100 Easy Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas with Research Links and Sample Essays
Choosing an Easy Topic
Need a great argument paper topic? My first piece of advice is to write about something you already know. Below, I share other things I've learned as a teacher and offer lots of ideas about choosing topics. I also save you time by giving you links to videos, research articles, and sample student essays. Good luck! If you get a good grade, be sure to come back and tell me!
What You'll Find in this Article:
1. Instructions for how to (and how not to) pick a topic.
2. Lists of topic ideas (in the categories of food and health, obesity and dieting, recycling and the environment, families and relationships, and science and technology, with videos and many links to research and student essay examples.
3. Step-by-step instructions for how to write your essay.
How to Pick a Good Topic
- Choosing a topic that everyone is talking about makes writing an argument essay easier.
- Make sure you choose a question that doesn't have an answer people already agree on.
- Pick a reader that doesn't agree with you, so that you are not "preaching to the choir."
- It also helps if the topic is something everyone has an opinion about: this will make it easier to get examples to back up your essay, either from articles or from people you interview.
- Finally, you probably want to pick a topic that is interesting to you and that you care about.
What Topics Not to Pick:
Steer clear of overused topics like abortion, gun control, and the death penalty. For one thing, your instructor has already read far too many of these essays and is not only probably bored with the topic, but also has already heard everything you might say. Moreover, although those may seem like easy topics, they really aren't, because most people are set in their ways about these issues and it is hard to think of an argument that might change their minds.
4 Sample Student Essays
Sometimes, looking at an example is helpful, so here are some sample student essays that were written by students in my College English classes:.
- Is Deforestation Worth it? Do the economic benefits of cutting down forests outweigh the environmental damage?
- What is Love? What kind of love leads to a lasting relationship?
- Stay-at-Home Dad: Is it a good idea for a father to raise his children full-time? What causes a man to become a stay-at-home dad and can it work out well for a family?
- Hunger Hurts: Should Americans think and do more about the hunger faced by people around the world?
Obesity and Dieting Topics
- Why are Americans rapidly becoming more obese?
- What can be done to help children maintain a healthy weight?
- How can people lose weight and keep it off?
- Is weight gain caused by genetics, environment, or some other factor?
- How do naturally thin people stay that way?
- What is the relationship between food, exercise, and weight?
- Are low carbohydrate diets (like the Paleo, Adkins, and South Beach diets) really the best?
- Do planned-meal diets like Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem really work to help people keep weight off?
- Why are Weight Watchers and other calorie-counting diets often considered the best by doctors?
- Is controlling weight really a matter of "calories in, calories out?"
- What is the best diet for a young adult?
- Can vegetarian diets be healthy?
- Why are so many people now choosing to go on gluten-free diets?
- Is sugar really bad for you?
- Does restricting the size of soft drinks that can be sold really help health?
- Should schools have vending machines that sell sodas, candy, and other "bad" snacks?
- What can schools do to promote better health in students?
- Does intermittent fasting really help you to be more fit?
- How can morbidly obese people lose weight safely?
- Is the T.V. show The Biggest Loser helpful in motivating people to be healthy? Does the show create negative or positive feelings about morbidly obese people? Does it exploit the contestants?
- What causes anorexia? How can it be prevented? How can you help an anorexic friend? Why are more young men becoming anorexic?
- What is morbid obesity? How does morbid obesity affect a person's health?
- What should we do about the cost of healthcare for overweight people? Should there be a greater insurance premium for people who are obese?
- Is surgery a good method for people to lose weight?
- Are sugar substitutes helpful for dieting?
- Is fat really bad for you? Is a low fat diet the best?
Why are Americans rapidly becoming more obese?
Research Articles on Obesity and Dieting
Here are some professional articles and websites that can help you start researching about obesity and dieting. Many of these articles contain links to other research, too.
- "Long Term Weight Loss Maintenance," by Rena R. Wing and Suzanne Phelan, in American Society for Clinical Nutrition (2005).
- The National Weight Control Registry. An account of over 10,000 individuals who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time.
- Overweight and Obesity. U.S. government reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Diet Topic Articles from Psychology Today.
Can We Cure Obesity?
Recycling and the Environment Topics
- What can we do to help people around the world have clean water to drink?
- Is hunting good or bad for the environment?
- Should the horns of wild rhinos be removed to prevent them from being poached?
- Can we protect wild areas and animals by promoting eco-tourism?
- Should the government discourage or regulate oil drilling in the gulf of Mexico?
- What are the dangers of fracking?
- Does recycling really make a difference?
- Should all states adopt a deposit on soft drink bottles and cans in order to promote recycling?
- Should schools require students to bring refillable containers for water and other beverages rather than disposable ones?
- Should supermarkets charge for plastic bags in order to encourage the use of reusable bags?
- Should your city (or campus) do more to encourage recycling?
- What causes people to litter? What could motivate people to clean up after themselves?
- What causes earthquakes? What can we do to reduce death or damage from earthquakes? Or how can we better predict them?
