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100 Academic Persuasive Research Topics

Updated on June 28, 2018

VirginiaLynne profile image
Virginia Kearney

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Virginia has been a university English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier.

What is Academic Persuasive Writing?

Your job is to make a claim and support it using facts, logic, and research. While you might use personal experience to argue “Mandatory state testing is a bad idea,” you will go beyond your own experience by using statistics, views of experts, and other evidence.

Everyone Should Have Clean Water

Source

This Article Includes

100 Academic Persuasive Essay Topics

How to Choose a Topic

Current Event Topic Generator

Steps in Writing a Persuasive Paper

Social Justice

  1. Americans should pay more attention to the way their clothes and shoes are made in order to help prevent child labor abuses.
  2. We can eliminate poverty if everyone takes steps to give more in their local community.
  3. College students need to be activists in social justice issues like human trafficking.
  4. Racism is still an important part of the experience of many people in America in spite of laws and social action.
  5. Animal experimentation for any reason is wrong.
  6. Boycotting a company is an effective way to bring about change.

Parents and Children

  1. Children should be supervised when using the Internet.
  2. Interracial marriages are more fulfilling because they require a greater commitment.
  3. Every couple ought to consider the possibility of adopting a child.
  4. Children of alcoholics are more prone to have problems with alcohol and drug abuse.
  5. Domestic violence is on the increase.
  6. Parents of gang members should be held responsible for the violence and property damage their children commit.
  7. Hunting is a great way for families to spend time in the outdoors, get to experience nature, and bond together.
  8. Children of divorced parents should have the right to divorce their parents.
  9. Non-competitive athletic teams are better for children under 10.
  10. Injuries from organized athletic activities for children and teens are on the rise and will be a health care crisis in the future.
  11. Child abuse has become more of a problem as divorce increases in America.
  12. Reproductive technologies such as in-vitro transplants should be banned.
  13. The legacy of a parent’s divorce lasts throughout a person’s life.
  14. While the feminist movement certainly opened up the jobs and opportunities available to women, it ultimately harmed women, children, and the family because it devalued motherhood.
  15. Women who find they are carrying Down’s Syndrome children should be encouraged to give those children up for adoption rather than having an abortion.
  16. Advocating birth control as part of sex education is wrong and should not be supported by the state.

Educating Teen Drivers Better Can Prevent Accidents

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Media

  1. Violence in the media is responsible for an increase in violence among young people.
  2. Movies today are better than they were in our parent’s generation.
  3. Parents should not allow teens to be a part of social networking so that they do not experience or participate in cyber bullying.
  4. The idea of censorship or regulation of advertising is impractical, un-American, and against free enterprise and capitalism.
  5. Parents should limit the exposure of their children to media.
  6. Violence in the media releases aggression and does not cause violence in real life.
  7. Freedom of speech is something Americans need to support more strongly not only here, but also around the world.

Urban Wilderness Spaces Can Save Species

Can small urban wilderness areas help preserve the environment and save species?
Can small urban wilderness areas help preserve the environment and save species? | Source

Global Issues

  1. Outsourcing to India is costing American’s employment opportunities.
  2. Japanese car companies are no longer creating the best cars in the world.
  3. Cybercrime is on the increase and governments need to do more to prevent it.
  4. Population growth in the world is an overlooked issue which will become more important as global warming changes the food production around the world.
  5. Bioterrorism is still an important issue for all of us to be aware of when thinking about National Security and global security.
  6. America should continue to support Israel, no matter what.
  7. Americans should not get involved in global conflicts which don’t concern their own national interest.
  8. By opposing GMO (genetically modified organisms) crops, European nations are causing 3rd World people to starve or be malnourished.
  9. Global Warming is real and we need to get prepared.
  10. Video games can help people solve real world problems.
  11. Identity theft is a greater problem than you think.

Private University Education is Worth the Cost

Source

Education

  1. Online education is just as good as learning in the classroom.
  2. College athletes, especially football players, are an economic asset to Universities and should be paid accordingly.
  3. Sports are given too high a priority in American High Schools and this hurts the education of children.
  4. The increase in standardized testing in America has improved the educational achievements of graduates.
  5. Bilingual education is important and should be supported by educators, parents and the public.
  6. Creationism is believed by 75% of Americans and should be a part of science education in schools.
  7. College students need to be on guard against piling up consumer debt.
  8. American colleges should increase the number of students from foreign countries in order to help cover costs.
  9. Schools need to offer Mandarin as a foreign language because China is going to be an increasingly important country.
  10. The European educational system is superior to the American system.

