
- Should law enforcement use technology like Blue Jay to monitor twitter in high profile events?
- How much do we really want technology to do for us? Do we really want to become like the humans in Wall-e?
- Does Apple's plan to like iPhones to car radio systems going to help keep driving safe or cause more distractions to drivers?
- Are electric cars going to be the wave of the future?
- Should police be required to wear a video camera all the time in order to reduce the use of deadly force?
- How can drones be used for peaceful purposes?
- What makes a great ad for the Super Bowl?
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that they will soon be requiring all cars to come with V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communication technology so that cars can exchange safety data. Do we really need this technology?
- New apps now incorporate smells, such as the Oscar Mayer app which wakes you up to the smell of bacon. How important will smelling apps become?
- Will devices like the Nymi bracelet (which uses a person's heartbeat to unlock any device requiring a password) replace other forms of online security? Could these sorts of personal devices eventually make credit cards and other forms of identification obsolete?
- Should there be laws about people recording using Google glasses or other recording devices in public places? What about phones?
- Do fitness apps like UP really help people have better health?
5 Quick Writing Steps
- Pick a topic that you already know something about. That makes it easier to write.
- Write an answer to that question. That is your thesis.
- Write 3 reasons you would give that answer. Those reasons are your main points. With a thesis and 3 main points, you've already got a simple outline.
- What examples can you think of? Write these down. Those can be used for the introduction, conclusion or to back up your main points.
- Now, all you need to do is to look up some research for examples and evidence, or if you don't have to research, then you can just think up some more examples from:
- Your personal experiences.
- People you know.
- Media examples from movies, T.V., or videos.
- News or current event examples.
- Literary examples from books, plays or poems.
Example Thesis Question: Say you are a student who has studied abroad and you think that is a great idea for other students. So you pick the question: Is studying abroad good for students?
Thesis Answer: Studying abroad is a great idea for college students because it gives them a better education and helps them in their career.
Why? (These are your three main topic sentences for the Body of Your Paper)
- Students who study abroad get to know more about the world and other cultures.
- Studying abroad makes students more independent and teaches them to solve problems.
- Employers like to hire students who study abroad because they know they are adaptable and mature.
Examples and Research: You can write about your own experience, interview fellow students who have studied abroad, talk with the study abroad coordinator at your school and look up some statistics about students who study abroad and how they get a better career. If you need additional research you can look for some academic studies that discuss the benefits of studying abroad.
Introduction and Conclusion: Start with your own story about studying abroad. Conclude with some of the things you've taken away from the experience.
Marriage and Relationships
- What makes a good marriage?
- Should a couple stay together for the good of the children?
- Is getting divorced after the kids are in college a good idea?
- Do unhappy couples who stay together eventually end up better off than people who divorce?
- What are the best reasons for getting married?
- Does living together before marriage make the marriage stronger?
- Is a stay-at-home dad a good option for childcare?
- What is the best way for married couples to divide up house care duties?
- When should married couples plan to have children?
- Is choosing a hyphenated last name a good idea?
- Do children make a married couple closer, or not?
- Should a couple follow the wife's career?
- How important is a regular "date night" for couples?
- How do married couples keep romance in their marriage?
- What do married couples fight about the most?
- Does building a new stadium really help a city attract more business?
- Do successful football or basketball programs really help Universities?
- Should wrestling continue to be included in the Summer Olympics?
- What kinds of sports should be included in the Winter Olympics? What changes should be considered?
- Is it a good idea for parents to sacrifice to help their child become an Olympic athlete?
- Do the dangers of highly competitive athletic sports outweigh the risks of injury?
- What is the optimal lifestyle for the college athlete for them to do their best in both their sport and their studies?
- What are the best diets for high school and college athletes?
- What are the health risks in middle age for people who played competitive athletics in college? Is it worth it?
- Are academic standards for high school and college athletes important? How should they be enforced?
- Is the National Security Administration's (NSA) use of surveillance an abuse of the rights of America? of the rights of other countries?
- How will the Trump Administration change national U.S. policy toward Mexico? (or choose any other country).
- How should the world respond to missile tests by North Korea?
- How important is the Latino vote going to be in the next U.S. presidential election?
- Is the development of a country's agriculture the most effective way to alleviate poverty?
