Coming up with good argumentative essay topics can be difficult. In fact, it can be a downright frustrating process.
A good university or college level argumentative essay is more than just you writing about how you feel about a certain topic. You have to make sure you choose a topic that isn’t generic or overdone, grabs your audience’s attention, and presents a fresh or insightful point of view. That’s a lot to think about in one topic.
Fortunately, we’re here to help you out. We have a fully stocked team of academic writers who have written hundreds of argumentative essays over the years. Today, we’re going to share some of our favourite argumentative essay topics with you and give you some valuable advice from the expert academic writers on our team. Get ready to make this essay the best one you’ve ever written.
The Secret Formula For an Effective Argumentative Essay
When it comes to writing a good argumentative essay, you need to make sure your paper includes some core elements to get you to that A+. Here are some things you should never write your essay without:
● Evidence to support every argument: The key to a strong argumentative essay is being able to prove that you have a valid reason to think the way you do. That means showing the facts and backing up your argument with valid evidence from reliable, credible sources as often as you can.
● A strong thesis statement: Your thesis statement is an integral component of your process. It’s the backbone of your entire paper, especially in an argumentative essay where you’ll need to present a strong argument from the get-go. For more help with this, take a look at our article on how to write a good thesis statement.
● A structured outline: You should begin every academic essay, no matter what kind, with a structured outline that lines up all of your arguments, evidence, and research. If you need help getting your outline ready, we covered some of the best tips and tricks for a structured essay outline on Episode 47 of The Homework Help Show.
● An interesting opening hook that catches your reader’s attention instantly: Don’t start out with some overused cliche or quote. Go for something that will shock or entice your reader and make it impossible to stop reading. This is especially effective when you’re covering controversial topics.
However, you can’t start working on any of these elements until you come up with a really good topic for your paper. That should always be your starting point – you can’t really figure out where to look if you don’t know what you’re looking for in the first place.
College student flipping through a book for essay topic ideas
How to Choose a Persuasive Essay Topic
When it comes to a university or college level argumentative essay, a basic topic like “why we need to recycle” just won’t cut it. That may have worked in elementary school or even high school, but it won’t get you a reaction in the post-secondary academic world.
If you’re stuck trying to brainstorm argumentative essay topics, here are some quick tips:
● Choose a topic you care about. Is there something that makes you really mad?
● Stay relevant. If your argumentative essay is for your English class, make sure you choose a topic within the English discipline.
● If you’re trying to narrow down topics, think of it like a debate. What side of the debate would you like to be on?
● Before you make a final decision, make a list of two to three arguments you could make. If you can’t come up with at least three relatively quickly, or have to do a lot of research to find something, consider searching for a new topic that you’re more passionate about.
Don’t Be Afraid of Controversial Topics
Many of the most successful argumentative essay topics touch on issues that could spark a debate. Don’t be afraid to touch on those controversial topics that trigger a reaction in your audience. You want people to keep reading and stay interested, and there’s nothing that gets people talking more than controversy.
Think about your paper the same way you’d think about a debate. The most effective debates are those that cover controversial topics that can often be divisive. They have to be – you need two sides of the coin to have a valuable (but reasonable) argument.
Offer a Fresh Perspective
With these points in mind, you should also try to pick a topic that isn’t overdone. Everyone has written a paper about gun control or the death penalty. There are probably certain topics your professor is sick of reading about – and that can actually hurt you when they go to mark your paper, even if it’s extremely well written and articulated. No one wants their professor to start reading their essay with a giant eye-roll after the first sentence. That’s definitely not how you make a good start.
That doesn’t mean you have to avoid popular topics like this entirely. If you do want to choose something like this, there are ways you can spin it so you can present a point of view that isn’t usually discussed, or maybe an angle people don’t normally consider. Think about a fresh perspective to offer. It may require more research, but it’ll be worth it when you get your paper back with a shiny A.
The Importance of Your Counterargument
With every argumentative essay, you need to include at least one counterargument or opposing viewpoint. Including counterarguments shows that you’ve done the research and have acknowledged other points of view before determining your own position. In turn, this makes your arguments stronger throughout your paper because you are directly acknowledging (and refuting) any doubts or hesitations your reader might have.
