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.
By choosing good topics for an argumentative essay, at first you should find out what an argumentative essay is and what writing tips are necessary to follow. This essay presents the arguments with their supporting and opposing ideas. The writer should persuade the reader to adopt his or her point of view and behavior rules.
The distinctive characteristic of this type of essay is that the author needs to rebut the arguments of the opposite stance. What this means is that you need to elaborate what evidence the opposition has and find facts to refute it. Some students even think that this type of paper is the most difficult.
However, you shouldn’t panic, because each task that is given to you in college or high school can be completed successfully if you have a good strategy. One thing you need to remember is that planning can ease this process a lot. The first step of writing the paper is selecting the topic. Sometimes this step can take even twenty percent of the entire work time. We decided to make this easier for you and have gathered issues in one list which you will see below. Hopefully, our topic ideas inspire you to write an A-level paper. Before moving to the list, we recommend that you get acquainted with these quick and useful tips.
How to Choose an Argumentative Essay Topic
Make sure that the topic is not too broad. Otherwise, you won’t be able to reveal it properly. Try to be specific by focusing on a certain aspect of a general issue.
Take into consideration that good argumentative essay topics should concern a conflict that urges many discussions in society. It should be an important and arguable topic.
When opting for an argumentative essay topic, find out whether you will be able to find proper factual information to support your arguments.
Under the conditions of tight deadlines, you need to make quick, yet well-thought decisions. All essay topics have their advantages and disadvantages. If you can’t select the topic among several choices, compare them by defining the pros and cons of each.
Before presenting a certain argument, make sure it is strong enough to convince the reader. Each argument should be supported with evidence consisting of facts, stats, and so on.
Ask yourself the question: “Do I care about this issue?” That way, you’ll understand whether the subject is truly interesting for you. If it is, you are likely to perform better with your task.
The List of Good Topics for an Argumentative Essay
- Can the death penalty be effective?
- Is buying a lottery ticket a good idea?
- Is competition really good?
- Is religion the cause of war?
- Is fashion really important?
- Are girls too “mean” in their friendship?
- Are feminist women being too harsh on other women who don’t support the movement?
- Can smoking be prevented by making tobacco illegal?
- Is a highly competitive environment good or bad for studying or working?
- Is it true that life 100 years ago was easier?
- What are the drawbacks of a democratic political system?
- What is cultural shock and how does it impact our perception of other people’s cultures?
- Should working moms be given special privileges?
- Should there still be any quotas for accepting people from minorities?
- Is being fired a suitable punishment for cyberbullying?
- Are we too dependent on computers?
- Are cell phones really dangerous?
- Does social media fame impact one’s life?
- Will we ever be able to stop using social media from our own free will?
- Can humanity get rid of the Internet and continue developing?
- Are reading ebooks worse than reading paper books?
- What are the drawbacks of online dating apps such as Tinder?
- Should content on the Internet be more restricted?
- Will paper money be substituted by electronic money?
- Does a constant social media connection make people feel more lonely and stressed?
- Do technologies that ease housekeeping, such as a robotic vacuum cleaner, make people too idle?
- Who is responsible for the excessive amount of abusive language in comments (under blogs and social media posts, videos, etc.) on the Web?
- What is the impact of technology on people’s ability to create?
- What is considered as superfluous usage of the Internet, and can it be counted as a form of addiction?
- Will the creation of artificial intelligence which can regulate itself lead to human extinction?
- Should torture be acceptable?
- Is it ethical to tell someone else’s secret to a person involved in that secret (for example, if you discover that your friend has been cheated on)?
- Do paparazzi violate the private lives of celebrities?
- Is it fair that people with no special skills get famous and rich from social media?
- Is it a good idea to start a diary?
- Is it fair to control the time a teenager dedicates to playing computer games or using the Internet?
- Should people help the poor?
- Can a person whose spouse is in a coma demand a divorce?
- Do beauty pageants influence the moral values of society in the wrong way?
- Do cameras placed in public places infringe on people’s privacy?