- How should immigration law be re-written?
- Should the U.S. continue to use drones to target and kill?
- What caused the Great Recession of 2008?
- Should prisons work to rehabilitate prisoners?
- How harsh should prisons be?
- Do mandatory sentences for certain crimes really help?
- Does having the death penalty really prevent crime?
- Has the United States kept the values of the Founding Fathers?
- What makes the United States different from other countries?
- Should the U.S. stop intervening in other country's wars?
- Does lowering the Federal Corporate Income Tax Rate create jobs?
- What is the best way to stimulate the economy?
- Are American family farms dying off?
- Should the U.S. continue to give subsidies to farmers?
- How can the U.S. best ensure that farmers grow the crops needed each year?
- Should the death penalty be outlawed nationally?
- How important is balancing a government's budget, or decreasing the Deficit?
Can you use news articles and journals for your essay? If so, go to Google and type in your topic and see if any articles come up from:
- Newspapers (such as New York Times, The L.A. Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian)
- News broadcasting networks (BBC, NPR (National Public Radio), NBC, ABC, FOX, CNN)
- News Magazines (Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report)
- Specialty Magazines (Discover, Psychology Today, The Economist, Fortune, Scientific American Mind, National Geographic, Science News)
You can also go to the web page of any of these sources and type in your search word to see if you can get the article.
Peer Reviewed Articles
If your assignment requires you to use peer-reviewed articles, you can use your library system to get articles. However, you can also find many articles online that are from a peer-reviewed professional journal or otherwise authoritative source. Just be sure you check with your professor to make sure the sources you've found are appropriate for your assignment. Try using:
- Google Scholar as a search tool. This will let you do the same sort of search you would usually do on Google, Bing or Yahoo, but it will only bring up articles that are done by professors and published in on-line journals that you will be able to access without going through your library.
- Google for "subject" journal online. This will often get you to the website of a journal where you can search for your topic. For example, "Psychology Journals Online" brings up the APA (American Psychological Association) website which has topics you can search and online journal articles or links to an article on topics like autism, ADHD, and Eating Disorders.
- Google Search for Government Resources: Try typing in your topic issue and "gov" or "statistics." When you do that is "autism gov" you get the Health and Human Services government site about autism which includes links to peer-reviewed articles on the topic, as well as a good overview of the topic.
- Government Websites: if you know the government website, you can go straight to it and then type in your topic. At U.S.A. gov., there is a list of different U.S. Government Departments and agencies that you can scan. UK gov. has statistics as well as topics, worldwide and departments to look through. The United Nations Statistics database gives good information about international issues and also has publications you can search. If you are writing on a topic that involves another country like India, Pakistan or Australia, then search the government websites from those countries. Use Google Translate to put the website into your own language.
What do Disney Princesses Teach Girls? Boys?
- Are romantic movies damaging to real relationships?
- Is studying abroad good for students?
- Which are better, public or private schools?
- Do students from private high schools get into better colleges?
- Do people graduating from private colleges get better jobs?
- Does belonging to a fraternity or sorority help you get a job after graduation?
- Are fraternities and sororities racist?
- Does belonging to a fraternity or sorority make your college education better?
- Does studying abroad help people to get a better job after they graduate?
- Do tests like the SAT or the ACT really predict how well students will do in college? Are they better than grades?
- Are the 2014 changes to the SAT going to improve the test?
- Does living together before marriage help or hurt the long-term success of a marriage?
- Is micro-enterprise loans the best way to help women in developing nations?
- Does the viewing of television shows in poor rural areas help or hurt poor women?
- What is the best way to prevent the abortion and neglect of females in India?
- Is abortion ever the right thing to do?
- Are beauty pageants beneficial to women in them?
- Should the fashion industry change their way of advertising so that models are more like real women?
- How does media (like movies, music, and video games) cause violence against women?
- Do we need to continue to encourage women to go into science and engineering fields with events like the Wikipedia "edit-a-thon" writing more articles on women in science?
- Why do women still not earn as much as men?
- How are women in politics different in their interests and legislation than men?
- Should Barbie continue to be a patch Girl Scouts can earn? Is Barbie a good or bad role model for young girls?
