Updated, March 2, 2017 | We published an updated version of this list, “401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing,” as well as a companion piece, “650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing.” We also now have a PDF of these 200 prompts.
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What issues do you care most about? What topics do you find yourself discussing most passionately, whether online, at the dinner table, in the classroom or with your friends?
Our annual Student Editorial Contest invites you to write an evidence-based persuasive piece on an issue that matters to you. To help jump-start your brainstorming, we have gathered a list of 200 writing prompts from our daily Student Opinion feature that invite you to take a stand.
Though you won’t be limited to these topics for the contest, you’ll see that our list touches on every aspect of modern life, from politics to sports, culture, education and technology. We hope the range inspires you, and we hope the fact that each question links to at least one related Times article gives you a starting point for finding evidence.
So skim the list below to think about the topic you’d most like to take on.
For more information, here are links to our spring 2014 editorial-writing contest, a list of winners from that contest and a related lesson plan on argumentative writing.
- Is Cheating Getting Worse?
- Should Students Be Able to Grade Their Teachers?
- Does Your School Hand Out Too Many A’s?
- Should Middle School Students Be Drug Tested?
- Should Reading and Math Be Taught in Gym Class Too?
- How Seriously Should We Take Standardized Tests?
- How Well Do You Think Standardized Tests Measure Your Abilities?
- Do You Spend Too Much Time Preparing for Standardized Tests?
- Should Schools Offer Cash Bonuses for Good Test Scores?
- Should We Rethink How Long Students Spend in High School?
- Do Schools Provide Students With Enough Opportunities to Be Creative?
- What Are You Really Learning at School?
- How Important Is Arts Education?
- Does Gym Help Students Perform Better in All Their Classes?
- Who Should Be Able to See Students’ Records?
- Are Children of Illegal Immigrants Entitled to a Public Education?
- What Is the Right Amount of Group Work in School?
- Is Your School Day Too Short?
- Do You Think a Longer School Calendar Is a Good Idea?
- Should the Dropout Age Be Raised?
- Should Students Be Allowed to Skip Senior Year of High School?
- How Does Your School Deal With Students Who Misbehave?
- Should Schools Be Allowed to Use Corporal Punishment?
- How Big a Problem Is Bullying or Cyberbullying in Your School or Community?
- How Should Schools Address Bullying?
- Should Schools Put Tracking Devices in Students’ ID Cards?
- What Do You Think of Grouping Students by Ability in Schools?
- Do We Need a New Way to Teach Math?
- Does Class Size Matter?
- Should All Students Get Equal Space in a Yearbook?
- Is Prom Worth It?
- How Important Are Parent-Teacher Conferences?
- Should All Children Be Able to Go to Preschool?
- Should Colleges Use Admissions Criteria Other Than SAT Scores and Grades?
- What Criteria Should Be Used in Awarding Scholarships for College?
- Do You Support Affirmative Action?
- Do College Rankings Matter?
- How Necessary Is a College Education?
- Should Engineers Pay Less for College Than English Majors?
- Are the Web Filters at Your School Too Restrictive?
- Does Technology Make Us More Alone?
- Are You Distracted by Technology?
- Do Apps Help You or Just Waste Your Time?
- Do You Spend Too Much Time on Smart Phones Playing ‘Stupid Games’?
- Has Facebook Lost Its Edge?
- Does Facebook Ever Make You Feel Bad?
- Should What You Say on Facebook Be Grounds for Getting Fired?
- Should People Be Allowed to Obscure Their Identities Online?
- What Should the Punishment Be for Acts of Cyberbullying?
- Is Online Learning as Good as Face-to-Face Learning?
- Do Your Teachers Use Technology Well?
- Should Tablet Computers Become the Primary Way Students Learn in Class?
- Can Cellphones Be Educational Tools?
- Should Computer Games Be Used for Classroom Instruction?
- How Young Is Too Young for an iPhone?
- Should Companies Collect Information About You?
- Would You Trade Your Paper Books for Digital Versions?
- Are Digital Photographs Too Plentiful to Be Meaningful?
- Do You Worry We Are Filming Too Much?
- Would You Want a Pair of Google’s Computer Glasses?
- How Would You Feel About a Computer Grading Your Essays?
- What Role Will Robots Play in Our Future?
- How Many Text Messages Are Too Many?
- How Much Do You Trust Online Reviews?
- Why Do We Like to Watch Rich People on TV and in the Movies?
