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160 Good Argumentative Essay Topics for Students in 2024

April 3, 2024

argumentative essay topics

The skill of writing an excellent argumentative essay is a crucial one for every high school or college student to master. In sum, 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 an argumentative essay is to sway the reader to the writer’s position. However, a strong persuasive essay makes its point through diligent research and emotion while a strong argumentative essay should be based solely on facts, not feelings.

Moreover, each fact 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
  • Paragraph(s) addressing common counterarguments

Argumentative Essay Format

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. The length of your paper will determine the amount of examples you need. In general, you’ll likely need at least two to three. Additionally, your examples should be as detailed as possible, citing specific research, case studies, statistics, or anecdotes.

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.

How to Write an Effective Argumentative Essay, Step by Step

  • Choose your topic. Use the list below to help you pick a topic. Ideally, a good argumentative essay topic will be meaningful to you—writing is always stronger when you are interested in the subject matter. In addition, the topic should be complex with plenty of “pro” and “con” arguments. Avoid choosing a topic that is either widely accepted as fact or too narrow. For example, “Is the earth round?” would not be a solid choice.
  • Research. 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. Moreover, remember to look for (and research) possible counterarguments.
  • Outline . Using the argument essay format above, create an outline for your essay. Then, brainstorm a thesis statement covering your argument’s main points, and begin to put your examples in order, focusing on logical flow. It’s often best to place your strongest example last.
  • Write . Draw on your research and outline to create a first draft. Remember, your first draft doesn’t need to be perfect. (As Voltaire says, “Perfect is the enemy of good.”) Accordingly, just focus on getting the words down on paper.
  • Does my thesis statement need to be adjusted?
  • Which examples feel strongest? Weakest?
  • Do the transitions flow smoothly?
  • Do I have a strong opening paragraph?
  • Does the conclusion reinforce my argument?

Tips for Revising an Argument Essay

Evaluating your own work can be difficult, so you might consider the following strategies:

  • Read your work aloud to yourself.
  • Record yourself reading your paper, and listen to the recording.
  • Reverse outline your paper. Firstly, next to each paragraph, write a short summary of that paragraph’s main points/idea. Then, read through your reverse outline. Does it have a logical flow? If not, where should you adjust?
  • Print out your paper and cut it into paragraphs. What happens when you rearrange the paragraphs?

Good 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 cell phones 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?
  • Should parents be allowed to post pictures of their children on social media without their consent?
  • Should fathers have a legal say in whether their partners do or do not receive an abortion?
  • Can television have positive developmental benefits on children?
  • Should the driving age be raised to prevent teen car accidents?
  • Should adult children be legally required to care for their aging parents?

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? If so, what types?
  • 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 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 public schools remove the line “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance?
  • Should college admissions officers be allowed to look at students’ social media accounts?
  • Should schools abolish their dress codes, many of which unfairly target girls, LGBTQ students, and students of color?
  • Should schools be required to stock free period products in bathrooms?
  • Should legacy students receive preferential treatment during the college admissions process?
  • Are school “voluntourism” trips ethical?

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.?
  • Should term limits be imposed on Senators and Representatives? If so, how long?
  • Should women be allowed into special forces units?
  • Should the federal government implement stronger, universal firearm licensing laws?
  • Do public sex offender registries help prevent future sex crimes?
  • Should the government be allowed to regulate family size?
  • Should all adults legally be considered mandated reporters?
  • 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?

Health/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?
  • Should organ donation be mandatory?
  • Is cloning animals ethical?
  • Should cancer screenings start earlier? If so, what age?
  • Is surrogacy ethical?
  • Should birth control require a prescription?
  • Should minors have access to emergency contraception?
  • Should hospitals be for-profit or nonprofit institutions?

Good Argumentative Essay Topics — Continued

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?
  • Is social media harmful to children?
  • Should employers screen applicants’ social media accounts during the hiring process?

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 .)
  • Should the US ban religion-based federal holidays?
  • Should public schools be allowed to teach children about religious holidays?

Science Argument Essay Topics

  • Would the world be safer if we eliminated nuclear weapons?
  • Should scientists bring back extinct animals? If so, which ones?
  • Should we hold companies fiscally responsible for their carbon footprint?
  • Should we ban pesticides in favor of organic farming methods?
  • 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?
  • Should we worry about artificial intelligence surpassing human intelligence?
  • Should the alternative medicine industry be more stringently regulated?
  • Is colonizing Mars a viable option?
  • Is the animal testing worth the potential to save human lives?

