Writing Universe - logo

  • Environment
  • Information Science
  • Social Issues
  • Argumentative
  • Cause and Effect
  • Classification
  • Compare and Contrast
  • Descriptive
  • Exemplification
  • Informative
  • Controversial
  • Exploratory
  • What Is an Essay
  • Length of an Essay
  • Generate Ideas
  • Types of Essays
  • Structuring an Essay
  • Outline For Essay
  • Essay Introduction
  • Thesis Statement
  • Body of an Essay
  • Writing a Conclusion
  • Essay Writing Tips
  • Drafting an Essay
  • Revision Process
  • Fix a Broken Essay
  • Format of an Essay
  • Essay Examples
  • Essay Checklist
  • Essay Writing Service
  • Pay for Research Paper
  • Write My Research Paper
  • Write My Essay
  • Custom Essay Writing Service
  • Admission Essay Writing Service
  • Pay for Essay
  • Academic Ghostwriting
  • Write My Book Report
  • Case Study Writing Service
  • Dissertation Writing Service
  • Coursework Writing Service
  • Lab Report Writing Service
  • Do My Assignment
  • Buy College Papers
  • Capstone Project Writing Service
  • Buy Research Paper
  • Custom Essays for Sale

Can’t find a perfect paper?

  • Essay Topics

100 Engaging Controversial Essay Topics

When students are asked to write an argumentative paper, they start with looking for controversial argumentative essay topics. It’s a good decision: if you succeed in finding something great to write about, you stand more chances at getting a satisfying grade. But despite knowing this, making a choice is not easy. For one thing, you should have a clear idea of what a controversial essay even is. It is a genre of writing where you present an opinion others could dispute and prove its validity as well as accuracy. In other words, you pick a subject that causes arguments among society members, voice your point of view, and work hard to prove it by relying on scientific evidence.

In the long run, you’ll benefit from completing a fair number of similar essays: you’ll understand what it takes to participate in debates and how to defend your position. The choice of topic is tough since while there are many potentially interesting things to discuss, only some of them will be to your liking, and even fewer will be something you understand well enough to argue about. We’ll be glad to show you how to approach the choosing process and how to settle on the best theme possible.

How to Pick Controversial Argumentative Essay Topics for College

At times, students are given a list from which they should pick their essay topics. This is a frustrating experience since they don’t get a right to really choose the topic they like. But fortunately, it doesn’t happen often, so if you are studying at college, you can expect to be given a free reign. Four tips below will show you how to go about picking an essay topic for a controversial paper.

  • Go through things you find engaging.  Good controversial topics for essays are the ones that evoke some intense feelings in you. They could be positive or negative, but in any way, they should be something that makes you want to speak up. Recall the arguments you had online or with your friends and family recently. Maybe you saw something in the news and got angry? Did you read an article that got you passionate about the discussed topic? It could be anything, so think carefully.
  • Play a choosing game.  If you have some essay ideas in mind but cannot settle on any of them, try a choosing game. This could also work in case you haven’t decided on anything at all yet. Pick a place, sit there, and note down everything you see or hear. Assign numbers to these things, and then ask a friend to choose one. Such an approach is fun, and it’s an easy way to arrive at a decision regarding your topic.
  • Check sources.  When preparing for essay tasks, your first question should be, what are some controversial topics to write about? The second question should concern sources. Whatever subject you selected, it should be supported by credible resources that are peer-reviewed and have a DOI. Having an opposing position could be great, but if you are the only person who shares it, it’ll create some difficulties. Academic essays should be supported with some evidence, so your analysis cannot be performed merely based on your opinions. If you cannot locate trustworthy sources, better choose another topic.
  • Discuss with the supervisor.  Once you made a decision, consult with your professor. They could give you valuable advice or warn you against some topics. If you are moving in the wrong direction, they will let you know in advance so that you wouldn’t waste your time for no reason.

100 Top Controversial Topics to Write About

There are many classical ways of choosing between topics on debatable issues, but with the evolution of the Internet, things have become much easier. You can search for online lists with suggestions, and they’ll give you the inspiration you need. We prepared this kind of list just below. There are ten popular topic categories there, with ten diverse themes in each. Take whichever you like best!

Controversial Essay Ideas on Education

Here are some traditional controversial argument topics related to education. All students will likely find them relatable!

  • Education Gained in the US Has Lost Its Prestige
  • The Importance of Doing Homework Diligently Is Overestimated
  • Education Has become Redundant Today Because You Can Find a Job Anyway
  • Governments & Universities Should Pay Full Tuition For All Their Students
  • Physical Punishments for Children and Animals Should Be Made a Crime
  • Minors Should Have the Right for Purchasing Condoms
  • Children Should Be Taught About Different Kinds of Sexuality From Early Age
  • Parents Should Never Supervise Their Children’s Online Actions
  • No Student Should Ever Be Expelled From Educational Establishments
  • Competitions Among Students Encourage Hurt and Feeling of Inadequacy

Controversial Essay Prompts on Technology

Technological progress has changed our lives to a profound extent. These controversial persuasive essay topics reflect this.

  • iPhone Is an Uncomfortable and Highly Overrated Phone
  • Cloning Must Be Provided for Acceptable Prices to Grieving Families
  • Drones Could Be Used for Turning Wars into Soldier-less Fights
  • Wi-Fi Has Many Serious Drawbacks & Should Be Used with Care
  • Youth Depend on Technology Too Much & Become Helpless in the Process
  • No One Should Be Punished for Saying Anything Online
  • GPS Poses Serious Threats to Privacy & Safety
  • Most Surveillance Cameras Should Have Better Level of Quality
  • Internet Helped Queer Community Meet New People
  • Cancer Rates Have Increased Due to Technological Developments

Controversial Topics for Philosophy Essay

Philosophy is a dreamy but also precise science, so you could find some good controversial topics to write about here.

  • Some Universal Truths Are Actually Falsehoods
  • We Underestimate Philosophy Because We’re Scared of Its Truth
  • Existentialism Is Caused By Flawed Social Expectations
  • Feminism Has Turned Into a Movement of Violence & Bigotry
  • Some Problems Do Not Have Any Resolution
  • Not All Mysteries Should Be Solved by Humans
  • Every Person Should Be Allowed to Rebel Against Government
  • Being Loved Is More Important Than Loving
  • Emotions Could Be Hindrance to Having Successful Life
  • Animals Do Not Differ From Human Beings In Any Relevant Aspects

Controversial Essays Ideas About Environment

Environment is a sphere that always fuels fierce debates. There is a big number of great controversial arguments topics here.

  • Humans Should Be Forbidden to Eat Animals
  • Recycling Must Be an Obligatory Part Of Every Person’s Life
  • No Country Could Be Allowed to Have Nuclear Weapon
  • People Who Actively Work to Protect Environment Should Receive Money For It
  • Companies Who Break Environmental Laws Should Be Stopped from Operating
  • Current Air Quality in Big Cities Is Unacceptably Bad & This Issue Must Be Resolved
  • Alternative Fuels In Their Current State Are Not Effective
  • Deserts Should Be Forcefully Turned Green Areas
  • Global Warming Is More Dangerous Than We Believe
  • Preventing Pollution Under Current Conditions Is Not Realistic

Science, Biology, and Health Topics

When writing controversial topics essay, these days, scientific and medical spheres are definitely among the most popular ones.

  • Assisted Suicide Must Be Officially Permitted in All Countries
  • Deadliness of COVID Is Overstated
  • Food Created With Science Is More Useful Than Natural Food
  • Some Illnesses Will Never Be Cured
  • People Producing & Selling Alcoholic Beverages Must Be Imprisoned
  • Biology Should Be Taught in All Schools From the First Year
  • Eugenics Should Not Exist for Perfecting People
  • GMO Is Not As Dangerous as We’re Led to Believe
  • Fish Can Feel Emotional Attachment to Their Owners
  • Science Is Not as Precise as We Think

Religious environment is relevant for many people, so it has plenty of controversial argumentative essay ideas.

  • The Fact of Life Existing After Death Could Be Proven Scientifically
  • Idea of Humans Evolving From Animals Is Not Sustainable
  • Religion Kills More People Than It Saves
  • Bible Has Been Written by Multiple Individuals
  • People Should Be Allowed to Pray to Whichever God They Believe In
  • Religion Is Not Based on Science
  • Faith Is the Most Important Part of Life
  • Violence Promoted by Religions Should Partly Discredit Them
  • Words of Prayers Do Not Matter: Only Feelings Behind Them Do
  • Stereotypes About Religions Unleash Violence Among People

Suffer from writer’s block?

Your unique essay is just a few clicks away!

Controversial Essays Topics for Law and Politics

Controversial writing topics about justice and politics never end, considering how passionate everyone feels about them. Everyone wants the best for their country, so why not explore ways of achieving this in an essay?

  • Death Penalty In Its Present Form Is Useless
  • Death Penalty Is a Useful Method of Fight Against Human Monsters
  • Multiculturalism Fuels Tolerance in the Society
  • American Women Have Equal Opportunities with Men
  • Electronic Voting Is Ineffective: Too Much Cheating
  • Gun Control Is Not as Relevant as It Is Presented
  • Free Journalism No Longer Exists
  • Racist Allegations Are Often Exaggerated
  • Hate Crimes Should Automatically Receive Death Penalty
  • Presidents Who Allow Wars to Break Out Must Be Removed from Power

Current Events

The world is constantly undergoing changes, so unique controversial essay topics about it are in perpetual supply.

  • Amount of Taxes People Pay Does Not Correspond to Benefits They Get
  • Concept of Fashion Is Invented Solely by People
  • Trump Should Have Never Been a President in US
  • Trump Brought Positive Changes to Some Parts of the World
  • World Has Become Too Demanding & Unfair to Still Live in It
  • Mental Health Therapy Should Receive Additional Funding Due to COVID Impacts
  • Quarantine Measures Should Be the Same in All Parts of the World
  • People Should Be More Caring In These Difficult Times
  • Food Should Be Made Free During COVID
  • Rich & Poor People Should Be Treated in Equal Conditions

Prompts on Entertainment

How about some fun and easy controversial topics about things that work as distractions from everyday worries?

  • Violent Games Do Not Affect People Playing Them Negatively
  • Modern Ads Could Be a Form of Art
  • Fiction Is the Best Way to Distract Yourself From Troubles
  • Media Should Be Regulated More Strictly
  • Having Fun Is Essential for Mental Health
  • Modern Entertainments Are Dangerous & Should Be Modified
  • Nobody Falls In Love at the First Sight
  • Entertainment Is Not to Blame For People Becoming Addicted
  • Reality Shows Create Impossible Expectations
  • Home Alone Is Still an Excellent Movie

Controversial Essay Ideas For College Students

College essays are more complex than those in high school, but they are also easier than those at universities. If you are a college student, take a look at these good controversial essay topics.

  • Teenagers Should Be Allowed to Work Whenever They Want
  • Teens Should Not Be the Ones Paying for Their Education
  • College Students Do Not Need Cars Because They Are Not Prepared to Drive Them
  • Internet Addiction Is a Myth in Most Cases
  • Students Should Not Expect That They Will Find Love in College
  • Gender Expectations Among Students Are Not Equal
  • Serving the Military Is Romanticized to a Dangerous Degree
  • Sororities and Fraternities Must Be Forbidden in the US
  • Polygamy Is Vastly Misunderstood in Modern Society
  • Love is Portrayed in Harmful Ways in Fiction

Controversial Essay Topic Ideas to Transform Your Writing

As you can see, topics are vital. You should pay extra attention when choosing them because your final success depends on it. Take your time and think carefully. In case nothing comes to your mind right away, try utilizing the tips we offered above. Still, we understand that writing is a tricky process that could be frustratingly difficult. If you have any questions, contact our support team via our website. They’ll be happy to help you with your problems! Whether you’d like us to guide you or write an essay in its entirety, we can do that. Drop a message and tell us what needs to be done. Your unique controversial essay on an original topic will be delivered on time.

Can’t come up with a topic for you paper? We’ve prepared a collection of essay topics for you

Want to write a winning essay but lack experience? Browse our free essay samples

Related Topics

Related essays to controversial essays.

Words: 1273

Words: 1479

Words: 1108

Words: 3622

Got to the bottom and still stuck with essay ideas?

The Civic Educator

Hand writing in a book on a persuasive essay topic, and a cup of coffee in the background.

15 Persuasive Essay Topics About Controversial Issues

'  data-srcset=

Controversial issues can be a great way to get your students engaged, and they also make perfect persuasive essay topics.

Whether your goal is to explore the controversial issue itself or to teach the mechanics of persuasive writing, controversial issues and persuasive essays go hand in hand.

In order to write a good persuasive essay, you need to feel passionately about an argument. Having a good prompt and a good issue let’s you do that.

The flip side is that to show you really understand a controversial issue, you have to make an argument about it. A persuasive essay is the perfect summative assessment to see whether a student really understands the issue and can articulate their opinion.

Below, I’ll share a list of 15 persuasive essay topics and writing prompts that you can use with your class. If you scroll down to the bottom, I’ll also wrap up with some other methods and resources that can help you teach these controversial issues and how to write argumentative essays.

List of Persuasive Essay Topics and Writing Prompts

So, without further ado, here’s a list of questions that would make great writing prompts for a persuasive essay.

Should the Government Ban or Regulate Indecency on Television?

This is a controversial issue as old as the airwaves. As long as there’s been radio and television, there have been arguments about what is acceptable and what is obscene.

If you’re studying constitutional law or taking AP U.S. Government, you’re probably familiar with George Carlin and his famous “ Seven Dirty Words ” bit. But for the average student, this persuasive writing topic is still relevant.

Think about the music you hear on the radio. What is bleeped out? Why do we have “dirty” and “clean” versions of hit songs? Why are some television shows allowed to curse, be violent, and have nudity, while others don’t?

You could definitely take this broader topic and make it more specific and timely by relating it to a current hit song or television show that your students are in to.

But however you phrase it, whether or not the government should regulate indecency on television is a great persuasive essay topic.

Should Voters Be Required to Show Identification?

For the last few years, this has been an increasingly hot topic as individual states have moved to implement various forms of voter ID laws. On the face of it, this sounds reasonable, but underneath the surface there are arguments about voter suppression and exclusion.

Is voter fraud a problem that needs to be dealt with? An answer to this question should likely depend on some research about the extent to which people are impersonating voters to enter the voting booth.

What kind of ID should be required? Different types of ID have different requirements to obtain them, and so this choice matters to.

Finally, how do you deal with the potential for discriminatory exclusion? Some people – the elderly, the young, low income – are more likely to not have ID, and for some people it can be a financial burden to secure the documentation necessary to get an ID.

Here’s a great, short NY Times Op-Doc video about the issue, which leans more to the “against” side of voter ID laws .

This ongoing policy debate about Voter ID laws makes for a great argumentative essay topic.

Should Race Be a Factor in Admissions to Universities?

Affirmative action has been a controversial issue for decades. Initially, the debate was over whether or not strict racial quotas were an appropriate way to make up for centuries of discrimination and segregation.

These early forms of affirmative action were struck down by the Supreme Court in Regents of the University of California vs Bakke , but other forms of affirmative action survived. Bakke affirmed that universities could use race as one factor in their admissions, and universities have been trying to strike the proper balance since.

A few years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in again – in Fisher v. University of Texas – and upheld more holistic processes designed to ensure diversity. But in the aftermath of Fisher , a group of students have brought a case against Harvard that is likely destined to find itself at the Supreme Court soon.

Which begs the original question – is it appropriate for a University to use race as a factor in admissions in order to guarantee diversity of its student body?

Should the Government Limit the Amount of Money Spent on Political Campaigns?

The influence of money in politics is another issue that has been fought out in the Supreme Court over the last 50 years. Money in politics is nothing new, and there are plenty examples of its corrupting influence in the early history of the United States.

But since the 1970’s, the federal government has struggled to strike a proper balance between regulation and free speech. Early campaign finance laws sought to restrict spending, and that was ultimately overturned. More recently, McCain-Feingold (aka BCRA) tried to funnel campaign spending into committees that have strict disclosure and contribution regulations.

Much of that came to an end with Citizens United , and since 2010 there has been a renewed surge of “dark” money in politics. So there’s really two parts to this question – a) should there be restrictions on how much money people can contribute and/or spend and b) does the public have a right to know who is contributing money to whom?

One way or another, the question of campaign finance is a great persuasive essay topic.

Should the Government Publicly Finance Campaigns?

Related to the previous question, you might also use this question as an argumentative essay prompt – should the government avoid the influence of money altogether by publicly funding campaigns?

There are some examples to look at. In 1974, the federal government set up a Presidential Election Campaign Fund, and candidates can use it to get matching dollar amounts if they agree to certain restrictions. But since Citizens United , the program has largely fallen out of favor.

New Jersey is one of several states with a public funding option for gubernatorial campaigns, and Arizona and Maine have more comprehensive systems offering public funding for state legislative elections. But these laws have also been challenged in court, and part of Arizona’s public financing law was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2011.

A simple version of this persuasive essay topic would focus on whether or not the government should publicly finance campaigns, while a more complex version might touch on how the government could do it in a way that withstood judicial scrutiny.

Should the United States Intervene When Foreign Dictators Use Chemical Weapons on Their Own People?

This is a more narrow version of the general question – should the United States intervene in foreign countries or mind its own business?

In some historical cases – like World War II and the Holocaust – it seems pretty obvious that intervention is a good idea. But in the present moment, it’s a little harder to identify that dividing line.

There have been a number of recent cases along these lines – Syria, Iraq, Bosnia & Herzegovina. Students will likely have a huge range of opinions on the issue, with some being fiercely isolationist and others advocating intervention on the slightest chance of abuse.

This is one of my favorite persuasive essay topics because it links up so directly with a theme that I talk a lot about in class – conflict. Read more about teaching with themes here.

Should the Federal Government Raise the Minimum Wage to $15 per hour?

The federal minimum wage is $7.25, and it’s been there since 2009. With the Fight for $15 movement is gaining steam around the country, this would make a great persuasive writing topic.

What once seemed kind of crazy is slowly becoming more realistic. First, some progressive cities took the lead, like Seattle. Now, some states are following suit – including New Jersey and Illinois.

Of course, there’s still plenty of pushback against this idea and a national minimum wage hike doesn’t seem to be in the cards in the near future. But a student could certainly take a side and stake out an argument – and maybe even send it to their legislature.

This is another one of the persuasive essay topics that relates directly back to a major theme in social studies – this time the theme of economics, and whether or not the economy is fair. Read more here about essential questions related to economics.

Should Congress Require Annual Standardized Tests in Schools?

Here’s another essay topic that’s particularly relevant for students. Every student knows the pain of testing – in fact just this morning, I spent several hours proctoring the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment (NJSLA).

Testing has been around a long time, but the frequency of it increased – and was required nationwide – after the 2001 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (aka “No Child Left Behind”). Congress took another look at the issue with the next reauthorization – the Every Student Succeeds Act – but they ended up leaving the testing mandate alone.

So what do your students think? Ask them and have them write an argumentative essay about it.

You could also put a twist on this question by focusing on the use of tests as an exit requirement. There’s no federal mandate for this, but some states do require students to pass a standardized test to graduate. For older students, this surely a topic about which they’ll have an opinion.

Should the United States Grant Asylum to Refugees?

This is another age old question that has taken on new relevance. From the beginning of its history, the United States took in people who could be considered refugees. Historically, the greatest test of this question may be the Holocaust, and early on the United States failed that test.

You can watch this PBS Frontline episode, Forever Prison , to learn about the plight of Haitian refugees to the United States in the 1990’s. More recently, there are refugees looking to come to the United States from the Middle East and from Latin America. If your students spend any time watching the news, they’ve surely heard something about this.

This topic could revolve around what people are fleeing from. Should we only accept refugees from religious persecution and human rights abuses? What about crime or poverty? Or natural disasters?

It’s a complex question that gets to the heart of the immigration policy debate – and makes a perfect argumentative essay prompt.

Should the Government Have Access to Encrypted Devices and Communications Platforms?

The topic of government surveillance pops up in the news from time to time. Under Bush, there was the warrantless wire-tapping, the use of phone metadata, and the FBI snooping on e-mails.

More recently, this question focuses on access to encrypted communication platforms – like WhatsApp. To your students, these are probably just convenient ways to chat with each other. But to people with security concerns, they’re also a way to make sure that no one is listening in on their conversations.

There could be some good reasons for that. There could also be some bad reasons. Apparently terrorist groups like ISIS have used these encrypted communication platforms to plan attacks, which begs the question – should the government have some kind of backdoor to get in?

Some students will shrug this off and think it’s no big deal, while others will probably react with quite a bit of concern.

Should the Federal Government Permit or Ban the Death Penalty?

This is a good argumentative essay topic to use in conjunction with the Bill of Rights. The Eighth Amendment says no cruel unusual punishment – which should mean no death penalty, right?

Of course, there’s a historical angle to this. The death penalty was widely accepted in 1789, so you can make an argument that the Eighth Amendment doesn’t forbid it.

But there’s also the angle of justice and equity. In the 1970’s, through a series of court cases, the death penalty was deemed arbitrary and capricious – because it tended to be used more against certain offenders (i.e. African Americans).

This led to some reforms, and some states have continued to use the death penalty. Texas is leading the way on that front. Other states, however, have banned it, while others have put a moratorium on executions because of concerns over the method of execution.

Should Hate Speech Be Protected by the First Amendment?

This is another great writing prompt to use with the Bill of Rights, and it’s one that’s sure to elicit strong reaction from your students.

Supreme Court caselaw has held that speech – even hate speech – is protected by the First Amendment. A pivotal case in this vein was Brandenburg v. Ohio . In that case, the Court decided that speech could only be limited if it created an imminent danger, not because it was hateful.

Another way to frame the question is to focus on social media platforms. Recently, Facebook, Twitter, and other companies have come under fire for allowing White Supremacists to share various forms of hate speech on their platforms. One could then make a connection to any number of violent incidents throughout the country (or the world).

So if the government can’t regulate hate speech because of the First Amendment, does a platform like Facebook have an obligation to do so? Great topic for a persuasive essay.

Should the Government Send a Manned Mission to Mars?

I love space, so this question really appeals to me. Fifty years ago, people might have thought JFK was crazy when he planned to send a man to the moon. I’m sure there were plenty of heated debates about that.

Today’s frontier is a bit further away, but is it any more crazy? Sure, there are some technological leaps that need to be taken before it’s possible. But in the early 1960’s, putting a man on the moon may have seemed crazy, too.

But it’s an important question for the space program. What’s next? Back to the moon, on to Mars, or something else? Or should we just hang out on Earth for a while and try to fix what we’ve got here?

Maybe it’s the science fiction fan in me, but I just think this is a great topic to think about. I’d love to see what students would write about this in an argumentative essay.

Should the Federal Government Have to Balance the Budget?

This is a question that should come with a heavy dose of economics and economic policy. But it’s one worth asking. It could also be a good vehicle for teaching some of these concepts that might otherwise seem boring and wonky.

