Argumentative Essay Topics - Good College Essay Prompts
Are you about to do a writing assignment that involves argumentative writing, but you're struggling? Argumentative essays are one of the main essay types, and it's no surprise that they are a common assignment students undertake. But this essay type has its peculiarities.
In this article, you will find not only answers to these questions but also a wide selection of more than 30 topics in argumentative essay prompts you can use to your advantage.
Understanding the Meaning
An argumentative essay is a piece of writing in which the writer presents arguments in a logical and coherent manner with the aim of establishing the validity of their chosen stance. When advancing arguments to support your chosen stance (also known as the thesis), you should find and use the most compelling pieces of evidence. They could be direct and public statements, events widely reported in the mainstream media, relevant anecdotes from individuals, facts and data from reputable or highly regarded sources like national and international government agencies, professional bodies, and non-profit organizations. Here are some examples: The US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), The National Bureau of Economic Research, US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Science Foundation (NSF), International Labor Organization (ILO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Energy Agency (IEA), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).
Apart from presenting the evidence, you should also analyze the facts. In practice, you do this by breaking down the data, drawing connections, and showing how they support your thesis or how they weaken the opposing stance. As you do that, envision in your mind that your audience is in front of you or you are in front of a crowd. Ask yourself - how would you best express your view and arguments in the language of your audience to ensure they easily connect with and understand your points?
As it concerns selecting an argumentative essay topic on any subject area, one important concept to understand is an essay prompt. What does that mean? An essay prompt is the statement that is used to introduce the topic of the writing. It could be a section in the passage of a text (book, newspaper, magazine, journal, etc.). Most importantly, a prompt contains a question or clear call to action. This is often the last part of the prompt following the opening statement. Because of the CTA or question posed, a prompt always elicits a response. In essence, the essay you write is just your response to the prompt.
When trying to choose a topic, also bear in mind the following qualities of good topics for argumentative writing.
- They are debatable.
- The topics are researchable.
- They are current and stimulating.
- They are specific, hence manageable.
Structure of An Argumentative Essay
As with virtually all other essay types, argumentative essays are expected to have a structure to them. You can't simply write to bare your mind on an issue without proper planning. It is important that you present your ideas in an orderly and coherent manner. The following are the main sections to be included.
- The introduction
- Body of arguments
- The conclusion
The introduction paragraph provides background information on the topic and also should include the thesis statement. The body should start in a new paragraph. In it, present and explain a major idea to defend your view or weaken the opposing view. The same should be done in other paragraphs. The conclusion paragraph allows you to recap your thesis and how you defended it.
A Broad List of Topics
Here, we present an extensive list of argumentative essay prompts and ideas.
They are grouped into different topic areas and have been presented as essay prompts. Bear in mind that you can always modify whichever you select to fit whatever requirement you have. But also make sure that you run them by your college professor or teacher since they can help you refine the topic or advise you on whether you should abandon it and choose another. The decision usually comes down to the relevance of a chosen topic to your course.
Also, when selecting your topic, don't forget to pay attention to the earlier mentioned qualities of good argumentative writing topics.
Education, Learning, and Work Topics
- Nowadays, it would seem like rich people can buy their children's way through college and jobs. Do you think doing that makes their children more successful than the ones who worked hard to get into college and eventually get their dream jobs?
- How people dress at work is often controlled by their employers. But do dress codes affect the workplace in any positive and meaningful ways?
- In today's shifting career and employment landscape, a lot of people are now asking how important college education is. Do you think it still has exactly the same level of importance as it had several decades ago?
- It is a widely held belief that Asian students, particularly of Chinese and Indian nationalities, perform exceptionally better than others in Science and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. How do you feel about that perception? Do you agree or not?
- Many people believe that having the right connections towers above high academic results when searching for jobs. Agree or disagree?
- Nowadays, young people are increasingly exposed to all kinds of reality television programs. Do you believe that youth can learn any valuable lessons from such programs?
- A news story in the New York Times that was published on December 8, 2018, indicates that 8 million people are working illegally in the US. It also covers why that is unlikely to change. What do you think of the issue? Does illegal immigration affect the economy in more beneficial ways than otherwise?
- Formal education, particularly in college, is important in helping students understand their disciplines, build their social skills and network. This may be true but how important is it to long term career and financial success?
