Appendix A: Persuasive Speech Topic Ideas

Environmental Topics

  • Citizens should try to reuse items before recycling them.
  • The U.S. should ban mountaintop removal as a mode of harvesting coal.
  • Contemporary climate change is human-caused.
  • Governmental funding for clean energy should be increased.
  • All municipalities should offer public transportation.
  • The U.S. should ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
  • Bottled water should undergo the same quality testing as municipal water.
  • Preservation is a better environmental sustainability model than is conservation. • Hunting should be banned on all public lands.

Social Justice Topics

  • The right to marry should be extended to gays and lesbians.
  • Abortion should be illegal.
  • State colleges should be free to attend.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. was the most influential leader of the civil rights movement
  • The death penalty should be abolished.
  • Convicted rapists should be sentenced to the death penalty.
  • Women should receive equal pay for equal work.
  • Affirmative action does not work and should be ended.
  • Individuals and communities affected by environmental injustices should receive compensation.

Campus Life

  • Dorm rooms should have individual thermostats.
  • Professors’ office hours should be held at reasonable hours, not 7 a.m. on Mondays.
  • Free coffee should be provided in all classroom buildings before noon.
  • Student fees at universities are too high.
  • Dining halls should provide nutritional information for all meals.
  • Student government leaders should host regular forums to answer questions from the general student population.
  • Plagiarism should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

Everyday Life Topics

  • The legal drinking age should be lowered to 18.
  • Frequent flyers should not be required to remove their shoes in airport security lines.
  • Eating five meals a day is better than eating three.
  • Smoking should be illegal in all public areas.
  • Gmail is the best email service.
  • All restaurants should offer vegan and vegetarian options or substitutes.
  • Netflix and Hulu are better ways to watch movies and television shows.
  • ATM fees should be outlawed.
  • Proximity to religious facilities should have no bearing on alcohol sales.

Economic Topics

  • Social security benefits should be guaranteed for those who pay in to the program.
  • All multi-year jobs should include pension plans.
  • The U.S. should spend less on wars and more on education.
  • Everyone should be required to pay an equal percentage of taxes.
  • A consumption tax is more just than an income tax.
  • The minimum wage in the U.S. is too low.
  • Multi-million dollar bonuses for corporate executives are unjust because they preclude better wages/reduced prices for others.

Quirky Topics

  • Tacos are the greatest of human inventions.
  • Ghosts are real.
  • Short haircuts are more comfortable than long hairstyles.
  • Bourbon should only be served “on the rocks.”
  • Traditional eyeglasses make those who wear them look smarter.
  • Eating chicken with a fork should be illegal. (An actual law in Gainesville, Georgia!)