Argumentative Essays: Interesting Examples and Topic Ideas For Students

Writing argumentative essays allows you to passionately state your opinion—backed up by facts that are used to prove your point. Read more.

Writing an argumentative essay requires students to focus carefully on an issue they feel passionate about. It can be tough to choose a thesis statement for an argumentative essay. Before beginning their persuasive academic writing piece, many writers search for a list of essay topics to choose from.

When creating any persuasive or argumentative essay, you must take your time in choosing your topic. You may want to consider a few different essay topics before moving forward with the start of your writing. While your paper will be rooted in opinion, you must have the research-based facts necessary to support your argument.

Here, we’ll look at some different argumentative essay topics and published examples, from current social issues to long-standing questions.

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Argumentative Essay Examples

1. The Danger Of Putting Youth On Antidepressants By Patricia Pearson

Neuropharmacology is a field in its infancy. Neurotransmitters were first identified less than a century ago, and new ones are still being discovered. An SSRI may lead to regulated levels of serotonin, but, according to Tadrous, “There’s also a chance it’s hitting neurotransmitters we don’t know about.”

Many teens have been prescribed antidepressants for mental health issues. In this essay, Pearson quotes expert research and anecdotal stories to make her point. In your argumentative essay, using statistics to prove your thesis is a great technique to back up your opinion. 

2. Should Welfare Recipients Be Drug Tested? By Erica Bennett

Every citizen of the United States of America is protected by the fourth amendment of our U.S Constitution. This amendment protects us against unreasonable searches and seizures, meaning the government does not have the right to search your person without probable cause. Does the fact that people apply for or receive welfare warrant probable cause to “search” their body through blood or urine testing to see if they have used drugs? No. Therefore, by forcing this particular group of people to submit to mandatory drug screening, it is not only discriminatory but also an invasion of privacy and unconstitutional.

In this argumentative essay, Bennett pulls on history and the intentions behind those who wrote the Constitution. Digging into the spirit of rules and laws can be a good way to support your thesis. You may also want to look for examples throughout history when a historical document was used to argue for or against similar issues to your thesis.

3. Do School Vouchers ‘Work’? As The Debate Heats Up, Here’s What Research Really Says By Matt Barnum

Older studies tended to show neutral or modest positive effects of vouchers on academic performance, and until recently, few if any studies had shown that vouchers actually led to lower achievement among students who received them. It’s not clear what has changed, but one theory is that public schools have improved — or at least gotten better at raising test scores — in response to accountability measures like No Child Left Behind.

In this essay, Barnum compares past and current research to prove that school voucher programs have a positive or neutral effect on student performance. Barnum uses current research and predictions based on that research to talk both about his argument for the current voucher situation and how he thinks the situation may change in the future if things continue as they are today.

4. Who Should Compete In Women’s Sports? There Are ‘Two Almost Irreconcilable Positions’ By Gillian R. Brassil and Jeré Longman

There is little or no scientific research regarding the performance of elite transgender athletes, experts say. But some evidence suggests that residual strength and muscle mass advantages largely remain when people assigned as males at birth undergo testosterone suppression for a year.

Many people worldwide have strong opinions on whether transgender women should be allowed to participate in women’s sports. In this article, Brassil and Longman work to delve into research, opinions, and news to create a compelling piece.

5. Should Adopted Children Be Involved With Their Birth Families? By Chaya Benyamin

Contact between adoptive families and birth families has been shown to relieve stress for parents, birth and adoptive alike. Open adoption allows for the burning questions that so often accompany adoption to find real answers – Did the child I placed go to a good home? Is our child’s biological mother happy with her decision? Adoptive parents have described the stress-reducing benefits for all, including the fact that the adopted child will never have to wonder where he/she came from or what his/her birth family is like.

Adoption can be a tough topic to tackle. In this opinion piece, Benyamin uses several strong arguments to show the benefits of open adoption while acknowledging that this is not the right choice for all families. This essay does an excellent job of creating a strong argument while still showing an understanding of the other side. 

Argumentative Essay Topics

1. Is The Death Penalty Constitutional?

Whether you agree with the death penalty can be tough to decide whether such a punishment is constitutional. The United States constitution offers protection against cruel and unusual punishments, and many U.S. citizens debate whether sentencing a criminal to death is cruel and unusual.

If you decide to write about whether the death penalty is constitutional, you may want to start by outlining exactly how the constitution references cruel and unusual punishment. It may be interesting to include how cruel and unusual punishment is defined in other countries. It can provide your reader with some context on what different cultures regard as appropriate punishment for crimes.

