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Topics for Persuasive Speeches

Arguing Either Side of an Issue

  • Doctor-assisted suicide should (or should not) be legal.
  • Spammers—people who bombard Internet users with unsolicited e-mail—should (or should not) be allowed to send their junk mail.
  • Every automobile driver should (or should not) be required to take a new driver's test every three years.
  • Electroshock treatment is (or is not) a humane form of therapy.
  • Every student should (or should not) be required to learn a foreign language.
  • Solar power is (or is not) a viable alternate energy source.
  • Drug addicts should (or should not) be put in hospitals for medical treatment instead of in prisons for punishment.
  • American workers should (or should not) be guaranteed a three-day weekend by law.
  • All health professionals should (or should not) be tested annually for HIV infection and AIDS.
  • Self-proclaimed "militias" should (or should not) be closely monitored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • Assault weapons should (or should not) be outlawed.
  • All owners of firearms should (or should not) be required to register their weapons with the police.
  • A two-week waiting period should (or should not) be required for anyone attempting to purchase a firearm.
  • The death penalty for murderers should (or should not) be abolished.
  • The death penalty should (or should not) be imposed on juveniles.
  • Drug dealers convicted of distributing large quantities of drugs should (or should not) receive the death penalty.
  • The U.S. military should (or should not) be used to curb drug smuggling into the U.S.
  • The U.S. should (or should not) cut off all foreign aid to dictatorships.
  • Smoking should (or should not) be banned in public areas such as restaurants and airport terminals.
  • State and local governments should (or should not) operate lotteries and gambling casinos.
  • The U.S. should (or should not) remain in the United Nations.
  • Immigration into the U.S. should (or should not) be restricted.
  • Churches should (or should not) be required to pay taxes.
  • Federal funding for the arts should (or should not) be provided.
  • The present-day tax system is (or is not) unfair to middle-class and lower-income Americans.
  • College athletes should (or should not) be required to meet the academic requirements of their schools.
  • Sex education should (or should not) be a required course in all schools as early as sixth grade.
  • Everyone should (or should not) be required to pass a competency exam before being allowed to graduate from high school.
  • Chronic mental patients should (or should not) be housed in "halfway houses" or residences in the community, rather than in remote mental hospitals.
  • The President should (or should not) be limited to a single six-year term.
  • Billboards should (or should not) be outlawed on interstate highways.
  • Businesses should (or should not) be permitted to make unsolicited telephone calls to citizens.
  • IQ tests are (or are not) valid measures of human intelligence.
  • Psychologists and psychiatrists should (or should not) testify in court on behalf of the not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity plea.
  • Regardless of income, all Americans should (or should not) be guaranteed basic medical care under a national health insurance program.
  • Heredity is (or is not) a more powerful influence on personality development than environment.
  • ESP (extrasensory perception) is (or is not) a demonstrable scientific fact.
  • Scientific experimentation on animals should (or should not) be outlawed.
  • Heroin should (or should not) be legal as a pain reliever for terminally ill patients.
  • Acupuncture is (or is not) a valid medical technique.
  • Beauty pageants do (or do not) debase women.
  • The minimum wage should (or should not) be waived for adolescent and young adult workers.
  • Despite their legal tax deductions and loopholes, all millionaires should (or should not) be required to pay federal income tax.
  • Police should (or should not) be allowed to set up roadblocks to isolate and arrest impaired drivers.
  • Athletes should (or should not) be allowed to use steroids.

Urging Action

  • Students need to be more vigilant and observant to avoid becoming victims of campus crime.
  • Citizens should resist efforts being made to shut down zoos and aquariums.
  • Steps must be taken to reduce contaminants in the nation's water supplies.
  • Children and teenagers need to be educated on the dangers of huffing (sniffing solvents and aerosols).
  • Lawmakers need to pass tougher legislation to discourage the growing number of stalkers.
  • Every person should stipulate that in the event of death, he or she is willing to donate organs.
  • People of all races and ethnic groups should be aware that overexposure to the sun can cause skin cancer, regardless of a person's skin color.
  • Dog and cat owners should have their pets spayed or neutered.
  • Citizens with cellular phones can help thwart crimes and assist in the capture of criminals.
  • People wanting cosmetic surgery should investigate the risks before submitting to surgery.
  • Riders of bicycles and motorcycles should be required by law to always wear helmets.
  • Every person who dines at a restaurant needs to know when and how much to tip.
  • Hotels and motels should increase security to counteract the rising number of crimes against guests.
  • Taxpayers should subsidize therapy sessions for victims of violent crimes.
  • Sellers of used automobiles should be required by law to tell prospective buyers if a car is a rebuilt vehicle that had been wrecked.
  • Child care authorities should carefully screen prospective foster parents to prevent child molesters from becoming foster parents.
  • Everyone should take classes in CPR and first aid techniques.
  • Consumers who routinely run up credit card bills that they can't pay should seek guidance from credit counselors.



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