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A debate is a formal discussion about a topic where two sides present opposing viewpoints. Debates follow a specific structure: each side is given time to speak either for or against the topic at hand.

Many students study debate in high school to improve their speaking skills. As a debater, you learn how to clearly structure and present an argument. The skills you develop as a debater will help you on everything from a college admissions interview to a job presentation.

Selecting debate topics is one of the most important parts of debating. In this article, we’ll explain how to select a good debate topic and give suggestions for debate topics you can use.

How to Select Good Debate Topics

A good debate topic is one that lets the participants and the audience learn about both sides of an issue. Consider the following factors when selecting a debate topic:

Interest: Are you interested in the topic? Would the topic be interesting to your fellow classmates, as well as to the audience listening to the debate? Selecting a topic that you’re interested in makes the preparation part of the debate more exciting , as well as the debate more lively.

Argument Potential: You want to choose a debate topic that has solid argument potential. If one side is clearly right, or if there isn’t a lot of available information, you’ll have a hard time crafting a solid debate.

Availability of Data: Data points make an argument more robust. You’ll want to select a topic with lots of empirical data that you can pull from to bolster your argument.

Now that we know how to select a debate topic, let’s look at a list of good debate topics.

Debate Topics Master List

If you’re searching for your next debate topic, here are some suggestions.

Social and Political Issues Debate Topics

  • All people should have the right to own guns.
  • The death penalty should be abolished.
  • Human cloning should be legalized.
  • All drugs should be legalized.
  • Animal testing should be banned.
  • Juveniles should be tried and treated as adults.
  • Climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity today.
  • Violent video games should be banned.
  • The minimum wage should be $15 per hour.
  • All people should have Universal Basic Income.
  • Sex work should be legal.
  • Countries should be isolationist.
  • Abortion should be banned.
  • Every citizen should be mandated to perform national public service.
  • Bottled water should be banned.
  • Plastic bags should be banned.

Education Debate Topics

  • Homework should be banned.
  • Public prayer should not be allowed in schools.
  • Schools should block sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram on their computers.
  • School uniforms should be required.
  • Standardized testing should be abolished.
  • All students should have an after-school job or internship.
  • School should be in session year-round.
  • All high school athletes should be drug tested.
  • Detention should be abolished.
  • All student loan debt should be eliminated.
  • Homeschooling is better than traditional schooling.
  • All schools should have armed security guards.
  • Religion should be taught in schools.
  • All schools should be private schools.
  • All students should go to boarding schools.
  • Sexual education should be mandatory in schools.
  • Public college should be tuition free.
  • All teachers should get tenure.
  • All school districts should offer school vouchers.


Health Debate Topics

  • Healthcare should be universal.
  • Cosmetic procedures should be covered by health insurance.
  • All people should be vegetarians.
  • Euthanasia should be banned.
  • The drinking age should be 18.
  • Vaping should be banned.
  • Smoking should be banned in all public places.
  • People should be legally required to get vaccines.
  • Obesity should be labeled a disease.
  • Sexual orientation is determined at birth.
  • The sale of human organs should be legalized.
  • Birth control should be for sale over the counter.

Technology Debate Topics

  • Social media has improved human communication.
  • The development of artificial intelligence will help humanity.
  • Individuals should own their own DNA.
  • Humans should invest in technology to explore and colonize other planets.
  • Governments should invest in alternative energy sources.
  • Net neutrality should be restored.
  • Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies should be encouraged or banned.
  • Alternative energy can effectively replace fossil fuels.
  • Cell phone radiation is dangerous and should be limited.

How to Prepare for a Debate

Once you’ve selected your debate topic, the next step is to prepare for your debate. Follow these steps as you get ready to take the podium.

Read Your Evidence

The most important step to building your debate confidence is to familiarize yourself with the evidence available. You’ll want to select reputable sources and use empirical data effectively.

The more well read on your topic you are, the better you’ll be able to defend your position and anticipate the other side’s arguments.

Anticipate the Other Side’s Arguments

As part of your debate, you’ll need to rebut the other side’s arguments. It’s important to prepare ahead of time to guess what they’ll be talking about. You’ll bolster your own side’s argument if you’re able to effectively dismantle what the other side is saying.

Plan to Fill Your Speech Time

Each speaker at a debate is limited to a certain amount of time. You should plan to use every second of the time that you’re allotted. Make sure you practice your talking points so that you know you’re within the time frame. If you’re short, add in more evidence.

Practice to Build Confidence

It can be scary to take the stage for a debate! Practicing ahead of time will help you build confidence. Remember to speak slowly and clearly. Even if your argument is great, it won’t matter if no one can understand it.

Final Thoughts

Debate is a great way to hone your public speaking skills and get practice crafting and defending an argument. Use these debate topics if you're searching for a focus for your next debate.

What's Next?

Looking for ways to keep the debate going in non-academic life? Then you'll love our list of 101 "this or that" questions to argue over with your friends.

Thinking about how you can use your argumentative skills in a future career? Read up on the five steps to becoming a lawyer to see if that's a path you want to pursue.

Getting ready to take an AP test? Here’s a list of practice tests for every AP exam, including the AP literature exam .

It can be hard to schedule time to study for an AP test on top of your extracurriculars and normal classwork. Check out this article on when you need to start studying for your AP tests to make sure you’re staying on track.

Need more help with this topic? Check out Tutorbase!

Our vetted tutor database includes a range of experienced educators who can help you polish an essay for English or explain how derivatives work for Calculus. You can use dozens of filters and search criteria to find the perfect person for your needs.

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Hayley Milliman is a former teacher turned writer who blogs about education, history, and technology. When she was a teacher, Hayley's students regularly scored in the 99th percentile thanks to her passion for making topics digestible and accessible. In addition to her work for PrepScholar, Hayley is the author of Museum Hack's Guide to History's Fiercest Females.

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180 Engaging Debate Topics and Ideas for Students

Table of Contents

A debate is an activity that involves presenting arguments in support of a viewpoint. It is actually a formal discussion where two sides present opposing viewpoints. The debate will be usually hosted in a specific format, i.e., each side will be given a specific time to speak either for or against the topic. Academic institutes generally conduct debates on any interesting or trending debate topics. Other than that, you can also witness debates in legislative assemblies and public meetings.

In our life, each and every one of us would have argued about any topic by expressing our points or opposing the opponent’s viewpoints with some solid proof. Debating is a part of our life, but to professionally participate in a debate, one must possess extraordinary speaking skills. As a debater, you must know how to structure and present your argument in a way suitable to attract the audience.

Debate Topics

A debate looks impressive only if the selected topic is interesting. Are you confused about how to choose a good debate topic? No worries! Read this blog to know the important tips for choosing a good debate topic. Additionally, from here, get a list of 150+ awesome debate topics and ideas.

Debate Topic Selection Tips

Choosing a debate topic may be tricky, but if you are asked to select a debate topic, then consider the following factors.

The topic you select should

  • be debatable or have argument potential.
  • match your interest.
  • contain relevant points to make the debate interesting.
  • be relevant to the intellectual level of the audience.

Always select only the topic that satisfies all the above-mentioned factors. While selecting, be sure to pick the top trending debate topics or the topics that have high scope for arguments. The topic can be funny, controversial, or politically aligned. To help you in selecting a perfect topic for debating, here we have listed the best debate topic ideas in various fields.

List of Debate Topics and Ideas

If you need a fresh topic for debate, use the list shared below. In the list, you will find interesting debate topics and ideas on various disciplines.

Debate Topics on Current Affairs

  • Ban on Triple Talaq.
  • Encourage moonlighting- Yes or No
  • Whatsapp Snooping and Data Privacy.
  • Decriminalization of homosexuality.
  • Should NATO negotiate Ukraine’s membership aspirations with Russia?
  • Crypto Currency: A bright future or just a fad?
  • Gun Control in America.
  • Should China be labeled a ‘currency manipulator’?
  • Implications of Ayodhya verdict.
  • Are corporate jobs a new form of slavery?
  • Ban homework: does homework promote learning?
  • How essential is a college education?
  • Banning mobile devices (cell phones, smartphones) at schools: yes or no?
  • Is it appropriate to allow students to create their own curriculum?
  • Ban on wearing Hijab
  • Ban on plastic bags
  • Celebrities must be banned to take part in the promotion of alcoholic beverages
  • Do developed nations have to make organ donation compulsory?
  • Ban on same-sex marriage
  • Ban on immersion of idols in rivers and lakes

Interesting Debate Topics

Debate Topics on Education

  • Ban assignments and projects
  • Which is better – Public Schools or Private Schools?
  • Should religion be taught in schools?
  • Are school uniforms necessary?
  • Ban examinations.
  • Is sex education mandatory in schools?
  • Is it necessary to privatize education?
  • Which is better – Homeschooling or Traditional Schooling?
  • Happiness is more important than success.
  • Free Education for everyone.
  • Which is more important- Arts or Science?
  • Should students have a part-time job?
  • Who is responsible for students’ performance- teachers or parents?
  • Abolish the grading system.
  • Should there be more educational institutions ?
  • Include curricular activity classes in schools mandatorily.
  • Should every primary school need to provide mid-day meals to students?
  • Ensuring regular check-ups of students’ mental health in schools.
  • Is it required to educate students about the LGBTQ community?
  • Do you need to have a college degree to get a good job?
  • Should there be free college education?
  • Is a college degree worth accumulating student loan debt?
  • Should all student loan debt be forgiven?

Simple Debate Topics for High School Students

  • Math is the most important school subject.
  • Girls face more peer pressure than boys.
  • Shorter school day.
  • Reading books is better than watching TV.
  • It is better to be kind than to be truthful.
  • Giving is better than receiving.
  • Democracy is the best form of government.
  • Religion has no place in schools.
  • Book smarts are better than street smarts.
  • Abolish the ranking system.

Political Debate Topics

  • Does every citizen have to perform national public service?
  • Is communism a good ideology?
  • Should all people be given the right to own guns?
  • Should voting be mandated for all citizens?
  • Should a country allow more refugees to enter?
  • Should illegal immigrants be treated as criminals?
  • Is freedom of speech a necessity in a functional society?
  • Should dictatorship and monarchy end worldwide?
  • Abolish the death penalty.
  • Is democracy the best form of government?
  • Should the United Nations have a standing army?
  • Should rich people and large corporations pay more taxes?
  • Is patriotism destructive to international relations?
  • Should the church pay taxes?
  • Should countries be isolationist?
  • Ban nuclear weapons across the world.
  • Should every developed nation need to have equal power to make geopolitical decisions?
  • Religious schools and churches must also be charged with taxes.
  • Is freedom of speech necessary for a nation to grow?

Debate Topics on Social Issues

  • Should drug addicts be helped or punished?
  • Is feminism irrelevant in the 21 st century?
  • Ban abortion.
  • Is peer pressure a good thing?
  • Legalize drugs.
  • Does feminism focus less on men’s rights?
  • Ban violent video games.
  • Is privacy important?
  • Should companies hire 50 % male and 50 % female employees?
  • Should gay people be allowed to adopt children?
  • Should sex work be legal?
  • Ban smoking products.
  • Should the government provide free birth control?
  • Should human cloning be legalized?
  • Is it important to legalize euthanasia?
  • Is it ethical to allow people of all ages the right to choose death?
  • Should third-gender people include in the mainstream?

Must Read:   Top 120 Sociology Research Topics

Debate Ideas on Health

  • Should cosmetic procedures be covered by health insurance?
  • Is it good to self-medicate?
  • Should the sale of human organs be legalized?
  • Obesity is a disease or not?
  • Is mandatory vaccination a means of ensuring proper health?
  • Should all people stay as vegetarian?
  • Should healthcare be universal?
  • Is boarding school harmful to the mental health of the students?
  • Should there be criminal responsibility for medical errors?
  • Is it good to have an electronic health record system?
  • Is it important to use information and communication technologies in the healthcare system?
  • Should physicians and nurses hold liable for medication errors?
  • Is it significant to make people aware of the advantages and disadvantages of telemedicine?
  • Prohit the production and use of marijuana.
  • Ban moral policing
  • Ban the use of pedestrian paths for vehicles
  • Ban on Tobacco and Cigarettes

Interesting Debate Topics

Read more topic: Great Nursing Research Topics for Impressive Content

Debate Topics on Technology

  • Does technology intensify human communication skills?
  • Does technology make people smarter?
  • Can people save nature using technology?
  • Are robots better than humans?
  • Can technology replace books?
  • Is artificial intelligence a threat to humanity?
  • Is cyberbullying a real issue?
  • Is the internet a blessing or a curse?
  • Does technology increase the crime rate?
  • Can anti-surveillance software be trusted?
  • Should we purchase electric cars?
  • Technology is making people smarter or dumber?
  • Are cell phones safe?
  • Is online schooling the way of the future?
  • Ban or encourage- cryptocurrency?

Debate Topics on Environment

  • Animals have the same right as humans.
  • Is climate change the greatest threat in human history?
  • Is organic farming the future of agriculture?
  • Ban live animal export.
  • Is tourism beneficial to the environment?
  • Ban Plastic bottles.
  • Is solar power the energy of the future?
  • Is it essential to ban zoos?
  • Is leather good for the environment?
  • Ban leather goods.

Read more: Key concepts on ecology research topics that will ensure Your shining

Debate Topics on Sports

  • Are the Olympics important?
  • Should women compete against men in sports?
  • Are bullfights good?
  • Is paintball a true sport?
  • Is it good to have sports in the school curriculum?
  • Are competitive sports doing more harm than good?
  • Is bodybuilding a real sport?
  • Are athletes good role models?
  • Which is more important- sports or arts?
  • Are sports stars paid too much?

Debate Ideas on Social Media

  • Do social media make people less socially active?
  • Are social media doing more harm than good?
  • Do social media impede or improve communication?
  • Should a person’s social media be considered for police investigations?
  • Is social media spoiling the life of teenagers?
  • Is social media causing depression among the youth?
  • Is social media good for society?
  • Should schools block social media sites on their computers?
  • Do social media play an important role in business growth?
  • Is social media addiction worse than drug addiction?

Read more: Interesting Social Media Essay Topics

Popular Debate Topics

  • Ban junk food in the school canteen.
  • Should police be allowed to use lethal force?
  • Ban energy drinks.
  • Which is better- classroom education or online education?
  • Should alcohol be sold on weekends?
  • Debate on telecasting advertisements on kids’ channels.
  • Should pharmacists be allowed to prescribe medicines?
  • Who is stronger – men or women?
  • Is marriage necessary?
  • Which is necessary to live- money or morals?
  • Which one is better- eat to live or live to eat?
  • Is patriotism a good or a bad thing?
  • Is taxation good or bad?
  • Are reality television shows harming society?
  • Make unpaid internships illegal.
  • Is censorship necessary for the media?
  • Is peer pressure different from bullying?
  • Is abortion murder?
  • Is racial profiling a new form of discrimination?
  • Which is better- having a single kid or multiple kids?

Miscellaneous Debate Ideas

  • Authorize Marijuana for its application in therapeutics.
  • Social media’s effects on adolescents and high school pupils.
  • Violent cartoons affect a child’s mental development.
  • More than any other non-celebrity, celebrities use their influence to get away with crimes.
  • The present system of higher education is superior to the old one.
  • Beauty pageants absurdly raise society’s expectations.
  • Due to parents’ lack of parental supervision, childhood obesity is on the rise.
  • Video games will spoil the health of kids.
  • Why is it that males can date younger women but not vice versa?
  • Term limits for US senators and congressmen are more detrimental than beneficial.

Wrapping Up

From the list of interesting debate topic ideas mentioned in this post, pick any topic of your interest. Remember, choosing a good topic alone is not enough; you need to prepare well for your debate to attract the audience. When you prepare for a debate, first read and understand the evidence available for the selected topic, then identify all the counterpoints for your opponent’s arguments, and then practice your entire speech confidently within a given time frame.

Debating is one of the effective ways to fine-tune public speaking skills. Most importantly, you can become a good debater only if you prepare an interesting speech after doing complete research on the topic that you have selected and then practice continuously. In case, you need help with preparing a debate speech, utilize our assignment help service online. We have academic experts to help you with your debate preparation as per your needs.

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177 Questions to Inspire Writing, Discussion, Debate and Reflection

Here are all of our Student Opinion questions from the 2019-20 school year. A New York Times article, interactive feature or video is the jumping-off point for each question.

