Argumentative essays are a common academic assignment for students in high school and college.
An argument essay aims to present an argument on a particular topic, support it with evidence and logical reasoning, and persuade the reader to agree with your point of view.
A well-written argumentative essay can help students develop critical thinking, research, and analytical skills and contribute to their overall academic success.
However, selecting the right topic for your argumentative essay can make all the difference.
Here are the dos and don’ts of selecting argument essay topics for academic success.
Dos of selecting argument essay topics
- Choose a topic that interests you
When selecting an argument essay topic, choose a topic that interests you. If you are passionate about a particular subject, writing about it and researching it will be easier. When you write about something that interests you, you will likely produce better-quality work.
- Research extensively on the topic
Once you have chosen a topic, research it thoroughly. Look for credible sources such as academic journals, books, and online articles. Gather as much information as possible, and take notes to organize your thoughts and ideas. The more research you conduct, the more informed and persuasive your argument will be.
- Choose a topic that is relevant to your field of study
When selecting an argument essay topic, choose a topic relevant to your field of study. This will help you integrate your learning and contribute to your overall academic success. For example, if you are a psychology major, you might consider writing an argumentative essay on the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy for treating depression.
- Choose a debatable topic.
This means that there should be two sides to the argument, and both sides should have evidence and logical reasoning to support their viewpoint. For example, a debatable topic for an argumentative essay could be whether or not college education should be free.
- Pick a topic that has enough credible sources.
When selecting an argument essay topic, choose a topic with enough credible sources to support your argument. Without credible sources, your argument will be weak, and your essay will not be persuasive. Look for sources that are recent, relevant, and peer-reviewed.
Don’ts of selecting argument essay topics
- Choose a topic that is too broad or too narrow.
When selecting an argument essay topic, don’t choose a topic that is too broad or too narrow. A broad topic will be too general, and you won’t be able to present a strong argument. A narrow topic will limit your ability to find credible sources to support your argument.
- Select a topic that is too personal or emotional.
Don’t choose a topic that is too personal or emotional. While having a personal connection to a topic is okay, your argument should be based on facts and evidence, not your emotions. If your argument is too emotional, it may turn off the reader.
- Pick a topic that is too complex or technical.
When selecting an argument essay topic, don’t choose a topic that is too complex or technical. Your goal is to persuade the reader; if your topic is too complex, you will lose your reader’s attention. Instead, choose a topic that is easy to understand, and your argument will be more convincing.
- Choose an overdone topic
Don’t choose an overdone topic. Developing a new and unique argument will be difficult if a topic has been extensively covered.
Argument essay topic in different academic disciplines
Selecting a suitable argument essay topic can vary depending on the academic discipline.
Here are some tips on how to select a topic for an argumentative essay in different academic fields:
When selecting a topic for an argumentative essay in science, consider choosing a controversial scientific issue.
For example, you could write an argumentative essay on climate change, evolution, or genetically modified foods. Make sure to back up your argument with relevant scientific research and data.
When selecting a topic for an argumentative essay in history, choose a topic relevant to a current event or issue.
For example, you could write an argumentative essay on reparations for slavery or whether the United States should provide universal healthcare.
Make sure to back up your argument with relevant historical facts and research.
When selecting a topic for an argumentative essay in literature, choose a topic that is open to interpretation.
For example, you could write an argumentative essay on the topic of the meaning of a particular literary work or the relevance of a particular literary genre.
If you are selecting a topic for an argumentative essay in business, choose a topic relevant to the current business environment.
For instance, you could write an argumentative essay on corporate social responsibility, the impact of artificial intelligence on the job market, or the pros and cons of remote work.
Tips for brainstorming argument essay topics
Here are some tips on how to brainstorm and select a topic for an argumentative essay:
- Mind mapping
Start by writing the topic you are interested in the middle of a piece of paper, and then write down related ideas, subtopics, and supporting arguments. This will help you visualize your ideas and narrow down the most relevant and compelling topic.
- Free writing
Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and start writing down any ideas that come to mind without stopping to edit. This exercise will help you generate a list of potential topics to evaluate and select the most appropriate one.
- Asking questions
Ask yourself questions such as “What issue am I passionate about?”, “What topic am I interested in exploring?”, or “What topic can I argue for or against?”. The answers to these questions can help you effectively identify a topic you can research and write about.
When writing an argumentative essay, selecting the right topic is crucial for academic success.
By the above dos and don’ts of selecting argument essay topics and considering the tips provided in this article, you can find a topic that is interesting, relevant, debatable, and supported by credible sources.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to seek help from your teachers or professional writers if you need assistance selecting a topic.