How to Choose a Topic for Your Persuasive Essay
A persuasive essay is popular assignment that asks you to use reason and logic to show your audience that one idea or point of view is more legitimate than another. When you’re presented with a topic, it’s generally easier to get started with your paper. Having to choose your topic, however, gives you the opportunity to choose to write about something you find compelling and can write persuasively about.
Here are three simple steps to help you choose a topic for your persuasive essay:
- Define Your Audience and Purpose for Writing. It’s always a good idea to consider who will be reading your essay. Most of the time it may only be your instructor, but on occasion your essay could be brought up for peer review. In this case you want to choose a topic that isn’t controversial or complicated, since the harder the topic the harder it will be to convince your audience of your argument. If your audience isn’t interested in state politics don’t choose to write an essay on the next congressional race.
- Brainstorm Subjects that Interest You. You should start by simply making a list of several topics that interest you. Stay away from overly-used or current-news types of topics. These aren’t often original or interesting enough to capture your reader’s attention. Try something new and something you can write about with enthusiasm. Narrow down the focus of your topic until you have a clear argument that is worth making. For instance, don’t merely argue that basketball is the greatest sport, make the argument that basketball athletes would excel in most other sports while athletes from other sports would be mediocre playing on the hardwood.
- Evaluate Each Potential Topic. There are several criteria you can use to evaluate your topics and choose the best persuasive essay to write. For instance, you may find that you are very passionate about some topics more than others, but can find more evidence in support of your argument in those topics you are less passionate about. Consider free-writing about each of your favorite topics and reading them aloud to a couple of friends to get a sense of what is more interesting to them.
- Don’t choose a topic you believe your instructor will like or one that reflects a subject that is currently on the news. Choosing a topic that genuinely interests you will make your arguments more interesting and engaging to your audience. You’ll quickly find that your best writing comes from the topics you are most passionate about.