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100 Argumentative Essay Topics for High School and College


What is an argumentative essay? Argumentative writing is considered the bread and butter of academic assignments and is something that students need to learn as early as high school. It’s pretty straightforward in that it asks you to take a topic and present an original argument which can in return be argued against. It’s your job to persuade the reader to take your side by providing a clear thesis statement and defending it with credible evidence found through research. There are endless argumentative essay topics to write on, and we will present some of them here, but first, we will provide you with some advice on how to write this kind of assignment at any level and on any topic.

How to Write an Argumentative Essay

  • Step 1. Consider what you have to work with.
  • What we mean by this is you should build a list of the best argumentative essay topics that meet your assignment’s requirements. Ambitious students may want to write on something complicated or in-depth, but the reality is that most assignments don’t need to be more than about five pages – and as such probably don’t require more than a few points to make in defense of an argument. You don’t need to write on something overly academic when controversial argumentative essay topics that interest you should be enough.

  • Step 2. Start your research and draft an outline.
  • All well-written academic assignments need to be backed with great research. This means hitting the books. Sure, you can find great background material on the web, but the “meat” of research should be done at the library. Here you have access to academic and government resources which provide you with facts and data that will make your argument credible. Use your notes to develop a draft outline which contains only your best supporting evidence to back your thesis statement.

  • Step 3. Write a rough draft first, then make revisions.
  • One of the biggest problems young writers deal with is that they believe they can write perfect assignments on the first try. This is simply untrue. The majority of professional writers need to write at least three or four drafts before they arrive at anything close to perfect. So then why would a student believe that a rough draft will be sufficient? A rough draft is a way to get all of your ideas down on paper so that you can rearrange your thoughts into a more concise and clear assignment.

  • Step 4. Revise, edit and proofread your assignment.
  • After you’ve stepped away from the rough draft for a few days, you can start making your revisions. This is an opportunity to rethink your argument from a different perspective. How strong is it? Do you really need to include this piece? What were you trying to say when you wrote this? There are numerous improvements you can make through a thoughtful revision. Next, print out your assignment and start making edits, followed by a complete proofing of it. This ensures your writing is tight and doesn’t include any unnecessary words or phrases. It also ensures you have gotten rid of any small mistake in grammar, spelling, or punctuation that could cost you some valuable points.

So what do you write about? We’ve taken the liberty of asking teachers and students for some of the best topics for argumentative essay writing and have put together an extensive collection suitable for all levels of writing. This selection of 100 topics for argumentative essay is sure to inspire some excellent academic writing. The best part is that you can use them for free, share them, or build on them any way you see fit.

Funny Argumentative Essay Topics

  1. Should pro players be encouraged to go into music?
  2. Should political candidates compete in athletic events?
  3. Do spouses have to learn how to cook before marriage?
  4. What is the worst possible thing you can say to a pet dog?
  5. Should household pets count towards the U.S. census?
  6. Do we need to take away “fun meals” from fast food joints?
  7. Is it easier to sleep when you are tired or when you are not?
  8. Should video games be used to develop hand-eye coordination?
  9. Is it right for parents to have to describe the basics of sex?
  10. Should parents face criminal charges if their children fight?
  11. Is it mean to do the disappearing person act for your dog?
  12. Is it wrong to tell somebody they don’t have a particular skill?
  13. Should backyard wrestling be made into an Olympic sport?
  14. Is having to wear braces in your formative years any fun?
  15. Which is the worst book you’ve read that everyone likes?
  16. What are the worst things people can do on first dates?
  17. Should single parents only date other single parents?
  18. Should we get rid of sea creatures that are just weird looking?
  19. Should movie companies be forced to stop making remakes?
  20. How should one feel when they lose a karaoke singing event?

Popular Argumentative Essay Topics for College

  1. Should the legal drinking age be lowered to sixteen?
  2. Should campus police be allowed to conduct random drug checks?
  3. Should college students receive refunds if they fail courses?
  4. Is it in a university’s best interest to keep affirmative action?
  5. Should schools be allowed to force students to vote in politics?
  6. Who has the responsibility when student parties get out of hand?
  7. Should core courses be expanded to meet today’s job needs?
  8. How can more companies find ways to invest in students’ education?
  9. Do television advertisements qualify as pieces of modern art?
  10. Should colleges raise academic standards for their student-athletes?
  11. Is internet behavior becoming more vulgar and disrespectful?
  12. Should college athletes that turn professional early be forced to pay back?
  13. Should the NCAA put bans on professional companies talking with students?
  14. Should women soccer players receive equal or may pay than men players?
  15. How can large audience sports (e.g., football) contribute to small audience sports?
  16. How can colleges improve security for women on their campuses?
  17. Should athletes who commit rape receive more lenient sentences?
  18. Should violent video game developers take the blame for the crimes of others?
  19. How does modern technology contribute to increased depression rates?
  20. Is it better to get practical paid experience or internship experience?

