Argumentative essays are a common form of academic writing that students and scholars practice in their fields of study. Basically, the article includes many examples of argumentative essay topics and explains the purpose as the starting point of the in-depth analysis of elements of argumentation. The manual also explains the challenge of avoiding logical fallacies in the creation of arguments. In this case, a step-by-step deconstruction of the structure of the classical persuasive essay presents the sectional content requirements to the reader. Equally important, this article describes the process of developing a good argumentative topic using a sample template, including examples of free argumentative essay topics. In turn, the guide concludes with a discussion of factors that affect the topic selection for argumentative works.
General Aspects of Argumentative Essay Topics
In academic writing, an argumentative essay serves to argue a position in the case of debates. Originally, it meant that essay topics must be argumentative, while people must consider written papers as sources for thinking or debating. In addition, persuasive papers include rhetorical appeals, such as ethos, pathos, and logos, and these techniques affect the reader’s attention positively. However, not all students know about these features of argumentative papers. As a result, such papers do not make sense in formal writing. Therefore, scholars should define good argumentative essay topics (2023) if they want to prove their position on the issue.
Hot Topics for Argumentative Essays
- Impacts of Technology on Society
- Sustainability and Global Climate Change
- Animal Rights and Experimentation
- Nuclear Energy: Pros and Cons
- Homeschooling Versus Traditional Education
- The Death Penalty: Justice or Inhumanity
- Influence of Violence in Video Games
- Genetic Engineering: Evolution or Exploitation
- Mandatory Vaccinations: Rights and Responsibilities
- School Uniforms: Necessity or Oppression
- Internet Privacy: Safety or Surveillance
- Gender Equality in the Workplace
- Influence of Music Lyrics on the Youth
- Roles of Parents in Preventing Childhood Obesity
- Effects of Divorce on Children’s Psychological Health
- Stem Cell Research: Life-Saver or Ethical Nightmare
- Space Exploration: Worth the Cost
- The Role of Zoos in Wildlife Conservation
Easy Argumentative Essay Topics
- Impacts of Mass Media on Public Opinion
- Capital Punishment: Deterrence or Revenge
- The Ethics of Cloning: Innovation or Interference
- Organic Foods: Healthier Choice or Marketing Scam
- The Global Refugee Crisis: Responsibility and Response
- The Importance of Arts Education in Schools
- Cyber Bullying: An Invisible Threat
- The Role of Religion in Public Education
- Cyber Security: National Defense or Invasion of Privacy
- The Impact of Fast Food on Health
- Influence of Celebrity Culture on the Youth Population
- Effects of Reality TV on Society
- Potentials of Renewable Energy
- Ethical Implications of Surrogacy
- Impacts of Single-Parent Families on Child Development
- Graphic Novels and Reading Comprehension
Most Interesting Argumentative Essay Topics
- The Effectiveness of Bilingual Education
- Legality of Internet Censorship
- Roles of Women in the Military
- Multiculturalism and Society
- Impacts of Globalization on Local Cultures
- Benefits and Drawbacks of Telemedicine
- Effects of Minimum Wage on the Economy
- Roles of Sports in Promoting National Unity
- Effects of Automation on Employment
- Impacts of Deforestation on Biodiversity
- The Impacts of Urban Sprawl on Communities
- Roles of Video Games in Education
- Influence of Comic Books on Literature
- Effects of Microplastics on the Environment
- Impacts of Online Dating on Relationships
Argumentative Speech Topics
- The Influence of Veganism on the Global Food Industry
- Effects of Antibiotic Resistance on Public Health
- Pros and Cons of Universal Basic Income
- Impacts of Augmented Reality on Everyday Life
- Roles of Blockchain in Financial Services
- Influences of eSports on Traditional Sports
- Effects of Autonomous Vehicles on Traffic Safety
- Pros and Cons of a Cashless Society
- Impacts of Bioplastics on Waste Management
- Nanotechnology and Healthcare Implications
- Language Immersion Programs and Bilingualism
- Roles of eSports in Shaping College Scholarships
- Pros and Cons of Virtual Reality in Rehabilitation
- Effects of Dark Tourism on Cultural Understanding
- Artificial Intelligence and Creative Industries
- Roles of Quantum Cryptography in Securing Digital Information
- Pros and Cons of Direct Democracy in Modern Governance
Samples of Argumentative Essay Topics for Middle School
- Effects of Microtransactions on Video Game Culture
- Minimalism and Consumer Behavior
- Impacts of Autonomous Ships on the Maritime Industry
- Roles of Probiotics in Human Health
- Pros and Cons of Carbon Capture Technologies
- Effects of Sustainable Fashion on the Textile Industry
- Influence of Gentrification on Urban Development
- Telehealth Services and Rural Communities
- Role of Citizen Science in Environmental Conservation
- Pros and Cons of Smart Homes on Privacy
- Effects of Peer-to-Peer Lending on the Financial Industry
- Drones and Wildlife Conservation
- Impacts of Passive Houses on Energy Consumption
- Roles of Agroforestry in Climate Change Mitigation
- Pros and Cons of Facial Recognition Technology in Public Spaces
Argumentative Essay Topics for High School Papers
- What Does High School Education Bring?