- Do TV Shows Like ‘16 and Pregnant’ Promote or Discourage Teenage Pregnancy?
- Does TV Capture the Diversity of America Yet?
- Is TV Too White?
- Is TV Stronger Than Ever, or Becoming Obsolete?
- Does Reality TV Promote Dangerous Stereotypes?
- What Current Musicians Do You Think Will Stand the Test of Time?
- What Artists or Bands of Today Are Destined for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
- What Musician, Actor or Author Should Be a Superstar, but Hasn’t Quite Made It Yet?
- Will Musical Training Make You More Successful?
- Should Video Games Be Considered a Sport?
- Should Stores Sell Violent Video Games to Minors?
- Can a Video Game Be a Work of Art?
- Do Violent Video Games Make People More Violent in Real Life?
- When Should You Feel Guilty for Killing Zombies?
- What Game Would You Like to Redesign?
- What Were the Best Movies You Saw in the Past Year?
- To What Writer Would You Award a Prize?
- Do You Prefer Your Children’s Book Characters Obedient or Contrary?
- Where Is the Line Between Truth and Fiction?
- Can Graffiti Ever Be Considered Art?
- Do We Need Art in Our Lives?
- What Makes a Good Commercial?
- Why Did a Cheerios Ad Attract So Many Angry Comments Online?
- Does Pop Culture Deserve Serious Study?
- Do Parents Have Different Hopes and Standards for Their Sons Than for Their Daughters?
- Is School Designed More for Girls Than Boys?
- Is There Too Much Pressure on Girls to Have ‘Perfect’ Bodies?
- How Much Pressure Do Boys Face to Have the Perfect Body?
- Do Photoshopped Images Make You Feel Bad About Your Own Looks?
- Is It O.K. for Men and Boys to Comment on Women and Girls on the Street?
- What Should We Do to Fight Sexual Violence Against Young Women?
- How Do You Feel About Rihanna and Chris Brown Getting Back Together?
- Do Fraternities Promote Misogyny?
- Why Aren’t There More Girls in Leadership Roles?
- Why Aren’t More Girls Choosing to Pursue Careers in Math and Science?
- Should Women Be Allowed to Fight on the Front Lines Alongside Men?
- Do You Believe in Equal Rights for Women and Men?
- Are Women Better at Compromising and Collaborating?
- Do Boys Have Less Intense Friendships Than Girls?
- If Football Is So Dangerous to Players, Should We Be Watching It?
- Should Parents Let Their Children Play Football?
- Should College Football Players Get Paid?
- When Do Pranks Cross the Line to Become Bullying?
- Has Baseball Lost Its Cool?
- Are Some Youth Sports Too Intense?
- Is It Offensive for Sports Teams to Use Native American Names and Mascots?
- Where Should Colleges and Sports Teams Draw the Line in Selling Naming Rights?
- Should Colleges Fund Wellness Programs Instead of Sports?
- Is Cheerleading a Sport?
- How Big a Deal Is It That an N.B.A. Player Came Out as Gay?
- Should There Be Stricter Rules About How Coaches Treat Their Players?
- Should Athletes Who Dope Have to Forfeit Their Titles and Medals?
- Should Sports Betting Be Legal Everywhere?
- Should Home-Schoolers Be Allowed to Play Public School Sports?
- Would You Want a Bike Share Program for Your Community?
- What Local Problems Do You Think Your Mayor Should Try to Solve?
- If You Were Governor of Your State, How Would You Spend a Budget Surplus?
- When Is the Use of Military Force Justified?
- What Is More Important: Our Privacy or National Security?
- Should the U.S. Be Spying on Its Friends?
- Do You Trust Your Government?
- What Do You Think of the Police Tactic of Stop-and-Frisk?
- Do Rich People Get Off Easier When They Break the Law?
- Should Rich People Have to Pay More Taxes?
- Do Laws That Ban Offensive Words Make the World a Better Place?
- Is It Principled, or Irresponsible, for Politicians to Threaten a Shutdown?
- Do Leaders Have Moral Obligations?
- Do Great Leaders Have to Be Outgoing?
- How Should We Prevent Future Mass Shootings?
- Should Guns Be Permitted on College Campuses?
- Would You Feel Safer With Armed Guards Patrolling Your School?
- What Is Your Relationship With Guns?
- Do You Support or Oppose the Death Penalty?
- When Should Juvenile Offenders Receive Life Sentences?