2. Is Social Media Harmful?

Argumentative Essays: Is social media harmful?
If you’re arguing that social media is helpful, highlight the aspects of connection that social media offers that you feel offset the potentially harmful effects of it

Social media provides new ways to stay in touch with loved ones, connect with people who have similar interests, and grow business platforms. While social media provides positivity in many ways, some people feel it can be harmful, especially for middle and high school students.

When writing an argumentative essay on whether social media is harmful, consider the many research studies that explain how social media affects brain development, self-esteem, etc. If you’re arguing that social media is helpful, highlight the aspects of connection that social media offers that you feel offset the potentially harmful effects of social media. You’ll also want to discuss how parents and students can take precautions to protect themselves from becoming addicted to social media.

3. Are We Doing Enough To Stop Climate Change?

The weather has changed in recent years, and there’s much debate on whether we’re doing enough to stop climate change and global warming. Some people say that global warming is a normal part of Earth’s evolution, while others believe that human activities are causing the Earth’s climate to change at a disastrous rate.

When introducing your essay, it may be helpful to use current news topics to introduce your point of view. Leading off with a story about climate change and delving into current initiatives to stop climate change can be a great way to hook your reader into what you have to say, no matter what your opinion is.

When discussing climate change, you may want to think about speaking in respectful political terms as the hot-button issue that can make readers defensive before they hear your argument. Present the research in a way that supports your opinion, and be sure to touch on any legitimate points you find from the other side.

4. Should United States Citizens Have To Pay For Healthcare?

Most people in the United States have experienced or know someone who has experienced a sky-high bill following a health crisis. There’s no way around it: healthcare is expensive, and many people in the United States struggle to afford their care.

Some people feel that healthcare should be covered by taxes and available to all citizens, while others feel that a private healthcare system is better for U.S. citizens. People who believe that healthcare should remain private (as it currently stands) may believe that each citizen should be responsible for their health. The public at large should not shoulder the burden of paying for expensive health issues.

5. Should Violent Video Games Be Banned?

Many people are aware of video game addiction, and some parents and educators have raised concerns specifically about how violent video games can affect both children and adults.

There’s no denying that video games influence behavior and can interfere with academic work and a person’s social life. However, violent video games may also influence the way a person behaves. Some fear that playing violent video games could cause a person to carry out violent acts in their own lives.

6. Should Animal Testing Be Legal?

Argumentative Essays: Should animal testing be legal?

If you argue that animal testing should be legal, discuss how animal testing benefits humans. You may want to talk about how a pharmaceutical company had a drug breakthrough due to animal testing or about the number of lives that have been saved due to drugs that have been tested on animals. In addition to drug testing, animals are also used to test cosmetics and other household products, so be sure to touch on this in your persuasive essay.

If you’re against animal testing, make sure you talk about other methods that could be used to provide the same insights. Many people don’t like the idea of animal testing. Still, they aren’t sure how else drugs and other substances could be tested to ensure human safety. Offering solutions to this point can help persuade your reader to your side.

7. Cloning: How Far Is Too Far?

Animal cloning experiments have been shaky at best, with clones living a shorter, less healthy lifespan than their naturally developed counterparts. While human cloning is a long way off, many people are uneasy about having a genetic twin walking around, while others believe cloning oneself should be a personal choice.

When writing about whether cloning is a morally sound choice, talk about how cloning science has changed over time. One of the most common debates about cloning is whether it could be ethically used to create new organs for people who have cancer or other diseases. Cloning doesn’t necessarily require creating an entirely new person; cloning can involve creating a specific organ or another body part.

8. Is Diet Culture Harmful To Teens?

Diet culture is everywhere—it’s tough to scroll through social media without seeing popular celebrities selling skinny tea or diet pills. Many people believe that diet culture is harmful to young people and can perpetuate eating disorders.

Some people, however, believe that people should be responsible for their attitudes about food and exercise and that social media and other forms of media should not be policed. Limiting what people can and can’t post on social media due to potential negative effects on teens and other groups can impinge on the freedom of speech.

9. Do Cell Phones In School Contribute To Cyberbullying?

People who oppose the idea of cell phones for teens often state that parents need to take more responsibility for entertaining their children. People who oppose cell phones often also argue that children need more time face to face with their peers, as this helps them pick up on social cues and learn how to communicate in the real world (rather than through a screen).

People who argue that teens and young kids should have cell phones despite cyberbullying often say that safety issues trump bullying issues. Allowing kids and teens to have cell phones provides a reliable line of communication between children and parents. People who argue that kids and teens should have regular access to phones also state that the world relies on technology today. Kids should utilize their phones to look up information, communicate with others, and more.

Tip: If writing an essay sounds like a lot of work, simplify it. Write a simple 5 paragraph essay instead.

If you’d like to learn more, our writer explains how to write an argumentative essay in this guide how to write an argumentative essay.


  • Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.