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30 Writing Topics: Persuasion

Writing Prompts for a Persuasive Paragraph, Essay, or Speech

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Any one of these 30 issues may serve as the basis for a persuasive paragraph, essay, or speech.

  1. Though texting is a valuable way of communicating, some people spend too much time sending messages by phone instead of interacting with others face to face. Addressing an audience of your peers, explain why you agree or disagree with this observation.

  2. Some people dismiss science fiction or fantasy as a purely juvenile form of amusement, an escape from problems and issues in the real world. Referring to one or more particular books, movies, or television programs, explain why you agree or disagree with this observation.

  3. When the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act was put into practice in 2010, it limited the ability of anyone under age 21 to qualify for a credit card. Explain why you support or oppose the restrictions that have been placed on students' access to credit cards.

  4. In an essay or speech addressed to your boss, explain why you deserve a raise in pay. Be sure to provide specific information to justify the proposed pay increase.

  5. Most of the so-called "reality programs" on television are highly artificial and bear little resemblance to real life. Drawing on one or more specific programs for your examples, explain why you agree or disagree with this observation.

  6. Online learning is not only convenient for students and teachers but often more effective than traditional classroom instruction. Addressing an audience of your peers, explain why you agree or disagree with this observation.

  7. Some educators favor replacing the letter-grade method of evaluating student performance with a pass-fail grading system. Explain why you support or oppose such a change, drawing on examples from your own experience in school or college.

  8. Laws should be enacted to restrict the bonuses that can be given to the CEOs of companies that are debt ridden and losing money. With reference to one or more specific companies, explain why you agree or disagree with this proposal.

  9. Teachers and administrators in many American schools are now authorized to conduct random inspections of students' lockers and backpacks. Explain why you support or oppose this practice.

  10. Explain why you do or do not favor a major reform of English spelling so that each sound is represented by only one letter or one combination of letters.

  11. Because electric cars are costly and don't do enough to protect the environment, the government should eliminate subsidies and incentives for manufacturers and consumers of these vehicles. With reference to at least one particular vehicle that has been supported by federal subsidies, explain why you agree or disagree with this proposal.

  12. To save fuel and money, Friday classes should be eliminated on campus and a four-day work week implemented for all employees. With reference to the effects of reduced schedules at other schools or colleges, explain why you support or oppose this plan.

  13. In a speech or essay directed at a younger friend or family member, explain why dropping out of high school to take a job before graduation is or is not a good idea.

  14. Explain why you do or not favor the enforcement of a mandatory retirement age so that more job opportunities can be created for young people.

  15. Not all recycling projects are cost effective. Explain why you agree or disagree with the principle that any community recycling project must turn a profit or at least pay for itself.

  16. In a speech or essay addressed to the head of your school or college, explain why snack and soda vending machines should or should not be removed from all classroom buildings on your campus.

  17. Over the past 20 years, more and more public schools have implemented policies requiring students to wear uniforms. Explain why you support or oppose mandated school uniforms.

  18. The city council is now considering a proposal to allow construction of a shelter for homeless individuals and families. The proposed site for the homeless shelter is adjacent to your campus. Explain why you support or oppose this proposal.

  19. Research has shown that a short afternoon nap can promote physical well-being and improve mood and memory. Explain why you support or oppose a proposal to adjust schedules so that napping will be encouraged at your school or workplace, even if this means a longer work day.

  20. Many states now require proof of U.S. citizenship before admitting a student to a public college or university. Explain why you support or oppose this requirement.

  21. Rather than lay off workers in bad economic times, some companies have chosen to reduce the length of the work week (while also reducing pay) for all employees. Explain why you support or oppose a shorter work week.

  22. The introduction of new digital technologies has radically altered people's reading habits over the past 25 years. In light of this change, explain why students should or should not be required to read lengthy textbooks and novels in their classes.

  23. In some school districts, children are bused to schools outside their neighborhood in an effort to achieve diversity. Explain whether you favor or oppose compulsory busing of schoolchildren.

  24. Explain why doctors and school nurses should or should not be allowed to prescribe contraceptives to children under the age of 16.

  25. Your state legislature is now considering a proposal to allow drinking by 18- to 20-year-olds after they have completed an alcohol education program. Explain why you support or oppose this proposal.

  26. Some school authorities have the power to remove from libraries and classrooms any books that they consider inappropriate for children or teens. Pointing to specific examples of how this power has been exercised, explain why you support or oppose this form of censorship.

  27. To reduce unemployment among young people, legislation has been introduced to repeal all minimum-wage laws. Explain why you support or oppose such legislation.

  28. There have recently been movements to boycott products imported from countries that tolerate the exploitation of underage workers. Using specific examples, explain why you support or oppose such boycotts.

  29. In your school or college, instructors have the right to ban cell phones (or mobiles) in their classrooms. Explain why you favor or oppose such a ban.

  30. In some cities traffic congestion has been reduced by the creation of toll zones. Explain why you do or do not favor the imposition of mandatory fees on drivers in your city.

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