<a href="">Related Student Opinion</a>

By The Learning Network

Each school day, we publish a new Student Opinion question. The questions explore everything from family, school and friendships to race, gender and social media. Not surprisingly, this past year, many of our Student Opinion prompts also touched on how the coronavirus pandemic affected nearly all aspects of our lives.

During the 2019-20 school year, we asked 177 questions, and you can find them all below or here as a PDF . The questions are divided into two categories — those that provide opportunities for debate and persuasive writing, and those that lend themselves to creative, personal or reflective writing.

A New York Times article, interactive feature or video is the jumping-off point for each question, and students can view each linked Times article without a digital subscription.

These questions are used by some teachers as a way to spark class discussion and debate, while other teachers use them as an entry point for practicing narrative or persuasive writing. Our Student Opinion questions offer an authentic audience for student voices as well as a way to encourage students to engage with current events and peers from around the world.

We also have a free, on-demand webinar that offers other ideas on how to use our writing prompts in the classroom for everyday low-stakes writing practice across the curriculum.

Questions for Debate and Persuasive Writing

1. Should Students Get Mental Health Days Off From School? 2. Do Video Games Deserve the Bad Rap They Often Get? 3. Should College Be Free? 4. Where Should We Draw the Line Between Community Health and Safety and Individual Liberty and Privacy? 5. Does the United States Owe Reparations to the Descendants of Enslaved People? 6. What Topics Do You Wish You Could Learn About in School? 7. Should Parents Track Their Children? 8. When Do You Become an Adult? 9. Is the Mona Lisa Bad for Art? 10. Would You Return a Lost Wallet? (What if It Had Lots of Money in It?) 11. Do You Believe Aliens Exist? 12. Is Animal Testing Ever Justified? 13. Should Gifted and Talented Education Be Eliminated? 14. Do Films Like ‘Joker’ Endorse (or Even Promote) Violence? 15. Why Is It Important for People With Different Political Beliefs to Talk to Each Other? 16. What Rules, if Any, Should There Be About Phone Use During Live Performances? 17. Should Stay-at-Home Parents Be Paid? 18. Should We Feel Guilty When We Travel? 19. Are Some Youth Sports Too Intense? 20. Can Social Media Be a Tool for Learning and Growth in Schools? 21. Should Students Be Required to Take the SAT and ACT to Apply to College? 22. Should Your School Day Start Later? 23. Should Facebook Fact-Check Political Speech? 24. Should Blowouts Be Allowed in Youth Sports? 25. Should the Week Be Four Days Instead of Five? 26. Should Sports Journalism ‘Stick To Sports’? 27. Should Students Be Punished for Not Having Lunch Money? 28. Should Schools Test Their Students for Nicotine and Drug Use? 29. Is Racial and Economic Diversity in Schools Important? 30. Should Texting While Driving Be Treated Like Drunken Driving? 31. Why Do Bystanders Sometimes Fail to Help When They See Someone in Danger? 32. Are Comic-Book Movies Ruining Film? 33. How Do You Think American Education Could Be Improved? 34. Should All Schools Teach Cursive? 35. What Suggestions Do You Have for Improving Lunch at Your School? 36. Should Musicians Be Allowed to Copy or Borrow From Other Artists? 37. What Do You Think About Prince Harry and Meghan ‘Stepping Back’? 38. What Role Should Textbooks Play in Education? 39. Should Public Transit Be Free? 40. How Should We Punish Sports Cheaters? 41. Is There a ‘Right Way’ to Be a Tourist? 42. Do the Grammy Awards Represent the Best in Music Today? 43. Do You Think the World Is Getting Closer to Securing the Promise of ‘Never Again’? 44. Should the Adults in Your Life Be Worried by How Much You Use You Use Your Phone? 45. Is It Offensive for Sports Teams and Their Fans to Use Native American Names, Imagery and Gestures? 46. Should Facial Recognition Technology Be Used in Schools? 47. In the Age of Digital Streaming, Are Movie Theaters Still Relevant? 48. Do Memes Make the Internet a Better Place? 49. Is Childhood Today Over-Supervised? 50. How Do You Decide What News to Believe, What to Question and What to Dismiss? 51. Should Plastic Bags Be Banned Everywhere? 52. Do You Think Online Conspiracy Theories Can Be Dangerous? 53. What Should #MeToo Mean for Teenage Boys? 54. Is It Immoral to Increase the Price of Goods During a Crisis? 55. Should Public Preschool Be a Right for All Children? 56. What Are Your Reactions to the Impeachment Inquiry of President Trump? 57. Is the Impeachment Inquiry a Teachable Moment? Or Should Politics Stay Out of the Classroom? 58. What Is Your Reaction to the Results of the Iowa Caucuses? 59. How Do You Think the Primaries and 2020 Presidential Election Should Proceed? 60. What Role Should Celebrities Have During the Coronavirus Crisis? 61. Should Schools Change How They Grade Students During the Pandemic? 62. Should We All Be Able to Vote by Mail? 63. Is It OK to Laugh During Dark Times? 64. When the Pandemic Ends, Will School Change Forever? 65. What Makes a Great Leader? 66. Should Students Be Monitored When Taking Online Tests? 67. Should National Service Be Required for All Young Americans?

Questions for Creative and Personal Writing

68. How Is What You Are Studying in School Relevant to Your Life and the Larger World? 69. How Much Racism Do You Face in Your Daily Life? 70. Do You Ever Laugh at the Misfortune of Others? 71. How Much Has Your ZIP Code Determined Your Opportunities? 72. What Weaknesses and Strengths About Our World Are Being Exposed By This Pandemic? 73. What Have You Learned About Yourself During This Lockdown? 74. What’s the Most Memorable Thing That Happened to You This Summer? 75. Does Your Life Ever Feel Too Busy? 76. How Do You Feel About Active-Shooter Drills in Schools? 77. When Have You Either Forgiven Someone or Been Forgiven Yourself? 78. How Do You Deal With Self-Doubt? 79. What Are Your Hometown’s Shortcomings? 80. Have You Ever Had a Significant Friendship End? 81. Are You Going to a Youth Climate Strike? 82. How Well Do Your Parents Deal With Sibling Conflicts? 83. How Similar Are Your Political Views to Those of Your Parents? 84. Have You Ever Read a Book You Weren’t Supposed to Read? 85. What Do You Eat for Dinner on a Typical Weeknight? 86. What’s Your Favorite Punctuation Mark? 87. Do You Get an Allowance? 88. Have You Ever Encountered Racist or Extremist Content Online? 89. What Do You Think of the Field of Democratic Presidential Candidates? 90. What Is Your Favorite Rivalry? 91. Who Do You Turn To in a Crisis? 92. Are You a Worrier? 93. What Grievances Do You Have With Your Local Community? 94. What’s Your Favorite Halloween Costume, Past or Present? 95. How Good Are You at Spending Time Alone? 96. What Could You Read, Listen to or Watch to Stretch Your Cultural Imagination? 97. Do You Read Reviews? 98. Do You Want to Get Married Someday? 99. Do You Seek Out New Experiences? Or Stick With the Things You Know and Love? 100. How Well Do You Read Other People? 101. What Does Thanksgiving Mean to You? 102. Do You Have Any Close Friends? 103. Have You Ever Tried to Make Money Online? 104. Do You Feel Safer When You Know You’re Being Watched? 105. What Are Your Experiences With Meditation? 106. How Will You Remember the 2010s? 107. Do You See Yourself in the Books You Read? 108. What Were the Best and Worst Things About 2019 for You? 109. Are You Good at Giving Gifts? 110. What Is Your Choice for Word of the Year? 111. How Have You Coped With the Death of an Idol? 112. Who Are the Ordinary Heroes of 2019? 113. What Are Your Predictions for the New Year and the New Decade? 114. What Era Do You Wish You Had Grown Up In? 115. Would You Want to Live and Breathe Creating Content for Social Media? 116. Do You Complain Too Much, Too Little or Just the Right Amount? 117. How Would You Rate Your Listening Skills and Those of the People Around You? 118. Would You Consider Serving in the U.S. Armed Forces? 119. Have You Ever Quit Something? 120. What Are You Doing to Change Your School? 121. What Does Kobe Bryant’s Death Mean to You? 122. Did You Watch the Super Bowl? What Did You Think? 123. How Have You Learned About Slavery? 124. Would You Ever Consider Becoming Vegetarian? 125. Do You Turn to Your Parents for Advice? 126. What Role Have Coaches Played in Your Life? 127. How Would You Design Your Ideal Museum? 128. Are You Able to Be Your Whole Self at School? 129. Do You Have More Good Habits Than Bad? 130. We Document Life’s Milestones. How Should We Document Death? 131. How Concerned Are You About the Coronavirus Outbreak? 132. Are You a Good Person? 133. Would You Allow an Ex-Prisoner to Live With You? 134. How Would Your Life Be Different if You Didn’t Have Wi-Fi and Cellular Service? 135. Stress, Worry and Anxiety Are All Different. How Do You Cope With Each? 136. Is the Diversity of Your School Accurately Reflected in Its Promotional Materials? 137. What Is Your Reaction to the Latest News About the Coronavirus Outbreak? 138. What Role Does Poetry Play in Your Life? 139. How Can We Help One Another During the Coronavirus Outbreak? 140. What Songs Matter to You Now? 141. How Is the Coronavirus Outbreak Affecting Your Life? 142. What Are You Reading, Watching, Listening To, Playing and Cooking? A Place for Recommendations 143. How Are You Staying Healthy and Fit? 144. What Questions Do You Have About the Coronavirus? 145. Has Your School Switched to Remote Learning? How Is It Going So Far? 146. How Do Animals Provide Comfort in Your Life? 147. Is the Coronavirus Pandemic Bringing Your Extended Family Closer Together? 148. What Are Some Ways to “Travel” Without Traveling During the Pandemic? 149 Holidays and Birthdays Are Moments to Come Together. How Are You Adapting During the Pandemic? 150. How Has the Coronavirus Changed How You Use the Internet? 151. How Are You Getting Your Sports Watching Fix? 152. What Acts of Kindness Have You Heard About or Participated In During Coronavirus? 153. When Has Starting Over Worked for You? 154. Is Your Family Experiencing Greater Conflict During a Time of Self-Quarantine? 155. How Are You Feeling About Missing Prom? 156. How Can You Tell a Story About Your Life Right Now Through a Few Simple Numbers? 157. What Does Your Accent Say About Who You Are? 158. How Do You Greet Your Friends and Family? 159. What Are Your Favorite Games? 160. What Do You Miss Most About Your Life Before the Pandemic? 161. What Are Your Hopes for Summer 2020? What Are Your Worries? 162. How Do You Connect With Your Parents? 163. Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist? 164. What Do the Objects in Your Home Say About You? 165. What’s the First Thing You Plan to Do After Quarantine? 166. Do You Enjoy Going On a Walk — Especially Now? 167. What’s the Best Book You Ever Read for School? 168. What’s the Craziest Thing You Did as a Kid? 169. How Is Your Family Dividing Responsibilities During the Quarantine 170. How Has Social Distancing Changed Dating for Teenagers? 171. Do You Believe in Ghosts? 172. What Issues in the 2020 Presidential Race Are Most Important to You? 173. Do You Prefer to Dwell in the Past, Live in the Present or Dream of the Future? 174. Does the Future of Robots Get You Excited, or Fill You With Dread? 175. How Do You Practice Self-Care? 176. How Will We Remember the Coronavirus Pandemic? 177. What Is Your Reaction to the Days of Protest That Have Followed the Death of George Floyd?

Want more writing prompts?

You can find even more Student Opinion questions in our 550 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing and 130 New Prompts for Argumentative Writing . We also publish daily Picture Prompts , which are image-centered posts that provide space for many different kinds of writing. You can find all of our writing prompts, added as they publish, here .

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150 Fun Debate Topics for Students of All Ages

by Sara Ipatenco

While debates can get heated, they are a powerful tool for learning. Older kids can debate societal issues while younger children can argue for more innocent and silly ideas. Whatever the topic, students will build critical thinking skills , hone their public speaking abilities , increase their self-confidence, remember more of what they learn, engage respectfully with their peers, and understand that there are more viewpoints and opinions than their own. Here are 150 debate topics to get your students engaged in the learning process.

Debate topics for elementary students

  • Save or spend your allowance?
  • Ketchup or ranch dressing on fries?
  • School uniforms or pick your own clothes?
  • Which is better: the book or the movie?
  • Water park or amusement park?
  • Laptop or tablet?
  • Which is a better pet: a dog or a cat?
  • Which is more fun? The zoo or a museum?
  • Is it better to travel by car or by airplane?
  • Do ghosts exist?
  • Paper or plastic bags?
  • Eat meat or become a vegetarian?
  • Tap water or bottled water?
  • Is it better to give or to receive?
  • Stay up late or get up early?
  • Cartoons or documentaries?
  • Football or soccer?
  • Which would be more fun, a field trip or a day off from school?
  • Is homework educational?
  • Year-round school with 3-day weekends or summer break?
  • Stay at home or go on vacation?
  • Is it more fun to visit the beach or the forest?
  • Hot weather or cold weather?
  • Would you rather take a test or do a large project to show what you know?
  • Should children do chores at home?
  • Soda or Gatorade?
  • Should junk food be banned in the school cafeteria?
  • Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?
  • Which is scarier? Spiders or scorpions?
  • Hamburgers or hot dogs?
  • Would you rather do an art project or play a sport?
  • Which is more dangerous: a lion or a hippo?
  • Would you rather be a police officer or a firefighter?
  • Would you rather ride a bike or a scooter?
  • Skiing or snowboarding?
  • Who was the better president? George Washington or Abraham Lincoln?
  • Is pineapple a good pizza topping?
  • Which superpower would be better: super strength or invisibility?
  • Country music or rock and roll?
  • Swings or slides?
  • Which is more important: math or reading?
  • Should teachers grade handwriting?
  • Which are more fun: video games or board games?
  • Would you rather have a real Christmas tree or a fake one?
  • What is a better place to live: the city or the country?
  • Pencils or pens?
  • Crayons or markers?
  • Are clowns scary or funny?
  • Is it important to make your bed every morning?
  • Hot chocolate or chocolate milkshake?
  • Is Bigfoot real?
  • Who is the better superhero? Batman or Superman?
  • Should kids watch TV during the week?
  • Should you have to go to school on your birthday?
  • Would you rather have a dragon or a unicorn?
  • Cupcakes or cookies?
  • Camping or staying in a hotel?
  • McDonalds or Burger King?
  • Pepsi or Coke?
  • If you could choose to be famous, would you?
  • Indoor or outdoor recess?
  • Would robots be helpful or harmful?
  • Which tastes better? Chocolate or fruit-flavored candy?
  • Tacos or burritos?
  • Should teachers wear a uniform?
  • In-person learning or remote learning?
  • Should teachers make more money than sports players?
  • Would you rather go to space or explore the ocean?
  • Which is more fun? A treehouse or a fort?
  • Scary movies or funny movies?
  • Which would you rather do: a science experiment or an art project?
  • Is it better to buy books or check them out from the library?
  • Which is better? Disneyland or Disneyworld?
  • Which would help you more: learning to cook or learning to sew?
  • Is it more fun to swim in a pool or in the ocean?

