100+ Interesting Debate Topics

Updated on January 7, 2020
K S Lane profile image

K S Lane debated at a high-school level for four years and enjoys following debates online.

Great, interesting, and controversial debate topics for middle, high school, and college students.
Great, interesting, and controversial debate topics for middle, high school, and college students.

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 suit a high school audience perfectly.
Educational debate topics suit a high school audience perfectly.

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 are a little more serious and generally suit a high school to college-level audience.
Political debate topics are a little more serious and generally suit a high school to college-level audience.

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 and cultural debate topics suit audiences of all ages.
Social and cultural debate topics suit audiences of all ages.

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 can be research-heavy, but are a good choice if you're passionate about our planet.
Environmental debate topics can be research-heavy, but are a good choice if you're passionate about our planet.

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.

Both high-schoolers and college students can have fun debating technology topics.
Both high-schoolers and college students can have fun debating technology topics.

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?

See results

Conclusion:

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

Comments

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    • profile image

      oofman 

      4 months ago

      they said my comment was too short

    • profile image

      Ilhom 

      4 months ago

      Actually, your topics have made a great influence on ours students'mind.Moreover l would like to thank all who ve made a lot of efforts for making warm our discussions.

    • profile image

      kenneth lee gibson 

      4 months ago

      do you have a debate essay from 5th grade debate: for underwater and outer space exploration vs not underwater and outer space exploration

    • profile image

      mahadevanaalakshminanth 

      4 months ago

      Topics are quite interesting.

    • profile image

      Niconael mollel 

      4 months ago

      Helpfulll topics

    • profile image

      shapoor khan 

      4 months ago

      awesome. it is very helpful for me and for my student we look forward for this kind of topic

      think you Khan

    • profile image

      hridya 

      5 months ago

      very nice. I appreciate it that you put so much effort and made all these debate topics for us.

      thankyou

    • profile image

      Jordan 

      5 months ago

      Very helpful for me and my class mates

    • profile image

      Juma 

      5 months ago

      Helpful topics.Thanks

    • profile image

      yassine 

      7 months ago

      Im inspired.

    • profile image

      YolkCaptain5 

      7 months ago

      Man! These are great topics

    • profile image

      Aaria 

      7 months ago

      these are very nice Topics

    • profile image

      imakaren 

      7 months ago

      I have a topic to present in 16 hours and I’m starting just now because someone took mine, wish me luck :)))

    • profile image

      Water Castle 

      7 months ago

      All topics are very good.

    • profile image

      brandon 

      7 months ago

      nice

    • profile image

      Niharika 

      7 months ago

      Awesome topics

    • profile image

      HIMANSHU 

      7 months ago

      So good

    • profile image

      Ikkarma 

      7 months ago

      I am inspired

    • profile image

      Kanchan singh 

      7 months ago

      The topics are wonderful !

    • profile image

      Moana 

      8 months ago

      I had so much 2 choose!!!

      :) thanks for these

    • profile image

      Olona 

      8 months ago

      Thank you so much my debate trials were the exact same questions

    • profile image

      bob 

      8 months ago

      good ig

    • profile image

      Lakshay Sehrawat 

      8 months ago

      It is very helpful to me

    • profile image

      Armstrong Cheeks 

      8 months ago

      Thanks this is interesting to learn

    • profile image

      Whizprince 

      8 months ago

      I found it helpful

    • profile image

      boiiii 

      8 months ago

      thanks

    • profile image

      Timur 

      8 months ago

      Very thankful towards your work and effort, so much yet to be grasped!

    • profile image

      Charlotte 

      8 months ago

      all the topics are good ideas

    • profile image

      Somon 

      8 months ago

      I have learnt many interesting informations

    • profile image

      kantavia 

      9 months ago

      so cool

    • profile image

      Narges 

      9 months ago

      Thank you very much

    • profile image

      brains 

      9 months ago

      Very helpful too

    • profile image

      Phuong phuong 

      9 months ago

      Good topic!

    • profile image

      a messenger 

      9 months ago

      topics given are really good .

    • profile image

      A student 

      10 months ago

      This is one of the best sites where we can find the best debate topics.

    • profile image

      Prathana 

      10 months ago

      Nice work keep it up

    • profile image

      Samuel M. 

      10 months ago

      Helpful.

    • profile image

      Pranali 

      10 months ago

      Topics are really good for improvement

    • profile image

      pink 

      10 months ago

      nice :)

    • profile image

      Jaivansh Sharma Khataulvi 

      10 months ago

      Excellent support to gonna-debaters.

      Now I'm sure,my students will lift t trophy.

    • profile image

      Raven white 

      11 months ago

      Thank you . I am suposed to be in a debate . Now i hawe no worries.

    • profile image

      soa milodguè n'ni 

      11 months ago

      Thanks for your tremendous contribution in the process of helping English language learners. I incorporate them in my teaching program at Community English Center Togo and students love deliberating on all, except none.

    • profile image

      iwata 

      12 months ago

      awesome!

    • profile image

      Lucas Agyemang 

      12 months ago

      helped me pass my English exam

    • profile image

      keji 

      12 months ago

      perfect

    • profile image

      Lana 

      12 months ago

      Really helping in my english class with my essays!

    • profile image

      THE REAL BOI 

      13 months ago

      helpful in english

    • profile image

      James Charles Number Two Fan 

      13 months ago

      helpful for my assignment in english!

    • profile image

      Isabella 

      13 months ago

      This helped with my homework. I was supposed to at least have 1 debate topic now I have about 24

    • profile image

      James Charles Number One Fan 

      13 months ago

      helpful for my assignment in english!

    • profile image

      Moyo 

      13 months ago

      Nice topics.It helped with my school assignment.

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      13 months ago

      This was helpful

    • profile image

      Yay 

      14 months ago

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Durinisas 

      14 months ago

      this was helpfull thx

    • profile image

      kirideku 

      14 months ago

      this was very helpful

    • profile image

      Bakugo 

      14 months ago

      This was very helpful for my school speech! Thank you so much! This also gives me things to think about!

    • profile image

      Narnia 

      14 months ago

      thx very helpful for my assignment

    • profile image

      person 

      14 months ago

      I like these topics, they are all very good options, but i am an elementary school student looking for a debate for debate club, which one should I use?

    • profile image

      Peytan 

      14 months ago

      these topics are very helpful...

    • profile image

      Alexia 

      14 months ago

      This helped me with my english assigment thx

    • profile image

      Mary-Beth Bethbeth 

      15 months ago

      These topics are very interesting!

    • profile image

      Egede Asuquo peter 

      15 months ago

      There are interesting and educating topics

    • profile image

      Akanksha Kumari 

      15 months ago

      It is very helpful to me

    • profile image

      Zafarjon 

      15 months ago

      They are helpful topics thanx

    • profile image

      Unknown 

      15 months ago

      Really helpful for my son to refer any topics at here

    • profile image

      toni 

      15 months ago

      thanks for all the great topics they really helped me with my lesson thx

    • profile image

      Ryland Walker 

      15 months ago

      Nice topics

    • profile image

      Jack 

      15 months ago

      Smoking should be banned because it is bad for you

    • profile image

      `12345 

      16 months ago

      cant find one but all are good

    • profile image

      CAJIV 

      16 months ago

      Helped me with persuasive essay, thx.

    • profile image

      Kotaro Tanaka 

      16 months ago

      Very helpful for my English assignment to.

    • profile image

      navin 

      16 months ago

      all topics are very nice

    • profile image

      Love you 

      17 months ago

      I love this

    • profile image

      Stephen K 

      17 months ago

      This is a good list thx very much. Helpful for my English assignment.

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