What Makes A Good Argumentative Essay Topic

November 26, 2022 Umer
What makes a good argumentative essay topic

Argumentative Essay Writing 101

Argumentative essay writing is one of the most common types of writings done in academic institutions, from high schools to colleges and higher studies. It is considered tougher than descriptive and narrative essay writing because it is reliant on research and a rigid structure of the information.

If we are to define an argumentative essay, we can say that it is an essay where a writer needs to take a stance and then prove it through evidential information. The stance of the writer can be put forward as absolute truth or the better version of it. 

The structure of an argumentative essay is standard compared to other essay types, including an opening paragraph to hook the readers, the main body with arguments and references, and a conclusion to sum it all up.

When it comes to different argumentative essay types, there are more than one as is the case with expository essays. The common types of argumentative essays include research papers, analysis essays, and persuasive essays.

Three Common Approaches To Argument Building

Arguments are logical observations based on reasoning to explain a phenomenon. In argumentative essay writing, argument building holds the center stage. An essay can be as formidable as its main arguments and sub-claims. It also defines the level and scope of rebuttals and counter-claims for the essay.

In this section, we will take a look at three common types of argument-building methods.

Classical (Aristotelian)

The Aristotelian or Classical approach toward argument building is the application of a linear reasoning process to the problem. It starts with looking at a problem and proposing a solution. Then, the writer needs to test that proposal, work out its weaknesses and shortcomings and then put it back in the game. The game is now identifying the problem, proposing a solution, stressing why that solution is perfect, and then summing it all up in the end. This is what the classical argument-building approach is all about.

Rogerian

Rogerian argument is about assessing all the possible options and then coming up with a plausible solution to a problem while keeping in mind the interests of all parties involved. This is usually used in the type of essays where the subject matter is controversial and the goal of the writer is to reach a middle ground with the opposition. Another aspect of the Rogerian argument is that it acknowledges the merits of opposing arguments. That’s why it is used in academic institutions.

Toulmin

The Toulmin argument is about stressing a position firmly and then providing evidential information to remove any doubt in the minds of the readers. It relies on a series of six different steps to achieve that. The claim is the stance of the writer. The ground is what supports and proves the stance to be right. The warrant is what creates a bridge between grounds and claims. The backing is supposed to be the additional evidential information. The qualifier asserts the specificity of the claims. The backing and rebuttals only acknowledge other claims.

Why Students Need To Choose an Argumentative Essay Topic

In schools and colleges, students are often assigned tasks based on their acumen and academic level. These tasks can be about writing an essay or a paper that can help them solve a problem or answer a question.

Argumentative essay writing is a complex task but it can be streamlined through proper planning and training. Choosing the right topic is the first step in ensuring success. Most of the time, teachers assign the topics of the essays that students need to write. When that is not the case, they have to come up with one to ensure that they have chosen the right one. In the coming guide, we have identified the characteristics that a good argumentative essay topic should have.

Characteristics of A Good Argumentative Essay Topic

Just like an essay is identified by its elements and merits, the topic of an essay is characterized based on its plus points. Students are often asked to choose a topic for their argumentative essay and then write an essay on it. The problem is that they don’t know if the topic they have chosen is the right one. In this section, we have highlighted some of the traits that are found in all good topics.
Potential For Arguments
An argumentative essay is about presenting arguments and proposing a solution to the problem or answer to the question. There is always more than one side to the topic that others can explore or bring up to counter your claims or arguments. This is also done in the body of the essay where writers go through rebuttals and counter-claims to show that their arguments are sound.
Controversial
Controversy is not always bad, especially in academics. Whether you are writing a school argumentative essay or in post-graduation, it is best to look for novel angles in the discourse. Scholars have already scoured through various topics and areas. Virtually, there is no value for young writers in those topics. It is best to stir up scholarly controversy by expounding and making arguments about something new.
Enough Existing Material
Students cannot write a whole argumentative essay based on their imagination and memories. They need credible sources to get information for the essay. The topics you choose must have a solid base of research and information otherwise you would end up with nothing to back your arguments. The best way to know that is to scour through the libraries and portals to check the availability of data.