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?
  • Should performance-enhancing drugs be allowed in sports?
  • Do participation trophies foster entitlement and unrealistic expectations?
  • Should sports teams be divided by gender?
  • Should professional athletes be allowed to compete in the Olympics?
  • Should women be allowed on NFL teams?

Technology Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Should sites like DALL-E compensate the artists whose work it was trained on?
  • 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? If so, what age?
  • Should we consider A.I.-generated images and text pieces of art?
  • Does the use of facial recognition technology violate individuals’ privacy?
  • Is online learning as effective as in-person learning?
  • Does computing harm the environment?
  • Should buying, sharing, and selling collected personal data be illegal?
  • Are electric cars really better for the environment?
  • Should car companies be held responsible for self-driving car accidents?
  • Should private jets be banned?
  • Do violent video games contribute to real-life violence?

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? If so, to what?
  • 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?
  • Should companies be allowed to fire employees based on political views or activities?
  • Should tipping practices be phased out?
  • Should employees who choose not to have children be given the same amount of paid leave as parents?
  • Should MLMs (multi-level marketing companies) be illegal?
  • Should employers be allowed to factor tattoos and personal appearance into hiring decisions?

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? You might consider checking out the following:

  • 125 Good Debate Topics for High School Students
  • 150 Good Persuasive Speech Topics
  • 7 Best Places to Study
  • Guide to the IB Extended Essay
  • How to Write the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay
  • AP Lit Reading List
  • How to Write the AP Lang Synthesis Essay
  • 49 Most Interesting Biology Research Topics
  • High School Success

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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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Top 30 Argumentative Writing Topics

Are you looking for some good argumentative essay topics? If that’s what you are searching for, you are definitely in the right place! Check out our top 30 topics for argumentative writing. These argumentative topics for essays will help students practice key academic and professional writing skills.

argumentative essay topics

Argumentative Essay Topics

Argumentative writing.

Argumentative writing is a type of academic writing that requires writers to come up with a well-reasoned argument about a topic. The goal of argumentative writing is to persuade readers with a well-structured argument. Readers should be able to agree with the writer’s logic.

Benefits of Argumentative Writing

Here are some specific reasons why it is so important for students to practice argumentative writing.

  • Academic and Professional Success: Argumentative writing is a key skill continuously needed in school and at work. Practicing argumentative writing will make students better at persuading others and logically presenting their opinions.
  • Develop Critical Thinking Skills: Fosters the development of critical thinking skills that can benefit students in their academic and professional pursuits.
  • Improve Research Skills: In order to present good evidence, students have to research and collect information from a variety of sources.
  • Understand Different Perspectives: Writers have to consider different opinions and perspectives, which can develop empathy and understanding for others.

Other Types of Writing

Here are other types of writing that you might be interested in teaching your students.

  • Persuasive Writing
  • Expository Writing
  • Analytical Writing
  • Descriptive Writing
  • Narrative Writing
  • Comparative Writing

topics for argumentative essays

Topics for Argumentative Essays

Our top 30 argumentative essay topics are divided into three levels: elementary, middle school, and high school. Find the right topic for your students depending on their grade level.

Argumentative Writing Topics for Kids in Elementary School

  • Is homework good or bad for students?
  • Should students have to wear uniforms to school?
  • Should kids be allowed to choose their own clothes?
  • Should schools have more art and music classes?
  • Should schools have more field trips?
  • Should schools start later in the day or earlier in the day?
  • Should schools have a dress code for students?
  • Should schools have a longer summer break?
  • Should pets be allowed in classrooms?
  • Should junk food be banned from schools?

Middle School Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Should cell phones be allowed in classrooms?
  • Should the voting age be lowered?
  • Should the driving age be raised?
  • Should the government regulate the use of social media?
  • Should schools implement gender-neutral bathrooms?
  • Should zoos and aquariums be banned?
  • Should students be allowed to grade their teachers?
  • Should there be a limit on the amount of homework students receive?
  • Should schools allow students to have mental health days?
  • Should schools offer more vocational/technical courses or art/music courses?

