Can You Convince Me? Developing Persuasive Writing

persuasive essay video for middle school

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  • Instructional Plan
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Persuasive writing is an important skill that can seem intimidating to elementary students. This lesson encourages students to use skills and knowledge they may not realize they already have. A classroom game introduces students to the basic concepts of lobbying for something that is important to them (or that they want) and making persuasive arguments. Students then choose their own persuasive piece to analyze and learn some of the definitions associated with persuasive writing. Once students become aware of the techniques used in oral arguments, they then apply them to independent persuasive writing activities and analyze the work of others to see if it contains effective persuasive techniques.

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From theory to practice.

  • Students can discover for themselves how much they already know about constructing persuasive arguments by participating in an exercise that is not intimidating.  
  • Progressing from spoken to written arguments will help students become better readers of persuasive texts.

Common Core Standards

This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.

State Standards

This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.

NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts

  • 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Materials and Technology

  • Computers with Internet access  
  • PowerPoint  
  • LCD projector (optional)  
  • Chart paper or chalkboard  
  • Sticky notes  
  • Persuasive Strategy Presentation
  • Persuasion Is All Around You  
  • Persuasive Strategy Definitions  
  • Check the Strategies  
  • Check the Strategy  
  • Observations and Notes  
  • Persuasive Writing Assessment


Student objectives.

Students will

  • Work in cooperative groups to brainstorm ideas and organize them into a cohesive argument to be presented to the class  
  • Gain knowledge of the different strategies that are used in effective persuasive writing  
  • Use a graphic organizer to help them begin organizing their ideas into written form  
  • Apply what they have learned to write a persuasive piece that expresses their stance and reasoning in a clear, logical sequence  
  • Develop oral presentation skills by presenting their persuasive writing pieces to the class  
  • Analyze the work of others to see if it contains effective persuasive techniques

Session 1: The Game of Persuasion

Home/School Connection: Distribute Persuasion Is All Around You . Students are to find an example of a persuasive piece from the newspaper, television, radio, magazine, or billboards around town and be ready to report back to class during Session 2. Provide a selection of magazines or newspapers with advertisements for students who may not have materials at home. For English-language learners (ELLs), it may be helpful to show examples of advertisements and articles in newspapers and magazines.

Session 2: Analysis of an Argument

Home/School Connection: Ask students to revisit their persuasive piece from Persuasion Is All Around You . This time they will use Check the Strategies to look for the persuasive strategies that the creator of the piece incorporated. Check for understanding with your ELLs and any special needs students. It may be helpful for them to talk through their persuasive piece with you or a peer before taking it home for homework. Arrange a time for any student who may not have the opportunity to complete assignments outside of school to work with you, a volunteer, or another adult at school on the assignment.

Session 3: Persuasive Writing

Session 4: presenting the persuasive writing.

  • Endangered Species: Persuasive Writing offers a way to integrate science with persuasive writing. Have students pretend that they are reporters and have to convince people to think the way they do. Have them pick issues related to endangered species, use the Persuasion Map as a prewriting exercise, and write essays trying to convince others of their points of view. In addition, the lesson “Persuasive Essay: Environmental Issues” can be adapted for your students as part of this exercise.  
  • Have students write persuasive arguments for a special class event, such as an educational field trip or an in-class educational movie. Reward the class by arranging for the class event suggested in one of the essays.

Student Assessment / Reflections

  • Compare your Observations and Notes from Session 4 and Session 1 to see if students understand the persuasive strategies, use any new persuasive strategies, seem to be overusing a strategy, or need more practice refining the use of a strategy. Offer them guidance and practice as needed.  
  • Collect both homework assignments and the Check the Strategy sheets and assess how well students understand the different elements of persuasive writing and how they are applied.  
  • Collect students’ Persuasion Maps and use them and your discussions during conferences to see how well students understand how to use the persuasive strategies and are able to plan their essays. You want to look also at how well they are able to make changes from the map to their finished essays.  
  • Use the Persuasive Writing Assessment to evaluate the essays students wrote during Session 3.
  • Calendar Activities
  • Strategy Guides
  • Lesson Plans
  • Student Interactives

The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate.

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.

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40 Strong Persuasive Writing Examples (Essays, Speeches, Ads, and More)

Learn from the experts.

The American Crisis historical article, as an instance of persuasive essay examples

The more we read, the better writers we become. Teaching students to write strong persuasive essays should always start with reading some top-notch models. This round-up of persuasive writing examples includes famous speeches, influential ad campaigns, contemporary reviews of famous books, and more. Use them to inspire your students to write their own essays. (Need persuasive essay topics? Check out our list of interesting persuasive essay ideas here! )

  • Persuasive Essays
  • Persuasive Speeches
  • Advertising Campaigns

Persuasive Essay Writing Examples

First paragraph of Thomas Paine's The American Crisis

From the earliest days of print, authors have used persuasive essays to try to sway others to their own point of view. Check out these top persuasive essay writing examples.

Professions for Women by Virginia Woolf

Sample lines: “Outwardly, what is simpler than to write books? Outwardly, what obstacles are there for a woman rather than for a man? Inwardly, I think, the case is very different; she has still many ghosts to fight, many prejudices to overcome. Indeed it will be a long time still, I think, before a woman can sit down to write a book without finding a phantom to be slain, a rock to be dashed against. And if this is so in literature, the freest of all professions for women, how is it in the new professions which you are now for the first time entering?”

The Crisis by Thomas Paine

Sample lines: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”

Politics and the English Language by George Orwell

Sample lines: “As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug.”

Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was ‘well timed’ in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.'”

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

Sample lines: “Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.”

Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Roger Ebert

Sample lines: “‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime.”

The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin

Sample lines: “Methinks I hear some of you say, must a man afford himself no leisure? I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says, employ thy time well if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour. Leisure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never; so that, as Poor Richard says, a life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things.”

The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sample lines: “Of course all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work—the big sudden blows that come, or seem to come, from outside—the ones you remember and blame things on and, in moments of weakness, tell your friends about, don’t show their effect all at once.”

Open Letter to the Kansas School Board by Bobby Henderson

Sample lines: “I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. … Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. … We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him. It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories.”

Open Letter to the United Nations by Niels Bohr

Sample lines: “Humanity will, therefore, be confronted with dangers of unprecedented character unless, in due time, measures can be taken to forestall a disastrous competition in such formidable armaments and to establish an international control of the manufacture and use of the powerful materials.”

Persuasive Speech Writing Examples

Many persuasive speeches are political in nature, often addressing subjects like human rights. Here are some of history’s most well-known persuasive writing examples in the form of speeches.

I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Woodrow Wilson’s War Message to Congress, 1917

Sample lines: “There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts—for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.”

Chief Seattle’s 1854 Oration

Sample lines: “I here and now make this condition that we will not be denied the privilege without molestation of visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors, friends, and children. Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.”

Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Sample lines: “What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well. … If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.”

I Am Prepared to Die, Nelson Mandela

Sample lines: “Above all, My Lord, we want equal political rights, because without them our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy. But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all. It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on color, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one color group by another. … This then is what the ANC is fighting. Our struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by our own suffering and our own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live.”

The Struggle for Human Rights by Eleanor Roosevelt

Sample lines: “It is my belief, and I am sure it is also yours, that the struggle for democracy and freedom is a critical struggle, for their preservation is essential to the great objective of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security. Among free men the end cannot justify the means. We know the patterns of totalitarianism—the single political party, the control of schools, press, radio, the arts, the sciences, and the church to support autocratic authority; these are the age-old patterns against which men have struggled for 3,000 years. These are the signs of reaction, retreat, and retrogression. The United Nations must hold fast to the heritage of freedom won by the struggle of its people; it must help us to pass it on to generations to come.”

Freedom From Fear by Aung San Suu Kyi

Sample lines: “Saints, it has been said, are the sinners who go on trying. So free men are the oppressed who go on trying and who in the process make themselves fit to bear the responsibilities and to uphold the disciplines which will maintain a free society. Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their lives might be full and uncramped, freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end. A people who would build a nation in which strong, democratic institutions are firmly established as a guarantee against state-induced power must first learn to liberate their own minds from apathy and fear.”

Harvey Milk’s “The Hope” Speech

Sample lines: “Some people are satisfied. And some people are not. You see there is a major difference—and it remains a vital difference—between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide. We’ve been tarred and we’ve been brushed with the picture of pornography. In Dade County, we were accused of child molestation. It is not enough anymore just to have friends represent us, no matter how good that friend may be.”

The Union and the Strike, Cesar Chavez

Sample lines: “We are showing our unity in our strike. Our strike is stopping the work in the fields; our strike is stopping ships that would carry grapes; our strike is stopping the trucks that would carry the grapes. Our strike will stop every way the grower makes money until we have a union contract that guarantees us a fair share of the money he makes from our work! We are a union and we are strong and we are striking to force the growers to respect our strength!”

Nobel Lecture by Malala Yousafzai

Sample lines: “The world can no longer accept that basic education is enough. Why do leaders accept that for children in developing countries, only basic literacy is sufficient, when their own children do homework in algebra, mathematics, science, and physics? Leaders must seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality, primary and secondary education for every child. Some will say this is impractical, or too expensive, or too hard. Or maybe even impossible. But it is time the world thinks bigger.”   

Persuasive Writing Examples in Advertising Campaigns

Ads are prime persuasive writing examples. You can flip open any magazine or watch TV for an hour or two to see sample after sample of persuasive language. Here are some of the most popular ad campaigns of all time, with links to articles explaining why they were so successful.

Nike: Just Do It


The iconic swoosh with the simple tagline has persuaded millions to buy their kicks from Nike and Nike alone. Teamed with pro sports-star endorsements, this campaign is one for the ages. Blinkist offers an opinion on what made it work.

Dove: Real Beauty

Beauty brand Dove changed the game by choosing “real” women to tell their stories instead of models. They used relatable images and language to make connections, and inspired other brands to try the same concept. Learn why Global Brands considers this one a true success story.

Wendy’s: Where’s the Beef?

Today’s kids are too young to remember the cranky old woman demanding to know where the beef was on her fast-food hamburger. But in the 1980s, it was a catchphrase that sold millions of Wendy’s burgers. Learn from Better Marketing how this ad campaign even found its way into the 1984 presidential debate.

De Beers: A Diamond Is Forever

Diamond engagement ring on black velvet. Text reads "How do you make two months' salary last forever? The Diamond Engagement Ring."

A diamond engagement ring has become a standard these days, but the tradition isn’t as old as you might think. In fact, it was De Beers jewelry company’s 1948 campaign that created the modern engagement ring trend. The Drum has the whole story of this sparkling campaign.