How to Choose The Best Argumentative Essay Topic

Choosing an argumentative essay topic can be daunting for students since they do not have enough knowledge or experience to separate the bad from the good. The peer review is not credible because it would not be too far from what they are. There must be a system or standard against which prospective topics and titles can be judged. This section is dedicated to helping students understand and master that yardstick to compare their topics and titles against.

Keep Personal Interests In Mind

Personal interests drive us as human beings. When we are interested in a thing, it does not matter how much time we have to devote to achieve that end. In the same manner, we need to have a sense of connection with the validity of the task. While choosing a topic for an argumentative essay, students should understand and value their likes and dislikes.

Look For Trending Topics

Trending topics capture the imagination of the readers. Writers would not have to try much when they have a winner on their side. The best way to look for trendy things is to go online and check out the content on social media and other platforms. They can also check out aggregated sites like Statista and other marketing tools to know where the interests of the public lie.

Brainstorming & Preliminary Research

To land a solid topic, writers need to do some heavy lifting. It starts with brainstorming the premise and lining up the relevant arguments and evidence with the fact. Once it is done and the topic is easy to handle through this path, it is time to bring in the big guns and do some research. The vetting process will make the process easier later on.

Make It Focused & Unique

There is no point in simply hinting at the area or the focus side that you want to explore in the essay. The best topics are the most focused and razor-sharped around the edges. To do that, it is necessary to dig deeper and deduct irrelevant dimensions to be left with the most important one. For instance, instead of writing on the best guard dog breed, work on the best guard dog breeds in Europe since the 1950s.

20 Excellent Argumentative Essay Topics

This section is dedicated to helping students with a little real action. These 20 argumentative essay topics can be taken as they are or students can tweak and mold them to their benefit. They range from simple arguments to controversial and thought-provoking ones.

  • What is your stance on the legality of abortion in the US?
  • Do you think that animal testing should be banned or not?
  • #metoo was a social and cultural disaster. Argue
  • Social media platforms are the sources of fake news.
  • The death penalty is just and humane.
  • The bane of human trafficking and modern societies.
  • Big pharmaceutical companies do not care about people.
  • The struggle to get the political ideology right.
  • The issue of equal rights for LGBTQ members.
  • What is your opinion on the legalization of CBD products?
  • The role of diversity in lawmaking and law practice.
  • Do you think medically-assisted suicide should be legalized?
  • Why is smoking decriminalized when it had a great run in the last century?
  • Do we learn from the past or the history repeats itself?
  • The fiasco of handling native Americans, then and now.
  • The bloody history of the American Civil War.
  • Reasons behind the rise of Nazism and fascism in Europe.
  • Healthcare is a fundamental right.
  • The right to own a gun is to have a right to kill someone.
  • Role of parents in childhood obesity.

F.A.Q

What is the easiest way to choose a topic for an argumentative essay?

Here is a simple guide to choosing the best topic for an argumentative essay:

  • Brainstorm and research
  • Look for current trends
  • Prefer personal interests and likes

How can I add a unique factor to the topic of my essay?

The best way to add a unique angle or factor to the topic of your essay is by either inducting a dimension or deducting it from it. The dimensions of space-time are the best to specify or generalize the topic, thereby giving them a novel element.


Why should you look for novelty in an argumentative essay topic?

It is because many of the areas and topics have been extensively explored by the writers. There is no point in repeating what has already been done.


Do I have to answer why I chose a certain topic for the argumentative essay?

Unless a teacher specifically asks for that in the guidelines, there is no need to reveal the reasons behind choosing a certain topic.


What are some red flags to consider in choosing the essay topic?

Following are some of the red flags that you must steer clear of:

  • Nascent developments
  • Low volume of research information
  • Too wide area of research

Is it the right decision to play safe with argumentative essay topics?

When in school, it is best to play safe with the topic selection. But when you are in college, it is best to explore the sore topics and come up with controversial and thought-provoking titles.


Final Thoughts

Writing a solid essay is based on solid pre-writing and post-writing phases. This blog was dedicated to helping students with what is a good argumentative essay topic and how to come up with one when they are assigned to write a whole essay on it. We have covered the characteristics and how to stay away from risky ventures. We hope that students will find this resource helpful in their endeavors to ensure that everything is right on track. Otherwise, much of the hard labor will go to waste.

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