Argumentative Writing Topics for High School

  • Do you think college should be free for everyone?
  • Should standardized tests be abolished?
  • Should the government increase the minimum wage?
  • Should there be stricter gun control laws?
  • Should schools implement mandatory community service hours for graduation?
  • Should the government regulate artificial intelligence?
  • Should the death penalty be abolished?
  • Which courses should high schools offer more and why?
  • Do you think it should be easier or harder to adopt a pet?
  • Should schools have mandatory drug testing for students?

argumentative writing topics

Argumentative Writing Topics

Argumentative Essay Topics for College Students

  • Does social media have a positive or negative influence on individuals and society as a whole?
  • Should genetic engineering and modification of humans, animals, and crops be allowed?
  • How should governments and individuals address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
  • What are the benefits and potential risks of widespread AI adoption, and how should it be regulated?
  • Should recreational drugs such as marijuana be legalized and regulated?
  • What are the implications of stricter gun control laws on reducing gun violence?
  • Should higher education be free or more affordable to ensure equal opportunities for all?
  • Is animal testing necessary for scientific and medical advancements, or should alternative methods be used?
  • Should individuals have a right to online privacy, or is surveillance necessary for national security?
  • Should the death penalty be abolished or retained as a form of punishment?

More Writing Prompts

If you are looking for more essay topics for your students, check out some of these more general writing topics.

  • Writing Prompts and Topics for Beginners
  • Creative Writing Prompts for Teens

Writing Activities

If you are looking for some good writing activities that will help your students improve their argumentative or general writing skills, check out these fun ESL writing activities.

  • Round Robin Story
  • Proof-Reading + Editing

FAQs About Argumentative Essay Topics

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about argumentative writing topics for students.

What is an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay is a type of academic writing that presents a strong argument on a specific topic. The writer aims to persuade the readers with logical reasoning and convincing evidence.

What are some examples of argumentative essay topics?

Here are some good argumentative writing topics:

  • Is animal testing ethical?
  • Is social media harmful to society?
  • Should the government provide free healthcare?
  • Is there a correlation between video games and violence?
  • Does technology make us more isolated?
  • Is homeschooling more effective than traditional schooling?

How do I structure an argumentative essay?

In an argumentative essay, you should include an introduction, body paragraphs, counterarguments, and a conclusion. The number of body paragraphs can depend on the topic or the required length of your essay. You must include a counterargument section to address an opposing viewpoint. Addressing the counterarguments will make your argument stronger.

Argumentative Topics: Join the Conversation

What are your thoughts on these top 30 argumentative writing topics? Which one is your favourite topic? If there is another topic that you know and should be included in our list, please let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.

argumentative essay topics for esl students

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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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50 Argumentative Essay Topics

Illustration by Catherine Song. ThoughtCo. 

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

An argumentative essay requires you to decide on a topic and argue for or against 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. Then you need to take a position, do some research, and present your viewpoint convincingly.

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 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 you get across? Did the topic give you something new to think about? Can you see why someone else may feel differently?

List of 50 Possible Argumentative Essay 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. Just make sure your opinions are backed up by facts in the essay.   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 the U.S. election process fair?
  • Is torture ever acceptable?
  • Should men get paternity leave from work?
  • Are school uniforms beneficial?
  • Does the U.S. 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)?
  • Should same-sex marriage be legalized in more countries?
  • 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?
  • Should more companies expand their reproductive health benefits for employees?
  • 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?

How to Craft a Persuasive Argument

After you've decided on your essay topic, gather evidence to make your argument as strong as possible. Your research could even help shape the position your essay ultimately takes. As you craft your essay, remember to utilize persuasive writing techniques , such as invoking emotional language or citing facts from authoritative figures. 

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  • Share full article

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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.

argumentative essay topics for esl students

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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40 ESL Essay Writing Topics + Prompts

By VIPKid  |  April 20, 2018

Ready to start teaching English online?

Writing ESL essay writing is hard for most students and many will struggle at first before learning to write well.

However, writing skills are a crucial part of learning a new language . 

In this piece, we’ll share some ESL writing prompts and ESL essay topics for five different kinds of essays. They should help your students develop their grammar and vocabulary skills  while teaching them how to write coherently.

(While they work for all kinds of students, we’ve found these topics are especially handy for  teaching English to kids .) 

Writing practice should never be boring! When you’re done this article, check out the 10 most engaging writing activities here .