- Given the increasingly connected and globalized world, cultural competence is a valuable skill for businesses and most multinational organizations. Do you agree it is important? And how valuable is it?
- There are students who spend tens of minutes, if not hours, listening to music on their phones during the school day. Many would argue that this is used as a way to boost their brain's learning capability. Do you agree that playing music for a few hours using earphones helps our brains learn things better?
- Social media and the Internet have their benefits. But in work settings, does uncontrolled access to social networks and website positively contribute to employees' productivity?
- Numerous scientific studies have shown that playing video games can help boost mental functions and learning ability. But does playing video games regularly and for long hours at a stretch negatively affect the academic performance of children in school?
Politics and Governance Topics
- The Green New Deal proposed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls for the US Federal government to meet the country's energy demand by a complete transition to clean, renewable, zero-emission energy sources in order to stem the human contribution to climate change. Is it realistic and implementable or just another ideal but impractical proposal?
- President Donald Trump has been accused by politicians and other groups of obstruction of justice, abuse of power and corruption in relation to the Mueller-led probe on Russia's alleged 2016 election interference and possible collusion. Is there any significant evidence enough to call for his impeachment?
- President Donald Trump has maintained his view (and a campaign promise) that the US needs to build a "great wall" along its southern border with Mexico to stop the flow of illegal immigrants with "lots of problems," bringing "drugs," "crime," "rapists," and "killers." Should the wall be built? If yes, by whom?
- The British government led by Prime Minister Theresa May has struggled with little success in getting a favorable Brexit deal from the EU. Should the British people hold a second referendum on Brexit?
- The incumbent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is accused of rigging the last presidential election in his favor. Accordingly, he is deemed by the West as illegitimate and has been asked to step down for his opponent Juan Guaidó. Is that call for a transition justified?
- President Donald Trump is racist. Argue for or against the assertion.
- The Saudi government has been widely accused of being complicit or ordering the gruesome murder of its citizen and US resident Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist who often spoke against oppressive Saudi government policies. Should the US Federal government stop arm sales to the Saudi government and impose economic sanctions as a way of standing against such a violation of human rights?
- The US government using its political and military power has for long played an adversarial role against the Assad regime in the Syrian conflict. Is it the right move for the Trump administration to completely pull American soldiers out of Syria?
- It is publicly known that the Trump administration holds immigrant children in detention centers with many of them separated from their parents. Defend or oppose that practice.
- The 2020 US Budget proposal of the Trump administration calls for increased defense spending while cutting spending in many other areas. Defend or oppose the increase in defense spending.
- Donald Trump's 2020 US Budget includes funding for his administration's proposed US Space Force as a sixth branch of the country's armed forces. Argue for or against the establishment of the military branch.
Family and Gender Matters Topics
- With the changing realities of the modern economy and the growing emphasis on gender equality, women should contribute equally to their husbands to the financial welfare of their immediate family. Argue for or against this view.
- God is central to religion and morality. Religion and morality are often closely connected. Do religious men and women make better spouses and parents?
- In many cultures, women have always been seen to be homemakers. But in our modern times, more women are choosing a career over staying at home to raise children. Is choosing to take the path to build a career a sign of how strong a woman is?
- Children who come out as transgender are considered by people with conservative views to be mentally troubled or in need of help. Are parents responsible for such development from their kids?
- There are people who believe that one can tell how strong women are by how often they participate in traditionally male activities. Argue for or against the assertion.
- Game addiction among young children is still a problem today. Who takes or shares the blame for this? Should parents take the blame or should the father and mother share the blame equally?
- Drug abuse and addiction by young people remain a growing public health problem. Addicts will go to any length to feed their addiction. Should teenagers be allowed to purchase prescription drugs and psychedelic drugs like methamphetamine and marijuana?
- By nature, parents have always been protective of the children. But how important is keeping drugs and guns away from them at home from an early age?
- Building and maintaining strong and close parent-child relationship in the family improves the academic performance of children in school. Argue for or against the assertion.
- In many cultures, men prefer to have male children over daughters. Do you think having a son instead of a daughter makes any difference?
- In a bid to encourage and boost the self-esteem of their young daughters, mothers may resort to allowing them to wear makeup and buying them other fancy fashion wears and accessories. Is that a healthy way to encourage self-love and beauty in children?
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