Updated, March 2, 2017 | We published an updated version of this list, “401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing,” as well as a companion piece, “650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing.” We also now have a PDF of these 200 prompts.
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What issues do you care most about? What topics do you find yourself discussing most passionately, whether online, at the dinner table, in the classroom or with your friends?
Our annual Student Editorial Contest invites you to write an evidence-based persuasive piece on an issue that matters to you. To help jump-start your brainstorming, we have gathered a list of 200 writing prompts from our daily Student Opinion feature that invite you to take a stand.
Though you won’t be limited to these topics for the contest, you’ll see that our list touches on every aspect of modern life, from politics to sports, culture, education and technology. We hope the range inspires you, and we hope the fact that each question links to at least one related Times article gives you a starting point for finding evidence.
So skim the list below to think about the topic you’d most like to take on.
For more information, here are links to our spring 2014 editorial-writing contest, a list of winners from that contest and a related lesson plan on argumentative writing.
- Is Cheating Getting Worse?
- Should Students Be Able to Grade Their Teachers?
- Does Your School Hand Out Too Many A’s?
- Should Middle School Students Be Drug Tested?
- Should Reading and Math Be Taught in Gym Class Too?
- How Seriously Should We Take Standardized Tests?
- How Well Do You Think Standardized Tests Measure Your Abilities?
- Do You Spend Too Much Time Preparing for Standardized Tests?
- Should Schools Offer Cash Bonuses for Good Test Scores?
- Should We Rethink How Long Students Spend in High School?
- Do Schools Provide Students With Enough Opportunities to Be Creative?
- What Are You Really Learning at School?
- How Important Is Arts Education?
- Does Gym Help Students Perform Better in All Their Classes?
- Who Should Be Able to See Students’ Records?
- Are Children of Illegal Immigrants Entitled to a Public Education?
- What Is the Right Amount of Group Work in School?
- Is Your School Day Too Short?
- Do You Think a Longer School Calendar Is a Good Idea?
- Should the Dropout Age Be Raised?
- Should Students Be Allowed to Skip Senior Year of High School?
- How Does Your School Deal With Students Who Misbehave?
- Should Schools Be Allowed to Use Corporal Punishment?
- How Big a Problem Is Bullying or Cyberbullying in Your School or Community?
- How Should Schools Address Bullying?
- Should Schools Put Tracking Devices in Students’ ID Cards?
- What Do You Think of Grouping Students by Ability in Schools?
- Do We Need a New Way to Teach Math?
- Does Class Size Matter?
- Should All Students Get Equal Space in a Yearbook?
- Is Prom Worth It?
- How Important Are Parent-Teacher Conferences?
- Should All Children Be Able to Go to Preschool?
- Should Colleges Use Admissions Criteria Other Than SAT Scores and Grades?
- What Criteria Should Be Used in Awarding Scholarships for College?
- Do You Support Affirmative Action?
- Do College Rankings Matter?
- How Necessary Is a College Education?
- Should Engineers Pay Less for College Than English Majors?
- Are the Web Filters at Your School Too Restrictive?
- Does Technology Make Us More Alone?
- Are You Distracted by Technology?
- Do Apps Help You or Just Waste Your Time?
- Do You Spend Too Much Time on Smart Phones Playing ‘Stupid Games’?
- Has Facebook Lost Its Edge?
- Does Facebook Ever Make You Feel Bad?
- Should What You Say on Facebook Be Grounds for Getting Fired?
- Should People Be Allowed to Obscure Their Identities Online?
- What Should the Punishment Be for Acts of Cyberbullying?
- Is Online Learning as Good as Face-to-Face Learning?
- Do Your Teachers Use Technology Well?
- Should Tablet Computers Become the Primary Way Students Learn in Class?
- Can Cellphones Be Educational Tools?
- Should Computer Games Be Used for Classroom Instruction?
- How Young Is Too Young for an iPhone?
- Should Companies Collect Information About You?
- Would You Trade Your Paper Books for Digital Versions?
- Are Digital Photographs Too Plentiful to Be Meaningful?
- Do You Worry We Are Filming Too Much?
- Would You Want a Pair of Google’s Computer Glasses?
- How Would You Feel About a Computer Grading Your Essays?
- What Role Will Robots Play in Our Future?
- How Many Text Messages Are Too Many?
- How Much Do You Trust Online Reviews?
- Why Do We Like to Watch Rich People on TV and in the Movies?
- Do TV Shows Like ‘16 and Pregnant’ Promote or Discourage Teenage Pregnancy?
