Of all the resources we publish on The Learning Network, perhaps it’s our vast collection of writing prompts that is our most widely used resource for teaching and learning with The Times.
This list of 401 prompts (available here in PDF) is now our third iteration of what originally started as 200 prompts for argumentative writing, and it’s intended as a companion resource to help teachers and students participate in our annual Student Editorial Contest. (In 2017, the dates for entering are March 2 to April 4.)
So scroll through the hundreds of prompts below that touch on every aspect of contemporary life — from social media to sports, politics, gender issues and school — and see which ones most inspire you to take a stand. Each question comes from our daily Student Opinion feature, and each provides links to free Times resources for finding more information. And for even more in-depth student discussions on pressing issues like immigration, guns, climate change and race, please visit our fall 2016 Civil Conversation Challenge.
What’s your favorite question on this list? What questions should we ask, but haven’t yet? Tell us in the comments.
And visit our related list as well: 650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing.
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An argumentative essay is a particular type of academic writing. It requires students to develop and articulate a clear position on their respective research topic. This argumentative position is advanced and supported through the engaged use of research to support the writer's perspective in the attempt to convince his or her audience to share the author's view. To write a strong argumentative essay, students should begin by familiarizing themselves with some of the common, and often conflicting, positions on the research topic so that they can write an informed paper. Students then need to begin compiling relevant evidence, including statistics, expert opinions, and verifiable facts to support their position.
Generally speaking, the primary purpose of an argumentative essay is to persuade an audience to see things from another perspective, particularly one that may go against their entrenched presuppositions.
What Constitutes a Strong Argumentative Essay Topic?
In choosing your topic, it is often a good idea to begin with a subject that you already have some familiarity with. Even if you chose to hire professional help for the paper, writing on a topic you have knowledge of and interest in will make a much better platform for your ideas, and you will have a better command of the relevant issues pertaining to your topic. It is often a good idea to choose a topic that tends to elicit an emotional response. Getting your audience invested emotionally can go a long way in persuading them to see your perspective, and getting engaged with your paper.
Chose Your Own Topic or Have Your Essay Completed For You
We provide an excellent list of topics to get you started writing your own argumentative essay. However, we also offer services to have your essay written for you for a small fee. Our company currently has hundreds of professional writers with extensive backgrounds in academic contexts, including research, essay and dissertation writing. Our employees have written hundreds of essays for students across the world. Our company has the knowledge and experience required to customize essays to suit any academic context or subject, and to ensure you receive the grade you want. Contact us now to see how we can provide you with these services!
If you decide to compose the paper on your own, below is the list of strong argumentative paper topics. Some of the more frequently discussed ones include sample essays.
Middle and High School Level Topics
- Should obtaining contraceptives require teenagers to have parental approval?
- Should restrictions be imposed on the number of passengers a minor is allowed to transport in his or her vehicle?
- Should it be mandatory to obtain a high school education?
College Level Topics
- When is it justifiable to employ military force?
- If a minor commits a crime, should the parents be held accountable?
- Should academic success be the main determining factor in college admissions?
Topics You Would be Wise to Avoid
- Is our current governmental process just?
- Are athletes unfairly compensated for their skills?
- Should a moral limit be imposed on how far science can go?
- Should we take at face value all of the claims made by infomercials?
- Should it be permissible to post videos of funny cats on social media sites?
- What song is the absolute worst one ever written?
- Video and computer games can negatively impact those who play them.
- Sexual education is the best way to prevent teenage pregnancy and a variety of other issues.
- Is it legal to terminate a pregnancy?
Topics in Bioethics
- Is it moral or justifiable to employ animals in research?
- Cloning should be a forbidden practice.
Topics Pertaining to the IT Sphere
- Some internet browsers and search engines can prompt privacy and security concerns among users.
- Sites, where you can download protected content, violate copyright laws.
- Should there be regulations imposed on YouTube commenters?
- Do you agree or disagree that the Internet has become too commercialized?
Topics Relevant to Legal Issues
- Do gun control regulations help to reduce crime?
- Is capital punishment a justifiable action?
- Is the practice of euthanasia a defensible one?
- The book "Twelve Angry Men" is a literary representation of democracy, including its potential flaws.
- Should same-sex marriage be legalized?