Food

  1. Since buying and eating local food saves energy and promotes the local economy, everyone should support the Local Food movement.
  2. Although vegetarianism is often mocked and misunderstood, college students should consider this lifestyle as a way to be ecologically thoughtful and physically healthy.
  3. Childhood obesity in America is reaching crisis proportions and parents, the media and school lunches are the cause.
  4. The food and drug administration budget should increase in order to make sure our food supply is safe.
  5. Families should store up 6 months of food in case of an economic collapse.
  6. Schools should teach more about nutrition and healthy diets.
  7. What is the perfect diet for health?
  8. Organic food is better and worth a higher price than non-organic produce and meat.
  9. There is a national crisis of vitamin D deficiency.
  10. Everyone should take a multi-vitamin every day.
  11. The only healthy way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise.
  12. The best diet plan to lose weight is _________.
  13. Food competition shows are causing the average cook to be more creative in the kitchen.
  14. College students should take the time to cook healthy foods.
  15. You can eat a good diet without learning how to cook.

Politics

  1. American politics is becoming too divisive.
  2. The American president is the most important world leader.
  3. Domestic terrorism is more of a problem than terrorism from people in other countries.
  4. Juvenile offenders who commit serious crimes should be tried as adults.
  5. Welfare reform failed to help people get back to work. All illegal immigrants who have a job should be given a work visa to stay legally in the United States as long as they do not commit a crime, remain employed and pay taxes.
  6. Churches do a better job of helping people overcome poverty than government agencies.
  7. National laws should be made to prevent texting and calling from cell phones while driving.
  8. The Federal Budget Deficit needs to be reduced in order to save the United States from an economic disaster.
  9. We should prohibit all off-shore drilling until oil companies can prove that drilling disasters won’t happen again.
  10. Prisons should not be a place of punishment, but a place to rehabilitate people so that they can be productive members of society.
  11. Gun control is an important part of controlling violence in our society.
  12. Environmentalism and use of the land for farming and logging can go hand in hand.
  13. Legalizing Marijana will decrease drug use, provide a new avenue for tax revenues and prevent crime.
  14. Donald Trump’s candidacy has changed American politics forever.
  15. Voters should have to show ID in order to vote.

Excellent Topic Choices

Don’t have an easy answer.

Have two or more sides.

Interest other people and involve them in your argument.

Are something you really care about.

Can Room Color Alter Productivity?

Can painting classrooms or businesses different colors increase productivity or achievement?
Can painting classrooms or businesses different colors increase productivity or achievement? | Source

Medicine and Health

  1. Mental disorders are often wrongly diagnosed and treated.
  2. Binge drinking on college campuses is a serious health issue that students can help control by using peer pressure to make it unacceptable.
  3. Drinking alcoholic beverages in moderation can be healthful and prevent Alzheimer’s.
  4. Shamefully, many children in poor nations die from diseases which are easily preventable with inexpensive vaccines which are widespread in richer nations.
  5. Rather than allowing large malpractice suits against doctors, medical ethics boards should be set up which would evaluate all patient complaints.
  6. Every person should be tested for genetic disorders but this information should not be shared with insurance companies in order to prevent discrimination on policies.
  7. Genetic engineering of humans is a good thing.
  8. Hospice care for the terminally ill is an underused resource. More families could benefit from hospice care services for terminally ill loved ones if they knew more about these health services.
  9. All of the concern about obesity in the news has caused more problems with body image among teenage girls.
  10. Organ transplantation can make good out of tragedy, so everyone should sign up to be a donor, urge others to sign up, and be sure their family knows their wishes.
  11. We should not get complacent about watching out for global pandemics because a flu pandemic is coming, it is just a matter of time.

Choosing a Great Topic

As an English professor, I have taught persuasive writing to many college students. Although college students are often passionate in what they believe, they sometimes have a hard coming up with topics to write about. An excellent persuasive essay idea for your paper:

  1. Doesn’t have an easy answer.
  2. Has two or more sides.
  3. Interests other people and involves them in your argument.
  4. Is an essay topic you really care about.
  5. Is an essay topic you can research.

Since academic persuasive essays require you to research, you don’t have to start your essay knowing what your position is on the topic. You may not even know much about the topic before you start gathering information for your argumentative essay.

