50 Argumentative Essay Topics

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  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

An argumentative essay requires you to decide on a topic and take a position on it. You'll need to back up your viewpoint with well-researched facts and information as well. One of the hardest parts is deciding which topic to write about, but there are plenty of ideas available to get you started.

Choosing a Great Argumentative Essay Topic

Students often find that most of their work on these essays is done before they even start writing. This means that it's best if you have a general interest in your subject, otherwise you might get bored or frustrated while trying to gather information. (You don't need to know everything, though.) Part of what makes this experience rewarding is learning something new.

It's best if you have a general interest in your subject, but the argument you choose doesn't have to be one that you agree with.

The subject you choose may not necessarily be one that you are in full agreement with, either. You may even be asked to write a paper from the opposing point of view. Researching a different viewpoint helps students broaden their perspectives. 

Ideas for Argument Essays

Sometimes, the best ideas are sparked by looking at many different options. Explore this list of possible topics and see if a few pique your interest. Write those down as you come across them, then think about each for a few minutes.

Which would you enjoy researching? Do you have a firm position on a particular subject? Is there a point you would like to make sure to get across? Did the topic give you something new to think about? Can you see why someone else may feel differently?

50 Possible Topics

A number of these topics are rather controversial—that's the point. In an argumentative essay, opinions matter and controversy is based on opinions, which are, hopefully, backed up by facts.   If these topics are a little too controversial or you don't find the right one for you, try browsing through persuasive essay and speech topics  as well.

  • Is global climate change  caused by humans?
  • Is the death penalty effective?
  • Is our election process fair?
  • Is torture ever acceptable?
  • Should men get paternity leave from work?
  • Are school uniforms beneficial?
  • Do we have a fair tax system?
  • Do curfews keep teens out of trouble?
  • Is cheating out of control?
  • Are we too dependent on computers?
  • Should animals be used for research?
  • Should cigarette smoking be banned?
  • Are cell phones dangerous?
  • Are law enforcement cameras an invasion of privacy?
  • Do we have a throwaway society?
  • Is child behavior better or worse than it was years ago?
  • Should companies market to children?
  • Should the government have a say in our diets?
  • Does access to condoms prevent teen pregnancy?
  • Should members of Congress have term limits?
  • Are actors and professional athletes paid too much?
  • Are CEOs paid too much?
  • Should athletes be held to high moral standards?
  • Do violent video games cause behavior problems?
  • Should creationism be taught in public schools?
  • Are beauty pageants exploitative ?
  • Should English be the official language of the United States?
  • Should the racing industry be forced to use biofuels?
  • Should the alcohol drinking age be increased or decreased?
  • Should everyone be required to recycle?
  • Is it okay for prisoners to vote (as they are in some states)?
  • Is it good that same-sex couples are able to marry?
  • Are there benefits to attending a single-sex school ?
  • Does boredom lead to trouble?
  • Should schools be in session year-round ?
  • Does religion cause war?
  • Should the government provide health care?
  • Should abortion be illegal?
  • Are girls too mean to each other?
  • Is homework harmful or helpful?
  • Is the cost of college too high?
  • Is college admission too competitive?
  • Should euthanasia be illegal?
  • Should the federal government legalize marijuana use nationally ?
  • Should rich people be required to pay more taxes?
  • Should schools require foreign language or physical education?
  • Is affirmative action fair?
  • Is public prayer okay in schools?
  • Are schools and teachers responsible for low test scores?
  • Is greater gun control a good idea?
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200 Topics for a Position Paper: Fresh Ideas and Prompts in 10 Subject Categories

A position paper (also called a point-of-view piece) is a type of essay that presents your stand on an arguable issue. The goal of a position paper is to convince your audience that your point of view is defensible, valid, and worth listening to. A position paper can be semi-formal, for example, a letter to the editor. It can also be issued by a large organization representing the interests and opinions of a social group, official beliefs, or corporate values.

A position paper is similar to a debate speech or an argumentative essay. However, position papers are usually more nuanced and restrained. The focus is not to persuade the audience that your way of looking at the problem is the right one but rather to invite them to look at the issue from where you stand, which is reflected in the name. A position paper does not argue. Instead, it presents the case from your side or the perspective of the group you speak for.

Writing a good position piece is not easy because it requires you to carefully balance objectivity with empathy and assertiveness with intellectual humility. The best way to write an effective position piece is to consider both the side you represent and the side of your target audience. Considering your audience does not mean you will have to play up to their beliefs. It means that you should be informed enough to address the issue in a manner most understandable for your audience and be able to refute likely counterclaims.

This is why it is vital to start with choosing the right topic: one that is interesting for you, narrow enough to be manageable in an essay, and provides enough material to support your point. To help you with that, we have gathered about 200 good position paper topics in 10 main categories.

Position Paper Topics for High School

Here are some more straightforward position essay ideas to start your journey as an essay writer . If they don't look challenging enough, try defending some unexpected, unorthodox position on the topic, or move straight to college topics or subject-specific sections below.

  • School uniforms create an environment of equality and reduce bullying; it's time we get them back
  • We should all learn foreign languages to be more open-minded
  • Code-switching is exhausting and vernacular students shouldn't be expected to do that in class
  • Group projects are a waste of time and should be assigned less
  • We need more liberal arts education classes for mental wellbeing and emotional equilibrium
  • We need multiperspectivity when learning about world history
  • Basic concepts of nutrition should be taught in school
  • Barbie dolls are a toxic influence on child's body image and should be revamped or banned
  • PE programs should include holistic practices, such as meditation and yoga
  • The "eccentric genius" trope is harmful and causes gifted students to hide their intelligence
  • "Moody teen" phenomenon is simply sleep deprivation, and starting the school day later will fix that
  • There is no such thing as "just a meme" or "only a joke": comedy can be ethical or unethical
  • Cheerleading is a real sport and must have a place in the Olympics
  • Dangerous sports should not be allowed in school
  • Mandatory national service: should it be an obligation of citizenship?
  • Distance learning was a silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic, so we should keep it: agree or disagree?
  • Is progressive tax fairer than a proportional tax?
  • What is the appropriate age to own a smartphone and access social media?
  • Child beauty pageants are unethical and harmful
  • Plastic surgery is not empowering and distorts body image

Position Paper Topics for College Students

Topics for college are a bit more complicated and require more research, making them even more interesting and worth exploring. Some of the issues below might even deserve a small project of their own. What is your stand on the following?

  • The use of torture during interrogation is inexcusable, and we must call for transparency and accountability for the CIA torture program during the "war on terror"
  • Gender equality in political representation is crucial for a thriving society
  • America as a religious refuge is a myth, and modern-day discrimination shows it
  • Religious organizations should be required to pay taxes like everyone else
  • We need new models for state university success
  • Disturbing and threatening anti-smoking ads are ineffective and traumatizing
  • Unpaid internships are exploitation and must be banned
  • Tests for sexually transmitted diseases must be a legal requirement for the marriage license
  • Why the United States should never allow their Presidents to serve a third term
  • Birth control pills should be available over the counter
  • Leaked nudes must undermine the reputation of the person who violated the trust, not the victim's
  • Digital blackface in reaction gifs: a false understanding of POC existence
  • The legal driving age in the US must be raised to lower fatal crashes rates
  • The US should adopt a mandatory vacation to improve the effectiveness and mental health of the citizens
  • Pressure to succeed academically on the children of immigrants is detrimental to their mental health and social life
  • Ever and again: why we must always be wary of the recrudescent Nazism
  • Where should we draw the line in genetic research and experiments?
  • We should remove barriers to jail voting for eligible but excluded inmates
  • Euthanasia for terminally ill patients: people should have the legal right to go with dignity
  • We should limit the maximum period of time that information can remain classified

Topics for Position Papers About Education

Education might be one of the most challenging position paper topics for students to explore because being deeply embedded in the process makes changing perspectives tricky. If, for example, you need to write a piece representing a particular issue that the administrator or instructor might face, you will need not only to research and conduct interviews but also to check your bias as a party with stakes in the matter. Still, we believe that you can handle the following topics with flying colors.

  • Parental expectations and involvement in their children's K12 education and the outcomes
  • Challenges arising from funding cuts and growing classes: burdens faced by teachers
  • Sexism in school dress codes and ways it harms students
  • Progress-tracking, rubrics, grading systems: challenges of dated approaches and ways to seek new ones
  • Building community and support network for homeschooling parents
  • Multiculturalism and holiday programs in schools
  • Cancel culture on campus and self-censorship in academia
  • Religious freedom, secularity, affiliation, teacher's authority, and conflicts with parents
  • Prestige, popularity, profits: figures behind the college ranking inflation
  • Students' records access: privacy vs. better service through data collection
  • Should we encourage more high school students to participate in apprenticeship programs and other alternatives to college?
  • The school day starts too early, and it disrupts family life
  • Standardized testing is an unreliable predictor of college success and must be exchanged for a new admission rubric
  • Should schools revise the grade level system and lean more ability-grouping and tracking?
  • We should teach more applicable life skills in high school
  • Why do most students hate group work, and what can we do to change that?
  • Should the administration limit resources students can access from the school Wi-Fi?
  • Should school cafeterias adopt fully vegan menus, or should they keep meat and dairy options as well?
  • When students need to hire help from an online essay service , it's a symptom of an outdated teaching system
  • Remedial courses are ineffective and should be eliminated

Health Care and Nursing Position Essay Topics

Since health is something we all care about and want to preserve, the below selection of topics for a position essay will be interesting for any student, regardless of their intent to pursue a career in medicine or a related field.

  • We should cut down on antibiotics prescriptions in pediatrics and search for less harmful anti-inflammatory treatments
  • Environmental pollutants and their potential impact on fertility
  • Addressing the nutritional habits of parents with small children in low-income communities for childhood diabetes prevention
  • Ethical dilemmas of perinatal diagnosis
  • A healthy mind in any body: the importance of maintaining mental health in children with chronic illnesses and disabilities
  • The health care we need vs. the health care we can afford: difficult choices and alternatives of low-income patients
  • Diet as a crucial metric and diagnosis aid
  • Big data and health care: ethical dilemmas and perspectives
  • Merits of non-pharmacological treatments for bipolar disorder
  • The emotional strain of nursing and ways to address the underlying problems
  • Why we need state-sponsored universal healthcare for a better economy
  • The importance of educating communities on vaccination
  • The necessity of achieving equitable access to HIV treatment
  • Confronting racism: disparities in healthcare and preventive treatment
  • An overlooked epidemic: migraines and chronic headaches
  • Anxiety and procrastination as manifestations of physical illness
  • Optimizing postnatal care with the focus on the new mother's wellbeing
  • Treatments for mental health disorders during pregnancy and lactation
  • AI for improved recognition of sensory system changes in older patients
  • Health care for homeless individuals: ethics, challenges, solutions

Position Paper Ideas on Social Issues

Inequality, civil rights, education, climate change, overpopulation, migrant crisis, poverty, homelessness, mental health – despite the length that society already went to solve its most pressing problems, there is still much work left to do. Below you will find a position paper topics list on current social issues. If you need a sample paper to learn more about the format, order a custom essay or look for a similar topic in our free essay examples library.

  • Meeting urgent nutritional needs of refugees
  • Providing education and healthcare for children fleeing conflict and war
  • Addressing the effects of climate change in the most vulnerable communities
  • Child marriage and teenage pregnancies: educational disaster following COVID-19 school lockdowns
  • Child labor and trafficking: plummeting family income in the wake of the global pandemic
  • Why health insurance should cover birth control
  • Ethical dilemmas in assessing and reporting domestic violence and abuse
  • An ecosystem approach for successful re-integration of returning citizens
  • AI and the future of workforce: planning training to prevent unemployment
  • Risks and perspectives of digital state and government virtualization
  • The importance of sustainability culture in early education
  • Addressing military spouse unemployment
  • Income security and retirement prospects of the Millennials
  • Trying times: wealth inequality and a poorer future for the United States
  • Minors should not be treated as sex offenders for sending nudes to each other
  • Agile and people before processes: approaches to government transformation
  • Keeping the balance between optimization and uncharted waters of innovation in the workplace
  • The paradox of homelessness in advanced economies
  • Inclusive design in public spaces and normalization of disability through visibility
  • Public transportation is the future of sustainable mobility: why we should stop prioritizing private cars

Controversial Position Argument Essay Topics

This section presents some of the classical argumentative and debate topics. However, as you choose which one of them to address for your assignment, don't forget that the goal of the position paper is to present your case in an understandable, relatable, preferably non-militant way. Even if (or especially so when) the issues you are going to explore are controversial and highly polarizing.

  • Women in combat roles: is the requirement to pass the same physical tests as men discrimination or fair treatment?
  • Religious freedom vs. public safety: the issue of niqabs and identity checks
  • Protecting reproductive freedom following the Roe vs. Wade overturned
  • The customer is always right: should a business retain a right to deny services based on the owner's religious beliefs?
  • Should university professors provide trigger warnings for their class topics and courses?
  • Sport is about body, not identity: why transgender athletes should compete based on biological sex
  • Should gender identity be added to anti-discrimination laws?
  • Should government initiate a buyback of assault weapons or increase background checks instead to prevent further mass shooting tragedies?
  • Leveraging big data for criminal investigation vs. protecting the privacy
  • Machine learning our bias: how to design digital tools that actually advance equity
  • Why we need state-sponsored employee sensitivity training (LGBTQ, race, age, gender, harassment, etc.)
  • Toys are toys: why workplace diversity starts in the cradle
  • Social responsibility: the rise of the new business or an empty promise of a marketing façade?
  • Fast fashion: a wasteful and exploitative practice or affordable alternative for low-income consumers?
  • Systemic racism in social care and policies to address it
  • LGBTQ adoption rights: should straight couples get preference?
  • When hate speech laws are exploited to censor and restrict the freedom of expression
  • Should consensual incest between adults be decriminalized in the USA?
  • Ethical concerns in setting limits for irreversible gender reassignment treatments
  • Should transgender people be expected to disclose their biological sex on dating profiles?

Position Paper Topics on Economics

Through studying economics, students gain an understanding of what drives people, businesses, markets, societies, and governments and shapes the world we live in. Even if you don't plan a career in economics, you will find these topics fascinating and enlightening.

  • Spatial distribution of innovation and inequality in the USA
  • Economic initiatives for renewable energy and sustainable production
  • How science and technology changes influence the production, distribution, and consumption of food in the USA
  • Fixing international trade to distribute wealth and minimize disparities
  • New tax policies, their predicted and possible unpredicted outcomes
  • The history of fixed one-price policy
  • Comparative economic development of Eurasia and Africa
  • Fallacies of public goods theory and real-life impact of biased discourse
  • Promoting benefits and reducing the adverse socio-economic impact of globalization
  • Inappropriate planning is a central problem of urban economics
  • Mathematical tools for economic policy decision-making
  • Poor financial decisions based on personal biases during economic crises and possible solutions
  • The effects of corruption on emerging economies and ways to mitigate it
  • Mitigation of risk aversion in financial risk management
  • Modern perspectives and criticism of business cycle theory
  • Main problems with general equilibrium theory
  • Impact of the banking system on the economy: ways to reduce adverse effects
  • Current issues of occupational regulation and licensing of immigrant workers
  • Sustainability of green practices and changes to market microstructure
  • Econometric detection of bubbles and crashes

Ideas for Position Papers on Psychology

Psychology is another subject area that is equally fascinating, challenging, and popular among non-professionals. Here are some of the topics that can be investigated by psychology majors and non-specialists alike.

  • LGBTQ teens and suicide prevention
  • Professional advocacy for gender non-conforming youths
  • Subtle discrimination and its effects on mental health and wellbeing of stigmatized groups
  • Mental health and climate change: addressing the adverse effects and inequities
  • The psychology behind xenophobic attitudes: an evolutionary perspective on prejudice
  • Why companies benefit from supporting employee's psychological wellbeing
  • Likely adverse mental health outcomes of restricting access to safe abortion
  • High school accommodation for teens on the autism spectrum
  • Specific issues and challenges of male depression
  • Challenges of overcoming ableism and negative reactions to disability
  • Benefits and risks of using medicinal marijuana for anxiety disorders
  • Managing traumatic stress and guiding emotional recovery from natural disaster
  • The vicious circle of weight stigma, stress, and comfort eating
  • Cognitive problems in children caused by excess body fat and an unhealthy diet
  • Dealing with psychological complications of COVID-19
  • Combat-induced PTSD: killing vs. witnessing
  • The social behavior theories behind war crimes
  • Shyness across cultures: context and explanations
  • Disastrous effects of chronic sleep deprivation on American society
  • Psychological factors of opioid misuse: ways to prevent addiction to prescription drugs

Position Paper Topics on Criminal Justice

Crime and law are often found at the center of controversy and heated public debate. This is why it is all the more important to maintain leveled discussion in order to find the best solutions. Practice your eloquence on these topics.

  • Bias behind the lack of prosecutions for financial and corporate crimes
  • Closing loopholes in domestic human trafficking laws
  • Working in communities toward delinquency prevention
  • Freedom of the press vs. the confidentiality of juvenile offenders
  • Juvenile justice dilemmas with teacher victimization at school
  • Ethical issues of interrogating vulnerable suspects in hospitals
  • Should convicted murderers receive parole?
  • Irreversibility and lack of deterrent effect: the death penalty has no place in a civilized world and should be abolished
  • Ethical and legal dilemmas of prison psychiatry
  • Mental health assessment of sex offenders
  • Balancing motivation to change and public safety: probation and parole regulations
  • Policing procedures and use of lethal force in the era of Black Lives Matter
  • Ethical use of data mining in law enforcement
  • Benefits of community-based alternatives to incarceration
  • Ethics of genetic information use in forensic science: legal and social implications
  • Bias in court cases selection and judicial citations
  • Current issues of high-speed vehicle pursuits
  • Mental health needs of law enforcement officers: tracking and prevention
  • Limitations of crime mapping and their real-world consequences
  • Criminal justice responses to wildlife crimes

Position Paper Topics on Environment

Climate change, deforestation, conservation of endangered species, and technologies for a more sustainable future have come to the forefront of public, political, and scientific discourse and keep growing in urgency. Here are the position topics on some of today's most pressing environmental issues.

  • Drinking water laws acting in the US are inefficient and need amendments
  • Our state needs more stringent drinking water regulations that baseline EPA requirements
  • On the necessity of financing educational programs to inform local communities about lead in drinking water
  • On the necessity to increase the protection of coastal waters, lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands in our area
  • Hydraulic fracturing is endangering drinking water resources and must be more regulated
  • Existing AC and refrigeration systems still using ozone-depleting substances must be withdrawn from the circulation of heavily taxed
  • Our state needs better air quality management policies
  • Urban architecture improvements that need to be introduced to reduce the adverse effects of heat waves on public health
  • On the necessity of improved pest-control measures for reducing pest-related diseases propelled by climate change
  • Steps that need to be taken for ragweed control in our area
  • US Government must push for a greener transportation sector to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, even if it leads to unpopular decisions like raising gasoline and diesel prices
  • Tax deductions must be increased to encourage electro cars ownership
  • Waste sorting in our area is logistically unsustainable
  • The landfill near our town is a public health hazard and must be modernized
  • Reasons why the local community is hesitant to embrace renewable energy sources and how it could be stimulated
  • Why the majority of Republicans do not support the US rejoining the Paris Agreement
  • Not only "cute and cuddly" animals need protection to survive
  • The most vulnerable groups who are at risk due to climate factors
  • Conflicts between whistleblower protection and non-disclosure agreements in the environment protection sphere
  • Farmer's dilemma: chemical fertilizer application vs. soil pollution

Phew, that was a lengthy one. Still, it is possible that you didn't find any attention-grabbing prompts fitting your assignment and personal academic interests. If that's the case, our expert helpers can offer their brainstorming powers for your benefit and craft a personalized suggestions list. Also, you can order a customized sample without specifying any title – your assigned writer will come up with the fitting topic. Don't hesitate to contact our support team if you have any questions. Stay curious and love writing!

Jana Rooheart

Jana Rooheart

Jana Rooheart came to WOWESSAYS™ with a mission to put together and then slice and dice our vast practical experience in crafting all kinds of academic papers. Jana is an aspired blogger with rich expertise in psychology, digital learning tools, and creative writing. In this blog, she willingly shares tricks of pencraft and mind-altering ideas about academic writing any student will find utterly beneficial.

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arguing a position essay topics

130 Argumentative Essay Topics: Tips on How Choose the Best One

arguing a position essay topics

Defining What Is an Argumentative Essay

Imagine the following scenario: You just got into an argument with your friend over climate change. You said that this is an actual issue that poses significant threats to our environment and world population. Your friend, on the other hand, argued that climate change is not real, saying that it's a natural occurrence that has happened several times during world history. You got home, had time to reflect on the debate, and came up with several good reasons for your position. Oh! The things you could have said to clearly express and defend your stance... Now you're annoyed with the constant monologue running through your mind, reflecting upon the previous debate.

What if you documented the arguments that came to you afterward? Much like jotting them down on a piece of paper and giving some direction to your ideas. We say it would have made a brilliant work with fresh ideas and fiery passion.

That's exactly why you should practice argumentative essay writing. It will enhance your reasoning skills while allowing you to become more quick-witted. By doing this, you won't have to listen to your friends defending their stance while you lack your own arguments to contribute to the debate.