- Why Should Marijuana Be Legalized for Recreational Purposes?
- What Changed My Life?
- Do People Need a College Education or Not?
- Technology Makes Human Life Easier
- A Healthy Environment, What Is It?
- Impacts of High-Speed Trains on Transportation
- Roles of Exoskeletons in Rehabilitation and Workforce
- Pros and Cons of Desalination as a Water Solution
- Effects of Influencer Activism on Political Engagement
- Indoor Vertical Farms and Food Security
- People Should Not Smoke in Public Places
- Why Should People Respect the Elderly Generation?
- How Does Culture Affect the Nation?
- What Is the Best System of the Government?
Examples of Argumentative Essay Topics for Kids
- Benefits of Homework: Necessary or Not
- Is Social Media Appropriate for Kids?
- The Importance of School Uniforms
- Should Schools Implement Longer Recess Times?
- Pros and Cons of Year-Round Schooling
- Should Students Have Pets in School?
- Effects of Video Games on Young Minds
- Should Kids Be Allowed to Use Mobile Phones in School?
- Impacts of Junk Foods on Kids’ Health
- Should Parents Limit Screen Time for Children?
- Importance of Art and Music Classes in School
- Does Television Influence Children’s Behavior?
- Roles of Cartoons in Children’s Development
- Should Children Be Paid for Doing Chores?
- Can Children Benefit From Yoga and Meditation?
- Are Zoos Educational for Children?
- Should Children Participate in Competitive Sports?
- Importance of Reading Books Versus Watching TV
- Should Schools Teach Children About Nutrition?
Argumentative Essay Topics for College
- Why Must People Have Higher Education?
- What Are the Roles of Artificial Intelligence in Modern Business?
- How Do Maslow’s Five Forces Affect Organizations?
- Freud’s Theory and Societal Patterns
- Captive Breeding and Endangered Species
- Impacts of Overfishing on Marine Ecosystems
- Roles of Independent Films in Society
- Influence of Stand-up Comedy on Social Commentary
- Effects of E-Commerce on Small Businesses
- Social Corporate Responsibility and Business
- What Are the Causes of Social Inequality?
- High School versus College Education
- What Are the Roles of Elections?
- Using a Smartphone While Driving Should Be Banned
- Digital Devices Make People Lazy
Possible Argumentative Essay Topics on Controversial Issues
- The Government Should Spend More Taxpayers’ Money on a Poor Social Layer
- Why Is Prostitution Illegal?
- Higher Education Should Be Free or Not?
- All People Should Not Gave Firearms
- Marijuana Should Be Legal
- Roles of Virtual Reality in Modern Education
- The Influence of Street Art on Urban Aesthetics
- Roles of Podcasts in Modern Media Landscape
- Pros and Cons of Online Work for Mental Health
- Facebook and Other Social Media Organizations Should Pay More Taxes
- Students Should Not Use Digital Devices During Education
- Smoking in Public Places Is Harmful to Non-Smokers
- What Is the Role of Trump in Regulating Conflicts in the Middle East?
- Social Media Is Used to Manipulate Citizens
Good List of 234 Argumentative Essay Topics
- Examining Impacts of Artificial Intelligence and Human Employment
- Discussing Ethical Implications of Animal Testing in Medical Research
- Evaluating the Role of Social Media in Modern Political Discourse
- Debating the Effectiveness of Capital Punishment in Deterring Crime
- Analyzing the Influence of Video Games on Adolescent Behaviors
- Debating the Effect of Climate Change on the Global Economy
- Investigating the Role of Standardized Testing in Education
- Examining the Influence of Media Biases on Public Opinion
- Assessing the Importance of Space Exploration in the 21st Century
- Investigating the Role of Genetically Modified Organisms in Agriculture
- Discussing the Ethical Dilemmas of Euthanasia in Medical Practice
- Understanding the Impact of Bilingual Education on Cognitive Development
- Evaluating the Role of Vaccination in Public Health Today
- Are Genetically Modified Foods a Solution for a Problem of Global Hunger?
