Assignment – Persuasive Speech
1. Choose a topic for your persuasive essay. You may choose a topic from the list provided, or
you may pick a topic of your own choice. If your topic is not on the list provided, you MUST
have it approved by Ms. Ryan before you begin your essay!
2. Then you must create a convincing argument in speech form that persuades the class to
adopt your opinion on your chosen topic.
You must use at least five (5) rhetorical devices and employ persuasive appeals of logic,
credibility and emotion.
The speech MUST include research material about your topic from other sources. You
need to use at least three (3) outside sources.
Include a beginning, middle and end.
Open with an interesting beginning – a quotation from someone in authority may be
useful. Identify your topic and thesis.
Identify three supporting points and support those reasons with evidence and examples.
Include at least three (3) quotations (in MLA format).
Conclude with a memorable ending.
Watch body language, posture, pacing, eye contact, intonation, pronunciation and diction.
All of these qualities will be evaluated.
Your formal persuasive speech will be presented to the class on your assigned date. It should be 5-
6 minutes in duration. It is extremely important that you stay within time constraints.
** You will need to hand in
a written copy of the speech (in MLA format),
with five (5) rhetorical devices highlighted and labeled and
a Works Cited page;
you will also need to identify which method(s) of development you used to formulate your
argument in your written copy.
DUE DATE: Wednesday, September 29th
** See rubric attached
** You will need to do some research on the topic in order to better formulate and support
your argument. Make sure you keep track of ALL sources you use in your essay and include
these in your works cited page (keep in mind plagiarism will result in a mark of zero). Your essay
should include information obtained through research, as well as your own thoughts,
experiences, beliefs, knowledge (etc.) to support your argument.
For this assignment, follow the following steps:
Step 1: Brainstorm on the topic. Think of all of the positives and negatives of your topic.
Step 2: Research the topic, add ideas to your brainstorming.
Step 3: Decide whether you will argue FOR or AGAINST your topic. You may NOT
sit on the fence. If you are undecided, choose the side that you feel you have
more support for. Come up with a thesis statement for your essay.
Step 4: Group together ideas from your brainstorming. Decide on your 3 main points –
make sure you have effectively categorized your ideas and chosen (an) effective
method(s) of development for your argument.
Step 5: Create an outline for your essay.
Step 6: Write a rough draft of your essay. Make sure you are incorporating all of the
Step 7: Self-edit your rough draft, then have at least one classmate peer edit your essay
Step 8: Write your good copy. It should be typed, in MLA format, with a title page and
Works Cited. It should include your highlighted and labeled rhetorical devices. It
also needs to include identification of the methods of development you used.
1. We are becoming increasingly dependent on computers. They are used in businesses,
hospitals, crime detection and even to fly planes. Is this dependence on computers a
good thing or should we be more suspicious of their benefits?
2. Technology is making communication easier in today's world, but at the expense of
personal contact as many people choose to work at home in front of a computer screen.
What dangers are there for a society which depends on computer screens rather than
face-to-face contact for its main means of communication?
3. Some businesses now say that no one can smoke cigarettes in any of their offices. Some
governments have banned smoking in all public places. Where do you stand in this
debate? Give reasons.
4. Should the same laws which prohibit the sale and consumption of heroin be applied to
5. To what extent is the use of animals in scientific research acceptable?
6. Should zoos be banned? Discuss.
7. Damage of the environment is an inevitable consequence of worldwide improvements
in the standard of living. Discuss.
8. Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country. Do you
9. What are factors which are related to academic success in high-school students?
10. Foreign language instruction should begin in kindergarten. Discuss.
11. Children should never be educated at home by their parents. Do you agree or disagree?
12. Should wealthy nations be required to share their wealth among poorer nations by
providing such things as food and education? Or is it a responsibility of the governments
of poorer nations to look after their citizens themselves?
13. In some countries the average worker is obliged to retire at the age of 50, while in
others people can work until they are 65 or 70. Until what age do you think people
should be encouraged to remain in paid employment? Give reasons for your answer.
14. In your opinion should government intervene in the rights of the individual with regard
to family planning (child rearing, birth, fertility, abortion etc)?
15. The best way to reduce the number of traffic accidents is to make all young drivers
complete a safe driving education course before being licensed to drive. Discuss.
16. The threat of nuclear weapons maintains world peace. Nuclear power provides cheap
and clean energy. The benefits of nuclear technology far overweigh the disadvantages.
Do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer.
17. Should children be taught sex education in schools?
18. Should money be spent on space exploration?
19. Should rich countries forgive all debts for poor countries?
20. Are famous people treated unfairly by the media? Should they be given more privacy, or
is the price of their fame an invasion into their private lives?
21. If children (under 18) break the law, should their parents accept responsibility and also
22. Should sports classes be sacrificed in High School so students can concentrate on
23. Should criminals be punished with lengthy jail terms or re-educated and rehabituated,
using community service programs for instance, before being reintroduced to society?
24. Should MMA be legalized?
25. Should recycling be mandatory?
26. Should college athletes be paid?
27. Should condoms be available in high school?
28. Should convicted sex offenders' names be made public?
29. Should affirmative action laws which give special privileges to minorities be eliminated?
30. Should a rookie salary cap be enforced in pro sports?
31. Should pros be allowed to draft college athletes before they graduate?
32. Should free, disposable needles be given to drug addicts?
33. Should off-shore drilling be banned?
34. Should students be required to pass proficiency tests (ie. the literacy test) in order to
graduate from high school?
35. Should there be restrictions on advertising for alcohol?
36. TV: would we be better off without it? Discuss.
37. The rising levels of traffic congestion and air pollution found in most of the world cities
can be attributed directly to the rapidly increasing number of private cars in use. What
needs to be done in order to reverse/stop this decline in the quality of life in cities?
38. Forests are the lungs of the earth. Destruction of the world's forests amounts to death
of the world we currently know. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
39. Many people believe that women make better parents than men and that this is why
they have the greater role in raising children in most societies. Others claim that men
are just as good as women at parenting. Write an essay expressing your point of view.
Give reasons for your answer.
40. Do we become used to bad news? Would it be better if more good news was reported?
41. The mass media, including TV, radio and newspapers, have the greatest influence in
shaping people's ideas. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Give reasons for your answer.
42. Tourism is becoming increasingly important as a source of revenue to many countries
but its disadvantages should not be overlooked. What are some of the problems of
tourism? Should it be discouraged or limited?