To persuade the reader of their position in an argumentative essay, the author must choose a position on a certain subject or problem and provide evidence to support it. This kind of essay is frequently required in high school or college classes to sharpen students' analytical abilities and motivate them to engage in challenging discussions.

So, let's take on a mission of fully understanding how to write an argumentative essay with a clear structure and endless topic ideas. We promise that after reading this article, you'll become an unshakable debater!

Three models of argumentative writing

Three Common Argumentative Essay Models

First, let's start with the three most prevalent models of argumentative writing. Knowing this will guide you toward structuring your essay in your preferred style. The options are:

  • Toulmin model - Most commonly used model out of the three, the Toulmin model starts with an introduction, moves on to a thesis or claim, and then provides information and proof to back up that argument. This type of essay usually includes rebuttals of opposing points. This approach performs effectively when there is no undeniable truth or perfect answer to an issue.
  • Rogerian model - Created by Carl R. Rogers, the Rogerian model of argument assesses a debate and offers a compromise between opposing sides. This paradigm emphasizes cooperation and teamwork. It recognizes that an argument can be seen from a variety of angles. The Rogerian model starts with an introduction, moves to acknowledge opposing views, then states the author's main claims. Before the conclusion, it tries to provide a middle ground by carefully considering all sides of the argument.
  • Classical (Aristotelian) model- In the traditional paradigm, all sides of an argument are examined, and the side with the most convincing evidence is shown to be correct. This approach effectively convinces a listener to take a side in an argument by combining Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.

Proper Argumentative Essay Outline

This is not something new that you should be scared of - an essay outline that consists of classic five paragraphs and employs a sacred triangle of introduction, body, and conclusion. But still, in an argumentative essay outline, you should find something unique to this kind of paper. Let's examine these specifics more closely below with the help of our argumentative essay writing service :

Argumentative Essay Outline


Your first task while writing argumentative essays is to grab the reader's attention with an eye-catching fact, story, or quotation that will work as a hook. Then continue by giving background information and outlining the problem at hand while clearly articulating your case and your point of argument.

  • Background information
  • Thesis statement

I. Introduction

The argumentative essay introduction should grab the reader's attention and provide background information. The introductory paragraph should also include a thesis statement, the main argument the essay will present, and support. For example:

  • Hook : Did you know that over 50% of Americans believe in aliens?
  • Background: UFO sightings and conspiracy theories have been around for decades.
  • Thesis: Despite the lack of concrete evidence, extraterrestrial life is a real possibility that should be explored further.

Body Paragraphs

The body section is where you confidently roll up your sleeves and give direction to your discussion. In the first paragraph, give your best argument in favor of your thesis, using examples, data, or expert opinions. Then, evaluate the data and describe how it backs up your claim. Remember to confront and disprove any potential opposing viewpoints. You might use the same strategy in the second body paragraph for a different argument supporting your thesis.

Consider the opposing position and offer arguments in the third and fourth paragraphs. Lastly, dispute the counterargument and explain why your argument is more powerful.

  • First supporting point
  • Explanation
  • Counterargument
  • Second supporting point

To wrap up, restate your major idea and summarize your supporting points. Explain why your point is important and what it means for the reader. To end on a strong note, encourage the reader to act or think more deeply about the subject.

  • Restate thesis
  • Significance
  • Call to action

Tips for Choosing Argumentative Essay Topics

Making a captivating and thought-provoking argumentative essay requires picking a strong topic. Here are six genuine suggestions to assist you through the process:

How to Choose Good Argumentative Essay Topics_ Tips

  • Keep your audience in mind - Consider the audience for your essay, and attempt to guess what they would think about the topic you wish to cover. Think about if your audience would find it fascinating.
  • Take a risk - Pick a highly debatable subject you think others would want to steer clear of. It will distinguish your topic from other ordinary argumentative essay topics. Make sure you can, however, present the reasoning for all sides of the controversy.
  • Consider your surroundings - Consider things that are either negative aspects or taboos in your environment. Dare to discuss and debate such problems.
  • Select an arguable topic - To avoid writing a dissertation; your topic should be in the middle of being both wide and narrow. Establish your paper's objectives. What point of view or hypothesis are you trying to support? Before you start writing, make an effort to clearly state your aim. If you cannot explain your goal effectively, try to free-write on your subject.
  • Provide logical and persuasive evidence - Ensure that your proof is appropriately documented. Be certain to introduce and explain the relevance of the evidence you use in an easy-to-understand way. Avoid assuming that your evidence will speak for itself and that your readers will draw the conclusions you want from it. Describe the significance of each piece of evidence, how it clarifies or supports your claim, and why it is relevant. Include evidence in your work and use it wisely to support your arguments.
  • Draft your essay - Make sure you include a lot of supporting material presented clearly and fairly, address the opposing viewpoint, and pay close attention to how your essay is organized. Ensure your argumentative essay structure is appropriate for your issue and audience, address and rectify any logical errors, and use appropriate transitions to make it easier for the reader to understand your argument.

Meanwhile, if you'd rather have a PRO craft your paper, you can always buy argumentative essay on our platform.

Examples of Argumentative Essay Topics

Choosing the proper topic for your argumentative essay might be a major difficulty. You should always ensure that your chosen topic is interesting and worthwhile. Your school may occasionally provide you with a selection of subjects, but sometimes you may struggle to choose the topic.

Consider your struggle to be over in the following sections; our persuasive essay writing service will help you find the best argument topics for your upcoming argumentative essay.

Argumentative Essay Topics for Middle Schoolers

Let's start with some easy argumentative essay topics for middle school students.

  • Explain whether or not students should have schoolwork on weekends.
  • Do you believe that the government should determine your school lunch?
  • Should students have to take gym classes?
  • Do you believe that children should have automatic screen time limits or should parents limit screen time manually?
  • Describe your position on whether or not school uniforms should be required.
  • Should violent video games be banned in the United States?
  • How unhealthy are hot dogs?
  • Why or why not should the electoral college be abolished?
  • Should the school day be prolonged to accommodate a long weekend?
  • Do you believe that prerequisite art classes should be mandatory for all college degrees?

Argumentative Essay Topics for High School Students

As you advance your education, you may also pick up more complex topics and open up a meaningful debate. So, here is a list of argumentative essay topics for students in high school.

  • Do you think the FDA is effectively policing what is put into our food?
  • What age do you consider the right age to start using social media?
  • Do you believe a civics test is required for 12th-grade students to pass to graduate?
  • Should professional athletes be permitted to use medications that improve performance?
  • Should high school students receive free breakfast?
  • At what point should children begin doing chores?
  • Do you believe using electronic voting machines makes the electoral process fair?
  • Do we have the power to affect climate change? Or is it far bigger and more powerful than we are?
  • Should the legal age to vote be reduced?
  • Should bottled water be prohibited if environmental protection is so important?

Argumentative Essay Topics for College Students

College students have more freedom when it comes to choosing a topic of choice and freely expressing their opinions. Here are some interesting topics for an essay to delve right into:

  • Should the United States continue with daylight saving time, or should it be eliminated?
  • Should superior grades guarantee scholarship eligibility?
  • Has artificial intelligence overstepped its bounds?
  • Should there be no tuition fees for a public college education?
  • Do we need additional professional sports teams in the United States?
  • Should social media companies be allowed to collect data from their users?
  • Should there be a certain number of Supreme Court justices?
  • Are actors and sportsmen in the entertainment industry paid more than they deserve?
  • Should someone deny medical care due to their religious convictions?
  • Why is the Second Amendment part of the US Constitution that causes the greatest controversy?

Controversial Argumentative Essay Topics

Touching upon controversy makes the best argumentative essay topics for writing. To add a little spice to your paper, consider the following options:

  • Diversity Promotes Tolerance in Society
  • Electronic Voting Is Ineffective Because There Is Too Much Fraud
  • There is No More Free Journalism
  • People Getting Addicted Isn't Caused by Entertainment
  • Reality television fosters unrealistic expectations.
  • Serving in the military is dangerously romanticized
  • People's tax payments do not match the benefits they receive.
  • Given the effects of COVID, further funding for mental health services is necessary.
  • American Women Have the Same Chances as Men
  • Pollution Prevention Is Not Realistic Under the Present Circumstances

Funny Argumentative Essay Topics

You may prefer to debate over funny topics. Here are some choices that will make humorous argumentative essay titles.

  • Which is preferable, the night owl or the morning person?
  • Do we have alien visitors, and if so, what do they want from us?
  • Should the employer impose strict nap requirements?
  • Is it OK to wear socks and flops together?
  • Should scooters take the place of all public transportation?
  • Can you eat pizza with a fork and knife?
  • Should we mandate dancing breaks during the working day?
  • Should we launch an initiative to promote cuddling as the new handshake?
  • Is it moral to routinely tease your loved ones?
  • Should we ban jeans and allow only pajamas to be worn in public?

If you want similar ideas for your next assignment, ask us - ' do my essay topics,' and we'll provide many more funny titles.

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Topics for Argumentative Speech

Here are some topics for argumentative speech from our speech writing service . With these options, you may as well confidently sign up for an inspirational TED talk!

  • What Opinions Do You Have About Cancel Culture?
  • Does being publicly shamed online prevent us from evolving and changing?
  • Phone etiquette: Do you ever feel awkward using your phone among other people?
  • How much, in your opinion, can we infer about our overall satisfaction from what is shared on social media?
  • Should Schools Need a Course in Media Literacy?
  • Does Teaching Happiness in Schools Make Sense?
  • Are there any books that shouldn't be found in public or school libraries?
  • What would you study if there was a unique school that taught you the things you truly wanted to learn?
  • Should Every Young Person Learn How to Trade Stocks?
  • Is Adversity a Prerequisite for Happiness?

Argument Topics on Social Media 

The most efficient argumentative essay title examples relate to social media and online trends. Try the following alternatives:

  • Describe and analyze some of the issues that social media brings to society.
  • Social media has gained increasing acceptance in classrooms over time. Discuss while pointing up positives and drawbacks.
  • Describe the role that social media has had in the radicalization of society.
  • Talk about some ethical issues that become moot when creating a social media account.
  • Discuss how employing social media may assist in increasing your brand's overall value.
  • The importance of social media in contemporary marketing and for kids and teens.
  • What does social media weaponization entail?
  • What are the psychological harms that social media causes?
  • What impact does comedy have on mental health in online forums?
  • What effects do social media have on how people communicate?

Argument Topics on Music

Maybe you'd enjoy an argumentative essay topic on music? Say no more! We have a special place for it in our hearts, and we couldn't wait to share them with you!

  • Why Should a Musician Hire Another Person to Compose Music for Them?
  • How the Making of Music Affects People's Thoughts
  • Should performers utilize their platforms to speak out on social and political issues?
  • Is live music more significant and true to its origins than recorded music?
  • Can one use music as a means of expression and free speech?
  • Is it morally required of musicians to utilize their platform to promote social and political change?
  • Why music education should be a mandatory topic in schools.
  • Why pursuing a profession in music is meaningful and beneficial.
  • Why it's important to acknowledge and encourage the achievements made by women in music.
  • Why it's important to promote and preserve vanishing musical traditions.

Health Argumentative Essay Topics

What about a health-related topic for argumentative essay? Choose one of the below and contribute to the meaningful conversation in medicine!

  • Who carries out the main work, doctors or nurses?
  • Oversleeping has no negative effects on the body.
  • There should be restrictions on human medical testing.
  • Physical and mental health demand different levels of care.
  • Should the use of antibiotics be systematically and carefully regulated?
  • Are health campaigns useful strategies for preventing and controlling disease?
  • Should only those with healthy lives be eligible for organ transplants?
  • Should the US proclaim obesity the biggest threat to the country's health?
  • Should there be any regulation of US healthcare costs to increase access?
  • Should genetic engineering be permitted as a kind of therapy for terminal illnesses?

Argument Topics on Science and Technology

For more up-to-date examples of argumentative essay topics, here are some ideas on science and technology:

  • Do children's IQs differ depending on their socioeconomic status?
  • Are humans becoming more or less lazy as a result of technology?
  • Can we ever settle on Mars?
  • Do technological advances imply a weakening of the force of nature?
  • Can physicians ever be replaced by computers or robots?
  • Should people work on AI development?
  • Is the digitization of healthcare beneficial?
  • Should people be allowed to own their own DNA?
  • Will the use of robots improve our quality of life?
  • What potential advancements in cloud storage are there?

Argument Topics on Sports

We couldn't possibly miss the argumentative essay example topics on sports. Sports are a huge part of our everyday life no matter nation or gender. Examine the topic ideas below; we're sure you'll find something inspiring:

  • Why cheerleading belongs in the Olympic Games.
  • Colleges should prioritize wellness initiatives above athletics.
  • Are amateurs the only ones who practice non-contact versions of American football?
  • What character traits are important in professional football?
  • Could there be a place for women in the NFL?
  • Is it appropriate for national teams to hire players from other nations?
  • Why is women's soccer less well-liked than that played by men?
  • Are the wages of soccer players too high?
  • Is coordination more important in soccer than stamina?
  • Is the current FIFA ranking system accurate?

Argument Topics on Government

As the government is a crucial part of our society, we believe exploring, criticizing, or favoring some political policies, figures, or systems can make the best topic for an essay:

  • How should the government oversee online safety and privacy?
  • Are protests and strikes effective ways to affect how the government works?
  • Should more be done by the government to control and combat the rising issue of wealth inequality?
  • Is choosing the president of the United States through the electoral college a successful process?
  • Should the government be able to control and restrict access to weapons?
  • Should more be done by the government to advance and defend the rights of underrepresented groups?
  • Which political party do you favor in your nation and why?
  • Offer advice on the finest and most efficient strategy to deal with corruption.
  • Which political development or circumstance in the past year most affected you?
  • Should the amount of money given to political campaigns be capped to prevent rich people from exerting too much influence?

Argument Topics on TV, Movies, Video Games

Last but not least, mainstream mediums of entertainment, TV, movies, or video games can also make some effective arguable topics:

  • Do aggressive behavior and violence in society rise due to violent video games?
  • Is it damaging when mental illness is portrayed in TV and film?
  • Is the movie business doing enough to combat whitewashing?
  • Is binge-watching television programs a safe pastime?
  • Indie films: A subgenre or a way of thinking?
  • The Ethics of Making Documentary Films
  • Documentary Films: The Potential to Influence Humanity
  • The Psychosocial Effects of Walt Disney's Heroes
  • Are augmented reality and video games getting too immersive?
  • Should parents be held accountable for watching their kids' graphic or violent media exposure?

Final Words

After researching a variety of excellent essay themes, you might wish to write a well-researched paper on your favorite. Don't forget that we are always ready to help you with all types of writing projects, from selecting an argumentative essay topic to perfecting the cause and effect essay structure . Contact us with your ' write a research paper for me ' request and let us take some of the pressure off your shoulders!

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120+ Strong Argumentative Essay Topics

Strong Argumentative Essay Topic Examples

  • DESCRIPTION Strong Argumentative Essay Topic Examples
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A great argumentative essay topic is one that sparks your interest and offers plenty of room for persuasive writing. Essentially, the more controversial the topic, the more it'll pop, and the easier it will be to take a strong stand for or against. Hot argument topics will leave people with a new opinion, a new perspective and a new appreciation of your writing skills.

Argumentative Essay Hot Topics

These top 10 hot topics for argumentative essays are sure to stir up a fire. Remember, you don't have to agree with the position you take to craft a winning argument, but you do have to make solid, logical arguments backed up by credible sources .

  • Should abortion be banned?
  • Should animal testing be stopped?
  • Is the #metoo movement a good thing?
  • Should manufacturers be responsible for the effects of the chemicals used in the creation of their products?
  • Should illegal immigrants be granted residency?
  • Is there a fake news problem? What is the source?
  • Does "big pharma" have people’s best interests at heart?
  • Is the death penalty a just punishment?
  • Are there moral concerns that should make genetic cloning illegal?
  • What should people do to stop human trafficking?

Argumentative Essay Topics About Politics

Need more topics? Politics has always produced debates amongst even the most loving of friends and family. Look around the world right now, and you'll see political divisions deepening. Here are some interesting topics for exploration. Allow these argumentative essay writing tips to help you pull all your thoughts together into one, cohesive presentation.

  • Which political party has the right ideology?
  • What should be done to reduce income inequality?
  • Is paying down the national deficit the most important issue of our time?
  • Does the Federal Reserve need to stop printing money because it's creating an unsustainable bubble?
  • Is capitalism the best economic system?
  • Is socialism the best economic system?
  • Is America ready for a female president?
  • Should an elected leader represent the interests of his or her own political party, or is it better to try to compromise?
  • What recent political decision has created the most change?
  • Does campaign finance reform work?

Argumentative Essay Topics About Society & Culture

You can also choose an argumentative essay topic about society. Many people live according to their own moral code . Whether it's based on religion, philosophy or individual interests, everyone has a code of sorts. Consider what you might want to argue, from this list or your own personal experience with life.

Once an idea starts to take shape in your head, it's time to formulate your argumentative essay outline using the enclosed sample as a template for your inarguable stance.

  • When will LGTBQ individuals experience equality?
  • Is healthcare a basic human right?
  • Should TV censor explicit content because programmers have an obligation to produce family-friendly programming?
  • Social media simultaneously draws us together and pulls us apart; does the good outweigh the bad or vice versa?
  • Is a gap year precious time for exploration and reflection or a year-long vacation?
  • Some states have begun to decriminalize the possession of certain drugs like marijuana; is this a good idea?
  • Equality is part of lawmaking, but does it work in practice?
  • Should people have the right to own a gun?
  • In cases of terminal illness, should a patient be able to request medically-assisted suicide?
  • Should smoking be illegal?
  • What is the best way to encourage positive conversation about contentious issues?

Argumentative Essay Topics About History

If you’re studying history or simply enjoy it as a subject, you can find plenty of great argumentative essay topics about this subject. Try one of the following.

  • Many people think we should learn from the past, but there are sometimes patterns in history. Do you think history repeats itself?
  • How did the United States Civil War make the country better or worse?
  • Thomas Jefferson made significant contributions to the founding of America, both as a writer and a politician. However, he didn’t live a perfect life. Was he a hero?
  • Does our modern perspective change the “truth” of what happened during major historical events?
  • Pick a past decade and discuss if immigrants and lower socio-economic classes had opportunities at that time.
  • America was reluctant to get involved in World War I, and when they did, many American soldiers lost their lives. Was this a necessary war for America?
  • How did the treatment of Native Americans leave a moral stain on the United States?
  • Slavery was a fundamental part of the American colonies and later, the United States. How did this injustice change the country?
  • What factors contributed to the rise of Naziism in Germany and to the Holocaust? How can these horrors be avoided in the future?
  • The plague decimated the population of Europe and changed the course of history. What was its biggest impact?

More Argumentative Essay Topics for Every Age

Writing an argumentative essay is a great exercise, whether students are in elementary school, middle school, high school, or college. The key is finding topics that interest students and inspire passionate debate. These are some strong topics for every age group.

Argumentative Essay Topics for Kids in Elementary School

The following topics are perfect for elementary school students.

  • Should there be commercials in children’s programs?
  • Does homework help kids learn?
  • Should school go year-round?
  • How can school be fairer for kids from different backgrounds?
  • Do schools treat boys and girls the same way?
  • Should parents limit screen time?
  • Should school start before eight o’clock in the morning?
  • Should kids be able to vote in national elections?
  • Is it better to read fiction or nonfiction?
  • Is it better for kids to have distance-learning or be in school?
  • Do parents treat all their children the same way, or do they treat the oldest and youngest differently?
  • Should kids have the same teacher every year or switch teachers each year?
  • Should video games be a sport?
  • Are schools doing enough to stop bullying?
  • Should kids have homework on weekends?
  • Is it better if three generations of a family live together?
  • Are hot dogs bad for you?
  • Should school lunch include vegetables, even if some kids don’t like them?
  • Are the rules at school fair?
  • Is it okay to eat dessert before dinner?

Argumentative Essay Topics for Middle School

Middle schoolers are becoming more aware of society and the culture around them. These argumentative essay topics are perfect for this age group.

  • Should middle schoolers have jobs like babysitting or mowing lawns?
  • Are beauty pageants a good idea?
  • Are violent video games bad?
  • Should parents be able to say whether kids can dye their hair?
  • Does social media do more harm than good?
  • Do middle schoolers have too much homework?
  • Should teachers get paid more?
  • Is life more challenging for your generation or your parents’?
  • Why is your favorite musician better than anyone else?
  • Should kids read age-appropriate books, or is it okay to read grown-up books?
  • Should there be ratings (like G, PG, and R) for movies?
  • Is it better to ride the bus or walk to school?
  • Is school lunch good for kids?
  • Do you think an hour of reading or an hour of exercising is more beneficial?
  • Should gym class be required?
  • Should kids get paid for getting good grades?
  • Is it better to have class over the computer or in person?
  • Is cyberbullying as big a problem as in-person bullying?
  • Should all cars be electric?

Argumentative Essay Topics for High School

By high school, students should be able to craft a detailed argumentative essay if they have the right topic. These ideas will get high school students inspired.

