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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: Jul 3, 2014 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

9/11 Attacks --  Abortion -- Addiction --

Adoption --  Agriculture Industry --AIDS

Alcohol and Tobacco Advertising -- Alcoholism

Alzheimer's Disease -- American Housing Collapse

Amnesty --  Animal Rights -- Antibiotics

Arms Trade -- Artificial Intelligence -- 
Assisted Suicide
-- Autism --  Bilingual Education

Bioethics -- Bioterrorism -- Birth control

Body Image -- Book Banning -- 
Campaign Finance Reform

Capital Punishment -- Capitalism -- Carbon Offsets
Censorship -- Child Abuse -- Child Labor

Child Welfare -- Childhood Obesity -- Cloning   

Domestic Terrorism -- Domestic Violence

Drug Legalization -- Drug Trafficking

Drunk Driving -- Eating Disorders -- Education

Endangered Species

Environmentalism -- Food Safety --  Free Trade

Freedom of Speech -- Gambling -- Gangs

Gay Parents -- Genetic Engineering 
Genetically Modified Food

Genocide -- Global Warming -- Globalization

Gun Control -- Hate Crimes -- Health Insurance

Homelessness -- Homeschooling -- Homosexuality

Human Rights -- Human Trafficking -- Hunting

Identity Theft -- Illegal Immigrants -- Junk Food

Labor Unions -- Medical Marijuana 
Mental Disorders --
Minimum Wage

Monopolies -- National Security

Nuclear Safety -- Nutrition -- Obesity

Offshore Drilling -- Organic Food - Outsourcing

Patriot Act 2001 -- Pharmaceutical Industry

Political Corruption -- Pollution -- Population Growth

Pornography -- Poverty -- Prescription Drugs

Prisons -- Racism -- Rape -- Recycling

Renewable Energy -- Reproductive Technology

Right to Privacy -- Right to Bear Arms

Same-Sex Marriage -- Sexting -- Smoking

Social Security -- Standardized Testing

Stem Cells -- Student Rights -- Suicide

Sweatshops -- 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 -- Welfare Reform






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