Volkswagen: Think Small

Americans have always loved big cars. So in the 1960s, when Volkswagen wanted to introduce their small cars to a bigger market, they had a problem. The clever “Think Small” campaign gave buyers clever reasons to consider these models, like “If you run out of gas, it’s easy to push.” Learn how advertisers interested American buyers in little cars at Visual Rhetoric.

American Express: Don’t Leave Home Without It

AmEx was once better known for traveler’s checks than credit cards, and the original slogan was “Don’t leave home without them.” A simple word change convinced travelers that American Express was the credit card they needed when they headed out on adventures. Discover more about this persuasive campaign from Medium.

Skittles: Taste the Rainbow

Bag of Skittles candy against a blue background. Text reads

These candy ads are weird and intriguing and probably not for everyone. But they definitely get you thinking, and that often leads to buying. Learn more about why these wacky ads are successful from The Drum.

Maybelline: Maybe She’s Born With It

Smart wordplay made this ad campaign slogan an instant hit. The ads teased, “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.” (So many literary devices all in one phrase!) Fashionista has more on this beauty campaign.

Coca-Cola: Share a Coke

Seeing their own name on a bottle made teens more likely to want to buy a Coke. What can that teach us about persuasive writing in general? It’s an interesting question to consider. Learn more about the “Share a Coke” campaign from Digital Vidya.

Always: #LikeaGirl

Always ad showing a young girl holding a softball. Text reads

Talk about the power of words! This Always campaign turned the derogatory phrase “like a girl” on its head, and the world embraced it. Storytelling is an important part of persuasive writing, and these ads really do it well. Medium has more on this stereotype-bashing campaign.   

Editorial Persuasive Writing Examples

Original newspaper editorial

Newspaper editors or publishers use editorials to share their personal opinions. Noted politicians, experts, or pundits may also offer their opinions on behalf of the editors or publishers. Here are a couple of older well-known editorials, along with a selection from current newspapers.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (1897)

Sample lines: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.”

What’s the Matter With Kansas? (1896)

Sample lines: “Oh, this IS a state to be proud of! We are a people who can hold up our heads! What we need is not more money, but less capital, fewer white shirts and brains, fewer men with business judgment, and more of those fellows who boast that they are ‘just ordinary clodhoppers, but they know more in a minute about finance than John Sherman,’ we need more men … who hate prosperity, and who think, because a man believes in national honor, he is a tool of Wall Street.”

America Can Have Democracy or Political Violence. Not Both. (The New York Times)

Sample lines: “The nation is not powerless to stop a slide toward deadly chaos. If institutions and individuals do more to make it unacceptable in American public life, organized violence in the service of political objectives can still be pushed to the fringes. When a faction of one of the country’s two main political parties embraces extremism, that makes thwarting it both more difficult and more necessary. A well-functioning democracy demands it.”

The Booster Isn’t Perfect, But Still Can Help Against COVID (The Washington Post)

Sample lines: “The booster shots are still free, readily available and work better than the previous boosters even as the virus evolves. Much still needs to be done to build better vaccines that protect longer and against more variants, including those that might emerge in the future. But it is worth grabbing the booster that exists today, the jab being a small price for any measure that can help keep COVID at bay.”

If We Want Wildlife To Thrive in L.A., We Have To Share Our Neighborhoods With Them (Los Angeles Times)

Sample lines: “If there are no corridors for wildlife movement and if excessive excavation of dirt to build bigger, taller houses erodes the slope of a hillside, then we are slowly destroying wildlife habitat. For those people fretting about what this will do to their property values—isn’t open space, trees, and wildlife an amenity in these communities?”   

Persuasive Review Writing Examples

Image of first published New York Times Book Review

Book or movie reviews are more great persuasive writing examples. Look for those written by professionals for the strongest arguments and writing styles. Here are reviews of some popular books and movies by well-known critics to use as samples.

The Great Gatsby (The Chicago Tribune, 1925)

Sample lines: “What ails it, fundamentally, is the plain fact that it is simply a story—that Fitzgerald seems to be far more interested in maintaining its suspense than in getting under the skins of its people. It is not that they are false: It is that they are taken too much for granted. Only Gatsby himself genuinely lives and breathes. The rest are mere marionettes—often astonishingly lifelike, but nevertheless not quite alive.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (The Washington Post, 1999)

Sample lines: “Obviously, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone should make any modern 11-year-old a very happy reader. The novel moves quickly, packs in everything from a boa constrictor that winks to a melancholy Zen-spouting centaur to an owl postal system, and ends with a scary surprise. Yet it is, essentially, a light-hearted thriller, interrupted by occasional seriousness (the implications of Harry’s miserable childhood, a moral about the power of love).”

Twilight (The Telegraph, 2009)

Sample lines: “No secret, of course, at whom this book is aimed, and no doubt, either, that it has hit its mark. The four Twilight novels are not so much enjoyed, as devoured, by legions of young female fans worldwide. That’s not to say boys can’t enjoy these books; it’s just that the pages of heart-searching dialogue between Edward and Bella may prove too long on chat and too short on action for the average male reader.”

To Kill a Mockingbird (Time, 1960)

Sample lines: “Author Lee, 34, an Alabaman, has written her first novel with all of the tactile brilliance and none of the preciosity generally supposed to be standard swamp-warfare issue for Southern writers. The novel is an account of an awakening to good and evil, and a faint catechistic flavor may have been inevitable. But it is faint indeed; novelist Lee’s prose has an edge that cuts through cant, and she teaches the reader an astonishing number of useful truths about little girls and about Southern life.”

The Diary of Anne Frank (The New York Times, 1952)

Sample lines: “And this quality brings it home to any family in the world today. Just as the Franks lived in momentary fear of the Gestapo’s knock on their hidden door, so every family today lives in fear of the knock of war. Anne’s diary is a great affirmative answer to the life-question of today, for she shows how ordinary people, within this ordeal, consistently hold to the greater human values.”   

What are your favorite persuasive writing examples to use with students? Come share your ideas in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, the big list of essay topics for high school (120+ ideas) ..

Find strong persuasive writing examples to use for inspiration, including essays, speeches, advertisements, reviews, and more.

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persuasive essay video for middle school

Key Takeaways:

  • For middle school students, acquiring the critical-thinking and communication skills they need to evaluate both sides of a debate and write persuasive essays isn’t always easy.
  • With Junior Scholastic ’s free Social Studies Debate Kit, learning how to debate and craft an effective argument essay will be an exciting and inspiring experience for your students.
  • Featuring teacher-approved stories, middle school teaching resources, and engaging activities, Junior Scholastic makes teaching your students the essential skills they need for success not only fun, but easy too!

Looking for a fun, yet effective, way to teach your students the art of debating and how to craft the perfect argument essay? With this free Social Studies Debate Kit from Junior Scholastic , you’ll help your students acquire the essential critical-thinking and communication skills they need to ensure their success inside and outside the classroom. Featuring teacher-approved articles, free middle school teaching resources, and engaging activities, Junior Scholastic is the perfect teaching tool for helping middle school students evaluate both sides of a debate and write a powerful and persuasive essay.

Try print and digital resources from Junior Scholastic , the social studies magazine for grades 6–8, for free in your classroom!

A Reheated Argument

The argument surrounding the food dished out to your students has certainly been heated over the years. In our story, “ Food Fight! ,” your teens will learn how the debate has been reheated after the government recently changed school lunch requirements. With engaging infographics, informative photos showing school lunches from around the world, and a “Pick a Side” persuasive writing activity, this lesson is the perfect way to kick off debate season in your classroom.

Tossing a Ball vs. Saving Lives

“Someone who tosses a ball shouldn’t earn 700 times as much as someone who saves lives.”

In this lesson, we present students two compelling arguments related to how much professional athletes earn . Of course, after reading the article your students will have to choose a side and back up their own arguments on why or why not they believe pro athletes are overpaid. Follow our step-by-step lesson plan, including close-reading questions and differentiation tips. Then extend the lesson with our “What’s Your Opinion?” writing activity.

In our story, “ Should We Try to Send Humans to Mars? ,” your students will have to decide whether sending humans to Mars will help us learn more about Earth or if it’s just a waste of time and money. With compelling arguments on both sides, an informative video, an “Analyzing Authors’ Claims” activity, and more, your students will have all the supporting evidence they need to craft a persuasive and informed response that could alter the future of space exploration.

Staying on Track

Privacy is always a hot topic for debate. With this engaging story and lesson , your students will take on tracking apps that allow parents to follow their teens’ movements in real time. Is it a matter of safety? Or are kids unwillingly giving up their right to privacy? Follow our step-by-step lesson plan and accompanying teaching resources to help your students decide where to draw the line when it comes to privacy. 

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persuasive essay video for middle school

Middle School Persuasive Writing Lessons

Learn about three persuasive writing lessons that offer solid instruction while also being engaging to your students.

Finding engaging and rigorous persuasive writing lessons should not be a challenge to find. Unfortunately, not all writing curriculums and activities draw the attention of our students and encourage their engagement. Consequently, the lessons they learn in these classes are not as solid or memorable as they could be.  

From the time we are old enough to talk, persuasion is a skill that we use on a regular basis. As we get older, the stakes become much higher than a simple “Let me have an extra cookie after dinner tonight, please.”  From the everyday discussions with a partner about where to go on vacation to the much more significant ones like convincing a boss to give you a raise, persuasion is a part of all of our lives and a skill that has a tangible and significant impact. 

Making sure our students have a solid foundation in persuasion and these persuasive writing lessons will help set them up for success in the future.

Let’s look at three persuasive writing lessons that offer solid instruction while also being particularly engaging to your students.

Persuasive Writing Lessons

persuasive essay video for middle school

Persuasive Pitch Assignment

If your students like the TV show Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den , they will love this assignment.  In it, students develop an idea of how to improve their school (e.g., installing recycling bins, creating a snack program, etc.), and then they pitch their idea to the judges (their classmates).  

After watching all the presentations, students will vote on which idea they like best.  This assignment is scaffolded into five different lessons.  The familiar format, as well as the element of competition, encourages students to do their best and helps drive home the curricular lessons on persuasion.

Find the Persuasive Pitch Assignment on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD .

Teacher Feedback

“My students loved the idea of Dragon’s Den style product pitches to learn persuasive techniques! They had a blast while watching the two show episodes and analyzing the products, as well as creating their own products and pitching them. They created excellent advertisements and came up with great ideas!”

persuasive essay video for middle school

Persuasive Writing – Michael vs. LeBron

Oftentimes the problem with persuasive writing lessons is that students don’t really care (or care much) about the topic about which they are writing.  This is not the case with this lesson. In it, students practise gathering evidence from a podcast (an oral text) and use that evidence to support their writing.  