Descriptive ESL Writing Topics

  • Describe your favorite place in as much detail as possible.
  • Describe your favorite fictional character in as much detail as possible.
  • Describe a famous person – e.g. a singer or athlete – that you admire. Focus on both their appearance and personality traits.
  • Describe a family member or your best friend  as detailed as possible. Discuss how they look and their personality.  
  • Choose a  hobby or favorite activity  and describe why and how you do it. 
  • Describe your most memorable holiday or vacation spot in as much detail as possible.
  • Describe a photo or work of art in as much detail as possible.
  • Pick your favorite food . Describe what you taste, smell, and sense while eating or drinking it. 

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Explanatory ESL Essay Topics

argumentative essay topics for esl students

  • Give directions for getting from one point to another . For example, how to get from your home to your school. Describe the landmarks someone might see along the way.
  • Explain how to cook your favorite meal . Provide a recipe and the step-by-step instructions.
  • Explain your favorite computer game . What should a player do to win? What are some playing tips?
  • Explain what you would do if your friends show up at your house unexpectedly . Say how you would entertain them. 
  • Explain how to make a bed . This task is seemingly simple but allows you to write about everyday habits you might never think through in detail. 
  • Explain how to make a paper airplane . Again, this task has many precise, technical details that that should be included in the essay. 
  • Explain how to brush your teeth . Try to make your essay about a seemingly mundane task more interesting. 
  • Explain how to pack a suitcase when going on a holiday. List out all the objects and pieces of clothing you would bring. 

ESL Essays Topics to Practice Verb Tenses

essay topics

  • Talk about a time in the past when you had to make a difficult decision . Explain what you did and why.
  • Describe your dream place to live . Why would you want to live there? What would you do?
  • Write about three specific goals  you want to achieve this year. Explain how you are going to achieve them.
  • Write about something you regret having done . Point out what could have happened if you had not made that decision.
  • Describe the world 100 years from now . Describe how people live, and new inventions and also the things that will not change.
  • Talk about your earliest memory . What happened? How well do you remember the events?
  • Write a short essay about how you prepared for class . Now “translate” that essay into future tense. In other words, the essay should say how you plan to prepare for class.  

Argumentative ESL Essay Topics

argumentative ESL essay topics

  • Are smartphones good or bad? Give some arguments to support your position.
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of public schools and private schools ?
  • What is your favorite book or movie ? Convince others, through your essay, to read or watch it. 
  • Is it the case that the more people that have cars, the better? What are some advantages and disadvantages of public transit ? 
  • Should money be spent on space exploration ? Give arguments to support your opinion.
  • You’re the mayor of your town or city. Explain in an essay your recent decision to ban smoking . Then, from another person’s perspective, write a letter to the mayor protesting this new law. 
  • Reading books vs. watching movies . Which do you prefer and why?
  • What are the pros and cons of e-readers compared to paper books?

Hypothetical ESL Essay Topics

  • What would you do if you were late for an important class?
  • What would you do if your car got a flat tire on the highway?
  • If you had the power to change one thing about your past, what would it be?
  • If you had the power to alter  one major historical event , what would it be?
  • If you could take any superhero’s powers , who would be your choice?
  • How would you feel if, one day, you woke up 300 years in the past ?
  • What would you do if you won the lottery ? Would your life change day-to-day?

essay topics

Some General ESL Essay Tips

When checking ESL essays, pay attention to the following key points:

  • Grammar. The ESL essay should be grammatically correct.
  • Vocabulary. The more new vocabulary the essay contains, the more points it will get.
  • Text flow. The text of the essay should flow logically and naturally. Pay attention to the use of connecting words and phrases. These include first of all , secondly , moreover , in addition , besides , finally , on the one hand, on the other hand , and as a result .
  • Sticking to the topic. Some essay writers tend to deviate from ESL essay topics. However, a perfect ESL essay should stay as close to the point as possible.

A good essay typically has the following parts:

  • An introduction . Here, the author gives some general information about the topic or lays out their argument. An effective intro entices readers to read further. 
  • The body . In an argumentative essay, the body could be 2 to 3 paragraphs. Each should introduce their arguments and support them with examples. In other types of essays, the content may vary. For example, the body may include descriptions, explanations, or personal stories.
  • Conclusion . The author should logically conclude or summarize their thoughts and arguments.

How Do You Teach Writing?