You could also connect this back to history. When you teach about the early years of the nation and Alexander Hamilton’s role as the Secretary of the Treasury, there’s undoubtedly something that comes up about the National Debt. Instead of talking about that in historical isolation, you can connect that today and think about the current federal budget.

This is also back in the news this week, with moderate Democrats (i.e. the Blue Dog Coalition backing a concept that has traditionally been more closely associated with Republicans. Perhaps it’s a blip on the national scene and the topic will fade away, but if it’s in the headlines why not use it as a persuasive essay topic?

Should the Voting Age be Lowered to 16?

We’ll end with this one because it has a direct impact on students. Should teenagers be allowed to vote?

A few years ago, this might have sounded crazy. But over the last few years there have been several municipalities that lowered their voting age to 16. At the federal level, Rep. Ayanna Pressley introduced an amendment to a bill on federal election reform that would have lowered the age for participation in Congressional and Presidential elections.

There’s also a historical angle to this question. Once upon a time – not all that long ago – you couldn’t vote at 18. To today’s students it may seem like a fait accompli , but the 26th Amendment that lowered the voting age was less than fifty years ago. At the founding of the country, some states required voters to be as old as 25.

So let students wrestle with this writing prompt in an argumentative essay and put together an argument for (or against) lowering the voting age.

Other Methods and Resources for Teaching Controversial Issues and Persuasive Essays

A big piece of teaching how to write a persuasive essay is the topic, but – especially with controversial issues – it also helps to teach some background about the topics.

One place you can look for resources for these questions is C-SPAN’s Classrooms Deliberations . These are in depth lessons on current policy debates that come scaffolded with C-SPAN videos and other resources. Some of these questions are featured in these Deliberations lessons, and this can be a great place to find the factual resources your students need to write good arguments.

Two other methods that you could think about using with these controversial issues are Take a Stand and A/B Writing . With the Take a Stand activity, students arrange themselves on a continuum based on how they feel about a question. With A/B writing, students choose a statement to agree with and write down their reason for choosing it. Either method is a great way to get students to start thinking about a topic that’s going to turn into a persuasive essay.

Finally, a lot of these issues are things that are debates that are playing out in the country right now. If you follow the news, you’re bound to hear about many of these issues on a weekly basis. Better yet, if you teach current events on a regular basis in your class, you can have your students relate what they’ve learned in the news to these essays. Here are some resources on how to use CNN10 to teach current events in your class .

Which Issue Have You Used From These Persuasive Essay Topics?

Have you used one of these topics in your class? How did you students respond?

Do you have another controversial issue that you’ve used as a topic for a persuasive essay? What was it?

Drop a line in the comment below and share with our readers.

1 comments on “15 Persuasive Essay Topics About Controversial Issues”

'  data-srcset=

  • Anna H. Smith
  • November 27, 2020

I really appreciate this website. I have learned some inciteful writing information. I feel strongly that I can go forward with the information that I have gained from this post. Great persuasive controversial essays you have shared. Thanks very much.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

  • Share full article

Advertisement

Supported by

student opinion

130 New Prompts for Argumentative Writing

Questions on everything from mental health and sports to video games and dating. Which ones inspire you to take a stand?

controversial topics for persuasive essay

By The Learning Network

Note: We have an updated version of this list, with 300 new argumentative writing prompts .

What issues do you care most about? What topics do you find yourself discussing passionately, whether online, at the dinner table, in the classroom or with your friends?

In Unit 5 of our free yearlong writing curriculum and related Student Editorial Contest , we invite students to research and write about the issues that matter to them, whether that’s Shakespeare , health care , standardized testing or being messy .

But with so many possibilities, where does one even begin? Try our student writing prompts.

In 2017, we compiled a list of 401 argumentative writing prompts , all drawn from our daily Student Opinion column . Now, we’re rounding up 130 more we’ve published since then ( available here as a PDF ). Each prompt links to a free Times article as well as additional subquestions that can help you think more deeply about it.

You might use this list to inspire your own writing and to find links to reliable resources about the issues that intrigue you. But even if you’re not participating in our contest, you can use these prompts to practice the kind of low-stakes writing that can help you hone your argumentation skills.

So scroll through the list below with questions on everything from sports and mental health to dating and video games and see which ones inspire you to take a stand.

Please note: Many of these prompts are still open to comment by students 13 and up.

Technology & Social Media

1. Do Memes Make the Internet a Better Place? 2. Does Online Public Shaming Prevent Us From Being Able to Grow and Change? 3. How Young Is Too Young to Use Social Media? 4. Should the Adults in Your Life Be Worried by How Much You Use Your Phone? 5. Is Your Phone Love Hurting Your Relationships? 6. Should Kids Be Social Media Influencers? 7. Does Grammar Still Matter in the Age of Twitter? 8. Should Texting While Driving Be Treated Like Drunken Driving? 9. How Do You Think Technology Affects Dating?

10. Are Straight A’s Always a Good Thing? 11. Should Schools Teach You How to Be Happy? 12. How Do You Think American Education Could Be Improved? 13. Should Schools Test Their Students for Nicotine and Drug Use? 14. Can Social Media Be a Tool for Learning and Growth in Schools? 15. Should Facial Recognition Technology Be Used in Schools? 16. Should Your School Day Start Later? 17. How Should Senior Year in High School Be Spent? 18. Should Teachers Be Armed With Guns? 19. Is School a Place for Self-Expression? 20. Should Students Be Punished for Not Having Lunch Money? 21. Is Live-Streaming Classrooms a Good Idea? 22. Should Gifted and Talented Education Be Eliminated? 23. What Are the Most Important Things Students Should Learn in School? 24. Should Schools Be Allowed to Censor Student Newspapers? 25. Do You Feel Your School and Teachers Welcome Both Conservative and Liberal Points of View? 26. Should Teachers and Professors Ban Student Use of Laptops in Class? 27. Should Schools Teach About Climate Change? 28. Should All Schools Offer Music Programs? 29. Does Your School Need More Money? 30. Should All Schools Teach Cursive? 31. What Role Should Textbooks Play in Education? 32. Do Kids Need Recess?

College & Career

33. What Is Your Reaction to the College Admissions Cheating Scandal? 34. Is the College Admissions Process Fair? 35. Should Everyone Go to College? 36. Should College Be Free? 37. Are Lavish Amenities on College Campuses Useful or Frivolous? 38. Should ‘Despised Dissenters’ Be Allowed to Speak on College Campuses? 39. How Should the Problem of Sexual Assault on Campuses Be Addressed? 40. Should Fraternities Be Abolished? 41. Is Student Debt Worth It?

Mental & Physical Health

42. Should Students Get Mental Health Days Off From School? 43. Is Struggle Essential to Happiness? 44. Does Every Country Need a ‘Loneliness Minister’? 45. Should Schools Teach Mindfulness? 46. Should All Children Be Vaccinated? 47. What Do You Think About Vegetarianism? 48. Do We Worry Too Much About Germs? 49. What Advice Should Parents and Counselors Give Teenagers About Sexting? 50. Do You Think Porn Influences the Way Teenagers Think About Sex?

Race & Gender

51. How Should Parents Teach Their Children About Race and Racism? 52. Is America ‘Backsliding’ on Race? 53. Should All Americans Receive Anti-Bias Education? 54. Should All Companies Require Anti-Bias Training for Employees? 55. Should Columbus Day Be Replaced With Indigenous Peoples Day? 56. Is Fear of ‘The Other’ Poisoning Public Life? 57. Should the Boy Scouts Be Coed? 58. What Is Hard About Being a Boy?

59. Can You Separate Art From the Artist? 60. Are There Subjects That Should Be Off-Limits to Artists, or to Certain Artists in Particular? 61. Should Art Come With Trigger Warnings? 62. Should Graffiti Be Protected? 63. Is the Digital Era Improving or Ruining the Experience of Art? 64. Are Museums Still Important in the Digital Age? 65. In the Age of Digital Streaming, Are Movie Theaters Still Relevant? 66. Is Hollywood Becoming More Diverse? 67. What Stereotypical Characters Make You Cringe? 68. Do We Need More Female Superheroes? 69. Do Video Games Deserve the Bad Rap They Often Get? 70. Should Musicians Be Allowed to Copy or Borrow From Other Artists? 71. Is Listening to a Book Just as Good as Reading It? 72. Is There Any Benefit to Reading Books You Hate?

73. Should Girls and Boys Sports Teams Compete in the Same League? 74. Should College Athletes Be Paid? 75. Are Youth Sports Too Competitive? 76. Is It Selfish to Pursue Risky Sports Like Extreme Mountain Climbing? 77. How Should We Punish Sports Cheaters? 78. Should Technology in Sports Be Limited? 79. Should Blowouts Be Allowed in Youth Sports? 80. Is It Offensive for Sports Teams and Their Fans to Use Native American Names, Imagery and Gestures?

81. Is It Wrong to Focus on Animal Welfare When Humans Are Suffering? 82. Should Extinct Animals Be Resurrected? If So, Which Ones? 83. Are Emotional-Support Animals a Scam? 84. Is Animal Testing Ever Justified? 85. Should We Be Concerned With Where We Get Our Pets? 86. Is This Exhibit Animal Cruelty or Art?

Parenting & Childhood

87. Who Should Decide Whether a Teenager Can Get a Tattoo or Piercing? 88. Is It Harder to Grow Up in the 21st Century Than It Was in the Past? 89. Should Parents Track Their Teenager’s Location? 90. Is Childhood Today Over-Supervised? 91. How Should Parents Talk to Their Children About Drugs? 92. What Should We Call Your Generation? 93. Do Other People Care Too Much About Your Post-High School Plans? 94. Do Parents Ever Cross a Line by Helping Too Much With Schoolwork? 95. What’s the Best Way to Discipline Children? 96. What Are Your Thoughts on ‘Snowplow Parents’? 97. Should Stay-at-Home Parents Be Paid? 98. When Do You Become an Adult?

Ethics & Morality

99. Why Do Bystanders Sometimes Fail to Help When They See Someone in Danger? 100. Is It Ethical to Create Genetically Edited Humans? 101. Should Reporters Ever Help the People They Are Covering? 102. Is It O.K. to Use Family Connections to Get a Job? 103. Is $1 Billion Too Much Money for Any One Person to Have? 104. Are We Being Bad Citizens If We Don’t Keep Up With the News? 105. Should Prisons Offer Incarcerated People Education Opportunities? 106. Should Law Enforcement Be Able to Use DNA Data From Genealogy Websites for Criminal Investigations? 107. Should We Treat Robots Like People?

Government & Politics

108. Does the United States Owe Reparations to the Descendants of Enslaved People? 109. Do You Think It Is Important for Teenagers to Participate in Political Activism? 110. Should the Voting Age Be Lowered to 16? 111. What Should Lawmakers Do About Guns and Gun Violence? 112. Should Confederate Statues Be Removed or Remain in Place? 113. Does the U.S. Constitution Need an Equal Rights Amendment? 114. Should National Monuments Be Protected by the Government? 115. Should Free Speech Protections Include Self Expression That Discriminates? 116. How Important Is Freedom of the Press? 117. Should Ex-Felons Have the Right to Vote? 118. Should Marijuana Be Legal? 119. Should the United States Abolish Daylight Saving Time? 120. Should We Abolish the Death Penalty? 121. Should the U.S. Ban Military-Style Semiautomatic Weapons? 122. Should the U.S. Get Rid of the Electoral College? 123. What Do You Think of President Trump’s Use of Twitter? 124. Should Celebrities Weigh In on Politics? 125. Why Is It Important for People With Different Political Beliefs to Talk to Each Other?

Other Questions

126. Should the Week Be Four Days Instead of Five? 127. Should Public Transit Be Free? 128. How Important Is Knowing a Foreign Language? 129. Is There a ‘Right Way’ to Be a Tourist? 130. Should Your Significant Other Be Your Best Friend?

PrepScholar

Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the best controversial topics for debates and essays.

author image

General Education

feature-woman-punching-man

Controversial topics are a good choice for an essay or debate because they immediately draw in the reader or listener. The adage that “controversy sells” is so rooted in society that even the rapper Chamillionaire named his second album after it! Controversial issues are also a good topic because it’s easier to write a strong thesis and find sources to back up your argument . After all, when something is controversial, everybody wants to have their say over it. 

However, it’s also important that you address controversial issues with sensitivity and care. Because controversial topics tend to raise emotions, you must walk a thin line between opinion and fact in order to build trust between you and your reader/listener.

In this article, we’re going to give you the best controversial topics you can use for essays and debates—and we’ll explain the controversies for you, too! We’ll also discuss when to use controversial topics, the pros and cons of choosing a controversial issue, and tips for making sure you’re treating a controversial topic with sensitivity and respect. 

That’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started! 

body-raised-fists

Controversial topics are issues that can really get people up in arms. (Yes, it's a dad joke. No, we're not sorry.) 

What Are Controversial Topics?

If you’ve flipped on a television lately, you’ve probably seen people on the news arguing different sides of an issue. (Occasionally, these arguments can get pretty emotional!) When you see this happening, there’s a good chance that the people you’re watching are discussing a controversial topic. 

Controversial debate topics include subjects that create strong differences of opinion. They are issues that can affect politics, society as a whole, individuals on a personal level, the environment, or any other area of life that people feel strongly about. Additionally, controversial issues often have no clear answer because people’s feelings and personal beliefs are often strongly involved.

body-number-three-3

3 Pros and 3 Cons of Using Controversial Topics in Essays or Debates 

It might be tempting to pick any old controversial topic and run with it. Not so fast! While controversial topics definitely give you a lot to talk about in an essay or debate, there are some definite drawbacks to dealing with hot-button issues.

Here are the pros and cons you should consider before deciding to use a controversial topic in your work. 

Pro #1: It’s Usually Easy to Find Sources

Everyone wants to have their say on controversial topics, which is great when you need sources to include in your paper! A quick library or Google search will turn up tons of information. It can make that part of writing (or preparing for a debate) much easier. 

Con #1: It Can Be Hard to Find Good Sources

When you Google a controversial source, the results can be overwhelming. While you’re probably going to have tons of hits, they'll be from a wide range of sources like social media, personal blogs, podcasts, and message boards (like Reddit and Quora). Just because something appears high in a Google result doesn’t make it a good source that you can site in a paper or speech.

Good sources are ones that are written by credentialed authors (they are experts in their field) and include reliable, cited evidence. A good place to find good sources are scholarly databases, like JSTOR and ProQuest, since the articles on these databases have been vetted by other experts before they are published. Reputable news outlets can also be good resources, too. 

Pro #2: It’s Easier to Talk About Things That Interest You 

If you care about a topic you probably already know a little bit about it. This is especially true for many controversial issues. After all, they tend to be controversial because many people have opinions on them! If you pick a controversial issue that’s near and dear to your heart, you’ll find that you have a lot to say about it. 

Con #2: It’s Hard to Keep Your Emotions In Check 

If it is a topic you care about a lot, you probably already have strong opinions formed. But in order to build trust with your reader/listener and to be accurate, you need to use neutral language so that your reader/listener can draw their own conclusions based on your work. While it’s tempting to call people out or get heated, those are both pitfalls you should avoid . 

Pro #3: Controversial Issues Capture Attention 

Tackling a subject like mass incarceration, the death penalty, or abortion is a good way to get your audience to sit up and take notice. People want to hear your opinion to see how it does—or doesn’t—match their own. 

Con #3: You Open Yourself Up to Criticism 

On the flip side, if your argument doesn’t align with their beliefs, the people reading or listening to your argument may criticize your opinion or belief because it is not the same as theirs. You’ll have to spend extra time making sure you’ve created a strong argument since people have often spent more time thinking about a controversial topic and are better able to challenge your position. 

body-bad-good-words-paper

How to Pick Good Controversial Topics for Teens

When picking what topic to write about, it’s important that you pick a good strong topic that is relevant and that has an amount of easy to find good sources. When deciding on a topic, try to keep these tips in mind! 

Tip #1: Choose a Topic That Interests You 

It’s easier to work on a subject you enjoy. Don’t use a topic you find boring or have no interest in. Write about a topic you are passionate about, since your own interest will shine through in your writing or speech. Also, when you pick a topic you like, the assignment can actually be fun. Imagine that! 

Tip #2: Be Passionate...But Not Too Passionate

Stay away from topics where you might be too passionate about one side since it can be tough to distance yourself enough to see both sides of the argument. You’ll want to know what good arguments the other side has so that you can defend your position against them. If you're too passionate about a subject, you might miss key details that help you defend your position. Every side has good points—that’s why there’s an argument in the first place!

Tip #3: Make Sure There’s Hard Evidence

Pick a topic where there’s evidence, not just a “he said, she said” kind of thing. Avoid arguments that don’t have any facts or figures backing them up or they are entirely opinion based. Examples of topics that are controversial but lack compelling evidence include government conspiracies or theories that have been proven false, like the Earth being flat or that pineapple belongs on pizza (it doesn’t).

body-black-and-white-audience

Tip #4: Know Your Audience

If you are writing about controversial debate topics, ask yourself who it is you are trying to persuade. Is it your teacher? A certain segment of the population? If you know who your audience is, you can better tailor your argument to hit on the points they care about. 

For example, say you’re writing an essay about how teacher’s unions are unnecessary. If your audience is your teacher—who's probably in a union!—you’re going to have to work harder to prove your point since they’re more likely to be in favor of unions. (You’ll also need to make sure you’re being fair and respectful to avoid offending your teacher. We’ll talk more about how to do that in a minute.) 

In the example above, knowing your audience can (and should) change the way you write your argument in order to make it as persuasive and convincing as possible. 

Tip #5: Narrow Down Your Topic 

Make sure your topic is broad enough that you have plenty of information sources to choose from but narrow enough that you aren’t overwhelmed by the amount of information. An easy way to narrow a broad topic is to limit it to a time period or geographical location. For instance, let’s say that you want to write an argumentative essay about climate change. Climate change covers a lot of ground, so you could narrow it down to only writing about climate change in the last 15 years. You could narrow it down even more by writing about how climate change has affected a small geographical location, like California or your own city, in the last 15 years.

body-gun-control

Gun control is a perennially controversial topic in the United States.

The Best Controversial Topics of 2019

Here are some of the most controversial topics discussed this year. Many of these issues are evergreen topics, which means you’ll be able to find plenty of information for them! 

These are topics related to current political subjects both in the US and abroad. 

Is Brexit a good or bad idea? 

In 2016, the United Kingdom voted to settle the question of whether or not they should leave the European Union. Proponents of Brexit argue that leaving the EU would save money for the nation as they would no longer need to pay a membership fee to the EU. Opponents argue that the UK will lose money due to new trade restrictions. 

Did Russia interfere with the 2016 Presidential Election? 

After Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential Election , there were several investigative reports published that suggested that Russia used targeted Facebook ads to encourage people to vote for Trump , and Russia may have been the ones who hacked the Democratic National Convention. Trump supporters have been quick to rebuff this claim, arguing that the election results reflect the will of the American population. However, those who are anti-Trump argue that Trump did not legitimately win the election and that the results were due to Russian interference. They cite the fact that Hilary Clinton had a larger popular vote than Trump to support this. 

Should there be stricter gun control?

The United States has experienced more than 200 mass shootings in 2019, and each new incident brings up controversial questions about gun control. Those in favor of gun control argue that more gun laws would reduce gun deaths. Those against gun control argue that the Second Amendment protects their right to own guns and any legislation for stricter gun control would be unconstitutional. 

Should America allow illegal immigrants to become American citizens? 

As more and more immigrants arrive at America’s borders, the debate over immigration becomes even more heated. On the pro side, people argue that illegal immigrants help the economy by paying taxes and that most immigrants came here as asylum seekers, which is legal. Opponents argue that these immigrants have crossed the border illegally and that a large portion of these immigrants are violent criminals and should be sent back to protect American citizens. 

Should the death penalty still be allowed?  

Many states have done away with the death penalty, yet some states still support it. Many have questioned if the death penalty is a moral, ethical, and effective way to deal with crime. On the pro side, the argument is that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to crime and can help bring closure to families affected by heinous criminal activity. On the con side, the argument is that it violates the 8th amendment and that sometimes innocent people have been put to death. 

Should abortion be allowed? 

Recently, several states have enacted new legislation limiting access to abortion. The pro-choice/pro-abortion side argues that women should be allowed to control their bodies without any interference from the government or religious authority. The pro-life/anti-abortion side argues that abortion is murder and inflicts pain and suffering on the unborn fetus. They are also opposed to Roe vs. Wade , a court decision that made abortion legal in the United States.  

Should doctor-assisted suicide be allowed? 

In January of 2019, Hawaii will join six other states in enacting Death with Dignity laws for patients with terminal illnesses . However, unlike in countries like Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada, and the Netherlands, doctor-assisted euthanasia is still illegal according to US federal laws. Many believe it should also be legal on the federal level. Those for doctor-assisted suicide argue that allowing those with chronic pain or terminal illnesses to end their lives is a compassionate act that relieves their suffering. Those opposed argue that it violates the Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm,” and allowing euthanasia is a slippery slope that will lead to doctors deciding who is worthy of life and who is not. 

Should the government legalize recreational marijuana? 

As of 2018, there are 11 states that have legalized recreational marijuana: Alaska (2014), California (2016), Colorado (2012), DC (2014), Maine (2016), Massachusetts (2016), Michigan (2018), Nevada (2016), Oregon (2014), Vermont (2018), and Washington (2012). Legal marijuana proponents argue that the War on Drugs was a failed initiative that unfairly affected minority communities,and that marijuana isn’t any worse for you than drinking alcohol. Those against legal marijuana argue that the drug is addictive and leads to a higher percentage of school dropouts, car accidents, and crime. 

These are topics based on current controversies happening in the scientific field. 

Are humans causing global warming? 

As the polar ice caps continue to melt, people question whether or not human activity is responsible for raising the temperature of the Earth . Proponents of this idea argue that due to human-generated waste and carbon dioxide, we are responsible for this rise in temperature. Opponents argue that the earth has gone through many warming and cooling cycles and that human activity is not to blame. 

Are GMOs good or bad?

  In recent years there has been an increase in the number of controversial questions raised by GMO, or genetically modified, crops. Those in favor of GMOs, which stands for genetically modified organisms, argue that without genetically modified crops and animals, there would be food shortages; they also argue that GMOs have been around for millennia. Those opposed to GMOs argue that GMOs could be the cause of the rise of cancers and that the pesticides needed to grow GMO crops contribute to pesticide-resistant pests. 

Will work done on artificial intelligence eventually lead to our demise? 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more sophisticated, which raises questions about the ethics and eventual outcome of creating artificial intelligence . Proponents believe artificial intelligence will keep us safer and solve many of the world’s problems; but opponents believe that developing AI might not be ethical, they ask whether or not robots programmed with AI count as  conscious beings and should be given rights, or if AI will eventually lead to humanity’s downfall. 