- Does TV Capture the Diversity of America Yet?
- Is TV Too White?
- Is TV Stronger Than Ever, or Becoming Obsolete?
- Does Reality TV Promote Dangerous Stereotypes?
- What Current Musicians Do You Think Will Stand the Test of Time?
- What Artists or Bands of Today Are Destined for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
- What Musician, Actor or Author Should Be a Superstar, but Hasn’t Quite Made It Yet?
- Will Musical Training Make You More Successful?
- Should Video Games Be Considered a Sport?
- Should Stores Sell Violent Video Games to Minors?
- Can a Video Game Be a Work of Art?
- Do Violent Video Games Make People More Violent in Real Life?
- When Should You Feel Guilty for Killing Zombies?
- What Game Would You Like to Redesign?
- What Were the Best Movies You Saw in the Past Year?
- To What Writer Would You Award a Prize?
- Do You Prefer Your Children’s Book Characters Obedient or Contrary?
- Where Is the Line Between Truth and Fiction?
- Can Graffiti Ever Be Considered Art?
- Do We Need Art in Our Lives?
- What Makes a Good Commercial?
- Why Did a Cheerios Ad Attract So Many Angry Comments Online?
- Does Pop Culture Deserve Serious Study?
- Do Parents Have Different Hopes and Standards for Their Sons Than for Their Daughters?
- Is School Designed More for Girls Than Boys?
- Is There Too Much Pressure on Girls to Have ‘Perfect’ Bodies?
- How Much Pressure Do Boys Face to Have the Perfect Body?
- Do Photoshopped Images Make You Feel Bad About Your Own Looks?
- Is It O.K. for Men and Boys to Comment on Women and Girls on the Street?
- What Should We Do to Fight Sexual Violence Against Young Women?
- How Do You Feel About Rihanna and Chris Brown Getting Back Together?
- Do Fraternities Promote Misogyny?
- Why Aren’t There More Girls in Leadership Roles?
- Why Aren’t More Girls Choosing to Pursue Careers in Math and Science?
- Should Women Be Allowed to Fight on the Front Lines Alongside Men?
- Do You Believe in Equal Rights for Women and Men?
- Are Women Better at Compromising and Collaborating?
- Do Boys Have Less Intense Friendships Than Girls?
- If Football Is So Dangerous to Players, Should We Be Watching It?
- Should Parents Let Their Children Play Football?
- Should College Football Players Get Paid?
- When Do Pranks Cross the Line to Become Bullying?
- Has Baseball Lost Its Cool?
- Are Some Youth Sports Too Intense?
- Is It Offensive for Sports Teams to Use Native American Names and Mascots?
- Where Should Colleges and Sports Teams Draw the Line in Selling Naming Rights?
- Should Colleges Fund Wellness Programs Instead of Sports?
- Is Cheerleading a Sport?
- How Big a Deal Is It That an N.B.A. Player Came Out as Gay?
- Should There Be Stricter Rules About How Coaches Treat Their Players?
- Should Athletes Who Dope Have to Forfeit Their Titles and Medals?
- Should Sports Betting Be Legal Everywhere?
- Should Home-Schoolers Be Allowed to Play Public School Sports?
- Would You Want a Bike Share Program for Your Community?
- What Local Problems Do You Think Your Mayor Should Try to Solve?
- If You Were Governor of Your State, How Would You Spend a Budget Surplus?
- When Is the Use of Military Force Justified?
- What Is More Important: Our Privacy or National Security?
- Should the U.S. Be Spying on Its Friends?
- Do You Trust Your Government?
- What Do You Think of the Police Tactic of Stop-and-Frisk?
- Do Rich People Get Off Easier When They Break the Law?
- Should Rich People Have to Pay More Taxes?
- Do Laws That Ban Offensive Words Make the World a Better Place?
- Is It Principled, or Irresponsible, for Politicians to Threaten a Shutdown?
- Do Leaders Have Moral Obligations?
- Do Great Leaders Have to Be Outgoing?
- How Should We Prevent Future Mass Shootings?
- Should Guns Be Permitted on College Campuses?
- Would You Feel Safer With Armed Guards Patrolling Your School?
- What Is Your Relationship With Guns?
- Do You Support or Oppose the Death Penalty?
- When Should Juvenile Offenders Receive Life Sentences?
- Do We Give Children Too Many Trophies?
- When Do You Become an Adult?
- When Should You Be Able to Buy Cigarettes, Drink Alcohol, Vote, Drive and Fight in Wars?