To find a good topic, I often have my students write a list of things that they are interested in knowing more about, or which they believe in. To broaden their thinking, I find it helps to look at a list of argumentative topics like the one in the table below.

Current Event Topic Generator

Abortion
Consumer Debt
Gangs
Human Trafficing
Poverty
Addiction
Cosmetic Surgery
Gay Parents
Juvenile Offenders
Prisons
Adoption
Creationism
Genetic Disorders
Mass Media
Racism
Advertising
Crime
Genetic Engineering
Medical Ethics
Rape
Agricultural Subsidies
Cults
Genetically Modified Food
Medicare
Recycling
AIDS
Cyberbullying
Genocide
Mental Disorders
Religion
Airport Security
Democracy
Global Warming
Mental Health Care System
Renewable Energy
Alcohol and Tobacco Laws
Divorce
Globalization
Military
Reproductive Technologies
Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Domestic Terrorism
Gun Control
Minimum Wage
Right of Privacy
Animal Rights
Domestic Violence
Hate Crimes
Mobile Phones
School Uniforms
Artificial Intelligence
Drug Trafficing
Health Care Issues
Muslim Women
School Violence
Athletes and Sports
Drugs and Athletes
Homelessness
National Security
Sex Education
Bilingual Education
Drunk Driving
Home Schooling
Native Americans
Smoking
Bioethics
Eating Disorders
Homosexuality
North Korea
Social Justice
Bioterrorism
Education
Human Rights
Nuclear Energy
Social Security
Birth Control
Elderly Issues
Hunting
Nutrition
Special Education
Body Image
Immigration
Identity Theft
Obesity
Stem Cells
Body Piercing and Tattooing
Employment
Illegal Immigrants
Offshore Drilling
Suicide
Censorship
Endangered Species
India
Online Education and Learning
Sweatshops
Child Abuse
Environmentalism
International Adoption
Online Pornography
Technology and Society
Child Labor
Evolution
Internet
Online Social Networks
Terminal Care
Childhood Obesity
Feminism
Interracial Adoption
Organ Transplants
Terrorism
Children of Divorced Parents
Flu Pandemics
Interracial Marriage
Outsourcing
Texting While Driving
China
Food Safety
Iran
Peer Pressure
The Local Food Movement
Church and State
Free Trade
Iraq
Political Corruption
Vaccines
Civil Rights
Freedom of Speech
Israel
Pollution
Vegetarianism
Cloning
Gambling
Japan
Population Growth
Video Games
Scan this list of topic ideas to help you think about other subjects you might want to write about.

Persuasive Essay Topic Poll

What type of persuasive topic is most interesting to you?

Argument Essay Topic: What Makes Music Beautiful?

Steps in Writing

1. Gather some information about your topic by writing down everything you know, checking out some information on Google, or looking at TED lectures by experts on new technologies and science like the ones in the videos I include on this blog. Use what you read to help you create some search terms, and to help you decide on your own position.

2. Write down different positions people argue on this topic. Academic persuasive essays usually make one of five types of claims:

  • Claims of Value: What is really important? What should we protect or value most?
  • Claims of Fact: What really did happen? How should we think about this issue?
  • Claims of Definition: What is the actual meaning of a word, an event, or an idea? What really is the problem?
  • Claims of Policy: What should be done about this problem?
  • Claims of Cause or Effect: What is the reason for this problem? What is the cause? What is the effect?

3. Use the questions above to write as many Claim questions for your issue as you can. Most issues can have essays on all of the above questions.

4. Write your Claim Question. Decide which of the questions you are most interested in writing about. Write it down. The question may be a part of your introduction, or it can make a great title.

5. Write down your own answer to the question. This is your thesis.

6. Write down the reasons you believe this answer. These will be your topic ideas for the body of your paper. Turn these into sentences and you will have your topic sentences done.

7. Write down what other answers people have to this question. This will help you refine the persuasive essay claim you want to make, and prepare you for adjusting your claim answer. You may want to qualify your answer by saying “If this… then…” Or you might want to narrow the claim to a certain group, or a certain time period. You can also use these opposing views in the body of your paper by bringing them up and then refuting them and saying why your ideas are better.

8. Make a list of search terms. Looking at what you’ve written so far, make a list of terms you can look up to try to get articles for your paper.