- Do the Disney Princesses movies and merchandise offer innocent dreams for young girls or a racist and sexist image that warps young minds?
Medicine and Health
- Can people lose weight and keep it off? How?
- What is the best way to keep people healthy?
- How should the Affordable Care Act be changed to ensure more Americans get better health care?
- What is the best way for morbidly obese people to lose weight successfully?
- What is the best diet for a young adult?
- How can schools encourage children to have a healthier lifestyle?
- Should schools be required to provide PE and recess for a certain number of minutes each day?
- Is there really a "fit beer" that can help your workout?
- Is the new popularity of electronic cigarettes going to help or hurt health?
- Will CVS and other companies that decide to stop selling tobacco products make a difference? Will this hurt the company or help them?
- How can we prevent community health crisis like the spill of chemicals into West Virginia Water or the explosion of the West fertilizer plant?
- Does marijuana really have health benefits?
- Is it really in the benefit of healthy young people to sign up for Affordable Care Act health insurance?
- Should people who are terminally ill with cancer continue chemotherapy to prolong their lives a bit longer?
- How much sugar is too much? The World Health organization says 5% of calories should be from sugar each day, but most Westerners have about 15%.
- What role does race play in American identity?
- Should first generation immigrants teach their children mostly in English or their native language?
- Why are more boys than girls autistic?
- Is environment or genetics the cause of brain disorders like ADHD and autism in children?
- How should parents react when their child tells them they are gay?
- Is teaching suicide prevention in schools helpful?
- Which is better, foster care or group homes?
- Should the laws be changed so that parent rights are terminated for people who go to jail so that their children can be adopted by someone else?
- How should animals raised for food be treated?
- What is the biggest cause of fatal traffic accidents? How can fatalities be prevented?
- How can teenage drivers be best educated to prevent them from getting into accidents their first year of driving?
- Should firemen get paid more?
- Should parents have the right to genetically engineer their children's appearance, talents, intelligence and other attributes?
- Should people who text while driving (TWD) be cited and fined in the same way as drunk drivers? How important will 3-D printing be in our future?
- Will 3-D printing business models succeed?
- Should parents be able to opt out of having their children take standardized testing?
Questions & Answers
Question: What do you think of the topic, "Is teaching suicide prevention in school helpful?" for a persuasive essay?
Answer: You could also use the topics:
1. How can we best prevent young people from committing suicide?
2. What kind of education will help prevent young people from committing suicide?
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on April 24, 2016:
Thanks Heidi! I am always happy to get people to share my work!
Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on April 24, 2016:
Wow! Good topic ideas for papers OR blog posts. Congrats on Hub of the Day! Sharing on Twitter.
Andrew Spacey from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK on April 24, 2016:
What an excellent resource for those who want to write an essay. Helpful, easy to follow and full of links to more relevant info. Perfect for the student, useful for the interested occasional essay writer. An all round top class effort Virginia.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 24, 2016:
Congratulations for the HOTD, so well deserved!
Your excellent tips will make writing persuasive essays so easy. Very useful and helpful hub.
Pinning it for future reference. Thank you!
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 26, 2014:
Your ideas are so helpful and informative. A way to write more and to be able to cope with the easy topics.
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on March 18, 2014:
Thanks so much teaches. I love coming up with topics and many of my ideas come from my students. It is always interesting to hear what are the current argument topics they are discussing and thinking about.
Dianna Mendez on March 17, 2014:
I can always count on you to add interest to essay writing. You can be sure I will refer to this when I teach my next English Comp class. Voted up++.
Jacqui from New Zealand on March 10, 2014:
Thanks for this! I've been looking for more inspiration to get back into writing! This is just what I needed! Thanks!
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on March 06, 2014:
Glad you find these helpful Donna! I'm actually enjoying coming up with new topics and I've learned a lot as I've done research and as my class and I have been investigating current events and especially all the new technologies already available or soon to be a part of our lives. My students are always up on the latest trends!
Donna Caprio Quinlan from Newburyport, MA on March 06, 2014:
Virginia - thanks for the essay topic ideas! There are so many creative ones. I struggle to come up with ideas. The more I write, I find the ideas come a little easier. I bookmarked your article. The writing and researching tips are very helpful! I gave it an HP thumbs up.