You’ve spent quite a bit of time in your English classes writing argumentative essays. You’ve even gotten pretty good at writing on the topics your instructor assigns. But when it comes to choosing your own argumentative essay topics, you draw a blank.
It’s not that there aren’t any good topics to choose from. It’s that you start over-thinking it, wondering if each topic is too cliche, overdone, or just not good enough.
Chances are, all you need to do is relax and find a topic you’re passionate about and, of course, one that’s debatable.
Why Pick Debatable Argumentative Essay Topics?
The name of the essay says it all—argumentative. It would be a lot easier to write an essay on something that people generally agree on, certainly. But that’s not really the point of an argumentative essay.
It’s important to choose debatable argumentative essay topics. You need opposing points that you can counter with your own points.
The world isn’t black and white—there are a lot of gray areas. This is good because it means there are a lot of topics you can choose from.
I’ve listed 70 argumentative essay topics below, phrased as questions, to help get you started. I’ve separated the topics into five categories—legal, moral, social, media, and family. And I’ve even included a helpful link for each topic.
Feel free to use the topics for your own essay or as inspiration to create your own original topic.
14 Legal Argumentative Essay Topics
Argumentative essay topics about legal matters are a popular choice. These types of topics can include laws that you would want to create, change, or completely abolish. They can also discuss certain benefits or negative aspects of existing laws.
You don’t have to get super technical with legal argumentative essays. But you do need to do your research on what the current laws about your chosen topic actually say.
After all, you don’t want to suggest a changing a law that’s already been changed in the way you want.
- Should cigarettes and other tobacco products be outlawed?
- Should prostitution be legal?
- Do the benefits of medical marijuana justify its legality?
- Is the drinking age appropriate (should it be lower, higher, or stay the same)?
- Should nuclear weapons be outlawed worldwide?
- Should the United States put more restrictions on gun ownership and use?
- At what age should girls have access to birth control without the consent of their parents?
- Should cellphone use be banned while driving?
- Does outlawing controlled substances only create a larger black market?
- Should corporations be granted personhood?
- Should juveniles be sentenced to life in prison?
- In what situations, if any, does a woman have a right to an abortion?
- Should restaurants be required to include calories on all menu items?
- Should an added tax be placed on sugary drinks, such as sodas?
14 Moral Argumentative Essay Topics
Moral argumentative essay topics are some of the easiest to get carried away with. They can cover a variety of moral dilemmas, from animal testing to the death penalty.
These topics tend to be very debatable because people have different opinions—and justifications for those opinions—on what they think is right or wrong.
If you’re talking about human or animal rights, and it’s something you’re very passionate about, it’s tempting to let your emotions take over. While it’s good to be passionate in an argumentative essay, remember to keep your thoughts focused and organized.
It’s definitely worth your time to create an outline. It helps ensure you don’t stray off topic. If you need help crafting an outline, review these two resources:
- Is animal testing necessary?
- Should consumers buy items from countries that endorse child labor?
- Do patients have a right to die via physician-assisted suicide?
- Should children’s beauty pageants be banned?
- Are nude photographs appropriate in museums that are open to the public?
- Should schools and businesses give more incentives for people to do volunteer work?
- Are atheists less moral than theists?
- Does freedom of speech give people the right to use hate speech?
- Do people who commit heinous crimes deserve the death penalty?
- Do pre-employment drug tests infringe on personal privacy rights?
- Should employees be able to have visible tattoos in the workplace?
- Are cameras in public places an invasion of privacy?
- Should teens be allowed to have cosmetic surgery?
- Should Dreamers be allowed to stay in the United States?
14 Social Argumentative Essay Topics
Social argumentative essay topics tend to overlap with legal and moral topics. But argumentative topics deal more about how individuals act within society and what kinds of pressures society puts on individuals or groups of people.
This is a pretty broad category. There are a lot of topics to choose from and even more that you could create on your own. If you get stuck on which topic to write about, consider something that personally affects you or someone close to you.
This should make writing about that topic come more naturally. Just be sure to rely on facts and not on personal anecdotes. Such anecdotes are more appropriate to the narrative essay realm.
Remember, even though you may be writing about something that affects you personally, the argument essay isn’t usually the place for first person point of view. Most argumentative research papers require you to use third person.
- Is there too much pressure on teenagers to go to college?
- At what age should citizens be allowed to vote in the United States?
- Should more rights be given to immigrants?
- Can heterosexual men and women truly be friends with no hopes or expectations of anything more?