Debate topics for middle and high school students

  • Should kids have smartphones?
  • Should anyone under age 18 be allowed to vote for president?
  • Should boys and girls go to different schools?
  • Should kids who can drive be allowed to leave school for lunch?
  • Which is more important: happiness or success?
  • Should children be allowed to use social media?
  • Is it ever OK to cheat?
  • Should high school students have a job?
  • Should schools replace paper and pens with computers?
  • Do sports and movie stars make too much money?
  • Should children be allowed to get tattoos?
  • Do you think computers will ever replace teachers?
  • Should kids be allowed to pray at school?
  • Is the death penalty a good form of punishment?
  • Should all homes have solar panels?
  • Should drugs be made legal?
  • Should schools have armed guards?
  • Should students be allowed to say curse words?
  • Should older kids still get recess?
  • Are dress codes good for schools?
  • Do violent video games make kids more violent?
  • Would you rather have tons of money or live forever?
  • Should everyone go to college?
  • Should schools have surveillance cameras?
  • Vegetarian or eat meat?
  • Should everyone make the team?
  • Is it better to always tell the truth or to always be kind?
  • Is there life on other planets?
  • Would you rather read a fantasy story or a biography?
  • Which is more dangerous: zombies or vampires?
  • Would you rather write a book or a movie script?
  • Play an instrument or play a sport?
  • Musicals or movies?
  • What is the worst day of the week?
  • Is Pluto really a planet or not?
  • Which is more fun? Going out with friends or staying home?
  • Which is a better job: working in a restaurant or working in a store?
  • Is Robin Hood a thief or a hero?
  • Does jail deter criminals?
  • Would you rather have a library card or a credit card?
  • Would you rather be famous with no money or not famous with lots of money?
  • Is it better to be good at school or good at sports?
  • Should students be required to volunteer?
  • Should schools ban books from their libraries?
  • Should schools teach cooking and sewing?
  • Who faces more peer pressure: girls or boys?
  • Should cigarettes be illegal?
  • Should vaccines be mandatory?
  • Should Supreme Court justices have a set term limit?
  • Should countries be able to have nuclear weapons?
  • Is testing on animals good or bad?
  • Is reality television realistic?
  • Should parents track where their kids are using cell phones?
  • Is prom fun or not?
  • Is artificial intelligence good for humans?
  • Is global warming real?
  • Should rich people share their money with poor people?
  • Would you rather read a newspaper or watch the news?
  • Do grades matter?
  • Should teachers stop giving tests?
  • Should you be allowed to use your phone at school whenever you want?
  • Is it cheating for friends to do their homework together?
  • Should kids be allowed to use TikTok?
  • Should parents buy kids everything they want?
  • Should the school day be longer or shorter?
  • Would you rather go to college or get a job after high school?
  • Should teenagers have a curfew?
  • Should kids be considered adults as soon as they turn 18?
  • Would having a lot of money make life easier?
  • Are teenagers overscheduled?
  • What is the right amount of homework?
  • Should schools have metal detectors?
  • Are group projects or independent projects better?
  • Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?
  • Is elementary or high school more fun?

Take your teaching to a higher level by introducing one or more of these debate topics into your lesson plans. You might even ask your students to come up with their own debate topics so they can discuss what interests them. As they research and discuss, your students will learn so much about the debate topic while considering a wide variety of viewpoints and ideas.

150 Fun Debate Topics for Students of All Ages


Creating A Climate For Questioning in Your Classroom


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Best 100 Debate Topics for High School

debate topics for high school

If you are in high school or college and your professor asks you to come up with some great debate topics, what do you do? The simple answer is that you go online and try to find a topic that would please everyone. After all, what better way to get a top grade? This approach is plain wrong. The main point of a debate is that it should not appeal to all tastes. If everyone agrees, it wouldn’t be a debate would it?

Table of Contents

100 new debate topics for high school students, popular debate topics, best debate topics, funny debate topics, political debate topics, sports debate topics, technology debate topics, environmental school debate topics, relationship topics to debate, health easy debate topics, historical debate topics, scientific debate topics, pointless debate topics, top debate topics.

In other words, debate topics for high school should be interesting and relatively simple. They should also spark a debate pretty quickly. Yes, you may find interesting topics to debate here and there on the Internet. But we have something a lot better for you: a long list of list of debate topics (over 100 topics in total). We’ve split our high school debate topics into several sections so you can easily find exactly what you need.

You may think that finding the top debate topics is as simple as Googling them. Well, it is not. We’ve asked our professional writers to come up with a list of the best debate topics and it took them 2 days to put it together. So no, finding a good topic for any debate is not an easy thing to do. However, we are here to help each and every student. The following list contains all the topics we consider to be good debate topics for high school. You are free to use them in any way you like. No need to thank us!

Are you looking for something popular but not too difficult for topics to debate on? Here are some of the most popular debate topics we can think of:

  • Students shouldn’t get a part-time job. (if you need common debate topics)
  • The US government should ban all homework.
  • Should YouTube be blocked in the United States?
  • Facebook is damaging our society.
  • Make owning guns illegal today. It will stop gun violence in the US.
  • Is the Church wrong? Are there really aliens out there? (best of all the public forum debate topics)
  • The drinking age should be higher, in my opinion.
  • Prayers should not be enforced in public schools.
  • We should prevent robots from becoming sentient.

There are plenty of controversial debate topics out there. Just make sure you don’t offend your audience! Here are some of the best topics in our opinion:

  • Religion is the cause of all wars.
  • Robots will take over the world if we make them conscious.
  • Conscientious objectors should be considered traitors.
  • Our gun laws are much too lenient.
  • Students should get the right to choose their teachers.
  • The United States has the right to act as the world police.
  • I believe Trump really did make America great again! (if you’re looking for current debate topics)

Making your professor laugh is a sure way to get a top grade. So our list wouldn’t be complete without some funny debate topics like these:

  • We should decrease the driving age. Really!
  • The voting age is too low, in my opinion.
  • Democracy has failed and it continues to fail us. (if you need democratic debate topics)
  • We need to construct a border fence between the US and Canada.
  • Let’s lower the tax rate to zero for everyone!
  • Students who don’t dress well should pay a fine. (one of the best fun debate topics)
  • Being bored in school should be made a medical condition.
  • Do we really have any kind of freedom of speech?

Of course, what list of debate topics would miss political debate topics? Especially now that Trump is about to be impeached? Here are the best of them:

  • I think progressive tax rates are not only fair, but also necessary.
  • Trump should have been impeached long ago.
  • I don’t think Trump won the election fairly.
  • The Hillary Clinton email charade was just a big lie. (if you need interesting debate topics)
  • People who don’t use their right to vote should lose it.
  • Why do we need to give money to other countries anyway?
  • America is restricting freedom of speech at an alarming rate.
  • We should all have the right to bear arms (even automatic rifles).

Does your professor like sports? Or perhaps many of your classmates are sports fans. What better way to spark a debate than to talk about sports:

  • I consider dance to be a sport. What do you think?
  • Gaming should be considered a sport, that’s for sure.
  • Let’s ban contact sports from our schools! (one of the controversial debate topics for high school)
  • Public school sports should be off-limits to home-schooled students.
  • Stop using native American mascots, sports teams!
  • Let’s face it; sports are way too aggressive nowadays.
  • Should sportspeople be like role models for children?
  • Let’s allow steroids in sports; they have benefits.

Technology is all around us and it’s changing our lives. There are hundreds of interesting technology debate topics, but we’ve only selected the top ones:

  • Artificial intelligence will harm the humankind.
  • Is technology changing people for the worse?
  • We should be able to own our own DNA. (one of the best speech and debate topics)
  • Humans should not attempt to colonize another planet.
  • There are no more things left to discover when it comes to tech.
  • Social media is harming people’s lives.
  • Let’s face it; technology is making humans dumber.
  • Robots will greatly increase the quality of human life.
  • Online education is better than traditional education.

The environment is a hot topic, especially with all the microplastics and global warming developments. So here are some of the most interesting environmental debate topics:

  • Climate change is not as bad as people say it is.
  • Why should we ban fracking?
  • GMOs are doing more harm than good.
  • Let’s ban the sale of fur items in the United States.
  • Being vegetarian has a lot of benefits.
  • Why are we exporting live animals after all?
  • Zoos are a form of animal cruelty, period.
  • Cannibal tribes should not be allowed to exist.
  • Meat eaters live longer than vegetarians.

It may sound like a bit strange, but relationship topics to debate are pretty common these days. Just make sure you don’t give out any personal information!

  • We should ban gay marriage everywhere in the US.
  • Online dating has serious risks.
  • Why office romance should be accepted everywhere.
  • Should you choose the love of your life or your family?
  • It’s OK to have sex before marriage.
  • Chinese sex bots are gaining too much popularity.
  • Would you date a person who’s had a sex change?

Everyone is interested in health; and especially in one’s health. So why not come up with some nice, intriguing health debate topics like these:

  • We must provide free healthcare to homeless persons.
  • Medical errors should not be considered criminal in nature.
  • The cost of healthcare in the US is too high.
  • The lethal injection should not be used for capital punishment.
  • Eating lots of fat doesn’t make you fat. (one of the best health care debate topics)
  • Health problems are not caused by what we eat.
  • We should trust alternative medicine.

Almost every person has his or her own take on various historical events. This is exactly what you need for a good debate. So here are some historical debate topics:

  • The United States had no business in World War I.
  • Thomas Edison was no hero!
  • Haitham first discovered gravitation, not Newton.
  • Was Jesus really crucified?
  • King Arthur really existed.
  • Some of the policies of Hitler were actually pretty helpful.
  • Colonialism had a positive effect on emerging economies.

You can also ask our experts for  help with history homework, if you have any troubles.

This list would not be complete without some nice, easy scientific debate topics. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a science whiz:

  • We need to allow human cloning. (the best of all science debate topics)
  • The US government must subsidize renewable energy production.
  • Why should we not make animal testing illegal? (a good choice for ethics debate topics)
  • Every citizen in the world should get free Internet.
  • The hunt for alien life is contrary to the Church.
  • NASA should have access to unlimited funds.
  • Smartphones can be very effective educational tools.

Of course, there are some pointless debate topics that don’t lead anywhere. People like to debate about them, but the debate doesn’t yield any kind of results. It’s pointless to debate on:

  • Let’s punish the parents for our mistakes.
  • Which celebrity you think is the sexiest?
  • Manual is better than automatic. Or is it?
  • Yoga is not physical exercise.
  • Which is better, Android or iOS? (if you’re looking for debate topics for teens)
  • Is a hot dog a sandwich?
  • Which is better for gamers, a mouse and keyword, or a controller?

In the end, we selected a few topics that are better than most of the others. Here are the top debate topics you can discuss in class in high school and get an A:

  • Does debating help students learn faster?
  • The death penalty has no place in modern society.
  • Should you be able to wear anything you want, even in school?
  • Which are better, books or movies?
  • We all need at least one pet.
  • Cheating at exams is in the human nature. (one of the best debate topics for students)
  • Fossil fuels or renewable energy? Which is better?

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We hope these topics will help you pick the best subject for your debate. And remember, there is no such thing as stupid debate topics! A debate is a debate, regardless of the topic. Your professor is interested in the debate more than he is in the subject, after all. If you can elicit a lot of responses and opinions from your audience, then the topic you chose for de debate is a good one and you should expect to get a top grade.

And if you need someone to come up with debate points for you, or you just need some ideas, you can always pay for homework help . Our homework service has the best experts on the internet, and will provide fast online writing help to you.

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The Practice Space

Resource 13: Debate Skill Drills and Warm-Ups

Resource 13, debate skill drills and warm-ups.

In full-fledged formats, debate can be overwhelming if you have not yet built up your spontaneous speaking and argumentation skills. Drills and warm-ups can help you keep sharp and focus on specific debate-related skills. While many of these warm-ups are designed to be done in groups or pairs, it is possible to practice on your own with slight variations. For adults trying to improve their debate skills for the workplace, these activities work best if you can find someone to help you at home (otherwise, use the variation for individuals).

In classrooms or debate practices, these activities are designed to be short 10-12 minute exercises before going into a more involved debate or discussion. If time is limited, it is also possible to not do a debate at all and just do one or two of these exercises with more repetitions, followed by a debrief discussion about what everyone felt like they improved.

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120 Interesting Debate Topics to Channel Your Inner Socrates

Every great orator used to be a student – even the most gifted ones had to learn. That is why you have to practice your rhetorical skills in building strong arguments and presenting them compellingly. Usually, you are given some time to prepare for a debate. Your topic is known beforehand, and you can research it to back your arguments with evidence, hone your loquacity, and embellish your speech with prosody, parallelism, and other expressive means.

However, if you haven’t been given a defined topic for your speech or you just want to practice, you can find some ideas on the list below. We have gathered the best debate topics and grouped them by categories:

Debatable Topics on Hot Issues

More controversial debate topics, easy and funny debate topics, engaging debate topics for middle school, though-provoking debate topics for high school, challenging debate topics for college students, top debating topics that never go out of fashion, casual topics to debate about.

In each category, you can choose topics to debate of varying complexity – from easy to challenging. Some of the issues are ambiguous and hard to navigate without knowledge of human psychology and high levels of emotional intelligence. As a studying aid, most topics are linked to our free essay database samples. Inspect them carefully and see what rhetoric devices are used to persuade the audience. Remember, wins not the one who shouts the loudest, but the one who speaks to the hearts of the audience.

What are the topics most fitting for debate? Of course, those related to current events: politics, technology, business, etc. Something that matters here and now. Relevance is the key. This is why these suggestions top debate topic list. Some of the topics below might even give you inspiration for research paper.

If you find an unlinked topic interesting, you can order a unique sample from our essay writing service . Just let us know if you need it written from a specific point of view or in a particular tone of voice. It will be created following your every instruction and delivered to you right on time!

  • Do media expose the inequality and class divide or contribute to them?
  • Should social media be regulated? Is it an infringement on the freedom of speech?
  • Artificial Intelligence: a boon or a bane?
  • Keeping cetaceans in captivity is unethical, even for research: yes or no?
  • Identity politics in the visible world: is your face your private property?
  • Are employee benefits distributed fairly to people who need help the most?
  • Should the minimum wage be raised?
  • Does affirmative action work?
  • Should all genetically modified food be banned?
  • Should medical workers disclose their HIV status to their patients?
  • Should the United States have mandatory military conscription?
  • Should the white majority join collective actions like “Blackout Tuesday” to show support, or is it more appropriate to leave room for minorities to raise their voices?
  • Should student debt be forgiven for everyone?
  • Should COVID-19 vaccination be made mandatory (with an exception for medical conditions preventing from a jab)?
  • Is colorblind casting for historical pieces empowering or harmful? Is it inclusion or erasure?

Now let’s get into really hot debatable topics. Current events are all fine and well, but some issues remain in the spotlight for years because they are highly polarizing and not easily resolved. They often dwell in the domain of criminal justice, ethics, and religion. Are you prepared to give some of these a try?

  • Is firing bad teachers the real solution to the de facto segregation in the U.S. education system?
  • Is it moral to buy and sell organs, or should they only be donated?
  • Is substance abuse a mental disorder?
  • Is the Hare Psychopathy Checklist effective for assessing offenders?
  • Should museums like Auschwitz be conserved or modernized?
  • European-Indigenous contact: was conflict inevitable or avoidable?
  • Should gay marriage be legal in your state?
  • Is it moral to supply teenagers with birth control?
  • Pro-life or pro-choice?
  • Should physician-assisted suicide be legal?
  • Is workplace drug testing ethical?
  • Is it ethical to patent medical procedures?
  • Should marijuana be legal in your state?
  • Does the death penalty have a place in a civilized society?
  • Should incest between consenting adults be considered a felony?

Phew, that was intense. How about something less emotionally charged? Expressing your strong opinions on unimportant matters can be a great way to learn debating techniques – and entertaining! Some of the fun debate topics on this list might be suitable for students in elementary or middle school.

  • City life vs. small-town life
  • Is “seize the day” a realistic way of life?
  • Boredom: does it lead to trouble, or is it good?
  • Do pop stars have a moral obligation to perform and dance in a non-offensive way?
  • Should we rely on technology or use it less in everyday life?
  • Is paintball a violent game, and should we play it?
  • Online dating: to do or not to do?
  • Are embellished images of fast food false advertising?
  • Should children be able to sue parents for giving them weird/ugly names?
  • Are voice messages a future, or should they be banned?
  • Do animals have a sense of humor?
  • Fantasy or Sci-Fi?
  • Apple or Android?
  • Choosing the ultimate pet: cats or dogs?
  • Fireworks are hazardous, bad for the environment, and scare animals. We should replace them with drones and laser shows. Agree or disagree?

We loosely classify the suggestions below as middle school debate topics because students of that age should find them engaging and be able to discuss them with some confidence. However, they are suitable not only for pre-teens. Some of them can be explored on other academic levels and even be a basis for profound research.

  • Are professional athletes a good or a poor choice for role modeling?
  • Should the school be taught all year-round instead of closing for summer?
  • Do comic books have positive or negative effects on children?
  • Who is to blame for World War 1?
  • Should government tax unhealthy foods?
  • Is Wikipedia a trustworthy source of information?
  • Do social media lead to narcissism?
  • Should children’s time be structures morning until evening, or should they have complete freedom?
  • Should homework be banned?
  • Is reporting rule-breaking to a teacher a snitching or a moral duty?
  • Should plastic bags and other one-use plastic items be banned completely?
  • Should we all become vegetarians?
  • Should all zoos be banned?
  • Is cybersport a real sport?
  • Should students be allowed to choose what they want to learn and refuse subjects they don’t like?

