How to Choose Good Topics for an Argumentative Essay: A Quick Guide

No more agonizing choice of argumentative essay topics – just apply this quick checklist to any ideas you consider. The first three questions will help you determine whether this topic is good to write on, while the last one provides an additional insight.

  • Are you passionate about this topic?
  • Having a genuine interest in your subject is desirable for writing any kind of paper, but for a persuasive essay it is a must. If you do not consider your subject important, how are you going to persuade others that it is? If you do not really believe in what you are writing, how can other people believe you? Choosing a boring topic will not only make you hate writing this essay but also make your paper stiff and unconvincing.

  • Is this topic controversial?
  • A controversial topic is the one on which two opposite views are possible. You can’t write a good argumentative essay with the idea that air pollution is bad – no one would argue against it. However, if you discuss whether polluting plants should be shut down, depriving local people of their jobs, to keep air clean, you can produce a great paper.

  • Is there enough material?
  • There are no “good” or “bad” arguments to make in a persuasive essay – anything will work if you support it well. To support your argument, you need facts, statistics, and examples from reliable sources. Check any specific requirements your assignment sets to the choice of sources, and follow them. For example, you might have to use one textbook, two scholarly articles, and one reputable website.

  • Are many of your classmates going to write on the same topic?
  • There is no single view on whether you should crave for a unique argumentative essay topic or not. Some experts persuade that instructors get tired of reading lots of essays on abortion or gun control, while others claim that what really matters is not what you write about but how you write. Do not drop a topic only because it seems too generic. Think of a unique personal insight you can offer. For example, if you describe your experience at a meat factory that turned you into a vegan, you can produce a strong and original paper despite the topic’s being common. However, if you want your essay to stand out, a survey of your classmates can help. Find out what they are going to write their persuasive essays about, and choose something different.

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