100 Topics for Argumentative Essay and Guidelines on Choosing the Best One for You

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08 Jun 2023

Argumentative essays are a staple of English classes, and you have probably already written your share of this genre. However, coming up with an exciting topic for an argumentative essay might be difficult, even for an experienced writer, so we are here to help.

In this post, we will look into what makes a good argumentative topic and how to choose one. You will also find 100 inspiring suggestions to prompt your brainstorming. The ideas are grouped into 5 categories. Three by academic level: argumentative essays topics that are the best fit for middle school, high school, or college, and two by difficulty level: quick and easy topics that are good for starting out and practicing, and challenging topics, if you need to perfect your rhetoric skills.

That said, all essay topics argumentative prompts can be adapted to your needs, so feel free to experiment with them – adding some aspects to narrow the topic down and make it more relevant, or broadening the scope a bit, if you think the question asked in the prompt is a part of some bigger overarching issue.

Browse our database for examples of argumentative essays on various topics. If you need a customized sample, benefit from our argumentative essay help. Also, don’t forget that our best paper writing services are always available for you – no matter the assignment, season, or time of day.


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What Is a Good Argumentative Essay Topic?

Before we go on with suggesting topic ideas for argumentative essays, let’s first figure out what makes a good topic. There are three main criteria: your claim must be arguable, provable, and researchable. Here is what it means:

  1. Arguable. Your topic should state a point that can be disputed – it cannot be a fact. You cannot argue about a fact. For example, “Burning fossil fuels releases CO2 into the atmosphere” cannot be a topic for your essay since it’s just a statement of fact. Instead, suggest an arguable claim: “Fossil fuels must be phased out in favor of renewable energy to mitigate the effects of global warming.”
  2. Provable. You must be able to provide a selection of arguments in favor of your claim, rooted in reality, not only in your opinion. For example, “Peanuts are better than almonds” is not an argumentative topic. However, “Peanuts are a better nutritional choice for building muscle mass” is another matter.
  3. Researchable. Since you don’t usually conduct studies to write an essay, you will have to source your evidence elsewhere. That means your topic mustn’t be too obscure. You should be able to find enough information about it to build a solid argument.

In short, you must put forward a claim that can be disputed and that you can defend using the information available to you. Yet how do you find such a topic?

How to Choose a Topic for Argumentative Essay?

The rules above will ensure that your topic is good, but how do you make it the best? Here are some things to consider:

  1. Relevance

This applies to all topics, argumentative essays or not. However, for argumentative and persuasive writing, it is vital that your topic deals with some current issue that has no consensus yet. The aim of your paper is to win your opponents on your side. If you don’t have any opponents, to begin with, your essay is more or less pointless.

  1. Competence

You must be informed better than your audience to have a strong, defendable position on the issue. If you are an expert, arguing your point is easy. Of course, learning so much in the short time you have for the assignment isn’t always possible, so why not choose a topic you are already an expert on? It can be as straightforward as a hobby, but it’s not limited to that. Everything you’ve experienced first-hand puts you in a stronger position to argue about issues relating to this experience. For example, if you are an older sibling, a person with a food allergy, a pet owner, a child of first-generation immigrants, etc., you have a better insight into the related issues than people who aren’t.

  1. Curiosity

If linking your assignment to your experiences and existing knowledge doesn’t work, having a genuine curiosity about the topic is the next best thing. This way, researching and exploring the nuances of the issue won’t feel like a chore but fun instead.

  1. Scope

Finally, it’s essential to set the right scope for your paper’s length. The shorter the piece, the narrower the topic should be. For a classic five-paragraph argumentative essay, the focus should be razor-sharp. For example, instead of arguing for and against uniforms as such, you should focus on whether school uniforms will benefit your school.

Quick and Easy Topics for Argumentative Essays

Let’s start with something lighter. However, don't forget that any good topic for an argument bears a certain level of controversy, and any stance you might take on the questions below might be met with vehement opposition.

