Choosing a persuasive topic for a college class isn't as easy as it sounds. For starters, you need to find something that can be argued or persuaded. Some topics just can't be argued. Another problem students have is finding the topics that can be researched.
It's very important that you find topics that will allow you to demonstrate good writing and research techniques. Think of it, you are creating a product that's never been created before. You are becoming part of an argument with how you use your sources to persuade or convince your audience. In order to 1) use sources, 2) have the correct amount of content (not too little and not too much), and 3) meet the instructor's directions, you must pick a topic very carefully.
We all have our interests and do some sort of research, whether it be Google Searching or just discussing interests with friends, but how do we take it to the academic standard that your instructors expect in college?
Personal Searching: Social media, Wikis, Quora, eHow, Reddit, friends/peers
Academic Searching: Library Databases, .gov, .org, Any source with authority, experts/authorities, no Wikipedia, no Social Media unless you can trace the origins of the story to a reputable souce
Some questions to help determine if a research question is appropriate for academic research:
• Can the question be answered yes or no?
• Can the question be answered in one sentence or a single paragraph?
• Have entire books been written to answer this question?
• Would answering this question help someone else who has an interest in this topic?
Public Opinion Polls
Examples of questions for persuasive papers:
It is challenging to determine whether information from the Web is credible and can be trusted. Is it factual? Biased? Relevant to your topic?
Here is a handy acronym to help you determine if a source may be CRAP.