- The Ethical Implications of Human Cloning
- Is Space Exploration a Necessary Expenditure?
- Nuclear Power: A Sustainable Energy Source or Potential Catastrophe
- Roles of Science in Shaping Public Policy
- The Potential of Stem Cell Research in Medicine
- The Controversy Surrounding Animal Testing in Scientific Research
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Renewable and Traditional Energy Sources
- The Influence of Technology on Social Interactions
- Is Evolution the Most Convincing Theory for Species Development?
- Ethical Dilemmas of Genetic Engineering in Humans
- Can Artificial Intelligence Surpass Human Intelligence?
- Impacts of Plastic Waste on Marine Ecosystems
- Existence of Extraterrestrial Life
- Pros and Cons of Autonomous Vehicles in Modern Society
- New Roles of Virtual Reality in Transforming Education
- The Influence of Social Media on Adolescents’ Mental Health
- The Rising Threat of Cyber Attacks Today
- Ethical Implications of Genetically Modified Organisms
- The Advancement of Medical Technology and Patient Privacy
- Effects of Digital Technology on Traditional Libraries
- The Need for Internet Censorship to Protect Children
- Roles of Modern Technology in Enhancing Sustainable Agriculture
- Blockchain Technology and People’s Money
- Consequences of the Dependence on Technology for Communication
- Impacts of Technology on the Music Industry
- The Potential of Biotechnology in Solving Global Hunger
- Environmental Impacts of E-Waste and the Need for Recycling Policies
- Impacts of Telemedicine on Modern Health Care
- Mandatory Vaccinations: A Necessity or Violation of Personal Freedom Rights
- Ethical Dilemmas of Assisted Suicide in Terminal Illnesses
- Modern Mental Health and Overall Wellness
- The Effectiveness of Alternative Medicine
- Possible Consequences of Privatizing Health Care
- The Importance of Preventive Medicine in Reducing Health Care Costs
- Socioeconomic Status and Health Outcomes
- The Impact of Technology on Patient Privacy
- Drawbacks of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on Health
- The Influence of Lifestyle Choices on Chronic Diseases
- The Efficacy of Antidepressants in Treating Mental Health Disorders
- Pharmaceutical Industry and Appropriate Health Care Practices
- Climate Change and Global Public Health
- Benefits of Dietary Supplements in Health Management
- The Effectiveness of the Electoral College in Modern Elections
- Roles of Lobbying in Influencing Government Decisions
- Measures to Curtail Political Corruption in the 21st Century
- Governmental Responsibility in Addressing Climate Change
- Impacts of a Universal Basic Income on the Economy
- The Influence of Social Media on Political Discourse
- Balance of National Security and Personal Privacy
- The Effectiveness of Governmental Economic Stimulus Packages
- Applicability of Socialism in Modern Governments
- Legitimacy of International Military Intervention
- The Necessity of Strict Immigration Policies
- Key Roles of the Government in Health Care Provision
- The Feasibility of a Global Government
- Are Voter ID Laws Important in Preventing Election Fraud?
- The Government’s Role in the Regulation of Big Tech Companies
- Impacts of Government Surveillance on Civil Liberties
- The Need for Government Involvement in Education Reform
- Adverse Consequences of Governmental Censorship on Free Speech
- The Justification for Taxing the Wealthy at Higher Rates
- Implications of Decriminalizing Drugs at a Federal Level
- Roles of the Government in Promoting Renewable Energy
- The Viability of Expanding the Supreme Court
- Government and Housing Market Regulations
- Federal versus State Powers in the United States
- The Necessity of Government Funding for Scientific Research
- The Importance of Incorporating Technology in Education
- Standardized Testing: An Effective Measure of Academic Achievement?
- Benefits of Early Childhood Education
- Should Physical Education Be a Mandatory Subject in Schools?
- Bilingual Education: Enhancing Cultural Diversity in the Classroom
- Homeschooling: A Viable Alternative to Traditional Education
- The Role of Arts Education in Developing Creative Thinking Skills
- The Impact of Gender-Segregated Education on Student Performance
- Should Schools Teach Financial Literacy as a Core Subject?
- The Value of Critical Thinking in Education
- Pros and Cons of Year-Round Schooling
- Should Sex Education Be Mandatory in Schools?
- Is Homework Beneficial for Student Learning?
- Advantages of Vocational Education for Career Preparation
- The Necessity of Teaching Environmental Education in Schools
- Roles of Physical Education in Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle
- Should Schools Implement Uniform Policies?
