School Students Essay Writing Topics

Updated, March 2, 2017 | We published an updated version of this list, “401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing,” as well as a companion piece, “650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing.” We also now have a PDF of these 200 prompts.

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What issues do you care most about? What topics do you find yourself discussing most passionately, whether online, at the dinner table, in the classroom or with your friends?

Our annual Student Editorial Contest invites you to write an evidence-based persuasive piece on an issue that matters to you. To help jump-start your brainstorming, we have gathered a list of 200 writing prompts from our daily Student Opinion feature that invite you to take a stand.

Though you won’t be limited to these topics for the contest, you’ll see that our list touches on every aspect of modern life, from politics to sports, culture, education and technology. We hope the range inspires you, and we hope the fact that each question links to at least one related Times article gives you a starting point for finding evidence.

So skim the list below to think about the topic you’d most like to take on.

For more information, here are links to our spring 2014 editorial-writing contest, a list of winners from that contest and a related lesson plan on argumentative writing.


Education

  1. Is Cheating Getting Worse?
  2. Should Students Be Able to Grade Their Teachers?
  3. Does Your School Hand Out Too Many A’s?
  4. Should Middle School Students Be Drug Tested?
  5. Should Reading and Math Be Taught in Gym Class Too?
  6. How Seriously Should We Take Standardized Tests?
  7. How Well Do You Think Standardized Tests Measure Your Abilities?
  8. Do You Spend Too Much Time Preparing for Standardized Tests?
  9. Should Schools Offer Cash Bonuses for Good Test Scores?
  10. Should We Rethink How Long Students Spend in High School?
  11. Do Schools Provide Students With Enough Opportunities to Be Creative?
  12. What Are You Really Learning at School?
  13. How Important Is Arts Education?
  14. Does Gym Help Students Perform Better in All Their Classes?
  15. Who Should Be Able to See Students’ Records?
  16. Are Children of Illegal Immigrants Entitled to a Public Education?
  17. What Is the Right Amount of Group Work in School?
  18. Is Your School Day Too Short?
  19. Do You Think a Longer School Calendar Is a Good Idea?
  20. Should the Dropout Age Be Raised?
  21. Should Students Be Allowed to Skip Senior Year of High School?
  22. How Does Your School Deal With Students Who Misbehave?
  23. Should Schools Be Allowed to Use Corporal Punishment?
  24. How Big a Problem Is Bullying or Cyberbullying in Your School or Community?
  25. How Should Schools Address Bullying?
  26. Should Schools Put Tracking Devices in Students’ ID Cards?
  27. What Do You Think of Grouping Students by Ability in Schools?
  28. Do We Need a New Way to Teach Math?
  29. Does Class Size Matter?
  30. Should All Students Get Equal Space in a Yearbook?
  31. Is Prom Worth It?
  32. How Important Are Parent-Teacher Conferences?
  33. Should All Children Be Able to Go to Preschool?
  34. Should Colleges Use Admissions Criteria Other Than SAT Scores and Grades?
  35. What Criteria Should Be Used in Awarding Scholarships for College?
  36. Do You Support Affirmative Action?
  37. Do College Rankings Matter?
  38. How Necessary Is a College Education?
  39. Should Engineers Pay Less for College Than English Majors?