Should we allow gene editing on human beings? 

2017 saw exciting advances in the science of gene editing with the arrival of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing method. However, it’s also raised some controversial debate topics regarding the ethics of allowing gene editing. Gene editing proponents argue that gene editing will allow us to cure genetic diseases and prolong life. But opponents argue that the technology will create more social inequity because only the rich will be able to afford it. They also argue that editing the genes of human embryos is tantamount to playing God. 

Are self driving cars really safe?  

In 2018, a car accidentally ran over and killed a pedestrian as she was crossing the street in Tempe, AZ. Despite this, driverless car manufacturers like Tesla and transportation companies like Uber argue that driverless technology is ultimately safer than human piloted transportation. This is due to the fact that driverless cars would feature many sensors and safety features whereas human drivers have a tendency to get distracted or sleepy while driving, and some may be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There are many pro and con arguments about the controversial issues related to driverless technology , which makes this a great controversial topic for essays and debates! 

Should anti-vaxxers be forced to vaccinate their kids?

Recently a measles outbreak has spread throughout Europe. According to the World Health Organization, there have been at least 40 measles-related deaths associated with the outbreak. Many blame anti-vaxxers, or parents who believe vaccines cause autism and other illnesses, for the spread of this disease. Those who are pro-vaccine argue that vaccines save lives and by not vaccinating their children , anti-vaxxers are putting others at risk. Anti-vaxxers argue that vaccines can cause serious side effects like autism, seizures, or Guillain-Barre Syndrome. They also argue that getting vaccinated is a personal choice that should be respected by the government.

Do we really need a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)? 

In April of 2016, the European Union enacted the General Data Protection Regulation, which is designed to protect EU citizens’ personal data. Proponents for the GDPR argue that it will prevent the number of wide-scale data breaches and hacking that occurs on a day to day basis. Opponents argue that the GDPR doesn’t do enough to protect data and that it will negatively impact the economy because of the fines that will be enforced if a company fails to comply with GDPR guidelines. 

Should we grow our meat in a lab? 

Recent advances in technology have allowed scientists to experiment with lab-grown, edible meat that doesn’t require animal slaughter. Supporters of lab grown meat claim it is better for the environment and does away with the moral issues surrounding animal husbandry, including animal abuse and inhumane farming practices. Opponents claim lab grown meat may have adverse health effects on people who eat lab-grown meat, especially since the technology is so new. Opponents also argue that lab-grown meat could end the farming industry and put thousands of people out of work. 

body-Uber_Logo_Black

Uber is great when you need a lift...but does it treat its employees fairly?

Society & Culture

These are current topics that involve our day to day lives. 

Should transgendered people be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice? 

Earlier last year, North Carolina passed a law that prohibited transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice based on their expressed gender rather than their biologically assigned sex . The “bathroom bill” is the first of its kind to specifically address the issue of transgender public restroom access. Proponents for the bill argue that allowing biological males and females to use the same restroom will lead to a higher percentage of sexual assault and was a risk to public safety. Opponents argue that the bill is discriminatory.

Is it still okay to use UBER? 

In 2017, UBER was rocked by claims of sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, and false advertising. The hashtag #DeleteUber went viral in January 2017, and many users and drivers boycotted the company. This situation raises two controversial questions. First, what rights do contract workers have in this new, emerging gig economy ? And second, is UBER the victim of cancel culture , or do customers have an ethical obligation to boycott companies with shady practices? 

Cultural appropriation or cultural appreciation? What’s the difference?   

Katy Perry has been criticized for her 2017 music video "This Is How We Do” because the singer wore cornrows in her hair. Many have claimed the appearance of a Caucasian woman with a traditionally black hairstyle is cultural appropriation . These opponents argue that because people of color have been discriminated against for wearing traditionally black hairstyles, white women who sport the same hair styles profit from it. However, some argue that without cultural appropriation, many elements of minority cultures have become popularized, like rap music and R&B .  

Should we give men accused of sexual misconduct a second chance? 

In 2017, comedian Louis CK was accused of sexually harassing his female colleagues . Since these accusations went public, Louis CK has tried to rehabilitate his image, and h e has since publicly apologized. But this raises the question of whether we should give men accused of sexual misconduct a second chance if they seem to have learned their lesson. 

Is social media ruining society? 

According to a 2018 survey, approximately 70% of Americans use at least one social media site including Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter . Those in favor of social media argue that it  promotes a sense of community and helps create social interactions. But social media detractors argue that sites like Facebook or Reddit waste time, trigger mental illnesses, and encourage dangerous bullying. 

Should people get fired for what they say on social media? 

Recently, James Gunn, the director of Guardians of the Galaxy , was fired by Disney because there were several tweets on his Twitter feed they believed were offensive. He is not the only one, either: Roseanne was fired by Netflix after she made an offensive tweet towards politician Valerie Jarrett. This has raised some controversial questions, like whether someone be held professionally accountable for what they say on social media . Proponents for social media accountability argue that what someone posts on social media is a reflection of who they are as a person. Opponents argue that posting on social media is protected by free speech and that the context of the posting should matter. 

Is the #MeToo movement helping or hurting women? 

The #MeToo movement began in 2017 with a series of articles that accused Harvey Weinstein of rape and sexual assault. These articles led to Weinstein’s ostracization from Hollywood and eventually led to criminal investigations into his behavior. The #MeToo movement has brought down several powerful men with accusations of sexual misconduct. But some argue the movement has set the feminist movement back by discouraging companies from hiring women due to their fear of lawsuits. 

Is Gen Z worse than previous generations? 

Someone is always complaining that the generation after them is worse than their generation. As members of Gen Z mature and reach adulthood, they face many criticisms from the preceding generations. For example, d etractors have accused Gen Z of being lazy and introverted. However, others think Gen Z might be the generation that saves the world.  

body-social-media

Arts & Entertainment

These are topics that are currently affecting sports, tv, Hollywood, literature, music, and art.

Should movies and television shows be forced to hire more diverse casts? 

Hollywood has come under fire for “whitewashing” or the act of casting a white actor when the role should have gone to a person of color. An example of this is when Rupert Sanders, director of Ghost in the Shell , cast Scarlett Johansson as the Asian protagonist Major . Opponents of this practice argue that “whitewashing” takes jobs away from deserving POC actors. However, others argue that art should be free of any restrictions or boundaries . 

Should the show 13 Reasons Why have removed its controversial scenes?  

In 2017, Netflix released an original show based on the young adult novel 13 Reasons Why , which focuses on the suicide of 17-year-old Hannah Baker. Parents and educators opposed the release of this show due to the fact that it involved several controversial topics for teens such as suicide and rape. But those that support the show have argued that it provided a way to start conversations with teens about these tough topics . Ultimately, Netflix went back and edited out the controversial scenes. This topic gives you the opportunity to talk about whether mature content like suicide and rape is appropriate in shows aimed toward teenagers. You can also discuss whether Netflix’s removal of the offending scenes is the right decision or not. 

Should male and female actors make the same amount of money? 

In 2018, Hollywood came under fire after the internet learned that Michelle Williams was paid substantially less for her role in “All The Money In The World” than her male co-star, Mark Wahlberg. Some argue that as the bigger star, Whalberg deserved to be compensated at a higher rat e. Others argue that Williams did the same amount of work as Wahlberg and should receive the same amount of pay. This issue plugs into the larger social issue of pay discrepancies based on race and gender.

Should athletes be allowed to kneel during the national anthem? 

People have started to boycott Nike for their commercial featuring Colin Kaepernick . Kaepernick is a San Francisco 49ers quarterback who has received a lot of press for being the first athlete to kneel during the national anthem in protest the treatment of African Americans and minorities in the United States. President Trump has publicly stated that any athlete who kneels during the national anthem is being disrespectful and should be fired. Yet others defend kneeling during the anthem, regarding it as an expression of free speech that’s protected under the First Amendment. 

The 5 Best Tips for Treating Controversial Topics With Sensitivity and Respect

In order to write a good argument and convince your reader/listener to agree with you, you will need to treat your controversial issue with sensitivity and respect. This helps the reader/listener to trust you. 

But that can be really hard when you feel passionately about your topic and your opinions! Here are the best tips for making sure you stick to the facts, not the feelings. 

Tip #1: Avoid Charged Language

An author is accused of using loaded language when they substitute words with positive or negative connotations instead of using more neutral language. Some examples of this are using the word “superior” instead of better, calling the opposition “stupid,” or using biased terminology (“infanticide” vs. “abortion”). While emotional appeals are a great tool to persuade people to your point of view, when they’re used in the wrong way, they come across as overly aggressive and biased. 

Tip #2 : Avoid Logical Fallacies

A logical fallacy is an error in your argument’s logic because it presents the topic’s information in a deceptive way. Below are some common logical fallacies to watch out for. 

Straw Man Fallacy: this is when you ignore your opponent’s real argument and instead argue that your opponent believes something easily ridiculed or proved false. 

Slippery Slope: this is when you argue that something seemingly benign will lead to an unlikely extreme. 

Generalizations: generalizations are statements about an idea that do not have any facts to support them. They tend to play into stereotypes and often rely on exaggerations or over the top statements.

For more information on logical fallacies and how to avoid them, check out this resource. 

body_stophand

Tip #3: Do Not Attack Your Opponent Personally

This is called an ad hominem fallacy, and is often referred to as “mud-slinging” or “bashing.” When you do this, it implies that the only way you can counter your opponents viewpoints is through personal attacks. (Also, it’s just not cool.) Instead, stick to using facts and figures to show why their argument is wrong.

Tip #4: Avoid Hyperbole, Stereotypes, and Clichés 

These are common issues that crop up in argumentative writing that ultimately weaken your position. 

Hyperbole happens when you exaggerate. When you use hyperbole, you risk misrepresenting the issue at hand—which is an argument killer. For example, take this statement: “If we don’t stop climate change now, we’ll all be dead in 10 years.” While climate change is definitely a huge risk to humanity, saying everyone on Earth will die in a decade if we don’t fix is a significant exaggeration. It would be better to say something like, “If we don’t start to solve climate change now, we’re risking the livelihoods and safety of future generations.” This is a more moderate statement that you can back up with facts, like scientists’ belief that climate change will put coastal cities underwater. 

Stereotypes are oversimplified, misinformed, or prejudiced assumptions held about other people or things. For example, a common stereotype is that all women love pink. (Spoiler alert: they don’t.) While stereotypes like this seem harmless, most are not. For example, a stereotype like the idea that all immigrants are criminals is extremely harmful. Stereotypes are not only false, they make you seem biased and ill-informed. 

Finally, clichés are overused or commonplace phrases, themes, or expressions . These are often phrases that have been said so much that they’ve lost all real meaning. For example, the idea that people can “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” is a textbook example of a cliché. Instead, it’s better to explain the idea behind the cliché in more detail. In this case, it would be better to say that people—no matter their station in life—can create opportunities for themselves through hard work.

Tip #5 : Don’t Beat a Dead Horse

Remember that your job is to present them with the facts in an open and honest way. If you have done a good job, your reader or listener will come away with the same opinion as you, or at least more informed. It’s okay to state your opinion in your paper as long as you use other sources to back your opinion up and are fair to the other side. (Also resist the urge to restate your opinion every other sentence—it’s monotonous and doesn’t do much to win your reader over!)  

body-logo-procon-org

5 Resources for Finding More Controversial Debate Topics

If you’re not inspired by the topics we’ve already mentioned, don’t worry. There are many other controversial topics out there! Here are some other places you can look to find a topic that’s perfect for your essay or debate. 

#1: ProCon.Org 

You probably noticed that we’ve included links in this article that take you to ProCon.org . That’s because this website is a treasure trove of controversial issues! The website has lists of ideas that they break down into general pro/con lists, and each topic links you research starters. 

#2: National & Local News 

Much of the modern news cycle is devoted to discussing hot-button topics of our time. If you’re looking for topics related to current events, news sources like The New York Times and The Washington Post will help! Also, don’t discount your local news resources, either. They’ll give you valuable information about what’s going on in your community and how larger, national issues are impacting where you live. 

#3: They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (Fourth Edition) by Cathy Birkenstein & Gerald Graff  

Writing argumentative papers where you have to pick (and defend) your perspective is a skill you’ll use throughout high school, college, and beyond. They Say/I Say walks you through everything you need to know to write an argument. Even better: the book uses controversial issues as a way to teach writing, so you’ll get expert instruction on how to use them to write an amazing paper. 

#4: Documentaries

Documentaries provide more in-depth perspectives on topics—both historical and contemporary—that have shaped the world. A great documentary can give you a thorough overview of an issue, and often they dig into different perspectives around an event, idea, or historical moment. The PBS series, Frontline , is a good place to start, but don’t be afraid to look at critically acclaimed films (like The Times of Harvey Milk or How to Survive a Plague ) for inspiration as well.  

#5: The Learning Network 

The Learning Network , a blog run by The New York Times, is a great resource for students and teachers. They have lots of great resources, and their article on 200 prompts for argumentative writing is amazing for anyone looking for essay or debate topics. The article split into categories by topic and links to articles that can help explain each issue. It’s a great place to find a topic that interests you. 

body-chalkboard-question-mark

What’s Next? 

Controversial topics are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things you can research and write about for class. Check out our list of 113 amazing research paper topics to put you on the path to an A+ paper grade! ( If you’re looking for speech topics or argumentative essay topics , we’ve got you covered, too.)

Researching a controversial topic is just the first step in the argumentative process. You also have to be able to persuade your reader or listener to believe in your point of view. Here are 3 killer tips to help you write an amazing argumentative essay.

Learning how to read critically, come up with an argument, and communicate it is one of the fundamental skills you’ll need to tackle the writing portions of the SAT and ACT. To make sure you’re prepared, check out our step-by-step guide to the essay portion of the SAT ( and the ACT ). 

author image

Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

Student and Parent Forum

Our new student and parent forum, at ExpertHub.PrepScholar.com , allow you to interact with your peers and the PrepScholar staff. See how other students and parents are navigating high school, college, and the college admissions process. Ask questions; get answers.

Join the Conversation

Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!

Improve With Our Famous Guides

  • For All Students

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 160+ SAT Points

How to Get a Perfect 1600, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 800 on Each SAT Section:

Score 800 on SAT Math

Score 800 on SAT Reading

Score 800 on SAT Writing

Series: How to Get to 600 on Each SAT Section:

Score 600 on SAT Math

Score 600 on SAT Reading

Score 600 on SAT Writing

Free Complete Official SAT Practice Tests

What SAT Target Score Should You Be Aiming For?

15 Strategies to Improve Your SAT Essay

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 4+ ACT Points

How to Get a Perfect 36 ACT, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 36 on Each ACT Section:

36 on ACT English

36 on ACT Math

36 on ACT Reading

36 on ACT Science

Series: How to Get to 24 on Each ACT Section:

24 on ACT English

24 on ACT Math

24 on ACT Reading

24 on ACT Science

What ACT target score should you be aiming for?

ACT Vocabulary You Must Know

ACT Writing: 15 Tips to Raise Your Essay Score

How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League

How to Get a Perfect 4.0 GPA

How to Write an Amazing College Essay

What Exactly Are Colleges Looking For?

Is the ACT easier than the SAT? A Comprehensive Guide

Should you retake your SAT or ACT?

When should you take the SAT or ACT?

Stay Informed

controversial topics for persuasive essay

Get the latest articles and test prep tips!

Looking for Graduate School Test Prep?

Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here:

GRE Online Prep Blog

GMAT Online Prep Blog

TOEFL Online Prep Blog

Holly R. "I am absolutely overjoyed and cannot thank you enough for helping me!”
  • Link to facebook
  • Link to linkedin
  • Link to twitter
  • Link to youtube
  • Writing Tips

50 Persuasive Essay Topics to Help You Ace Your Next Assignment

50 Persuasive Essay Topics to Help You Ace Your Next Assignment

  • 5-minute read
  • 19th January 2023

Welcome to your ultimate guide to persuasive essay topics! 

In this post, we’ll provide a list of 50 persuasive essay topics to help you get started on your next assignment. 

We’ll also include some tips for writing a persuasive essay to help you craft a strong and effective argument. Whether you’re a student or a professional writer, these persuasive essay topics are sure to inspire and challenge you.

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

Persuasive essays are a type of argumentative essay that encourage the reader to accept a particular point of view or take a specific action.

They typically open with a question, followed by a series of arguments intended to persuade the reader to take the same side as the author.

In a persuasive essay, the author will usually appeal to the readers’ emotions in order to prove that their opinion is the correct one. But this doesn’t mean that persuasive essays ignore evidence , facts, and figures; an effective persuasive essay makes use of a combination of logical argument and emotive language to sway the audience.

A persuasive essay can cover just about anything from pop culture to politics. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of 50 persuasive essay topics to inspire your next assignment!

Top 50 Persuasive Essay Topics

  • Should the government censor the internet?
  • Should the government regulate the sale of violent video games?
  • Should self-driving cars be banned?
  • Is facial recognition software unethical?
  • Should mental health apps collect users’ personal data?
  • Should children under 13 have cell phones?
  • Should internet access be treated as a human right?
  • Should all paperwork be digitized?

Science and the Environment

  • Should the use of plastic bags be banned?
  • Should genetically modified organisms be labeled?
  • Should we clone human beings?
  • Should animal testing be allowed?
  • Should the government fund space exploration?
  • Should the government regulate the use of pesticides in farming?
  • Should the government regulate the use of antibiotics in livestock?
  • Should the government fine people who drive gas-powered vehicles?
  • Should climate change be declared a national emergency?

Crime and Politics

  • Should the death penalty be abolished?
  • Should all American citizens have to serve a year of community service?
  • Should the US voting age be lowered to 16?
  • Should the government adopt a tougher immigration policy?
  • Should the government cut its military spending?
  • Should the government introduce a national living wage?
  • Should politicians be banned from social media?
  • Should the electoral college be abolished?

Health and Fitness

  • Should the government provide universal healthcare?
  • Should the government ban the use of certain chemicals in cosmetics?
  • Should parents be allowed to choose the gender of their unborn child?
  • Should physical exercise be mandatory at work?
  • Should employees have to disclose health conditions to their employers?
  • Should fast food commercials be banned?
  • Should herbal medicines be better regulated?
  • Should regular mental health checkups be mandatory?
  • Should schools offer fast food options like McDonald’s or Taco Bell?
  • Should students be required to wear uniforms?
  • Should the government provide free college education?
  • Should schools offer comprehensive sex education?
  • Are high school students given too much homework?
  • Should humanities and arts subjects receive more funding?
  • Should military recruiters be allowed on school grounds?
  • Is the school day too long?
  • Should every US citizen be required to learn another language?

Lifestyle and Culture

Find this useful.

Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.

  • Should the drinking age be lowered or raised?
  • Should the use of tobacco be banned?
  • Should marijuana be legalized?
  • Should all museums and art galleries be free?
  • Should kids be encouraged to read more?
  • Should public spaces provide unisex bathrooms?
  • Is pet ownership a human right?
  • Should extreme sports be banned?

Tips for Writing a Persuasive Essay

Once you’ve chosen your topic, it’s time to start writing your persuasive essay. Here are our tips:

Choose a Side

When you’ve picked the question you’re going to address in your essay, you also need to choose one side – or answer – that you’re going to write in favor of.

It helps if you’re passionate about the topic, as this will enable you to write from an emotional perspective.

Do Your Research

In order to write persuasively , you need to understand the topic you’re writing about. 

Make sure you know the details of your subject matter, and can provide facts and figures to back up your appeal to your readers’ emotions.

You should also read up about different points of view on the topic, so that you can bring them up in the form of counterarguments and rebuttals .

Keep Your Audience in Mind

When you’re writing your essay, think about who it is you’re trying to persuade. The way you speak to a student, for example, will be different to how you address a parent.

Consider what your potential audience will value, and how you can reach them on an emotional level. 

Outline Your Essay

Now you’ve got all the information you need, it’s time to plan and write your essay.

You should break it down into the follow sections:

  • An introduction, which sets up the question you’re going to answer and what side of the argument you are aiming to persuade the reader of.
  • The body of the essay, with a paragraph for each of the points you want to make.
  • A conclusion, where you summarize your points and main arguments.

Get It Proofread

As with any essay, your finished persuasive essay will need proofreading to make sure it’s the best it can be.

Our academic proofreading team here at Proofed can help with that. You can even get your first 500 words proofread for free !

Share this article:

Post A New Comment

Got content that needs a quick turnaround? Let us polish your work. Explore our editorial business services.

3-minute read

How to Come Up With Newsletter Ideas

If used strategically, email can have a substantial impact on your business. In fact, according...

4-minute read

Free Online Peer Review Template

Having your writing peer-reviewed is a valuable process that can showcase the strengths and weaknesses...

How to Embed a Video in PowerPoint

Including a video in your PowerPoint presentation can make it more exciting and engaging. And...

What Is a Patent?

A patent is a form of intellectual property that restricts who can copy your invention....

How to Add Speaker Notes in PowerPoint

Adding speaker notes to your PowerPoint allows you to present with confidence while avoiding information...

How to Download a PowerPoint Presentation

PowerPoint is Microsoft’s presentation software. It’s frequently used by families, students, and businesses to create...

Logo Harvard University

Make sure your writing is the best it can be with our expert English proofreading and editing.

Persuasive Essay Writing

Persuasive Essay Topics

Cathy A.

Easy and Unique Persuasive Essay Topics with Tips

15 min read

Published on: Jan 4, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 29, 2024

persuasive essay topics

People also read

How to Write a Persuasive Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide

The Basics of Crafting an Outstanding Persuasive Essay Outline

Ace Your Next Essay With These Persuasive Essay Examples!

Persuasive Essay About Gun Control - Best Examples for Students

Top Examples of Persuasive Essay about Covid-19

Learn How To Write An Impressive Persuasive Essay About Business

Learn How to Craft a Compelling Persuasive Essay About Abortion With Examples!

Make Your Point: Tips and Examples for Writing a Persuasive Essay About Online Education

Learn How To Craft a Powerful Persuasive Essay About Bullying

Craft an Engaging Persuasive Essay About Smoking: Examples & Tips

Learn How to Write a Persuasive Essay About Social Media With Examples

Craft an Effective Argument: Examples of Persuasive Essay About Death Penalty

Share this article

You're staring at a blank screen, trying to come up with a topic for your persuasive essay. You know you need to pick something interesting, but you're unsure where to start. 

It's hard to get motivated when it feels like everything has already been said on the topic you're considering. You are wondering how can you make your essay stand out.

The good news is that CollegeEssay.org  is here to help. 

We have compiled a list of potential persuasive essay topics to get your creative juices flowing. Whether you are looking for something controversial, humorous, or informative – we have it all. 

Take a look at our list of persuasive essay topics below to get started.

On This Page On This Page -->

Unique Persuasive Essay Topics for Students

Writing a persuasive essay can be quite an interesting task for students. It allows them to showcase their research and analytic skills and present their thoughts orderly. 

