Controversial Essay Topics

Controversial essay topics

Once reaching college or university, your teachers and lecturers will no longer dictate to you the topic or exact title of essays or study that should be done. Of course they'll give you guidance, but the student is much more independent and expected to do self-study and think about what topics need to be addressed within their study area.

The first step

Choosing an essay topic and sticking with it is hard. Students need to choose a topic that will enable them to make an argument for and against, debate the positives, negatives and all sides of the issue, plus summarise and culminate in a conclusion that finds new or interesting findings - the main purpose being that the data is well researched and evaluated. Once you think you have a good subject, come up with some suggestions for good questions to pose and chat through them with your lecturer - they'll be able to give you guidance.

Getting controversial

Controversial essay topics or topics that are high-profile can be easier to tackle since there are usually two very opposing sides of the story that can be debated. However it's important to choose controversial essay topics with care, while they may be of interest to the general population, consider whether it is truly worthwhile investigating from a research perspective and that you will be able to come to some sensible and revealing findings that your fellow students and lecturer will value.

On the other hand controversial essay topics also mean that you and your peers will have strong feelings, perspectives and opinions on the topic area and lots of content for you to include in your essay. These opinions might be formed by personal experience, historical facts or from societal trends. It is your job to challenge those perceptions and question the norms and opinions that most might take for granted - it's a great way to get motivated and excited about an essay! Also your findings at the end might surprise you and challenge your own opinions towards an issue.

Below are 50 controversial essay topics you might consider using:

  • Traditional libraries are dead.
  • Life without electricity.
  • The internet has caused the demise of the author.
  • Is there any situation where torture should be condoned?
  • Is it right that governments provide advice on eating habits?
  • Are professional athletes- pay levels too high?
  • Are CEOs- pay and bonus levels too high in view of the global financial crisis?
  • Should religious studies be on the school curriculum?
  • Is reality television having a negative impact on the younger generation?
  • Are there positive benefits single-sex education?
  • Space exploration is a waste of money.
  • Marijuana should be legalised.
  • Is the cost of higher education too high?
  • Popular culture has increased the numbers of young people with anorexia.
  • Should it be compulsory for citizens to vote?
  • Do colleges and universities suitably prepare young people for the workforce?
  • The rise of coffee shops is the demise of the pub or bar.
  • Abortion - a universal right.
  • Bi-lingual schools support immigration.
  • Higher taxes for soft drinks and fast food.
  • Should all nuclear weapons be destroyed?
  • Is the media out of control?
  • Is the United Nations valid?
  • Will Communism have a revival?
  • Western culture cultivates divorce.
  • Country borders have tightened since the war on terror.
  • Organic farming can feed the world.
  • Genetically modified food is the only way to meet global population demands.
  • Putin: hero or villain?
  • Is the human race responsible for global warming?
  • Is there any situation when the death penalty is warranted?
  • Is global government a realistic possibility?
  • Is animal testing still required?
  • Is technology dangerous to human health?
  • The developed world must cancel third world debt.
  • Governments and the private sector should join together to provide free internet.
  • Video games have a negative impact on young people.
  • Legalise euthanasia.
  • US multinational companies rule the world.
  • World War Two changed the world.
  • Politics should be added to secondary school curriculum.
  • Is it just as essential that men get paternity leave as for new mums?
  • Global vegetarianism.
  • The West is meddling in the Middle East.
  • Mobile phones are bad for our health.
  • Chemicals and preservatives in food and beauty products have a negative impact on health.
  • Global warming is causing more adverse weather conditions.
  • Greenpeace is an out-of-date hippy organisation.
  • Is the human race dependent on technology?
  • Obesity is the responsibility of the private sector.