- Should the Morning-After Pill Be Sold Over the Counter to People Under 17?
- Should Birth Control Pills Be Available to Teenage Girls Without a Prescription?
- Is Modern Culture Ruining Childhood?
- Are Adults Hurting Young Children by Pushing Them to Achieve?
- How, and by Whom, Should Children Be Taught Appropriate Behavior?
- What Can Older People Learn From Your Generation?
- Do ‘Shame and Blame’ Work to Change Teenage Behavior?
- How Should Children Be Taught About Puberty and Sex?
- Is Dating a Thing of the Past?
- How Should Parents Handle a Bad Report Card?
- Should Children Be Allowed to Wear Whatever They Want?
- How Should Educators and Legislators Deal With Minors Who ‘Sext’?
- Do You Think Child Stars Have It Rough?
- Is Smoking Still a Problem Among Teenagers?
- Are Antismoking Ads Effective?
- Is Drinking and Driving Still a Problem for Teenagers?
- Do You Think a Healthier School Lunch Program Is a Lost Cause?
- How Concerned Are You About Where Your Food Comes From?
- Is It Ethical to Eat Meat?
- Do You Prefer Your Tacos ‘Authentic’ or ‘Appropriated’?
- Should the Government Limit the Size of Sugary Drinks?
- Should Marijuana Be Legal?
- Should Students Be Required to Take Drug Tests?
- Do Bystanders Have a Responsibility to Intervene When There is Trouble?
- Should You Care About the Health and Safety of Those Making Your Clothing?
- Can Money Buy You Happiness?
- Does Buying and Accumulating More and More Stuff Make Us Happier?
- Are We Losing the Art of Listening?
- Do People Complain Too Much?
- Can Kindness Become Cool?
- Which Is More Important: Talent or Hard Work?
- How Important Is Keeping Your Cool?
- When Should You Compromise?
- Is Your Generation More Self-Centered Than Earlier Generations?
- Can You Be Good Without God?
- Have Curse Words Become So Common They Have Lost Their Shock Value?
- What Words or Phrases Should Be Retired in 2014?
- What Words or Phrases Do You Think Are Overused?
- Should Couples Live Together Before Marriage?
- How Important Do You Think It Is to Marry Someone With the Same Religion?
- How Long Is It O.K. to Linger in a Cafe or Restaurant?
- Does Keeping a Messy Desk Make People More Creative?
- How Important Is Keeping a Clean House?
- Should Scientists Try to Help People Beat Old Age So We Can Live Longer Lives?
- Given Unlimited Resources, What Scientific or Medical Problem Would You Investigate?
- When Is It O.K. to Replace Human Limbs With Technology?
- Do You Think Life Exists — or Has Ever Existed — Somewhere Besides Earth?
- Should Fertilized Eggs Be Given Legal ‘Personhood’?
- How Concerned Are You About Climate Change?
- Is It Wrong for a Newspaper to Publish a Front-Page Photo of a Man About to Die?
- What Causes Should Philanthropic Groups Finance?
- Should Charities Focus More on America?
- Should the Private Lives of Famous People Be Off Limits?
- Did a Newspaper Act Irresponsibly by Publishing the Addresses of Gun Owners?
- Would You Rather Work From Home or in an Office?
- What Time Should Black Friday Sales Start?
- Do You Shop at Locally Owned Businesses?
- How Much Does Your Neighborhood Define Who You Are?
Technology and Social Media
Arts and Media: TV, Music, Video Games and Literature
Sports and Athletics
Politics and the Legal System
Parenting and Childhood
Health and Nutrition
Personal Character and Morality Questions
Virginia Kearney 4 days agofrom United States
Elvira, if your topic is about a person with potenital, you are probably not doing a problem solution essay. You are writing a reflection essay and I have an article which gives all of the instructions you will need, including information about how to do the introduction. Here is the link to that article:https://owlcation.com/humanities/How-to-Write-a-Re...
Elvira 4 days ago
How can I start writing my essay topic is about Aperson with potential.I don't know how to start.can you please help me?
Virginia Kearney 3 weeks agofrom United States
Kanika--It is a good idea to turn your topic into a question and an answer. Here are some examples:
What is the effect of divorce on young children (or teenagers or college students)? Your answer would be your thesis. Another topic idea could be:
What is the effect of divorce on men (or women)?
What is the effect of divorce on a person's work? See my article on how to write a cause effect paper.
Kanika 3 weeks ago
Can you help me to find topic sentence on,Effect of divorce?