- Benefits of Including Meditation and Mindfulness in the School Curriculum
- Should Schools Replace Traditional Textbooks With Digital Resources?
- Roles of Extracurricular Activities in a Well-Rounded Education
- Inclusive Education for Students Living With Disabilities
- The Role of Music Education in Cognitive Development
- Should Schools Implement Later Start Times for Teenagers?
- Benefits of Teaching Coding and Computer Science in Schools
- Impacts of Standardized Dress Codes on Student Behavior
- Is Teaching Media Literacy Crucial in the Digital Age?
- Should Schools Provide Free Breakfast and Lunch for All Students?
- Pros and Cons of Year-Round Education vs. Traditional Summer Breaks
- The Value of Teaching Ethics and Morality in Education
- Should Schools Incorporate Financial Incentives for Academic Achievements?
- Class Size and Its Impacts on Student Learning and Engagement
- Benefits of Outdoor Education and Experiential Learning
- Should Schools Teach Financial Concepts?
- Roles of Character Education in Building Stronger Communities
- Pros and Cons of Grading Systems vs. Pass/Fail Evaluations
- The Importance of Teaching Media Literacy in Addressing Fake News
- Should Schools Integrate Multicultural Education into the Curriculum?
- Evaluating Adverse Impacts of Climate Change on Global Biodiversity
- Roles of Renewable Energy in Achieving Carbon Neutrality
- Plastic Pollution: The Unseen Threat to Marine Life
- The Importance of Sustainable Agriculture in Modern Farming Practices
- Analyzing the Consequences of Deforestation on Indigenous Communities
- Urbanization and Its Impacts on Local Ecosystems
- The Moral Responsibility of Corporations in Reducing Environmental Impacts
- Roles of Individual Actions in Achieving a Sustainable Future
- Fast Fashion and Its Devastating Impact on the Environment
- The Value of Urban Green Spaces in Combating Climate Change
- The Importance of Environmental Education in Shaping Future Generations
- The Potential of Green Technology in Revolutionizing the Global Economy
- Roles of Bitcoin and Traditional Money in Modern Economics
- Corporate Social Responsibility Versus Profit Maximization
- Impacts of Trade Wars on the Global Economy
- Sustainable Development: An Economic Imperative or an Environmental One?
- Ethical Implications of Wealth Inequality
- Universal Basic Income: A Solution to Poverty or an Economic Hazard?
- Potential Economic Consequences of Climate Change in Nearest Ten Years
- Pros and Cons of a Cashless Society
- Automation and Job Loss: The Future of the Labor Market
- Impacts of Globalization on Local Economies
- Economic Effects of Immigration Policies
- Roles of Central Banks in Economic Stability
- Government Spending: A Necessity or a Burden?
- Impacts of Overpopulation on Economic Growth
- Effects of Economic Policies on Income Inequality
- Roles of Education in Economic Development
- Roles of Sports in Promoting National Unity
- Should Athletes Use Performance Enhancing Drugs?
- Impacts of Commercialization on Modern Sports
- Do Violent Sports Encourage Aggressive Behaviors in Society?
- Modern Media and the Perception of Women in Sports
- Should Schools Prioritize Academics Over Sports?
- Is It Ethical to Profit From College Sports?
- Effects of Technological Advancements on Sports Performance
- The Significance of Sports in Fostering Cultural Diversity
- Is Competitive Youth Sports Beneficial or Harmful?
- Should Cheerleading Be Recognized as a Competitive Sport?
- The Influence of Athletes as Role Models on Young People
- Are Video Games and eSports True Sports?
- The Exploitation of Athletes in Professional Sports Leagues
- Roles of the Government in the Promotion and Regulation of Sports
- Ethical Implications of Genetic Engineering in Humans
- Should Businesses Prioritize Profit Over Ethical Considerations?
- Moral Dilemmas Surrounding Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
- Are Animal Rights Equally Important as Human Rights?
- Ethical Consequences of Artificial Intelligence in Society
- Should Organ Transplants Be Allowed From Live Donors?
- Is It Ethical for Governments to Monitor Their Citizens?
- Ethical Issues Surrounding Abortion Rights
- Are Companies Morally Obligated to Practice Environmental Sustainability?
- Roles of Ethics in Modern War and Conflict
- Ethical Aspects of Using Animals for Testing
- The Morality of Capital Punishment in the 21st Century
- Should Ethical Considerations Limit Scientific Research?
- Ethical Aspects of Data Privacy in the Digital Age
- Can Censorship Ever Be Ethically Justified?
- Is It Ethical to Consume Animal Products in the Modern World?
- The Morality of Child Labor in Developing Countries
- Should Wealthy Nations Share More Resources With Developing Countries?
