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Controversial Issues  

This guide was created to assist students who are writing an argumentative essay, preparing for a debate, or writing a speech.
Last Updated: Jun 22, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page



Gale Virtual Reference Library

The library now has e-books available!  The Gale Virtual Reference Library contains more than 1000 reference books that you can access any time, any  place. 


Identify keywords and concepts

Keywords and concepts describe the main idea(s) of your topic and enable you to focus your research.

  • Based on your assigned texts, jot down the terms that you identify as the keywords and main concepts.
  • Use background information from reference sources such as the Gale Virtual Reference Library to find additional keywords and synonyms.
  • Group the keywords by concept.
  • Identify synonyms of your keywords (e.g., synonyms for "teenagers" are adolescents, youths, and children).


Writing Argumentative Papers

  • Choose a topic which has at least two sides.

  • Provide background to the issue to help the audience understand the debate.

  • Use unbiased sources to defend your view with reason, accuracy, fairness and relevant evidence.

  • Know and address your opposition.

  • Present an impressive conclusion.

Controversial Topic Ideas

Abortion, Moral and Ethical Aspects
Abstinence and AIDS Prevention -- Addiction --

Adoption -- Advertising in Schools -- Agriculture Industry --

Alcohol and Tobacco Advertising -- Alcohol Use

Alternative Energy Sources -- American Housing Collapse

Amnesty --  Animal Cloning -- Animal Experimentation
Anonymous Egg and Sperm Donation -- Anti-Immigrant Movement --

Arms Trade -- Artificial Intelligence -- 
Assisted Suicide
--  Bilingual Education -- Binge Drinking

Bioethics -- Biomedical Technology -- Bioterrorism

Body Image -- Border Fence -- Campaign Finance Reform

Capitalism -- Carbon Offsets -- Cell Phones in School
Censorship -- Charter Schools -- Child Welfare --
Children's Online Protection Laws -- Clean Coal -- Cloning   
Commercial Whaling -- Concealed Handguns -- Conservation of Natural Resources
Convicted Felons' Rights -- Corporate Tax Rate & Jobs  -- Cybersocializing

Domestic Terrorism -- Domestic Violence -- Drones

Drug Legalization -- Drug Trafficking-- Drug Use in Sports

Drunk Driving -- Eating Disorders -- Electoral College

Endangered Food -- Endangered Species

Environmentalism -- Felon Voting -- Flat Tax Rate
Food Safety --  Free Trade -- Freedom of Speech

Gambling -- Gangs

Gay Parents -- Genetic Engineering 
Genetically Modified Food

Genocide -- Globalization

Gun Control -- Hate Crimes -- Health Insurance

Homelessness -- Homeschooling -- Homosexuality

Human Rights -- Human Trafficking

Identity Theft --  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict -- Junk Food

Labor Unions -- Local Food Movement
Mental Disorders --
Minimum Wage -- Missile Defense System

Monopolies -- National Retail Sales Tax -- National Security

Nuclear Safety -- Nutrition --
Obamacare -- Occupy Movement -- Offshore Drilling --
Organic Food - Outsourcing

Political Corruption -- Population Growth

Prescription Drugs -- Prison Overcrowding--
Recycling -- Renewable Energy -- Reproductive Technology

Right to Privacy -- Right to Health Care

Same-Sex Marriage -- Sexting -- Smoking Ban

Social Security Privatization -- Standardized Testing

Stem Cells -- Student Rights -- Sweatshops
Tablets vs. Textbooks --
Technology and Society  -- Teenage Pregnancy -- Terrorism

Texting While Driving -- The Federal Budget Deficit

The Middle Class -- The Tea Party Movement

Torture -- Underage Drinking -- Unemployment

Video Games -- War Crimes

Water Pollution -- Waterboarding -- Welfare Reform




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