Choosing the right topic is key to making the writing process more enjoyable. 

Here are some great ideas that you can use for your essay: 

Persuasive Essay Topics for Middle School 

  • Should students be required to wear uniforms in school? 
  • What are the benefits of a longer school day? 
  • How can technology help improve student engagement and learning? 
  • Is it important for all schools to have equal access to resources? 
  • Should physical education be mandatory in all schools? 
  • How can schools better prepare students for entering the job market?
  • Should a student’s grade be based solely on test performance?
  • Is it important to limit screen time, or should there not be restrictions? 
  • Should recess time be increased or decreased in school? 
  • Is it beneficial for students to take part in after-school activities?

Persuasive Essay Topics for Grade 6 

  • Should school lunch prices be lowered to make it more accessible for all students? 
  • Is there an argument for allowing cell phone usage in the classroom? 
  • Should schools offer a wider variety of electives? 
  • Is there a persuasive case for requiring physical education classes in elementary and middle schools? 
  • Should students be allowed to opt-out of standardized testing? 
  • Is the current homework load for elementary and middle school students too much? 
  • Should school provide free breakfast and lunch to all students, regardless of financial status?
  • Should sixth-grade classes have more field trips and outdoor activities? 
  • Should students have access to more technology in the classroom? 
  • Is there an argument for making recess mandatory for all grade levels? 

Persuasive Essay Topics for Grade 7

  • Should schools have a dress code? 
  • Should students be required to do community service projects to graduate? 
  • Is it necessary for all student-athletes to take mandatory drug tests? 
  • Are the current laws on gun control sufficient enough? 
  • Should same-sex marriage be legal? 
  • Should teenage drivers be allowed to have passengers in their cars? 
  • Is standardized testing an effective measure of student success?
  • Should homework be abolished in schools? 
  • Should young children be allowed to use mobile phones or tablets at school? 
  • Are video games too violent for young children?

Tough Essay Due? Hire a Writer!

Tough Essay Due? Hire a Writer!

Persuasive Essay Topics for High School 

  • Should physical education classes be mandatory in high school?
  • Is a strict dress code necessary for student success?
  • Are standardized tests an effective measure of student achievement?
  • Does social media have a positive or negative impact on teenagers?
  • Should students be allowed to grade their teachers? 
  • Should cell phones be prohibited in the classroom?
  • Should schools offer fast food options like McDonald's or Taco Bell?
  • Is competitive sports necessary for a well-rounded education? 
  • Are after-school activities essential to a student’s development?
  • Should students be allowed to choose their classes?

Persuasive Essay Topics for College 

  • Should universities require all students to take at least one course in diversity studies? 
  • Should universities implement free speech zones on campuses? 
  • Should college athletes be paid for their performance? 
  • Is it ethical for employers to ask about an applicant’s criminal history during the hiring process? 
  • Should college students be required to take a foreign language course? 
  • Should the US government provide free tuition for all qualifying students? 
  • Is it ethical to use animals in scientific research? 
  • Are standardized tests an adequate measure of academic aptitude and ability? 
  • Should paper textbooks be replaced with e-books? 
  • Should all students be required to learn coding and computer science in school? 

Persuasive Essay Topics for University 

  • Should universities offer free tuition to all students?
  • Are special scholarships beneficial for university students?
  • Should college athletes be paid for their services?
  • Is it important for universities to provide mental health resources to their students? 
  • How can universities help prevent cheating and plagiarism among students?
  • Should universities be required to provide online courses?
  • Are university degree requirements outdated and irrelevant?
  • Is it necessary for university students to take physical education classes? 
  • Does the presence of social media in academia positively or negatively impact learning? 
  • Should universities prioritize research over teaching?

Interesting Persuasive Essay Topics from Different Fields 

When choosing essay topics, there is no shortage of interesting persuasive essay topics from different fields available.

Here are some examples of interesting persuasive essay topics from different fields:

Arts & Culture 

  • Should museums be more inclusive of diverse cultures?
  • Should the government fund public art programs?
  • Are comic books an important form of literature?
  • Does graffiti have any value as an art form?
  • Is the traditional concept of beauty outdated in today’s society? 
  • Is it important for the public to have access to art galleries and museums?
  • Do modern movies have any real artistic value?
  • Are video games a form of art?
  • Should government funding be given to the performing arts?
  • Does the music industry put too much emphasis on image rather than talent?
  • Should governments guarantee a minimum wage?
  • Should the government subsidize green energy projects?
  • Is it necessary to introduce higher taxes on wealthy people?
  • Are free trade agreements beneficial or detrimental to developing countries?
  • Can economic growth be sustained without harming the environment?
  • Is immigration beneficial or detrimental to a country’s economic growth?
  • Should governments limit the size of banks and financial institutions?
  • Is it necessary for countries to regulate their currency markets?
  • Should governments invest in renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels?
  • Should high officials pay more taxes?
  • Should students be required to complete a certain number of community service hours to graduate?
  • Should school uniforms be mandatory for all public schools?
  • Are textbooks becoming obsolete due to technological advances?
  • Should the education system focus more on practical subjects such as coding and programming?
  • Is the current grading system in public schools fair and effective?
  • Is homeschooling a viable alternative to traditional schooling?
  • Should standardized testing be abolished from the education system?
  • Should teachers receive bonuses for good performance in the classroom?
  • Are students more likely to succeed if they attend a private school or university?
  • Should all students have access to free college tuition?
  • Is using animals in medical research ethical?
  • Should parents be allowed to choose their child’s gender?
  • Should companies be held responsible for the pollution they create? 
  • Are businesses obligated to act ethically when conducting business abroad? 
  • Is it ethical to censor content on the internet?
  • Should the government enforce stricter regulations on genetically modified food?
  • Is it ethical to use artificial intelligence in decision-making processes?
  • Should corporations be allowed to have their own private security forces? 
  • Are restrictions on freedom of speech necessary for public safety? 
  • Do companies have an ethical responsibility to pay fair wages?

Government and Politics 

  • Should the government regulate social media?
  • Should term limits be placed on members of Congress?
  • Are taxes too high in the United States?
  • Should voting be mandatory for all citizens?
  • Is the Electoral College still relevant today?
  • Does the death penalty serve as a deterrent to crime?
  • Should the US switch to a single-payer health care system?
  • Should there be limits on campaign spending?
  • Should the United States adopt a flat tax system?
  • Is it time to repeal the Second Amendment?
  • Is legalizing marijuana an ethical practice?
  • Should parents be allowed to choose the gender of their child? 
  • Is it ethical to test medicines on animals? 
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of genetic engineering? 
  • Are there any health risks associated with using digital screens too often? 
  • Should physical education be mandatory in every school? 
  • Is the healthcare system in your country adequate for your needs? 
  • Are there any benefits to eating organic food? 
  • How does mental health affect physical health? 
  • Should vaccinations be mandatory for all children? 
  • Was the Spanish Inquisition justified? 
  • Were the American Colonists justified in rebelling against Great Britain? 
  • Did Christopher Columbus’ discoveries benefit or harm indigenous populations? 
  • What effect did Genghis Khan have on world history? 
  • Did World War I significantly change the course of history? 
  • Was the Treaty of Versailles fair to Germany? 
  • Did Napoleon Bonaparte’s rule bring about positive or negative changes for France and Europe? 
  • Should the United States annexed the Philippines in 1898? 
  • How did the Great Depression shape world history? 
  • Is there any validity to the theory of a “clash of civilizations”? 
  • Should artificial intelligence be regulated?
  • Should autonomous vehicles be allowed on public roads?
  • Is the internet making us less social?
  • Should research into cloning be banned?
  • Are there moral issues related to genetic engineering?
  • Should governments fund space exploration programs?
  • Are smart home devices making us more vulnerable to cyberattacks?
  • Should the government regulate social media use?
  • Are robots taking away jobs from humans?
  • Should nuclear energy be used as an alternative to fossil fuels?
  • Should professional athletes be drug tested?
  • Is there a gender gap in sports?
  • Should college athletes be paid for their performances?
  • Does skill or luck decide the outcome of sports competitions?
  • Are sporting events becoming too commercialized? 
  • Is it necessary to increase public funding for sporting events?
  • Is the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports cheating or fair?
  • Should college students be able to choose their own sports teams?
  • Do professional sports hurt young people?
  • Should parents allow children to play violent video games?
  • Should schools replace textbooks with tablets?
  • Are algorithms replacing human decision-making in the workplace?
  • Is it time to regulate the use of facial recognition technology?
  • Can artificial intelligence and robots be used to improve healthcare outcomes?
  • Should autonomous vehicles be allowed on public roads? 
  • Should Internet access be a basic human right?
  • Should social media platforms do more to protect user privacy?
  • Is blockchain technology the future of banking and finance? 
  • Are virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa invading privacy? 
  • Can we trust that autonomous weapons system will make ethical decisions in war?

Social Media

Here are a few social media persuasive essay topics. Take a look at them.

  • Is social media a positive or negative influence on society?
  • Should employers be able to access an employee's social media accounts?
  • Should people be allowed to post anonymously online?
  • How can parents protect their children from the risks of using social media?
  • Does the spread of fake news on social media hurt society?
  • Should governments regulate online speech on social media?
  • Should employers be allowed to conduct background checks using social media?
  • Is the personal data of individuals safe from exploitation by corporate interests on social media platforms?
  • Are people spending too much time on their digital devices?
  • Is the use of social media by young people making them more isolated?

Controversial Persuasive Essay Topics 

  • Should the death penalty be reinstated in all states?
  • Should gun control laws be stricter? 
  • Is global warming a real threat? 
  • Are vaccinations safe for children? 
  • Should prostitution be legalized? 
  • Should marijuana be made legal? 
  • Does school uniform violate personal freedom? 
  • Should genetically modified foods be allowed in the market? 
  • Should sex education in school be mandatory? 
  • Should animal testing be banned?

Fun Persuasive Essay Topics 

  • Should cats be allowed to go to school?
  • Should people have a minimum number of friends before they can graduate?
  • Is it okay to laugh at your own jokes?
  • Should parents be required to take parenting classes?
  • Are video games the best way to spend free time?
  • Should kids be allowed to wear pajamas in public places?
  • Should students have to pass a test before they can drive a car?
  • Are cell phones essential for teenagers or should they be limited?
  • Should everyone learn how to cook their meals?
  • Would it be better if all schools had the same uniform?

Argumentative Persuasive Essay Topics 

  • Should the electoral college be abolished? 
  • Is it ethical to eat meat? 
  • Should the internet have censorship? 
  • Are genetically modified foods safe for human consumption? 
  • Is social media good or bad for society? 
  • Should the drinking age be lowered or raised? 
  • Should school attendance be mandatory for students? 
  • Are video games too violent and negatively influencing children?  
  • Should religious education be banned from public schools?

How to Choose a Good Persuasive Essay Topic? 

Choosing a writing topic for your persuasive essay writing is essential. 

The right topic will let you draft an exceptional and well-written essay. Selecting a persuasive essay topic might sound easy, but it can be challenging. 

You cannot randomly start writing a persuasive essay about any topic and expect your essay to be brilliant. 

To select the best topic for your essay, take these essential steps:

1. Know your Interests -   You can only draft an effective essay if you are writing about something that interests you. When you write something you are passionate about, the enthusiasm helps to persuade the readers.

2. Narrow Down Ideas - Make a rough list of the topic of your interest. Then, analyze all the issues and identify topics you think you can present well.

3. Pick your Stance - Now that you know the information is sufficient on a topic, decide your stance. Pick a side to support with evidence and logic. 

4. Controversy is the Best Policy - People love to read about controversial stuff. It is more likely that the readers will go through the entire essay to ease their curiosity. 

After passing your ideas through these filters, you will have a strong and arguable topic to draft an essay on.

Tips for Writing a Compelling Persuasive Essay 

Whether you are in school, college, or university, crafting an effective persuasive essay can be difficult.

Fortunately, with a few tips and tricks, you can create a compelling, persuasive essay that will make your readers take notice. 

Here are six tips to help you write a compelling, persuasive essay:

1. Choose Your Topic Carefully

You need to select a relevant and interesting topic for your audience. Make sure you feel passionate about it and can present it logically and convincingly.

2. Do Extensive Research

Before beginning your essay, research your topic as much as possible. So you can present both sides of the argument in an informed, balanced way.

3. Identify Your Audience

 Before writing your persuasive essay, consider who will be reading it and their interests. 

This will help you write in a language that resonates with them and ensure that your arguments suit their understanding.

4. Use Logical Arguments

It is important to provide logical and compelling arguments to be persuasive. Make sure you use facts, statistics, and other evidence to make your points more convincing.

5. Structure Your Essay Well

An effective persuasive essay should be well-organized. Divide it into an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. 

Pay attention to the structure of your essay, as it can help you make your points more effectively.

Learn how to make a perfect persuasive essay outline with the help of our blog. 

6. Make It Engaging

An engaging, persuasive essay will capture your audience’s attention from beginning to end. 

Use various techniques to make your essay interesting and engaging, such as using examples, analogies, and persuasive language.

We hope you are inspired by our comprehensive list of topics. Pick up a topic that entices you and start working on it. By following these amazing tips and tricks, you can surely compose an essay that will wow your professor.

Still not sure how to draft a perfect essay? Well, leave it to us. Our essay writing service helps you craft your argument in the most effective way possible to get the desired results.

 Don't let yourself get overwhelmed with the process! Trust our professional persuasive essay writer. 

Let CollegeEssay.org's best essay writing service guide you on your journey and take your writing to the next level. 

Take the stress out of writing persuasive essays and get the results you need with our expert essay writer AI .

Frequently Asked Questions

How can i choose a good persuasive essay topic.

When selecting a persuasive essay topic, consider an issue that is interesting to you and has two or more opposing viewpoints. Research various resources about the topic to gain a better perspective

What strategies can I use for writing a persuasive essay?

When writing a persuasive essay, establish facts from reliable sources to support your argument. Be concise but thorough, and use persuasive language to strengthen your argument.

How can I make my persuasive essay stand out?

To make your persuasive essay stand out, use vivid language and strong, specific evidence to support each point. Make sure all sources are current and relevant to the argument being made. With these elements, your persuasive essay will stand out from the rest!

Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That’s our Job!

Get Help

Keep reading

persuasive essay topics

  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookies Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Refunds & Cancellations
  • Our Writers
  • Success Stories
  • Our Guarantees
  • Affiliate Program
  • Referral Program
  • AI Essay Writer

Disclaimer: All client orders are completed by our team of highly qualified human writers. The essays and papers provided by us are not to be used for submission but rather as learning models only.

controversial topics for persuasive essay

controversial topics for persuasive essay

Persuasive Essay Topics: Top 150 Choices

controversial topics for persuasive essay

Did you know that the word 'persuade' is derived from the Latin word 'persuadere,' which means 'to make someone agree or believe through argument or reasoning'? It's a fascinating linguistic connection to the art of writing a persuasive essay, a skill that has the potential to shape opinions, spark discussions, and even drive change.

In this article, our persuasive essay writer will delve into a carefully curated selection of 150 essay topics that are designed to ignite debate, stimulate critical thinking, and empower you to make a compelling case for your viewpoint. Whether you're a student looking for a captivating, persuasive essay idea for your next assignment or an advocate seeking to raise awareness about critical issues, our list offers a diverse range of ideas that can serve as a powerful catalyst for meaningful discourse and positive transformation.

A Comprehensive List of Persuasive Essay Topics

In this comprehensive list, our paper writing service experts have compiled an extensive range of persuasive essay topics to suit various interests and academic levels. Whether you're a college student seeking to engage in complex debates, a high school student eager to make a compelling case, or an advocate looking to address critical issues, we've got you covered. Our topics span across diverse categories such as education, history, society, health, and more. This article is your one-stop resource for finding the perfect topic that aligns with your passion and purpose, ensuring your persuasive essays stand out.

Good Persuasive Essay Topics

In our pursuit of engaging and impactful essay subjects, let's begin by delving into ten distinctive topics that transcend the commonplace. These choices not only provide fresh perspectives but also present an opportunity to learn how to research a topic effectively.

  • Contemplating the Art of Mindful Consumption : Discuss the ethical implications of our consumer choices and how conscious shopping can transform our world.
  • Digital Privacy in the Age of Big Data: Analyze the trade-offs between personal privacy and data collection in our increasingly interconnected world.
  • The Future of Work: Universal Basic Income: Delve into the concept of universal basic income and its potential to address economic inequality and job displacement in the age of automation.
  • Cryptocurrency Adoption and Its Impact on Traditional Banking: Examine how the rise of cryptocurrencies is reshaping the financial landscape and challenging traditional banking systems.
  • Sustainable Fashion: Balancing Style and Environmental Responsibility: Discuss the fashion industry's ecological footprint and the importance of sustainable clothing practices.
  • Decoding Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Explore the transformative potential of AI in revolutionizing healthcare and its implications for medical professionals and patients.
  • The Power of Solar Roadways: Investigate the concept of solar roadways as an innovative solution for both energy generation and sustainable infrastructure.
  • The Intersection of Virtual Reality and Education: Analyze the benefits and challenges of integrating virtual reality technology into the classroom for enhanced learning experiences.
  • Reimagining Urban Planning: The 15-Minute City Concept: Delve into the urban planning movement that aims to create more sustainable and livable cities by emphasizing short commutes and community-centric design.
  • The Impact of Eco-Anxiety on Mental Health: Discuss the psychological effects of climate change-related anxiety and ways to address and mitigate its impact on individuals and society.

Get Pro Help and Boost Your Grades!

Hopefully this guide will help you discover good topics for a persuasive speech or essay and write a top-notch paper. Looking for more advice or professional help?

Persuasive Essay Topics for College

When it comes to persuasive essay topics for students, the expectation is high. College-level writing demands critical thinking, compelling arguments, and well-researched positions. Here are ten thought-provoking topics tailored for the academic environment:

  • The Ethics of Cloning and Genetic Engineering in Higher Education: Explore the moral and scientific considerations of cloning and genetic engineering research conducted in university settings.
  • Quantum Computing and Its Implications for Computer Science Education: Delve into the potential of quantum computing and its influence on computer science programs in colleges and universities.
  • Deconstructing the Prison-Industrial Complex: A Call for Education Reform: Discuss how higher education institutions can play a role in addressing the social and economic issues related to mass incarceration.
  • Space Exploration and University Research: Analyze the contributions of universities to space exploration and their potential impact on future interstellar exploration.
  • The Intersection of Art and Artificial Intelligence: Examine the collaboration between artists and AI technology in creating innovative and thought-provoking works of art.
  • The Philosophy of Time Travel: Academic Approaches and Paradoxes: Explore the theoretical aspects of time travel from a philosophical and scientific perspective.
  • Biodiversity Conservation in University Campuses: Discuss the role of colleges in preserving local biodiversity and creating sustainable environments within their campuses.
  • The Influence of Virtual Reality on Archaeological Studies: Investigate how VR technology is transforming archaeological research and preservation efforts.
  • The Philosophy of Mind in the Age of Brain-Computer Interfaces: Explore the ethical and philosophical implications of brain-computer interface technology in academic and research settings.
  • Transhumanism and the Future of Human Enhancement: Discuss the ethical, social, and philosophical aspects of transhumanism within the context of higher education.

Persuasive Essay Topics High School

High school students often engage with a wide range of issues and concerns. Here are some essay topics tailored to their interests and age groups:

  • Promoting Financial Literacy in High Schools: Discuss the importance of including comprehensive financial literacy education in high school curriculums to equip students with essential life skills.
  • Social Media's Impact on Teen Mental Health: Explore the influence of social media on the mental well-being of high school students and advocate for responsible usage.
  • The Need for Racial and Cultural Diversity in High School Reading Lists: Analyze the benefits of incorporating more diverse voices and perspectives in the required reading list.
  • Youth Activism and Its Impact on Social Change: Highlight the role of young activists in shaping social and political movements, both historically and in the present.
  • The Effects of Violent Video Games on Adolescent Behavior: Discuss the potential impact of violent video games on high school students and the debate over-regulation.
  • Promoting Healthy Eating Habits in Schools: Advocate for better nutritional standards in high school cafeterias to combat childhood obesity and encourage healthy eating.
  • Cyberbullying Prevention and High School Policies: Examine the issue of cyberbullying and the role of high schools in preventing and addressing this problem.
  • The Pros and Cons of School Uniforms: Debate the advantages and disadvantages of implementing school uniforms in high schools.
  • Youth Voting Rights and Civic Engagement: Discuss the benefits of lowering the voting age to 16 and increasing youth participation in elections.
  • Climate Change Education in High Schools: Explore the need for comprehensive climate change education in high schools to prepare the next generation for environmental challenges.

Persuasive Essay Topics on Education

Education is a dynamic and crucial field that constantly evolves. Here are ten topics related to education:

  • The Impact of Inclusive Education on Student Development: Explore the advantages of inclusive classrooms where students with diverse abilities learn together.
  • The Role of Teachers in Fostering Critical Thinking: Discuss how educators can nurture critical thinking skills in students, preparing them for a rapidly changing world.
  • Standardized Testing: Is it a True Measure of Student Ability? Debate the effectiveness and limitations of standardized testing in assessing student knowledge and readiness.
  • Digital Learning Tools in the Classroom: Analyze the benefits and challenges of integrating digital technology into the education system.
  • The Importance of Arts Education in Schools: Advocate for the inclusion of arts education as a fundamental part of the curriculum, promoting creativity and well-rounded development.
  • Homeschooling vs. Traditional Schooling: A Comparative Analysis: Examine the pros and cons of homeschooling in contrast to traditional classroom education.
  • The Role of Education in Combating Cyberbullying: Discuss how schools can address the issue of cyberbullying and promote safe online behavior.
  • The Necessity of Physical Education: Encouraging Active Lifestyles: Explore the importance of physical education in high schools and its contribution to students' health.
  • The Impact of Early Childhood Education on Future Success: Discuss the long-term benefits of quality early childhood education programs.
  • Environmental Education: Preparing Students for a Sustainable Future: Advocate for the inclusion of environmental education in school curriculums to raise awareness about sustainability and ecological responsibility.

persuasive essay topics

Persuasive Essay Topics on Society

The topics that follow provide distinctive viewpoints on society, offering a novel vantage point from which to delve into the complexities of human culture, behavior, and interpersonal dynamics.