9. Do research in your library or on Google Scholar. As you read each article, underline parts that give you ideas you can use to support different parts of your paper.

Questions & Answers

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    Comments


    • mianrazi profile image

      Umar Razi 

      5 years ago from Lahore

      It is pretty good. I admire the way you write. You have good expressions.

    • bohemiotx profile image

      Joffre Meyer 

      5 years ago from Tyler, TX

      I’m going to re-read this hub–awesome, as I clicked previously! I taught Developmental English for ten years and wrote a textbook for my class, so you know I had to have a Persuasive Chapter. Twitter @bohemiotx

    • ColinWarner profile image

      ColinWarner 

      6 years ago

      The best part of this hub, in my opinion, is seeing the different types of persuasive essays that are possible. I probably have written each type before, but have not labeled them as such. It might help to know the exact type of persuasive essay I am writing in order to deliver my message better.

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    2017

    60 Compelling Argumentative Essay Topics

    JBirdwellBranson


     

    Everyone likes to argue—whether they like to admit it or not. But when it comes to the time when it’s actually appropriate to take a side and passionately defend it (an argumentative essay in your writing class), you might be finding it difficult to think of what to argue. An effective argumentative essay will have the reader questioning what they think about a topic and maybe even potentially change their minds. A really effective argumentative essay might also make the reader angry because they’re broaching topics that can be deeply personal to many.

    Whatever kind of argument you choose to write about, always be sure to back up your claims with good research and facts. Though you can definitely have an opinion in this essay, your argument will always be more credible with facts than just by going on how you feel. Facts, in the end, will always win out against how people are feeling at a particular moment.

    When you find yourself getting stuck on what to write, take a look at these ideas for argumentative essays for some inspiration for your paper, or to expand on these ideas and create your own topic.

    What makes a good essay topic?

    Though you may know what format, style guide, and whether or not the essay should be double spaced, you may be confused on what actually makes a good essay topic. While it may be easier to write an essay on something that is easy to agree on (like the fact that George Clooney is a very handsome man ), there’s just really not a lot of interest in the topic because this is something everyone already knows to be true. What we’re looking for in an argumentative essay topic is something that might expand people’s minds and allow them to look at a topic in a new light. The idea isn’t necessarily to convince them of your side (though of course that would be ideal!), but is really just to get them to expand their mind just enough that they’re starting to think about things from another perspective.

    You’d be surprised at what years of social and cultural influences, education, and just plain stubbornness can do to make a person adamant that their side and opinion is right. Argumentative essay topics are so important because they are debatable—and it’s crucial to always be critically thinking about the world around us. Why do we do things a certain way? Is it because it’s right or is it because this is what we’ve always known? To constantly be questioning and arguing and thinking is really the true sign of learning. As we start to think about that idea, here are a few ideas to get you started on your own essay.

    Education essay topics

    Education is a topic that definitely affects each and every one of us. Education scholars are constantly evolving the way they think about how we learn and what is taught. So while these ten ideas are enough to get you started thinking about education and its role in society, the essay topics are really endless.

    1. How do you feel about the Common Core State Standards? Do you feel it hurts or helps K-12 students?
    2. Should we ban vending machines in schools?
    3. Should charter schools replace the public school system that we know now?
    4. Do you believe that the decades since Brown v. Board of education have actually brought equality in education?
    5. How does the poverty of a child’s parents affect their education?
    6. Many policy makers are pushing STEM education. Why is this?
    7. How does gender affect education?
    8. Do traditional discipline methods really work on students?
    9. Why do other countries measure ahead of the U.S. in education?
    10. Does homeschooling disadvantage students?

    Parenting essay topics

    How we are raised and who raises us can really have a huge effect on the culture and society as a whole. Nearly everyone has an opinion on how children should be raised, but which one is right? Is there a right answer? How do politics affect how we raise our children? These are the kinds of things you will be exploring when you write a parenting argumentative essay.

    1. Should men receive paternity leave?
    2. Why do we have obstacles in the United States for women to receive paid maternity leave?
    3. How can we get childcare costs down in the United States?
    4. What is the best kind of parenting style?
    5. What are some parenting lessons that American parents can learn from other cultures?
    6. How does successful parenting affect literacy skills?
    7. How do overprotective parents affect children’s lives?
    8. Should parents be allowed to spank their children?
    9. Is breastfeeding in public acceptable?
    10. How can children get additional support in a single parent household?