  • Should people be allowed to burn the flag?
  • Should parents get in trouble for truancy if kids don’t go to school?
  • Is social media bad for relationships?
  • Should companies be required to hire a diverse staff?
  • Are women and men treated equally in your society?
  • Should the minimum wage be raised?
  • Should every student go to college?
  • Is climate change a real threat?
  • Are wind farms a benefit to the environment and economy?
  • Should people be allowed to wear fur coats?
  • Is it a bad idea to sample your DNA for genealogy?
  • Should parents be able to say they don’t want medical treatment for their kids?
  • Is the United States falling behind other countries in terms of education?
  • Do the actions of a country’s leader influence the actions of the people?
  • Should the electoral college be abolished?
  • Should schools be required to offer art courses?
  • Should all new cars be electric?
  • Will artificial intelligence help the world or hurt it?
  • Should high school students work during the school year?
  • Are there forms of personal expression that shouldn’t be allowed in schools?

Argumentative Essay Topics for College

College students need argumentative essay topics that offer room to really build a strong argument and support it with research. These are some ideas.

  • Are men and women equally emotional?
  • Are printed books better than e-readers?
  • Should the drinking age be lowered?
  • Are parents responsible for childhood obesity?
  • Should college be free of charge?
  • Should beauty standards be more inclusive?
  • Are all college majors equally important?
  • Is social media bad for children?
  • Has technology changed our definition of magic?
  • Is it worth exploring space?
  • Should all internships be paid?
  • Should income be tied to the cost of a degree?
  • Is climate change the most serious threat to the world?
  • Is feminism still important?
  • Has society made the necessary reparations for slavery?
  • Should elections be decided by popular vote?
  • Are all people entitled to free health care?
  • Do anti-discrimination laws do enough to protect disabled students?
  • Is a degree from an online college as legitimate as a degree from a brick-and-mortar school?
  • Is it a conflict of interest for a professor to require students to purchase his book?

Artful Argumentation

These argumentative essay topic ideas should offer plenty of inspiration. Argumentative essays are so much fun because you not only have to take a firm stance but also rebut the opposing viewpoint. Addressing a potential rebuttal from the opposition will make your argument stronger. It demonstrates you're not blind to the issue and are prepared to stand strong.

The closest kin to the argumentative essay is the persuasive essay. If you're assigned such a task, take a look at persuasive essay writing made easy . It'll walk you through each and every step to success.

Argumentative Essay Guide

Argumentative Essay Topics

Last updated on: Dec 19, 2023

Argumentative Essay Topics - Compelling Ideas to Get Started

By: Jared P.

18 min read

Reviewed By: Melisa C.

Published on: Oct 22, 2019

Argumentative Essay Topics

Are you about to write an argumentative essay but still confused about the topic?

Argumentative essays help students learn more about the subject matter of a particular course. This kind of writing is a genuine key to learning argumentative skills. You must pay attention to your subject while choosing a strong topic for your essay.

But what if you don’t even know what to write about? 

Don’t worry! Here is a list of topics and tips to help you decide on the perfect topic for your argumentative paper. 

So read on and make choosing a topic easier!

Argumentative Essay Topics

On this Page

Argumentative Essay Topics for students

Argumentative essay writing is one common academic assignment that almost every student will get to draft. In order to help the students, we have prepared a list of argumentative topic ideas. Pick a topic that works the best for you.

Argumentative Essay Topics for Middle School

  • What age is suitable for kids to start schooling?
  • Should students be allowed to evaluate their teachers?
  • Metal music should be banned due to its violent lyrics.
  • What are the pros and cons of making friends virtually?
  • Can we conserve energy as a society?
  • Does playing violent video games contribute to making a person violent in real life too?
  • How close is reality TV to real life?
  • Do girls face more societal pressure than guys?
  • What is the biggest challenge faced by students today?
  • Should there be cash rewards for getting a good score on standardized tests?
  • The rich should pay more taxes than the poor.
  • Cartoons are better than movies.
  • Teachers Vs. Parents: who plays a bigger role in shaping a child?

Argumentative Essay Topics for Grade 6 

Here are some argumentative essay topics for 6th-grade students:

  • Should schools start later in the morning?
  • Is confining wild animals within zoos a cruel practice?
  • Should there be stricter laws for texting and driving?
  • Are social media sites like Facebook and Twitter bad for our society?
  • Should the voting age be lowered to allow young people a voice in democracy?
  • Should the school year be longer or shorter? 
  • Is it okay for children to play violent video games?
  • Should cell phones be banned from schools?
  • Should recycling become a mandatory practice in all households?

Argumentative Essay Topics for 7th Graders 

  • Should schools provide free meals to all students?
  • Are uniforms necessary for student success?
  • Does standardized testing accurately measure student progress?
  • Are after-school activities important for student development?
  • Is there too much emphasis on social media in education today?
  • Should schools place a stronger emphasis on physical education?
  • Are required classes in high school helpful or harmful to students?
  • Should all students have access to laptops and tablets in the classroom?
  • Is technology taking away from traditional learning methods in the classroom?
  • Should gym classes be mandatory for students?

Argumentative Essay Topics for Grade 8

Looking for argumentative essay topics for teenagers? Check out the ideas below: 

  • Should the drinking age be lowered? Should the death penalty be abolished?
  • Is it necessary for governments to fund childcare?
  • Is there too much emphasis on standardized testing in schools?
  • Are schools doing enough to prevent bullying from happening?
  • Do adolescents need more sleep than adults?
  • Should students be allowed to have cell phones in school?
  • Is social media affecting the way we interact with each other?
  • What should be done about the student loan crisis?

Argumentative Essay Topics for High School

  • Is homeschooling better than the public school educational system?
  • Smartphones help the learning process.
  • Is co-education more advantageous than single-sex education?
  • Are GMOs safe for human consumption?
  • Is fast food healthy or a serious threat to physical health?
  • Teenagers feel more comfortable talking on social media rather than face to face.
  • Should it be legal to get a tattoo for kids younger than 18?
  • Are standardized tests beneficial for school students?
  • A negative high school experience you believe is important when it comes to personality.
  • Does the education system prepare a student for the real world?
  • Is there life after death?
  • Our society works on gender equality.
  • Subjects that should be removed from the high school program.
  • Is hate crime growing in high school?

Argumentative Essay Topics for College Students

  • Is the current taxation system effective or not?
  • Are men paid more than women in our corporate sector?
  • Should Shakespeare still be studied as part of the college curriculum?
  • Is college tuition becoming way too expensive?
  • Are test scores the only way to judge the competency of a student?
  • Getting a College degree is worth the cost.
  • Is the system of the electoral college still viable in the US?
  • Youngsters on social networks don’t realize the significance of privacy on these online sites.
  • Life is incomplete without faith.
  • Students nowadays face greater social pressures compared to the past.
  • Your past does not define you.
  • What can be done about gun control in the United States?
  • Is it ethical to genetically modify children to protect against diseases?
  • Do we need more gender diversity in STEM programs?

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Argumentative Essay Topics for University Students 

  • Should mental health services be made available for free?
  • Is income inequality a necessary part of capitalism?
  • Should the minimum wage be raised in all countries?
  • Does technology have a positive or negative impact on mental health?
  • Should universities be allowed to charge students for taking classes?
  • Is it necessary for governments to fund space exploration?
  • Should religion be taught in public schools?
  • Are animal experiments necessary for medical progress?
  • Should young students join a political party to enhance the democratic process?
  • Does free speech help promote extremism in society?

Argumentative Essay Topics for O Levels 

  • Should the government regulate the use of social media?
  • Is the death penalty an effective way to prevent crime?
  • Are online classes replacing traditional courses in schools?
  • Do standardized tests accurately measure academic achievement?
  • Should abortion be legalized in all countries?
  • Do celebrity role models have a positive or negative influence on young people?
  • Should school uniforms be mandatory in all schools?
  • Should the Internet be censored by governments around the world?
  • Should GMO foods be allowed in supermarkets?
  • Does free trade help or harm developing economies?

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Best Argumentative Essay Topics

Just as important as it is to create compelling content, choosing a great topic is equally important. If you want to score well in academics, you will have to impress your instructor with the best argumentative essay topics.

Below are some great topic ideas for you related to different fields. Choose the right topic for your essay and start the process.

Sports Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Can video gamers be counted as true athletes?
  • By participating in sports, can children be kept out of trouble?
  • Should girls be allowed to participate in the same sports as boys?
  • Should alternatives to steroids be legalized for professional athletes?
  • Do you consider cheerleading a sport?
  • Does your College spend a lot of money in the name of sports programs?
  • Student-athletes should get money for playing.
  • Betting on sports should be illegal.
  • Sports events shouldn’t broadcast alcohol and tobacco ads.
  • Are female athletes looked upon as sexual objects by the media?
  • All athletes should be tested for drugs before their performance.
  • Females should not be allowed to take part in extreme sports.
  • Impact of bodybuilding on a woman’s body in old age.

Argumentative Essay Topics Education

  • Parents should have an active role in their child's education.
  • The grading system shouldn’t exist to judge a student’s abilities.
  • Standardized tests should be abolished in schools.
  • All students must wear a uniform in high school.
  • Does technology benefit the educational system?
  • Studying in a single-sex class is better than studying in a mixed one?
  • All students must be made to learn a foreign language?
  • Programming should be made compulsory for all students.
  • Should students have sex education classes at school?
  • Should schools have the right to test students for drugs?
  • Girls should be equally encouraged to take part in sports in school.
  • The world should have a uniform language.
  • Hard work isn’t enough for being successful in a student’s life.
  • Should teachers be allowed to physically discipline their students?
  • How to bring change in the education system of the United States?

Social Media Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Are social networks an effective platform for communication?
  • Do people really get a job through LinkedIn?
  • Is Facebook legally allowed to leak the private information of its users?
  • Is it possible to earn a good amount of money from YouTube?
  • Should Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter be banned permanently?
  • Social media has successfully increased employment rates.
  • Celebrity endorsements are unethical.
  • Social media has destroyed real-life communication.
  • Social media has made doing business easier.
  • Blogging is an irrelevant profession.
  • How is social media depicting beauty standards?
  • How has social media become a major source of inferiority complex among teenagers?
  • Is it possible to have a life without social media at this time?
  • Should underaged children be allowed to own social media accounts?
  • Pros and cons of social media.

Argumentative Essay Topics Technology

  • Are cell phones harmful to the human race?
  • Are spy applications invading the privacy of users?
  • Are Millennials more dependent on computers than Baby Boomers?
  • Is Typescript the future of front-end development?
  • The impact of microwave tech on our biology.Technology has made us lazier.
  • Should coding be taught from middle school?
  • Cognitive Computers like Watson are unethical.
  • Should a candidate’s social media profiles be considered in the hiring process?
  • Children shouldn’t be given personal mobile phones.
  • Self-driving cars and the future of transportation.
  • Has technology made people less efficient?
  • Technological advancements in the field of psychology.
  • Is the future in the hands of Artificial Intelligence?
  • Pros and cons of depending a lot on technology.

American History Argumentative Essay Topics

  • What was the impact of European colonization on Native Americans?
  • What was the role of women in the movement toward revolution?
  • What were the key causes of the American Revolution?
  • The key issues that caused conflict between North and South and led to the civil war?
  • The effects of the Great Depression on the banking industry in America.
  • Did the Civil Rights Movement reduce or lead to racial violence?
  • Post World War II, how did America grow?
  • 21st-century American foreign policy.
  • Is Barack Obama the first American president who made history?
  • Was slavery an inevitable part of the development of American society?
  • Should the Indian Removal Act be considered an act of genocide?

Mental Health Argumentative Essay Topics 

  • Are antidepressants overprescribed in modern society?
  • Should mental health services be made free for all?
  • Is social media affecting mental health negatively?
  • Is there a stigma attached to seeking out mental health help?
  • What role do genetics and environment play in determining mental illness?
  • Can art and music therapy be effective treatments for mental illness?
  • How can we tackle the stigma associated with mental illness?
  • What can be done to reduce the prevalence of anxiety in young people?
  • Should there be mandatory mental health education in schools?

Social Issues Argumentative Topics

  • Should male workers receive paternity leave too?
  • Is age a major factor in relationship success or failure?
  • Is torture acceptable under any circumstance?
  • What are the primary causes of down syndrome?
  • What should the punishments be for failed parenting?
  • A candidate’s appearance shouldn’t be considered in a job hiring process.
  • Some common stereotypes in your society.
  • Cheating is increasing every day.
  • We are way too dependent on computers and technology.
  • Is boredom the cause of getting into trouble?
  • Beauty magazines should stop photoshopping models.
  • Capitalism vs. socialism. What would benefit society more?
  • Is the women’s rights movement justified?
  • The real objectives of Feminism.
  • Impact of homosexuality on society.

Argumentative Essay Topics Animals

  • Hunting for fun and sports is unethical and must get banned.
  • Aggressive dog breeds such as pit bulls should not be allowed as pets.
  • Testing beauty products on animals is justifiable.
  • Using monkeys for research in labs is a necessary evil.
  • Wearing fur and leather shouldn’t be unethical.
  • Is genetic modification of livestock beneficial?
  • Animal dissection in medical school is a good way to learn.
  • Owning pets reduces the risk of getting diseases. Do you agree?
  • Emotional support animals can truly help lonely people.
  • Keeping exotic animals as pets is inhumane.
  • Stronger laws must be enforced against animal cruelty.
  • Pros and cons of animal testing.
  • How can the emotional support of animals help in treating mental problems?
  • Significance of microchipping the pets.
  • Rights enjoyed by the ESA owners.

Argumentative Research Paper Topics

  • Ways to decrease childcare costs in the United States.
  • Are literate people better parents?
  • Challenges faced by female politicians.
  • Is rehab effective for sex offenders?
  • Is music a form of real art?
  • Spanish is a simple language to learn.
  • Schools should ban vending machines on-campus.
  • Are teachers to blame when a student performs poorly?
  • Are gender stereotypes encouraged by parents?
  • Illegal immigrants and terrorism: is it related?
  • Can imposing a tax on sugar help fight obesity.
  • Should age be a factor in relationships?
  • Do dreams have a symbolic meaning?
  • Should South and North Korea become one?
  • Can depression be cured using natural ways?

Unique Argumentative Essay Topics

Looking for some general argumentative essay topic ideas? Here is an ultimate list of great topics that can make your essay writing fun for you and your readers.

Controversial Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Should same-sex marriage be legal in all 50 states within the United States of America?
  • Is the feminist movement ruining the minds of young girls?
  • Corruption and its effects on increasing wages.
  • Hunting should be banned globally. Do you agree?
  • Which is more beneficial for society, Communism or Capitalism?
  • Should human cloning be allowed or not?
  • Abortion – A pro-life or a pro-choice?
  • Do anti-discrimination laws reinforce discrimination?
  • Should patients be entitled to request medically-assisted suicide in cases of terminal illness?
  • Can beauty standards be more inclusive?
  • Workplace dating should not be allowed, and here’s why.
  • Displaced immigrants and refugees should be given shelter by every country.
  • Is vegan or vegetarian life good for health?
  • Online dating has ruined the essence of old-school romance.
  • Chocolate can help improve our bad mood.
  • Is it ethical to eat meat?
  • Mothers make better parents naturally.
  • Politics can never be clean and fair.
  • Should the drinking age be lowered?

Easy Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Are girls more intelligent than boys?
  • Parents of middle schoolers should control their internet.
  • Was Johnny Depp the best choice for Burton’s Ed Wood?
  • Do religious movements cause the outbreak of war?
  • Are human beings the major source of global climate change?
  • Is it ethical to have kids perform chores?
  • Is using LEDs making a difference?
  • How does being a vegan help the environment?
  • Should teenage marriages be allowed?
  • Social media has brought families closer. Is there any truth to this statement?
  • If the House of Lords had veto power over the House of Commons, Britain would’ve been better off.
  • It’s okay to date multiple people at the same time.
  • HIV is falsely associated with homosexuals. Why?
  • Why are the laws neglecting tobacco and alcohol?
  • Most of the modern-time artists are one-hit wonders.

Fun Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Is panda hugging a viable career option?
  • Does Justin Bieber owe his success to negative PR?
  • Is it true that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?
  • Is the Bermuda Triangle a real thing?
  • Is it okay for parents to lie to their children about Santa Claus?
  • Did the feminist movement ever help you?
  • How did the feminist movement ever help you?
  • There is no such thing as organic food.
  • How to make your roommate believe that moving out is the best option.
  • Why should I join a different family?
  • Fans should not judge players after losses or failures.
  • Is social promotion a helpful practice?
  • Is racism a natural condition of human society?
  • Dieting must not be practiced by schoolers.
  • Should tattoos be perceived as a social deviation?

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Argumentative Essay Topics 2022

  • Are US elections always fair?
  • Is the death penalty an effective punishment for criminals?
  • Is it wise to replace soldiers with machines and artificial intelligence on battlefields?
  • Should animals be used for performing experiments?
  • Effects of terrorism on the foreign policy of the United States of America's cosmetic surgery worth the risks?
  • What is your point of view on a terminally ill person having the right to assisted suicide?
  • Life 100 years ago was much easier than it is today.
  • Is religion a factor that contributes to war?
  • A woman who doesn’t have enough resources to raise a child to be allowed to abort?
  • Physical activities are the most convenient way to relax.
  • The best way to enhance education is to decrease the number of classes.
  • Sports classes should become mandatory for everybody.
  • The pros and cons of using gadgets for studying purposes.
  • What is the most important socio-political movement of the modern era?

Argumentative Essay Topics 2023

The following are some amazing topics for argumentative essays. Have a look at them to get a better idea.

  • Fast food is responsible for childhood obesity in the US.
  • Is the United States ready for a female president?
  • Parents need to be very friendly with their kids.
  • Are smartphones harmful to our health?
  • Education needs to be free for all.
  • Is single-sex education still a good idea in 2020?
  • Should all people pursue a university degree worldwide?
  • Internet access must be unlimited and free.
  • Modern education has to eliminate grading systems.
  • Capitalism should acquire more socially significant policies.
  • Tourist tax is mandatory to save cultural heritage.
  • Kindergartens must introduce foreign language instruction.
  • Is hunting good for environmental well-being?
  • Using animals for research must be banned.
  • Women perform better than men in official positions and occupations.

Choosing a Good Argumentative Essay Topic

So you know the importance of choosing the right topic when writing an argumentative essay.

But what are you going to write about?

You sure don’t want to pick an argumentative essay topic that everyone else is working on. And you don’t want to research an argumentative topic where information and data are impossible to find.

You hopefully want to write on a debatable topic that will interest both you and your reader. Here are the criteria we use to choose a topic for argumentative essays:

  • It has to be interesting to the writer. You’ll be outlining, researching, and writing in-depth, so pick an engaging topic for your argument.
  • Have some information to begin with. The more familiar you are with the subject area, the easier it will be for both you and the reader.
  • The best argumentative essay topics are mostly controversial. If there’s no conflict and everyone agrees on everything, it won’t qualify as an argumentative essay.
  • An arguable thesis statement can be created according to the topic.

What Makes a Good Argumentative Essay?

A good argumentative essay is one that presents a well-reasoned and logical argument. It should be supported by facts and evidence, not just speculation or opinion. To create an effective argumentative essay, the writer must provide a strong case for their position on any given topic.

Strong Introduction and Thesis 

The first element of a good argumentative essay is an interesting and clear introduction. This should introduce the topic in a way that engages readers and makes them want to learn more. 

It should also provide an overview of the writer's position on the issue, as well as any evidence they will be using to support their argument.

Good Research and Evidence 

Good argumentation requires good evidence. So a good argumentative essay should be backed up by research and evidence. 

If a writer is making an assertion, they must provide evidence to back it up. This could include physical evidence such as statistics or quotes from experts in the field, as well as logical arguments that support their position.

Organized Structure 

The structure of an argumentative essay is also important. It should be structured in a way that makes it easy to follow and understand. 

This could include using headings, subheadings, and bullet points to break up the text into more manageable pieces. In addition, it should have a clear flow of ideas, with each paragraph logically leading to the next.

Effective Conclusion 

Finally, a good argumentative essay should have an effective conclusion. This should provide a summary of the writer's main points and reiterate their position on the issue.  The conclusion should also leave readers with something to think about, leaving them informed and with new insight.

After reading our list, don’t be surprised if your mind starts coming up with additional topics for an argumentative essay. We recommend that you keep a notebook or journal handy to record these topic ideas for later.

These were some of the most interesting essay topics . Did you find a topic to write on?

Now, before you overwhelm yourself by jumping straight to the writing process, we have a helpful tip for you. Go through this detailed article to learn how to craft an argumentative essay effectively.

Seeking help from professionals is nothing to be ashamed of, especially when your grades are at stake. It is quite common for some students not to have a knack for writing. Also, some might not have the time to complete assignments.

If you can relate to such students, you should consider taking help from a reliable essay writing service such as 5StarEssays.com . You can simply request ‘ write my essay '. And we will have an expert essay writer to provide you with high-quality assignments regardless of type and field.

Or, use our AI Essay Generator , for AI powered writing help to guide your way!

Jared P.

Masters Essay, Literature

Jared P. is a renowned author and writing service provider with over fifteen years of experience in the publishing industry. He has a Ph.D. degree in English Literature and has spent his entire career helping students achieve their academic goals by providing expert writing assistance.

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50 Argumentative Essay Topics for Students

50 Argumentative Essay Topics for Students

4-minute read

  • 11th June 2022

The goal of an argumentative essay is to persuade the reader to understand and support your position on an issue by presenting your reasoning along with supporting evidence. It’s important to find the right balance between giving your opinions and presenting established research.

These essays discuss issues around a range of topics, including science, technology, politics, and healthcare. Whether you’re a teacher looking for essay topics for your students or a student tasked with developing an idea of your own, we’ve compiled a list of 50 argumentative essay topics to help you get started!