Older teens usually find discussions about changes, the future, and their plans for further education interesting. That is why we have included a good portion of these in our high-school debate topics. They might be a bit edgier than those for middle school but still manageable. For instance, we are sure you will have no problem with these.

  • Should uniforms be mandatory for high school students?
  • Is environmental protection a governmental or individual responsibility?
  • Is the council of your town efficient? Why or why not? Which problems have they successfully tackled/failed to address?
  • Should college education be state-financed and free for all students?
  • All high school and college students should be required to take at least two foreign languages: yes or no?
  • Should high school graduates take a gap year?
  • Do single-sex schools have enough merit to exist today?
  • Are humans and non-human species equal? Is non-speciesism or the unbiased treatment of other species possible?
  • Should teachers’ salaries be based on merit?
  • Should the breeding of animals with severe health conditions be stopped?
  • In the future, humanity will switch to lab-grown meat and meat substitutes. Agree or disagree?
  • Should we explore outer space or put the money and effort into sustainable living and preserving the Earth?
  • Should guns be more strictly regulated in your state?
  • Do biometric scans improve security or pose additional risks?
  • Is the legal age of 18 right for getting a tattoo? Should it be lowered or raised?

College debates topics might not have easy and readily available answers. They are more nuanced and complex, including pressing environmental, scientific, medical, and political issues. Will you be equal to these discussions?

  • Do internships benefit college students?
  • Should college athletes be paid?
  • Is studying abroad more beneficial than studying domestically?
  • Should we celebrate personalities with radical views and controversial legacies for the good things they did?
  • Should America adopt an educational system more like Europe?
  • Should juvenile offenders be tried and punished as adults?
  • Taking online courses versus going to college?
  • Should a cap be placed on “Pain and Suffering” in tort actions?
  • Are homeless people provided with sufficient support by the government?
  • Should illegal drug possession for personal use be decriminalized?
  • Should the legal drinking age be lowered?
  • Should campus police be armed?
  • Should universities only admit fully vaccinated people on campus?
  • Should free speech be unlimited in universities? How can this principle be balanced with issues of civility and respect?
  • Is borrowing styles from other cultures an appreciation or an appropriation?

Some philosophical, ethical, and historical issues always remain a popular debate topic. Can you and your classmates come to an agreement on these ones?

  • Is happiness achievable, or is it just an illusion?
  • Is crime violent by its very nature?
  • Is it okay to lie?
  • Settling a peaceful life in a tempestuous place is possible or not?
  • Stricter surveillance measures should be adopted to protect us from real threats: agree or disagree?
  • Do you believe that humanity is inherently evil?
  • Solitary confinement: humane or inhumane?
  • Can a refusal to vote be a democratic choice?
  • Are credits good or bad for consumers?
  • Is United Nations an ethical organization?
  • Should elderly people receive professional care at retirement homes or at their own place?
  • Do you believe that afterlife is merely a fable?
  • Is this reality a simulation? How can we tell?
  • Does free will exist, or is everything determined?
  • Can science and religion be reconciled?

You can try these topics for debate in class or with friends at a party. They concern all aspects of everyday life: relationship choices, behaviors, ethical decisions we make. Try these for a meaningful conversation with close friends or as icebreakers in a new company.

  • Does women’s choice to opt-in and out of work make them more privileged?
  • Are social networking services beneficial for our actual relationships?
  • What is better for society: collectivism or individualism?
  • Is materialism a positive or negative value?
  • Is plastic surgery an empowering or dangerous trend?
  • Are we as a society worshipping money too much?
  • “Ideas are more powerful than guns”: agree or disagree?
  • Can platonic friendship exist between men and women?
  • I would never have sex with someone on a first date: agree or disagree?
  • Internet censorship: yes or no?
  • Vacations: abroad or domestically?
  • Should people be allowed to marry objects?
  • Should bionics be used only to remedy the impairment or to enhance an able body as well?
  • Is it moral to kill insects if you are an ethical vegetarian?
  • Is romantic love necessary for a happy and fulfilling life?

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Classroom Debates

Using debates in the classroom provide students the opportunity to work in a collaborative and cooperative group setting. By having students discuss and organize their points of view for one side of an argument they are able to discover new information and put knowledge into action. Classroom debates help students learn through friendly competition, examine controversial topics and “strengthen skills in the areas of leadership, interpersonal influence, teambuilding, group problem solving, and oral presentation” (Leuser, n.d., para. 1).

By having students discuss and organize their points of view for one side of an argument they are able to discover new information and put knowledge into action.

Debates can be used in all disciplines on a wide range of topics. Here are some examples of subject matter topics for debate which can easily be adapted for a variety of subject areas.

  • Arts - There should no restrictions upon artistic expression
  • Business - Corporations should be abolished
  • Education - Intelligence testing is without value
  • Engineering - Only bridges over waterways need to be routinely inspected
  • Sociology - It is morally okay to break laws you don't agree with
  • English - Language is not a skill
  • Geology - Mountain top mining is good for the economy
  • Health - There is nothing morally wrong with doing drugs
  • Mathematics - Elementary school mathematics should be confined largely to arithmetic
  • Science - The theory of evolution is based on both science and faith

Debate Format

Teams work well for classroom debates but two students can be paired as well. Adapt the following format to fit your specific goals and objectives. Adding a third, shorter round will allow teams to further defend their arguments.

Alternatively, have all students prepare both a pro and con position for a designated class session. During this class period two teams are randomly selected who will then state their arguments. The other students will contribute differing remarks and suggestions for a more active and well-prepared class discussion.

. . . two teams are randomly selected who will then state their arguments.
  • Team One - 10 Minutes - Presentation of "Pro/positive" or "Arguments for" 
  • Team Two - 10 Minutes - Presentation of "Con/negative" or "Arguments against"

Team Discussion Period

5 Minutes This period is used for teams to prepare their responses

  • Team One - 5 Minutes - Response or rebuttal of "Pro/positive" or "Arguments for" 
  • Team Two - 5 Minutes - Response or rebuttal of "Con/negative" or "Arguments against" 

Whole Class Discussion          

To determine which team provided the most convincing arguments. A vote can be taken or a more detailed evaluation form can be used to assess each team. (10-15 minutes)

Note: Explain to the students that the success behind using debates in the classroom is not in winning and losing but rather how well teams prepared for and delivered their arguments and get potential buy-in from those who help the opposite point-of view.

. . . the success behind using debates in the classroom is not in winning and losing but rather how well team prepared for and delivered their arguments . . .
  • Include a time frame in which they have to prepare for the debate and how they are to present their material.
  • Allow non-debate students to be adjudicators to help them learn how to be objective in rating their peers’ performance.
  • Determine if non-debating students will be allowed to vote.
  • Provide resources which will help students learn about debates and their structure.
  • Consider holding a practice debate to help students understand the process.
  • Select the format you plan to use: teams, individual students, all students (see format above).Consider having students prepare brief “position papers” which also includes their reaction to the debate process and how they were able to reach consensus in their team’s arguments.
  • Research controversial, news-breaking and stimulating topics to encourage dynamic and energized classroom discussion. Students are more likely to be authentic when they debate a subject to which they can relate.
  • Review the debate process previously established and ask for questions and clarifications on the day of the debate.
Students are more likely to be authentic when they debate a subject to which they can relate.
  • Prepare rating rubrics and distribute to adjudicators before the debate begins.
  • Begin the debate, giving students as much autonomy as possible.
  • Distribute both student and instructor evaluations to the teams.Facilitate classroom discussion and debrief the process at the end of the debate.
  • Have a plan in place if the debate gets “hot” and students argue instead of debate. Review guidelines before the debate begins to minimize inappropriate discussion and behavior. Also, getting to know your students through observation and actively listening to their classroom conversations can provide helpful information when selecting topics for debate.
Have a plan in place if the debate gets “hot” and students argue instead of debate.

Using debates in the classroom provides students the opportunity to explore real-world topics and issues. Debates also engage students through self reflection and encourage them to learn from their peers. Finally, debates prepare students to be more comfortable engaging in dialogue related to their beliefs as well as their areas of study.

Leuser, D. (n.d.). Classroom debates.

Selected Resources

Classroom debates: A one page tutorial. (n.d.).

University of California - Berkley. (1983). Using classroom debates.

Creative Commons License

Suggested citation

Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. (2012). Classroom debates. In Instructional guide for university faculty and teaching assistants. Retrieved from

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Debate Writing

Debate Topics

Cathy A.

Interesting Debate Topics and Ideas for Students

10 min read

Published on: Jan 21, 2019

Last updated on: May 26, 2023

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A debate is a type of formal discussion about a specific topic. Here the two sides are intended to present opposing viewpoints. Similarly,  debate writing  follows a particular format and structure to present an argument.

Furthermore, coming up with interesting and current debate topics can be tricky. Keep in mind; a good topic should be simple and easy to define. However, it must be complex enough to have a long discussion about it.

There are some elements that you have to consider when choosing a topic. These include:

  • Whether you will be able to talk about the subject for a long time.
  • How excited are you about it?
  • How easy will it be to research the chosen subject?
  • What will your instructor think of it?

Read on this blog to get a list of common debate topics and ideas of different categories.

Best Debate Topics for Students

Here you can find the list of top debate topics for students.

Debate Topics for University Students

  • Does class size matter?
  • Should marijuana be legal?
  • Do leaders have moral obligations?
  • Is it ethical to eat meat?
  • How important is arts education?
  • Is prom worth it?
  • Has Facebook lost its edge?
  • Do kids need recess?
  • Can money buy you happiness?
  • Is cheerleading a sport?

Debate Topics for College Students

  • Discuss the reasons to ban certain books from libraries.
  • Should we abolish the death penalty in the United States?
  • Are fossil fuels alternative sources of energy?
  • Face to face vs. online learning. Which one is better?
  • Should schools put tracking devices in students' ID cards?
  • How can technology improve education?
  • Discuss the pros and cons of fully automated cars.
  • Can new technology harm our future?
  • Why is online learning more effective?
  • Animal testing: Is it necessary?

Debate Topics for High School

  • Which form of government is vital for a better future?
  • What can be done to stop wars?
  • What are the effects of peer pressure in school?
  • Should schools abolish exams?
  • Is sex education necessary before high school?
  • Should GPAs be removed from schools?
  • How to stop bullying at school?
  • How to control electoral college drug and alcohol abuse?
  • Global warming: Is it real?
  • How important is the freedom of the press and public speaking in a democracy?

Debate Topics for Middle School

  • What are the pros and cons of multiple-choice exams?
  • Why is spaced repetition important for efficient learning?
  • Why do kids start smoking?
  • Discuss the effects of video games on mental health.
  • Why reading books is important for the brain?
  • Discuss the greek influence on Western Culture.
  • Why do we explore?
  • How to keep kids engaged in class?
  • Why can a long school holiday be good for our students?
  • Why is outdoor learning beneficial for middle and high school students?

Debate Topics for Kids

  • Does it make sense to allow mobile phones in school?
  • Why should every home adopt a pet animal?
  • Why is homework bad for your child?
  • Where do we go when we die?
  • Should children be allowed to play violent video games?
  • Are there any aliens out there?
  • Are school uniforms needed?
  • Why is Facebook so addictive?
  • Why do teens need privacy?
  • Why should you save money?

Public Forum Debate Topics

  • Banning mobile phones in schools: Is it good or bad?
  • What are the ways to achieve economic growth?
  • Can we trust banks?
  • Can financial problems destroy a nation?
  • Is taxation good or bad?
  • Why is it so hard for women to become president?
  • What is the importance of financial stability?
  • Is mobile banking safe?
  • Why should we lower the voting age?
  • How do humans affect animals?

Educational Debate Topics

  • Is a college education necessary to get a good job?
  • Should children be playing contact sports?
  • Why are the Arts as important as Science?
  • Should junk food be banned in schools?
  • Is homework essential for the learning process?
  • Why must religion be taught in school?
  • Boarding school is harmful to students. Why?
  • How do college loans exploit students?
  • School uniforms should be mandatory. Discuss why.
  • Is history an important subject?

Political Debate Topics

  • Should people be able to own guns?
  • Should churches pay taxes?
  • Is freedom of speech important in a functional society?
  • Why should America take in more refugees?
  • Should automatic weapons be legalized?
  • Why should your country claim ownership of Antarctica?
  • Why should voting be mandatory for all citizens?
  • Does the UN have an army?
  • Why should politics be kept out of schools?
  • Should the royal family be abolished?

Social Debate Topics

  • Give reasons why privacy is important.
  • Does social media cause more harm than good?
  • Why should the government ban the sale of cigarettes?
  • Why should sex work be legal?
  • Is peer pressure beneficial or harmful to individuals?
  • Why should police use deadly force?
  • Countries should be isolationist. Why?
  • Why should abortion and birth control be banned?
  • Bottled water should be banned. Why?
  • Why should plastic bags be banned?

Sports Debate Topics

  • Discuss the major difference between hockey and cricket.
  • Sports stars should be paid too much. Discuss why?
  • Why are athletes considered good role models?
  • Is paintball a real sport?
  • How can athletes impact social change?
  • Why are football players too spoiled?
  • Why are sports more important than arts?
  • What is the difference between scouting and statistical analysis?
  • Why is soccer not popular in Canada?
  • Elaborate on the misconceptions about mixed martial arts.

Health Debate Topics

  • Should all countries provide free healthcare to all homeless people?
  • Why should doctors be allowed to promote medical products?
  • Vaccinations for children should be made compulsory. Give reasons why?
  • People with mental health issues must be treated outside the community. Why?
  • What are the ways to help someone with an eating disorder?
  • It is not okay to self-medicate. Elaborate on the concept?
  • Why is it illegal to use animals for drug testing?
  • What are the symptoms of heart attacks in men?
  • Discuss obesity as a medical problem.
  • How can happiness cure diseases?

Technology Debate Topics

  • How can the development of artificial intelligence help humanity?
  • Why is cell phone radiation dangerous for the human body?
  • The Internet is a blessing or a curse. Discuss.
  • Why should the government ban mobile phones for kids under 18?
  • How is cyberbullying considered a real problem?
  • Technology has replaced books. How?
  • Why do multinational companies need a website?
  • Why do most people become fans of Android?
  • How has email improved communication?
  • Why do people spend too much money on apps?

Funny Debate Topics

  • The X factor vs. the American idol. Which is the better show?
  • Cats vs. dogs. Which are proven to be better pets?
  • Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
  • What is the best pizza topping?
  • Is Summer the best season or winter?
  • Harry Potter vs. Twilight. Which is a better movie?
  • What do women want?
  • Are we aliens?
  • Eat to live or live to eat. Discuss the concepts.
  • Is there life after death?

Controversial Debate Topics

  • Why is it important to ban late-night alcohol sales?
  • What are the pros and cons of having illegal immigrants?
  • Is dance a sport?
  • Should we ban advertising to children?
  • Should fines be proportionate to income?
  • Should we clone human beings?
  • Unpaid internships should be illegal. Why?
  • Parents should be able to refuse medical treatment for their children. Discuss why.
  • Should video games be considered a sport?
  • Should beauty contests be banned?

Debate Topics for English Learners

  • Should gay couples be allowed to adopt children?
  • Why do we need a minimum wage?
  • Why should every nation have a right to keep and bear arms?
  • Should performance-enhancing drugs be allowed in sports?
  • Has the #MeToo movement lost focus?
  • How has feminism done more harm than good?
  • Why do you need to protect your intellectual property?
  • How is patriotism different from nationalism?
  • Is there a danger of being too religious?
  • Is censorship in the media necessary?

How to Choose Good Debate Topics?

Most of the students usually find it challenging to decide on the topic. Although it is not a difficult task if you consider some important factors when choosing easy debate topics. Similarly, selecting the area in which you are interested will make the entire process less daunting.

A good topic is one that lets the audience learn about both sides of a subject. Follow the below-given tips to choose a debate topic.

  • Interest –  Select a topic that you are interested in. Moreover, it must be according to the intellectual level of the audience. This factor will make the writing process more exciting.
  • Argument Potential –  Choose a subject that has a strong argument potential on both sides. If one side is right, or there is not enough information available, it will be difficult to draft solid debate arguments.
  • Availability of Data –  Valid data from credible sources helps to draft a solid thesis. Therefore, select a popular topic with lots of empirical data to write a perfect  debate speech .

After deciding on the topic, it is important to know the basic techniques for writing a debate. All you have to do is to follow a proper structure and format. It will make your debate impressive enough to be remembered by your audience for a long time.