  40. Technology and Social Media

  41. Are the Web Filters at Your School Too Restrictive?
  42. Does Technology Make Us More Alone?
  43. Are You Distracted by Technology?
  44. Do Apps Help You or Just Waste Your Time?
  45. Do You Spend Too Much Time on Smart Phones Playing ‘Stupid Games’?
  46. Has Facebook Lost Its Edge?
  47. Does Facebook Ever Make You Feel Bad?
  48. Should What You Say on Facebook Be Grounds for Getting Fired?
  49. Should People Be Allowed to Obscure Their Identities Online?
  50. What Should the Punishment Be for Acts of Cyberbullying?
  51. Is Online Learning as Good as Face-to-Face Learning?
  52. Do Your Teachers Use Technology Well?
  53. Should Tablet Computers Become the Primary Way Students Learn in Class?
  54. Can Cellphones Be Educational Tools?
  55. Should Computer Games Be Used for Classroom Instruction?
  56. How Young Is Too Young for an iPhone?
  57. Should Companies Collect Information About You?
  58. Would You Trade Your Paper Books for Digital Versions?
  59. Are Digital Photographs Too Plentiful to Be Meaningful?
  60. Do You Worry We Are Filming Too Much?
  61. Would You Want a Pair of Google’s Computer Glasses?
  62. How Would You Feel About a Computer Grading Your Essays?
  63. What Role Will Robots Play in Our Future?
  64. How Many Text Messages Are Too Many?
  65. How Much Do You Trust Online Reviews?

  66. Arts and Media: TV, Music, Video Games and Literature

  67. Why Do We Like to Watch Rich People on TV and in the Movies?
  68. Do TV Shows Like ‘16 and Pregnant’ Promote or Discourage Teenage Pregnancy?
  69. Does TV Capture the Diversity of America Yet?
  70. Is TV Too White?
  71. Is TV Stronger Than Ever, or Becoming Obsolete?
  72. Does Reality TV Promote Dangerous Stereotypes?
  73. What Current Musicians Do You Think Will Stand the Test of Time?
  74. What Artists or Bands of Today Are Destined for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
  75. What Musician, Actor or Author Should Be a Superstar, but Hasn’t Quite Made It Yet?
  76. Will Musical Training Make You More Successful?
  77. Should Video Games Be Considered a Sport?
  78. Should Stores Sell Violent Video Games to Minors?
  79. Can a Video Game Be a Work of Art?
  80. Do Violent Video Games Make People More Violent in Real Life?
  81. When Should You Feel Guilty for Killing Zombies?
  82. What Game Would You Like to Redesign?
  83. What Were the Best Movies You Saw in the Past Year?
  84. To What Writer Would You Award a Prize?
  85. Do You Prefer Your Children’s Book Characters Obedient or Contrary?
  86. Where Is the Line Between Truth and Fiction?
  87. Can Graffiti Ever Be Considered Art?
  88. Do We Need Art in Our Lives?
  89. What Makes a Good Commercial?
  90. Why Did a Cheerios Ad Attract So Many Angry Comments Online?
  91. Does Pop Culture Deserve Serious Study?

  92. Gender Issues

  93. Do Parents Have Different Hopes and Standards for Their Sons Than for Their Daughters?
  94. Is School Designed More for Girls Than Boys?
  95. Is There Too Much Pressure on Girls to Have ‘Perfect’ Bodies?
  96. How Much Pressure Do Boys Face to Have the Perfect Body?
  97. Do Photoshopped Images Make You Feel Bad About Your Own Looks?
  98. Is It O.K. for Men and Boys to Comment on Women and Girls on the Street?
  99. What Should We Do to Fight Sexual Violence Against Young Women?
  100. How Do You Feel About Rihanna and Chris Brown Getting Back Together?
  101. Do Fraternities Promote Misogyny?
  102. Why Aren’t There More Girls in Leadership Roles?
  103. Why Aren’t More Girls Choosing to Pursue Careers in Math and Science?
  104. Should Women Be Allowed to Fight on the Front Lines Alongside Men?
  105. Do You Believe in Equal Rights for Women and Men?
  106. Are Women Better at Compromising and Collaborating?
  107. Do Boys Have Less Intense Friendships Than Girls?

