From the University of Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/685/05/):
The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic, collect, generate, and evaluate evidence, and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner.
Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of literature or previously published material. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments. Detailed research allows the student to learn about the topic and to understand different points of view regarding the topic so that s/he may choose a position and support it with the evidence collected during research. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning.
Rhetorical Appeals (Logos, Pathos, Ethos)
- Should/ Shouldn’t talking on the cell phone without the use of a handsfree device be illegal?
- Should/ Shouldn’t sports betting or gambling be legal?
- Should/ Shouldn’t there be an internet censor imposed by the government.
- Should/ Shouldn’t teachers have a dress code or uniform?
- Should/ Shouldn’t companies have affirmative action?
- Is or isn’t it right to teach sex education in public schools?
- Should/ Shouldn’t abortion be legal?
- Should/ Shouldn’t politicians be able to accept money from lobbyists?
- Legalization/ Prohibition of Marijuana.
- Should Puerto Rico be incorporated into the U.S as a state?
- Should euthanasia be legal?
- Why should we protect the environment?
- Should prostitution be legal/ why should prostitution stay illegal?
- Should more forms of renewable energy be used?
- Should genetically modified foods be labeled/illegal?
- Should there be a subsidy/program for free wi-fi, why would it benefit the cost?
- Do immigration laws need to be reformed?
- Is the penalty for downloading illegal content to excessive?
- Should teenage girls have to obtain parental consent for birth control?
- Should selling sugary snacks and drinks be banned at elementary/middle/high-schools?
- Should state colleges be tuition free/completely state funded?
- Are uniforms necessary for students?
- Should elderly people be forced to renew their drivers licenses?
- What should be done about Darfur?
- Is cloning an ethical practice, even for organs?
- Is giving an allowance an effective way to teach financial responsibility or should it be only given as a reward?
- Why should someone do community service (specific organization)?
- Is the amount of television watched by Americans too much, persuade why or why not?
- Should students be forced to do volunteer work?
- Are searching schools using drug dogs randomly an effective way to prevent drug use?
- Should we reform our food system (factory farms & harmful chemicals)?
- Why someone should quit smoking or why is a certain substance harmful.
- Prohibition/ Protection of the consumption of alchol.
- Are interactions over the computer and electronics making people less social?
- Should fathers have a “paternity” leave?
- Should there be some sort of measure of population control ie limiting number of children?
- How is television influencing peoples minds?
- Should more funding be given to public education?
- Should more funding be given to public transportation?
- Should funding be taken away from public transportation?
- Write an essay calling people to action to save the environment.
- Is the Euro a good idea?
- Write an essay persuading readers to diet better/exercise more.
- Is a speed limit for highways necessary?
- Is the internet a basic human right?
- Should foreign aid be reduced to decrease the budget deficit?
- Should private property owners be forced to limit smoking indoors?
- Should school cafeterias be healthier?
- Is the American dream still attainable?
- Do we need more/less social welfare?
- Are music lyrics promoting violence and selling drugs?
- Are online classes an effective method of teaching?
- Does the media control our elections?
- Try to convince someone to be a vegetarian?
- Should stricter fuel emission standards be imposed?
- Why or why not is learning history important?
- Write an essay defending/criticizing progressive tax rates?
- Should the rich be taxed more?
- Should there be regulations on junk food?
- Write an essay about a cause you are passionate about.
- Is polygamy acceptable?
- Are we too focused on beauty?
- Does the media influence our idea of beauty?
- Why is it important to know foreign languages?
- Write an essay criticizing/defending the patriot act/
- Should the execute branch hold more power?
- Write an essay about a law that should be changed.
- How can something in your community be improved?
- Call people to action to vote for a particular political candidate.
- How could our legal system be improved?
- Should the government censor obscene content?
- At a certain age, should people be required to take a driving test every year or two years?
- More people should grow their own food.
- Is America’s fascination with celebrities unhealthy?
- Is conscription ethical for wars fought outside the country?