Best Argumentative Essay Topics: 30+ Examples You Can Use

May 2, 2023

how to choose argumentative essay topics explained

The goal of this post is to share the best argumentative essay topics on different subjects. Once you identify an area to investigate and select an appropriate topic, writing an argumentative essay will be easy for you. 

This article will help you overcome the mental block linked to choosing a topic for any argumentative essay. We want to help you find an interesting topic for your essay, so you can get the writing done fast. 

Key Takeaways 

To choose the best argumentative essay topics, you should:

  • Start planning immediately you receive an assignment.
  • Brainstorm as many ideas as you can.
  • Narrow down your focus using the right factors.
  • Use keywords to do your research.
  • Develop a thesis statement to help you choose a topic.

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How to Choose Argumentative Essay Topics

First, you need a good understanding of what an argumentative essay is.

It is an essay where you present two sides of an argument on a given subject exhaustively and let the reader pick one.

Thus, a good topic would be one that is highly debatable, with two opposing sides with strong arguments and evidence.

It is not to be confused with either persuasive essays or expository essays.

A persuasive essay takes a side and seeks to persuade or compel the audience to adopt an idea, while an expository essay simply lays out the facts without presenting any subjective arguments for or against a topic.

This understanding is critical because that is probably what your instructor is testing when they ask you to choose a topic yourself.

They will also be looking at your critical thinking skills and the relevancy of the topic.

There is a lot more you learn about these types of essays, so make sure to visit the essay section of our blog if you don't know how to write them.

For now, our focus is on how to choose a good topic for an argumentative essay.

1. Plan Ahead

The secret to getting ahead is getting started, so it is said.

Do not let indecision bog you down, but instead start by breaking down the time you have to complete the essay into manageable chunks.

For example:

If you have a week to write the essay, make sure you have a topic by the end of day 1 so that you give yourself enough time to complete it.

2. Brainstorm

Your instructor might give you a range of possible topics from which to choose, a wide topic from which to narrow one down (e.g. religion or politics), or a complete carte blanche to choose
any essay topic you fancy.

Whether you have a guiding topic or have complete freedom, you'll want to take some time with a pen and paper and brainstorm for possible ideas.

Explore the web, your coursework textbooks, and even ask your friends or colleagues for possible ideas and list them all down.

Don’t be afraid to take risks with new or controversial subjects or even the funny ones for that matter.

3. Narrow Down the Focus Using Evaluative Factors

With the list you have, strike out any topics that are not relevant to your area of study or are beyond your skill set. If any are particularly appealing to your mind, reserve them for special consideration.

Use the following factors to pick out one topic:

  • The existence of supporting material
  • Relevance to real-life application
  • How appealing they would be to your audience

The topic must also be debatable, that is, have strong arguments for both sides. We will take a deeper look at these factors in a while.

4. Research With Keywords

General research helps to break any ensuing stalemate if you still can't decide on a good topic.

Have variations of keywords to research with, which you can get by rewriting your topic, using synonyms, and rewriting some words into their root form. 

These keywords will help you when searching online especially through Google Scholar.

If you pick up any interesting and relevant material at this stage, cite it in your notebook for further reference.

5. Come Up With a Thesis Statement

With your topic chosen, you need to condense it into a simple, concise, argumentative thesis statement.

This step is meant to focus the topic and confine your essay to the subject without going too wide. At the same time, be sure not to be too specific or you will run out of material.

All you are doing is describing what the topic is about and perhaps one or two of your main arguments.

What Makes a Good Topic for An Argumentative Essay

1. Clarity or Simplicity

A good essay topic should be clear, direct, educative, and free of ambiguity.

It should be one both you and your audience can easily understand, so use simple language and define any technical terms if necessary.

2. Relevance

The essay will be testing your debating skills, but it should also reflect your understanding of the course you’re taking.

Unless you’re going for general topics, you will be better off with those relevant to your coursework and applicable to real-life experience.

3. Personal Interest

An essay in which you have a personal stake in sounds more compelling, and it will get you extra points for originality.

For example, if you are a vegan and choose a related topic, it will have more force. However, avoid highly emotional topics because they will be tough to argue objectively.

4. Debatable

An argumentative essay needs you to present two sides of the same coin equally, so make sure that coin has at least two opposing sides.

A topic like ‘global warming’ might not be a good choice because, really, are there compelling advantages to global warming?

The best topics are what we call argumentative topics.

5. Availability of Supporting Evidence

Your topic should have a wealth of existing evidence in the form of data, statistics, published books and journals, and other credible sources.

This evidence should cover both sides for the best results.

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30+ Best Argumentative Essay Topics and Examples

Now you know what makes a good argumentative topic for an essay, and you know how to select one.

Let’s wind up with 30 potential topics to help fire up your inspiration.

General Topics: High School Level

  1. Are diets effective at weight loss?
  2. Should college athletes be paid?
  3. Should gambling be made illegal?
  4. Is competition good in school or workplaces?
  5. Has social media become a negative influence on society?
  6. Humans are good by nature, but circumstances cause them to act against their nature.
  7. You can earn enough on art alone.
  8. Today’s music and entertainment scene is immoral/unethical.
  9. Skiing and other risky sports should be regulated.
  10. Golf is no longer a sport for the elite in society.


  1. Smartphones are causing the death of communication.
  2. Technology is restricting imagination.
  3. Parents have a right to spy on their children.
  4. You can find true love online.
  5. Virtual relationships work/exist.
  6. Social media is a threat to personal security.
  7. The world depends too much on technology/the internet/ electricity/cars/oil.
  8. Social media fame has a negative impact.
  9. Robots/artificial intelligence can lead to human extinction.
  10. Government/security cameras infringe on privacy.