- Ethical Boundaries of Biomedical Research on Humans
- Are There Ethical Issues With Wealth Inequality in Society?
- Moral Implications of Cloning Extinct Animals
- Ethical Considerations of Physician-Assisted Suicide
- Roles of Ethics in the Development of Autonomous Vehicles
- Should Companies Be Held Accountable for Their Supply Chains’ Ethical Standards?
- Ethical Challenges of Immigration Policies in Wealthy Nations
- The Influence of Religion on Moral Values in Society
- Understanding Important Roles of Religion in Political Decisions
- Analyzing the Compatibility of Science and Religion
- Impacts of Religious Beliefs on Human Mental Health
- Religion’s Roles in Promoting or Hindering Social Equality
- Evaluating the Effects of Religion on Child Development
- The Effectiveness of Interfaith Dialogue in Promoting Tolerance
- Possible Implications of Atheism on the Concept of Morality
- How Religion Shapes Cultural Identity and Social Behavior?
- The Necessity of Religion in Establishing Ethical Norms
- Justifying the Separation of Church and State
- Religion’s Influence on Health Care Practices and Beliefs
- Effects of Religion on Economic Development
- The Influence of Eastern Religions on Western Philosophies
- Historical Roles of the Catholic Church in the Spanish Inquisition
- Impacts of the Industrial Revolution on Child Labor Practices
- The American Revolution and the British Rule
- Real Motives Behind Christopher Columbus’s Voyages
- The Black Death and Its Impacts on the Feudal System
- Effects of the Treaty of Versailles on World War II
- The Influence of Imperialism on the African Continent
- Roles of Slavery Institutions in the American Civil War
- Impacts of the Great Depression on American Society
- The Influence of the Renaissance on Modern European Culture
- Roles of Women in the French Revolution
- Consequences of Japanese Internment During World War II
- The Aftermath of the Chornobyl Disaster on Soviet Politics
- Roles of Martin Luther in the Protestant Reformation
- Impacts of the Vietnam War on American Foreign Policy
- The Fall of the Berlin Wall, Changes, and Impacts on Global Politics
- Effects of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Reign on French Society
- The Influence of the Crusades on Christian-Muslim Relations
- Roles of Social Media Outlets in Shaping Public Opinion
- Evaluating the Impact of Government Policies on Income Inequality
- The Influence of Gender Norms on Educational Attainment
- Climate Change and Global Migration Patterns
- Ethics of Surveillance in Modern Societies
- Contributions of Artificial Intelligence to Social Inequality
- The Power Dynamics in Non-Profit Organizations
- Assessing the Effectiveness of Rehabilitation in Criminal Justice Systems
- The Influence of Family Structure on Child Development
- Roles of Religion Institutions in Contemporary Politics
- Impacts of Globalization on Indigenous Cultures
- Consequences of Urbanization on Mental Health
- Functions of School Systems in Perpetuating Social Inequality
- Roles of Social Movements in Changing Legislative Policies
- Consequences of Forced Displacement on Social Integration
- Impacts of Health Disparities on Economic Development
Issues on Argumentative Essay Topics
In most cases, when people start writing an argumentative paper, they cannot define their themes clearly. Basically, argumentative essay topics mean a specific field of academic writing where people have to define their positions to prove them to the defined audience. Even if common essay topics are the general representations of themes, arguments must be specific. In other words, essay themes in argumentative writing must represent the question for debating or claim for a defined position.
An argumentative essay is a form of writing that requires authors to define a claim, present support, and address other competing claims. Basically, any written argument contains two main elements: a claim and support. In this case, the claim refers to the writer’s position on a specific topic. Also, any author’s position on a topic is the result of successful critical thinking where the logical foundation of the claim is viable. Then, the support element of the claim provides authors with the opportunity to provide reasons and complementary evidence and examples. Besides presenting evidence-based reasons, writers should explicitly describe the logical link that binds the reason, evidence, and claim. Mostly, the logical link may manifest in the form of deductive or inductive reasoning. Hence, argumentative papers are a crucial tool for college students in the conception and presentation of complex arguments.
Purpose and Types
The primary purpose of writing an argumentative essay is to make a decent attempt to persuade the audience that a particular claim is valid or acceptable. Based on the purpose of writing, the classification of arguments yields four main types: definition, evaluation, cause-and-effect, and solution. In this case, a definition argument works to convince the audience that a certain interpretation of a concept or term is superior to other interpretations. Then, evaluation arguments establish the weight of a claim to illustrate its worth in the discourse of the controversial topic. Further on, cause-and-effect arguments are useful in showing the causal relationship between an action or situation and a specific outcome. In turn, solution arguments propose an ideal way to handle a problem and illustrate its effectiveness efficacy. Seemingly, the type of persuasive claim is dependent on the topic of interest and the nature of the author’s claim.
