Home Schools & Teachers 100 Compelling Argumentative Essay Topics for Kids and Teens

100 Compelling Argumentative Essay Topics for Kids and Teens

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Writing a strong argumentative essay teaches students to make a case for their own point of view without relying on emotion or passion. These argumentative essay topics provide options for kids of all ages, including controversial subjects and some that are just for fun.

What’s the difference between argumentative and persuasive essays?

These two types of essays are similar, but there are some subtle and important differences.

  • Author’s purpose: In an argumentative essay, your job is to simply convince the reader that the point of view you’re presenting is valid, even if it doesn’t change their mind. Persuasive essays seek to sway the reader to adopt your point of view over any others.
  • Method: Argumentative essays rely heavily on well-researched facts and logical assertions. In a persuasive essay, the writer may use a blend of emotion and facts to win over the reader.
  • Audience: Persuasive essays require a specific audience, since the writer must acknowledge and attempt to overcome their potential objections. The writer of an argumentative essay is simply making a statement, so knowing their audience is less important.
  • Viewpoint: A persuasive essay writer should believe their point of view is the only correct one, and try to persuade the reader to agree. Argumentative essays acknowledge other points of view, but use reason and logic to argue that the writer’s point of view is best.

Persuasive and argumentative essay topics often overlap. The difference is in how the writer approaches the topic. When you assign one of the topics below as an argumentative essay, remind students to use research, reason, and logic to make a strong but dispassionate argument.

School and Education Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Should physical education be part of the standard high school curriculum?
  • Schools should require recommended vaccines for all students, with very limited exceptions.
  • Should all students have the ability to attend college for free?
  • What one class should all high schools students be required to take and pass in order to graduate?

What one class should all high schools students be required to take and pass in order to graduate?

  • Do you think homework should be required, optional, or not given at all?
  • Students should/should not be able to use their phones during the school day.
  • Should schools have dress codes?
  • If I could change one school rule, it would be …
  • Is year-round school a good idea?
  • Which is better, private schools or public schools?
  • Should every student have to participate in athletics?
  • Do you think schools should ban junk food from their cafeterias?
  • Should students be required to volunteer in their communities?
  • What is the most important school subject?
  • Are letter grades helpful, or should we replace them with something else?

Are letter grades helpful, or should we replace them with something else?

  • Should schools be allowed to ban some books from their libraries?
  • Which is better, book smarts or street smarts?
  • Are single-gender schools better or worse for students?
  • Are computers making teachers obsolete?
  • Students who fail a test should be given a chance to take it again.

Science and History Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Is it acceptable to use animals for experiments and research?
  • Vaping is less harmful than smoking tobacco.
  • Do we really learn anything from history, or does it just repeat itself over and over?
  • Is it OK to keep animals in zoos?
  • Should we ban plastic bags and bottles?
  • Should we still consider Pluto a planet?

Should we still consider Pluto a planet?

  • It’s important to spend tax dollars exploring space, instead of on other things.
  • Is there life on other planets?
  • Who was the best/worst American president?
  • Should vaccines be mandatory?
  • Are GMOs more helpful than harmful?
  • Is animal cloning ethical?
  • Should human cloning be legal?
  • Should we use stem cells from human embryos for scientific research?
  • Is it better to provide drug addicts with treatment instead of punishment?

Is it better to provide drug addicts with treatment instead of punishment?

  • Should we ban the use of fossil fuels?
  • Can we truly do anything about human-caused global warming?
  • Are electric vehicles better than gas-powered ones?
  • Was life really better “back in the day”?
  • Choose a foreign conflict (e.g., Vietnam or Afghanistan) and argue whether or not the United States was justified in getting involved.

Life and Ethics Argumentative Essay Topics

  • The most important challenge our country is currently facing is … (e.g., immigration, gun control, economy)
  • Does social media do more harm than good?
  • The best country in the world is …
  • Are men and women treated equally?
  • Is it better to be vegetarian/vegan than to eat meat?
  • Should little kids be allowed to play competitive sports?
  • Who faces more peer pressure, girls or boys?
  • Should kids have set bedtimes or just go to bed whenever they’re sleepy?

Should kids have set bedtimes or just go to bed whenever they’re sleepy?

  • Which is better, artificial Christmas trees or real ones?
  • Playing violent video games is bad for kids and teens.
  • Parents should track their kids using their cell phones.
  • Are paper books better than e-books?
  • All kids should play on the same sports teams, regardless of gender.
  • All paper documents should be replaced with electronic versions.
  • Is conflict necessary for change?
  • Is war ever justified?
  • A strong middle class is vital to the economy.

A strong middle class is vital to the economy.

  • Is the local minimum wage truly a living wage?
  • Should we do away with gender-specific public bathrooms?
  • Is a progressive income tax better than a flat tax?

Social Justice and Civics Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Capital punishment does/does not deter crime.
  • Would it be better to legalize, tax, and regulate all drugs (including alcohol and cigarettes) instead of banning them?
  • Parents should be punished for their minor children’s crimes.

Parents should be punished for their minor children’s crimes.

  • The government should provide free internet access for every citizen.
  • Is democracy the best form of government?
  • Is capitalism the best form of economy?
  • Should all Americans be required to vote?
  • Should we change the minimum driving age in the United States?
  • Do you think the government should find a way to provide free health care for everyone?
  • School-age children should be allowed to vote.
  • We should/should not abolish the electoral college.
  • Are “Stand Your Ground” laws effective?
  • Supreme Court judges should be appointed for fixed terms.

Supreme Court judges should be appointed for fixed terms.

  • Does segregation still exist in the United States?
  • We should/should not continue building a wall between the United States and Mexico.
  • Will stricter gun control laws help control mass shootings?
  • Should we make the path to American citizenship easier?
  • Is the American justice system inherently racist?
  • Should we redirect some or all police force funding to social services?
  • Should the United States implement a universal basic income?

More Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Choose a fictional character and explain why they should be the next president.
  • What animal makes the best pet?
  • Who is the world’s best athlete, present or past?
  • Which is better, reading books or watching TV?
  • Is a taco a sandwich?
  • Should kids be allowed to stay up as late as they want?

Should kids be allowed to stay up as late as they want?

  • What’s the best video game system?
  • Kids shouldn’t have to go to school on their birthdays.
  • Is video gaming a sport?
  • Are beauty pageants sexist?
  • Should kids get participation trophies for sports?
  • Are stereotypes ever right?
  • Is there any benefit to teaching proper grammar and spelling, or should we allow language to be descriptive instead of prescriptive?
  • All teenagers should have part-time jobs.
  • Should kids have limits on screen time?
  • Is it better to read fiction or nonfiction?
  • Should kids have to eat everything on their plate, even if they really don’t like something?

Should kids have to eat everything on their plate, even if they really don't like something?

  • Is it better to spend an hour a day reading or exercising?
  • Is graffiti an act of vandalism or an art form?
  • Should society hold celebrities to a high moral standard?

What are your favorite argumentative writing prompts? Come share your thoughts in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Also check out 100 Intriguing Cause and Effect Essay Topics for Students.





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