- Do We Give Children Too Many Trophies?
- When Do You Become an Adult?
- When Should You Be Able to Buy Cigarettes, Drink Alcohol, Vote, Drive and Fight in Wars?
- Should the Morning-After Pill Be Sold Over the Counter to People Under 17?
- Should Birth Control Pills Be Available to Teenage Girls Without a Prescription?
- Is Modern Culture Ruining Childhood?
- Are Adults Hurting Young Children by Pushing Them to Achieve?
- How, and by Whom, Should Children Be Taught Appropriate Behavior?
- What Can Older People Learn From Your Generation?
- Do ‘Shame and Blame’ Work to Change Teenage Behavior?
- How Should Children Be Taught About Puberty and Sex?
- Is Dating a Thing of the Past?
- How Should Parents Handle a Bad Report Card?
- Should Children Be Allowed to Wear Whatever They Want?
- How Should Educators and Legislators Deal With Minors Who ‘Sext’?
- Do You Think Child Stars Have It Rough?
- Is Smoking Still a Problem Among Teenagers?
- Are Antismoking Ads Effective?
- Is Drinking and Driving Still a Problem for Teenagers?
- Do You Think a Healthier School Lunch Program Is a Lost Cause?
- How Concerned Are You About Where Your Food Comes From?
- Is It Ethical to Eat Meat?
- Do You Prefer Your Tacos ‘Authentic’ or ‘Appropriated’?
- Should the Government Limit the Size of Sugary Drinks?
- Should Marijuana Be Legal?
- Should Students Be Required to Take Drug Tests?
- Do Bystanders Have a Responsibility to Intervene When There is Trouble?
- Should You Care About the Health and Safety of Those Making Your Clothing?
- Can Money Buy You Happiness?
- Does Buying and Accumulating More and More Stuff Make Us Happier?
- Are We Losing the Art of Listening?
- Do People Complain Too Much?
- Can Kindness Become Cool?
- Which Is More Important: Talent or Hard Work?
- How Important Is Keeping Your Cool?
- When Should You Compromise?
- Is Your Generation More Self-Centered Than Earlier Generations?
- Can You Be Good Without God?
- Have Curse Words Become So Common They Have Lost Their Shock Value?
- What Words or Phrases Should Be Retired in 2014?
- What Words or Phrases Do You Think Are Overused?
- Should Couples Live Together Before Marriage?
- How Important Do You Think It Is to Marry Someone With the Same Religion?
- How Long Is It O.K. to Linger in a Cafe or Restaurant?
- Does Keeping a Messy Desk Make People More Creative?
- How Important Is Keeping a Clean House?
- Should Scientists Try to Help People Beat Old Age So We Can Live Longer Lives?
- Given Unlimited Resources, What Scientific or Medical Problem Would You Investigate?
- When Is It O.K. to Replace Human Limbs With Technology?
- Do You Think Life Exists — or Has Ever Existed — Somewhere Besides Earth?
- Should Fertilized Eggs Be Given Legal ‘Personhood’?
- How Concerned Are You About Climate Change?
- Is It Wrong for a Newspaper to Publish a Front-Page Photo of a Man About to Die?
- What Causes Should Philanthropic Groups Finance?
- Should Charities Focus More on America?
- Should the Private Lives of Famous People Be Off Limits?
- Did a Newspaper Act Irresponsibly by Publishing the Addresses of Gun Owners?
- Would You Rather Work From Home or in an Office?
- What Time Should Black Friday Sales Start?
- Do You Shop at Locally Owned Businesses?
- How Much Does Your Neighborhood Define Who You Are?
Technology and Social Media
Arts and Media: TV, Music, Video Games and Literature
Sports and Athletics
Politics and the Legal System
Parenting and Childhood
Health and Nutrition
Personal Character and Morality Questions
If you're a student of the English 101 class or any similar course, you have most probably faced tons of writing assignments. They drive most students mad. School students feel less pressure than college and university peers. Higher academic levels require higher knowledge and broader set of skills. That is why students from colleges receive more complicated assignments. The topics become more complex.
Usually, the teachers or professors assign the topics on their own. However, sometimes students have a right to pick their own questions for discussion.
An argumentative essay is that type of academic papers which requires three set if skills from each student:
- Research skills
- Reading and writing
When you experience difficulties with at least one of the listed skills, it is better to hire professional assistance from one of that numerous, trusted websites. In any case, try to compose an essay on your own without any help. You may use various examples available on the internet for free.