- Does being a vegetarian or vegan help the environment?
- Can using LED lights make a difference?
- How can composting help save the environment?
- What is hazardous household waste and why is it important not to throw it in the regular trash?
- What is deforestation? How does it happen? Can it be stopped?
- What is fracking? Is fracking worth the risks? Does fracking hurt drinking water?
- What is a carbon footprint? How can we change our carbon footprint?
- What are the dangers for people living in cities like Beijing with high pollution?
- Is nuclear energy really safe?
- What should be done with nuclear waste?
- What is the best way to handle our trash? Are landfills a good idea?
- Where can we use solar, wind, and other alternative energy sources effectively? What is the best way to encourage alternative energy use? (Government regulations? Incentives? Helping companies that produce these products? Advertising?)
The Most Polluted City in the World
Environment Research Links
The World Bank on Environment: Information and research about environmental issues around the world.
The New York Times Environment Archive: Search for your topic to find information and articles.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: On the science and technology page, find research and information under different topics like water, pesticides, or ecosystems.
Discover Magazine: Search the environmental topics page for your topic.
U.S. Government Recycling and Conservation: Statistics and information.
Family and Relationship Essay Ideas
- Should mothers stay home with their children?
- Do long distance relationships work?
- How can divorce be prevented?
- Is divorce something that kids can recover from?
- Are teenage marriages a good idea?
- Should teenagers that get pregnant keep their children?
- How can you get out of "the friend zone"?
- How can you know you are in an abusive relationship? Why do people stay in abusive relationships?
- What are the effects of domestic violence on children?
- Who should do the chores in a family?
- What are helicopter parents and how do they help or harm their children?
- Is it good to be an only child?
- Is doing sports together a good thing for families?
- How have video games impacted family life?
- Why do some people treat their pets as family members? Is this a good or bad thing?
- How important are grandparents to children today?
- How does interracial adoption affect a family?
- Are large families better for children?
- How does birth order affect children?
- Do older people make better parents?
- Have cell phones and social media made families closer or not?
- How should (or shouldn't) you use social media in a dating relationship?
- How long should people date before they become engaged?
- What makes people have a happy, long-lasting marriage?
- Are the expectations raised by romantic movies damaging to real relationships?
Are Beauty Pageants Good for Kids?
Family and Relationship Research
"The Impact of Divorce on Young Children and Adolescents" by Carl Pickhardt in Psychology Today, 2011.
"Mothers Who are Jealous of Their Daughters" by Karyl McBride in Psychology Today, October 21, 2013.
"Long Distance Relationship Benefits Include Greater Intimacy, Study Says" by Catherine Pearson in Huffington Post, July 18, 2013.
"7 Research-Based Principles for Making Marriage Work" by Margarita Tartakovsky.
- What is nanotechnology and how has it already changed our lives?
- How will nanotechnology affect dentistry or medicine?
- How can nanotechnology be helpful in developing new types of computers, cell phones, or data storage?
- Does using cell phones make people more or less connected?
- Do cell phones cause a cancer risk?
- What should the laws be concerning the use of cell phones while driving?
- Have social media and texting hurt or improved the lives of teenagers?
- Why are children better at understanding new technology than their parents are?
- Do violent video games cause people to act out violently?
- Should schools use video games as a teaching tool?
- Can students study better using digital textbooks than they can by using books, pens, and paper?
- Will paper and books become obsolete?
- What is the difference between reading on a screen and reading a book?
- Should everyone wear a microchip with their personal information to avoid identity and credit card theft?
- Should parents be able to choose the genetics of their children?
- Are smart watches going to replace cell phones?
- What is the next big leap in technology?
- Which is better, the PC or the Mac?
- If we can help people live longer through technology, should we? Is there a balance between quantity and quality of life?
- How can 3-D printers be used effectively?
What is Nanotechnology?
Science and Technology Research
SciTech Daily: Science and new technology news and research reports.
CNN Technology News: Updates of the latest trends.
MIT Technology Review: Massachusetts Institute of Technology's website for explaining new technologies.
9 Gadgets (and Other Tech) to Be Excited About in 2015 by Darren Orf at Gizmodo: January 18, 2015.
Easy Step-by-Step Writing Instructions
If you want to write a quick and easy argument paper, follow these simple steps:
- Pick a topic question from the lists above.
- Decide your answer to the question (this is your beginning thesis).
- Write down everything you know about the topic.
- Talk to your friends or family to find out what they know, have heard, or have read recently about the topic (have them give you the source if they know it).
- Look at some of the research articles or web sites about that topic.
- Look back at your question and refine your answer. After gathering information, you may want to change it.
- Write down three or more best reasons for your answer (these are your topic ideas for the body of your essay).
- Using those reasons, look at the articles you've read or the ideas you've already written down for some evidence to support those reasons (this is the backup evidence for each topic sentence).
- Write your outline, then follow it to write your paper.
For more detailed essay instructions, see How to Write an Argument Essay, Step-by-Step.
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