Selecting a compelling topic is indeed a challenging task for school and college students. Nevertheless, all the above debate topics are good enough to choose from. But if you still feel you have no time to select and prepare a debate,  is here to help you.

We understand that debate writing takes a lot of time and effort. If you cannot do it yourself, don’t feel hesitant and contact our  top essay writing service  now. Here, you can hire expert writers for your debate writing.

We aim at helping students to prepare for the best debates. There is no need to brainstorm topics for debate and evaluate arguments. Our team of professionals will do it for you. Moreover, we guarantee to deliver original essays and debates within a given deadline.

Just place your order to hire our  essay writer  and get an amazing debate written by an expert.

Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

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debate homework ideas

Are you looking for debate topics for your middle and high school students? Well, you have come to the right place. Check out our list of 120 debate topics for middle and high school students.

General Debate Topics 

  • Should we ban homework: does homework promote learning?
  • How essential is a college education?
  • Banning mobile devices (cell phones, smartphones) at schools: yes or no?
  • Is it appropriate to allow students to create their own curricula?
  • Is abortion murder?
  • Are violent video games appropriate entertainment for teenagers?
  • Does social media contribute to teenage suicide?
  • Does modern social media make people less socially active?
  • How should modern society respond to teenage pregnancies?
  • Is higher education a necessary prerequisite for an individual’s financial success in the future?

Topics Related to Education

  • Are private schools better than public schools?
  • Should education be privatized entirely?
  • Are student loans exploitative?
  • Does the traditional classroom address contemporary society’s needs?
  • Is allowing teachers to carry guns on campuses a good idea?
  • Does the contemporary grading system work?
  • Should college education be compulsory?
  • Is it appropriate to teach religion in schools?
  • Is homeschooling better than a public or private school education?
  • Is it fair to require that all students learn at least one foreign language?

Social Debate Topics

  • Does the contemporary policing of marginalized communities in the United States contribute to the criminalization of youth?
  • Should the death penalty be abolished in the United States?
  • Is it ethical to have an abortion in the early stages of pregnancy?
  • Does peer pressure absolve deliquent teens from cupabilty?
  • Will electronic databases fully substitute brick and mortar libraries?
  • Is cloning ethically acceptable?
  • Is the legalization of marijuana a food idea?
  • Should euthanasia be legalized?
  • Is there any reason to raise minimum wages?
  • Drug addicts: Do they need help or punishment?
  • Is nationalism beneficial or dangerous in the context of globalization?

Environmental Issues

  • Is climate change already irreversible?
  • Banning plastic bags and packaging: yes or no?
  • Are genetically modified foods a viable solution?
  • Banning zoos: yes or no?
  • How does tourism affect the environment?
  • Should there be more national parks in the United States?
  • Is banning fracking a good idea?
  • All people should become vegetarian.
  • What is organic farming’s role in agriculture’s future?
  • Are live animal exports ethically acceptable?

Political Debate Topics

  • Political campaigns should not be allowed to accept money from.
  • Democracy is the best form of government.
  • Is it appropriate for governments to limit their citizens’ freedom of speech?
  • Are taxes that increase at accelerating rates fair?
  • Limiting terms for U.S. senators and representatives brings more harm than good.
  • Former offenders should preserve their voting rights.
  • Modern patterns of incarceration that affect minorities more than whites contribute to racial inequality in the US.
  • Is it necessary for a political leader to be active on social media?
  • Is the US Constitution a living document?
  • Should the Supreme Court judges be appointed for predetermined fixed periods?

Debate Topics Related to Parenting

  • Should children use smartphones without parental supervision?
  • Teenage girls having access to birth control without parental supervision: yes or no?
  • Should parents decide which career their children will pursue?
  • Parents always treat their children fairly: yes or no?
  • Is it ethically permissible for parents to  pick the genders of their future children?
  • Gay couples are adopting children: pros and cons.
  • Should parents control their children’s activities on social media?
  • Is parental supervision the same as parental control?
  • Teenage children and completely autonomous decision-making: should parents allow this?
  • Is parental support essential for the future success of children?

Technology Topics

  • Will technology make people smarter?
  • Is artificial intelligence dangerous?
  • Will robots increase people’s quality of life?
  • How do technological advances influence us?
  • Will humans colonize another planet soon?
  • Can all cars become electric?
  • Does technology intensify human communication?
  • Recent developments in technology transform people’s interests: yes or no?
  • Can people save nature using technology (or destroy it)?
  • Do laws effectively keep up with changes in technology?

Healthcare Topics

  • Justifying the legalization of recreational marijuana: yes or no?
  • Is mandatory vaccination constitutional?
  • Alternative medicine and its impact on the future of healthcare.
  • Does technology promote our health?
  • Modern healthcare and antibiotics.
  • Is drug legalization a good idea?
  • Does globalization promote universal healthcare?
  • Should healthcare services for all citizens be fully funded by the government?
  • Should the government be allowed to force parents to take their sick children to the hospital?
  • Can competition improve the quality of healthcare services?

Debate Topics Related to Leisure

  • Is a summer vacation better than a winter vacation?
  • Encouraging teenagers to read books: are the outcomes encouraging?
  • Has technology changed the way young people spend their leisure time?
  • Has social media taken over our leisure time?
  • Can daily leisure time be a substitute for a yearly vacation?
  • Is leisure time essential for workplace effectiveness?
  • Playing video games during leisure time: pros and cons.
  • Has work-life balance changed with the advent of technology?
  • Has globalization and our increased mobility changed the way we view vacations?
  • Women spend their leisure time differently than men.

Debating Financial and Policy Matters

  • Can the U.S. government ensure the country’s financial stability?
  • How secure is mobile banking?
  • Does the credit industry promote or hinder economic development?
  • Is there any economic justification for wars?
  • Should wealthy people pay higher taxes than the poor?
  • How would lowering the voting age impact America’s future?
  • Mass incarceration and its impact on U.S. politics.
  • Mandatory financial education: pros and cons.
  • Should online financial advice be available for every citizen?
  • Can high profitability alone justify environmentally hazardous practices?

Debating Historical Matters

  • History is an important subject that all students should learn: yes or no?.
  • Is King Arthur a real historical figure or myth?
  • Knowledge of history enriches one’s worldview: yes or no?
  • What role did Britain play during the First World War?
  • How have different historians interpreted World War Two?
  • Was there any justification for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US?
  • How shoudl we interpret the Revolutionary War?
  • Ancient Roman culture versus contemporary culture.
  • History & its impact on the future.
  • Modern interracial conflicts evaluated from a historical perspective.

Topics for Fun Filled Debates

  • Are men stronger than women?
  • Daydreaming versus dreaming at night: which is better?
  • Communication between the sexes: do men and women have different approaches?
  • Choosing the best pizza topping: healthy versus tasty.
  • Do fairy tales affect children’s perception of reality?
  • Is living together before marriage appropriate nowadays?
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136 Persuasive Speech Topics for Students

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150++ Insane Fun Debate Topics No One Tells You, Updated in 2023

150++ Insane Fun Debate Topics No One Tells You, Updated in 2023

Astrid Tran • 06 Oct 2023 • 10 min read

What are fun debate topics for all ages? Debates is a powerful place for expressing one’s thoughts, ideas, and beliefs while engaging with others in a spirited discussion. It’s an art form that requires a sharp mind, a quick wit, and a willingness to challenge yourself and others. 

But with so many topics, how do you pick the perfect one? That’s where we come in. In this article, we’ve gathered over 150 super fun debate topics that no one tells you about, whether you are a kid, high student, or adult. From the absurd to the serious, historical to the futuristic, there’s something here for everyone. So buckle up and prepare to engage in lively and entertaining debates!

Fun Debate Topics

Table of Contents

Easy and fun debate topics for kids, super fun debate topics for high school, fun debate topics for college students, interesting and fun debate topics in the workplace, incredible and fun debate topics about trendings and hot topics, frequently asked questions, tips to improve debating skills, bottom line, tips for better engagement.

  • Example of researchable topics
  • Topics to argue about

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What is essential to Kids, and How to choose suitable discussion topics for kids while having fun. Check out the 30 following super easy and fun debate topics for pupils under 13. 

1. Should students be allowed to have cellphones in school?

2. Is it better to have a big family or a small family?

3. Should homework be abolished?

4. Is it better to read a book or watch a movie?

5. Should students wear school uniforms?

6. Is it better to be an only child or have siblings?

7. Should animals be kept in zoos?

8. Is it better to have a pet or not have a pet?

9. Should junk food be banned in schools?

10. Is it better to be homeschooled or attend public school?

11. Should kids have a say in family decisions?

12. Is it better to play outside or inside?

13. Should kids be allowed to have social media accounts?

14. Is it better to be rich or happy?

15. Should kids have an allowance?

16. Is it better to be a morning person or a night owl?

17. Should schools have longer or shorter summer breaks?

18. Is it better to learn from experience or from a book?

19. Should video games be considered a sport?

20. Is it better to have a strict or lenient parent?

21. Should schools teach coding?

22. Is it better to have a big house or a small house?

23. Should kids be allowed to have a job?

24. Is it better to have a small group of close friends or a large group of acquaintances?

25. Should schools have longer or shorter days?

26. Is it better to travel alone or with a group?

27. Should kids be required to do chores?

28. Is it better to learn a new language or a new instrument?

29. Should kids be allowed to choose their own bedtime?

30. Is it better to spend money on experiences or material possessions?

Fun Debate Topics

High school is the best time for students to be familiar with debate and argument skills. If you are looking for some funny debate topics for high school students, here are 30 fun things to argue about:

31. Should college education be free?

32. Is it ethical to use animals for scientific research?

33. Should the voting age be lowered to 16?

34. Is social media harmful to mental health?

35. Should the death penalty be abolished?

36. Is it ethical to use AI in decision-making processes?

37. Should the minimum wage be raised?

38. Is climate change a real threat?

39. Should the government regulate technology companies?

40. Is online learning as effective as traditional classroom learning?

41. Should genetically modified foods be banned?

42. Is nuclear energy a viable alternative to fossil fuels?

43. Should professional athletes be held to higher ethical standards?

44. Is censorship necessary to protect society?

45. Should the government provide healthcare for all citizens?

46. Should schools teach financial literacy?

47. Is there a gender pay gap?

48. Should the US adopt a single-payer healthcare system?

49. Is it ethical to use drones for military purposes?

50. Should the legal drinking age be lowered to 18?

51. Is homeschooling better than public or private schooling?

52. Should there be limits on campaign finance in elections?

53. Should internet privacy be a fundamental right?

54. Should the government provide universal basic income?

55. Is social media a threat to democracy?

56. Should the government regulate gun ownership?

57. Is it ethical to use AI in the criminal justice system?

58. Should college athletes be paid?

59. Should the electoral college be abolished?

60. Is online privacy a myth?

Fun debate topics

In university, debating is always something exciting and competitive. It is the best chance for young adults to show their opinions and practice communication skills to persuade others. Check out 30 topics to debate for fun with your friends. 

61. Should college be free for all students?

62. Should there be limits on free speech on college campuses?

63. Should college athletes be paid?

64. Should the voting age be lowered to 16?

65. Should the government provide free healthcare for all citizens?

66. Should the United States adopt a single-payer healthcare system?

67. Should affirmative action be abolished?

68. Should social media companies be held responsible for fake news?

69. Should there be limits on the size of corporations?

70. Should there be term limits for members of Congress?

71. Should the death penalty be abolished?

72. Should we eliminate all plastic packaging?

73. Should marijuana be legalized nationwide?

74. Should college tuition be free for all students who qualify academically?

75. Should genetically modified foods be banned?

76. Should English be the official language of instruction in all colleges in Asia?

77. Is it better to have a roommate or live alone?

78. Should Asian countries implement a four-day workweek for all employees?

79. Should the government increase funding for the arts?

80. Should there be limits on how much money individuals can donate to political campaigns?

81. Should a developing country provide more funding for public transportation?

82. Should we eliminate tipping in restaurants and pay servers a living wage?

83. Is it better to have a pet rock or a pet tree?

84. Should there be a higher tax rate for the wealthiest individuals?

85. Should there be more restrictions on immigration?

86. Should we all be required to learn a second language in college?

87. Should there be stricter regulations on the use of personal data by companies?

88. Should we all be required to volunteer in our communities?

89. Should there be more restrictions on the use of plastic products?

90. Should a developing country invest more in space exploration?

The workplace isn’t a place for small talk or gossip, employees and employers can spend their time debating topics that are fun and good for maintaining a healthy workplace and employee engagement. If you don’t know where to start, there are 30 best fun debate topics that everyone will definitely love as follows:

91. Should companies allow employees to take naps at work?

92. Should we have a “bring your pet to work” day?

93. Should companies have a mandatory “happy hour” at the end of each week?

94. Should companies allow employees to wear pajamas to work?

95. Should we have a “dress like a celebrity” day at work?

96. Should we have a “bring your parents to work” day?

97. Should companies allow employees to work remotely from a beach?

98. Should companies provide free massages for employees?

99. Should we have a “talent show” at work?

100. Should companies provide free breakfast for employees?

101. Should we have a “decorate your office” contest?

102. Should companies allow employees to work from a hammock?

103. Should we have a “karaoke” day at work?

104. Should companies provide free snacks and candy for employees?

105. Should we have a “team-building” day at an amusement park?

106. Should companies allow employees to take a “mental health day” off work?

107. Should we have a “pie-eating” contest at work?

108. Should companies allow employees to have a “nap pod” at work?

109. Should we have a “game day” at work?

110. Should companies allow employees to take a “personal day” off work without giving a reason?

111. Should companies allow employees to work in their pajamas from home?

112. Should we have a “silly hat” day at work?

113. Should companies provide free beer and wine for employees?

114. Should we have a “compliment battle” at work?

115. Should companies allow employees to bring their children to work for a day?

116. Should we have a “best desk decoration” contest?

117. Should companies provide free pizza for employees every Friday?

118. Should companies offer nap rooms for employees?

119. Should companies offer sabbaticals for long-term employees?

120. Should companies offer free transportation to and from work?

Related: 11 Good Excuses To Miss Work in 2023

Related: Sabbatical Leave | A Guide To Build An Effective Policy

Fun Debate Topics

What are fun debate topics for friends to argue about for fun? Here are 30 super fun debate ideas for what you always know but never think of, related to the latest trends, or new social phenomena like AI, ChatbotGBT, social media, and more.

121. Should pineapple be a topping on pizza?

122. Should we all have a mandatory “nap time” at work or school?

123. Is it better to be an early bird or a night owl?

124. Should we allow pets in the workplace?

125. Is it better to watch movies at home or at the cinema?

126. Should we all wear pajamas to work or school?

127. Is it better to have a summer or winter birthday?

128. Should we allow unlimited snack breaks at work or school?

129. Is it better to have a staycation or a vacation abroad?

130. Should we all have a mandatory “fun day” at work or school?

131. TikTok or Instagram: Which is the better social media platform?

132. Should celebrities be held accountable for their actions on social media?

133. Should we all have a “social media detox” day once a week?

134. TikTok trends or Instagram filters: Which is more fun to use?

135. Is social media making us more narcissistic?

136. Should we be required to disclose our social media history during job interviews?

137. Should we prioritize mental health over physical health?

138. Is technology making us more anxious and stressed?

139. Should we have a mandatory “quiet hour” every day?

140. Is it better to live in a big city or a small town?

141. Is it better to be an introvert or an extrovert?

142. Should we introduce a global sugar tax to address health issues?

143. Should we provide free public transportation?

144. Should we have a global minimum wage?

145. Can AI chatbots replace human customer service representatives?

146. Should we be worried about AI taking over our jobs?

147. Should we be worried about AI chatbots becoming too intelligent and surpassing human intelligence?

148. Is using Chatbot GPT to do homework unethical?

149. Is it fair for AI chatbots to be used to generate content without proper attribution?

150. Should we prioritize sustainable tourism over mass tourism?

What are the qualities of a good debater?

A good debater should have excellent communication skills, a thorough understanding of the topic, the ability to think critically and analyze information, strong persuasion and argumentation skills, good research and preparation skills, and the ability to stay calm and composed under pressure.

What is a controversial topic to debate on?

Controversial topics for debates vary depending on the context, but some examples include abortion, gun control, the death penalty, same-sex marriage, immigration, climate change, and racial equality. These topics tend to evoke strong emotions and differing opinions, making for heated and interesting debates.