- In what case(s) could it be considered fair for a company to not hire a candidate who smokes cigarettes?
- Should the United States make English the official national language?
- Should women wear less-revealing clothing in order to curb men’s catcalling?
- Do prisoners deserve the right to vote?
- Should there be a legal curfew for minors?
- Can online dating replace meeting a person in real life?
- Does social media create isolation?
- Should welfare recipients be required to submit to drug tests?
- Should adoptive parents be given some form of maternity leave?
- Can video games be a useful learning tool?
14 Advertising and Media Argumentative Essay Topics
Advertising and the media have become nearly inseparable from society as a whole. Essays written on these topics can include various angles.
For instance, you could look at how media (television, news, movies, magazines, social media, etc.) affects society. But you could also look at what should be allowed to be seen or heard through media and advertisements.
Inspiration to create your own advertising or media argumentative essay topics isn’t hard to find. Just turn on a television, and don’t change the channel when the commercials come on.
Pay close attention to all things electronic. You’ll be sure to find something debatable about what you see.
- Should sex be allowed to be portrayed on prime time television?
- Where should networks draw the line for violence on television?
- Should news shows talk about celebrities?
- Do journalists have a duty to eliminate as much bias as possible?
- Is it acceptable for companies to advertise in schools?
- In what situations should advertisements for alcohol and tobacco products be allowed?
- Should warnings and side effects be made more clear in advertisements?
- Is print advertising obsolete?
- Do TV shows and movies have the responsibility of being more diverse?
- Are public service announcements effective?
- Do photoshopped images affect self-image and self-esteem?
- Do reality shows, such as Teen Mom, glorify teen pregnancy?
- Does the media create unrealistic expectations of relationships and marriage?
- Does the media attempt to create hype to influence or scare the public?
14 Family Argumentative Essay Topics
Argumentative essay topics covering family life and values are abundant. That’s because every family is different. Rules in families vary on a case-by-case basis, contrary to laws that govern a state or nation.
Because each family is different, it’s hard to generalize in this type of essay.
However, there’s a ton of research on child development and psychology, marital psychology, and personal stories from parents and their children. You can get enough information to make an argument for any of the topics below (or for a topic of your own).
Not sure where to find sources? Check out 5 Best Sources to Help With Writing a Research Paper.
- At what age should parents talk to their children about sex?
- Do children deserve/need an allowance?
- Is it okay for parents to monitor teens’ Internet use?
- Should parents be able to spank their children?
- Is it acceptable for women to breastfeed in public?
- Should parenting classes be compulsory?
- Should parents push their kids into extracurricular activities, such as music or sports?
- Are children’s rooms really theirs, or do the rooms “belong” to parents’?
- Should single people be able to adopt children as easily as couples?
- Should same-sex couples be allowed to adopt children as easily as heterosexual couples?
- Which parenting style is most effective?
- Should parents pay children for good grades?
- How does helicopter parenting harm (or help) kids?
- At what age should children be allowed to have a cellphone?
Final Thoughts on Choosing Argumentative Essay Topics
As you can see, there are a lot of debatable argumentative essay topics you can choose from (way more than are on this list).
For more ideas, read these posts:
Need to narrow down a broad topic into something more manageable? Read How to Narrow a Topic and Write a Focused Paper.
And if you’d like a few more argument essay tips, take a look these posts:
Once you’re ready to come up with a thesis, check out these argumentative thesis statement examples.
Not sure what a completed argument essay should look like? Read 2 Argumentative Essay Examples With a Fighting Chance.
When picking your topic, keep in mind that it’s much easier to write about something that you already have interest in. In fact, that’s true even if you don’t know a whole lot about it. Researching the topic will allow you to learn more about what fascinates you.
And if you pick something you actually like, writing the essay will be more enjoyable.
If you’ve wrapped up your argument but think there may be a few holes in your logic, send your essay over to the Kibin editors. They’ll help give you the winning edge in whatever you’re debating.
Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.
"Is after-class homework harmful or useful?" That is how a good argumentative paper topic may sound.
Argumentative essay is one more type of college paper. Students might be assigned it as part of their homework or even in-class activity. Argumentative papers exist to check student's English and ability to think critically. Another reason is to see how well students argue on different views and demonstrate knowledge of the studied subject.
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Have a look at this article to understand teacher's grading rubric better. Find a list of debatable essay topics divided into several different categories below.