It doesn’t matter if you teach English online or if you’re a classroom teacher, we want to know about your  teaching styles.  Do you use writing prompts,  games and activities, or something else entirely?

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100 Thought-Provoking Argumentative Writing Prompts for Kids and Teens

Practice making well-reasoned arguments using research and facts.

Parents should be punished for their minor children’s crimes.

Writing a strong argumentative essay teaches students to make a case for their own point of view without relying on emotion or passion. These argumentative essay topics provide options for kids of all ages, including controversial subjects and some that are just for fun.

School and Education Argumentative Essay Topics

Science and history argumentative essay topics, life and ethics argumentative essay topics, social justice and civics argumentative essay topics, more argumentative essay topics, what’s the difference between argumentative and persuasive essays.

These two types of essays are similar, but there are some subtle and important differences .

  • Author’s purpose: In an argumentative essay, your job is to simply convince the reader that the point of view you’re presenting is valid, even if it doesn’t change their mind. Persuasive essays seek to sway the reader to adopt your point of view over any others.
  • Method: Argumentative essays rely heavily on well-researched facts and logical assertions. In a persuasive essay, the writer may use a blend of emotion and facts to win over the reader.
  • Audience: Persuasive essays require a specific audience, since the writer must acknowledge and attempt to overcome their potential objections. The writer of an argumentative essay is simply making a statement, so knowing their audience is less important.
  • Viewpoint: A persuasive essay writer should believe their point of view is the only correct one, and try to persuade the reader to agree. Argumentative essays acknowledge other points of view, but use reason and logic to argue that the writer’s point of view is best.

Persuasive and argumentative essay topics often overlap. The difference is in how the writer approaches the topic. When you assign one of the topics below as an argumentative essay, remind students to use research, reason, and logic to make a strong but dispassionate argument.

  • Should physical education be part of the standard high school curriculum?
  • Schools should require recommended vaccines for all students, with very limited exceptions.
  • Should all students have the ability to attend college for free?
  • What one class should all high schools students be required to take and pass in order to graduate?

What one class should all high schools students be required to take and pass in order to graduate?

  • Do you think homework should be required, optional, or not given at all?
  • Students should/should not be able to use their phones during the school day.
  • Should schools have dress codes?
  • If I could change one school rule, it would be …
  • Is year-round school a good idea?
  • Which is better, private schools or public schools?
  • Should every student have to participate in athletics?
  • Do you think schools should ban junk food from their cafeterias?
  • Should students be required to volunteer in their communities?
  • What is the most important school subject?
  • Are letter grades helpful, or should we replace them with something else?

Are letter grades helpful, or should we replace them with something else?

  • Should schools be allowed to ban some books from their libraries?
  • Which is better, book smarts or street smarts?
  • Are single-gender schools better or worse for students?
  • Are computers making teachers obsolete?
  • Students who fail a test should be given a chance to take it again.
  • Is it acceptable to use animals for experiments and research?
  • Vaping is less harmful than smoking tobacco.
  • Do we really learn anything from history, or does it just repeat itself over and over?
  • Is it OK to keep animals in zoos?
  • Should we ban plastic bags and bottles?
  • Should we still consider Pluto a planet?

Should we still consider Pluto a planet?

  • It’s important to spend tax dollars exploring space, instead of on other things.
  • Is there life on other planets?
  • Who was the best/worst American president?
  • Should vaccines be mandatory?
  • Are GMOs more helpful than harmful?
  • Is animal cloning ethical?
  • Should human cloning be legal?
  • Should we use stem cells from human embryos for scientific research?
  • Is it better to provide drug addicts with treatment instead of punishment?

Is it better to provide drug addicts with treatment instead of punishment?

  • Should we ban the use of fossil fuels?
  • Can we truly do anything about human-caused global warming?
  • Are electric vehicles better than gas-powered ones?
  • Was life really better “back in the day”?
  • Choose a foreign conflict (e.g., Vietnam or Afghanistan) and argue whether or not the United States was justified in getting involved.
  • The most important challenge our country is currently facing is … (e.g., immigration, gun control, economy)
  • Does social media do more harm than good?
  • The best country in the world is …
  • Are men and women treated equally?
  • Is it better to be vegetarian/vegan than to eat meat?
  • Should little kids be allowed to play competitive sports?
  • Who faces more peer pressure, girls or boys?
  • Should kids have set bedtimes or just go to bed whenever they’re sleepy?