- It is never justifiable to submit someone to torture.
- Smoking in commonly held places should not be permitted.
- Regulations in society are becoming too controlling.
- It is wrong to make the use of marijuana legal in some states.
- It should be illegal to produce and sell cigarettes.
Topics of Social Concern
- Racial tolerance is enhanced by cross-cultural marriages.
- The behavior of children from one-parent homes is different from those who come from a two-parent household.
- Criminal activity is more frequently engaged in by men rather than women.
- Youthfulness makes people more rebellious by nature, and consequently, young adults are more receptive to negative influence.
- Children who saw violence on TV are more likely to be violent themselves
- Sexual content on TV influences teenagers in a negative way.
- The best way to improve education is to homeschool children.
- Because trees recycle air, the destruction of rainforests should be prohibited.
- To reduce gas prices, should countries drill for oil in environmentally protected places?
- Global warming does not actually exist.
- Do electric cars potentially offer a remedy to worldwide pollution?
Topic Pertaining to Society and the Media
- Is it true or false that women' body images are influenced by the media?
- Is it true or false that there is causality between playing violent video games and perpetuating violence in schools?
- Do cities have an obligation to preserve old or historic buildings?
- Losing weight can not be achieved by dieting.
- Acquiring the loyalty of employees can only be done through monetary rewards.
- Career success is no longer dependent on life-long learning skills.
- The veracity of Correspondence Theory of Truth is a legitimate position to hold.
- Japan should not be allowed to claim the Dokdo islands as they are the property of Korea.
- Ghost hunting involves the deception of people.
Advice on How to Write an Excellent Argumentative Essay
- body paragraphs
Utilizing the above structure for an argumentative essay will help keep you focused, and ensure that your audience can follow your argument.
- The opening paragraph states the paper's thesis topic clearly and concisely and elaborates very briefly on the background as well as the importance of the subject.
- The body paragraphs come after the introduction paragraph. This is where the writer advances his or her arguments and provides accurate and trustworthy evidence to support them.
- The type of supporting evidence should be based on the topic of the essay: factual, anecdotal, logical or statistical.
- After conveying his or her own position, the author addresses alternative perspectives.
- The essay is finished with a concluding paragraph. This is a highly important component of the essay, as this makes a final impression on the reader. Here the author should briefly summarize the key points he or she has made in the body paragraphs, as well as state why his or her perspective is to be preferred. A few comments on the significance of the topic for a contemporary audience should also be included here. The conclusion should not include any new information that was not previously addressed in the paper.
Another helpful resource to make your writing seem more polished is to employ connection words.
How are Connection Words Supposed to be Used in Writing an Argumentative Essay?
Connection words act like bridges between the ideas articulated in your paper. They assist in the flow of the paper as you transition from one idea to another.
Addition: also, in addition, together, likewise;
Contrast: however, in reality, still, despite, nevertheless, otherwise;
Cause or Purpose: for the purpose of, as/so long as, given that, with this in mind;
Result: therefore, for this reason, consequently, accordingly, as a result;
Conclusion: all things considered, as shown above, in conclusion, for the most part, to summarize.
How Will this Knowledge Help Me in the Future?
Knowing how to write a strong argumentative paper helps you advance your own argumentative thinking. Thinking critically and being able to persuasively advocate your own position are fundamentally important skills to have in contemporary society. In many professional contexts, respectful argumentation is what leads to the development of new ideas and perspectives. Being able to compose a strong argument will help you succeed in society.
Part of what constitutes success is the ability to maintain focus, and in particular to direct your focus to what you really think and how you want to devote your future time, life, and resources. The more time you can invest in this, the further ahead you will be in pursuing your career goals.
We have been writing academic papers for students since 2015. We encourage you to employ our services as one of the components of your career success trajectory.
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Many brilliant people who achieved success in life were actually academic drop-outs. Because they were so preoccupied with what was important to them, they often couldn't complete their homework on time. Regardless if you are a successful business entrepreneur, have a hectic job in a fast-paced corporation, or have a personal emergency or unforeseen circumstance, failing a class or module is a possibility if you do not have your academic work submitted in time. That's why our essay writers are here to provide assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg had been aware of our services, they likely would have gotten their degrees on time!