Virginia Kearney 4 weeks agofrom United States
Sayed Abid sadat 4 weeks ago
Hi! I need your help to select my topic on information technology to write my artical. thank you
Virginia Kearney 6 weeks agofrom United States
Hi Mr. Johnson, I have everything you might need for writing a college essay on my website. You can look on my profile page or search for my articles on: choosing a topic; writing a thesis and topic sentences; how to organize and write different kinds of essays; using commas and semicolons correctly; easy words to use as sentence starters to write better essays and much more. I have over 100 articles about writing to help you out!
Dick Johnson 6 weeks ago
Hi! I Have An Assignment I Have To Do In My College Class On Friday And I Was Looking For Some Advise! Thanks!
Richard Cranium 6 weeks ago
This website helped my child with her homework.
Virginia Kearney 7 weeks agofrom United States
I have many articles on different subjects for you to look at. Many of the ones in this article would work fine but you can also look at my articles which are specifically for high school students. A good paper idea is one that interests you and it will be easier to write if you immediately can think of your opinion on that topic and some examples you can use from your own life, something you've read, current news or an example from literature, a movie or another video.
Stupid Pickle 7 weeks ago
I have to write an essay for English is there any topics that you would recommend for a high school freshman
tommy wensyel 2 months ago
this article was very helpful and it wasn t bias my english teacher wanted us to write an essay. it was really helpful i got a lot of good ideas
Jawaher 2 months ago
How can get out bad relationship
Virginia Kearney 3 months agofrom United States
Hi Trang--I have a lot of information to help you write your paper. Look for my articles about how to write argument, problem solution and proposal papers. In order to discuss two solutions, you just need to think about two possible answers to the question that have not yet been done. For example, in the question "How can students get enough good sleep each night?" two good answers that are equal would be: making a schedule for work and sleep, and using a technology device like a cell phone or fitbit that tracks sleep patterns.
Trang Phan 3 months ago
my writing teacher asks me to choose a pro-solution topic that is practically related to student life. After that i have to draw out two solutions which are equal to each other.It means that both of them can not be currently done. it seems so difficult
sssssss 4 months ago
How can healthcare be ensured for everyone around the world?
Damtaodu 5 months ago
How do one respond to new challenges and adapting to a different environment, living without familiar amenities, interacting with new and different types of people and studying intensively among others.
Virginia Kearney 6 months agofrom United States
Hi Kashymawoh--I'm glad you've decided on a topic for your essay. You can find everything you need to know about writing it by looking at my other articles on writing problem solution essays and writing argument essays. If you don't see the link for that, search in my profile, which you can find on the top right of the page.
kashymawoh 6 months ago
hi Virginia, i am writing an essay on solving unemployment issues in Nigeria, kindly assist me.
Virginia Kearney 7 months agofrom United States
Hi Cassandra! After you choose your topic, be sure to look at my article about how to write a solution essay. I give all the instructions you should need. If you want help revising or with punctuation, you can find articles on those topic too.
Cassandra Pines 7 months ago
I need to write a 6-7 page essay about a social movement. I don't know how to start
Virginia Kearney 9 months agofrom United States
Hi, Sparsh, Your best help would be to look at my other articles about how to write problem solution essays and argument essays. You might also like to look at my articles on Toulmin, Rogerian and Classical argument strategies. These articles include specific instruction on how to organize and outline your essay as well as how to argue effectively for your solution. In addition, they provide samples with commentary on why these work. Finally, you ought to look at my articles on how to write a great thesis and topic sentences. You can find these by searching for my name on Letterpile, or by looking on my profile page. I have over 100 articles on writing to help you out.
SPARSH AGARWAL 9 months ago
I am preparing for writing section of PCAT exam. In the writing section, there are generally problem solution essays. It is my humble request if you could provide me with a source where there are more of problem solution sample essays, so that I can prepare accordingly and practice writing on the problems mentioned above.
Virginia Kearney 11 months agofrom United States
Problems with health can be related to disease or preventative measures like diet and exercise. Here are some easy health-related topics: How can a person with Celiac disease best manage their diet? How can students best exercise and eat to be healthy? What are the best strategies to avoid illness? How can people avoid heart disease? What is the best way to stay healthy if you have diabetes?
poo 11 months ago
i want a health related topic. like people should be concerned about their health. but what problem can i state?
Stevie Glenn 12 months agofrom Minneapolis
Great topics on education! Good sources for quick education articles.
Chris Velo 14 months ago
Thank you for all the topics to write on; I would read one section thinking that I couldn't write anything only to discover a few points I had to make into a quick essay.