Should kids have set bedtimes or just go to bed whenever they’re sleepy?

  • Which is better, artificial Christmas trees or real ones?
  • Playing violent video games is bad for kids and teens.
  • Parents should track their kids using their cell phones.
  • Are paper books better than e-books?
  • All kids should play on the same sports teams, regardless of gender.
  • All paper documents should be replaced with electronic versions.
  • Is conflict necessary for change?
  • Is war ever justified?
  • A strong middle class is vital to the economy.

A strong middle class is vital to the economy.

  • Is the local minimum wage truly a living wage?
  • Should we do away with gender-specific public bathrooms?
  • Is a progressive income tax better than a flat tax?
  • Capital punishment does/does not deter crime.
  • Would it be better to legalize, tax, and regulate all drugs (including alcohol and cigarettes) instead of banning them?
  • Parents should be punished for their minor children’s crimes.

Parents should be punished for their minor children’s crimes.

  • The government should provide free internet access for every citizen.
  • Is democracy the best form of government?
  • Is capitalism the best form of economy?
  • Should all Americans be required to vote?
  • Should we change the minimum driving age in the United States?
  • Do you think the government should find a way to provide free health care for everyone?
  • School-age children should be allowed to vote.
  • We should/should not abolish the electoral college.
  • Are “Stand Your Ground” laws effective?
  • Supreme Court judges should be appointed for fixed terms.

Supreme Court judges should be appointed for fixed terms.

  • Does segregation still exist in the United States?
  • We should/should not continue building a wall between the United States and Mexico.
  • Will stricter gun control laws help control mass shootings?
  • Should we make the path to American citizenship easier?
  • Is the American justice system inherently racist?
  • Should we redirect some or all police force funding to social services?
  • Should the United States implement a universal basic income?
  • Choose a fictional character and explain why they should be the next president.
  • What animal makes the best pet?
  • Who is the world’s best athlete, present or past?
  • Which is better, reading books or watching TV?
  • Is a taco a sandwich?
  • Should kids be allowed to stay up as late as they want?

Should kids be allowed to stay up as late as they want?

  • What’s the best video game system?
  • Kids shouldn’t have to go to school on their birthdays.
  • Is video gaming a sport?
  • Are beauty pageants sexist?
  • Should kids get participation trophies for sports?
  • Are stereotypes ever right?
  • Is there any benefit to teaching proper grammar and spelling, or should we allow language to be descriptive instead of prescriptive?
  • All teenagers should have part-time jobs.
  • Should kids have limits on screen time?
  • Is it better to read fiction or nonfiction?
  • Should kids have to eat everything on their plate, even if they really don’t like something?

Should kids have to eat everything on their plate, even if they really don't like something?

  • Is it better to spend an hour a day reading or exercising?
  • Is graffiti an act of vandalism or an art form?
  • Should society hold celebrities to a high moral standard?

What are your favorite argumentative writing prompts? Come share your thoughts in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Also check out 100 intriguing cause and effect essay topics for students ..

Use these thought-provoking argumentative essay topics to teach students to write well-researched and convincing compositions.

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50 Argumentative Essay Prompts for Secondary ELA

Argumentative essay prompts - 50 argument essay prompts to choose from

When it comes to teaching argument essays , students prefer a choice in their argumentative essay topics. That is why I filled this page with 50 argumentative essay prompts for students to choose from. By including students in the essay topic selection process, they feel more included in the process, but they will also be more engaged because they will feel like they have a say in their assignment.

When assigning a hot topic or controversial issue argumentative essay , I always let students select a topic in which they are passionate. However, I also make it clear that their topic cannot be discriminatory or hateful in any way and that they must fund valid and credible evidence to back up their claims. When I do this in the classroom, I also like to make sure that only one student per class has the same topic.

I usually have essay topic sign-ups in two different ways, and both are first come first serve. One way that works is that I usually open up topic selection either before or after school. The students know about the day in advance, and they come into the classroom to sign up for it. For the students who cannot make it to the classroom before or after school, I have them email me their topics.

The other way that I have students sign up for topics is through a Google Form. In the Google Form, I have them select their top choice and a backup. Usually, every student gets either their first or second-choice topic.

