Virginia has been a university English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier.
What is Academic Persuasive Writing?
Your job is to make a claim and support it using facts, logic, and research. While you might use personal experience to argue "Mandatory state testing is a bad idea," you will go beyond your own experience by using statistics, views of experts, and other evidence.
Everyone Should Have Clean Water
This Article Includes
100 Academic Persuasive Essay Topics
How to Choose a Topic
Current Event Topic Generator
Steps in Writing a Persuasive Paper
Social Justice Topics
- Americans should pay more attention to the way their clothes and shoes are made in order to help prevent child labor abuses.
- We can eliminate poverty if everyone takes steps to give more in their local community.
- College students need to be activists in social justice issues like human trafficking.
- Racism is still an important part of the experience of many people in America in spite of laws and social action.
- Animal experimentation for any reason is wrong.
- Boycotting a company is an effective way to bring about change.
Writing About Parents and Children
- Children should be supervised when using the Internet.
- Interracial marriages are more fulfilling because they require a greater commitment.
- Every couple ought to consider the possibility of adopting a child.
- Children of alcoholics are more prone to have problems with alcohol and drug abuse.
- Domestic violence is on the increase.
- Parents of gang members should be held responsible for the violence and property damage their children commit.
- Hunting is a great way for families to spend time in the outdoors, get to experience nature, and bond together.
- Children of divorced parents should have the right to divorce their parents.
- Non-competitive athletic teams are better for children under 10.
- Injuries from organized athletic activities for children and teens are on the rise and will be a health care crisis in the future.
- Child abuse has become more of a problem as divorce increases in America.
- Reproductive technologies such as in-vitro transplants should be banned.
- The legacy of a parent's divorce lasts throughout a person's life.
- While the feminist movement certainly opened up the jobs and opportunities available to women, it ultimately harmed women, children, and the family because it devalued motherhood.
- Women who find they are carrying Down's Syndrome children should be encouraged to give those children up for adoption rather than having an abortion.
- Advocating birth control as part of sex education is wrong and should not be supported by the state.
How to Prevent Teen Accidents?
- Violence in the media is responsible for an increase in violence among young people.
- Movies today are better than they were in our parent's generation.
- Parents should not allow teens to be a part of social networking so that they do not experience or participate in cyberbullying.
- The idea of censorship or regulation of advertising is impractical, un-American, and against free enterprise and capitalism.
- Parents should limit the exposure of their children to media.
- Violence in the media releases aggression and does not cause violence in real life.
- Freedom of speech is something Americans need to support more strongly not only here, but also around the world.
Urban Wilderness Spaces Can Save Species
- Outsourcing to India is costing American's employment opportunities.
- Japanese car companies are no longer creating the best cars in the world.
- Cybercrime is on the increase and governments need to do more to prevent it.
- Population growth in the world is an overlooked issue which will become more important as global warming changes food production around the world.
- Bioterrorism is still an important issue for all of us to be aware of when thinking about National Security and global security.
- America should continue to support Israel, no matter what.
- Americans should not get involved in global conflicts that don't concern their national interest.
- By opposing GMO (genetically modified organisms) crops, European nations are causing 3rd World people to starve or be malnourished.
- Global Warming is real and we need to get prepared.
- Video games can help people solve real-world problems.
- Identity theft is a greater problem than you think.
Is Private Education Worth It?
- Online education is just as good as learning in the classroom.
- Homeschooling is not as good as a public school.
- College athletes, especially football players, are an economic asset to Universities and should be paid accordingly.
- Sports are given too high a priority in American High Schools and this hurts the education of children.
- The increase in standardized testing in America has improved the educational achievements of graduates.
- Bilingual education is important and should be supported by educators, parents, and the public.
- Creationism is believed by 75% of Americans and should be a part of science education in schools.
- College students need to be on guard against piling up consumer debt.
- American colleges should increase the number of students from foreign countries to help cover costs.
- Schools need to offer Mandarin as a foreign language because China is going to be an increasingly important country.
- The European educational system is superior to the American system.
Food and Diet Topics
- Since buying and eating local food saves energy and promotes the local economy, everyone should support the Local Food movement.
- Although vegetarianism is often mocked and misunderstood, college students should consider this lifestyle as a way to be ecologically thoughtful and physically healthy.
- Childhood obesity in America is reaching crisis proportions and parents, the media and school lunches are the cause.
- The food and drug administration budget should increase to make sure our food supply is safe.
- Families should store up 6 months of food in case of an economic collapse.
- Schools should teach more about nutrition and healthy diets.
- What is the perfect diet for health?
- Organic food is better and worth a higher price than non-organic produce and meat.
- There is a national crisis of vitamin D deficiency.
- Everyone should take a multivitamin every day.
- The only healthy way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise.
- The best diet plan to lose weight is (paleo, intermittent fasting, or the Mediterranean diet, etc.)
- Food competition shows are causing the average cook to be more creative in the kitchen.
- College students should take the time to cook healthy foods.
- You can eat a good diet without learning how to cook.
- American politics is becoming too divisive.
- The American president is the most important world leader.
- Domestic terrorism is more of a problem than terrorism from people in other countries.
- Juvenile offenders who commit serious crimes should be tried as adults.
- Welfare reform failed to help people get back to work. All illegal immigrants who have a job should be given a work visa to stay legally in the United States as long as they do not commit a crime, remain employed, and pay taxes.
- Churches do a better job of helping people overcome poverty than government agencies.
- National laws should be made to prevent texting and calling from cell phones while driving.
- The Federal Budget Deficit needs to be reduced to save the United States from an economic disaster.
- We should prohibit all off-shore drilling until oil companies can prove that drilling disasters won't happen again.
- Prisons should not be a place of punishment, but a place to rehabilitate people so that they can be productive members of society.
