Topic Selection: 12 Controversial Topics for Persuasive Essays

Persuasive essays are not for the faint of heart. However, for those that attempt them, one of the best ways to insure interest is to drum up controversy. This makes the process rewarding and fun, and your readers will be glad to read about what you have come up with. To that end, here are some wonderfully controversial topics that anyone can appreciate.

  1. Is education a waste of time? It seems that the costs of education keeps rising but people do not seem to be getting any smarter. Are there other things we should pursue instead?
  2. Should drugs be legalized? There is a growing movement worldwide to end the war on drugs, but would this do more harm than good?
  3. Consider a hot button area in the world, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Who is right?
  4. DDT has recently been approved by the UN as a pesticide. This chemical was considered one of the more dangerous chemicals in existence, and was once credited with untold environmental destruction. However, some evidence suggests this was never the case. What is an appropriate policy?
  5. Nationalism causes many problems, including international fighting, racism, and economic randomness. In addition, varying world economic and environmental laws contribute to poverty, exploitation, and environmental devastation. Would a one-world government be a solution to nationalism?
  6. Which religion is right?
  7. Obesity is becoming an epidemic in many developed countries, especially in the western world. Should there be a concentrated effort to prevent this in the educational system, and should there be grades requiring some absolute level of physical fitness for high schoolers? Discuss.
  8. In America, there are rising levels of student d
  9. A meritocracy is a system where everyone is rewarded by ability, or merit. Capitalism, in some ways, is defended by people who thing we should live in a meritocracy. By the original coiner of the term himself used the word to describe a dystopia. Are there disadvantages to this system or should we relentlessly pursue it?
  10. It in ineffective to coddle children emotionally, and if they are bullied it is their own problem to solve. Intervention by adults merely causes more problems, and they should fend for themselves. Is this reasoning correct?
  11. How valid is cultural relativism?
  12. What is an effective solution to racism?

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