Persuasive writing is one of those skills that can help students succeed in real life. Persuasive essays are similar to argumentative, but they rely less on facts and more on emotion to sway the reader. It’s important to know your audience so you can anticipate any counterarguments they might make and try to overcome them. Try reading some mentor texts to show kids great examples of opinion writing. Then use these persuasive essay topics for practice.

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School and Education Persuasive Essay Topics

  • Do you think homework should be required, optional, or not given at all?
  • Students should/should not be able to use their phones during the school day.
  • Should schools have dress codes?
  • If I could change one school rule, it would be …
  • Is year-round school a good idea?
  • Should we stop giving final exams?
  • Is it better to be good at academics or good at sports?
  • Which is better, private schools or public schools?
  • Should every student have to participate in athletics?
  • Do you think schools should ban junk food from their cafeterias?
  • Should students be required to volunteer in their communities?
  • What is the most important school subject?
  • Are letter grades helpful, or should we replace them with something else?

  • Is it ever OK to cheat on homework or a test?
  • Should students get to grade their teachers?
  • Do you think college should be free for anyone who wants to attend?
  • Should schools be allowed to ban some books from their libraries?
  • Which is better, book smarts or street smarts?
  • Should all students have to learn a foreign language?
  • Are single-gender schools better or worse for students?

Life and Ethics Persuasive Essay Topics

  • Who faces more peer pressure, girls or boys?
  • Should all Americans be required to vote?
  • Is it better to be kind or truthful?
  • Which is better, giving or receiving?
  • Is it OK to keep animals in zoos?
  • Should we change the minimum driving age in the United States?
  • Which is more important, happiness or success?
  • Is democracy the best form of government?
  • Is social media helpful or harmful?
  • Which is better, reading books or watching TV?
  • Should kids have set bedtimes or just go to bed when they’re sleepy?
  • Do you think the government should find a way to provide free health care for everyone?

  • Is it better to save your allowance or spend it?
  • Should we ban plastic bags and bottles?
  • Which is better, living in the city or in the country?
  • If I could make a new law, it would be …

Just for Fun Persuasive Essay Topics

  • Choose a book that’s been made into a movie. Which was better, the movie or the book?

  • Who is the world’s best athlete, present or past?
  • What’s the best holiday?
  • Are professional athletes/musicians/actors overpaid?
  • Which is better, fiction or nonfiction?
  • The very best food of all time is …
  • The best music genre is …
  • What is one book that everyone should read?
  • What new sport should be added to the Olympics?
  • Which is better, artificial Christmas trees or real ones?
  • What’s the best season of the year?
  • Should you put ketchup on a hot dog?
  • Is a taco a sandwich?
  • Are clowns scary or funny?
  • Which is more dangerous, werewolves or vampires?

  • The best pizza topping is …
  • What would be the best superpower to have?
  • Should we still consider Pluto a planet?
  • Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
  • What’s the best video game system?

What are your favorite persuasive essay topics for students? Come exchange ideas on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out The Big List of Essay Topics for High School (100+ Ideas!).