Search credible sources to find opposing viewpoints, like books, academic journals, documentaries, reports, and more. Never use Wikipedia as a source. It’s a great place to start your initial search, but this is open-source software that anyone can edit, so it’s not going to be accepted by your professor because the information doesn’t get vetted by experts.
When you include your counterarguments or opposing viewpoints, use credible sources for information. Then, refute those points with your own evidence-backed arguments to offer final “proof” on why your position is the most valid.
University student writing an essay at a desk with her laptop
100 Strong Argumentative Essay Topics You Can Use For Inspiration
Here is a list of some of our favourite argumentative essay topics that can work for a variety of courses or disciplines. To make it easy for you, we’ve broken the list down by academic discipline so you can find an idea that works best for your project.
Ethics, Current Affairs, and Social Issues
1. Does the sensationalization of captive exotic animals on TV shows such as Netflix’s Tiger King help or hurt the animal rights movement?
2. Do men face the same pressure that women do with media stereotypes and unrealistic body image perception?
3. Would it be ethical to use the medical data collected by Nazis in World War II concentration camps if the medical information could have life-changing potential?
4. Has modern technology helped or hindered the creative process?
5. If we needed to reinstate conscription in the United States, should it apply to both men and women?
6. What do world powers gain in going to total war against one another?
7. Should YouTube enact stricter restrictions to protect child viewers?
8. Is it ethical to use torture tactics to question criminals for important information under any circumstances?
9. How has social media changed romantic relationships in the 21st century? Are these changes positive or negative?
10. Should satirical news outlets be allowed to publish articles freely, or should we make it easier for people to determine what news is real and which is fake?
11. Is today’s society too idle thanks to technological innovation?
12. Should hunting for sport be banned, or is it justified for certain reasons?
13. Is the world of video games or other types of gaming sexist?
14. Do cybersports deserve the same value and recognition as regular sports?
15. Should every immigrant be required to learn English when they arrive in Canada or the United States?
16. Will there ever be an ethical reason for human cloning?
17. Are wildlife reserves better for the wellbeing of animals than zoos or aquariums?
18. Does the American Dream still exist today?
19. Why is the fast fashion industry dangerous for the planet and/or for human rights?
20. Should young children be allowed to have smartphones or tablets?
History, English, and the Humanities
21. Was Julius Caesar an army genius or a power-hungry dictator?
22. What was the most important development to come out of the Renaissance, and how did it shape the future?
23. Is there one true “American” or “Canadian” culture?
24. Is culture shock the sign of globalization-based ignorance, or is it a natural human instinct based on our societal upbringing?
25. How did the Industrial Revolution impact the advertising age and consumer culture?
26. Is the Black Lives Matter movement today comparable to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s?
27. Could the United States have avoided the Civil War or was it inevitable?
28. Is Jo in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women a true feminist, or is she a product of her time?
29. Was European colonialism beneficial to the colonies on which they settled?
30. Are monsters in horror literature actually villains, or are they products of their environments?
31. Who is really in control in Shakespeare’s Macbeth?
32. Can technology lead to increased mental health issues or loneliness?
33. Is Darwin’s theory of evolution relevant today?
34. Was Cleopatra a feminist?
35. Is consumer culture ruining the integrity of modern society?
36. Did Elizabeth Bennet make the right choice in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice?
37. Will the popular musicians and artists of today stand the test of time like the icons from the past, or does music today not hold up in the same way?
38. Do superheroes in comic books and movies cause more destruction than they’re worth?
39. Did the ancient poet Homer really exist? Was he a real person?
40. Are there positive outcomes from war?
Sports, Science, and Environmental Studies
41. If football is so dangerous to the players’ physical health, should America stop embracing it as a popular sport?
42. Should scientists study technologies that can help people live longer?
43. Is global warming responsible for the increased severity of natural disasters such as forest fires, tsunamis, and floods?
44. Should cosmetic surgery be more regulated, or should there be a minimum age for patients to receive cosmetic treatments or procedures?
45. Is it important to continue exploring outer space, or should scientists only focus on advancements that benefit current human life?
46. Should sugary drinks or unhealthy foods be taxed higher than health foods?
47. Is there an environmentally friendly solution to transporting oil? How can we make the oil industry more environmentally friendly as a whole?
48. Should more consumers be conscious about the impact of their purchasing choices on the environment?
49. Are GMOs truly harmful for your health or is the negative perception of GMOs fabricated by the media and health food industries?
