114 Good Argumentative Essay Topics for Students in 2023
The skill of writing an excellent argumentative essay is a crucial one for every high school or college student to master. Argumentative essays teach students how to organize their thoughts logically and present them in a convincing way. This skill is helpful not only for those pursuing degrees in law, international relations, or public policy, but for any student who wishes to develop their critical thinking faculties. In this article, we’ll cover what makes a good argument essay and offer several argumentative essay topics for high school and college students. Let’s begin!
What is an Argumentative Essay
An argumentative essay is an essay that uses research to present a reasoned argument on a particular subject. As with the persuasive essay, the purpose of this essay is to sway the reader to the writer’s position. A strong persuasive essay makes its point through diligent research, evidence, and logical reasoning skills.
Argumentative Essay Format
A strong argumentative essay will be based on facts, not feelings. Each of these facts should be supported by clear evidence from credible sources. Furthermore, a good argumentative essay will have an easy-to-follow structure. When organizing your argumentative essay, use this format as a guide: introduction, supporting body paragraphs, paragraphs addressing common counterarguments, and conclusion.
In the introduction, the writer presents their position and thesis statement—a sentence that summarizes the paper’s main points. The body paragraphs then draw upon supporting evidence to back up this initial statement, with each paragraph focusing on its own point. In the counterargument paragraph, the writer acknowledges and refutes opposing viewpoints. Finally, in the conclusion, the writer restates the main argument made in the thesis statement and summarizes the points of the essay. Additionally, the conclusion may offer a final proposal to persuade the reader of the essay’s position.
For more tips and tricks on formatting an argumentative essay, check out this useful guide from Khan Academy.
How to Write an Effective Argumentative Essay, Step by Step
- Choose your topic. Use the list below to help you pick a topic. Ideally, the topic you choose will be meaningful to you.
- Once you’ve selected your topic, it’s time to sit down and get to work! Use the library, the web, and any other resources to gather information about your argumentative essay topic. Research widely but smartly. As you go, take organized notes, marking the source of every quote and where it may fit in the scheme of your larger essay. Remember to look for possible counterarguments.
- Outline. Using the argumentative essay format above, create an outline for your essay. Brainstorm a thesis statement covering your argument’s main points, and begin to put together the pieces of the essay, focusing on logical flow.
- Write. Draw on your research and outline to create a solid first draft. Remember, your first draft doesn’t need to be perfect. (As Voltaire says, “Perfect is the enemy of good.”) For now, focus on getting the words down on paper.
- Edit. Be your own critical eye. Read what you’ve written back to yourself. Does it make sense? Where can you improve? What can you cut?
Argumentative Essay Topics for Middle School, High School, and College Students
Family Argumentative Essay Topics
- Should the government provide financial incentives for families to have children to address the declining birth rate?
- Should we require parents to provide their children with a certain level of nutrition and physical activity to prevent childhood obesity?
- Should parents implement limits on how much time their children spend playing video games?
- Should cellphones be banned from family/holiday gatherings?
- Should we hold parents legally responsible for their children’s actions?
- Should children have the right to sue their parents for neglect?
- Should parents have the right to choose their child’s religion?
- Are spanking and other forms of physical punishment an effective method of discipline?
- Should courts allow children to choose where they live in cases of divorce?
- Should parents have the right to monitor teens’ activity on social media?
- Should parents control their child’s medical treatment, even if it goes against the child’s wishes?
Education Argument Essay Topics
- Should schools ban the use of technology like ChatGPT?
- Are zoos unethical, or necessary for conservation and education?
- To what degree should we hold parents responsible in the event of a school shooting?
- Should schools offer students a set number of mental health days?
- Should school science curriculums offer a course on combating climate change?
- Should public libraries be allowed to ban certain books?
- What role, if any, should prayer play in public schools?
- Should schools push to abolish homework?
- Are gifted and talented programs in schools more harmful than beneficial due to their exclusionary nature?
- Should universities do away with Greek life?
- Should schools remove artwork, such as murals, that some perceive as offensive?
- Should the government grant parents the right to choose alternative education options for their children and use taxpayer funds to support these options?
- Is homeschooling better than traditional schooling for children’s academic and social development?
- Should we require schools to teach sex education to reduce teen pregnancy rates?
- Should we require schools to provide comprehensive sex education that includes information about both homosexual and heterosexual relationships?
- Should colleges use affirmative action and other race-conscious policies to address diversity on campus?
- Should the government fund public universities to make higher education more accessible to low-income students?
- Should the government fund universal preschool to improve children’s readiness for kindergarten?
Government Argumentative Essay Topics
- Should the U.S. decriminalize prostitution?
- Should the U.S. issue migration visas to all eligible applicants?
- Should the federal government cancel all student loan debt?
- Should we lower the minimum voting age? If so, to what?
- Should the federal government abolish all laws penalizing drug production and use?
- Should the U.S. use its military power to deter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan?
- Should the U.S. supply Ukraine with further military intelligence and supplies?
- Should the North and South of the U.S. split up into two regions?
- Should Americans hold up nationalism as a critical value?
- Should we permit Supreme Court justices to hold their positions indefinitely?
- Should Supreme Court justices be democratically elected?
- Is the Electoral College still a productive approach to electing the U.S. president?
- Should the U.S. implement a national firearm registry?
- Is it ethical for countries like China and Israel to mandate compulsory military service for all citizens?
