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100+ Persuasive Essay Topics, Essay Structure, and Writing Tips

Persuasive essays have the general purpose of making readers agree with the author’s point of view or perspective over a certain subject. To achieve this, such essays might employ all available means and techniques, including evidence coupled with reasoning and logics (logos), an appeal to emotions and attempts to form an emotional connection (pathos), or an appeal to one’s own authority in order to form credibility and trust (ethos).

Writing a persuasive essay presents a few challenges and to help you in this endeavour, we provide below a comprehensive list of persuasive essay topics and additional useful info about essay structure, some useful writing tips, ways for distinguishing such essays from argumentative essays.

Persuasive Essay Structure

Like all other essay types, persuasive essays consist of:

  • introduction. This captures the reader's attention and introduces background information necessary to understand subsequent content. Most importantly, however, it contains a thesis statement – the main claim around which the entire paper revolves.
  • Main body. This section contains all supporting information and argument development aimed at proving the thesis. Each paragraph should explore a certain aspect of this thesis statement. The paragraph’s topic sentence announces this aspect and how it supports this thesis, the paragraph’s body supports this topic sentence with arguments, a final sentence is concluding the paragraph or making a transition.
  • Conclusion. Conclusions typically restate the thesis through the prism of all supporting arguments, synthesizing information presented so far. In addition, these are also reflecting on a subject’s importance, implications or applications, questions raised, or even on some related persuasive essay ideas that could prove interesting to explore.

Difference between Persuasive Speech Topics and Argumentative Topics

Both essay types present a situation and take a stand – either supporting or opposing it. However, while persuasive essays or speeches are intended to gain support of the readers or audience, argumentative essays want them to accept presented perspective as ultimate truth.

These different goals imply that different means are used. Thus, persuasive essays rely heavily on opinions, reasoning, and emotional triggers to coax readers, without bothering to prove each individual claim.

By contrast, argumentative essays involve investigating topic thoroughly, including published literature, collecting evidence or generating it empirically through experiments, surveys, interviews, or observations, evaluating it with scientific rigour and according to clearly-defined methods, establishing a position and arguing in its support.

Multiple types of evidence could be used: logical, factual, statistical, or anecdotal. The major difference from persuasive essays is that authors only use facts, evidence, research, and reasoning to support their position. Each single claim has to be proven.

When writing argumentative essays, authors have to understand multiple points of views – these are often presented to readers as well for critical evaluation. This difference in nature of the two types of essays might also reflect in the way topics are formulated, however this is not always true.

7 Persuasive Essay Writing Tips

Below are a few tips that could make it easier to approach persuasive essays:

  • Check whether you have enough evidence. The success of any persuasion attempt relies heavily on the quality of evidence used. Obviously, several evidence or arguments should be considered here – logical and ethical reasoning, emotional appeals, opinions belonging to authors or other parties.
  • Consider the target audience. Persuasive essays depend heavily on the intended audience, given that optimal arguments, reasoning, facts, emotional triggers used differ from audience to audience. What could count is: the audience’s level of involvement, how knowledgeable it is, the fact whether it has professional or personal relation to the subject.
  • Follow accepted academic rules for structuring papers. Papers should contain all major sections, each of these in an appropriate order and with an appropriate word count – all these should ensure harmonious thesis development.
  • Outline the purpose – you should be keenly aware of the essay’s purpose, however, it might be wiser not to mention it directly but rather to write it down for yourself. This is because purpose is to make readers agree with your position. What they should see instead is the promoted claim, position, or argument.
  • Choose powerful persuasive writing topics - some topics, besides being inspiring, allow building stronger positions than others. Ideally, one should care to have both an inspiring, interesting topic and one that delivers strong message.
  • Carefully consider dualities and alternative views. Even if persuasive essay is not an argumentative essay, it is still very useful to research subject in detail and consider all pros & cons of given position – it might very well turn out that it makes more sense to defend an opposing view.
  • Mask weak sides of your argument. Since one wants readers convinced rather than properly informed, any means are good (apart from disinformation): one could prove argument validity by defining limited circumstances in which supported positions are unquestionable, by providing eloquent and convincing examples strongly rooted in common experience, by avoiding being too specific when this can highlight certain inconsistencies in a given position.

100 Persuasive Essay Topics Divided into Categories

Below is a list of good persuasive essay topics split into several categories for convenience:

Interesting persuasive topics

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