Natural Therapies Institute

Professional ideas to improve your writing skills.

Picking Controversial Topics for Persuasive Essays: Some Tricks to Remember

Persuasive essays have the potential to be great fun. They give you a chance to explain something in a way that changes the mind of your reader. It can be downright thrilling with the right topic, especially a topic that has a touch of controversy within it. This can be wildly successful or a terrible failure depending on how you attempt it. Here are a few tricks to keep in mind before you try this at home:

You need to draw a line somewhere

You are not infallible and you are not beyond reproach. Even if you desperately want to stand out amid all the other essay writers, you need to draw a line somewhere. Without it, you seem like a shameless attention junkie with no real point to defend and your essay would be better off being read on one of the less reputable talk shows than in a place of legitimate academic inquiry. Decide what you will and won’t write about and stick to your guns.

You should know if your audience will approve

A topic that will work exceptionally well for one audience may be met with dead silence and looks of disapproval from another. Decide if the topic you’re thinking about using is best for the audience you will have, not the one you want.

You should get a little practice

To people who are unfamiliar with dealing with controversy, it can be just a little bit difficult to get used to. If you belong to this camp, get a little practice, especially if the thought of some of the topics you might cover makes you stumble stutter or blush.

Here are a few controversial topics you might consider:

  • Should products that cannot be recycled no longer be produced?
  • Should voluntary cannibalism be legalized?
  • Would prison rehabilitation programs be more successful if brainwashing techniques were allowed on the inmates?
  • Should international law prohibit the use of aggressive force as an initial response to non-violent contact from extraterrestrial civilizations?
  • Should internet access be considered a right and provided by governments for free?
  • Is promiscuity better for genetic diversity?
  • Is it possible that creatures often considered mythological such as werewolves, vampires and fairies might actually exist
  • Is the modern banking system evil?
  • Should alcohol be prohibited worldwide?
  • Should monarchy give way to oligarchy?

Some of these topics may have readers questioning your sanity but they make excellent practice topics. Any writer can convince a reader of the obvious but it takes exceptional writing to convince readers of the impossible.