Ways to Choose Argumentative Essay Topics
There are a lot of argumentative topics to come up with in the age of political debates, economical movements, and technological progress. Picking the subject is one of the most responsible stages (unless your teacher assigns his own subject to cover). Deciding on your topic is not that easy.
It is recommended to choose rather contradictive topics when writing a critical paper. The reader should be impressed by the way you defend your ideas. It is recommended to avoid argument essay topics on moral issues because they do not support logical discussion. Recent argumentative essay topics which are relevant to society will do.
A debatable paper must contain both analysis and fair criticism of various problems. Make sure each time you want to say something against one's claim, you need solid arguments. Otherwise, your paper won't persuade your teacher. The lack of good support sources will result in a lower grade.
Those who try to obtain their business administration degrees (BBA or MBA) must evaluate and analyze the efficiency of some marketing or HRM tools to discover the most effective approaches. Potential nurses and healthcare experts must check and discuss the efficiency of treatment.
The second thing you should take care of once you decide on the title is to keep in mind five types of argument claims.
Once you select the main subject, start working on the action plan known as academic paper outline. Keep an eye on academic paper formatting while writing.
Follow this link to find out 101 argumentative essay topics or just continue reading.
The Principles of Formatting Academic Papers
While working, mention all applied sources separately. Take notes each time you decide to add a new quote: later, this information will help to create Bibliography list much faster. Keep in mind that proper formatting is 1/3 of your grade! Thus, it is important to read corresponding formatting guide.
In contrast to middle and high school students, college students apply a greater variety of academic writings styles.
- MLA (Modern Language Association)
- APA (American Psychologic Association)
- IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)
- ACS (American Chemical Society)
APA is often applied to format the argumentative essay. It also depends on the particular college subject. APA is applied in Psychology, Philosophy, and Social Sciences while History students must be well-aware of Harvard format. Theology, Anthropology, and Religious Studies classes involve Turabian/Chicago style. Computer Science researchers apply IEEE referencing style while Chemistry students are into ACS. Teachers assign the necessary format, but keep in mind these tips if they don't.
Before writing your piece, conduct additional research on academic paper formatting. It is better to use templates as they include all necessary formatting elements. Control the margins, font, font's size, indents, and other features in your Word document. Each style is different in two ways. First, in-text citations may be either numerical or author-date style. Second, every style has a unique approach to referencing.
Young writers may try simple online citation generators which are usually free of charge. Add the details on your selected sources to get automatically generated references.
Good Argumentative Essay Topics & Ideas
Have a look at how to come up with an essay topic! It is important to focus only on one subject instead of involving several ideas and make readers confused. Read the advice from educational expert carefully.
"A clear, firm, and debatable thesis is the goal of an argumentative paper. It is impossible to cover several issues at a time as your audience may get lost and lose interest in reading. Besides, any academic paper is limited in length: the more issues your try to cover, the more extra information comes up. I would recommend avoiding argumentative essay topic ideas associated with national/global problems. They usually require more than a few pages. If you choose a broad issue, narrow it down by tossing away details such as descriptions and useless examples.
There are four main characteristics of good argumentative essay topics. They are always CDRM.
C - current
D - debatable
R - researchable
M - manageable
Finally, great argument essay topics are always passionate!"
Tara Christianson, Yale's Literature and Arts Professor
Get acquainted with the list of persuasive paper ideas! Take a look at the list of critical thinking essay topics for students from different areas of expertise. These are the most popular paper titles. Change them according to your requirements.
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Argumentative Essay Topics for College
- What should be changed about current taxation system?
- Shakespeare: Was he real?
- Are Project Managers and CEOs paid too much?
- Is college admission getting too sharp?
- Are test scores the most accurate indication of individual competency?
- Military service and the role of gender
- Why are left-handed guitar players more gifted?
- Do all religions have a right to exist?
- What are the causes of the increased number of teenage mothers?
- What happens once we die?
Easy Argumentative Essay Topics
- My favorite music
- Burton's "Ed Wood": Was Depp the best choice?
- Is particular fashion important today?
- Are girls too mean?
- Do human beings cause global climate change?
- Polygamy is natural, so it's not evil
- Can you succeed in life being a philosopher?
- Is art a profession?
- How long a modern film usually takes?
- What is the true meaning of "love"?
Controversial Argumentative Essay Topics
- Is US election process fair?
- Should animals be used in experiments/testing?
- Is the death penalty effective?
- Do religious movements cause war?
