100 Argument or Position Essay Topics with Sample Essays
1. Have to be about an issue where people don't agree.
2. Can be disagreements about facts, definitions, causes, values or solutions.
Choosing Your Topic
Each topic question is followed by the type of claim statement it makes which can help you find a topic if your assignment is to write a particular kind of essay. All of the claim types are useful for "Argument," "Position," or "Expository" essays. In addition:
- Fact and Definition claims are good for "Definition" or "Description" essays.
- Cause claims are useful for "Cause Effect" or "Causal" essays.Policy claims are good for "Problem Solution" or "How to" essays.
- Value claims are good for "Comparison and Contrast" essays.
- Policy claims are good for "Problem Solution" or "How to" essays.
Sample Student Essays
Social Media Debates
War and Military
Race, Culture, and Identity
- Is there a way to reduce abortions without legislation? (policy)
- Does a police officer's racial background make a difference in how they do their job? (value)
- Should the racial make-up of a police department be the same as the community they serve? (definition)
- How can pro-life and pro-choice groups work together? (values)
- Should Barbie be banned? (value)
- Should reality T.V. shows have regulations? (policy)
- What is true beauty? (definition)
- Is video gaming good or bad? (value)
- Are beauty contests a positive thing for young girls? (value)
- Are participation trophies in athletics a good idea? (policy)
- Are overbearing sports parents helpful or harmful? (definition)
- Should young children be pushed to compete at athletics? (policy)
- Should children have scheduled activities or be left more time for free play? (value)
- What is the cause of the increase in child obesity? (cause)
- How can we encourage children to be more active? (policy)
- Should people on welfare be required to submit to drug testing? (policy)
- Why do so many celebrities have terrible life problems? (cause)
- Should media coverage be regulated? (policy)
- What is the effect of media coverage on elections? (fact)
- What is human trafficking? (definition)
- How can human trafficking be stopped? (policy)
- How do elected female officials differ from elected males? (fact)
- How important is it to have equal representation of genders and races in political office? (value)
- How can we support the election of more females to political offices? (policy)
- How can we get more minorities to become police officers? (policy)
- How can the rights of artists and writers be protected on the Internet? (policy)
- Why should you pay for your music? (value)
- Does religious persecution exist? (fact)
- Should people be allowed to make "designer babies?" (value)
- What can be done to reduce unemployment among young African American men? (policy)
- Should the minimum wage be raised or lowered? (policy)
Does sugar make us hungrier?
Sample Student Essays
- How Christians Can Believe Evolution
Can faith and science be compatible?
- Should You Put Your Parent in a Nursing Home?
This essay argues that sometimes, a nursing home can be the best choice.
- Poor Across Oceans
This essay argues that we need to care more for people in developing countries.
- Hunger Hurts
How can we solve the problem of hunger?
- Should we have a national high school exam? (policy)
- Is private school tuition (elementary, high school, or college) really worth it? (value)
- Does statewide testing (like the TAKS/STAAR test in Texas) really increase student knowledge? (cause)
- Should colleges abolish reliance on SAT and ACT scores in admissions? (policy)
- How should the country's school system be reformed? (policy)
- Should the U.S. adopt an educational system like Europe's? (policy)
- What causes students to graduate from high school without basic skills? (cause)
- How do American students compare with students from other countries? (fact)
- What role should technology play in education? (value)
- What is the value of a liberal arts education? (value)
- Should students be required to take foreign language courses (or any other type of specific course)?
- Does adding days to the school year really improve learning? (fact)
- Should schools continue to spend money on fine arts? (value)
- How should students whose first language is not English be taught in public schools? (policy)
- Should college athletes be paid? (policy)
Social Media Debates
- Cell phones control our relationships. (definition)
- Computers are changing the way humans think. (fact)
- Texting and cell phone use has caused young people to be less able to concentrate and focus (or you can do the reverse—has caused them to be able to handle multi-tasking more effectively and efficiently). (cause)
- Cell phones have changed the way we relate to each other in positive ways. (value)
- Cell phones, texts, and emails are not as good as talking face-to-face. (value)
- Textbooks should be replaced by i-Pads and online resources. (policy)
- How are online technologies changing the way we live? (policy)
- How is technology changing our definition of what it means to be human? (value)
- What laws should we have about cell phone use in cars? (policy)
- How is social media changing family relationships? (definition)
- Should parents limit teenagers' use of social media? (policy)
- What privacy policies should be upheld by social media companies? (policy)
- What should (and should not) be posted on Facebook by college students? (value)
- Should scientists be allowed to experiment on human embryos? (value)
- What is nanotechnology? What are its applications and possible uses in the future? (definition)
Which kind of topic are you most interested in?
