Persuasion — From Topic to Thesis

How to select a topic and develop a thesis:

  1. Choose a topic.
  2. Narrow the topic.
  3. Write a thesis.
  1. How to choose a general topic for your persuasive speech/essay:
    • Consult this list of persuasive speech/essay topics.
    • Pick an issue or subject that you really care about.
        Do you feel passionate about this topic? Do you care about it?
    • Pick something that is extremely controverial.
        Are there two sides to the topic?Is there a reason to persuage people to think a certain way about this topic?
    • Pick something for which there is evidence.
        Can you find sources? (in the high school library? the public library?)
    • Pick something that your audience will be interested in hearing.
    • Pick something that is not overdone.

    Example: Year round school.

  2. How to go from a general topic to a narrowed topic:
    • Decide whether you are for or against your issue.
        Why do people need to be persuaded about this topic?
    • Put your topic in a question form and answer it.
        Usually this question will begin with the world “should” and can be answered with a “yes” or “no.”

    Example: Should the school year be extended year round?

  3. How to go from a narrowed topic to a thesis:
    (The thesis is the main idea of your speech/paper. It is the point you are going to prove.)
    • Reword your question into a statement.
        If you want to, include your best support or an overall phrase about your ideas.
    • Make it unique – it will make your topic more interesting and fun.

      — from