Persuasive letters can address any topic of which a student wants to convince another party. For younger students, the teacher may want them to write a letter urging the library to purchase a certain book or periodical, or one which argues why people should adopt pets from the pound. For more advanced students, letters targeting the hazards of smoking or using drugs can coordinate with similar lessons on those issues.
Regardless of age, having school children and young adults write persuasive letters helps introduce them to a wide variety of important social issues. For instance, young children are increasingly taught the benefits of recycling in school and at home. Therefore, a persuasive letter assignment urging their communities to do more recycling would dovetail nicely with that theme.
For high school students, the subject matter can be weightier and more nuanced. For example, students can be required to write a persuasive letter taking a particular side in a socially controversial debate, such as those concerning abortion, euthanasia, politics, animal cruelty in the food industry and the possible ethical benefits of vegetarianism. Persuasive letters concerning eating disorders and the need for reporting emotional, physical and sexual abuse awaken them to threats in their own environment, as well as force them to think through possible scenarios and solutions.