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16 Debate topics and points to master argumentative essays

You can write a great argumentative essay if you have general knowledge about how society functions and a structure for an argumentative essay to express your points. Your knowledge of many debate topics prepares you to argue for or against any statement that is presented in a question.

Your argument must fairly show the points of both sides of a topic using facts from either a personal, social, religious, financial or political perspective. You must be able to weigh the pros and cons of many debate topics so that you can handle any topic comfortably.

Since debate topics are based on the interaction of people and institutions in society, a student of Social Studies would have a great advantage when doing an English paper. All students however can simply learn about society by interacting with well-informed individuals and doing several things.

You can keep up with current events by viewing informational programmes, reading novels of several genres, and browsing the comments section of news posts on social media. You will gather points supporting and opposing events happening in the family, school, church, business world and government.

Gathering knowledge for debate topics is a never-ending process so this article should help you on your learning journey. Here are 16 debate topics with supporting and opposing points to help you master writing argumentative essays.

16 debate topics with supporting and opposing points

1. Social media

Advantages

– provide fun and educational information

– connect friends and families worldwide

– create business and jobs online for millions of people

Disadvantages

– distraction from schoolwork being online

– destroy face to face interaction

– allow stalkers, psychos and paedophiles to harass children

2. Smoking

Advantages

– relieves stress

– makes profits for tobacco companies that create jobs for many people

– generates taxes for the Government to build roads, schools, hospitals and pay workers

Disadvantages

– damages lungs of individuals

– allows second-hand smoking and peer pressure

– causes money wastage to feed habit

3. School feeding programme

Advantages

– feeds needy children at school

– saves unfortunate parents money on groceries

– employs cooks, grocery workers and delivery drivers

Disadvantages

– embarrasses singled-out needy children

– allows well-off children to waste food

– strains Government funds doing family’s economic role

4. Animal Testing

Advantages

– makes products safe for humans

– creates profits for cosmetic/drug stores that create jobs

– generates taxes for the Government to spend on infrastructure

Disadvantages

– harms innocent animals

– proves to be useless as people still die from diseases

– allows focus on cures rather than preventions

5. Tourism

Advantages

– brings foreign exchange into country

– creates jobs for locals

– causes the Government to improve roads, beaches and airport

Disadvantages

– destroys beaches as foreigners pollute

– causes the Government to neglect locals

– increases crime rate as locals exploit foreigners

6. Generation gap

Advantages

– brings old and fresh perspectives to projects

– offers new life lessons for parents and children

– helps old and young recognise strengths of each other

Disadvantages

– causes arguments between adults and children

– makes children resent their parents

– encourages children to abandon home

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7. Violent music

Advantages

– allows artistes to express views and experiences

– teaches listeners about the culture of others

– creates income for artistes as the fan-base is extensive

Disadvantages

– glorifies shootings, killings and encourages violence

– promotes sexist views favouring male dominance

– exposes youth to profanity and explicit language

8. Capital punishment/death penalty

Advantages

– eliminates the possibility of an escape and future victims

– can limit prison overpopulation issues

– can provide a deterrent against violent crime

Disadvantages

– denies people of human rights when implemented

– costs much more to prosecute than other cases such as life sentence

– can execute someone who is possibly innocent

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9. Cellular phones in school

Advantages

– keep children in contact with parents

– give access to loads of information for research during class

– allow students to track their health using medical apps

Disadvantages

– distract students from schoolwork with games and social media

– give bullies the chance to record and post embarrassing content of students

– damage eyes with excessive screen time

10. Criminal behaviour due to poverty

Advantages

– offers persons quick and easy money to support their families

– gives children a second family to feel a sense of belongingness  

– allows individuals without education or skills to work around their shortcomings

Disadvantages

– harms innocent law-abiding citizens

– shows the immorality in people who choose crime over work

– teaches children that crime is the only way to survive

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11. Entrepreneuship

Advantages

– allows persons to explore their talents and dreams

– creates self-employment and possibly wealth in the long-run

– serves the community products and services

Disadvantages

– takes a lot of time to develop business

– brings stress working long hours with little financial returns

– causes stagnancy in the economy as work is slow

12. HIV testing in schools

Advantages

– allows students to know their status

– encourages them to protect themselves from other students  

– reduces the spread of HIV in schools

Disadvantages

– invades the privacy of students who are HIV positive from birth

– causes mental health trauma for students who are sexually active

– creates an opportunity for bullying as students accuse each other unnecessarily

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13. Homework

Advantages

– reinforces lessons learnt at school

– forces students who do not study to do work at home  

– helps students to progress faster with new topics

Disadvantages

– serves little purpose for students who understand lessons well at school

– takes up the time of a good student who could be exercising or resting

– gives teachers extra work to prepare and correct outside of school hours

14. Bullying in school

Advantages (Misconceptions)

– helps students build character having self-reliance, endurance and courage

– acts as fuel for success for the bullied students  

– teaches children conflict resolution skills

Disadvantages

– causes depression and anxiety in bullied students

– decreases academic achievement and school participation

– increases the chances of students dropping out of school

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15. Good looks

Advantages

– boosts your confidence and self-esteem

– makes you approachable and sociable

– acts as a plus in a job interview  

Disadvantages

– becomes pointless without a good personality

– attracts many persons including deceptive individuals

– depends on education and skills to gain respect

16. Having material things

Advantages

– makes life comfortable with enough food, clothing, house, car and money

– allows you to socialise with friends and enjoy companionship

– gives you the opportunity to educate yourself at a top university  

Disadvantages

– means very little without love from family

– attracts many deceptive people into your life

– makes you are target for thieves

You should continue this list with more debate topics and research points that support and oppose them. This exercise makes you a master of writing argumentative essays. It also prepares you to conduct yourself articulately in conversations about any topic with people at school, at home, with friends, at an interview and in the workplace.

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