Are interesting debate topics a myth? Not if you convince the professor to let you choose the issue to discuss! If you have to waste hours and days scouring the web for evidence and new takes on the problem, you might as well have fun. Today we talk about the basic rules for choosing good debate topics and provide you with a list of suggestions and prompts to make your own.
Interesting Debate Topics and Where to Find Them
Whether you are looking for debate topics for college students or high schoolers, there are specific criteria the issues should meet. Let’s go through them and consider the places to look for the most exciting topics:
- Your question should be relevant for the audience and the class you take. Look for appropriate issues to discuss in the course syllabus and suggested reading. This way, you save yourself and your classmates a lot of time on debate preparations.
- Your debate topic should be fresh and exciting for you and your class. Do not look for inspiration in books and journals that are over a decade old. Instead, go through your Instagram or Twitter feed, browse news headlines and consider the latest trends in the field of your study.
- Your topic should be interesting. Once you narrow down the choices to two or three options, run a survey among your classmates. They might throw in new ideas and inspire you to improve your picks.
If you are still at a loss, scroll down to our assortment of good debate topics for a variety of classes. But first, let’s talk theory to make you realize the full potential of your choice.
Types Of Debate Topics By Format
Your professor might not specify the exact type of debate topic you need to create, but there are three distinct groups. While you might argue that the point of every debate is taking a controversial issue, developing an argument, and persuading the opponent and the audience, there are subtle differences. Once you realize them, you will be able to craft compelling arguments and appeals that suit your debate type.
Persuasive Debate Topics
Persuasive writing and speaking differ from the argumentative approach. Instead of researching all sides and forming an objective opinion, you set out to convince the opponent and the audience that your point of view is the only right answer. You don’t always have to address the opposing arguments and can, instead, concentrate on your own take on the problem. Emotional or pathetic appeals work best for persuasive topics; therefore, you can talk about issues that do not come with a ready answer and allow for personal opinions and emphatic arguments.
Persuasive topics usually call for you to specify your preference:
- Who is the best fictional villain ever?
- What is the song everyone should hear at least once?
- What is the worst job in the history of employment?
Argumentative Debate Topics
Unlike persuasive topics, argumentative issues require you to be aware of all possible sides and account for opposing arguments in your speech and rebuttals. Logical arguments based on substantial evidence, numbers, and facts make up the core of the debate. Therefore, argumentative topics should be easy to research and collect supporting sources. You won’t be able to create a logical speech on your favorite pie variety or music band.
Argumentative topics usually take on the form of a question:
- Should convicts be able to influence society through elections?
- Does gap year enhance and hinder the student’s educational prospects?
- Do communities need libraries if no one uses paper books anymore?
Controversial Debate Topics
While similar to the previous type, controversial debate topics fall in the middle of the spectrum. While they require you to learn and understand the commonly accepted point of view on the problem, you are to develop and support an alternative argument that uses both logical and emotional appeals to support your unique take. These topics should have a clear prevailing view and enable you to argue your opinion that differs from standards and conventions.
Battle stereotypes to argue in favor of:
- Separate schools for male and female students
- Eliminating all languages apart from English
- Eating fast food three times a day
Remember that arguing a point in a debate does not mean you support it outside the classroom. You might be an avid meat-lover yet argue in favor of vegetarianism. Instead of shying from such topics, embrace them; they will help you master the art of the debate. Soon enough you will be able to argue any point, even if you wholeheartedly oppose it. It is a valuable skill, necessary whether you go on to work in Marketing, Sales, or IT.
Debate Topics. Examples for Every Class
We’ve come up with a few dozen debate topics for college students and high schoolers. You’ll notice our lists include a mix of argumentative, persuasive, and controversial debate topics. As always, you can mix and match any of the ideas you find peculiar and use them to tickle your imagination and develop issues we haven’t covered in this post. Have fun!
- Homework is unnecessary in the learning process.
- Should students be allowed to carry guns in school?
- Are European universities worse than American ones if they offer free education?
- STD testing should be free and available in every school and college.
- What is the most useless class you have ever taken?
- Is professor more critical to your progress than a course syllabus?
- Standardized tests do not evaluate knowledge.
- How many hours a day is too much to spend on learning?
- What makes students hate school?
- Should teachers be required to pass psych tests every year?
Science And Technology
- Does science disprove religion or support it?
- Bing is the best search engine online.
- What is the most important scientific breakthrough of the 21st century so far?
- Self-driving cars endanger more people than they can save.