  • The Influence of Culinary Culture on Society: Delve into how culinary traditions, food choices, and dining habits shape our cultural identity and social interactions.
  • Understanding Society Through Foreign Language Semiotics: Examine how symbols and signs in everyday life convey meaning, reflect societal values, and influence communication.
  • The Role of Festivals and Celebrations in Building Community: Explore how communal celebrations and festivals foster a sense of togetherness and unity within societies.
  • The Art of Storytelling: Oral Traditions and Their Impact on Culture: Analyze the significance of oral storytelling traditions in preserving cultural heritage and passing down knowledge from generation to generation.
  • Collective Memory and Historical Narratives: Discuss how societies construct and maintain collective memories and the impact of these narratives on their sense of identity and unity.
  • Urban Planning and the Psychology of Space: Examine the psychological effects of urban environments, architectural design, and city planning on the well-being and behavior of residents.
  • The Societal Significance of Public Transportation: Explore how public transportation systems shape social interactions, reduce environmental impact, and influence urban development.
  • Fashion as a Mirror of Society: Discuss how clothing, styles, and fashion trends reflect cultural values, historical influences, and societal changes.
  • The Rituals of Everyday Life: Examining Mundane Practices: Analyze the significance of daily rituals and mundane practices in creating a sense of order and meaning in society.
  • Digital Subcultures and Online Communities: Investigate how online communities and subcultures have emerged as significant facets of modern society, influencing the way people connect, share interests, and form identities.

Persuasive Essay Topics on History

When considering how to write persuasive essay on history, these topics will provide you with a platform to delve into the past, draw valuable lessons, and make compelling arguments about the significance of historical events, figures, and movements in our world today.

  • The Significance of Historical Preservation: Discuss the importance of preserving historical sites and artifacts for future generations.
  • The Impact of World War II on Global Politics: Analyze how World War II redefined international relations and its lasting effects on the world.
  • The Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement: Explore the achievements and ongoing challenges related to the civil rights movement in the United States.
  • The Role of Ancient History in Modern Society: Discuss the relevance of studying ancient civilizations and their impact on contemporary culture and politics.
  • The Cultural Significance of the Renaissance Period: Analyze the contributions of the Renaissance era to art, science, and human thought.
  • The Causes and Consequences of the Industrial Revolution: Examine the factors that led to the Industrial Revolution and its effects on society.
  • The Impact of Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples: Discuss the long-term consequences of European colonialism on indigenous populations and their cultures.
  • The Lessons of the Cold War: Analyze the Cold War's influence on geopolitics and diplomacy and what lessons can be drawn from it for current international relations.
  • The Role of Historical Truth in Reconciliation: Discuss the importance of acknowledging historical injustices in the process of reconciliation and healing.
  • The Influence of Historical Figures on Modern Political Thought: Explore how historical figures have shaped contemporary political ideologies and movements.

Persuasive Essay Topics About Social Issues

Social issues encompass a wide range of concerns that affect individuals and communities. Here are topics related to social issues:

  • Addressing Homelessness in Urban Areas: Discuss strategies to combat homelessness and support those in need in cities and urban environments.
  • The Impact of Bullying in Schools: Analyze the consequences of bullying and explore ways to create a safer and more inclusive school environment.
  • Youth Substance Abuse and Prevention: Advocate for effective prevention programs and support for young people struggling with substance abuse.
  • Racial Profiling and Police Violence: Discuss racial profiling and excessive use of force by law enforcement and advocate for reforms.
  • Access to Affordable Healthcare: Explore the challenges and solutions for providing affordable and accessible healthcare for all.
  • Gender and LGBTQ+ Rights: Advocate for gender equality and the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, including issues like marriage equality and transgender rights.
  • Combating Human Trafficking: Discuss the global issue of human trafficking and propose solutions to combat it effectively.
  • Mental Health Stigma and Awareness: Explore the stigma surrounding mental health and ways to promote awareness and destigmatization.
  • The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health: Analyze the relationship between social media use and mental health concerns, such as anxiety and depression.
  • Environmental Justice and Access to Clean Water: Advocate for equitable access to clean water and address environmental disparities in vulnerable communities.

Crime and Legal Persuasive Essay Topics

Issues related to crime and the legal system are often the subject of intense debate. These topics provide a platform for students to examine complex issues in criminal justice, law, and ethics while presenting well-researched arguments and potential solutions.

  • The Efficacy of Restorative Justice Programs: Explore the effectiveness of restorative justice as an alternative to traditional punitive measures in the criminal justice system.
  • Sentencing Reform and the Need for Second Chances: Advocate for reevaluating sentencing guidelines and promoting rehabilitation over lengthy prison sentences.
  • Cybersecurity and Digital Privacy Laws: Examine the importance of legal measures to protect digital privacy and combat cybercrimes.
  • Capital Punishment: Abolition or Reform? Analyze the arguments for and against the death penalty and consider potential reforms.
  • Criminal Profiling and Ethical Considerations: Explore the use of criminal profiling in law enforcement and the ethical questions it raises.
  • Hate Crimes Legislation and Protection: Advocate for stronger hate crime laws and measures to protect vulnerable communities.
  • Juvenile Justice Reform: Discuss the need for improvements in the juvenile justice system, including alternatives to incarceration for young offenders.
  • Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform: Discuss the practice of civil asset forfeiture and advocate for reforms to address potential abuses and protect property rights.
  • Mandatory Minimum Sentences: A Review and Reform: Analyze the impact of mandatory minimum sentencing laws and propose potential reforms for a more equitable criminal justice system.
  • The Role of Mental Health Courts: Explore the benefits and challenges of mental health courts as an alternative approach to addressing criminal cases involving individuals with mental illnesses.

Health Persuasive Essay Topics

These health-related essay topics encompass a wide range of issues, from public health policies to individual health and well-being, providing opportunities for students to explore critical topics and propose meaningful solutions.

  • Universal Healthcare: A Right or a Privilege? Debate the merits of universal healthcare and its implications for society and the economy.
  • The Obesity Epidemic and Public Health: Discuss strategies to combat obesity, promote healthy lifestyles, and reduce the associated health risks.
  • Vaccination Mandates and Public Health: Analyze the controversy surrounding vaccination mandates and their impact on public health.
  • Digital Wellness in the Age of Screens : Examine the impact of constant screen exposure on physical and mental health.
  • The Role of Nutrition Education in Schools: Advocate for the inclusion of comprehensive nutrition education in the school curriculum to combat childhood obesity and promote healthy eating habits.
  • The Opioid Crisis and Addiction Treatment: Explore strategies for addressing the opioid epidemic and improving access to addiction treatment.
  • Reproductive Health and Women's Rights: Discuss the importance of women's reproductive health rights and access to healthcare services.
  • Healthcare Disparities in Underserved Communities: Analyze the disparities in healthcare access and outcomes in underserved and marginalized communities and propose solutions.
  • Telemedicine and the Future of Healthcare: Examine the growth of telemedicine and its potential to improve healthcare access, especially in rural areas.
  • The Impact of Aging Populations on Healthcare Systems: Discuss the challenges and innovations needed to address the healthcare needs of an increasingly aging population.

Women's and Gender Persuasive Essay Topics

Gender and women's issues are essential topics for discussion and advocacy, inviting students to address crucial matters related to gender and work toward a more equitable and inclusive society.

persuasive essay topics

  • Equal Pay for Equal Work: Advocate for closing the gender pay gap and ensuring equal pay for women in the workplace.
  • Women in Leadership: Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Discuss the barriers women face in reaching leadership positions and strategies to promote gender equality in leadership roles.
  • Reproductive Rights and Access to Healthcare: Explore the importance of women's reproductive rights and access to comprehensive healthcare services, including contraception and family planning.
  • Violence Against Women: Prevention and Support: Discuss the prevalence of violence against women, including domestic violence and sexual assault, and propose strategies for prevention and support for survivors.
  • Women in STEM Fields: Encouraging Gender Diversity: Analyze the challenges women face in STEM careers and advocate for increased gender diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
  • Gender Stereotypes and Their Impact: Examine the influence of gender stereotypes on society and discuss strategies to challenge and overcome these biases.
  • The Representation of Women in Media: Discuss the portrayal of women in the media and the need for more diverse and empowering representations.
  • Intersectionality and Women's Rights: Explore how race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and other factors intersect with gender, affecting women's experiences and rights.
  • Child Marriage and Gender-Based Violence: Advocate for ending child marriage and addressing gender-based violence against girls and young women.
  • The Role of Men in Feminism: Discuss the importance of male allies in the feminist movement and how they can support gender equality.

Ethics Persuasive Essay Topics

Ethical issues are at the core of many important debates and decisions in society. Here are some interesting suggestions from our online essay writer that explore various ethical dilemmas:

  • Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and Automation: Discuss the ethical considerations surrounding AI, automation and their impact on the workforce and decision-making.
  • Bioethical Dilemmas: Genetic Engineering and Designer Babies: Analyze the ethical concerns raised by genetic engineering and the creation of designer babies.
  • Ethics in Animal Testing and Research: Debate the ethical considerations of using animals for scientific experiments and research.
  • Euthanasia and the Right to Die with Dignity: Discuss the ethical aspects of euthanasia and whether individuals have the right to make end-of-life decisions.
  • Environmental Ethics and Conservation: Explore the ethical principles underpinning environmental conservation and sustainability efforts.
  • Ethical Implications of Privacy in the Digital Age: Analyze the ethical dilemmas related to data privacy, surveillance, and digital information sharing.
  • Ethics in Journalism and Media Integrity: Discuss the ethical responsibilities of journalists and media outlets in reporting news and information accurately.
  • Ethical Considerations in Healthcare Resource Allocation: Explore the ethical challenges healthcare professionals face when allocating limited resources, such as during a public health crisis.
  • Ethical Implications of Cloning and Stem Cell Research: Examine the ethical concerns and potential benefits of cloning and stem cell research.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethical Business Practices: Advocate for ethical standards and social responsibility in business practices, including issues related to sustainability and fair labor practices.

Science Persuasive Essay Topics

These science-related topics allow college students to engage in discussions about the role of science in addressing critical global issues and how scientific knowledge can shape our understanding of the world and improve our lives.

  • Climate Change and Urgent Action: Advocate for the importance of addressing climate change and the role of scientific research in finding solutions.
  • Space Exploration: The Quest for Knowledge and Discovery: Discuss the value of space exploration and the knowledge gained from missions to the cosmos.
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and Food Security: Explore the benefits and risks of GMOs in agriculture and their role in food security.
  • The Role of Science in Addressing Public Health Crises: Analyze the significance of science in responding to public health crises, such as pandemics and infectious diseases.
  • The Untapped Potential of Mycorrhizal Fungi in Enhancing Sustainable Agriculture : Explore the largely uncharted territory of harnessing mycorrhizal fungi to improve soil health, nutrient absorption, and crop yields.
  • The Importance of STEM Education: Advocate for the promotion of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in schools to prepare future generations for scientific and technological challenges.
  • Artificial Intelligence and its Ethical Implications: Explore the ethical concerns related to AI technology, such as decision-making algorithms and machine learning.
  • The Impact of Scientific Discoveries on Medical Ethics: Discuss how scientific advances, such as gene editing and organ transplantation, influence medical ethics and healthcare decision-making.
  • Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Health: Analyze the role of science in preserving biodiversity and maintaining the health of ecosystems.
  • The Role of Scientific Skepticism in Critical Thinking: Advocate for the importance of scientific skepticism in evaluating claims, combating pseudoscience, and fostering critical thinking.

Persuasive Essay Topics on AI Impact

These essay topics on AI impact suggested by our dissertation service writers provide students with an opportunity to critically examine the various ways AI is reshaping our world, considering both the benefits and challenges it presents.

  • AI in Literature and Creative Writing: A New Era of Storytelling: Explore the use of AI in generating creative content, such as poems, stories, and novels, and its potential impact on the literary world.
  • AI in Archaeology and Historical Preservation: Discuss how AI technologies are aiding in archaeological discoveries, historical research, and the preservation of cultural heritage.
  • AI and the Future of Personal Relationships: From Virtual Companions to AI Love: Examine the ethical and emotional implications of AI-powered virtual companions and their potential influence on human relationships.
  • AI in the Workplace: Job Automation and the Future of Employment: Analyze the impact of AI on the workforce, considering job displacement and the need for new skill sets.
  • AI and Privacy Concerns: Balancing Innovation with Data Protection: Debate the ethical and privacy considerations related to AI technologies and data collection.
  • AI and Mental Health: Chatbots and Supportive Technologies: Explore the use of AI in providing mental health support, including chatbots and virtual therapists.
  • AI and Criminal Justice: Predictive Policing and Bias Mitigation: Analyze the role of AI in criminal justice, including predictive policing and efforts to address bias.
  • AI in Art and Creativity: Tools, Innovations, and Copyright: Discuss the impact of AI in creative fields, raising questions about copyright and the definition of art.
  • AI in Environmental Conservation: Enhancing Conservation Efforts: Explore how AI technologies are used to monitor and protect endangered species and natural ecosystems.
  • AI and Accessibility: Empowering Individuals with Disabilities: Advocate for the use of AI to improve accessibility and inclusivity for individuals with disabilities.

Persuasive Essay Topics on Racism

These persuasive writing prompts on racism provide opportunities to engage in important discussions and advocate for social justice, equity, and change. They encourage college students to address the multifaceted issues related to racism and contribute to the ongoing fight against discrimination.

  • The Impact of Systemic Racism on Communities of Color: Discuss the pervasive effects of systemic racism on individuals and communities, including disparities in education, healthcare, and criminal justice.
  • Racial Profiling and Police Violence: Analyze the issues of racial profiling and the use of force by law enforcement, as well as strategies for reform.
  • Hate Crimes and Discrimination: Explore the prevalence of hate crimes based on race, religion, or ethnicity and advocate for measures to combat discrimination.
  • The Importance of Diverse Representation in Media: Discuss the need for more diverse and accurate portrayals of racial and ethnic minorities in film, television, and advertising.
  • Affirmative Action: Balancing Equal Opportunity and Meritocracy: Debate the role of affirmative action policies in addressing historical injustices and promoting diversity in education and employment.
  • Race and Education: Addressing the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Examine the disproportionate impact of disciplinary policies on students of color and the need to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline.
  • The Role of Allyship in Combating Racism: Discuss the importance of allyship in supporting marginalized communities and dismantling racist systems.
  • Racial Health Disparities: A Call for Equity in Healthcare: Analyze the disparities in healthcare access and outcomes among racial and ethnic groups and advocate for equitable healthcare solutions.
  • Microaggressions and Unconscious Bias: Explore the impact of microaggressions and unconscious bias on marginalized communities and strategies for raising awareness.
  • Reparations for Historical Injustices: Debate the need for reparations to address the historical injustices inflicted on communities of color, particularly the descendants of enslaved individuals.

Unique Persuasive Essay Ideas

These persuasive essay ideas offer opportunities to explore unconventional and fascinating topics, encouraging critical thinking and in-depth examination of issues that may not be as widely discussed but are nonetheless thought-provoking.

  • The Ethics of Space Colonization: Explore the ethical considerations and responsibilities of humanity as we venture into space and potentially colonize other planets.
  • The Impact of Digital Immortality: Discuss the ethical and existential questions raised by advancements in digital technology that allow individuals to preserve their personalities and memories beyond their lifetimes.
  • The Necessity of Emotional Education: Advocate for the inclusion of emotional intelligence and empathy education in schools to promote healthy relationships and emotional well-being.
  • The Role of Psychedelics in Mental Health Treatment: Examine the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelics, such as psilocybin, in the treatment of mental health disorders.
  • The Art and Science of Laughter: Explore the physiological and psychological benefits of laughter and its potential as a form of therapy.
  • The Future of Sustainable Fashion: Discuss innovations in sustainable fashion, including circular fashion, eco-friendly textiles, and ethical fashion practices.
  • The Impact of Silence on Mental Health: Examine the importance of silence and solitude in maintaining mental well-being in a noisy and interconnected world.
  • The Philosophy of Time Travel: Paradoxes and Possibilities: Delve into the philosophical questions and paradoxes related to time travel and its feasibility.
  • Human Augmentation and Cyborg Ethics: Explore the ethical considerations surrounding human augmentation technologies and the blurring of boundaries between humans and machines.
  • The Art of Procrastination: Creativity and Productivity: Discuss the potential benefits of procrastination in fostering creativity and innovation.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, this article has presented a diverse array of persuasive essay topics, spanning from pressing social issues to the ethical implications of AI and beyond. It highlights the importance of engaging in critical discourse, fostering empathy, and advocating for positive change in our ever-evolving world.

At the same time, if you find yourself seeking assistance with your academic endeavors, remember that we can help you with your homework, ensuring you stay on top of your studies and coursework. Whether it's tackling complex essays or asking for support like ' do my homework ,' our resources are here to aid you on your academic journey.

What if Your Essay Could Change Minds and Transform Ideas?

Explore the endless possibilities of interesting persuasive essay topics that elevate your writing and inspire change.

Related Articles

Narrative Essay Topics: 200 Best Ideas

My Speech Class

Public Speaking Tips & Speech Topics

166 Argumentative Essay Topics

Photo of author

Jim Peterson has over 20 years experience on speech writing. He wrote over 300 free speech topic ideas and how-to guides for any kind of public speaking and speech writing assignments at My Speech Class.

Writing an argumentative essay is hard enough. But picking a good topic can sometimes get you stuck before you’ve even started.

Argumentative Essay Topics intro image

Although it seems like a small part of the essay writing process, your topic idea can actually make or break your paper. Suppose the issue you’ve settled on doesn’t carry enough potential to be researched and explored from different sides. In that case, you may end up wasting a lot of time on unproductive work before you finally give up and try to find a better subject.

That’s why we compiled an extensive catalog of argumentative essay topics organized by subject matter that you can use for inspiration. Feel free to browse through all sections or jump to the area you’re looking for.

In this article:

Choosing a Great Argumentative Essay Topic

What makes a good argumentative essay topic, interesting and controversial, immigration, racism, and native american issues, science and research, technology and social media, health, medical, and nursing, psychology and mental health, music, popular culture, and other creative endeavors, funny, easy, and simple.

Before we jump into the lists, let’s go over what you need to look for in an essay topic.

Many students assume that they can pick an issue first and then think about their essay later. But that actually sets you up for potential disappointment. A topic may seem tenable or defensible at first, but once you dig a bit deeper, it may turn out the issue is settled beyond doubt, and there’s no real point in writing about it. It may also be a good idea to sketch out your argumentative essay outline and even draft a thesis statement before making a final decision about what you want to explore.

Here’s a helpful video that explains the importance of preliminary research:

Can We Write Your Speech?

Get your audience blown away with help from a professional speechwriter. Free proofreading and copy-editing included.

Another thing to consider is how fascinating the topic is for you . It’s great to engage your audience, but you can’t really be sure if an issue is captivating for your teacher or professor. But you can be entirely sure if it’s interesting to you. And the more you care about the subject you’ve chosen, the more enjoyable it will be for you to put in the work.

It may seem at first that you can write an essay about anything, so why bother thinking too much about the topic? Well, you can write about anything, but not everything you write can fit the requirements of your assignment. An argumentative essay has to fit a specific format and style, and the topic you pick has to conform to those. Here are a few main characteristics of a good argumentative essay topic:

If no one disagrees with the argument you’re trying to make, what’s the point of arguing about it? Trying to convince your audience that texting while driving is dangerous is a waste of time because the assumption is that most people don’t need convincing. That’s why it’s crucial to pick an issue with at least some validity on both sides.

If your topic is not specific enough, you can’t really make a good point one way or the other. Should we do more to protect animals? That depends—are we talking about rhinos or mosquitos? And who should do the protecting—governments or ordinary citizens? Drill down your topic to something you can make a definitive point about.

If you can’t find something to back your argument with, then maybe it’s purely a matter of opinion. Are pancakes better than pizza? Who’s to say? A good topic allows you to make a point based on facts. That said, defending an insupportable position is sometimes good practice for pure critical thinking and works great for impromptu assignments where there is no time for research.

Of course, after you’ve picked a topic, you still have to write the actual essay. Here’s a video to help guide you through the process:

166 Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas (Organized in Sections)

Below you’ll find a number of lists of argumentative essay topics organized in sections by subject matter. They range from sports to history and anything in between. Keep in mind that many of the issues have to do with more than one field of knowledge, so there is some overlap between sections.

You may notice that all of the topics are in the form of a question. We’ve done that to make them neutral towards the issue they touch upon, but for the purposes of an argumentative essay, you might want to convert them to a statement that conveys the claim you’ll support in your paper.

Interesting and Controversial

One of the best ways to ensure your audience is engaged in your essay is to choose a topic that’s, to some extent, contentious. Your teacher or professor is unlikely to doze off if the issue at hand is something that everyone has a strong opinion about. Controversy will make your job easier, too—it’s a lot more painless to do research and write when you have a genuine interest in the topic.

But there’s also a pitfall to hot-button topics, especially age-old ones. There’s a chance the arguments you choose have been made a thousand times already. That’s not to say you should never write about euthanasia or abortion. Just pick your ideas carefully and make sure they’re fresh and original to avoid making your audience yawn.

Below are a few controversial argumentative essay topics from across subject matters to give you inspiration:

  • Should human cloning be allowed?
  • Should abortion be subject to stricter regulation?
  • Should there be greater gun control?
  • Do video games cause violent behavior?
  • Should the death penalty be abolished?
  • Is torture justifiable as an interrogation technique?
  • Should there be any exceptions to free speech?
  • Did the #metoo movement go too far?
  • Is capitalism the only effective economic system?

Education

Most topics on this page can work for any academic level in which students are already versed in research and persuasive writing. But in this section, we’ve collected issues specifically related to education and sorted them into the different stages of school. So besides college, here you’ll find topics that can be used by high school and middle school students.

For College

Below is a selection of argumentative essay ideas that have to do with college life. Is college worth it? Is it too expensive? Read on to find similar questions.

  • Should everyone go to college?
  • Is college education overrated?
  • Is college admission overly competitive?
  • Are Ivy League colleges worth the cost?
  • Has college tuition become too expensive?
  • Should family income play a role in determining who gets a scholarship?
  • Is a gap year beneficial or a waste of time?
  • Are some college majors more valuable than others?
  • What are the benefits of an MBA?
  • Is an online college degree as good as one from a brick-and-mortar college?

For High School

Here you’ll find a collection of topics related to high school and all of its triumphs and struggles—perfect for students in this age group.

  • Should schools be required to have security?
  • Is standardized testing helping or hurting students?
  • Does high school encourage creativity or conformity?
  • Should high school students work during the school year?
  • Should high school students be required to take drug tests?
  • Should arts education be voluntary in high school?
  • Should the senior year be voluntary?
  • Is prom overrated?

For Middle School

Middle school is a great time to start developing writing skills and the ability to make a strong argument. Here’s a list of topics on middle school that are bound to be relatable for students of that age.

  • Do teachers give middle school students too much homework?
  • Should energy drinks be banned for middle schoolers?
  • Should vending machines be banned in schools?
  • Is school cafeteria food too unhealthy?
  • Should middle school be single-sex or co-ed?
  • Is distant learning effective for middle school students?
  • Should students have a choice on what subjects to study in middle school?
  • Should learning a foreign language be required in middle school?

As a bonus, we’re including a special section on bullying—an ongoing problem at all school levels that’s always worth discussing, including in an academic paper.

  • Should schools do more to prevent bullying?
  • Should parents of bullies be held responsible for their children’s behavior?
  • Where is the line between pranks and bullying?
  • Do kids bully others because they are mistreated at home?
  • Is cyberbullying less harmful than real-life bullying?
  • How should cyberbullying be punished?

