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!

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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?
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  1. emily sanchez

     /  October 4, 2012

    yall thank you so much for this site

  2. selena

     /  October 4, 2012

    Dr Morgan,
    Thankyou soo much for this site!!!
    It was so helpful to me!!!! Thnk u soo much for giving such wonderful topics!!!
    This was a very last moment hw for me, and I was really panick-strikken. But, after I came t this site, I got such good topics for my persusasive weiting, that I cud breathe a sigh of relief!!!

  3. Tiffany

     /  October 4, 2012

    this is a really good site i had no idea what to write about and then viewing all these comments has helped . To be honest though if you are a christian then you should follow what the TEN COMMADMENTS says about how to treat others. Do not judge people because of what they beieve or do but instead try to understand why they are this way or why they believe this. To judge someone is more of a sin than to be homosexual. That is my opinion.

  4. nicole

     /  September 27, 2012

    I was having trouble finding a great persuasive topic but when i saw this website its way easier to find a topic thanks!:D

  5. Elisha Johnson

     /  September 26, 2012

    Thanks, this helps a lot. Great topic suggestions by the way, this was truly helpful!

  6. Afroza

     /  September 21, 2012


  7. Derek Lowry

     /  September 20, 2012

    These ideas are really good and it helped me so much with my ideas for college. Although some people disagree with these ideas, and some of those who are religious you have to understand that not everybody is and for that not all ideas are the same, i was raised in a religious manner, but i have also come to realize that not everybody believes therefore not all ideas and opinions are the same. Abortion, being gay that is all on a moral basis idea, therefore it should not be of your choice to say whether it should be on here. Being gay is a right and i am straight, but that does not make you a wrong person, nor a bad person. If you honestly believe that you yourself should be in hell for that matter, for life is all about living and understanding, not judging and condeming that is for god not a single human on this planet nor will it ever be. Live free and be free.

  8. Suzannah Garza

     /  September 18, 2012

    Mr.Morton, do you think your topics are appropriate for 5 th graders?

  9. Kristen

     /  September 11, 2012

    Great list of topics!! I have came to this website many times and have written 7 papers with your topics. Great job and Thank you!

  10. Emma

     /  September 10, 2012

    You have some very good questions that would be great for essays or just for a healthy debate. Though I was wondering, what are some good beginnings or starters for a persuasive essay? If you could give me some tips I’d really appreciate it. That always seems to be the place where I have trouble writing.

  11. Kiaa

     /  August 31, 2012

    well i’m doing an essay for school and i was told that factual information or generalized information isn’t allowed. And it has to be something that i personally experienced.. But i’m so confused i have no clue what to write about.

  12. Kiaa

     /  August 30, 2012

    hello, i was wondering if writing about teenage pregnancy ( my expierence) would be a nice essay to write ? Since i can relate.

    • That sounds really interesting, but what your trying to do is tell a story. When you tell a story, you are creating a narrative, not persuasive essay. If you have to write a persuasive essay, maybe you can argue for or against abortion, adoption, premarital sex, or other teen pregnancy issues. You can draw on your experience to support your arguments. Remember though, you are arguing not story telling.

  13. Crystal

     /  August 30, 2012

    what is your opinion on illegal immigrants?

    • I believe in the founding principals of this country. I believe that one of these principals is that anyone who wants to work to make the country a better place should be allowed in to the country. Once in the country, everyone should be legally viewed as equals.

  14. Nicole

     /  August 29, 2012

    Thanks for making this it gave me some really good ideas. I had no right what to write about now I got some great ideas. πŸ™‚

  15. Melissa

     /  August 29, 2012

    Would the topic “should homosexuals be allowed to join the military” be a good topic? Debateable from both sides?

    • I think it’s pretty hard to make a good argument against it, but there are others who disagree. I think this is a worthy topic.

  16. Cristina

     /  August 27, 2012

    Good list! It is unbelievable that there is such hatred out there.

  17. Hey thanks so much Mr. Morton I would never have come up with a topic in time.

  18. dave

     /  August 10, 2012

    excellent list. thought provoking and room enough to have a good two sided idea.

    well done. thank you

  19. Jessica Dane

     /  August 7, 2012

    I was desperate to find a workable topic for my persuasive speech and now I have more than one to choose from. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me, especially now that I don’t have to worry about my speech overlapping another student’s with the same topic. Thank you so much for posting this list!

  20. nADIA

     /  July 31, 2012


  21. Ana

     /  July 31, 2012

    I agree with most of these topics which are interesting. Good topics!

