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Identifying Good Argumentative Essay Topics

January 01, 2015 - Posted to Writing tips

Content 10

Argumentative essay topics can be found for almost any college course you take. And, when I was in college, most of my professors came up with argument essay ideas for frequent assignments.

Just as frequently, however, we were asked to come up with our own argument essay topic ideas within the broad range of the course itself. And, for an English comp course, there wasn’t even a broad topic area – I was simply to pick an issue out of the air and write!

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If you have not been given a specific topic for an argumentative essay, be happy – you are better off choosing your own, and here’s how to do it:

  1. Pick a topic about which you are passionate. You will not write well if you use argumentative essay ideas that really don’t matter to you.
  2. Pick argumentative research essay topics about which you can quickly and easily find research. For this type of essay or paper, you are looking only for facts to back up your arguments, and you want to find them fast!
  3. Pick argumentative research topics that are controversial enough so that others have written a lot about them. You can get great ideas for supporting your own point of view.

Often, finding ideas for argumentative essays, in order to choose the perfect topic for you, can be pretty difficult. (Been there, done that).

I have therefore put together a list of some of the top argumentative topics, categorized by college level academic fields, in the hopes that you will find those that most spark your interest. Feel free to print this out, highlight the topics you like most, and stick it away for when the need arises.

Argumentative Essay topics for College Courses in Business

  • Governments should (not) give bailouts to big banks and companies in trouble
  • Outsourcing should (not) come with much higher taxes
  • Companies have (not) the right to discriminate in hiring based upon personal lifestyles and habits
  • Dress codes are (not) a thing of the past
  • Companies should (not) be legally forced to pay living wages
  • Corporate espionage should (not) come with stiff criminal penalties
  • Content marketing is (not) the best way to boost sales today
  • Effective management is (not) only achieved by delegating

Argumentative Essay Topics for College Students in Education

  • All students should (not) begin schooling by age 3
  • Students should (not) be assigned to teachers who honor their learning styles
  • Common Core is (not) killing divergent thinking
  • Teachers are (not) underpaid
  • Online coursework will (not) be the demise of expensive private colleges
  • Students at all age/grade levels should (not) be able to skip grades and classes for which they have demonstrated mastery
  • Equal education can (not) only come from greater funding for schools in poorer neighborhoods


College Argumentative Essay Topics in History, Political Science, and Law

  • “Stand Your Ground” laws are (not) more harmful than helpful
  • Conceal/carry laws have (not) gone too far
  • Social issues in a democracy should (not) be legislated
  • Libertarianism taken to extreme will (not) destroy a democracy
  • U.S. involvement in the Middle East promotes (does not promote) more terrorism
  • History is (is not) a continued pendulum swing of mankind from freedom to security and back again
  • The “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision has (has not) destroyed American democracy

Argument Essay Topics for College Courses in Medicine

  • Assisted suicide should (should not) be fully legal nationwide
  • Placebo-type research is (is not) unethical
  • Terminal patients should (should not) have the right to manage their own pain with any medication available
  • Biogenetic engineering should (should not) be allowed to create “designer” babies
  • Personal wealth should (should not) determine quality of health care

Argumentative Essay Topics College Students Might Use in Environmental Science

  • Government should (should not) move money from Defense to alternative energy research and development
  • Laws should (should not) restrict how livestock is bred and fed
  • Corporations that pollute beyond legal limits must (should not) face criminal penalties, not just fines.
  • Plastic bags should (should not) be banned
  • Households that own more than two cars should (should not) be taxed heavily for those extra cars.
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Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas for English/Journalism

  • The demise of print newspapers will (will not) lead to a more ignorant society
  • Journalists have (have not) become “sellouts” to the highest bidders
  • Objective reporting is (is not) a thing of the past
  • The English language should (should not) evolve more quickly to reflect contemporary society
  • Formal academic writing is (is not) outdated

Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas for Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology

  • IQ tests are (are not) culturally biased
  • You can (cannot) take the environment out of the child
  • Social equality an (cannot) be legislated
  • Moral behavior is (is not) essential for personal success
  • Social networking has (has not) replaced personal relationships

Argumentative Essay Topics for Economics

  • Capitalism is (is not) better than socialism
  • “Trickle-Down” economics does (does not) work
  • Government intervention into our economy is (is not) essential for middle class strength

This list, of course, is limited by space and by my gray matter!

There are, however, a large number of websites that offer ideas for top argumentative topics, so access them, find a topic about which you have knowledge and for which you have passion. These two criteria will take you far!


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