For Kids

To make children write an essay, even if it’s just one page, you definitely need to give them a topic they care about. Here are a few ideas:

  • Is it ever acceptable to eat dessert before dinner?
  • Is it OK for kids to read grown-up books?
  • Should kids be allowed to watch grown-up movies?
  • Should children get paid when they get good grades?
  • Is it better to be a single child or to have siblings?
  • Do parents treat their daughters differently than their sons?
  • Should parents punish kids if they haven’t done their chores?

Political

Whether you’re looking for a topic for your political science term paper or simply need a strong topic idea for your persuasive writing class, you’ll find something worth exploring in the list below.

  • Are US elections representative of the will of the people?
  • Should the voting age be lowered?
  • Should voting be mandatory?
  • Should the Electoral College be abolished?
  • Should corporations pay more taxes?
  • Should senators and house representatives have term limits?
  • Should recycling be mandatory?
  • Should prisoners be allowed to vote?
  • Should same-sex marriage be allowed?
  • Should healthcare be free for everyone?
  • Will universal basic income be beneficial for society?

Religion

Religious issues often elicit a strong response, but beliefs are not always subject to rational argumentation. Still, such topics often touch on society as a whole and can be great subjects for a paper.

  • Should creationism be part of the school curriculum?
  • Is religion responsible for war?
  • Is science an enemy of religion?
  • Should public prayer be banned in schools?
  • Should religion be taught in schools?
  • Should laws be affected by religion?
  • Should churches be required to pay taxes?

History

History is always up for debate, and there’s plenty of credible sources to explore, so if you need an essay topic for your history class, feel free to pick one from the list below.

As a bonus, we’ve added a couple of specialized subsections on World War 2 and American history.

  • Can we ever know the “truth” about historical events?
  • Is life better now than it was 100 years ago?
  • Have peaceful revolutions ever led to real change?
  • What caused the fall of the Roman Empire?
  • Was Julius Caesar a tactical genius or a deranged dictator?
  • Did European colonialism help or harm the colonized populations?
  • Did nuclear weapons help make the world safer or more dangerous?
  • Were the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the only way to end World War 2?
  • Should the US have stayed out of World War 2?
  • What caused the rise of Nazism in Germany?
  • Was Stalin’s rule more harmful than Hitler’s?
  • Could World War 2 have been avoided if Hitler had been admitted to art school?

American History

  • Who was the greatest US president of all time?
  • Could the Civil War have been avoided?
  • Was the Declaration of Independence a declaration of war?
  • Was the Constitution a proslavery document?
  • Should the US founding fathers who owned slaves be revered as much as those who didn’t?
  • How did Abraham Lincoln’s assassination affect Reconstruction?

Immigration, Racism, and Native American Issues

Here we have a group of issues that are often related, but we sometimes wish they weren’t. In any case, they’re an excellent opportunity to practice argumentative writing.

  • Should it be mandatory for Americans to speak English fluently?
  • Should immigrants who enter the US illegally be granted residency?
  • Should children of immigrants who enter the US illegally be entitled to public education?
  • Is affirmative action helping or hurting racial equality?
  • Should the US government pay reparations for slavery?
  • Is the Black Lives Matter movement equivalent to the Civil Rights movement?
  • Should Columbus Day be abolished and replaced with Indigenous Peoples’ Day?
  • Should Native Americans be compensated for how settlers treated them?

Science and Research

Here you’ll find topics related to various scientific fields that you’re bound to find evidence on to build a solid research paper.

  • Should the government fund scientific research?
  • Should corporate interests influence scientists?
  • Do people have enough trust in science?
  • What is the biggest issue facing humanity that scientists should focus on the most?
  • Should we spend resources looking for alien life?
  • Is space travel worth the cost?
  • Do humans cause climate change?
  • Is fracking harmful to the environment?
  • Are scientific breakthroughs or government regulations a better solution to the environmental crisis?

Technology and Social Media

Many issues around technology and social media are up for debate, so they can serve as an excellent basis for a persuasive essay.

  • Is technology helping or hurting society?
  • Has the internet caused more harm than good to society?
  • Are we becoming too dependent on computers?
  • Is technology making us more isolated?
  • Is AI dangerous for humanity?
  • Are smartphones dangerous?
  • Is social media helping us stay connected or making us more lonely?
  • Are social media companies responsible for the spread of fake news?
  • Does social media contribute to political radicalization?
  • Should Facebook be banned from collecting data from users?
  • Should people be allowed to stay anonymous online?

Health, Medical, and Nursing

In this section, we’ve curated argumentative essay topics related to health and medicine that are worth exploring.

  • Should the morning-after pill be sold to underage teens?
  • What is the best way to fight the obesity epidemic?
  • Are GMOs dangerous?
  • Should there be limits on sugary drink sizes?
  • Is healthcare a fundamental human right?
  • Should assisted suicide be legalized?
  • Should doctors be banned from promoting drugs?
  • Should medical marijuana be legal?
  • Should parents be able to deny medical treatment for their children?
  • Are nurses compensated fairly?
  • Should nurses be allowed to prescribe drugs?
  • Is the nursing profession better suited for women?

Psychology and Mental Health

If you’re struggling to come up with an argumentative essay topic for your psychology class, feel free to pick one from the list below.

  • Does screen time negatively affect children’s psyche?
  • Should psychotherapists inform the police if a client admits to breaking the law?
  • Do dreams have any meaning?
  • Is positive thinking helpful or harmful?
  • Can lie detectors ever be trusted?
  • Are projective tests such as inkblots reliable?
  • Can hypnosis help us remember forgotten events?
  • Is prejudice against different people inherent to humans?
  • Is anxiety ever helpful?

Sports

There’s no shortage of discussions surrounding sports, but they’re often too specialized to be interesting for the layman. Here are a few broad and contentious ones that can lay the grounds for a strong argumentative essay.

  • Should athletes be considered role models?
  • Should coaches make as much money as players?
  • Should athletes face repercussions if they don’t stand for the National Anthem?
  • Is football too dangerous?
  • Is sports betting different from casino gambling?
  • Is cheerleading a real sport?
  • Do sports rely too much on computer predictions nowadays?
  • Should performance-enhancing drugs be allowed in sports?

Music, Popular Culture, and Other Creative Endeavors

Here you’ll find argumentative essay topics related to music, films, and other art forms that shape today’s pop culture.

  • Is music getting better or worse over time?
  • Is listening to music an effective remedy against stress?
  • Are television shows an accurate representation of the American lifestyle?
  • Did the golden age of Hollywood pass?
  • Should celebrities be considered role models?
  • Should any artwork be censored?
  • Is art unique to humans, or can it be observed in other animals?

Animals

If you care about animals, you might want to write an argumentative paper on a topic related to animal welfare. Here are a few ideas:

  • Should animal research be banned?
  • Should zoos or aquariums be banned and replaced with wildlife reserves?
  • Should fur be banned?
  • Should we stop eating animals?
  • Should the government try to save endangered species?
  • Is hunting for sport justifiable, or should it be banned?
  • Do animals have emotions?
  • Do pets help kids learn to be caring and empathetic?

Funny, Easy, and Simple

Sometimes you just don’t want to deal with complex and serious issues or excessive research. That’s why we curated a collection of light-hearted and easy argumentative essay topics.

  • Is complaining helping us deal with stress?
  • Is talent more important than hard work or vice versa?
  • How much compromise is OK in a relationship?
  • Should couples live together before getting married?
  • How important is it to keep your home clean and tidy?
  • At what age do you become an adult?
  • Are parents entitled to knowing everything about their kids?
  • How long is it acceptable to stay in a restaurant after finishing your meal?

Looking for a topic for a different type of essay? We’ve compiled a huge catalog in our Essay Topics page. If you want something that carries a stronger emotional charge for your paper, speech, or debate, you can also check out our list of Controversial Topics .

127 Funny Controversial Topics

121 Funny Debate Topics for Your Class

Leave a Comment

I accept the Privacy Policy

Reach out to us for sponsorship opportunities

Vivamus integer non suscipit taciti mus etiam at primis tempor sagittis euismod libero facilisi.

© 2024 My Speech Class

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 take a position on 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.

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

50 Possible 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, which are, hopefully, backed up by facts.   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 our election process fair?
  • Is torture ever acceptable?
  • Should men get paternity leave from work?
  • Are school uniforms beneficial?
  • Do we 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)?
  • Is it good that same-sex couples are able to marry?
  • 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?
  • Are girls too mean to each other?
  • 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?
  • Preparing an Argument Essay: Exploring Both Sides of an Issue
  • Controversial Speech Topics
  • Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay
  • Bad Essay Topics for College Admissions
  • 25 Essay Topics for American Government Classes
  • Topic In Composition and Speech
  • MBA Essay Tips
  • How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement
  • How to Write a Narrative Essay or Speech
  • 61 General Expository Essay Topic Ideas to Practice Academic Writing
  • 40 Writing Topics for Argumentative and Persuasive Essays
  • Expository Essay Genre With Suggested Prompts
  • Middle School Debate Topics
  • Topical Organization Essay
  • Supporting Detail in Composition and Speech
  • Writing an Opinion Essay
  • Grades 6-12
  • School Leaders

Black History Month for Kids: Google Slides, Resources, and More!

110+ Controversial Debate Topics to Challenge Your Students

Don’t be surprised when the discussion gets heated…

controversial topics for persuasive essay

It can be tempting to steer away from controversial debate topics in the classroom. But teaching students to discuss hot topics calmly and rationally is vital. Show them how to think critically about a subject, then use facts to support their point of view. These controversial topics can work well for classroom debates, persuasive essays , or fishbowl discussions .

Note: Each topic includes a link to an article from a reliable source that provides pros and/or cons to help kids make their arguments.

Education Controversial Debate Topics

Science and health controversial debate topics, civics controversial debate topics, social justice controversial debate topics, more controversial debate topics.

  • Should students be required to wear school uniforms?
  • Should schools eliminate dress codes?

Should schools eliminate dress codes?

  • Are private schools better than public schools?
  • Should schools be allowed to teach critical race theory?
  • Are standardized tests effective?
  • Should schools teach abstinence instead of sexual education?
  • Should schools make condoms available to students?
  • Is year-round school better for students?
  • Should schools ban junk food?
  • Are single-gender schools better for students?
  • Is it ever OK to cheat on homework or a test?
  • Should we make college free for everyone?
  • Should we allow schools to ban books from their libraries?
  • Does religion have a place in public schools?
  • Should charter schools receive public school funds?
  • Are school voucher systems a good idea?

Are school voucher systems a good idea?

  • Is in-person school better than online school?
  • Should schools have surveillance cameras in classrooms and hallways?
  • Should schools install safe rooms in case of mass shootings or natural disasters?
  • Should all teachers be armed in the classroom to help protect their students?
  • Is it important for schools to provide mental health support to students?
  • Should schools allow students to use phones during the school day?
  • Is recess important at every grade level?
  • Should we put equal value on vocational education and academics?
  • Is homeschooling good for children?
  • How much emphasis should school put on reading from the “canon” versus reading more contemporary voices?
  • Should humans eat animals?
  • Is it OK to keep animals in zoos?
  • Should we completely ban cigarette smoking and vaping?

Should we completely ban cigarette smoking and vaping?

  • Should we ban plastic bottles and bags?
  • Is it worth it to spend money exploring space?
  • 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?
  • Should we ban the use of fossil fuels?

Should we ban the use of fossil fuels?

  • Should assisted suicide be legal?
  • Will expanded use of artificial intelligence be good for humanity?
  • Should all countries have to give up their nuclear weapons?
  • Is universal government-sponsored healthcare a good idea?
  • Should we ban testing on animals?
  • Should net neutrality be mandatory for internet service providers?
  • Is our society too reliant on technology?
  • Can we truly do anything about human-caused global warming?
  • Are electric vehicles better than gas-powered ones?
  • Does our society have a harmful “diet culture”?
  • Would taxing unhealthy foods help fight obesity?

Would taxing unhealthy foods help fight obesity?

  • Can alternative energies replace fossil fuels?
  • Is nurture more important than nature when raising a child?
  • Should we lower the voting age to 16?
  • Should we lower the drinking age to 18?
  • Is democracy the best form of government?
  • Should all Americans be required to vote?
  • Should we raise the driving age to 18?

Should we raise the driving age to 18?

  • Is a progressive income tax better than a flat tax?
  • Should parents be punished legally for their children’s crimes?
  • Should abortion be legal?
  • Would it be better to appoint Supreme Court judges for fixed terms?
  • Should people have to take a parenting class before having a child?
  • Should we legalize marijuana at the federal level?
  • Would it be better to legalize, tax, and regulate all drugs (including alcohol) instead of banning them?
  • Should the United States implement a universal basic income?
  • Should we redirect some or all police force funding to social services?
  • Do gun safety laws infringe on the Second Amendment?
  • Should we require people of all genders to register for the draft?
  • Should anyone over 12 be tried as an adult in court?

Should anyone over 12 be tried as an adult in court?

  • Is it right to require people to take drug tests before receiving government aid like welfare?
  • Should we do away with gender-specific public bathrooms?
  • Is the local minimum wage truly a living wage?
  • Why haven’t we had a female U.S. president yet?
  • Should men be allowed to make laws that affect women’s bodies?
  • Should the government provide funding for public art programs?
  • Are there any reasonable limits to freedom of speech?
  • Is security more important than freedom?

Is security more important than freedom?

  • Should we abolish the death penalty?
  • Is a strong middle class vital to the economy?
  • Should we make the path to American citizenship easier?

Should we make the path to American citizenship easier?

  • Is the American justice system inherently racist?
  • Will stricter gun control laws help stop mass shootings?
  • Is it logical to continue building a wall between the United States and Mexico?
  • How much of a problem is ageism in our society?
  • Should felons be allowed to vote after serving their time in prison?

Should felons be allowed to vote after serving their time in prison?

  • Does socioeconomic prejudice affect our society?
  • Should we automatically deport illegal immigrants, regardless of how long they’ve been in the country?
  • What is the role of media in fighting systemic racism?
  • Does segregation still exist in the United States?
  • Are white-collar jobs better than blue-collar jobs?
  • Does religion do more harm than good?
  • Will we ever achieve world peace?
  • Should parents use their kids’ cell phones to track where they are?
  • Should we let young children play contact sports like football?

Should we let young children play contact sports like football?

  • Are the prices of pharmaceutical drugs reasonable?
  • Who should cover the medical costs of people without insurance?
  • Is video gaming a sport?
  • Should parents be allowed to pierce a baby’s ears?
  • Should we ban all violent video games?
  • Are beauty pageants sexist?
  • Should kids get participation trophies for sports?

Should kids get participation trophies for sports?

  • Should there be a minimum age for owning a smartphone?
  • Is it possible to be an ethical hunter?
  • What is the best way to deal with homelessness?
  • Was Russia justified in attacking Ukraine?
  • Should both parents receive equal amounts of paid leave when they have or adopt a child?
  • Are stereotypes ever right?
  • Do people have a responsibility to step in when they see a crime in action?
  • Are “Stand Your Ground” laws effective?
  • Is there any benefit to teaching proper grammar and spelling, or should we allow language to be descriptive instead of prescriptive?
  • What gives people true power in the United States?

What gives people true power in the United States?

  • Is conflict necessary for change?
  • Is war ever justified?

What controversial debate topics do you use with your students? Come share in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, 35 strong persuasive writing examples (speeches, essays, ads, and more) ., you might also like.

controversial topics for persuasive essay

125 High School Debate Topics To Challenge Every Student

Learn how to argue with logic instead of emotion. Continue Reading

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. 5335 Gate Parkway, Jacksonville, FL 32256

  • Dissertation
  • PowerPoint Presentation
  • Book Report/Review
  • Research Proposal
  • Math Problems
  • Proofreading
  • Movie Review
  • Cover Letter Writing
  • Personal Statement
  • Nursing Paper
  • Argumentative Essay
  • Research Paper

55 Rare Topics For Persuasive Essays

Jessica Nita

Table of Contents

A persuasive essay is a type of writing where your primary purpose is to convince the reader that your opinion is correct.

It can be applied to a wide variety of disciplines; in fact, persuasive writing can be used in any writing format, be it a college persuasive essay, an article, a promotional copy or a personal letter.

Topics For Persuasive Essays

As you will see from our presentation, the choice of persuasive essay topics largely depends on the format of writing – as well as the writer’s maturity.

One thing remains unchanged, though, and it is the educational value of this type of essay.

It helps students build a set of strong skills, such as the capacity of forming and grounding one’s opinion, engage in debates and provide logical reasoning supporting their stance.

Persuasive essay topics: where to start?

When you are tasked with writing a persuasive essay, and if you have a free choice of the subject, we insist that you should pick a topic that you are well-versed in, and preferably passionate about.

In the very least, this should be something you can relate to. If you have a specific topic to write on, make sure you carry out elaborate research to make strong and informed points.

The structure of a persuasive essay could be roughly outlined as follows:

  • Think of a topic you can argue for or against.
  • Write up 5-6 arguments that will convince the reader that your opinion is right.
  • Read a professional persuasive essay and see how it is written to be inspired and mimic the layout!
  • The entire persuasive essay is going to be built around the thesis, therefore it is of paramount importance to write it in a concise and clear way.

controversial topics for persuasive essay

The secret behind the thesis

A persuasive essay should begin with a thesis, where the reader is immediately told what your article is about. In the thesis, you explain your position on the question you have chosen to rewrite.

It is the main purpose of your entire essay, and you will devote the whole text to convincing the reader that you are right.

To awaken the reader’s interest, you can write your thesis as an exclamation or question that you repeat or answer at the end of your article.

Supporting arguments for your thesis

Now you have explained your position, you should prove that you are right! You do this by listing your arguments, or reasons why you think you are doing.

Arguments can be divided into two main groups:

(1) Emotional arguments – based on your own feelings and thoughts. Feeling arguments are very personal and strong. The aim of the emotional argument is to awaken the reader’s feelings. In other words, the reader should preferably start crying out of your emotional argument…

(2) Factual arguments – based on pure facts. The factual arguments are objective, clear and at the same time very convincing to the reader, especially if you can refer to where you got your facts from. To convince the reader in the best way, your essay must include both emotional and factual arguments. The emotional argument causes your opinion to sound passionate, while the factual arguments give concrete reasons why you feel like you are doing to the reader.

To convince the reader in the best way, use both types of arguments!

An argument in response to counter-argument

A really good debater doesn’t just think of themselves, but also of his opponents! You do this by taking counter-arguments, or reasons why you should not think that you do yourself.

This makes your persuasive essay look very thought out, which also makes it more reliable. The purpose of including opponents’ opinions, for you as an author, is to clearly show that they are not correct.

In order to succeed in this, you must choose the opponent’s best argument and disassemble it and defeat it using your own arguments.

The golden rule states that factual arguments must be answered with factual arguments, and in the same way, an emotional argument must be answered with an emotional argument.

How to craft a persuasive essay conclusion?

In the end, the reader should get an overview. Summarize the most important and above all, repeat your strongest argument! The last part of your discussion article should contain a convincing answer to your thesis. Sometimes it can be effective to reason about the consequences if you do not do what you think.

The purpose of this is to give the argument a proper final clamp and convince the reader once and for all. The best effect is achieved by ending strongly and confidently; for that reason, you need to think about being brief.

Just as with the number of arguments you have in the article, the conclusion becomes more powerful if it is short and clear.

controversial topics for persuasive essay

Persuasive essay topics for kids

  • Books are better than TV.
  • Zoos are prisons for animals.
  • School attendance should be optional.
  • Home assignments should be banned.
  • Is there life on Mars?

Persuasive essay topics middle school

  • Education is impossible without teachers.
  • Should computers replace teachers?
  • Do we need a school uniform?
  • Is reading a new trend or a thing of the past?
  • Mobile phones should be used at school.

Persuasive essay topics for high school

  • Death penalty should be banned. Do you agree?
  • Why should your parents let you attend the concert of your favorite music band?
  • Why should teachers allow pupils to choose their seat place?
  • Video games help childhood development.
  • Convince your parents to buy you a mobile phone. Support your request with good arguments.

Persuasive essay topics 5th grade

  • E-books in a not too distant future can change our way to read. Do you agree?
  • Imagine having to convince your parents to buy you the scooter. Write your thesis in an argumentative text, remember to insert the possible objections of the teachers and come to a conclusion.
  • Electronic mail compared to the traditional one. Which one is better?
  • Parents should give children more freedom. True or false?
  • Curfews are a good practice for children to abide by.

Persuasive speech topics for college

  • Transgenic foods: are you for or against?
  • Are you in favor or against hunting? Express your opinion with appropriate arguments.
  • Human cloning: are you in favor or against it?
  • The Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun in his book “Racism explained to my daughter” says: “A child is not born a racist”. Do you agree with this statement?
  • History teaches us to predict the future.

Persuasive speech topics for college students

  • Alcoholism: a disease or a vice?
  • Citizenship income should be adopted by every state.
  • The G20 countries, to save the planet from global warming, must adopt more ambitious global CO2 emission reduction targets than those of the Paris Accords.
  • The abolition of homework, a measure recently introduced in France, should be adopted by every school system to combat early school drop-outs.
  • Caloric and fat-rich foods, commonly called junk food, should be taxed more than “healthy foods”.

Interesting persuasive essay topics

  • Love and age difference.
  • The friendship between man and woman: a myth or reality?
  • Is having friends such a necessity?
  • Is having a pet waste of resources?
  • Can love last forever?

Easy persuasive essay topics

  • A countryside or urban life?
  • Social networks have improved our lifestyle.
  • Working is needed for being happy.
  • All sorts of lotteries should be made illegal.
  • Is it possible to be a success by only playing it fair?

Funny persuasive essay topics

  • Should cats or dogs rule the world?
  • Your Zodiac sign determines your personality.
  • Santa’s policies are largely discriminating.
  • Socials favor stalking tendencies.
  • YouTube makes you a superstar overnight.

Controversial persuasive essay topics

  • Ethnic adoptions: pro or con?
  • Pharmaceutical industries are disrupting our lives.
  • Abortion should be legal around the world.
  • Animal testing should be made illegal.
  • Genetic cloning is not ethical.
  • Capital punishment pros and cons.
  • Euthanasia should be legalized.
  • Immigration laws should be made stricter.

Best persuasive essay topics

  • Kids should be brought up in a stricter manner.
  • Works of art should be returned to their respective countries of origin.
  • The young only think about money. Do you agree?
  • A real vacation is when one doesn’t do anything.
  • Friends count as much as a family.

Chose the best topic from the list but have a hard time moving away from blank paper? We can help you out! Few clicks and your perfect essay is on the way to you, while you sit back and relax.

1 Star

Tips on writing an Essay about mother

Why abortion should be legal – essay writing tips & tricks, how to format a college essay.

