100+ Interesting Debate Topics
100+ Debate Topics to Choose From
Coming up with a current and interesting debate topic can be tricky. There are all sorts of things you have to consider when picking a subject: whether you'll be able to talk for long enough about it, how excited you feel about it, how easy it will be to research, what your English teacher will think of it, and much more.
So, what makes a good debate topic? A good one is simple to define and understand, but complex enough to let you have a long and interesting discussion about it. To help you out, this article lists 100 of the best, most current, and most interesting debate topics imaginable. It includes topics related to school and education, politics, technology, social issues, the environment, and more.
Educational Debate Topics
- A college degree is essential for getting a good job.
- Are student loans exploitative?
- All students should have to purchase a laptop.
- Boarding school is harmful for students.
- Cell phones should be banned in schools.
- College should be free for everyone.
- Contact sports should be required in school.
- Do you need homework in order to learn?
- Education should be privatized.
- Education should focus on maths and science rather than music and art.
- Fast food should be banned in schools.
- Girls should be actively encouraged to enter STEM fields.
- Homeschooling is better than traditional schooling.
- Public schools are better than private schools.
- Religion should be taught in schools.
- Should free STD testing be offered in schools?
- Schools should have armed guards.
- Schools should teach abstinence-only sex education?
- Schools should teach LGBT+ inclusive sex education?
- Should standardized testing be abolished?
- School uniforms should be mandatory.
- Studying a second language should be compulsory.
- Teachers should be given guns to defend students.
- Teachers should be paid as much as doctors.
Political Debate Topics
- All people should be able to own guns.
- All prisons should be governmentally owned and run.
- Britain should leave the European Union.
- Churches should pay taxes.
- Communism is not a good political ideology.
- Is freedom of speech a necessity in a functional society?
- Is owning an automatic weapon morally justifiable?
- Is patriotism ultimately destructive to international relations?
- Is the US voting system democratic?
- Juries should include 24 jurors instead of 12.
- Politics should be kept out of schools.
- Presidential terms should be limited to two years instead of four.
- Rich people and large corporations should pay more taxes.
- Should illegal immigrants be treated as criminals?
- Should the U.N. have a standing army?
- Should the voting age be lowered to 16?
- Should there be limits on the First Amendment (free speech)?
- Should your country make a land claim on Antarctica?
- The British Monarchy should be abolished.
- The country should allow more refugees to enter.
- The U.S. should intervene in overseas conflicts.
- The US should abolish the electoral college.
- The West should lift all sanctions on Iran (or North Korea).
- Voting should be mandatory for all citizens.
Social Debate Topics
- Abortion should be available to all women.
- Barbie is a good role model for young girls.
- Burning the flag should be illegal.
- Can censorship ever be justified?
- Censorship is sometimes warranted on the internet.
- Companies should be required to hire 50% male and 50% female employees.
- Drug addicts should be helped rather than punished.
- Drug use should be treated as a mental health issue rather than a criminal offense.
- Euthanasia should be legal.
- Feminism should focus more on men's rights.
- Gay marriage should be legalized.
- Gay people should be allowed to adopt children.
- Has the #MeToo movement gone too far?
- Healthcare should be universal.
- Is feminism irrelevant in the 21st century?
- Is graffiti art just as worthy of regard as classical paintings?
- Is privacy important?
- Marijuana should be legalized.
- Peer pressure is a good thing.
- Police should be allowed to use deadly force.
- Religion does more harm than good.
- Sex work should be legal.
- Should genetic engineering be legal?
- Should human cloning be legalized?
- Should insurance cover cosmetic procedures?
- Smoking should be banned.
- Social media does more harm than good.
- The death penalty should be abolished.
- The government should provide free birth control.
- The harms of patriotism outweigh the benefits.
- The minimum wage should be lowered (or raised).
- We're living in a dystopian society.
Environmental Debate Topics
- Animals should have the same rights as humans.
- Climate change is the greatest threat in human history.
- Companies should be taxed on their carbon emissions and other negative environmental impacts.
- Everyone should be vegetarian.
- Fracking should be banned.
- Genetically modified foods (GMOs) should be banned.
- Is organic farming the future of agriculture?
- Is the Paris Agreement relevant anymore?
- Is tourism beneficial to an environment?
- Live animal exports should be banned.
- More land should be dedicated as national parks.
- Nuclear energy is the solution to the overconsumption of fossil fuels.
- Plastic bags and packaging should be banned.
- The best way to combat climate change is for individuals to reduce their carbon footprint.
- The sale of fur should be banned.
- Zoos should be banned.
Technology Debate Topics
- All cars should be electric.
- Are robots going to increase or decrease our quality of life?
- Artificial intelligence is dangerous.
- Does social media improve or impede communication?
- Has social media benefitted or harmed people’s social lives?
- Is technology going to save the world. . . or kill it?
- Is technology making people dumber. . . or smarter?
- Is technology the opposite of nature? (Are technology and nature diametrically opposed?)
- Is the use of technology changing people for the better. . . or worse?
- Should a person's social media be considered by school admissions, police investigations, and potential employers?
- Should humans colonize other planets?
- Should individuals own their own DNA?
- Robots should have rights.
- Technology will be man's downfall.
- We should invest more money into space exploration.
- What's better: traditional or online education?
- Will the development of artificial intelligence harm or benefit humankind?
More Controversial Debate and Argumentative Essay Topics
- Advertising should be banned during children's programs.
- Alternative medicines should be banned.
- Beauty pageants should be banned.
- Can animal testing be justified?
- Children should be exposed to technology.
- Dance should be considered a sport.
- Gaming should be considered a sport.
- Human cloning should be legalized.
- Is bad parenting to blame for childhood obesity?
- Parents should be able to choose the sex of their child.
- Parents should be able to choose their child's hair color.
- Parents should be able to refuse medical treatment for their children.
- Parents should limit the amount of time their children spend on technology.
- Pop music is the best kind of music.
- Should alcohol be sold after 10 pm?
- Should fines be scaled depending on income?
- Reality television is harming society.
- Unpaid internships should be against the law.
- Violent video games should be banned.
Which Topic Is Right for You?
Before you go picking a topic at random, you should first ask yourself a couple questions:
Who is my audience?
- If you're giving a persuasive speech in front of your middle-school or high-school English class, then picking a topic related to school or to a social issue that involves young people is a great way to keep your peers interested.
- If you're debating in front of a college-level audience, then you might try something a little more edgy or political.
What am I passionate about?
Once you've got your general topic pinned down, make sure to pick something that you're passionate about. Rather than choosing the most complex-seeming topic that you think will impress your teacher, pick something that genuinely interests you. Researching and writing your debate will be much easier if you're enjoying yourself and your passion will enliven your speech and be noticeable to your audience.
How to Write a Debate Speech
The basic formula for writing a debate is...
- to be given an opening line,
- to state and define your topic,
- to signpost your arguments,
- to rebut opposing viewpoints,
- to give your own arguments,
- and then round things off with a nice, simple conclusion.
If you'd like to find out how to optimise this formula and write the best debate speech that you're capable of producing, then check out my other article, How to Write a Debate.
At what level are you debating?
And there we have it: 100+ of the best current debate topics to feed all of your speech-writing needs. I hope that you've found a topic that appeals to you on this list, and good luck with your speech!
For a list of thought-provoking philosophical discussion questions, see 105 Philosophical Questions That Will Make You Think & Elicit Debate.
© 2018 K S Lane