Virginia Kearney 14 months agofrom United States
Hi Colleen--I'd suggest you look at my Non-Profit Research Paper article for help.https://hubpages.com/literature/Research-Paper-on-...
Colleen 14 months ago
I have a Critical Analysis & Research Writing paper due the assignment is A Good for A Community: A Research Based-Solution Essay I am having the most difficult time with this. Can you help?
Virginia Kearney 15 months agofrom United States
KyLie--That is an interesting idea. The departmental final exam for my students included a question about this topic. I will see if I can add some to the list.
KyLie 15 months ago
I would like some topics on the death of Harambe the gorilla....
Karla 16 months ago
Should have a topic about animal abuse or cruelty!
Bangladesh Page 2 years ago
Here is a lot of topics to write on. It really makes me think to write something on the topics. There are some topics here I never thought that an essay can be written! Thanks for sharing.
Virginia Kearney 2 years agofrom United States
Hi Zero, I don't exactly understand what you want. Perhaps you mean you want to write an essay about "How to find a good job?" or "Solving the difficult problem of finding a good job?"
Virginia Kearney 2 years agofrom United States
Hi mtariqsattar--I actually have also written articles about how to write essays of many types. You can search for this on Hubpages or just look for the links next to my topic ideas articles.
Tariq Sattar 2 years agofrom Karachi
Hi there VirginiaLynne, I don't know how to start but you nailed it and you seem to possess command over topics. You do justify what you have said in your profile.
Anyway, I enjoyed reading your hub - it is helpful to those who are seeking to teach essay at the college or university level, and those who want to writer such a genre of essay. That is problem-solution essay.
I would ask though about the tips to writing an essay quickly and accurately at the same time. How should you as an essay writer achieve both ends?
Virginia Kearney 2 years agofrom United States
Thanks for the ideas Jaime--I may think about putting some solution ideas into another article.
b.s.s 2 years ago
Wow!! What a great topics
Virginia Kearney 2 years agofrom United States
So glad Symphony Dunbar that you are using my site to get good ideas. You must be doing a good job writing those essays too!
Symphony Dunbar 2 years ago
I love this site. I come on here, get a topic, write an essay, get an A+, just like that!
sera 3 years ago
Thanks it helped so much
Maria Cuevas 3 years ago
I would really like environment issues. It is very passionate among many.
Virginia Kearney 3 years agofrom United States
Hi Justin--Glad this helped you. I have a 5th grade daughter and two daughters in 7th. I used to teach 6th grade myself and know that you are learning a lot about writing!
justin 3 years ago
I really like the questions for the problem and solution it makes me want to improve some mistakes I made.P.S. I'm a 6th grader.
Tessa 3 years ago
Awesome website! I'm definitely going to use one of these topics. Helped a lot. Thanks!!!!!
Hyder 3 years ago
How "Education is solution all our problem" I want to write essay this topic anyone help me
Ova ELai 3 years ago
I would like a topic on counselling a teenage who thinks is having a sexually transmitted disease or HIV
Virginia Kearney 3 years agofrom United States
Thanks Ashley--I will write some topics about that!
Ashley 3 years ago
Military life topics would be great!
djelke16 3 years ago
Great topics! Thank you so much.
Dottie 4 years ago
Thank you! This was so helpful!
Rachel 4 years ago
This website is perfect! Helped me a lot, thanks!
Lcarter 4 years ago
Virginia Kearney 4 years agofrom United States
So glad I helped you Kaiya! I know that getting the right topic and finding some good information can really help someone overcome that writer's block that makes starting an essay so hard!
kaiya123 4 years ago
This helped a ton! Anyone of these topics could easily be well written, being that there is so much information about each topic. I seriously couldn't have thought of any of these topics, and this definitely helped my essay. There was many topics to choose from, depending on the area you are interested in. It made me think about what I really wanted to write about! Thanks so much!!! :)
Maria Jordan 4 years agofrom Jeffersonville PA
A meaty and worthwhile list of subjects for anyone to pursue...most thought provoking and interesting topics. Excellent job.
Voted UP and UAI. Hugs, Maria
SaM 4 years ago
This HELPED a lot! Thanks!
Pamela Oglesby 4 years agofrom United States
You really thought of so many valid topic that are all worthy of discussion. Anyone of this topic could easily be written about and really there are so many problems, it is a bit overwhelming, but then we must start somewhere. This is a great idea for a hub and no one should have to have writer's block anymore. Voted up and useful.