●  Does texting hinder interpersonal communication skills?

●  Should there be laws against using devices while driving?

●  Do violent video games teach or encourage people to behave violently?

●  Should social media sites be allowed to collect users’ data?

●  Should parents limit how long their children spend in front of screens?

●  Is AI helping or hurting society?

●  Should cyber-bullying carry legal consequences?

●  Should Supreme Court justices be elected?

●  Is war always a political decision?

●  Should people join a political party?

●  Is capitalism ethical?

●  Is the electoral college an effective system?

●  Should prisoners be allowed to vote?

●  Should the death penalty be legal?

●  Are governments around the world doing enough to combat global warming?

●  Is healthcare a fundamental human right?

●  Should vaccinations be mandated for children?

●  Are there any circumstances under which physician-assisted suicides should be legal?

●  Should parents be able to choose specific genetic modifications of their future children?

●  Should abortion be legal?

●  Is it ethical to perform medical experiments on animals?

●  Should patients who lead unhealthy lifestyles be denied organ transplants?

●  Should doctors be able to provide medical care to children against their parents’ wishes?

Mental Healthcare

●  What causes the stigma around mental health?

●  Discuss the link between insufficient access to mental health services and the high suicide rates among veterans.

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●  Should cannabis be used as a treatment for patients with mental disorders?

●  Is there a link between social media use and mental disorders?

●  Discuss the effect of physical activity on mental health.

●  Should sports be segregated by gender?

●  Should male and female athletes be given the same pay and opportunities?

●  Are professional athletes overpaid?

●  Should college athletes be paid?

●  Should sports betting be legal?

●  Should online access to art such as music be free?

●  Should graffiti be considered art or vandalism?

●  Are there any circumstances under which books should be banned?

●  Should schools be required to offer art courses?

●  Is art necessary to society?

●  Should schools require uniforms?

●  Should reciting the Pledge of Allegiance be required in schools?

●  Do standardized tests effectively measure intelligence?

●  Should high school students take a gap year before pursuing higher education?

●  Should higher education be free?

●  Is there too much pressure on high school students to attend college?

●  Are children better off in two-parent households?

●  Should LGBTQ+ partners be allowed to adopt?

●  Should single people be able to adopt children as easily as couples?

●  Is it okay for parents to physically discipline their children?

●  Does helicopter parenting help or hurt children?

●  Should parents monitor their children’s Internet use?

Proofreading & Editing

An argument could also be made for the importance of proofreading your essay ! The reader can focus more on your message when your writing is clear, concise, and error-free, and they won’t question whether you’re knowledgeable on the issues you’re presenting. Once you have a draft ready, you can submit a free trial document to start working with our expert editors!

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114 Good Argumentative Essay Topics for Students in 2023

April 25, 2023

argumentative essay topics

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 .

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Lauren Green

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 a forthcoming novel (Viking/Penguin).

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300 Questions and Images to Inspire Argument Writing

Recent Student Opinion and Picture Prompts, categorized by topic, to help students discover the issues that matter to them.

arguing a position essay topics

By The Learning Network

Update: This list is available as a PDF .

If you’ve taught argument writing with our resources in the past, you already know we ask a fresh question every day as part of our long-running Student Opinion series . Teenagers around the world are invited to visit and post their thoughts on topics including politics, medical ethics, fashion, sports and entertainment.

We’ve rounded up lists of these prompts in the past, but this year we’re doing something new: Below you can find a categorized collection of all our recent, relevant Student Opinion questions, but alongside them we’re also including related Picture Prompts. These short, image-based forums are accessible to learners of all ages, but still provide engaging jumping-off points to help students make and support claims.

For instance, let’s say your class is interested in meme culture. A Student Opinion question asks, “ Do Memes Make the Internet a Better Place? ” and invites students to read and weigh in on a New York Times article that examines the role of memes in how teenagers process world events. Over 700 students have already submitted their thoughts .

But if you scan the “Technology and Social Media” category below, you’ll see we also have a Picture Prompt that asks a more direct, concrete question: “ What are your favorite memes? ” For many, that may be a fun, comfortable place to start.

So give your students both “voice and choice” by inviting them to find the questions and format that speak to them. All the prompts below are still open for comment. We look forward to seeing which ones inspire the most passionate arguments, and we invite your class to submit the results to our Eighth Annual Editorial Contest .

Argumentative Prompt Topics

Technology & social media, coronavirus, college & career, mental & physical health, race & gender, parenting & childhood, ethics & morality, government & politics, other questions.

Article-Based Prompts

1. How Worried Should We Be About Screen Time During the Pandemic? 2. How Do You Feel About Cancel Culture? 3. Do Memes Make the Internet a Better Place? 4. Does Online Public Shaming Prevent Us From Being Able to Grow and Change? 5. How Young Is Too Young to Use Social Media? 6. Where Should We Draw the Line Between Community Health and Safety and Individual Liberty and Privacy? 7. Do You Think Online Conspiracy Theories Can Be Dangerous? 8. What Do You Think of the Decision by Tech Companies to Block President Trump? 9. Should the Adults in Your Life Be Worried by How Much You Use Your Phone? 10. Is Your Phone Love Hurting Your Relationships? 11. Do You Trust Facebook? 12. Do You Think Recreational Drones Are Safe? 13. Should Kids Be Social Media Influencers? 14. Does Grammar Still Matter in the Age of Twitter? 15. Should Texting While Driving Be Treated Like Drunken Driving? 16. How Do You Think Technology Affects Dating?

Image-Based Prompts

17. Online Video Games : Does more need to be done to make online gaming communities safer? 18. A Computer in Everything : Do “smart” devices worry you? 19. Snail Mail : Do you think handwritten cards and letters still have value in the digital age? 20. Cyberbullying : Should social media companies do more to prevent online harassment? 21. Phone Manners : Are there times when you think using your phone while you’re with other people is rude? 22. Alarm Clocks : Are there any “dumb” devices that you think are better than “smart” devices? 23. Phone Warnings : Should tech devices come with addiction advisories? 24. Phones in Church : Are there some places where phones just don’t belong? 25. Driverless Cars : What do you think about driverless cars? 26. Texting While Walking : Should looking at your phone while crossing the street be illegal? 27. Device Addiction? : As a society, are we too addicted to our devices? 28. ‘A Man Needs His Nuggs’ : What do you think of Carter Wilkerson’s quest, and its results? 29. Soothing Video Games : Can video games intended to calm the mind be fun? Worthwhile? 30. Our Lives on Social Media : How much do you think we can judge our collective happiness by what is posted on social media? 31. ‘Bracelet of Silence’ : Would you wear privacy armor? 32. Baby Yoda : What are your favorite memes? 33. Tesla’s ‘Cybertruck’ : What do you think of this “pickup of the future”? 34. The ‘Bird Box’ Challenge : What do you think of social media challenges like this one?

35. Should Media Literacy Be a Required Course in School? 36. Should Schools Be Able to Discipline Students for What They Say on Social Media? 37. How Should Schools Hold Students Accountable for Hurting Others? 38. Should Schools Provide Free Pads and Tampons? 39. Can Empathy Be Taught? Should Schools Try to Help Us Feel One Another’s Pain? 40. When the Pandemic Ends, Will School Change Forever? 41. Should Schools Change How They Grade Students During the Pandemic? 42. Should Students Be Monitored When Taking Online Tests? 43. Should There Still Be Snow Days? 44. How Should Racial Slurs in Literature Be Handled in the Classroom? 45. Should Teachers Be Allowed to Wear Political Symbols? 46. Should Schools or Employers Be Allowed to Tell People How They Should Wear Their Hair? 47. Are Straight A’s Always a Good Thing? 48. Should Schools Teach You How to Be Happy? 49. How Do You Think American Education Could Be Improved? 50. Should Schools Test Their Students for Nicotine and Drug Use? 51. Can Social Media Be a Tool for Learning and Growth in Schools? 52. Should Facial Recognition Technology Be Used in Schools? 53. Should Your School Day Start Later? 54. Should Yearbooks Include Political News? 55. How Should Senior Year in High School Be Spent? 56. Should Teachers Be Armed With Guns? 57. Is School a Place for Self-Expression? 58. Should Students Be Punished for Not Having Lunch Money? 59. Is Live-Streaming Classrooms a Good Idea? 60. Should Gifted and Talented Education Be Eliminated? 61. What Are the Most Important Things Students Should Learn in School? 62. Should Schools Be Allowed to Censor Student Newspapers? 63. Do You Feel Your School and Teachers Welcome Both Conservative and Liberal Points of View? 64. Should Teachers and Professors Ban Student Use of Laptops in Class? 65. Should Schools Teach About Climate Change? 66. Should All Schools Offer Music Programs? 67. Does Your School Need More Money? 68. Should All Schools Teach Cursive? 69. What Role Should Textbooks Play in Education? 70. Do Kids Need Recess? 71. Should Public Preschool Be a Right for All Children?

72. Graduation in a Pandemic : Is your school doing enough to honor seniors? 73. Most Challenged Books : Are there books that don’t belong in schools or public libraries? 74. Mascot : If you could choose one mascot to represent your school, what would it be? 75. Math : How do you feel about math? 76. Sleep Deprivation : Do you think school should start later for teenagers? 77. Standardized Tests : Is there too much testing at your school? Why or why not? 78. Teacher Walkouts : Do you think teachers should be paid more? Why or why not? 79. Mermaid School : If there could be a special school that would teach you something you really want to learn, what would that school be?

Article-Based Prompts 80. What Weaknesses and Strengths About Our World Are Being Exposed by This Pandemic? 81. As Coronavirus Cases Surge, How Should Leaders Decide What Stays Open and What Closes? 82. How Should We Balance Safety and Urgency in Developing a Covid-19 Vaccine? 83. Do You Want Your Parents and Grandparents to Get the New Coronavirus Vaccine? 84. Do You Think People Have Gotten Too Relaxed About Covid? 85. How Do You Feel About Mask-Slipping?

86. Surge : How should the United States keep the coronavirus pandemic at bay? 87. Masks : What “civic rules” do you think we should all follow now? 88. Paid to Laugh : Would you attend a live TV show taping — if you got money for it? 89. Dolly’s Donation : How do you feel about celebrity philanthropy? 90. Crowds and Covid : How do you feel about crowds during the pandemic? 91. Going Nowhere Fast : Would you take a flight to nowhere?

92. Should Students Be Required to Take the SAT and ACT to Apply to College? 93. Should National Service Be Required for All Young Americans? 94. What Is Your Reaction to the College Admissions Cheating Scandal? 95. Is the College Admissions Process Fair? 96. Should Everyone Go to College? 97. Should College Be Free? 98. Are Lavish Amenities on College Campuses Useful or Frivolous? 99. Should ‘Despised Dissenters’ Be Allowed to Speak on College Campuses? 100. How Should the Problem of Sexual Assault on Campuses Be Addressed? 101. Should Fraternities Be Abolished? 102. Is Student Debt Worth It? 103. Do Other People Care Too Much About Your Post-High School Plans? 104. Should All Young People Learn How to Invest in the Stock Market?

105. Jack-of-All-Trades : Is it better to focus on one thing early in life and get really good at it?

106. Should Students Get Mental Health Days Off From School? 107. Is Struggle Essential to Happiness? 108. Does Every Country Need a ‘Loneliness Minister’? 109. Should Schools Teach Mindfulness? 110. Should All Children Be Vaccinated? 111. What Do You Think About Vegetarianism? 112. Do We Worry Too Much About Germs? 113. What Advice Should Parents and Counselors Give Teenagers About Sexting? 114. Are Emotional-Support Animals a Scam? 115. Do You Believe in Manifesting?

116. Optimism : Is your glass half-empty or half-full? 117. Cursing : Is it ever OK, useful or even healthy to curse? Or is it always inappropriate? 118. Anger Rooms : Do you think places like this are a good idea?

119. What Is Your Reaction to the Days of Protest That Followed the Death of George Floyd? 120. How Should Parents Teach Their Children About Race and Racism? 121. Is America ‘Backsliding’ on Race? 122. Should All Americans Receive Anti-Bias Education? 123. Should All Companies Require Anti-Bias Training for Employees? 124. Should Columbus Day Be Replaced With Indigenous Peoples Day? 125. Is Fear of ‘The Other’ Poisoning Public Life? 126. Justice Ginsburg Fought for Gender Equality. How Close Are We to Achieving That Goal? 127. What Should #MeToo Mean for Teenage Boys? 128. Should There Be More Boy Dolls? 129. Should the Boy Scouts Be Coed? 130. What Is Hard About Being a Boy?

131. Fashion-Show Diversity : What other industries or aspects of life need more diversity? 132. A Town’s New Seal : Why do you think Whitesboro, N.Y., decided to change its seal? 133. Gender Expectations : Do you ever find gender expectations or norms confining? 134. Women’s History Month : What does this holiday mean to you? 135. Boys and Men : What does it mean to “be a man”? 136. Women in Movies : Should some movies dominated by male actors be remade with largely female casts? 137. Unisex Clothing : Should clothing labeling be unisex? 138. Feminism : Do you consider yourself a feminist? 139. Gender and ‘Genderless’ : Do you think that gender is binary?

140. What Are the Greatest Songs of All Time? 141. Should Museums Return Looted Artifacts to Their Countries of Origin? 142. How Do You Feel About Censored Music? 143. What Role Should Celebrities Have During the Coronavirus Crisis? 144. Can You Separate Art From the Artist? 145. Are There Subjects That Should Be Off-Limits to Artists, or to Certain Artists in Particular? 146. Should Art Come With Trigger Warnings? 147. Should Graffiti Be Protected? 148. Is the Digital Era Improving or Ruining the Experience of Art? 149. Are Museums Still Important in the Digital Age? 150. In the Age of Digital Streaming, Are Movie Theaters Still Relevant? 151. Is Hollywood Becoming More Diverse? 152. What Stereotypical Characters Make You Cringe? 153. Do We Need More Female Superheroes? 154. Do Video Games Deserve the Bad Rap They Often Get? 155. Should Musicians Be Allowed to Copy or Borrow From Other Artists? 156. Is Listening to a Book Just as Good as Reading It? 157. Is There Any Benefit to Reading Books You Hate?

158. Hologram Musicians : Which departed artists would you like to see perform live? 159. Movie Theaters : In the age of digital streaming, are movie theaters still relevant? 160. ‘The Image of the Revolution’ : What is it about this photograph that makes it so powerful? 161. Book Covers : What are your favorite book covers? Why? 162. Fashion Trends : What are your favorite fashion trends? What trends do you hate? 163. Fashion Comebacks : What trends from the past would you like to see revived? 164. Murals : Can art be an act of resistance? 165. An 18-Karat Throne : Is this art? 166. A Hug Seen Around the World : Why do you think this image became so popular so quickly? 167. The Role of Public Broadcasting : Do you think programs like “Sesame Street” make the U.S. smarter, stronger and safer? 168. Best Books? : What have you read and loved this year?

169. Should Girls and Boys Sports Teams Compete in the Same League? 170. Should College Athletes Be Paid? 171. Are Youth Sports Too Competitive? 172. Is It Selfish to Pursue Risky Sports Like Extreme Mountain Climbing? 173. How Should We Punish Sports Cheaters? 174. Should Technology in Sports Be Limited? 175. Should Blowouts Be Allowed in Youth Sports? 176. Are Some Youth Sports Too Intense? 177. Does Better Sports Equipment Unfairly Improve Athletic Ability? 178. Is It Offensive for Sports Teams and Their Fans to Use Native American Names, Imagery and Gestures?

179. Brady’s Big Move : How do you feel about Tom Brady leaving the Patriots? 180. Tiger Woods Wins : What are the greatest comebacks in history? 181. Referees : Do sports officials deserve more respect? 182. $430 Million Deal : Is any athlete worth that amount of money? 183. Super Bowl Commercials : Was it smart for advertisers to steer clear of controversy in 2019? 184. Champions : What team in any sport would you like to see win a championship? 185. The Outspoken N.B.A. : Should all sports leagues treat political speech as a right for their players? 186. Gymnastics on Horseback : What is the world’s most difficult sport? 187. Tackle Football : Should children under the age of 12 play tackle football, in your opinion? 188. Breakdancing : Should dance be an Olympic event? 189. Coed Sports : Do you think women and men should compete against each other in sports? 190. Super Bowl Halftime Performer : Whom would you choose to perform at the Super Bowl, and why? 191. Colin Kaepernick’s Protest : What do you think of this protest?

192. Should Parents Track Their Children? 193. Who Should Decide Whether a Teenager Can Get a Tattoo or Piercing? 194. Is It Harder to Grow Up in the 21st Century Than It Was in the Past? 195. Is Childhood Today Over-Supervised? 196. How Should Parents Talk to Their Children About Drugs? 197. What Should We Call Your Generation? 198. Do Parents Ever Cross a Line by Helping Too Much With Schoolwork? 199. What’s the Best Way to Discipline Children? 200. What Are Your Thoughts on ‘Snowplow Parents’? 201. Should Stay-at-Home Parents Be Paid? 202. When Do You Become an Adult?

203. Household Chores : Do you think children should help out around the house? 204. Spy Cams : Should parents use smart devices to keep tabs on their children when they’re home alone? 205. Adults With Rainbow Hair : Are there some trends adults just should not try? 206. Parenting Skills : Should parents say “no” more often when their children ask for new things?

207. Should Students Be Monitored When Taking Online Tests? 208. What Makes a Great Leader? 209. Is It OK to Laugh During Dark Times? 210. Is It Immoral to Increase the Price of Goods During a Crisis? 211. Would You Allow an Ex-Prisoner to Live With You? 212. Would You Return a Lost Wallet? (What if It Had Lots of Money in It?) 213. Is It Wrong to Focus on Animal Welfare When Humans Are Suffering? 214. Is Animal Testing Ever Justified? 215. Should We Be Concerned With Where We Get Our Pets? 216. Is This Exhibit Animal Cruelty or Art? 217. Should Extinct Animals Be Resurrected? If So, Which Ones? 218. Why Do Bystanders Sometimes Fail to Help When They See Someone in Danger? 219. Is It Ethical to Create Genetically Edited Humans? 220. Should Reporters Ever Help the People They Are Covering? 221. Is It OK to Use Family Connections to Get a Job? 222. Is $1 Billion Too Much Money for Any One Person to Have? 223. Are We Being Bad Citizens If We Don’t Keep Up With the News? 224. Should Prisons Offer Incarcerated People Education Opportunities? 225. Should Law Enforcement Be Able to Use DNA Data From Genealogy Websites for Criminal Investigations? 226. Should We Treat Robots Like People?

227. World’s Big Sleep Out : What lengths would you go to in support of a worthy cause? 228. Tipping : Do you leave a tip whenever you’re asked to? 229. Cash Reward : Should you accept a cash reward for doing the right thing? 230. Cheating : Would you tell if you caught your classmates cheating? 231. Do Not Resuscitate : Should doctors have tried to revive this man? 232. Hitler and History : Should the bunker where Hitler killed himself be a tourist attraction? 233. Solving Global Problems : As the head of a global foundation, what problem would you solve?

234. Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished? 235. If You Were a Member of Congress, Would You Vote to Impeach President Trump? 236. Who Do You Think Should Be Person of the Year for 2020? 237. Should the United States Decriminalize the Possession of Drugs? 238. What Would You Do First if You Were the New President? 239. Does Everyone Have a Responsibility to Vote? 240. How Should We Remember the Problematic Actions of the Nation’s Founders? 241. Do You Care Who Sits on the Supreme Court? Should We Care? 242. Is the Electoral College a Problem? Does It Need to Be Fixed? 243. Are Presidential Debates Helpful to Voters? Or Should They Be Scrapped? 244. Is Your Generation Doing Its Part to Strengthen Our Democracy? 245. Should We All Be Able to Vote by Mail? 246. What Issues in the 2020 Presidential Race Are Most Important to You? 247. Do You Think the American Dream Is Real? 248. Should Plastic Bags Be Banned Everywhere? 249. Does the United States Owe Reparations to the Descendants of Enslaved People? 250. Do You Think It Is Important for Teenagers to Participate in Political Activism? 251. Should the Voting Age Be Lowered to 16? 252. What Should Lawmakers Do About Guns and Gun Violence? 253. Should Confederate Statues Be Removed or Remain in Place? 254. Does the U.S. Constitution Need an Equal Rights Amendment? 255. Should National Monuments Be Protected by the Government? 256. Should Free Speech Protections Include Self Expression That Discriminates? 257. How Important Is Freedom of the Press? 258. Should Ex-Felons Have the Right to Vote? 259. Should Marijuana Be Legal? 260. Should the United States Abolish Daylight Saving Time? 261. Should the U.S. Ban Military-Style Semiautomatic Weapons? 262. Should the U.S. Get Rid of the Electoral College? 263. What Do You Think of President Trump’s Use of Twitter? 264. Should Celebrities Weigh In on Politics? 265. Why Is It Important for People With Different Political Beliefs to Talk to Each Other? 266. Should Athletes Speak Out On Social and Political Issues?

267. Government Buildings : Should they all look like the Lincoln Memorial? 268. Oprah for President : Would you vote for her if you could? 269. Peaceful Protesting : In what ways can you demonstrate peacefully to express your views? 270. Student Climate Strikes : What issues do you think deserve more attention? 271. Pennies : Should the United States get rid of the penny? 272. Mandatory Voting? : Should citizens who are 18 or older be required to vote? 273. Dabbing in Congress : Should this teenager have dabbed in his father’s official swearing-in photo? 274. Baby Bonds : Should the government give money to babies?

