Most people do not really understand exactly what persuasive essays are, with a huge number confusing them for argument essays. While the two do have numerous similarities, they differ in that argument essays require the author to attack the differing view while persuasive essays require the author to convince the reader that their opinion is valid and believable. Put simply, the author in a persuasive essay is an advocate, not the adversary. The author in persuasive writing is required not only to express his personal point of view but to go a step further and convince the reader that his point of view is the correct one.

Components of a persuasive essay

A persuasive essay is composed of the following key components:

    • Introduction– this is basically the first paragraph of the essay and should be able to catch the reader’s attention. Additionally, the introduction should provide some background information on the subject matter.
    • The body– this is the heart of the essay. Each paragraph should represent one theme or topic in support of your argument. Ensure that your ideas flow seamlessly to avoid losing the attention of the reader or worse still, confusing them.
  • Conclusion– this is the last appeal to the reader. Restate the main points and relay how the supporting points support your argument.

Guidelines on writing a persuasive essay

    • Perfecting your persuasive essay writing skills is not only important to help you get a good grade in high school or college. This is a skill you will need if you choose to work in industries such as Law, Entertainment, Media, and Business. Below are some important guidelines on how to go about writing your persuasive essay.
    • Determine your target audience. This will not only help you pick out a topic, but will also help you structure your topic accordingly in a language and manner that resonates with your target audience.
    • Take a stance. After choosing your topic, decide and detail out what has informed your opinion on the particular subject matter. Ensure you outline your goals.
    • Conduct thorough research. Your essay can only be persuasive if you provide the reader with relevant facts, statistics, and pieces of information. Your opinion alone is not sufficient.
    • Develop a logical structure for your essay. This means choosing what evidence goes where, and in what order while ensuring that the essay still flows seamlessly. Your structure is dependent on whether you are writing a research paper or an academic paper.
  • Support your argument. As indicated earlier, this means you have to do thorough research. However, ensure you cite the sources of your data to avoid plagiarism. Additionally, make sure you support your argument with verifiable data and information.

If you’re having trouble finding a topic for your persuasive essay, below is a list of sample ideas/topics, sorted in order of difficulty. You’ll be sure to find an impressive topic that you can explore.

Easy

    • Long hair is better than short hair.
    • Aliens do exist.
    • Kids should be allowed to vote.
    • The poor should be provided for food.
    • Boys and girls should be placed in separate classes.
    • It should be legal for people under 21 to take alcohol with their parents’ consent.
    • Kids should get paid for doing chores.
    • Cats are better pets than dogs.
    • Breastfeeding should not be allowed in public places.
    • Parents should be held responsible for not providing a healthy diet for obese children.
    • It should be illegal to use a skateboard without a skateboard helmet.
    • Music class is more important than gym class.
    • Summer is the best for family time.
    • Winter is the best for family time.
    • Long hair is better than short hair.
    • Legalizing marijuana shall make everyone happy.
    • Things that make the digital society immoral.
    • Drinking wine daily promotes long life.
    • The customer is never right.
    • 3-day weekends should be legalized.
    • Birth control pills pose more risks than benefits.
    • Can e-books replace traditional books?
    • Is the death penalty ethical?
    • Parents should limit the number of times children watch television.
    • Cooking at home is safer than buying cooked meals or eating out.
    • All United States citizens should do one year of mandatory community service.
    • We should all live spontaneously.
    • Music helps one work faster.
    • The feminist movement has devalued the nature of motherhood.
  • The government ought to place more focus on local terrorism.

Intermediate

    • Illegal immigrants in the United States should learn English.
    • You should never use your cell phone while driving.
    • The ACLU is no good for the United States of America.
    • Churches ought to pay taxes.
    • Too much money is not good.
    • All schools should require students to wear school uniforms.
    • Bullies should be expelled from schools.
    • All persons over 65 should undergo a mandatory annual driving test.
    • All schools should a bullying policy and bullying awareness programs.
    • The parents of bullies should pay a fine to victims.
    • Pets should be allowed in schools.
    • Colleges should offer a mandatory parenting class.
    • Etiquette should be a mandatory class in all high schools.
    • Children below the age of 15 should not be allowed to have social media accounts.
    • Video games are educational.
    • Birth control for women should be free.
    • Magazine advertisements promote body image issues in young women.
    • Beauty contests promote body image issues.
    • Social media should be prohibited in school.
    • Recycling should be a requirement under the law.
    • Identity theft is a huge problem in the digital era, especially for the elderly.
    • We should all be careful about what we post on social media.
    • Birth control should be legal for underage girls.
    • The world would be better without educated women.
    • The jury system ought to be abolished.
    • The lettering grade system should be replaced with pass or fail.
    • Your genetics determine your behavior.
  • Puerto Rico should be granted statehood.

Advanced

    • Abandoning pets should be made a crime accompanied with a jail term.
    • High-speed internet access should be treated as a public utility and regulated.
    • Those who don’t pay child support should go to jail.
    • Internet access should be free.
    • Celebrities should be granted additional privacy rights.
    • Pregnant couples should attend mandatory parenting classes.
    • The current school testing programme is insufficient.
    • The United States should build a wall border between itself and Mexico.
    • Eating meat is unethical.
    • Commercialized medical testing on animals should be illegal.
    • Public safety outweighs one’s individual right to privacy.
    • The current sex education programme in schools should be enhanced.
    • Single-sex schools provide the best education.
    • Same-sex marriages should be legal worldwide.
    • The freedom of religion ought to have limitations.
    • Professional football should be banned for being too violent.
    • Violent video games have a negative impact on players.
    • Recreational marijuana should be legalized all over the world.
    • Legal marijuana should be taxed and regulated just like alcohol.
    • Euthanasia should be legalized.
    • Sexual orientation can be determined from childhood.
    • Textbooks have become obsolete and should be replaced by tablets and iPads.
    • Fast food restaurants should display calories on the menu.
    • Child molesters should be put on the death penalty.
    • The current tax system is overburdening to the middle class.
    • Society should rid itself of the prescribed code of ethics.
    • God’s not dead.
    • Sexual desires are the underlying reason behind all human behavior.
    • Selfishness should be encouraged, as it is an innate human behavior.
  • Polygamy should be legal.

While the samples provided above make good persuasive speech/essay topics, it is important to note that alone, they are insufficient. To write an excellent research paper or academic paper, you must have an understanding of your topic of choice, as well as solid research and writing skills. You can also use the sample topics above to build on a topic of your own.

Lastly, once you’re done writing your essay, it is important to let it sit for a day or two and then read it again with fresh eyes. As you go through it, as yourself questions such as: Is this convincing? Did I provide enough evidence by stating facts, examples, and statistics? Does it sound logical? You may even have a friend go through it so as to get a second opinion. Writing a persuasive paper may be a hard job, but with the tips and ideas set out in this article, you are more than ready for one.