After listening to the evidence presented by the podcast, students must decide who is the greatest basketball player of all time – LeBron James or Michael Jordan. By grabbing your students’ attention with a topic they are interested in and one that may be rather unexpected in the language arts classroom, you help students be excited and want to learn more about effective persuasive writing.

Find the Michael vs. LeBron Persuasive Writing lesson on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD .

“Loved this persuasive writing unit so much! I have quite a few basketball fans in the class and so it was quite the hit. Thanks!”

persuasive essay video for middle school

Rant Writing Unit

Rant writing is an engaging way to bring public speaking and persuasive writing into the classroom.  Students rant and complain to each other daily – why not channel that creative energy into some high-quality writing? By utilizing things that students are already engaged with and encouraging students to share their thoughts and opinions, this unit is an effective way to teach persuasive writing.

Whether you choose to use these lessons or something else, the importance of a solid foundation in persuasion cannot be overstated. Helping students remember the lessons they learn in your class going forward and throughout their lives sets them up for future success.

You can grab this Rant Writing Unit for free here .

“My communications class absolutely loved this activity and even asked at the end to do it again!! It was very engaging.”

Additional Resources

  • Middle School Writing Lessons
  • Creative Writing Lesson Plans

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persuasive essay video for middle school

This FREE persuasive writing unit is

  • Perfect for engaging students in public speaking and persuasive writing
  • Time and energy saving
  • Ideal for in-person or online learning

By using highly-engaging rants, your students won’t even realize you’ve channeled their daily rants and complaints into high-quality, writing!

FREE persuasive writing unit is

Engaging Strategies for Teaching Persuasion, Argument, and Debate

Year after year, I love teaching persuasion. I love persuading my students that persuasion is a life skill worth learning. (Because isn’t all teaching just persuading kids to listen and learn?!) Luckily, with the right mix of ethos, pathos, and logos, this is usually an easy sell to my audience of adolescents.

After all, teens love to argue…with their peers, their parents, and *gasp* their teachers. They have plenty of practice with real-life persuasion, whether it’s convincing their parents to stay out past their curfew or proposing just one extra day to work on that project. And they’re always dying to debate: which sports team is superior, why they deserve more freedom, and what’s wrong with school, society, and this world! If you’ve ever taught teenagers, you know that they have no shortage of opinions. So suffice it to say: your students are already arguers.

The challenge, of course, is helping students channel their opinions and energy into structured, academic argumentation. To do this, you’ll need high-engagement activities that match your students’ energy… not the ancient 5-paragraph persuasive essay over a subject on that random list of 100 debatable topics you found online. If we want to move students to a more sophisticated level of debate, we need to offer them student-centered, authentic, and relevant tasks to practice their persuasion.

Ready to ditch the 5-paragraph persuasive essay and engage your students in meaningful persuasion? Here are dozen different strategies for your ELA classroom.


Want to teach students how important it is to support your argument with evidence (and what happens when you don’t)? Ready to watch your class eagerly annotate a text and cite said evidence *without* complaints?

persuasive essay video for middle school

I wasn’t sure my students would ever see citing evidence as more than a chore until I dressed up as “Judge G,” borrowed a gavel, and facilitated my first mock trial!

A mock trial is the perfect way to practice persuasion and argumentation because it’s student-centered, inherently engaging, and 100% authentic. You’ll watch students become intrigued, take ownership, and get competitive real quick! Because students know they’ll be arguing in front of a jury of their peers, the standards become strategy. Citing textual evidence is no longer a chore, but a competition! The stakes are higher than a grade from the teacher because the real prize is bragging rights. 

To structure a mock trial in your ELA classroom, you’ll need a murder, crime, ethical dilemma, or essential question. In other words: literature! From there, you’ll want to divide students into teams of prosecution, defense, and jury. After that, students will get to work within their groups. In my classroom, this is what it looks like:

The prosecution and defense teams prepare evidence-based claims and rebuttals. Each student is responsible for a section, whether that’s the opening, a claim, a rebuttal, or the closing. Meanwhile, the jury works together to create a rubric and anticipate the arguments they may hear during the trial.

You can read more about mock trials HERE or find everything you need to facilitate a virtual or in-person trial HERE.


Bar graphs in ELA? Oh yes you can! Getting a gold star from her math cohorts, Ashley Bible at Building Book Love has her students create rhetorical bar graphs to analyze persuasion.

Rhetorical Bar Graphs

This digital or tactile strategy is simple yet highly effective!  All you do is assign each appeal a color before taking students on a color-coded text hunt.  (In her rhetoric lesson plan , Ashley uses: Pink Pathos, Light Blue Logos, and Emerald Green Ethos). 

Once students have each appeal coded, they arrange the rhetorical devices into a bar graph and analyze which appeal the speaker relies most heavily on and how they could make their argument stronger. This visualization technique always generates important insights about the topic at hand!

From analyzing speeches in Julius Caesar , to recognizing propaganda in Animal Farm , to tackling social justice in Dolly Parton’s America , this strategy is a gift that keeps on giving! Tag her @BuildingBookLove if you give it a try! 


To help students identify persuasive appeals and techniques in action, Shana Ramin from Hello, Teacher Lady suggests deconstructing commercials and advertisements.

Commercials & advertisements

When teaching in person, Shana enjoys facilitating this type of analysis with the tried-and-true “chalk talk” approach. After gathering a series of printed advertisements, Shana glues each one in the center of large chart paper and places them at various points around the room. Students rotate through each station with a small group, annotating each ad silently with an eye for purpose, audience, tone, etc. At the end of the activity, students return to their original stations and share out their final observations with the class. 

To mimic this activity in a hybrid or digital environment, Shana recommends using Jamboard, an easy-to-use, digital whiteboard app by Google. The setup process is pretty much the same, but replace the printed ads with image screenshots and the white chart paper with a digital Jamboard slide. Students can then use the sticky note and marker features on Jamboard to annotate the images in breakout rooms. 

Click here to learn more about the collaborative features of Google Jamboard .


The Argument Olympics are Emily Aierstok’s favorite way to teach middle and high school students evidence based writing. Emily, from Read it. Write it. Learn it. , uses an Olympic theme to deconstruct arguments, write outlines, and compete in the “strongest evidence” game complete with gold medals! Kids LOVE it and quickly understand the qualities of strong evidence in their writing. 

Argument Olympics

To really create an Olympic games feel, Emily creates a very simple (and free!) classroom transformation. She strings red, yellow, and blue streamers around the room, plays the Olympic theme song from YouTube, and prints gold medals to hand out for gold-medal-level deconstructed essays, strongest outlines, and strongest evidence. 

Next, Emily introduces the “Olympic events.” For example, the first Olympic Event she introduces to students is The Strongest Evidence Competition. Students are given two sides of an argument topic and asked to find three pieces of evidence to support each argument. After finding their evidence, students are tasked with identifying the evidence that’s the strongest. Students become so motivated to find the strongest evidence, and they’re practicing essential analysis skills. The quality of evidence students find is amazing. 

You can read more about implementing the Argument Olympics in your classroom here . 


Jenna, @DrJennaCopper , loves using silent discussions for students to debate the impact of articles and artifacts. The rules are simple: students are only allowed to write. This type of stipulation helps students really think about their responses since they can’t talk.

Silent discussions

Here’s how it works:

  • Choose an artifact or article.
  • Get a big piece of poster board or a big paper and paste the article or artifact in the center.
  • Tell students to read the article and then, discuss with the stipulation that they are only allowed to write. No talking! It helps if students color-code their writing.
  • As students “discuss,” walk around the room and comment (in writing, of course!) to generate more debate.
  • When the discussion is over, place the posters on the walls and give students a chance to walk around and view.
  • Facilitate a talking classroom discussion to discuss insights and observations.

That’s it! Not only will your students be highly engaged, but you’ll also enjoy the few short minutes of precious silence!

As a bonus, this activity works great for a remote lesson as well. Just paste your article or artifact in a Google Doc and share it so they all have editing access. They can complete their silent discussions right in the document. 


Lauralee from the Language Arts Classroom frequently uses famous speeches and commercials to teach persuasion. By bringing in authentic examples to the classroom, this strategy offers history and media lessons, too.

Famous speeches

When students realize that they see strategies every day in social media, on their phones, and within stores, they engage and are excited to apply those concepts to their public speaking endeavors.

For instance, students can study the techniques in a Susan B. Anthony speech and then apply those techniques to their own speeches. Teachers can even pair her speech with a narrative speech assignment. Students can then employ sentence structure, tone, and logos into their speeches. Although ELA teachers often use persuasive techniques during public speaking lessons, many of the same activities work well with argumentative writing.


Staci Lamb from The Engaging Station loves switching up her creative lessons on ethos, logos, and pathos every year. She has had students watch Shark Tank and sell their own products, but last year, she was inspired to try something new by making a connection to the Netflix show Nailed It .

Nailed It! Challenge

Right before winter break, she went to Walmart to buy graham crackers, icing, candies, and more. Dollar Tree also had a great selection of inexpensive candy. Students had to create a gingerbread masterpiece and then use ethos, logos, and pathos to justify why their house was the best. The kids had a lot of fun, and it was an engaging activity to end the calendar year.

You can see this idea and more with free resources on her blog post Creative Ways to Teach Persuasive Appeals .


Today, students have access to more information than ever at their fingertips. Tanesha from Tanesha B. Forman leverages real world topics – that students want to debate in the classroom – with argu mentative writing lessons. Choice is the bedrock of Tanesha’s approach to lit eracy and she offers students a choice on a topic (e.g. should college athletes be paid?), and tells them the format (e.g. speech, letter). 

Real World Topics + Choice

Next, students research their topic. Tanesha always warns students to think about their position, but be open to changing based on what the research from credible sources reveals. Students spend a day or two gathering information for their writing assignment. For students who need support with this, Tanesha has 3-4 sources readily available. Once students have their evidence, they enter the writing process that Tanesha creates mini-lessons aligned to their needs and they present their work. Throughout the year, Tanesha encourages students to share topics they want to “argue” and she repeats the cycle.


No matter what you’re reading or learning about, adding a persuasive pitch to “sell” an idea, is a great way to include elements of persuasion beyond a persuasive unit.

