Whether it’s high school or college, chances are that you will have to write more than a few argumentative essays to pass a class and earn your degree.
When assigned an argumentative essay, you’ll be asked to take some kind of stance on a subject and argue for your point of view. As a result of the process, readers should feel that they understand and even agree with your point of view.
There are many challenges to writing an argumentative essay. However the most challenging part for some is just coming up with a topic that is worth arguing.
Read on to find out more about what an argumentative essay is as well as suggestions for argumentative essay topics you can use on your next writing assignment.
How to Write an Argumentative Essay
Before learning about the various topics of an argumentative essay, it’s imperative to understand what one is and how it needs to be structured to earn you a passing grade.
There are many ways to structure an argumentative essay depending on your topic, research, and thesis. Typically, an argumentative essay is written in three parts, with each requiring clear and concise points that back up or relate to the thesis statement.
The introduction is where you turn your topic into a question and then a thesis. So, for example, if the topic of your paper involves ethics or morals, your intro could propose the question, “Is it ever okay to tell a lie?” and your thesis could follow up with, “Lying is acceptable in certain situations” or “Lying is always unacceptable.”
Once you have set up this thesis, you can start doing the research to back up your argument in the following paragraphs.
In an argumentative essay, body paragraphs are used to back up the thesis statement with clear and concise evidence. For a well-rounded argumentative essay, it’s generally advised to use no less than three body paragraphs, each focusing on one singular idea related to your thesis.
For example, if your thesis is “It is okay to lie in certain circumstances,” you’ll need three arguments that help prove this point:
- First Paragraph – “Lying is okay in order to protect someone’s feelings.”
- Second Paragraph – “It’s okay if the person you are lying to is attempting to get something from you against your will.”
- Third Paragraph – “It’s okay if the lie is told out of love for another.”
In other types of essays, a conclusion is simply a neat way of restating your thesis and wrapping up your overall points with a clear summary.
However, when you are writing an argumentative essay, the conclusion should restate your thesis and summarize your body paragraph points to reinforce your stance on the subject further.
For example, you may wrap up your argumentative essay by saying, “In conclusion, though there are negative consequences to lying, there are certain circumstances under which it’s acceptable,” and then restate the three body paragraph ideas.
What Are the Different Ways to Write an Argumentative Essay?
While argumentative essays typically follow a format of introduction, body, and conclusion, there are a few different ways students can argue their points to ensure that the reader is left convinced.
The Toulmin Method of writing an argumentative essay is one of the most popular ways to structure your paper. However, unlike a classic method of writing an argumentative essay, the Toulmin Method requires students to include rebuttals to their own points to reinforce their position further.
For example, an argumentative essay about why tattoos are becoming more popular in a liberal society, the Toulmin Method would require you to rebuttal in one of the following ways:
- Option 1 – “While tattoos have become more common in recent years, there is still a certain stigma associated with them which could be limiting their acceptance in society in the long run.”
- Option 2 – “There are a growing number of jobs in which tattoos can disqualify you from opportunities, making it harder for them to be accepted in the professional world.”
The Toulmin Method of argumentative writing is ideal for essays that use fact and logic to support and justify their position on a given subject.
The Rogerian Method of argumentative writing allows the writer to compromise between two different views of an issue so that the reader has something to agree and disagree with.
The Rogerian Method of writing tends to be the best writing format for essay topics with no right or wrong answer.
120 Argumentative Essay Topics
Now that you know what an argumentative essay is, check out 120 argumentative essay topics you can use for your next essay assignment.
Argumentative Essay Topics for Science & Health Courses
- Are the benefits of genetically modified food worth the risks?
- Can sustainability practices reduce the overall impact on the environment, or do they just put a band-aid over problems?
- Has the media had more influence than science when it comes to giving us an understanding of the natural world?
- Are vaccines more dangerous than they are helpful?
- Do zoos serve a real purpose beyond entertainment for children and adults alike?
- Is there any way to save humanity from our own destruction?
- Do scientific research and technological advancement only lead to ruin for our society?
- Can we trust what scientists tell us?
- Is it possible for humans to have a positive impact on the environment at this point in history?
- Is experimenting on animals the best way to further scientific research?
- Is there a difference between non-GMO and GMO food?
- Are only wealthy countries able to manage sustainability practices such as recycling and organic farming?
- Is the world in a state of environmental collapse at this point in history?
- Do lockdowns have a positive or negative effect on the spread of viruses?
- Is it possible for viruses to be used as a weapon?
- Is meat bad for you?
- Do energy drinks have any benefits beyond the caffeine rush they give us?
- Are antidepressants more harmful than helpful?
- Do women have an easier time recovering from mental illness than men?
- Do alternative treatments have better efficacy than traditional medicine?
- Is yoga a better form of exercise than conventional forms of workout?
Argumentative Essay Topics for Business, Economics, & Finance Courses
- Do employees need more training or better pay to be able to perform their jobs properly?
- Is cryptocurrency the future of money?
- Do business ethics play a more significant role in encouraging success than hard work and talent?
- Are there too many regulations on investing?
- Do companies need to provide free services to consumers to stay afloat?
- Is it okay to use false pretenses to get hired for a job?
- Can small businesses exist in the current market?
- Is using AI a better way to predict investment strategies?
- Do companies need to pay their employees a livable wage?
- Are retail stores too reliant on money-saving gimmicks instead of improving customer service?
- How much control should corporations have over governments?
- Are companies too concerned with increasing profits instead of providing quality service to their customers?
