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100+ Interesting Debate Topics

Author:

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?
100-debate-topics

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.

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

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on July 23, 2020:

Superb. I think we covered many of these in my debate club in college. Great write up.

oofman on March 03, 2020:

they said my comment was too short

Ilhom on March 02, 2020:

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.

kenneth lee gibson on February 12, 2020:

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

mahadevanaalakshminanth on February 12, 2020:

Topics are quite interesting.

Niconael mollel on February 10, 2020:

Helpfulll topics

shapoor khan on February 05, 2020:

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

think you Khan

hridya on January 25, 2020:

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

thankyou

Jordan on January 23, 2020:

Very helpful for me and my class mates

Juma on January 10, 2020:

Helpful topics.Thanks

yassine on December 04, 2019:

Im inspired.

YolkCaptain5 on November 26, 2019:

Man! These are great topics

Aaria on November 25, 2019:

these are very nice Topics

imakaren on November 20, 2019:

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

Water Castle on November 15, 2019:

All topics are very good.

brandon on November 14, 2019:

nice

Niharika on November 12, 2019:

Awesome topics

HIMANSHU on November 08, 2019:

So good

Ikkarma on November 07, 2019:

I am inspired

Kanchan singh on November 06, 2019:

The topics are wonderful !

Moana on October 27, 2019:

I had so much 2 choose!!!

:) thanks for these

Olona on October 22, 2019:

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

bob on October 22, 2019:

good ig

Lakshay Sehrawat on October 21, 2019:

It is very helpful to me

Armstrong Cheeks on October 17, 2019:

Thanks this is interesting to learn

Whizprince on October 17, 2019:

I found it helpful

boiiii on October 16, 2019:

thanks

Timur on October 15, 2019:

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

Charlotte on October 09, 2019:

all the topics are good ideas

Somon on October 09, 2019:

I have learnt many interesting informations

kantavia on October 01, 2019:

so cool

Narges on September 28, 2019:

Thank you very much

brains on September 22, 2019:

Very helpful too

Phuong phuong on September 13, 2019:

Good topic!

a messenger on September 09, 2019:

topics given are really good .

A student on September 05, 2019:

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

Prathana on September 04, 2019:

Nice work keep it up

Samuel M. on August 30, 2019:

Helpful.

Pranali on August 25, 2019:

Topics are really good for improvement

pink on August 16, 2019:

nice :)

Jaivansh Sharma Khataulvi on August 11, 2019:

Excellent support to gonna-debaters.

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

Raven white on August 03, 2019:

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

soa milodguè n'ni on July 24, 2019:

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.

iwata on June 19, 2019:

awesome!

Lucas Agyemang on June 18, 2019:

helped me pass my English exam

keji on June 12, 2019:

perfect

Lana on June 09, 2019:

Really helping in my english class with my essays!

THE REAL BOI on June 03, 2019:

helpful in english

James Charles Number Two Fan on May 27, 2019:

helpful for my assignment in english!

Isabella on May 23, 2019:

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

James Charles Number One Fan on May 21, 2019:

helpful for my assignment in english!

Moyo on May 16, 2019:

Nice topics.It helped with my school assignment.

Anonymous on May 16, 2019:

This was helpful

Yay on May 02, 2019:

Thanks

Durinisas on May 01, 2019:

this was helpfull thx

kirideku on May 01, 2019:

this was very helpful

Bakugo on May 01, 2019:

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

Narnia on April 22, 2019:

thx very helpful for my assignment

person on April 21, 2019:

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?

Peytan on April 10, 2019:

these topics are very helpful...

Alexia on April 10, 2019:

This helped me with my english assigment thx

Mary-Beth Bethbeth on April 04, 2019:

These topics are very interesting!

Egede Asuquo peter on March 30, 2019:

There are interesting and educating topics

Akanksha Kumari on March 26, 2019:

It is very helpful to me

Zafarjon on March 25, 2019:

They are helpful topics thanx

Unknown on March 23, 2019:

Really helpful for my son to refer any topics at here

toni on March 21, 2019:

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

Ryland Walker on March 14, 2019:

Nice topics

Jack on March 11, 2019:

Smoking should be banned because it is bad for you

`12345 on March 07, 2019:

cant find one but all are good

CAJIV on March 05, 2019:

Helped me with persuasive essay, thx.

Kotaro Tanaka on February 27, 2019:

Very helpful for my English assignment to.

navin on February 13, 2019:

all topics are very nice

Love you on February 06, 2019:

I love this

Stephen K on January 29, 2019:

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

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