Paper Writing Guidelines: 10 Argumentative Essay Topics

The argumentative essay is a staple in classes from junior high school to college and the ability to take a side and defend it is invaluable in life. However, there are important guidelines to follow when writing an argumentative essay that may mean the difference between winning and losing or between earning an A or an F.

State Your Opinion As Fact

In an argumentative essay, you are trying to present something as absolutely true rather than just what you think is true. Therefore your language needs to be strong. The statement "Pizza is the best food on Earth" works for an argumentative essay while "I think tacos are good" doesn't.

SAMPLE TOPICS

  • Movies - State that your favorite movie is the best movie of all time.
  • Hobbies - Argue that everyone should engage in a specific hobby.

Speak From the Heart

The best argumentative essays are the ones when you actually believe in what you are writing about. If you are able to choose your topic, write on a topic that is important to you. "The Chicago Cubs will win the next World Series," or "Everyone should own a rescue dog," are strong statements that the writer can support with strong examples.

SAMPLE TOPICS

  • Music - Write about why your favorite band deserves an award.
  • Charitable Causes - Argue why your favorite non-profit group deserves support.
  • Literature - Explain how a character or situation in a book has a deeper meaning.

Consider the Other Side

There are many controversial issues and you may be assigned to argue something that you don't believe in. However, you will find that researching the other side of an issue will give you an appreciation for a different perspective. So if you get the topic, "School uniforms should be mandatory for all students in the United States," take the opportunity to learn about what the proponents are saying.

SAMPLE TOPICS

  • Political Issues - Choose a recently proposed law and argue for the unpopular side.
  • Current Events - Find a world issue and argue for the side that seems underrepresented.
  • History - Argue on behalf of the losers of a war or conflict.

Have Fun and Be Creative

Occasionally, teachers will allow students to pick a topic of their choice for an argumentative essay. While it may seem safe to choose a topic that you can research easily, imagine how much more fun you will have arguing that dogs should be taught to drive cars, or that everyone should brush their teeth with chocolate.

SAMPLE TOPICS

  • Controversy - Make a statement that you know will get a strong reaction.
  • School Culture - Suggest a change in the school that nobody thinks possible.

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