- The politics of British government
- Celebrities tend to fail their political careers
- The system is too much corrupted today
- Politics is everywhere and always a "dirty" game
- Clinton could be a better US President
- Positive and negative outcomes of feminism
Social Media Argumentative Essay Topics
- Critical factors of quickly modifying consumer behavior
- Can girls ask boys out first?
- Should cigarettes be sold?
- Is our society a throw-away?
- Should nation market to children?
- What is the best alternative to Twitter?
- Do people really find a job through effective LinkedIn Profile?
- Does government have a right to view private profiles?
- Are popular online activists too shy in real life?
- Is it possible earn good money on YouTube?
Argumentative Essay Topics Technology Students May Choose
- Are cell phones too harmful?
- Are spy applications for mobile phones an invasion of privacy?
- Are modern young people too dependent on computers?
- Is any online lottery fair?
- Is TypeScript a future of front-end development?
- Are modern teens too much reliant on Information Technologies?
- Do we still need cell phones?
- How do people survive in the age of technological explosion?
- Can corporations create chips to control their employees' minds?
- What will our world look like in technological sense in the next century?
Argumentative Essay Topics about Sports
- Are violent video games that dangerous?
- Does participation in sports keep teens out of trouble?
- Is competition the best way to prove your competence?
- Are children changing positively when doing sports?
- Is cheating in sports games out of control?
- What is the most dangerous type of sports?
- Is swimming the only activity which trains every group of muscles?
- Are there any legal alternatives to steroids?
- Does cheerleading fit in games?
- Which type of sports is meant only for the wealthiest?
Argumentative Essay Topics for Middle School
- Should metal music be banned due to the violent lyrics?
- How can children be effectively punished?
- What age is appropriate to start dating?
- Can students evaluate and critique their teachers?
- Should public schools add creationism to their programs?
- Which genre of music may help to study?
- Females prefer romantic movies.
- Is it possible to trace someone online?
- Is it possible to make friends virtually?
- The role of school uniform.
Argumentative Essay Topics for High School
- The educational system in China
- Is homeschooling effective?
- Is the cost of university too high?
- Should the government have a say in our nutrition?
- What are the advantages of attending a single-sex school?
- Can graffiti be viewed as art?
- What type of social activity should be legally punished?
- Is the United States too lenient on Israel?
- Is India a genuine superpower?
- Pros and cons of globalization.
Health Related Argumentative Essay Topics
- Should alcohol usage be restricted legally?
- Government has to provide premium health care?
- Do curfews really keep adolescents out of trouble?
- Supplements used to cure cancer
- Are gay couples under the threat of HIV more than straight pairs?
- Can technological devices cause cancer?
- How much water should we drink per day?
- How do vegetarians survive?
- The risks coming from fast food.
- Going to the hospital versus self-treatment.
Social Argumentative Essay Topics
- Is torture or rape ever acceptable?
- Should sexual maniacs be sentenced to death?
- Can male employees get paternity leave from work?
- Does age matter in relationships?
- Do low prices on condoms prevent teen pregnancy?
- Ways to handle naughty teens
- What is the right punishment for the failed parenting?
- What are the causes of Down's syndrome?
- Is black PR acceptable?
- Can we treat abortion as a crime?
Are you ready to discover one more extra topic? Let it be something universal like "What are the best methods to control modern generation?"
Tips on Writing Powerful Argumentative Essay
Make a candy out of your paper by following expert recommendations!
- Write about different aspects of contemporary life. Do not cover fantastic issues in an argumentative essay as you must sound realistic by providing real-life examples. That's why choosing social media, sports, politics, gender issues, and school/college themes would work.
- Start with a great hook to capture attention. It can be a rhetorical question, literary quote, or else, but it is important not to use more than one hook in your paper. Mind this professional advice when choosing the best hooking sentence.
- There is no need to include a first-person ("I," "we") unless required by instructions. Still, students are encouraged to share their own opinions.
- It is important to read all relevant literature to add ideas that oppose personal opinion. To debate fairly, the evidence must be taken from the credible sources only! Exclude topics that do not have opposing opinions.
- Feel free to create an original topic, but you may also use numerous lists of prepared themes.
- Try to sound unbiased when protecting your point of view. The following elements will support your research:
- clear criteria
- expert feedback
- supportive arguments
- End up your text with a strong call-to-action (CTA). Unlike in marketing, your goal is to sell your article. In other words, make the reader want to discuss the problem even once he's done with reading. Motivate your audience to continue the research.
- Don't forget to refer to this article to recall the best argumentative essay ideas chosen by many successful students throughout the world!
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