275. We Document Life’s Milestones. How Should We Document Death? 276. Does Reality TV Deserve Its Bad Rap? 277. Do Marriage Proposals Still Have a Place in Today’s Society? 278. Should We Rethink Thanksgiving? 279. How Do You Decide What News to Believe, What to Question and What to Dismiss? 280. Should the Week Be Four Days Instead of Five? 281. Should Public Transit Be Free? 282. How Important Is Knowing a Foreign Language? 283. Is There a ‘Right Way’ to Be a Tourist? 284. Should Your Significant Other Be Your Best Friend? 285. What Do You Think of the #WalkUpNotOut Movement?

286. Teenage Drivers : What do you think of Georgia’s decision to issue driver’s licenses without road tests? 287. Snow Days : How do you feel about winter weather? 288. Fortune Tellers : Do you believe in psychics? 289. Big City, Small Town : Which would you rather live in? Why? 290. Game Show Winner : Would you ever want to be a contestant on a game show? 291. Fast-Food Buffet : Is this the feast of your dreams or your nightmares? 292. Public Libraries : Are libraries still relevant and important today? 293. Trans Fats : Should trans fats be banned around the world? 294. Dolls : If you could have your favorite toy company make a doll of someone, who would it be and why? 295. Creepy Clowns : How do you feel about clowns? 296. Tattoos : How do you feel about tattooing in general? 297. Brushing Beagle : What are the best dog breeds, in your opinion? 298. U.F.O.s : Do you believe that U.F.O.s are signs of alien life? 299. Small Talk : Do you have the gift of gab? 300. Lottery Winnings : Would you want to win the lottery? Why or why not?

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arguing a position essay topics

52 Argumentative Essay Ideas that are Actually Interesting

What’s covered:, how to pick a good argumentative essay topic, elements of a strong argumentative essay, argumentative essay idea example topics.

Are you having writer’s block? Coming up with an essay topic can be the hardest part of the process. You have very likely encountered argumentative essay writing in high school and have been asked to write your own. If you’re having trouble finding a topic, we’ve created a list of 52 essay ideas to help jumpstart your brainstorming process! In addition, this post will cover strategies for picking a topic and how to make your argument a strong one. Ultimately, the goal is to convince your reader. 

An argumentative essay tasks the writer with presenting an assertion and bolstering that assertion with proper research. You’ll present the claim’s authenticity. This means that whatever argument you’re making must be empirically true! Writing an argumentative essay without any evidence will leave you stranded without any facts to back up your claim. When choosing your essay topic, begin by thinking about themes that have been researched before. Readers will be more engaged with an argument that is supported by data.

This isn’t to say that your argumentative essay topic has to be as well-known, like “Gravity: Does it Exist?” but it shouldn’t be so obscure that there isn’t ample evidence. Finding a topic with multiple sources confirming its validity will help you support your thesis throughout your essay. If upon review of these articles you begin to doubt their worth due to small sample sizes, biased funding sources, or scientific disintegrity, don’t be afraid to move on to a different topic. Your ultimate goal should be proving to your audience that your argument is true because the data supports it.

The hardest essays to write are the ones that you don’t care about. If you don’t care about your topic, why should someone else? Topics that are more personal to the reader are immediately more thoughtful and meaningful because the author’s passion shines through. If you are free to choose an argumentative essay topic, find a topic where the papers you read and cite are fun to read. It’s much easier to write when the passion is already inside of you!

However, you won’t always have the choice to pick your topic. You may receive an assignment to write an argumentative essay that you feel is boring. There is still value in writing an argumentative essay on a topic that may not be of interest to you. It will push you to study a new topic, and broaden your ability to write on a variety of topics. Getting good at proving a point thoroughly and effectively will help you to both understand different fields more completely and increase your comfort with scientific writing.

Convincing Thesis Statement

It’s important to remember the general essay structure: an introduction paragraph with a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. A strong thesis statement will set your essay up for success. What is it? A succinct, concise, and pithy sentence found in your first paragraph that summarizes your main point. Pour over this statement to ensure that you can set up your reader to understand your essay. You should also restate your thesis throughout your essay to keep your reader focused on your point.

Ample Research

A typical argumentative essay prompt may look like this: “What has been the most important invention of the 21st century? Support your claim with evidence.” This question is open-ended and gives you flexibility. But that also means it requires research to prove your point convincingly. The strongest essays weave scientific quotes and results into your writing. You can use recent articles, primary sources, or news sources. Maybe you even cite your own research. Remember, this process takes time, so be sure you set aside enough time to dive deep into your topic.

Clear Structure

If the reader can’t follow your argument, all your research could be for nothing! Structure is key to persuading your audience. Below are two common argumentative essay structures that you can use to organize your essays.

The Toulmin argument and the Rogerian argument each contain the four sections mentioned above but executes them in different ways. Be sure to familiarize yourself with both essay structures so that your essay is the most effective it can be.

The Toulmin argument has a straightforward presentation. You begin with your assertion, your thesis statement. You then list the evidence that supports your point and why these are valid sources. The bulk of your essay should be explaining how your sources support your claim. You then end your essay by acknowledging and discussing the problems or flaws that readers may find in your presentation. Then, you should list the solutions to these and alternative perspectives and prove your argument is stronger.

The Rogerian argument has a more complex structure. You begin with a discussion of what opposing sides do right and the validity of their arguments. This is effective because it allows you to piece apart your opponent’s argument. The next section contains your position on the questions. In this section, it is important to list problems with your opponent’s argument that your argument fixes. This way, your position feels much stronger. Your essay ends with suggesting a possible compromise between the two sides. A combination of the two sides could be the most effective solution.

  • Is the death penalty effective?
  • Is our election process fair?
  • Is the electoral college outdated?
  • Should we have lower taxes?
  • How many Supreme Court Justices should there be?
  • Should there be different term limits for elected officials?
  • Should the drinking age be lowered?
  • Does religion cause war?
  • Should the country legalize marijuana?
  • Should the country have tighter gun control laws?
  • Should men get paternity leave?
  • Should maternity leave be longer?
  • Should smoking be banned?
  • Should the government have a say in our diet?
  • Should birth control be free?
  • Should we increase access to condoms for teens?
  • Should abortion be legal?
  • Do school uniforms help educational attainment?
  • Are kids better or worse students than they were ten years ago?
  • Should students be allowed to cheat?
  • Is school too long?
  • Does school start too early?
  • Are there benefits to attending a single-sex school?
  • Is summer break still relevant?
  • Is college too expensive?

Art / Culture

  • How can you reform copyright law?
  • What was the best decade for music?
  • Do video games cause students to be more violent?
  • Should content online be more harshly regulated?
  • Should graffiti be considered art or vandalism?
  • Should schools ban books?
  • How important is art education?
  • Should music be taught in school?
  • Are music-sharing services helpful to artists?
  • What is the best way to teach science in a religious school?
  • Should fracking be legal?
  • Should parents be allowed to modify their unborn children?
  • Should vaccinations be required for attending school?
  • Are GMOs helpful or harmful?
  • Are we too dependent on our phones?
  • Should everyone have internet access?
  • Should internet access be free?
  • Should the police force be required to wear body cams?
  • Should social media companies be allowed to collect data from their users?
  • How has the internet impacted human society?
  • Should self-driving cars be allowed on the streets?
  • Should athletes be held to high moral standards?
  • Are professional athletes paid too much?
  • Should the U.S. have more professional sports teams?
  • Should sports be separated by gender?
  • Should college athletes be paid?
  • What are the best ways to increase safety in sports?

Where to Get More Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas

If you need more help brainstorming topics, especially those that are personalized to your interests, you can use CollegeVine’s free AI tutor, Ivy . Ivy can help you come up with original argumentative essay ideas, and she can also help with the rest of your homework, from math to languages.

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  • How to write an argumentative essay | Examples & tips

How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement . The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.

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Table of contents

When do you write an argumentative essay, approaches to argumentative essays, introducing your argument, the body: developing your argument, concluding your argument, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about argumentative essays.

You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.” It will frequently take the form of a question.

The prompt may also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you could make.

Argumentative writing at college level

At university, the vast majority of essays or papers you write will involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts.

In this context, you won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing, and this should be your default approach unless you’re told otherwise.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts

At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response.

Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

  • Don’t just list all the effects you can think of.
  • Do develop a focused argument about the overall effect and why it matters, backed up by evidence from sources.
  • Don’t just provide a selection of data on the measures’ effectiveness.
  • Do build up your own argument about which kinds of measures have been most or least effective, and why.
  • Don’t just analyze a random selection of doppelgänger characters.
  • Do form an argument about specific texts, comparing and contrasting how they express their thematic concerns through doppelgänger characters.

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arguing a position essay topics

An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion.

There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

Toulmin arguments

The Toulmin model consists of four steps, which may be repeated as many times as necessary for the argument:

  • Make a claim
  • Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim
  • Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim)
  • Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives

The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don’t have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.

Say you’re making an argument about the effectiveness of workplace anti-discrimination measures. You might:

  • Claim that unconscious bias training does not have the desired results, and resources would be better spent on other approaches
  • Cite data to support your claim
  • Explain how the data indicates that the method is ineffective
  • Anticipate objections to your claim based on other data, indicating whether these objections are valid, and if not, why not.

Rogerian arguments

The Rogerian model also consists of four steps you might repeat throughout your essay:

  • Discuss what the opposing position gets right and why people might hold this position
  • Highlight the problems with this position
  • Present your own position , showing how it addresses these problems
  • Suggest a possible compromise —what elements of your position would proponents of the opposing position benefit from adopting?

This model builds up a clear picture of both sides of an argument and seeks a compromise. It is particularly useful when people tend to disagree strongly on the issue discussed, allowing you to approach opposing arguments in good faith.

Say you want to argue that the internet has had a positive impact on education. You might:

  • Acknowledge that students rely too much on websites like Wikipedia
  • Argue that teachers view Wikipedia as more unreliable than it really is
  • Suggest that Wikipedia’s system of citations can actually teach students about referencing
  • Suggest critical engagement with Wikipedia as a possible assignment for teachers who are skeptical of its usefulness.

You don’t necessarily have to pick one of these models—you may even use elements of both in different parts of your essay—but it’s worth considering them if you struggle to structure your arguments.

Regardless of which approach you take, your essay should always be structured using an introduction , a body , and a conclusion .

Like other academic essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction . The introduction serves to capture the reader’s interest, provide background information, present your thesis statement , and (in longer essays) to summarize the structure of the body.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in detail. Here you’ll present evidence, analysis, and reasoning to convince the reader that your thesis statement is true.

In the standard five-paragraph format for short essays, the body takes up three of your five paragraphs. In longer essays, it will be more paragraphs, and might be divided into sections with headings.

Each paragraph covers its own topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Each of these topics must contribute to your overall argument; don’t include irrelevant information.

This example paragraph takes a Rogerian approach: It first acknowledges the merits of the opposing position and then highlights problems with that position.

Hover over different parts of the example to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

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arguing a position essay topics

An argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the arguments made in the body.

No new arguments or evidence appear here, but in longer essays you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and suggest topics for future research. In all conclusions, you should stress the relevance and importance of your argument.

Hover over the following example to see the typical elements of a conclusion.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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  • Post hoc fallacy
  • Appeal to authority fallacy
  • False cause fallacy
  • Sunk cost fallacy

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An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

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If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

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Best 120 Position Paper Topics for Compelling Arguments

Top 120 Position Paper Topics for Compelling Arguments

Looking forward to writing a position paper topic for your course? To write an excellent paper, you must take a stance on a particular issue and offer convincing arguments to support your position.

Examples of a Good Topic for a Position Paper

More good position paper topics, exciting argumentative essay topics for position paper, clever research topics for stem students, research topic for position paper on social media issues, quality economics research topics on position paper, more excellent position paper topics for students, interesting and best topic for position paper.

For most students, the challenge they face is developing compelling topics for position paper essays. We have simplified things for you by creating a list of 120-position paper topics that cover various issues. With these position paper topics, students can form a well-supported opinion.

When choosing a topic for your position paper, getting one that interests you is vital. With an interesting topic, you can do thorough research and consider various perspectives. Here are excellent position paper title examples you can use.

  • Why should COVID vaccine distribution be given with equal access?
  • Reasons reality shows need regulation policies
  • Is virtual schooling as good as person-class?
  • Does adding days in the school year improve learning?
  • Ways to reduce abortion without legislation policy
  • Effective ways to protect the rights of artists and writers on the internet
  • A look at video gaming: the good and the bad
  • Is it right to push young children to compete in athletics?
  • The importance of getting more minorities to join the police force
  • Should there be a policy where college athletes are paid
  • Ways that mobile phones control our relationships
  • Effective ways to deal with terrorism
  • What is culture?
  • Is global warming a real issue?
  • The impact of hunting on the environment

Did you know a good position paper topic will guide you in writing a compelling essay? Get great thesis statements about social media and fascinating position research paper ideas below.

  • What are the pros and cons of the death penalty?
  • Should parents control the time that their kids spend on social media?
  • Lecturers vs. classes with open discussion
  • Which is better: textbooks or online study material?
  • Should the government regulate the internet?
  • What impact did COVID-19 have on the global economy?
  • A look at the ethical consideration of genetic engineering
  • Do prisoners deserve prison rights?
  • Is there a link between exposing children to violent video games and behavioral issues?
  • Are chief officers paid too much?
  • A review of government surveillance
  • Child vaccination, the health benefits, and dangers
  • What are the ethical considerations of autonomous weapons?
  • Should the government regulate online speech
  • What is the impact of technology on education

Having suitable argumentative essay topics for position papers can help you get good grades. Here is a look at splendid position paper topics you can use.

  • Reasons the government should lower the age of voting to 16
  • Why college should be free for all students
  • Should the government regulate the amount of sugar in food and drinks
  • Should complications arising from self-treatment be covered under insurance?
  • Should fast food chains be held responsible for obesity
  • Should the legal drinking age be raised to 25
  • A review of why public transportation should be free
  • Should endangered species be given the same rights as humans?
  • Why should the manufacturer be held responsible for cleaning up waste and pollution they cause
  • A look at why immigration is a valuable source of diversity and talent
  • Why homeschooling should be encouraged
  • Should animal testing be banned?
  • The importance of labeling genetics-modified foods
  • Why should gun control laws be stricter?
  • Ways social media is destroying family ties and personal values.

STEM students need clever position paper titles to pass their exams. You must thoroughly research to get the best research topics for STEM students . We have complained about significant social issues research topics you can use.

  • A look at the impact of gender inequality in the workplace
  • Gun control and mass shootings
  • How does mental health stigma affect access to care
  • Police brutality and accountability
  • Why are homelessness and housing insecurity high
  • What regulation should be put in place on domestic violence and abuse
  • A look at how animal rights and welfare are neglected
  • Elder abuse and neglect
  • Why is there a rise in youth unemployment
  • The effect of child abuse
  • Income tax policy and reform
  • LGBTQ rights and discrimination
  • How to improve voting integrity
  • Ways climate change affects environmental degradation
  • A thin line between internet censorship and freedom of speech

You can never go wrong with social media research topics for your position paper. More so, check the following good topic for a position paper.

  • The pro and cons of living in a technical world
  • The relationship between technology and education
  • Is the use of social media memes ethical?
  • Why should there be a regulation on how people use social media
  • Why is social media changing the family relationships
  • In what ways does social media destroy family values and ethics
  • Should social media be replaced with face-to-face communication? Why?
  • Consequences of social media companies not upholding privacy policies
  • How do social media cause depression?
  • Should politicians use social media in their campaigns
  • What regulations should be put in place for social media for business marketing and advertising
  • How does social media addiction affect the society
  • The role of social media spreading fake news
  • Does social media impact self-esteem
  • How does social media affect the spread of viral trends and challenges

Make your essay stand out by using our economics research paper topics. In addition, here are examples of position paper example topics you can use.

  • How does globalization impact society?
  • How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the economy
  • Should people care more about global poverty?
  • Is it true that the benefits of attending college outweigh the costs?
  • The impact of automation and artificial intelligence on the workforce
  • Should there be restrictions on private property? Why or why not?
  • The role of government in regulating the economy
  • The economics of international aid and development
  • Are banks necessary?
  • How do economic strategies like a “trade war” affect global stability?
  • Why do states provide economic help to ailing sectors?
  • How do trade agreements impact the economy?
  • What is the economics of taxation and tax reform
  • Government control on economic research firms

Ready to come up with good topics for position papers? Consider choosing biochemistry topics . Here are great biochemistry position paper topics to choose from.

  • What is the role of proteins in cellular signaling
  • How biochemical conditions and brain activity are linked to crime
  • A review of the scope and application of biochemistry
  • The importance of DNA repair
  • A study of hepatitis B prevalence
  • What role do lipids play in cellular signaling
  • Research of the microbial disease evolution
  • What are the useful reaction of carbohydrates
  • A look at cancer and disorders in DNA
  • What is the oxidative stress in disease
  • A look at how carbohydrates impact metabolism
  • What are the structure and functions of a virus
  • What is DNA structure?
  • Protein quantification in organisms review
  • What does RNA do in gene expression?

You can never go wrong with biological, psychological, and anatomy research paper topics . Here are ideas to use on your position paper topics in the Philippines.

  • The importance of anatomy in medical education
  • What are the structure and functions of the brain
  • A look at the anatomy of the heart
  • Is there racism in US criminal justice
  • A look at how diversity in the workplace helps to retain employees
  • Why is there strength in large numbers
  • Psychology and personality are related to each other
  • Why parents need to study child psychology
  • What is the psychology behind racism, sexism, homophobia, and prejudice?
  • What are the impacts of bullying?
  • Effect of women’s dress code and their safety
  • A review of the anatomy and psychology of the ear
  • Why should behavioral psychology be understood and studied by HR personnel
  • Is food addiction a cause for concern?
  • How holistic practices like yoga and meditation can improve the mindset of prison inmates

Writing a position paper essay does not have to be a struggle; you only need a relevant topic and a good writer to craft the paper. Choose a topic from the list of 120 plus examples of position paper essay topics discussed above.

Besides offering great topic ideas, we also help students with their position paper writing. You will get quality essays on time when you work with us.

