Persuasive Essay and Speech Topics

101 Persuasive Essay and Speech Topics

Whether you are a student in need of a persuasive essay topic, or a teacher looking to assign a persuasive essay, this list of 101 persuasive essay topics is a great resource. I taxed my brain to create this huge list of persuasive essay topics relevant to today’s society, but I believe it was worth the effort. Additionally, any of these topics could be applied to a persuasive speech project as well. I appreciate any and all comments or feedback. Thank you for visiting!

Download this list in RTF format
Download this list in PDF format

This is a stack of books. It is meant to represent the many resources that are required to tackle these persuasive essay topics.

  1. Should students be allowed to have phones in elementary and high schools?
  2. Should students have to wear uniforms?
  3. Should college athletes be paid for playing?
  4. Should the elderly receive free bus rides?
  5. Should state colleges be free to attend?
  6. Should all American citizens have to complete a year of community service?
  7. Should students be required to take Spanish classes?
  8. Should marijuana be legal for medicinal purposes?
  9. Should the voting age be lowered to thirteen?
  10. Should the driving age be raised to twenty-one?
  11. Should students be paid for having good grades?
  12. Should illegal immigrants be allowed to get drivers licenses?
  13. Should not wearing a seat-belt be illegal?
  14. Should student’s textbooks be replaced by notebook computers or tablets?
  15. Should students have to pass a basic skills test to graduate high school?
  16. Should schools raise money by selling candy and sugary soft drinks to students?
  17. Should schools serve french-fries and fried potato products to students at lunch?
  18. Should students’ grades in gym affect their grade point averages?
  19. Should girls be allowed to play on boys sports teams?
  20. Should teens be able to buy violent video games?
  21. Should boys and girls be in separate classes?
  22. Should teenage girls be allowed to get birth control without the permission of their parents?
  23. Should our country have free health care?
  24. Should immigration laws be reformed?
  25. Should the federal government recognize civil unions?
  26. Should people who download music and movies illegally be punished?
  27. Should school athletes have to be on the honor roll to play in games?
  28. Should music with curse words be allowed at school dances?
  29. Should public schools begin the day with a silent prayer time?
  30. Should students be able to listen to music on headphones during study hall?
  31. Should schools offer fast food options like McDonald’s or Taco Bell?
  32. Should smoking be allowed at parks and other outdoor public venues?
  33. Should cities offer free public Wi-Fi?
  34. Should the government place a tax on junk food and fatty snacks?
  35. Should the 2nd amendment give citizens the right to own assault weaponry?
  36. Should people traveling in airplanes have to undergo intensive security screenings?
  37. Should genetically modified foods be sold with a warning label?
  38. Should teachers have to pass a basic skills test every ten years to renew their certification?
  39. Should people be allowed to keep exotic animals like chimpanzees or tigers?
  40. Should people be allowed to keep pit-bull dogs?
  41. Should the city offer a bike sharing program?
  42. Should there be an ordinance citing people who fail to recycle $50?
  43. Should there be an ordinance citing people who play music too loudly $50?
  44. Should prostitution be legalized and regulated by the government?
  45. Should celebrities who break the law face stricter penalties?
  46. Should the government increase spending on the space program?
  47. Should larger passengers have to pay for two plane or movie theater tickets?
  48. Should children have to use booster seats in cars?
  49. Should people have to get a license to become parents?
  50. Should there be tougher federal restrictions for content on the internet?
  51. Should people be allowed to curse on daytime television?
  52. Should owners be legally accountable for clearing snow from sidewalks on their property?
  53. Should sexual education be taught in public schools?
  54. Should students be able to get free condoms at school?
  55. Should students who commit cyber-bullying be suspended from school?
  56. Should corporations be allowed to advertise in schools?
  57. Should students be allowed to eat during class?
  58. Should more be done to protect and preserve endangered animals?
  59. Is it appropriate for students and teachers to be friends on Facebook?
  60. Should students have open campus lunch periods?
  61. Should abortions be legal?
  62. Should abortions be legal in cases of rape and incest?
  63. Should the death penalty be used to punish violent criminals?
  64. Should students learn about world religions in public schools?
  65. Should schools start later in the morning?
  66. Should the USA end overseas military operations?
  67. Should politicians be allowed to accept campaign contributions from corporate lobbyists?
  68. Should people with terminal illnesses have the right to doctor assisted suicides?
  69. Should Puerto Rico become a state?
  70. Should stem cell researchers be able to use stem cells from aborted babies to cure diseases?
  71. Should school athletes have to take drug tests?
  72. Should professional athletes have to take drug tests?
  73. Should America convert to the metric system?
  74. Should high school students have to complete community service hours to graduate?
  75. Should teens over 13 years of age be allowed into R rated movies?
  76. Should state tests be given in other languages for ESL students?
  77. Should scientists be allowed to test products intended for human use on animals?
  78. Should unhealthy fast food products be sold with a warning label?
  79. Should there be a tariff or tax on products manufactured outside of the country?
  80. Should students or teachers receive money for scoring well on standardized tests?
  81. Should everyone under the age of 17 have a 9:00 PM curfew?
  82. Should schools with low scores on standardized tests be closed?
  83. Should minors be allowed to drink alcoholic beverages in their homes with their parents’ consent?
  84. Should students be allowed to drop out before they turn 18 years old?
  85. Should alcohol manufacturers be allowed to advertise on television?
  86. Should students as young as fourteen be allowed to hold jobs?
  87. Should American families have a two child max rule to limit population growth?
  88. Should children younger than thirteen be allowed to watch MTV or music videos?
  89. Should people who are caught driving drunk lose their licenses for a year?
  90. Should students who fail their classes be retained and have to repeat the grade?
  91. Should large businesses and corporations be required to employ a number of minorities proportionate to the population?
  92. Should female construction workers earn the same wages as males?
  93. Should children in temporary living situations with a 3.0 GPA earn free college tuition?
  94. Should gambling and sports-betting be illegal or should the government regulate it?
  95. Should children who commit violent crimes be tried as adults?
  96. Should the government be allowed to detain suspected terrorists without trial?
  97. Should the government censor internet content deemed inappropriate?
  98. Should teachers have to wear uniforms or have a dress code?
  99. Should teachers be allowed to have cell phones in the classroom?
  100. Should the state execute dogs that have bitten someone?
  101. Should talking on a phone without a hands-free device while driving be illegal?