Remember: argumentative tasks are assigned to maintain debating abilities. This sort of task impacts how well a student will give speeches in public or simply defend his point of view in the future.
How to Choose Negotiable Argumentative Topics Wisely
Many students feel relaxed when their tutors come up with the topic ideas. Still, it is better to have a freedom of choice as far as you can pick the issue which interests you. It is possible to choose an interesting topic from any field of science. While working on the argumentative paper, a student must gather all relevant and time-tested sources to show his awareness of the particular problem. Students should use some of the following credible resources:
- Their class textbooks
- Various published editions
- Academic journals
- Laws and regulations
You may be an expert in the selected area, but always remember to add quotes from the external sources. This way, students prove that they can gather and choose sources with the most quality information on the given topic. Moreover, in-text citations will show your awareness of the different papers formats. Formatting is one of the steps on the way to your desired grade. Whenever you have any doubts concerning the topic to write your argumentative essay on, contact online specialists who are selling cheap custom argumentative essays on any topics in the world. They know how to make your essay stand out from the rest of the papers.
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Top Recommended Argumentative Essay Topics
Simple Argumentative Essay Topics
- The complexity of the US educational system
- The problem of obesity among American population
- Free access to the internet is one of the biggest threats to education
- Men should have a right to make decisions on their own whether to join the war or not
- College curriculum should be changed with respect to students’ preferences
- The advantages of higher education
- Which languages are the most widespread and demanded nowadays?
- Is Spanish really the simplest language to study?
- MBA: pros and cons of studying business
- Can we say about an educational system that it is too commercialized?
- Why are Michigan, SAT, and ACT results important?
Sports Related Subjects
- Are steroids helping or destroying our body?
- PE lessons in the educational system.
- NCAA: advantages and disadvantages
- What is the highest achievement in sport?
- Is Mike Tyson still a superstar?
Argumentative Paper Topics for Young Students
- Is there a strong correlation between regular training, meals, and overall health condition?
- Are diets as effective as they are told?
- The negative consequences of the anorexia fashion.
- Why should people dedicate more time to sleep?
- Is it still cool to play golf?
- Is swimming the only sport that keeps fit all human body muscles?
- Skiing and other risky sports.
- Children should not watch horror films.
College Argumentative Essay Topics
- It is illegal to produce and sell tobacco
- 25 years of prison instead of the death sentence
- Passive smokers suffer more than active
- Can alcohol completely destroy human brain?
- The government should forbid alcohol sales after 10 P.M.
- Are non-alcoholic energetic drinks dangerous?
- Does TV have a right to document every court proceeding?
- When can people start voting?
- The most appropriate age to start smoking or using alcohol.
- Is there justice for social minorities?
- Was the Industrial Revolution spread all over Europe?
Classical Argumentative Ideas
- The government must forbid the usage of species of animals in research
- Government must punish each citizen who does harm to the environment
- Are electric vehicles the best solution the problem of pollution?
- Globalization: for and against
- Why do people say that Wilson actually lost the war?
- The strong aspects of Roosevelt reign
- Was King-Kong right killing humans who came to investigate his land?
- Are the US really under the threat of disappearing from the map?
- The consequences of tornado
- Tsunami and its sacrifices
- How can people protect the nature of Amazonia?
- Are there any true Indians left on the territory of America?
Controversial Argumentative Topics
- How to overcome the risk of the Third World War?
- Is there a chance that financial crisis will stop?
- More schools should become public and free
- Top colleges and universities should raise their acceptance rates
- Everyone has a right to free education
- The right way to implement gun control and other preventing measures
- Same-sex marriages and their impact on the society
- High level of corruption is one of the causes of low wages
- Is there a way to be above the law?
- Communism is not that bad
- Is CIS the best replacement of the USSR?
Technological Argumentative Essay Topics
- Computer games like shooters caused mass murders at the US schools
- Are many modern people lonely due to the existing technology?
- Filthy language on the web
- The age of technologies turns us into zombies
- The usage of smartphones leads to less live communication
- Technology and its influence on educational system
- When will the rapid technological advancement stop?
Argumentative Essay Related to Social Media
- Is technology restricting human imagination?
- Threats of having accounts in social networks like Facebook
- The modern world depends on the Internet heavily
- Can virtual relationships exist?
- Is online censorship critical for the Internet users?