  108. Sports and Athletics

  109. If Football Is So Dangerous to Players, Should We Be Watching It?
  110. Should Parents Let Their Children Play Football?
  111. Should College Football Players Get Paid?
  112. When Do Pranks Cross the Line to Become Bullying?
  113. Has Baseball Lost Its Cool?
  114. Are Some Youth Sports Too Intense?
  115. Is It Offensive for Sports Teams to Use Native American Names and Mascots?
  116. Where Should Colleges and Sports Teams Draw the Line in Selling Naming Rights?
  117. Should Colleges Fund Wellness Programs Instead of Sports?
  118. Is Cheerleading a Sport?
  119. How Big a Deal Is It That an N.B.A. Player Came Out as Gay?
  120. Should There Be Stricter Rules About How Coaches Treat Their Players?
  121. Should Athletes Who Dope Have to Forfeit Their Titles and Medals?
  122. Should Sports Betting Be Legal Everywhere?
  123. Should Home-Schoolers Be Allowed to Play Public School Sports?
  124. Would You Want a Bike Share Program for Your Community?

  125. Politics and the Legal System

  126. What Local Problems Do You Think Your Mayor Should Try to Solve?
  127. If You Were Governor of Your State, How Would You Spend a Budget Surplus?
  128. When Is the Use of Military Force Justified?
  129. What Is More Important: Our Privacy or National Security?
  130. Should the U.S. Be Spying on Its Friends?
  131. Do You Trust Your Government?
  132. What Do You Think of the Police Tactic of Stop-and-Frisk?
  133. Do Rich People Get Off Easier When They Break the Law?
  134. Should Rich People Have to Pay More Taxes?
  135. Do Laws That Ban Offensive Words Make the World a Better Place?
  136. Is It Principled, or Irresponsible, for Politicians to Threaten a Shutdown?
  137. Do Leaders Have Moral Obligations?
  138. Do Great Leaders Have to Be Outgoing?
  139. How Should We Prevent Future Mass Shootings?
  140. Should Guns Be Permitted on College Campuses?
  141. Would You Feel Safer With Armed Guards Patrolling Your School?
  142. What Is Your Relationship With Guns?
  143. Do You Support or Oppose the Death Penalty?
  144. When Should Juvenile Offenders Receive Life Sentences?

  145. Parenting and Childhood

  146. Do We Give Children Too Many Trophies?
  147. When Do You Become an Adult?
  148. When Should You Be Able to Buy Cigarettes, Drink Alcohol, Vote, Drive and Fight in Wars?
  149. Should the Morning-After Pill Be Sold Over the Counter to People Under 17?
  150. Should Birth Control Pills Be Available to Teenage Girls Without a Prescription?
  151. Is Modern Culture Ruining Childhood?
  152. Are Adults Hurting Young Children by Pushing Them to Achieve?
  153. How, and by Whom, Should Children Be Taught Appropriate Behavior?
  154. What Can Older People Learn From Your Generation?
  155. Do ‘Shame and Blame’ Work to Change Teenage Behavior?
  156. How Should Children Be Taught About Puberty and Sex?
  157. Is Dating a Thing of the Past?
  158. How Should Parents Handle a Bad Report Card?
  159. Should Children Be Allowed to Wear Whatever They Want?
  160. How Should Educators and Legislators Deal With Minors Who ‘Sext’?
  161. Do You Think Child Stars Have It Rough?

  162. Health and Nutrition

  163. Is Smoking Still a Problem Among Teenagers?
  164. Are Antismoking Ads Effective?
  165. Is Drinking and Driving Still a Problem for Teenagers?
  166. Do You Think a Healthier School Lunch Program Is a Lost Cause?
  167. How Concerned Are You About Where Your Food Comes From?
  168. Is It Ethical to Eat Meat?
  169. Do You Prefer Your Tacos ‘Authentic’ or ‘Appropriated’?
  170. Should the Government Limit the Size of Sugary Drinks?
  171. Should Marijuana Be Legal?
  172. Should Students Be Required to Take Drug Tests?

