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Serevaetse's avatar

I have to write a persuasive essay, one with research and facts. This is my first semester of college. Any ideas for a topic that won't put me to sleep?

Asked by Serevaetse (756 points ) September 29th, 2010

I very much dislike trying to find topics, and was wondering if any of you had good topic ideas for me to choose from. I have to write a
‘researched argument/persuasive essay’
So, it has to be somewhat recent and something I can find a lot of information on, yet not too unoriginal.
I am also going to have to give a five-minute speech, so I want to know what I am talking about, therefore I’d prefer something that interests me.

Thank you so much! (:

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26 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

So—what are your interests?

Seek's avatar

Well, when it comes to writing persuasively, it helps to write about something you already feel passionately about.

We can’t tell you what your passions are.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Jeruba and @Seek_Kolinahr make valid points. What are you passionate about? What drives you?

As for a few topics, I suggest same sex marriage, the TEA party, NATO bombing using drones in Pakistan, or whether straight ties or bow ties look better on men.

El_Cadejo's avatar

What is something in daily life that pisses you off or you find to be an injustice? Hooray you now have your topic

Rarebear's avatar

If you want to do a speech and an essay on what interests ME, I’m full of ideas. As to what interests you, I don’t know.

Serevaetse's avatar

haha, thanks guys- I strongly feel that people are the downfall of nature and earth, as well as the natural flow of things. We can basically now-a-days, cheat death, take pill supplements rather than eat healthy, and so many other things that are just against the grain, if you ask me.

We cut down trees, use up electricity, kill animals, and hardly blink when we see the destruction we left behind. But if I wrote about these things, I can’t just give my opinion. I have to have facts, and nobody is going to admit that money means more to them than future generations.

So rather than asking me what interests me, feel free to say what interests you, and I might like one of the ideas.
So please, do tell!!!

Pandora's avatar

I just saw a piece on prime time about a gay couple who had triplets through a surrogate and how their insurance wouldn’t pay for the 3rd baby and wanted them to abort it and they would pay for twins only.
Thats pretty recent.
So you have two ways to go with this. Either on the facts of gay couples raising children or how insurance companies can mandate the killing of one child to pay for two others during a surrogate pregnancy.

Nullo's avatar

Going on the offensive is an excellent way to stay engaged but not to make friends. Find something that you hate, and explain in excruciating detail why you hate it and why everybody else should, too. If you’d like, we could probably sit in one of the chatrooms and press your buttons until one of them sets you off.

I’ll fire off a salvo here:
I think that abortion is murder, and abortionists murderers, and mothers who frivolously abort their babies monsters.
I believe that marriage is a religious institution, and should be restricted to heterosexual couples, and that any government meddling is a violation of the First Amendment.
I think that there’s nothing wrong with owning and using firearms.
I think that throwing money at the education problem won’t fix anything, but rather we need to change the way that teachers teach.
I think that we should only give trophies to people who have accomplished something.
I think that all media are inherently biased.

Hope I helped!

Carly's avatar

write about something you either love or hate. That’s what a prof. of mine told me, and so far it’s made essay and speech writing so much easier.

Zag_grad2010's avatar

In my second semester of college I did a persuasive paper/ speech on illegally downloading music. I took the position that downloading music is just a softer word for stealing. Most kids steal music so it would be original on your part to take the other side.

Serevaetse's avatar

@Pandora holy cow…. I haven’t heard about that, but that is terribly sad :/ Thank you- I just may use that information if I chose such a topic. However, I see no problem with gay couples raising children, and my professor recommended not writing about abortion since he has read so many papers on it.

@Nullo haha, I should try and think of something, that is true. and @Carly it would be easier if I loved more complex things! Haha… I just love life and random things that aren’t very useful for persuasiveness

and @Zag_grad2010…. ): I hate to admit that I am a part of what you call ‘most kids’
I have no money to spend on music, so I take all of my friends iTunes music, and put it onto mine. I have quite the collection. I’m sorry!!

Jeruba's avatar

So try writing a persuasive essay on how people should reject medical intervention and just let nature take its course.

Look up facts about life expectancy, major diseases that have basically been eradicated by medicine, and how meds prolong life. Show how overpopulation is ruining the earth, which should be allowed to cleanse itself through natural death.

Find stats on the pharmaceutical industry, how much people pay for prescriptions, and how their lives may be improved with the help of meds versus what the costs of health care are doing to our country and to individuals.

Argue that just because help exists you don’t necessarily have to take it. Argue that medical intervention may cost more than it saves. Argue that some interventions do more harm than good. Argue that death with dignity at home is better than dying full of tubes and dope surrounded by strangers in an institution. Argue that defective children should be allowed to exit early. Argue that doctors should be allowed to perform euthanasia. Argue that funding given to public health should be used for nature preserves and education. Hell, there’s a ton of material you could look up. Facts everywhere. Go for it.

——
[Disclaimer: These are not, or not necessarily, my personal views. My suggestions are in response to your statement of opinion.]

Carly's avatar

@Serevaetse you should write about a rule you don’t like. It could be a school rule, government rule, social rule.

Nullo's avatar

@Serevaetse For the research paper, you can write about how messed up copyright law is, and the nightmare that copy protection has become.

talljasperman's avatar

you could write about how boring looking for research topics is… you could interview the class

Pandora's avatar

How about how insurance companies determine who lives or who dies or why they won’t pay for some preventive treatments but are willing to pay for some more evasive treatments.

