PERSUASIVE ESSAY PROMPTS

Persuasive writing seeks to influence the reader to take some action or bring about change to an idea
or opinion. It may contain factual information, such as reasons, examples, or comparisons; however,
its main purpose is not to inform, but to persuade the reader to think or act in a certain way. Examples
include editorials or persuasive speeches, and advertisements.

For your persuasive essay assignment, choose from one of the following persuasive essay prompts,
indicating the position you will take on that issue.

   1. Some of the parents at your school have started a campaign to limit the homework that teachers can
       assign to students. Teachers at your school have argued that the homework is necessary.
   2. There has been a problem in local schools with discipline and violence. Your school board has
       decided to institute a school uniform policy in order to cut down on these problems, based on the
       positive examples that they have seen at other schools.
   3. The principal at your school has instituted random locker and backpack/book bag searches to check
       for guns, knives, and other weapons. Anyone caught with these weapons will be immediately
       suspended. The principal argues that the random searches will not only guard against illegal weapons
       at school but will also help students feel safer.
   4. There has recently been much discussion about violence in the music, film, and television that
       children enjoy. Some experts argue that the media is one major reason crime rates are on the rise.
       They believe the violence that youths hear and see through TV, film, and music leads them to behave
       in violent ways.
   5. Current research suggests that because teenagers have different sleep patterns, they would benefit
       from beginning the school day at a later time. Suppose your Board of Education has proposed that all
       high school schedules begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m.
   6. Due to potential problems, many school systems have adopted a policy that bans cell phones and
       pagers on school grounds. However, some parents have provided these items out of concern for
   7. Imagine that your school district has proposed saving money by eliminating extracurricular sports
       (football, basketball and baseball) from the high school program.
   8. Many schools require all students to perform up to 75 hours of community service, such as working
       in nursing homes or hospitals, in order to graduate.
   9. The local school committee is seeking ideas to improve your school. These ideas will be discussed
       during meetings with students, teachers, parents, administrators, and other interested parties. The
       changes proposed by students will be seriously considered since students are the reason for the
       schools existence. Choose one change that might improve your school for all students.
   10. The state department of education has provided funding for an experimental online school. All the
       classes will take place on the Internet, using email, online chat, and the world-wide-web. The
       students taking classes at this new online school will never meet each other face-to-face. They will
       only interact online with each other and with their teachers. The state is hoping this program will
       provide fairer educational access to students in outlying, rural areas.
   11. High school athletes must maintain a passing grade in each class to be eligible to participate in their
       sport. Some teachers and coaches believe that requiring a minimum 60% grade in each class isn’t a
       high enough standard. Therefore, it has been suggested that athletes should have a minimum of 70%
       in each class at the end of each week to be eligible to play.
   12. Many schools have changed their school calendar so that they are now year-round schools. They
       still have time off in the summer, but they don’t have the traditional 3-month break. Some
       Oklahoma schools are considering following this trend and making the switch to year-round.
   13. Most states allow people to get a driver’s license at the age of 16. Some people feel that 16 is much
       too young for the responsibility that comes with driving a car and that teenagers should not be
       allowed to drive until the age of 18.
14. In many countries, all 18 year olds are required to serve in the military for a year or more. Do you
    believe the United States should institute a similar practice?
15. Some states have now made it illegal to drive while talking on a hand-held cellular phone. Do you
    think this is a good law that should be passed in other states as well?
16. Most high school schedules include a study hall period several times a week. Is study hall a waste of
    time, or a necessary break from class?
17. Many students feel that taking physical education in high school is not necessary, while others see
    great benefit in it. Do you feel that physical education should be a graduation requirement?
18. Students are legally allowed to drop out of school after they reach the age of 16. The state is
    currently considering a bill which will raise this age to 18.
19. Oklahoma is considering a law that requires high school students to pass exit tests before they
    graduate from high school.
20. Some high schools allow students to CLEP out of core classes, receiving credits for those classes
    based on CLEP exam scores only.

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