What is the hot topic of discussion?

The hot topic of discussion can vary depending on current events and trends, but some examples include COVID-19 and vaccination policies, climate change and environmental issues, social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter, and political and economic developments such as Brexit and the rise of China.

What is the World School Debating Championship?

For many Debaters, to be in the World School Debating Championship is an extremely honorable and great opportunity to learn and discuss everything that matters to us. The competition is a world tournament that typically lasts for about a week, with multiple rounds of debates and other related events such as social activities and cultural excursions.

How can I make my debate attractive?

To make your debate attractive, focus on your delivery and communication skills, use persuasive arguments supported by evidence, engage with your audience, and present your ideas in a clear, concise, and interesting manner.

What are the best topics for debate competitions?

The best topics for debate competitions are ones that are current, relevant and have different perspectives or sides to argue. Some examples include climate change policies, immigration laws, social media regulation, and healthcare reform.

To make the most out of these debate topics, here are some tips to help you excel in your debating skills:

  • Research and preparation : Gather information and evidence on both sides of the argument, and be knowledgeable about the topic.
  • Develop critical thinking skills : Analyze arguments and evidence, identify logical fallacies, and consider counterarguments.
  • Practice speaking and delivery : Work on speaking confidently, clearly, and persuasively, and practice speaking in front of others.
  • Learn to listen : Pay attention to your opponent’s arguments, actively listen, and be respectful.
  • Participate in debates : Join debate clubs or mock debates to practice and improve skills.

One additional tip is to use AhaSlides to set up virtual debates . AhaSlides is an interactive presentation tool that allows participants to engage with the debate topic, ask questions, and provide feedback in real-time. It can enhance the debate experience and make it more engaging and interactive for all participants.

Curious about how a fascinating debate happens? We know, and here is an exciting example of funny debate ideas to debate with kids that may surprise you and inspire your discussion:

  • 13 Amazing Online Debate Games for Students of All Ages (+30 Topics)
  • How to Debate for Beginners – Nail your First Debate (7 Steps + 10 Tips!)

What matters to you might not matter to others. Debating isn’t an argument but a discussion aimed at finding common ground and understanding each other’s perspectives. 

Whether discussing personal issues or global trends, debates allow us to broaden our horizons and learn from each other. By engaging in debates with an open mind and respectful attitude, we can cultivate a culture of intellectual curiosity and enriching dialogue.

So let’s continue challenging ourselves and others to explore new ideas, expand our understanding, and make informed decisions through healthy and respectful debates.

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Astrid Tran

I've got my rhythm with words

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Top 10 Debate Topics You Should Be Comfortable With!

Coach Andy

Top 10 Debate Topics you should be comfortable with

Do you feel that knot in your stomach when the teacher mentions it’s time for a classroom debate? Well, never fear! We’ve got the inside scoop on some of the most popular and topical debate topics today. With our top 10 list, you’ll be ready to confidently participate in any discussion with ease. Read on to find out what interesting topics should be at the top of your must-know list!

Zoos should be banned

One of the more fun debate topics. Zoos have many positive benefits; they are engaging for children, great ways of learning about the natural world, and play an important role in conservation of wildlife. On the other hand, many people consider them to be cruel, and say that it is immoral to keep animals locked up in cages for human amusement.

Cellphones should be banned in schools

Another popular debate topic. Kids in modern society (and adults too!) are addicted to their phones - but should they be allowed in school? Some would say that they are distracting but others argue that they are great tools for research, and encourage students to stay in touch with parents. What do you think?

Homework should be abolished

This debate topic is popular with middle school students! Homework takes up valuable student time, is often useless, and nowadays it's easier than ever to cheat on your homework anyway. On the other hand, it is valuable for reviewing stuff that students learn at school, and helps teachers assess the level of understanding from students.

Teachers should not be allowed to strike

When teachers go on strike, it's usually because their pay and conditions are making it hard to to provide the best possible tuition for students. But then again, strike action disrupts student education and may ruin important exams. An interesting topic with solid argument potential.

College tuition should be free

In many countries, college education is very expensive. But should it be? Some people argue that, as a public good that benefits the whole of society, public schools should be tuition free for everyone. On the other hand, if your future success will benefit from this education, shouldn't you pay for it?

Drugs should be legalized

A controversial debate topic, to be sure, but a common one. In a free society, why does the government ban certain substances - even if harmful? After all, adults are allowed to smoke or drink. Does freedom of choice extend to harming ourselves, or does the state have a duty to protect citizens from bad choices?

Social media does more harm than good

Social media is great for staying in touch with friends, finding out what is going on in the world, being entertained. It is also addictive, spreads fake news and misinformation, and arguably encourages hostility online. That's why this is a middle school debate topic you should be comfortable with.

We should all be vegetarians

This is a strong debate in the modern world. Many people argue vegetarianism is the only ethical way to live - it helps save the lives of innocent animals, it is healthier for us, and it even combats climate change, too. Faced with these arguments, is it really worth eating meat just because it tastes good?

The death penalty does more harm than good

States with the death penalty argue that it is a powerful deterrent to crime, as well as being the only just punishment for those who have taken a human life. Yet is it not also cruel - and what happens when there is a miscarriage of justice, and the wrong person is executed? One of the most common political debate topics.

Children should be allowed to vote

Let's finish up with a favorite debate topic for children - that they should be allowed to vote. After all, children have the biggest stake in the future - they will be alive long after the elderly have gone. And yet it is the old who have much more power in society right now than young people. Maybe changing the voting age would change the balance of power in our society?

There we have it; debates about climate change, phones, homework or the death penalty - and we haven't even touched on topics like artificial intelligence, school uniforms, the electoral college or violent video games. Formal discussion of these common debate topics can help us learn more about the topics and also develop our own opinions on them. Looking for something more suited to Highschool students? Take a look at this blog posts on common debate topics . Enjoy!

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Speech And Debate

Debate Topics

Last updated on: May 26, 2023

Debate Topics (2023) - Top 200+ Compelling Topics

By: Cordon J.

23 min read

Reviewed By: Melisa C.

Published on: Mar 22, 2023

Debate Topics

Choosing an interesting topic for a debate can be a little tricky. There are several factors that are to be considered before you choose a topic.

  • Is the topic debatable?
  • Do you have content for it?
  • Is the content easily available for research?
  • Are you genuinely interested in the topic?
  • Is the topic good enough to impress your audience?

Get all the answers below and get some creative and great debate topics and ideas.

Debate Topics

On this Page

What is the Debate?

A debate and speech writing is a process or an activity that involves presenting relevant arguments in support of a viewpoint. Normally, debates take place in academic institutes, public meetings, and legislative and lawmaking assemblies. 

It is a common part of our lives, and we all have argued at some point in our lives. Through a debate, a participant tries to cancel the views and arguments of the opponent while safeguarding their own views with solid proof and arguments.

In an academic and scholarly environment, it is considered quite a fun and enlightening activity that engages the audience and adds to their knowledge.

What are the Types of Debate?

Debates can be of various types. Each type is used for a specific type of debate, and all of them are conducted differently and could take place for different purposes. Below are the six types of debate:

  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate: This type of debate is mostly used in formal debating societies. It is also known as a "value debate" and requires two individuals to argue against each other on moral and ethical issues.
  • Rebuttal Debate: A rebuttal debate is an argument that takes place between two participants. Each participant has to present their arguments and prepare a strong case against the opposition's point of view.
  • Cross-Examination Debate: In this type of debate, each speaker is given time to answer questions posed by the opposition while they are presenting their argument.
  • Public Forum Debate: This is a form of debate in which two teams compete against each other with their respective cases.
  • Oregon-Oxford Debate: This debate type also takes place between two participants, and each speaker has to present arguments while preparing a strong case against the opposition's point of view.
  • One-Rebuttal Debate: This type of debate is similar to the Cross-Examination Debate except that each speaker has only one chance to rebut the opposition's argument.

No matter what kind of debate you are planning or participating in, you will not need a unique or out-of-the-box type of topic for it. Your topic should be interesting and relatable for your audience, and this is enough to make your debate a winner.

How to Choose Good Debate Topics?

Some important factors need to be considered when it comes to choosing a good debate topic. A good debate topic will help the audience understand both sides of the issue and keep them engaged to make better and more informed decisions.

Here are a few tips that will help you choose a good topic for your debate.

  • Interest: It is necessary that you should be interested in your topic since you are the one who is going to write and deliver it to your audience. If you are not interested in the topic, there is no way that your debate will be convincing enough to persuade your audience.
  • Research: To debate effectively, you should be aware of the pros and cons of your topic. This will help you convince the audience by opposing the opponent’s viewpoints.
  • Target Audience: This is the essential factor to consider while choosing a debate topic. Your topic should be according to the intellectual level of your audience. Only this way, they will actually understand what you are trying to deliver in your debate.
  • Argument Potential: Pick a topic that has solid argument potential. If only one side is right or if there is limited information available, you will face a hard time crafting a good debate.

Are you ready to learn debating strategies and leave your opponent and audience amazed? Watch this video

Debate Topics on Different Subjects

Great speeches and debate topics are essential for memorable debates and speeches. This is why we suggest that you do your research properly before deciding on a specific topic. To help you get some memorable topic ideas, we have gathered lists of topics that could be used in any type of debate like Lincoln-Douglas debate topics, rebuttal debates, and others.

Here is a complete list of engaging debate competition topics and ideas.

Continue reading, and you will definitely find a great topic.

  • Should abortion be allowed in all cases?

Alternative Energy

  • Is alternative energy a better option than traditional sources of energy?

American Socialism

  • Should the U.S. move towards a socialist system?

Animal Testing

  • Is it ethical to use animals for testing?
  • Is it ethical to clone animals?
  • Is animal testing necessary?

Banned Books

  • Should books that contain offensive content be banned?


  • Is binge-watching television and movies a good way to spend time?

Bottled Water Ban

  • Should bottled water be banned in all cases?

Business Ethics

  • What role should ethical considerations play in business decisions?


  • How can cyberbullying be prevented?

Capital Punishment

  • Is capital punishment an effective deterrent against crime?
  • Should capital punishment be used as a form of punishment?
  • Should censorship of the internet be allowed?

Cancel Culture

  • Is cancel culture a valid form of protest?

Cell Phones

  • Should the use of cell phones be restricted in public places?

Climate Change

  • Is climate change real or man-made?
  • Should human cloning be allowed?
  • Should drugs be decriminalized or not?

Death Penalty

  • Is the death penalty effective as a punishment?

Order Essay

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!

  • School debate should be compulsory for all students
  • There should be no school uniforms or a dress code
  • Students should not be allowed to use Facebook.
  • Impact of social media on teenagers and high school students.
  • Junk food should not be banned in schools
  • Energy drinks should be banned from students.
  • Students should volunteer for community service.
  • Students should not be allowed gadgets in private school.
  • Mobile phones should not be allowed in schools
  • High school students should not be allowed cell phones in school.
  • Online learning vs. traditional learning. Which is better?
  • How can technology help to improve education?
  • The modern college education system is better than the traditional one.
  • How can we engage high school students in the class?
  • How is outdoor learning beneficial?
  • Homework should be banned in schools.
  • How can a college education help you get a good job?
  • Should public schools offer educational bonuses?
  • Why do kids need recess?
  • Traditional teaching methods should be replaced with AI-powered education.
  • Public speaking boosts the confidence of students.
  • Entertainment and Technology Debate Topics
  • Children should not be allowed to play violent video games.
  • Pros and cons of using social media.
  • Does technology intensify human communication skills?
  • Effects of violent cartoons on the mental development of children.
  • Playing video games should be banned for kids.
  • Environmental Issues
  • Global warming and its impacts on humanity.
  • Is global warming a real issue?

Topic Generator

Discover Captivating Topics in a Click!

Fun and Funny Debate Topics

Following fun debate topics are great if you are looking for topics that are light in mood and offer humorous matters.

  • Women are much more complicated than men.
  • Which one is better? Eat to live or live to eat?
  • Children should not be allowed to watch cartoons as they portray violence.
  • Why can men date younger women, but women can’t date younger men?
  • Are there some discrete messages in nursery rhymes?
  • Morals or money? Which one is necessary to survive?
  • Which gender is better? Male or female?
  • How does sunlight affect vampires?
  • Can vampires get AIDS?
  • How will life be after death?
  • Barbie is a good role model for young girls.
  • Do fairy tales affect children’s reality perception?
  • Has the #MeToo movement gone too far?
  • Which is the better pet? Dogs or cats.
  • What comes first? Chicken or eggs.
  • Winters are better than summer.
  • Do you want to live forever?
  • What is a better dessert? Cake or ice cream.
  • What is the best topping for pizza?
  • No one should ever tell a lie.

General Debate Topics

Zoos should be banned Why do kids need privacy? Importance of saving money. Every student should adopt a family pet. Why do most kids start smoking? Importance of reading books. Animals should have the same rights as humans. Fast-food chains are the major cause of the increase in the obesity rate.

Healthcare Debate Topics

  • Marijuana should be legal for its use in medicines.
  • Pharmacists should not be allowed to prescribe medicines.
  • Obese people should pay more for healthcare.
  • Healthcare should not be free for everyone.

Interesting Debate Topics

  • Is sex education necessary for middle school students?
  • Nuclear powers are the major cause of wars.
  • Same-sex marriage should not be allowed.
  • Gay relationships are against nature.
  • Students are becoming way too dependent on technology.
  • Money is a major source of motivation in the workplace.
  • Girls should be encouraged and supported to enter the STEM research field.
  • Is money a key factor in getting exoneration from crimes?
  • Alternative energy resources should be explored and used to preserve natural resources.
  • Censorship should be made less lenient for educational documentaries.
  • Gay couples should be allowed to adopt children.
  • The sale of fur must be banned.
  • Reality television is harming society.
  • Why is paintball a real sport?
  • Sports are more important than arts.
  • What are the differences between cricket and hockey?
  • Why is it important to ban late-night alcohol sales?
  • Unpaid internships should be made illegal.
  • Beauty contests should be banned.
  • Gay couples should not be allowed to adopt children.

Justice Debate Topics

  • The death penalty should be abolished.
  • Mental illness should not be grounds for criminal justice exemption.
  • The legal age for voting should be lowered.
  • Juveniles who commit crimes should not be tried as adults.
  • Should police officers wear body cameras?
  • Are plea bargains fair to defendants?

Knowledge Debate Topics

  • Do humans learn better by reading or listening?
  • Should universities offer free tuition to all students?
  • Is knowledge more important than experience?
  • What is the best way to acquire knowledge?
  • Are tests a good indication of student learning?
  • Do grades accurately measure intellectual abilities?

Life and Ethics Debate Topics

  • Beauty pageants are another way to objectify women.
  • Beauty pageants are setting ridiculous standards in society.
  • Social networking sites are used for stalking instead of communicating.
  • Torture is never justified, no matter what the situation is.
  • Celebrities have the leverage to get away with crimes more than any non-celebrity.
  • Cigarettes should not be allowed in public places.

Moral Debate Topics

  • Is it ever right to lie?
  • Should animals be used for scientific research?
  • Is abortion wrong in all cases?
  • Capital punishment is morally wrong.
  • The death penalty should not exist.
  • Should prostitution be legalized?
  • What is the moral responsibility of corporations?

Nature Debate Topics

  • Are humans responsible for global warming?
  • Should plastic bags be banned in all countries?
  • Why are bees important to our environment?
  • How can deforestation be stopped or slowed down?
  • What is the best way to preserve wildlife habitats?
  • What steps should be taken to reduce air pollution?

Opinion Debate Topics

  • Should teachers be allowed to have cell phones in the classroom?
  • Do violent video games lead to aggressive behavior?
  • Are organic foods really better for you than non-organic foods?
  • Does the internet make people more productive?
  • Is it ethical to clone animals and humans?