Elevator Pitches

For example, if students are creating something to aid a character , rather than just explain it, challenge your students to create a short elevator pitch! It can even be used with literary analysis by asking a question such as: Which character is the most (insert character trait here)?  Staci from Donut Lovin’ Teacher finds that when students have to pitch their ideas, they really begin to reflect on their work and what makes it great, and also where it can grow. 

Staci likes starting with a graphic organizer to get students thinking and then begins layering in mini-lessons that consider the audience, point of view, tone, and rhetorical appeals, depending on how much time you have. Students can then begin crafting their pitch on a guided template and practice saying it aloud. If you’re able to incorporate this multiple times throughout the year, your students will really grow confidence in their speaking skills, too!


Middle and high school students can at times feel intimidated by debate and persuasion. That’s why Melissa from Reading and Writing Haven recommends a mini debate activity that engages all students and makes debate relaxed and approachable.

Musical debates

Musical debates amplify the energy, creativity, and social interaction in the physical classroom and online. By adding a simple twist of music, it lightens the mood and provides natural brain breaks so students have time to collect their thoughts. 

Here are Melissa’s simple steps for using this debate-style discussion strategy in your classroom:

  • Give students a thought-provoking or humorous prompt.
  • Play music as students think, research, jot notes, and (if possible) walk around the room. 
  • Stop the music and have students get into groups of two or three.
  • Students quickly choose roles. Two of the students need to take one of the sides (pro / con or for / against). The third person is a neutral judge who can build on what the speakers say, offer a different perspective, or make connections between ideas.
  • After a set amount of time, follow up with a question that digs deeper into the topic or provides another angle. Play music, and allow students to brainstorm again, or take some notes.
  • Students then pair up again with different peers. 
  • After as many rounds as you would like to run, bring the whole class together and use a Jamboard, Mentimeter, or Padlet as a common visual location to share ideas as a whole group.

To make this strategy work online, you can use breakout rooms to group students together randomly. 

Of course, you can run the same type of mini debates without the music. And, that’s fun, too! But, for students, the music adds energy and connectedness. Plus, it reduces the anxiety for students who are more reluctant to engage in debates. 

Musical debates create a warm, relaxed environment conducive to critical thinking and dialogue. And, students have multiple short opportunities to hone their skills and hear a variety of perspectives. Melissa wrote about engaging variations, prompts for musical discussions, and how to prepare students on her blog. Click here to read the post .


One way that Christina, The Daring English Teacher , likes to incorporate persuasion, argument, and debate into the classroom is by assigning a PSA Passion Project to students.

PSA Passion Projects

After learning about rhetorical appeals and argument writing , Christina assigns her students a PSA Passion Project. Her students select an important social issue and create a public service announcement campaign to raise awareness for their chosen issue.

The public service campaign usually includes a variety of items. To place students in charge of their learning, they choose several products to produce from a list of items: a speech, a persuasive letter, a graphic essay , a poster, an infographic, an informational video, a narrative video, a social media campaign, and more. It is important to make sure that students choose at least two items, and that their combination includes a writing component and a media literacy component.

To make the class project more fun, no two students can choose the same topic. To share their projects with the class, Christina likes to use Padlet.


Amanda from Mud and Ink Teaching likes to head the Disney direction when it comes to learning the ins and outs of argumentation. 

persuasive essay video for middle school

So many great Disney songs offer an argumentative core, and their popularity and familiarity help build engagement with students.  Take “Under the Sea” for example:  Sebastian has quite the task in front of him.  Somehow, he must convince an uninterested Ariel to curb her curiosity about the human world and appreciate her home under ‘de water.  Reversely, Moana sings of the importance of heeding the call to the ocean in “How Far I’ll Go” as she debates within herself how far she is actually willing to go.  Each of these speakers has an important message to impart, and these are things that students are comfortable wrestling with.

Amanda’s favorite song to teach, however, is the well-loved classic “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast .  In this lesson that she outlines in her blog post and provides a free Google Slide lesson download , Amanda teaches students the importance of understanding the rhetorical situation (the rhetorical triangle) as well as the devices and techniques that the speaker uses to communicate his message.  Through practice and discussion with familiar texts and characters, students begin to embrace the fundamental ideas of argumentation.

I hope this post helps you make persuasion more engaging, authentic, and student-centered! What are your other favorite activities to teach persuasion? Let me know in the comments!

If you like any of these ideas, don’t forget to pin them! 🙂

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Writing curriculum

Argumentative Writing Unit

Writing prompts, lesson plans, webinars, mentor texts and a culminating contest, all to inspire your students to tell us what matters to them.

persuasive essay video for middle school

By The Learning Network

Unit Overview

On our site, we’ve been offering teenagers ways to tell the world what they think for over 20 years. Our student writing prompt forums encourage them to weigh in on current events and issues daily, while our contests have offered an annual outlet since 2014 for formalizing those opinions into evidence-based essays.

In this unit, we’re bringing together all the resources we’ve developed along the way to help students figure out what they want to say, and how to say it effectively.

Here is what this unit offers, but we would love to hear from both teachers and students if there is more we could include. Let us know in the comments, or by writing to [email protected].

Start With Our Prompts for Argumentative Writing

How young is too young to use social media? Should students get mental health days off from school? Is $1 billion too much money for any one person to have?

These are the kinds of questions we ask every day on our site. In 2017 we published a list of 401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing categorized to provoke thinking on aspects of contemporary life from social media to sports, politics, gender issues and school. In 2021, we followed it up with 300 Questions and Images to Inspire Argument Writing , which catalogs all our argument-focused Student Opinion prompts since then, plus our more accessible Picture Prompts.

Teachers tell us their students love looking at these lists, both to inspire their own writing and to find links to reliable sources about the issues that intrigue them. In fact, every year we get many contest submissions that grow directly out of these questions. Several, like this one , have even gone on to win.

But even if you’re not participating in our contest, you might use these prompts to invite the kind of casual, low-stakes writing that can help your students build skills — in developing their voices, making claims and backing them up with solid reasoning and evidence.

And, if your students respond to our most recent prompts by posting comments on our site, they can also practice making arguments for an authentic audience of fellow students from around the world. Each week we choose our favorites to honor in our Current Events Conversation column .

Find Lesson Plans on Every Aspect of Argument Writing

Over the years, we’ve published quite a few lesson plans to support our annual argument writing contests — so many, in fact, that we finally rounded them all up into one easy list.

In “ 10 Ways to Teach Argument-Writing With The New York Times ,” you’ll find resources for:

Exploring the role of a newspaper opinion section

Understanding the difference between fact and opinion

Analyzing the use of rhetorical strategies like ethos, pathos and logos

Working with claims, evidence and counterarguments

Helping students discover the issues that matter to them

Breaking out of the “echo chamber” when researching hot-button issues

Experimenting with visual argument-making

In 2021, we also developed An Argumentative-Writing Unit for Students Doing Remote Learning that can help teenagers guide their own learning.

Teach and Learn With Mentor Texts

You probably already know that you can find arguments to admire — and “writer’s moves” to emulate — all over the Times Opinion section . But have you thought about using the work of our previous Student Editorial Contest winners as mentor texts too?

Here are ways to use both:

Learn from the Op-Ed columnist Nicholas Kristof’s writing process : One edition of our “Annotated by the Author” Mentor Text series is by Mr. Kristof. See what he has to say about the writing challenges he faced in a recent column and how he did the kinds of things students will have to do, too, from fact-checking to fixing grammar errors to balancing storytelling with making a larger point.

Get to know one writer’s rhetorical style : Many teachers use an “adopt a columnist” method, inviting students to focus on the work of one of the Times Opinion columnists to get to know his or her issues and rhetorical style. In 2019, an English teacher in Connecticut wrote for our site about how he does this exercise, in which his students choose from among columnists at The Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

Use the work of teenage winners to help your students identify “writer’s moves” they can borrow: Teachers have told us there is no better way to prepare students to enter our contest than to have them examine the work of previous winners.

On our current site, you can find the essays of the top winners and the runners-up from 2017-202 3. Invite your students to read one and answer the questions we pose in all our Mentor Texts columns : “What do you notice or admire about this piece? What lessons might it have for your writing?” Then, have them borrow one or more of this student’s “writer’s moves” and imitate it in their own work.

We have also published two Learning Network books , one that collects 100 of the best student essays from this contest all in one place, categorized by subjects like “Teenage Life Online,” “Gender and Sexuality” and “Sports and Gaming,” and the other a related teacher’s guide to using them in the classroom.

Here is a roundup of ideas from 17 teachers and students for ways to use these “authentic, powerful and unafraid” student essays in several classroom contexts.

Finally, two new entries in our Annotated by the Author series feature student editorial contest winners from 2020 discussing their work and sharing tips: Ananya Udaygiri on “How Animal Crossing Will Save the World” and Abel John on “Collar the Cat!”

Get Practical Tips From Our Related Videos and Webinars

Video player loading

The video above, “ How to Write an Editorial ,” is only three minutes long, but in it Andy Rosenthal, the former editor of the Times Opinion page, gives students seven great pieces of advice.

Both students and teachers are welcome to watch our popular on-demand 2017 webinar, “ Write to Change the World: Crafting Persuasive Pieces With Help From Nicholas Kristof and the Times Op-Ed Page ,” which includes a wealth of practical tips from Mr. Kristof, as well as from Kabby Hong, a Wisconsin English teacher who works with this contest annually, and his student, Daina Kalnina, whose 2017 essay was one of our top winners that year.

Finally, you can watch our 2021 on-demand webinar, Teaching Argumentative Writing , that focuses on two key steps in the process: finding your argument, and using evidence to support it. You will also get broad overview of how to use our writing prompts and the work of our student winners to help your own students find topics they care about, and craft solid arguments around them. You can also watch an edited version of this webinar below.

Enter Our New Student Open Letter Contest: March 13-April 17, 2024

The culmination of this unit? Our new Open Letter Contest.

An open letter is a published letter of protest or appeal usually addressed to an individual but intended for the general public. Martin Luther King’s Letter From Birmingham Jail , the recent letter signed by over 1,000 tech leaders about the dangers of A.I. and this funny 2020 letter addressed to Harry and Meghan are all examples of this rich tradition.

Just as we did for our long-running Editorial Contest, we invite students to make an argument in 450 words about something that matters to them, and persuade us that we should care, too. But this time, students must address themselves to a specific target audience or recipient, institution or group — one that has the power to make meaningful change.

Whether students choose their parents, teachers, school board members or mayor; a member of Congress; the head of a corporation; or a metonym like “Silicon Valley” or “The Kremlin,” they should ask themselves, What do I care about? Who can make changes, big or small, local or global, to address my issue or problem? What specifically do I want them to understand and do? And how can I write this as an “open letter,” meaningful not just to me and the recipient, but to a general audience?