  173. Personal Character and Morality Questions

  174. Do Bystanders Have a Responsibility to Intervene When There is Trouble?
  175. Should You Care About the Health and Safety of Those Making Your Clothing?
  176. Can Money Buy You Happiness?
  177. Does Buying and Accumulating More and More Stuff Make Us Happier?
  178. Are We Losing the Art of Listening?
  179. Do People Complain Too Much?
  180. Can Kindness Become Cool?
  181. Which Is More Important: Talent or Hard Work?
  182. How Important Is Keeping Your Cool?
  183. When Should You Compromise?
  184. Is Your Generation More Self-Centered Than Earlier Generations?
  185. Can You Be Good Without God?
  186. Have Curse Words Become So Common They Have Lost Their Shock Value?
  187. What Words or Phrases Should Be Retired in 2014?
  188. What Words or Phrases Do You Think Are Overused?
  189. Should Couples Live Together Before Marriage?
  190. How Important Do You Think It Is to Marry Someone With the Same Religion?
  191. How Long Is It O.K. to Linger in a Cafe or Restaurant?
  192. Does Keeping a Messy Desk Make People More Creative?
  193. How Important Is Keeping a Clean House?

  194. Science

  195. Should Scientists Try to Help People Beat Old Age So We Can Live Longer Lives?
  196. Given Unlimited Resources, What Scientific or Medical Problem Would You Investigate?
  197. When Is It O.K. to Replace Human Limbs With Technology?
  198. Do You Think Life Exists — or Has Ever Existed — Somewhere Besides Earth?
  199. Should Fertilized Eggs Be Given Legal ‘Personhood’?
  200. How Concerned Are You About Climate Change?

  201. Other Questions

  202. Is It Wrong for a Newspaper to Publish a Front-Page Photo of a Man About to Die?
  203. What Causes Should Philanthropic Groups Finance?
  204. Should Charities Focus More on America?
  205. Should the Private Lives of Famous People Be Off Limits?
  206. Did a Newspaper Act Irresponsibly by Publishing the Addresses of Gun Owners?
  207. Would You Rather Work From Home or in an Office?
  208. What Time Should Black Friday Sales Start?
  209. Do You Shop at Locally Owned Businesses?
  210. How Much Does Your Neighborhood Define Who You Are?

“He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense.” 

– Joseph Conrad

That is one of the golden rules every student/young writer should memorize to carry out meaningful, powerful persuasive papers. The initial step to success is choosing the most interesting persuasive essay topics. To choose which subject you are going to discuss, it is necessary to view the full list of good persuasive speech topics from the particular field of study.

GET YOUR PERFECT RERSUASIVE ESSAY NOW

Dedicate a few minutes to looking through this article. It contains a number of the good persuasive speech topics high school & college teachers tend to assign. Do you have any questions left? A professional online writing service is willing to help every student who has problems with meeting the deadlines or writing argumentative papers.

Why Would a Student Need a List of the Interesting Persuasive Essay Topics?

What if I tell you that by reading this article every student will learn more about how to pick interesting persuasive essay topics and receive A+. Isn’t it a goal of each school/college student? Having more than 100 good persuasive essay topics is never enough without several supportive skills:

  • Reading & Comprehension
  • Writing
  • Research & Analysis
  • Critical Thinking
  • Formatting
The initial step to success is still selecting the subject to write about and acknowledging the opposing arguments.

Another great idea is to get some free essay examples of different types and on various subjects to get an overall idea of how a successful debatable paper looks.

The rest of the skills are gained during the elementary & middle school education. The teachers do not always assign the particular topic. Many students get stuck at the stage of choosing the subject; they fail the mission by being late.

It sounds like enough reasons to read the proposed article, which contains more than 100 interesting persuasive essay topics and valuable writing tips. Have I persuaded you to go on reading? It is the brilliant example of persuasive writing!