Controversial Topics for an Essay

  1. Do you think that getting a tattoo on one’s face discredits them from jobs?
  2. Should people smoke pot or drink alcohol to alleviate stress before meetings?
  3. Do politicians have an obligation to disclose past tax information before the office?
  4. Should people start saying what they mean instead of using euphemisms?
  5. Should countries aim to explore the deep oceans before our solar system?
  6. Can alcohol be made into a work incentive for employees in certain fields?
  7. What is more important to fund: environmental issues or poverty issues?
  8. How important is it for the U.S. to take part in the prevention of deforestation?
  9. Would you choose a paid year in a luxury cabin with no internet communication?
  10. Can you erase your online history permanently so no one knows where you are?
  11. Is it right for any country to claim other planets (e.g., Mars) as its own?
  12. Do you think more people would be happy if they disconnect from technology?
  13. Should U.S. Presidents be required to show educational certifications and grades?
  14. How much should the U.S. and Russia do to prevent the start of a 3rd World War?
  15. Is it important for first world countries to disclose their military prowess to others?
  16. How difficult is to become a politician when you are not born in that country?
  17. Should the U.S. look to revise the way elections are held and results determined?
  18. Should the U.S. President be above the law during his time serving in office?
  19. Do under-performing public schools deserve to receive as much money?
  20. Should governments spend more to protect peoples’ privacy online?

Interesting Argumentative Essay Topics

  1. Should the U.S. Dept. of Education consider an official second language?
  2. How should one approach raising children in today’s web-driven world?
  3. Should young adults be punished with in-house government detention?
  4. When should children be made to pay their own mobile telephone bills?
  5. How does the use of foul language on the web affect how we socialize?
  6. Should governments allow international sports gambling to raise revenue?
  7. Should governments consider removing all forms of capital punishment?
  8. How can legalized marijuana sales help pay taxes and reform drug users?
  9. Should people who are obese pay more for personal health insurance?
  10. What can be done to ensure there are no more school shootings?
  11. Should the NRA be responsible to pay for mass shootings by young adults?
  12. How can the government intervene in local gang related activities?
  13. How important is it to protect historical buildings and monuments?
  14. Do you think it is right to evict people to make way for new public places?
  15. Should local governments work to reduce the cost of gasoline for people?
  16. How are food and exercise related to determining how much a person weighs?
  17. What can local governments do to encourage the use of public transportation?
  18. Should people under the age of 21 have the right to deny serving in the military?
  19. Should standardized tests determine what kind of funding a student receives?
  20. Do you think college athletes should be paid for the revenue they generate?

College Essay Prompts for an Application

*Note: The following argument essay topics were included specifically for students applying for college or for a scholarship. Most applications have a limit of about 300 – to 500 words, so each of these picked to give you an easier time speaking about a light-hearted subject you can easily keep within these word limits.

  1. What is a big problem in your life that you would like to solve?
  2. Which is your favorite exotic food and why should others embrace it?
  3. If you can get rid of a single subject forever, what would it be?
  4. Which quote from a famous person to feel is the most important?
  5. How do you feel about marijuana legalization for people over 18 years?
  6. What are the five most important things to have on a deserted island?
  7. What is the single greatest athletic moment you achieved in life?
  8. What is a single best book, best movie, or best song that inspires you?
  9. What event in your life pronounced that shift from young adult to adulthood?
  10. What is the single greatest life goal you have and what makes it important?
  11. What is a major personal obstacle you have had to overcome in life?
  12. Who do you look to as the most important influence in your personal life?
  13. Was there a point in your life when you have had to stand up for somebody?
  14. Do you think it would be better if people kept their religious beliefs private?
  15. Should people who have served in the military be given a special treatment?
  16. Should banks require students to provide co-signers when applying for credit?
  17. Should predatory banking be banned for college students who don’t have jobs?
  18. Do you think students should reveal personal financial information at school?
  19. Do you think Shakespeare was as real as he’s been described historically?
  20. Do you consider any of the creative arts to be true careers in today’s world?

Most writers will say that the best point to start any assignment is by considering a handful of good argumentative essay topics. And lucky for you we’ve put together a collection of 100 ideas you can use absolutely free. Remember to choose something that really interests you – this is a key to excellent academic writing and will make doing the assignment much more enjoyable. You can find ideas everywhere on the web, but lists of easy argumentative essay topics are found on professional writing sites, like this one, where trained professionals work with other experts such as educators and students who have much experience in knowing what works and what doesn’t. Plus, reliable professional writing sites can also come up with custom lists argumentative topics catered to your unique assignment needs. So, if you have a difficult subject to write about and are having trouble coming up with ideas, give the pros a call – you’ll be glad at the time and effort you save by doing so.

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