  22. renae

     /  July 12, 2012

    good website

  23. maritza lopez

     /  July 12, 2012

    My biggest problem is choosing a topic.After, smooth sailing.Thanks,I will share with my classmates.

  24. T

     /  July 3, 2012

    Thank you very much. It helps. I must ask though did you pick these topics by yourself?

  25. Eve

     /  July 2, 2012

    Hi Mr. Morton, I’ve been thinking if “the cause of happiness” is a good topic for either informative or persuasive?

    • Sounds informative to me, Eve. But I bet you could write a good persuasive essay arguing why people should be happy.

  26. mary

     /  June 23, 2012

    thanks so much i have a horrible time figuring out topics i chose on outta the list n got my paper done in like 8 minutes haha so thank you verrry much (:

  27. Bill

     /  June 16, 2012

    I don’t really see how you can argue that public school should begin with a prayer (#29). You can pray before you go to school if that’s what you want. It would just be a waste of valuable time to begin a school day like that.

    • The value of prayer is not equal in all communities. More interestingly, what if the time were just called, “silent time” or “thoughtful time”? How does this affect the argument?

      • Jasmine

         /  July 1, 2012

        There actually was a case that went to the Supreme Court in which in a New York school, students were instructed to say a prayer before school. However, the Supreme Court ruled against the prayer, defining it as coercion. Still, there clearly is a valid argument for a prayer–namely that it is beneficial for those who do participate, and those who object don’t have to say it. The rebuttal would be that because their peers are all saying the prayer, they could feel pressured to say the prayer or they might face ostracism if they don’t say it.

    • NM2

       /  June 26, 2012

      No time is more valuable than that spent in prayer.

      • me

         /  October 4, 2012

        other than doing anything, my favorite saying: “two hands doing will do more than a million hands praying.”

  28. S.E

     /  June 5, 2012

    I needed some essay topics for my writing class and your list was a great help.
    Thank you!

  29. love this website you saved me

  30. Thilani

     /  June 4, 2012

    Hi again, Mr Morton. You don’t need to answer this but I was just wondering if you have some idea of how the law should be reformed to protect children and women in regards to human trafficking?

  31. brooke lynne shepherd

     /  May 31, 2012

    i think this is an awsum website

  32. starr

     /  May 30, 2012

    thank you soooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. thanks soooo much i got a A+ SO THANKSSS

  34. Sara

     /  May 26, 2012

    whew, you savedme! i have a five-paragraph essay outline due tommorow and I haven’t done a THING!! but i think i can finish it faster now…….

  35. Nate

     /  May 23, 2012

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Tiara

     /  May 22, 2012


  37. Person

     /  May 22, 2012

    Thank you sooooooo much! We have to write a persuasive essay for school and every thesis I come up with, my teacher doesn’t seem to like. I’m getting really behind in the project, but I think I’ve found a topic that I can use. πŸ˜€

  38. Mahir Samad

     /  May 22, 2012

    THANK YOU!! i have a pursuasive due tommorow and i didn’t even start!! i couldn’t think of anything that i could explain in 3 to 5 paragraphs!! Thank you! i got this done in 5 minutes!

  39. Amanda May

     /  May 22, 2012

    this is a really good site, i need a really good topic for my creative writing essay..HELP!!!

  40. Thilani

     /  May 22, 2012

    Hi, Mr Morton, I’ve been wondering if you think that Human Trafficking would be an easy topic for a persuasive speech?

    • Well, in my opinion a ‘good’ topic can be effectively argued both ways. It would be hard to make an argument for human trafficking. That said, it should be an easy case to make. πŸ˜€

      • Thilani

         /  May 23, 2012

        Thanks, Mr Morton ;D!

        • Renee

           /  July 21, 2012

          that is a very good topic, and it was done in my speach class and was a very good speach

      • jarrod hedley

         /  May 24, 2012

        Hey im Jarrod Hedley, from morrinsville college new zealand, i was wondering if gay rights is a good speech topic

        • I’d focus it to a more specific topic: gays should be allowed to marry, adopt, etc. Don’t fight the whole war; pick a battle.

  41. yeah !!!

    well i also think that ….no is a joke

  42. ruslan

     /  May 18, 2012

    grreat topics

  43. aubrey marly

     /  May 17, 2012

    being gay is a sin. Its changing the standards!! God said it is a man and a women and a women and a man. Soon it’s going to be a man and a potato? or a woman and a penicl? what has this world come to!!!