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  • 10.5 Writing Process: Creating a Position Argument
  • 1 Unit Introduction
  • Introduction
  • 1.1 "Reading" to Understand and Respond
  • 1.2 Social Media Trailblazer: Selena Gomez
  • 1.3 Glance at Critical Response: Rhetoric and Critical Thinking
  • 1.4 Annotated Student Sample: Social Media Post and Responses on Voter Suppression
  • 1.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About a “Text”
  • 1.6 Evaluation: Intention vs. Execution
  • 1.7 Spotlight on … Academia
  • 1.8 Portfolio: Tracing Writing Development
  • Further Reading
  • Works Cited
  • 2.1 Seeds of Self
  • 2.2 Identity Trailblazer: Cathy Park Hong
  • 2.3 Glance at the Issues: Oppression and Reclamation
  • 2.4 Annotated Sample Reading from The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois
  • 2.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about How Identity Is Constructed Through Writing
  • 2.6 Evaluation: Antiracism and Inclusivity
  • 2.7 Spotlight on … Variations of English
  • 2.8 Portfolio: Decolonizing Self
  • 3.1 Identity and Expression
  • 3.2 Literacy Narrative Trailblazer: Tara Westover
  • 3.3 Glance at Genre: The Literacy Narrative
  • 3.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
  • 3.5 Writing Process: Tracing the Beginnings of Literacy
  • 3.6 Editing Focus: Sentence Structure
  • 3.7 Evaluation: Self-Evaluating
  • 3.8 Spotlight on … The Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN)
  • 3.9 Portfolio: A Literacy Artifact
  • Works Consulted
  • 2 Unit Introduction
  • 4.1 Exploring the Past to Understand the Present
  • 4.2 Memoir Trailblazer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • 4.3 Glance at Genre: Conflict, Detail, and Revelation
  • 4.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
  • 4.5 Writing Process: Making the Personal Public
  • 4.6 Editing Focus: More on Characterization and Point of View
  • 4.7 Evaluation: Structure and Organization
  • 4.8 Spotlight on … Multilingual Writers
  • 4.9 Portfolio: Filtered Memories
  • 5.1 Profiles as Inspiration
  • 5.2 Profile Trailblazer: Veronica Chambers
  • 5.3 Glance at Genre: Subject, Angle, Background, and Description
  • 5.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Remembering John Lewis” by Carla D. Hayden
  • 5.5 Writing Process: Focusing on the Angle of Your Subject
  • 5.6 Editing Focus: Verb Tense Consistency
  • 5.7 Evaluation: Text as Personal Introduction
  • 5.8 Spotlight on … Profiling a Cultural Artifact
  • 5.9 Portfolio: Subject as a Reflection of Self
  • 6.1 Proposing Change: Thinking Critically About Problems and Solutions
  • 6.2 Proposal Trailblazer: Atul Gawande
  • 6.3 Glance at Genre: Features of Proposals
  • 6.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Slowing Climate Change” by Shawn Krukowski
  • 6.5 Writing Process: Creating a Proposal
  • 6.6 Editing Focus: Subject-Verb Agreement
  • 6.7 Evaluation: Conventions, Clarity, and Coherence
  • 6.8 Spotlight on … Technical Writing as a Career
  • 6.9 Portfolio: Reflecting on Problems and Solutions
  • 7.1 Thumbs Up or Down?
  • 7.2 Review Trailblazer: Michiko Kakutani
  • 7.3 Glance at Genre: Criteria, Evidence, Evaluation
  • 7.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Black Representation in Film" by Caelia Marshall
  • 7.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Entertainment
  • 7.6 Editing Focus: Quotations
  • 7.7 Evaluation: Effect on Audience
  • 7.8 Spotlight on … Language and Culture
  • 7.9 Portfolio: What the Arts Say About You
  • 8.1 Information and Critical Thinking
  • 8.2 Analytical Report Trailblazer: Barbara Ehrenreich
  • 8.3 Glance at Genre: Informal and Formal Analytical Reports
  • 8.4 Annotated Student Sample: "U.S. Response to COVID-19" by Trevor Garcia
  • 8.5 Writing Process: Creating an Analytical Report
  • 8.6 Editing Focus: Commas with Nonessential and Essential Information
  • 8.7 Evaluation: Reviewing the Final Draft
  • 8.8 Spotlight on … Discipline-Specific and Technical Language
  • 8.9 Portfolio: Evidence and Objectivity
  • 9.1 Breaking the Whole into Its Parts
  • 9.2 Rhetorical Analysis Trailblazer: Jamil Smith
  • 9.3 Glance at Genre: Rhetorical Strategies
  • 9.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Rhetorical Analysis: Evicted by Matthew Desmond” by Eliana Evans
  • 9.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about Rhetoric
  • 9.6 Editing Focus: Mixed Sentence Constructions
  • 9.7 Evaluation: Rhetorical Analysis
  • 9.8 Spotlight on … Business and Law
  • 9.9 Portfolio: How Thinking Critically about Rhetoric Affects Intellectual Growth
  • 10.1 Making a Case: Defining a Position Argument
  • 10.2 Position Argument Trailblazer: Charles Blow
  • 10.3 Glance at Genre: Thesis, Reasoning, and Evidence
  • 10.4 Annotated Sample Reading: "Remarks at the University of Michigan" by Lyndon B. Johnson
  • 10.6 Editing Focus: Paragraphs and Transitions
  • 10.7 Evaluation: Varied Appeals
  • 10.8 Spotlight on … Citation
  • 10.9 Portfolio: Growth in the Development of Argument
  • 11.1 Developing Your Sense of Logic
  • 11.2 Reasoning Trailblazer: Paul D. N. Hebert
  • 11.3 Glance at Genre: Reasoning Strategies and Signal Words
  • 11.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Book VII of The Republic by Plato
  • 11.5 Writing Process: Reasoning Supported by Evidence
  • 12.1 Introducing Research and Research Evidence
  • 12.2 Argumentative Research Trailblazer: Samin Nosrat
  • 12.3 Glance at Genre: Introducing Research as Evidence
  • 12.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth" by Lily Tran
  • 12.5 Writing Process: Integrating Research
  • 12.6 Editing Focus: Integrating Sources and Quotations
  • 12.7 Evaluation: Effectiveness of Research Paper
  • 12.8 Spotlight on … Bias in Language and Research
  • 12.9 Portfolio: Why Facts Matter in Research Argumentation
  • 13.1 The Research Process: Where to Look for Existing Sources
  • 13.2 The Research Process: How to Create Sources
  • 13.3 Glance at the Research Process: Key Skills
  • 13.4 Annotated Student Sample: Research Log
  • 13.5 Research Process: Making Notes, Synthesizing Information, and Keeping a Research Log
  • 13.6 Spotlight on … Ethical Research
  • 14.1 Compiling Sources for an Annotated Bibliography
  • 14.2 Glance at Form: Citation Style, Purpose, and Formatting
  • 14.3 Annotated Student Sample: “Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth” by Lily Tran
  • 14.4 Writing Process: Informing and Analyzing
  • 15.1 Tracing a Broad Issue in the Individual
  • 15.2 Case Study Trailblazer: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran
  • 15.3 Glance at Genre: Observation, Description, and Analysis
  • 15.4 Annotated Sample Reading: Case Study on Louis Victor "Tan" Leborgne
  • 15.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About How People and Language Interact
  • 15.6 Editing Focus: Words Often Confused
  • 15.7 Evaluation: Presentation and Analysis of Case Study
  • 15.8 Spotlight on … Applied Linguistics
  • 15.9 Portfolio: Your Own Uses of Language
  • 3 Unit Introduction
  • 16.1 An Author’s Choices: What Text Says and How It Says It
  • 16.2 Textual Analysis Trailblazer: bell hooks
  • 16.3 Glance at Genre: Print or Textual Analysis
  • 16.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Artists at Work" by Gwyn Garrison
  • 16.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Text
  • 16.6 Editing Focus: Literary Works Live in the Present
  • 16.7 Evaluation: Self-Directed Assessment
  • 16.8 Spotlight on … Humanities
  • 16.9 Portfolio: The Academic and the Personal
  • 17.1 “Reading” Images
  • 17.2 Image Trailblazer: Sara Ludy
  • 17.3 Glance at Genre: Relationship Between Image and Rhetoric
  • 17.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Hints of the Homoerotic” by Leo Davis
  • 17.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically and Writing Persuasively About Images
  • 17.6 Editing Focus: Descriptive Diction
  • 17.7 Evaluation: Relationship Between Analysis and Image
  • 17.8 Spotlight on … Video and Film
  • 17.9 Portfolio: Interplay Between Text and Image
  • 18.1 Mixing Genres and Modes
  • 18.2 Multimodal Trailblazer: Torika Bolatagici
  • 18.3 Glance at Genre: Genre, Audience, Purpose, Organization
  • 18.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Celebrating a Win-Win” by Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
  • 18.5 Writing Process: Create a Multimodal Advocacy Project
  • 18.6 Evaluation: Transitions
  • 18.7 Spotlight on . . . Technology
  • 18.8 Portfolio: Multimodalism
  • 19.1 Writing, Speaking, and Activism
  • 19.2 Podcast Trailblazer: Alice Wong
  • 19.3 Glance at Genre: Language Performance and Visuals
  • 19.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Are New DOT Regulations Discriminatory?” by Zain A. Kumar
  • 19.5 Writing Process: Writing to Speak
  • 19.6 Evaluation: Bridging Writing and Speaking
  • 19.7 Spotlight on … Delivery/Public Speaking
  • 19.8 Portfolio: Everyday Rhetoric, Rhetoric Every Day
  • 20.1 Thinking Critically about Your Semester
  • 20.2 Reflection Trailblazer: Sandra Cisneros
  • 20.3 Glance at Genre: Purpose and Structure
  • 20.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Don’t Expect Congrats” by Dale Trumbore
  • 20.5 Writing Process: Looking Back, Looking Forward
  • 20.6 Editing Focus: Pronouns
  • 20.7 Evaluation: Evaluating Self-Reflection
  • 20.8 Spotlight on … Pronouns in Context

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate brainstorming processes and tools as means to discover topics, ideas, positions, and details.
  • Apply recursive strategies for organizing drafting, collaborating, peer reviewing, revising, rewriting, and editing.
  • Compose a position argument that integrates the writer’s ideas with those from appropriate sources.
  • Give and act on productive feedback to works in progress.
  • Apply or challenge common conventions of language or grammar in composing and revising.

Now is the time to try your hand at writing a position argument. Your instructor may provide some possible topics or a singular topic. If your instructor allows you to choose your own topic, consider a general subject you feel strongly about and whether you can provide enough support to develop that subject into an essay. For instance, suppose you think about a general subject such as “adulting.” In looking back at what you have learned while becoming an adult, you think of what you wish you had known during your early teenage years. These thoughts might lead you to brainstorm about details of the effects of money in your life or your friends’ lives. In reviewing your brainstorming, you might zero in on one topic you feel strongly about and think it provides enough depth to develop into a position argument. Suppose your brainstorming leads you to think about negative financial concerns you or some of your friends have encountered. Thinking about what could have helped address those concerns, you decide that a mandated high school course in financial literacy would have been useful. This idea might lead you to formulate your working thesis statement —first draft of your thesis statement—like this: To help students learn how to make sensible financial decisions, a mandatory class in financial literacy should be offered in high schools throughout the country.

Once you decide on a topic and begin moving through the writing process, you may need to fine-tune or even change the topic and rework your initial idea. This fine-tuning may come as you brainstorm, later when you begin drafting, or after you have completed a draft and submitted it to your peers for constructive criticism. These possibilities occur because the writing process is recursive —that is, it moves back and forth almost simultaneously and maybe even haphazardly at times, from planning to revising to editing to drafting, back to planning, and so on.

Summary of Assignment

Write a position argument on a controversial issue that you choose or that your instructor assigns to you. If you are free to choose your own topic, consider one of the following:

  • The legal system would be strengthened if ______________________.
  • The growing use of technology in college classrooms is weakening _____________.
  • For safety reasons, public signage should be _________________.
  • For entrance into college, standardized testing _________________________.
  • In relation to the cost of living, the current minimum wage _______________________.
  • During a pandemic, America __________________________.
  • As a requirement to graduate, college students __________________________.
  • To guarantee truthfulness of their content, social media platforms have the right to _________________.
  • To ensure inclusive and diverse representation of people of all races, learning via virtual classrooms _________________.
  • Segments of American cultures have differing rules of acceptable grammar, so in a college classroom ___________________.

In addition, if you have the opportunity to choose your own topic and wish to search further, take the lead from trailblazer Charles Blow and look to media for newsworthy “trends.” Find a controversial issue that affects you or people you know, and take a position on it. As you craft your argument, identify a position opposing yours, and then refute it with reasoning and evidence. Be sure to gather information on the issue so that you can support your position sensibly with well-developed ideas and evidence.

Another Lens. To gain a different perspective on your issue, consider again the people affected by it. Your position probably affects different people in different ways. For example, if you are writing that the minimum wage should be raised, then you might easily view the issue through the lens of minimum-wage workers, especially those who struggle to make ends meet. However, if you look at the issue through the lens of those who employ minimum-wage workers, your viewpoint might change. Depending on your topic and thesis, you may need to use print or online sources to gain insight into different perspectives.

For additional information about minimum-wage workers, you could consult

  • printed material available in your college library;
  • databases in your college library; and
  • pros and cons of raising the minimum wage;
  • what happens after the minimum wage is raised;
  • how to live on a minimum-wage salary;
  • how a raise in minimum wage is funded; and
  • minimum wage in various U.S. states.

To gain more insight about your topic, adopt a stance that opposes your original position and brainstorm ideas from that viewpoint. Begin by gathering evidence that would help you refute your previous stance and appeal to your audience.

Quick Launch: Working Thesis Frames and Organization of Ideas

After you have decided on your topic, the next step is to arrive at your working thesis. You probably have a good idea of the direction your working thesis will take. That is, you know where you stand on the issue or problem, but you are not quite sure of how to word your stance to share it with readers. At this point, then, use brainstorming to think critically about your position and to discover the best way to phrase your statement.

For example, after reading an article discussing different state-funded community college programs, one student thought that a similar program was needed in Alabama, her state. However, she was not sure how the program worked. To begin, she composed and answered “ reporters’ questions ” such as these:

  • What does a state-funded community college program do? pays for part or all of the tuition of a two-year college student
  • Who qualifies for the program? high school graduates and GED holders
  • Who benefits from this? students needing financial assistance, employers, and Alabama residents
  • Why is this needed? some can’t afford to go to college; tuition goes up every year; colleges would be more diverse if everyone who wanted to go could afford to go
  • Where would the program be available? at all public community colleges
  • When could someone apply for the program? any time
  • How can the state fund this ? use lottery income, like other states

The student then reviewed her responses, altered her original idea to include funding through a lottery, and composed this working thesis:

student sample text To provide equal educational opportunities for all residents, the state of Alabama should create a lottery to completely fund tuition at community colleges. end student sample text

Remember that a strong thesis for a position should

  • state your stance on a debatable issue;
  • reflect your purpose of persuasion; and
  • be based on your opinion or observation.

When you first consider your topic for an argumentative work, think about the reasoning for your position and the evidence you will need—that is, think about the “because” part of your argument. For instance, if you want to argue that your college should provide free Wi-Fi for every student, extend your stance to include “because” and then develop your reasoning and evidence. In that case, your argument might read like this: Ervin Community College should provide free Wi-Fi for all students because students may not have Internet access at home.

Note that the “because” part of your argument may come at the beginning or the end and may be implied in your wording.

As you develop your thesis, you may need help funneling all of your ideas. Return to the possibilities you have in mind, and select the ideas that you think are strongest, that recur most often, or that you have the most to say about. Then use those ideas to fill in one of the following sentence frames to develop your working thesis. Feel free to alter the frame as necessary to fit your position. While there is no limit to the frames that are possible, these may help get you started.

________________ is caused/is not caused by ________________, and _____________ should be done.

Example: A declining enrollment rate in college is caused by high tuition rates, and an immediate freeze on the cost of tuition should be applied.

______________ should/should not be allowed (to) ________________ for a number of reasons.

Example: People who do not wear masks during a pandemic should not be allowed to enter public buildings for a number of reasons.

Because (of) ________________, ___________________ will happen/continue to happen.

Example: Because of a lack of emphasis on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) education in public schools, America will continue to lag behind many other countries.

_____________ is similar to/nothing like ________________ because ______________.

Example: College classes are nothing like high school classes because in college, more responsibility is on the student, the classes are less frequent but more intense, and the work outside class takes more time to complete.

______________ can be/cannot be thought of as __________________ because ______________.

Example: The Black Lives Matter movement can be thought of as an extension of the Civil Rights movement from the 1950s and 1960s because it shares the same mission of fighting racism and ending violence against Black people.

Next, consider the details you will need to support your thesis. The Aristotelian argument structure, named for the Greek philosopher Aristotle , is one that may help you frame the draft of your position argument. For this method, use something like the following chart. In Writing Process: Creating a Position Argument, you will find a similar organizer that you can copy and use for your assignment.

Drafting: Rhetorical Appeals and Types of Supporting Evidence

To persuade your audience to support your position or argument, consider various rhetorical appeals— ethos, logos, pathos, and kairos—and the types of evidence to support your sound reasoning. See Reasoning Strategies: Improving Critical Thinking for more information on reasoning strategies and types of evidence.

Rhetorical Appeals

To establish your credibility, to show readers you are trustworthy, to win over their hearts, and to set your issue in an appropriate time frame to influence readers, consider how you present and discuss your evidence throughout the paper.

  • Appeal to ethos . To establish credibility in her paper arguing for expanded mental health services, a student writer used these reliable sources: a student survey on mental health issues, data from the International Association of Counseling Services (a professional organization), and information from an interview with a campus mental health counselor.
  • Appeal to logos . To support her sound reasoning, the student writer approached the issue rationally, using data and credible evidence to explain the current situation and its effects.
  • Appeal to pathos . To show compassion and arouse audience empathy, the student writer shared the experience of a student on her campus who struggled with anxiety and depression.
  • Appeal to kairos . To appeal to kairos, the student emphasized the immediate need for these services, as more students are now aware of their particular mental health issues and trying to deal with them.

The way in which you present and discuss your evidence will reflect the appeals you use. Consider using sentence frames to reflect specific appeals. Remember, too, that sentence frames can be composed in countless ways. Here are a few frames to get you thinking critically about how to phrase your ideas while considering different types of appeals.

Appeal to ethos: According to __________________, an expert in ______________, __________________ should/should not happen because ________________________.

Appeal to ethos: Although ___________________is not an ideal situation for _________________, it does have its benefits.

Appeal to logos: If ____________________ is/is not done, then understandably, _________________ will happen.

Appeal to logos: This information suggests that ____________________ needs to be investigated further because ____________________________.

Appeal to pathos: The story of _____________________ is uplifting/heartbreaking/hopeful/tragic and illustrates the need for ____________________.

Appeal to pathos: ___________________ is/are suffering from ________________, and that is something no one wants.

Appeal to kairos: _________________ must be addressed now because ________________ .

Appeal to kairos: These are times when ______________ ; therefore, _____________ is appropriate/necessary.

Types of Supporting Evidence

Depending on the point you are making to support your position or argument, certain types of evidence may be more effective than others. Also, your instructor may require you to include a certain type of evidence. Choose the evidence that will be most effective to support the reasoning behind each point you make to support your thesis statement. Common types of evidence are these:

Renada G., a junior at Powell College South, worked as a waitress for 15 hours a week during her first three semesters of college. But in her sophomore year, when her parents were laid off during the pandemic, Renada had to increase her hours to 35 per week and sell her car to stay in school. Her grades started slipping, and she began experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety. When she called the campus health center to make an appointment for counseling, Renada was told she would have to wait two weeks before she could be seen.
Here is part of how Lyndon B. Johnson defined the Great Society: “But most of all, the Great Society is not a safe harbor, a resting place, a final objective, a finished work. It is a challenge constantly renewed, beckoning us toward a destiny where the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor.”
Bowen Lake is nestled in verdant foothills, lush with tall grasses speckled with wildflowers. Around the lake, the sweet scent of the purple and yellow flowers fills the air, and the fragrance of the hearty pines sweeps down the hillsides in a westerly breeze. Wood frogs’ and crickets’ songs suddenly stop, as the blowing of moose calling their calves echoes across the lake’s soundless surface. Or this was the scene before the deadly destruction of fires caused by climate change.
When elaborating on America’s beauty being in danger, Johnson says, “The water we drink, the food we eat, the very air that we breathe, are threatened with pollution. Our parks are overcrowded, our seashores overburdened. Green fields and dense forests are disappearing.”
Speaking about President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Vietnam War, noted historian and Johnson biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin said, “It seemed the hole in his heart from the loss of work was too big to fill.”
Charles Blow has worked at the Shreveport Times , The Detroit News , National Geographic , and The New York Times .
When interviewed by George Rorick and asked about the identities of his readers, Charles Blow said that readers’ emails do not elaborate on descriptions of who the people are. However, “the kinds of comments that they offer are very much on the thesis of the essay.”
In his speech, Lyndon B. Johnson says, “The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents.”
To support the need for change in classrooms, Johnson uses these statistics: “Each year more than 100,000 high school graduates, with proved ability, do not enter college because they cannot afford it. And if we cannot educate today’s youth, what will we do in 1970 when elementary school enrollment will be five million greater than 1960?”
  • Visuals : graphs, photographs, charts, or maps used in addition to written or spoken information.

Brainstorm for Supporting Points

Use one or more brainstorming techniques, such as a web diagram as shown in Figure 10.8 or the details generated from “because” statements, to develop ideas or particular points in support of your thesis. Your goal is to get as many ideas as possible. At this time, do not be concerned about how ideas flow, whether you will ultimately use an idea (you want more ideas than will end up in your finished paper), spelling, or punctuation.

When you have finished, look over your brainstorming. Then circle three to five points to incorporate into your draft. Also, plan to answer “ reporters’ questions ” to provide readers with any needed background information. For example, the student writing about the need for more mental health counselors on her campus created and answered these questions:

What is needed? More mental health counseling is needed for Powell College South.

Who would benefit from this? The students and faculty would benefit.

  • Why is this needed? The college does not have enough counselors to meet all students’ needs.
  • Where are more counselors needed? More counselors are needed at the south campus.
  • When are the counselors needed? Counselors need to be hired now and be available both day and night to accommodate students’ schedules.
  • How can the college afford this ? Instead of hiring daycare workers, the college could use students and faculty from the Early Childhood Education program to run the program and use the extra money to pay the counselors.

Using Logic

In a position argument, the appropriate use of logic is especially important for readers to trust what you write. It is also important to look for logic in material you read and possibly cite in your paper so that you can determine whether writers’ claims are reasonable. Two main categories of logical thought are inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning .

  • Inductive reasoning moves from specific to broad ideas. You begin by collecting details, observations, incidents, or facts; examining them; and drawing a conclusion from them. Suppose, for example, you are writing about attendance in college classes. For three weeks, you note the attendance numbers in all your Monday, Wednesday, and Friday classes (specific details), and you note that attendance is lower on Friday than on the other days (a specific detail). From these observations, you determine that many students prefer not to attend classes on Fridays (your conclusion).
  • Deductive reasoning moves from general to specific ideas. You begin with a hypothesis or premise , a general concept, and then examine possibilities that would lead to a specific and logical conclusion. For instance, suppose you think that opportunities for foreign students at your college are inadequate (general concept). You examine the specific parts of that concept (e.g., whether your college provides multicultural clubs, help with language skills, or work-study opportunities) and determine that those opportunities are not available. You then determine that opportunities for foreign students are lacking at your college.

Logical Fallacies and Propaganda

Fallacies are mistakes in logic. Readers and writers should be aware of these when they creep into writing, indicating that the points the writers make may not be valid. Two common fallacies are hasty generalizations and circular arguments. See Glance at Genre: Rhetorical Strategies for more on logical fallacies.

  • A hasty generalization is a conclusion based on either inadequate or biased evidence. Consider this statement: “Two students in Math 103 were nervous before their recent test; therefore, all students in that class must have text anxiety.” This is a hasty generalization because the second part of the statement (the generalization about all students in the class) is inadequate to support what the writer noted about only two students.
  • A circular argument is one that merely restates what has already been said. Consider this statement: “ The Hate U Give is a well-written book because Angie Thomas, its author, is a good novelist.” The statement that Thomas is a good novelist does not explain why her book is well written.