Before beginning to write an argumentative essay, it is important to analyze the proposed claim to determine its suitability in responding to a topic. For instance, the development of a convincing statement requires authors to identify all the assertions that may be associated with the theme. Basically, the process of looking for claims allows authors to broaden their knowledge regarding the topic and familiarise them with existing points of view on the controversial matter. Once writers build a knowledge base, they engage in research to find and evaluate any supporting data. In this case, the available data informs writers on the strength of individual claims surrounding the topic. Finally, authors identify warrants in each claim, which reveals assumptions that connect claims and evidence. At this point, writers can create a claim and defend it successfully.
Logical Fallacies in Arguments
Faulty reasoning causes the emergence of logical fallacies in the proposed claim. For example, hasty generalization, false cause, bandwagon effect, and circular reasoning are the common logical fallacies that students face, although there are numerous logical fallacies. Basically, hasty generalization occurs when authors make claims that lack adequate support to justify the broad application of the claim to a specific population. Then, the false cause fallacy arises in cases where writers assert causation, yet events may only share a loose or coincidental association. Further on, the fallacy of the bandwagon effect emerges when authors develop a claim based on popular opinion rather than evidence. In turn, circular reasoning may present if the support for the author’s claim is merely restatements of the claim. Therefore, writers should avoid logical fallacies that introduce irrationality into the argument at all costs.
Mechanics of Arguments
1. Emotional Appeals
Writers should refrain from the utilization of emotional appeals in the presentation of arguments. Basically, emotional appeals may rely on fear, pity, and traditions, which have an innate influence over the readers. As a result, the statements below demonstrate the effect of emotional appeal on the arguments concerning the punishment of female offenders who have children:
Emotional appeal: Female offenders who live in poverty and support their children should not be punished through imprisonment because they committed crimes to provide for their young children.
Logical appeal: Female offenders with parental responsibilities should be eligible for parole upon completing a third of their sentence because it will relieve the pressure on the poorly funded foster care system.
Accordingly, the persuasive quality of an argument must stem from its appeal as a logical argument rather than its ability to prey on the audience’s emotions.
2. Slanted Language
The use of slanted language in the presentation of an argument complicates the interpretation of an argument due to the blurring effect of word connotations. Basically, there are words that people tend to associate with positive or negative connotations due to the regular use of the words in everyday communication. In this case, an author may decide to refer to the people who participate in rallies as “concerned citizens” or “mob” in debating the use of violence as a means of rebellion against government oppression. The latter label can cause the audience to develop a negative perception of the rally participants. In contrast, the former label has a positive view of the people engaged in the rally. Consequently, words selected in composing an argument may influence the readers’ first impression by triggering connotations. Hence, authors should steer clear of slanted language.
Developing an Argumentative Essay Topic
The first step in developing an argumentative essay is the identification of a controversial issue. Basically, controversial issues are readily identifiable because they are dominant in discourse within a discipline or social environment. Based on the controversial issue, an individual develops a tentative topic, which broadly defines an aspect of the controversial issue. Then, writers develop a debatable question and provide at least two answers to the question. After confirming that the question may have more than one answer, authors use the preferred answer to create the theme for their argumentative papers.
Sample Template for Creating an Argumentative Topic
Controversial issue: Racism
Tentative topic: Racial discrimination in policing
Debatable question: Do police officers take advantage of the stop-and-frisk law to advance racial profiling?
First answer: Police officers take advantage of the stop-and-frisk law to advance racial profiling.
Second answer: Police officers do not take advantage of the stop-and-frisk law to advance racial profiling.
Topic (first answer): Racial Profiling: A Reality of Modern Policing
Comparison Between Argument Essay Topics and Standard Essay Topics
The primary difference between the topic of an argumentative essay and conventional essay topics is the debatable feature. Basically, topics of a standard essay are not debatable, for instance, “Reduction in Fossil Fuel Reserves.” In this case, it is a certainty that fossil fuels are a non-renewable resource. Therefore, “Reduction in Fossil Fuel Reserves” is not a suitable topic for an argumentative paper because the decrease in the deposits of fossil fuels is not a controversial issue. Also, authors employ a summary of the content of a standard essay to generate a topic. In turn, the theme of an argumentative essay is not a summary of its content. Instead, the author’s main claim is the source of the topic, which implies that ideas in the rebuttal section do not contribute to the formation of a topic despite being a crucial segment of the essay.