  1. Should school uniforms be mandatory?
  2. Is social media beneficial or harmful to society?
  3. Should standardized tests be abolished?
  4. Is homework necessary for student success?
  5. Should junk food be banned in schools?
  6. Is homeschooling more effective than traditional schooling?
  7. Should smoking be banned in public places?
  8. Is online learning as effective as traditional classroom learning?
  9. Should college education be free?
  10. Is it better to be an only child or have siblings?
  11. Should the voting age be lowered to 16?
  12. Is it ethical to use animals for cosmetic testing?
  13. Should cell phones be allowed in classrooms?
  14. Do you believe all students should learn a second language at school? Why is it important?
  15. Should the legal driving age be raised?
  16. Is it better to buy or rent a home?
  17. Should the government regulate fast food advertisements as it does with tobacco and alcohol?
  18. Is using animals for entertainment (e.g., photo shoots, petting zoos, dove releases, etc.) acceptable?
  19. Should schools teach sex education?
  20. Is it ethical to use drones for surveillance purposes?

Challenging Topic Ideas for Argumentative Essays

Ready to take up something trickier? Here are some more controversial and complex topics to tackle. Don’t forget to stay respectful and level-headed while building your argument and refuting the opposing claims.

  1. Do you believe euthanasia at the request of the adult patient should be legal in the United States? If so, under what conditions? Explain your choice.
  2. Do you think the death penalty is an effective form of punishment? Should it be legal in your state? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think genetic engineering should be used to enhance human abilities? Why or why not?
  4. Should animal testing be allowed? Do you believe it’s necessary for scientific and medical advancements? If not, what are the alternatives you would suggest?
  5. Should abortion be legal or illegal in your state?
  6. Is the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports justified?
  7. Should the government have access to individual’s personal data for security purposes?
  8. Do you believe censorship can be justified in the name of protecting society?
  9. Should inmates have the right to vote?
  10. Is universal basic income a viable solution to income inequality?
  11. Should the use of nuclear energy be expanded or phased out?
  12. What is the most rational solution to climate change, in your opinion?
  13. Do you believe gene therapy should be applied in utero to cure the genetic condition of the fetus?
  14. Do you think it’s ever ethical to keep animals in captivity, even in good conditions (e.g., zoos, aquariums, research centers)?
  15. Do you believe affirmative action policies are effective in addressing historical inequalities?
  16. Should artificial intelligence be used for autonomous weapons?
  17. Do you believe the minimum legal drinking age should be lowered or raised?
  18. In your opinion, is using surveillance cameras in public spaces an invasion of privacy?
  19. Should the use of recreational drugs be decriminalized or legalized?
  20. Do you think sex work should be legalized?

Argumentative Essay Topics Suitable for Middle School

Below you will find a list of good topics for an argumentative essay on a middle school level. They are relatively easy and present a great opportunity to discuss school matters as well as practice writing skills. Although these topics might be the best fit for beginners, they can be used for high school or even college students as debate topics, for example.

  1. Should school cafeterias serve healthier food or at least have more options for students?
  2. Should all students learn a musical instrument? Why do you think it’s important?
  3. Should students be allowed to use cell phones during lunch breaks?
  4. Is it fair for students to have different start times based on academic performance?
  5. Should physical education be a required subject in middle school? Is it fair for middle school students to be graded on their physical fitness abilities?
  6. Is it important to include arts education in the middle school curriculum? Is it fair that the “testable” subjects take up most of the time?
  7. Should students be assigned homework over the weekend?
  8. Is it necessary for middle schools to have dress codes?
  9. Should schools implement a later start time for classes?
  10. Is it important for middle school students to participate in community service?
  11. Should students have a say in creating school rules and policies?
  12. Is it beneficial for middle school students to have access to counseling services?
  13. Should video games be allowed during free time at school?
  14. Is it necessary to teach financial literacy in middle school?
  15. Should middle school students be allowed to have part-time jobs?
  16. Should schools implement mandatory drug testing for middle school students?
  17. Should middle school students be allowed to bring their own laptops or tablets to school?
  18. Is it beneficial for middle school students to have recess breaks during the school day?
  19. Do you believe pet/animal care should be a mandatory school subject?
  20. Which subject would you add to your school’s curriculum as required or as elective?