The 30 Most Controversial Topics for Your Position Paper

controversial topics for persuasive essay

What are the most controversial topics today? What are the most hotly debated controversial issues in politics, culture and public life? Which are the controversial topics that most sharply divide us. Which public debates actually define us? We answer these questions with our ranking of The 30 Most Controversial Topics Today. We also provide an objective overview of these controversial issues, which makes this a great source for finding controversial essay topics!

The Top 30 Controversial Topics

Affirmative action, artificial intelligence, black lives matter, censorship and freedom of speech, charter schools, civil rights, climate change, covid vaccine mandates, critical race theory, death penalty/capital punishment, electoral college, foreign aid, gun control, health insurance, labor unions, marijuana legalization, minimum wage, nuclear energy, outsourcing, police brutality, religious freedom, reparations, social security.

  • Trump and the Big Lie

Women’s Rights

If you visit each debate topic’s page, you will find a study guide that includes:

  • A breakdown of the leading positions in the controversial topic;
  • A brief history of the controversial topic in American life;
  • A list of the most influential people and most influential books in the recent history of the controversy;
  • A glimpse at the current status of the controversial topic; and
  • A vetted selection of key people on all sides of the debate topic today.

Any one of these controversial essay topics could be a strong starting point for your next research project or argumentative essay. You will learn how to study successfully for your research assignments. Read on for examples of controversial topics for your next position paper, persuasive essay, or even for a starting point on your graduate thesis...

Controversy is everywhere. It’s up to each of us to decide our level of involvement in the public debate. College offers an amazing opportunity to explore these controversial issues, and to determine where you fit into the conversation.

The university is a place where we are taught to question our own assumptions, challenged to defend our ideas, and trained to probe for a more complete understanding of the controversial issues defining our times. College is also an environment where free speech, open discourse, and informed debate are meant to flourish. Of course, as human beings, we are bound to disagree, and sometimes quite passionately.

That’s why controversial topics will play such an important role in your higher education. Indeed, controversy is everywhere. Whether you want to learn more about a few interesting controversial topics, you’ve been assigned a research paper on a controversial essay topic, or you plan to build a career based on the ideas you’re learning to defend today , you will encounter controversy in your education and in your life.

That’s why we’ve decided to take the most important controversial topics by the horns. Wherever you are in your educational journey , you should not only anticipate, but embrace, the opportunity to explore some of the most important controversial debate topics of our times. This includes prospective college essay topics like drug abuse, the opioid crisis, freedom of speech, freedom of religious belief, global warming, laws concerning illegal immigrants, brutality by police officers, and much more.

College students studying foreign affairs, criminal justice, economics, political science, sociology and countless other subjects are sure to find a controversial topic worthy of their next argumentative essay.

Our spotlight on each controversial topic includes an overview of the subject matter, key points of disagreement, and a look at the impact of major influencers. Use these controversial issues as a way to begin your argumentative essay, formulate your own position, and even connect personally with professors, activists, and thought leaders who hold influence over the subject matter.

What is a controversial topic?

A controversial topic is a prolonged public dispute or debate. Controversial topics are typically played out through public channels like news media, electoral politics, and social media. What perhaps most distinguishes a controversial topic from mere disagreement is the heated, sometimes emotional, and often diametrically opposed viewpoints that frame a given issue. People often bring religious beliefs, personal ethics, business interests and countless other deeply held feelings into controversial debate topics.

And of course, many controversial political topics also carry very really consequences, as shown by the very current public debates over abortion rights, the call for stricter gun control laws, global climate change and other high-stakes issues. That why many of these controversial issues engender strong enough disagreement to inspire organization, political action, protest, and policy development.

Now that you understand what controversial topics are, read on for a look at the 30 controversial debate topics most directly shaping public discourse, and indeed, shaping public life in American today.

The 30 Most Controversial Topics Over the Last 25 Years

The Civil Rights Movement refers to one of the most consequential struggles in American history, one that continues to present date. Civil Rights refer to the freedoms, liberties, and protections under the law that are meant to be accorded to all people. But civil rights advocates argue that racial inequality is ingrained in American life through realities like economic disenfranchisement, police brutality, and mass incarceration. The Civil Rights controversy pits groups, organizations, and communities who advocate for greater racial equality against those who work to maintain or advance a white racial hierarchy.

Learn more about the Civil Rights Controversy.

The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights protects the freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religious expression, and the right to a free press against government restriction. As a key component in the very first article of the Bill of Rights, free speech is among the most cherished and frequently-cited protections built into the U.S. Constitution. However, because the content of that speech and expression may itself provoke sharp disagreement, the true controversy in this issue extends from differing ideas about what constitutes “protected speech” as well as the methods that should or shouldn’t be used to limit free speech. This underscores the debate around Freedom of Speech and Censorship.

Learn more about the Censorship and Freedom of Speech Controversy.

The climate change debate concerns the impact of human activity on the earth’s temperature, as well as its impact on weather patterns, plant-life, wildlife, and human health. On one side of the debate, most in the scientific community believe that human activity is responsible for climate change. On the other side, some journalists, political leaders, and industry advocates argue either that global climate change is not actually occurring, or that climate change is the result of natural meteorological patterns unrelated to human activity. Some also argue that economic imperatives should be prioritized over environmental concerns.

Learn more about the Climate Change Controversy.

Stand on the front lines in the fight against climate change with a degree in environmental science .

Capital punishment refers to the use of the death penalty as a form of legal punishment administered by the state. Capital punishment in the U.S. has long been the subject of constitutional, philosophical and practical disagreement, and as such, has been subject to legal fluctuation. As of the time of writing, the United States is one of 56 nations worldwide, and one of just four developed democracies (alongside Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore) which uses death penalty. The U.S. is also the only developed Western nation to employ capital punishment.

Learn more about the Death Penalty and Capital Punishment Controversy.

Abortion refers to the act of terminating a pregnancy before it can be carried to term. The abortion controversy concerns the ongoing debate and battle over the legal status of abortion in the U.S., both at the state and national levels. Abortion is among the most divisive issues in American public discourse. Views on abortion often carry religious, political, and cultural overtones. The debate is largely framed by two competing views: The Pro-Choice view, that abortion is a woman’s constitutionally-protected right; and the Pro-Life view, that abortion is immoral, and that the government should have the right to restrict and/or punish abortion.

Learn more about the Abortion Controversy.

Social Security refers to the federal social insurance program in the United States, which provides financial and medical benefits to older Americans, as well as the disabled and some who have been widowed or orphaned by working age adults. All working Americans contribute to Social Security through a dedicated payroll tax. The Social Security controversy refers to a complex economic and philosophical debate over how Social Security should be funded, dispersed, and managed. Some advocate for its continuity as a federal program while others argue that social security should be privatized and removed from government control.

Learn more about the Social Security Controversy.

Artificial intelligence (AI), in the simplest terms, refers to computing which aims to mimic human cognitive functions like learning, problem solving, and adaptation to environmental conditions. With the evolution of computer science, computing machines have accelerated in their capacity to demonstrate “intelligence” in areas such as reasoning, planning, natural language processing, perception, and much more.

Learn more about the Artificial Intelligence Controversy.

Advance the technology behind AI, machine learning, automation and more with a degree in data science and analytics .

Health Insurance refers to financial coverage for healthcare expenses. Health coverage is among the most intensely debated subjects in American life, both because of the generally high cost of healthcare expenses, and because access to coverage varies significantly based on employment and socioeconomic status. Some Americans believe the government should take greater responsibility for the millions who are uninsured or underinsured, with many arguing that the United States should provide universal medical and mental health coverage for all Americans. By contrast, others believe that paying for health coverage should be the individual responsibility of every American, and argue that universal healthcare coverage is a socialist policy.

Learn more about the Health Insurance Controversy.

Women’s Rights refers to the ongoing movement in the U.S. to improve gender equity through legislation, activism, public service, political participation, and more. The United States was founded as a patriarchy, restricting women from owning property, voting, or enjoying the rights of citizenship. The women’s rights movement uses activism, policy advocacy, and non-profit organization to improve gender equality and close the gender pay gap, whereas the opponents of this movement may argue that gender equality already exists, or that women are biologically unequal to men and therefore deserving of secondary status.

Learn more about the Women’s Rights Controversy.

Advance the public discussion on women’s rights and equality with a degree in gender studies .

On its surface, the controversy over religious freedom in the U.S. concerns the right of individuals to practice their religion freely and without infringement by individuals, groups, or the government. But since the dawn of American history, the debate over religious liberty has been clouded by conflicts between different groups and belief systems, especially when the belief system of one group risks discrimination against another group. While the right to practice one’s religion is a core Constitutional protection, debate persists over the meaning of religious freedom and whether this freedom can be used to exempt groups from certain laws, including anti-discrimination laws.

Learn more about the Religious Freedom Controversy.

Minimum wage refers to the lowest hourly wage that an employer may legally pay an employee under state and federal law. The controversy over the minimum wage concerns the belief that a living wage should be a fundamental right for all American workers and is opposed by the belief that regulatory control over wage thresholds risk imposing undue economic burdens on employers with potentially deleterious effects on the economy as a whole.

Learn more about the Minimum Wage Controversy.

Atheism is defined as the absence of a belief in deities, or the rejection of a belief in deities, or the belief that no deities exist. These nuances underscore the complexity of individual views on religion and theology, and by extension, the complexity of this debate. The controversy over atheism concerns disagreement between those who believe in the existence of deities and those who do not believe in the existence of deities, and more specifically, how these divergent beliefs should be treated in public spaces. As a result, this controversy touches closely on issues of religious freedom, the separation of church and state, and freedom of expression.

Learn more about the Atheism Controversy.

Reparations for slavery refers to the idea of compensating the victims of African slavery and their descendants for the abuses suffered under U.S. law. The idea of reparations for the victims of African slavery in America emerged as early as the colonial era, but took on particular relevance after the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation. While some individual former slaves and their descendants have received reparations of some type, the vast majority have not, owing to the absence of any lasting or comprehensive federal policy. This absence keeps the reparations controversy relevant, as advocates, activists, and public leaders continue to call for the adoption of some form of reparations, both in compensation for slavery, and for the injustices visited upon succeeding generations of Black Americans.

Learn more about the Reparations Controversy.

Hacking refers to the use of computing skills to penetrate, disrupt, or interfere with a computer system by non-standard avenues. Hacking is a controversial issue because this skill can be used for many different purposes both lawful and unlawful; ethical and unethical. Some hackers use their skills for criminal activities while others may use their skills to create cybersecurity defenses against malicious actors. Activists may use hacking to undermine dictatorship just as dictators might use hacking to suppress individual liberties.

Learn more about the Hacking Controversy.

Help in the fight against criminal hacking with a degree in cybersecurity .

A labor union refers to an organized alliance of workers, often joined by a shared industry or trade, but also frequently joined across different labor industries. Labor unions use a tactic referred to as collective bargaining to improve worker conditions, advance wages, and secure benefits, as well as supporting members in disputes with management, and engaging in political action and lobbying. The controversy over labor unions concerns the historical and ongoing conflict of ideals, methods and goals between labor leaders, organizers and union members on one side, and business management, ownership, and industry lobby groups on the other side.

Learn more about the Labor Unions Controversy.

Extremism refers to beliefs and actions that are of an extreme or fanatical nature. Extremism is often connected to political, religious or racialist ideologies that fall far outside of the mainstream. Extremism is often associated with fringe groups such as white supremacists, jihadist terrorists, or religious fundamentalists, and is distinguished from traditional activism for its radical and sometimes violent methods. The controversy over extremism centers on the disagreement between those who subscribe to extremist views and extremist actions, and those who reject the views or methods of extremism, as well as those who work actively to prevent extremism.

Learn more about the Extremism Controversy.

Gain a better understanding of the reasons people resort to extremism with a degree in psychology .

The United States Electoral College is a group of 538 delegates-representing the 50 United States and the District of Columbia-who meet every four years to elect the President and Vice President of the United States. Though the Electoral College is written into the U.S. Constitution, it is also a source of ongoing controversy. This is because the outcome of the electoral vote is the sole determinant of the presidency. Critics argue that this model renders the national popular vote meaningless, undermines the principle of “one-person, one vote,” and results in widespread voter disenfranchisement. Debate over the Electoral College has been magnified by recent elections in which the winner of the national popular vote did not win the electoral vote and thus, did not win the presidency.

Learn more about the Electoral College Controversy.

The term vaccine refers to a form of medical treatment which may be used to preemptively inoculate individuals and populations against infectious diseases. The controversy over vaccines stems from a social phenomenon called vaccine hesitancy, as well as an organized anti-vaccination, or anti-vax, movement. Those who support the use of vaccines point to extensive scientific evidence that vaccines are both safe and effective, whereas those who oppose vaccines believe that vaccines are either unnecessary or unsafe.

Learn more about the Vaccines Controversy.

Outsourcing refers to the business practice of hiring outside consultants, freelance workers, or third-party agencies to complete work that might otherwise be handled in-house. The practice of outsourcing is also highly connected to the rise of globalization, free-trade, and the practice of “offshoring,” in which American companies will open facilities and employ laborers in other countries where wage standards, environmental restrictions, and costs of operation are lower. The outsourcing controversy centers on the conflicting interests of corporate profitability and free market capitalism on one side, and, on the other side, concerns over heightened American unemployment and the exploitation of low-wage workers in the developing sphere.

Learn more about the Outsourcing Controversy.

Gun Control refers to legislation aimed at curbing gun violence in America. The gun control controversy centers on disagreement between sectors of the American public, as well as their political representatives, over the legal implications of the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which grants Americans the right to bear arms. Some argue that the ongoing public health crisis of gun violence necessitates more restrictions around gun manufacturing, sales and ownership while others argue that such regulation is unconstitutional, disagree that stricter gun control laws would lower the occurrence of gun violence, and often point to underlying issues such as mental illness and the need for better training of police officers.

Learn more about the Gun Control Controversy.

United States foreign aid, also referred to as foreign assistance or international aid, is “aid given by the United States to other countries to support global peace, security, and development efforts, and provide humanitarian relief during times of crisis,” according to ForeignAssistance.gov. The controversy over foreign aid divides those who believe there are strategic, economic, and moral imperatives justifying this use of American resources for foreign aid versus those who believe this is a misappropriation of funding that should instead be spent on domestic priorities.

Learn more about the Foreign Aid Controversy.

Nuclear energy refers to the use of nuclear reactions such as nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, and nuclear decay in order to produce power. The controversy over nuclear energy concerns both its perceived impact on the environment and its capacity for weaponization. This history of nuclear energy centers on the expansion of war-making capabilities and, specifically, the creation of weapons capable of mass casualty and mass destruction. But over time, nuclear energy has also become at once an ingrained part of the power grid in the United States and the world. Today, the global debate over nuclear energy concerns its safety, environmental impact, capacity for civil energy production, and its global proliferation as a source of potentially catastrophic weaponry.

Learn more about the Nuclear Energy Controversy.

Police brutality refers to the use of excessive or unnecessary force by law enforcement officers, but may also refer to excessive force used by corrections officers and prison officials. The controversy over police brutality centers on disagreement over the extent of force that law enforcement should be entitled to use while engaging suspects, perpetrators, prisoners, and other members of the general public. Those who believe that police brutality is a problem would argue that the current system of law enforcement gives officers too much discretion and impunity in using violent methods of engagement while those who don’t believe police brutality is a problem would argue that the dangerous nature of law enforcement requires that officers have far-reaching discretion in carrying out their duty, including the use of potentially violent confrontational tactics.

Learn more about the Police Brutality Controversy.

Help bring an end to police brutality with a degree in criminal justice .

Affirmative action refers to an array of policies and practices aimed at redressing historical and ingrained inequalities, especially those experienced by people of color and women as a consequence of systemic discrimination. Affirmative action usually takes the form of education and employment initiatives aimed at creating access and opportunities for individuals from groups that have faced such discrimination. The controversy over affirmative action divides those who believe this is an effective way to push back against the sociological impact of systemic discrimination versus those who believe affirmative action is either ineffective or is, itself, a discriminatory policy.

Learn more about the Affirmative Action Controversy.

A charter school is an educational institution that provides free and uniquely structured educational opportunities to students and families seeking an alternative to traditional public school. Charter schools are a product of the demand for greater school choice, especially in cities where public schools often struggle to provide a high quality educational experience. The controversy over charter schools concerns the belief that charter schools are a valuable alternative to traditional public schooling, especially for disadvantaged or at-risk student populations versus the belief that charter schools divert funding and resources from traditional public schools.

Learn more about the Charter Schools Controversy.

Trump and the “Big Lie”

The controversy over Trump and the “Big Lie” centers on the results of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election and Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn these results. In the months leading up to the November election, sitting President Donald Trump and his supporters and allies made widespread preemptive allegations that the outcome of the election would be rigged, and that a massive conspiracy was already underway involving crooked Democratic operatives, corrupt state voting commissions, preprogrammed voting machines, foreign Communist interference, and more.

Learn more about the Trump and the “Big Lie”.

Black Lives Matter is a modern protest movement centered around civil rights causes impacting Black Americans, especially as they relate to police brutality, vigilante violence, and institutional inequality in the American legal system. Black Lives Matter is at once a multi-chapter organization with concentrated leadership and a decentralized global movement engaged in widespread activism.

Learn more about the Black Lives Matter Movement .

A new surge in cases is gripping the United States. Schools all over the country are adopting vaccine mandates. Vaccine skeptics argue these mandates are a violation of individual liberties. A prominent anti-vaccination activist writes “Vaccination is the putting of an impure thing into the blood – a virus or poison – often resulting in serious evil effects. In vogue for more than one hundred years, it has been received by most persons without question. Yet the time is passing when people will accept a medical dogma on blind faith; they now demand to know something about the practices to which they are called on to submit.”

Learn more about the COVID Vaccine Mandates Controversy .

The controversy over Critical Race Theory (CRT) centers on whether or not this subject should be taught in schools. And to an extent, the Critical Race Theory controversy also extends from differing views on exactly what defines Critical Race Theory. To supporters, Critical Race Theory refers to a university-level subject that addresses the intersection between race, law, and systemic inequality. To opponents, Critical Race Theory refers to any effort to inject discourse over race, gender, diversity, or discrimination into public school curricuclum at any level of education. The result of these differing views–both on what defines CRT, and whether it should be taught in schools–is a heated public debate being placed out in city council chambers, school board meetings, and the halls of Congress.

Learn more about the Critical Race Theory Controversy:

  • Controversial Topic: Critical Race Theory
  • Critical Race Theorists

The cannabis industry is in a state of steady growth. For students already with a background in subjects like business, law, chemistry, and plant biology, this growth represents great professional opportunity. And for students interested in taking a more direct route, a number of fully accredited colleges and universities now offer courses, certifications, minors, and even four-year bachelor’s degrees in cannabis studies. We’ve highlighted the top schools for studying marijuana—and as a bonus, we’ve included a ranking of the Top Cannabis Influencers and the Most Influential Books About Cannabis from the last half-century.

Learn more about the Marijuana Legalization Controversy .

How Did We Choose these Controversies?

We wanted to know exactly which controversial topics were actually the “most controversial.”

Our machine-learning algorithm measures influence based on Wikipedia pageviews and links. This provides a point-based way of scoring the permeation, visibility, frequency, and quality of mentions. At AcademicInfluence, Influence Rankings are used to identify and rank academics and thought leaders for their relative influence.

Using our behind-the-scenes Ranking Analytics tool, we applied the same standard to measuring the breadth of a given controversy. Those topics which scored the most “influence points,” based on page views and links, could therefore be identified as the “most” controversial for the sheer breadth of coverage they have received in the public forum.

It should be noted that the breadth of topical coverage is not necessarily reflective of the intensity or emotional disagreement surrounding a given controversy so much as the degree to which it has been publicly discussed, debated, written on, and read about. In essence, “most controversial” is a measure of how widely a topic is covered and how widely people actually read the Wikipedia articles covering it.

What’s Missing and Why?

There is no limit to the number of topics that could be used to spark a spirited debate. Certainly, countless worthy topics have fallen just short of our decidedly exclusive list of 30. A topic which is close to your heart may not be here. Be assured, this is not because we overlooked these important topics, but because our Ranking Analytics revealed fewer page-views and links in connection with these topics than with those which did make our list.

Time frame also played a big role in our findings. Our search parameters were bound between the years 2000 and 2020. A different time frame would likely have revealed a different landscape of controversies.

Evolutionary theory, for instance, ranked #36 on our list, and therefore fell short of the Top 30. However, it is entirely likely that this topic would have ranked far higher on the same list had it been compiled to coincide with the Scopes Monkey Trial in the 1920s.

Limitations

Among the limitations to our method, our algorithm doesn’t provide a comprehensive measure of how related terms might rank for page views and links. However, it is our goal over time to refine our machine-learning engine to identify and account for more sweeping views of a given topic.

We should also note that discussions are largely focused on controversial debte topics in American public life. Far too many cultural, social, geographic, and political realities shape the different ways in which various national publics perceive and approach controversial topics. Such subject matter demands focus and context. Therefore, while some of the influencers and historical notes included may touch on controversy in countries other than the U.S., this is, by design, an ethnocentric list of controversial topics revolving around American controversies.

Digging Into Controversy: How We Do It

Now that you know how we’ve identified the most controversial topics, be aware that we have no intention of taking sides. Our goal is to identify these topics, and point colleges students and other readers in the direction of those who have helped to define the issue. Historical influencers and books have, like our list of controversial topics, been drawn directly from our Ranking Analytics. More current influencers have been drawn from a vetted selection of findings using our Academic Influence engine.

You will agree with some of the figures on each list. You will disagree with some of them. You may even be offended by the inclusion of some influencer in our discussion . But inclusion is not endorsement. It is merely acknowledgment of influence, for better or worse.

Our goal is to reach beyond the traditional point-counterpoint approach to controversial essay topics. Subjects usually generate controversy because they are complex, and because a wide spectrum of parties may be impacted in very different ways by these issues. This is why we do our best to provide a panoramic view of each controversy (as opposed to an approach which merely pits one side in competition with the other). The result, we hope, is the kind of nuanced discussion required to take on subjects of such complexity.

Therefore, we’ll lay out the subject matter, point you to the experts and thought leaders, and let you do the intellectual footwork. Like we said, learning is all about inquiry. Question everything, and don’t be afraid to lean into a little controversy.

Find additional study resources with a look at our study guides for students at every stage of the educational journey.

Or get valuable study tips, advice on adjusting to campus life, and much more at our student resource homepage .

What are your chances of acceptance?

Calculate for all schools, your chance of acceptance.

Duke University

Your chancing factors

Extracurriculars.

controversial topics for persuasive essay

112 Persuasive Speech Topics That Are Actually Engaging

What’s covered:, how to pick an awesome persuasive speech topic, 112 engaging persuasive speech topics, tips for preparing your persuasive speech.

Writing a stellar persuasive speech requires a carefully crafted argument that will resonate with your audience to sway them to your side. This feat can be challenging to accomplish, but an engaging, thought-provoking speech topic is an excellent place to start.