- Are traditional work hours outdated and not conducive to a healthy work-life balance anymore?
- Is there even an effective method for determining the “best” CEO of a company?
- Do CEOs who are paid more actually deserve that money?
- Is it better to invest in cryptocurrency or traditional markets?
- Should companies be allowed to market products directly to children?
- Should companies be allowed to advertise products that affect health negatively?
- Should there be higher taxes for the top 1%?
- Do the rich pay their fair share in taxes?
- What is the ideal percent of income that individuals should be taxed?
- Do programs like welfare encourage people to rely on government assistance rather than finding work or increasing their education level?
- Are programs like welfare effective at helping those who need it most?
- Is there a better way to financially assist those who need it the most in society?
- Could welfare be considered slavery by another name?
- Is it fair to tax the rich more than the poor?
Argumentative Essay Topics for Literature & Education Courses
- Are popular books more deserving of recognition than lesser-known books?
- Is the modern education system failing to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of what literature is?
- Is it better to read textbooks and non-fiction books instead of reading novels and other works of fiction?
- Are there better ways to teach students about literature than having them read it?
- Can active learning improve overall education at schools?
- Are there better teaching techniques other than lecturing and forcing students to take notes?
- Is homework an effective way of improving student performance in the classroom?
- Has technology improved or worsened our overall education system?
- Is there even an effective method for determining the “best” literature of all time?
- Are books becoming extinct?
- Does reading fiction help students gain more knowledge about what they are learning in the classroom?
- Is it better for students to write essays from their own perspective rather than having direct instruction from a teacher?
- If English is not a student’s first language, are they at a disadvantage when learning literature and writing essays?
- Can censorship improve education?
- Should books be banned or censored if there is a chance that they will negatively influence a student?
- Is there a better way to teach students about literature other than through reading and writing essays?
- Are standardized tests effective in measuring how much students have learned from their education?
- Are standardized testing companies too concerned with profit instead of adequately preparing students for the future?
- How can we better prepare students for the future?
- Are traditional school hours outdated and not conducive to a healthy work-life balance anymore?
- Is teaching critical race theory helpful in shifting societies’ understanding of racial injustices?
- Is teaching critical race theory counterproductive to promoting equality?
- Is homeschooling better than traditional learning environments?
- Do Montessori schools provide better education compared to public schools?
- Do traditional high schools provide a comprehensive learning experience for students?
- Should preschool be mandatory in America?
- Is it better for students to attend small classes at school instead of large ones?
- Does attending a private school improve a student’s chances of admittance into an elite college or university?
Argumentative Essay Topics for Psychology Courses
- Is it fair to blame mass shooters for the heinous crimes they commit?
- Should people with mental health disorders be allowed to purchase a firearm?
- Do video games cause violence in individuals who play them excessively?
- Are violent video games a helpful way for people to reduce stress?
- Does the food we eat determine our behaviors?
- Are processed foods responsible for mood swings?
- Do certain foods have the power to alter a person’s mental health dramatically?
- Are alternative therapies better at treating mental health disorders than traditional therapies?
- Is it fair to hold therapists responsible for the crimes that their patients commit after being treated?
- Are psychologists better at treating mental health disorders compared to psychiatrists?
- Does therapy work?
- Is there a correlation between violent video games and real-life violence?
- Should children under the age of 18 be put on antidepressants?
- Does repression of emotions cause violent behaviors?
- Does conversion therapy work?
- Do video games cause violent behavior in adolescents?
- Are antidepressants effective at treating symptoms for patients with mild to moderate depression?
- Does the brain chemical imbalance cause mental illness, or is it just one factor that can trigger it?
- Are antidepressants to blame for suicidal thoughts and behaviors?
- Does therapy make mental illness worse instead of better?
- Is it possible to predict future mass shootings based on social media posts made by the shooters before committing the crimes?
- Is addiction a disease or choice?
- Are medications better at treating patients with mental health disorders than therapy?
- Does the use of antidepressants create an increased likelihood of relapses for people with depression?
- Is it possible to reduce recidivism rates for violent criminals by providing them therapy after serving time in jail?
- Is it fair to hold parents who have children with mental health disorders responsible for the crimes their children commit after being treated?
Argumentative Essay Topics for General Courses
- Is it genuinely possible for humans to live in harmony with nature?
- Does environmental pollution cause severe health conditions?
- Should organizations be allowed to dump toxic chemicals into our waters after promising they wouldn’t do so?
- Are paper bags better than plastic ones when choosing a more environmentally friendly option?
- Do disposable cups make an impact on the environment?
- Is going green a fad?
- Should recycling be mandatory in America?
- How does conserving water help the environment as a whole?
- Is deforestation destroying our planet?
- Is it possible to have both modern-day luxuries and environmental conservation?
- Did the Civil War do much to change the dynamics between the Northern and Southern states?
- Did slavery cause the Civil War, or was it other issues that led to it?
- Who is to blame for the American Civil War – North or South?
- Does technology make our lives better or worse?
- When should abortion be legal?
- Does gun control reduce crime rates?
- Do people with mental illness commit more violent crimes than those who do not have mental disorders?
- Should vaccines be mandatory?
- Is it fair for individuals to be fired from their jobs if they choose not to vaccinate themselves or their children?
Argue Your Way to a Good Grade!
Writing an argumentative essay can be a rewarding experience if you have the right topic and the proper guidance on how to go about it. With careful research, patience, attention to detail, and the helpful list of topics above, you’ll have a well-written essay that will earn you a good grade and help you progress on your road to educational success!