40+ Most Controversial Argumentative Essay Topics

November 8, 2022 F WP
controversial argumentative essay topics

40+ Most Controversial Argumentative Essay Topics

Table of Contents

Argumentative Essay Writing

In a nutshell, argumentative essay writing is about convincing the readers by formulating strong arguments and then providing empirical evidence to back those claims. Like other essay types, argumentative essays follow a rigid structure so that readers find it easy to follow and understand the theme or central idea.

The hallmarks of argumentative essays include an unbiased tone and voice, an objective approach toward the subject matter, and structured information. The same around found in expository essays, but they can have multiple arguments and postulates regarding the thesis statement. Whereas an argumentative essay has only one.

Writers need to carry it throughout the essay by providing both logical explanations as well as references and citations from other publications. 

It has three common types, including research papers, analysis papers, and persuasive essays.

What is A Controversial Argumentative Essay?

Controversy can stem from anywhere. It is defined as prolonged debate or public displeasure over any idea or its manifestation. Throughout history, there were many controversial publications, including essays and dissertations, that charged the public against the writers.

When a writer supports an argument that is against general public perception, the essay becomes controversial because many disagree with its contents. Argumentative essays have the potential to become controversial because they are neither subjective nor speculative. When a writer provides proof and evidence for his “controversial”, it enhances its potency as well as controversy.

Students in schools and colleges enjoy some artistic freedom as they can explore controversial topics. But they have to be careful and highly detail-oriented to ensure quality and acceptance.

Why Controversy And Disagreement Is Important

Many people believe that controversy and disagreement are bad for academia and society as a whole. Since people have opposing views of the same thing, they become hostile to one another. The reality is quite contradictory to these views.

For the advancement of society, controversy and disagreement are important. The established ideas and norms should be challenged, intellectually, to gauge their worth in both academic and practical matters. People come to believe certain things without peeking much under the hood. Argumentative essays with their far reach and strong command of the facts can help readers and writers uncover new truths about the things that have been established for millennia. To do that, controversy and disagreement should be welcomed.

Controversial Argumentative Essay Topics

We have encouraged students to take up controversial ideas and treat them academically to uncover truths. But they could be at odds as to what ideas or things to explore in these areas. We understand this and that’s why we have dedicated this whole section to providing 40+ controversial argumentative essay topics for students.

These topics range from social issues, politics, culture, academics, and more. If students cannot come up with one, they are welcome to pick one as it is or modifies it to meet their criteria.

Controversial Argumentative Essay Ideas On Social Issues

Society was formed before the political and economic institutions. Both social structure and the underlying issues were born when two human beings decided to depend on each other for survival. Argumentative essays cover different social issues and provide clear insight into their causes and effects. For a controversial topic, this list will help students to base their argumentative essay on social issues that are not easy to take and treat because of public outcry.

  • Is global warming a myth pedaled by naysayers to scare us off?
  • What can be the suitable course of action to decelerate global warming?
  • Can governments enforce measures on people to improve the environment?
  • Is the death penalty effective in eradicating crimes in society?
  • Should it be banned permanently?
  • What kind of offenses warrant as severe punishment as the death penalty?
  • Do common causes of war stem from our nature as killing machines?
  • Can non-combatants justify war?
  • Is there a way to outcast war as a solution to social issues?
  • Should tobacco products be banned for good?
  • Why society will be a better place without tobacco products?
  • What will happen to the people who are addicted to tobacco if it is eradicated?
  • Is it controversial to employ animals for scientific research?
  • Will it be practical to ban animals from scientific research?
  • Is it morally acceptable to have coitus before getting married? 

Controversial Argumentative Essay Topics On Politics

Politics is still one of the most unifying and polarizing phenomena in the world. People often flock to one side and contest and detest others, mostly visible during public debates and elections. Controversial political topics can be perfect for students who want to unearth underlying issues and factors behind the force and potency of politics. In that spirit, here are some topic suggestions for argumentative essays that can be controversial.

  • What are the deepening effects of the current state of gun laws?
  • Should there be a mechanism to provide guns to only eligible people?
  • Is globalization a good idea for nation-states?
  • What are the effects of globalization on major and regional powers?
  • Can we foresee the effects of globalization ten years from now?
  • Should abortion get a green light around the world?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of legalizing abortion?
  • Is there a way to de-stigmatize abortion in conservative societies?
  • Is torture an acceptable form of interrogation?
  • Is torture more effective than other humane methods?
  • What are the moral grounds that are against torture?
  • The interconnection of religion and politics
  • Should the church be more active in politics?
  • How can we separate the church and the state in public affairs?
  • Is universal peace a dream?