7 Tickets to a Winning Persuasive Essay

Take a stand: The golden rule of persuasive writing number one. Forget about the wishy-washy declarations in this type of academic writing: avoid generalizations like “Gender Studies as a school subject has its advantages & disadvantages.” A student must take a specific position (example: “Gender Studies is a useless, discriminative subject that must be removed from the high school/college curriculum.”

Check whether you have enough evidence to support the main argument (thesis statement). Conduct an in-depth research sitting in front of your computer or a school/college library. Apply both primary & secondary sources to collect different points of view, shocking facts, and impressive statistics.

“If you don’t know what you want to achieve in your presentation your audience never will.”

– Harvey Diamond

Decide on the target audience. Harvey is not the one to prove the significant role of the target reading/listening audience in the persuasive essay writing.

Out of the list of good persuasive speech topics, make a shorter list specifying the ideas you are familiar with and possess enough evidence to support your argument. The writer’s position must make sense (example: instead of claiming that murder is bad, state that a death penalty is not the most effective punishment and it will not stop serial killers fro what they do.)

Follow the accepted academic paper structure: introduction, 3-5 body paragraphs (one argument per each), conclusion, and Bibliography/References page.

Define the purpose. Are you trying to introduce an unpopular view on the subject of matter or are you writing to prove your position is right? The tone/voice of the final paper depends on these factors.

Add something more than evidence. Write your paper on one of the interesting persuasive essay topics based on the collected evidence, but do not forget to include other supporting elements such as examples & meaningful explanations. It would be great to write about things the writer has faced in his life.

GET YOUR PERSUASIVE ESSAY HERE

Enjoy 103 Good Persuasive Speech Topics: Make Your Choice Wisely!

Are you waiting impatiently to view the recommended list of good persuasive speech topics? We have divided 100+ cool persuasive topics into separate categories to make it simpler to choose the subject based on the student’s specialization.

Sports Persuasive Essay Topics

  1. Girls and boys can play in the same games teams
  2. Every professional athlete must pass the drug test before the contest
  3. What is the role of sports day in educational life?
  4. Are athletes better role models than rock stars?
  5. High school & college sportsmen should be paid
  6. Extreme kinds of sports must be banned for children
  7. The scandals may ruin the Olympic Games
  8. David Beckham is an overrated football player
  9. Swimming is the safest and healthiest type of sports
  10. The role of Physical Education in modern schools is underestimated

Persuasive Essay Topics on Education

  1. Schools should make the classes shorter and more frequent
  2. It is important to decrease the amount of homework (get inspired)
  3. Why do parents deserve a greater impact on education?
  4. Which subject can be excluded from the high school program?
  5. Teachers deserve shorter holidays
  6. Students need longer holidays
  7. Gender Studies is a discriminative subject
  8. Should students be rewarded for the high test scores?
  9. Is there a way to punish school bullying effectively?
  10. Should schools abolish examinations?

Persuasive Essay Topics about Animals

  1. Why protecting a Giant Panda is critical?
  2. Zoos are worse than human prisons
  3. A zoo is much better than a jail
  4. Foxes should be bred into the home pets
  5. What is the least dangerous animal on the planet?
  6. The influence of wild animals on nature
  7. Hunting for sport is an acceptable pastime
  8. They should make hunting illegal
  9. No one has a right to keep wild-caught exotic animals against their will
  10. People should stop wearing fur & leather clothing

Good Persuasive Essay Topics for High School

  1. Pros and cons of wearing a school uniform
  2. The problem of hate crime in schools
  3. Our society is no longer male-dominated
  4. Does modern TV impinge on the adolescent’s intellect?
  5. Global Warming: myth or truth?
  6. The ethical & moral aspects of cloning
  7. Abortions should be illegal
  8. Death sentence is an acceptable punishing measure
  9. Companies must start paying paternity leave to fathers
  10. Should various communication devices be allowed during the examinations?