50. Why is it important for world governments to address and make efforts to fight climate change?
51. Should oil companies be held more accountable for oil spills or other oil-related accidents?
52. If scientists or researchers had unlimited resources to put toward one specific cause, what would be the most important area to focus?
53. Will humanity ever be able to fully replace fossil fuels with sustainable or renewable energy?
54. Should we be spending money on space exploration?
55. Are animals necessary for testing in scientific research?
56. How important is genetic testing in today’s society?
57. Are poor populations more vulnerable to disease than rich populations?
58. Is overpopulation bad for the environment?
59. Does technology truly make life better?
60. Why should we care that certain animal populations are going extinct?
Business, Law, and Politics
61. How has technology changed the business landscape in today’s world?
62. How involved should the United States be in foreign affairs or conflicts between foreign countries?
63. Is national security more important than individual privacy? Why or why not?
64. Should the minimum age to enlist in the army be raised to 21? Do you think 18-year-olds are mature enough to handle being sent to war?
65. Should parents be held more accountable or face legal repercussions for their morbidly obese children?
66. If technology will one day have the ability to make some manual labour obsolete, how will this impact the economy in the future?
67. What is the most controversial section of the United States Constitution?
68. Should children of illegal immigrants still have access to the public education system or other social services if they are born here?
69. Should your country introduce universal basic income?
70. Is there truly a separation of church and state in the United States?
71. Should first-world countries continue supporting the United Nations?
72. Do self-driving cars pose significant legal threats or challenges?
73. Does the government have the right to dictate how many children people or individual families may have?
74. Should the government be more involved in nutrition regulation?
75. Is it fair for companies to fire or penalize their employees over the content they post on their personal social media profiles?
76. Should developers be allowed to build development projects near national icons, monuments, or heritage areas such as the Grand Canyon?
77. Are social media “influencers” real businesspeople?
78. Should the United States abolish the Electoral College entirely?
79. Should prostitution or sex work be a legal occupation in your country?
Education, College, and University
80. Should college or university tuition be free for everyone? Why would this be a good or bad idea?
81. How much should parents be allowed to intervene in their child’s education?
82. Is it fair for some schools to segregate children with learning disabilities from the rest of the class, or does this hinder their growth?
83. Should college/university majors be determined by career potential or personal interest?
84. Are SATs and standardized tests an effective way to measure one’s qualifications to enter post-secondary education?
85. Should there be stricter requirements for parents to homeschool their children?
86. Should every student be required to be fluent in at least one secondary language?
87. Is the current curriculum on digital literacy enough to protect children when they use the Internet?
88. Why is it important to study literature in the classroom?
89. Should preschool be mandatory for children entering the public school system?
90. Does homework help children or hinder them in elementary school?
91. Is there value in bringing back home economics courses for high school students?
92. Can online learning ever replace face-to-face learning in elementary, high school, university, or college classrooms?
93. Should high schools enforce mandatory drug testing?
94. Is it important for elementary school students to learn how to play an instrument?
95. Should every university or college student be required to take a business course?
96. Can social media play a valuable role in children’s education?
97. Is there any value to studying popular culture in university or college?
98. Does group work provide value to students?
99. Is it still important to teach English in schools?
100. Does class size have a significant impact on elementary school classrooms?
Female student writing at a desk in a red shirt
A Few Final Tips For Your Argumentative Essay
Now that we’ve given you some of our favourite argumentative essay topics to choose from and given you the advice you need to get started, here are a few quick tips to leave you with before you begin writing.
● If you do choose a topic you’re passionate about or that makes you mad, don’t let your argumentative essay turn into a rant. Make sure you use credible sources to provide evidence and research that backs up your arguments.
● Always double-check the essay question if you’re working with one to make sure your topic is relevant enough.
● Do your research thoroughly. Dig through as many credible sources as you can, including textbooks, books, academic journals, reports, and more.
● Avoid using personal pronouns, even if your paper is opinion-based or you’re passionate about your topic.
● Remember that your goal is to persuade your audience to agree with your point of view. Make sure you present your arguments in a way that will resonate with your audience and connect with them.
If you need extra help, read our step-by-step guide to writing a good essay. It’s filled with even more writing tips, guidelines, and helpful advice from our team of experienced academic writers so you can craft a truly persuasive essay that gets you that winning grade.
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