Furthermore, I also make sure that students understand the status quo about their topic before selecting it. I cannot even tell you how many years it took me to realize this and how many “medical marijuana should be legal” essays I read before coming to this conclusion. Since I teach in a state where it is (and was at the time) legal, I would explain to the student that they needed to add in some detail to their argument so that they weren’t arguing the status quo.

If you are planning an argument or controversial issue essay assignment, here is a list of potential topics you can include in your classroom. If you need teaching materials, this argument writing teaching unit will help you walk your students through the process.

50 Argumentative Essay Prompts

Argument essay topics about technology.

  • Is social media harmful?
  • Is technology making people more dependent?
  • Should the Internet be a public utility?
  • Is technology more harmful or beneficial?
  • Should students be allowed to use phones in class?
  • Should schools provide students with laptops?
  • Should there be a legal age limit for social media?
  • Should the US invest more money in the space program?
  • Are teens too reliant on technology?
  • Are emojis beneficial or destructive to communication?

Argument Essay Topics about School

  • Should the dress code be abolished?
  • Is the school dress code sexist?
  • Should students be required to wear school uniforms?
  • Should school start later?
  • Should the school year be year-round?
  • Is homework necessary?
  • Should students participate in standardized tests?
  • Should there be a school voucher system?
  • Should schools require physical education?
  • Should teachers accept late work?

Argument Essay Topics about the Environment

  • Should fracking be banned?
  • Should single-use plastic be eliminated?
  • Are humans responsible for global climate change?
  • Are electric cars as environmentally friendly as they claim to be?
  • Is vegetarian food good or bad for the environment?
  • Who or what is responsible for deforestation?
  • What is the biggest environmental threat?
  • Should the US do more to prevent global climate change?
  • Can nuclear waste be stored safely?
  • Is the US doing enough to reduce CO2 emissions?

Argument Essay Topics about Animals

  • Should factory farming be banned?
  • Should recreational hunting and fishing be banned?
  • Should wild animals be kept in captivity?
  • Is animal testing for pharmaceuticals necessary?
  • Is animal testing for beauty and skin products necessary?
  • Should certain dog breeds be considered illegal?
  • How should endangered animals be protected?
  • Should people keep exotic animals as pets?
  • Who or what is responsible for animal extinction?
  • Should farm animals be treated with antibiotics?

Argument Essay Topics about Social and Political Issues

  • What should the US do about the refugee crisis?
  • Should the death penalty be banned?
  • Should the US prison system include for-profit prisons?
  • Should Confederate statues and memorials come down?
  • Should the US switch to a single-payer health system?
  • Should community college be free?
  • Should the minimum wage remain the same?
  • Should the government regulate big tech companies?
  • Should the US participate in reparations?
  • Should vaccines be mandatory?

50 Argument Essay Writing Prompts

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argumentative essay topics for esl students

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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argumentative essay topics for esl students

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30 Writing Topics and Writing Prompts For ESL Students

When learning a new language like English, developing writing skills is essential. Many beginner ESL students find it difficult to write essays, especially if they have to come up with the essay topic themselves.

Providing ESL students with writing topics and writing prompts can help students to focus and start writing. As a teacher, it can be quite challenging to come up with many ESL writing topics, so we have put together this list of ESL writing topics and writing prompts to help you out.

You May Also Be Interested In:

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List Of ESL Writing Topics

Here is a list of ESL writing topics and writing prompts your students can write about.

  • Describe your dream house. Where is it? And What’s inside?
  • Talk about the best vacation you ever took.
  • What do you like to do in your spare time?
  • Write about three things you want to achieve this year.
  • What’s your earliest memory as a child?
  • What would you do if you had a million dollars?
  • What are you good at? What would you like to be good at in the future?
  • Write about the members of your family. What are they like? What do they do?
  • Write about how to cook your favorite food, step by step.
  • If you could meet anyone from history, who would you want to meet, and why?
  • Describe everything you did last weekend in as much detail as possible.
  • Write about something funny that happened to you this week.
  • What were the last three things you bought? Where did you buy them from?
  • Describe how you get ready for school every day.
  • Describe a famous person in as much detail as possible.
  • What is your favorite movie, and why?
  • What three things would you take to a desert island, and why?
  • Write about your happiest memory.
  • What makes a good friend?
  • If you could change anything about the world, what would it be?
  • If you could travel back in time, when and where would you go?
  • What’s your favorite game to play?
  • What is something you have done that you regret?
  • Describe what the world will be like in1000 years.
  • Write an essay about what you did this week.
  • Write about one of your memorable birthday celebrations.
  • Write about your exercise routine.
  • If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?
  • Describe a person you look up to.
  • What’s your opinion about social media?