    • Well, Aubrey, your argument contains a false analogy in that you’re comparing people to pencils. I respect your right to hold your beliefs, but the world is just not as simple as you imagine.

      • Sarah

         /  October 8, 2012

        Well I think pencils are going way too far.. and I don’t have anything against gays being together. But if gays are able to be together, the next thing that will happen is a person will want to be with an animal. There are messed up people like that.

    • katelyn

       /  June 1, 2012

      First of all, if you’re going to criticize, spell the words right. It’s WOMAN, women is PLURAL. Second, you should have an open mind. These are just ideas for speeches. Its not a debate and no one is saying its right or wrong. Be nice.

    • Angela

       /  August 14, 2012

      Yes, it might be a sin to be homosexual, but sitting in judgement of others is also a sin, so maybe you should follow your bible. It also says that as long as you believen in God you will be forgiven for all of your sins. I have never seen the disclaimer that says it doesn’t apply to homosexuals. It is suppose to up to God to pass judgement and punishiment for sins, not you or anyone else.

      • Stacey Mhlongo

         /  September 13, 2012

        I say this is in the most respectful way, just to correct and inform you. The Bible does not say “as long as you believe in God you will be forgiven for all your sins”, the Bible says even demons believe there is a god, the bible actually calls us to repentance of our sins, repentance means that you’re remorseful enough not to do it again. Not to say we don’t fail and that there isn’t grace if we do, but we shouldn’t be caught up in habitual sin.

      • Brandon

         /  April 15, 2013

        Well, Angela, the Bible never actually says that it’s a sin to judge others. It merely states that you’ll be judged by the same measure that you judge others. Also, it may not say it doesn’t apply to homosexuals, but if they truly believe in God, then they will quit their homosexuality, because God refers to that as an “abomination.” In addition, the Bible states that those who believe in Christ will show that through the fruits in their life – that is, their actions/words. So, if they profess to be saved, and yet continue in their sin, then they are not, in fact, true believers of Christ.

    • Kyle

       /  September 26, 2012

      It doesn’t matter religiously as much as it does technically. Being gay is unhealthy and primally obsolete. It seves no purpose accept spread disease and produce pleasure for homosexuals. It doesn’t matter to most people that it is a sin. In modern times a technical analyisis is more compelling.

      • Interesting argument, but what is this “purpose” of which you speak?

      • Dave

         /  October 21, 2012

        Kyle: …and to create social bonds and release the drugs and hormones that come as a result of adult activities, as well as fulfilling a natural impulse to do so (i.e. not primally obsolete).

        And being gay is not unhealthy in any sense. Now engaging in stupid activities with far too many partners can be, but that comes up to personal decision making which more straight people fail at than gay people.

      • Lily Cross

         /  November 12, 2015

        Sorry, but is there really a point for anything? We have enough people in this world and if anything having more gays/lesbians/ bisexuals is good for this planet. It is reducing the number of births and they can adopt which does a lot of good. Also it doesn’t affect anyone but the people in the relationship. If you can make two people happy, why would you take that away from them when they are doing nothing to you?

    • Dave

       /  October 21, 2012

      Aubrey, read up on the slippery slope fallacy here:

      I would recommend checking out the other logical fallacies as well.

  44. thank you so much i had no clue what i was going to write about now i do, this list helped me so much there is a bunch of really good ideas.

    • MYESHA

       /  September 21, 2012

      i did not help me at all. i needed to write a persuasive essay like the following : ” how to make a snowman ” but my bff all ready had that :[

      • I’m sorry to hear that you were disappointed. I believe it is because you are looking for an expository essay topic. Try searching for that.

  45. Evan Doe

     /  May 11, 2012

    Abortions should be illegal no matter what mister. It is against the catholic faith and life is a gift from God. That should not be on this

    • I respect your opinion and even agree with some parts of it. I also believe, however, that everything should be open for discussion.

    • ... No one

       /  August 30, 2012

      What if they were 11 and raped and she would die if she had the baby

      • TommyDean

         /  September 6, 2012

        when you find out about an 11 year old girl who got pregnant from being raped, let us know about it.

          • rocketship

             /  October 21, 2012

            People, Mr. Morton is putting this list for suggestive topics on persuasive essays. I, myself is against abortion but I believe everyone has every right to speak their mind/voice out. PLEASE BE OPEN MINDED. THANK YOU.
            And thank you Mr. Morton for posting this lists, it is very helpful especially to us college students.

        • Straya

           /  October 8, 2012

          11 year olds get raped everyday

          its legal to marry inanimated objects and marry animals, but nooooo don’t let 2 men marry, gay marriage is just wrong huh?