Understanding Content of Argumentative Essays and Topic Selection
Authors should adhere to two general principles in the selection of content for argumentative writing. Firstly, the distortion of evidence should never occur at any point in the essay. Basically, persuasive essays must present evidence holistically to ensure that the audience does not reach an incorrect conclusion. In this case, an author arguing that repeat offending has decreased cannot simply identify the percentages from 2000 and 2023 only. Instead, writers should demonstrate the trend in repeat offending by pointing out the average percentage of repeat offending cases over shorter periods, for example, three years. Secondly, an accurate reporting of the outcome of the research process is a mandatory expectation in argumentative essay writing. In turn, authors should not ignore any strong evidence opposing their central claim. Also, an argument for stringent gun regulation is incomplete without addressing the possible violation of the Second Amendment.
Dominant Factors in Argumentative Topic Selection
Individuals’ approach to an argumentative essay relies heavily on their current knowledge, which accumulates as students advance their studies in a particular field. For example, a psychology major’s argument regarding the most preferred exercise among young adults will focus on research that demonstrates an increase in brain chemicals that show ‘happiness’ after the completion of the exercise. Conversely, a sociology major’s argument on the same theme may prioritize self-reported feelings of enjoyment and the frequency of participation in an exercise. Also, these students’ main claims may be dissimilar, yet correct based on the evidence. In turn, the subconscious decision for an individual to research along a specific line of knowledge is a consequence of their academic discipline. Similarly, the topics of interest in the two disciplines differ because sociology concentrates on human behavior while psychology centers on brain functioning, although they analyze one theme.
2. Personal Interests
Topic selection occurs in a socio-cultural context, which is unique to each individual because of personal life experiences. Basically, the hierarchy of controversial topics may vary depending on an individual’s beliefs and previous experiences. For instance, an immigrant student may consider issues surrounding immigration policy to be relevant to their past. At the same time, a student with full citizenship identifies with the suppression of the First Amendment, which raises a debate concerning the extent of the freedom of speech. Moreover, these two students may be classmates, but their socio-cultural contexts have made them sensitive to different controversial topics. Consequently, if students have the choice to select a topic for an argumentative essay, there is a high possibility that they will identify topics from issues of relevance in their unique socio-cultural contexts.
3. Education Level
Critical thinking and logical reasoning skills improve simultaneously with an individual’s move from one education level to the next. Basically, the following sample high school and postgraduate students’ arguments to illustrate the effect of education level are:
High school: Globalisation is beneficial to economies of developing countries through the increment of jobs, purchasing power, and opportunities for specialization.
Postgraduate: Capital openness in developing countries places them at higher risk of experiencing financial crushes after an influx of foreign direct investment, which reduces globalization’s attractiveness.
The high school student’s claim is relatively simple, while the postgraduate student’s argument is quite complicated and has a narrow scope. In this case, a higher level of critical thinking and logical reasoning skills are evident in the specificity of the postgraduate student’s claim. As a result, the scope of the topic selected at specific education levels differs extensively.
The needs of an expert audience and a non-expert audience are non-identical despite the similarity in the theme that the author addresses in an argumentative essay. For example, the interests of an expert audience prioritize analytical aspects of an argument rather than the mere presentation of information. If the main theme is corporal punishment, the author may design an argument for an expert audience that quantifies the adverse effect of increased tolerance for violence as a child grows and provide in-depth explanations concerning the evidence, for instance, study designs, participants, level of significance, confidence intervals, and limitations. Alternatively, arguments regarding corporal punishment designed for a non-expert audience discuss all the adverse impacts of corporal punishment as a sign of its inefficiency but do not analyze the experimental techniques. Therefore, the topic selection occurs based on the audience’s expectations.
5. Nature of Evidence
An author may utilize four primary forms of evidence: facts, statistics, case examples, and expert opinions. In some cases, the author’s research can fail to yield all four types of evidence. For example, an author arguing that racial discrimination is still a problem at educational institutions may compose an essay based purely on expert opinions. Conversely, the author may decide to compose an essay using statistics as the only type of evidence. The latter approach is likely to create a more persuasive argument because mentioning the number of racial discrimination complaints filed and racial tension riots or strikes is more convincing than providing only expert opinions that may be subject to critique. In turn, the nature of the available evidence places some limitations on the author’s freedom of topic selection because of the non-negotiable requirement that an argumentative paper must be persuasive.