Controversial Argumentative Essay Ideas On Culture

Culture is hard to define but you can tell when you see one. Apart from social issues and politics, culture is another thing that is a hot topic that people explore or refrain from it due to personal reasons. As an academic, you can explore different things about culture including the controversial aspects. The best thing to do is to look at the topics for argumentative essays that we have covered in this section for a quick start.

  • Should prostitution be legalized in every country?
  • Should the laws be amended to accommodate commercial sex workers?
  • Do interracial marriages improve tolerance?
  • Should interracial marriages be encouraged?
  • Should controlled substances be legalized?
  • What is the condition of the black market because of the banning of controlled substances?
  • Are people paying too much taxes or too less?
  • Should the rich pay more taxes to alleviate the condition of the poor?
  • Are school homework and assignment affecting students’ mental welfare?
  • Should home assignments be scrapped from the system?
  • Are college tuition fees too high?
  • What will happen to the job market if the college fee is zero?
  • Should human beings be masters of their lives to end them?
  • Should euthanasia be legalized to give rights to people?
  • What happens to the professionals who are found guilty in euthanasia cases?

Choosing A Controversial Argumentative Essay Topic

It takes guts to make up your mind about writing a controversial argumentative essay. Still, this part is easy. The hardest part is choosing a topic that is controversial but provides true value to the discourse. Students often find it hard to pick and polish a topic for their argumentative essays that can set the direction and scope for the essay. This section is dedicated to helping students to choose and work on the best topics.

Brainstorm Ideas

It all starts with brainstorming. Students need to explore more than one idea in depth before settling on one. Often one idea comes as an epiphany and it seems perfect. But further scrutiny can only determine whether it is worth it to explore or not. That’s why brainstorming can help students to have multiple ideas to explore and test. All of them should be written and dissected properly before settling on one.

Do Research

Research is the key to argumentative essay writing, especially when it is on a controversial topic. Sometimes students do not even know that their essay would create controversy. They have to conduct extensive research and ensure that their arguments and evidence are based on sound foundations. If that is not the case, it will not take much time for the opposition to discredit the essay and the writer.

Develop A Thesis

A thesis is the essence of the argument that a writer is putting forward in the essay. It is a distillation of the thought and the postulates that will make rounds in controversial argumentative essays. Developing a thesis requires the exploration of possibilities and testing assumptions against established norms. It will not be an overstatement to say that an argumentative essay is as good as the thesis it depends on.

Test Validity of The Idea

Before moving forward with an idea, either explored through the body of the essay or done so succinctly through the thesis statement, testing its depth and endurance is a must. To do so, writers should go through multiple credible sources to rally support for the idea. If they can find enough support from established literature, it will help them in explaining and establishing the supremacy of their ideas.


Following are some of the attributes that make a good argumentative essay topic:

  • It should have novel elements
  • The premise should not be readily accepted by the majority
  • It should not reveal everything nor hold everything back
  • It should grad readers’ attention and make them read the whole essay

Good argumentative essays are thought-provoking and cover the ground that the essay itself cannot. Many instances have proved that they can add much more value to the essay than merely covering space for the heading. Good argumentative essays can be about society, culture, sports, politics, and so on.

An argumentative research essay is a type of argumentative essay in which writers rely on extensive research to base their arguments. They are more like definition essays where they have to reveal certain qualities or characters of the subject through reliable references and citations from already accepted sources.

To write a strong argumentative essay that can garner support for the writer, here are the steps to follow:

  • Brainstorm multiple ideas
  • Develop a strong thesis
  • Test your thesis against logical and evidential information
  • Find validation through further scrutiny

An argumentative essay should start with a hook to get readers invested in the essay. It can be a question, a statistic, or a bold or shocking statement. Whatever you do, it needs to connect the dots with the topic and make readers care for the essay.

Since writers want to convince and persuade readers about their side of the argument, structure is a must. It will help the writers to present their arguments in an easy-to-follow manner. Readers will understand it better and decide easily whether they want to endorse that thought or not.

Learning Through Controversy

The controversy should not be considered a bad thing as it helps us to learn more and question the established norms. Argumentative essays can be controversial, especially when writers determine to explore topics and areas that are not welcomed by both academics and people. In this post, we have shared multiple threads on topic suggestions for your argumentative essays that can be controversial to many. We have also shed ample light on how to choose the perfect topic for your essay.

Other things were covered by frequently asked questions.

So, if you are going to write a controversial argumentative essay, this is the resource to start your journey by picking the right topic!

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