More information will be published soon. Until then, you can find ideas and inspiration in our related writing unit and via the work of past Editorial winners .

As always, all student work will be read by our staff, volunteers from the Times Opinion section, and/or by educators from around the country. Winners will have their work published on our site and, perhaps, in the print New York Times.

persuasive essay video for middle school

How to Teach Argument Writing Step-By-Step

persuasive essay video for middle school

No doubt, teaching argument writing to middle school students can be tricky. Even the word “argumentative” is off-putting, bringing to mind pointless bickering. But once I came up with argument writing lessons that were both fun and effective, I quickly saw the value in it. And so did my students.

You see, we teachers have an ace up our sleeve. It’s a known fact that from ages 11-14, kids love nothing more than to fire up a good ole battle royale with just about anybody within spitting distance.

Yup. So we’re going to use their powers of contradiction to OUR advantage by showing them how to use our argument writing lessons to power up their real-life persuasion skills. Your students will be knocking each other over in the hall to get to the room first!

I usually plan on taking about three weeks on the entire argument writing workshop. However, there are years when I’ve had to cut it down to two, and that works fine too.

Here are the step-by-step lessons I use to teach argument writing. It might be helpful to teachers who are new to teaching the argument, or to teachers who want to get back to the basics. If it seems formulaic, that’s because it is. In my experience, that’s the best way to get middle school students started.

Prior to Starting the Writer’s Workshop

A couple of weeks prior to starting your unit, assign some quick-write journal topics. I pick one current event topic a day, and I ask students to express their opinion about the topic.

Quick-writes get the kids thinking about what is going on in the world and makes choosing a topic easier later on.

Define Argumentative Writing

I’ll never forget the feeling of panic I had in 7th grade when my teacher told us to start writing an expository essay on snowstorms. How could I write an expository essay if I don’t even know what expository MEANS, I whined to my middle school self.

We can’t assume our students know or remember what argumentative writing is, even if we think they should know. So we have to tell them. Also, define claim and issue while you’re at it.

Establish Purpose

I always tell my students that learning to write an effective argument is key to learning critical thinking skills and is an important part of school AND real-life writing.

We start with a fictional scenario every kid in the history of kids can relate to.

ISSUE : a kid wants to stay up late to go to a party vs. AUDIENCE : the strict mom who likes to say no.

The “party” kid writes his mom a letter that starts with a thesis and a claim: I should be permitted to stay out late to attend the part for several reasons.

By going through this totally relatable scenario using a modified argumentative framework, I’m able to demonstrate the difference between persuasion and argument, the importance of data and factual evidence, and the value of a counterclaim and rebuttal.

Students love to debate whether or not strict mom should allow party kid to attend the party. More importantly, it’s a great way to introduce the art of the argument, because kids can see how they can use the skills to their personal advantage.

Persuasive Writing Differs From Argument Writing

At the middle school level, students need to understand persuasive and argument writing in a concrete way. Therefore, I keep it simple by explaining that both types of writing involve a claim. However, in persuasive writing, the supporting details are based on opinions, feelings, and emotions, while in argument writing the supporting details are based on researching factual evidence.

I give kids a few examples to see if they can tell the difference between argumentation and persuasion before we move on.

Argumentative Essay Terminology

In order to write a complete argumentative essay, students need to be familiar with some key terminology . Some teachers name the parts differently, so I try to give them more than one word if necessary:

  • thesis statement
  • bridge/warrant
  • counterclaim/counterargument*
  • turn-back/refutation

*If you follow Common Core Standards, the counterargument is not required for 6th-grade argument writing. All of the teachers in my school teach it anyway, and I’m thankful for that when the kids get to 7th grade.

Organizing the Argumentative Essay

I teach students how to write a step-by-step 5 paragraph argumentative essay consisting of the following:

  • Introduction : Includes a lead/hook, background information about the topic, and a thesis statement that includes the claim.
  • Body Paragraph #1 : Introduces the first reason that the claim is valid. Supports that reason with facts, examples, and/or data.
  • Body Paragraph #2 : The second reason the claim is valid. Supporting evidence as above.
  • Counterargument (Body Paragraph #3): Introduction of an opposing claim, then includes a turn-back to take the reader back to the original claim.
  • Conclusion : Restates the thesis statement, summarizes the main idea, and contains a strong concluding statement that might be a call to action.

Mentor Texts

If we want students to write a certain way, we should provide high-quality mentor texts that are exact models of what we expect them to write.

I know a lot of teachers will use picture books or editorials that present arguments for this, and I can get behind that. But only if specific exemplary essays are also used, and this is why.

If I want to learn Italian cooking, I’m not going to just watch the Romanos enjoy a holiday feast on Everybody Loves Raymond . I need to slow it down and follow every little step my girl Lidia Bastianich makes.

The same goes for teaching argument writing. If we want students to write 5 paragraph essays, that’s what we should show them.

In fact, don’t just display those mentor texts like a museum piece. Dissect the heck out of those essays. Pull them apart like a Thanksgiving turkey. Disassemble the essay sentence by sentence and have the kids label the parts and reassemble them. This is how they will learn how to structure their own writing.

Also, encourage your detectives to evaluate the evidence. Ask students to make note of how the authors use anecdotes, statistics, and facts. Have them evaluate the evidence and whether or not the writer fully analyzes it and connects it to the claim.

This is absolutely the best way for kids to understand the purpose of each part of the essay.

Research Time

Most of my students are not very experienced with performing research when we do this unit, so I ease them into it. (Our “big” research unit comes later in the year with our feature article unit .)

I start them off by showing this short video on how to find reliable sources. We use data collection sheets and our school library’s database for research. There are also some awesome, kid-friendly research sites listed on the Ask a Tech Teacher Blog .

Step-By-Step Drafting

The bedrock of drafting is to start with a solid graphic organizer. I have to differentiate for my writers, and I’ve found they have the most success when I offer three types of graphic organizers.

1- Least Support: This is your standard graphic organizer. It labels each paragraph and has a dedicated section for each part of the paragraph.

2- Moderate Support: This one has labels and sections, but also includes sentence stems for each sentence in the paragraph.

3- Most Support: This one has labels and sections and also includes fill-in-the-blank sentence frames . It’s perfect for my emerging writers, and as I’ve mentioned previously, students do NOT need the frames for long and soon become competent and independent writers.

Writing the Introduction

The introduction has three parts and purposes.

First, it has a hook or lead. While it should be about the topic, it shouldn’t state the writer’s position on the topic. I encourage students to start with a quote by a famous person, an unusual detail, a statistic, or a fact.

Kids will often try to start with a question, but I discourage that unless their question also includes one of the other strategies. Otherwise, I end up with 100 essays that start with, “Do you like sharks?” Lol

Next, it’s time to introduce the issue. This is the background information that readers need in order to understand the controversy.

Last, students should state the claim in the thesis statement. I call it a promise to the reader that the essay will deliver by proving that the claim is valid.

Writing the Supporting Body Paragraphs

Each supporting body paragraph should start with a topic sentence that introduces the idea and states the reason why the claim is valid. The following sentences in the paragraph should support that reason with facts, examples, data, or expert opinions. The bridge is the sentence that connects that piece of evidence to the argument’s claim. The concluding sentence should restate the reason.

Writing the Counterclaim Paragraph

The counterclaim paragraph is a very important aspect of argument writing. It’s where we introduce an opposing argument and then confidently take the reader back to the original argument. I tell students that it’s necessary to “get in the head” of the person who might not agree with their claim, by predicting their objections.

It can be tough for kids to “flip the switch” on their own argument, so I like to practice this a bit. I give them several pairs of transitions that go together to form a counterclaim and rebuttal. I also switch up what I call this part so that they use the terminology interchangeably.

  • It might seem that [ counterargument . ]However, [ turn-back .]
  • Opponents may argue that [ counterargument .] Nevertheless, [ turn back .]
  • A common argument against this position is [ counterargument .] Yet, [ turn-back .]

A great way for kids to practice this is to have them work with partners to write a few counterarguments together. I let them practice by giving them easy role-playing topics.

  • Your cousins want to jump into a poison ivy grove for a TikTok challenge. Choose your position on this and write a counterargument and turn-back.
  • Your friend wants to get a full-face tattoo of their boyfriend’s name. Choose your position on this and write a counterargument and turn-back.

This kind of practice makes the counterargument much more clear.

The concluding paragraph should remind the reader of what was argued in the essay and why it matters. It might also suggest solutions or further research that could be done on the topic. Or students can write a call to action that asks the reader to perform an action in regard to the information they’ve just learned.

My students write about local issues and then turn the essays into letters to our superintendent, school board, or state senators. It’s an amazing way to empower kids and to show them that their opinion matters. I’ve written about that here and I’ve included the sentence frames for the letters in my argumentative writing unit.

I hope this gives you a good overview of teaching argument writing. Please leave any questions below. Please also share your ideas, because we all need all the help we can give each other!

And one more thing. Don’t be surprised if parents start asking you to tone down the unit because it’s become harder to tell their kids why they can’t stay up late for parties. 🙂

Stay delicious!

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 113 perfect persuasive essay topics for any assignment.

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Do you need to write a persuasive essay but aren’t sure what topic to focus on? Were you thrilled when your teacher said you could write about whatever you wanted but are now overwhelmed by the possibilities? We’re here to help!

Read on for a list of 113 top-notch persuasive essay topics, organized into ten categories. To help get you started, we also discuss what a persuasive essay is, how to choose a great topic, and what tips to keep in mind as you write your persuasive essay.

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

In a persuasive essay, you attempt to convince readers to agree with your point of view on an argument. For example, an essay analyzing changes in Italian art during the Renaissance wouldn’t be a persuasive essay, because there’s no argument, but an essay where you argue that Italian art reached its peak during the Renaissance would be a persuasive essay because you’re trying to get your audience to agree with your viewpoint.

Persuasive and argumentative essays both try to convince readers to agree with the author, but the two essay types have key differences. Argumentative essays show a more balanced view of the issue and discuss both sides. Persuasive essays focus more heavily on the side the author agrees with. They also often include more of the author’s opinion than argumentative essays, which tend to use only facts and data to support their argument.