        • A Diaz

           /  October 16, 2012

          It doesn’t matter, she doesn’t need proof. Little girls by the age of nine could hit puberty and be able to get pregnant. So if an 11 year old were to get raped she could get pregnant. Everyone should have the choice to abort. If they were stupid enough to not be safe when they weren’t ready to have a baby then that’s their own fault.

      • lindsay

         /  September 27, 2012

        cant be sure of that and if she was raped there is a pill u can take within 3 days and it will prevent pregnancy so really no1 raped shouldnt have to think about abortion but if they do wait then abortion should be ok up until there is a heartbeat after that sorry charlie u are having that baby if u dont want to keep it there are plenty of people who cant have babies that would make great parents! now if its life or death that should be up to the mother i cant comment on that 1 at all!

    • Lacey

       /  September 27, 2012

      God is not real. We have the choice whether to abort or not. Don’t bring religion into this.

      • Whether you believe it or not, God is real. Perhaps an ethereal entity, perhaps a good idea, but real nonetheless.

        • Dave

           /  October 21, 2012

          Whether you believe it or not, God is not real. See what I did there. This is why people should not use objective words in conjunction with personal opinions: we can simply insert any other opinion and it will be on just as strong of grounds.

          As to Evan, it is arrogant to say that because your favorite belief system teaches something that it must be true, and that we must all abide by assumptions derived from your belief.

          Great list, btw.

      • Carli

         /  October 16, 2012

        God is real. he is the one that created you and brought you on this earth. So without God you would not even be here. So you might want to rethink about your statement.

        • Lily Cross

           /  November 12, 2015

          If god is real why on earth do you look up to him? Think of all the pain he has caused, and if its not his fault its ours and surely after all the badness in this world he doesn’t love us.

    • Chelsae

       /  October 9, 2012

      Not everyone is catholic and people have the right to CHOOSE!!! There NEEDS to be a seperation of church and state.. People don’t need to be bringing religious things into politics. And abortion reduces crime rates and poverty. Honestly, think if abortion was illegal, think how overpopulated the world would be! It’s proven that women who raise children in a poor setting, their children have more of a chance of leading a life of crime. You may think whatever you want about your own personal life, but you need to think about the rest of society too. I do agree though, if you are to get an abortion it should only be allowed VERY early on in the pregnancy.

    • Tony

       /  October 18, 2012

      If something is against the catholic faith, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be illegal. There is a separation between church and state, so the beliefs of the church are not the same as the laws of the nation.
      Not every single person believes in your god and follows your morals, and under no circumstance should you force them to do so. If someone wishes not to have a child, or has health or financial problems and cannot support their child, they need to have full rights to make the choice to either go through with their pregnancy or abort their child.

    • luke

       /  October 18, 2012

      Not everyone believes in the Catholic ways so why should it be illegal because the Catholics think so?

    • Kait

       /  October 18, 2012

      Saying that people shouldn’t get abortion because you don’t believe it’s right is like saying someone else can’t have a donut because you’re on a diet.

    • Amy

       /  October 20, 2012

      I agree with some aspects of what you said, but I do see some umphs.
      It should be on the list because, face it, not everyone is Catholic.
      May I ask you, is a Child that is forced into the womb of the mother still a gift?

    • nathan

       /  October 21, 2012

      Its called pro-choice. It is simply giving people the choice. The Government would not be forcing ideas or policies on anybody. It simply gives individuals an option. In actuality, by choosing pro-life due to religious beliefs, you along with its supporters are forcing ideas, morals, and values on the rest of society. Does that not go against everything this country was founded upon? i.e. freedom of religion/speech/beliefs. Why hold someone back because of what someone else believes?

  46. ASHLEY

     /  May 9, 2012

    who made all of these topics?

    • I assembled this list. The credit for making the topics belongs to society.

    • Dan the man

       /  October 18, 2012

      a lot of these should not be on here.. the abortion one is debatable however..if somone was raped, cant take care of the baby, use it for stem cell research to cure other diseases such as M.S. which my mom has and countless others, (as long as its before 6 months) and the “only”–i know i know– is it’s a life (that could help more) three to one so idk ther would be 4 normally but im not putting teen pregnancy in the case of not wanting to have one cause of wat friends or family will think

  47. ASHLEY

     /  May 9, 2012

    these are very very complex and good ideas for writing a persuasive essay

  48. cindy

     /  May 9, 2012

    brilliant idea sir


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