Is China the Next Superpower? (Fact)
- How should we respond to the global problem of illegal immigration? (policy)
- Would a border fence solve the immigration problem in the U.S.? (fact)
- What is the relationship between immigration and nationality? (definition)
- What causes people to immigrate illegally? (cause)
- Should the U.S. have a visitor work program? (policy)
- How has immigration affected the history of the U.S.? (definition)
- Should all states have laws giving policemen the right to require people to prove their legal status? (policy)
- How can legal immigration be streamlined? (policy)
- Who should be allowed to immigrate? Who should not? (value)
- How many illegal immigrants live in the U.S.? Who are they and where do they live? (fact)
Toilet Video Games? Have We Gone Too Far?
War and the Military
- Is war inevitable? How does war become integral to society? (definition)
- How do people justify war? (value)
- What might help establish peace? (policy)
- Should the U.S. continue to act as a policeman for other countries? (value)
- How should the United States defend itself against terrorism? (policy)
- Is drone warfare ethical? (value)
- How is cyber warfare becoming more important? (fact)
- Is the U.S. engaging in cyber attacks on other countries? (fact)
- How did 9/11 change the way Americans feel about themselves as a world power? (definition)
- Should military spending in the U.S. increase or decrease? (policy)
Race, Culture and Identity
- How important is race to American identity? (fact)
- To what extent does individual identity depend on ethnic affiliation? (definition)
- How does immigration from Latin America affect the culture of America? (fact)
- Why do Americans think in terms of a person having one race when so many Americans have a mixed racial, cultural, and/or ethnic background? (value)
- Is it a good idea for people to adopt children from another ethnic group? (value)
- What is culture? (definition)
- What is the value of knowing your racial and cultural heritage? (value)
- Should schools be required to teach multiculturalism? (policy)
- Should churches work harder to be multi-racial? (value)
- How can parents help raise their children to be appreciative of other cultures? (policy)
- Is global warming a problem and if so, what can we do about it? (fact)
- How can we resolve the economy versus environment debate? (policy)
- How can we be sure to provide clean water for everyone? (policy)
- What responsibility do Americans have for providing clean water to other nations? (value)
- How will the worldwide population increase affect our planet? (fact)
- What can be done to stop poaching of endangered species? (policy)
- Is hunting good for the environment? (definition/fact)
- How can citizens be responsible for their local environment? (policy)
- What can manufacturers do to help clean up the earth? (fact)
- What is the importance of clean water? (fact)
- What is the relationship between health and pollution? (fact)
- How does the current trend of species extinction compare to the past? (fact)
- What can Americans do to stop global pollution? (policy)
- How can we encourage people to recycle more? (value)
- How does global warming increase the dangers of disease in the U.S.? (fact)
Are Group Projects Useful?
Other Places to Get Ideas
Use Your Textbook
Sometimes, it can help to look through your textbook to find essays to spark ideas. In my class, we use a book by Nancy Wood called Perspectives on Argument. In the back of this book is a list of suggested issues and articles related to those issues. Usually, these articles are just a start for looking for a topic. You can take an idea from the article you like and then research it to find out what different people think about that issue.
Still having trouble finding a topic? Try looking up an issue you are interested in on YouTube. You might get some good ideas just browsing around. Sometimes the title of a video can give you a main idea and title. Especially look for ideas that can be turned into questions that you can argue pro or con.
Look at Magazines and Newspapers
Whether you go online or look at a paper copy, you can use the news to give you an idea of what to write about. Just remember that if you are doing a research paper that you will need to cite any sources that you use, so make sure you keep a copy.
Questions & Answers
What do you think of "Is our society too dependent on social media?" as an essay topic?
I think your topic is a very popular one and you should find a lot of research on it. However, rather than saying "society," I would specify a group of people like teenagers, college students, young adults, Americans, or just "people today." Using "society" is not really correct because "society" can't really be dependent; people are dependent.
Where are the position paper samples?
If you look at the section which has "Sample Student Essays" you will see some links to example essays.
What do you think of "Should reality T.V. shows have regulations?" as an essay topic?
That is a good question and you could use a lot of interesting situations from the show to argue your position. The overall topic that this falls under is the idea of censorship. Therefore, you can use articles about censorship and T.V. content in research for this paper. Additionally, you might want to use qualifiers in stating your opinion. That means using statements like:
Only in the case of... should...
How would "What is the solution to the problem of sexual assault" work as an essay topic?
This is a very current topic and you might want to narrow this a bit:
What is the best way to fight sexual assault on college campuses?
How can the entertainment industry (or any other industry you want to name) fight sexual assault and harassment?
How can an individual woman best protect herself against sexual assault?
What laws can be changed to better protect people against sexual harassment?
How can parents (or teachers or some other authority) best prevent sexual assault?