Looking For Something Else?
How to Write Persuasive Essays
How to Write Narrative Essays
Narrative Essay Topics
Research Paper Topics

Still looking for something?
Search here.

Leave a comment


  1. My teacher used this to give us a class assignment. I found it very interesting and found this list on my own. I am considering using a few of the abortion related subjects for extra-credit work.
    Thank You So Much,
    P.S. I got #18 (Phys. Ed. grades affecting GPA’s) and found it very funny because I just got in a conversation with my mother about that the previous night. W

  2. Very nice and helpful topics πŸ™‚

  3. jackson

     /  March 5, 2012

    are you pro or con for no. 47 and why?

  4. jackson

     /  March 3, 2012

    i feel offended by no.47 the one about larger people having to by 2 tickets there still 1 person like me i a large person but the rst of them were good

    • Well, that was something that airlines attempted to do. If you feel passionately about the subject, perhaps it would be a good topic for you.

  5. Brittany

     /  February 29, 2012

    I think a good idea would be not having homework! Sometimes it’s really hard for kids to get everything done. If you are busy all the time then you are up until late at night trying to get everything done! It happens to me ALOT! Even if we have homework then it should be one page and one page only!(: But thanks for the ideas Mr. Morton!

  6. my favorite l.a website

     /  February 28, 2012


    this is a cool website it is very helpful. there was a lot of great ideas. i am going to start writing a persuasive essay and this really helped me. so thanks

  7. Myra Stepper

     /  February 15, 2012

    I’m doing essay #99. I think they should be able to have their cell phone in the classroom because what if they have a family emergency, issue at home ( fire,etc.), or their child might be sick at school and they get a call from the school, and plus its my own opinion but, if anyone wants to put their opinion go right ahead.

