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English 121 Argumentative Research Paper: Argumentative Essay Topics

A libguide for English 121 students writing argumentative research papers on social issues.


Below you will find a list of relevant issues and topics that may be used for your argumentative paper assignment. I try my best to not include my own personal bias, so the hope is that you take a term or phrase  (if you need a topic) and research both sides of the debate relating to the topic.  As easy as it can be to only focus on the side of an argument that you agree with, a good research paper will highlight the main arguments of both sides of  a debate. 

NOTE:  Always consult your instructors before choosing a topic from the list, some instructors have specific topics that they do not want students to focus on.  




  • Net Neutrality 
  • Universal human income
  • Education Reform/ Policy 
  • Tariffs; Needed or Not? 
  • North Korea and Nuclear Proliferation 
  • Brexit; Future of the European Union 
  • Charter Schools Vs. Public Schools
  • Free Tuition
  • Paying College Athletes
  • Opioid  Epidemic 
  • US Election : Popular Vote or Electoral College 
  • White Nationalist Movement 
  • Gun Control
  • Environmental Regulations -Needed or Not? 
  • Teacher's Pay 
  • Voting Age
  • Social Media and the future of Society
  • Arab Spring 
  • Venezuela Political/Economic Crisis 
  • Gentrification 
  • Gender Identity 
  • Border Security 


  • Climate Change
  • Nuclear Proliferation 
  • Immigration Reform / D.R.E.A.M.E.Rs
  • Russian Election Interference (U.S. and others)
  • Smart Phones and Driving 
  • Smart Cars/Self-Driving Vehicles
  • Privatization of Space Exploration
  • Right to Die laws / Euthanasia 
  • Crispr / Gene Editing 
  • Food Production / Food Sustainability 
  • Affordable Housing Crisis
  • Cyber bullying / Bullying 
  • Puerto Rico /disaster aid and preparedness
  • Black Lives Matter
  • School Safety / Student Protests and Gun Control
  • Militarization of the Arctic / Who owns the North Pole?
  • E-Cigarettes/Vaporizers and teen use
  • Water Rights and the Colorado River
  • Flint Michigan Water Crisis
  • U.S. Infrastructure (Roads, Bridges, Water Systems etc.) 
  • Crypto-currencies (e.g. Bit Coin) 
  • Paid Maternity Leave / Child Care


  • Viability of Coal/ Is "clean coal" obtainable?
  • U.S. Government Term Limits
  • Single-Payer Health Plan
  • Cultural appropriation 
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Information Literacy/ Fake News 
  • Free Speech/ 1st Amendment
  • Death Penalty
  • U.S. Immigration Policy
  • U.S. Foreign Policy 
  • Impeachment: Good or Bad? 
  • COVID-19: How do we stop it?