All persuasive essays have the following:

  • Introduction: Introduces the topic, explains why it’s important, and ends with the thesis.
  • Thesis: A sentence that sums up what the essay be discussing and what your stance on the issue is.
  • Reasons you believe your side of the argument: Why do you support the side you do? Typically each main point will have its own body paragraph.
  • Evidence supporting your argument: Facts or examples to back up your main points. Even though your opinion is allowed in persuasive essays more than most other essays, having concrete examples will make a stronger argument than relying on your opinion alone.
  • Conclusion: Restatement of thesis, summary of main points, and a recap of why the issue is important.

What Makes a Good Persuasive Essay Topic?

Theoretically, you could write a persuasive essay about any subject under the sun, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Certain topics are easier to write a strong persuasive essay on, and below are tips to follow when deciding what you should write about.

It’s a Topic You Care About

Obviously, it’s possible to write an essay about a topic you find completely boring. You’ve probably done it! However, if possible, it’s always better to choose a topic that you care about and are interested in. When this is the case, you’ll find doing the research more enjoyable, writing the essay easier, and your writing will likely be better because you’ll be more passionate about and informed on the topic.

You Have Enough Evidence to Support Your Argument

Just being passionate about a subject isn’t enough to make it a good persuasive essay topic, though. You need to make sure your argument is complex enough to have at least two potential sides to root for, and you need to be able to back up your side with evidence and examples. Even though persuasive essays allow your opinion to feature more than many other essays, you still need concrete evidence to back up your claims, or you’ll end up with a weak essay.

For example, you may passionately believe that mint chocolate chip ice cream is the best ice cream flavor (I agree!), but could you really write an entire essay on this? What would be your reasons for believing mint chocolate chip is the best (besides the fact that it’s delicious)? How would you support your belief? Have enough studies been done on preferred ice cream flavors to support an entire essay? When choosing a persuasive essay idea, you want to find the right balance between something you care about (so you can write well on it) and something the rest of the world cares about (so you can reference evidence to strengthen your position).

It’s a Manageable Topic

Bigger isn’t always better, especially with essay topics. While it may seem like a great idea to choose a huge, complex topic to write about, you’ll likely struggle to sift through all the information and different sides of the issue and winnow them down to one streamlined essay. For example, choosing to write an essay about how WWII impacted American life more than WWI wouldn’t be a great idea because you’d need to analyze all the impacts of both the wars in numerous areas of American life. It’d be a huge undertaking. A better idea would be to choose one impact on American life the wars had (such as changes in female employment) and focus on that. Doing so will make researching and writing your persuasive essay much more feasible.


List of 113 Good Persuasive Essay Topics

Below are over 100 persuasive essay ideas, organized into ten categories. When you find an idea that piques your interest, you’ll choose one side of it to argue for in your essay. For example, if you choose the topic, “should fracking be legal?” you’d decide whether you believe fracking should be legal or illegal, then you’d write an essay arguing all the reasons why your audience should agree with you.


  • Should students be required to learn an instrument in school?
  • Did the end of Game of Thrones fit with the rest of the series?
  • Can music be an effective way to treat mental illness?
  • With e-readers so popular, have libraries become obsolete?
  • Are the Harry Potter books more popular than they deserve to be?
  • Should music with offensive language come with a warning label?
  • What’s the best way for museums to get more people to visit?
  • Should students be able to substitute an art or music class for a PE class in school?
  • Are the Kardashians good or bad role models for young people?
  • Should people in higher income brackets pay more taxes?
  • Should all high school students be required to take a class on financial literacy?
  • Is it possible to achieve the American dream, or is it only a myth?
  • Is it better to spend a summer as an unpaid intern at a prestigious company or as a paid worker at a local store/restaurant?
  • Should the United States impose more or fewer tariffs?
  • Should college graduates have their student loans forgiven?
  • Should restaurants eliminate tipping and raise staff wages instead?
  • Should students learn cursive writing in school?
  • Which is more important: PE class or music class?
  • Is it better to have year-round school with shorter breaks throughout the year?
  • Should class rank be abolished in schools?
  • Should students be taught sex education in school?
  • Should students be able to attend public universities for free?
  • What’s the most effective way to change the behavior of school bullies?
  • Are the SAT and ACT accurate ways to measure intelligence?
  • Should students be able to learn sign language instead of a foreign language?
  • Do the benefits of Greek life at colleges outweigh the negatives?
  • Does doing homework actually help students learn more?
  • Why do students in many other countries score higher than American students on math exams?
  • Should parents/teachers be able to ban certain books from schools?
  • What’s the best way to reduce cheating in school?
  • Should colleges take a student’s race into account when making admissions decisions?
  • Should there be limits to free speech?
  • Should students be required to perform community service to graduate high school?
  • Should convicted felons who have completed their sentence be allowed to vote?
  • Should gun ownership be more tightly regulated?
  • Should recycling be made mandatory?
  • Should employers be required to offer paid leave to new parents?
  • Are there any circumstances where torture should be allowed?
  • Should children under the age of 18 be able to get plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons?
  • Should white supremacy groups be allowed to hold rallies in public places?
  • Does making abortion illegal make women more or less safe?
  • Does foreign aid actually help developing countries?
  • Are there times a person’s freedom of speech should be curtailed?
  • Should people over a certain age not be allowed to adopt children?


  • Should the minimum voting age be raised/lowered/kept the same?
  • Should Puerto Rico be granted statehood?
  • Should the United States build a border wall with Mexico?
  • Who should be the next person printed on American banknotes?
  • Should the United States’ military budget be reduced?
  • Did China’s one child policy have overall positive or negative impacts on the country?
  • Should DREAMers be granted US citizenship?
  • Is national security more important than individual privacy?
  • What responsibility does the government have to help homeless people?
  • Should the electoral college be abolished?
  • Should the US increase or decrease the number of refugees it allows in each year?
  • Should privately-run prisons be abolished?
  • Who was the most/least effective US president?
  • Will Brexit end up helping or harming the UK?


  • What’s the best way to reduce the spread of Ebola?
  • Is the Keto diet a safe and effective way to lose weight?
  • Should the FDA regulate vitamins and supplements more strictly?
  • Should public schools require all students who attend to be vaccinated?
  • Is eating genetically modified food safe?
  • What’s the best way to make health insurance more affordable?
  • What’s the best way to lower the teen pregnancy rate?
  • Should recreational marijuana be legalized nationwide?
  • Should birth control pills be available without a prescription?
  • Should pregnant women be forbidden from buying cigarettes and alcohol?
  • Why has anxiety increased in adolescents?
  • Are low-carb or low-fat diets more effective for weight loss?
  • What caused the destruction of the USS Maine?
  • Was King Arthur a mythical legend or actual Dark Ages king?
  • Was the US justified in dropping atomic bombs during WWII?
  • What was the primary cause of the Rwandan genocide?
  • What happened to the settlers of the Roanoke colony?
  • Was disagreement over slavery the primary cause of the US Civil War?
  • What has caused the numerous disappearances in the Bermuda triangle?
  • Should nuclear power be banned?
  • Is scientific testing on animals necessary?
  • Do zoos help or harm animals?
  • Should scientists be allowed to clone humans?
  • Should animals in circuses be banned?
  • Should fracking be legal?
  • Should people be allowed to keep exotic animals as pets?
  • What’s the best way to reduce illegal poaching in Africa?
  • What is the best way to reduce the impact of global warming?
  • Should euthanasia be legalized?
  • Is there legitimate evidence of extraterrestrial life?
  • Should people be banned from owning aggressive dog breeds?
  • Should the United States devote more money towards space exploration?
  • Should the government subsidize renewable forms of energy?
  • Is solar energy worth the cost?
  • Should stem cells be used in medicine?
  • Is it right for the US to leave the Paris Climate Agreement?
  • Should athletes who fail a drug test receive a lifetime ban from the sport?
  • Should college athletes receive a salary?
  • Should the NFL do more to prevent concussions in players?
  • Do PE classes help students stay in shape?
  • Should horse racing be banned?
  • Should cheerleading be considered a sport?
  • Should children younger than 18 be allowed to play tackle football?
  • Are the costs of hosting an Olympic Games worth it?
  • Can online schools be as effective as traditional schools?
  • Do violent video games encourage players to be violent in real life?
  • Should facial recognition technology be banned?
  • Does excessive social media use lead to depression/anxiety?
  • Has the rise of translation technology made knowing multiple languages obsolete?
  • Was Steve Jobs a visionary or just a great marketer?
  • Should social media be banned for children younger than a certain age?
  • Which 21st-century invention has had the largest impact on society?
  • Are ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft good or bad for society?
  • Should Facebook have done more to protect the privacy of its users?
  • Will technology end up increasing or decreasing inequality worldwide?


Tips for Writing a Strong Persuasive Essay

After you’ve chosen the perfect topic for your persuasive essay, your work isn’t over. Follow the three tips below to create a top-notch essay.

Do Your Research

Your argument will fall apart if you don’t fully understand the issue you’re discussing or you overlook an important piece of it. Readers won’t be convinced by someone who doesn’t know the subject, and you likely won’t persuade any of them to begin supporting your viewpoint. Before you begin writing a single word of your essay, research your topic thoroughly. Study different sources, learn about the different sides of the argument, ask anyone who’s an expert on the topic what their opinion is, etc. You might be tempted to start writing right away, but by doing your research, you’ll make the writing process much easier when the time comes.

Make Your Thesis Perfect

Your thesis is the most important sentence in your persuasive essay. Just by reading that single sentence, your audience should know exactly what topic you’ll be discussing and where you stand on the issue. You want your thesis to be crystal clear and to accurately set up the rest of your essay. Asking classmates or your teacher to look it over before you begin writing the rest of your essay can be a big help if you’re not entirely confident in your thesis.

Consider the Other Side

You’ll spend most of your essay focusing on your side of the argument since that’s what you want readers to come away believing. However, don’t think that means you can ignore other sides of the issue. In your essay, be sure to discuss the other side’s argument, as well as why you believe this view is weak or untrue. Researching all the different viewpoints and including them in your essay will increase the quality of your writing by making your essay more complete and nuanced.

Summary: Persuasive Essay Ideas

Good persuasive essay topics can be difficult to come up with, but in this guide we’ve created a list of 113 excellent essay topics for you to browse. The best persuasive essay ideas will be those that you are interested in, have enough evidence to support your argument, and aren’t too complicated to be summarized in an essay.

After you’ve chosen your essay topic, keep these three tips in mind when you begin writing:

  • Do your research
  • Make your thesis perfect
  • Consider the other side

What's Next?

Need ideas for a research paper topic as well? Our guide to research paper topics has over 100 topics in ten categories so you can be sure to find the perfect topic for you.

Thinking about taking an AP English class? Read our guide on AP English classes to learn whether you should take AP English Language or AP English Literature (or both!)