  8. Ariel

     /  February 9, 2012

    Thanks so much!!! This site is really helpful πŸ˜€

  9. Austin

     /  February 9, 2012

    this is really helpful i used, Should minors be allowed to drink alcoholic beverages in their homes with their parentsÒ€ℒ consent? and i think i did very well with this fight .

  10. James P.

     /  February 8, 2012

    Thank you SO much. I have a persuasive essay to write and I couldn’t think of any good topics that were interesting. This list is amazing, varied and original. Great help and most of these question really make you stop and think they’re all quite interesting.

  11. Hannah

     /  February 7, 2012

    number 99 is a great one, students think it is unfair if teachers can use their phones when students cannot. And plus the teachers have class room phones on their walls in their room.

  12. BLMS student

     /  February 6, 2012

    I think another topic should be “should smoking be banned in america?”

  13. Paige Anderson

     /  February 5, 2012

    Thank you for these great ideas!
    I’m a student and I have to do a persuasive essay on any topic we choose and I think that the question ‘Should the voting age be lowered to thirteen’ is a great one! Thanks! I never would have thought of that! πŸ™‚

  14. Student in distress

     /  February 5, 2012

    Thanks for this list! Really truly very helpful:)!

  15. Cats Rock

     /  February 2, 2012

    Hey Mr. Morton, now I have ideas for my persuasion essay! Thank you!

  16. I am a student at Cincinnati University. I was wondering which one of these topics you would recommend for someone my age. Thanks very much!

    • Pretty much any of these topics could be fleshed out into an undergraduate paper. Really, the only variables between middle school, high school, and college are the amount of sources and pages required. Additionally, how strictly one must adhere to a style guide varies. As always, I suggest choosing a topic in which you are interested or about which you are passionate, as such a topic will lend itself to study and contemplation. Best wishes!

  17. ahmed

     /  January 29, 2012

    thanks a lot for this exerted effort

  18. Taylor

     /  January 25, 2012

    Should girls be able to play on boy’s sport teams? Is that a good topic? Could it work for a persuasive essay?

  19. Quaderrius davidson

     /  January 24, 2012

    Nice List the topics are perfect

  20. The Mac Attack

     /  January 23, 2012

    Thanks for making this list. It was very helpful!

  21. really liked it. πŸ™‚

  22. Katie

     /  January 22, 2012

    Thanks for making this list. Many of the ideas were useful to me for helping me brainstorm, although I’m Canadian, so the ones focusing on American politics weren’t that helpful. Trying to find an interesting persuasive essay topic is always hard because they all seem to have been done before. Maybe I should argue that we shouldn’t have to do one every year because we run out of ideas. πŸ˜€

    • Sorry about the whole US-centrism thing. Unfortunately, I’m not too familiar with Canadian politics. πŸ˜€ Anyway, I love your suggested topic. Writing an essay about not writing essays would be rich indeed.

  23. Christy

     /  January 20, 2012

    Thanks for posting such a great list. I’m constantly trying to come up with good topics for my students, and it always helps having another brain’s input! Much appreciated!

  24. lissette

     /  January 19, 2012

    is abortion a good topic?

  25. Bianca

     /  January 18, 2012

    Thank u so much Mr. Morton for this list. It help me so much because I’m in Composition 1 class n college and I could not think of any topic to write about. Then I said I would finally Google this and it help out alot. Thanks so much. Now I can write my paper. Great job.
    Do u have a list for any Informative Essays Topics.

  26. mariya k.

     /  January 17, 2012

    this site was super helpful and i used one of these topics to enter the speech arts compitition:D


     /  January 17, 2012

    Should Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands become states?

  28. Rajeep

     /  January 12, 2012

    This is cool. This site is amazing. Keep up the good work.

  29. emily

     /  January 12, 2012

    should americans be obese?

  30. Sheri

     /  January 11, 2012

    Thank you SO much for generating that list and putting it out there for us!! As per the norm, I was spent from a day of teaching and only about 10 ideas popped into my brain until I googled! Thanks again!

  31. Manuel

     /  January 11, 2012

    Loved It

  32. Troubled Middle School Student

     /  January 10, 2012

    I’m thinking of doing the topic about being allowed to eat in class, but my teacher says that I have to have an attention getter… but we have to give the speech in front of the class. Can you give me some suggestions of attention getters that I wouldn’t embarrass myself on? Thanks.