- Should the U.S. government implement a ranked-choice voting system?
- Should institutions that benefited from slavery be required to provide reparations?
- Based on the 1619 project, should history classes change how they teach about the founding of the U.S.?
Bioethics Argumentative Essay Topics
- Should the U.S. government offer its own healthcare plan?
- In the case of highly infectious pandemics, should we focus on individual freedoms or public safety when implementing policies to control the spread?
- Should we legally require parents to vaccinate their children to protect public health?
- Is it ethical for parents to use genetic engineering to create “designer babies” with specific physical and intellectual traits?
- Should the government fund research on embryonic stem cells for medical treatments?
- Should the government legalize assisted suicide for terminally ill patients?
Social Media Argumentative Essay Topics
- Should the federal government increase its efforts to minimize the negative impact of social media?
- Do social media and smartphones strengthen one’s relationships?
- Should antitrust regulators take action to limit the size of big tech companies?
- Should social media platforms ban political advertisements?
- Should the federal government hold social media companies accountable for instances of hate speech discovered on their platforms?
- Do apps such as TikTok and Instagram ultimately worsen the mental well-being of teenagers?
- Should governments oversee how social media platforms manage their users’ data?
- Should social media platforms like Facebook enforce a minimum age requirement for users?
- Should social media companies be held responsible for cases of cyberbullying?
- Should the United States ban TikTok?
Religion Argument Essay Topics
- Should religious institutions be tax-exempt?
- Should religious symbols such as the hijab or crucifix be allowed in public spaces?
- Should religious freedoms be protected, even when they conflict with secular laws?
- Should the government regulate religious practices?
- Should we allow churches to engage in political activities?
- Religion: a force for good or evil in the world?
- Should the government provide funding for religious schools?
- Is it ethical for healthcare providers to deny abortions based on religious beliefs?
- Should religious organizations be allowed to discriminate in their hiring practices?
- Should we allow people to opt out of medical treatments based on their religious beliefs?
- Should the U.S. government hold religious organizations accountable for cases of sexual abuse within their community?
- Should religious beliefs be exempt from anti-discrimination laws?
- Should religious individuals be allowed to refuse services to others based on their beliefs or lifestyles? (As in this famous case.)
Science Argumentative Essay Topics
- Should the world eliminate nuclear weapons?
- Should scientists bring back extinct animals?
- Should we hold companies fiscally responsible for their carbon footprint?
- Should we ban pesticides in favor of organic farming methods?
- Is it ethical to clone animals for scientific purposes?
- Should the federal government ban all fossil fuels, despite the potential economic impact on specific industries and communities?
- What renewable energy source should the U.S. invest more money in?
- Should the FDA outlaw GMOs?
- Would the world be safe if we got rid of all nuclear weapons?
- Should we worry about artificial intelligence surpassing human intelligence?
Sports Argument Essay Topics
- Should colleges compensate student-athletes?
- How should sports teams and leagues address the gender pay gap?
- Should youth sports teams do away with scorekeeping?
- Should we ban aggressive contact sports like boxing and MMA?
- Should professional sports associations mandate that athletes stand during the national anthem?
- Should high schools require their student-athletes to maintain a certain GPA?
- Should transgender athletes compete in sports according to their gender identity?
- Should schools ban football due to the inherent danger it poses to players?
Technology Argumentative Essay Topics
- Should sites like DALL-E compensate the artists whose work it was trained on?
- Is social media harmful to children?
- Should the federal government make human exploration of space a more significant priority?
- Is it ethical for the government to use surveillance technology to monitor citizens?
- Should websites require proof of age from their users?
- Should we consider A.I.-generated images and text pieces of art?
- Does the use of facial recognition technology violate individuals’ privacy?
Business Argument Essay Topics
- Should the U.S. government phase out the use of paper money in favor of a fully digital currency system?
- Should the federal government abolish its patent and copyright laws?
- Should we replace the Federal Reserve with free-market institutions?
- Is free-market ideology responsible for the U.S. economy’s poor performance over the past decade?
- Will cryptocurrencies overtake natural resources like gold and silver?
- Is capitalism the best economic system? What system would be better?
- Should the U.S. government enact a universal basic income?
- Should we require companies to provide paid parental leave to their employees?
- Should the government raise the minimum wage?
- Should antitrust regulators break up large companies to promote competition?
- Is it ethical for companies to prioritize profits over social responsibility?
- Should gig-economy workers like Uber and Lyft drivers be considered employees or independent contractors?
- Should the federal government regulate the gig economy to ensure fair treatment of workers?
- Should the government require companies to disclose the environmental impact of their products?
In Conclusion – Argument Essay Topics
Using the tips above, you can effectively structure and pen a compelling argumentative essay that will wow your instructor and classmates. Remember to craft a thesis statement that offers readers a roadmap through your essay, draw on your sources wisely to back up any claims, and read through your paper several times before it’s due to catch any last-minute proofreading errors. With time, diligence, and patience, your essay will be the most outstanding assignment you’ve ever turned in…until the next one rolls around.
Looking for more fresh and engaging topics for use in the classroom? Also check out our 85 Good Debate Topics for High School Students.
With a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Columbia University and an MFA in Fiction from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, Lauren has been a professional writer for over a decade. She is the author of the chapbook A Great Dark House (Poetry Society of America, 2023) and the forthcoming novel The World After Alice (Viking/Penguin).
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