Tips For Teaching ESL Writing

Error correction.

Writing in a foreign language is hard, especially for beginner ESL students. Students will likely make many mistakes in the beginning.

Although it is necessary to highlight and correct students’ errors, it can be quite demotivating for a student to only hear all the things they got wrong.

To ensure students stay motivated, be sure to praise them and tell them all the things they did well, as well as point out any grammatical mistakes.

After correcting errors, give students an opportunity to re-write their essays and correct their mistakes. Once students have completed their final draft, be sure to let them know what you liked about their essay, and you can even share this praise with other students, teachers, and even the student’s parents.

To master writing in English, students will need to write a lot of essays over time, and if students stay motivated, they are much more likely to succeed.

Ask About Students’ Interests

Another great way to keep students motivated while writing ESL essays is to encourage them to write about things that interest them.

A great way to encourage this is to ask about things students are interested in and then tailor the writing topic to them.

Students are much more likely to actively engage in a writing assignment if it is something they are interested in and passionate about.

Provide Enough Writing Prompts

ESL students often find it difficult to write long answers to essay questions. Ask an ESL student to write about their favorite restaurant, and they’ll likely give you a one-sentence answer.

To help students write longer essays, be sure to give them enough writing prompts to cover the different aspects they should cover in their writing.

For example, if students are to write about their favorite restaurant then you could give them several writing prompts such as ‘where is the restaurant’, ‘what kind of food do they serve’, ‘how much is a typical meal’, ‘what do you usually order’, etc.

Giving beginner ESL students plenty of writing prompts will help them to flesh out their essays and write longer answers.

Structure The Essay

To help ESL students become better at writing in English, teach them a particular structure you would like them to follow when writing their essays.

A typical writing structure with beginner ESL students would include an introduction, the main body of the text, and then a conclusion.

Providing students with an easy-to-follow structure will help them to plan out their essays and develop their writing skills over time.

Thanks for reading. I hope you found some useful ESL writing topics and writing prompts you can use in your next writing class. 

Before you go, don’t forget to check out our FREE resources for teaching English, including  Activity Videos ,  Board Games ,  Flashcards ,  PowerPoint Games , and  Lesson Plans .

argumentative essay topics for esl students

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argumentative essay topics for esl students

Teaching Arguments to ESL Students

Teach arguments in writing.

This is another exercise that helps ESL learn how to write arguments in English. The four part framework for this activity is as follows:

  • Question: Great ideas usually try to answer a question. In this speech, what is the question?
  • Claim: What is the speaker’s main idea? What does he want us to believe?
  • Premise: What are the reasons, or evidence, that make the main idea (claim) believable?
  • Warrant: What proof or reasons does he provide to make us believe the premise is good proof for the claim?

ESL Writing Activity

Here is a practice exercise to watch, listen and write arguments . Ask students to:

  • Listen to this one minute Steve Jobs speech .
  • Deconstruct the argument by writing out the four part framework: question, claim, premise(s) and warrant.
  • Evaluate this argument by describing his/her response (e.g. agree or disagree and why with a specific argument and warrant).
  • Put the whole thing together in a well-written one page analysis.

More Writing Activities

There are other writing activities that help ESL students to recognize arguments and warrants:

  • A great writing lesson that uses a 5 minute TED Talk video.
  • A one hour critical thinking lesson that expands argument writing by introductory the concept of questions and criteria and asks students to write an argument that answers the question, “What is a good leader?”
  • A lesson that teaches students the difference between correlation and causation .
  • A quick presentation with three examples to show how warrants can be used to support arguments .

Possible Answers

BTW, my answer looks like this:

  • Question: How can we live well?
  • Claim: Follow your heart when thinking about the big decisions in life.
  • Evidence: There really is nothing to lose.
  • Warrant: We are all going to die. Remembering this fact makes things like fear of failure, pride and outside expectations less important. When we are free from these external barriers, the only person stopping each of us from achieving something important is ourselves.

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

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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.

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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.

Arts/Culture

  • 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?

Government/Politics

  • 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?

body-sparkler-us-flag

  • 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?

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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 .

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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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