Deciding between the SAT or ACT? Find out for sure which you will do the best on . Also read a detailed comparison between the two tests .

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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100 Persuasive Essay Topics

  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

Persuasive essays are a bit like argument essays , but they tend to be a little kinder and gentler. Argument essays require you to discuss and attack an alternate view, while persuasive essays attempt to convince the reader that you have a believable argument. In other words, you are an advocate, not an adversary.

Writing a compelling persuasive essay requires you to select a topic that ideally stirs your readers' emotions. Before settling on a subject, explore some options to find one that helps craft the strongest and most engaging argument.

Below is a list of potential persuasive essay topics to spark your brainstorming process. You can choose a topic from this list or use it as inspiration to develop an idea of your own.

Main Components of a Persuasive Essay

  • Introduction : This is the opening paragraph of your essay. It contains the hook , which is used to grab the reader's attention, and the thesis , or argument, which you'll explain in the next section.
  • Body : This is the heart of your essay, usually three to five paragraphs in length. Each paragraph examines one theme or issue used to support your thesis.
  • Conclusion : This is the final paragraph of your essay. In it, you'll sum up the main points of the body and connect them to your thesis. Persuasive essays often use the conclusion as a final appeal to the audience.

Learning how to write a persuasive essay is an essential skill people use every day in fields from business to law to media and entertainment. English students can begin writing a persuasive essay at any skill level. You'll surely find a sample topic or two from the list of 100 persuasive essays below, sorted by degree of difficulty.

Watch Now: 12 Ideas for Great Persuasive Essay Topics

Beginner topics.

  • Kids should get paid for good grades.
  • Students should have less homework.
  • Snow days are great for family time.
  • Penmanship is important.
  • Short hair is better than long hair.
  • We should all grow our own vegetables.
  • We need more holidays.
  • Aliens probably exist.
  • Gym class is more important than music class.
  • Kids should be able to vote.
  • Kids should get paid for extra activities like sports.
  • School should take place in the evenings.
  • Country life is better than city life.
  • City life is better than country life.
  • We can change the world.
  • Skateboard helmets should be mandatory.
  • We should provide food for the poor.
  • Children should be paid for doing chores.
  • We should populate the moon .
  • Dogs make better pets than cats.

Intermediate Topics

  • The government should impose household trash limits.
  • Nuclear weapons are an effective deterrent against foreign attack.
  • Teens should be required to take parenting classes.
  • We should teach etiquette in schools.
  • School uniform laws are unconstitutional.
  • All students should wear uniforms.
  • Too much money is a bad thing.
  • High schools should offer specialized degrees in arts or sciences.
  • Magazine advertisements send unhealthy signals to young women.
  • Robocalling should be outlawed.
  • Age 12 is too young to babysit.
  • Children should be required to read more.
  • All students should be allowed to study abroad.
  • Yearly driving tests should be mandatory past age 65.
  • Cell phones should never be used while driving.
  • All schools should implement bullying awareness programs.
  • Bullies should be kicked out of school.
  • Parents of bullies should have to pay a fine.
  • The school year should be longer.
  • School days should start later.
  • Teens should be able to choose their bedtime.
  • There should be a mandatory entrance exam for high school.
  • Public transit should be privatized.
  • We should allow pets in school.
  • The voting age should be lowered to 16.
  • Beauty contests are bad for body image.
  • Every American should learn to speak Spanish.
  • Every immigrant should learn to speak English.
  • Video games can be educational.
  • College athletes should be paid for their services.
  • We need a military draft .
  • Professional sports should eliminate cheerleaders.
  • Teens should be able to start driving at 14 instead of 16.
  • Year-round school is a bad idea.
  • High school campuses should be guarded by police officers.
  • The legal drinking age should be lowered to 19.
  • Kids under 15 shouldn't have Facebook pages.
  • Standardized testing should be eliminated.
  • Teachers should be paid more.
  • There should be one world currency.

Advanced Topics

  • Domestic surveillance without a warrant should be legal.
  • Letter grades should be replaced with a pass or fail.
  • Every family should have a natural disaster survival plan.
  • Parents should talk to kids about drugs at a young age.
  • Racial slurs should be illegal.
  • Gun ownership should be tightly regulated.
  • Puerto Rico should be granted statehood.
  • People should go to jail when they abandon their pets.
  • Free speech should have limitations.
  • Members of Congress should be subject to term limits.
  • Recycling should be mandatory for everyone.
  • High-speed internet access should be regulated like a public utility.
  • Yearly driving tests should be mandatory for the first five years after getting a license.
  • Recreational marijuana should be made legal nationwide.
  • Legal marijuana should be taxed and regulated like tobacco or alcohol.
  • Child support dodgers should go to jail.
  • Students should be allowed to pray in school.
  • All Americans have a constitutional right to health care.
  • Internet access should be free for everyone.
  • Social Security should be privatized.
  • Pregnant couples should receive parenting lessons.
  • We shouldn't use products made from animals.
  • Celebrities should have more privacy rights.
  • Professional football is too violent and should be banned.
  • We need better sex education in schools.
  • School testing is not effective.
  • The United States should build a border wall with Mexico and Canada.
  • Life is better than it was 50 years ago.
  • Eating meat is unethical.
  • A vegan diet is the only diet people should follow.
  • Medical testing on animals should be illegal.
  • The Electoral College is outdated.
  • Medical testing on animals is necessary.
  • Public safety is more important than an individual's right to privacy.
  • Single-sex colleges provide a better education.
  • Books should never be banned.
  • Violent video games can cause people to act violently in real life.
  • Freedom of religion has limitations.
  • Nuclear power should be illegal.
  • Climate change should be the president's primary political concern.

Key Takeaways

  • Persuasive essays aim to convince rather than confront, effectively making you advocate for a position or idea.
  • Choosing a compelling topic that evokes emotions is crucial for crafting a strong persuasive essay.
  • The main parts of a persuasive essay are the introduction (with a hook and thesis), body paragraphs (explaining themes supporting the thesis), and conclusion (summarizing main points and making a final appeal).

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persuasive essay video for middle school

75 Persuasive Essay Topics for Middle School

At some points in middle school, schoolchildren will be made to write essays to prove points and convince their readers. These essays, called persuasive essays, help the students become decisive and to stand by their choices. They also help build the charisma and morale needed to convince other people of their choices.

An example of such is the persuasive essay rubric middle school students are made or encouraged to write.

Persuasive Essay Prompts Middle School Students Will Find Helpful

Choosing the right persuasive essay topic is as important as writing a good essay. This is because right from the topic you choose, you must be able to convince your readers to pick up your essay and read till the end. This article provides 75 persuasive essay topics for middle school students or persuasive essay ideas for middle school students.

Persuasive Essay Topics for Middle School

Below is a compilation of topics for persuasive essay rubric middle school and other middle school students can choose from:

  • Teenagers should be allowed to vote
  • Saving the Earth should be everybody’s business
  • Sign languages should be taught in all schools
  • Students should be allowed to pick their teachers
  • Students should be taught valuable manners in schools
  • The Child Right Act should be included in every school’s curriculum
  • Schools should not impose wearing uniforms on their students
  • Students should be made to wear uniforms
  • Adults should pay more attention to their children’s overall welfare
  • Pop culture has a negative effect on young people
  • Pop culture has a positive effect on young people
  • Students should be allowed to take personalised classes
  • Self defence classes should be mandatory for students
  • Middle school students should be taught how to defend themselves
  • Schools need to encourage their students to spend more time reading
  • Adults should take time to monitor their children’s progress in schools
  • Important values should be taught at home
  • No child should be forced to grow up
  • Parents must be ready to take responsibility for their children
  • Parents should learn to make investments for their children’s futures
  • Parents should teach their children good spending habits
  • Children should be taught to save money
  • Children under the age of 18 should not be made to work
  • Parents have to pay special attention to their children to make sure they are not being bullied
  • Schools need to take stricter measures against students that bully others
  • No child is too old to learn about avoiding strangers
  • People should be taught the best way to interact with special needs children
  • Both bullies and their parents should be made to face punishments
  • Students should be allowed to bring their pets to schools
  • Students should be taught relevant subjects in schools
  • Every child should be taught to speak at least one foreign language
  • Video games should be regarded as part of school curricular activities
  • Middle school students should be allowed to have cell phones
  • Students who bully others should be expelled
  • Holidays should be spent with loved ones
  • People should do more to help homeless people
  • Sharing is an important value to have
  • Body shaming is a form of bullying
  • Sex education should be compulsory
  • Cooking classes should be mandatory for students
  • Students should be taught ways to ensure their security
  • Children under the age of 18 should not be allowed to be babysitters
  • Students should be taught healthy lifestyles both at home and in schools
  • Parents should take out time to get to know their children better
  • Good communication skills should be taught in schools
  • Teenagers should be allowed to make political decisions
  • The government is hiding the truth about aliens
  • Children should be given free education
  • Every child should be allowed to take time off from school
  • Every school should teach their students proper etiquette
  • Ever child needs to know their home address and parents’ phone numbers
  • Junior school students should be made to take regular spelling tests
  • Pop quizzes should be encouraged
  • Students should be encouraged to form study groups
  • Schools need to implement proper hygiene practices
  • Parents should make sure their children practice proper hygiene
  • Schools need to make students involved in their future
  • Every child should learn a skill
  • Every child should know the basic rules of environmental protection
  • Schools should give students proper counseling
  • Student’s health should be taken seriously
  • Students should be taught good dietary practices
  • Sports keep students away from crimes
  • Schools need to allow indigenous attires
  • Having too much money can be bad
  • Rich people need to help poor people
  • The government needs to do more
  • Lockers are unnecessary
  • Every child should have a proper lunch
  • All teachers should be nice
  • Every child should have a reading corner
  • Children should be allowed to pick meals
  • Every child needs a home
  • Stability is important in a child’s life
  • Creativity should be encouraged

All these topics are good enough for you to write a convincing essay about, so pick whichever you feel comfortable with.

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Are you looking to improve your persuasive writing skills?

One of the best ways to do that is by reading persuasive essay examples. These examples can show you how to structure your arguments effectively.

But finding good examples can be a challenge. Don't worry, though – we've gathered some helpful persuasive essays for you right here!

So, if you're in search of persuasive essay examples to help you write your own, you're in the right place. 

