By the time students reach high school, they’ve probably written numerous papers and speeches in which they had to form clear, persuasive arguments to convince their audiences of particular viewpoints. But in today’s era of “fake news” and poorly-researched Internet reports, it’s more important than ever before for students to learn how to think critically about what goes into the arguments and messages they receive from others.
That’s why practicing writing an argumentative essay can be so valuable and educational for teens. As they research and prepare their very own arguments, students will be called to evaluate their sources, to define their own clear positions, and to use all of the things they’ve gathered to bring someone else around to their side. Whether they’re considering controversial topics like gun control or assessing whether or not companies should be required to pay a living wage, they’ll learn about how deeply biased some arguments are—and how very easy it is for anyone to construe information in support of their own position.
Use these 35 new argumentative essay topics with your high school class to help them learn how to better cut through the noise to find what’s really real—and, of course, to improve their own writing and arguing skills!
35 Argumentative Essay Topics to Help High School Students Explore and Define Their Positions
- Does your vote count?
- Does diversity in media matter?
- Does the wage gap really exist?
- What should be done about gun control in the US?
- Does the average citizen need to have the right to own a gun?
- Should marijuana be legalized?
- Should religion have a place in government?
- Should students be allowed to choose their own classes (as they do in college) from a younger age?
- Is net neutrality important?
- Is single-sex education beneficial or harmful to students?
- What should young people be given more credit for?
- Is the widespread increased use of technology good for young children—or does it harm their development?
- How is the President doing at his job?
- Do movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo promote inclusiveness and awareness or division and inequality?
- What is the greatest threat to our environment?
- Should we be investing in space exploration?
- Is the development of technology that automates jobs previously held by real people good or bad for our society?
- Is celebrity culture harmful or harmless? Why?
- What types of restrictions should there be on abortions?
- How involved should the US get in conflicts in other parts of the world?
- Should employers be required to pay a living wage?
- What is the line between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation?
- Do corporations have social responsibilities to their customers?
- Should there be restrictions or laws on what types of bathrooms trans people can use?
- What types of academic requirements should student athletes have to meet in order to maintain their eligibility to compete?
- The Electoral College—effective or outdated?
- Which branch of government is the most important?
- Is homeschooling good for students?
- Should hate speech be protected under free speech?
- Should an employer be able to fire someone if the employer has a problem with the employee’s race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, identity, etc.?
- Are GMO foods good or bad for our country?
- What levels of education do people really need in order to be qualified to enter the workforce?
- Do our schools today adequately prepare students for the real world?
- What is the best way for the average person to make a difference?
- Should people who make more money pay taxes on a higher percentage of their income?
Until next time, keep on writing!
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