In addition to checking work for fallacies, consider propaganda , information worded so that it endorses a particular viewpoint, often of a political nature. Two common types of propaganda are bandwagon and fear .

  • In getting on the bandwagon , the writer encourages readers to conform to a popular trend and endorse an opinion, a movement, or a person because everyone else is doing so. Consider this statement: “Everyone is behind the idea that 7 a.m. classes are too early and should be changed to at least 8 a.m. Shouldn’t you endorse this sensible idea, too?”
  • In using fear, the writer presents a dire situation, usually followed by what could be done to prevent it. Consider this statement: “Our country is at a turning point. Enemies threaten us with their power, and our democracy is at risk of being crushed. The government needs a change, and Paul Windhaus is just the man to see we get that change.” This quotation appeals to fear about the future of the country and implies that electing a certain individual will solve the predicted problems.

Organize the Paper

To begin, write your thesis at the top of a blank page. Then select points from your brainstorming and reporters’ questions to organize and develop support for your thesis. Keep in mind that you can revise your thesis whenever needed.

To begin organizing her paper on increased mental health services on her college campus, the student wrote this thesis at the top of a page:

student sample text Because mental health is a major concern at Powell College South, students could benefit from expanding the services offered . end student sample text

Next she decided the sequence in which to present the points. In a position or an argument essay, she could choose one of two methods: thesis-first organization or delayed-thesis organization.

Thesis-First Organization

Leading with a thesis tells readers from the beginning where you stand on the issue. In this organization, the thesis occupies both the first and last position in the essay, making it easy for readers to remember.

Introduce the issue and assert your thesis. Make sure the issue has at least two debatable sides. Your thesis establishes the position from which you will argue. Writers often state their thesis as the last sentence in the first paragraph, as the student writer has done:

student sample text The problem of mental health has become front-page news in the last two months. Hill’s Herald , Powell College South’s newspaper, reported 14 separate incidents of students who sought counseling but could not get appointments with college staff. Since mental health problems are widespread among the student population, the college should hire more health care workers to address this problem. end student sample text

Summarize the counterclaims . Before elaborating on your claims, explain the opposition’s claims. Including this information at the beginning gives your argument something to focus on—and refute—throughout the paper. If you ignore counterclaims, your argument may appear incomplete, and readers may think you have not researched your topic sufficiently. When addressing a counterclaim, state it clearly, show empathy for those who have that view, and then immediately refute it with support developed through reasoning and evidence. Squeezing the counterclaims between the thesis and the evidence reserves the strongest places—the opening and closing—for your position.

student sample text Counterclaim 1 : Powell College South already employs two counselors, and that number is sufficient to meet the needs of the student population. end student sample text

student sample text Counterclaim 2 : Students at Powell College South live in a metropolitan area large enough to handle their mental health needs. end student sample text

Refute the counterclaims. Look for weak spots in the opposition’s argument, and point them out. Use your opponent’s language to show you have read closely but still find problems with the claim. This is the way the writer refuted the first counterclaim:

student sample text While Powell College South does employ two counselors, those counselors are overworked and often have no time slots available for students who wish to make appointments. end student sample text

State and explain your points, and then support them with evidence. Present your points clearly and precisely, using Reasoning Strategies: Improving Critical Thinking to explain and cite your evidence. The writer plans to use a problem-solution reasoning strategy to elaborate on these three points using these pieces of evidence:

student sample text Point 1: Wait times are too long. end student sample text

student sample text Kay Payne, one of the campus counselors, states that the wait time for an appointment with her is approximately 10 days. end student sample text

student sample text Point 2: Mental health issues are widespread within the student community. end student sample text

student sample text In a recent on-campus student survey, 75 percent of 250 students say they have had some kind of mental health issues at some point in their life. end student sample text

student sample text Point 3: The staff-to-student ratio is too high. end student sample text

student sample text The International Accreditation of Counseling Services states that the recommended ratio is one full-time equivalent staff member for every 1,000 to 1,500 students. end student sample text

Restate your position as a conclusion. Near the end of your paper, synthesize your accumulated evidence into a broad general position, and restate your thesis in slightly different language.

student sample text The number of students who need mental health counseling is alarming. The recent news articles that attest to their not being able to schedule appointments add to the alarm. While Powell College South offers some mental health counseling, the current number of counselors and others who provide health care is insufficient to handle the well-being of all its students. Action must be taken to address this problem. end student sample text

Delayed-Thesis Organization

In this organizational pattern, introduce the issue and discuss the arguments for and against it, but wait to take a side until late in the essay. By delaying the stance, you show readers you are weighing the evidence, and you arouse their curiosity about your position. Near the end of the paper, you explain that after carefully considering both pros and cons, you have arrived at the most reasonable position.

Introduce the issue. Here, the writer begins with action that sets the scene of the problem.

student sample text Tapping her foot nervously, Serena looked at her watch again. She had been waiting three hours to see a mental health counselor at Powell College South, and she did not think she could wait much longer. She had to get to work. end student sample text

Summarize the claims for one position. Before stating which side you support, explain how the opposition views the issue. This body paragraph presents evidence about the topic of more counselors:

student sample text Powell College South has two mental health counselors on staff. If the college hires more counselors, more office space will have to be created. Currently Pennington Hall could accommodate those counselors. Additional counselors would allow more students to receive counseling. end student sample text

Refute the claims you just stated. Still not stating your position, point out the other side of the issue.

student sample text While office space is available in Pennington Hall, that location is far from ideal. It is in a wooded area of campus, six blocks from the nearest dorm. Students who would go there might be afraid to walk through the woods or might be afraid to walk that distance. The location might deter them from making appointments. end student sample text

Now give the best reasoning and evidence to support your position. Because this is a delayed-thesis organization, readers are still unsure of your stance. This section should be the longest and most carefully documented part of the paper. After summarizing and refuting claims, the writer then elaborates on these three points using problem-solution reasoning supported by this evidence as discussed in Reasoning Strategies: Improving Critical Thinking, implying her position before moving to the conclusion, where she states her thesis.

student sample text The International Association of Counseling Services states that one full-time equivalent staff member for every 1,000 to 1,500 students is the recommended ratio. end student sample text

State your thesis in your conclusion. Your rhetorical strategy is this: after giving each side a fair hearing, you have arrived at the most reasonable conclusion.

student sample text According to the American Psychological Association, more than 40 percent of all college students suffer from some form of anxiety. Powell College South students are no different from college students elsewhere: they deserve to have adequate mental health counseling. end student sample text

Drafting begins when you organize your evidence or research notes and then put them into some kind of written form. As you write, focus on building body paragraphs through the techniques presented in Reasoning Strategies: Improving Critical Thinking that show you how to support your position and then add evidence. Using a variety of evidence types builds credibility with readers. Remember that the recursiveness of the writing process allows you to move from composing to gathering evidence and back to brainstorming ideas or to organizing your draft at any time. Move around the writing process as needed.

Keep in mind that a first draft is just a beginning—you will revise it into a better work in later drafts. Your first draft is sometimes called a discovery draft because you are discovering how to shape your paper: which ideas to include and how to support those ideas. These suggestions and graphic organizer may be helpful for your first draft:

  • Write your thesis at the top of the paper.
  • Compose your body paragraphs: those that support your argument through reasoning strategies and those that address counterclaims.
  • Leave your introduction, conclusion, and title for later drafts.

Use a graphic organizer like Table 10.1 to focus points, reasoning, and evidence for body paragraphs. You are free to reword your thesis, reasoning, counterclaim(s), refutation of counterclaim(s), concrete evidence, and explanation/elaboration/clarification at any time. You are also free to adjust the order in which you present your reasoning, counterclaim(s), and refuting of counterclaim(s).

Develop a Writing Project through Multiple Drafts

Your first draft is a kind of experiment in which you are concerned with ideas and with getting the direction and concept of the paper clear. Do not think that your first draft must be perfect; remind yourself that you are just honing your work. In most serious writing, every phase of the process can be considered recursive, helping you shape the best paper possible.

Peer Review: Critical Thinking and Counterclaims

After you have completed the first draft, begin peer review. Peer reviewers can use these sentence starters when thinking critically about overall strengths and developmental needs.

  • One point about your position that I think is strong is ______ because ________.
  • One point about your position that I think needs more development is _____ because _______.
  • One area that I find confusing is _____________; I was confused about _______.
  • One major point that I think needs more explanation or detail is _______.
  • In my opinion, the purpose of your paper is to persuade readers _______.
  • In my opinion, the audience for your paper is _______.
  • One area of supporting evidence that I think could use more development is _______.
  • One counterclaim you include is ________________.
  • Your development of the counterclaim is __________________ because ________________.

Refuting Counterclaims

Peer reviewers are especially helpful with position and argument writing when it comes to refuting counterclaims. Have your peer reviewer read your paper again and look for supporting points and ideas to argue against , trying to break down your argument. Then ask your reviewer to discuss the counterclaims and corresponding points or ideas in your paper. This review will give you the opportunity to think critically about ways to refute the counterclaims your peer reviewer suggests.

As preparation for peer review, match each of the following arguments with their counterarguments.

Revising: Reviewing a Draft and Responding to Counterclaims

Revising means reseeing, rereading, and rethinking your thoughts on paper until they fully match your intention. Mentally, it is conceptual work focused on units of meaning larger than the sentence. Physically, it is cutting, pasting, deleting, and rewriting until the ideas are satisfying. Be ready to spend a great deal of time revising your drafts, adding new information and incorporating sources smoothly into your prose.

The Revising Process

To begin revising, return to the basic questions of topic ( What am I writing about? ), purpose ( Why am I writing about this topic? ), audience ( For whom am I writing? ), and culture ( What is the background of the people for whom I am writing? ).

  • What is the general scope of my topic? __________________________________
  • What is my thesis? __________________________________________________
  • Does my thesis focus on my topic? ______________________________________
  • Does my thesis clearly state my position? ______________________
  • What do I hope to accomplish in writing about this topic? ____________________
  • Do all parts of the paper advance this purpose? ____________________________
  • Does my paper focus on my argument or position? _________________________
  • What does my audience know about this subject? _______________________
  • What does my audience need to know to understand the point of my paper? _______________________________________________________________

What questions or objections do I anticipate from my audience? ___________


  • What is the culture of the people for whom I am writing? Do all readers share the same culture? ________________________________________________________

How do my beliefs, values, and customs differ from those of my audience?


  • How do the cultures of the authors of sources I cite differ from my culture or the culture(s) of my audience? ______________________________________________

Because of the recursivity of the writing process, returning to these questions will help you fine-tune the language and structure of your writing and target the support you develop for your audience.

Responding to Counterclaims

The more complex the issue, the more opposing sides it may have. For example, a writer whose position is that Powell College South Campus should offer daycare to its students with children might find opposition for different reasons. Someone may oppose the idea out of concern for cost; someone else may support the idea if the daycare is run on a volunteer basis; someone else may support the idea if the services are offered off campus.

As you revise, continue studying your peer reviewer’s comments about counterclaims. If you agree with any counterclaim, then say so in the paragraph in which you address counterclaims. This agreement will further establish your credibility by showing your fairness and concern for the issue. Look over your paper and peer review comments, and then consider these questions:

  • In what ways do you address realistic counterclaims? What other counterclaims should you address? Should you add to or replace current counterclaims?
  • In what ways do you successfully refute counterclaims? What other refutations might you include?
  • Are there any counterclaims with which you agree? If so, how do you concede to them in your paper? In what ways does your discussion show fairness?

After completing your peer review and personal assessment, make necessary revisions based on these notes. See Annotated Student Sample an example of a student’s argumentative research essay. Note how the student

  • presents the argument;
  • supports the viewpoint with reasoning and evidence;
  • includes support in the form of facts, opinions, paraphrases, and summaries;
  • provides citations (correctly formatted) about material from other sources in the paper;
  • uses ethos, pathos, and logos throughout the paper; and
  • addresses counterclaims (dissenting opinions).

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100+ Position Paper Topics to Ace A+ Grade

Position Paper Topics

A position paper is an academic paper that incorporates controversial topics or arguable issues that are evaluated for their pros and cons. These papers are significant pieces of writing that help keep the discussion flowing.

In general, the purpose of a position paper is to persuade the audience reading it of a fact or truth that has never been acknowledged before. In this case, the truth is only partially actual right now. Showcasing such points is challenging for anyone; perhaps this is why students usually get tormented before writing a position paper. Choosing a controversial topic for a position paper that contradicts common values and social taboos or shares a contrasting mass opinion can assist you in developing strong and enticing arguments. We have compiled a list of compelling position paper ideas and topics that will guide you in framing a strong argument. To earn high grades, continue reading this article and select the most appropriate topic.

Table of Contents

Before Topic Selection

A well-written paper is only possible if its topic is clear and exciting. Choosing the ideal topic for your paper is essential for framing the entire document. After all, it will be the topic around which your arguments will revolve. If you want to frame strong arguments, choosing a strong topic with a strong background is imperative.

To select a topic for your position paper, you should conduct preliminary research on current popular topics. Whenever you find an exciting topic, ask yourself the following questions:

  • From your viewpoint as a diplomat, is this topic genuinely significant or controversial?
  • Is this topic intriguing to you?
  • In response to that question, what recent events have taken place?
  • Can you frame arguments around it?
  • Does the topic have a manageable scope?
  • What crucial questions can you raise about such a topic?
  • What previous actions have various global bodies taken regarding this issue?
  • Are there any recent findings concerning the topic?

This process allows you to narrow down a few appropriate topics for your paper. Ensure thorough research into whatever topic you select. Make sure that the topic you choose has a solid case and that you can support it with strong arguments.

Like a typical research article, finding supporting evidence for both sides is essential. You can counter competing claims by including supporting evidence for the opposing side. Alternatively, you can identify the strengths of the evidence that strengthens your position compared to the deficiencies of the negative evidence.

Choosing a Position Paper Topic

After you have narrowed down a few position paper topics, the next part is preliminary research and sees if the following topics would be ideal for your paper. Read the following instructions to choose the best position paper topic for your project:

Choose a Familiar Topic:

When you have a foundational understanding of a subject, writing and researching about it won’t be hearing about it won’t be challenging. You already know the hooks and knocks of the topic, making it easier to move forward with your following research. It will undoubtedly be an intelligent approach to your paper. You won’t be intimidated by research since you’ll know where to begin.

Research Topics You are Enthusiastic About and Write About:

This is more of a suggestion than a regulation. If you want your readers to enjoy your writing, you must enjoy it first. Thus, choosing a tedious topic will not only make you lose interest but also make your readers lose interest. It will be simpler for you to produce quality and informative content that your readers will appreciate if you are driven by your essay topic more.

Make Sure There is Enough Support for Your Thesis

Students frequently need help selecting a compelling topic resistant to future refutations. Therefore, consider your decision and consider the evidence you have at your disposal.

Select an Argument That Will Stir the Emotions of Your Audience

When we communicate our viewpoints with someone, we want them to understand the thoughts and feelings behind those words. It’s the same with writing as well. Your sole goal when writing your paper should be to interact with or engage your audience through your writing. Your writing will undoubtedly have some rational arguments; choosing a subject that lacks emotional resonance isn’t the wisest course of action.

Before moving forward with the writing part, you must ensure that your position essay topic matches the given checklists. Consider why this topic or issue still needs to be resolved. Do some research and determine what actions the authorities have taken to address those issues. Lastly, ask yourself what should be done by the authorities to resolve it. In any case, instead of putting too much time and effort into drafting your paper, you can also choose paper help services. After all, when your grades are at stake, you shouldn’t take any risks.

Top 100 Position Paper Topics

Based on the above suggestions and guidelines, we hope you will have selected your position argument topic by this time. For students who still need to identify their ideal topic, we’re still here for you. In general, position paper topics come in a broad spectrum of ranges, so to help you, our experts have enumerated those topics according to their branches. You can look through these lists and select the best that meets your needs.

Position Essay Topics for High School Students

Instead of jumping straight to the challenging topics, let’s start this journey with some easy position essay topics. You can either select one of these topics or look for some unexpected, unorthodox viewpoint regarding the topic, or you can jump straight to the other topics as well.

  • Virtual schooling or in-person education: which is better?
  • Learning more foreign languages
  • Sleep deprivation is the cause of the “Moody Teen” phenomenon, and starting school later can fix it.
  • Is a national high school test necessary?
  • The intelligent tutoring system: is it worth it?
  • School uniforms are associated with equality.
  • Unethical or ethical comedy
  • Vernacular pupils shouldn’t be forced to change codes during class since it is exhausting.
  • Artificial intelligence: a boon or curse?
  • Do GMOs harm human health?
  • Using several perspectives while understanding global history
  • Dangerous sports should be prohibited in schools.
  • Holistic techniques like yoga and meditation should be a part of PE curricula.
  • Schools should provide nutritional support to their students.
  • Barbie dolls should be banned: the commodification of women’s bodies
  • Your past does not define you.
  • Plastic surgery affects one’s body image and is not empowering.
  • Progressive tax or proportional tax: what is better?
  • The future of competitive cheerleading in the Olympics
  • The “eccentric genius” myth is inaccurate and encourages intelligent students to conceal their abilities.
  • The hidden harmful effects of consuming junk and processed food
  • Why do children idolize celebrities?

Position Paper Topics for College Students

The following topics suit college students preparing their positions or argumentative essays. You can use these topics as-is or frame them according to your requirements.

  • The impact of demonetization on the Indian economy
  • Work from home: the route to satisfaction through balance
  • Taxation in the United States: What’s wrong with the tax system?
  • The dynamics of the gender pay gap: organizations bringing the gender pay gap to light
  • Should Shakespeare still be studied in college?
  • Is college tuition expensive in the USA?
  • Test scores are the only way to assess the abilities of students.
  • Life without faith is like life without meaning.
  • The past is only a life lesson, not a life sentence.
  • Women in STEM programs need more than a law.
  • The STEM gap: a gender gap to innovation

Position Paper Topics on Education

These are some engaging position paper ideas regarding education that you can consider for writing your paper:

  • The expectation and engagement of parents in the K–12 education of their kids and its outcomes
  • challenges facing teachers regarding funding cuts and growing classes
  • Sexism in schools: How the modern school dress code fosters sexism in our society
  • Homeschooling vs. traditional schooling: which one is better for the 21st century?
  • Does class size matter for the achievement of students?
  • Should schools start giving cash credits to students with high test scores?
  • The dimensions and paradigms of multicultural education
  • Employment opportunities during school: character building or the destruction of academic purpose?

Read Also – Advanced Law Research Paper Topics

Criminal Justice Topics for a Position Paper

These criminal justice topics for a position paper are some of the most controversial subjects that you can use to draft a persuasive and sturdy position paper:

  • Freedom of speech: the constitutional double standard
  • Increasing prison capacity can slow the rise in crime.
  • Holistic practices can be effective in altering the mindset of prisoners.
  • The Suppression of Abortion Protesters: The Law’s Double Standard
  • Juvenile incarceration and health: recent achievements from strengthening juvenile incarceration systems
  • Health-related issues in prisoner reentry
  • White-collar criminals should be prosecuted similarly to other criminals for nefarious activities.
  • Humane treatment of convicts in prisons is preferable to severe living conditions.
  • The death penalty or capital punishment ought to be eliminated.
  • Evidence from legal cases involving jail overcrowding regarding the impact of prison population size on crime rates
  • Media coverage can affect how criminal justice
  • relationship between socioeconomic status and crime
  • The outcome of criminal justice can be influenced by media publicity.
  • Should media outlets be permitted to report on court proceedings involving celebrities and other significant figures?
  • Illegal drug prohibition will help reduce dependency.
  • The misuse of the sexual violence law by women
  • Since substance abuse leads to significant problems, the court should apply more rigorous laws to resolve this issue.
  • Police personnel must be more stringent about their ethical codes.
  • Substance abuse leads to significant problems in several nations.

Ideas for Position Papers on Social Issues

Social issues, including climate change, overpopulation, migrant crises, poverty, civil rights, human rights, women’s rights, and beyond, are the topics people have already worked on. However, we certainly have a long way to go. Below is a list of social topics for position papers you may find helpful. If you need samples to understand the ideal position paper format, then simply visit our profile and order now in three simple steps.

  • How significant is equitable access to COVID vaccines?
  • Providing education and medical treatment to children escaping violence and war
  • Is it possible to reduce abortions without passing laws?
  • The management of nutrition in complex emergencies
  • Pro-life, pro-choice, and the possibilities of common values
  • How can pro-life and pro-choice organizations work together?
  • The nutritional and medical health needs of refugees
  • Wealth inequality and challenging times: an uncertain future for the United States
  • Emergency relief operations and refugee camps for refugees
  • Sustainable urban transport: opportunities for the future of public transport
  • Military spouse unemployment: addressing the undiscovered facts
  • The sustainable transportation analysis for smart cities: Why should we prioritize private vehicles?
  • Ethical dilemmas and methodology of accessing and reporting domestic abuse
  • Addressing human trafficking from a global perspective
  • impressions of male and female municipal council candidates that are gender biased
  • Addressing the role of social media as a communication platform
  • Is Barbie to blame for setting high beauty standards?
  • The absurdity of homeless youth in an advanced economy
  • Why should the law require health insurance to cover birth control?
  • Maintaining equilibrium between workplace optimization and innovation regions.