Political Debate Topics

  • There should be a monarchical system in the United States
  • Causes of increasing racism in the United States.
  • Nuclear weapons should be banned across the globe.
  • Police should be allowed to use lethal force.
  • Are men stronger than women?
  • Religion does more harm than good.
  • Why can it be done to stop wars?
  • Is the Paris Agreement relevant anymore?
  • Monarchy should end worldwide.
  • Everyone should be allowed to keep weapons.
  • Free speech is an individual right.
  • Religious schools and churches should also be charged with taxes.
  • Is freedom of speech necessary for a nation to grow?
  • What should be the penalty for illegal immigrants?
  • There should be more members of the jury.
  • Refugees should not be allowed to acquire any sort of nationality.
  • Is it ethical to carry an automatic weapon?
  • Is patriotism a good or a bad thing?
  • Is the US Constitution a living document?
  • Political campaigns must be organized on money borrowed by corporations.
  • Limiting terms for US senators and representatives brings more harm than benefit.
  • Why should churches pay more taxes?
  • Police should use deadly force. Discuss why.
  • Why must the royal family be abolished?
  • People should own guns. Why?
  • Why are automatic weapons legalized?
  • Voting should be made mandatory for everyone. 
  • Importance of freedom of speech.
  • Public Forum Debate Topics
  • Abortion is the right of every woman.
  • Genetic engineering is not a natural process and should not be legalized.
  • Birth control pills should be accessible to teenagers.
  • There should be an equal ratio of male and female employees in the workplace.
  • Barbie is not a practical example of a role model.
  • Feminism is causing more harm than good.
  • Marijuana has its advantages.
  • The MeToo movement is being misused, forgetting its real purpose.
  • The media should be free to express their opinions and criticism.
  • Public prayer should not be allowed in schools.
  • Smoking should be banned worldwide.
  • The form of government should provide free birth control.
  • Can we trust banks? 
  • Financial issues destroy a nation.
  • Is taxation good or bad?
  • How can humans affect animals?
  • Discuss the importance of financial stability.
  • We should lower the voting age for everyone.
  • Mobile banking is not a safe procedure. Why?
  • How badly can peer pressure affect an innocent soul?
  • Models are setting the wrong standards of beauty.
  • We are living in a dystopian society.

Questions Debate Topics

  • Does technology have the potential to do more harm than good?

Religion Debate Topics

  • What is the importance of religion in society?
  • Should religious education be mandatory in all schools?
  • Sports should be an essential part of middle school.

Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!

Television Debate Topics

  • Should parents be more mindful of the television programs their children watch?
  • Are reality shows detrimental to our society?

Urbanization Debate Topics

  • What are the effects of rapid urbanization on the environment?

Veganism Debate Topics

  • Is veganism a more ethical lifestyle choice than eating meat?
  • Should veganism be promoted as an ethical diet choice?
  • Women's Rights Debate Topics
  • Are women still discriminated against in the workplace?
  • Xenophobia Debate Topic
  • What can be done to tackle the rising xenophobia in many parts of the world?
  • Youth Empowerment Debate Topics
  • Should youth empowerment programs be adopted at a global level?

Zero Waste Debate Topics

  • Can zero-waste policies help protect our environment?

Best Debate Topics for Students

Crafting an argumentative essay or preparing for a debate? Below we have compiled some great topics for debate competition;

Debate Topics for Kids

  • The curriculum should be designed according to the individual needs of the children.
  • Physical activities and real-life teaching skills should be mandatory in schools.
  • Visits to zoological and botanical gardens are great fun and educational activities for kids.
  • Sports should be encouraged at the school level.
  • Children should be given the right to vote.
  • School hours should be revised.
  • School lunches should be properly planned by a dedicated dietician.
  • Parents should give a weekly allowance to the kids.
  • Parents should be held responsible for their kids' mistakes.
  • Dance can be considered a sport.
  • Schools should block sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram on their computers.
  • Why should we encourage students to read books?
  • How can we replace teachers with computers?
  • Why are the Olympics important?
  • Are zoos beneficial to animals?
  • Why is it important to explore space?
  • Do children really need privacy in their lives?
  • Why should children save their pocket money?
  • Parents should be punished if their child makes a mistake.

Debate Topics for Teens

  • The minimum wage for all countries should be the same.
  • Parents should not hit children in front of others.
  • Censorship is necessary for the media.
  • Passion or patriotism can be harmful in certain situations.
  • How social media affects teenagers?
  • Social media is a cause of increasing depression among the youth.
  • The use of drugs should be considered a mental issue.
  • How is peer pressure different from bullying?
  • How are humans destroying the habitat of animals?
  • Being too religious can be dangerous.
  • Can people save nature by using technology?
  • Are student loans exploitative?
  • Alcohol should not be sold on weekends.
  • How secure is mobile banking?
  • Does homework really promote learning? 
  • Is abortion murder?
  • Should students be allowed to create their own curriculum?
  • Why is a college and university education necessary?
  • Teachers should be allowed to carry guns on campuses.
  • How should modern society respond to teenage pregnancies?
  • All students must learn at least one foreign language.

Debate Topics for Middle School

  • Following middle school debate topics are added to give you some good debate topics for middle school.
  • Peer pressure is a major influence on teenage behavior.
  • Should parents be held responsible for their children’s actions?
  • Cell phone usage should be banned in schools.
  • Teachers should use more technology in the classroom.
  • Students should not have to wear uniforms.
  • Schools should teach about financial literacy and budgeting.
  • Violence in video games leads to increased aggression.
  • The legal drinking age should be lowered from 21.
  • Juvenile offenders should serve their sentences in adult prisons.
  • Sexting should carry criminal penalties for minors.
  • Schools need more money for extracurricular activities.
  • Is it okay to criticize your teacher in public?

Debate Topics for High School

High school debate topics are less profound than what you get in college and graduation. The following topics will give you an idea of how to come up with interesting debate topics for your debate.

  • In high school, should all students have to pass a basic math proficiency test?
  • Should parents be held liable if their children commit crimes?
  • Should violent video games be banned?
  • Do the benefits of religious teachings outweigh their disadvantages?
  • Are single-parent homes better than dual-parent homes?
  • Should students participate in sports activities during school hours?
  • Should schools provide free sanitary supplies in bathrooms?
  • Are standardized tests a valid measure of student performance?
  • Should cell phones be allowed in the classroom?
  • Should students be graded on attendance alone?
  • Is it right to limit free speech on college campuses?
  • Are video games taking away from social activities or helping to build them?
  • Should school uniforms be mandatory?
  • Should the death penalty be abolished in all countries?
  • Is it ethical to use animals for testing medical treatments?
  • Should students be paid for their academic performance?
  • Should plastic straws and other single-use items be banned?

Debate Topics for College Students

  • How can homework help to abolish learning skills?
  • Why should religion be avoided to discuss in schools?
  • Is history an important subject area?
  • Why is it important for students to play sports regularly?
  • Boarding school is harmful to the mental health of the students.
  • Obesity in children is increasing because of parents’ lack of control over their children.
  • Children should not be allowed to use gadgets.
  • There should be no advertisements on kids’ channels.
  • People should be fined according to their income.
  • Can drug addicts deal through help or punishment?
  • Rich people should pay more taxes.
  • Women should be paid less than men,
  • Wars are never justified.
  • Marriage is no longer necessary.
  • Celebrities should earn less.

Are you a high school student seeking the best possible debating format ? This blog will provide you with all of the information to make an informed decision.

Latest Debate Topics 2023

Here are some current debate topics for your next debate;

  • Education is becoming costlier with every passing day while the quality is not improving.
  • Children and teens in underprivileged neighborhoods should be given free education.
  • The rise of augmented reality in contemporary Hollywood and its results.
  • Video games and animated movies are promoting violence and sexism.
  • Google is transforming into an online patrol. Discuss.
  • Orwell’s novel 1984 is becoming a quick reality. Discuss and explain with examples.
  • Dating in the workplace should be discouraged.
  • Parents should monitor their kid’s computer and phone usage.
  • Racial profiling is a new form of discrimination.
  • Reasons for substance abuse in high school and college-going children.
  • Values or wealth? Which one is necessary to survive?
  • There is no third gender.
  • Homosexual relationships are against nature.
  • Do drug addicts need help or punishment?
  • Are animal supports acceptable?
  • Parental support is essential for the future success of children.
  • Technology makes people smarter. How?
  • How can all cars become electric?
  • A robot can increase people’s quality of life.
  • Discuss the recent development in the technological field.
  • The public electoral college should be tuition-free.
  • All teachers should get tenure.
  • All school districts should offer school vouchers.
  • The sale of human organs should be legalized.
  • Birth control should be for sale over the counter.
  • Net neutrality should be restored.
  • Alternative energy can effectively replace fossil fuels.
  • Cell phone radiation is dangerous and should be limited.
  • Euthanasia should be banned.
  • The drinking age should be 18.
  • Vaping should be banned.
  • All high school athletes should be drug tested.
  • Detention should be abolished.
  • How can we improve the quality of healthcare services?
  • How should parents handle a bad report card?
  • Our privacy is more important than national security.
  • Why is football so dangerous for players?

More Controversial Debate and Argumentative Essay Topics

If you want more debate topics, we have combined a list of controversial and argumentative topics for a strong debate.

  • Prostitution - should it be legal or illegal?
  • Capital punishment - should it continue to exist?
  • Gay Marriage - should it be legal?
  • Euthanasia - should people have the right to end their lives?
  • Drugs - Should drug testing for athletes continue?
  • Stem Cell Research - should it continue to be regulated?
  • Censorship - Is censorship necessary in certain topics?
  • Immigration - How can immigration policies be improved?
  • Surveillance - Is government surveillance necessary for national security?
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) - Should they continue to be used in food production?
  • Online Piracy - Is it morally wrong?
  • US-Iraq War - Was it necessary?
  • Social Media - Should there be more regulation in its use?
  • Animal Rights - Should animals have the same rights as humans?
  • Parenting Styles - Is authoritative parenting better than other styles?
  • Advertising - Are there any ethical issues with advertising?
  • Religion - Does religion have a place in public life?

Dos and Don'ts for Debating

When taking part in debate, it is important to keep the following helpful do’s and dont’s  in mind.

  • Here are several best practices to keep in mind when debating:
  • Prepare in advance and research the topic.
  • Consider both sides of the argument and present a balanced view.
  • Use evidence and facts to support your opinions.
  • Listen carefully to the opponent’s point of view.
  • Respectfully disagree with what you don’t agree with.
  • Be prepared to compromise.

Here are several things to avoid when debating:

  • Argue for the sake of arguing without any concrete evidence.
  • Get personal or use offensive language.
  • Monopolize the conversation or interrupt others.
  • Be too emotional about the topic.
  • Ignore what the other person is saying.
  • Make assumptions or jump to conclusions.

By keeping these dos and don'ts in mind, one can have an effective debate on any given topic.

To wrap it up, Hopefully, you would have found interesting topics for your debate by now. 

Once you have chosen a topic, you will have to prepare a strong debate by researching every aspect of the topic. Is that too much work for you?

Don’t panic; we have a good idea. Choose a topic from the given list and hire a professional writer from an essay writing service to do the rest for you.

Wondering where you will find an essay writer? is the place for you. All you have to do is provide your topic along with the instructions, and the expert writers will do the job for you.

For some students, composing a debate is harder than selecting a topic. We can help you with that as well. 

Make a ‘ write my essay ’ request now and get your debate written according to your requirements.

Cordon J.

Cordon. is a published author and writing specialist. He has worked in the publishing industry for many years, providing writing services and digital content. His own writing career began with a focus on literature and linguistics, which he continues to pursue. Cordon is an engaging and professional individual, always looking to help others achieve their goals.

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Are You Down With or Done With Homework?

  • Posted January 17, 2012
  • By Lory Hough

Sign: Are you down with or done with homework?

The debate over how much schoolwork students should be doing at home has flared again, with one side saying it's too much, the other side saying in our competitive world, it's just not enough.

It was a move that doesn't happen very often in American public schools: The principal got rid of homework.

This past September, Stephanie Brant, principal of Gaithersburg Elementary School in Gaithersburg, Md., decided that instead of teachers sending kids home with math worksheets and spelling flash cards, students would instead go home and read. Every day for 30 minutes, more if they had time or the inclination, with parents or on their own.

"I knew this would be a big shift for my community," she says. But she also strongly believed it was a necessary one. Twenty-first-century learners, especially those in elementary school, need to think critically and understand their own learning — not spend night after night doing rote homework drills.

Brant's move may not be common, but she isn't alone in her questioning. The value of doing schoolwork at home has gone in and out of fashion in the United States among educators, policymakers, the media, and, more recently, parents. As far back as the late 1800s, with the rise of the Progressive Era, doctors such as Joseph Mayer Rice began pushing for a limit on what he called "mechanical homework," saying it caused childhood nervous conditions and eyestrain. Around that time, the then-influential Ladies Home Journal began publishing a series of anti-homework articles, stating that five hours of brain work a day was "the most we should ask of our children," and that homework was an intrusion on family life. In response, states like California passed laws abolishing homework for students under a certain age.

But, as is often the case with education, the tide eventually turned. After the Russians launched the Sputnik satellite in 1957, a space race emerged, and, writes Brian Gill in the journal Theory Into Practice, "The homework problem was reconceived as part of a national crisis; the U.S. was losing the Cold War because Russian children were smarter." Many earlier laws limiting homework were abolished, and the longterm trend toward less homework came to an end.

The debate re-emerged a decade later when parents of the late '60s and '70s argued that children should be free to play and explore — similar anti-homework wellness arguments echoed nearly a century earlier. By the early-1980s, however, the pendulum swung again with the publication of A Nation at Risk , which blamed poor education for a "rising tide of mediocrity." Students needed to work harder, the report said, and one way to do this was more homework.

For the most part, this pro-homework sentiment is still going strong today, in part because of mandatory testing and continued economic concerns about the nation's competitiveness. Many believe that today's students are falling behind their peers in places like Korea and Finland and are paying more attention to Angry Birds than to ancient Babylonia.

But there are also a growing number of Stephanie Brants out there, educators and parents who believe that students are stressed and missing out on valuable family time. Students, they say, particularly younger students who have seen a rise in the amount of take-home work and already put in a six- to nine-hour "work" day, need less, not more homework.

Who is right? Are students not working hard enough or is homework not working for them? Here's where the story gets a little tricky: It depends on whom you ask and what research you're looking at. As Cathy Vatterott, the author of Rethinking Homework , points out, "Homework has generated enough research so that a study can be found to support almost any position, as long as conflicting studies are ignored." Alfie Kohn, author of The Homework Myth and a strong believer in eliminating all homework, writes that, "The fact that there isn't anything close to unanimity among experts belies the widespread assumption that homework helps." At best, he says, homework shows only an association, not a causal relationship, with academic achievement. In other words, it's hard to tease out how homework is really affecting test scores and grades. Did one teacher give better homework than another? Was one teacher more effective in the classroom? Do certain students test better or just try harder?

"It is difficult to separate where the effect of classroom teaching ends," Vatterott writes, "and the effect of homework begins."

Putting research aside, however, much of the current debate over homework is focused less on how homework affects academic achievement and more on time. Parents in particular have been saying that the amount of time children spend in school, especially with afterschool programs, combined with the amount of homework given — as early as kindergarten — is leaving students with little time to run around, eat dinner with their families, or even get enough sleep.

Certainly, for some parents, homework is a way to stay connected to their children's learning. But for others, homework creates a tug-of-war between parents and children, says Liz Goodenough, M.A.T.'71, creator of a documentary called Where Do the Children Play?

"Ideally homework should be about taking something home, spending a few curious and interesting moments in which children might engage with parents, and then getting that project back to school — an organizational triumph," she says. "A nag-free activity could engage family time: Ask a parent about his or her own childhood. Interview siblings."

Illustration by Jessica Esch

Instead, as the authors of The Case Against Homework write, "Homework overload is turning many of us into the types of parents we never wanted to be: nags, bribers, and taskmasters."

Leslie Butchko saw it happen a few years ago when her son started sixth grade in the Santa Monica-Malibu (Calif.) United School District. She remembers him getting two to four hours of homework a night, plus weekend and vacation projects. He was overwhelmed and struggled to finish assignments, especially on nights when he also had an extracurricular activity.

"Ultimately, we felt compelled to have Bobby quit karate — he's a black belt — to allow more time for homework," she says. And then, with all of their attention focused on Bobby's homework, she and her husband started sending their youngest to his room so that Bobby could focus. "One day, my younger son gave us 15-minute coupons as a present for us to use to send him to play in the back room. … It was then that we realized there had to be something wrong with the amount of homework we were facing."

Butchko joined forces with another mother who was having similar struggles and ultimately helped get the homework policy in her district changed, limiting homework on weekends and holidays, setting time guidelines for daily homework, and broadening the definition of homework to include projects and studying for tests. As she told the school board at one meeting when the policy was first being discussed, "In closing, I just want to say that I had more free time at Harvard Law School than my son has in middle school, and that is not in the best interests of our children."

