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List of Argumentative Essay Topics

Teaching essay writing skills is a must for any middle or high school topic. The art of writing does not come as naturally to many students as does speaking. While we have to verbally communicate every day of our lives, learning to communicate through the written word can often be a challenge. So, when as a teacher you assign an essay topic, you want to have one that your students will readily embrace and develop a passion for. You also want to choose a topic that will have plenty of research material for students to make use of with lots of evidence to support both sides. Here are some popular topics that many students have had success working with in previous essay assignments.

Science/Health Based Topics

When choosing a science based topic it would be best to choose a subject that all your students are familiar with. Present a question that does not yet have a definitive answer. Students should each have a different point of view to share in their essay.

Try to avoid topics that have already been debated extensively. Topics like gun control, the death penalty, and abortion are all very common topics but your students will enjoy the lesson if the information they have to argue for or against presents some fresh new ideas. Consider some variations of these topics.

  1. Global Warming – Who is responsible?
  2. Evolution vs. Creation – Which one is right?
  3. Animal Research - Do animals have rights?
  4. Smoking and Drugs – Should they be banned?
  5. Obesity in America – Can we beat it?

Social Topics

Students can become quite passionate about topics that deal with social issues. We all come to school with a unique set of characteristics that make us who we are. When given the opportunity to bring in their cultural, social, religious, and ethnic backgrounds you have a lot of fuel for a rousing argument from your students.

  1. Child behavior – is it getting worse?
  2. What should be done about child predators?
  3. Should all religions be accepted?
  4. Who should pay for health care?
  5. Should the media be regulated?

Government and Political Positions

When it comes to government and political affairs there is always room for debate. Students learn very early on about the passion that the adults around them have when it comes to politics. The dividing lines are drawn early and they will probably know quite a bit about certain topics. Choose topics that are already heavily discussed in the local community so that the student doesn’t have to work too hard to find the supporting material they need.

  1. Is party A better than party B?
  2. Is capital punishment warranted?
  3. The performance of certain legally elected officials.
  4. Should you pay taxes if you don’t agree with government spending?
  5. Should illegal aliens have rights?


Probably one of the most popular topics among students is that of technology. As it is a major part of most students’ lives, chances are they will have plenty to say on the topic and will be able to present some pretty strong arguments to support their viewpoint.

  1. Should there be guidelines for cell phone usage?
  2. Should electronic devices replace textbooks?
  3. Should parents be allowed to place limits on the use of technology?
  4. Are nanotechnology applications acceptable?
  5. Should social media sites be monitored and regulated?

It is important to understand that an argumentative essay needs more than a strong argument to be effective. Choosing a topic you are passionate about can easily give a student the fire needed to put up a defense for their position. However, in addition to supporting your viewpoint, a good argumentative essay will show both sides of an equation and will have supporting evidence for their position.

While a student may be passionate about their chosen topic they should avoid any emotional language and keep the tone of the paper on academic level. Remind them to include cited sources to back up arguments and support them with solid references. A student who has written a good paper should know the subject well enough to verbally defend it as well.

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