Fifth & Sixth Grade Argumentative Essay
- Healthcare: any treatment must be free
- People are all kind by their nature
- The working hours must be reduced to let people dedicate more time to their families
- The wages should go up in the United States
- Governments must invest more in the social movements
- Parents cannot interrupt too much in the lives of their kids
- Spy applications do really work
- Cloning is not legal
- Every woman has a right to decide on her own regarding abortion
- Is it OK for a woman to date a much younger man?
- Cross-cultural marriages positively impact the racial tolerance
- Global warming (Just download the sample you need for free!)
- Are abortions legal?
- Is online dating safe enough?
Humorous & Joking Argument Topics
- Would Superman find his place in a real world?
- Why do Ninja Turtles love pizza?
- Who should portray April in TNMT movie?
- 2D, 3D, 4D, 5D: When Will It Ever Stop?
- Can the chip fully control our brains and actions?
- The jokes of Peter Griffin make Family Guy the best TV show ever
- Why are humans in Simpsons yellow?
- Marijuana does no real harm to human health
- How to make parents softer with their children?
Music + Art + Cinematography Argumentative Essay Topics
- Can you earn enough money on art?
- Music and films are better than painting
- Which type of art is the most popular in Europe?
- Can you earn sufficient amount of money being an artist?
- Are today's lyrics making any sense?
- Heavy metal makes more sense than hip-hop
- Modern movies are worse than they used to be in the middle of 20th century
- Kurt Cobain did not kill himself
Download More Argumentative Paper Examples Online
Helpful Tips & Common Features of the Good Topic Ideas
If you want every reader to enjoy your writing and make it to the end, here is what you should do:
- Select an idea that everybody is talking about today. Consider rumors, facts, interesting stories, etc.
- Pick a problem which makes the majority of people have doubts.
- Try to select the audience which denies your point of view.
- Choose the topic on which everybody has a unique thought.
- Come up with a topic which relates to your own
We Have Collected the Most Useful Hints and Prompts Based on the Successful Argumentative Essays:
- Avoid choosing obvious argumentative essay topics!
- Never pick an issue that does not have any arguments. Ignore topics that are too trivial.
- A persuasive paper has to concentrate on the problem discussed by centuries. It may even lead to the international conflicts, but people will go on discussing it.
- Issues connected with the politics (e.g. US government or elections) are always great.
- Feel free to pick the topic associated with the modern college standards that do annoy most of the students. It may stimulate your peers to argue with your tutors, but that is what argumentative essay is all about!
- Avoid topics that people usually agree on without any hesitations.
- Try not to choose any topics related to the sensitive aspects of our life such as religion, gender, nationality, etc.
- Follow MLA or APA format as there are many examples on the web.
- Always pay attention to what other people say about your chosen theme.
You may notice that the process is almost always the same. The main purpose is to select the most inspiring argumentative essay topics to have an impact you expect. The goal is to satisfy your target audience, no matter whether it's your teacher or classmates. Pretend that you compete to receive the highest award in some contest. Here, A grade is your most wanted prize. Each time you demand quick assistance with your task, contact online expert writing service which can prepare an argumentative essay on the topic you like. They will do it pretty fast.
What about the Structure?
Every academic paper has its own structure. The argumentative essay involves the following stages:
- Broad primary and secondary research
- Collecting sources
- Choosing the most trusted and latest sources
- Preparing a draft
- Writing your paper
- Proofreading & Editing
- Double-checking all mistakes
As for the organization of the final essay, it is recommended to use a 5-paragraph structure. Develop an outline and keep to it. Your unique ideas must flow in this way:
- Introduction. Include some interesting facts, add a quote, joke, or find another way to attract the reader from the very beginning. Then, create a powerful thesis statement.
- First body paragraph. Begin with your argument number one. Don't forget about in-text citations to support your argument. Add evidence to sound persuasive.
- Second body paragraph. Write down your argument number two. Don't forget about in-text citations to support your argument. Add evidence to sound persuasive.
- Third body paragraph. Write down your argument number three. Don't forget about in-text citations to support your argument. Add evidence to sound persuasive.
- Conclusion. It is the last paragraph of your entire essay. Restate your thesis which is the last sentence of your introduction. Prepare a brief review of the main points. Add Call-to-Action in the last sentence.
- Bibliography. List all of the applied sources.
Is't it easy to choose, prepare a draft, write, and proofread? Save your best argumentative essays to use them in your future career.
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