Position Paper Topics in Psychology

Psychology is another essential subject that encompasses several fascinating, popular, controversial, and critical issues that need serious discussion in research and argument papers. Here is a list of some intriguing  position paper topics in psychology  that you can use for investigation in your psychology major:

  • Technical developments in the psychology field
  • The vicious cycle of comfort eating, stress, and weight stigma
  • Why are organizations investing in corporate wellbeing programs in their workplace?
  • The horrendous effects of chronic sleep deprivation on youth
  • The impact of poor mental health on relationships
  • The LGBTQ community and suicide: a deadly combination
  • The psychological impact of opiate misuse: how to avoid being dependent on prescription medicines
  • Personality and psychology: a fatal combination
  • Counseling should be provided in all schools.
  • A person’s sexual orientation results from trauma or a terrible upbringing.
  • The psychology of xenophobic attitudes
  • How are the nations dealing with the psychological complications of the COVID-19 outbreak?
  • Food addiction is correlated with irrational beliefs through character-driven anxiety and emotional eating.
  • Controlling severe stress and managing emotional recovery from natural disasters
  • Mental health is the cause of substance abuse.
  • The harmful mental health effects of limiting access to safe abortion
  • Subtle discrimination and its consequences for stigmatized populations’ mental health and wellbeing
  • Making significant changes in your routine can significantly impact your mental health.
  • Food addiction: a valid cause for concern?
  • Psychological intervention: the current state and prominent issues

The Final Words

After reading this entire piece, you may come up with your ideas for position papers. In such cases, sitting with a notebook and pen is always a better option. You can immediately jot down any ideas that come to mind in your notebook. This way, you will remember any upcoming idea or topic. Writing a position paper requires the writer to be assertive and confident in their claims.

A position paper, also known as an argument paper, presents an arguable opinion or a fact, depending on the case. That’s why students get tormented right in the beginning and pay someone to write paper , which is wholly justified. When your grades are at stake, it’s always better to consult an expert for further editing services . Seeking experts’ help is nothing to be ashamed of, especially when other academic responsibilities overburden you.

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How to Write a Position Paper

Lindsay Kramer

In academia and the professional world, one of the most valuable writing skills to develop is the ability to clearly express and support a position in writing. When you write a position paper, this is the skill you’re strengthening.

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What is a position paper?

A position paper is a type of academic writing that supports the author’s position on a topic through statistics, facts, and other pieces of well-researched, relevant evidence.

The purpose of a position paper is to clearly and concisely communicate the author’s position on a topic. For example, a teaching assistant may write a position paper about students’ use of AI writing tools in academic assignments. In this example, the author acknowledges how certain AI tools can enable students to work more efficiently while also acknowledging the tools’ drawbacks, such as other AI tools allowing students to avoid doing the actual writing. The author clearly states and supports their position with credible sources, and readers come away understanding the author’s exact position on the topic.

Position papers aren’t always individuals’ positions. They can also communicate groups’ and organizations’ positions on topics. To go back to our previous example, a university writing department may publish a paper on its official position regarding AI writing tools. This paper, which would be approximately one page long, would then become a go-to resource for students and faculty with questions about the department’s position on such tools. These are a few areas where position papers are frequently published and used this way:

  • Government and organizational policy

How to write a position paper in 5 steps

1 choose a topic.

The first step in writing a position paper is choosing your topic. You may be assigned a topic, or you may need to develop a topic yourself. In either case, a good topic for a position paper is one that allows you to take a definable, defendable stance that you can back up with relevant data. This is why thoroughly researching your topic is critical to writing a strong position paper—which we’ll explore further in the next section.

2 Conduct research

Once you’ve determined your paper’s topic, the next step is to do a deep dive into it. At this stage, you may not have a clear position yet—that’s perfectly fine. You’ll determine your position by researching the subject.

Consult sources that support multiple positions on your topic. This way, you can find any logical fallacies , misunderstandings, and other shortcomings behind various positions one can take on the subject. Through your research, determine the most logical position to take in your paper. Remember, though, that a position paper isn’t based on opinions—although you’re taking the position that best reflects your understanding of the topic, you need to support that position with credible facts.

3 Write a thesis

Once you’ve determined the position you’ll take in your paper, write your thesis statement . Your paper’s thesis statement is the sentence that concisely states the position the rest of your paper will support.

4 Challenge your thesis

After you write a thesis statement, you need to challenge it. Arguing against your thesis statement in good faith demonstrates that you understand the topic from all angles and support your position from a place of logic and careful reasoning.

5 Collect supporting evidence

Including quotes from experts in your position paper can be beneficial, but be careful to avoid the appeal to authority fallacy . Their expertise must be directly relevant to your position, as do the quotes you include. An example of a relevant quote would be an excerpt from a pediatrician’s research on adolescent circadian rhythms in a position paper supporting later starting times for high schools. An irrelevant quote would be a parent’s anecdote that their teen often sleeps late and misses the bus. While this anecdote may be true, it’s not a researched or tested fact from an expert.

Position paper outline (with examples)


In the introduction, hook your reader with an engaging opening, then introduce your thesis statement. Then, briefly include your supporting argument.

Body paragraphs

The body paragraphs are where you support your thesis statement. You can include as many paragraphs as you need, but remember that a position paper is typically a short piece of writing . Include one body paragraph per argument—including counterarguments. In each counterargument paragraph, demonstrate the flaws in the counterargument using relevant, credible facts and figures.

Be careful to strike a balance between paragraphs supporting your position and paragraphs discrediting counterarguments. Overall, your paper should do more supporting than discrediting because the focus is your position’s strength, not its opposition’s weakness.

In the final section, restate your position and summarize your argument. You don’t need to restate your thesis statement word for word, but you should reinforce it here with a summary of the points you made in your paper’s body paragraphs.

Tips for writing a position paper

Identify your audience.

Before you begin to write, determine who will read your position paper. This will help you choose the right tone to use and which details and sources to include. A position paper meant to be read by others in your industry, for example, can use a more technical tone and include more jargon and industry-specific knowledge than a position paper you plan to publish for a wider audience.

Once you’ve determined your paper’s audience, figure out which sources make sense for that audience. If it’s an academic position paper, support your thesis statement with scholarly sources. If it’s a professional paper, support your thesis with industry-relevant statistics and insights from key leaders. And if you’re publishing your position paper as a blog post or opinion piece to be read by the general public, be sure to use sources that will resonate with them.

Include supporting research and data

Weave your sources into your paper. You can use direct quotes, paraphrasing, or both. Including credible sources, both in support of and against your position, demonstrates that you did your research and can back up any statement you make or refute others’ claims.

Choose a topic with two (or more) opposing sides

A strong position paper takes a clear position on a topic that people can disagree about. When there’s no disagreement about a topic, it’s difficult to write a compelling position paper.

For example, a position paper about why humans need to drink water wouldn’t be very compelling. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who disagrees with your position that everyone needs to drink water every day. A better topic for a position paper would be whether it’s more harmful or beneficial for people to drink coffee every day because there is detailed research to support both positions.

Cite your sources

It’s not enough to include references; you need to cite your sources as well. In most cases, you’re required to include a bibliography that lists the sources you used to research your position paper. Even when this isn’t a requirement, citations show that you have credible sources to support your position.

As with any other type of writing, proofread your position paper before you send it to your professor, colleagues, or supervisor, or before you publish it on your LinkedIn profile or website. A spelling or grammatical mistake can undermine your position—and it takes only a second to fix.

Position paper vs. argumentative essay

A position paper states a position and supports it through references to credible sources. An argumentative essay is similar, but it generally presents its position as an argument or question rather than as a statement. Here are a few examples of titles for both:

Position paper: A Car-Free Campus Is Healthier for Everyone

Argumentative essay: Should Cars Be Banned From Campus?

Position paper: Legacy Status Is an Outdated Metric

Argumentative essay: Is It Time to Stop Considering Legacy Status?

In many ways, a position paper is similar to an argumentative essay , with the key difference being their goals. An argumentative essay’s goal is to sway the reader’s opinion on its topic by guiding them through a nuanced, balanced look at various positions, leading them to the position the author supports. A position paper is a shorter piece of writing that spends less time exploring opposing positions and instead simply presents the reasons the author holds their position.

Position paper FAQs

A position paper is a type of academic writing that supports an author’s or organization’s position on a topic through statistics, facts, and other pieces of well-researched, relevant evidence.

Which professions publish position papers?

Professional areas that use position papers include legal, research, healthcare, government, and organizational policy.

What’s the difference between a position paper and an argumentative essay?

A position paper states a position and supports it through evidence from credible sources. An argumentative essay has a broader scope and generally presents its position as a reasoned argument or question rather than as an evidence-driven position.

arguing a position essay topics


Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 113 perfect persuasive essay topics for any assignment.

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General Education


Do you need to write a persuasive essay but aren’t sure what topic to focus on? Were you thrilled when your teacher said you could write about whatever you wanted but are now overwhelmed by the possibilities? We’re here to help!

Read on for a list of 113 top-notch persuasive essay topics, organized into ten categories. To help get you started, we also discuss what a persuasive essay is, how to choose a great topic, and what tips to keep in mind as you write your persuasive essay.

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

In a persuasive essay, you attempt to convince readers to agree with your point of view on an argument. For example, an essay analyzing changes in Italian art during the Renaissance wouldn’t be a persuasive essay, because there’s no argument, but an essay where you argue that Italian art reached its peak during the Renaissance would be a persuasive essay because you’re trying to get your audience to agree with your viewpoint.

Persuasive and argumentative essays both try to convince readers to agree with the author, but the two essay types have key differences. Argumentative essays show a more balanced view of the issue and discuss both sides. Persuasive essays focus more heavily on the side the author agrees with. They also often include more of the author’s opinion than argumentative essays, which tend to use only facts and data to support their argument.

All persuasive essays have the following:

  • Introduction: Introduces the topic, explains why it’s important, and ends with the thesis.
  • Thesis: A sentence that sums up what the essay be discussing and what your stance on the issue is.
  • Reasons you believe your side of the argument: Why do you support the side you do? Typically each main point will have its own body paragraph.
  • Evidence supporting your argument: Facts or examples to back up your main points. Even though your opinion is allowed in persuasive essays more than most other essays, having concrete examples will make a stronger argument than relying on your opinion alone.
  • Conclusion: Restatement of thesis, summary of main points, and a recap of why the issue is important.

What Makes a Good Persuasive Essay Topic?

Theoretically, you could write a persuasive essay about any subject under the sun, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Certain topics are easier to write a strong persuasive essay on, and below are tips to follow when deciding what you should write about.

It’s a Topic You Care About

Obviously, it’s possible to write an essay about a topic you find completely boring. You’ve probably done it! However, if possible, it’s always better to choose a topic that you care about and are interested in. When this is the case, you’ll find doing the research more enjoyable, writing the essay easier, and your writing will likely be better because you’ll be more passionate about and informed on the topic.

You Have Enough Evidence to Support Your Argument

Just being passionate about a subject isn’t enough to make it a good persuasive essay topic, though. You need to make sure your argument is complex enough to have at least two potential sides to root for, and you need to be able to back up your side with evidence and examples. Even though persuasive essays allow your opinion to feature more than many other essays, you still need concrete evidence to back up your claims, or you’ll end up with a weak essay.

For example, you may passionately believe that mint chocolate chip ice cream is the best ice cream flavor (I agree!), but could you really write an entire essay on this? What would be your reasons for believing mint chocolate chip is the best (besides the fact that it’s delicious)? How would you support your belief? Have enough studies been done on preferred ice cream flavors to support an entire essay? When choosing a persuasive essay idea, you want to find the right balance between something you care about (so you can write well on it) and something the rest of the world cares about (so you can reference evidence to strengthen your position).

It’s a Manageable Topic

Bigger isn’t always better, especially with essay topics. While it may seem like a great idea to choose a huge, complex topic to write about, you’ll likely struggle to sift through all the information and different sides of the issue and winnow them down to one streamlined essay. For example, choosing to write an essay about how WWII impacted American life more than WWI wouldn’t be a great idea because you’d need to analyze all the impacts of both the wars in numerous areas of American life. It’d be a huge undertaking. A better idea would be to choose one impact on American life the wars had (such as changes in female employment) and focus on that. Doing so will make researching and writing your persuasive essay much more feasible.


List of 113 Good Persuasive Essay Topics

Below are over 100 persuasive essay ideas, organized into ten categories. When you find an idea that piques your interest, you’ll choose one side of it to argue for in your essay. For example, if you choose the topic, “should fracking be legal?” you’d decide whether you believe fracking should be legal or illegal, then you’d write an essay arguing all the reasons why your audience should agree with you.


  • Should students be required to learn an instrument in school?
  • Did the end of Game of Thrones fit with the rest of the series?
  • Can music be an effective way to treat mental illness?
  • With e-readers so popular, have libraries become obsolete?
  • Are the Harry Potter books more popular than they deserve to be?
  • Should music with offensive language come with a warning label?
  • What’s the best way for museums to get more people to visit?
  • Should students be able to substitute an art or music class for a PE class in school?
  • Are the Kardashians good or bad role models for young people?
  • Should people in higher income brackets pay more taxes?
  • Should all high school students be required to take a class on financial literacy?
  • Is it possible to achieve the American dream, or is it only a myth?
  • Is it better to spend a summer as an unpaid intern at a prestigious company or as a paid worker at a local store/restaurant?
  • Should the United States impose more or fewer tariffs?
  • Should college graduates have their student loans forgiven?
  • Should restaurants eliminate tipping and raise staff wages instead?
  • Should students learn cursive writing in school?
  • Which is more important: PE class or music class?
  • Is it better to have year-round school with shorter breaks throughout the year?
  • Should class rank be abolished in schools?
  • Should students be taught sex education in school?
  • Should students be able to attend public universities for free?
  • What’s the most effective way to change the behavior of school bullies?
  • Are the SAT and ACT accurate ways to measure intelligence?
  • Should students be able to learn sign language instead of a foreign language?
  • Do the benefits of Greek life at colleges outweigh the negatives?
  • Does doing homework actually help students learn more?
  • Why do students in many other countries score higher than American students on math exams?
  • Should parents/teachers be able to ban certain books from schools?
  • What’s the best way to reduce cheating in school?
  • Should colleges take a student’s race into account when making admissions decisions?
  • Should there be limits to free speech?
  • Should students be required to perform community service to graduate high school?
  • Should convicted felons who have completed their sentence be allowed to vote?
  • Should gun ownership be more tightly regulated?
  • Should recycling be made mandatory?
  • Should employers be required to offer paid leave to new parents?
  • Are there any circumstances where torture should be allowed?
  • Should children under the age of 18 be able to get plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons?
  • Should white supremacy groups be allowed to hold rallies in public places?
  • Does making abortion illegal make women more or less safe?
  • Does foreign aid actually help developing countries?
  • Are there times a person’s freedom of speech should be curtailed?
  • Should people over a certain age not be allowed to adopt children?


  • Should the minimum voting age be raised/lowered/kept the same?
  • Should Puerto Rico be granted statehood?
  • Should the United States build a border wall with Mexico?
  • Who should be the next person printed on American banknotes?
  • Should the United States’ military budget be reduced?
  • Did China’s one child policy have overall positive or negative impacts on the country?
  • Should DREAMers be granted US citizenship?
  • Is national security more important than individual privacy?
  • What responsibility does the government have to help homeless people?
  • Should the electoral college be abolished?
  • Should the US increase or decrease the number of refugees it allows in each year?
  • Should privately-run prisons be abolished?
  • Who was the most/least effective US president?
  • Will Brexit end up helping or harming the UK?


  • What’s the best way to reduce the spread of Ebola?
  • Is the Keto diet a safe and effective way to lose weight?
  • Should the FDA regulate vitamins and supplements more strictly?
  • Should public schools require all students who attend to be vaccinated?
  • Is eating genetically modified food safe?
  • What’s the best way to make health insurance more affordable?
  • What’s the best way to lower the teen pregnancy rate?
  • Should recreational marijuana be legalized nationwide?
  • Should birth control pills be available without a prescription?
  • Should pregnant women be forbidden from buying cigarettes and alcohol?
  • Why has anxiety increased in adolescents?
  • Are low-carb or low-fat diets more effective for weight loss?
  • What caused the destruction of the USS Maine?
  • Was King Arthur a mythical legend or actual Dark Ages king?
  • Was the US justified in dropping atomic bombs during WWII?
  • What was the primary cause of the Rwandan genocide?
  • What happened to the settlers of the Roanoke colony?
  • Was disagreement over slavery the primary cause of the US Civil War?
  • What has caused the numerous disappearances in the Bermuda triangle?
  • Should nuclear power be banned?
  • Is scientific testing on animals necessary?
  • Do zoos help or harm animals?
  • Should scientists be allowed to clone humans?
  • Should animals in circuses be banned?
  • Should fracking be legal?
  • Should people be allowed to keep exotic animals as pets?
  • What’s the best way to reduce illegal poaching in Africa?
  • What is the best way to reduce the impact of global warming?
  • Should euthanasia be legalized?
  • Is there legitimate evidence of extraterrestrial life?
  • Should people be banned from owning aggressive dog breeds?
  • Should the United States devote more money towards space exploration?
  • Should the government subsidize renewable forms of energy?
  • Is solar energy worth the cost?
  • Should stem cells be used in medicine?
  • Is it right for the US to leave the Paris Climate Agreement?
  • Should athletes who fail a drug test receive a lifetime ban from the sport?
  • Should college athletes receive a salary?
  • Should the NFL do more to prevent concussions in players?
  • Do PE classes help students stay in shape?
  • Should horse racing be banned?
  • Should cheerleading be considered a sport?
  • Should children younger than 18 be allowed to play tackle football?
  • Are the costs of hosting an Olympic Games worth it?
  • Can online schools be as effective as traditional schools?
  • Do violent video games encourage players to be violent in real life?
  • Should facial recognition technology be banned?
  • Does excessive social media use lead to depression/anxiety?
  • Has the rise of translation technology made knowing multiple languages obsolete?
  • Was Steve Jobs a visionary or just a great marketer?
  • Should social media be banned for children younger than a certain age?
  • Which 21st-century invention has had the largest impact on society?
  • Are ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft good or bad for society?
  • Should Facebook have done more to protect the privacy of its users?
  • Will technology end up increasing or decreasing inequality worldwide?


Tips for Writing a Strong Persuasive Essay

After you’ve chosen the perfect topic for your persuasive essay, your work isn’t over. Follow the three tips below to create a top-notch essay.

Do Your Research

Your argument will fall apart if you don’t fully understand the issue you’re discussing or you overlook an important piece of it. Readers won’t be convinced by someone who doesn’t know the subject, and you likely won’t persuade any of them to begin supporting your viewpoint. Before you begin writing a single word of your essay, research your topic thoroughly. Study different sources, learn about the different sides of the argument, ask anyone who’s an expert on the topic what their opinion is, etc. You might be tempted to start writing right away, but by doing your research, you’ll make the writing process much easier when the time comes.

Make Your Thesis Perfect

Your thesis is the most important sentence in your persuasive essay. Just by reading that single sentence, your audience should know exactly what topic you’ll be discussing and where you stand on the issue. You want your thesis to be crystal clear and to accurately set up the rest of your essay. Asking classmates or your teacher to look it over before you begin writing the rest of your essay can be a big help if you’re not entirely confident in your thesis.

Consider the Other Side

You’ll spend most of your essay focusing on your side of the argument since that’s what you want readers to come away believing. However, don’t think that means you can ignore other sides of the issue. In your essay, be sure to discuss the other side’s argument, as well as why you believe this view is weak or untrue. Researching all the different viewpoints and including them in your essay will increase the quality of your writing by making your essay more complete and nuanced.

Summary: Persuasive Essay Ideas

Good persuasive essay topics can be difficult to come up with, but in this guide we’ve created a list of 113 excellent essay topics for you to browse. The best persuasive essay ideas will be those that you are interested in, have enough evidence to support your argument, and aren’t too complicated to be summarized in an essay.

After you’ve chosen your essay topic, keep these three tips in mind when you begin writing:

  • Do your research
  • Make your thesis perfect
  • Consider the other side

What's Next?

Need ideas for a research paper topic as well?   Our guide to research paper topics has over 100 topics in ten categories so you can be sure to find the perfect topic for you. 

Thinking about taking an AP English class? Read our guide on AP English classes to learn whether you should take AP English Language or AP English Literature (or both!)

Deciding between the SAT or ACT? Find out for sure which you will do the best on . Also read a detailed comparison between the two tests .

Need more help with this topic? Check out Tutorbase!

Our vetted tutor database includes a range of experienced educators who can help you polish an essay for English or explain how derivatives work for Calculus. You can use dozens of filters and search criteria to find the perfect person for your needs.

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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  1. Essay #3--Arguing a Position

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  1. 100+ Argument or Position Paper Topics With Sample Essays

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  2. 50 Compelling Argumentative Essay Topics

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    Argumentative Essay Topics Education. Parents should have an active role in their child's education. The grading system shouldn't exist to judge a student's abilities. Standardized tests should be abolished in schools. All students must wear a uniform in high school.

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  15. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

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  19. 10.5 Writing Process: Creating a Position Argument

    Write a position argument on a controversial issue that you choose or that your instructor assigns to you. If you are free to choose your own topic, consider one of the following: The legal system would be strengthened if ______________________. The growing use of technology in college classrooms is weakening _____________.

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    An argumentative essay's goal is to sway the reader's opinion on its topic by guiding them through a nuanced, balanced look at various positions, leading them to the position the author supports. A position paper is a shorter piece of writing that spends less time exploring opposing positions and instead simply presents the reasons the ...

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