Keep reading this blog to explore various examples

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  • 1. Persuasive Essay Examples For Students
  • 2. Persuasive Essay Examples for Different Formats
  • 3. Persuasive Essay Outline Examples
  • 4. Persuasive Essay Format Example
  • 5. How to Write A Persuasive Essay With Examples
  • 6. How to End a Persuasive Essay Examples
  • 7. Catchy Persuasive Essay Topics

Persuasive Essay Examples For Students

A persuasive essay aims to convince the reader of the author’s point of view. 

To find the right path for your essay, it's helpful to go through some examples. Similarly, good essay examples also help to avoid any potential pitfalls and offer clear information to the readers to adopt. 

Here are some persuasive essay examples pdf:

3rd-grade Persuasive Essay Example

4th-grade Persuasive Essay Example

Persuasive Essay Example 5th-grade pdf

Persuasive Essay Examples for 6th Grade pdf

7th-grade Persuasive Essay Example

8th-grade Persuasive Essay Example

Persuasive Essay Examples Grade 10

11th-grade Persuasive Essay Example

Persuasive Writing Example For Kids

Persuasive Essay Examples High School

The following are good persuasive essay examples for high school. Having a look at them will help you understand better.

High-school Persuasive Essay Example

Examples of Persuasive Essay in Everyday Life

Persuasive Essay Examples for Middle School

Check out these persuasive essay examples for middle school to get a comprehensive idea of the format structure. 

Persuasive Essay Examples Middle School

Short Persuasive Essay Example

Persuasive Essay Examples for College Students

Essay writing at the college level becomes more difficult and complicated. We have provided you with top-notch college persuasive and argumentative essay examples here.

Read them to understand the essay writing process easily. 

Persuasive Essay Examples College

Higher English Persuasive Essay Example

Persuasive Essay About Smoking

Argumentative and Persuasive Examples

Persuasive Essay Examples For University

It becomes even more challenging to draft a perfect essay at the university level. Have a look at the below examples of a persuasive essay to get an idea of writing one.

University Persuasive Essay Example

5 Paragraph Persuasive Essay Example

Persuasive Essay Examples for Different Formats

A persuasive essay can be written in several formats. For instance, you can write the usual 5-paragraph essay, or even something longer or shorter.

Below are a few sample essays in various common formats.

Persuasive Essay Examples 5 Paragraph

Persuasive Essay Examples 3 Paragraph

Short Persuasive Essay Examples

These examples tell you how to remain convincing and persuasive regardless of the essay format you use.

Persuasive Essay Outline Examples

Creating an impressive outline is the most important step for writing a persuasive essay. It helps to organize thoughts and make the writing process easier.

 A standard outline consists of the following sections.

  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraphs

Have a look at the following persuasive essay outline template examples.

Persuasive Essay Outline

Persuasive Essay Template

Persuasive Essay Format Example

A persuasive essay outline is bound to follow a specific format and structure. The main elements of a persuasive essay format are as follows.

  • Font: Times New Roman, Georgia, or Arial
  • Font Size: 16pt for the headlines and 12pt for the rest of the text
  • Alignment: Justified
  • Spacing: Double spacing
  • Word Count: It usually contains 500 to 2000 words

How to Write A Persuasive Essay With Examples

Planning an essay before starting writing is essential to produce an organized and structured writing piece. So, it is better to understand the concept beforehand to impress your instructor.  

The below example will show a good starting to an essay.

A Good Start for a Persuasive Essay - Short Example

How to Start a Persuasive Essay Examples

The introduction is the first part of an essay and your first chance to grab the reader's attention. It should clearly state the essay's purpose and give the reader a clear idea of what to expect.

A compelling persuasive essay introduction must have the following elements.

  • Hook statement + topic
  • A strong thesis statement
  • Your arguments

Here are some examples of persuasive essay introductions to help you make a compelling start:

Introduction Persuasive Essay Example

Persuasive Essay Thesis Statement Examples

Persuasive Essay Hook Examples

How to End a Persuasive Essay Examples

Just like the introduction, the conclusion of the persuasive essay is equally important. It is considered as the last impression of your writing piece to the audience.

A good conclusion paragraph must include the following aspects.

  • Restate the thesis statement or hypothesis
  • Summarize the key arguments
  • Avoid being obvious
  • Include a call to action

Have a look at the document to explore the sample conclusions of a persuasive essay.

Conclusion Persuasive Essay Examples

Catchy Persuasive Essay Topics

Now that you have read some good examples, it's time to write your own persuasive essay.

But what should you write about? You can write persuasive essays about any topic, from business and online education to controversial topics like abortion , gun control , and more.

Here is a list of ten persuasive essay topics that you can use to grab your reader's attention and make them think:

  • Should the government increase taxes to fund public health initiatives?
  • Is the current education system effective in preparing students for college and the workplace?
  • Should there be tighter gun control laws?
  • Should schools have uniforms or a dress code?
  • Are standardized tests an accurate measure of student performance?
  • Should students be required to take physical education courses?
  • Is undocumented immigration a legitimate cause for concern in the United States?
  • Is affirmative action still necessary in today’s society?
  • How much, if any, regulation should there be on technology companies?
  • Is the death penalty an appropriate form of punishment for serious crimes?

Check out two examples on similar topics:

Political Persuasive Essay Examples

Persuasive Essay Examples About Life

Need more topic ideas? Check out our extensive list of unique persuasive essay topics and get started!

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Persuasive Essay


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  1. Persuasive Writing for Kids

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  2. Can You Convince Me? Developing Persuasive Writing

    Persuasion Map: Students can use this online interactive tool to map out an argument for their persuasive essay.: Persuasive Strategy Presentation: This handy PowerPoint presentation helps students master the definition of each strategy used in persuasive writing.: Check the Strategies: Students can apply what they know about persuasive writing strategies by evaluating a persuasive piece and ...

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    This video illustrates the step-by-step process of writing a persuasive essay, including how to write a thesis statement, an introduction paragraph, body par...

  4. 101 Interesting Persuasive Essay Topics for Kids and Teens

    101 Interesting Persuasive Essay Topics for Kids and Teens. Use your words to sway the reader. 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.

  5. 6.1 How To Write In Middle School

    A classroom ready video teaching the persuasive essay.CC standards 6.1a, 6.1b, 6.1c, 6.1d, 6.1e, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6,

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    Harvey Milk's "The Hope" Speech. Sample lines: "Some people are satisfied. And some people are not. You see there is a major difference—and it remains a vital difference—between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide.

  7. 51 Great Persuasive Writing Prompts for Middle School

    10. Argue why homework should be limited to weekends only. 101 Writing Prompts for Middle School Students. 11. Convince your friends to sign up to be in the talent show. 12. Persuade your family to have a "no-screen" day every week. 13. Write a letter persuading your parents to buy you a new pet.

  8. How to Teach Middle School Students the Art of Debating and Persuasive

    Key Takeaways: For middle school students, acquiring the critical-thinking and communication skills they need to evaluate both sides of a debate and write persuasive essays isn't always easy. With JuniorScholastic's free Social Studies Debate Kit, learning how to debate and craft an effective argument essay will be an exciting and inspiring ...

  9. Middle School Persuasive Writing Lessons

    Persuasive Writing Lessons. Persuasive Pitch Assignment. If your students like the TV show Shark Tank or Dragon's Den, they will love this assignment. In it, students develop an idea of how to improve their school (e.g., installing recycling bins, creating a snack program, etc.), and then they pitch their idea to the judges (their classmates).

  10. Resources for Persuasive and Argumentative Essay Writing

    Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of all kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Resources for Persuasive and Argumentative Essay Writing is a list of 16 apps, games, and websites curated by ...

  11. Persuasive Writing

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  12. Engaging Strategies for Teaching Persuasion, Argument, and Debate

    The public service campaign usually includes a variety of items. To place students in charge of their learning, they choose several products to produce from a list of items: a speech, a persuasive letter, a graphic essay, a poster, an infographic, an informational video, a narrative video, a social media campaign, and more. It is important to ...

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  15. How to teach Persuasive Writing

    Persuasive writing is designed to convince the reader to think or act a certain way. Persuasive writing employs these techniques: ethos — credibility of the writer. pathos — appeals to the reader through emotion. logos — uses logic, reason, and facts. Persuasive writing can be in the form of a: review. advertisement.

  16. How to Teach Argument Writing Step-By-Step

    I teach students how to write a step-by-step 5 paragraph argumentative essay consisting of the following: Introduction: Includes a lead/hook, background information about the topic, and a thesis statement that includes the claim. Body Paragraph #1: Introduces the first reason that the claim is valid. Supports that reason with facts, examples ...

  17. 120 Persuasive Essay Topics

    15 Persuasive Essay Topics for Middle School. Sometimes, a simple topic is the best choice and can allow your writing to really shine. Listed below are fifteen of the easiest topics, which are suitable mainly for middle schoolers and below. ... Video games can be good learning tools; Zoos do more harm than good to animals; Recommended. Ludger ...

  18. Mastering Persuasive Writing: Middle School Essay

    US Grade 6 - 8. This five-week middle school persuasive essay class aims to make the writing process not only educational, but an adventurous journey. Through a blend of individual and group activities, students will hone their persuasive writing skills while enjoying the collaborative learning experience. Students will learn the structure of a ...

  19. 113 Perfect Persuasive Essay Topics for Any Assignment

    A better idea would be to choose one impact on American life the wars had (such as changes in female employment) and focus on that. Doing so will make researching and writing your persuasive essay much more feasible. List of 113 Good Persuasive Essay Topics. Below are over 100 persuasive essay ideas, organized into ten categories.

  20. 100 Persuasive Essay Topics

    Kids should be able to vote. Kids should get paid for extra activities like sports. School should take place in the evenings. Country life is better than city life. City life is better than country life. We can change the world. Skateboard helmets should be mandatory. We should provide food for the poor.

  21. 75 Persuasive Essay Topics for Middle School

    Middle school students should be allowed to have cell phones. Students who bully others should be expelled. Holidays should be spent with loved ones. People should do more to help homeless people. Sharing is an important value to have. Body shaming is a form of bullying. Sex education should be compulsory.

  22. PDF Middle School (6-8) Persuasive Writing Prompts

    In a multi-paragraph essay, present your position on the colonies remaining under British rule. Be sure to use facts and details to support your position. A Four-Day School Week Recently, a school district in Pennsylvania became the first in the state to change the traditional school schedule from a five-day week to a four-day week.

  23. 30+ Persuasive Essay Examples

    Persuasive Essay Format Example. A persuasive essay outline is bound to follow a specific format and structure. The main elements of a persuasive essay format are as follows. Font: Times New Roman, Georgia, or Arial. Font Size: 16pt for the headlines and 12pt for the rest of the text. Alignment: Justified.