    Women’s issues topics

    Women have only had the right to vote in the United States since 1920. With less than 100 years of suffrage, women have certainly accomplished a lot when it comes to equality. However, according to many scholars and activists there is still a long way to go. With a subject that’s sure to ignite some passion, there are endless topics to write about, but here are a few that we suggest.

    1. Should abortion be legal?
    2. Should religious institutions have to provide birth control methods for their female employees, even if it goes against their religion?
    3. Should the morning after pill be legal?
    4. Women statistically do not make as much money doing the same work as their male counterpart. How do you feel about this?
    5. Many say that legal prostitution is a women’s rights issue. How do you feel about this?
    6. Should women have to sign up for the draft?
    7. What are the biggest challenges for women in the workplace?
    8. How long should women have for maternity leave?
    9. What are some of the biggest challenges for female politicians?
    10. Why do you think Equal Rights Amendments for women failed? Do you think one such law could ever pass in your lifetime?

    Legal essay topics

    There are many things to argue when it comes to the law. Law is constantly evolving with the ever-changing culture at large. Because of this, many disagree on how the laws should change (if they should change at all) and there are many topics to choose from. Here are a few of our picks.

    1. Should there be a federal law that allows marijuana to be legal?
    2. Should a person have the right to choose when they die?
    3. At what age should you legally be allowed to drink?
    4. Would you support harsher punishments for athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs?
    5. Is it an infringement on religious rights to have business owners provide services for LGBTQ weddings if they don’t agree with the marriage?
    6. Should religious institutions be allowed tax exemptions?
    7. Do you believe the death penalty is justified?
    8. Should a prisoner be granted the right to vote after they have served their sentence?
    9. How do you feel about more federally restrictive gun laws and universal background checks?
    10. Should citizens who entered the country illegally be forced to leave? What about their children who were brought here?

    Technology essay topics

    Our country and our world is extremely dependent on advanced technology. It’s completely changed the way we work, think, and communicate with each other. Many people are huge fans of new gadgets and rapidly advancing technology, but others are ore wary of it. There are always a wide range of opinions on the subject of technology, and here are our favorite things to think about on the topic.

    1. Is an increased dependence on technology making us dumber?
    2. Should students be allowed to use smart phones in school?
    3. How do smart phones and tablets affect growth and development in children?
    4. Do you think technology has decreased or increased our communication with each other?
    5. Is print media dead?
    6. Do comment sections on social media and news sites actually promote good discourse?
    7. Technology has made a lot of manual labor obsolete. How do you feel about this?
    8. What should blue collar workers do when their job has replaced them with better technology? How should policy makers respond?
    9. Has online dating killed traditional ideas about romance and marriage?
    10. Do you believe that the government should enforce net neutrality principles on internet service providers?

    Society and culture essay topics

    There are always things we wish would change about the society that we live in. Nothing is ever perfect, but we all still strive to make where we live to be the best it can be. The problem is that everyone’s interpretation of what makes a good society is different. Some people live their lives according to their religion while others don’t think you should factor that into decision making when it comes to determining rules for everyone.

    1. Should sex education be required for all public schools?
    2. How do you feel about the Black Lives Matter movement?
    3. Do you think that affirmative action is still necessary?
    4. Should you be forced to say the pledge of allegiance at school?
    5. Should it be illegal to burn the American flag?
    6. How do you feel about groups like Westboro Baptist Church who are known to say hate speech being able to protest?
    7. Do you think collegiate athletes should be paid?
    8. Can committers of sex crimes be rehabilitated?
    9. Do you think the Electoral College should go away?
    10. Should the United States have one official language?

    Write about what you are passionate

    When it comes to writing an argumentative essay, the most important thing to do is to choose a topic and an argument that you can really get behind. Not only will this make the writing a whole lot better, but it will also keep you more focused when you are researching and writing. Though it’s unlikely you’re going to have fiery passion about every subject you write on, pick the topic and side that most suits you. No reader wants to read a lukewarm argumentative piece. The reader wants to be persuaded and provoked. This won’t happen if it appears you are disinterested in what you’re writing about.

    If you’ve read through this list and you’re still not finding a topic that fits what you are interested in, be sure to ask your instructor or a librarian for help with researching and writing an argumentative essay. Of course, if you have written an essay and you’re not sure that it’s going in the right direction, seek out the guidance of classmates or other writers or get professional help from an editor.


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