Serevaetse's avatar

@Jeruba Holy cow, you’re brilliant. That was all such good information. However, with me, I am not one of those people that think ‘if God wants to heal me, he will’ and refuse to take necessary precautions to save their lives. So I don’t want to come across that way. It’s a very fine line because who’s to say who deserves to live and who doesn’t?
As for euthanasia- I strongly believe that it should be allowed. If somebody wants to end their life, they have every single right to do so. If they need help in doing it, and have thought about and accepted their death, it should be allowed.
I’ll never forget when my dad told me ‘Nadra, if the decision was somehow up to you, and I could either be euthanized, or live with a bunch of tubes attached to me keeping me alive, I would want you to chose euthanasia for me.’ As hard as that was to hear, I realized I would want the same thing. Why stay alive sitting in a bed with a bunch of tubes? It is obviously your time to go.
But I mean, my dad has cancer. And he took the steps necessary to live. He wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t. And I love my dad more than anything, and would be crushed if he were gone. It’s harder when you put yourself in other people’s shoes. where they can live a few years longer if they take a certain medication.

Also, if I talked about how I wanted to get rid of doctors and medication, pharmacists and research, those would be a lot of lost jobs if that went through.
Haha, this is why it is so hard for me because I am on edge about so many things- in limbo between what’s right and wrong. I’m still developing my ideas and beliefs. I am only eighteen :/

@Carly that is true… there are rules I don’t like, such as the euthanasia rule, or how suicide is illegal. I think it’s wrong when people attempt suicide and fail, and are then on trial for how to be punished for their attempt.

@talljasperman that’s actually a good idea! Haha, I should try that one out (: I think I will

@Pandora that is a true statement… I can look into that! also, something I’ve been wanting to ask you; do you like Pandora.com?

perspicacious's avatar

A persuasive essay/speech needs to be about something you actually feel somewhat strongly about. A few suggestions, some of which I’ve recently seen discussed on other sites.
Forced unions
At-will employment
The loss we’ve suffered at the hands of technology
Possible asteroid hit on earth
Modular v stick housing
cosmetic surgery boundaries/medical ethics

Your_Majesty's avatar

Pick the topic about the effect of smoking,alcohol,or drugs. It’s easy to persuade others with these topic,easy to-find materials,but they’re too common (many of your friends might have taken these topic).

Jeruba's avatar

@Serevaetse, take one of those ideas. Not all of them. If you favor voluntary euthanasia, take that.

The point is, there are ways of finding facts for just about any topic you feel strongly about, even if the facts are just how many people favor and how many people oppose and what they are doing about it. All you have to do is formulate the question in such a way that it is possible to view it in terms of facts. Then you do have a basis for persuasion.

Serevaetse's avatar

thank you to you all- such a huge help, seriously! I will sleep on it, and get back to you guys (:

skfinkel's avatar

Food issues are quite interesting—and tie in nicely with politics, environment, education, and health issues. Maybe you could pick up on one of these.

Pandora's avatar

Second time i’ve heard of it. Never tried the radio station. If I owned it, I’m sure I would like it for sure. ;).

Kayak8's avatar

OK, if you want to know what WE would write about, here goes:

1. I just heard a story on NPR wherein they interviewed a writer from the Washington Post who did a series of stories about the sheer amount of money the US military spends on bands and musicians. There are a number of Army and Navy bands as well as the President’s own Marine Band (once directed by John Phillip Sousa). In one case, $40M was earmarked for a military band rehearsal space in the south. You can argue about the cost of war and $12 Pentagon hammer expenditures, but do we really need millions of dollars going to military bands?

2. The cost of medication for HIV/AIDS is off the hook. Most people can’t afford their life-saving medication, so the federal government sends funds to every state to operate AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs). There is now a significant shortfall in ADAP funding. At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has encouraged states to change their laws to reduce barriers for people to get tested. The CDC’s goal is that anyone who is positive should know their status so they can get treatment. Which is great except there is no money to treat them. Before people start saying, “We shouldn’t be paying for this treatment,” understand that by someone taking medication it drastically reduces the likelihood that they will transmit the virus to someone else. But should HIV patients have their medication subsidized compared to, say, folks with breast cancer? If you google ADAP and NASTAD (National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors), you will find a ton of information about the perfect storm that is now occurring in HIV-world. The pharmaceutical companies have more registered lobbyists in Washington than any other group. They are pushing for more money for the program because they know the money will ultimately land in their pockets, but they have also priced their drugs at astronomical levels (to re-coup research and development costs according to them). These same pills are allowed to be made by generic manufacturers for FAR lower prices for sale in other countries but not in the US.

There are so many different ways to approach the second topic, I think you could have a field day with it.

Joybird's avatar

I just went through this with my youngest daughter. Stop focusing on what you like and don’t like…what will bore you or not AND INSTEAD focus on the assignment at hand and it’s requirements and pick a topic that will serve that end as easily as possible. If you have to pick a topic…than pick one that is familiar that you already know there is lots of research and debate on and then pick a side…any side…..if you have other classes where the focus is on the process than stick to that. Don’t make it personal. Personal and fulfilling at this time will just get you bogged down. Just focus on the task and the goal…a paper that persuades.
Persuade the counties of the great lakes to use wind turbines on the great lakes.
Persuade people to use a certain kind of energy saving device.
Persuade for recycling.
Persuade for bicycling to and from work.
Persuade for changes to farm policy that drive what is put in our food stuffs.
Persuade against corporate monopolies to research advances.
etc..etc…etc.

philipsteele's avatar

I think persuasive essay is the suitable for you…Pick a suitable topic (while selecting the topic try to choose most comfortable one, so you can write it smoothly), after that you can search for relevant details about the topic. Start a rough draft and end with a good conclusion. you can give it to your friend to profread, it will be more helpful to find errors of omissions and mistakes..:)

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