- Who should pioneer the space colonization?
- Space travel is not worth the billions of dollars we waste on it.
- Electric cars produce more emissions than conventional vehicles.
- What should scientists concentrate their efforts on?
- YouTube is driving intellectual degradation.
- Cell phones do not need extra features; they must only make calls.
Health And Medicine
- Vaping is worse than smoking for your health and the people around you.
- Why can’t doctors cure cancer?
- Who is responsible for the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria?
- Health insurance should not be obligatory for everyone.
- Does technology improve the quality of life or ruin it?
- What are the positive effects of alcohol on the brain?
- Sugar is the most dangerous drug of the 21st century.
- Can meditation and yoga replace psychological consults?
- Why are vaccinations necessary to keep society healthy?
- Which disease threatens humanity most?
Psychology, Sociology, and Ethics
- Can teachers and parents prevent bullying or are children cruel by nature?
- Should psychology be an obligatory class in high school?
- Why is prostitution not legalized along with medical marijuana?
- Is traumatic divorce better than an unhappy marriage?
- Couples should sign short-term relationship contracts instead of marrying.
- Which religion makes the most sense to you?
- Would theocratic society be peaceful or oppressive?
- What influences character more: heritage or surroundings?
- Is eating plants as cruel as consuming meat and fish?
- What is the right age for sexual self-identification?
Politics and Economics
- Voting age should be 30 or higher.
- Banks should not be allowed to give out so many loans.
- Was the last presidential election rigged?
- Who is responsible for the economic crisis: the government or the people who voted it in?
- Why is nationalism overcoming worldwide integration thinking?
- Who is the best President in the history of the USA?
- Should we get rid of the President’s post as redundant?
- Do people vote based on emotional or logical reasons?
- Can high taxes help overcome economic crisis?
- Do CEOs deserve their million-dollar paychecks?
- Are movies a good substitute for books?
- Live concerts are the best way to appreciate music.
- Every student should learn to play a musical instrument.
- How many hobbies and activities are too many for a teenager?
- Can video games and movies substitute a classroom?
- Should parents get to decide a child’s hobby?
- Classical music is the cure for stress and anxiety.
- Who is the best superhero?
- When will social media replace face-to-face interactions?
- Are all trivia nights rigged?
- Zoos do not protect animals but endanger them.
- How will shale gas production influence local ecosystems?
- Plastic packaging is the most dangerous environmental threat.
- Are nuclear power plants cleaner than fossil fuel ones?
- Every person should be aware of his or her environmental footprint.
- Clean water will be the most sought after resource in the future.
- Is riding a bike better for the environment than driving a car?
- Everyone should plant a tree per year to save the planet.
- We don’t have to worry about ecology with space colonization around the corner.
- Which movie or book came the closest to depicting the current state of the environment?
- History is not a science, but a subjective retelling of past events.
- No one can ensure the history records are right.
- Who is the most misunderstood historical figure of all time?
- What is your favorite historical period and why?
- Are futurists ignoring history or creating it?
- History only remembers individuals, not masses.
- When does the history end, and fiction begin?
- Were Ancient Romans or Greeks the biggest perverts?
- What are alternative views on World War One?
- How can you ensure future generations will remember you?
Funny Debate Topics
Please, don’t take these funny debate topics seriously. These are just the things we like to think about to get away from everyday stress. You may use our prompts to start a funny battle of wits among friends or discuss them in your class if your professor still has a sense of humor.
- What was the best meme of the last year?
- Which smoothie flavor reflects your character best?
- Friday should become a national “wear-pink-to-work” day.
- What is the funniest tweet by President Trump?
- Should movie theaters only show comic book adaptations from now on?
- What is the silliest rule your school makes you obey?
- Would you rather go a day without food or a week without Instagram?
- Smartphones should come with reverse filters to let you see people’s real faces.
- Which animal would you want to be in your next life?
- What would be an anthem of the city named in your honor?
Are You No Good with Debate?
You are not alone! Public speaking, let alone debating, is a valuable skill, but high school and college classes do not devote enough time by far to allow you to practice and hone your argumentative and persuasive speaking. Coupled with dozens of essays you must submit, you have no time to research the topics and formulate the arguments to secure a win in a debate.
We hope our list of topics will help you get some work done; however, we can do more! If you are running out of time, reach out, and let our professional writers write an essay for you. With years of experience and laser focus, they will draft your arguments and provide the references to enable you to blow your competition out of the water. We’ve got your back in this fight!