College Level Argumentative Essay Topics

  1. A maximum death sentence of 25 years is better than life in prison.
  2. Justice for social minorities.
  3. The best institutions should raise their acceptance rates/lower criteria.
  4. Communism is beneficial for the growth of society.
  5. The election process is fair and effective.
  6. Popular figures in society should be held to high moral standards/responsible for their influence on morality.
  7. Attending single-sex schools is beneficial.
  8. The cost of college is too high.
  9. Religion is the main cause of war.
  10. The government should be responsible for housing/healthcare/food for its citizens.

Education Argumentative Essays Topics

  1. Are standardized tests a problem in schools?
  2. Should there be cash incentives for good test scores?
  3. Corporal punishment should be allowed in schools.
  4. Is college education too expensive? Discuss student loans.
  5. Discuss the merits of learning foreign languages. Should students be forced to learn them in school?

American History Argumentative Essays Topics

  1. How did Britain’s colonization of America impact the country?
  2. What caused the civil war? Discuss.
  3. What factors caused the Great Depression?
  4. How did America recover from colonization to become a world superpower today?
  5. Should American have entered the second World War earlier?

Medical Argumentative Essays Topics

  1. Every human being should receive regardless of age, gender, citizenship, or economic status.
  2. Dissecting cadavers is a good way for medical students to learn.
  3. Augmented virtual reality can improve health care in the world.
  4. Over the counter (OTC) drugs are a major cause of suicides/abuse.
  5. If you were given the power to solve one medical problem. What would it be?

Middle School Argumentative Essays Topics

  1. School uniforms should be mandatory in the US.
  2. Students should be allowed to choose what they want to learn.
  3. Education in arts is as important as the other parts of the curriculum.
  4. Parents have a right to monitor their children’s screen time and online activities.
  5. Schools do not do enough to prevent bullying.

Fun Argumentative Essays Topics

  1. Social media has equal opportunities for success and destruction.
  2. Technology is making us lazier.
  3. People lead fake lives on social media.
  4. Should convenience store workers report unusual purchases to the authorities?
  5. Parents have an obligation to teach their children about sex.

Funny Argumentative Essays Topics

  1. Spending time gaming is more fun than outdoors.
  2. Comedy is getting more coarse and offensive with time.
  3. It is possible to charm your way out of a driving ticket.
  4. Why seduction should be reinstated as a punishable crime.
  5. Girls today would not date a man without money.

Immigration Argumentative Essays Topics

  1. Trump was right to ban citizens of countries that harbour terrorists.
  2. Immigrants have as much right to healthcare and education as native citizens.
  3. Countries should accept refugees no matter what. Discuss.
  4. Immigration adds to the national talent pool. Discuss.
  5. Are anti-immigration laws and measures effective?

Animals Argumentative Essays Topics

  1. Some animals should be given human rights.
  2. A pet is as good a companion as a human being.
  3. Sport fishing/sport hunting is completely ethical.
  4. Genetic modification of livestock is a benefit to us.
  5. Aggressive pet animals should not be allowed to families with kids.

World War 2 (WW2) Argumentative Essays Topics

  1. America was justified in dropping nuclear bombs on Japan.
  2. Word War II was necessary to ensure world peace and prosperity.
  3. The terrorism we experience today is remnant of World War 2.
  4. WW2 fueled growth in technology that would not have taken place otherwise.
  5. Humanity learned nothing from World War II.

Criminal Justice Argumentative Essays Topics

  1. The death penalty should be substituted for a maximum sentence.
  2. The statute of limitation prevents conviction of offenders who should be behind bars.
  3. The death sentence should be carried out for extreme offenders.
  4. Countries without extradition laws hinder the prosecution of some of the world’s worst criminals.
  5. Insanity should not be a legal recourse for violent crime.

Cancer Argumentative Essays Topics

  1. Manufactures are responsible for spreading cancer through the use of toxic chemicals.
  2. People with terminal cancer have a right to choose euthanasia over suffering.
  3. Doctors should hide the news of terminal illnesses like cancer from patients.
  4. There is already a cure for cancer, but pharmaceutical companies are hiding it from the world in order to make money.
  5. The national health budget should focus more on the prevention of cancer than palliative care or treatment.

Football Argumentative Essays Topics

  1. American football is a highly risky sport that should be banned from schools.
  2. Top football players don’t deserve their large salaries. Discuss.
  3. 58.International football (soccer) is better than American football.
  4. There is too much performance pressure placed on top football players.
  5. Football fans should not be censored since the game depends on them.

Political Argumentative Essays Topics

  1. Politicians should not be allowed to carry conflicting personal ventures in business.
  2. Politicians should not be allowed to hold other positions in corporations during their term.
  3. Elected leaders should be held legally liable if they fail to deliver on their campaign promises.
  4. The government spends too much on administrative costs instead of focusing on what matters most: the welfare of citizens.
  5. The defense budget should be slashed and the funds diverted to more immediate national problems.

Social Media Argumentative Essays Topics

  1. Is social media ruining kids and young adults?
  2. Discuss the effects of social media popularity.
  3. How secure are children on social media platforms and chat rooms?
  4. What is the impact of social media in the world today?
  5. What age should be considered too young for social media?

Science Argumentative Essay Topics

  1. Women in science: are there more women and girls today choosing to pursue careers in science? Why?
  2. Should science help people to live longer if it could?
  3. At what point does a fertilized egg become a legal person?
  4. Discuss GMO agricultural products given their perceived health impact.
  5. Humans should carry out scientific experiments on animals because human need transcends animal rights.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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