- Gun control is an important part of controlling violence in our society.
- Environmentalism and use of the land for farming and logging can go hand in hand.
- Legalizing Marijana will decrease drug use, provide a new avenue for tax revenues, and prevent crime.
- Donald Trump's candidacy has changed American politics forever.
- Voters should have to show ID to vote.
Excellent Topic Choices
Don't have an easy answer.
Have two or more sides.
Interest other people and involve them in your argument.
Are something you really care about.
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Health and Genetics
- Mental disorders are often wrongly diagnosed and treated.
- Binge drinking on college campuses is a serious health issue that students can help control by using peer pressure to make it unacceptable.
- Drinking alcoholic beverages in moderation can be healthful and prevent Alzheimer's.
- Shamefully, many children in poor nations die from diseases that are easily preventable with inexpensive vaccines which are widespread in richer nations.
- Rather than allowing large malpractice suits against doctors, medical ethics boards should be set up which would evaluate all patient complaints.
- Every person should be tested for genetic disorders but this information should not be shared with insurance companies in order to prevent discrimination on policies.
- Genetic engineering of humans is a good thing.
- Hospice care for the terminally ill is an underused resource. More families could benefit from hospice care services for terminally ill loved ones if they knew more about these health services.
- All of the concern about obesity in the news has caused more problems with body image among teenage girls.
- Organ transplantation can make good out of tragedy, so everyone should sign up to be a donor, urge others to sign up, and be sure their family knows their wishes.
- We should not get complacent about watching out for global pandemics because a flu pandemic is coming, it is just a matter of time.
As an English professor, I have taught persuasive writing to many college students. Although college students are often passionate in what they believe, they sometimes have a hard coming up with topics to write about. An excellent persuasive essay idea for your paper:
- Doesn't have an easy answer.
- Has two or more sides.
- Interests other people and involves them in your argument.
- Is an essay topic you really care about.
- Is an essay topic you can research.
Since academic persuasive essays require you to research, you don't have to start your essay knowing what your position is on the topic. You may not even know much about the topic before you start gathering information for your argumentative essay.
To find a good topic, I often have my students write a list of things that they are interested in knowing more about, or which they believe in. To broaden their thinking, I find it helps to look at a list of argumentative topics like the one in the table below.
Genetically Modified Food
Mental Health Care System
Alcohol and Tobacco Laws
Alzheimer's and Dementia
Right of Privacy
Health Care Issues
Athletes and Sports
Drugs and Athletes
Body Piercing and Tattooing
Online Education and Learning
Technology and Society
Online Social Networks
Children of Divorced Parents
Texting While Driving
The Local Food Movement
Church and State
Freedom of Speech
Persuasive Essay Topic Poll
Argument Essay Topic: What Makes Music Beautiful?
Steps in Writing an Argumentative Essay
For full instructions on how to write a persuasive essay, see my article "How to Write an Argumentative Essay." Below are the basic steps to get you started:
1. Gather some information about your topic by writing down everything you know, checking out some information on Google, or looking at TED lectures by experts on new technologies and science like the ones in the videos I include on this blog. Use what you read to help you create some search terms, and to help you decide on your own position.
2. Write down different positions people argue on this topic. Academic persuasive essays usually make one of five types of claims:
- Claims of Value: What is really important? What should we protect or value most?
- Claims of Fact: What really did happen? How should we think about this issue?
- Claims of Definition: What is the actual meaning of a word, an event, or an idea? What really is the problem?
- Claims of Policy: What should be done about this problem?
- Claims of Cause or Effect: What is the reason for this problem? What is the cause? What is the effect?
3. Use the questions above to write as many Claim questions for your issue as you can. Most issues can have essays on all of the above questions.
4. Write your Claim Question. Decide which of the questions you are most interested in writing about. Write it down. The question may be a part of your introduction, or it can make a great title.
5. Write down your own answer to the question. This is your thesis.
6. Write down the reasons you believe this answer. These will be your topic ideas for the body of your paper. Turn these into sentences and you will have your topic sentences done.
7. Write down what other answers people have to this question. This will help you refine the persuasive essay claim you want to make, and prepare you for adjusting your claim answer. You may want to qualify your answer by saying "If this... then..." Or you might want to narrow the claim to a certain group, or a certain time period. You can also use these opposing views in the body of your paper by bringing them up and then refuting them and saying why your ideas are better.
8. Make a list of search terms. Looking at what you've written so far, make a list of terms you can look up to try to get articles for your paper.
9. Do research in your library or on Google Scholar. As you read each article, underline parts that give you ideas you can use to support different parts of your paper.
Questions & Answers
Question: Can you write an argumentative essay about both sides?
Answer: An essay that talks about all of the different sides of an article are called an "Exploratory Essay" and instructions for that can be found here:https://hubpages.com/academia/How-to-Write-an-Expl...
However, a good argumentative essay can include a shorter exploratory essay about the different sides in the first part of the essay before you explain which side you choose and why. Alternatively, you can explain what side you choose and why and then discuss and refute all of the other sides. I say "sides" because usually there is more than just two sides or positions on a topic.
Umar Razi from Lahore on September 28, 2013:
It is pretty good. I admire the way you write. You have good expressions.
Joffre Meyer from Tyler, TX on April 15, 2013:
I'm going to re-read this hub--awesome, as I clicked previously! I taught Developmental English for ten years and wrote a textbook for my class, so you know I had to have a Persuasive Chapter. Twitter @bohemiotx
ColinWarner on September 10, 2012:
The best part of this hub, in my opinion, is seeing the different types of persuasive essays that are possible. I probably have written each type before, but have not labeled them as such. It might help to know the exact type of persuasive essay I am writing in order to deliver my message better.