When it comes time to select a topic for your persuasive speech, you may feel overwhelmed by all the options to choose from—or your brain may be drawing a completely blank slate. If you’re having trouble thinking of the perfect topic, don’t worry. We’re here to help!

In this post, we’re sharing how to choose the perfect persuasive speech topic and tips to prepare for your speech. Plus, you’ll find 112 persuasive speech topics that you can take directly from us or use as creative inspiration for your own ideas!

Choose Something You’re Passionate About

It’s much easier to write, research, and deliver a speech about a cause you care about. Even if it’s challenging to find a topic that completely sparks your interest, try to choose a topic that aligns with your passions.

However, keep in mind that not everyone has the same interests as you. Try to choose a general topic to grab the attention of the majority of your audience, but one that’s specific enough to keep them engaged.

For example, suppose you’re giving a persuasive speech about book censorship. In that case, it’s probably too niche to talk about why “To Kill a Mockingbird” shouldn’t be censored (even if it’s your favorite book), and it’s too broad to talk about media censorship in general.

Steer Clear of Cliches

Have you already heard a persuasive speech topic presented dozens of times? If so, it’s probably not an excellent choice for your speech—even if it’s an issue you’re incredibly passionate about.

Although polarizing topics like abortion and climate control are important to discuss, they aren’t great persuasive speech topics. Most people have already formed an opinion on these topics, which will either cause them to tune out or have a negative impression of your speech.

Instead, choose topics that are fresh, unique, and new. If your audience has never heard your idea presented before, they will be more open to your argument and engaged in your speech.

Have a Clear Side of Opposition

For a persuasive speech to be engaging, there must be a clear side of opposition. To help determine the arguability of your topic, ask yourself: “If I presented my viewpoint on this topic to a group of peers, would someone disagree with me?” If the answer is yes, then you’ve chosen a great topic!

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork for what it takes to choose a great persuasive speech topic, here are over one hundred options for you to choose from.

  • Should high school athletes get tested for steroids?
  • Should schools be required to have physical education courses?
  • Should sports grades in school depend on things like athletic ability?
  • What sport should be added to or removed from the Olympics?
  • Should college athletes be able to make money off of their merchandise?
  • Should sports teams be able to recruit young athletes without a college degree?
  • Should we consider video gamers as professional athletes?
  • Is cheerleading considered a sport?
  • Should parents allow their kids to play contact sports?
  • Should professional female athletes be paid the same as professional male athletes?
  • Should college be free at the undergraduate level?
  • Is the traditional college experience obsolete?
  • Should you choose a major based on your interests or your potential salary?
  • Should high school students have to meet a required number of service hours before graduating?
  • Should teachers earn more or less based on how their students perform on standardized tests?
  • Are private high schools more effective than public high schools?
  • Should there be a minimum number of attendance days required to graduate?
  • Are GPAs harmful or helpful?
  • Should schools be required to teach about standardized testing?
  • Should Greek Life be banned in the United States?
  • Should schools offer science classes explicitly about mental health?
  • Should students be able to bring their cell phones to school?
  • Should all public restrooms be all-gender?
  • Should undocumented immigrants have the same employment and education opportunities as citizens?
  • Should everyone be paid a living wage regardless of their employment status?
  • Should supremacist groups be able to hold public events?
  • Should guns be allowed in public places?
  • Should the national drinking age be lowered?
  • Should prisoners be allowed to vote?
  • Should the government raise or lower the retirement age?
  • Should the government be able to control the population?
  • Is the death penalty ethical?

Environment

  • Should stores charge customers for plastic bags?
  • Should breeding animals (dogs, cats, etc.) be illegal?
  • Is it okay to have exotic animals as pets?
  • Should people be fined for not recycling?
  • Should compost bins become mandatory for restaurants?
  • Should electric vehicles have their own transportation infrastructure?
  • Would heavier fining policies reduce corporations’ emissions?
  • Should hunting be encouraged or illegal?
  • Should reusable diapers replace disposable diapers?

Science & Technology

  • Is paper media more reliable than digital news sources?
  • Should automated/self-driving cars be legalized?
  • Should schools be required to provide laptops to all students?
  • Should software companies be able to have pre-downloaded programs and applications on devices?
  • Should drones be allowed in military warfare?
  • Should scientists invest more or less money into cancer research?
  • Should cloning be illegal?
  • Should societies colonize other planets?
  • Should there be legal oversight over the development of technology?

Social Media

  • Should there be an age limit on social media?
  • Should cyberbullying have the same repercussions as in-person bullying?
  • Are online relationships as valuable as in-person relationships?
  • Does “cancel culture” have a positive or negative impact on societies?
  • Are social media platforms reliable information or news sources?
  • Should social media be censored?
  • Does social media create an unrealistic standard of beauty?
  • Is regular social media usage damaging to real-life interactions?
  • Is social media distorting democracy?
  • How many branches of government should there be?
  • Who is the best/worst president of all time?
  • How long should judges serve in the U.S. Supreme Court?
  • Should a more significant portion of the U.S. budget be contributed towards education?
  • Should the government invest in rapid transcontinental transportation infrastructure?
  • Should airport screening be more or less stringent?
  • Should the electoral college be dismantled?
  • Should the U.S. have open borders?
  • Should the government spend more or less money on space exploration?
  • Should students sing Christmas carols, say the pledge of allegiance, or perform other tangentially religious activities?
  • Should nuns and priests become genderless roles?
  • Should schools and other public buildings have prayer rooms?
  • Should animal sacrifice be legal if it occurs in a religious context?
  • Should countries be allowed to impose a national religion on their citizens?
  • Should the church be separated from the state?
  • Does freedom of religion positively or negatively affect societies?

Parenting & Family

  • Is it better to have children at a younger or older age?
  • Is it better for children to go to daycare or stay home with their parents?
  • Does birth order affect personality?
  • Should parents or the school system teach their kids about sex?
  • Are family traditions important?
  • Should parents smoke or drink around young children?
  • Should “spanking” children be illegal?
  • Should parents use swear words in front of their children?
  • Should parents allow their children to play violent video games?

Entertainment

  • Should all actors be paid the same regardless of gender or ethnicity?
  • Should all award shows be based on popular vote?
  • Who should be responsible for paying taxes on prize money, the game show staff or the contestants?
  • Should movies and television shows have ethnicity and gender quotas?
  • Should newspapers and magazines move to a completely online format?
  • Should streaming services like Netflix and Hulu be free for students?
  • Is the movie rating system still effective?
  • Should celebrities have more privacy rights?

Arts & Humanities

  • Are libraries becoming obsolete?
  • Should all schools have mandatory art or music courses in their curriculum?
  • Should offensive language be censored from classic literary works?
  • Is it ethical for museums to keep indigenous artifacts?
  • Should digital designs be considered an art form? 
  • Should abstract art be considered an art form?
  • Is music therapy effective?
  • Should tattoos be regarded as “professional dress” for work?
  • Should schools place greater emphasis on the arts programs?
  • Should euthanasia be allowed in hospitals and other clinical settings?
  • Should the government support and implement universal healthcare?
  • Would obesity rates lower if the government intervened to make healthy foods more affordable?
  • Should teenagers be given access to birth control pills without parental consent?
  • Should food allergies be considered a disease?
  • Should health insurance cover homeopathic medicine?
  • Is using painkillers healthy?
  • Should genetically modified foods be banned?
  • Should there be a tax on unhealthy foods?
  • Should tobacco products be banned from the country?
  • Should the birth control pill be free for everyone?

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 persuasive speech ideas, and she can also help with the rest of your homework, from math to languages.

Do Your Research

A great persuasive speech is supported with plenty of well-researched facts and evidence. So before you begin the writing process, research both sides of the topic you’re presenting in-depth to gain a well-rounded perspective of the topic.

Understand Your Audience

It’s critical to understand your audience to deliver a great persuasive speech. After all, you are trying to convince them that your viewpoint is correct. Before writing your speech, consider the facts and information that your audience may already know, and think about the beliefs and concerns they may have about your topic. Then, address these concerns in your speech, and be mindful to include fresh, new information.

Have Someone Read Your Speech

Once you have finished writing your speech, have someone read it to check for areas of strength and improvement. You can use CollegeVine’s free essay review tool to get feedback on your speech from a peer!

Practice Makes Perfect

After completing your final draft, the key to success is to practice. Present your speech out loud in front of a mirror, your family, friends, and basically, anyone who will listen. Not only will the feedback of others help you to make your speech better, but you’ll become more confident in your presentation skills and may even be able to commit your speech to memory.

Hopefully, these ideas have inspired you to write a powerful, unique persuasive speech. With the perfect topic, plenty of practice, and a boost of self-confidence, we know you’ll impress your audience with a remarkable speech!

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

controversial topics for persuasive essay

Study Paragraphs

100+ Controversial Persuasive Essay Topics to Challenge Your Thinking

Looking for a persuasive essay topic that will spark debate and inspire critical thinking? Check out our list of 100+ controversial persuasive essay topics for thought-provoking ideas.

Persuasive essays are an important tool for students to develop critical thinking and communication skills. When writing a persuasive essay, it is essential to choose a topic that is not only relevant but also controversial. Controversial topics often lead to lively debates and discussions, which can challenge our assumptions and help us see issues from different perspectives.

In this article, we have compiled a list of 100+ controversial persuasive essay topics to help students find the perfect topic for their next assignment. From hot-button political issues to ethical dilemmas, these topics are sure to spark debate and inspire critical thinking.

Controversial essay topics for college students

So, whether you’re a high school student or a college student, read on for our list of,

Table of Contents

100+ Controversial Persuasive Essay Topics.

  • Should euthanasia be legalized?
  • Should the death penalty be abolished?
  • Should marijuana be legalized for medicinal purposes?
  • Should prostitution be legalized?
  • Should animal testing be banned?
  • Should the drinking age be lowered?
  • Should the United States switch to a single-payer healthcare system?
  • Should college athletes be paid?
  • Should affirmative action be abolished?
  • Should standardized testing be eliminated?
  • Should the United States adopt a flat tax system?
  • Should the Electoral College be abolished?
  • Should the United States have universal background checks for gun ownership?
  • Should genetically modified foods be labeled?
  • Should parents be allowed to choose their child’s gender?
  • Should school prayer be allowed?
  • Should the United States have a national minimum wage?
  • Should the government regulate social media?
  • Should the United States have free college tuition?
  • Should the United States have stricter immigration policies?
  • Should the United States have mandatory military service?
  • Should the government regulate the size of sugary drinks?
  • Should private prisons be abolished?
  • Should the United States have a carbon tax?
  • Should the United States have a universal basic income?
  • Should the government provide free internet access?
  • Should the United States have term limits for Congress?
  • Should the government regulate the sale of violent video games ?
  • Should the United States withdraw from the United Nations?
  • Should the government regulate the sale of energy drinks?
  • Should the United States increase its military spending?
  • Should schools ban junk food ?
  • Should the government regulate the sale of tobacco products?
  • Should the United States adopt a gun buyback program?
  • Should parents be required to vaccinate their children?
  • Should the United States adopt a national healthcare system?
  • Should schools require students to wear uniforms?
  • Should the United States have a space program?
  • Should the government regulate the sale of sugary snacks?
  • Should the United States have a mandatory voting law?
  • Should the government regulate the sale of alcohol?
  • Should the United States have a mandatory retirement age?
  • Should schools have metal detectors?
  • Should the government regulate the sale of firearms?
  • Should the United States have a national ID card system?
  • Should schools have armed security guards?
  • Should the government regulate the sale of prescription drugs?
  • Should the United States adopt a merit-based immigration system?
  • Should schools have mandatory drug testing for students?
  • Should the government regulate the sale of e-cigarettes?
  • Should the United States adopt a national bike-sharing program?
  • Should schools have mandatory sex education classes?
  • Should governments ban single-use plastics?
  • Is veganism the only ethical way to eat?
  • Should animal testing be allowed for medical purposes?
  • Is it ethical to genetically modify crops?
  • Should there be stricter gun control laws?
  • Is capital punishment effective in deterring crime?
  • Should prisoners have the right to vote?
  • Is censorship in art and media necessary?
  • Should children be allowed to undergo gender reassignment therapy?
  • Should the government provide free healthcare for all?
  • Is there a place for affirmative action in hiring and education?
  • Should schools teach creationism alongside evolution?
  • Should parents be allowed to homeschool their children without regulation?
  • Is cultural appropriation ever acceptable?
  • Should hate speech be protected under free speech laws?
  • Is prostitution a victimless crime?
  • Should the drinking age be lowered or raised?
  • Should college athletes be paid for their performance?
  • Is online privacy a basic human right?
  • Should the death penalty be abolished worldwide?
  • Is the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports ethical?
  • Should the government regulate the use of social media?
  • Is surveillance necessary for national security?
  • Should there be limits on the number of children a couple can have?
  • Should nuclear weapons be banned worldwide?
  • Should the government regulate the sale and consumption of sugary drinks?
  • Should assisted suicide be legal?
  • Should parents have the right to choose the gender of their baby through genetic engineering?
  • Should zoos be banned for animal rights concerns?
  • Should recreational marijuana use be legalized?
  • Should the government fund space exploration?
  • Should the voting age be lowered to 16?
  • Should individuals be allowed to own exotic pets?
  • Should hate groups be allowed to gather and protest?
  • Should there be a limit on CEO pay?
  • Should polygamy be legalized?
  • Should the use of plastic surgery for cosmetic purposes be banned?
  • Should the government regulate the fast food industry?
  • Should assisted reproductive technologies be available to all?
  • Should there be a limit on the number of hours worked per week?
  • Should there be a global ban on animal testing for cosmetic products?
  • Should vaccinations be mandatory?
  • Should the sale of alcohol be banned?
  • Should S education be mandatory in schools?
  • Should the government fund renewable energy sources?
  • Should the use of drones be regulated by the government?
  • Should the government regulate the use of artificial intelligence?
  • Should beauty pageants be banned?
  • Should free speech be restricted on college campuses?
  • Should public schools have a dress code?
  • Should the government regulate the use of social media algorithms?
  • Should there be a limit on how much money individuals can donate to political campaigns?
  • Should the drinking age be lowered to 18?
  • Should Confederate monuments be removed?
  • Should the government provide free college education for all?
  • Should the United States switch to a four-day workweek?
  • Should professional athletes be required to stand for the national anthem?
  • Should animal agriculture be banned for environmental concerns?
  • Should there be a tax on sugary drinks?
  • Should the government regulate the use of drones for commercial purposes?
  • Should the use of fur in fashion be banned?
  • Should there be a ban on single-use plastics?
  • Should the United States switch to a system of ranked-choice voting?
  • Should the government provide universal basic income?
  • Should the use of public transportation be free?

In conclusion, persuasive essays are an effective way to communicate ideas and influence others’ opinions. Writing a persuasive essay requires choosing the right topic that interests you, and you feel passionate about. Hopefully, this list of 100+ controversial persuasive essay topics has inspired you to select a topic that is thought-provoking, interesting, and engaging. Remember, when writing a persuasive essay, it’s essential to do thorough research, present both sides of the argument, and provide evidence to support your position. With these tips in mind, you’re ready to start writing your persuasive essay on a controversial topic!

Paragraph Writing

Hello! Welcome to my Blog StudyParagraphs.co. My name is Angelina. I am a college professor. I love reading writing for kids students. This blog is full with valuable knowledge for all class students. Thank you for reading my articles.

Related Posts:

Persuasive Essay Topics for Middle School students

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

IMAGES

  1. 100 Persuasive Essay Topics

    controversial topics for persuasive essay

  2. Step by Step Guide: Writing An Essay On A Controversial issue

    controversial topics for persuasive essay

  3. 50 Free Persuasive Essay Examples (+BEST Topics) ᐅ TemplateLab

    controversial topics for persuasive essay

  4. ⛔ Controversial persuasive speech topics. Persuasive Speech Topics that

    controversial topics for persuasive essay

  5. 250+ Persuasive Essay Topics

    controversial topics for persuasive essay

  6. 10 Daring Persuasive Argumentative Essay Topics

    controversial topics for persuasive essay

VIDEO

  1. persuasive essay

COMMENTS

  1. 100 Controversial Essay Topics for any Assignment

    100 Engaging Controversial Essay Topics When students are asked to write an argumentative paper, they start with looking for controversial argumentative essay topics. It's a good decision: if you succeed in finding something great to write about, you stand more chances at getting a satisfying grade.

  2. 15 Persuasive Essay Topics About Controversial Issues

    Controversial issues can be a great way to get your students engaged, and they also make perfect persuasive essay topics. Whether your goal is to explore the controversial issue itself or to teach the mechanics of persuasive writing, controversial issues and persuasive essays go hand in hand.

  3. 205 Controversial Topics for Essays, Speeches, and Debates

    Pros Cons Interesting Controversial Topics by Field Political Debate Topics Controversial Criminal Justice Topics Controversial Religious Topics Controversial Topics for Teens Controversial Science Topics Controversial Sports Topics Controversial Food Topics Controversial Nutrition Topics Controversial Animal Topics

  4. 130 New Prompts for Argumentative Writing

    1. Do Memes Make the Internet a Better Place? 2. Does Online Public Shaming Prevent Us From Being Able to Grow and Change? 3. How Young Is Too Young to Use Social Media? 4. Should the Adults in...

  5. 100+ Topics for Argumentative Essays and Debates

    Debate Topics Need to write an argumentative essay? Preparing for an upcoming debate? ProCon.org has over 100 topics complete with pro and con arguments, quotes and statistics from experts, historical information, and other pertinent research. A Abortion - Should abortion be legal?

  6. 100 Persuasive Essay Topics

    100 Persuasive Essay Topics Menu Home Science, Tech, Math Science Math Social Sciences Computer Science Animals & Nature Humanities History & Culture Visual Arts Literature English Geography Philosophy Issues Languages English as a Second Language Spanish French German Italian Japanese Mandarin Russian Resources For Students & Parents For Educators

  7. 113 Perfect Persuasive Essay Topics for Any Assignment

    General Education 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.

  8. 16 Controversial Persuasive Essay Topics and Writing Prompts

    One of the best ways to make your persuasive essay engaging is to pick a controversial topic. But, of course, that's just the start of the writing process. Students often get stuck at the very beginning as the page in front of them seems blank.

  9. The Best Controversial Topics for Debates and Essays

    Pro #1: It's Usually Easy to Find Sources Everyone wants to have their say on controversial topics, which is great when you need sources to include in your paper! A quick library or Google search will turn up tons of information. It can make that part of writing (or preparing for a debate) much easier. Con #1: It Can Be Hard to Find Good Sources

  10. 120 Persuasive Essay Topics

    A controversial one? There are a lot of decisions to make! To help you out, this list contains 120 of the best persuasive essay topics out there, ranging from easy topics that are suitable for kids to hard topics that are best tackled by college students. You're bound to find a topic that interests you somewhere on this list.

  11. 50 Persuasive Essay Topics to Help You Ace Your Next Assignment

    In this post, we'll provide a list of 50 persuasive essay topics to help you get started on your next assignment. We'll also include some tips for writing a persuasive essay to help you craft a strong and effective argument. Whether you're a student or a professional writer, these persuasive essay topics are sure to inspire and challenge you.

  12. 120+ Good Persuasive Essay Topics From Easy to Unique

    Updated July 19, 2022 Image Credits Writing a persuasive essay helps refine critical thinking skills. As a writer addresses counterarguments and finds evidence to support their position, they develop a strong argument style. Find the perfect persuasive essay prompt with a list of more than 120 ideas. Easy Persuasive Essay Ideas

  13. Think Outside the Box: 200 Inspiring Persuasive Essay Topics

    1. Unique Persuasive Essay Topics for Students 2. Interesting Persuasive Essay Topics from Different Fields 3. Controversial Persuasive Essay Topics 4. Fun Persuasive Essay Topics 5. Argumentative Persuasive Essay Topics 6. How to Choose a Good Persuasive Essay Topic? 7. Tips for Writing a Compelling Persuasive Essay

  14. Persuasive Essay Topics: Igniting Debate and Driving Change

    Good Persuasive Essay Topics In our pursuit of engaging and impactful essay subjects, let's begin by delving into ten distinctive topics that transcend the commonplace. These choices not only provide fresh perspectives but also present an opportunity to learn how to research a topic effectively.

  15. 166 Argumentative Essay Topics to Give You Inspiration

    166 Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas (Organized in Sections) Interesting and Controversial. Education. For Kids. Political. Religion. History. Immigration, Racism, and Native American Issues. Science and Research.

  16. Controversial Speech Topics

    Use the topics below as inspiration for your assignment, whether you are planning to write a controversial speech or an argument essay. Each topic is followed by a brief prompt, but that prompt is not the only way to approach your topic. The list is designed to inspire ideas. You may choose a different approach to one of the topics.

  17. 50 Compelling Argumentative Essay Topics

    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 our election process fair? Is torture ever acceptable? Should men get paternity leave from work?

  18. 110+ Controversial Debate Topics to Challenge Your Students

    These controversial topics can work well for classroom debates, persuasive essays, or fishbowl discussions. Note: Each topic includes a link to an article from a reliable source that provides pros and/or cons to help kids make their arguments. Education Controversial Debate Topics Science and Health Controversial Debate Topics

  19. 55 Rare Topics For Persuasive Essays

    A persuasive essay is a type of writing where your primary purpose is to convince the reader that your opinion is correct. It can be applied to a wide variety of disciplines; in fact, persuasive writing can be used in any writing format, be it a college persuasive essay, an article, a promotional copy or a personal letter.

  20. 110 Interesting Persuasive Speech Topics to Impress Your Audience

    Add emotional connections with your audience. Make your argument more powerful by appealing to your audience's sense of nostalgia and common beliefs. Another tactic (which marketers use all the time) is to appeal to your listeners' fears and rely on their instincts for self-preservation. Address counterarguments.

  21. The 30 Most Controversial Topics for Your Position Paper

    Religious Freedom. Reparations. Social Security. Trump and the Big Lie. Vaccines. Women's Rights. If you visit each debate topic's page, you will find a study guide that includes: A breakdown of the leading positions in the controversial topic; A brief history of the controversial topic in American life;

  22. 112 Persuasive Speech Topics That Are Actually Engaging

    Steer Clear of Cliches Have you already heard a persuasive speech topic presented dozens of times? If so, it's probably not an excellent choice for your speech—even if it's an issue you're incredibly passionate about. Although polarizing topics like abortion and climate control are important to discuss, they aren't great persuasive speech topics.

  23. 100+ Controversial Persuasive Essay Topics to Challenge Your Thinking

    In conclusion, persuasive essays are an effective way to communicate ideas and influence others' opinions. Writing a persuasive essay requires choosing the right topic that interests you, and you feel passionate about. Hopefully, this list of 100+ controversial persuasive essay topics has inspired you to select a topic that is thought-provoking, interesting, and engaging.