    • Unfortunately, when it comes to public speaking, one can always find an occasion to embarrass oneself. I like to start my compositions with a quote. I find it to be a pretty quick way to add some class and prestige to your presentation. Just make sure that you understand the quote, least you chose a quote that contradicts your message.

  33. Samira M

     /  January 4, 2012

    hi Mr.Morton, thank you so much for making this has really helped cause im doing a perssuasive essay and its like this site was made for me because when i opened it guess what..we have the same last names..hehe isnt tht funny :p

  34. thanks!

  35. LOL TRY THIS ONE: Should Animal Cruelty Be accepted In this World?

  36. CPS Student

     /  December 18, 2011

    This helped me to choose a topic to argue. Thanks!

  37. destiny

     /  December 15, 2011

    i like # 56

  38. Caneel

     /  December 14, 2011

    I love this site!

  39. Gabriel

     /  December 10, 2011

    Thanks, this is a great site!!!

  40. Johny Wetgator

     /  December 8, 2011

    Should Pumpkin Pie be illegal

  41. Mr. C

     /  December 6, 2011

    Great list! Saved me some time brainstorming topics for my students. Thanks!

    An interesting topic to add would be (unless I overlooked it):

    Should schools eliminate homework?
    (…Kids love trying to argue that one!)

  42. fRed

     /  December 6, 2011

    very helpful. You should add more like, “can people ban cigars” or “should people under 35 be president”?

  43. Ashy

     /  November 29, 2011

    this page was really helpful πŸ™‚ but I have a few other ideas too.
    1. Real or fake Christmas tree?
    2. Should students be able to hug\kiss their boyfriend/girlfriend in school?

  44. Mariyam

     /  November 25, 2011

    Thanks so much, Mr. Morton. I’m interested in a few topics for my persuasive writing assignment but they’re so good I can’t choose. So I was hoping you could help me choose a topic and also give a little information on these topics:
    1. Should the elderly receive free bus rides?
    2. Should schools start later in the morning?
    3. Should America convert to the metric system?
    4. Should talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device while driving be illegal?
    5. Should students who fail their classes be retained and have to repeat the grade?

    I tried my best with these topics and gathered a little info but still hoping you could help me. Thanks so much again!!!

  45. Dakota Moster

     /  November 23, 2011

    this is very thought provoking

  46. Karen

     /  November 23, 2011

    I’m a retired teacher and started volunteering with students. How do I find more info about ‘attention getter’ and ‘clincher’? Vernacular changes ( I remember goals, standards, objectives, strands, benchmarks, but just new labels). Also, here are a few questions to consider:
    Should all students be required to take advanced or more difficult courses like Algebra 2 or chemistry? Should we provide more career centers or trade schools for students that would like to prepare for an occupation (instead of one per county) abd give them credit for it? Since it is likely that most students will become parents in the future, should parenting and child development classes be offered to high school student (I would suggest an hour a week in day care, too, for experience and application). Now, it’s your persuasive essay to develop on your own. Thanks so much for this list. It is wonderful.

    • Mr. Morton

       /  December 1, 2011

      I understand what you mean.

      I define these terms as such:

      Attention Getter or Catcher: Using a technique to attempt to get the readers attention. Rather than just launching into the prompt, the writer will ask the reader a rhetorical question, make a thoughtful statement, tell a related anecdote, or use a fact, statistic, or quote.

      Clincher: Similar to attention catcher, but at the end. The writer offers a reflective statement, tells a related anecdote, describes a frightening scenario, or otherwise attempts to provide closure to the essay.

      Thanks for visiting!

  47. Elaine

     /  November 20, 2011

    Thanks!! So many great ideas, I can’t choose!!!

  48. Anonymous

     /  November 20, 2011

    Thanks! πŸ™‚

  1. New The Student Essay: 22 Sites to Find a Topic – Stephen's Lighthouse
  2. Academic Literacy, November 18, 2011

Leave a Reply to ruby Hoffacker Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By Using This Website You Agree to the Terms of Use and are aware of our privacy policy.