Ideas for an Argumentative Essay on a High School Level

The best topics for argumentative essays in high school are those that closely concern teenagers, their freedoms, rights, and responsibilities. The prompts given below are slightly more challenging, which is good practice before college admission season with all the personal essays and writing supplements.

  1. Is the criminal justice system biased against minority communities?
  2. Should high school athletes be required to maintain a certain GPA to participate in sports?
  3. Should schools eliminate letter grades and use a pass/fail system?
  4. Should high school students be allowed to choose their own curriculum and classes?
  5. Do you think that mental health and well-being courses should be included in high school along with mindfulness and meditation practices?
  6. Should high school students be required to perform community service?
  7. Is it fair for students to be assigned group projects as part of their grades?
  8. Is it important for high schools to offer vocational and technical education programs?
  9. Should schools provide free access to menstrual products for students?
  10. Is it necessary for high school students to learn a second language?
  11. Should high schools implement stricter policies against bullying and harassment?
  12. Is it ethical to use social media for political activism and organizing? What are some challenges and dilemmas associated with it?
  13. Should the high school curriculum include media literacy and critical thinking courses?
  14. Do you believe public “promposals” are romantic or manipulative?
  15. Should schools provide access to free contraceptives to reduce teenage pregnancy rates?
  16. Is abstinence-only education a practical approach to preventing teenage pregnancy, or should it be supplemented with comprehensive sex education?
  17. How can schools and parents educate teenagers about consent and promote healthy relationships?
  18. What are the potential risks and consequences of sexting among teenagers, and how can these risks be mitigated?
  19. Should schools have stricter policies and regulations regarding dating and relationships among students?
  20. What role does parental involvement play in educating teenagers about responsible sexual behavior and relationships?

Argumentative Essay Ideas for College Students

Finally, here are some thought-provoking topics for an argumentative essay that even college students will find challenging enough to make writing enjoyable.

If no topic is suitable, brainstorm your own topic ideas for argumentative essays using our tips from the above sections: “What is a good argumentative essay topic?” and “How to choose a topic for argumentative essay?” – or turn to our expert writers for customized suggestions.

  1. Do you believe cultural appropriation is a harmful phenomenon or a form of appreciation?
  2. Should affirmative action policies be expanded or modified to address racial inequalities?
  3. How does globalization impact cultural diversity?
  4. Should college admissions consider socioeconomic factors in addition to academic merit?
  5. Is cultural assimilation necessary for social cohesion, or does it undermine diversity?
  6. Should hate speech be protected under the principles of free speech?
  7. What is the best way to address the gender pay gap?
  8. Should college campuses be considered safe spaces, and what does that mean for free speech?
  9. Is feminism still relevant in the 21st century? Why or why not?
  10. How can colleges and universities better support LGBTQ students?
  11. Should transgender individuals be allowed to compete in sports according to their gender identity?
  12. Is there a need for stricter gun control laws in the United States?
  13. How can colleges promote and support civic engagement among students?
  14. Should college athletes be compensated for their participation in revenue-generating sports?
  15. What are the ethical implications of genetic engineering and gene editing technologies?
  16. Should the government invest more in renewable energy sources to combat climate change?
  17. How can colleges address the mental health problems prevalent among students?
  18. Should online platforms be held accountable for misinformation and hate speech?
  19. Do you believe the role of art and culture is essential in social and political activism? Give examples to support your claim.
  20. How can society combat the prevalence of dating violence and promote healthy relationships among young people?

We hope choosing a topic is no longer a problem and you are all set to write and argue your point. Stay tuned for more tips on choosing topics and writing all sorts of academic papers!

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