One barrier that Butchko had to overcome initially was convincing many teachers and parents that more homework doesn't necessarily equal rigor.

"Most of the parents that were against the homework policy felt that students need a large quantity of homework to prepare them for the rigorous AP classes in high school and to get them into Harvard," she says.

Stephanie Conklin, Ed.M.'06, sees this at Another Course to College, the Boston pilot school where she teaches math. "When a student is not completing [his or her] homework, parents usually are frustrated by this and agree with me that homework is an important part of their child's learning," she says.

As Timothy Jarman, Ed.M.'10, a ninth-grade English teacher at Eugene Ashley High School in Wilmington, N.C., says, "Parents think it is strange when their children are not assigned a substantial amount of homework."

That's because, writes Vatterott, in her chapter, "The Cult(ure) of Homework," the concept of homework "has become so engrained in U.S. culture that the word homework is part of the common vernacular."

These days, nightly homework is a given in American schools, writes Kohn.

"Homework isn't limited to those occasions when it seems appropriate and important. Most teachers and administrators aren't saying, 'It may be useful to do this particular project at home,'" he writes. "Rather, the point of departure seems to be, 'We've decided ahead of time that children will have to do something every night (or several times a week). … This commitment to the idea of homework in the abstract is accepted by the overwhelming majority of schools — public and private, elementary and secondary."

Brant had to confront this when she cut homework at Gaithersburg Elementary.

"A lot of my parents have this idea that homework is part of life. This is what I had to do when I was young," she says, and so, too, will our kids. "So I had to shift their thinking." She did this slowly, first by asking her teachers last year to really think about what they were sending home. And this year, in addition to forming a parent advisory group around the issue, she also holds events to answer questions.

Still, not everyone is convinced that homework as a given is a bad thing. "Any pursuit of excellence, be it in sports, the arts, or academics, requires hard work. That our culture finds it okay for kids to spend hours a day in a sport but not equal time on academics is part of the problem," wrote one pro-homework parent on the blog for the documentary Race to Nowhere , which looks at the stress American students are under. "Homework has always been an issue for parents and children. It is now and it was 20 years ago. I think when people decide to have children that it is their responsibility to educate them," wrote another.

And part of educating them, some believe, is helping them develop skills they will eventually need in adulthood. "Homework can help students develop study skills that will be of value even after they leave school," reads a publication on the U.S. Department of Education website called Homework Tips for Parents. "It can teach them that learning takes place anywhere, not just in the classroom. … It can foster positive character traits such as independence and responsibility. Homework can teach children how to manage time."

Annie Brown, Ed.M.'01, feels this is particularly critical at less affluent schools like the ones she has worked at in Boston, Cambridge, Mass., and Los Angeles as a literacy coach.

"It feels important that my students do homework because they will ultimately be competing for college placement and jobs with students who have done homework and have developed a work ethic," she says. "Also it will get them ready for independently taking responsibility for their learning, which will need to happen for them to go to college."

The problem with this thinking, writes Vatterott, is that homework becomes a way to practice being a worker.

"Which begs the question," she writes. "Is our job as educators to produce learners or workers?"

Slate magazine editor Emily Bazelon, in a piece about homework, says this makes no sense for younger kids.

"Why should we think that practicing homework in first grade will make you better at doing it in middle school?" she writes. "Doesn't the opposite seem equally plausible: that it's counterproductive to ask children to sit down and work at night before they're developmentally ready because you'll just make them tired and cross?"

Kohn writes in the American School Board Journal that this "premature exposure" to practices like homework (and sit-and-listen lessons and tests) "are clearly a bad match for younger children and of questionable value at any age." He calls it BGUTI: Better Get Used to It. "The logic here is that we have to prepare you for the bad things that are going to be done to you later … by doing them to you now."

According to a recent University of Michigan study, daily homework for six- to eight-year-olds increased on average from about 8 minutes in 1981 to 22 minutes in 2003. A review of research by Duke University Professor Harris Cooper found that for elementary school students, "the average correlation between time spent on homework and achievement … hovered around zero."

So should homework be eliminated? Of course not, say many Ed School graduates who are teaching. Not only would students not have time for essays and long projects, but also teachers would not be able to get all students to grade level or to cover critical material, says Brett Pangburn, Ed.M.'06, a sixth-grade English teacher at Excel Academy Charter School in Boston. Still, he says, homework has to be relevant.

"Kids need to practice the skills being taught in class, especially where, like the kids I teach at Excel, they are behind and need to catch up," he says. "Our results at Excel have demonstrated that kids can catch up and view themselves as in control of their academic futures, but this requires hard work, and homework is a part of it."

Ed School Professor Howard Gardner basically agrees.

"America and Americans lurch between too little homework in many of our schools to an excess of homework in our most competitive environments — Li'l Abner vs. Tiger Mother," he says. "Neither approach makes sense. Homework should build on what happens in class, consolidating skills and helping students to answer new questions."

So how can schools come to a happy medium, a way that allows teachers to cover everything they need while not overwhelming students? Conklin says she often gives online math assignments that act as labs and students have two or three days to complete them, including some in-class time. Students at Pangburn's school have a 50-minute silent period during regular school hours where homework can be started, and where teachers pull individual or small groups of students aside for tutoring, often on that night's homework. Afterschool homework clubs can help.

Some schools and districts have adapted time limits rather than nix homework completely, with the 10-minute per grade rule being the standard — 10 minutes a night for first-graders, 30 minutes for third-graders, and so on. (This remedy, however, is often met with mixed results since not all students work at the same pace.) Other schools offer an extended day that allows teachers to cover more material in school, in turn requiring fewer take-home assignments. And for others, like Stephanie Brant's elementary school in Maryland, more reading with a few targeted project assignments has been the answer.

"The routine of reading is so much more important than the routine of homework," she says. "Let's have kids reflect. You can still have the routine and you can still have your workspace, but now it's for reading. I often say to parents, if we can put a man on the moon, we can put a man or woman on Mars and that person is now a second-grader. We don't know what skills that person will need. At the end of the day, we have to feel confident that we're giving them something they can use on Mars."

Read a January 2014 update.

Homework Policy Still Going Strong

Illustration by Jessica Esch

Ed. Magazine

The magazine of the Harvard Graduate School of Education

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50 Argumentative Essay Topics

Illustration by Catherine Song. ThoughtCo. 

  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

An argumentative essay requires you to decide on a topic and take a position on it. You'll need to back up your viewpoint with well-researched facts and information as well. One of the hardest parts is deciding which topic to write about, but there are plenty of ideas available to get you started.

Choosing a Great Argumentative Essay Topic

Students often find that most of their work on these essays is done before they even start writing. This means that it's best if you have a general interest in your subject, otherwise you might get bored or frustrated while trying to gather information. (You don't need to know everything, though.) Part of what makes this experience rewarding is learning something new.

It's best if you have a general interest in your subject, but the argument you choose doesn't have to be one that you agree with.

The subject you choose may not necessarily be one that you are in full agreement with, either. You may even be asked to write a paper from the opposing point of view. Researching a different viewpoint helps students broaden their perspectives. 

Ideas for Argument Essays

Sometimes, the best ideas are sparked by looking at many different options. Explore this list of possible topics and see if a few pique your interest. Write those down as you come across them, then think about each for a few minutes.

Which would you enjoy researching? Do you have a firm position on a particular subject? Is there a point you would like to make sure to get across? Did the topic give you something new to think about? Can you see why someone else may feel differently?

50 Possible Topics

A number of these topics are rather controversial—that's the point. In an argumentative essay, opinions matter and controversy is based on opinions, which are, hopefully, backed up by facts.   If these topics are a little too controversial or you don't find the right one for you, try browsing through persuasive essay and speech topics  as well.

  • Is global climate change  caused by humans?
  • Is the death penalty effective?
  • Is our election process fair?
  • Is torture ever acceptable?
  • Should men get paternity leave from work?
  • Are school uniforms beneficial?
  • Do we have a fair tax system?
  • Do curfews keep teens out of trouble?
  • Is cheating out of control?
  • Are we too dependent on computers?
  • Should animals be used for research?
  • Should cigarette smoking be banned?
  • Are cell phones dangerous?
  • Are law enforcement cameras an invasion of privacy?
  • Do we have a throwaway society?
  • Is child behavior better or worse than it was years ago?
  • Should companies market to children?
  • Should the government have a say in our diets?
  • Does access to condoms prevent teen pregnancy?
  • Should members of Congress have term limits?
  • Are actors and professional athletes paid too much?
  • Are CEOs paid too much?
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Here are some of the memorable moments in the third GOP presidential debate

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Ashley Lopez

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Republican presidential candidates former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott participate in the NBC News Republican Presidential Primary Debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County on Thursday in Miami. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

Republican presidential candidates former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott participate in the NBC News Republican Presidential Primary Debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County on Thursday in Miami.

Viewers of the third 2024 Republican presidential primary debate in Miami Wednesday night may have noticed some differences from past debates.

Most notably, it was the smallest slate of candidates onstage yet. Just five candidates met the Republican National Committee's qualifying rules this time around: former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who was in the first two debates, did not qualify. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who appeared in the first debate, didn't qualify either. And former Vice President Mike Pence recently dropped out of the 2024 presidential race.

But as with the prior two debates, one particular absence stood out: Donald Trump once again didn't participate, holding a rally in nearby Hialeah, Fla.

And while candidates answered questions on foreign policy and economics, another big question loomed over them: Why should Republicans choose them over Trump, who has a commanding lead in many polls?

These are some of the highlights of the non-Trump GOP candidates' latest appeals to voters.

Big question, few answers on abortion politics

Abortion rights advocates had a good night the night before the debate, passing an Ohio ballot measure to codify the right to an abortion in the state's constitution. In Virginia's elections, the issue is also considered a big reason why Democrats won both state legislature houses.

Abortion rights win big in 2023 elections, again

Abortion rights win big in 2023 elections, again

Tonight, moderators asked the candidates what the "path forward" on abortion is for the party, given that abortion rights have been popular even in red states like Kentucky and Kansas.

Answers were rare. Candidates reiterated their anti-abortion-rights stances and debated whether or not they support a federal abortion ban. But there was little attempt to address whether — and how — the Republican party might need to shift its stance or rhetoric on the topic. DeSantis offered only that abortion rights opponents "gotta do a better job on these referenda."

Ramaswamy, for his part, said he wants there to be more "sexual responsibility for men." He didn't get into detail on the debate stage, but this week, he told CNN's Kaitlin Collins that he wants to "put more of a burden, financially and otherwise, on the father when it's a confirmed paternity test."

A split over Social Security

Moderators asked candidates to weigh in on how to keep Social Security solvent, and there was genuine disagreement. Christie and Haley, for example, argued for means testing the program and raising the retirement age, though they wouldn't specify what the ideal age would be.

Scott, meanwhile, said he wouldn't raise the age, arguing that to do so would be unfair to people with particularly physical jobs, like farmers.

"You're just scum."

Ramaswamy attacked Haley repeatedly throughout the debate, but he finally seemed to cross a line halfway through, when he brought Haley's adult daughter into his attacks.

The moderators asked the candidates what they would do about Chinese-owned Tiktok, amid worries about the app collecting data, as well as allegations that the company is promoting antisemitic posts in the hopes of dividing America.

The third GOP debate could be pivotal for Nikki Haley

The third GOP debate could be pivotal for Nikki Haley

When Ramaswamy was asked about his TikTok use in campaigning, he claimed that Haley's adult daughter has used TikTok: "You might want to take care of your family first," he said.

"Leave my daughter out of your voice," she shot back, clearly angry. When Ramaswamy continued talking, she added: "You're just scum."

The exchange echoed one from the last debate, when – again in response to a question about TikTok – Haley and Ramaswamy clashed, culminating in Haley telling him, "Every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber."

Staunchly backing Israel

This is the first debate since Israel was attacked by Hamas on Oct. 7. Matthew Brooks, CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition, posed questions to the candidates about the Israel-Hamas conflict, as well as antisemitism in the U.S.

Prior to the debate, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said she expected the candidates would reaffirm the Republican Party's unwavering support of Israel. That was the case with all five candidates. In addition, on the college question, multiple candidates slammed college students and administrators for antisemitism some Jewish students have faced on campus. These answers were not only about Israel and Palestinians; they also continued a long-standing narrative. Well before the attacks on Israel, higher education was one of the main targets of the Republican culture war.

This is how the Republican Party became so strongly pro-Israel

Middle East crisis — explained

This is how the republican party became so strongly pro-israel, candidates made their cases against trump.

The debate kicked off with a simple question posed to all five candidates on stage, in turn: Why should you be nominated instead of Trump?

The candidates gave an array of answers. DeSantis and Scott both made some form of electability argument. DeSantis invoked the Trump quote that Republicans would get "tired of winning" if he was elected president, saying that he was "tired of losing." DeSantis pointed to Tuesday night's elections, in which Republicans largely fared poorly, then said that he knows how to win.

For his part, Scott argued he could bring in independents and voters of color if nominated — voters that the GOP has struggled to bring in in recent years.

But candidates had to be mindful that Trump remains popular in the party. Haley was careful not to slam Trump too hard: "Trump was the right president at the right time," she said. "I don't think he's the right president right now." She made the case that she could boost the economy for people who are struggling.

Christie made the case that amid war in the Middle East and Ukraine, the nation needs a serious leader.

And then there was Ramaswamy, who pivoted from answering to attacking the moderators for being, in his mind, too liberal. Ramaswamy argued that Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan and Elon Musk should be moderating the debate, and claimed (falsely) that the media "rigged the 2020 election."

  • presidential nomination
  • Vivek Ramaswamy
  • Chris Christie
  • Rep. Tim Scott
  • Donald Trump
  • Nikki Haley

Analysis, key moments from the third Republican presidential debate

  • Who’s in, who’s out at tonight’s debate
  • Former president Donald Trump — the polling front-runner for the Republican nomination — will once again...
  • NBC’s partner for GOP debate is Salem, promoter of 2020 election denial

Here's what to know:

Here's what to know, live coverage contributors 24.

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2024 presidential candidates

Catch up on the winners and losers and takeaways from the third Republican primary debate . Compare where the 2024 presidential candidates stand on key issues like abortion, climate and the economy.

Republicans: Top contenders for the GOP 2024 nomination include former president Donald Trump , Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Trump U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley . Here is The Post’s ranking of the top 10 Republican presidential candidates for 2024 .

Democrats: President Biden is running for reelection in 2024 . Here is The Post’s ranking of the top 10 Democratic presidential candidates for 2024 .

  • Comparing where 2024 presidential candidates stand on key issues November 8, 2023 Comparing where 2024 presidential candidates stand on key issues November 8, 2023
  • The winners and losers of the third Republican debate Earlier today The winners and losers of the third Republican debate Earlier today
  • The most memorable lines from the third Republican presidential debate November 9, 2023 The most memorable lines from the third Republican presidential debate November 9, 2023
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At Third Republican Debate, Nikki Haley Spars With Vivek Ramaswamy, Ron DeSantis - Latest Updates

Ron desantis and nikki haley battled to lead a thinning gop field of primary challengers to donald trump..

Last Updated: 

Republican candidates expressed vigorous support for Israel and condemned Hamas , took shots at President Biden and exchanged personal barbs as they jostled to lead the GOP challenge to Donald Trump. Here are some key moments:

The Israel-Hamas war: Ron DeSantis said Israel should “finish the job once and for all with these butchers Hamas,” and Chris Christie added: “America is here no matter what it is you need at any time to preserve the state of Israel.”

Biden's response to the war: DeSantis called Biden’s handling of the crisis “atrocious.” Sen. Tim Scott (R., S.C.) said “diplomacy only is a weak strategy.”

Tuesday’s elections: “I think there's something deeper going on in the Republican party here, and I am upset about what happened last night ,” Vivek Ramaswamy said, referring to Democratic wins in state elections. “We've become a party of losers.”

Abortion policy: DeSantis said the anti-abortion movement has “been caught flat-footed” on ballot measures enshrining abortion protections. Nikki Haley argued that passing a federal abortion ban was unrealistic . “You have to be honest with the American people,” she said.

On Donald Trump: Haley said that while he “used to be right on Ukraine and foreign issues, now he’s getting weak in the knees.”

Haley vs. Ramaswamy: Ramaswamy at one point referred to Haley as “ Dick Cheney in three-inch heels. ” Later, in a heated debate over TikTok, Haley said to Ramaswamy: “You're just scum.”

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