Persuasive Essay Topics about Music

  1. Percussionists cannot be called professional musicians
  2. It is time to make music literacy a mandatory element of high school/college curricula
  3. Are school students better off studying dance or music?
  4. Why are American and British musicians more paid than the artists from the rest of the world?
  5. Does it make sense to invest in your personal band?
  6. Every person with normal hearing can sing
  7. Playing bass guitar is not easier than playing 6-string electro guitar
  8. Music is one of the best treatments to cure mental disorders
  9. Can some genres like heavy metal push the children to commit suicide?
  10. Is gothic music focus on the topic of death?

Science Persuasive Essay Topics

  1. Are cell phones safe?
  2. They must allow the law enforcement to apply DNA profiling in criminal investigations
  3. People have no right to conduct medical research on animal species
  4. The government should participate in developing measures necessary to prevent rare species of plants/animals from extinction
  5. Our activity contributes to the global warming
  6. People alone are responsible for the high level of pollution in the atmosphere
  7. Should oil companies be held more accountable in terms of the oil spills?
  8. Can marijuana be used as a medical treatment?
  9. They should stop cloning animals
  10. Is it safe to eat genetically modified food?

Persuasive Essay Topics for Elementary Students

  1. The positive outcomes of war
  2. Homework writing assignments are useless in elementary school
  3. Collecting cars or dolls is the most boring hobby in the world
  4. Students of any age must have permission to keep their devices on during the class
  5. School cafeteria serve almost poisonous food
  6. Colleges must provide students with the free lunches
  7. Money can bring happiness
  8. Should students do homework tasks every night?
  9. Why can every child have a pet?
  10. What has more impact - recycling or donating?

Self-Help Writing Ideas

  1. Improve your time management to succeed at work
  2. The way to dress for success
  3. Why is it important to be true?
  4. Do the embarrassing episodes make people stronger?
  5. Potential catastrophes make people who survive value their lives more than before
  6. Should people live their lives spontaneously?
  7. Are determination and hard work enough to be successful?
  8. Self-confident is the most important personal trait
  9. Hobbies help to continue personal growth
  10. Is music a stress reliever capable of decreasing depression?

Government & Politics Argumentative Paper Ideas

  1. Recruiters must be required to post job vacancies on a government-run website
  2. Why is it the responsibility of our government to shelter homeless people?
  3. Must the religious groups drive the state fund schools?
  4. Puerto Rico should become a state
  5. Alaska has never belonged to the United States
  6. Barack Obama deserves to be printed on the new US banknotes
  7. Justice system in the United States has to be improved
  8. The military budget is rather huge: it is time to reduce it!
  9. Is a war on drugs failure?
  10. Marijuana can help to achieve peace around the world

Funny & Humorous Debatable Paper Ideas

(more ideas to make your homework answers smart!)

  1. Blondes are not necessarily dumb
  2. Humorous pick-up lines work
  3. Do men gossip more than women?
  4. Why should students be allowed to drink beer at school?
  5. They should assign PE writing homework
  6. Never let your parents become your FaceBook friends/followers
  7. Moms can be more fun & crazy than dads
  8. Debatable essays are pointless
  9. “Family Guy” displayed “Star Wars” better than George Lucas
  10. Men should start wearing pink clothing

Find a bonus: 3 more good persuasive essay topics you may write about:

  • Reservation casinos are beneficial if managed properly (Finances class).
  • Should Scotland gain independence? (History class)
  • There is no way to defend & support gay marriage (International Relations class).

The proposed list of the good persuasive speech topics gives a clear understanding of what to write about to impress a high school/college teacher or the public. Choose the topic wisely! A student must be comfortable with his choice and elaborate on it to develop a powerful thesis and defend it. Don’t forget to add a strong hook at the beginning (introduction paragraph) and end up with an impressive conclusion to make the reader want to discuss the interesting persuasive essay topics of your choice. We wish you good luck!


P.S. Keep in mind you can contact online academic writers to assist in topic selection as well as writing the whole paper from A to Z.

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