- Should women who don’t have enough money for living opt for an abortion?
- Does a person with a physically or mentally disabled significant other have a moral right to cheat?
- Is killing a murderer immoral?
- Should people use animal tested cosmetics and drugs to protect themselves from dangerous consequences?
- Is it moral to refuse to save someone’s life if there’s any risk for your own?
- Is homework helpful?
- At what age should sex education be introduced at schools?
- Does the amount of information we have to learn in school get bigger? Is this good or bad?
- Does home schooling undermine a child’s ability to learn how to socialize?
- If college education is made free, will it be more or less qualitative?
- If compulsory homework is canceled, would children stop learning at all?
- Should children be taught at school about gender nonconformity and various types of sexual orientation?
- Should the grades or attendance for gym impact the GPA of a student?
- Should school teachers and staff members be allowed to socialize with students after school?
- Are standardized tests a good way to evaluate someone’s knowledge?
- Should children be occasionally tested for drugs at school?
- If a child doesn’t like the subject, can a school administration absolve him or her from studying the subject on the parents’ demand?
- Should all subjects be optional?
- Do prof-orientation tests really help students to decide on a profession?
- Should children be taught housekeeping at school?
- Is it useful or harmful to give treats to a child when he or she does well in school?
- If your child doesn’t like studying, is it acceptable to force him or her?
- Should people undergo testing to become parents?
- Is it irresponsible to have many children? (five or more)
- Is it fair to control the time a teenager dedicates to playing computer games or using the Internet?
- At what age should parents allow teenagers to try alcohol?
- Should children be asked by the court who they want to stay with after their parents’ divorce?
- Should siblings of different gender be treated the same way by parents?
- Should adults be responsible for their elderly parents? Should they be obliged to help them financially?
- Do parents have the right to read their children’s personal diaries?
- At what age should gadgets be introduced to children?
- If parents find out their teenage child takes drugs, do they need to apply to specific institutions or settle the problem on their own?
- Should parents allow teenagers to have plastic surgery if they don’t have obvious defects?
- Do parents need to invade their teenage children’s personal relationships?
- Should women and men have different rights and responsibilities in spousal relationships?
- Should healthcare systems be free or paid?
- Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? Why or why not?
- Should fast food come with a warning, like cigarettes and alcohol?
- Would it be better if the world had a universal healthcare system?
- Should people who suffer from incurable diseases be euthanized if it is their wish?
- Is human cloning acceptable?
- Does the time when people go to bed affect their health?
- Should shopping addiction be considered as a real disease on a governmental level?
- Are causes of obesity more physical or mental?
- Should office workers be obliged to follow certain rules, such as washing hands, to reduce the frequency of spreading viruses and infections?
- Should the working day be shortened to six hours for the sake of health?
- Do children of school age need to be provided with free mental therapy?
- Does the lifespan depend on genetics more than on other factors?
- Can people live without meat at all?
- Do all kinds of sports bring benefits to people’s health?
Art, Movie, Literature
- Should bookstores establish age limitations for certain books?
- Are movies of the 21st century much crueler than movies filmed in the 20th century?
- To what extent should movies that depict historical events be accurate?
- Should schools use electronic textbooks to save paper?
- Should paintings that contain nudity be censored?
- Is it acceptable to bring children to exhibitions of a photographer who performs in nude style?
- Do actors take mental risks when playing different characters, including psychopaths and murderers?
- Should people read more books or articles to develop their mental horizons?
- Is watching television series a waste of time?
- Do famous artists have an innate talent, or do they put in great effort to learn how to draw?
Where to Get More Argumentative Essay Topics?
Every now and then finding topics for argumentative essays can be challenging for students. There are many ways to get a topic, such as looking for it on educational websites, asking your teacher for tips, exploring the textbook, looking through argumentative essay examples or reading newspapers to understand which issues are important and controversial nowadays. Also, you should know that EssayShark.com is always ready to provide you with essay help. If you have run out of ideas, just contact us and we’ll do our best to help you. We wish you good luck with your studying and to achieve all your academic goals!