Structure of a Classical Argumentative Essay
The introduction paragraph of an argumentative paper plays an identical role to the standard first paragraph of an essay. Basically, the introductory paragraph has three primary elements: a hook, contextual statements, and a thesis statement. For instance, the first statement of an argumentative essay is a hook, which authors use to capture the audience’s interest in the topic. In this case, at least two contextual statements follow the hook. Then, contextual statements provide readers with adequate information to understand the thesis statement and develop an accurate picture of the content of the essay. In turn, the thesis statement is the final statement of the introductory paragraph. Also, this sentence announces the author’s claim concerning the controversial topic and summarises the logic behind his or her argument. In consequence, the thesis statement is the most critical element of the entire argumentative work.
All paragraphs in the body of an argumentative essay have identical paragraph structures. Basically, each paragraph has a topic sentence, evidence or fact, an evaluation, and a transition statement. In this case, the topic sentence is the first statement. Also, it informs the audience of the minor argument that the author focuses on in a given paragraph. Then, writers provide a piece of evidence, which serves as the starting point of the examination of the topic sentence. Mostly, a citation accompanies the evidence to direct the reader to the source. In turn, the evaluation of the evidence consists of two or more sentences, which illustrate the relevance of the evidence to the minor claim. Moreover, the transition statement reminds the reader of the connection of the minor claim to the thesis statement. In some cases, authors may use the transition statement to link subsequent paragraphs.
A. Background Information
Typically, the background section of the body appears immediately after the second paragraph. For instance, authors use this paragraph to inform the reader of specific details concerning the controversial topic, which is necessary to ensure that the audience understands the nature of the controversy. In turn, the background information does not discuss any minor arguments. Nonetheless, it has a topic statement that links it to the thesis statement.
B. Support for the Claim
This section of the body comprises multiple paragraphs, which discuss minor arguments that contribute to the justification of the main argument. Basically, each paragraph in the support section begins with a topic sentence that defines one minor aspect of the main argument. In this case, authors continue the paragraph by providing some evidence and discussing its relevance to the minor argument. Moreover, writers illustrate the logical link between the minor aspect and the thesis statement. Then, the number of paragraphs in this section is heavily dependent on the complexity of the main argument because authors must break down the primary argument into minor arguments that readers can easily recognize. Besides the segmentation of the main argument, the arrangement of minor arguments should be systematic to ensure that readers can follow the author’s line of reasoning.
The rebuttal section is an essential section of an argumentative essay because it allows authors to demonstrate the strength of their arguments through comparison with competing positions. In this section, writers identify alternative lines of thought on the topic and discuss them to illustrate their weaknesses. Additionally, authors show the capability of their arguments to overcome flaws presented in competing positions, which acts as evidence of their superiority. In this case, each critique against the author’s main argument occupies a paragraph for clarity. During the analysis of counterarguments, writers must maintain a high level of objectivity to deliver a fair assessment because subjectivity in the handling of criticism undermines the strength of the author’s main argument.
The concluding paragraph has two main features: a restatement of the main claim and a summary of minor arguments. Firstly, the restatement of the main argument emphasizes the author’s position. In turn, the summary of the minor arguments identifies building blocks of the main claim and explains their interconnection. Also, it highlights the counterarguments and their flaws in addressing the controversial topic. In turn, the final statements of the concluding paragraph are a well-crafted closing, which illustrates that the author’s central claim is the preferred position on the debatable topic.
Final Remarks on Argumentative Essay Topics
Despite this guide’s focus on an argumentative paper, students must not forget the basics of academic writing. In this case, they should take adequate time to plan the writing process. Basically, scheduling different activities in the writing process is essential because it ensures that authors complete all the steps, especially for activities that students usually overlook when under the pressure of submission deadlines, for example, revising and proofreading. In turn, proper documentation of resources is a vital aspect of argumentative essay writing that students should not take lightly. Incorrect information concerning the source of a piece of evidence is equivalent to an attempt to deceive readers, which weakens the author’s claim. Also, students must adhere to the technical requirements that accompany argumentative essay prompts.
- The selected topic and proposed claim should be debatable.
- Argumentative essays conform to the standard essay structure: introduction, body, and conclusion.
- Each paragraph in the body of an argumentative paper presents one idea to the audience.
- After composing an argument, the author must evaluate it to ascertain that there are no logical fallacies.
- The four segments of body paragraphs should be apparent to the readers: topic sentence, evidence, evaluation of evidence, and transition statement.
- Writers must include an appropriate number of rebuttal paragraphs, which contain an objective critique of competing arguments.
- Argumentative essays do not contain any emotional appeals or slanted language.
- Authors should avoid the distortion of evidence and any other form of irresponsible handling and reporting of evidence.